Proactiv defends its newest celebrity face, Kendall Jenner, amid backlash from the supermodel's fans


Proactiv is standing by its market campaign to reveal Kendall Jenner‘s endorsement news after fans called out the brand for releasing apparent misleading teasers prior to the announcement.

“Acne has a terrible impact on your self-esteem; it has a direct link to increases in depression and is a topic that shouldn’t be shamed,” Proactiv’s general manager Marc Kravets told WWD. “It should be an open conversation about getting your skin healthy. Some of that backlash we saw is exactly what we need to address this, and Kendall’s the perfect person to drive that relationship.”

Kendall’s mom Kris Jenner shared a video clip teasing the news on her Instagram before the TV commercial dropping during the Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 6, which led some fans to believe the news was something other than a brand partnership.

“I’m so proud of my darling @KendallJenner for being so brave and vulnerable. Seeing you share your most raw story in order to make a positive impact for so many people and help foster a positive dialogue is a testament to the incredible woman you’ve become,” Kris captioned the clip. “Make sure to watch Kendall’s Twitter on Sunday night to find out what I’m talking about and be prepared to be moved.”

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But Kravets told WWD that Kris’ controversial post got complete sign-off from the Proactiv team before it went up on her social channels. “We do have to agree on anything that’s posted,” he said. “Everything has to be cleared so we do coordinate on all communications, together with the family.”

Despite the mixed opinions about the supermodel’s latest gig, Kendall is still opening up about her acne. As part of the viral ’10 Year Challenge’ meme, Kendall got candid about her skin by sharing two side-by-side photos of her face at 13, covered in bumps.

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Credit: Kendall Jenner/Instagram

Kendall explained that she “ran home crying everyday because people would stare at my skin” when she was a teen. Then, in the next photo on her Instagram Story, she shared a photo of herself and her clear skin on set at age 23, boasting that she was wearing “zero makeup.”

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Kendall Jenner
| Credit: Kendall Jenner/Instagram

In addition to her ’10-Year Challenge,’ the model also wrote a lengthy message on Instagram, sponsored by Proactiv. It came attached to a black and white photo of Jenner wearing a bath towel wrapped around her head.

“While there are much bigger problems happening in the world, suffering from acne for me was debilitating,” Kendall wrote. “It’s something that I’ve dealt with since I was a young teen and has caused me to feel anxious, helpless and insecure.”

“As humans, I don’t think we share our insecurities enough because we live in a time where being ‘perfect’ is the standard. We curate our life online and pick the pretty moments to post,” she added, explaining, “I’d like to show a younger generation that not everything is perfect.”

After trying “countless options,” she says she’s now found something that’s been helpful in maintaining clear skin.

“It’s been a long journey but I’m excited for where my skin is now,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d see the day where I would feel confident posting a makeup free picture. My goal is to open up a dialogue around skin positivity.”

PEOPLE was first to break the news of Kendall’s partnership with Proactiv.

Kendall Jenner
| Credit: Courtesy of Proactiv

“A lot of people have seen me struggling with acne mostly through paparazzi photos or the Golden Globes,” she told PEOPLE exclusively. “I had exhausted all other options and [decided to] try Proactiv. It really worked for me. I feel great on the inside and out.”

Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty

With her skin finally clear, Jenner is feeling more empowered than ever — and making sure her life has a healthy balance.

“I’m definitely in a better mental place,” the star, who previously opened up about battling anxiety, said. “It has a lot to do with being clear, but it also has to do with a lot of other things in the way that I’ve changed how my life runs and things that I pick and choose to do. A lot goes into all of that.”

She’s also thankful for her sisters, Kourtney Kardashian, 39, Kim Kardashian West, 38, Khloé Kardashian, 34, and Kylie Jenner, 21, to boost her confidence when she was having a bad skin day.

“They were always there to lift me up and make me feel better about myself,” Kendall told us. “The best part about my family and my sisters is that they never give up and they’re always looking for a way to help and looking for solution.”