According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition in the U.S., affecting over 50 million men and women – which means acne can’t only happen to everyday mortals. Our friends in Hollywood are also among the breakout-having bunch, despite what Photoshop and makeup might lead you to believe.
How do we know? Well, a number of brave souls have opened up about their skin struggles. You might know the (often-overused) phrase: celebrities, they’re just like us. But they truly are, we swear! We have the interviews and Instagrams to prove it.
Scroll down to read up on the times some of your favorite pretty faces proved that us normal folks don’t monopolize zits – acne is equal opportunity. And stick around for the products stars swear by to keep acne at bay.
You know when you’ve had a long, blissful streak of good-skin days, only to wake up one morning with a cluster of hormonal zits on your chin? Zendaya can relate. “My hormonal breakouts popping up every month unwelcome, just when I think I got my skin on lock,” she wrote on Twitter on August 8, illustrating her point with a GIF of one particularly iconic America’s Next Top Model entrance.
Reinhart recently revealed that she’s been dealing with cystic acne since she was 12. But due to the nature of her job, her biggest insecurity is on display more often than not. During a recent photoshoot, the 21-year-old said that all she could think about was her acne. “I’m not sure if or when I’ll ever be able to accept my skin as it is,” she wrote in her Instagram story, in an effort to normalize the conversation around breakouts. Reinhart concluded her vulnerable message saying, “My breakouts don’t define me.”
Sticks and stones may break his bones, but pointing out Bieber’s forehead pimples won’t hurt him. According to the singer’s Instagram post, you shouldn’t be ashamed of your acne because, from what we can tell, he certainly isn’t of his. In fact, the 24-year-old says that the inflamed blemishes are on-trend… starting now.
Ashley Iaconetti & Bekah Martinez
The two former Bachelor contestants recently joined forces to spread even more acne positivity on Instagram, but this doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone: Martinez recently spoke out against unsolicited acne advice and how, in the end, it doesn’t really help anyone dealing with severe acne. Alongside other stars, like Lorde and Kendall Jenner, Martinez helped spread the word that dealing with this skin condition is always more than meets the eye – so, please, don’t just tell us to try Accutane.
We think most celebrities would agree: Paparazzi are the worst, especially when they catch you at your worst. Lucy Hale was recently perhaps the first star to be snapped while dotted with zit cream. The Pretty Little Liars actress posted a sweatpants-clad photo the paps took of her on Instagram, with the caption: “When you’re caught with zit cream and a really chic outfit.” We love that she has a sense of humor about her skin woes.
A former spokesperson for Proactiv, Katy Perry has never been shy about her acne. Although she doesn’t have a relationship with the brand anymore, she stated in a 2016 interview that she still uses the line’s exfoliant and toner. Other products she swears by to combat her breakouts? Grape seed oil as a moisturizer and Shu Uemura’s cleansing oil as a makeup remover.
The Kardashian-Jenners are often praised as being makeup mavens, but underneath all of that contour and bronzer, they, too, have suffered at the hand of acne. Kendall Jenner penned a heartfelt post on her website about how her then-blemishes took a toll on her self-esteem.
“I wouldn’t even look at people when I talked to them,” she wrote. “I felt like such an outcast; when I spoke, it was with my hand covering my face. Sure, I had crushes in high school, but I wouldn’t even think about looking at guys.”
With the help of her dermatologist and an almost-$500 Laser Genesis treatment, her skin began to clear up and her confidence rose. She offered up these final words of advice: “It wasn’t anything that happened overnight,” she wrote. “Even after things started to clear up, it took a solid amount of time to be okay with my skin and gain back my confidence. I realized that it’s a part of life for some people, and it doesn’t define who you are.”
The ever-so-candid Mindy Kaling approaches her skin-care problems with – what else – humor. “That zit cream in your 30s life,” she captioned a selfie of herself dotted with cream in December 2015. She also revealed that she’s all about the DIY beauty-treatment life to help keep her pimples and oily skin at bay. Apple cider vinegar and Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay are her go-to mask ingredients, making her a girl after our own all-natural hearts.
Reflecting on her bumpy history with her skin, actress Kate Bosworth was quick to remind us in an interview that acne doesn’t simply disappear once you nab a high school diploma. “I feel like we always associate acne with teenage years, but it never really leaves you,” she says. “You’ll have issues with your skin and your body, and you just have to find the things that will help you balance everything out.”
How does the star stop her skin from teetering off the deep end? She takes evening primrose capsules in the morning, applies the acne treatment Aczone in the evening, and uses the gentle-but-effective Epicuren Herbal Cleanser, as well as the brand’s face cream.
In 2016, Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley opened up about her problems dealing with acne after being diagnosed with endometriosis. “One laparoscopy, many consultations and eight years down the line, pain was back (more mild this time!) and my skin was THE WORST,” she wrote on Instagram. “I‘ve tried everything: products, antibiotics, more products, more antibiotics, and all that did was [leave] my body in a bit of a mess.”
Although endometriosis only affects up to 10% of women and might not be the direct source of your particular zits, Ridley left fans with this last bit of wisdom: “To any of you who are suffering with anything, go to a doctor; pay for a specialist; get your hormones tested, get allergy testing; keep on top of how your body is feeling and don’t worry about sounding like a hypochondriac,” she wrote. “From your head to the tips of your toes, we only have one body, let us all make sure ours our working in tip top condition, and take help if it’s needed.”
One of the biggest takeaways we got from an interview with actress Bella Thorne about acne: clear skin is a work in progress. She opened up about going on Accutane for two years and the uphill battle she’s constantly climbing. Some of the products she’s used to help her get over the humps include Sisley’s plant-based cleanser, Burt’s Bees towelettes, and Kate Somerville’s toner and oxygen spray. She also tweeted recently about the cream she credits as her holy-grail product.
Another tidbit she left us with: Love your skin, flaws and all. “When you have acne, you keep thinking about how ugly it is and how everyone is just looking at it all the time – and it makes it so much worse!” she said. “It really stresses your skin out to another level, which causes more stress acne. It is literally so difficult. I’m like, ‘ARGH this pimple!’ but then I stop and I’m like, ‘I love this pimple.’ It is so hard to take your own advice, but I try a little and hope it will get better.”
Chrissy Teigen got real about her post-pregnancy skin back in April 2016, which just made us love her even more than we already do. She posted a sad-face selfie on Instagram with the caption, “Goodbye pregnancy glow. Hi itchy red spots.” As Miami-based dermatologist Dr. S. Manjula Jegasothy told us, the hormonal roller coaster that women go through after having a baby can result in temporary skin conditions like hives, rosacea, and our favorite epidermis woe, mild cystic acne.
While newly minted mom Teigen didn’t share how she was treating her condition, Dr. Jegasothy suggested using an over-the-counter cortisone cream if you’re breast-feeding.
The originator of the zit-cream selfie, singer Lorde is another acne-suffering public figure. “In bed with my acne cream on,” she casually captioned her Instagram photo.
She even called out a Photoshop instance back in 2014. “I find this curious,” she wrote on Twitter. “Two photos from today, one edited so my skin is perfect and one real. Remember flaws are ok :)”
What Lorde says ultimately goes.
Miley Cyrus sees your zit-cream selfies and raises you a plethora of different options. See: a butterfly pin, stickers, a faux beauty mark, the lot. She’s openly talked about her skin stress in the past and it’s nice to see she doesn’t take herself or her pimples too seriously.
Emma Stone said back in 2012 that she suffered from hormonal acne when she was 17 and stress acne when she turned 20. “I realized how debilitating and embarrassing it can be to have cystic acne,” she said.
These harrowing experiences have since turned her into a skincare obsessive of sorts. “For the most part, I use Cetaphil, the bar soap; and then, these pads that I get from the dermatologist; and then, Elta lotion,” she explains. For spot treatments, she uses tea tree oil, and she’s even dabbled with cortisone shots in the past.