4 Famous Celebrities with Acne—Their Stories

Most people experience acne at some point in their lives, usually between ages 11 and 30, so why is it that we often feel alone in our skin struggles? Despite being one of the most common skin conditions in the world, acne is typically depicted very negatively in the media. But some of the world’s biggest celebs struggle with acne—and they’re open to talking about it! If you’ve always wanted to be a star, but you’re worried that your acne would get in the way, celebrities with acne would tell you not to worry about it.

Acne Is Mostly Labeled as “Really Bad”

In popular media, pimples are described as “dirty,” “ugly,” and “disgusting,” even though it has nothing to do with hygiene, and is a relatively minor skin condition. Despite acne itself being minor, the psychological effects of how our society talks about it are not, and having so-called “bad skin” makes a person more likely to develop self-esteem issues, anxiety, and depression. I’m speaking as someone whose teenage acne has not gone away, despite now being deep into my 20s, so I can attest to the damaging effects our society’s views on acne can have on a person.

kendall jenner acne celebrity
Kendall Jenner is a famous model, Instagram celebrity, and she also has acne.

Why Is Celebrity Acne Such a Big Deal?

We don’t usually see famous people with acne, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have it. Some of them have taken to social media quite candidly. In fact, it’s such a relief to find out our favorite celebrities are actual human beings. If you have acne, seeing a celeb with the same skin issue as yourself can be comforting, even liberating. If these people with millions of dollars and access to the best dermatologists in the world still have pimples, then the condition must be one of those things we just can’t fully control.

At the time of writing, many celebrities in this article are still young, and even though their acne is not often on display, they all confess to be suffering from the various negative societal side effects of acne. These include anxiety, low self esteem, and feeling very self conscious.

Our aim is not to call attention to their acne in a negative way. Instead, we want to change the narrative surrounding pimples from one of shame to one of acceptance. We want to respectfully acknowledge these celebrities with acne as a way of saying, “Hey, this is normal and okay.”

How To Fight Acne With a Skin Care Routine

Performing celebrities might be more prone to acne than other people due to all the makeup they typically wear in front of the camera. Although makeup doesn’t inherently cause acne, it is important to use makeup products for acne. Particularly heavy or oily make up can clog pores and exacerbate acne. But usually, celebrities don’t have a choice—they have to sit in makeup artists’ chairs, and they have to be in front of the camera. That’s why a simple skin care routine that is effective in removing makeup is so crucial to combatting acne.

Establish a skin care routine that’s easy to do every morning and night so you don’t forget. This five-piece Basic Kit from Exposed Skincare has the major bases of skin care covered to quickly get acne under control:

  1. Facial Cleanser: A rich but gentle acne-fighting formula with salicylic acid to deep clean pores plus soothing natural ingredients to calm irritation.
  2. Clearing Tonic: A powerful facial toner to rebalance skin after cleansing using azelaic acid and healing antioxidants.
  3. Acne Treatment Serum: A special serum for daytime use that penetrates deep into pores, preventing new blemishes and whiteheads with benzoyl peroxide and green tea extract.
  4. Clear Pore Serum: A serum to use every night to help clarify and balance skin while you sleep using salicylic acid, green tea and licorice root.
  5. Derm-X Cloth: A facial microdermabrasion cloth to exfoliate dead skin cells, remove makeup, oil and dirt and help eliminate blackheads and whiteheads.

The most important thing to remember is this: No matter who you are, the best treatment against acne is an effective and consistent routine that combines powerful acne-fighting actives with natural ingredients that help soothe and repair skin.

Our Basic Kit facilitates the most essential skin care steps in four simple but powerful products.

Our Basic Kit facilitates the most essential skin care steps in four simple but powerful products.

Celebs Who Struggle with Acne

Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner has been a model and TV personality since 2007, and she’s been relatively open about her cystic acne. She’s had it since she was 13, and like many of us, her confidence took a hard hit. Now, even with her acne, she’s a reality and Instagram star, and one of the top-earning models in the world.

Few celebrities are willing to admit that they still get blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples from time to time. Kendall Jenner, on the other hand, openly talks about her present acne, too, and it is sometimes even visible at events. After an appearance at the Golden Globe Awards with her pimples on full display, the star became the target of public scorn. In response, Jenner wrote a pitch-perfect letter to her fans, in which she was very frank about her struggles with acne.

kendall jenner acne
Kendall has been relatively open about her cystic acne when she was a teenager.

“I had such bad acne when I was younger. It completely ruined my self-esteem—I wouldn’t even look at people when I talked to them. I felt like such an outcast; when I spoke, it was with my hand covering my face.”

These days it’s encouraging to watch her confidently strut down a runway, pose for a photo shoot, and walk the red carpet. Even though we rarely see her pimples, Kendall Jenner assures us that we aren’t alone in our skin care woes, and we aren’t alone in the negative psychological effects they can have on us.

Bella Thorne

Bella Thorne is an actress, model, and singer who has been public about her struggle with cystic acne. A cyst is a severe form of pimple that is often difficult to hide and even more difficult to treat. Cysts are painful, raised, and large, often around the size of a dime.

Thorne, who often appears without make up in photos, says she has completed a few courses of isotretinoin, one of the most powerful acne medications on the market that permanently rids most users of their acne skin issues. But some people’s acne struggles continue despite isotretinoin, and Bella is one of those unlucky few. She has also claimed that the drug made her feel depressed.

Yet, despite her battles, she remains an inspiring example of the power of loving yourself despite your skin blemishes, and refusing to listen to what other people have to say. She’s also fierce in her defense of others’ battles with cystic acne, as this Instagram post reflects:

bella thorne acne celebrity

Bella mentioned that she has completed a few courses of isotretinoin.

[It’s] no secret I struggle w acne. Sometimes it’s clear and sometimes it’s just not. I’m very self conscious and constantly feeling bad about myself. BUT I shouldn’t feel bad. It is normal to have acne. EVERY1 does! It’s only our society and social media outlets like this one that tells us we have to have “perfect skin” to be considered socially acceptable. I’m here to tell you rn (*&@#!) THAT. I’m going to show my skin for what is it and own it. No matter what any1 says.

Chrissy Teigen and Brooklyn Decker

It’s easy to rave about famous people with acne who’re keeping it real in fun ways too. Chrissy Teigen, an American supermodel, has never shied away from sharing her struggles with acne. In fact, she’s not shy about anything, judging by her thousands of interviews and Instagram stories. However, one particular Instagram story caught our attention—Chrissy’s funny “pimple off” with fellow supermodel, Brooklyn Decker.

It started when Decker posted a pic of her awkwardly-placed pimples on Instagram. Chrissy Teigen responded by tagging her friend in an Instagram clip and giving a cool response.

chrissy and brooklyn acne celebrity 1
Celebrities just like the rest have suffered with pimple.

“I see you trying to out-pimple me, Brooklyn Decker. I see you.”

Decker shot back with a video and a hilarious, “Don’t even try me right now. I have two eyes on my chin.”

Mild self-deprecation and humor make these two stars’ struggles extra-relatable.

Mindy Kaling

We also love the humor with which Mindy Kaling approaches her whole life. This star and co-producer of The Mindy Project posted again recently about her skin struggles in an ironic Instagram post:

mindy kaling celebrity acne

Mindy Kaling depends on light therapy to keep her face clear.

That zit cream in your 30’s life. At least I’m not going on the Tonight Show later today. 🙄

Mindy Kaling was, of course, going on The Tonight Show that day. Her adult acne and face treatments have been a popular topic of discussion over the years. She even mentions in her biography, Why Not Me?, that she depends on light therapy to keep her face clear.

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber, one of the world’s most famous pop stars, is also one of the few male celebs who is open about his skin struggles—but only just. In a single Facebook video that’s since been deleted, the star confessed that the condition bothers him a lot, causing him to hide his face by wearing hats.

In the video, he admitted that his skin affects his confidence, and pointed out that any photo can be manipulated:

justin bieber acne breakout celebrity

Bieber attributed his pimples to mono and Lyme disease, both of which are particularly debilitating illnesses.

“It’s the worst for your self-confidence [especially because of] all these filters on Instagram. People are like looking perfect with their skin and you feel like that’s a reality, but in reality a lot of people probably have bad skin.”

In an earlier Instagram post, the celeb attributed his pimples to mono and Lyme disease. He has since received treatment for these. His wife has helped him get his skin red-carpet-ready with sensible skin routines.

Other Celebrities with “Really Bad Skin”

Here’s a list of other very relatable stars:

  • Brie Larson
  • Cameron Diaz
  • Emma Stone
  • Lili Reinhart
  • Rachel Bloom
  • Ruby Rose
  • Taylor Hill
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Katy Perry
  • Selena Gomez

Sexism in Acne and the Media

You may have noticed that not many celebrities with acne in this post have been very vocal about their skin condition, while most prefer to keep it very low key. This is part of a bigger issue in the world of acne and skin care that affects both men and women negatively.

Women are heavily scrutinized in the media for their appearances, which is why Jenner and Thorne may have felt obligated to discuss their acne rather than simply acknowledging it like Bieber. The media objectifies women, and even if a woman doesn’t care about this attention, it is always there.

Men Aren’t Subject To The Same Scrutiny

Men, on the other hand, are often given more space to be themselves without having their appearance questioned at every turn. Bieber’s acne is clearly visible, but it only comes up in passing in a few articles about their careers, whereas the women mentioned here have multiple articles dealing specifically with their skin. Because of the endless spotlight on female appearance, Thorne and Jenner are forced to dedicate some of their publicity to their acne rather than their careers.

Still, this doesn’t mean men have it easy. It simply means they struggle with different things when it comes to acne and the media. Many men are uncomfortable sharing their skin care struggles because acne is seen as a “girl thing.” Instead of posting encouraging things about loving their skin and making it through periods of low self-esteem due to their acne, many men are forced to stay silent, making them feel even more isolated.

Korean Skin Care for Acne: A Popular Celebrity Acne Solution

Korean skin care for acne is a popular treatment among celebrities with acne. The system involves ten steps and focuses on prevention through gentle treatment.

Acne forms mostly through inflammation, which can be triggered by irritation. That’s why harsh acne products typically serve only to generate even more acne. The Korean skin care system focuses on hydrating the skin to keep it from getting dry and easily irritated (and thus easily inflamed). A Korean skin care routine is usually at least 10 steps. It requires cleansing twice, then exfoliating, using a toner, applying an essence/serum followed by another targeted acne treatment called an ampoule, then using a sheet mask, eye cream and moisturizer. For daytime, this routine is finished with sunscreen application.

A More Simple Acne-Fighting Skin Care Routine

Korean skin care routines may be trendy, but they require a LOT of products and many steps. Who has time to do all 10 steps every morning and night? We’ll say it again: The best way to combat acne is to stick to a consistent and proven skin care routine that uses powerful actives combined with natural ingredients.

We covered the easy routine with our Basic Kit earlier. If you’re looking to step up your acne-fighting game, try the Expanded Kit. This six-piece system has the same Facial Cleanser, Clearing Tonic, Acne Treatment Serum and Clear Pore Serum as the Basic Kit. However, it ramps it up a notch. This kit adds the Moisture Complex, an oil-free hydrating face gel that combines natural extracts and caffeine to reduce redness and irritation.

Industry-Leading Guarantee

Exposed Skincare products combine natural ingredients like tea tree oil, green tea extract, and aloe vera with scientific ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and sulfur in order to treat your skin gently while still fighting acne. The Expanded Kit is proven to deliver radiant skin in 30 days or less. Bonus: If it doesn’t work, simply return the kit within 1 year of purchase and get your money back! Exposed Skincare has the industry’s best guarantee because the products are so effective.

Exposed Skincare products

The Expanded Kit contains products that balance aggressive acne treatment and gentle skin care.

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