11 Celebrities Who Opened Up About Learning to Embrace Their Acne

by Jason Pham
Feb 14, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Whether it was in our teens or as adults, most of us have struggled with acne. Yet there’s still a huge stigma surrounding pimples, blemishes and “bad skin.” More than 50 million people in the U.S. struggle with acne every year according to the American Academy of Dermatology, so there’s really no reason to be ashamed of your skin, because odds are the person next to, behind and in front of you probably all have acne too.

And though it might be easy to assume celebrities are born with picture-perfect skin, they have acne too. Underneath heavenlike lighting, heavy makeup and drastic retouching, celebrities such as Kendall Jenner, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna deal with annoying blemishes and pimples like you and I do. They also know that the more they talk about it, the more the stigma surrounding acne is shut down. To help you feel comfortable with your own acne, we’ve collected stories from 11 celebrities on how they learned to embrace their skin. Read the inspiring accounts ahead.


Originally posted on StyleCaster.

1 /11: Kendall Jenner

1/11 :Kendall Jenner

After being shamed at the 2018 Golden Globe awards for walking the red carpet with acne, Kendall Jenner fought back. When a fan praised her for flaunting her blemishes on the red carpet, Jenner responded on Twitter with, "Never let that shit stop you!"

Jenner has been outspoken about her skin issues, which date back to her teen years. On her now-defunct website, she opened up about how it took her years to embrace her skin even after she significantly cleared it.

“Where it really impacted me was how self-conscious I became about it. It completely ruined my self-esteem. I wouldn’t even look at people when I talked to them,” she wrote. “What I want everyone to understand is that it’s been a process: It wasn’t anything that happened overnight,” she added. “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.”

2 /11: Saoirse Ronan

2/11 :Saoirse Ronan

When she starred in Lady Bird, Saoirse Ronan made a point to wear minimal makeup on-screen to allow her natural acne to show. In an interview with Racked, Ronan explained she wanted to portray a real teenager — acne and all — which is why she was OK with forgoing makeup.

“I just felt like it was a great opportunity to show someone as they really are at that age. Because most young people do get bad skin!” Ronan said. “And I don’t think that’s something you get to see much. Growing up, a lot of the teenage girls I saw in movies and TV shows were played by these fully formed 30-year-olds with great skin. I hope it helps young people — and anyone who struggles with their skin — to connect with the character.”

3 /11: Emma Stone

3/11 :Emma Stone

Emma Stone experienced hormonal acne as a teenager, but it wasn't until her 20s when her breakouts really ramped up. In an interview with Refinery29, Stone explained that her cystic acne and stress-related acne started when she began working on Easy A. Though the film eventually airbrushed her acne out, Stone still felt insecure with her skin.

"I had bad hormonal acne when I was 17, and they put me on Accutane for it," she said. "After two months on the Accutane, I went off of it, and since then, my skin, my mouth, my lips, my eyes are all so dry. Then, I had stress acne when I was 20, when I did Easy A, which they kindly video-airbrushed out of the movie. But I realized how debilitating and embarrassing it can be to have cystic acne.

4 /11: Lili Reinhart

4/11 :Lili Reinhart

Despite finding solutions to minimize her acne, Lili Reinhart admits it's something she still struggles with. She opened up to Teen Vogue about the body dysmorphia she developed from insecurities associated with her acne.

"Honestly, it’s something that I still struggle with," Reinhart said. "The first time I got acne, I was in seventh grade and it made me develop a form of body dysmorphic disorder. Actually, there is a specific kind of BDB associated with acne. Every time I have a big cystic pimple or something, it very much triggers that part of me where I don’t want to look at myself in the mirror. It’s hard to take pictures of myself, I don’t want to go out in public, and I want to hide my face. But, as I’ve gotten older, it’s a matter of realizing that I can’t let a pimple on my face decide what I do and where I go."

5 /11: Kaley Cuoco

5/11 :Kaley Cuoco

Acting on television every week as a teenager didn't make Kaley Cuoco’s acne any easier. The actor opened up about her struggle to PopSugar, where she revealed her blemishes left her with deep-rooted insecurities whenever she acted in front of the camera.

"I had acne as a teen and it made me so insecure to be on camera — not a good thing when you are on a television series," she said. "I was at the point where I would have tried anything."

6 /11: Miley Cyrus

6/11 :Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus might've starred on a hit Disney Channel show as a teenager, but behind closed doors, she dealt with serious insecurities with her skin. The singer opened up about her skin struggles to The Kit, where she revealed her skin didn't start clearing up until she calmed down and "stopped reaching for whatever."

“I had kind of bad skin when I was younger, and that was always my insecurity, especially being on TV because [the camera was like] right here, and this was even before the HD situation," Cyrus said. "You think that’s the only thing people can see. I had to realize that less is more. You get out of control, you start reaching for whatever and you end up messing up your face."

7 /11: Katy Perry

7/11 :Katy Perry

Katy Perry might exude the confidence of a pop star on stage, but when she's battling a breakout, that confidence is long gone. The singer revealed that her insecurities with her acne were so bad that when she had pimples, she would stay inside or even wear makeup to bed.

"Bad skin really made me want to hide," Perry told Proactiv. "I’d wear makeup to bed or stay in if I had a bad breakout."

8 /11: Julianne Hough

8/11 :Julianne Hough

Like many adults, Julianne Hough didn't experience serious acne until well into her 20s. As a professional dancer and a judge on Dancing with the Stars, she was aware of the scrutiny she would experience if people saw her acne.

"I had had a major breakout while I was on Dancing with the Stars, and it was kind of a shock for me because I never really had acne growing up," Hough told Proactiv. "Having clear skin is probably one of the most important things in my life. That’s the first thing that people see, and that’s the first thing that I see."

9 /11: Rihanna

9/11 :Rihanna

For Rihanna, pimples are so normalized that she expects them every month. Breakouts have become so common that she's developed a nonchalance toward them, something we can definitely be inspired by. “I have an ugly day every month; pimples on my face, I’m fat and in a bad mood. It’s more like an ugly week," she told Star.

10 /11: Cameron Diaz

10/11 :Cameron Diaz

Like many actors on this list, Cameron Diaz let her acne inhibit her confidence in front of the camera. After attempts to cover it with makeup and cure it with medication, Diaz's acne cleared up when she stopped eating cheeseburgers and fries so frequently.

"I mean, I had terrible, terrible, skin,” she wrote in her book, The Body Book. "It was embarrassing, and I did everything I could think of to make it go away. I tried to cover it with makeup. I tried to get rid of it with medication: oral, topical, even the harshest prescriptions. Nothing helped for very long.”

“It was really challenging to cover them up for the cameras,” she writes. “It was awkward and embarrassing and frustrating, and I always felt really bad about myself.”

11 /11: Kate Winslet

11/11 :Kate Winslet

As proof that adult acne is a real struggle, Kate Winslet didn't stop experiencing serious breakouts until she turned 30. In an interview with Marie Claire, the actor revealed she would read headlines about her "dewy" complexion and laugh, knowing that underneath her makeup was cystic acne.

"I had a terrible bout of acne after I turned 30," she said. "I kept reading about my sodding dewy complexion and thinking, 'Oh shit, look at me, I'm covered in bloody spots, proper cystic bumps, if only they knew.'"