Nobody Is Perfect: These Celebrities Shared Their Struggles With Acne

From red carpet shoots to social media posts, celebrities flaunt flawless skin in every photo. It’s easy to believe that they don’t have skin troubles, but this is not true. Several celebrities have talked about (and shown) their acne. One singer-songwriter has refused to wear makeup for the past five years, and others have posted their breakouts on Instagram. Once you read about these celebrities and their acne struggles, you’ll realize that nobody is perfect.

Rihanna’s Acne Struggles Inspired A Skincare Brand

A close-up shows Rihanna's face with makeup on.
Steve Granitz/WireImage
Steve Granitz/WireImage

In July 2020, Rihanna officially launched her new skincare line, Fenty Skin. While doing so, she confessed that her own skin struggles inspired the brand. She said that she got acne as a teenager, and her acne treatments “stripped my skin of all the good stuff that I already had in it.”

Rihanna also admitted that she has had a hard time discovering her ideal skincare routine. However, she encourages others to try as well. “[Acne] just means you’re human,” she said during an interview with Refinery 29.

Katy Perry’s Skin Became Worse With Stress

A close-up of Katy Perry shows pimples beneath her makeup, 2008.
Al Pereira/WireImage
Al Pereira/WireImage

Although Katy Perry appears perfect onstage, the pop star has struggled with acne for years. According to Elle Australia, her skin became rapidly worse when she stepped into the limelight at age 23. “It was stress-related, and my body was changing from coming out of the teenage years,” she said.

In interviews, Perry has mentioned that new skincare routines and diet have improved her skin. She said that, when she stays away from junk food, “my face just glows.” Perry is also a big fan of Proactiv and getting the occasional facial.

Kendall Jenner’s Acne Is “Debilitating”

As a model, Kendall Jenner’s job is to appear flawless. That might be why she said that acne felt “debilitating.” The TV personality said that her skin struggles began at age 23, and they made her feel “anxious, helpless, and insecure.”

Because of this, Jenner tries to spread skin positivity. She has posted photos of her acne on social media to prove that even models have to deal with it. “I’d like to show a younger generation that not everything is perfect,” she wrote in a 2019 Instagram post.

In 2016, Alicia Keys Stopped Wearing Makeup

Celebrity Sightings In Paris - February 4, 2020
Marc Piasecki/GC Images
Marc Piasecki/GC Images

In November 2020, Alicia Keys told Glamour UK why she does not wear makeup anymore. It is because of her “challenging” battle with acne. The singer-songwriter admitted that she tried to cover acne scars with makeup, which made it worse.

In 2016, Keys stopped wearing makeup altogether. Makeup-free photoshoots reportedly helped her feel more confident. “I struggled so much in my skin and really even being clear about my self-confidence and self-worth,” she said. Despite this, Keys wants to use her platform to encourage others and promote equality.

Justin Bieber’s Self-Esteem Suffers Because Of His Acne

Justin Bieber poses for photos at Global Road Entertainment's world premiere of
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

In 2020, pop star Justin Bieber opened up to his fans on an episode of Facebook’s “The Biebers on Watch.” He claimed that his acne struggles have lowered his self-confidence, especially because of social media. “People are like looking perfect with their skin,” he said. “But in reality, a lot of people probably have bad skin.”

Bieber attributed his “bad skin” to Lyme disease, which he had been diagnosed with in January 2020. On the bright side, he seemed to get a handle on skincare, as he posted “healthy skin” updates in July.

Chrissy Teigen Likes To “Show The Bad”

As a model, Chrissy Teigen always tries to look her best. But the TV personality and entrepreneur fights with acne behind the scenes, which she often shares on Instagram. She has joked about an “unsqueezable” pimple on her chin that was “ruining [her] life” for four years.

“I fully believe that if you show the good, you’ve got to show the bad,” Teigen claimed during one Instagram story. She often shares how her acne gets worse during menstruation, and sometimes, she will share non-sponsored products that have helped her.

Keira Knightley Tried “Everything Under The Sun”

A close-up shows Keira Knightley's acne under makeup at the Academy Awards.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

Although actress Keira Knightley looks flawless in movies, she has apparently struggled with “really bad skin” since age 24. In 2018, she told Vogue UK that she “did everything under the sun” to try and heal her skin.

Knightley also said that acne has lowered her self-esteem. However, being in movies boosted it, and she wants to show fans that even her skin is not perfect. “I don’t even like wearing make-up, but I have to because of my acne,” she admitted. That’s why she takes photos without it.

Like Many People, Lorde Is Still Working On Her Skin

Lorde performs onstage in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

In interviews, singer-songwriter Lorde has joked about her struggles with acne. She mentioned that many people think dealing with acne is easy when it is not. “I’m just genetically cursed,” she said during a live Instagram story.

Lorde continues to search for the ideal acne solution, but she cheers her fans on as well. “For anyone out there who has bad skin — and actual bad skin, not the kind of bad skin you can just use a fancy cream for a few days and it will get better…we’ll get there. We will. Promise.”

Saoirse Ronan Showed Acne Scars In A Movie

A close-up shows Saoirse Ronan's face at the Love Gala & European Premiere of
Tim P. Whitby/Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI
Tim P. Whitby/Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI

In 2017, actress Saoirse Ronan portrayed a teenage character in the movie Lady Bird. During it, she decided to show her acne scars, not cover them with makeup. This prompted interviews about Ronan’s relationship with acne. She said that she started getting it from wearing movie makeup, and that she “didn’t know how to tackle it.”

In an interview with SC Fashion, Ronan said that she had grown up with advertisements of women with perfect skin. She wanted to shatter that misconception in Lady Bird. “I hope it helps young people—and anyone who struggles with their skin—to connect with the character,” she said.

Dua Lipa’s Skin Gets Worse During Travel

Dua Lipa speaks on Zoom during Pandora LIVE.
2020 Pandora Media LLC/Getty Images for Pandora Media
2020 Pandora Media LLC/Getty Images for Pandora Media

Grammy-winner Dua Lipa tries to show her fans that her life is not perfect. In 2019, she did this by posting a photo to her Instagram story of her face with acne cream. “My skin is not happy,” she wrote. But this isn’t the first time Dua Lipa opened up about skincare.

During an interview with Elle, the singer explained that she has to get serious about her skincare routine while traveling. “I never used to be into skincare but now I travel, I have to,” she said. She uses serums, SPF creams, and moisturizes day and night.

Selena Gomez Developed A Strict Skincare Routine

Actress and singer Selena Gomez opened up about her acne struggles during a 2020 interview with People. She said that she often gets pimples in her “T-zone,” especially before the red carpet. “I notice when I get stressed or something, I break out more, or I get lazy with my routine,” she said.

Along with acne, Gomez also has lupus, an autoimmune disorder that can attack the skin. Because of this, Gomez has gotten strict about her skincare routine. “I spent two years designing and working with chemists and dermatologists,” she said, “and it’s just something that I’m super, super proud of.”

Emma Stone’s Acne Returned While Filming Easy A

Emma Stone arrives at the 89th Annual Academy Awards.
Steve Granitz/WireImage
Steve Granitz/WireImage

In 2012, actress Emma Stone gave all the credit to her makeup artists for her “flawless face.” The 24-year-old had been dealing with acne since she turned 17. She even went on Accutane for it, but pimples came back with a vengeance when she starred in Easy A at age 20.

While talking with Refinery 29, Stone called her acne “debilitating and embarrassing.” She has tried several problems, which she references as “part of the problem,” as her acne has not gone away. Still, she asks her makeup artists to help her skin look more natural.

Cameron Diaz Connected Diet To Acne

Cameron Diaz speaks at a
Patrick Riviere/Getty Images
Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

Actress Cameron Diaz has dealt with acne since her teens. During an interview with Seventeen, she credited much of her acne to her poor diet. She did not know that greasy, fried, and fat-filled food results in more acne.

In her 2014 book The Body Book, Diaz admitted that her skin made her feel “really bad about myself.” However, she has slowly been getting the hang of the skin and diet connection by eating more fresh ingredients and vitamin A. Diez still talks about skincare in interviews and her books.

Natalie Portman Went Vegan To Eliminate Acne

Natalie Portman attends The Cinema Society.
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

According to her interview with The Cut, Natalie Portman did not emphasize looks while growing up. Her mother always prioritized being a good person. However, she still understood the stigma around acne, and she worked hard to eliminate it throughout life.

“I’m vegan and I found my skin was much, much better [than] when I was a vegetarian,” she said. Portman cut out dairy and eggs to relieve her acne. However, she admits that that doesn’t work for everyone, and it “might have been an age thing” since she went vegan at age 30.

Miley Cyrus Has Been Fighting Pimples Her Entire Life

Miley Cyrus has pimples showing through her makeup at the Omnia Nightclub.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Singer and actress Miley Cyrus had a terrible relationship with acne growing up, even while she was filming Hannah Montana. During an interview with Allure, she mentioned that she went on Accutane to banish cystic acne, but it did not work. “[Dealing with acne] was a long, hard, emotional process,” she said.

Because of her skin struggles, Cyrus enforces a strict skincare routine. Her most important rule is to wipe away makeup before sleeping. “No matter how late,” she will wash her face before bed. She also cleans her makeup brushes frequently.

Mandy Moore Got Acne As An Adult

Mandy Moore attends the 25th Annual Critics' Choice Awards.
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Many people get acne as a teenager and lose it as an adult. But for actress and singer Mandy Moore, it was the opposite. During a 2012 interview with People, she said that fans always complimented her skin. So she got “weirded out” when acne appeared at age 22 “literally overnight.”

Moore has been a vocal supporter of the brand Proactiv because it helped her manage her acne. She also had to learn how to buy acne-sensitive products. “I’ve been very conscious about finding oil-free, non-comedogenic makeup,” she said. She’s also strict about washing off makeup before bed.

How Mindy Kaling Dries Out Pimples

As a comedian, actress, and director, Mindy Kaling has appeared on the red carpet many times. Although her skin looks perfect in the photos, she has opened up about her acne troubles. In 2015, she even posted a photo of herself wearing acne cream on Instagram.

In her memoir, Why Not Me?, she talks about buying the Tria Acne Clearing Blue Light and calling it “Wall-E.” She said that it feels like a “tiny white-hot iron you are pressing against your already-sensitive pimple…but it’s very effective at squashing and destroying pimples, so you don’t care.”

Vanessa Hudgens Treats Skincare As Self Care

In April 2019, Vanessa Hudgens updated her Instagram story with photos of acne cream on her pimples. The actress opened up to her 33 million fans about skincare troubles. However, she has never been negative about it.

Hudgens told Women’s Health that skincare “feels like a form of self-love.” She enjoys applying face masks, serums, and LightStim kits. Photos of her skincare counter show dozens of bottles from $17 lotions to $325 facial toning kits. Good for her, spinning acne into a positive habit.

Shay Mitchell Has Had Acne Since Her Teens

A close-up shot shows actress Shay Mitchell at the 23rd Annual ELLE Women In Hollywood Awards.
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Model, actress, author–Shay Mitchell has done it all, and she has struggled with acne the whole time. During an interview with Reader’s Digest, Mitchell said that she has had acne since she moved to Los Angeles as a teenager. She jokes that she “sit[s] and [cries] about it for 12 minutes” when she sees a pimple in the morning.

Mitchell says that she wants to reassure people that everyone deals with acne at some point. She knows that it’s hard, but she sticks to a plant-based diet and gets facials to counteract it. “It’s no good to stress about everything going into your body,” she said.

Daisy Ridley Hates Wearing Makeup

A close-up shows Daisy Ridley's makeup during the premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'.
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley has not shied from showing her acne on social media. Since she has PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), acne is one of her main symptoms. On Instagram, she admitted that acne made her feel self-conscious. “I hate wearing makeup, but I currently don’t want to leave the house without it on,” she admitted.

Ridley encouraged her followers to talk to professionals for help with acne. She had “tried everything” for acne before learning that PCOS might be to blame. You never know what could be the cause.