It can be hard to imagine that celebrities and influencers who appear to have the clearest, smoothest skin on-camera and on social media could ever struggle with acne. That is what is so dangerous about editing, airbrushing, and portraying false realities. Thankfully, Lili Reinhart's acne posts, which she uploaded to her Instagram Stories, will do a small part in lifting the veil on so-called "flawless" skin by proving that acne affects people we're led to believe it doesn't.
On her Instagram stories, she shared that she's been dealing with cystic acne since she was 12 years old and it's caused major self-esteem issues for her ever since. "I have a cystic acne breakout on [my] forehead currently. And I had to do a photo shoot all day long," she shared on her stories. "20+ people were studying my face on the camera monitor at any given time during the 11 hour shoot... and all I could think about when I was in front of the camera were the pimples on my forehead."
If you're thinking, "wait a minute — this is coming from Lili Reinhart? The girl on Riverdale with the kind of complexion I could only dream about?" then you're not alone. I was incredibly surprised to learn that the actress struggles with such breakouts, as her skin is always made up to appear uber clear on camera.
"I'm not sure if or when I'll ever be able to accept my skin as it is. It's problematic. It scars easily. It's painful," she goes on. "But I'm hoping that someday I can feel beautiful even if I'm having a breakout."
Bekah Martinez also recently took to Instagram to share her own acne struggles. Her post addressing her skin issues features two images, the first is a selfie from when she struggled with regular all-over breakouts and the second is a selfie of what her skin, which is much clearer, looks like today. "REAL TALK: my skin used to look like this for YEARS!! and now (thank god) if you swipe left it looks like this!" Martinez captioned the image. "i’ve finally found the core root of my acne problem that wasn’t solved with accutane (3 rounds of it), wasn’t solved with R&F or proactiv or ANY topical regimen, wasn’t solved with birth control, wasn’t solved with going vegan, wasn’t solved with drinking more water or coconut oil or tea tree oil or clay masks...I could go on and on about all the things that DIDN’T cure my acne."
I've struggled with persistent acne since I was 18 (yes, acne decided to really hit me in my late teens and continues to through my mid 20s — fun!) and can totally relate to trying everything in the book to clear it up. So naturally, I was at the edge of my seat waiting to read what Martinez would write next. As it turns out, gut health is what truly helped her manage her acne, namely certain raw foods that she began to incorporate into her diet. (She'll be sharing exactly what those are in the coming weeks.)
While Martinez's tips will undoubtedly be valuable, to me, the best part of her post was simply that she was showing fans that they are not alone in their acne struggles and that she, a celebrity who consistently appears on television and in the media with enviable skin, deals with frustrating breakouts, just like the rest of us.
Seeing as June is Acne Awareness Month, these honest and invaluable posts from Martinez and Reinhart could not have come at a better time. Hopefully, they will pave the way for young women to continue to realize that the unrealistic beauty standards in terms of what skin should look like are total baloney, and that they aren't even real for the people selected — whether willingly or not — to propagate them.