We’re used to spotlights being stolen by wardrobe malfunctions and bizarre celebrity stunts, not by acne. When Kendall Jenner walked down the red carpet at the 2018 Golden Globes, it wasn’t her dress that people couldn’t stop talking about. It was her spots.
Since then, Jenner has become the new spokesperson for ProActiv, a brand that specialises in treating a problem that almost everyone experiences sooner or later in life. Other famous faces who have joined forces with the brand include Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine and Hello Kitty.
Jenner’s message is a simple one: acne affects almost everyone, it can erode self-confidence, but it is treatable. Basically, hers was the ‘It Gets Better’ message for those plagued by pimples. However, critics, detractors, and trolls weren’t convinced, and have labelled it as just another publicity stunt arranged by the model’s mother, Kris Jenner.
Worse As a Teenager
In a video that announced her as the new, spot-free face of ProActiv, the 22-year-old model said her real struggle with acne began when she was 14 years old. Even though it cleared up later, it took her a long time to regain her self-confidence.
Previously, in a letter to fans, Jenner described how battling with it as a teenager made her feel like an outcast. She added that it was so bad, she would not speak to people without covering her face.
It cannot have been easy for her, especially since she had some keeping up with her Kardashian sisters to do.
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Acne Strikes Again
Jenner probably learned long before the Golden Globes what many realised only when they saw the photos. Acne is not limited to teenagers, 80% of whom it affects.
It can be aggravated or triggered by hormonal changes during puberty, as well as by those caused by pregnancy and using oral contraceptives or medication such as corticosteroids or lithium. Foods rich in carbohydrates, chocolate, and skim milk may also be linked to breakouts or worsening cases. Another trigger is stress. Not only can it cause breakouts, it can also make them worse.
But Is Kendall Struggling?
Jenner has no reason to lie about teenage acne, so we can believe that those years must have been difficult ones for her. After all, mild to severe cases of it see thousands of teenagers pass through dermatologists’ consulting rooms year after year.
The thing is, her skin has cleared up enough for her face to become one of the most recognised – and admired – in the world. She has graced fashion runways on both sides of the Atlantic, and is no stranger to Instagram. Her ProActiv and Laser Genesis treatments are obviously working well enough for it to no longer be a struggle – and that is the important part. That is the message that countless teenagers and others who are struggling with acne need to hear: it can be managed, it can be treated, and it gets better.