We've all had 'em. Bad skin days, monthly breakouts, zits that just won't quit. Sometimes no amount of self-care can erase our faces and make us look like perfect, smooth-skinned celebrities. But it's 2019, and by now we all know that most celebs have Photoshop to thank for their glowing complexions.
Looking flawless IRL isn't a real thing for most people (Beyonce excluded). We could be Kardashian-level rich, willing to drop wads of cash on all the latest beauty products and procedures, and it still wouldn't guarantee perfect skin. Even Kim Kardashian herself isn't immune from acne and psoriasis. She was diagnosed with that bad kind of 'sis' while filming KUWTK, and has been open about how skin issues have impacted her life for years now.
Like Kim, most celebs with acne, psoriasis, or facial scars have gone public with their skin struggles. Maybe they see that the inevitable high-def paparazzi shots reveal everything anyway, so they may as well be #relatable and wear their skin with pride. A slew of IG 'No Makeup' and 'No Retouching' challenges have also encouraged social justice-minded celebs to go barefaced for a good cause.
Some of these bare faces barely had a flaw on them. Other ones...well, let's say it's a good thing these folks can afford the best quality concealer money can buy. Even male celebrities - two singers in particular - put their zits on the internet for everyone to see. Scroll to see 20 stars with skin that we actually feel bad for.
20 Mindy Kaling
Sometimes bad skin isn't something you grow out of. Mindy Kaling can relate to that adult struggle just as well as her character on The Mindy Project relates to all our dating dramas. She posted these pics on the day she was set to appear on The Tonight Show to promote her latest project, captioning them: "That zit cream in your 30s life. At least I'm not going on The Tonight Show later." (Like we said, she was.)
At least Mindy takes action on her skin problems. She's a strong, independent mother and career woman, so she can handle a few zits! Get em, Mindy!
19 Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus has a different zit-tackling tactic. She does the tried and true 'turn the blemish into a beauty mark' thing that just takes a little dab of eyeliner to pull off. Unfortunately, smearing a dot of eyeliner on your acne is a great way to clog yourself up and make your acne worse. This is a short-term solution compared to Mindy's zit cream.
At least Miley isn't shy about her acne. If she's not posting wacky selfies featuring #NoMakeup she's talking candidly about her bad skin habits.
"I deserve it," she once wrote on her own IG pimple post. "Too much pizza. Not enough water."
18 Kim Kardashian
The queen of the internet is also, unfortunately, the queen of bad skin. Reporters were reminded of her serious skin condition (psoriasis) when one tabloid wrote that she was having a "bad skin day." She clapped back on Twitter, explaining that it's a medical issue and she was actually having a "flare up."
Kim's candid attitude about the condition encouraged her fans with similar problems not to be ashamed of them. In response to her tweet, one fan wrote, "I actually really appreciate that Kim Kardashian talks about her psoriasis so publicly. It makes me feel loads better about it."
17 Lili Reinhart
Lili Reinhart is so sweet, we're not surprised that she smiled through her bad-skin confession and gained a few new fans in the process. She also looks young enough to play a high schooler on Riverdale (even though she's 22 in real life) so it makes sense that she hasn't grown out of her temperamental skin.
She shared this picture with a cute caption that she pretended was her Tinder bio: "Hi I’m Lili. I’m 21, a Virgo, Cali Girl and I have cystic acne. Hmu." Even though it's probably the most unflattering picture that's ever existed of Lili, we wouldn't be surprised if it actually did make someone slide into her DMs.
16 Saoirse Ronan
Did you catch a glimpse of Saoirse Ronan's bad skin in Ladybird? She wanted you to! Saoirse spoke about wanting to "represent teenagers as they actually are," and the film's director was all for it. Let's not forget she was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for that role, so maybe the authentic skin played a small part in how she won over the critics.
It's rarer to see Saoirse's bad skin on the red carpet or during her other, usually glamorous public appearances, but one film was all it took for her to show the world that she struggles with acne breakouts on her cheeks and chin.
15 Kendall Jenner
Like many of us, Kendall Jenner doesn't always have bad skin. She has the occasional bad breakout, but otherwise her skin is generally clear. When a breakout aligned with this year's Golden Globes, paparazzi went wild snapping shots of the acne barely covered by concealer and bronzer along her cheekbones. Her response? "Never let that (expletive) stop you."
Kendall also wrote about her acne struggles on her personal blog back in 2015, revealing that she "started having skin issues around the 8th or 9th grade. Where it really impacted me was how self-conscious I became about it. It completely ruined my self-esteem." Aw.
14 Chrissy Teigen
Few celebrities are as hilariously relatable as Chrissy Teigen. She's completely open about her parenting struggles and day-to-day issues on her own social media accounts, and that includes any trouble she happens to have with her skin. Don't get us wrong - usually it's absolutely perfect. Usually, but not always.
Chrissy has shared pictures of herself wearing facial hydration masks on planes and pimple cream at home, and even shared this picture of an unconcealed breakout that popped up on her nose and cheek. She said it was a typical thing that happens for her around that time of the month. Girl, the struggle is real.
13 Lucy Hale
Sometimes acne doesn't hit you in your teen years. It waits until you are in your 20s for some reason, wreaking havoc on your young adult skin instead. That was the case for Lucy Hale, who had perfect skin all through her teenage years, but developed stubborn cystic acne in her 20s."The day I turned 21, my skin just went nuts," she told Byrdie magazine.
These days she keeps her zits in check with weekly visits to an L.A.-based skin technician. As she tells Byrdie, "I'm really diligent about facials." As this pic proves, she dabbles in some at-home skin treatments, too.
12 Cameron Diaz
For Cameron Diaz, bad skin has been a lifelong struggle. "I mean, I had terrible, terrible skin," she wrote to fans in her book, The Body Book. "It was embarrassing."
She overcame most of her skin problems with an intense diet overhaul. "I used to eat a cheeseburger and fries every day. But once I stopped, a funny thing happened…my skin began to clear up. My acne wasn't totally gone, but it was significantly better. Looking back, I realize that I hadn't needed those prescription drugs, those vials of potions and creams... I hadn't needed to be angry at my skin or feel bad about myself."
11 Justin Bieber
The Biebs has had bad skin for years, and honestly, it seems like he doesn't really care. He's the only person on this list (including one other dude) who regularly shows up to glam events without a stitch of makeup covering his badly broken-out skin, and we kind of want to applaud him for it.
He also took part in the #realskin IG trend and posted a pic of himself pointing to a very obvious deep pink blemish on his forehead, with the caption "zits are in." That fact is highly debatable, but we're cool with Justin being himself either way.
10 Megan Fox
Megan Fox almost never appeared in public without makeup in the past, and with good reason. Big pores that used to get clogged along her T-zone and redness along her cheeks looked almost invisible in old pictures when she wore makeup but were difficult to ignore in pics when she left the concealer stick at home.
As she's aged, her skin has noticeably calmed down. This might be because of overactive oil glands in her young adult days developing into a drier overall complexion as she reached her 30s. Nothing says 'clogged pored' more than oily skin, but Megan doesn't seem to need to worry about that anymore.
Just like her attitude on almost everything else, Rihanna's attitude about her skin is extremely laid-back and down-to-earth. Yes, she gets zits, but who doesn't? Ri is not the kind of person to lose sleep over a couple of unphotogenic flaws. The rest of her is photogenic enough, in our opinion.
As Rihanna herself told Star magazine, "I have an [unattractive] day every month; pimples on my face, I'm fat and in a bad mood. It's more like an [unattractive] week. When I feel like my skin has had it, I cut out all alcohol and overdo the water, and lipstick is essential."
8 Bella Thorne
Bella Thorne is the newest face of Biore Skincare, and always seems happy to share the status of her temperamental skin with the world. She's told fans about her struggles with acne for years now, and which particular products and treatments work best for her skin.
She's also open about her opinions on achieving perfect skin. To her, there is no such thing. "It’s only our society and social media outlets...that [tell] us we have to have 'perfect skin' to be considered socially acceptable," she wrote in one IG caption. "I'm going to show my skin for what is it and own it. No matter what [anyone] says."
7 Daisy Ridley
For Daisy Ridley, acne is a hormonal issue. She has endometriosis, a condition that makes her struggle with more cramps, acne flare-ups, and pain each month than most of us have to deal with in our own bodies. Through the years she's spent struggling with this condition, she's learned that natural remedies work best for her skin.
"I’ve tried everything: products, antibiotics, more products, more antibiotics, and all that did was left my body in a bit of a mess," she told Elle. These days she says she uses naturally-sourced ingredients on her skin, including the occasional turmeric mask.
6 Ashley Benson
You know Ashley either from her former role on Pretty little Liars or her current role as Cara Delevingne's girlfriend IRL. She's an adorable blonde who we all thought had perfect skin, until she posted this selfie on IG last February.
"I thought I might as well show that everybody gets acne and it’s nothing to hide," she told Teen Vogue. "Sometimes I just get breakouts and I’m like, 'Oh, I’ll show that I have acne today!' I’m not shy about that stuff. I think it’s really important for fans to know that everybody deals with it and you’re not alone, and you’re completely normal."
5 Harry Styles
Through the massive worldwide success of One Direction, we watched Harry go from a pimple-faced young teenager to a pimple-faced older teenager, and now he's a mostly clear-skinned young adult. He still has his breakouts though, and there isn't always stage makeup to cover them up when the paparazzi's around.
Harry hasn't talked much about his experience with acne, but he did admit to going to some great lengths to clear his skin up before a world tour. According to ClearClinic.com, Harry underwent a bird droppings facial in a London clinic to help him alleviate some of his acne. Wild.
4 Emma Stone
Emma Stone is an overachiever when it comes to most things, and clearing up her skin is no exception. She dealt with such bad skin on the set of Easy A that it had to be airbrushed clean in post-production, and since then she's done everything she can to understand and heal her own skin.
"I realized how debilitating and embarrassing it can be to have cystic acne," Emma told Refinery29, "so I'm really interested in the biology of what makes up acne and how to work on it from the outside, too."
Whatever she's doing seems to be working.
3 Ruby Rose
Ruby Rose is so gorgeous that she's gone from an unnamed TV character on early seasons of Orange Is The New Black to the romantic lead in a John Wick movie in just a handful of years in Hollywood. She's originally from Australia, where she worked primarily as a model and DJ. This lady can do it all, and is basically flawless, apart from one small thing. She is another actress struggling with acne and acne scars.
In an IG story, Ruby got real about how skin like hers is nothing to be ashamed of, and we couldn't agree more. "I'm human," she wrote. "It happens."
2 Katy Perry
Katy Perry had such noticeably bad skin that when she went through a period of clear skin, fans thought that she had got some kind of invasive medical treatment. In reality, she just found a serum that really worked for her, according to Refinery 29. Despite this, Katy's struggle with acne scarring continues and she considers it to be a serious, lifelong battle.
As she told Elle, "One of my insecurities is that I have acne scars. I'm self-conscious about that so sometimes I wear too much makeup to cover them up. When you [struggle] with blemishes, you don't feel very free." We feel you, Katy!
Lorde is kind of like the champion of bad-skinned babes all over the world. Not only does she have really bad acne on her cheeks and chin, she defends her right to have that acne and to show it to the world whenever she chooses. She actually called out magazines for photoshopping away her acne - a service that most celebs would probably appreciate.
She's also active on social media where she defends people with acne and scolds people who insult them by suggesting that getting rid of acne is an easy thing to do. She says, "The very worst one, of course, is when people say 'Do you wash your face?' It’s like 'Yes, I wash my face! I’m just genetically cursed.'"
Sources: Byrdie, Elle, Refinery29, People, Teen Vogue