On her app today, supermodel (and newly-minted Time influential young person) Kendall Jenner opened up about her struggles with acne as a young teenager. “I started having skin issues around the 8th or 9th grade,” she writes, alongside images of her now clear, poreless skin. “I remember…my older sisters always told me to keep my hands off my face and to never pick.”
As we all know, acne has many causes — some of which could be related to your skin routine or your diet — but Kendall mostly attributes hers to puberty. “But, 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. I felt like such an outcast; when I spoke, it was with my hand covering my face,” she says, recalling a memory of Kim consoling her on Christmas Eve while she was crying about her appearance.
Anyone that’s struggled with acne can relate to the feelings of constant self-deprecation, whether it be hiding behind your hair in pictures or avoiding selfies at all costs. Our skin is a very important measurement of our beauty and health, which can affect how people perceive us. Acne carries such a strong stigma, despite the fact that an estimated 17 million people in the US have it.
The encouraging news is that acne can be treated, sometimes by just waiting it out or making tweaks to your beauty regimen, or by visiting a doctor and agreeing upon a plan that suits your lifestyle. Kendall admits she “began doing Laser Genesis” with her “really incredible dermatologist,” and things started to get better shortly thereafter. But, she cautions, “It wasn’t anything that happened overnight. 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…I realized that it’s a part of life for some people and it doesn’t define who you are.”
Now, the girl who used to cry alone in her bedroom over her acne has a major beauty campaign and has graced the cover of many major magazines (including ours). That’s what we’d call a happy ending.