Keke Palmer Wants to Normalize 'Textured Skin' By Being Honest About Her Acne Struggles

The 28-year-old actress opened up about how she deals with adult acne caused by PCOS.

Keke Palmer PCOS Acne
Photo: Getty Images

Keke Palmer is an open book when it comes to her skin-care concerns and struggles with adult acne. Her honesty and transparency about her skin comes from wanting to normalize and humanize her experiences, especially considering the societal pressures placed on celebrities to be "perfect," she said in a recent interview with People.

"I share because I think a lot of people think that I'm perfect, or they might assume that things are easy for me," said Palmer in the interview. "So for me, my honesty comes from a place of wanting to let them know, like, hey, I'm going through stuff too. And by the way, maybe you can help me, give me some advice, or give me some information," she added.

Palmer has long been transparent about her acne journey, especially on her social media platforms. Back in December 2020, the Hustlers actress shared a series of bare-faced selfies that show her acne and acne scars on Instagram. The main cause of her acne is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), announced Palmer in the caption of her post.

PCOS is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age, according to the Mayo Clinic. Although symptoms start around reproductive age, it's a lifelong condition that affects up to five million women in the United States, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A common symptom of PCOS is excess production of androgens (i.e., sex hormones), resulting in excess facial and body hair and, as in Palmer's case, severe acne, according to the Cleveland Clinic. (

"Because of social media and what we look at as aesthetically pleasing, a lot of times it can make it seem like the norm is to have perfectly clear skin," Palmer told People. "Everybody's skin isn't totally clear like that. It's just not normal. And so I think normalizing textured skin and imperfections on skin is important," she said.

Palmer also shared the skin-care tips that have helped her manage her breakouts. For her, the focus is on simplicity. "I try not to have, like, a 15-product plan kind of deal," she said in the recent interview. "And it's the same thing with my makeup. I try to keep it very simple. I don't like to do too much," she added. Palmer didn't name the exact products she uses, but her regimen calls for "natural and lightweight" products, including a cleanser, sunscreen, retinol, and exfoliant, she shared.

While a minimalist approach to skin care is currently working for the Disney alum, one of the most important parts of her self-care routine includes reciting daily reminders to herself, she admitted. "[I] accept myself and love myself as I am right now," she tells herself regularly, according to People. "That includes helping myself as much as I can with anything that I feel that I'm struggling with or that I'm worried about," she said. "At the end of the day, knowing that it's okay that I'm not perfect. And to love myself in every space that I'm in."

Palmer's candidness is comforting, especially in a world where people are inundated with seemingly perfect images of celebrities. It's a friendly reminder that it's normal to not have smooth, acne-free and to be kind to yourself and others.

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