One of the most painful realities of growing up is learning that acne doesn’t always end when your adolescence does. In fact, pimples, blackheads and cysts can stick around well into your adult life. You can also experience late-onset acne for the first time as a grownup, even if your skin was smoother than a baby’s during high school.
Adult acne isn’t uncommon, but the strange thing is… nobody ever talks about it. As teenagers we all bemoaned our pimples together, but these days they’re shrouded in secrecy and Instagram filters.
This is precisely why we love the latest ‘gram from UK pop star Lily Allen. Usually it’s the 30-year-old’s radical hair colours that grab our attention, but last night it was a close-up photo of her chin that interrupted our scrolling. Look closer:
"How is it fair that I get acne at 30 ? #1stworldproblems", Allen told her 659,000 followers. (Unrelated note: how great is that earring?!)
As the Hard Out Here singer acknowledges here, adult acne isn't the world's most pressing issue. It's probably not even in the top 100. However, that doesn't mean it's a pleasurable experience by any means.
Nasty breakouts can make even the most confident among us feel kinda shit about ourselves, so seeing a star like Lily Allen use her fame to say, 'I feel you, I get it too' is heartening.
Unsurprisingly, her many followers seem to agree.
"I'm 42 and have it too. I like to say I have the skin of a teenager," one commented. "I haven't had a problem with acne until I turned 23... and it sucks," said another. (Post continues after gallery.)
Other commenters were quick to highlight that Allen's fame, beauty and success "equal out" her blemishes, which is a rather flawed equation.
Sure, being insanely rich might give the watermelon-haired singer better access to treatments for her acne, but that doesn't undermine the positive effects of her upfront honesty. P.S If you do suffer from adult acne, look to include a gentle cleanser like Iluka's Nourishing Cream Cleanser ($19.95) in your routine.
So often we're only granted access to the 'flawless' side of celebrities' lives — the gorgeous red carpet photos, airbrushed magazine shoots, and even Instagram photos they've perfected themselves (hi, Kim Kardashian). That's fine; it's often part of their job to be other-wordly and amazing to look at.
Yet any time a famous woman decides to let the showbiz facade drop a little — be it Chrissy Teigen refusing to hide her stretch marks, or Lorde and Tavi Gevsinson (below) sharing photos of their faces dotted with pimple cream — it goes a long way in letting us mere mortals know it's okay to have imperfections because all humans do.
Even the famous ones. It's easy to forget that.
Hell, it probably even reassures celebrities that it's okay to have imperfections, because you certainly wouldn't know it from some of the nasty headlines they cop.
Take Delta Goodrem, for instance — after last year's ARIA Awards, local news outlets oh-so helpfully pointed fingers at the singer's "stressed out skin", concealed beneath "caked-on makeup" on the red carpet. This was all illustrated, of course, with ultra high-definition zoomed-in images. Charming.
It also goes without saying that it's quite daunting to put your 'blemishes' out there for all your Instagram followers to see, let alone when you have hundreds of thousands of them like Lily Allen does.
So, in sum: nice work, lady. Also, we want your star earrings.