Kate Bosworth on Adult Acne: It Sucks

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Kate Bosworth has struggled with hormonal adult acne. (Photo: Getty)

Most people associate acne with awkward teenage years, but for many adult women, the problem persists. “I have been working about 16, 17 hour days for the last three to four weeks, and that kind of stress and exhaustion compounded with a lot of travel definitely brings up issues in the skin,” Kate Bosworth tells Yahoo Beauty. Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner says Kate isn’t alone. “Studies are showing that acne is continuing into adulthood much more in women than in men, and the latest data shows that about 45% of women in their 20s and about ¼ of women in their 30s continue getting acne, so it’s a huge problem,” he says.

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Bosworth has been struggling with hormonal acne around her chin since she was a teenager. This is the most common type of acne among adult women according to Zeichner, and it took a toll on her self-esteem. “In high school I really struggled with it. I think that’s probably the norm for a lot of people but I felt, like most of us, that it was unique to me, even though it wasn’t,” she said. “And I moved around a lot as a kid so I was entering high school as a freshman as a new student, so all the newness of everything was overwhelming. And yeah, I think anytime you have something you feel self-conscious about, something on your face, it’s difficult. It’s what we present ourselves with so you want to feel the best you can.”

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So how did she rebuild her confidence? By getting into skincare, so that she could start to prevent, rather than constantly treat acne (that’s why her skin is so flawless now). “I wake up and I always find, to feel like the best me is to really combine the inner with the outer. So this morning I woke up and early and got a little workout in to get the blood pumping, had a little steam, and in terms of my actual skin care, I cleanse my skin, I use a light moisturizer, sunscreen – always sunscreen, and that’s really it. I’m pretty minimal with the things I use in the morning, though the things I use I make sure that they’re perfect for me,” she says. She believes that less is more, and it’s definitely working for her. “In the evening I cleanse, and that’s when I apply Aczone – right after cleansing, right before moisture, then I use moisturizer. I use something a little bit richer to feel like I’m really getting the hydration in, and night cream, and that’s essentially it.”

Kate Bosworth uses Aczone to prevent adult acne the gentle way. (Photo: Aczone)

Before she found her minimalist beauty philosophy, she had a few not-so-chic beauty moments. It’s hard to believe that this style and beauty icon could look anything but flawless, we know. “I was in my early 20s when I started to think about makeup and fashion, and the only time I really think back and go, ‘I would have changed that’ is when it was just too much.” In her defense, she got into acting really early, so there wasn’t much of a learning curve for her early beauty looks. “I feel like sometimes when you’re younger you want to look older, and so it was too much eye makeup, too much lip, too much of a ‘do, and I realized after making that mistake that I personally prefer a much more natural look. That’s why skincare has always been important. If you feel good about your skin, then you can let your natural self shine through.”

Kate Bosworth didn’t always embrace a minimalist beauty philosophy. (Photo: Getty)

Here are Kate’s best skincare tips:

For the plane: “Normally if I’m wearing any kind of makeup to the airport, once I get on the plane I’ll take it off. My favorite makeup remover is Bioderma. It’s a French drugstore thing. Then I usually apply something that’s just quite hydrating. Crème de la Mer, their rich cream is really good… I also really love Glossier. Their mask is really good, I’ll use that on the plane. I don’t even wash it off, to be honest, when I’m on the plane. I just keep it on and once it’s kind of dried I’ll just add moisturizer. It’s great, their balm is one of the things I have in my purse. I use it all around my eyes on the plane, and on my lips and cuticles.”

For rejuvenating your skin while traveling, overworking, over stressing, and under sleeping: “Often what I’ll do is use a peel pad. There’s a peel pad from Scientific Organics that kind of strips the skin gently but with enough aggression that you’ll see a difference. Put a little moisturizer on, but the next night use Epicuren protein enzymes, and that’s formulated to rebuild the skin. So what you always want to try to do is trick the skin a little bit. Break it apart and build it back up.”

For diet and exercise: “From experience I’ve been able to learn what makes me feel the best. For me that is a combination of what I put in my body and what I put on my body. So particularly when I’m working and I need to feel my best, my sharpest, my clearest, I’ll stay away from anything inflammatory. So that includes sugar, wheat, dairy, all the things we really like, but the things that make me quite tired and that you can see showing up in your skin. It’s really about just feeling like you have a lot of energy when you’re working 16 or 17 hour days, you have to be very present and focused on the scene with a lot of words to memorize. I have to make sure that I’m feeling myself in the most optimal way. That being said, I like to live that way when I absolutely have to and it’s necessary. And when I have some time off you have the cheat days. It’s important because you have to have fun, too, and enjoy it! So those will be the days that I’ll go get some birthday truffles at Momofuku around the corner and really indulge. But it’s about finding the right exercise as well. For example this morning, I was up really early and ran two miles and used my body weight for strength training, so I did squats and lunges. They have this really cool machine that shakes really fast so I’ll do squats on that. I think you can kind of switch it up and just feel like you’re building muscle and getting blood moving…But exercising gives me such a great boost throughout the day, and like I said – the 80/20 rule [with food]. I feel really good when I’m eating well but I’ve got to have my cheat days. Otherwise it’s not worth it at all! It’s like, what am I doing this for? I’m not happy! It’s just about balance.”

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For anti-aging and resurfacing: “I do cold lasers. It’s called the Sapphire Treatment Laser. Essentially you just exfoliate the skin and it’s really high frequency blue and red lasers, and that’s really been incredibly effective with maintaining my skin. I see Faith Tatro in LA. She’s a skin genius and I’ve been seeing her since I was probably 22, so probably 11 or 12 years I’ve been seeing her. And here [in New York] I see Joanna Vargas. And in London there’s a doctor named Dr. Nigma. She’s amazing because she started as a doctor of the gut and realized that, as she was fixing a lot of her patients’ problems, she was seeing their skin become improved and she realized there was a correlation. It really is an inside out process. I feel like we always want the quick fix and certainly we have those tools in our toolboxes but our body speaks to itself in different ways. If something’s happening on the inside you often see it come out on the outside so you have to make sure everything’s in balance. And she’s a really, really incredible guide for that.”

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For finding confidence when your skin doesn’t look its best: “Just surround yourself with people that make you feel good and you make them feel good. Then you’ll find a really positive space for yourself… Pay attention to your body. Something that comes up externally is often a reflection of what’s internal. So pay attention to what you’re adjusting. Anything that’s inflammatory should be avoided. If you start figuring out those pieces then you’ll probably start seeing a better result in yourself. And I think the quickest fix is to smile, really!”