My skin nearly cost me my career: Pussycat Dolls star opens up about the agony of acne

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Kimberly Wyatt says she suffered terribly from cystic acne during her early years with the Pussycat Dolls. (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Kimberly Wyatt says she suffered terribly from cystic acne during her early years with the Pussycat Dolls. (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

She’s enjoyed mega success as part of one of the sexiest girl bands on the planet, but there was a time Kimberly Wyatt didn’t think she’d ever be accepted into The Pussycat Dolls because of a chronic skin condition.

(Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Kimberly Wyatt at the 2019 Global Citizen Awards in London. (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

“It almost cost me my place in the group,” the 38-year-old says, opening up for the first time about the crippling pressure she felt to get rid of her cystic acne when she first joined the outfit in 2003 as a 21-year-old.

“I had horrible cystic acne and the pressure to get rid of it was intense,” the singer and dancer tells new! magazine. “But it also caused more stress, which made me break out,” Kimberly says. 

“I had to constantly fight my battles with the way I looked and to keep a certain shape.”

These days she’s a married mom-of-three and focus has shifted from maintaining a perfect six-pack and waistline. “It’s important to have a good relationship with food and fitness,” she says.

“Stamina and flexibility are what’s important now as a Doll.”

The group, whose members are all in their late 30s and early 40s now, still perform occasionally.

Other celebs who’ve had cystic acne:  

Lili Reinhart (24)

(Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Lily Reinhart (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
(Photo: LilyReinhart/Instagram)
Lily shared a tongue-in-cheek post on her Instagram Stories about her cystic acne. (Photo: LilyReinhart/Instagram)

The Riverdale actress has a sense of humour when it comes to her skin condition. She once shared a makeup-free selfie on her Instagram Stories stylised as a Tinder profile.“Hi, I’m Lili, I’m 21, a Virgo, Cali girl. And I have cystic acne. Hmu,” she wrote.

She says she’s had the condition since she was 12 and it’s caused major self-esteem issues. “Every time I have a big cystic pimple or something, it very much triggers that part of me where I don’t want to look in the mirror. As I’ve gotten older it’s a matter of realising I can’t let a pimple on my face decide what I do and where I go.”

She now swears by Indian healing clay to help keep her complexion clear.

Olivia Culpo (28)

(Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Olivia Culpo (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

“I used to get cystic acne and I hated trying to cover it up – and it can hurt! Once I started being regimented about my skincare that cleared it up,” the model and actress told Women’s Health.

Her biggest skincare tip? Drink two to three litres of water every day.

Keke Palmer (27)

(Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Keke Palmer (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The actress says her acne was a side-effect of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). “My acne got so bad that people in my field offered to pay for me to get it fixed. I tried everything to minimise it, including two rounds of intensive prescription treatment.”

It was only when she discovered that she had PCOS that she realised that was the cause. “PCOS had been attacking me from the inside out my entire life and I had no idea.”

Sza (30)

 (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Sza (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The R&B artist swears by a natural approach to treat her skin.“I have cystic acne, so I use a honey mask to combat it and hemp oil to smooth out the surface of my skin,” she told Refinery29.

“Don't get discouraged with your skin when it doesn't do what you want it to do. Give it some time.”

Alicia Keys (39)

(Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Alicia Keys (Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

She’s battled serious cystic acne in the past and has famously gone makeup-free since 2016. The R&B star since launched her own skincare range called Keys Soulcare.

“It took me forever to get this [smooth] skin,” she told Elle UK. “I mean, I know how it feels to have a face full of bumps and pimples. I lived through that in the public eye.”

Eliminating dairy and drinking more water were two big steps that helped, she says. She also swears by ice cubes, cucumber and oils to keep her skin camera-ready.

What is cystic acne?

It’s the most serious type of acne and develops when cysts form deep beneath the skin.Cystic acne forms as a result of a build-up of bacteria, oil and dry skin cells that get trapped in your pores.

While anyone can get it, it tends to occur in people with oily skin and is more common in teens, women and older adults with hormonal imbalances.

Although it can clear up on its own with time, it’s often best to consult a dermatologist to limit severity and scarring.



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