Here's how 11 celebrities got rid of their acne

How celebs got rid of acneTim P. Whitby/Getty; Angela Weiss/Getty; Neilson Barnard/GettyRihanna, Bella Thorne, and Kendall Jenner have all fought acne.

Celebrities may have gobs of money, glamorous wardrobes, and giant houses, but there’s one thing they share with even us normal folk: Acne.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) says that acne affects 50 million Americans every year. Celebs may be able to disguise acne with the help of pro makeup artists, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune to blemishes.

Here’s a look at 11 different celebrities who have been open about their acne, plus how they successfully treat it.

Natalie Portman says going vegan changed everything.

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Natalie Portman went from vegetarian to vegan.

In an interview with The Cut, actor Natalie Portman revealed that she, too, has battled blemishes as an adult. She also said that changing from vegetarianism to stricter veganism vastly improved her skin.

'I cut out dairy and eggs, and I never had a breakout after,' she said. 'That was definitely a discovery.'

That doesn't mean cutting out dairy and eggs will work for everyone. A small handful of studies have found that milk products may aggravate acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). The link seems to be particularly strong with skim milk as opposed to other dairy foods like cheese or yogurt.

Still, the evidence is very preliminary, and for now, the AAD doesn't recommend any dietary changes as a way to treat acne.

Bella Thorne tried Accutane, but it wasn't a perfect cure.

Bella Thorne seems to have a really serious case of acne.

Thorne told Refinery29 that she had tried Accutane, a powerful prescription drug that can permanently cure acne in exchange for some intense side effects. She said that she was on the drug for almost two years, though a typical course of treatment is around four to six months.

Accutane is a permanent cure for about 85% of patients who take it, according to the AAD, but Thorne wasn't in that lucky majority. She has continued to break out.

'When I was on Accutane, they told me, 'You'll never have another pimple in your entire life,'' the actor told Refinery29. 'They said nine out of 10 people never have a pimple again. So, I'm like, 'Well, f--- me, I guess I'm just that 10%, aren't I?''

But she also said she's since found success with a prescription antibacterial gel called clindamycin phosphate. And she tries not to touch her pimples, which is smart, since picking at blemishes can lead to infections and permanent scarring, per the AAD.

Accutane seems to have worked for Chloƫ Grace Moretz, though.

Frazer Harrison/Getty
Accutane is a serious drug, but it can be permanent cure.

'I dealt with really bad cystic acne growing up,' she told Allure last year. 'I tried changing my diet and my beauty products before going on Accutane. (Having acne) was a long, hard, emotional process.'

The past tense indicates that her acne problems are finally behind her. And for most people who take it, Accutane really does work.

Rihanna cuts back on booze.

Rihanna gets occasional breakouts.

In an interview with Cosmo UK, Rihanna described a simple strategy for getting over a breakout here and there:

'When I feel like my skin has had it, I cut out all alcohol and overdo the water,' she said.

There is some evidence -- including a study of 17,345 people -- showing that alcohol consumption can make acne worse, possibly by affecting hormones, feeding skin bacteria, or increasing inflammation. But the science is still not conclusive.

The AAD does say that alcohol can damage the skin over time, however, so Rih's advice is still pretty sound. (Experts say it's best to stick to moderate consumption of about a drink a day.)

Her other acne-fighting tip? Wearing a bold lipstick. 'It draws attention away from any flaws,' she told Cosmo.

Like many stars, Katy Perry is a fan of Proactiv.

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Katy Perry never stopped using Proactiv.

In a Q&A with Refinery29 last year, Perry said that she still uses Proactiv products even though she's no longer a paid spokesperson for the brand.

'Proactiv doesn't pay me anymore -- I have no relationship with them besides the fact that they have helped me so much,' she said. 'When I was 23, I had really bad skin (...) I had spent thousands and thousands of dollars on dermatologists and lasers, and then I started using (Proactiv) and I still use it to this day. I don't use the trio, just the exfoliant and the toner.'

The active ingredient in Proactiv products is benzoyl peroxide. It effectively vanquishes acne bacteria and comes highly recommended by dermatologists. You can find it in tons of different drugstore products.

Julianne Hough uses ice.

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Hough says she uses Proactiv, but she's got another trick up her sleeve.

Julianne Hough is another Proactiv user, though unlike Perry, she's still very much a spokesperson.

But in a post she penned for Byrdie, Hough revealed another pimple-fighting trick.

'If I feel a big pimple coming on, I like to get a really cold washcloth, or even an ice cube, and kind of massage the area a little bit. I feel like that takes the swelling down at least. I don't want to pop it because then it will be too hard to cover with makeup the next day.'

Popular acne support forum Acne.org also advocates using ice to bring down redness and swelling in particularly nasty zits. And Hough is right on point when it comes to popping: It's something only dermatologists should do.

Scarlett Johansson always washes her face and makeup brushes.

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Scarlett Johansson keeps it clean.

At least, that's what she said when she spoke to Elle about her beauty routine back in 2009.

'I have the same breakouts as everybody else,' she told Elle. 'I never go to bed with makeup on, even if I come home at 4 a.m. (...) And I clean my makeup brushes once a week. People don't realise how dirty their sponges and stuff are! Bacteria -- that's what makes you break out.'

She's right: A specific bacterium called P. acnes is one of the major driving forces behind acne, and the AAD does recommend removing makeup every night and cleaning brushes once weekly.

Olivia Munn also relies on cortisone shots to get rid of acne in a hurry.

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Olivia Munn has said that a lot of actors use the shots.

Olivia Munn said she knew 'a lot of actors' (including herself!) who get cortisone shots to deal with major blemishes. She was interviewed by E! earlier this year about her own skincare struggles.

Celebrity aesthetician Renée Rouleau told to E! in 2015 that the shots really are a popular tactic for red carpet events or run-ins with the paparazzi.

Cameron Diaz wrote that fast food was plaguing her skin.

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Diaz improved her skin by kicking her daily fast food habit.

In 'The Body Book,' Diaz wrote that she used to have 'terrible, terrible, skin' that she tried to treat with 'the harshest prescriptions.'

But nothing changed until she vowed to stop eating fast food every day. 'My skin began to clear up!' she wrote in the book. 'My acne wasn't totally gone, but it was significantly better.'

As mentioned earlier, there's still no rock-solid scientific proof that diet alone can cause or cure acne.

But it's certainly possible that Diaz's fast food ban made a difference. Plenty of fast-food items are high on the glycemic index -- a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar after you eat it. And there is some evidence that high glycemic diets worsen acne symptoms.

Kendall Jenner found success with laser treatments.

Kendall Jenner cleared her skin with an expensive treatment.

In a blog post published to her website a few years back, Jenner wrote that her acne blemishes emerged when she was in eighth or ninth grade.

She said that her skin totally cleared up thanks to a treatment called Laser Genesis. It uses a laser (obviously) to eliminate redness and stimulate the production of a skin protein called collagen. This result is smoother-looking skin.

As you might expect, it's also pricey. We found spas that charge up to $US250 per session, and people usually opt for multiple sessions.

Kate Bosworth combines a prescription and a supplement.

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Kate Bosworth once told Refinery29 that she's fought acne around her chin since she was a teenager.

Her main treatment of choice is a prescription gel called Aczone. Its active ingredient, dapsone, kills acne bacteria and reduces inflammation.

Bosworth also said that she takes a supplement containing evening primrose, which dermatologists say can reduce inflammation in the skin.

Read about all the most effective acne treatments on the AAD website.

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