Since Lili Reinhart started opening up about having cystic acne and the effects it has on her mental health, she's also encouraged others to share their own experiences, and to love and accept their own skin. And in a new interview with People, Reinhart explained that talking so openly about her acne has actually been beneficial for her own mental well-being.
"I guess I got sick of feeling like I was the only one," she said, explaining why she first chose to be more open about her skin.
"When I have a breakout, I feel the urge to tell people, 'Yes, I know my skin is breaking out.' It's a way to help me feel better about when I express my frustration about it to other people. It's like, 'Yes, I'm aware my skin looks bad. Trust me, I know.' Acknowledging it gets it out of the way. Then we can move past it."
She added, "I find it therapeutic sharing that with my fans because it made me feel like it was OK when I broke out. It also shows other people that it's OK to break out."
Previously, Reinhart said that her acne triggers a "specific type of body dysmorphia," a mental disorder in which you focus intently on any perceived flaws in your appearance to the extent that it impacts your ability to live your life, the Mayo Clinic explains. Reinhart has also spoken previously about doing her makeup in the dark when she was younger to avoid seeing her face in the light and that, when she had a breakout, she couldn't look at herself in the mirror "for a couple of months at a time."
Acne may seem like a minor skin issue, but it can have serious effects on your mental health, SELF reported previously.
Having any chronic health condition can cause stress, but because a skin condition like acne is so visible, managing it can be a unique challenge. And that doesn't just mean they feel a little bit down or anxious—according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology earlier this year, people with acne in the study were 6.5 times more likely to have clinical depression than those without the skin condition. And the highest risk for depression came within the first year after being formally diagnosed with acne.
Luckily, posts like Reinhart's make it that much easier for those with acne to speak honestly about what they experience and help normalize it, which is a great first step in helping people feel more comfortable in their skin.