Salma Hayek Confesses: “I suffered from acne and depression”

I think this is the first time I have ever seen an A-list celebrity (or any celebrity, for that matter) speak at any length about their emotional struggles with acne (though, as I mention below, I still wanted more). Sure, we’ve heard tid bits from Cameron Diaz and Kiera Knightly, but this is definitely the most detailed description I’ve ever seen. Please send me a link if I’m mistaken!

I have a bittersweet reaction to Salma Hayek’s cover story in Lucky Magazine. I was shocked and amazed when I read the article. It was pretty candid and gave quite a bit of relatable insight:

The glowy, velvety skin seems decidedly God-given, but she literally screams when I mention it: “My skin?! When I was 25 and I left being a soap opera star in Mexico to go try to be a movie star in Hollywood and all of Mexico was laughing at me? And I could barely get work as an extra? You want to talk about bad skin? I had acne. And this acne was so bad, it sent me into a severe, severe depression. Like I couldn’t leave the house. I’d wake up in the morning and lie there and touch my face before I got up, just to prepare myself to look in the mirror! “The next stage with that sort of depression is food: too little, or too much. Guess what I did? I mean, I was fat and broken out, I couldn’t leave the house and I couldn’t pay the rent!”

I feel like she’s talking about me. Who would have thought that I would have something in common with Salma Hayek? I was looking forward to hearing how she went from that to glamazon beauty. That part is what bothered me:

A friend, she says, saved her: “Alfonso Cuarón—amazing director—he came to the house. He did not play it down, he did not try to say, Oh you look fine. He said you can’t do this to yourself and taught me to meditate, relax. I got myself back together!” She also went on Accutane. “I didn’t want to, but it cured it. Since then my skin’s forever sensitive and dry.” Before this episode, her skin had always been pretty good, she says: She’d spent her childhood practically swimming in face creams and potions, all concocted by her grandmother, who gave them to family members and friends. “She’d take me with her to the pharmacy to get her materials. She knew what she was doing—she died at 96, with no wrinkles!”

I totally agree with the meditation and relaxation part and I was glad to hear her say that it played a part in her recovery. That’s so important, but she grazes over it in one sentence like it’s easy as pie. I mean, this story isn’t about her acne and depression, so it’s not too surprising. Then, she says that Accutane cured her acne. That’s it. That’s the solution. There’s nothing more about her depression or her skin problems for the rest fo the article. It’s just left there and I felt totally unsatisfied.

I’m not judging the article’s quality because it served its purpose for its target market, but I got my hopes up and felt somewhat let down. I want to know more! Depression isn’t something that just goes away. And neither is acne, even if you have success with Accutane. It’s always a process.

All in all, I was glad to see this. Acne and depression are both such stigmas, even today. You never see a major character on a TV show or major movie depicting their struggle with acne. Weight problems and eating disorders? Fair game. Depression is covered slightly more. But acne? Not so much. Particularly not coupled with depression.

That’s the main reason I was so shocked and pleased to see this article. Acne and depression happened to Salma Hayek. It also happened to me. I still feel the sigma, but maybe one day I won’t.

Salma Hayek looks flawless. Little did we know she used to have severe acne.

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