Steve Granitz/WireImage KeKe Palmer
Fans love Keke Palmer for her electric personality and ability to keep it real when it comes to all topics of conversation.
Over the past few years, the 28-year-old actress and singer has been vocal about her challenges with adult acne, revealing in December 2020 that the source was a hormone condition called PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome. At the time, the hustlers star shared a series of bare-faced selfies on Instagram showing her acne, which drew supportive and thankful comments from her followers.
Though being open about the experience helped with her own confidence, Palmer — an OLLY ambassador — tells PEOPLE that she wants people to realize that, despite being a celebrity, she’s just like everyone else.
“I never like to try to be defined by any one thing, whether it be my skin, or whether it be something else that I’m struggling with,” she tells PEOPLE. “I think when it came to the PCOS thing, I was just sharing my personal journey as far as it came to learning about myself. And as a young woman, I think that’s something that everybody can understand.”
“I share because I think a lot of people think that I’m perfect, or they might assume that things are easy for me. I think a lot of times people just put celebrities on this crazy pedestal,” Palmer continues. “So for me, my honesty comes from a place of wanting to let them know like hey, I’m going through stuff too. And by the way, maybe you can help me, give me some advice, or give me some information. “
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The actress says it’s easy to get wrapped up in seeing “perfect skin” online which can make people think something is wrong if their own isn’t the same.
“Because of social media and what we look at as aesthetically pleasing, a lot of times it can make it seem like the norm is to have perfectly clear skin,” Palmer explains. “But everybody’s skin isn’t totally clear like that. It’s just not normal. And so I think normalizing textured skin and imperfections on skin is important.”
Since learning how to manage her PCOS, Palmer’s skincare routine has become “more simple” after realizing she no longer needs to “lean on topical health as much as internal health.”
“I’ve just kind of been more conscious of what I’m ingesting as opposed to what I’m putting on top of my face,” the Scream Queens star explains, which is why she’s partnering with OLLY in support of the company’s various wellness products.
Palmer’s simple skincare routine is focused on being “natural and lightweight,” relying primarily on a cleanser, sunscreen, retinol, and exfoliant to get the job done.
“I try not to have like a 15-product plan kind of deal,” she says of her go-to products. “And it’s the same thing with my makeup. I try to keep it very simple. I don’t like to do too much or have a crazy beat,” Palmer adds, telling PEOPLE that even though she loves getting a full glam, she typically tries to go makeup free.
“I think for work obviously there are times where it calls for a crazy beat but like in my personal life I try to keep it to like blush, maybe a little foundation, mascara and lip chap. Very simple.”
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When it comes to beauty and wellness, Palmer has a daily reminder to “accept myself and love myself as I am right now,” adding, “That includes helping myself as much as I can, with anything that I feel that I’m struggling with, or that I’m worried about… At the end of the day, knowing that it’s okay that I’m not perfect. And to love myself in every space that I’m in.”
Palmer admits that she takes it as a compliment that people enjoy how candid she is with her fans, and it encourages her to work harder at her “passion” to have conversations that are interesting and meaningful to people.
“I love being able to have conversations that take people out of seeing them as just celebrities, you know, putting artists and creatives in spaces that remind people that they’re just people at the end of the day, I think that’s something that I really love.”