Emma Chamberlain Doesn't Really Care What You Think About Her Acne

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If there's one thing you should know about Emma Chamberlain, it's that she doesn't really care what you think. The 19-year-old content creator who's managed to become a household name on YouTube in just three years may embody the unapologetic nature of her generation, but when standing side by side with her social media counterparts and colleagues, Chamberlain is a bit of a unicorn. Sure, like many viral YouTube creators, Chamberlain lives in LA, she has an aesthetically pleasing Instagram that often features iced coffee, and is known to spark cool-girl fashion trends (even if she doesn't totally mean to), but there's a fearless quality about her that's rare and palpable, even if only through the phone.

I'm far from the first person to ever call Chamblerain unfiltered and unapologetic, but after just a 15-minute conversation discussing her latest partnership with Bliss, the claims presented by so many others before me were true beyond a reasonable doubt. What you see is what you get with Chamberlain, and what you get is pretty inspiring.

On the Connection Between Mental Health and Acne

Chamberlain has never been one to shy away from discussing her mental health or her acne. When I asked her about the connection between the two, Chamberlain admits even she's still figuring out how to find a happy and secure balance of it all.

"You can't beat yourself up about what somebody else is going to think about your skin because, to be completely honest, nobody is even going to think about it."

"The thing that people need to remember is that everyone is really concerned with themselves and not as much with everyone else," she told POPSUGAR. "You can't beat yourself up about what somebody else is going to think about your skin because, to be completely honest, nobody is even going to think about it. Nobody cares if you have a zit, nobody cares if you're wearing an outfit that isn't cool, no one cares. Everybody is focused on themselves. Once you realize that, you can eliminate that element and then you have to learn how to accept yourself for what it is every morning."

She noted that this is, obviously, easier said than done, but she has a strategy. "I think that if in every other element of your life you feel like you're doing your absolute best the things that are inconsequential, like how your skin is looking, becomes so much less important," she said, referring to the things in life you can control and strengthen your self-esteem. "It's weird how that all goes hand-in-hand. If you feel like you're not a good friend, or you feel like, eh, I'm not being a good family member, that makes your self-esteem lower and then it just makes everything worse."

For Chamberlain, it's important to remember that acne is normal; having insecurities about your skin is totally normal. "Everybody deals with it at some point in their life," she said. "I mean there are a few people that don't, but like, 90 percent of people probably deal with it. That's a fake statistic, but I believe that to be true."

On Putting Love Back Into Your Skin

Everyone has days when they don't feel like their skin is on par. Chamberlain's game plan? Put love back into that very thing that's ruining your mood. "The best thing you can do when you're feeling a little insecure about your skin is to put that love and effort into it and not to neglect it," she said. "[Doing this] has made me feel like I'm doing something to take care of [my skin], to try to heal it and make it better. In a sense, it's made me feel in control of the situation because acne can sometimes be out of your control and that can be really upsetting because you're like, I'm doing everything right what is going on?"

Her other suggestion: doing anything that actually gets you excited about you. Chamberlain added, "It's like, yes, okay, you can be breaking out, but you can also put on a badass outfit and do a really cool makeup look and, guess what, the acne doesn't get in the way of that. That outfit is still amazing and that makeup look is still amazing, and that's something you can do that the acne doesn't affect."

On Her Beauty Golden Rule

In a word: always wash your face. "There's no way my makeup is not coming off immediately when I'm done wearing it," she said. "The second that it doesn't need to be on my face, my makeup is coming off and I'm making sure there is not one particle of makeup left on my face. I'm really huge on that."

But just because this is Chamberlain's golden rule now, doesn't mean she was this religious about cleansing in the past. "I actually didn't used to be this way. I would go to sleep with my makeup on sometimes and if I'd be hanging out with friends, having a sleepover, I'd be like, eh, I don't need to wash my face and that was a big mistake," she said. "I don't do that anymore. I also don't leave it on longer than it needs to be on. I'm not just like walking around with makeup on my face. The moment it's over, it's over for me. And I'm passionate about that."

On LA Beauty Standards

Being in LA is a lot like being in the most aesthetically-pleasing alternate universe you've ever seen — like Oz, but with Glinda, the Good Witch of Goop and Highlighter. Chamblerain isn't an LA native and only made the move from the Bay Area a couple of years ago, and agreed that the adjustment to the city's standards was difficult.

"Moving [to LA] was definitely tough," she said. "I've always gone through acne phases — it's been on and off my whole life — but once I started getting acne again [after moving to LA] it was tough." Even so, she never found herself conforming to the LA aesthetic: "It's not me. I've never really been a big makeup-wearer, I'm not big into dressing up, I go out in sweats that I've worn the whole week, but that's not what people in LA do. At first I was judging myself because I didn't really fit in, I was like, 'Wow, everybody is fully ready just to go to the grocery store or to grab coffee,' and that is not me. I definitely had to take a deep breath and say, 'Emma, that's not you and it's OK that's not you and it's OK that they're doing that. Just because you live here doesn't mean you have to conform to the way other people here live in their day-to-day life."

While you'll never catch Chamberlain covering up a zit, she admitted that LA has had one positive effect on her routine. "I never really knew about skin care [before moving to LA]. I've learned a lot about skin care and health in general from living here because people are so hyper-focused on that and that's actually been really cool because I never cared before," she said.

On Her Partnership with Bliss

"I like to work with brands that I'm excited about," she said. "I know that I've struggled with my skin publicly, so everybody's come on that journey with me. I definitely never expected it, but it's cool that Bliss was able to see that I do care about skin care, that I have struggled with acne and been through that journey."

You can count the products in the Bliss Clear Genius collection as her new favorites. The first step to a successful skin-care routine is an effective cleanser that removes dirt and excess oil without stripping the skin — and the Bliss Clear Genius Clarifying Gel Cleanser ($13) does exactly that. Formulated with salicylic acid to clear out pores, Brazilian sea water to balance and clarify, and willow bark extract to gently exfoliate, this cleanser is the gentle and deep-cleaning formula oily skin is craving.

Looking to take Chamberlain's advice and put that love back into your skin? Try the Bliss Clear Genius Clarifying Liquid Peel ($22). This formula may be gentle, but it's packed with powerful acids, like polyhydroxy acid (PHA) and lactic acid (an AHA) to promote regular cell turnover so skin can look fresh and smooth.

The Bliss Clear Genius Clarifying Toner + Serum ($18) is in a whole new league of its own. Why? It combines the benefits of a toner and serum to include purifying ingredients, like witch hazel and salicylic acid, as well as niacinammide (to reduce the appearance of pores), zinc PCA (to regulate oil production), and cica (to calm irritation). In other words, meet your new daily essential.

On Her Unapologetic Reputation

Read any of the interviews with Chamberlain in the past year and almost every one will describe her as an unfiltered, unapologetic, and hyper-real powerhouse — and it's true. Still, it's impressive that someone as young as Chamberlain can be so successful for being themselves when many young people struggle with their own identity. Chamberlain's secret? YouTube.

"We need more people who are honest. We need more people who are unapologetic and aren't trying to sugarcoat anything because that's what makes people feel like they're not alone."

"When I started making videos, I was making them for me. Not a lot of people were seeing them, so I could do whatever I wanted. If I had pimples in the video, it didn't matter to me. Once people started to see [my videos], they started to be like, wow, Emma, we really appreciate the fact that you're so honest and not trying to portray this perfect dream world." It was then that Chamberlain realized that the world needed that unfiltered lens: "We need more people who are honest. We need more people who are unapologetic and aren't trying to sugarcoat anything because that's what makes people feel like they're not alone," she said. "Seeing how people reacted to me being as real as possible inspired me to be live my life like this. I think I started realizing that nobody really cares about you, they're all focused on themselves. If people are judging you, it's a passing thought. Who cares?"

Her unapologetic nature stems, she said, from putting all of her cards on the table, including the things she's insecure about. "It's not like I don't care about anything. I definitely have my fair share of insecurities. I'm no ethereal, 'gives-no-effs' person, but all of that is so normal and human," she said. Her advice: find comfort in yourself; a sense of independence can take you far. "I only want people in my life, whether it's on the internet or in person, to like me for exactly who I am. I don't want it to be any different than that," she said. "I don't put out a fake image because I want people to like me for me and that's what creates genuine friendships and connections with people who watch me. It's inspiring to me what comes from being unapologetic, that's why I do it. It's inspiring to me to see what can come from it and the genuineness that your life can have if you do that."