Epidermal Entrepreneur:

Justin Bieber's acne endorsement

It is one of life’s injustices that so many people are plagued by acne at such an emotionally and physically challenging period:  their teen years.  Yet not every adolescent has to deal with acne.  There is a lucky minority that sails through high school blemish-free.  Pop idol Justin Beiber appears to hang out with that clique. Bieber signed on this year as the latest spokes model for Proactiv, a heavily marketed over the counter acne regimen. However, we performed an extensive search for candid internet pics showing even a single blemish sullying Bieber’s cheeks.  The kid's clean, not a zit in sight.


Previous shillers for the Proactiv line, which relies on the over the counter ingredient benzoyl peroxide, such as Jessica Simpson (left) and Katy Perry (right), actually allowed acne-ridden “before”  images to be broadcast as part of their infomercials.  In an industry fixated on perfection, just authorizing such images deserves a big paycheck. Whether Proactiv has truly helped Perry or Simpson is hard to assess.  Benzoyl peroxide should reduce the inflammation of pimples initially, but usually doesn’t have a long term benefit. Simpson, for one, was treated with a strong prescription treatment, Accutane, which likely cleared her face before she endorsed Proactiv. Perry was photographed this year still broken out, despite being on the corporate dole.

Yet Bieber, in his Proactiv spot, reveals no facial spots.  Rather, he claims that he “was starting to get acne on my chin and Proactiv definitely helped out a lot.”  It worked sowell that there is not one paparazzi photo of a Beiber blemish? Hmmmmmm.

Certain prescription creams, like Retin-A and Differin, have ingredients that can clear clogged pores.  Technically, these compounds could prevent pimples.  Yet even dermatologists wouldn’t usually recommend such treatments if a teen is one of the lucky few who happens to be blemish-free.

We give Bieber credit.  By getting tweens to buy acne creams, his nail polish, perfume, and officially endorsed pillows (all actually available), he is doing his part to stimulate the economy.  The sad truth is that those with no zits as teens can still develop adult acne in their twenties.  If Beiber saves his pennies, he should be able to pay for insurance copays if he needs prescription treatments down the road.

Runner-up, Epidermal Entrepreneur:
Katy Perry

Even though she doesn't seem to be responding to Proactiv, at least she's getting paid...


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