Though she always looks happy and lit-from-within, singer LeAnn Rimes has not had an easy road. Dealing with severe psoriasis for nearly her entire life, she’s survived a constant battle with her body, and has chosen to speak out about her struggles in recent years, hoping to reach others with the skin condition and help them feel less alone. I sat down with the American beauty via Zoom today to hear her story, and of course talk about beauty products, upcoming events her fans can look forward to and more.
How has psoriasis impacted your life?
“I was diagnosed when I was two, so I pretty much don’t know life without it. I have been in the public eye my whole life and so a lot of that has been hiding under clothing and not really feeling comfortable in my skin, to be honest. A lot of disassociation from my body because of wanting to check out. By age six, I was covered on 80 percent of my body. I’ve gone through it, but no one would know I was on stage bleeding under clothing a lot of the time. It’s been stressful and isolating and lonely at times, but I’ve spoken out about it over the past decade. And last year during the pandemic was the first time I’ve had a major flare in a really long time, and I wanted people to experience that because I have been so vocal.
People often say, ‘You have great skin,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, at the moment—anything can happen.’ With all the stress of the last couple of years, I think so many people experienced having flares. Being able to share my journey so vulnerably with the photos I released, I never expected the kind of support and love I received. Also the shares from other people about their own journeys with psoriasis.”
How do you manage the condition, especially when you get a flare?
“One of the biggest things is having a wonderful doctor who can help you figure out the right treatment plan for you. Someone you can be open and honest with. That has been key for me. Psoriasis is one of those things that so tailored to your own body, so what works for me may not work for someone else. Also managing stress levels, which is hard to do for all of us. Stress is a key piece for me when it comes to what flares my psoriasis, so keeping that internal chatter turned down to a manageable degree, eating healthy, working out, being outside in nature, meditating, and drinking a lot of water are important. I joke that it’s all easy stuff, but a lot of us don’t do them all the time. I’ve learned to put my health first. Look, I’m almost 40, and I think I’ve finally started taking the whole picture really seriously over the past couple of years. I want to set myself up for the best life possible. The things we take for granted could easily be gone tomorrow.”
Does psoriasis run in your family?
“Back in the 80s when I was two, they thought it was a gazillion different things before they found out it was psoriasis. I know it can be hereditary, but for me at least, no one in my family had actually had it. My mom has developed a little bit of eczema and a little bit of psoriasis—not anywhere near what I have had—in the latter part of her life, so there is definitely a hereditary piece there. So I guess I was the guinea pig [laughs]. People’s stories are all so different in how it shows up.”
Another musician, Cyndi Lauper, has also spoken out about her psoriasis battle over the years, and you recently teamed up with her on the PsO in the Know podcast to talk about the subject. How was that experience?
“The PsO in the Know podcast, sponsored by Novartis, was so much fun to be on because I love Cyndi Lauper, she’s amazing, and to be able to connect with another artist who has been through the same things I’ve been through is rare. Sharing our own experiences and connecting in that way was really beautiful, and I felt like it was an extension of what I shared last year. I encourage everybody to go check it out to listen to our conversation, and so many others who are sharing their stories. The more we build this community, the less alone we feel and more educated we become. I never thought I’d say I’d be grateful for this journey, but I am, and I’m grateful I have a platform and a voice to talk about it. It’s been a journey of coming home to my body and feeling comfortable in my skin, no matter what it looks like.”
Switching to another side of “skin care,” what does your routine look like these days?
“I have a ton of beauty products and I was always trying the new thing, but last year I felt like I wanted to pare down everything in my life. Someone sent me something the other day called Herbal Face Food, and I’m obsessed. It’s all natural products—I use their soap and serum on my face. I have melasma also, and it’s definitely started to break down some of that, so I’m like, ‘Oh my god, these are my favorite products ever.’ It burns—the ingredients are super active—so it’s super hot when you put it on your face, so I highly recommend starting with Serum I, but it really does the job. Once I find something that really does its job, I tend to stick to it.”
Are there any tried-and-true products you’ve used for years?
“My husband [actor Eddie Cibrian] swears by Cetaphil, so that is definitely in our house. I love coconut oil—it’s super simple and you can find it pretty much anywhere. It’s a key ingredient I love to just slather on during the winter, especially having psoriasis. I’m one of those people who can’t get out of the bath and feel that dry thing that happens to your skin where it shrinks up. I carry lotion with me everywhere I go. In the winter, I love slathering on coconut oil after a bath though.”
Are there any beauty trends you wouldn’t try?
“I have to say I’m not a big injectable person. I went down that road early on for like five seconds, and then I was like, ‘I have to be able to move my face, especially as a singer.’ You can immediately tell when a singer can’t move their face. I knew I couldn’t get started down that road. So, I have a lady—her name is Chance and she’s French [Amina “Chance” Jaschke]—and I don’t even know what she does but I swear she’s magic. She does this lifting treatment—it’s not microcurrent but it shocks the hell out of my face—and she has kept me from putting anything in my face for years now. I’m grateful to her, and I’m trying to age as gracefully as possible and still be able to smile.”
Congratulations on winning the The Masked Singer last year! What was your experience like on the show?
“I had a blast doing that. I was sitting at home on my couch, and I hadn’t been out of performing like that since I was 13 [due to the pandemic], so when I got the call, I asked them if I could create my own character and be who I want to be. They were great and allowed me to create from top to bottom. I wanted to bring light into a very dark world being the sun, because it was early on in the pandemic.”
What can your fans look forward to from you in the new year?
“I’m looking forward to releasing new music. My album is called God’s Work [coming in early 2022] and I think it speaks to the times we’re living in. I also have a new show on Discovery+ called Meet Your Makers Showdown, which is so fun to be able to be an inspiration judge to all of these beautiful crafters. I mean, everybody got into crafting during the pandemic, and people have made billion-dollar businesses out of this stuff. It was so cool to see other people’s creative processes and be a part of that show.
We’re also about to start season three of our Wholly Human podcast. I absolutely love doing it because I just get to be curious of spirituality and mental health, well-being and wholeness—we talk about everything. I think my journey over the past several years has been diversifying ways to use my voice because people know me from one very specific way of singing, but there have been all these other pieces of my voice that feel like they haven’t had a chance to speak. So I’ve been finding outlets for those other pieces that want to play, and it really has been fun.”
For those who haven’t listened to the podcast before, is there a particular episode you love that you recommend?
“Oh wow, there are some good ones. One of my favorites is an episode with a lady named Bethany Webster who talks about the ‘mother wound.’ To me, it’s such a key piece for all of us. Obviously we all have mothers—some of them are in our lives and some of them are not—but we’re all affected by that maternal figure. It was such a vulnerable share for me, but her book and her work in general are so fantastic and I would highly recommend starting there. It’s a really important discussion.”
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