Mark Ruffalo, Jerry O'Connell, and other stars who were in zit commercials before they were famous

Mark Ruffalo made $30,000 doing this. (Photo: YouTube)

Mark Ruffalo now has a teenager to buy acne medicine for, but he was once the poster boy for zit medication.

For Throwback Thursday, the Avengers and Thor star, now 49, kindly reminded us of the time, back in 1989, that he was the star of a Clearasil commercial. “It’s back to school season! DOUBLE ZAP those zits!” he wrote, using words from the ad.


Fun fact: This commercial was Ruffalo’s “first paying job” — and he got a sick paycheck for a 20-ish-year-old. He pulled in $30,000 for the gig. “I had terrible cystic acne in high school,” he said during an interview with Variety. Well, it certainly paid off.

Watch the whole thing here because there is much more than face wiping: 

He hasn’t been the only celeb to cash in on a skin care commercial. While stars certainly love to talk about their bad skin after becoming famous (Jessica Simpson, Katy Perry, and Adam Levine have all $hilled for Proactiv), here are some other stars who appeared in zit control commercials before they were stars.

Leighton Meester
Leighton Meester was an Ice(wash) queen. (Photo: YouTube)

Before she was on Gossip Girl, the actress, 31, was promoting Clearasil’s Icewash. Just look at the phone she’s holding in the ad and you’ll realize how long ago it was.

Jerry O’Connell
Jerry O’Connell popped pepperoni (not zits) in this ad. (Photo: YouTube)

The actor, 43, ate pepperoni pizza and talked about breakouts in this Clearasil commercial from the early ’90s. By then he already had several major credits under his belt (Stand by Me had come out in 1986), but he still had to pay the bills.

Rebecca Gayheart
Rebecca Gayheart became known as the “Noxzema girl.” (Photo: YouTube)

The now-46-year-old actress appeared in Beverly Hills, 90210 and Jawbreaker later in the decade, but in the early ’90s she was the “Noxzema girl.” (Seriously, people called her that.) We bet her two young daughters with Eric Dane are going to have amazing skin care rituals as teens.


Aaron Paul
Aaron Paul looked thrilled to be in a Clearasil ad, but it paid well. (Photo: YouTube)

Clearasil, b***h. The Breaking Bad alum, 37, was also in a Clearasil ad, but back in the late ’90s, long before he was making TV history. P.S.: His co-star Bryan Cranston wins when it comes to embarrassing personal-products ads. He did one for Preparation H in the 1980s.

Lark Voorhies
Lark Voorhies was already a teen star when she started repping for Clearasil. (Photo: YouTube)

Like Jerry O’Connell, Voorhies, 43, had professional success before agreeing to do a Clearasil ad. A year after Saved By the Bell wrapped up in 1992, Lisa Turtle started doing zit ads.

Well, they can’t all have Mark Ruffalo’s career trajectory!

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