Oscar-winning Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o has told how her confidence was battered as a teenager because she thought her skin was too dark.

The 33-year-old, who shot to fame in 2013′s 12 Years A Slave, said her self-worth was “deeply compromised” in her youth by television adverts promoting skin-whitening creams.

She told The Times: “My teenage years were plagued by the idea that light skin was better skin.

Lupita Nyong’o on her skin colour (Ian West/PA Wire/PA Images)

“There were adverts on TV about a woman trying to get a job and she only got it when she applied skin-lightening cream. I felt that I was not considered beautiful because of my complexion.

“My self-worth was deeply compromised in those years.”

Mexico-born Lupita won the 2013 best supporting actress Academy Award for her role in Steve McQueen’s slavery biopic, alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch.

She went on to be nominated for a Tony Award for best actress in 2016 for her Broadway role in Liberian Civil War drama Eclipsed.