If you’ve ever dealt with persistent acne then you know how frustrating it can be. In the early years of my battle with it there weren’t many options, let alone clean options for tackling it.
Today, I’m going to share some things I did to clear up my acne naturally after years of trying everything else.
I want to share this story with you in case you or your kiddo is dealing with acne. I spent most of my teen years with relatively clear skin.
I might have had a small blemish, which is to be expected when you’re young, but nothing major. I also didn’t deal with cystic acne when I was a teen. My troubles came later on when I assumed I wasn’t going to have to worry about breakouts.
You might struggle with small blemishes that pop up regularly, but I dealt with cystic acne that was long-lasting and painful throughout my twenties and much of my thirties. Not only did the blemishes take a week, or two, to go away, but they left scars behind.
My first cystic acne blemish came in the summer of 2003. You might wonder how I know this exact year and it’s because I had just gotten engaged a month prior. When the blemish showed up, I was confused about what it was, exactly, and it was so painful it was hard to forget.
This one blemish was just the beginning of years of fighting them.
Hormonal Cystic Acne
It took several breakouts before I started to look into what I was dealing with. I was young and planning our wedding, which meant there were many other things that I wanted to pay attention to.
At the time, I didn’t know anything about hormonal cystic acne. Maybe you don’t deal with cystic acne, but rather hormonal breakouts in general. Whatever the case may be, I do think some of these tips below can be helpful.
Cysts are deep in the skin and they never come to a head. They just sit there and fester, causing swollen, red areas on your skin.
Because they are deep within the skin, I eventually learned that I had to fight them from the inside out. There were topical things I did that helped, but I couldn’t ignore the things that were going in my body, also.
Treating Acne with Food
Treating acne with food might not be the answer you’re looking for, but it is a major reason why I have clear skin.
It wasn’t until I became a Plant-Based eater (don’t get scared off, you don’t have to be plant based to help your skin) that I noticed a major change in my skin.
Prior to this, I was getting blemishes every week. I would get rid of one blemish to have another appear in its place. It was a very frustrating cycle.
When I went plant based, those blemishes stopped appearing. It took a few months, but I definitely noticed a major shift in the heal of my skin.
I am no longer plant based, but I came to realize as I was adding foods back into my diet that dairy products and sugars were the culprit for my acne.
I ate dairy a lot- cheese, yogurts, milk, ice cream, etc. I’m not sure if it will help everyone’s skin, but limiting it from my diet improved my skin considerably.
Foods that might Cause Acne
- refined grains and sugars
- dairy products
- fried foods
- whey protein powders
Clean Acne Products
There wasn’t much on the market when I was initially struggling with my skin. I was left with dirty skin products or harsh products which stripped my skin.
Believe me when I say, “I tried IT ALL and had no luck.” I even spent money on super popular brands that promised a perfect complexion.
It wasn’t until I cleaning up my diet and my skin products that my face changed. It wasn’t over night, but it was within a few months, which felt like a miracle for someone who struggled with acne for over a decade.
Products I recommend for Treating Acne
I didn’t have access to these products when I was on my skin journey, but I use them now and they are so much better than what I had access to almost twenty years ago.
These are the products that my teenager uses for her skin, too!
It’s important to have something that will tackle the problem areas without damaging the skin. This acne gel is perfect for halting blemishes and clearing them up. It’s a great price point, too!
Charcoal is cleansing and healing, so a mask like this is really important. This mask doesn’t strip the skin of its oils and leave it dry and tight. It lifts the impurities and makes pores smaller. I love using this once a week, at least! My teen uses this product, too.
When your skin is aggravated, the last thing you want to do is make it even more fussy. Foaming cleansers seem to be more gentle on the skin, so I always recommend them.
This moisturizer doesn’t clog your pores and adapts to the needs of your skin. It’s an amazing technology and I wish it had been around when I was initially struggling with my skin. One thing I will shout from the mountaintops is that even if you have acne prone skin you need moisture! Don’t skip this step.
There isn’t a magic treatment, but if there were, this would be it. This cream keeps your skin moisturized while also working to keep your skin healthy and blemish free. While it does work to heal current breakouts, it also works to prevent future ones.
Tips for Clear Skin
- Wash pillow cases often– When you have breakout issues, you want to make sure you are keeping the things your face touches clean. Bacteria can lead to breakouts quickly, so make sure fabrics your face touches are washed often.
- Don’t touch your face– Your hands have dirt and bacteria on them, so avoid touching your face as much as possible. This was something I had work on, but now I rarely touch my face.
- Use clean skin care– This is important because you want your skin to be cleaned out and healthy. You don’t want to work against your goals by slathering your face with unhealthy products.
- Eat in a healthy way– Food does impact your skin. You don’t have to change everything, but doing a detox will help clear up blemishes. If you don’t want to do a detox and that seems overwhelming to you, make small changes, like omitting dairy and most sugars.
Common Mistakes when Treating Acne
- Using harsh topical treatments– I did this very thing. You think that you have to scrub everything off of your skin, so you take St. Ives and go to town on your face. Well, this will only exacerbate the issue. Use gentle products and baby your skin so it can heal.
- Not moisturizing skin– Many times, your skin is dry and that causes your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. That leads to clogged pores.
- Stripping the skin of oils– This goes along with moisturizing your skin. Stripping your skin of its healthy oils isn’t good either. Don’t use harsh astringents and dry your skin out to where it’s producing oil instead of healing. Keep your skin happy.
Healing Acne Scarring after Treating Acne
There are a lot of invasive treatments you can do to heal your acne scarring- lasers, microdermabrasion, chemical peels. Those do work, I believe, but they aren’t accessible to many people.
Overnight Resurfacing Peel
One product I’ve found that helps lighten my scarring is this Overnight Resurfacing Peel. I use this once or twice a week and it has truly helped. This one product is what prompted me to switch all of my skincare to Beautycounter in the first place and it hasn’t disappointed.
All Bright C Serum
It’s also important to brighten skin that has scarring, so I use a Vitamin C product in the mornings.
Frequently Asked Questions about Treating Acne
I hope this was helpful for you or someone you know. It is embarrassing and difficult to wake up to new blemishes every day, but I’m proof that you can change your skin!
If you have any questions, leave them for me and I’ll answer them in the upcoming days.