How I *Finally* Got Clearer Skin

It’s about to get really honest in this post folks, and it’s one I’ve been wanting to share for a while. For all of the people out there struggling with skins issues, this post is for you. I’m taking you on a little journey on my issues with acne and how I finally found some peace. It wasn’t just a breakout or two for me  – it was painful, never-ending cystic acne that I dealt with for years. With summer pretty much here, I thought now would be the perfect time to write this post.

This is from someone who has tried everything – and I mean everything. From Differin, Duac, Proactiv, every over-the-counter and prescription gel, pill, cream you can think of  – and last but not least, the joy that is Accutane – I went through seemingly everything. Some medications worked for a few months; some made my skin problems worse with irritation. But nothing was ever consistent and I constantly felt defeated. While it may be hard to believe that I, a self-proclaimed camera hog, once hated taking pictures, it’s very true. I was so nervous before taking a photo or going out for the night because of my skin. This went on from grade school, to high school, college and even after graduation.

Which brings me to college – I pretty much destroyed my body in college. From horrible eating habits (pokey stix at 2am are a good idea in theory…), lack of exercise and the lifestyle I was living, my physical, mental and emotional well-being definitely reflected the health choices I was and was not making (that’s a story for another time). My skin went through so many ups and downs, and in turn, I did as well. I was self-conscious and embarrassed. I thought surely after I graduated college, things would improve with my skin. NOPE. It was still pretty darn awful. And I thought acne was supposed to stop after high school! As much as I am confident in my own skin, my acne held me back in many ways.

And now to the good, uplifting, hopeful section of the post – I finally found what worked for me. There are three things I attribute to finally getting the skin I desperately wanted for my whole life. Funny enough, and as many things as I experimented with, none of these solutions are super revolutionary or ground-breaking. But they made a world of difference for me!


  • Cutting out dairy
    • I started doing some research on how your diet can affect your skin. And there was one culprit who was always showing up in every article I read: dairy. And where I was breaking out indicated that dairy was impacting my skin. I swapped out the milk in my morning cereal for almond milk, stopped putting creamer in my coffee, cut back on the cheese, and noticed such a difference. This change in my diet lead me to make other lifestyle changes, like exercising more and getting more sleep. These tiny changes made a difference in a huge way.
  • Lush Herbalism Skin Cleanser 
    • If you’ve been following this blog for the past year, you’ll know it’s no secret how much I love Lush. And in all of my years of trying acne product after acne product, none have had such a positive impact like Lush’s Herbalism Skin Cleanser. This isn’t an ad or a sponsored post – this product is the freakin’ best and I will never stop singing its praises. I’ve used it every day for nearly a year now, and couldn’t be happier.


  • Water, water, water
    • The most obvious solution of them all, which I unfortunately never took it seriously. Water is obviously so important for so many health reasons, including clearer skin. Increasing the amount of water I drank daily aided in giving me much better skin. Making these changes to my diet and health did more than any topical cream ever could have done.

I know, I know – none of these things are brand new information. But like I said, I’ve tried everything and it was this combination that finally worked for me. Just being able to go to the beach without feeling like I have to wear make-up is amazing. I may not have the most glowing, perfect skin, but I also never thought I could have the skin I have now. I still have a mild breakout here and there (thanks to stress and hormones), and some mild scarring, but nothing at all like I used to have. I’m also no dermatologist, and everyone’s skin is different and will react differently to products and other acne solutions, but hopefully some of the things mentioned above will help.

So for anyone who is still struggling with acne, there is still hope out there. It may take some trial and error, and I hope you’ll find your combination one day. Thanks for reading guys, and I sincerely hope this post can help at least one person!

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P.S. Don’t forget to wear your sunscreen! A #1 tip, especially for these summer months 🙂

28 thoughts on “How I *Finally* Got Clearer Skin

  1. I haven’t’ tried the other 2 things (I LOVE cheese) but I have noticed that water makes a huge difference!! Thank you for sharing!

  2. I had cystic acne for like 4 months in college, and it was SO bad! Luckily, I cleared it up but ever since then, I’ve def struggled with texture-y skin and clogged pores. Weirdly enough, no Lush products worked for my acne back then! I love Lush, so I wanted them to work really badly.

    How tough is it to cut out dairy? I’ve read a lot about how it inflames your body, so I want to try letting it go.


    1. Thank you for sharing Katherine! I can totally relate, it’s a struggle. I’m sorry to hear Lush products didn’t work out well 😦 that’s a bummer, especially when you have high hopes for a product!

      It was definitely a bit tough to cut back on the dairy, but once I started to notice the difference in my skin/body, it was all worth it. I still indulge in cheese and ice cream every once in a while 😉 but much less than I did before. Cut back little by little, and see how your body reacts! I hope this helps xoxo

  3. So great that you have clear skin now. I definitely enjoy trying new things. I am now taking collagen supplements and they seem to be making my hair longer. I am waiting to see if it does anything for my skin. I think it takes time with certain things, I’ve learned there isn’t an immediate result usually.

  4. Lush Herbalism Skin Cleanser – one of my fav products.
    But now I only wash my face with water, and the skin is perfect.
    Still so in love with all the Lush products ❤

  5. Yes! My diet has such a big effect on my skin! I’ve also struggled with acne, even in my late 20’s. Recently I started using almond oil to clean my skin. I was super nervous that it would cause my skin to break out (I mean, its OIL)- but my skin has never been clearer. I love Lush, so i need to try that product!

    1. I’ve never tried almond oil! That’s really interesting. If you’ve had a great experience with it, I think I’ll have to test it out, thanks for sharing!

  6. How much water do you drink? I’ve read that the recommended daily amount for women is 2l/day, but if you’re having skin issues, should you drink more than this? I’ve upped my water intake to 2l a day, and have cut out dairy but still struggling with the scars.

    1. Hey Leona! I have a 16 oz water bottle I try to refill and drink out of 7-8 times a day to help keep my skin clear. I’m not too sure how much water helps with clearing scars though :/ I feel your pain! I moisturize and wear sunscreen on my face every day to help with that. I’ve been looking into a professional procedure as well to help with scars. I hope this helps! ❤

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