Self-Confidence Boost? How to Heal Acne

PICTURE THIS: It’s summer, and your best friend is having a pool party. You put on your new swimsuit and are feeling good until…

You look in the mirror and your chin and forehead are covered in acne and you just feel GROSS.

You think about how NONE of your friend will be wearing any make-up. Well, why would they when their skin is flawless?

You, on the other hand, have had acne since you were a teenager which you were told would “go away eventually.” Only thing is, now you’re in your thirties and still have acne.

You hate the idea of covering it up with layers of make-up only to have it wash off in the pool, but what choice do you have?

You could just not go. That would be better than seeing all of your friends with their beautiful skin.


You really want to go!

What if, even after all these years, clear skin was possible?

Just a few years ago, I was you. I had no idea where to start to clear up my skin and couldn’t understand why, well into my thirties, I STILL had acne.

It was only when I made some product and lifestyle changes prior to trying to get pregnant that my skin cleared up almost immediately.

Disclaimer: I want to be clear that I’m not a dermatologist, skincare expert, or aesthetician and have no training in these areas. I’d highly recommend consulting with an expert when trying to heal your skin. See the end of this post for resources for additional support.

BUT, if you want a low-risk place to start, I’m going to share the lifestyle and product changes I made which completely eliminated by acne. I virtually NEVER get a pimple anymore.

Here are steps you can take right now to start to clear your acne and heal your skin:

#1 Limit how often you wash your face.

Try washing your face once a day at the end of the day. In the morning, just put on your moisturizer.

If you have really oily skin, try just a light splash of water instead of using cleanser.

Over-washing your face can dry out the skin and actually create more irritation. Keeping your skin hydrated is essential to its health.

(For more on this topic, check out this podcast episode.)

#2 Swap out your cleanser, moisturizer, and make-up for cleaner products.

All of these products can have toxins, endocrine disruptors, and poor-clogging ingredients that are making it impossible for your skin to breathe and causing irritation and inflammation. Switching to cleaner products not only has the potential to clear your skin but also improve your overall health by reducing your toxic load.

Low-toxin brands I love: Honest, Kosas, Biossance, Everyone, and Dime. (Check out the products that I personally use and love here.).

To check out how clean your products are or research other options, go to ewg.org. This organization evaluates thousands of products for toxic ingredients and rates them accordingly. The highest and best rating is “ewg verified” (a designation that’s really hard to get!) then 1, 2, 3 and so on. Ideally you want products to be ewg verified or 1-2 rating.

#3 Reduce toxins in your cleaning products.

Similar to your beauty products, cleaning products are loaded with toxins that cause inflammation in the body, including the body’s largest organ – skin. They also can disrupt the endocrine system (which is our hormone system) causing hormones to be out of balance and leading to acne.

(For more on how toxins can disrupt our endocrine system and even impact fertility, check out this podcast episode.)

I really like the Attitude and Everyone for household products.

#4 Eat whole foods as much as possible and limit eating out, processed foods, alcohol, and sugar as much as possible.

The reason for this is the seed oils (canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, grapeseed oil, rice bran oil, and vegetable oil) are the primary cooking fat/oil at restaurants and are found in so many processed foods.

Even products that you may not even think would have seed oils often do – like salad dressings, hummus, sauces, crackers, chips. It can be hard to avoid unless you are reading labels.

Seed oils are highly inflammatory and can lead to a variety of health issues. For more information on how damaging seed oils are, check out this podcast episode.

Better brands for these products:

-Rao’s for marinara and Primal Kitchen for sauces, marinades, and dressings

-Siete for chips, taco seasoning, enchilada sauces, tortillas

-Lesser Evil for puffs and popcorn

Alcohol and sugar are also highly inflammatory and can contribute to hormonal imbalances which can then lead to break-outs.

If it’s within your budge, buy organic produce and grass-fed/pasture-raised meats.

Check out this reel for goods to eat and avoid if you’re struggling with acne.

#5 Eat (more) red meat.

Some (but of course not all) people who are vegetarian experience cystic acne which clears up once they re-introduce meat. For more on this topic, check out this podcast episode.

Eating meat can also support balanced hormones. For some women (not all), acne can be caused by out-of-balance hormones. For more information on how meat can support healthy hormones, check out this podcast episode which interviews Paul Saladino, MD, a board-certified physician nutrition specialist.

#5 Drink clean water with electrolytes.

Our drinking water is loaded with toxins including pharmaceuticals, pesticides, heavy metals, chlorine, and fluoride. Most refrigerator and brita-type filters aren’t doing a great job of actually removing toxins from our water.

Getting a reverse osmosis water purifier is a way to ensure that you are drinking clean water. My husband purchased this one on Amazon and installed it himself in our home. You can also use a countertop one if you rent.

Additionally, adding electrolytes to your water is essential to staying hydrated especially if you eat a clean diet low on processed foods. I absolutely love LMNT. Raspberry is my personal favorite flavor.

#6 Add collagen to your diet.

Collagen makes up about 70% of our skin’s tissue, so consuming enough collagen is essential to clear, healthy skin.

Food sources of collagen include bone broth, poultry skin, sardines, and organ meats.

In addition to these food sources, you can add a collagen powder to your coffee, smoothies, yogurt, cottage cheese, pancakes, baked goods, energy/protein balls, homemade gummies, and more! I use this collagen as it’s made from grass-fed cows, is free from glyphosate (a known carcinogen). It can be difficult to find a collagen that is certified glyphosate-free and has been tested for heavy metals so do your research and check labels before purchasing.

Final tips

I highly recommend checking out this podcast episode. This episode of the Realfoodology podcast interviews Kayleigh Christina, who is a holistic nutritionist and co-founder of Clearstem, a non-toxic skin care line. She teamed up with the founder of the San Diego Acne Clinic to create these products.

You can also check out this Instagram account for clean beauty recommendations by an RN/holistic skincare expert.

You might also consider how blood sugar/glucose spikes might be contributing to your acne. For more on this topic, check out this podcast episode.

I know I threw a lot at you there, but I hope you find these tips helpful in starting to make changes to heal your acne and connect with the confidence within you!

(Darcie Brown Therapy is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.)

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