I’ve always had pretty decent skin. I have never been someone who has struggled with any sort of acne or skin issues what so ever and if you do currently or have in the past then I completely feel your pain (now). Having acne sucks. That is the only way I can describe it. For me it created so much embarrassment, self-consciousness, and just downright pain. It was so painful, as most of my acne formed under the skin. It started in the beginning of 2016. I had gone vegan that year, which is the only variable factor that I could think of that could have possibly caused my breakout. Not necessarily veganism itself but the fact that instead of eating “plant-based” I ate mostly “grain-based”, which is now clear to me and something that I didn't realize at the time.

I absolutely loved that lifestyle and always refused to think that it could possibly be the culprit of my skin issues. I am in no way dissing veganism though, I think that it is such an incredible lifestyle (physically and morally) and would totally love to do it again. What you are doing for animals and our environment is so kind. Standing up for those who can’t speak for themselves and can never repay you is admirable beyond any words that I could ever express. Keep doing your thing.

Now to what you really came for, how I cured it. I will put a disclaimer that this worked for me, and I am not guaranteeing that it will work for you. Also, I am allergic to benzoyl peroxide (which is found in many acne medications like Proactiv) so I had to get fairly creative. First let me start off by stating a list of products/remedies that did not work for me:

1. Epiduo Topical Medicine
2. Tea Tree Oil
3. Lushs’ Fresh Farmacy Cleanser
4. Lushs’ Mask of Magnaminty
5. Using Cold Water
6. Drinking chamomile/green tea
7. Antibiotics from my doctor
8. Cetaphil Cleanser
9. St. Ives Blemish Control
10. Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash

Now to tell you what did help me. Not one thing totally did it for me but I found the perfect mixture of things to reduce my acne to almost nonexistent with the exception of a few pop ups here and there.

1. Cutting Dairy from my Diet
This alone didn’t help an extreme amount but I can tell now when I have eaten too much dairy, as I will typically break out on my forehead. Like I said this alone won’t cure your acne but it helps to reduce and prevent mine.

2. Supplements
I initially started off taking vitamin D (in the winter) and a multivitamin and now I currently only take my multivitamin, which has still worked well so a multivitamin may be all you need. I have also heard fish oil to be great for acne as well but I have yet to try it myself.

3. Micellar Cleansing Water
My skincare routine is very simplified now, which I believe has been the biggest help with my acne. First, to remove my makeup I use a wash cloth and a micellar cleansing water by Garnier. I learned that it is so so important to remove your makeup before you cleanse your face. Otherwise, you are just spreading around your makeup into your face instead of actually removing it. So this has been one of my #1 methods to help when it came to my acne.

4. Dove Face Soap
I had always used extreme face washes specifically meant for acne because I thought that they would work better as that is their purpose to help rid acne. However, when they seemed to make matters worse, I decided to keep it simple and try a gentle bar soap and it actually has been the best thing I have ever used. After removing your makeup simply cleanse with a mild soap and voila! I would contribute a lot of my acne free success to this method as well. Tip: I wash my face when I first wake up, before bed, in the shower after washing my hair and after any exercise, however in a typical day I only usually wash it twice if that makes any sense (so no excessive washing). 

5. Paleo Diet
I have always had a fairly healthy diet. However, when I cut way back on sugars, dairy and bread is when I felt my absolute best. Although, I still try to follow this diet to an extent, I think it was a huge contributor to my clear skin. Incorporating more fruits, veggies, healthy fats and whole foods in general made my skin look and feel so much better and healthier. Cutting down on bread and sugars is very hard at first (and will drive you crazy, believe me) however it’s so worth it for your skin and so much better for your overall general health. 

6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Ok this tip is the king of all tips. My holy grail. I did this only at first as a “quick fix” although, there really is no such thing in the world of acne, as you know. But honestly, this was it for me. What I did was I got a mason jar and filled it about ¼ full of ACV and the rest with water (you can put as much or as little as you need depending on your skin sensitivity so you may have to use trial and error for awhile). Every night before bed I would do my normal skincare routine (remove makeup, wash my face and pat dry) and then take a cotton ball and dip it in the ACV and rub it all over my face. Let it dry and then sleep with it overnight and you can wash it off in the morning (gross I know but it worked). I did this almost every night before bed. Although it didn’t cure my acne overnight, it helped me faster than anything else ever did. I will say that I do not use this method regularly anymore but only when my skin needs it. Be sure to get the ACV that includes “the mother” as shown below. I would highly recommend the Bragg brand.

7. Exercise
This wasn’t necessarily a cure but more of a myth debunked. I used to always be terrified of exercise because I was afraid that the sweat would clog my pores and make matters worse. Honestly, when I started going to the gym and participating in regular exercise is when my face started to clear up. Exercise may not have been the main contributor but it did not make it any worse like you may think. I still wash my face shortly after exercise so I would suggest doing that just to be safe.

8. Water
A little over a year ago I read an article about drinking a gallon of water a day and its benefits with curing acne. I thought it was a little insane considering at the time I probably didn’t even drink a liter. I gave the idea a try and still to this day I drink a gallon (or close) every single day. Not only did it help my acne, but it has even given my skin a plumper feel and glow and reduced the bags under my eyes significantly. I would suggest working your way up to that point or just increasing your water intake to even half a gallon a day. Another suggestion would be to get a water bottle that you can carry around with you and drink throughout the day. For instance, I have a 32 oz water bottle and I will re-fill it and drink about 4 of those every day.

So those are just a few tips on how I cured my acne. I know this isn't what you want to hear and is easier said than done, but stop stressing. When I finally stopped worrying about it is honestly when it started clearing up for me because I wasn’t adding that extra stress to throw it all off. Before that, I was letting it control my life and literally everything that I did. I was scared to sweat, use certain hair products, touch my face, use face masks, sleep on week-old unwashed pillow cases, have a beer, let my hair touch my face, ect. Just absolutely crazy stuff. I would be terrified to eat a piece of toast or anything containing milk or sugar for fear I would have a huge breakout the next day but that is no way of living (trust me when I say crying on your couch with a bag of carrots is not fun). I suggest cleaning up your diet but do not let this dictate overall what you can and can’t eat because it will only make you miserable. Although, I previously mentioned that a Paleo based lifestyle helped cure mine, I still ate some chips and Oreos from time to time.  It's all in the balance. Don’t be afraid of food. Let yourself have a treat here and there.

I hope that you found this post helpful and discover something that works for you. Regardless, you are beautiful no matter what. Acne or not. Don’t let it define who you are and dictate your life. Enjoy yourself and embrace your imperfections. I know it can feel hopeless and unfair but do not give up because I promise you that it is not forever. If none of these tips helped you, I would suggest a YouTube channel: Sarah's Day. She was so helpful to me and her story is wonderful. She offers some unique advice on how she cured her acne and is actually where I discovered the ACV remedy that I used to clear mine (video link below). Thank you all so much for reading! Please let me know if any of these tips worked for you in the comments below, I would love to hear your success stories! And as always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me :)

With love, Danielle

For links to the specific products I use visit: https://daniellecollison.wordpress.com/2017/09/02/how-i-cured-my-acne/