Taking Clear Skin to the Next Level: Vibrantly Healthy Skin

My journey to clear skin included years of twists and turns before I finally got to the root cause and healed my skin for good. I learned through education and personal experimentation that problem skin — acne, eczema, rosacea, sensitivity — is a reflection of what’s happening inside our bodies, specifically what’s happening in our gut.

What we eat, how we handle stress, how much alcohol we drink, how much we sleep, our life experience with prescription drugs (especially antibiotics), all of these things affect not just the health of our internal landscape but also our skin. What’s happening inside our bodies is reflected on the outside, and when we have skin, that can become a disastrous feedback loop.

For me personally, it went like this: get zits –> pick them and make them worse –> be upset and stressed about my skin –> eat garbage food because I feel bad about myself –> try to dry out my skin with harsh topicals –> try to cover it up with cheap makeup –> get more zits –>repeat.

No one was there to tell me that my attempts at resolving pubescent acne with a barrage of antibiotics and creams that dried me out to the point of painful peeling wasn’t going to work. No one was there to tell me that the harsh cleansers and apricot scrubs I was using were just making my skin worse. I tried everything, and when I finally healed my gut, 20 years of acne disappeared completely — in just two weeks! 

clear skin vibrantly healthy skin

What’s Next After Clear Skin?

Today, almost 2 years after I discovered my “miracle” acne cure (not a miracle at all!), I’ve had the freedom to experiment with all manner of topical skin care. I say “freedom,” because when my skin was terrible, all the topical products I purchased were “acne” products. I didn’t dare choose something for normal skin, for fear that it would make my face greasy or exacerbate my already inflamed, bumpy cheeks. The last thing I needed was more clogged pores.

And while my skin has never returned to the “flesh-toned-brail-look” I was sporting for so long, it’s ranged in clarity, shine, and glow over the course of the last two years. As I said up top, personal experimentation has been a part of this journey from the beginning, and even though I’ve achieved my goals as far as ridding the acne for good, one problem is always replaced by another, right? 

Scars, Pockmarks, and Sun Damage, Oh My!

Most people have a little gap of happiness between puberty and aging, where they enjoy the blessing of young, clear, beautiful skin. But for people like me who get adult acne, that gap shrinks to nothing. Now, at age 33 (which is NOT old!), I’m contending with scarring and sun damage — and still, the occasional zit (SINGULAR!!! — major victory).

As a lifetime athlete, I’ve spent years outside playing softball, beach volleyball, running, hiking, and now climbing. As a kid I was absolutely terrible about wearing sunscreen, and as a young adult, I tanned regularly (mostly outside, but sometimes in the beds too — I actually thought it might help with the acne!). And as a result, I have some dark spots and acne scars that became much more noticeable once the acne was gone. I’ve used a number of natural products to try and fade the spots. And while some of them have helped a bit (especially the Botanic Organic products I’ve used), what’s made the biggest difference in evening out my skin tone, refining the surface of my face, and achieving that “natural glow” we hear about in the commercials wasn’t in my medicine cabinet at all.

It was in the kitchen!

Vibrantly Healthy Skin

They say that you should never put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth. My skin regimen right now really drives that point home. I found a way to take my clear skin to the next level, and now it’s even softer than it was before, my pores even smaller.

So what am I using? 

My morning routine includes a spoon and a jar.

Can you guess what’s in the jar?

clear skin vibrantly healthy skin

Click here to buy top quality raw honey (affiliate link)

Raw honey. 

That’s right, before I get in the shower in the morning, I scoop a dime-sized dollop of raw honey onto the pads of my fingers and massage it into my dry face. I focus on areas that might feel a little rougher, the areas that need extra exfoliating, and especially any active zit that might be lingering. This usually takes about a minute. Then I turn on the shower, and while washing up, I avoid getting my face wet. This allows the steam from the shower to really penetrate my skin and let all the goodness from the raw honey really sink in. At the end of the shower, I gently rinse.

I’d cleansed with raw honey in the past with great results, but this new “dry application + steam” has really taken it to the next level. 

When I get out of the shower, I do a quick spray with this toner and then this oil, both of which are great for healing damaged skin. (If you haven’t seen my reviews of Botanic Organic products, here’s the first one and here’s the second one. Both were written before I started this new routine.)

The Benefits of Cleansing with Raw Honey

Raw honey is not only antimicrobial (protecting the skin from harmful invaders), it’s also a natural, gentle exfoliator. The stickiness removes dead cells on its own, but if you can find a jar with some sugar crystals in it, it will feel somewhat like a traditional exfoliator as well — just be gentle! We’ve trained ourselves to think that we have to SCRUB OUR SKIN OFF to get results. We do not! Trust me, throw your apricot scrub in the garbage (or use it on your feet only).

Raw honey is also chock-full of vitamins and minerals (B-complex, A, C, D, E, and K, minerals and trace elements: magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, calcium, chlorine, potassium, iodine, sodium, copper, and manganese) that penetrate the skin with that lovely steam bath you give yourself in the shower. Magnesium specifically is calming to any irritated spots you might have. You won’t believe how wonderful and supple your skin feels after just one session of this routine. 

My evening routine includes a jar and a clean wash cloth.

It’s something different, but definitely something I’ve raved about on this blog. Any guesses on what’s in the jar? 

clear skin vibrantly healthy skin

Click here to buy the coconut oil I use (affiliate link)

Coconut oil.

Some of you might not be surprised at this, as coconut oil is a staple for all kinds of uses in the CWB household, but what you might not have heard me talk about before is Oil Cleansing. Oil Cleansing is more than just removing your eye make up with coconut oil (which works great, by the way). It’s actually capitalizing on the healing properties of the oil itself and allowing those elements to penetrate the skin.

In the case of coconut oil, those properties include antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties (from lauric acid), in addition to deep moisturizing without leaving the skin oily. The type of oil you use will change based on your goals and your skin type, and for me, coconut oil has been perfect. I’ve also done the same method using this Botanic Organic product with great results.

Those who still contend with a bit of acne might try adding a bit of castor oil (a natural astringent) to a lighter carrier oil like olive oil at a 1 to 2 ratio (1 part castor oil, 2 parts carrier oil). Carrier oils include coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower oil — anything natural and organic. Some users find that just plain coconut oil is too drying — yes, oil can be drying! — but for me it’s perfect. I encourage you to experiment to find what works best for you.

Why Does Oil Cleansing Work?

Oil cleansing is just about as unintuitive as juggling knives. How would rubbing oil all over your face clean it? And why on earth would you add to the pile if you already have oily skin? Doesn’t the dermatologist recommend oil-free moisturizers and harsh cleansers and topicals to dry everything out?

Forget everything your dermatologist ever told you (well, let’s be safe and say forget everything any of my many dermatologists ever told me. I won’t presume to know anything about your doctor).

Drying out acne-prone skin doesn’t work. It further irritates already inflamed skin and strips the natural oils, prompting your oil glands to overcompensate with more oil, thus creating a vicious cycle. Using the right oil(s) for your skin type — which is where the experimentation comes in — can yield amazing results, because you’re promoting balance in the skin, not wringing it dry and creating more irritation and sensitivity. 

An important disclaimer: I can’t say this method helped me when I actually had bad acne, because I never tried oil cleansing back then. There are some seriously scathing reviews of this method on acne.org, none of which I’ve personally experienced — I just want to make you aware of the argument on the other side. My guess is that the majority of these folks have internal (gut) issues that have yet to be remedied, and a dramatic change on the outside without any dramatic changes on the inside yielded terrible results for them. I hate seeing people with nightmare skin stories. I feel for them, and I wish they would talk to a doctor that would ask the right questions instead of thinking you can heal your skin from the outside. 

How to Oil Cleanse

  • Massage a dime-size amount of oil into your face while soaking your clean wash cloth with hot (not scalding, but hot) water.
  • Wring out the wash cloth and place over your face for a short steam bath.
  • Leave the wash cloth on for about a minute or until the cloth cools and is no longer producing steam.
  • Repeat if you want to (I usually don’t), and then use the wash cloth to gently remove the oil from your face.
  • Use the wash cloth to remove any remaining eye make up
  • Gently pat dry, leaving a very thin layer of oil on overnight to keep the moisture in

My Results

After doing this routine consistently for a couple of months, I can now say that not only is my skin clear, it’s also polished with a nice, even tone and small pores. It’s not perfect, but considering all I’ve been through, I’m basically in heaven with these results. I took these pictures this morning right after washing my face:

clear skin vibrantly healthy skin

The dark spots on the left near that little mole are the remnants of something tiny that I picked and made huge. I try really hard not to pick — but no one’s perfect! I’m lucky now that there’s nothing left to pick most of the time.

Final Thoughts

Just like with our bodies, there’s a difference between the absence of disease and vibrant health in our skin — nourished skin that glows and radiates health is an indicator of a nourished, healthy body, inside and out. What we put in our bodies and on our skin will make all the difference. 

Click here to download your own Guide for Vibrantly Healthy Skin 

clear skin vibrantly healthy skin


FTC DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. All opinions are my own.

Why Gut Health Matters: Your Skin

Ahh acne. We meet again, my nemesis! But this time, I’ve cracked the code, and I’m ready to share it with the world. In this next segment of Why Gut Health Matters, I’m going to address the link between gut health and skin disorders. My personal skin issue has always been acne, but that’s not the only one affected by poor gut health. There’s also rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and many, many more. While those last two have an auto-immune component (which we briefly covered in this segment of the series), all can be traced back to gut health — or lack thereof — even if they diverge in physical expression. 

Myopia in Specialized Medicine

Unfortunately, most dermatologists aren’t trained to ask their patients about their digestion or even consider the possibility of a link between gut health and skin disorders (a connection first scientifically documented in the early 18th century!). I know from personal experience that in my 20 years of battling acne, never once did any physician or aesthetician I saw for my skin troubles ask me about my digestion or my diet. Nor did any of them see a problem with prescribing me round after round of antibiotics along with a Diflucan prescription, knowing that yeast infections would result from the constant antibiotic assault. This was normal — a standard course of dermatological treatment. 

Today, if you walked into a psychiatrist’s office presenting with anxiety, you likely wouldn’t mention your constant gas and bloating or your eczema — nor would your doctor ask. You wouldn’t mention your psoriasis or depression to your GI specialist either. But the fact is, most if not all patients with skin disorders also have digestive disorders and mental health challenges. Specialized medicine has cordoned off our bodies into separate parts, ignoring the very real and very documented relationship between certain conditions. Conventional medicine no longer sees us as a complete system, much to the detriment of the whole-person patient.

gut health and skin disorders

Bugs Bugs and More Bugs

As I’ve mentioned in all of the previous segments of this series (especially the one addressing the gut as gate keeper), the living bacteria in the gut are integral to our overall health, and that includes skin health. When we take round after round of antibiotics, we aren’t just killing the “bad” bacteria — we’re killing nearly all the bacteria, giving fungi like candida a chance to run rampant in the system. Candida overgrowth results in a whole host of symptoms I don’t have time to go into today, but check out this extensive list to find out if they apply to you. I’ll give you a hint: skin problems is on the list.

Not only is gut bacteria crucial to maintaining healthy skin, so is the bacteria living right on the surface of our bodies. Like those found in the gut, the bugs on our skin protect us from the outside world of potential invaders, and when we kill them all off, it’s open season for everything else in the environment. When skin disorders are treated with antibiotics, the problem might seem to temporarily subside, but at best, it’s a band-aid solution. The cumulative effects of antibiotic use is a net negative, with gut dysbiosis as a common consequence.  

Where They Don’t Belong: SIBO and Leaky Gut

SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) occurs when the bugs that belong in our large intestine start migrating up into our small intestine. It can also result when bugs from our food don’t get neutralized by the hydrochloric acid (HCl) in our stomachs — inadequate HCl is a major factor in SIBO.

While a very small number of bacteria naturally (and healthily) live in the small intestine, it’s supposed to be a nearly sterile environment. These microscopic interlopers can cause some major problems, one of which is gas. Lots of gas. Most patients with SIBO feel bloated and gassy after meals, especially meals rich in carbohydrates, because those bugs that don’t belong are breaking down their dinner before it gets where it’s supposed to be going. Other symptoms of SIBO include diarrhea, constipation, malabsorption of nutrients, and fatigue. Want to know another type of patient that often has SIBO? Patients with rosacea. 

You might be asking what causes low stomach acid. A major cause of low stomach acid will be the topic of the last segment in this series: STRESS.

Let’s connect the dots:
Stress => Low Stomach Acid => SIBO => Rosacea

I’ll delve more deeply into how stress affects the gut next week, but this note from a recent paper should paint the picture for you nicely:

“Experimental studies show that psychological stress stagnates normal small intestinal transit time, encourages overgrowth of bacteria, and compromises the intestinal barrier.” (source)

… which leads me to …

Leaky Gut, which we’ve discussed extensively throughout this series. Leaky gut (aka intestinal permeability) is both the chicken and the egg when it comes to systemic inflammation in the body. A leaky gut allows partially digested food particles into the system, setting off an inflammatory immune response, and the resulting inflammation causes further leaky gut — a destructive cycle that can lead to autoimmune disease if gone unmitigated. (And as I mentioned at the top of the page, psoriasis and eczema are increasingly being seen and treated as autoimmune disease.) As we talked about in the segment on gut health and mood disorders, a leaky gut => a leaky brain => depression. But what I didn’t mention in that segment was this:

Stress => Leaky gut => ACNE

As many as 40% of acne patients also complain of constipation (or other digestive distress). A growing body of research is showing that acne patients have a larger variety of “bad” bacteria in their stool, a greater sensitivity to “bad bugs” (like e. coli) and a higher level of systemic inflammation resulting from leaky gut. If you’ve been following along with this series, you know we’ve come full circle to Your Gut as Your Gate Keeper. Fix the leaks, fix the skin. 

gut health and skin disorders

Low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria, magnified 10,000 times.
Photo by Eric Erbe, digital colorization by Christopher Pooley, both of USDA, ARS, EMU.
Image released by the Agricultural Research Service, ID K11077-1

Fix it! 

How to fix a leaky gut? How to clear up SIBO? It turns out, the answer is the same: reduce systemic inflammation by healing the gut wall and increasing the good guys. Stokes and Pillsbury, the pioneering researchers who discovered the gut-brain-skin connection in the early 1900’s, suggested probiotics and cod liver oil to do just that. 

Sorry, did you read that whole sentence? IN THE EARLY 1900’S RESEARCHERS WERE RECOMMENDING PROBIOTICS AND COD LIVER OIL FOR SKIN DISORDERS. I’m not one for all caps, but I felt that deserved the emphasis. Imagine me yelling when you read that. WHY don’t conventional medical doctors use this and the subsequent studies supporting this work to inform how they treat their patients?

Probiotics help restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gut, thereby booting out the bad guys that create inflammation and toxins that harm the gut wall.

Cod liver oil is not only rich in Omega 3’s with potent anti-inflammatory and healing properties, it’s also rich in vitamin A, an important nutrient for healthy skin (which you know if you ever took Accutane for your acne). 

Enteric-coated peppermint oil, an herbal remedy scientifically proven to relieve symptoms of IBS, is also being explored with promising findings for mitigating SIBO. 

And while the research from Stokes and Pillsbury doesn’t cover this last ancient gut-healing solution, I’m going to cite my own anecdotal evidence and add bone broth to the list of tools to heal your gut. Rich in minerals, collagen (aka gelatin), and cartilage, bone broth is the ultimate gut- and skin-healing superfood. You’ve probably seen cosmetics products that boast collagen as a topical ingredient to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and create healthier looking skin. When ingested in the form of bone broth, collagen does a lot more than that.

  • It promotes a healthy level of stomach acid
  • It aids in digestion of problematic foods like dairy, legumes, meats, and grains
  • It coats the lining of the gut to reduce permeability, reduce inflammation, and fill the leaks
  • It supports a healthy immune system, including white blood cell production
  • It provides amino acids — the building blocks of muscle in our bodies
  • It promotes the absorption of minerals, including those already present in the broth, for skeletal support and bone health (source)

My personal success story with bone broth has reached more readers than anything else I’ve posted in a year of writing this blog. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to about bone broth, encouraging them to try it and celebrating with them when they’ve seen results. In combination with a diet rich in probiotic foods and eliminating the trigger foods that create inflammation (for me that was mainly gluten), bone broth changed my life. I’ve recently experimented with adding this fermented cod liver oil and this enteric-coated peppermint oil into my diet out of curiosity (affiliate link).  (I like to use myself as a guinea pig from time to time.)

gut health and skin disorders

“My worst” didn’t just mean my skin. I was more depressed and heavier than I’d ever been before or since.

What’s Next?

Next week is the last segment of this series on Why Gut Health Matters, where I’ll not only wrap up this discussion but also challenge you to get started in healing your own gut. The end of this series doesn’t have to mean the end of the discussion for you — I’m happy to answer any questions you might have on the topic — just send me a note and we can keep the ball rolling to get your gut health where it needs to be.  


FTC DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I only link to products that I USE and LOVE. All opinions are my own.


Sources for this segment of the series include a 6-credit continuing education seminar presented by Merrily Kuhn, RN, CCRN (r), PhD, ND, PhD and the Institute of Brain Potential (bibliography and references can be viewed here), and information from the following articles, journals, and experts:

Stokes JH, Pillsbury DH (1930) The effect on the skin of emotional and nervous states: theoretical and practical consideration of a gastrointestinal mechanism. Arch Dermatol Syphilol 1930, 22:962-93

Ketron LW, King JH: Gastrointestinal findings in acne vulgaris. JAMA 1916, 60:671-75 

http://www.consultantnutritionist.com/General-Health-Nutrition/Traditional-Bone-Broth-in-Modern-Health-and-Disease.html

http://chriskresser.com/naturally-get-rid-of-acne-by-fixing-your-gut

http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1757-4749-3-1.pdf

http://wageningenacademic.metapress.com/content/0u3x16807123w358/#.VNq_SrB4qXw

http://healthandstyle.com/health/gut-may-causing-bad-skin/

http://docsdrive.com/pdfs/ansinet/jms/0000/57615-57615.pdf

http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/7/5/410.pdf

http://journals.lww.com/jcge/Abstract/2014/11001/Skin_Microbiome_and_Skin_Disease__The_Example_of.23.aspx

http://www.thecandidadiet.com/candidasymptoms.htm

QUIT Doing These 3 Things For Noticeably Clear Skin

A while back I shared my personal struggle with acne and the amazing solution I found that cleared up a lifetime of problems in just two weeks (linked at the end of this post). This post might seem like it’s geared toward vanity and outer appearances but here are two big reasons it’s about more than that.
  1. What happens on your face is often a reflection of what’s happening inside your body, so you want to make sure you’re taking care of yourself all around.
  2. How you feel about yourself when you look in the mirror every day will inform the way you interface with the world. Do you love what you see? Would you love it more if you didn’t have a breakout across your left cheek? Do you think you’ve tried everything?
Today I want to share the top 3 mistakes that people make when they are struggling to clear their skin, why they should change their ways to gain noticeably clearer skin, and what to do instead. I’m all about solutions here, so let’s get started!
clear skin

phone found at healthmeup.com via Creative Commons

Quit depleting your skin from its natural oils by stripping them away with harsh cleansers and astringents.

Why? If you’re concerned about acne, drying your skin out simply encourages MORE sebum production, making the problem WORSE than it was to begin with — more black heads, more shine when you don’t want it. If you’re concerned about wrinkles, you want to remain hydrated and nourish your skin at a deep level.
 
What to do instead:
Cleanse with gentle, natural products you might not think should be in your bathroom. Raw honey is a great cleanser and gentle exfoliator, and coconut oil is great at removing make up and keeping the skin hydrated. It’s also naturally antiseptic, so it’s great for preventing infection on a “picked” blemish.

Quit picking. (This is SO hard for me.)

oh_no_i_have_a_zit-167755

image pulled from gagbay.co

Why? Picking, especially if you aren’t using something sterile to pick with (your fingernails are NOT sterile), spreads the infection around on your skin and can cause a bigger breakout. Also, your skin is almost always worse-off once you’ve extracted the pimple — in its place, you’ve likely left either a bloody mess or something that will become a larger, more painful, more infected blemish the next day. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve extracted a small blackhead and woken up the next morning to a red, raised bump in its place.

 
What to do instead: 
Cleanse well, use a good natural moisturizer like coconut oil, and leave it alone. Just don’t look in the mirror when you wash your hands in the bathroom — that’s my moment of weakness.

Quit eating garbage.

Why? The food you eat matters for the health of your skin. If you eat sugar, pasteurized conventional dairy, and other inflammatory foods like processed seed oils and soy, your skin won’t be happy.

Don’t forget, your skin is the largest organ on your body, and it acts as a filter for everything that you come into contact with. What you put in and how your body reacts to it is reflected on your face. Check out my secret to clear skin in two weeks, a solution that was all about input.

What to do instead: 
Treat your skin well by taking care of your diet and your gut. Eat fermented foods or take a probiotic. Drink bone broth, pack in the vegetables at every meal of the day. Enjoy healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter.
 
clear skin

photo: HannahFarsiPhotographs through Creative Commons

Now it’s your turn.

What have you tried that works for you? Please share in the comments below!

Clear Skin in Two Weeks – How I Cured My Lifelong Acne

Editor’s Note 7/26/15 – Hey folks, because of the incredible volume of questions and comments that come to my inbox and the comments section below, I’ve created an FAQ page. It’s linked at the bottom of this post. Please keep the questions coming! I’ll add to the FAQ as needed! Thank you for all your awesome comments and questions!

My Quest for Clear Skin

Most of us have at least one physical feature we wish we could change — mine has always been my acne-ridden skin. It’s been a sore subject for as long as I can remember, with each new suggestion from a well-meaning friend creating a well of anger inside me: “I’ve literally tried EVERYTHING, including whatever you’re about to tell me, so shut up.”

By the time I was 19, I’d fallen for every gimmick on TV, tried anything a doctor would prescribe (including LOADS of antibiotics and topicals), and come up empty. At times, I was resigned to having acne forever, but somewhere inside me I always knew there was a puzzle to solve, and I’m happy to declare that I’ve finally solved it.

Until January of this year, not one single thing I’d tried brought me beyond what I’ll describe as my “baseline condition” — colorless rock-hard bumps covering my cheeks and forehead that never popped and never went away. But making this one final change was the key to pushing through that baseline into clear skin territory. Here’s my story.

Pubescent Acne

My acne started mildly at age 12. Embarrassed of my face, I was wearing make up for school pictures in 7th and 8th grade and making sure no one saw my back or chest in high school. My sister shared my acne woes, so we became the “zit sisters,” helping each other pick hard-to-reach “backne” and commiserating about our grueling regimens of medications and topicals. The older I got, the worse it got. From junior high into high school I single-handedly boosted Walgreens’ stock price. We tried Retin-A, Differin, Panoxyl, Brevoxyl, Amoxicillin, Doxycyclin, Emgel, and those were just some of the prescriptions I remember.

clear skin natural acne cure

Me as a teenager, probably 17 years old

At age 17, we went for the Nuclear Option: ACCUTANE. Accutane was a gruesome beast, requiring constant moisturizers, sunscreens, and lip balm on the entire lower half of my peeling, raw face. It was terrible. At softball practice, my legs would break out from the grass in the outfield, and everything I touched was greasy with spf.

By the time my junior prom rolled around, my chest and back were as clear as day, but not my face. I still hold onto a picture from that night, my clear back to the camera — a moment of triumph, if only partially so. I would later learn that drying out oily skin and killing all bacteria on and in your body to treat acne are just about the worst things you can do for yourself.

clear skin natural acne cure

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

At 19 years old, I was diagnosed with PCOS and told I would have to follow the South Beach Diet and take hormone-regulating medication for the rest of my life if I wanted clear skin (or to have babies one day). I begrudgingly took the meds, but I couldn’t manage the South Beach Diet. Not as a college student. Not at 19 years old.

From here, and for the next 6 years, my skin would get progressively worse, as would my digestion. I gained weight in my midsection, which only exacerbates PCOS, and became depressed. My skin was at its absolute worst when a late-night infomercial persuaded me to try ProActiv. It promised clear skin in 60 days, and I figured what the hell, I have nothing to lose.

Here’s a record of my progress:

clear skin natural acne cure

ProActiv did improve things after 8 months, but the problem never completely went away.

A Holistic Approach – Curing Acne Naturally

In the subsequent 7 years, I immersed myself in the natural healing arts. I soon learned that clearing my skin would be far more about what I put in my body than what I put on my face. The diet and lifestyle changes I made laid the groundwork for what would ultimately be the final piece of the puzzle. Making these changes would likely get most people the results they were looking for, but for me there was still something missing. Here’s a short recounting of my approach since 2006:

  1. Going gluten-free in 2010*
  2. Removing and/or limiting dairy
  3. Removing and/or limiting coffee and caffeine
  4. Eliminating eggs
  5. Candida cleansing
  6. Supplementing l-glutamate, alpha lipoic acid, selenium, zinc, and lecithin
  7. Using herbs for acne
  8. Trying homeopathics
  9. Hyper-dosing probiotics (and later trying raw kefir and kombucha*)
  10. Acupuncture
  11. Megadosing vitamin A (under a naturopathic doctor’s supervision)
  12. Improving food quality by choosing organic/pastured/clean when possible*
  13. Losing weight through a reduction in carbohydrates and sugar*
  14. Reducing alcohol to a few drinks a week*
  15. Moisturizing with natural oils*
  16. Switching to mineral makeup*
  17. Washing my face with raw honey a few times a week*

*the ones that remain as part of my regimen today and have made a huge difference

My Wedding Day

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I wanted clear skin on my wedding day, so I made some very expensive decisions. In the year leading up, I underwent 3 VI Peels ($150 a pop), 3 Profractional Treatments (over $300 a pop), and weekly light and acid treatments. I would guess that I spent upwards of $3000 to prepare my face for the big day. Here’s a picture of me getting ready and another mid-way through the honeymoon, bumps and all.

clear skin natural acne cure

definitely better, but not $3000 better — the bumps were still there,
just slightly smaller

My Miracle Acne Cure

In mid-January, feeling a little off from all the holiday sweets, I started drinking homemade bone broth every day to improve my digestion. Unexpectedly, the tiny bumps that have been on my face for twenty years shrank and disappeared!

I couldn’t believe it! For years I’ve been touting the health benefits of bone broth and chicken soup, but never once did I consider that it would actually clear up my terrible skin. Not only did the broth heal my gut, it cleansed and hydrated my system, and after almost two decades of constant disappointment and frustration, my lifelong acne was cured.

I don’t want to overstep here. My skin’s not PERFECT 100% of the time. But the smooth surface I feel today is something I haven’t experienced in the 20 years I’ve been dealing with this problem. Today, instead of impossible-to-extract, constant bumps, I get a few easily extracted blemishes a month, if that.

I’ll take that over the alternative any day.

Natural Acne Cure

Unfortunately, I do have some scarring from the ravages of the lifelong battle, but I can live with that.

Directions for the Miracle Acne Cure:

  1. Follow the instructions in this blogpost to make your bone broth
  2. Drink 1 warm coffee mugful first thing every morning for 14 days straight
  3. OPTIONAL: Begin tapering down to 5 days a week (weekdays makes sense), and then down to three for maintenance
  4. Continue this beautiful morning routine for as long as you can/want to, testing every once in a while to see if you can take a break without any negative consequences
  5. Keep eating well, whatever that means for you (for me, it’s staying off of gluten, taking a regular probiotic, and keeping sugar in check)
  6. Hydrate your skin with healthy oils instead of stripping away the natural ones

My plan is to continue at 3 days per week indefinitely, and ramp it back up to 5 or 7 if I start to see any backsliding. I’m enjoying the morning ritual, and have been doing great on 3 days a week for a little over 2 months.

So that’s it. Broth!

Broth to heal your gut.
Broth to boost your immune system.
Broth to restore your health.
Broth to cure acne naturally.

This one simple thing was the missing piece of the puzzle for me. I encourage you to try it for yourself, and if you do, please come back and tell me how it worked for you. I’d love to hear your story.


Simplify your quest for clear skin with this one-page guide: CWB Bone Broth Acne Cure. Inside you’ll find everything you need to get started making your own bone broth, including links to purchase kitchen wares. Download it now to get started on your journey to clear skin!

What’s next? Find out how I took my clear skin to the next level with a simple cleansing routine.


FAQ – Your Answers for the CWB Bone Broth Acne Cure

Please check out my new FAQ section! I’ve also recently started a YouTube Station dedicated to answering all your questions about the Bone Broth Acne Cure. Here’s the most recent video, so you can get an idea of what it’s like:

I’m SO EXCITED to see so many people trying bone broth and finding success!!! It makes me SO HAPPY!!! Please keep the questions coming, and if you have a success story, PLEASE share it in the comments!


Don’t want to make your own bone broth? Check this out!

bone broth acne cure kettle and fire

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