a skin routine that works


today i am sharing my struggle with acne (yes, even as a 23 year old) because i am honestly just super frustrated with reading loads of blogs and either no one has acne or no one wants to talk about it. which confuses me but that’s the harsh side of social media for ya: we all complain that no one is real but then never talk about real things. #bahhumbug

for some reason on lifestyle blogs, i find everything except chatting about the following: Aunt Flo/Mother Nature/that time of month i feel like i might shave my head and eat my weight in ice cream and acne. why? i don’t know! we all experience both as women so it’s just very bizarre to me that we pretend they don’t happen?

so i am going to talk about them. 😉

**period chat will come at another time. i have cramps that have sent me to the hospital before and i have been working on getting them more under control because honestly, i am terrified to get them anywhere other than my bedroom because they cripple me and my hormones rage so freaking hard that i have written down on my calendar exactly when i start to feel loony so i can remind myself it’s just that time of month. BUT ANYWAYS! that post will come in a couple months because i am currently working through some solutions but i don’t want to say things that don’t work — so stay tuned! let’s chat Aunt Flo soon.

today i will go through my skin care routine which consists of two products i use everyday and a couple of lifestyle changes.

S K I N C A R E //

wanna play never have i ever?

i’ll go first.

never have i ever had someone tell me my skin looks good.

until about two months ago and i just about passed out.

i have struggled with acne prone skin since the first days of puberty in middle school. and you know when people are like, oh it’ll go away in your 20s? yeah, no. mine didn’t. it was so sensitive for me this fall. i felt so awful about my skin and the winter didn’t help. here in st. louis, it gets so dry and bitter cold, making your skin wonder why you’re trying to sabotage it.

i was SO frustrated and bitter with girls who had grown out of their acne and mine had came back on my jawline in these cystic pimples that just lay there for freaking ever, hurting and sometimes itching, and then leaving behind small scars. i literally couldn’t even pop them if i tried so i felt like i was losing the battle but not even doing anything wrong!!!

my mom and i did loads of research and found out that this is very common for girls in their 20s as your hormones continue to shift and settle (although do they ever?). this is part of the reason i continue to cut it out sugar more and more (more on that later!) and limit my dairy. i started drinking loads of water and really paying attention to what i put in my body, knowing that it would show on the outside soon enough.

but even though that helped, it didn’t cure it. and it was painful and embarrassing. so i finally just sucked it up and went to the dermatologist, who ended up being the sweetest lady who also shared that she’ll probably have acne for forever too. it was such a cool moment of her just chatting vulnerable woman to vulnerable woman.

i know many girls take birth control and other oral medicines to help with acne but i try to do things more naturally and only use medicine as a last resort (which is why i have been trying essential oils through my friend ashley!). at this point though, i needed something more than the creams and potions my mom gave me.

so here’s my routine!


i use two products every day. one is the Cetaphil cleanser and lotion combo. Cetaphil is great for acne prone skin and it’s very inexpensive. it’s recommended by like every dermatologist ever. i would love to invest in something more natural when it runs out but at the moment, it’s getting the job done.

i have used Cetaphil products for years and what i love is how gentle the cleanser is. i chatted with my dermatologist about scrubs and those little electric brushes you can use and all those fancy tools and she was literally like “just use this gentle cleanser, be consistent with the topical cream and be patient.” she was totally right! as tempting as it is to get these cool scented, beaded, exfoliating, glow-in-seconds cleansers, your skin is sensitive! treat it gently!!!

i am not the world’s biggest fan of the lotion because it’s a bit oily so i am currently hunting for a new one i like so stay tuned on that — i am sure i’ll share about what i find on my Instagram stories per usual. but it’s good for now! i used to love this Aveeno one so maybe i’ll go back to that? i am trying to buy products that rate low on the Think Dirty app though so i’ll have to see how that one rates!

although many people say to wash your face in the morning, i don’t unless i have worked out! my skin does way better if i don’t and i just wash it at night before i go to sleep after taking off all my make-up. ALL THE MAKE-UP. GONE-ZO. EVERY NIGHT. CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH.

the second product is a prescription topical cream called Epiduo. it. has. worked. wonders. i first used Epiduo Forte because it’s a big stronger (and my derm could tell how self-conscious i was). it did get worse before it got better but now my skin is the best it has been in a REALLY long time. seriously. and it was nowhere near that 6 months ago. the oral pill has some cray side effects so i chose the slower route via the topical cream but it truly only took me about 6-8 weeks to start seeing really great results. that might sound like a long time but when it’s already been bad, waiting  is relative.;)

T H E  R U N D O W NNNN //

  • pull back hair with a scrunchie
  • remove all make-up (going to start using coconut oil because my friend jenna said it’s been helping her eyelashes so YA COUNT ME IN. also #cheap #natural.)
  • splash face with lukewarm water
  • gently rub one pump of cetaphil cleanser all over my face and a little down my neck. GENTLY. no pulling or scrubbing. ain’t nobody want wrinkles.
  • rinse face.
  • PAT FACE DRY. my mom screeches at my when i pull at my face with a towel v aggressively and she has amazing skin. so i take a leaf out of her book and i pat pat pat and leave it a little moist!
  • let dry completely and then cover problem areas (for me — my jawline and lower face) with a thing layer/one pump of Epiduo.
  • the end. 🙂

if i do wash my face in the am, i just use the cleanser and a moisturizer! make sure to (again) be gentle and pat the lotion in. don’t pull and rub. pat. pat pat pat. GENTLE LADIEZ.

O T H E R  T I P SSSS //

i begged my derm to let me use fancy masks and she was like fiiiiiine every couple weeks you can. haha! she really swears by being consistent and simple and the freaking routine works. but i do use this #1 best seller $10 mask every 3ish weeks because it makes me feel like i low key got botox. it is unbelievable. and so natural and so cheap! BUY IT AND THANK ME LATER.

i guzzle water. i use the my water app to track it and just flush everything through my system.

i stay low-sugar, choosing when to eat sugar instead of it hiding in everything, and eat as many raw foods as possible.

minimal caffeine — i only drink caffeinated tea.

minimal dairy.

i tryyyy to keep sodium low.

i read through all ingredients of everything i buy to make sure i can recognize and understand what i am putting in my body. what you put in WILL reflect on the outside!

BE GENTLE. SEE A DERM. my two biggest tips. your face doesn’t need every scrub under the sun. it needs a personalized, consistent routine. make the investment to see a recommended dermatologist because you deserve to feel confident in your own skin.

i know how hard it can be when girls are screaming left and right to wear less make-up when you aren’t comfortable with your skin without any to help cover. but keep trying until you find the sweet spot. it took me from november til now to confidently write this post and even now, i am trying new products. the more natural the better. i think i’ll even try essential oils!

my goal was to get it to a manageable place and then reevaluate at my follow-up appointment with her this summer. so stay tuned! 🙂


remember that what works for many might not work for you! keep trying new ways and combos until your skin starts reacting positively. also, remember that the make-up you use will also have an impact on your skin — since it sits there ALL day. thursday i will be going through my whole routine and products! see you then.




2 thoughts on “a skin routine that works

  1. Brooke Paris

    I’ve used cetaphil for years too and it truly is such a gentle cleanser! Like you said though, it isn’t the most natural and has some not so great ingredients. But also like you said, you can’t switch out everything at once, little by little things add up 🙂 so when you’re in the market for a new gentle and clean cleanser you should check out beautycounter! I switched to their gentle cleanser and LOVE it. Same with their nourishing day moisturizer!


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