Recently I received an email from one of our readers. She was telling me how she cleaned up her diet and her skin started clearing up, but it wasn’t until she “took a leap of faith” and followed my instructions to cut everything out of her skincare routine, did she completely clear up her skin and get the fabulous results she wanted.
This isn’t the first time I’ve received this sort of feedback.
In fact when I receive emails and testimonials, majority say the same exact thing.
Most people are more than willing to make improvements to their diet (it can be hard, but it’s doable). But when I suggest cutting out the products and makeup, there’s total resistance.
And in all honesty, most people don’t cut back on the products and makeup they’re using, not at first. It’s usually later on when they’ve already been eating super healthy and getting good results, but their skin isn’t completely clear. There’s usually something that just clicks, and they take that “leap of faith.”
It’s always then, the combination of eating healthy and minimizing the use of makeup and skincare products, their skin completely clears up (and then I get the happy emails of “I didn’t believe you at first, but I tried it, and it worked!”).
I know that when you’re in the midst of terrible breakouts, big or small, there’s this impulsive need to put a bunch of products on your face in hopes of an overnight miracle. I know because I’ve been guilty of smothering my skin with some crazy strong products, and the worse my breakouts were, the more products I used to use.
And nothing worked. In fact it all just makes your skin worse causing it to be even more irritated, red, and inflamed, and even sets you up for scarring and hyperpigmentation.
I was lucky I had a dermatologist that was so strict with me to stop using anything on my skin (except for the mildest cleanser I could find). I’m lucky I listened to her, but just like you, I was very reluctant at first, and it felt like a huge leap of faith.
I am writing this blog post today because many of you write me about your acne and breakouts, you send me photos, and your skin hurts – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
And I’m pleading with everyone, if you’re in the middle of a breakout, small or huge – you’ve got to cut back on the products and makeup you are using. This is not the time to be putting more stuff on your face, or even trying anything new – this is actually the time to take a step back and stop putting anything on your skin so it can heal.
The more stuff you put on your face (doesn’t matter if it’s natural or synthetic), the worse you are going to make the problem. How I see it, if you wouldn’t put that product on a rash or wound, don’t put it on your breakouts, pimples, or acne.
And does that mean you need to give up skincare products and makeup forever? No, of course not!
When your breakouts and pimples have healed, and your skin is no longer inflamed or irritated, then you can certainly use skincare products and makeup again. It’s kind of like when you have the flu, the last thing you should be eating is tacos, fried chicken and chinese takeaway – and instead, you want to be eating very simple, plain, nourishing food. This is the same approach with your skin.
No product is going to heal you skin – your body is what is going to heal your skin and if you keep smothering it with products and makeup, you could be making it harder for your body to do its job.
Getting started – the simple way
I want you to jump in a take a “leap of faith” for one month.
For one month, all I want you to do is wash you face morning and evening with the gentlest cleanser you can find.
My recommendation for cleansers:
- Honey is especially good for younger skin (for those of you under 30-35 years old)
- If you have severe breakouts or acne, honey is the best to wash your face with (it’s the most gentle cleanser you’ll find, and especially good at soothing inflamed and irritated skin).
- The honey MUST BE SMOOTH (absolutely no coarse texture to the honey, no granules. Most smooth honeys can have light pass through them, it’s not creamy or cloudy in appearance, it’s more clear (but could be light or dark in color). Best to use a raw, organic honey.
- Wash your face with honey like you would most other cleansers by applying it to damp skin and rinsing it off with warm water, don’t use a washcloth to remove it.
- To view a full video tutorial/demo on how to wash your face with honey, click here–> Video Demo: Honey Cleansing Acne Prone Skin
- Oil Cleansing is especially good for those of you in your 30s and older, or if your skin tends to be dry or showing signs of aging.
- For acne prone skin, the safest oil to use is jojoba oil (but you can also use other oils like grapeseed oil, safflower oil, hemp seed oil, etc.. Or, use an oil blend – I love Living Libations – Best Skin Ever)
- DON’T use pure coconut oil, mineral oil, or anything containing soybean oil (they can be comedogenic).
- To view a full video tutorial/demo on how to oil cleanse acne prone skin properly, click here–> Video Demo: Oil Cleansing Method For Acne Prone Skin
- For oil cleansing, always make sure you use the softest washcloths you can find (I recommend Grovia Cloth Wipes).
Both honey and oil cleansing are my top recommendations for healing acne. But, I know some of you may have an allergy to honey and bee products, or oil cleansing isn’t compatible with your skin, or you just prefer a different type of cleanser.
Other recommended cleansers:
INDIE LEE Purifying Face Wash (suitable for all skin types, yet especially good for combination and oily skin) – Indie Lee’s cleansers are awesome! Super mild and gentle, yet effective. Similar to traditional gel cleansers, they cleanse away impurities, makeup, sunscreen – but, they don’t dry out your skin. This is especially important for acne prone skin. If a cleanser is too stripping it’ll just make you produce more pore-clogging sebum. I also really like the Brightening Cleanser which is also suitable for all skin types including acne prone.
ANNMARIE SKIN CARE Aloe-Herb Facial Cleanser (suitable for all skin types) – This cleanser reminds me of Cetaphil, but without all the chemicals! If you know of Cetaphil, it’s an extremely gentle cleanser that many people use for sensitive skin and to help clear up acne. I find the Aloe-Herb Cleanser to be even better than Cetaphil, and a much safer alternative.
OSKIA Renaissance Cleansing Gel (suitable for normal, oily, combination, acne prone skin). If you like the Oil Cleansing Method of using a washcloth, but oils don’t work so well for your skin, I would recommend this cleanser. It goes on like a balm but when you remove it, it doesn’t leave any oily residue behind. The feedback I do get is this cleanser is better for oily or normal skin, and can be too drying for dry skin (this cleanser is also good in hot/humid climates).
TATA HARPER Purifying Cleanser (suitable for normal, oily, combination, acne prone skin) – This is a super gentle, no soap, gel-like cleanser. If you have oily or combination skin, this is a great balancing cleanser. It thoroughly washes your skin without drying it out, it won’t irritate breakouts, and the ingredients help draw impurities to the surface. This cleanser is also great for hot/humid climates, and summer months.
PAI Camellia & Rose Hydrating Cleansing Cream (Suitable for dry or maturing acne prone skin). If you have acne prone skin that tends to be dry, but you don’t like honey or oil cleansers, I would recommend trying a milk or cream cleanser which will help to moisturize and nourish your skin. Pai Skincare makes a gentle cream cleanser and the entire line is formulated for sensitive skin, so it’s definitely a good option for acne prone skin as well.
And now stop everything else…
Once you find a suitable cleanser that isn’t drying or stripping, and works well for your skin, I want you stop using any other product on your skin.
Yes, stop everything.
It may feel uncomfortable at first (your skin might feel a little tight after cleansing), but you will see within 7-10 days (or sooner), your skin will adjust to the change.
If for some reason, you desperately need to use a moisturizer after washing your face, use a clear/gel serum or facial oil – these don’t have waxes or butters, so they’re less likely to aggravate your breakouts or clog up your pores.
Recommended facial oils & serums (safe for acne prone skin):
- LIVING LIBATIONS Soothsayer Serum
- LIVING LIBATIONS All Season Serum
- LEAHLANI Happy Hour Balancing Serum
- LEAHLANI Aloha Ambrosia Morning Moisture Elixir
- INDIE LEE Squalane Facial Oil
- ANNMARIE SKIN CARE Herbal Facial Oil For Normal And Combination Skin
- VERDURA NATURALTERNATIVES Blue Fairy Concentrate
- PAI Rose Hip Seed Oil
And what about makeup?
If you want to clear up your skin fast, I would try and skip that too.
I know this is not easy, especially because you rather disguise your breakouts while they are healing. But what if I told you the makeup could be irritating your skin more, making your breakouts worse?
Let me ask you – when you have a rash or wound, would you put makeup on it? Probably not! You would keep it clean, and let it air out so it could heal. Well, that’s how you must treat your breakouts too.
Once your breakouts and acne have healed, then you can use makeup again.
And if you are sitting here thinking you just can’t go out without something concealing your breakouts, than switch to using cover-up or a concealer instead of using full coverage foundation or tinted moisturizers, and ONLY use it when you really need it (I use RMS Beauty – “Un” Cover-Up).
You might hate me now, but once you start seeing your skin heal and clear up, you’ll love me later, I promise.
Just to make sure we’re on the same page – if your breakouts won’t clear up – for one month you are going to wash your face twice a day with the gentlest cleanser you can find (my top recommendations are honey for younger skin, oil cleansing for maturing skin).
For that month you are not going to put anything else on your skin. If you really need a moisturizer, you can use a facial oil or clear serum (avoid lotions or moisturizers for the month).
And no makeup, or any other products (with the exception if you’re outdoors in the sun, do wear sunscreen (of course!), but if you’re in a cooler climate and indoors all day, take a break from it for the the month – use your common sense and good judgement.
Take the leap of faith! (And do let me know after a month your results).