Take 15% off your first order, use code INSPIRE15
Free shipping over $99 (Canada & USA)

How To Figure Out What’s Causing Your Breakouts And Acne


Do you feel like you’re floating in a sea of acne, and not sure where to start?

You’re struggling with acne and breakouts, and you know there’s a million things you can try and do to get rid of it. You might already feel like you’ve tried everything, or the reverse, there’s so much you can try, but you don’t know where to get started, or what will be most effective.

Let me tell you a story…

When my acne was at it’s worst (about 10 years ago when I was 30 years old). I felt like I tried everything, but I was looking in all the wrong places. My lifestyle at that point was at it’s worst. I was a heavy smoker (smoking 2 packs of cigarttes a day), I drank at least 3 super large coffees a day (I was addicted to frappachinos which is even worse), I was a carb-a-holic vegetarian, and I was stressed out and depressed trying to make ends meet through my career as an artist. Looking back in retrospect, no wonder my skin was a mess, I was a mess! At the time, any improvement in my lifestyle, was certainly a step in the right direction.

How I cleared up my acne at the time was by making changes and improvements to my lifestyle, my diet, and how I took care of myself and my skin. I started with the things I was willing to do, that were easy for me.

In the beginning, I omitted all unnecessary and abrasive skin care products I was using, and started improving my diet. I was more than willing to replace the sugar and junk foods in my diet with more vegetables, fresh foods, green juices, and salads. Slowly (very slowly), I let go of the coffee, and found ways to decrease the stress in my life, and get a handle of my financial situation (I made a career change). Eventually I was able to let go of smoking as well.

I didn’t do all these things overnight, it was a very gradual progression. Every step I made improved my skin. Eventually, I was completely acne-free and breakout-free for many years.

Then, in my late 30s, I got pregnant. During my pregnancy, I had clear glowing skin, but as soon as I gave birth to my daughter Luna Ray, I got breakouts. Suddenly, I’m almost 40 and I’m getting similar breakouts as I did in my twenties! And my diet and lifetstyle are certainly a lot healthier than it was back then, so what’s going on?

How to figure out what's causing your acne and breakouts.

A simple exercise to figure out what’s causing your breakouts and acne:

I asked myself one simple question: What need to be improved right now?

You might be thinking, “well, that’s simple!” And yes, it is, but very few of us ever really stop to ask ourselves:

What needs to be changed or improved right now?

What is off balance?

What am I not tending to?

What do I know I need to do, but I’m not doing?

As soon as I reflected on these questions, I had my answers loud and clear! For me, after giving birth to my daughter I was sleep deprived, stressed out being a new mom and juggling a career, my postpartum hormones were all over the place, I was chronically dehydrated from nursing my daughter 24/7, and indulging in ice cream as comfort food wasn’t doing me any favours (hello cystic acne!).

I only uncovered this list of clues to what was causing my breakouts when I started digging deeper into what I was really doing, as opposed to what I thought I was doing.

Here’s how to get started:

So if you’re at your wits end trying to figure out what’s causing the breakouts, or you’re unsure what you should start improving in your diet or lifestyle first that will get you the most results; stop and ask yourself: What needs to be improved right now?

Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s really not. Sometimes it’s has to do with your health, what you’re eating, your skin care routine, and other times it has to do with stress, your level of contentment, your personal relationships, or how you’re handling your day to day responsibilities and commitments.

Your health is the sum of many parts. The state of your skin is a reflection of what’s going on in the inside, and the outside (it’s not always just about what you’re putting on your skin or eating, but also what’s going on in your mind and spirit as well).

If anything I am saying reads true to you, please let me know! I would love to hear what improvements or changes you plan on making (please post it below!).

About the Author
Hi, I’m Natasha St. Michael, Founder of Inspire Beauty. I’m also a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Natural Health Educator accredited by the Institute For Integrative Nutrition. I’m obsessed with skin care and self-care. I’m 47 years old, struggled with adult acne until I was 30, and now I’m all about preserving the youthfulness of my skin (and sharing all my tips and tricks). If you have a question about a product or need a recommendation, feel free to contact me anytime.


This blog is for information purposes only. The content is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Should you have a medical or dermatological problem, please consult with your physician. None of the information or recommendations on this website should be interpreted as medical advice.

All product reviews, recommendations, and references are based on the author’s personal experience and impressions using the products. All views and opinions are the author’s own. 

Please see our Disclaimer for more information.

Related Posts

0 Responses

  1. I. Love. You. I am in my 20s and have been struggling with cystic acne since I was in middle school. I have scoured the internet years in and out, saw new stuff on the market, new fads, new research, everything. Nothing worked. I first tried oil cleansing with coconut oil and it was HORRIBLE for me. My sister just kind of gave up one day and stopped washing her face and using any products except water in the shower, and her acne almost went away! Much like your story with the dermatologist! So I gave it a try, and it helped A LOT. But my skin has never ever been clear. And when I say I tried everything, I mean it. I am aware that everything is connected, which is why I run everyday, strength train, and eat an (almost) vegetarian diet. (I just can’t resist a good grass-fed local burger every now and then!) I practice my own form of meditation that works for me, and I try to stay on track with my studies and finances as a student so that stress does not get overwhelming. I try to keep social as a semi-extrovert, and keep in touch with family. But I feel like my acne is holding me back from so many things in my life. I want to go into patient/client care and being up close, face to face with people with so much acne is uncomfortable for both people. I haven’t dated anyone since high school, and have few friends that want to hang out with me. Anyways. I just wanted to say that everything that I have found to be true and self-evident I have found on your site. It also led me to Radiance Central which is so great! Anyways, I am still trucking along on this journey, but am sooo happy to have found you and this lovely site! I really love all of your advice, and I hope I will find it helpful! I just bought the Living Libations blemish bundle and was looking for reviews when I stumbled across your video review! Anyways, thank you for putting yourself out there and sharing your great information. Love the site, nice design too! Keep at it! I’ll be back soon!

    1. Hi Heather,
      Thank you so much for your beautiful comment. I’m sorry to hear your challenges with acne. I too have struggled a very long time with cystic acne (I’m now in my 40s and still have to work hard to keep it at bay). But luckily you can get rid of it. Cystic acne is connected to your hormones, and as you already know your diet and lifestyle are completely connected. It sounds to me you are on the right track. If there’s one thing I can strongly recommend, it’s drinking water infused with fresh mint everyday, this is a natural hormone balancer and based on my personal experience, this is an incredible remedy for cystic acne (instructions for the mint water is in lesson 1 of the free Acne Solutions 5-Day Email Course I offer on this site). As for the social aspect of acne, what are your strengths you can bring out more, and focus on, instead of acne? I believe those that have struggled the most have a certain compassion and understanding of other people’s hearts and have so much to offer. I wouldn’t want you to hold yourself back from doing things because of your skin. I was telling someone the other day that the most amazing and talented people I know are also the most “imperfect” people too. It’s kind of like your imperfections are what can make you so perfect 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest updates
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

All things beauty and self-care delivered straight to your inbox.

Search the blog
Blog Categories
free email course
Recent Blog Posts
New in shop
Shopping Guides
Popular blog posts
Join The Waitlist Enter your email address and get notified as soon as the product is back in stock.