Journey To Clear Skin – Update

A few months ago I wrote a blog series all about my Journey To Clear Skin. In that series I implemented three major changes to my skin care, my diet and my makeup. I wanted to see if changing any of these three things could have a positive impact on my skin. And after months of playing around to really narrow down the acne culprit, I can tell you this – I truly am having the clearest skin that I’ve had in years.

In this post I would love to tell you what worked and what didn’t. I will link all the other “journey” posts so you can click back for reference, but I will also recap you briefly along the way too.

Clear Skin Journey feature

Skin Care

Part One of my series was all about changing my skin care. Looking back this was the change that I went majorly overboard on. I thought I could treat my “problem areas” the old-fashioned way with products like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Then on the rest of my face I could use the anti-aging products that I had already been using for years. Basically I was treating the lower half of my face with acne fighters and the upper half with anti-agers. Wrinkles up high and pimples down low was something that I wanted to be rid of, for obvious reasons.

The results at first were great – smooth, clear and happy skin. But after about a month or so of use my skin started to slowly become more and more sensitive. It started off as the occasional stinging sensation when applying my products. Then it was a bit of redness and a general tight feeling all over my face all the time. You’d think I would have stopped there but no, no I just told myself my skin had to get used to it! Dumb move, let me tell you. I ended up having quite a reaction (burning red patch on my cheek) before I finally decided to back off everything and just go back to the bare basics.

The lesson I learned here is more isn’t always better. It was an absolute crap ton of products that I was slapping on my face every night. But really, I like to tell myself that it was all for experiments sake and sometimes experiments crash and burn. And this one happened to do just that.

I have since abandoned salicylic acid, glycolic acid and benzoyl peroxide. I’m not saying that these ingredients aren’t effective treatments for acne. I do believe they can work wonders for some people. They just didn’t work with my sensitive, already-using-too-many-anti-agers-skin in the long run.

Over the last few months I’ve gone back to my old skin care routine. Pre-acne fighting days. Using products from Skinmedica, Skinceuticals and Dermalogica with absolutely no skin freak outs at all. If you’d like I could do an updated skin care routine for you guys soon. I promise that it’s super scaled back!

So, with all that being said, obviously changing my skin care was not the answer to my skin issues.

Journey to Clear Skin- Part three- Clean Makeup feature


Part Three of the series was all about changing my foundations. I wanted to see if switching to brands with more organic and “clean” ingredients would help keep my skin clear and acne free. It started with testing out about four different brands to get the right formulation for my skin. And all in all I had a good amount of success with them.

I still use my favourite (Physicians Formula Organic Wear BB Cream) from that clean makeup haul all the time and continue to love it. However, since the switch I’ve also been using some great but not-so-clean foundations too. Partly because I wanted to see if this would affect my skin and also because I couldn’t stay away from playing around with makeup! All this makeup roulette really didn’t have any major affect to the clarity of my skin. Which has led me to believe that it was not the makeup that was causing my issue either.

So what was causing it then??

The Beauty Detox Solution


Part Two of the series – my diet change. It mostly consisted of eliminating dairy and following along with the Beauty Detox Solution eating plan. Since then, for the most part (I’ve had some off days) I stuck to no dairy. I also really did try to eat the Beauty Detox way as well, but in the end it was too restrictive for me.

When I first started I had some pretty lofty goals when it came to following the eating plan. And if you’ve read the original post you would have seen I had modified it quite a bit to be able to maintain it long-term. But even after all that modifying I still couldn’t stick with it. I did take away some great knowledge from the book though and still believe it to be very helpful when starting a healthy eating lifestyle.

Here are my diet changes that I’ve stuck with (mostly!):

  • eliminating dairy products
  • drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day
  • basing my meals around veggies and whole foods
  • getting in those greens as much as possible!
  • cutting back on gluten


And honestly, I’m convinced my diet changes are the main factor in my skin continuing to stay clear to this day. Since I eliminated dairy I have had next to no new breakouts. It didn’t seem to matter what I did with my skin care or my makeup, my skin just stayed good.

It may all just be coincidental or maybe there are other factors at play. Hormones?? It’s really hard to say. But it’s enough for me to continue what I’m doing for now. Who knows, maybe I’ll go full force back into dairy one day and find out for sure. Or maybe I’ll just keep on keeping on with my almond milk and fake cheese. Right now I’m happy not to mess with it.

If you’re interested in a cool info-graphic post about all the sneaky things that could be causing your acne check this out!