I originally published this blog post in late 2018 after having severe adult acne. For years prior I had clear skin, and all of the sudden out of nowhere it was filled with red acne bumps, which I hadn’t had since I was a teenager. Fast forward to March 2021, and my skin has been consistently clear for almost 3 years! Today I’m sharing exactly what I did to clear my skin, as well as what makeup has worked for me (and been acne friendly), plus the skincare products and brands that I use and highly recommend. Below I’m sharing how I cleared my acne PLUS the best products for acne prone skin!
How I Originally Cleared My Skin in 2018
Truth be told, this is a very honest and raw post for me. I’m sharing before posts, with NO make up on, no filter, nothing. I hope you can see that my goal here is to share how I cleared my skin and hopefully it can help you, too!
Rewind a bit, when I was a teenager I suffered from acne on my face and my back. It was horrible, but nothing abnormal from what other teens were going through. Between the ages of 19 and 24, my skin appeared to be perfect. I got pimples rarely, and honestly I wasn’t eating healthy and I was definitely drinking more than I do now.
At 24, I moved to NYC and my skin flared right back up (this time only on my face). It wasn’t terrible, but I always had some minor break outs. I blamed it on the NYC pollution, but now I’ve come to realize it’s just probably genetics.
Fast forward and I dealt with skin problems up until now. I’m 31, so that tells you I’ve had headaches about pimples for about half my life. So not ok! I went to every dermatologist, I tried every facial treatment and serum, bought a blue light and tested anything and everything and went on acne meds. Only to find out, I had become allergic to them. I actually took doxycyline, minocyline, and tetracyclin as a teenager, but I have adult onset allergies, so I wasn’t entirely surprised to learn that my body started to reject the antibiotics, as well.
I also want to add that the week of my wedding I had a horrific allergic reaction to makeup on my face (I learned a few months later that it was from the Maybelline Fit Me. I have friends who love it, but it’s not acne safe for my skin). I practically sprinted to the dermatologist, who diagnosed the flare up as acne. I really didn’t feel like she was in tuned to what was happening with my skin, because she prescribed meds that didn’t work, since it wasn’t actually acne. Rather, it was allergy. Lucky for me I had an amazing makeup artist, but it didn’t take away the fact that I felt hopeless and sad that at 31 years old I was still battling for clear skin.
By chance, I had been with one of my friends who raved about her aesthetician and products, Emme Diane. I was desperate and honestly would have done anything to have clear skin! I reached out the next day after reading rave reviews on Yelp about Emme. She was actually booked up for two months before I could get in for a facial. So, I did what any desperate adult with acne would do, emailed her in a panic! Within hours, Emme sent me a sincere email that was as long as a mini novel with questions about my diet and makeup routine to get started. I was already blown away by her!
In her first email, I could tell she cared (opposite of the experience I had with my condescending dermatologist the week of my wedding). Based on my answers to her long questionnaire, she was able to recommend a skincare regimen using her Emme Diane products within 24 hours. Complete and total honesty, I was skeptical. I thought, how on earth can she treat me from a distance? But, like I said, I was desperate!
Here are my before pictures that I emailed to Emme with my questionnaire on June 16, 2018. That’s exactly 92 days ago from my original post and she said it would take about 90 days to clear my skin. I’d also like to say, I absolutely never intended on doing this post, so these are raw images from my iPhone.
It’s so crazy to look back and see what my skin looked like then, vs how it’s cleared up and stayed clear (with the exception of a few pimples here or there)!
The second I ordered her products, I dove in head first and replaced my makeup to the recommended acne safe makeup. I spent about $200 on Emme’s products and $200 on new makeup. I thought, well if it works $400 for perfect skin isn’t terrible! I realize it was a pricy investment, but when you’re desperate it’s worth every single penny! I also know now that they work, so I can stand behind the fact that these 100% are worth the money if you can do it.
After the first week, I noticed my skin was less oily throughout the day. Fast forward 30 days and my forehead was completely clear. I want to be completely real with you, I followed Emme’s guide to a TEE. I didn’t miss one morning or evening routine. I was dedicated.
Emme made dietary recommendations, as well (such as cutting out cheese and soy). I didn’t have to change my diet, because I already avoid most of the trigger foods.
I truly believe that her products are saving my skin! I’m going to share the exact products I use today, as well. Below are images of my 90 day progress using her acne products.
90 Days After Using Emme’s Products
Sticking to the exact same 90 day regimen was difficult, but my skin was COMPLETELY clear after 90 days! I have a couple of pimples pop up here and there, but I’m blown away by how effective these products have been for me. Genetics are what cause acne, and I honestly am one of those unfortunate cases that has bad acne genes. However, if you’re anything like me, you can get cured!
2021 Skincare Update
Since 2018, my skin has been almost 100% clear and free of acne! I still get the occasional pimple, but nothing near the horrible breakouts I was experiencing 3 years ago. I’m going to share exactly what I use today for skincare, makeup and face tools that work wonders on my skin!
Please keep in mind, this is my personal journey! Skincare is never a one size fits all program and I’m certainly not a skincare expert. What I will say is, be sure to give a new skincare routine 90 days. Don’t expect overnight results! It’s just not possible. Also, consider making slow changes. You don’t have to throw away everything you own! Maybe try a new face wash and see if that helps. Toss in a new moisturizer and maybe you’ll be less dry or oily. There isn’t ONE skincare brand that works for me, there are many. This is my regimen and I stand behind the products that work for me 100%!
Also, if you eat a lot of dairy, consider cutting it out! Dairy can potentially cause breakouts.
My Skincare Type
Since figuring out a skincare regimen that works well for me, my skin has actually “leveled out” and is fairly normal compared to what it used to be! I used to have insanely oily skin, which after a few hours would basically move my makeup. It was embarrassing for me! I would carry oil removing pads daily. What I didn’t realize, is my skin was just not moisturized enough and I was using products that were drying out my skin. I also wasn’t using products that worked for me, so in hindsight, it all makes sense why my skin seems so “regular” these days!
Acne Friendly Skincare I Use
Emme Diane is definitely still a brand that I stand behind! I still use a bunch of her products, but over the years have incorporated a few others from Elemis and Tula. I want to always be up front with you guys on what works for me, and hopefully they will work for you, too!
My Typical Everyday Skincare Routine
Below is my morning skincare routine in the exact order of use:
For the past 6 months or so, I have been swapping between Emme Diane’s Gentle Cleanser and the Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cleanser (FYI, I have a non commissionable code from Elemis: use code MELISS20 to get 20% off). Both are phenomenal and work wonders on my skin!
Emme Diane Clarifying Serum goes on after moisturizing
Moisturizer OR Vitamin C Serum
Tula’s Rose Glow and Get It is my ride or die under eye balm! It’s brightening and cooling, and helps hide the appearance of dark circles under your eyes.
And finally… MAKEUP!
I know this seems like A LOT, but I swear by this routine! It’s worked for me for 3 years and really only takes 2-3 minutes. Your clear skin will thank me later!! On days that I do not wear makeup, I still do my morning and evening routines. I swear by these, they work! My skin speaks for itself.
The Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm is a nourishing cleansing balm that melts away makeup, daily pollutants and impurities for a soft and glowing complexion! I can’t recommend it enough. It’s unscented, refreshing and moisturizing all in one. My skin feels so smooth and there’s no need to use makeup wipes with this balm. Save 20% with code ‘MELISS20‘.
The Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Pads are powered by patented^ Tri-Enzyme Technology, which exfoliates and smooths your skin in one swipe. They are super gentle and extremely effective!
PRO TIP: Cut the pad in half to get more for your money! You honestly don’t even need a full one to get by. Code MELISS20 saves you 20% on Elemis.
This is a serum-infused eye mask that helps minimize the look of wrinkles, while targeting the look of puffiness and dark circles. I use this every night, and a little bit goes a long way! I’m 33, so I’d rather work to prevent wrinkles before I get them, then wait for them to come and try to fight them. Code MELISS20 saves you 20% on Elemis.
Helps fight acne and keep your skin clear! I still use this everyday, with or without pimples.
This is an earthy, nutrient-rich facial oil that feeds your skin with 9 antioxidant-rich Superfoods to help give your skin a healthy-looking glow. Code MELISS20 saves you 20% on Elemis.
Skin Saving Tools To Invest In
Ice rollers are insanely good for your skin! I usually wash my face before ice rolling. That way I can help close my pores, de-puff my face, and wake my eyes up! I keep this exact ice roller in my freezer, and just rinse it off before putting it back in.
I use the Vanity Planet Raedia Facial Cleansing Brush every single night! It’s cruelty free and comes with 3 brush heads. I use the silicon brush head, which is great for sensitive skin. It helps get rid of all makeup and keep your skin clear.
Acne Friendly Makeup I Use and Recommend
In terms of makeup, I replaced the drugstore foundation I was using 3 years ago, and have not had any issues since! I love the products below, I use them almost every single day and they have helped me maintain clear skin and look my best!
Pimple Concearler – August + Monroe 3-in-1 Camouflage Concealer – code MELISSA10 is 10% off
My purpose for this post is to give you hope if you also suffer from acne or skin issues. I truly and wholeheartedly hope that this post helps some of you, as I know what it’s like to feel hopeless with your skin! There absolutely IS an end in sight, and you will have clear skin like I do now. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, contact me via DM on Instagram.
Click the images below to shop:
Some of the links in this post are commissionable! This is a completely non-sponsored post, and all opinions are my own and are 100% genuine.