Earlier this year I had some seriously bad skin. The areas on either side of my nose were red and bumpy. I would get these huge, incredibly painful spots on my cheeks that never actually surfaced. They would just hang out there for a week or more. They were bright red and achy as hell. Some were so painful I would wake up in the middle of the night if I rolled over onto them.
I had huge pores on my nose and tons of “dirt” spots on my chin and forehead. My skin tone in general was pretty uneven and I was really unhappy with having to cover it with tons of makeup every time I left the house.
I knew I had to do something about it and after discovering this video from Mango Island Mama on Youtube, I set about removing a few things from my life and adding in a few others.
1. No More Dairy
I have been toying with removing milk and cheese from my diet now for a long time. Dairy is packed with hormones that mess with your body’s own balance and I’m pretty certain I’m lactose intolerant (it runs in the family). So I went cold turkey in July when we moved to Mexico. I replaced milk with coconut milk in my coffee (SO GOOOOD) and almond milk for my cereal and oatmeal.
I stopped buying yogurt, cheese, cream and realized that I kind of didn’t miss. I still have cheese on the odd occasion, but on the whole, I probably have dairy less than once a week now.
I know this sounds crazy to my fellow cheese lovers out there. I know – you guys, I LOVE CHEESE. But once you ease yourself off of it and have it as a “treat” every now and again, you’ll actually stop craving it almost entirely. I promise.
2. Way Less Meat
I know this is another one that makes people nervous. I’m not trying to tell you that if you want clear skin you need to be a vegan. I thought this would be really hard too, and some days I really just want a burger (and some days I have a burger).
I cut way back on my meat consumption. I hardly cook it at home anymore and I even find myself gravitating to the vegetarian options on a menu when we go out to eat more and more often. Similarly to dairy, meat has all sorts of hormones and additives in it that can mess with your hot bod. I thought this would be more difficult than it was – I genuinely don’t miss it (except when I walk past the burger van on my street, why do greasy burgers always smell SO GOOD?).
As a bonus, I’ve also dropped a few excess pounds and have a ton more energy. Which I’m pretty sure I can credit to removing the above two from my diet.
3. Way More Water
I’m probably drinking anywhere from 2-3L of water a day. The best thing I did was buy myself a reusable water bottle (this filtered one from LifeStraw is amazing). The redness around my nose went away about a week after I started downing tons of water and on days where I forget to drink this much, the redness is back the very next day. If water isn’t your thing, try adding ginger or lemon to a cup of boiling water in the morning. Also, try to drink it on an empty stomach if you can, it’s better for digestion.
4. Boscia Skin Peel
If there’s only one piece of advice you take from this article, it should be this. The boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel is the first thing I bought for my skin earlier in the year when I started noticing how bad it was. I went into Sephora and asked for a bit of help and the lovely woman there sent me straight to this product. It’s perhaps the most expensive skincare item I’ve ever purchased, but it’s also the absolute best and one bottle lasts for ages.
It’s an all natural skin peel which removed all of the dead skin cells clogging up your pores as well as acting as a chemical peel to get deep down beneath the skin. I use it about once a week and I notice the difference in my skin as soon as I rinse it away. My skin is clearer, brighter and so much smoother. All those little bumps are completely gone. I really credit the major changes in my skin to this product.
5. Makeup Free Days
Now I know this is a lot easier for someone like me who works from home. I probably wouldn’t have had the guts to do this if I worked in an office, but I used to slap on a face full of makeup just to go to the shop. Now I don’t wear makeup Monday-Friday (except if we go out on a Friday night).
Obviously putting things on your skin is a surefire way to clog up those pores and it’s been amazing to be able to go without makeup. I have so fewer blackheads and my pores are so much smaller.
1. I stopped using my ultra thick Lancome foundation and opted for a light, layer-able powder foundation from MAKE UP FOR EVER. I stopped wearing concealer because this foundation is so good at hiding uneven color. I have it in Neutral Ivory (#120) which is a bit too light in the summer with my tan, but perfect for how pale I am right now.
2. I started using a different, much lighter face cream. I’m actually far more prone to dry skin than I am to oily skin, so I’ve always opted for quite thick moisturizers. But now that I drink a ton more water, I’ve noticed a huge difference. I only started using this one by Osia because I’d run out of my Oil of Olay and this is all I had in my makeup bag. I’m a big fan of it and often use it before bed after rinsing my face with a bit of warm water. It smells like lavender and puts me straight to sleep. I also love that it’s all natural and totally vegan – no animal testing involved in the making of this baby.
3. Tons of fruits and vegetables. For the past month or so I’ve started the morning with a fruit smoothie usually packed with bananas, frozen berries, and freshly squeezed OJ. I think adding more water-rich fruits and vegetables to my diet has really helped with my hydration.
I don’t know if I can credit all of these things or none of these things to my clearer skin, but I know that when I did all of this I noticed a huge difference. When I stop doing just one of these things, I notice a change in my skin. I feel better about myself, I have more energy, I don’t NEED as much makeup now because my skin isn’t a total embarrassment, and I don’t wake up in the middle of the night with painful boils that are some angry shade of maroon.
The Youtube Version
In case you’d rather hear me chat about how I cleared up my skin – here’s the video!