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3 “Weird” Things I Did to Get Rid of My Acne & Eczema (they’re FREE!)

I’ve always struggled with my skin. Since the time I was a little girl, my skin has broken out in rashes and hives, it’s been dry, cracked, itchy, peeling, and bleeding.

Sometimes, it’s been all of these things at once. Sometimes, it’s just been some of them. But there’s always been something unsightly or uncomfortable going on with my skin.

It was worst on my feet when I was little girl and until I was pre-teen. I remember trying to pull off my socks or tights and having them be stuck on my feet because my feet would be cracked and bleeding and the socks would be stuck to the dried blood.

When I was about 12 years old, it moved to my hands. For years, I went to bed with Vaseline or Bag Balm and socks on my hands just to keep them from being all itchy, cracked, and bleeding.

My parents took me to dermatologists and we tried different creams and lotions. Nothing made a big difference, but at least I could manage it with the different lotions and being really careful what I kinds of things I touched, what jewelry I wore, and so on.

Some Days, I Didn’t Want to Look in the Mirror

The skin issues moved to face when I was an adult and it was kind of scary. It would be itchy, red, splotchy, dry, and swell up. Some days, I would wake up to my eyes almost swollen shut.

There was a short window of time when it got so bad that I didn’t want to look in the mirror because it was so discouraging and embarrassing. I tried to stay home as much as possible and when I had to go out, I would plaster my face with multiple layers of concealer and foundation, wear my hair so it would cover up the side of my face where it was the worst, and keep my head down.

The biggest problem over the years with my face has been that I have both acne and eczema and we’ve discovered that the majority of treatments for acne will flare up my eczema and the majority of treatments for acne will flare up my eczema.

Even though I never wanted to have to go on medication, for a number of years, I was on two different medicines plus two different topical steroids in order to have skin that — with a lot of good makeup — looked decent most of the time.

I Felt Like I Had Tried It All & Nothing Worked

I know that this is a very minor thing in the grand scheme of life. I know that the majority of the reason why this has been a struggle is because I care what people think and I like to avoid people staring at red splotches on my face, if I can help it.

But I won’t pretend that it’s not been extremely frustrating at times. I hate that during times when things got really bad skin-wise, I’ve avoided social situations and looking people in the eye just because I was self-conscious of red splotchy patches on my skin.

I always assumed that this was just my lot in life. I’d tried elimination diets. I once removed every single processed chemical from my diet for a 3-month period. I went off of dairy for a time period. I tried going gluten-free. I researched all sorts of natural remedies and tried them. I’ve done way more Googling than a person ever should about skin conditions.

And I’d gotten to a place where I just had decided: there’s nothing more I can do. Because I feel like I’m doing everything that the books and articles and doctors and experts are suggesting. It just doesn’t work for me.

But you guys, I was wrong.

Really wrong.

I looked through my pictures to try to find a “before” photo. This was the best I could find because I never published pictures when my face was really bad! But this one was a video I did with another company… and I look at this photo and read so much between the lines.

I was exhausted on this day… it was right in the middle of a crazy busy time where I was running myself ragged. Notice how short my nails were? That was because I was also a chronic nail biter and it always got worse when my anxiety was especially high.

The Email That Changed My Life

I happened to do a Periscope one day about a lesson that I’d learned from acne and how what I see in the mirror doesn’t have to dictate who I am or what I believe about myself.

One of my readers and Periscope followers, Rachel, emailed me that week and told me about her nutritionist. She said she had struggled with infertility for years and had been to many doctors — to no avail.

She had started working with a nutritionist and had gotten pregnant as a result of the health changes she had made. She told me how it had impacted her life in so many positive ways — one side effect was that her skin had cleared up.

Honestly, I get a lot of emails from readers with suggestions and there’s no way I can do them all or follow them all. But Rachel’s note intrigued me.

She wasn’t selling anything. There wasn’t any financial gain for her to share this information. And she had been working with this nutritionist for around two years. So I knew she wasn’t just suggesting something because it seemed like a good idea; she had proven it to be highly effective.

I went to Jesse and asked him what he would think about me trying this nutritionist. I was sure it wouldn’t work. But what if it did?

Jesse said I should at least look into it and see about trying the program for two months. I was quite confident the whole thing would be another one in a long string of disappointments. But you never know until you try, right?

The Elimination Diet Was Pure Torture!

Jason (the nutritionist) talked to me on the phone, gave me all of the details of the program, answered my questions, and got a lot of medical information from me. He explained that I was going to have to give up a lot of things at first — including COFFEE and sugar and basically every other food that I love.

I wanted to run and hide and pretend I’d never heard about this program. But I was too far in at that point to turn back. From the research I had done and what I felt in my heart, I knew I needed to try.

So I did. And it was pure torture in the beginning.

The detox was horrible. I was miserable. I went into this sort of withdrawal thing for a few days where I struggled to function and literally wanted to cry because I missed coffee and sugar so much. I realized that I had become addicted to sugar and that food was much more to me than just something I ate in order to nourish my body.

My Six Month Anniversary — And My Skin Is Better Than Ever!

Last week, I celebrated my six month anniversary of being on this eating plan. I’m now in Phase 3 and feel more amazing and energetic than I ever remember feeling.

And Rachel was right — my skin is clearer and healthier than it’s probably been since I was toddler!

This is the part where you probably expect me to try to pitch you some sort of product or diet or opportunity or something. But that’s not what this post is about. If you want details on my nutritionist, I’m happy to share them (just email me), but I wanted to tell you about the three things I changed that I believe have had the greatest effect on my skin.

I don’t have flawless skin — and I doubt I ever will. But my skin is remarkably better.

I Went Off All of My Meds & Prescription Creams!

Here’s the biggest reason I am excited: I am no longer on any medication — including the medications I was taking and prescription creams I was using for my acne and eczema. I can’t believe it! I still use an over-the-counter eczema cream when I stare having little flare-ups, but that’s it and it’s only as needed.

I only have minor eczema and acne breakouts and those are usually only once a month — instead of almost every few days! I still have a little eczema on my hands, but I rarely need to put anything on it. And some days, I go out without putting on a stitch of makeup — something I never dreamed I would consider doing!

My skin is a lot less dry, it feels so much softer, and it looks so much healthier and vibrant. I sometimes can’t even believe it’s my own skin when I look in the mirror because I just don’t recognize it!

The 3 Things That Made the Biggest Impact on My Skin (They’re FREE!)

Guess what? The three changes I made that have had the biggest on my skin are completely free. You don’t need to go run to the drugstore, you don’t need to shop online, you don’t have to go to a dermatologist, and you don’t need to spend any money at all.

1. I Cut Out Sugar-y Desserts

Y’all. I can’t believe I’m putting this on this list. You know I’m the woman with a massive sweet tooth. But it really is true: I believe that giving up sugar-y desserts have had a major impact on my skin.

Why do I say this? Because the few times I’ve had dessert in the past six months, my skin has broken out the following day. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

Now, don’t be feeling all badly for me about this, because in all honesty, when I crave dessert now, I crave something fruity and healthful. And sugar-y desserts taste way too sweet to me.

{I know. What is WRONG with me??! I gave up coffee and don’t really miss it + I’m saying that desserts are too sweet for me?? Is this a midlife crisis??}

2. I Drink a Gallon of Water Per Day

Yes, I do. And I think this is one of the big reasons my skin looks so much healthier and vibrant… It’s finally hydrated after years of being dehydrated!

If you are interested in all the details on how I drink a gallon of water per day and how I got started doing this, I shared all the details in this post here.

3. I Get Enough Sleep {Almost} Every Single Night

Okay, this one really surprised me. Why? Because I had no idea that I was woefully sleep-deprived and it was killing my complexion, among many other things.

I always just thought I was probably one of those people who could function on less sleep. I prided myself on the fact that I could go for a whole week and function well on 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours of sleep. I always tried to shoot for 7 hours, but I never did a lot to rearrange my life to make it consistently happen because I thought I was fine just as I was.

Jason (my nutritionist) started pushing me to really pay attention to how much sleep I was getting and how I felt as a result. He was convinced I wasn’t getting enough sleep and pushed me to try to make 7-8 hours of sleep per night my goal.

Well, let’s just say, I couldn’t deny the results. When I consistently got 7 hours of sleep per night for 5-6 nights in a row, I felt like a different woman! I was happier, healthier, less anxious, much more relaxed, and much more focused.

A huge added benefit was that my skin started looking remarkably better when I made sleep more of a priority.

Now, it’s rare for me to get less than 7 hours of sleep and I shoot for 7 1/2 to 8 hours every night. Yes, it means that I’ve had to re-prioritize some things to make it happen, but it has been SO worth it for me!

So there you go. Three free ways I’ve drastically improved my complexion. No dermatologist appointment required.

I can’t guarantee that if you try these things you’ll have the same results, but hey, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! 🙂

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.