My Skincare Routine (Acne, Lasers, Dermaplane and More!)
I have been so excited about putting this post together! PaleOMG continues to grow with expanding from food, to fitness, to fashion and now I’m dipping my toes into some beauty and even some travel coming up! I’ve expanded so much in the last couple years because I continue to grow and change and my interests do as well! It sucks I even have to preface this, but I do: If this kind of post does not interest you (well, I don’t know why you even opened the post then…duh), if you don’t care about skincare or beauty, that is totally fine. No need to tell me, no need to comment. If you are just interested in food, then check out my 650 FREE recipes. I can guarantee that you have not tried all 650 recipes. This sort of post interests others and it interests me, so I will continue to share posts like this in the future!
BUT ANYWAYS, let’s talk beauty!! Over the past year, I decided to really concentrate on getting my skin to look its best. I’ve been in the sun my entire life, I had cystic acne years ago that led to a lot of scarring, and I’m getting older. No, I’m not old, I’m just getting to the age that I can see my skin not bouncing back like it used to. So after talking to a friend in town with absolutely beautiful skin, I was able to find a medical esthetician in my area and began seeing her monthly to work on my skin.
But let’s quickly go back to the beginning. Back to when I had acne. Because of how much I was working out (hormone imbalance) and because of some of the foods I was eating, my skin was terrible. But even with working out less and removing those foods, I still had acne and depleted every option and finally went on accutane. If you want to read about my experience, you can read it here. After accutane, my skin looked awesome! But then after exactly 1 year, acne began to sneak back in. So I began taking spironolactone (which I had tried pre-accutane and it hadn’t worked) and that helped A TON. But, I still had some acne. So I cut out eggs and nuts after someone on my instagram mentioned eggs causing some acne. With cutting out eggs, using spironolactone, drinking a sh*t ton of water every day, and using the products I’m listing below, I’m able to keep acne under control and my skin looking pretty smooth and better with each month! No, I’m not a person who uses only organic, food grade products. I use organic deodorant because that seems to work for me, but when I used coconut oil to clean my face or whatever organic product that was out there, my skin wasn’t it’s best.
I’m sharing on here what I use. I’m not saying you should use it or even that it’s the best product of all products. This post is not sponsored by anyone and no one has given me free sh*t. There are plenty of things out there that have worked for other people and not for me. I am all about eating clean food, but I am also all about modern medicine and technology. I will always work out my hardest and eat my best, but if there is something out there that can help me age better and feel better in my skin, I’m all for it. So let’s get on with it! In case you didn’t read my accutane post, here is a photo of what my skin looked like in 2013.
And here is what it looks like now, 100% break out free on this day! Make up free version:
Make up version:
So let’s talk about daily routine. First, I’ll talk about skincare then we can chat makeup!
My morning routine includes three things in this order:
- Mandelic acid
- Vitamin C serum
- Wink Eye Rejuvenation Cream
- Some sort of SPF – I like Cetaphil for my face sunscreen and I also LOVE Sanitas Solar Block (I just wish it was waterproof)
At night, I use these 5 things in this order:
- Makeup remover pads (when I do wear makeup)
- Mandelic acid face wash
- Mandelic acid daily repair pads
- Vitamic A serum
- Derm-A-Renew Formula
- Cetaphil face lotion (or any fragrance free lotion I have on hand)
I had to start slow with using all these products together because it can dry your skin out real fast. So if my skin ever does get dry, I just cut back a little bit and don’t use every product. But when I am able to, I wake up in the morning and my skin seriously looks better than it did the night before.
Now let’s talk about makeup. I put on full makeup probably 2 times per week. Most days all I do is fill in my eyebrows, put on a little concealer under my eyes and a bit of bronzer because my face is pretty pale from constantly wearing a hat and wearing sunscreen and then I’ll use a little mascara. I work at home or at the gym, so I don’t need much but I do feel better when I put a little bit on. It just makes me feel like I still have my life together when I might be in my pajamas all day cooking.
For full makeup days, this is what it looks like:
- I use Jane Iredale Under Eye Concealer under my eyes with a concealer brush and blend it with a sponge applicator.
- I next use Jane Iredale Loose Mineral Powder (which also has SPF 20) with powder brush all over my face. This powder is great because it can be minimal coverage or you can really get amazing coverage. And it looks great for photos! Next, I use a pressed powder in a darker color to apply in the shadows of my face. So by my cheekbones, top of forehead, around the bottom of my face and onto my neck, with this angled brush. Lastly, I use just a little bit of Too Faced Blush and then use Hourglass Lighting Powder right below my eyes and above my cheekbones to get a little shimmer and shine and then on the ridge of my nose.
- Next, I move on to the eyebrows and eyes. I recently got my eyebrows microbladed and I was originally going to talk about it in this post. BUT my lovely eyebrow lady does half the hair lines that would normally go in, just so you’re not super freaked out when you look in the mirror and they look like they are drawn on in permanent marker. She’s kind. Then you go in 4 weeks later and she fills the rest in and the missing spots that didn’t take or faded. So come middle of August, I go in for my second appointment and then I will be doing a full post about my experience. I just didn’t want to give you my feedback until the full procedure was done! So stay tuned! Anywho, eyebrows. I fill mine in with Anastasia Dipbrow Waterproof Pomade using a brow brush.
- I then move to the eyes. Just FYI, all makeup artists seem to start with eyes then move to face, but that’s just not how I do it. And I’m not a makeup artist nor did I go to school for it, so I just do what works for me. So, with my eyes, I use Smashbox Shadow Primer on my eyelids and then I use either Naked2 Palette or Naked3 Palette. I just LOVE those shadows! And for shadows, I have no rhyme or reason. I fill in a lighter color on my lid then mix in a dark color as I move up my eye then fill the crease in with a dark brown, grey or black! This chick is one of my favorites (and only, really) to watch on YouTube because she does stunning makeup, and she IS stunning! If you’re trying to figure out eyeshadows and how to apply, she has all kinds of videos!
- After lids, I do my eyeliner. I get questions all the time about eyeliner and I’m DEFINITELY no pro, I just do what I like, and I like the cat eye look. I use this Skinny Liquid Eyeliner to make it easier to apply and more precise, but there are tons of other products out there to choose from. If you’re wondering how to do a cat eye look, there are also a million tutorials. Here’s a super simple one! After I do my eyeliner, I apply Loreal Telescopic Mascara. This has been my favorite mascara since college, I love it!! If I’m wearing fake eye lashes that day, I use Ardell Lashes. These aren’t super fancy lashes but they do they trick and I can reuse them a lot of the time. I apply them with Duo Lash Glue and they stay in place like a mother. I’ve done full on sweaty CrossFit workouts with these lashes on and they don’t budge! It took a while to get the hang of putting on my own lashes, but you get it down the more you do it, just like anything!
- Lastly, I like to put white liner on the bottom lid of my eye because I think it just makes your eye pop and look more alert!
That’s it! I use all kinds of different lip colors together and just play around with them depending what I’m wearing!
Now let’s talk about some “procedure” stuff I’ve done! Like I said above, I did microblading, but I’ll be talking about that when it’s all over. I’ve never gotten eyelash extensions because I don’t want to keep up with it and I don’t like how they look when it’s time to get them redone. I’ve also never had my lips filled (obviously, they’re thin AF) even though I’ve always had a little interest in it. I just know very few women who have had their lips done and it’s not completely obvious. And I just don’t want that. The better I get at makeup, the better I will be at overfilling my lip liner. I’ve also heard about permanent makeup for your lips, so if my eyebrow lady decides to do that, I may give that a go. But that’s for another topic, another day!
What I have done is plenty of chemical peels. I’ve done numerous ones over the years and love them, but they definitely range depending on the person who does them. I use to go to a well known plastic surgery center here in Colorado to their facial aesthetics department to get chemical peels and the last time, she burned me pretty bad and it took MONTHS to heal. So make sure you don’t trust just anyone. I love chemical peels (even though they suck to heal from) because they make your skin glow and look younger. I will continue to do them every 6 month to 1 year to keep my skin looking younger as I age.
I also see my medical esthetician every 4-6 weeks. Every time I go in, she does extractions if I have any breakouts, then does dermaplane which is pretty much shaving your face to take off the top layer of dead skin and the fine hairs. She then does different treatments such as BBL Broadband light to help with fine lines, wrinkles, tone/color and skin tightening. The dark spots she removes are always the most obvious and make my skin look so much smoother. I’ve done these treatments with her for probably less than a year and my skin has never looked better. She is truly amazing. I also recently did another procedure with her (which I mentioned on snapchat that I would tell you guys about)!
This procedure is called ProFractional. When I told my esthetician that I was starting to see some deeper lines around my smile and that I didn’t want to do fillers, she mentioned ProFractional. It resurfaces the skin and rebuilds the collagen, so you’re rebuilding new collagen to help with these fine lines (unlike fillers, where you are just filling it). You can read all the science stuff about it here. They numb your face before and mine may have worn off a bit, but I can tell you that it was absolutely the most painful thing I’ve ever done. Ever. And you bleed a lot, which makes it more dramatic afterwards. I was questioning if I should even show you the photos, but I’m going to since all I’ve ever done on this blog is be completely 100% transparent. So here ya go!
Frightening, right?! But this is over 5 days, so you can see that it heels pretty quickly. On the first day, I went straight home and just worked from home. But I went out and about all other days, just put a hat on and had to explain a few things to people on the gym. I was able to put makeup on at day 4, when the scabbing started to go down. Even on day 5, it’s still just a tad swollen, but 2 weeks out, I was really able to see the difference. I didn’t take a real before and after photo, and I apologize for that, but I truly was able to see a huge difference in fine lines and wrinkles by my smile and cheeks. Will I do it again? Yes, but it will have to be probably a year out, when I have forgotten how painful it was. And when my husband is out of town so he’s not questioning why the hell I’m doing this to myself. Just FYI, this is how I felt…
Last but not least, I also get botox in my forehead. I was questioning if I should say this because people FREAK OUT about it, but that’s because they just don’t know anything about it. If you think Jennifer Aniston of JLo or Gwen Stefani or whoever else is aging well out there hasn’t had botox and they just have great genes, you’re an idiot. I started noticing wrinkles sticking a couple years ago and I did something about it and I’m so glad I did. It just keeps those lines from getting deeper. I can also say that just like with chemical peels, not everyone who does Botox is trustworthy. The person I go to now is 10 million times better, it’s not painful with her AND it doesn’t feel quite as weird as it has when injected by someone else. She is by far the best I’ve been to. I also only get it done every 6 months or so, so it’s not something I have to do on a monthly basis or anything like that.
So there ya go! That’s what I do. It’s a sh*t ton of different stuff, but it’s something that is important to me. I take such good care of my body and I want to do the same to my skin as well. I’ll probably do more things in the future and share them with you here because I really wish more people would share their “secrets” and what they have done. I also wish people would show the ugly side of it. Sure, it’s great to see results, but showing what you went through to get there, I think is important also.
If you are in the Denver area, here is the information of who I use for my skin:
- Shawn Haviland at Cherry Hills Facial Aesthetics 720-459-7960
- Marci Tarango at Cherry Hills Facial Aesthetics 720-459-7960
Again, this post was not sponsored. I use some affiliate links for makeup, but I’ve paid for all the makeup, treatments and procedures I’ve had done. I’m just very happy with my experiences with these two people and wanted to share it with you, in case you are in the Denver area!
If you have questions, please leave them here. I only answer emails once a week so I wouldn’t want to miss yours or not get back to it for a while. Again, if this post does not interest you (not sure why you’ve read this far) or you don’t agree with what I do for my own skin, no need to tell me. I do what works FOR ME and I share that information, that is it. I am not recommending it to others, I am not a doctor or a specialist, I am merely a person who is sharing what I have done. Period. So again, no need to leave mean comments or hateful words, those comments will be erased.
Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.
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283 thoughts on “My Skincare Routine (Acne, Lasers, Dermaplane and More!)”
I appreciate your honesty!! You look amazing! Micro blading and Botox ftw!
OMG! you are so hilarious..I love this! I started doing laser treatments for my Rosacia and fine line/collagen stimulation about 2 yrs ago . Hormones in your 30s suck!! One of my laser treatments she said you may have a little swelling..well on day 2 and 3 i looked like a cracked out Amanda Bynes..everyone at work,my hubs and family were so concerned..it didn’t hurt but I looked CRAZY.. would i do it again? ya bet your ass i would! It took away all my redness. My maintenance lasers are way less intense now.. I love the way my skin looks doing these procedures..
Keep your post coming about this!! I love it! xo
@Katrina – I have rosacea as well, and am highly considering a series of photofacials because NOTHING else is working the way I want it to! Worth it? My dermatologist charges $1800 for a series of three which seems outrageous – but I’m also not sure I trust the med spas that charge close to nothing!
I literally don’t wear makeup at ALL, like, eyeliner and mascara on super special occasions is all – and this was really interesting! I’m glad you posted this. I have bad acne too, some cystic, and it gives me hope to see your beautiful skin now and know that it can be alleviated. Thanks for the product recommendations, Juli!
I am 28 and derms are starting to reccomend retionol to me- from what I read it helps with general evening out of skin, preventing wrinkles etc but can be a little harsh on skin. Do you prefer the mandelic acid to that? Or use them in combination? I looked up the acid online & it has great reviews. Thanks!
i like the combination!
This post is awesome and I love how you are evolving your brand… thank you for the recommendations and the insight… why, as women, are we often criticized for wanting to look our best because we chose procedures to keep our skin/body in the best health? It’s no different than making great food choices, so I see your evolving posts as a wonderful marriage of overall health, fitness and wellness.
Bottom line, thank you!
exactly!! i hate when women criticize others for that!!
I’ve been anticipating this post for awhile now!!! I read your cystic acne post when I was dealing with an out of nowhere cystic acne breakout after starting Crossfit, and it really helped to see someone else went through the same thing for most likely the same causation. It was totally defeating for awhile, and I even avoided going places with friends, or in general, and even the gym.
I started taking spironolactone, and it was definitely the game changer for me! But I still had a lot of scarring to deal with, so I can totally relate to going to any length to make my skin look better. I did painful laser treatments that made my face look absolutely ridiculous for a few days. I’ve done at home chemical peels, microdermabrasion and whatever else I can try. Sure it sounds crazy, but most people don’t realize how absolutely detrimental acne and scarring can be on your self esteem and self worth until it happens to you.
I take top priority with taking care of skin now, and it was awesome to hear about the things that you tried that I can look into next!!
Loved this post!!
people who have never had acne don’t understand it, but it’s heartbreaking. i had so many days and nights just crying and crying because i felt completely lost and alone and didn’t want to go outside. glad you were able to find spironolactone as well!! it’s amazing!
I have to chime in here because I 150% understand and have been there with you ladies. Thanks for sharing because its so super helpful and reassuring to know that other woman deal with this too. Someone else commented and I share the same sentiment – hormones in your 30’s suck!
Thank you for you post and this comment! You are so right! People who never had to deal with acne don’t understand! 10 years later, all the procedures and medicine and on my 2nd round of accutane and 2 years of aip eating and hormone balancing I am still dealing with cystic acne. This post gives me hope that one day my skin will be good again. Thank you for being such a bright spirit and delight to read and follow!
Thank you so much for sharing! I had a very similar experience with acne growing up (was on Accutane in high school) and now at 28 years old (with bad skin once again) I keep asking my body if it knows that I’m not a 16 year old girl anymore! It gets frustrating and I appreciate you sharing your before/after photos. It gives me hope 🙂 I look forward to exploring some of the products/procedures you have used. Have a great day!
I’m 27 and have battled cystic acne on and off since I was a teen – especially the lower half of my face. The game changer for me was removing dairy from my diet about a year ago. After reading inconclusive research online about how it may contribute to hormones among other things. I tested the theory out for 3 weeks- at that point I was at my wits end and figured it was worth a try. For those 3 weeks I 100% cut out all dairy, whey proteins, etc. and replaced with substitutes such as almond milk and rice protein powders.
Everyone is different but turns out for *me* dairy was driving my cystic acne. I only am posting this as an FYI in case anyone else is struggling and may be experiencing the same driver of their breakouts – I wish someone had told me years ago that my problem was mainly rooted in my diet.
Thanks so much for this honest skincare post! I was not blessed with naturally great skin so I get a little stabby when I see people who are able to just use simple and natural stuff like coconut oil and have their skin look amazing, haha. My skin is much more high-maintenance, and it also required Accutane at one point! I’m 25 and am noticing some forehead wrinkles and have honestly considered getting botox as well, I’m really happy that you mentioned that you get botox because I’ve always felt like I’d get judged if I ended up going through with it.
Thank you so much for the honest post! Really helpful information for skin concerns ❤️
Thanks for sharing! As someone who has also struggled with acne and been on the Accutane boat, I can totally relate. I’m starting to notice my laugh lines too and am wondering why you chose to not get fillers? Dermaplaneing (if that’s a word!) looks so scary, I’ve talked to others about it before. It just freaks me out. Fillers seem like they would be easier. What do you think?! PS so glad you shared the pics though! its good to know exactly what id be signing up for!!
for me, i just think i’m too young for fillers at 28. and i think fillers are pretty obvious and plastic looking. i’m sure some people have had that done and don’t look like that, but that’s just what i’ve seen. and they aren’t permanent, you have to get them refilled. with pro fractional, you’re rebuilding the collagen instead of just putting fake material in it. i would just rather rebuild something if i can before turning to other products!
Thank you! I love that you posted about all the skin care stuff most people are afraid to talk about. I’ve always had pretty bad skin and I also have acne scars so I’m looking to do some stuff like this in the future. Great post!
You are such an inspiration! Though I’ve never considered having any of the above done, I give you serious props for doing it, being proud of it and being happy with it. And of course being willing to share with others in hopes it will give them strength to do what’s best for them and not be ashamed of it. Thank you!
Hi! What do you eat for breakfast since you’ve cut out eggs? I’ve recently discovered I’m allergic but trying to keep a paleo diet and lifestyle. Thanks!
plenty of things! i show many of my breakfast on instagram. i just normally eat a sausage and green and maybe some potato!
Thank you for being so honest! I love how you don’t use only natural products, because sometimes science just works better!
Wow. I’m on the same medication as you but for PCOS which is also a hormonal imbalance when I was in my twenties I also was on Accutane. I feel ya!!! I found SKYN to be a great lazy girl product there facial wipes are awesome they even soap up without water and tou don’t have to rinse!!!For make up I use dr. Perricone no make up makeup. Vitamin C at night. Thanks for sharing such a personal experience!!
Thanks so much for sharing! I have no idea how ANY of this works and am a complete dummy when it comes to skincare. My first thought is how expensive it must all be! I know you said you see a medical esthetician…does insurance cover any of that since it’s “medical?” I’m guessing not but figured it was worth asking. If I could afford to do it, I totally would.
My second thought is, “I’m glad someone else shares my love for that Neosporin overnight lip stuff!” I swear by the stuff and am constantly professing my love for it. I know you didn’t talk about it, but it was in the pictures so I had to comment! Thanks, Juli!
no, it’s not covered by insurance, all out of pocket. definitely an investment. but i see it just like i see eating healthier food: it’s more expensive now, but it will pay off long term. i would cut out other things before i would cut out the esthetician just because i believe in it so much!
I am SO excited for your microblading post. I fill in my eyebrows every day and have seriously thought about it but don’t know anyone who’s done it. Can’t wait to hear how you like it!
Your skin journey sounds a little bit like mine! I think you look amazing and it can seem like it is a maze to find out what works for our skin, but once you find your sweet spot, it is amazing! I do have a question for you. How long have you been on spironolactone (the second time), have you experienced any other side effects (besides having to pee a lot)…like weight gain, and what is your dose? I’ve been on it now for about 2 months and it is slowly starting to work. Thanks Juli!
I’ve been on it for a year and a half now! i take 50mg per day and the only side effect i’ve had is being constantly thirsty, but it’s gotten a little better!
I was prescribed spironolactone and it has been working however I am experiencing severe joint pain as a side effect :/ I’m so sad acne or joint pain???? Thank you Juli for sharing your experience with us! Its greatly appreciated just as much as your food posts!
i had joint pain with accutane but never spiro! i’m sorry, that’s so frustrating!
Thanks so much for sharing! I haven’t done any major skin treatments other than occasional facials and trips to the dermatologist, but now I’m in my 30s and want to try some new things. I’ve been thinking about getting a chemical peel before my wedding. How far in advance do recommend I do it?
i had my chemical peel done in feb and my wedding was in april! but talk to your esthetician first and see what they recommend!
Your skin looks great – congratulations! Thanks for being honest about how you got your results – so many people hate admitting they get botox. I wanted to know how (aside from word of mouth recommendations) you found your doctors. Online ratings can be very ambiguous and it’s difficult to find someone great.
from a friends recommendation! her skin just looked so good so i asked if she went somewhere and she gave me the info!
Who do you see for Botox in Colorado? I live in Greenwood Village and have been thinking about it for a while but don’t trust anyone near my face. I appreciate your transparency in your blog. I’m sure it’s hard to publish such personal photos but it’s a huge help. Thank you!
i go to Marcy Tarango at Cherry Hills Facial Aesthitics! (720) 459-7960 she’s AMAZING!!
YOU ARE VERY BRAVE!
Thank you for this post!!! I’ve been looking forward to it since you started talking about some of the procedures you were going through. I’ve been on the fence about doing Profractional because of the recovery time. I’ve done a little filler in that area and absolutely love it! Also, thank you for talking about Botox! I’ve been doing it in my forehead for awhile now. A lot of people will judge but honestly no one notices that I do it. It’s not like my face is frozen. People think the weirdest things. Thank you for being real, I’ve truly loved following your journey.
I love this!!! I am on my third month of Accutane, also live in good ol supa dry Colorado(Boulder) and we are close in age(I just turned 30 this year) so this is SO RELEVANT thank you!!! I was thinking of chemical peels after my course is done because i have some deep lines and scarring from some really nasty cysts(yay!). I also have a huge ass crease between my brows because I literally got a cyst where my brows furrowed and it created like…seriously a valley in my forehead, so maybe botox isn’t that crazy of an idea…
I love the UD shadows too, they are my fav!
I just learned this myself so passing on my newfound knowledge, but apparently you can’t rely on SPF in moisturizers or makeup to do much of anything, you really have to use a stand alone sunscreen with a good PA factor which is what filters UVA rays. I’ve heard that isn’t regulated very well in the states, but it is in Asia (where they have AMAZING skin care and love staying pale). The Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence sunscreen(I get it on Amazon) is the best, it is SPF 50 PA++(so high UVA protection as well as the standard UVB protection), but it plays well with makeup, leaves no white cast, no greasy residue, and almost acts like a primer? It kind of leaves your skin feeling super soft and almost powdery if that makes sense(Or if you have ever used like the Benefit Porefessional face primer, it kind of dries to that sort of finish).
And lastly, you should come join us at the /r/makeupaddiction subreddit on Reddit, we LOVE to talk about this stuff
Hi Juli! I was anticipating this post a lot because I’m currently in my last month of accutane. I did it as a last resort now at 29 after years and years of cystic acne, spironolactane, pro activ, and all the topical meds you can imagine. I am dreading what my skin may look like after Accutane is over. I had super oily skin and scars prior to this treatment and scared of what’s going to happen after. Thanks for posting about the products you use… It gives me a good idea of what I could try after. Thanks again for being open about your struggles with acne. People who don’t suffer from it just have no idea the hit your self esteem and emotions can take when you are constantly trying to battle breakouts. Love your blog and posts!!
I guess I just don’t understand why wrinkles are so bad. It’s a fact of life…. get older and your body shows it. Why try and have 20 year old skin forever? I’d rather spend my money on travel, good food and adventures.
I have been on accutane twice so I can definitely empathize with acne struggles but my skin now doesn’t define my life.
i never said wrinkles were a bad thing! i just prefer less, but that’s ME, that’s why i’m sharing my story. never said anyone had to do that, just saying what i like!
Thank you for being so open and honest with us!
I am very interested in dermaplane but the old wives tale of “the hair will come back in black and thicker” has kept me terrified to try it. I am fair haired, fair skin and it is the vellus hair (peach fuzz), but its one of those things. It might not come back black… but what if it does?!?!
I don’t have a skin routine really, I was my face with water, then a makeup remover wipe, then water again and then an spf lotion. Probably not the best routine for my 30yr old skin.
Hi Juli! I love this post and your honesty. I was just wondering how many units of botox you do in your forehead? Also, do you do your entire forehead? You look great and I have been thinking about trying botox but I’m scared!
i think 15-20, but i’m not 100% sure. and i just show him the spots I’m not a fan of and he just takes over!
Hey Julie! I love reading your posts! Thanks for sharing your beauty tips, and I am glad you found a skincare regime that helps keep your acne under control. I use Rodan + Fields, #1 premium acne brand and #1 premium anti-aging brand in the US! These products were created by the same doctors that created ProActiv. Having struggled with acne during pregnancy and while working out at my Crossfit gym the last 6 years, I needed something that would produce amazing results. R+F’s Unblemish regimen helped me tremendously, and now the Redefine AMP Md Roller is helping with my scarring and fine lines! When your skin changes, I would love to share more with you about these products 🙂
Thanks for always sharing your fashion and recipes, I am about to go make some of your waffles now!
Have you ever tried those LED face masks – they look like the Jason killer masks and shine different light for different issues/results? I was thinking of getting one, but don’t know anyone who has personally tried them. Great post !!! Glad you are finding things that work for you and help you gain back your confidence
i haven’t!! sounds fun though haha!!
THANK YOU so much for your honesty. This is such a helpful post. I wish more women would just be honest about what it takes to look the way they do- it will help others, plus I think it’s important that . I have struggled with bad skin, and I just started a prescription of Atralin (a type of Retin A) and it is doing WONDERS. I always thought that I should wait to get my skin under control before I start treatments like peels, and the timing of this is just perfect. I just got engaged and want my skin to look great on my wedding day (I have a year to get there, whew!).
Great post! As far as eye creams do you use/recommend any?
i don’t use any so i can’t recommend anything yet!
Wow Juli, giving up eggs is the one thing i haven’t done and really struggle with if I can! My acne is not horrible but it of course bothers me and makes me extremely self conscious. Congrats on coming so far and thank you for sharing! I made the peanut butter and jelly chia pudding last night. Can’t wait to try it!
I am so glad you shared this! While I have not struggled with acne, I have been getting treatments for wrinkles and fine lines for about 10 years now (I am now 35). I do not regret any of the procedures I have had since it makes me feel more confident and I am preventing getting deep lines when I am older. A lot of people do freak out when they hear I have had botox or fillers because they think I am too young but at the same time they do not even notice I have had anything done. There is a huge misconception that if you get fillers or botox you are going to look crazy and really fake. I also had C02 laser on my face which is similar to what you had. I think it looks more horrific than it really is. I had my whole face done including my eyes and the next day my face was so swollen and oozing I scared my family 🙂 Mine was not quite as painful since in addition to the numbing cream my doctor prescribed anti anxiety meds and pain meds for me to bring to the office the day of the procedure. See if you can get some medication next time! It still hurt a little but I would not say it was extremely painful.
thanks for the recommendation, erika! i’ve heard great things about the co2 laser, too!
Hi, I love your blog and your openness about everything. I’m turning 40 and it’s been about 5 years since my face started showing brown spots and it’s getting to the point where I can’t hide with make up anymore. Do you have any recommendations? Do you know if it’s food related or sun damage? I’m a stay at home mom so going to a skin specialist is not a priority. I did go to a SPA to get facials but it actually didn’t work my face actually broke out and was super irritated. any ideas?? Thank you so much.
probably sun damage but i have no clue. i have sun spots and that’s what she works on every time i see her. she does the light treatment to treat those spots
Juli, you’re the best! I love the honesty on everything! I, myself, am a huge believer in starting Botox at a young(er) age. I worked for cosmetic doctors and they taught me that it should be seen as a preventative measure, not something that you start once the wrinkles set in!
I’ve struggled with acne my whole life and even now struggle with adult acne and scarring. I love the information you’ve provided and really appreciate it!
Love this post! Thanks for being so honest and sharing what does and doesn’t work for you! I’m kind of clueless when it comes to skincare, so it was really interesting for me learning about these different procedures 🙂
Just one kind of random question I thought of when you mentioned not eating eggs, I know you like Rx bars, do the egg whites in those bother you at all? I finally got my hands on an Rx bar to try and really liked it, but I find that too many eggs seem to mess with my stomach, so was just curious if you noticed any effects from them!
i can get away with eating some eggs on occasion. i’ll have eggs if i go out to brunch and i won’t break out. so when i eat an rx bar or 1/2 one, i don’t notice any issue, i just try to not eat them every day!
i notice if i eat egg whites, i dont usually have as much of a problem. Egg yolks and other high fat foods (avocados, nuts, PB, ) are DEFINITE triggers for me 🙁 dairy and some cheese too . all the good stuff DAMNIT.
I love your post! I just laughed out loud at work at the last picture. I’m so happy when people find what works for THEM. I’ve suffered with acne since my teenage years (now 31). It’s seriously so debilitating to the point that you just become mad at the world. I’ve tried everything, from eating paleo to two rounds of Accutane. I’ve had the most success with Accutane, and I advise anyone who’s ever been a long term acne sufferer to at least give it a try, even when everyone says “its poison, it’s so bad for you.” Not wanting to ever leave your house because of your face is also bad for you. I’ve had a few chemical peels myself and am actually considering botox for a wrinkle I’ve developed on my forehead from my permanent resting b*tch face. I still have breakouts, but nothing like I used to. I try to avoid dairy like the plague, but sometimes, it’s just worth it. I will definitely look into some of the things you’ve mentioned here!
Thank you so much for sharing this post Juli! It takes a lot of balls to just put yourself out there and for that, mad respect girl. Also…you can tell a lot about a person when they can make fun of themselves even in their struggles. You’re bloody picture next to the vampire had me rolling. Bravo!
I was THRILLED to see that you use Vivant products! I just started using them and my skin has absolutely transformed! I’m so excited that I’ve finally found something that fights my stupid acne. Thanks for keeping it real and for the shrimp curry recipe. I always look forward to the night my husband cooks that! =)
Thank you for the informative and honest post about your beauty routine, Juli! I started Botox in my early thirties and I’m 43 now and don’t have any wrinkles on my forehead. It’s a great way to prevent those deep wrinkles from ever forming. I’m definitely going to check out some of the products and procedures you recommend. My 3 favorite beauty products right now are sunscreen, Retin-A for anti aging and Dudu Osun soap for acne. The soap looks pretty weird but it’s the ONLY thing I’ve ever tried that has completely cleared up my acne. Best of all it’s only around $3 a bar. Looking forward to reading more beauty posts from you!!
That vampire comparison picture is terrifying. You should time your next one with Halloween 😉
I’ve never considered doing any kind of procedures like that. I’ve never even had a facial, sad but true! My skin isn’t really all that great, so maybe I should look into that in the near future haha. Love hearing about your make up routine though. I really want the Naked palette, but I have a knock off drugstore version which is holding me over until I can pull the trigger on $50 eye shadow. Someday!
that is GENIUS, Amber! it took me quite a while to pull the trigger on the palette and i finally did for my wedding and it’s totally worth it! and it lasts forever!
I can vouch for this: I’ve had my Naked 3 palette for over 2 years now and it’s still going strong! Even the colors I use on a daily basis!
Thanks so much for sharing!! I’m getting married in 23 days, do you think that its probably not a good idea to try botox for the first time now? Does it “settle”? Did your eyebrows look differently afterwards or was it overly difficult to move your face?
i’m not the person to talk to about that, i would talk to a specialist. for me, i didn’t do anything too dramatic or new before my wedding. and it depends how trained your person is. it could move your eyebrows if they don’t know what they are doing
Thank you for being honest and sharing this post! I have been getting facials and dermaplaning, and been thinking about Botox for last 2 years . But every time I mention Botox, my BF tells me I will start looking like Joan Rivers lol After reading this post, I think I am going to call and schedule an appointment!
Thank you for the informative and honest post about your beauty routine, Juli! I started Botox in my early thirties and I’m 43 now and don’t have any wrinkles on my forehead. It’s a great way to prevent those deep wrinkles from ever forming. I’m definitely going to check out some of the products and procedures you recommend. My 3 favorite beauty products right now are sunscreen, Retin-A for anti aging and Dudu Osun soap for acne. The soap looks pretty weird but it’s the ONLY thing I’ve ever tried that has completely cleared up my acne. Best of all it’s only around $3 a bar. Looking forward to reading more beauty posts from you and have really enjoyed the added fashion and workout posts in addition to your wonderful recipes!
Thanks Juli! Your posts are always great to read – no matter what the topic is:) I love that you are branching out and expanding yourself. It’s always so fun to see what other people use on a daily basis! Just wanted to share I’ve also had and am still having acne struggles – even at 50! I always think I should be worrying about fine lines/wrinkles at this age but my focus is and always has been acne. I have found that cutting out dairy has helped immensly. I have two teenage boys who both started to break out like crazy, I cut dairy out for both and it has made a huge difference. I know – what works for me may not work for others, just sharing in case it helps someone:)
Thank you for writing this! Your skin looks great! I have two follow up questions:
1) Have you done anything to prevent wrinkles up until now, besides sunscreen? Do you feel the preventative measures helped, or your preventative procedure was pretty much unavoidable?
2) Do you take additional measures to control your acne if it gets worse during your time of the month?
the botox is definitely a preventive treatment because it keeps you from getting more wrinkles. and then all the products i listed help as well! and when my skin starts to get weird, i try to chug LOTS of water!
How much water do you drink every day on average?
probably 160+ ounces a day
I love this post! I love all the different areas you go with your blog; thank you! Just curious, when did you start getting Botox? I’m 25 and have some deep forehead wrinkles, and have had them since I was probably 19. I was reading a blog yesterday and the gal said she started getting it done when she was 25 so that her wrinkles wouldn’t get deeper and deeper as she aged. I guess I’ve always thought I would wait until I was in my late 30s or 40s, because that’s the age I associated with it. So now I’m curious as to when others start! Thanks, Juli!
i think i was 26 when i started getting botox! my wrinkles were already sunk in and it really cleared it up so i’m glad i did it early!
Just out of curiosity, do you think you could’ve gotten the same results now doing everything you are doing without being on Accutane first? I have struggled for years and my cystic acne is highly hormonal, even worse now that I’ve had a baby and I am dying to try Accutane out of desperation. I’ve been on every oral acne med out there with the exception of spironolactone. Some people say that Accutane helped at first but then their skin still breaks out later on so I’m not sure if it’s worth it. What are your thoughts? How long did you have to be on it?
no, i don’t think i could have done it without accutane. when i started getting acne again, it wasn’t cystic, just smaller break outs. i don’t know how else i would have been able to get away from the cystic acne without the accutane!
What color do you use in that concealer? I have the WORST dark circles under my eyes so I’m out to find some great concealer (thanks genetics).
Also, love this post! I love how your blog has evolved. I’ve been reading since 2012 and I honestly never hate any new post/idea/series you add. Thanks for being real and honest about beauty procdedures because I think women feel like we have to all be so secretive about what cosmetic procedures we do and then we have no way of really knowing how they are! I would rather hear an honest story/opinion before I go get something done, and that’s just so hard to find.
i use the yellow one! and thank you so much for continuing to read over the changing years! you’re awesome!
Juli, you rock.
I’ve seen your Instagram and how people can be horrible and awful on social media. It makes me sad that you have to caveat everything on your blog with “if you’re not interested, don’t read – I don’t want to hear about it” , but I totally get it!! I would do the same thing!
I heard a fantastic podcast yesterday by Tim Ferriss that was talking about how the most successful ventures are always started by people who “scratch their own itch”, or create a solution to a problem they have, The reason the most successful ventures are successful is because they provide a solution for themselves. That’s what you’re doing!! I just wanted you to know as a faithful reader of PaleOMG for several years – you rock. Keep doing you. Keep scratching your own itch!
Also, thank you for the make-up/beauty tips! Can’t wait to try some of these products!!
thank you so so much, maryll! i love that quote, because it’s so incredibly true! the people who are most successful out there are the one who solve their own issues and look for answers!
Spiralactone was working so well for my acne but it was causing my hair to be dry and brittle and thin. Did you experience this at all?
Hating that I have to choose between acne and hair! Sigh.
yes, my hair definitely changed, but my hair stylist gave me some great products! i’m doing a hair post soon and will share all those products in it!
I look forward to reading that post!
I am totally obsessed with your blog, and I love seeing it grow. I tell someone new about it every day lol. I just wanted to say that you really didn’t have to be so honest and open and I respect that you were SO MUCH! Please ignore all the assholes who comment asshole shit. I love reading your posts! You are beautiful <3
Love this post! I follow you on snapchat and always think your skin and makeup (and hair) look incredible!!!! Thank you for sharing with us!
I absolutely love this post! What lip color do you wear often? I love the bright pink!
i love maybelline color blur: https://www.maybelline.com/lip-makeup/lip-color/lip-studio-colorblur-matte-pencil/im-blushing I like the “i’m blushing” color the best then i just put some sort of gloss over it!
Thank you for sharing! I loved this post as well! I have done the laser too and it is super scary! Good for you! I want to do it all again but my house is eating up funds for that right now. Also, I know your details on the microblading are coming, but would you mind sharing where you went for that? I’m in the Denver area too and want to do this soon but don’t want to end up somewhere sketchy and a girl can only find out so much on google searches. Thanks! Love your blog!
Lea Curry here: http://www.blondiesbeautyshop.com
I was having a lot of random breakouts not long ago, and coconut oil ended up being the culprit. I didn’t realize it was highly comedogenic, so I switched to a blend of avocado, argan and jojoba oils for my “maturing” skin, and my face has been clear ever since. I make quite a few of my own beauty products because it’s so easy & cheap and I know exactly what’s going in them, but when I buy products, some of the companies I love are 100% Pure, Epic Mineral Beauty, Primal Life Organics and Acquarella (nail polish) if anyone is looking for beauty products and makeup with really clean ingredients that are organic, truly natural, truly toxin-free, etc. and that work.
Try duck instead of chicken eggs – duck eggs are not as inflammatory and are alkalizing (instead of acid-forming as chicken eggs are).
I am age 58, eat paleo/biofield (insulin). I take BioSil, Vit D, Vit K, Ubiquinol daily – you can apply Ubiquinol to the skin a few times per week, same with Vitamin E. I recently discovered Blackseed Oil (at an Indian market) – it is antimicrobial and it has anti-aging properties as well as prepares the skin for absorption of other skin nutraceuticals. In winter I use black oil straight, in summer I mix it with orange or rose water and apply morning and night. In the morning I use a sunscreen, 30 spf max. I use mineral powder I blend myself. Coconut oil is too heavy for my skin, but it is excellent at night just around the eyes. Sweet almond oil is also a very good moisterizer. In winter when my skin is superdry I make up a body butter from shea, coco, & mango butters with hazelnut, hemp & almond oils – excellent for chapped lips, & flaky skin. All year my cleansing agent is African black soap, face and body.
I make my own kefir from raw milk – it’s also excellent as a body lotion (you only smell like cheese for about 5 min. then neutral fragrance) – the lactic acid works as an exfoliant and restores the skin’s acidic pH.
Great post today! I was SO looking forward to this one. Thanks for being open with all of us.
Is Shawn the one that did the microblading?
How is the invisalign going? Hopefully faster than expected and less soreness.
no, but shawn did recommend my lady! and invisalign is going great! just started 5/10, it’s getting way easier! just ready to have these nubs off my teeth lol
Thanks Juli, I really enjoyed this post and look forward to reading more! I am wondering, in your picture of your face WITH makeup, did you use liquid foundation also? or was it just the loose powder you mentioned? You look great!
no, just the concealer under my eyes and the powder i showed!
I love this post, Juli, it’s great to see you expanding your brand! I’ve always believed that if something makes you feel happier with yourself, it’s the right choice for you.
In my early twenties, I struggled with hormonal acne that I was thankfully able to get under control with birth control pills. It sucks you’ve had to go through such an intense process, but thank you for sharing and always being so real!
thanks for sharing. i have struggled with cystic acne for the last 2 years. My dermatologist put me on doxycyline and it cleared up no problem! then BAM plateau…. i tried minocycline, solodyn, doxy again, other birth controls, and many different topical gels with no relief. ugh…. i recently asked to be put on Spironolactone, and it has been a game changer!!! My derm also put me on bactrim and my skin seems to be clearing up so much!!!! Accutane was going to be my last resort, but it hasnt come to that yet. Thanks for being so open with all of us.
Thank you for sharing your routine and for your honesty!
I have fought the hard fight against cystic acne and it is a Bitch to get rid of! What worked for me was cutting gluten. In a matter of 30 days my skin was clear and it truly changed my life!
I just turned 30 and now I am trying to fight wrinkles as well. I use Retin A and at some point will likely get botox but my husband does not approve of injectables so I will have to figure out a way to convince him or spend the money in secret. The Retin A also helped a TON with the occasional cystic acne flare I get form time to time. Did your husband have any hesitations about you getting botox? Any suggestions on how I can convince my hubby to be comfortable with the occasional botox? He has a very holistic view point of view on medicine which is wonderful and so frustrating at time.
Please keep us posted if you find any other amazing products for Anti Aging for for acne.
Thank you for all that you do!
i did it then told my husband afterwards. in the end, it’s my own choice what i do with my body. and then he was able to see that it didn’t change my face or make me look different. he knows that i will do what i want so he has backed off about that stuff. i think showing your husband information about botox and how safe it is would be helpful. education is always a great tool in anything!
Agreed, It is my choice what I do with my body. On an unrelated note if you are ever looking for great organic makeup you should check out W3llpeople.com. They have an amazing product line and their colors are wonderful. I know you are not the kind that needs to wear clean makeup but I promise you you won’t be disappointed. Most organic makeups lack a strong color palette but with this one a little goes a loonnngg way.
Thanks very much for the reply!
Wow! That’s a lot of time and effort and expense, but obviously so worth it for your satisfaction! I cannot imagine going through some of that stuff, especially the one that’s so damn painful, the profractional thing. Nope. Not for me. But dayum, you go grrl!
My “Secret”? I use Arbonne. I don’t sell it. I just love it. I ran out and used Laneige (from Target) for a couple weeks and had horrible breakouts when I went back to Arbonne. That stuff left my pores clogged the hell up. A couple weeks back on my Arbonne an my skin cleared up again. They make a peel product for at home use that when used once or twice a month (they’ll tell you weekly) makes a massive difference in your skin texture, tone, and clarity. Just my little “secret”….
I have had bouts of acne and believe 100% that my diet is the biggest factor. No gluten, no zits. That’s my story.
Thank you for sharing!
I always feel so bad when you mention the negativity you receive from others… I just wanted you to know that I appreciate you and everything you share on you site! Thanks for being you!
thank you so much, melanie!!
Love the honesty and that you are putting it all out there for people to see! I personally think it’s very demoralizing as a woman to see other women post about their products / routines and not share the full down and dirty of what they are ACTUALLY doing to look so fab. Haters gonna hate, keep on keeping on and thanks so much for all the resources you make available! 🙂
Thank you for being brave enough to share your acne and post-procedure photos. I too have finally conquered break-outs after YEARS of bad skin, and am ready to start the healing/de-scarring process. I love that you shared your esthetician’s information – I live in metro Denver and honestly don’t even know where to start in looking for one.
Love your instagram! Thanks for all that you share!
Great post! I started going to a dermatologist in 6th grade! Thank God my Mom didn’t mess around and got me to one. I also did a course of Accutane in my late 20s, life changing, although my acne wasn’t cystic I had horrible back acne and chest acne but have not had an issue since. I use Retin A for maintenance and have tried fillers once and plan to again. I do wish more people would talk about them. Even when I got them I felt like their was a stigma attached and didn’t want to tell anyone.
I am going to try the lashes you recommend. They look very natural and I am not a fan of the extensions because they look too fake in my opinion, plus being about the sweat life I don’t want to worry about the maintenance.
Love it!! What about that cute lipstick??! Sorry if I missed it written up there somewhere… Would love to know what it is! Thanks. 🙂
i love maybelline color blur: https://www.maybelline.com/lip-makeup/lip-color/lip-studio-colorblur-matte-pencil/im-blushing I like the “i’m blushing” color the best then i just put some sort of gloss over it!
Thank you! 🙂
Fantastic. Thank you for sharing what has worked for you. Your skin looks great. I used to suffer from cystic acne in my mid 20’s, very similar to the photo of you in 2013. It certainly is depressing, but thankfully I also found a solution and was able to clear my skin.
I love botox and not ashamed to admit it! I got it before our wedding and a couple of times after but stopped just before I became pregnant. Would like to get it again one day once I have finished breastfeeding. Most of the people I know in their late 30’s and 40’s who have great, natural looking skin use it too.
Have you had noticeable results from using the vitamin C serum?
i’m not sure if i can see a huge difference from the vitamin c alone since i’ve used other products then entire time that i’ve used the vitamin c. but the mix of all of the serums have definitely made a difference!
THANK YOU for sharing!!! Loved it and super appreciate the openness and honesty….you’re just the best!!!!
Thank you for posting this!!! What does the mandelic acid do? I’m a skincare junkie and I’ve never even heard of it!!
Also, what do you think helped the most with your acne scarring? I also struggled with cystic acne but after having gotten it under control, I’m still having a hard time getting rid of the scars!
it helps with acne, age spots, discoloration and helps diminish wrinkles. and i can’t say ONE thing has helped the most, but i think all the vivant products have really made a huge difference along with the chemical peels
I suffered from acne my entire life. I’m 27 now and just under two years ago I thought it was a brilliant idea to finally see a dermatologist. She confirmed that it was hormonal cystic acne. I was put on two topicals (Retin-A and Tretinoin) and Spirolactone. It took several months but it finally made me skin CLEAR. I was amazed! First time in my life. Not that long ago I started having breakouts again. I’m thinking it had to do with being outside and sweating a lot and the summer coming to an end (I’m a teacher). I called my derm and she upped my dosage for spiro and things are looking better, but not the best yet. I’m thinking eating an excess of sugar definitely contributed to my flare ups as well. The only thing that absolutely SUCKS is that once I decide to have kiddos, I gotta get off the medication and I know the breakouts will return. ALLLLL of this to say… that I can relate. I understand yo struggles. BUT you look phenom and you’re awesome and thanks for being so transparent and I thoroughly enjoyed this post! Keep on keepin’ on. 🙂
that’s so sucky that you can’t stay on it during pregnancy. no botox or spiro during pregnancy? noooooooo.
Awesome post! Random, but Check out SimonourianMD1 on Instagram. The shit he can do with a needle instead of surgery is freaking nuts. The videos and pictures are insane. I may be making a trip to LA down the road for my 50th bday, ha.
You’re a mf’ing saint! Thank you for keeping it real! I’m over here, just turned 30 on Monday, having a horrible breakout thinking I’m at a loss. This came at the right time! *runs and Google searches every product*
I love how thorough this was, thanks for sharing Juli! I was looking forward to reading this one. I worked at a plastic surgery practice for 3.5 years that also offered many of the treatments you described (hello free skin care perks!) and fell in love with mild chemical peels and the line SkinCeuticals. I’m all for a lot of natural, organic products too but MAN they are THE BEST.
Does your aesthetician offer HydraFacial? I think you’d love it. It’s a peel that exfoliates and hydrates and there’s no downtime beyond some redness afterward if you’re sensitive. Also, extractions aren’t a bitch like during traditional peels. It uses vortex/suction technology to literally SUCK the shit out of your pores and (if you’re into it) you can see all of the gunk that comes out in the machine’s tank.
I’ve had a resurgence of cystic acne that’s almost as bad as it was in high school and it’s super discouraging. I read your post about your experience with Accutane and I think tons of work stress + increased lifting is the culprit. Not sure if I’m ready for Accutane, but I’m looking for a way to balance my hormones and reduce stress.
yes she does! she used it for some stuff to suction out my blackheads, it’s so awesome!
Seriously the other day I saw a post and thought “man she has great skin…”. THANK YOU for sharing, and being open and honest about your routine/products/procedures.
Ain’t nobody got time for negative comments!!
XOXO thanks for thinking i have great skin, you’re awesome! compliments like that mean SO much to me since i’ve spent lots of time and money trying to fix previous issues!
Thanks for posting this! I can totally relate to the acne in your 30’s thing! I finished my first course of Accutane about five months ago and have found that I have started to break out with little pimples here and there . Did the same thing happened to you or was it only after about a year? Have you considered doing a second round of Accutane?
it was after a year so after i went back, she recommended spirolactone first before trying another round of accutane
First of all you’re hilarious and real and I really like that about you! I will say that bloody treatment looks like torture! You are brave for sure! I’m not sure if you have heard or read about some really awesome skin care lines that are only available through a consultant… I have a feeling you would LOVE them! They have an awesome reputation and are created by very well known dermatologist! I hate to sound “salesy” but if you’d like to hear about them or check them out please let me know! Best of luck in all you do!!
Thank you so much for posting this. I had the clearest skin until I started breaking out suddenly and it ruined my self esteem, I went to my dermatologist and thy out me on spirals tone which helps a lot but as you probably know..you cannot get pregnant on it!! So that’s a concern for me as I have clear skin now and want to get off of it after I get married. Also, have you heard of SkinPen? I’ve done that and it really helps with scarring and seems a little less invasive but similar to the treatments you mentioned.
Thanks for sharing what works and all the best,
Julie! I just wanna tell you that I follow you on IG and on snapchat and I truly love just the way you are and how you talk to all of us. I was anxiously waiting for this post!… I’m about to turn 30 years old on the 22nd of this month… And I have been suffering from adult acne ???? Oh gosh it is so annoying and frustrating sometimes I even feel like crying!… I’ve tried everything… Antibiotics and they’ve helped but it comes back. After reading this blog I want to go to a doctor that can help me answering all my questions to the treatments that you have mentioned.
I have also been considering Botox because my forehead has already three lines of wrinkles and in between my eyebrows there is one line that ugh it’s always there even my make up cracks there lol.
Once again thank you so much for all this info! You are awesome!!
Julie- I have followed your blog for forever, and your recipes are some of my favorites! Thank you so much for doing such an honest post about your struggles with your skin. People who have never had acne really have no idea. I found this clinic in San Francisco called the Skinsalvation Acne Clinic that totally changed my skin (and my life!) and there is no relief like finding the thing that works for you! It involved getting extractions and light chemical peels every two weeks for six months, in addition to changing out pretty much every skin, hair, deodorant, and laundry product I used to remove “cloggy” ingredients from my routine, but it worked so well for me. They also say no dairy or soy, and even ingesting coconut oil in food can be clogging. They have something like a 95% success rate in clearing up acne within 6 months to a year. So grateful! Trust me, I get it when you say the money is worth it for your confidence because it ended up being expensive, but I would do it again no question. Thanks again for being brave enough to share your experience!
On a side note, I think you would love Samantha Rahvendal on YouTube. She is hilarious and down to earth like you are, and killer on those makeup skillz 😉
Thank you for this amazing post! Seriously so many parts of it had me laughing out loud. I appreciate your transparency as well as product info. I used to be all, “i’m never doing botox” but since turning 35, I kinda sorta wanna. ha ha ha. Would love to read more posts like this and I love your cookbook!
Awesome post Juli! Thank you so much for being so transparent.
Although I’m not at the point in my life yet where I want to be spending the money on this, I always appreciate how open and honest you are, with everything. It’s real and refreshing!
Thanks for being so brave and sharing your life with the world.
This post was awesome! I love products and seeing routines. Thanks for sharing! Your brows look so great BTW, can’t wait for the microblading post. I already have so many questions.
Thank you for sharing all of this information and pictures and for being so brutally honest!! I love following you on IG and Snapchat, and of course your newsletters. You are hilarious. Thank you so much for taking the time to share all your wonderful recipes, fitness and fashion tips, and now the beauty stuff – I think it’s all great! I will definitely be checking out some of these products and procedures.
awwwww thank you so much, kelly!!!
I found this post topic to be really interesting. I’m not hating, just want to ask why. Why the chemical peels and botox? Is it so you can keep looking good at this present time? I mean, at age 70-80 we’re all going to be wrinkly anyway, so why not go with the flow of nature?
i do both of those things to help age more gracefully. i live in colorado which is incredibly dry and will end up speeding up the aging process since there is no moisture in the air. so i’m just doing what i can to age a little slower. it’s just like doing other things for our body like eating healthy or working out to look and feel your best. i workout and eat healthy because it makes me feel my best, and botox and chemical peels do the exact same thing!
I’ve struggle with acne for years and finally found the right mix of topical treatments from my derm… although I still get the occasional breakout. Wondering if the diet will finally make it better. I know you gave up eggs completely, but do you avoid nuts completely too?
Did you ever use BareMinerals? I used to use their products years ago and it really made my skin breakout. Since then I’ve avoided all mineral powders because I’m scared of breakouts again. Since you mentioned a mineral powder for makeup, I was just wondering if you had used any others and if there is a difference in them, in your opinion.
Thanks for sharing!!
yeah, i stay away from nuts mostly. i’ll have some random things once in a while, but rarely eat nuts daily. and i never snack on solely nuts. and yes, i did use BM in the past, but that was when i was having skin issues. i have no issues with the jane iredale makeup i use now!
BareMinerals works great for some people but really makes others break out because of the bismuth oxychloride. Seems like that ingredient in particular is trouble, so you could try EverdayMinerals, Alima Pure, or Plain Jane Beauty — I use these three and the products I have don’t have bismuth.
One reason I use Plain Jane & EverydayMinerals is that I could get makeup that actually matches my skin color. I wear a pretty light layer of makeup so it needs to match my actual skin color, and whenever I used more “normal” brands I found I really had to do heavy coverage and blend into my neck to not have that ring of not-matching around my face. Heavy/full coverage just doesn’t fit my style & feels uncomfortable to me. Alima has (used to have?) really vibrant colors.
I love this post! I also struggle with cystic acne but as an adult I can mostly keep it under wraps with my diet and skin care routine; although that hasn’t always been the case. I have a lot of scarring now which is getting better but it sucks! I was stoked to read about your Botox-im dying to do it in my forehead, my husband thinks I’m nuts but I have a huge deep wrinkly in between my eyebrows!! Love it! You’re the best-thanks for sharing!!
Thank you for posting this! I love it when you do skin care and make up routines. Can you do a tutorial sometime? Like a Vlog? I take spironolactone too for my acne and it’s the only thing that works. I need help with the scaring and mini-break outs though. Can I ask what dose you take? I take 50mg daily and it works well but I still get 1-2 pimples around my cycle. It sucks because it’s another scar and another set back when that happens 🙁
i may do a vlog someday! i tak 50mg a day. my dermatologist told me to up my dose when it gets closer to my period. i’ve done that when i have an event coming up or if i see a zit coming on. i would ask your doc if that’s something you could do!
This post made me cry. I have battled acne since I was 10. Yes, ten years old. Your 2013 picture is my reality right now. I am still going through testing for a hormonal imbalance (which my endocrinologist believes is the main culprit), but your post gave me hope and a plan of action to try. You have also shown me that not every natural beauty regimen is right for everyone. That it is ok to rely on modern medicine when you need to. Thank you for sharing your most candid shots and your honesty !
there is light at the end of the tunnel! it’s not always easy or smooth, but things will get better! I promise you!
Thank you so much for posting this! My teenage son is struggling with acne, so we are going to try the mandelic acid products.
I think this post of yours is my favorite on the blog so far!! Thank you for being so open with it! I’ve struggled with acne for about 8 years now, and I find ways to always calm it, but never cure it. I’m excited to try out some of your suggestions! Just two questions for you- First, you mentioned that if your skin seems dry, you won’t use all 5 steps at night. Which do you prioritize and keep, and which do you skip when it is dry? I just moved to Colorado, so I’m struggling with my skin being WAY more dry than usual! Second, I also might try taking eggs out of my diet. I’ve probably eaten eggs for my breakfast for almost every day the past 4 years. How long would you suggest taking them out to see if they could possibly be a cause? Thank you again for this post, it is so helpful!! You’re the best!
i usually always use the pads and i’ll just cut back on the vitamin a for a day or two because that’s usually what is the most irritating
As always, I so appreciate how you show up so honestly, Juli.
AND you are beautiful in all your pics! But I do want to say, my favorite – and the one I find most beautiful – is actually the non-make-up version.
Totally NOT judging the make-up ones – and anyway, it’s how YOU feel best that matters! And I hope you’re not offended by my offering feedback you didn’t ask for.
But just really felt drawn to say how beautiful you look without anything extra on!
Long time blog lurker (love your food!) and just wanted to say I love this post so much. Thank you for taking the time to give all the details, it really helps!
awwww thank you, emily!! glad you liked this post!!
Have you had any experience with laser hair removal? On your face or body? I’d love to hear any advice or recommendations you have for that too… please! 🙂
Hi Christi, I can chime in on laser hair removal – It was the best money I ever spent. After shaving my armpits for my whole life, my dark arab hair was making armpits dark. I decided to take the plunge and bought a group-on for 50% off laser at a really well known place in my neighborhood. The owners are Iranian, so they know what they’re doing with removing dark hair haha! Make sure to find a WELL REVIEWED place on Yelp – laser can burn you if its done incorrectly.
I started with my armpits and needed only 6 treatments to totally remove all the hair. It hurt a little but nothing like waxing.
I was so happy with the results I did my Brazilian area too which hurt a little more but seriously nothing like waxing. And the hair doesn’t grow back for like 6 weeks or more! I needed 8 treatments for the Brazilian area.
It’s so nice to never have to worry about dark or ingrown hairs in a bikini.
Laser doesn’t get rid of all the hair but MOST of it. I would say 85% and it grows back much much lighter. I shave 1x a week now if I need to. It was seriously the best money I ever spent. I wish I didn’t wait so long. My gynecologist owns a laser studio too and she told me to think of laser as yearly maintenance like a facial. Once you do the first 6-8 sessions, you only need to go back 1-2x a year to touch up.
i haven’t, but i definitely want to someday! thinking about just doing a small area first like my armpits to see how it goes!
You rock, girl. Thanks for keeping it real! Keep on doin you.
Hi Juli, this post is awesome! I also took accutane during highschool, it was not fun. I’ve had chemical peels, botox and facials anything to help my skin look good. Ive been using Keys skincare for a couple years now and I love it!! You should try it I highly recommend it and its affordable. It’s all natural, you can practically look at the ingredient list and walk outside and make the products yourself. It helps keep my acne at bay and it doesn’t burn my face like most acne products. It also has an amazing background story. Here’s the link http://www.keys-soap.com/ostore/home.php
thank u thank u for this post !!!! I was waiting in anticipation to see what procedures were…I had an inkling maybe botox , but wasn’t sure… you have always looked great, but I recently got botox too and am so so so HAPPY ! After just turning 30 I knew I really wanted to do away with lines on my forehead..so happy I started… it is pricey, yes, and my fiancee does NOT know ..lol .. not a biggy just why do I have to tell him? no need . lol …
THANK U for your post!!!! Whatever we wanna do to stay youthful and beautiful is our perogative! u do u ! I am an avid reader of the blog and will always be!
This may seem like a strange question, but what type of deodorant do you use? I am thinking of switching to an aluminum-free brand, but I am afraid to be a sweaty mess. Any thoughts?
primally pure is amazing! it won’t stop the sweating but it stops the stink and build up of bacteria, which regular deo leads to more of that and makes you sweat more!
Hi Juli! Love this post! I saw in the comments somewhere that you were bummed about getting off the spiro if you decide to get pregnant, and I just wanted to throw out a ray of hope to you. I had adult acne for 11 years and in that time did spiro, antibiotics, etc. When I got pregnant, the acne totally disappeared in the second trimester and hasn’t returned–and my son is 16 months old! I know this doesn’t happen for everyone, but it happened for me so there’s always a chance getting pregnant might even improve things long term! Thanks again for your transparency! Knowing what you know about the paleo diet, do you have any theories why this issue plagues so many of us?
i have no clue. sugar, dairy, alcohol are all things that can cause flare ups, but also stress and hormonal imbalance as well!
Hey Juli your skin looks amazing! I love how honest you always are. Have you tried Beautycounter’s charcoal bar? Like you, I have also struggled with some pretty bad adult acne (what the hell right?) and that bar has been super helpful for me, along with many of the things that you are doing too like peels, extractions etc. Anyways just a thought! Please keep sharing the things you are doing. I for one love these posts!
Girl as always absolutely love your honesty about everything! Sad that you had to explain yourself so many times because stupid people give you shit for things you do in YOUR life. Everyone I know who has has Botox absolutely loves it, and as soon as I am done school and have some money I am SO getting it on my forehead wrinkle that I hate! Ignore the haters, because it’s your life and you can do whatever the heck you want with your face! Thank you so much for the tips and insider info on the different products and procedures you have used. I love that your blog is expanding so much!!!!! xoxoxo
Juli, I really appreciate what you’ve shared here. When I read your posts and see your picture perfect facial photos, and those of other gorgeous paleo foodies, like Hayley Mason, I feel so ashamed and self conscious of my skin, and wonder “why can’t my troubled skin look perfect like that?”
So this 1000% transparent post has really blown me away. I had no idea that, like me, you’ve had such trials and tribulations with skin issues. Thank you for being so honest, real, generous and brave.
I am so glad you share all of this. I am much older than you. I too spent many hours in the sun. Suffered acne though luckily no pitting but lots of hyper pigmentation. I discovered ZO medical products and use in conjunction with soothe line of Rodan and fields which really calmed the redness. Also use BBL and dermal lane and Halo laser. It’s been a miracle. My skin looks awesome. Thanks so much for being so open about everything. I love your blog!
ooooo i totally want to try halo. how was the process?!
Awesome awesome awesome that you’re in a good place with your skin and have managed to keep that acne in check. Acne is no fun, no matter what age you are! Just a comment/PSA to your comment about you wishing that the sunscreen you use was waterproof…there is nothing out there that is waterproof, and the FDA made all of the manufacturers change the wording to “water resistant” from “waterproof.” The key to having good sun protection is to reapply, reapply and reapply. You cannot go out and spend an entire day in the sun (especially if you’re at the beach or at a lake or on some body of water) and expect one application of sunscreen before you go outside to protect you for the entire day.
Thanks so much for posting this!! Love your blog and love how honest and open you are about everything! I’ve always had issues with my skin and seeing this is really inspiring and helpful. I have a couple of questions – do you have larger pores? And if so, do you feel any of the products that you’re using help with this? Also, do you do weekly masks? Thanks so much again!!
i have no clue if i have larger pores haha i’m not sure how to tell that. and no, i don’t have any masks i use yet! but i will let you guys know here on the blog if i ever start using them!
Thanks so much for sharing! I have been meaning to go back to my derm but I am wanting to take it a step farther – sleepness nights with baby have started to take a toll 😉
What kinds of peels do you get? Does your medical esthetician do them or do you have to go somewhere else. Id love a one stop shop type of place and dont know if I should go to a derm or what to get some of this done. Thank you!!!
all i know is that it’s a chemical peel but i’m not sure of the specific name! and i go my medical esthetician for all of that. my dermatologist doesn’t offer that sort of thing
Hi Juli! I am about to start accutane this week! Do you remember your skin care routine while you were on it? Or any product you found particularly helpful? Thanks!
the only thing that really saved my life was aquaphor
OH MY GOSH!! Obviously, I had NO idea what your acne breakouts looked like and I commend you for being so transparent and sharing your pictures. The bloody picture was crazy and I probably would have cried and called 911 if I got that done to my face because I get worried about eyebrow wax redness afterwards…so basically I am a huge baby. I have needed botox on my forehead and in between by eyes since my late 20s and I still haven’t done it, so now my wrinkles are worse 🙁 Idiot. I LOVE when ppl who look amazing in the public eye reveal their secrets and pics with no makeup, a non-staged house pic, etc. You are awesome and you keep doing whatever you want to your face…you are the boss of you! Now off to ask around about botox…
Hi Juli. Feel like we’re BFFs because I follow you on snap, and well, you’re freakin’ hilarious. I’m not here to sell you anything because I know you’re not looking for a stranger’s advice (btw: keep fucking cursing. Girls with trucker mouths matter too.) but giiiirl, you should 110% check out Rodan+Fields for your acne. To be honest I didn’t even check the previous posts from other readers to see if anyone brought it up to you because I really don’t care and I don’t have that much time. But you seem to be like me and give everything a shot at least once (especially if they offer a full-refund; which, coincidentally, they do). Whatevs doll – keep doing what you’re doing. You crack me the hell up everyday. Sending you love from NY!
What a great post! I always appreciate your honesty and transparency. That’s definitely my favorite part about your ever-evolving blog. I love your positive vibes and encouragement to have ladies support other ladies, too. Thanks for all you do, Juli.
In the spirit of “Here’s what’s worked for me”, I thought I’d share what’s helped me in case it interests someone else reading the blog. I have dealt with cystic, face-scarring acne (along with generally bumpy, ready to pimple skin) for the past 12 years and have finally begun the road to healing. Along with the onset of acne for me came digestive issues as well. Over the years, I’ve tried everything every MD and ND has ever suggested (for both acne and digestive problems). Then, two years ago I went Paleo – didn’t help. Then went strict AIP for three months – didn’t help. Then I came across Aglaee Jacob’s book “Digestive Health with REAL Food”. After four weeks on her elimination diet, my digestion is better than its been in over a decade and my cystic acne is almost gone, weird rough patches on various parts of my body gone, and my chin and cheeks (which normally are covered in little bumps) are almost completely smooth. Obviously, my gut has a shit-ton of healing to do, but the acute inflammation has subsided and I feel like I am FINALLY on my way to healing. For anyone struggling with similar issues, you might want to check out the book! Stay determined ladies to find what works for you!
I just want to say a huge thank you for your honesty Juli! I loved reading this blog post and it gave me motivation to keep up with my skin. I’m turning 24 this year and I’ve been thinking that I need to find ways to keep that young, healthy looking skin for a lifetime! Thank you for putting those pictures of after your procedures and no makeup selfies on here. It’s so refreshing to see this kind of honesty!
Love your blog, Instagram feed and snapchat! And I just want to say I am so thrilled at the diversity of your social media and blog! Keep being awesome girl! ????????????
Just wanted to say I super, duper appreciate your honesty with your routines and experiences. We’re all out here just trying to look our best and there’s no need to hide our secrets or flaws! Thank you so much for sharing this, I loved the post <3
I don’t usually comment to posts, but I really loved the honesty and education this post provided! I have often found beauty routines to be daunting and overwhelming – especially for women like us with acne. Though I might not pursue many of these concepts, I do very much love learning the options out there and your honest experiences along the way. Thank you for all the great references too.
Please keep being real! You rock.
Thank you thank you for being totally transparent! Women shouldn’t be ashamed to say they have had Botox or anything cosmetic. I can’t stand it when I see women who have clearly had a procedure (and look amazing) try to say they “just take care of their skin.” Also, love your snapchats and cookbook! Keep doing you girl! Thanks again 🙂
yeah that shit is frustrating. we should be helping each other out! i told my friend how good her skin looked and BOOM, she gave me my (now) estheticians name. that’s how it should be!
I just made my first appointment with Shawn!! I hope it’s okay I used you as a reference when they asked how I heard about them.
Ever since I moved to Denver my cystic acne has been out of control and I have really bad scaring. I can’t wait to have my consultation and see what she says!!! I have a very deep wrinkle on my forehead that my mom has always said I should get Botox to help out but I never did. Now that I’ve seen your post I may consider Botox for it 🙂
i just went to shawn today!! she is seriously so so amazing. you are going to absolutely love your results. she doesn’t push products ever, but i totally recommend getting some of those vivant products i talked about, they seriously completely changed my skin. ever since i started using them, i haven’t been breaking out
Love this post! Thanks for sharing. Helpful and hilarious.
How long did you have to wait before sweating/working out after your microbrows? They look awesome.
i worked out the next day, i just wore a hat so the sweat didn’t drip in it
What kind of organic deoderant do you use? I feel like so many just don’t cut it, but I’m passionate about organic products.
Also, I’m an aesthetician/fashion junkie so if you ever need an assistant with this on the blog- I would LOVE to! Love reading all your posts ????
i like primal pit paste or primally pure!
Those just sound like they will work! Lol
Thank you for your honesty! It’s what has kept me a fan of yours for years. I dealt with acne all of my teenage years, and while the acne significantly got better with changing my diet, I still have scars that make me self conscious. Glad to know I’m not alone in this!
I’d like to hear more about your Invisalign treatment! I had braces 10 years ago… And my teeth are shifting. Kills me on the inside!!! Are you doing the express treatment?
planning to do a post about it! and i don’t think so, not sure what the express treatment means haha
Thank you for this honest post, Juli! I’ve been battling acne for at least 15 years now. I’ve been trying to deal with it myself for a long time now and you inspired me to head back to the dermatologist and ask about the Spironolactone. She gave it to me but said I HAD to take it with an antibiotic… but I am really against antibiotics so I am thinking of just trying it alone first. She also highly suggested Accutane, told me I shouldn’t be scarred of it, but I still am. I am going to try the Spiro for a few months, and go from there. I am so tired of dealing with acne and my scars are getting really bad. I’ve been doing some peels and also microneedling but it really hasn’t made much difference and since I continue to breakout it seems kind of counterproductive.
Thanks again for being so candid!
Hi Juli! I am a certified makeup artist and the proper way to apply makeup is face first then eyes! good job! Love the products you use as well!
Say hi to Jackson for me! I follow you on SnapChat and I am always cracking up! thank you!
Wanted to come back and ask you a quick question about your vitamin A serum! I’m thinking of buying the one you mention from Vivant but does it dry out your face? Ive used in past but my face gets super dry… I’ve never had acne but i’m noticing more and more small bumps under the surface and gross crows feet around my eyes now that i’m getting older and its bumming me out.
Anyway, my main question was 1) do you notice your skin gets very dry, and if so, how do you treat?
2) I noticed on your snap a week ago your face looked SUPER dew-ey and NOT dry at all. Not sure if it was just bc it was post-gym (i took a screen shot like a creep to ask and now i cant find it to explain which day it was…meant to write this post wayyy sooner)…anyway, HOW do u get it to look that way and not dry and flat? If that makes any sense. Not sure if it was the under eye concealer or what but it looked amazing and i’m always on the hunt for new beauty products. My skin isnt oily or dry, its just blah naturally.
Anywho, thanks for your post! Appreciate the honesty.
hey Danielle! so when it comes to vitamin a, it takes some time for your body to get use to it. when i first started using it, i could only do once a week, then moved to twice a week, then three times and now every day. the vivant vitamin a is a bit less drying then other products I’ve used. now i can use it every day no problem! i recommend just working your way up to it and soon it won’t dry you out as much. i’m still a tad dry sometimes. the other day when you some my skin dewey, i didn’t have any makeup on, just my vitamin c serum and mandelic acid! hope that helps!
This was SUCH a great post. I’m completely makeup/skincare ignorant, but I’m starting to see the negative effects of that (where did these bags under my eyes come from?!? DAMN YOU, AGING! ::shakes fist:: )
Anyway, I just want to throw in my “thank you,” for posting such an open and informative article. It’s high time I get my butt in gear and start taking care of my skin.
Now I’m off to research good skin docs…
Thank you for this post. I’m new to your blog, so I’m sorry for asking questions on an old post. I tried to read through the comments to make sure I don’t waste your time by asking a question that you’ve already answered. Sorry if I’m repeating someone.
You mentioned you’ve used bare minerals but prefer the mineral powder you’re using. I currently use bare minerals. I love that it looks natural and stays put during a sweaty Crossfit workout. Does yours stay put?
Why do you not eat nuts? Do you think they cause breakouts? I’m 27 and am just now experiencing breakouts for the first time. I eat clean, so I’ve been super frustrated about it. I do eat a lot of almond butter though. Could this be the reason for my breakouts?
I’ve been thinking of stepping up my skincare regimen. I’ve been noticing new lines lately. I was considering trying rodan and fields. Have you tried their skincare? I’ve never heard of the line you use. I’m in law school, so I’m on a limited budget. What would you suggest as the most important thing I should start doing?
yes, my powder definitely stays put!
nuts makes me break out and they make me bloated. i’ve noticed over time that i don’t need as much fat as i did in the past so they are a bit overkill for me. almond butter makes me break out terribly!
no, i haven’t tried R&F and i don’t plan to. mostly because i get multiple emails a day from people trying to sell it to me or get me to sell it using my own platform. i’ve seen some people talk very highly of it, but i just got a bad taste in my mouth from their people so i’ve stayed away. the products i mention in this post are absolutely AMAZING and more affordable since there is no middle man. if you really want my advice, i recommend the mandelic acid. that has made such a drastic change in my complexion.
Hi Juli! Thanks for sharing your experiences! I never really had skin issues in high school besides the occassional breakout. I wasnt exercising and my diet was terrible. Now Im 24, I CrossFit, and eat pretty strict Paleo and my skin has never been worse! It’s so frustrating. Most days I wake up to a new breakout. My doctor prescribed a topical treatment a few months ago and it worked for a little while but now Im back to where I started. Some days it’s so bad I dont even like to leave the house! Again, thanks for sharing and giving me hope that it will get better! Im going to my doctor again this week so maybe we can figure out what’s going on. Have a good night!
keep trying new things, you will find what works for you someday! don’t give up!
Love this post! Thank you! Does Shawn now do your peels? I’ve never had a very intense one and need to get on it!
yes! her peels are awesome! i was actually burned in the past from a different esthetician and Shawn’s peels are magical, she does a light peel under your eyes and they look so much younger after!
I’m 27 and have battled cystic acne on and off since I was a teen – especially the lower half of my face. The game changer for me was removing dairy from my diet about a year ago. After reading inconclusive research online about how it may contribute to hormones among other things. I tested the theory out for 3 weeks- at that point I was at my wits end and figured it was worth a try. For those 3 weeks I 100% cut out all dairy, whey proteins, etc. and replaced with substitutes such as almond milk and rice protein powders.
Everyone is different but turns out for *me* dairy was driving my cystic acne. I only am posting this as an FYI in case anyone else is struggling and may be experiencing the same driver of their breakouts – I wish someone had told me years ago that my problem was mainly rooted in my diet.
Hi Juli! I’ve been following your skin journey for several years. I’ve suffered from severe cystic acne in the past and when diet and lifestyle changes didn’t work, I finally had good results with a couple rounds of antibiotics (bleh) and spiro.
My question: thanks to spiro, my acne is gone but my skin looks dull, and though most of my discoloration and dark spots have disappeared I have a lot of little indentations and scarring. I’d like to seek help from an esthetician but don’t know where to start. Sounds like you got a great rec from a friend for your esthetician, but let’s say you moved to a dif city: Knowing what you know now, what would you look for? What questions would you ask?
Thanks again for your transparency! Haters gonna hate—but so many of us really appreciate you sharing what you’ve tried and learned.
What shade of Iredale Base and concealer do you use? Is there a good place that sells it that will help match a color?
Also, wondering about your nails…do you use gel or just shellac with your nails?
i use the yellow concealer color! and i do acrylic nails with shellac on top!
What color base?
you mean for the powder i use? i wear the warm silk color!
Thank you for sharing this! It’s so helpful in a battle that can feel really lonely and sad. After having acne for more than half my life (and I know it will be part of the rest of my life) and trying LITERALLY everything I’ve accepted that conventional and often really freaking harsh treatments is the only effective approach. What acne has done to my skin and self confidence is way more damaging than any acid or laser or nasty chemical that I’ve used on my skin.
Have you dealt with any permenant scarring like pitted/pockmarks from acne? And if so, have any of the treatments you’ve tried been darastically helpful? Thanks!
the only thing i’ve really done for scarring is see an esthetician regularly, get chemical peels and also the pro fractional. the lasers have done wonders for those scars and they are continually getting better from seeing her regularly!
Thank you so much for sharing. Like you, I’ve suffered from acne most of my life (from teen years to present, I’m 41). I’ve tried everything, but the only thing that works is birth control pills or oral meds, which I don’t want to do. So far I’ve had luck with the Jan Marini skin care line. I still break out around my period, but it’s not bad. But I also have really bad hyper pigmentation (scarring). The only thing that works well is a prescription hydroquinone, which is terrible for you. So what is the BEST product you’ve found for this? Thanks!
all the products that i listed have helped extremely well for my scarring, along with the chemical peels as well. if i try other things in the future for scarring, i’ll definitely do a post about it. but this products i listed have seriously been life changing for my skin!
You’re awesome, thanks for sharing all this into such detail! Did Shawn your esthetician move practices? I clicked on the link and can’t find her on their site anymore!?
she did! BUT she will be working somewhere else soon and then I will update that information! she’s just finding a new location as we speak!
What “level” did you go on your ProFractional treatment? I started looking into it a little, and then over the weekend, Chelsea Handler posted her before and after on IG (Which means it’s now on all a million other websites too). She mentions she did level 75 but you can go up to 400. High five on being a trailblazer. 😉
BTW – I see you mentioning nuts as being a trigger for you. Damn. I need to consider that for me.
she told me 300 with a second pass at 200. 75 sounds like it wouldn’t hurt near as much hahaha
Just came here to ask about where I can find Shawn now, and saw you mentioned she’s moving offices! I’ll be waiting for the update!!! I feel like overnight these little forehead lines aren’t going away and it’s killing me ????. Time to up the skincare game! Appreciate all your honesty and transparency!!! (Do you still see the doc you mentioned in the post for your Botox?)
i know that she got a space that starts in November so as soon as I get the update, I’ll definitely be updating the info on my site! as for botox, the last time i got it done was with dr. popham at that office! he is great! but if i go anywhere else, i’ll definitely update that as well!
I just have to thank you for this post! I struggled with adult acne after my daughter was born, trying everything to get rid of it and having nothing work. I bought the Vivant products and after only two weeks my acne is gone! It was a game changer, thank you!
Also loving the true crime podcasts as well, you should check out “In The Dark” – it’s a good one.
that’s so amazing!! i really wish i would have found vivant products earlier. they are truly amazing! and yaaaasss, love in the dark!
First time writing you! I have wanted to write about my skin care issues since I saw this article but I have been super busy with graduate school. So sorry this post is sooo late!!
First off- Love your recipes, blog and now podcast (including the swearing). Secondly, I can totally identify with you on having really bad skin! I have had acne ever since I hit puberty and I am 33 years old now! I had tons of acne and then it later became cystic acne in my early 20s. I tried everything! I think in retrospect I have really sensitive skin and probably have a dairy /gluten problem. So when I was using harsh acne treatments I was making the problem that much worse. In my early 20s I went on Accutane. This medicine really helped the acne for about 10 years but also made my skin dry and even more sensitive. I have finally found a regimen of products that really works well and has kept my skin from feeling tight and red, I have no acne and I feel like I am keeping my skin wrinkles to a minimum. (Unfortunately, in your early 30s you will likely have both acne and fine lines/wrinkles!!) I wanted to share the products in case some of the other readers find this helpful! Like I mentioned earlier, I am in grad school so I am super broke and can’t afford expensive products or skin treatments. As you can see I really like the products by CeraVe which is available at Wal-Mart.
1- Sonicare Brush to wash my face morning and night with CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser.
2- MAC toner called Marine Bright Softening Lotion.
3- Around my eyes I use the CeraVe Eye Repair Cream.
4- Forehead and neck (drier areas) CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion
5- Nose, cheeks, chin (oilier/acne prone areas) Philosophy Clear Days Ahead – oil free salicylic acne treatment and moisturizer.
6- Make-up- Tarte Amazonian Clay tinted moisturizer and Tarte eye concealer.
It is so great to have clear skin and to get compliments on your skin! People are always shocked when I say I used to have terrible skin. I can remember my Grandma taking pictures of my acne so she could send them to my aunts and show how bad it was!! (So embarrassing) With this routine I have had no problems for the past 3 years. I used Paula Begoun’s website Beautypedia to help me put together this group of products. I have found their recommendations to be spot on! I totally feel your pain when you describe your acne struggles. Maybe you or one of the other readers will find one of these products useful!
Hi Juli – I’m a little late to the game here but I started taking Spironolactone about 6 months ago. While it’s been AWESOME for my skin, my doctor told me that I had to be on birth control while taking it. I decided to get a Paragard IUD because I’m wary of birth control pills and the effect it has on my emotions, weight, etc. The Paragard has been slowly killing me! It’s been a huge nuisance (constant spotting, cramping, back aches) and I have an appointment to have it removed. I was wondering if you have any personal experience/ advice on birth control? I really don’t want to take a pill but it may be my only option..
honestly, i’m not the person to recommend that sort of thing. i take regular hormonal birth control and i’m not a fan of it, but it’s definitely hard to figure out what’s best. so i recommend talking to your doctor first and foremost!
So I am seriously considering getting Botox around my eyes but I would love to start with a less invasive option and work up if I can (I just turned 25 but I have awful smile lines around my eyes and they’re genetic so I know they’ll just get worse). As far as wrinkle treatment, what do you feel has worked the best? I don’t want to spend a bunch on treatments that don’t work, so if Botox is my best option I’ll just look into that.
I also scheduled an appointment at a well-reviewed plastic surgeon/medical spa in my area as well.
Thanks so much!
you’re not talking to a professional here, this is merely from experience, but i think profractional is by far the best for wrinkles, but under the eyes is different territory than the rest of the skin because of how thin the skin is. i would listen to a professional who you deeply trust and go from there, but i’ve had the best experience with profractional when it comes to wrinkles
Juli, thanks for this post! Don’t know it you’ve heard of MakeUp Artist’s Choice, but they have a TON of products at great prices…I’ve been a customer for about 5 years now. What I love about them is they offer sample sizes to try and they have great customer service if you have questions about what to use for your skin type. Some things I’ve tried and haven’t been too impressed, but others I love. Melasma and general aging are my problems (early 40s). Just thought I’d pass their info along…I tell all my girlfriends about them.
Long time fan, first time commenter 🙂
Hi Juli! Thanks for sharing all of this. It’s so awesome that you found an esthetician you love!! For those of us outside of Denver, what kinds of things would you look for in an esthetician? What types of procedures that they offer are good signs versus red flags? And is there a difference between medical esthetician an otherwise? Is that a different kind of licensing? Maybe you don’t have these answers, but I have zero experience with this field, so anything you can share from experience or resources you can point out to understand all of this would be super helpful!
Thank you for the make up products! Your make up looks great! I’m always looking for better/ healthier products. Quick question: on your make up post you list that you use the Jane iredale highlighter on your cheekbones and under the eye and on this post there’s a link for the hourglass lightening powder. Which one do you recommend or both? Thanks!
i honestly use both!! the highlighter stick is just a little more intense so i use that on full makeup days! but i love both!
Reading up on all your skin care posts. Considering the profraction laser. I went back to read your skin care regime and ( my ADD kicked in) got side tracked in the world of mandelic acids, glycolic acid, salicylate acid ..etc , so I got to thinking… why not use prescription Retin A. Isn’t it supposed the be the ” gold standard”? Just wanting your opinion. Can I wash with the mandelic acid and use my retin A? ( well it’s technically tretinoin) Awesome read about lashes! Love finding out about all the cool stuff out there!!!!!!
i actually do use retin A, it’s just in the form of the vitamin A serum!
Long time lurker here. Just wanted to say, THANK YOU for this post! It has changed my life. I have been struggling for so long with acne, despite cleaning up my diet and trying everything short of accutane. After trying some of the things mentioned here, (including no eggs!) I am breakout free for the first time in years! YIPPEE! Thank you for being so open and honest, you da bomb.com
Wondering if you could share with me how quickly spiro worked for you (after Accutane) and if you had any side effects? Feel very last resort-ish with my skin lately. Thanks for sharing your personal experience with your skin!
it took about a month and then continued to clear up more and more. and the only side effects i have is being thirsty ALL THE TIME. i drink over a gallon of water a day from being on that medication. and i get dizzy whenever i whip my head around, so usually in a workout when i’m doing an explosive movement.
It didn’t do anything crazy to your cycle at all? I realize my experience will not be the same but I just don’t know anyone that has used it to ask personally! I’m going on year 17 with acne with a couple of random clearings one while I was pregnant and another after expensive laser treatments. At this point I am not even worried about perfect skin, I just want normal, comfortable skin that I feel ok with when I’m not wearing makeup. Your transformation is really inspiring 🙂
nope, haven’t had any issue with my cycle.
Would you mind doing a follow up post on how to get in touch with Shawn? I texted her, but she never responded. I moved to Denver last June and my skin has been freaking out ever since winter came. I have done a round of Accutane a couple of years ago and loved my results and now can’t believe my skin is going nuts again.
the best number to reach her now is her office phone: 720-459-7960
Hey Juli, This doesn’t relate much to this blog post but I was wondering, i believe you said in one of your podcasts that you cut eggs out. I recently did the same because i have been having quite a bit of breakouts. Since cutting them out a week ago my face has cleared up quite a bit, So I was just curious of some breakfast foods you have now instead of eggs(being that they were my main go to)
check out my instagram, i have all sorts breakfast posts on there of exactly what i eat!
You are amazing. Thank you for sharing. I finally got my face clear and ready to start reversing the clock a little. This post is so helpful 🙂 Keep on rockin!
that’s so cool to hear!! thanks for leaving a comment!
Juli, not sure if you’ve talked about this elsewhere, so apologies if you have, but can you share your favorite self-tanner and tips to make it last? I’m pretty pale and will get a spray tan once in a while but 1. I’m scared of doing it myself 2. I hate how the tanner comes off all weird when I workout and sweat.
i’m actually sharing it on the blog tomorrow, but this one is my favorite brand – http://rstyle.me/~9XuPu
Are you still taking spironolactone??? If not how long did you take it for? Did you ever get ur hormones checked? I’m 29, dealing with the same skin issues. Was on accutane and 19, and was pretty good until these past 6 months. AWFUL cystic acne. And no period after getting off the pill. Got my hormones checked and my testosterone is high (I also do crossfit) so I’ve been considering spironolactone. Did u get it from ur derm or primary?
Love your posts!
i am still taking it! and i didn’t get my hormones checked. and my dermatologist prescribed it!
Has your esthetcian ever suggested microneedlkg with plasma. Curious because it sounds like we have similar skin issues and I have been being told that this is really the latest and greatest treatment so just curious what your estethcian says since she seems to know her stuff 🙂
no, she hasn’t for me!
I’ve been following your instagram and blog for years! I own multiple cookbooks and I love to follow your fun and interesting life!
I work at a Medical Spa in Atlanta and I LOVE Revisions Revox 7 for post microneedling. It’s a blend of 7 different high potent peptides and does wonders. They also make a wonderful sunscreen call Intellishade and they have a “matte” version for oliy skin types. I’m not sure if your esthetician’s practice carries this line but it is definitely be something you should check out. Their line is wonderful!
Keep being awesome 🙂 xoxo
thanks for the recommendation!! she carries a ton of revision products so i’ll have to ask!!
totally bought revox 7! so excited to try it!
How much does a profractional usually cost? What I’ve seen online has been so varied!
i’ve seen it really range, $350-900. my esthetician is on the higher side
Hey Juli! I’m sorry if you have already answered this question, but in regards to the Dermaplane, did it help with the redness of your acne scars? I also had cystic acne in my early twenties, took antibiotics then accutane, I had good results for years. I recently had a terrible breakout and am finding it hard to get the redness to settle down. My dermatologist recommended Dermaplane before this rescent breakout and was wondering if it will help with the redness and appearance of scars.
no, it’s not for redness or acne scars, it’s simply for removing hair and dead skin. i haven’t seen it make any difference with acne scars. the profractional and lasers is what has made the biggest difference!
Do you now use Tula in addition Vivant? Or rotate them?
yes! i use both of them daily!
Okay this absolutely nuts but I am flying from Houston to Denver to see Shawn and get profractional, after all the things you’ve said about it, I’ve wanted it for awhile but scared to trust just anyone! But I am freaking out because I am literally flying in and out the same day! Did you put anything on your face the night of the treatment? Anything I should buy to have on hand? Also, I’ll have a few hours in Denver before my appointment any must dos for a first timer?
whaaaaaat?! lol that’s amazing. she has some awesome stem cell products that i highly recommend. i forget if you put anything on your face that night, but she will tell you (or call her and ask to make sure!). and i had two posts about things to do and places to eat here in Denver!
Please don’t kill me if I’m blind, but who is your Botox person in Denver? I know I’ve seen it posted before but I don’t think it was one of the 2 people listed above? Thank you!
no worries at all, it’s hard to find all the info, especially when i change who i go to. i’ve been going to Tricia Stephenson (Rewind in Cherry Creek 303-601-6533) and she’s AMAZING!! you can just text her at that number for an appointment!
You mentioned your previous acne was somewhat related to hormonal issues (and also linked to working out?)—can you expand on this some more? How did you know it was related to hormonal issues? What hormonal issues specifically were going on? Asking because I have a hunch my acne is hormone related, but my doctor says my blood tests are normal! Don’t totally understand how 1 blood test can draw that conclusion, given its just a picture of my hormones at 1 snapshot in time, and I would guess my hormones are doing all sorts of different things throughout the month. Any insight or personal experience you can share would be really helpful and appreciated!
my hormonal tests showed up normal as well. so i don’t know exactly what hormone issues i was having but i’m guessing it was the over production of testosterone which screwed up other hormones. and i definitely screwed up my cortisol with over stressing the body from working out too much and stressing about my weight constantly.
FYI the profractional link is broken.
all fixed for ya!
I just got my first “sensitive skin” chemical peel yesterday and noticed hyper pigmentation (or maybe it’s a burn?). I noticed you got burned on a chemical peel, how did you heal it? Did it fade on its own or did you have to do lasers or other procedures to get rid of it? Right now it’s a gross red/brown spot on my cheek and I’m really nervous it won’t go away. Definitely not going back to that clinic!!
it faded over time but it probably took 6-8 months for the redness to heal completely. it just faded on it’s own.
HI Juli!! Thanks for all this great info. I live in Denver and remember you had a blog post about this so come and checked it out today! I want to ask for a some of these treatments for a Christmas gift and was wondering what you would recommend to start with? Like the very first thing that might help with acne cars and making my face look nice and fresh again? Thank you for your time!
i am all about profractional nowadays. it makes the biggest difference in the skin with the least amount of down time
Thank you for your candor! It is so helpful to read about your experience. I agree-I wish more people would share the downsides to even the good outcomes. I appreciate all the great information!
thanks for reading and leaving a comment, kristina!
Okay so first I love these posts and I love that you’re in Denver makes me so happy! You mentioned on one of your latest podcasts that those of us lucky enough to be in Denver can go to your esthetician and there was a discount or referral for being a paleomg listener. Which esthetician out of the two listed was it.
Shawn is the esthetician I see for my skin
Thanks for your honesty and showing every single part of what you do. Lovely content as well!
Who do you use for botox? Is it the Shawn Haviland you mentioned in the post?
I am new to the Denver area and am wondering if you still frequent these professionals. Thanks for the wonderful post!
if you go to Shawn, she has a great person for botox in her same office. i’ve gone to tricia stephenson at rewind skincare in the past and she’s wonderful! i’ll probably start going to the woman at shawn’s office just so i don’t have to make two trips!
Hi Juli! I have developed terrible cycstuc acne on my jaw/cheeks since starting crossfit 🙁 in working to correct my hormone imbalances from that + hormonal birth control but nothing I’m doing is helping my skin. I’m considering taking spiro now even though I don’t want to be dependent on a medication but I’m desperate. Was wondering how long did it take for spiro to start working for you? Did you have any negative side effects? Thanks!
spiro took a month or two to fully set in. and the only issues i’ve had is dehydration. i’m constantly thirsty from it.
Thanks Juli! I’ve been on it about a week now and I think it’s causing me to feel like sh*t, and my gym performance is crap. My boobs hurt, I pee like alllll the time, constant headache, and I’m so tired. Workouts have become impossible and I’m failing lifts that I should not be failing. Not sure if its the spiro but was wondering if you had any similar issues :/ Glad it hasn’t made you feel yucky!
other than the peeing constantly, i’ve never experienced those other issues. i would definitely talk to your doc asap about that!