5 Ways I've Maintained Clear Skin After Healing It Naturally

So holy crap you did it. Or you’ve almost done it. Or you’re just starting to do it—clear your skin naturally that is. And you’re wondering, through all the wild herbs, tinctures, diets, supplements, and treatments what life will look like when it’s all said and done. You may wonder, “when my acne is finally gone, will I have to take these billion supplements forever?” Or, “do I have to say goodbye to dairy for good?” I had the same concerns when I was healing my cystic acne. Even my parents would ask me, ever so subtly (they’re Italian so you get the inflection), “when will this all be over?” My answer to you: soonish. The craziness will end, but nurturing your clear skin is a forever journey. Here are five tricks I’ve picked up over the past three years of maintaining an acne-free complexion.

  1. Learn to read your body

Acne tips

It’s true when they say dieting is a lifestyle change, not a temporary fix. So if you’re on an elimination diet or a candida diet (a combination of cutting dairy, refined sugar, and yeast) to heal your skin, it’s kind of a life-long thing. But hear me out—you have wiggle room. When your system is back in check, your body will tell you where your boundaries are. For instance, the month of August was slightly rough for me—I got laid off, it’s the end of summer, I took my ass on a beach vacation, so I indulged in ice cream so so so much and my skin is currently flaring up. I overstepped my boundary and my body is reeling me back in. Before the acne flair, I noticed waking up puffy, sluggish, and tired—all signs my body was in overload. I was going too far. These signs are subtle and learning to read these them can take some trial and error. Some others to look out for: headaches, stomach acnes, bloat. So you CAN have pasta, and ice cream, and beer. Sometimes.

Takeaway: If you’re starting to reintroduce acne-triggering foods into your diet after eliminating them for a period of time, really check in with how they make you feel. Does your stomach hurt? Brain feel foggy? Do you feel like taking a nap? Are you totally unbothered? Is it worth it or can you scale back?

2. Keep your M-F tight


Oh, how I love a good meal prep. If you follow my Insta, which I’m on all the time talking about this stuff, you know I’m a regular meal-prepper. Apron and all. First, I love the feeling of knowing my meals are delicious. Who wants to eat just okay food? Second, it saves me so much fricken money. Third, yes, I’m getting to it, it helps keep my skin clear because I cook skin-friendly meals. That means I don’t use any dairy, yeast, or refined sugar. This is my way of sticking to a candida diet while enjoying my life. In my meals, I always include a dark green, be it kale, spinach, string beans, or broccoli, and use organic produce. I use ghee instead of butter to keep dairy out of the equation. I’m also a huge fan of bone broth. It’s trove of collagen keeps skin hydrated and supple. My go-to meals? Soups, curries, stews, stir-fries. So five out of seven days I work to stick to skin-friendly foods and give myself a little treat here and there if it presents. Because chocolate.

Takeaway: Find the joy in cooking skin-friendly meals so your maintenance can be on autopilot from Monday through Friday.

3. Eat (or drink) your probiotics daily

kombucha for acne

Part of maintaining a clear complexion is maintaining healthy digestion. So while I was taking a strong probiotic for the year and some I was in the thick of healing my skin, I no longer do. Actually, I don’t take any supplements or herbs for my skin right now. Sometimes I flow in and out of herbs but that’s out of curiosity and study. But I always add a little bit of ferment to my plate to keep the belly happy. I recently found a great deal on Wild Brine sauerkraut from Costco— $9 for 50 ounces!! When farmer’s market season is over, I pick up kimchi from the supermarket instead. I also keep a few bottles kombucha in my fridge and drink half a day if I don’t eat anything fermented. Again, I enjoy food so much that playing with different ferments makes me happier than taking a probiotic supplement. If you’d rather stick to one and done, that’s awesome too.

Takeaway: Probiotics should stay part of your routine through fun fermented foods or supplements.

4. Dance, or walk, or jump

circulation for skin

No one told me this outright but my theory holds up in practice and in Western medicine too: working out is good for complexion. Blood flow brings nutrients and oxygen to the skin. That’s why our cheeks get red when we work out. Good circulation also rids cells of free-radicals, which are said to cause premature aging. For awhile, I was nervous to work out. What if my pimples came back? What about the blackheads? Sure, sweat can cause breakouts. But I wipe down my face with a witch hazel or alcohol pad after working out if I can’t wash it right away. I’d never suggest going to the gym daily. That’s wild. But consider getting your blood flowing via a 30-minute walk, quick HITT workout online, or power flow yoga video. After a good workout, I notice my skin is brighter and less puffy. Obviously, other benefits include a stronger body and mind, enhanced confidence, and less stress.

Takeaway: Get your blood pumping a few times a week by doing activities you love.

5. Be gentle with yourself!

love your scars

My goodness, we can be tough on ourselves. I can still remember how angry I’d get looking in the mirror, “how did I let this happen!?” The sunken confidence, the avoiding eye-contact with strangers, the tedious, painful pimple-popping sessions. While it’s over, the scars are still there. Literally and figuratively. I have acne scars on my cheeks and chin where little blackheads love to live (how lovely, right?). And I can still feel my stomach drop when I see new blemishes form from poor diet/lifestyle. But I also love my scars. They remind me how God damn powerful I am. How I am full of will and faith. Of curiosity and intuition. It’s my hope that you see similar qualities in your emotional and physical acne scars. We’re not just after clear skin, were after a far deeper lesson.

Takeaway: Consider the power in the emotional and physical scars acne sometimes leaves behind.

I’d be lying if I said I don’t have to be more careful than most. I still read the ingredients of everything that goes on my skin and in my body. The difference is now I know I have room to play. To enjoy the Fehttuchini Alfredo’s of life and know all my hard work won’t come undone. Plus, through this whole crazy journey, I found an even softer spot for taking care of my body. I love feeding it with exercise, whole foods, and meditation despite my skin. I think that’s the deeper lesson. To rewire life a little so that out wants (balanced lifestyle) and needs (clear skin) align.

I’d love to know about your experience post acne-journey! What do you do to maintain a clear complexion?