Acne has been an unwanted part of my life since I was 12 years old – not always horrible but always present.  In fact, I honestly can’t remember a time when my face was completely clear.  Not fun. 

In an effort to reduce/eliminate the bumps, I’ve tried numerous products over the years – Clearasil, Neutrogena, Clean & Clear, Noxzema, Proactiv, and a number of prescription medications as well, including birth control.  My most recent purchases were a Desert Essence face wash and blemish stick, of which I’m still using the face wash.  As far as acne lotions are concerned, I’ve gone back to the Proactiv Repairing Lotion because the flare ups were getting really bad again.

After going to a dermatologist and learning that my acne is hormonal, I pretty much gave up my [lifelong] dream of having clear skin one day.  My doctor prescribed Spironolactone to help with excess oil production as well as the blemishes, and generally speaking, it’s been helping.  But just not as well as expected. 

With a wedding coming up, I knew I had to try something different.  In January, I started researching new acne products and even found a few that I wanted to try.  Around the same time, I made some dietary changes – not at all for acne reasons.  In fact, one of the changes wasn’t even something I intended to do. 

Change #1:  So, as I stated in my January goals post, increasing my water consumption was a top priority for me.  And believe me when I say, the H20 has been flowing in these parts!  On average, I probably drink anywhere from 64 to 80 ounces of water a day. 


Change #2:  Since January 1st of this year, I’ve eliminated artificial sweeteners from my diet – no more Diet Coke, no more Splenda in my coffee and yogurt, etc.  I’ve always known that a little bit of real sugar is better for me than fake zero calorie sweeteners, but I loved the idea of no added calories.  But my mindset has slowly changed to where I now opt for raw cane sugar in my coffee and yogurt and accept that a little bit of sugar won’t cause me to gain weight. 


Unintentional Change #3:  Late last year I started buying a carton of almond milk every week along with a half gallon of skim milk.  I enjoyed almond milk in my smoothies and protein creations and skim milk in my cereal and with my meals.  Slowly, I started phasing out skim milk, and now I only buy almond milk.  It’s really grown on me!  I had no intention of doing so – it just kind of happened.


Now, you’re probably wondering, where the heck I’m going with all this. 

Here’s my hypothesis – I believe that because of some combination of the three changes listed above, my face has started to clear up and stay clear.  I have ZERO evidence or proof that this is indeed the case, but it’s the only thing I can come up with.  Since January, there’s been a noticeable improvement in my skin, and I can’t attribute it to any new products because my regimen has been the same for the past six to eight months.  If anything, the improvement may just be due to change #1 and #3 because there have been studies done on the effects of increased water consumption and decreased daily consumption on acne, but who knows, #2 may also be a factor.

I’ve always thought that my acne problems were genetically passed down to me, but over the past two months, I’ve seen awesome results by making three easy and healthy changes – more water, no Splenda, and less dairy*.  Experimentation has been the name of the game for the past 16 years, and since this experiment is good for my body and my face (so far), I’m a happy camper!  Again, I have no proof that these things are directly linked to my clearer skin – only time will tell.  I’ll keep y’all posted.

*Eliminating skim milk from my diet is the only change I’ve made with regard to my dairy consumption.  I still eat small amounts of cheese and yogurt a few times a week. 


All I’m saying is this better not be me 20-30 years down the line!

Do you have acne prone skin?  Have dietary changes helped your situation?  Any discoveries of your own to share?


By Parita

25 thoughts on “3 Changes for a [Hopefully] Clearer Face”
  1. Fortunately I don’t have acne prone skin but growing up I did. I think the cause of that was definitely my eating habits at the time. I’m not surprised that eliminating a large portion of dairy from your diet has helped: especially with inorganic sources of dairy, who knows the amounts of hormones we can be ingesting…and I’m sure that only adds havoc to hormonal imbalance! Yogurt is my key source of dairy (I’m a soy milk drinker) but I am weary of my consumption only because I already have so many hormonal problems as it is…ah the joys of being a woman!

    1. After doing a bit of research, I was shocked by the connections some studies found between acne and dairy. I don’t think I can give it all up, but I’ve definitely switched over to almond milk and that’s a huge step for me. I used to guzzle skim milk like it was my job!

  2. I have a terrible time with acne, even after cutting out dairy. My facialist just recommended that I use a cleanser and moisturizer with licorice extract in them. just bought new product, so we’ll see if it helps! Also, I was told that mineral-based make ups can clog pores… so I’ve just changed that too. Let me know how you do with your changes!

    1. I would never have guessed that you have trouble with acne, Laura! Let me know how that product turns out for you and I’ll keep you posted on my changes. *Fingers crossed*

  3. i had acne too, but in my 20s.. now my skin is clear and sometimes i’m like how the hell did that happen. can’t say i drink 8 glasses of water, but i do about 5 to 6. i don’t drink milk which isn’t really good, but whatever, i eat yogurt instead. definitely sugar works against you, it makes your skin look dull, and this means desserts too.
    i use tazorac for acne med, it has really helped clear my skin and now i don’t need it, but it has the retin-a property. using the right moisturizer and all, eating less refined carbs, more whole grains all help improve skin.

  4. Ohhh totally. I used to have pretty bad skin up until my early 20’s and it eventually cleared up. I wouldn’t say I have perfect skin – in fact – I still get pimples and a lot of it is hormonal (plus I have the really bad habit of not leaving them alone!!!).

    My dream is to be able to actually go out without wearing makeup. It’s almost a mask for me because I always feel like my skin is horrible. Working on it.

    They are some really good small changes that you have made! I eat a lot of dairy and have heard that it might have an effect. I just wish Almond milk here wasn’t so expensive and full of sugar! Actually – better idea is to make my own! 😀 Ha – you got me started now! 😀

    I noticed when I quite sugar that my skin cleared up so much – it was a noticeable difference to me.

    1. I want to be able to go out without makeup and feel confident too! Most people tell me my skin’s not as bad as I’m making it out to be, but it’s so hard for me to feel comfortable. Oh well, something to work on!

  5. ohhh these are great attainable healthy goals Parita! 🙂 I mean, not only are they good for your acne in the long run…but it’s just good for your health! And I’m not sure if you’ve tried (prob. have), but are you a tea drinker? I know that some teas out there, including Oolong tea, are known to have great effects on the skin in the long term as well.

  6. So glad you’ve found ways to control your acne. It’s a difficult topic and I am so proud of you sharing it with all of us.

    I’ve been struggling with a few acnes every now and then, but like you’ve said, it’s essential to know what is working for you and others might not work for everyone else. Of course, drinking more H20 is essential for everyone. I have a very oily skin as well, perhaps I should start an aloe vera regimen on my face?! We used to do that, growing up 🙂

  7. I feel your pain with the whole acne issue. I’ve always had acne prone skin growing up and then as soon as i went on the pill my skin became perfect. Over a year ago i decided to get off it and my skin got worse than ever. I tried everything for antibiotics, acupuncture, facials and nothing really seemed to help. Finally three weeks ago I decided to go dairy free and now i’ve stopped breaking out. Just waiting for the existing bumps to go away. Think there definitely is a link with dairy and acne. Really hoping that this will be the solution cause adult acne is no fun!

    1. Don’t you wish you knew about this little secret years ago!? My fingers are crossed that this is the “cure” for both of us!

  8. I eliminated milk from my diet years ago and it helped my skin SO much. I also hardly eat sugar and soy which I know set my skin off pretty badly.

    I totally think there is a connection between these things and acne! Even though my derm denies it.

    1. I honestly can’t believe the improvement I’ve seen (even though its a bit soon to be getting so excited)! I wish I had known about this little connection years ago!

  9. Milk and sugar both make me break out. i know it’s not scientifically proven but all I know is, if I have ice cream, my face is angry less than 48 hours later. a small price to pay to be able to go without foundation and chemicals on my face!

  10. I would say that what you are saying makes perfect sense. And while I am not advocating for veganism, I would have to guess that the leve of toxicity we take in from not eating “clean” contributes to both our interna and external health.

    I really want to start drinking almond milk now, though. It actually sounds really good!

    And you have a beautiful face. Just wanted to share 🙂

  11. I’ve had acne issues throughout my life too. Nothing crazy or major- but I still (at 32!) get breakouts every now and then. I used Desert Essence for a while and it cleared my skin right up. But a few months later, I got a breakout again.
    I’ve been using Burt’s Bees facial cleanser for a while now and like it- but I still get a pimple every now and then. I just started using Bare Minerals make-up, which is supposed to give you clearer skin (we’ll see!)

  12. I had the same problems. I always noticed consuming dairy products made my acne red and painful.. And for the past 3 months I stopped dairy, as recommended from a dermatologist and just intaking water. And i have a clear face!!! After 9 years:) I’d say that’s many people’s problem and they just don’t know it.. Now I’m trying to figure out if almond milk isn’t good for acne since it comes from almonds=nuts.. And that’s another thing that isn’t good for acne..

  13. This is weird, because I had a similar experience with my skin over the summer. After doing all I can to cure my hormonal adult acne, I decided to stop consuming milk, and drink almond milk instead. However, I was still taking some milk indirectly from chocolate etc. Also, I continued to eat my yogurt and cheese daily. The result was incredible. My skin completely cleared and I attributed this to quitting milk. Now, I still don’t drink milk, but I don’t drink almond milk either, and the acne started all over again. So I have a crazy idea. Maybe the thing that cleared my skin was the almond milk I drank? So I’ll start drinking almond milk again, but I thought this was something interesting to share with you. I tried everything from quitting dairy to quitting sugar, but to be honest, none or them worked significantly..

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