It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about my acne issues. If I’m not mistaken, the last time I talked about my skin problems was around the time of the big ACV fiasco. It literally pains me to think about it.

With that being said, I want to begin this post by saying that skincare, like almost everything in life, is very personal. For example, ACV works so well for some people but not so much for others (like me). Unfortunately, there is no magic formula!

However, since October/November of last year, my skin has been doing ok acne wise. Some weeks are better than others, but overall, the blemishes are pretty much always there. I’ve been trying to keep my skincare routine pretty simple by washing my face twice a day, keeping it moisturized, and using Proactiv Repairing Treatment at night. On the dietary front, I’ve upped my water intake quite a bit and tried to reduce my sugar consumption (key word tried). Even with a fairly consistent routine, things have been so-so. Not horrible but not great either.

I’m sure you can imagine my concern when our trip to India rolled around – hot, humid, sticky weather conditions combined with lots of pollution. My ultimate nightmare! I honestly expected the worst, which in my mind equaled lots of flare ups.

Well, I am so happy to report that the worst case scenario never became a reality. Over the course of our two weeks away, the condition of my skin actually improved. I was stunned and couldn’t stop thinking about the whys. Here’s what I came up with – I used very minimal makeup about three times total during the entire trip, we consumed very little in the way of dairy products, I stayed away from chocolate for the most part, I used a new to me face wash for the entire duration of the trip, and finally, I swapped the Proactiv lotion for pure tea tree oil***.

tea tree oil

Since I didn’t want things to go back to the way they were pre-India, I made a few tweaks to my post-India routine. I’m still using the Cetaphil Dermacontrol face wash and tea tree oil twice a day (fingers crossed that I never have to use Proactiv again). I’m also consistently moisturizing my face both in the morning and right before bed (currently using Cetaphil Dermacontrol Moisturizer). Unfortunately, back to work means back to my makeup routine so that is something I couldn’t change. However, when possible, I wash my face after getting home from work. I think that’s helping.


Hmmm…what else? I’m still drinking lots of water and trying very hard not to consume a lot of sugar. And a new focus of my mine is to cut down (not eliminate altogether) the amount of cheese I eat. While the switch to almond milk was a painless one, this is going to be hard. I love cheese. A lot. We’ll see how this goes…

It’s been a little over a month since we left for India, and I’m cautiously optimistic. Fingers crossed but things are finally looking decent – no new flare ups, a smoother texture overall, and no midafternoon oiliness.

I think I may have found MY magic formula. I’ll keep y’all posted!

***From what I understand, tea tree oil can be applied directly to the skin or mixed with water and then applied with a cotton ball. I prefer the former, and fortunately, my skin can handle it. If you have sensitive skin that does not respond well to new products, I would start with the oil + water mixture first and go from there.

Oh and be patient.  I noticed that it took the tea tree oil a good week to do it’s thing.

Acne or not acne, what’s your skincare routine like?

By Parita

16 thoughts on “Acne Update”
  1. Ah I’m so glad your acne has improved…really glad for your sake :)! Skin is probably one of the most personal things- what works for one person could have the opposite on you. For me, I find that a minimal skin care routine works best. I just use a facewash in the shower and moisturiser post-shower. Diet makes the biggest difference for me- eating plenty of healthy fats & drinking water (at least 2 liters a day) works wonders..hopefully that stays the case!

  2. As I was reading your post I was going to suggest tea tree oil to you. My husband started using it about two months ago and he loves it. Where did you get yours from? We got it from Europe and recently ran out and got some from body shop but it’s not as strong as the one from Europe.

    1. Hi! Not sure where you live, but you can get essential oils like tea tree oil at many health food, beauty supply, nutrition or drug stores (whole foods, GNC, vitamin shoppe).

  3. I try to keep things pretty simple and basic with skincare, because I always find that the more products I start using on my face, the more I start to break out. Right now I only wash my face with water in the morning and follow that up with a tea tree oil to get any gunk off. Then at night I use makeup removing wipes to get my make up off, and use a clay mask about 2 times a week to exfoliate. Oh, and moisturizer and staying on top of my diet are a must.

  4. Im so glad the acne is starting to behave – it feels priceless and a huge relief. I love that Cetaphil moisturizer and dessert essense face wash is working really well for me. I used to wash my face twice a day but noticed it was making it dry so now I wash my face only once a day and it seemed to help me alot. I have not yet checked out the tea tree oil but when I had major acne problem (2 years ago) I used it and since my skin is super sensitive, it was too harsh at that time. Sugar and dairy is a big one for me too. And talking about hydration – I need to up my water intake so bad.

  5. Hey!

    Visiting your blog for the first time and it is so funny that this is the post I read because my skin is having an issue this week. I use Cetaphil too, but the general one and tea tree oil does wonders. Hope it continues to work for you. 🙂 Btw, this is Nicole from T&C. Hope all is well.

  6. I don’t have much of a skincare routine, actually. I use Shankara ( products. They are not cheap but well worth the cost! A little goes a long way and the products are choc-a-filled with the best possible ingredients ever. My skin loves these products, I can tell. I have been wanting to go treat myself to a facial but really, the truth is that I don’t need one – my skin looks great!

    I use very little make-up (only kajal), try to maintain a decent daily intake of water, keep dairy/wheat consumption to a minimum, eat fresh, home-cooked meals mostly, meditate every day… 🙂 I guess that’s my routine in a nutshell!

  7. I’m so glad you are seeing improvements!

    For me, my skin never looked better than when I was in Singapore – the humidity does amazing things. Cutting out dairy will help for sure! I hope your skin continues to improve Parita.

  8. Cutting out dairy and increasing water intake I noticed has done a lot for my skin. Acne is the worst girl problem ever so I’m happy you are getting better! My skincare routine is face wash (Desert Essence I believe?) twice a day and that’s it! I am starting to get little bumps again, so I don’t know if it’s due to stress or what have you. My skin is also pretty oily, any suggestions?

  9. I had acne pretty badly around this time last year. For me, stress is what causes a lot of it, but also I think I just have acne prone skin. I started using proactiv though, and now my skin has been super clear! I can’t even believe the difference. I’m glad you’ve found something that works for you!

  10. Awesome, so glad to hear that your skin is improving. With India, I believe it has a lot to do with humidity which probably help unclog the pores.
    When I had mild to moderate acne, I changed my diet, I ate fewer carbs (sugar), I cut back on desserts, and that did the trick for me. I also believe using less product on your face works.. your skin can breathe and the more stuff you use it clogs your pores. That’s my take on it. So far it has worked.

  11. Hey Parita, absolutely love your blog 🙂

    I’ve had acne for years, for three years now I’ve given up dairy and red meat, dairy and red meat have hormones and thus it creates a problem for skin which then flares up into acne. Get a blood test done for a hormone imbalance.

    Also try drinking a glass of turmeric water in the morning and at night a mug of green tea with a slice of lemon.

    I’m sure your acne will die down 😀

    Take care

    1. Thank you! Your comment motivated me to try a dairy-free challenge to see if it makes a difference on my skin! Will definitely be posting about the results soon. 🙂

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