10 Tips for Clear Skin – How To Get Rid of Acne

acne, clear skin, how I got rid of acne

This is Part 4 of How To Get Rid of Acne series. It talks about my story and thought processthe main causes of acne, the key mistakes I made, my tips for getting clear skin, and, finally, my complete morning and evening skincare routine.

The online world is full of gurus giving you tips on how to get rid of acne. But so often it’s all about selling you products or recommending that you use chemicals on your skin. 100% natural tips are a rare find.

Often, going au naturel is a harder and more time consuming path but it’s so rewarding.

When healthy skin comes together with a healthy body, better understanding of yourself and a happier wallet, what could beat that?

So let’s dig in. Remember, this is what I discovered throughout my acne years – it may or may not work for you. You might have to adjust some of the tips to suit your particular needs, climate, etc. But I hope this article will give you some food for thought and will send you on the right track to acne-free and radiant skin.

Tip 1. Give your diet an overhaul!

The influence of food is huge. It’s a massive factor in getting clear skin – I really can’t stress it enough. Of course I highly recommend the Paleo Diet. But if you find it too extreme, try to at least eliminate sugar and wheat. Also try to limit grains and all the starchy carbs that you eat. Even fruit – try to limit it to 2 servings a day and see if it helps your skin.

For example, if I eat too much fruit, I get white bumps all over my face and just bumpy and dry feeling skin all over my body. That’s how my body lets me know I’ve overdone it – sometimes I think I’m so lucky to have such a perfect warning system built inside me.

So my tip here is this – watch your body, get to know it , and you’ll know when you have eaten something your body isn’t happy about or too much of something that would have otherwise been good.

A photo of one of my Paleo lunches - it's great for acne free skin!

Just one of my Paleo lunches – great for acne free skin!

A hint: do you have excessive sweating, heart palpitations or anxiety? If you answered Yes to any of those, it’s very probable that your body has problems processing sugar. You should definitely look into the Paleo diet.


Tip 2. Re-think your skin type!

There is no such thing as combination or oily skin. Dryness or oiliness is just a sign of irritated, unhappy, dehydrated skin. That’s my opinion – you might disagree. But that’s what I learned from my experience and have seen it confirmed again and again by other people’s experiences.

Our skin is smarter than you think – it has a perfect self-balancing system. Why does it go out of sync? Because we confuse it with all that excessive cleansing, scrubbing and constant application of chemicals.

Tip 3. Give those products some time! 

If you try new products, try them for at least 2-3 weeks (ideally a month) before you introduce something new. Give them time to work. Otherwise, you’ll never know what worked and what didn’t. Remember, it takes around 30 days for the skin to regenerate its cells.

Tip 4. Take it easy on exfoliation!

If you exfoliate more than once a week – I don’t think it’s such a good idea. Doing it will just irritate and dry out your skin. The more dead cells you take off from the surface of  your skin, the more of them it’s going to produce to compensate. Skin needs it as a protective shield from the sun, pollution, wind, etc.

While I think exfoliating once a week will work great for a lot of people, I’ve noticed recently that my skin is happiest when I just leave it alone. I haven’t exfoliated at all for a month now and it’s never been smoother and softer.

Tip 5. Get addicted to coconut oil.

I’m in love with it and usually take 1-2 tablespoons a day. I think coconut oil is simply delicious and definitely helps my skin feel more nourished due to the impressive content of saturated fat. It’s also anti-fungal, so it will help sort your digestion issues in no time. Just make sure it’s extra virgin.

Photo of coconut oil - 10 tips for clear skin

I admit to being an addict.

A little personal trick: if you’re going to eat something sugary or starchy (life happens sometimes), eat a tablespoon of coconut oil straight after or right before – it will slow down the absorption of sugar and won’t spike insulin so much. Result – happier skin next morning.

Tip 6. Fall in love with Omega 3.

Eating fresh oily fish is great for your body due to its high Omega 3 content. But a lot of people also take fish oil. Do they really know why? Yes, because we need to up our intake of Omega 3. But why? Don’t we eat enough of it? Most people probably don’t. But even worse – most of us eat too much Omega 6 and get far away from the ideal ratio of 1:1. So it’s important that we balance it out by taking liquid Omega 3 supplements.

Why do I say liquid? Because in order to consume the recommended daily amount of 1-3 grams a day (Mark’s Daily Apple), you would have to take heaps of fish oil capsules. I just don’t think it’s worth eating all that gelatin (or sometimes things much worse that that) inside the capsule shells.

Worry about the taste of liquid fish oil? It doesn’t taste bad at all. Kind of like canned sardines. But you can also get flavoured ones – my favourite one is this mint-flavoured cod liver oil from TwinLab. It doesn’t even remotely taste of fish.

Tip 7. Top up your Vitamin D.

Sun is your skin’s best friend. When it’s exposed to the sun, your skin produces Vitamin D – it’s vital for healthy bones, teeth, immune system, prevents cancer and does so many more things. But it also keeps your skin healthy and acne-free. Most people living in the Northern hemisphere are severely deficient in Vitamin D. A simple blood test can tell you if you are one of them.

Being in the sun is the easiest way to get enough Vitamin D. But if you don’t have any opportunities of being in the sun, then take Vitamin D3 supplements.

Read more here – Vitamin D: Sun Exposure, Supplementation and Doses.

Tip 8. Accept the reality – your skin is low maintenance.

Most skins are low maintenance. Washing your face twice a day is too much and too drying for most skins, even more so for acne prone skin.

When you’re used to a lengthy skincare ritual, it’s difficult to break out of the cycle. It kind of becomes a part of your being – a part of what you are. Fight the urge to keep doing something to your skin and just go and enjoy your day.

Tip 9. Commit to Mother Nature 100%.

If you are trying out the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM), commit to natural skincare completely. Don’t be surprised if the OCM or the water only method don’t work when you apply a conventional toner or moisturiser afterwards.

The same rule applies to makeup – get some 100% natural mineral makeup and enjoy being beautiful without harming the delicate balance of your skin.

Natural things and chemicals don’t work together, so give it a 100%. Otherwise, you won’t know if it works.

Tip 10. Make your own fresh skincare.

Whenever you need it. On demand. You’ll be completely in control of the ingredients that you put inside. You can make your own oil cleanser, scrub, moisturizer, etc. Your skin will thank you for that.

Bonus Tip. Stop looking at that mirror and picking!

Photo of tips for clear skin - stop looking at that mirror and picking

Photo Credit: Gargamel by Bruna Ross at Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Try to leave your skin alone. It’s very tempting to extract that pesky blackhead, I know – but your skin will be much happier if you don’t. Not only – your mind will be more at peace if you stop examining yourself in the mirror a hundred times a day.

Looking in the mirror and picking pimples = stress, and stress = more pimples!

If you have a hard time resisting, just cover all the mirrors in your house for a while until you get used to living without checking yourself out every time.

Where to find things if you’re in Europe

As I get a lot of questions from those of you living in Europe, I’ve decided to include links to all the things mentioned above. I know it’s often impossible to find things (especially when you live in the middle of nowhere like me), so getting them online is often the only choice. Luckily, it’s the cheapest choice as well!

Did you find my tips for clear skin helpful? What would you add?

VitaLivesFree Signature

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you click on them and make a purchase, I will receive a tiny commission. However, the price for you will remain the same. Thank you so much for supporting my blog – it will help me spread the message of health and well-being!

Never miss a post!
Join the others who've found my articles helpful! Get DIY beauty, delicious recipes, motivation and so much more straight in your inbox.


  1. Awesome post! I came to check out your blog after you commented on mine (www.livingcleanandfit.com). I am in the middle of writing some posts about natural skin care. I had been addicted to Proactive (much to my dismay since I try to use clean natural products). I have been trying some new products and will be posting my results then. I am lost on makeup though. I have always used the regular drug store stuff. What mineral makeup do you use?

    • Thanks for visiting my blog! Proactive is really evil – I’ve heard so many horror stories about it, and looking at the ingredients I can see why! Have you completely got off it?

      My favourite mineral makeup brand is Lily Lolo (http://www.lilylolo.co.uk) – it’s a UK based brand but I believe they ship worldwide. The cool thing is they also offer trial sizes, so you don’t have to commit before trying.

      I’ve also got some stuff from Lumiere Coesmetics (http://www.lumierecosmetics.com) and I really like it too – it’s a US based brand and also has trial sizes. Both brands are both super affordable anyway.

      I would suggest staying away from mainstream brands like Bare Minerals – they contain bismuth oxychloride, which is a huge irritant for a lot of skins. Good luck in your search and let’s keep in touch! I’ve subscribed to your blog, so you’ll definitely see more comments from me! 😉

    • Hey Kristine! I saw in your comment that you were/are using proactiv, I’m still on the road to fixing all the problems it left me with after 8 years of using it. I stopped over a year ago and still am struggling to find a natural solution that works for me in the long run. Could you update us on your how your journey is going? I’m so very curious!

  2. I have problems with acne, since college. I was embarrassed at having to travel to different places. Your article is a good article and useful for me. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi, Vita! I stumbled upon your blog while trying to find a natural solution to back acne. I have struggled on and off with back acne for the last twenty years. Yes, twenty! Being hormonal birth control free actually makes my back acne flare up quite a bit, unlike your experience. Oddly enough, I have never had significant issues with my face, only my back. In fact, I am often complimented for my facial complexion! I have only been trying the OCM for about a week. I am starting slow so as to try to avoid a bad reaction (have cleansed two times in seven days). I started with safflower oil (it’s what we had already) and plan to add a small amount of castor oil after another couple of weeks. I can already see and feel a difference in my skin. I am keeping a positive outlook and am hoping for healing once and for all!

    I have been trying this on my face as well but I am experiencing more dryness there. I am needing to add a few drops of oil to moisturize after cleansing and most mornings as well. In the mornings I am not using any sort of cleanser, only warm water.

    My questions are:
    1. Do you think it is possible I may need two separate routines (types of oil) for my face vs my back? Or do you think perhaps my skin is trying to adjust to the new cleansing method?
    2. Do you think I should completely skip cleansers on my back other than the OCM (I use Dr. Bronner’s as body soap on the rest of my body) and just stick with the OCM every few days at this point?
    3. Have you ever heard of success without adding castor oil to the mix?

    I am anxious to simplify my cleansing routine and move away from chemicals in all aspects of my life. Thank you for helping me through this part of the journey!

    • Hi Jen, going off birth control actually made my body acne worse as well, at least for a while. It’s strange because my face cleared up after a while, but the problems with the back, shoulders, neck, and chest persisted much longer. I feel that the skin on the face and the body is totally different and they usually require completely different approaches. I tried the OCM on my body and didn’t get good results. However, that might be because I didn’t wash it off with a natural soap afterwards. Any kind of oil residue on the body seems to break me out. The Ayurveda, for example, recommends doing oil massages for 15 minutes each morning and then washing with a neem or tulsi soap for those with oily skin or acne. It makes sense.

      What really worked for me was washing with water only and an exfoliating glove on most days and then using the Aleppo soap once a week for a more thorough cleanse. What also works great for me is the coffee scrub (literally using the remains after you make coffee) or brown sugar or sea salt mixed with some honey.

      Regarding dryness on the face, I’ve since also started using oil on my face every morning. I still don’t use anything in the evening, but I really enjoy feeding my skin with pumpkin seed oil in the morning. Safflower should be similar because it’s also high in linoleic acid. I also just wash with water in the mornings.

      Now let’s get to your questions:
      1. Yes, absolutely! I think I’ve already answered it above. 🙂
      2. Dr. Bronners is still a soap and it still disrupts the pH of the skin, so I wouldn’t use it every day.
      3. Yes! In fact, lately I’ve been using pumpkin seed alone and it works great. I think castor oil is more cleansing and more healing, so it’s great for people with acne. But then there are also so many people who react badly to it, so it’s possible to be successful without it.

      Good luck on your simple journey! xx

Speak Your Mind