How I Cleared Up My Skin

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A while back, I asked y'all on Twitter if you would be interested in reading a post on how I cleared up my skin. A lot of y'all said yes, so I am just now getting around to sharing this post on Chic in Carolina.

Like most people, I experienced acne in middle school and into high school as well. For the most part, it was pretty manageable- not a complete disaster but not 100% clear skin either.

The spring of my senior year, however, my skin was horrible. Large, cystic acne covered my chin, cheeks, and forehead. It hurt, wasn't going away, and it seemed like no amount of foundation or concealer could cover it up. Plus, it was my senior year so when there was tons of pictures being taken, I wasn't completely comfortable with how my face was looking.

Of course, I'm not saying that acne makes you ugly or anything like that as honestly being pretty on the inside is a heck of a lot more important than being pretty on the outside (but that's a post for another day haha!).

the before & after

I would say that my skin started going down hill around March of last year and once May rolled around, it wasn't getting any better so my mom and I booked an appointment at my dermatologist. Going to a dermatologist is so helpful as they give advice for how to take care of your skin that is so much more insightful than what you can find anywhere else (plus you should go at least once a year to get your skin checked!).

When I went to the dermatologist, she recommended that I try out Accutane (or Isotretinoin). Accutane is somewhat controversial as it has crazy side effects but I had tried everything from creams to antibiotics to different face washes. The one con to starting Accutane is that you have to get your bloodwork done and then wait a month to ensure that 1. all your levels are good 2. you are not pregnant. As crazy as #2 sounds, you cannot be pregnant on Accutane as it causes horrible birth defects so you (if you are female) have to get your blood work done each month to ensure you're not pregnant (and to also check your levels and kidney function) to continue the treatment.

As far as side effects go, I'm thankful that I didn't experience too many of them. My back felt sore the first month or so and then my lips and my nose got really dry the last few months of it.

Even though Accutane was a pain in the butt at times as I had to get my blood work done and go to the dermatologist every month (and I lived 2 hours away in Clemson for the majority of my time on Accutane), the results are so worth it. It definitely took a while to work (I was on it for 7 months) but slowly all of my acne went away. I rarely have a pimple and wear no makeup most days compared to breaking out horribly and covering my face in makeup.

As for my skincare routine, I talked about that in this blog post but I keep things pretty simple. I use this cleanser (super inexpensive and lasts forever!) with my Clarisonic each morning and night followed by this moisturizer in the morning and this moisturizer at night!

I hope this post was helpful for y'all as my skin was definitely an issue for me for such a long time!

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor nor do I claim to be. All information contained in this blog is based off of my personal experience and may not apply to everyone. Speak to your doctor to make the medical decisions best for you.


  1. I struggled / still struggle with acne! its the worst.. So happy your skin is clear.

  2. I've had more acne in my twenties than I ever did in my teen years. My junior year of college it was definitely the worst and I experienced cystic acne for months. I watched ThaTaylaa's videos on YouTube about her accutane journey and it was so insightful. I'm glad your skin is clear!

  3. I never really dealt with acne (good genes) but I can understand how the struggle is real! This is such a great informative post!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

  4. I tried Accutane, but my skin was so tender it hurt to touch!! I tried a natural supplement, DIM, and within a month my acne cleared.

    1. So interesting how it works differently for everyone!

  5. I didn’t have very bad acne as a teen, but my adult acne drives me crazy! I’ve looked into Accutane, but the possible side effects scare me. Maybe I’ll brave it one of these days...

    1. I was worried about it to but I would definitely talk to a dermatologist! Thanks for reading, Erin!

  6. What a transformation! Thank you so much for sharing your routine and products. I still suffer from breakouts every once in awhile.

  7. Your skin looks so fabulous! So happy you were able to find something to help you and a routine that works :)

    xo, Taylor || Generation Tay (

  8. Your skin looks awesome! I’m so glad you found a routine that works for you!

  9. I am always so curious to hear about other women's acne journeys! It's not something I *ever* had a problem with until THIS year, so I like gathering all the info as I can!

  10. Wow what a great resource for other women struggling with acne. You were beautiful before and still are after !

    Xo Mindy

  11. i used topical Differin - i loved the astounding final result so much i did a partnership with them several months later. it's seriously such a game changer.

    1. So glad you've found something that works for you, Tara!

  12. Great post! I have sporadic acne, most likely due to my bad eating habits from time to time. But I'm always on the hunt to keep it at bay, so thanks for sharing!


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