I asked you guys on Instagram about a month or so ago if anyone was interested in me writing a post on how I cleared my acne and the answer was YES! So I thought I’d share a little bit lot of history about my skin, my skin type, and what I’ve tried unsuccessfully so you have a better idea of what I’ve been working with and so if you have a similar skin type, this will be more helpful. This is going to be a long post so grab a snack and something to drink (peppermint tea with honey and lemon sounds so good right now)!

My skin type:

  • Moderately severe acne – thankfully I’ve never had cystic acne but I’ve had just about everything else
  • Oily to combination with occasional flaky patches
  • Blackheads covering the t-zone
  • Whiteheads (closed comedones) covering the lower half of my face
  • Larger pustules (inflamed comedones) on my cheeks, mainly hormonal, that would take weeks to months to go away completely and left a lot of hyperpigmentation and some scarring
  • Not very sensitive

Unsuccessful attempts/products to clear my acne:

  • Salicylic Acid
  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Just about every over-the-counter acne product 
  • Just simple cleansing and moisturizing
  • Eating healthier
  • Tretinoin
  • Tazorac
  • Egg Whites (don’t trust everything you see on Pinterest guys)
  • Essential Oils (Tea Tree, Lavender, Frankincense, Carrot)
  • Glycolic Acid



These were taken six months apart. The “before” photo was on one of my good skin days. NO photoshop OR face makeup in either photo.


So what worked?

I discovered Curology* about six or seven months ago I think through a YouTube video but I’m not entirely sure. What stuck out to me as different from other “cures” was that it’s an online dermatology service coupled with customized prescription strength topical medications AND that they offer a 90 day money back guarantee. It can take up to two months to see changes in skin and so it was reassuring to know I wouldn’t have wasted my money if it didn’t work out. But it did! About a week after using Curology when I was moisturizing my skin, I noticed my forehead was nearly smooth, which was the craziest feeling after so long of having bumpy skin.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You answer a bunch of detailed questions about your skin/medical history, such as what medications you’ve previously been on.
  2. You upload high quality photos of your skin. (If you don’t have a good quality camera, use the back camera on your phone and go outside for better light.)
  3. Your dermatology provider (board certified either dermatologist, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant) will review your photos, get back with you, and provide you with a prescription.
  4. Apply after cleansing and before moisturizing every evening. Easy as that!

Over time you’ll upload new photos and they can tweak the medication if it’s not working as well as it could, or if it’s too strong, etc. You can also request a new bottle of medication if you’re running low. There’s no way of telling (at least that I can see) when the bottle is getting empty other than it feels lighter, so to be on the safe side I would order a new bottle (no extra cost to you!) around 2 or 2 1/2 months instead of the three months they suggest. I ran out of mine at about 2 3/4 months but I do use a tad bit more than a pump so I can put it on my neck too.

You know what else is awesome about Curology? Any questions you have about your skin, the medication, etc. you can ask your dermatologist about anytime! They’re very prompt about answering AND it doesn’t cost you any extra.

*NOTE: I am NOT sponsored by Curology. They have no clue who I am lol. I signed up and paid for Curology with my own money. They do offer a referral system where if you refer a friend and they sign up you get $10 (which goes for anyone who uses Curology).



My current formula:

  • Azelaic Acid 8%
  • Clindamycin 1%
  • Zinc Pyrithione 0.25%


Morning Routing:

  1. Cleanse face with cold water. (Wash your hands first!)
  2. Mix moisturizer and sunscreen and gently rub into skin.

SUPER simple!


Evening Routine:

  1. Rub oil cleansing balm (recipe below) into skin to loosen makeup and then remove the oily makeup mixture with a baby wipe.
  2. Clean face with clarisonic & face wash using circular motions.
  3. Remove eye makeup with eye makeup remover and a cotton round.
  4. Using another cotton round, remove any residual makeup with toner. I love this toner because it’s alcohol free and
  5. Apply Curology cream.
  6. Apply eye cream. Personally I don’t see a difference when I use this vs. when I use argan oil, but I got it in an Ipsy bag so I’m going to use it.
  7. Apply about 4-5 drops Argan oil. This brand is different than the one pictured because I reused an old bottle but same thing.
  8. Apply lip balm. This stuff is AMAZING either as a lip balm or as an intensive hydrating cream. I get a lot of flakiness around my nose during the winter and this heals it overnight.

Other Skincare Products I use:

Oil Cleansing Balm Recipe:

  • 2 parts Coconut Oil
  • 1 part Liquid oil of choice (I used Sunflower oil) (this is to keep the coconut oil from completely solidifying)
  • a few drops Lavender essential oil (optional)

Mix these together in a small jar and use a nickel sized amount to loosen makeup before washing face.

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