Advice Q&A Wednesday Trending

How to Get Clear Skin (Q&A)

How to keep your skin clear is a question a lot of us have had.

I struggled horribly with really bad acne as a teenager and it always shocks me when people today ask me what I do to keep my skin so “perfect.”

First, I’ll say that my skin is FAR from perfect. Most times you see me on camera, I’m wearing a little bit of makeup which goes a long way ๐Ÿ˜‰ That said, I have gained a little wisdom since my teenage years, so I have some solutions up my sleeve! I’ve found a pretty delicate balance that works for me and my skin and YES, even keeps my skin clear.

This is a longer video than usual because I talk a little about my own personal journey, I give you my “skincare commandments” and show you the few products I use on my skin every day.


Over to you! What’s your skincare story? Have you ever struggled with acne? What products or changes do you thinkย worked the best?

PS: I’m linking each of the products I mentioned below. It looks like they’re a bit pricier in the US than they are here in France, but might be worth a shot! ๐Ÿ™‚


2. Avene Gentle Foam Cleanser.

3. Heritage Store Rosewater.

4.Fragonard Royal Jelly Moisturizer. (Holy cow– this is only 25 euros in France!)

5. Avene Physiolift EYES. (Double holy cow– this is only 18 euros in France!

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    August 23, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Find it difficult to find the right sunblock to use every day (often times too greasy). Which brands do you use?

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      Erin Motz

      August 23, 2017 at 8:50 am

      I use one by La Roche Posay that’s inexpensive and fantastic! Goes fine under makeup for me too ๐Ÿ™‚

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    August 23, 2017 at 7:19 am

    What helped me the most was going vegan and sugar free. After 3 years on this diet my skin got finally better. I also stopped using all products and started using OCM (with argan oil). In summer I use 100 % natural sunscreen from Alterra or Alverde.
    My skin is still not perfect because I’m hypothyroid and my hormones sometimes go crazy but when I don’t cheat and eat healthy it’s much better.

    You drink A LOT. I would go to the toilet every 10 minutes if I drank that much ๐Ÿ˜€

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      Erin Motz

      August 23, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Totally agree that going dairy-free has majorly helped.

      Haha, I did at first but now my body’s used to it ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    Lisa S

    August 23, 2017 at 7:49 am

    I’m def going to check out some of these products I need a new cleanser! What happened to the eyeliner tutorial tho?? haha I am the WORST with my eyeliner!
    Also the Avene sunblock for your face is GREAT. You can put your make up on right over it and it hasn’t made me break out or anything. I got it in the fabfitfun box and love it!

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      Erin Motz

      August 23, 2017 at 8:52 am

      haha I PROMISE it’s coming! this week i was distracted with this question, so i’m gonna shoot for next wednesday ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    August 23, 2017 at 7:56 am

    I noticed the the biggest disappearance of acne when I turned away from the harsh products and stuck to a few simple ones. Pretty much the only 4 products I use on my face are 1-neutrogena oil free eye makeup remover (liquid), 2-st ives apricot scrub exfoliater (I massage this VERY gently onto my face), 3- philosophy purity 3 in 1 face and eye cleanser (amazing in every way), and finally – my favorite thing ever 4-neutrogena oil free moisture with spf. That moisturizer makes me face, look and feel so healthy!

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    Melanie Gibson

    August 23, 2017 at 7:59 am

    I totally get how damaging it can be to your psyche if you struggle with skin issues, because I also had the same problem when I was younger. Even now that I’m old enough to have been in menopause for a couple of years and I don’t have the horror-mones to deal with, I still have a bit of a breakout if I eat sugar in particular. For the most part, I eat as clean as possible, but occasionally I am out with friends or I’m at someone’s house and I have no choice. Then later on I’m like, go away, I thought I was finally all done with you now that I am almost 54! It has been a challenge for me as far as products because I am also low income and can’t afford most of the stuff on the market, but good old benzoyl peroxide did the trick when I was growing up, although if I used too much of it I would end up peeling a lot, which also makes me understand what you mean when you talk about being too harsh on our face. Now I am a lot nicer to it. Diet has been a big help to me too, and also wearing a big, floppy sun hat. I don’t spend a lot of time at the beach, but I do a lot of walking around town and that keeps the sun off. It feels better than going without it, too.

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    August 23, 2017 at 8:10 am

    I totally understand the struggle! I had pretty bad acne when I was younger, and it did impact my psyche (in a very real but not super serious way). I’m in college now and my skin has cleared up a lot, but I still get some pretty nasty breakouts every once and a while. Thanks so much for your tips!

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      Erin Motz

      August 23, 2017 at 8:58 am

      ugh, yes! i’ve heard people with extreme weight loss feel that way too… even after the weight is gone, they still “feel like” they’re the same as they were before. i think it’s that way with acne too!

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    August 23, 2017 at 8:25 am

    I’m one of the lucky ones who never had trouble with acne. I’d get two or three pimples and that was a break out to me lol. I’m in my 30s now and I still get a pimple here and there ๐Ÿ˜ฉ But I do agree it has a lot to do with diet. I eat a mostly healthy vegan diet (I mean Oreos are vegan so that’s why I say mostly healthy lol). And my drink of choice is water (and coffee). I have puffiness in the mornings if I eat certain foods. I’ve switched all my products to natural products (my favs right now are the Yes to brand). My daily moisturizer has sunscreen in it and it’s made of grapefruit. Smells good enough to eat ๐Ÿ˜€ I use 100% witch hazel as a toner every morning to quickly remove any oil. It also helps with that unwanted puffiness. My problem right now is finding a BB cream (which is my every day makeup choice) that matches my skin tones as good as I’d like. It doesn’t help that I’m only using cruelty free products now and I’m having problems finding companies that don’t test on animals.

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      Erin Motz

      August 23, 2017 at 8:57 am

      Hmm, which country are you in? Smashbox is cruelty-free in the US (I know, not ideal since they’re in China :/…) and their BB cream is fantastic.

      Also: oreos are vegan?! How did I not know this?!?!

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    August 23, 2017 at 8:40 am

    I had a pretty good skin as a teenager, but when I was around 25 years old I started having cystic acne on my face. This acne starts very deep within the skin so it takes longer to surface and go away. I would have only or two at the same time, but they would be in a cycle where once one was going away, another was coming out. I tried washing my face, exfoliate, etc., but thankfully my mother told me to just go to a dermatologist.

    In terms of diet, I was told to eat a lot of berries and avoid eating too much dairy (I used to eat a lot of yogurt and cheese).

    Then, I was given a peeler and antibiotic (sort of a gel texture) I had to use for about two months everyday. The change was not instant, but after the two months, my face was clear again and it has not come back.

    I was also prohibited to wash my face with soap AT ALL. I was converted into using micellar water once in the morning and once at night to clean my face. This was really hard at first because having acne gives you compulsions to WASH WASH WASH.

    Now I stick to the micellar water routine, not washing my face ever, and try to eat less dairy. I don’t use any sort of cream on my face except for a very gentle eye cream. I have noticed my skin is a lot less oily once you stop washing it so much.

    My doctor said my age did not require me to do anything further. Now that I am closer to 30 I might get a different opinion!

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      Erin Motz

      August 23, 2017 at 8:56 am

      Oh yes I know it well– I had it for YEARS.

      So wonderful you were able to find a solution! It’s amazing what small tweaks can do for our skin! (Berries & limiting dairy are big ones!)

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    August 23, 2017 at 10:24 am

    I grew up in the Pacific northwest and I had great skin that was easy to maintain. The minute I moved to Tennessee, my face started constantly breaking out. This could be totally made up, but I think it is the air here. There is so much more humidity and I have seasonal allergies here as well. Every time I’m back out west visiting my family in dryer climates my face clears up!

    You are so so right about moisturizing! When I moved and my face was getting oily and breaking out, I thought I needed a less moisture. Once I started moisturizing, my face was getting less oily. I use a light seaweed moisturizer for during the day and apply a vitamin E moisturizer before bed.

    I also can tell a difference in my skin depending on what I’m putting in to my body. Drinking lots of water, limiting dairy, and eating fresh fruits and veggies is really helpful. Getting enough sleep makes a big difference in my eating and exercising habits which play a part in my skincare. It’s all about balance. Taking care of myself leads to healthier skin.

    It is encouraging to hear about your journey. Thanks for sharing with us!

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    August 23, 2017 at 10:42 am

    What kind of daily sunscreen do you use? I have a lot of trouble finding sunscreens that aren’t super heavy and oily that will last through the day. I’m looking for a recommendation for facial and body sunscreen. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    Christin Slyngman

    August 23, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Totally agree about diet! I worked in a cosmetics department of a department store in my late teens/early 20’s and NOTHING helped until I started changing what I ate. Like you, I never went full vegan, or Paleo or anything like that, I just use the 80/20 rule of whole foods and try to limit sugar, processed breads and dairy. I definitely notice breakouts when I indulge, but now I almost feel a satisfaction knowing that I can control that! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I used to use Proactive and it made my skin sooo gross and dry. I use Rodan & Fields now a mix of their acne line (sooo gentle and actually moisturizing) and restorative line with a micellar makeup remover for eye makeup. Best skin i’ve ever had!

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    August 23, 2017 at 11:30 am

    I never had problems with my skin, but a year ago my skin got pretty bad. I remember that I was on vacation in France when I started to break out. I ate a lot of diary and crappy food and used a heavy sunscreen, so I thought that that must be the reason why. So back home I ate extremely healthy (I didn’t need the sunscreen anymore…) for one month but it didn’t get better. It actually got worse throughout this year… I’ve tried so hard to find the cause, but now I realise it’s propably just stress (I was in my senior year this year) and hormones for me. I eat completely vegan and a wholefoods, healthy diet since two months, so I hope that I’ll eventually see the benefits of that in my skin. Thank you for your tips, I think I’m going to try the Rosewater as a toner!

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    August 23, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    For anyone still struggling, this is what has worked for me. Lots of water (like Erin!), less SUGAR (this is huge), and now I use Beautycounter products, especially the charcoal bar and balancing oil. Their products are free of toxins that are in most products sold in the U.S.

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    August 24, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Pain d’argile – about 5โ‚ฌ a bar, lasts for a very long time, quick wash morning and night nothing else. Personally I’ve found that less is more – no moisuriser, tonner, or sunscreen (keep out of the sun or wear a big hat). I’m in the alps where it is cold and dry in the winter and fairly hot in the summer and have found that if I leave my skin alone it finds its own balance. I eat a wholefood diet, no meat, fish and definitly no dairy (otherwise I pay the price!!) Good nights sleep, my skin gets super crabby if I don’t sleep enough.

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    Erich M

    August 24, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Hi Erin!
    One of my FB friends started her own line, if you want to check this out. Thanks and have a great one!

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    August 25, 2017 at 8:50 am

    I used to have awesome skin as a teenager. In my twenties, I developed adult onset acne. It’s terrible. Although I don’t break out that much anymore, I still have lots of red spots. I found a Neutrogena toner that works, but as soon as you stop using it, the redness comes back, so I started using rose water.

    For cleanser, I use one from Prescriptives for normal skin, but they have a sensitive skin version too. The normal one is great and doesn’t dry too much. I’ve found in the past that cleansers made the problem worse, but this was the first one that didn’t so I stuck with it. I also use it to remove my makeup.

    As for sunscreen, I recently went through an exercise to get some for my pale dogs and discovered a trove of facts I didn’t know about sunscreens and how harmful they can actually be. For anyone looking for a new sunscreen, check here:
    You can search for the sunscreen you use and see how well it rates. That said, finding a sunscreen that wasn’t harmful to dogs (or babies) is what I think is the best to use. I use the Cetaphil SPF 15 moisturizer and I find that works well.

    Do you have any tips for getting rid of the redness?

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    August 25, 2017 at 8:57 am

    After my second child, I started to develop sensitive skin. I always use sensitive products on my face some of the “best” would still make my skin red. I know it may sound strange, but when I have irritated red skin on my face, I’ll put a tiny bit of coconut oil on before bed, and over a few’s way better! (Also good for stubborn eye makeup!) For those with sensitive skin, it always feels like a crap shoot, buying a new product to see if your face is going to like it.

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    Sonny Annaguey

    September 8, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    I suffer from adult cystic acne. Dermalmd acne serum is the only “safe” product I’ve found to work well on those deep and stubborn zits. I’m also a master esthetician and have many acne products and chemicals to treat acne, but nothing works as well and fast as this. I got a bottle for my teenage daughter and I. It’s anti-inflammatory properties (sulfer) clear the painful inflammation as well as kill bacteria. It also works fast and make clear skin. Dermalmd will be my saving grace product in my spa, for myself, and for my clients.

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