The Best Skin Care Advice I’ve Ever Received


Meet my skin care dream team!

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Growing up, all through my teens and early 20’s, I had the best skin. Rarely did I have a blemish, and there was never much thought put into my skin care routine. Wash my face when I wanted, with whatever I wanted, and it was all good.

Then I turned 24 and it all went downhill. Adult acne, people. It’s a terrible thing. My once smooth and fuss-free face had turned into a greasy, itchy, broken out nightmare – seemingly overnight. Nothing seemed to clear it up, and I tried everything. Proactiv, Proactiv for sensitive skin, antibiotics, this face wash, that face wash, trip after trip to the dermatologist. Trial and error, trial and error, trial and error!

One weekend, about a year into my adult acne journey, I was at a makeup/skincare counter at a department store. As I was chatting with the woman working about some makeup, she asked if I would be interested in hearing about their line of skin care products. I launched into my whole sob story about adult acne, and all the products I’d tried that never seemed to work – in fact, my skin was just getting worse and worse everyday. She took one good look at my skin and said the statement that completely changed the way I had been going about clearing up my acne.

Oily skin doesn’t mean moisturized skin.

It sounds so simple, but it completely rang a bell with me! She could plainly see that although my skin was greasy & broken out – it was dry as a bone. All this time I’d been trying to get rid of the oil and breakouts by drying my skin out with harsh chemicals and products, but little did I know that it was making everything worse, and making me break out even more. For me, dry skin = broken out skin.

I switched gears right then and there, and re-focused on HYDRATING my face with moisturizing products that wouldn’t gunk up my pores with extra oil. Here’s the dream team that’s worked miracles for me:

Cetaphil Face Wash: Effectively cleans my skin and removes makeup without over drying. I use this every morning and every night.


Dual Action Moisturizer: a moisterizer with salicylic acid added for breakout treatment. All the products I’d been using before had benzoyl peroxide in them, which I figured out was way too harsh for my face. Salicylic acid is much more gentle, isn’t as drying, and works much better than benzoyl peroxide. Win, win, win! I use this moisturizer every morning.

UPDATE: I now use Oil of Olay Fragrance-Free Face Lotion in the morning instead!


Cetaphil Advanced Moisterizer: For really, deep down moisturizing. I use this every night to re-hydrate my face. It’s a little too heavy for use during the day (read: too much shine) but is perfect for repairing at night.

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Put together, I saw results in mere weeks. My skin was much less inflamed, it didn’t itch so bad and miracles were happening with the persistent acne I hadn’t been able to get rid of in over a year.

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I still have some dryness around my mouth where I occasionally break out, but my skin is 99% better than what it was before I started using this trio of products. If you are currently, or have ever suffered from acne, you know how it can start to run your life. When you find something that works, you share it with the world. I hope my story has helped some of you! ;)

In other news, breakfast was epic today. I had a Tropical Greek Yogurt Bowl!


In the mix:

  • 1 Pineapple Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • 1 mango
  • 1 kiwi
  • almond slices


Simply, amazing.


Both my kiwi and mango were UBER ripe and sweet as candy.


Combined with the tropical pinapple yogurt, I was once again transported to paradise in my mind!


Bora Bora, in case you were wondering. ;)


I’ve got some leftovers for lunch.

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Creamy, satisfying Tuna Noodle Casserole.


Good straight from the fridge, I’m telling you. No need to re-heat even!


A high fructose corn syrup-free applesauce cup.

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And some carrots with smooth Barney Butter for drizzling. :D

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All together now!

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In other news, TGIAF!!! Although my days have passed by lightening quick, this week has seemed to last forever. Bring on the weekend!

Have a great Thursday!


Have you ever suffered from acne? What did you use to treat it? What’s your current skin care routine?

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  1. I suffered from acne when I was 16-18, and I still get breakouts if I’m stressed :( my sister suffers from it though – I’ll tell her about this!

  2. I have been so blessed that I never have had acne! But I do always wash my face before bed and moisturize. I use Clean and Clear and have for years!

  3. DEFINITELY, TGIAF!! I’ll be 30 tomorrow!! :)

    I use Cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer plus some prescriptions. I think I’ll have to start using it the way you describe here, though.

  4. Stephanie 08.19.2010

    Where do you buy these???

    • AJ 08.19.2010

      I know Walgreens has Cetaphil cleanser

      • Cat Girl 01.29.2015

        Bed Bath and Beyond, Target…. are good places

  5. Leianna 08.19.2010

    I’m turning 25 in two weeks and have had good skin so far. Those products you use are amazing, we use them at work and I love them!
    Your breakfast is so fresh and tropical, I just realized I haven’t had a kiwi all summer now:(

  6. Molly 08.19.2010

    I’ve never had acne, but random zits here and there around a certain T.O.M. and I’ve always used Clearsil and love it. Although my sis has acne, so I’ll definitely tell her about this too! Thanks Kristin!

  7. Daisy 08.19.2010

    hey kristin – I have the SAME skin story. I was like, what the hell, i turn 24 and now I have acne? But you know what, cetaphil was my facewash all through high school, college and into adult life! So it worked wonders on my super sensitive skin THEN, but you know how sometimes you need to switch it up after so many years? Weird, right. Anyways, this was a great post and I think I will try that mosturizing cream!

  8. I am getting that Cetaphil Ultra Hydrating Lotion STAT! I have the same greasy, yet parched skin problem. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Maggie 08.19.2010

    I had the exact same thing happen to me in my early 20’s. I tried every single harsh product (including many of the ones you used) because I thought I had to practically fry those blemishs right off. I use Aveeno Ultra Calming Cream Cleanser and Ultra Calming Daily Moisturizer with SPF. It has worked wonders and is so much cheaper than many of the heavier-duty products.

  10. katielovespie 08.19.2010

    Ugh bad bad horrible acne throughout my younger teen years (I’m 19 now, still struggling with it some) I went through every kind of face wash, cream, etc. I finally went to a dermotologist who started me on antibiotics and perscription acne cream. Those turned out to be too strong/harsh so I stuck with the antibiotics and nixed the creams. I’ve since switched to the Pill (amazing results!) and gentle face wash with a light moisturizer. I def agree that oily does not equal moisturized! I’ve seen such a difference once I started using moisturizer. Also, I def reccommend Cetaphil, it was rec’d to me by my derm and its great.

  11. katielovespie 08.19.2010

    Just had to add this too: Drink plenty of water! I’ve always heard what you eat does not affect your skin but I think what you drink does. I drink mostly milk (with meals) and water (throughout the day) and I definitely notice a difference as oppose to when I have a lot of soda/kool aid/sugary drinks. It makes an enormous difference and I have pics to prove it.

  12. Hey IGE, great post on skin care, i use Dermalogica and swear by, its mighty pricey but worth the tag for sure! it lasts forever and gives excellent results! breakfast looked epic!! as does lunch! hmmm

  13. I am the same as you! Near-perfect skin my entire life and could use whatever products whenever I wanted. In my early to mid-twenties I started getting BIG cyst like zits and finally went to a derm. I now use Acne-Free face wash (found at any store) and it’s cheap and it works!

  14. Mellissa 08.19.2010

    I have always had the occasional breakout and still do, being 29 I keep hoping it will get better. I have tried about every brand out there and have yet to find my perfect formula.

  15. Salycyclic acid works wonders for my face too! Anything with benzoyl peroxide just plain out doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried all sorts of skincare lines from $ – $$$$ and funnily, the thing that works the best is Neutrogena! Better than Chanel, etc… You just have to play around until you find the products that are right for you.

  16. sara 08.19.2010

    Ugh – I totally hear you on the adult acne thing. I finally found happiness (I thought) with Oil of Olay daily cleanser, but eventually that made my skin red and blotchy, so I switched to the Loreal 360 clean that comes with the mini scrubber – LOVE it. I use the apricot one and love it!!

  17. I have been suffering from acne for about ten years now. I first got it in my early teens, and my skin has never been completely clear since. I’ve tried a lot of stuff – Proactive, prescriptions, store brands – and nothing seems to do the trick. I might have to try the Cetaphil you have, because I’ve heard good things but never tried it yet. But we do use the same moisturizer, I’m happy to announce! Target brand stuff is amazing!

  18. Alyse 08.19.2010

    My skin was so bad when I was a teen I had to see a dermatologist. I’d been using stuff that had all these “super-chemicals” in them to help me, which didn’t work. My dermatologist said that stuff is toxic to your skin and basically causes more problems. She said the best thing for a face was just a mild, easy on your skin cleanser. I started using Cetaphil when I was a sophomore, nine years ago, and I’ve never looked back. I love it!

  19. Molly 08.19.2010

    ah thank you for posting this! Adult acne nightmare is my life right now. I am trying this TODAY!


  20. Erica 08.19.2010

    Thank you for sharing! My doc recently recommended Cetaphil lotion but I couldn’t find the one you use at Wal-Mart (live in a small town and that’s all we have)! I’ll have to look somewhere else for that lotion to try. Ah, I hate my 20-something-yucky-skin too. Wait til your preggo someday, they say your skin is awesome then, but that wasn’t true for me:( Anyway, thanks again for sharing this!

    • Itsy Bitsy 12.29.2014

      Hey hon, if you can’t find certain drugstore products near you there’s always I started ordering things from them over a decade ago and they’re great! They have everything that you can’t find in the drugstores anymore, lol.

  21. Dream Mom 08.19.2010

    I had acne in high school and once it cleared up, still had adult acne. I still have oily skin and I am much older than you! Here are the three best products I have used for my skin:

    1) Now Foods Virgin Coconut Oil-The absolute BEST make up remover and BEST moisturizer. (You must buy organic and not “refined” coconut oil since it’s cleaner; I won’t go into detail here but you can google it. Virgin coconut oil will have a light coconut scent to it which I like, refined coconut oil has no scent.) Yes, I have oily skin and no it doesn’t make me break out and I have NEVER been able to put an oil on my face that didn’t cause break outs until this. I put coconut oil in a small glass dish with a covered plastic lid and put it in my medicine cabinet. Put a tsp or so of coconut oil on all over your face and wipe off with a tissue. Do the same to remove eye make up. When finished, wash face with Cetaphil Cleanser for Oily Skin. Pat dry and then moisturize with coconut oil. I put this all over my face, neck and chest. Leaves your skin silky smooth in the morning. Be aware, it does look shiny when it’s on and you’ll think, “Oh, this is oily!” The next day however, your skin will be soft and hydrated. I purchase my Now Foods Coconut Oil at Whole Foods-it is $9.99 for a 12 oz. glass jar. It is located near the Health and Beauty Aids aisle in the store.

    This coconut oil is probably the best product I’ve ever used in my life (this is all products, not just skin products). Why? A few reasons:

    *It’s non-toxic and all natural.
    *It removes fine lines/wrinkles in a matter of days! Totally unbelieveable. Best anti-wrinkle cream ever! (Be sure to tell your Moms.)
    *Your skin will look amazing the next day-you can see it’s totally hydrated.
    *Your skin will be ultra soft. I put this on my hands as well before bed and then put on white cotton gloves. They are soft the next morning.
    *It’s anti-microbial and anti-bacterial so it’s good for acne.
    *It’s also a great oil for cooking/baking since it has a higher heat point (I keep my coconut oil for cooking/baking separate from the one I use for my skincare.). I use it instead of any spray cooking oils since it’s healthier.
    *While it is a saturated fat, it’s different in that it has Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA) which is a different molecular structure than other saturated fats. What this means is that the coconut oil is converted to energy faster versus being stored as fat, like all other saturated fats. Bodybuilders also use this.
    *It’s a great sunscreen. Put it on before you run.

    2) Cetaphil Cleanser for Oily Skin-I have used this for over a decade. Great cleanser! I still use it after removing my make up with coconut oil and then I moisturize with coconut oil.

    3) Estee Lauder Clear Difference-It’s a water based moisturizer for oily skin. Smells nice and my face looked amazing. My face looked so great, I could actually go without make up if I wanted to (which I don’t, thank you, lol!)

    Sorry for the long reply but I just love the coconut oil. Love the breakfast today. I am not a fan of Greek Yogurt but I do love the mango/kiwi and almonds on top!

  22. Marg 08.19.2010

    I was acne prone all through my teen years. Cetaphil was one of the first things I tried in my teen years and it didn’t work for me. One of the last things I used that seemed to work was M.D. Forte Glycolic Wash. Since then my face has cleared up and don’t have a problem any more (maybe it was age). Now I don’t have to use anything, but will use an Olay wash. I do need to start moisturizing!!!

  23. Maura 08.19.2010

    Ugh, I’ve had acne pretty much since I hit puberty (I’m 23 now). I’ve tried everything, including Accutane, which worked for a short period of time (max. 1 year) and then all hell breaks loose again. It’s been miserable. I did try an antibiotic that my friend used and I’d say my face is clear 98% of the time. The other 2% is definitely stress related around my mouth/chin area. Drinking a lot of water helps & my make up application skills are pretty phenom so I deal, haha. It also gives me an excuse to buy the good stuff & forgo drugstore brands. :)

  24. Angharad 08.19.2010

    THANK YOU for this post! I too had pretty much perfect skin in my teens and early 20s. I used to get comments constantly about how amazing my complexion was…..and then….ugh. Same thing as you, I hit my mid-20s and it all went downhill. I’ve been trying to blame it on the Midwest. haha.
    I also have oily/greasy skin that breaks out on my chin and around my mouth but is ALSO dry! So frustrating! I try and avoid moisturizer to “dry it out” but then my skin is itchy and worse! Gah.
    I started using a face wash a few weeks ago that I LOVE but I might have to try some of these. Great post.

  25. Melanie 08.19.2010

    Moisturizers with salicylic acid are the BEST! I use the Clean and Clear Dual Action Oil Free Moisturizer, with that ingredient. I wash with the Clean and Clear Daily Pore Cleanser. Might have to look into the Cetaphil products, though! My skin was the worst when I was in my early teens and did a lot of community theater – stage makeup was so drying that my skin became painful, borderline cracking/peeling! I actually had to put Vaseline on my face to heal it. Yuck! I really like your idea of using a heavier moisturizer before bed, because I always end up using too much during the day and that does lead to shine. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Heather 08.19.2010

    I love Cetaphil products – I use the face wash and lotion as well.

    My husband’s dermatologist recommended them to him – said they were some of the best products out there.

    Also, we can buy them in bulk at BJs wholesale club – so they aren’t that expensive!

  27. Laura 08.19.2010

    Oooh, I have to add my voice to the support for Dermalogica! Yes, it’s pricey, but it literally takes a *dab* — a pea-sized amount will do you, so it lasts nearly all year.

    I’ve used everything from their clearing skin wash (my regular cleanser of choice) to their dermal clay cleanser (safe for pregnant women with oily skin!), their oil control lotion, active moist, and skin smoothing cream — all moisturizers for whatever weather the Midwest throws at me!, and several other speciality options — overnight clearing gel, a mask, their daily mattifier, etc. Now I can’t imagine my life without my Dermalogica! :)

  28. dmcgirl 08.19.2010

    Never had a blemish in my life. Okay, maybe one or two monsters that pop up right before a big event on the TIP of my nose or right between the eyes, but not on a daily basis. I just dab them with neosporin and they disappear the next day.
    Have a nice day!

  29. I suffered from acne while I was in high school, and like you said, my problem was that I wasn’t moisturizing my skin properly….which is especially important because I live in a super dry and arid climate (Colorado). Now, I moisturize twice a day- once in the morning with a moisturizer with SPF and at night with a heavier moisturizer. And I must say, I love the cetaphil line of products! I swear by them….

  30. Sami 08.19.2010

    My freckles make it hard to see any blemishes on my skin, but they are DEFINITELY there. Especially recently. I’ve been trying to incorporate more healthy fats into my diet (I had been on an EXTREMELY low fat diet), and I think it’s causing my skin to be a little extra oily! I wonder if mine is a dry skin issue too? I never moisturize!?

  31. Marissa 08.19.2010

    I had really great luck with Cetaphil for a few years in college (I had acne problems in high school and college pretty bad!). I also tried a few prescriptions that worked but I didn’t feel comfortable about the chemicals in them.

    I now use and LOVE Earth Science Clarifying Facial Wash ( It’s paraben free which I consider a top priority in my skin regimen now. The consistency, smell and ingredients are great and my skin loves it! They should sell it in most stores carrying organic products. Great post, your blog is great!

  32. Mikael 08.19.2010

    I’ve been using Proactiv for a couple years. It’s definitely not as effective as I would like it to be even though I wash my face AT LEAST once a day. I’m so glad you posted what you use because I’ve always wondered how your skin always looks so nice… I think I’ll be taking a leaf out of your book once again. Googling cetaphil products now! ;)

  33. I’ve been fortunate to never suffer from acne, but I do get small blemishes every once in a while. I used to use proactive but it kinda dried out my skin. I’ve been using a bar of soap for the past 9 months that contains a chinese herb, ganoderma, that I bought through the healthy coffee business I distribute for. My skin has never looked better :)

  34. Ms.S 08.19.2010

    I love this post! Thank you so much for sharing. I, too, NEVER had issues with acne in middle/high school. It wasn’t until 20 or so that I started breaking out – never really badly, but way more than I ever had before. I tried doctor’s treatments and harsh face washes, too. And they SO don’t work! I actually tried Cetaphil, but didn’t like it (it’s been too long, so I don’t remember why). I found Johnson & Johnson’s Purpose face wash and moisturizer is perfect for me – I use both in the morning and at night. Though I think I will get myself some of the deep moisturizing lotion you mention, as I’ve been suspicious lately that my skin could use a little extra help at night.

  35. I have such a similar skin story it’s not even funny. I moisturize with pond’s dry skin formula every night and make sure to use a moisturizer with SPF every day. I tend to freckle easily. I use the prescribtion form of cetaphil all the time. It’s great!

  36. I had terrible acne in my teens, and I realized I was drying my skin out as well! Not to mention covering it in harsh chemicals my body did not appreciate. So I started using all natural products, cleaning and moisturizing twice a day, only spot-treating when I needed it and bam! All better :D

    I have heard great things about Cetaphil!


  37. Sara 08.19.2010

    I love Cetaphil! It’s great for all skin types and I’ve used it for years. I’ve never suffered from acne, only an occasional blemish here and there. During my first year of college though, I started breaking out on my chin, near my mouth and my dermatologist diagnosed it as something the women usually get and it was stress/hormone related. She gave me an antibotic and that cleared it up!
    My skin care routine is Cetaphil face wash, Cetaphil moisturizer (only when it’s really dry though), Olay Total Effects Daily Moisturizer and Night Creams (gotta prevent the wrinkles while we’re young!)

  38. AJ 08.19.2010

    I’ve had acne issues since I was about 12. I’m on prescriptions, which is basically the only possible way to keep my skin clear. I use Cetaphil moisturizer at night as recommended by a dermotologist. I use a lotion with SUNSCREEN during the day, however. I would recommend lotions with sunscreen for use during day time to protect skin from sun damage (wrinkles, spots, etc)! Anyone with sensitive skin should stay away from benzyl peroxide – it makes my skin beet red, dry and itchy!

  39. Beth @ bethcooks 08.19.2010

    Oh yeah, I suffered from a lot of adult acne also. I have JUST started using coconut oil though, and it is really amazing! I ordered some organic version from Amazon for around $7.99. It can be used for everything and it really works!

    I too was drying out my skin, thinking oil=acne. It’s just not true! You must have healthy skin to have clear skin, and moisturized=healthy. Thanks for the post Kristin!! I think a lot of girls are in the same boat :) And you skin looks FABULOUS! You would never know…

  40. Jill 08.19.2010

    Hey Kristin!
    I totally feel ya with this post… I have struggled with poor skin since my pre-teen years. I tried EVERYTHING but it wasn’t until my 20s that I found that I had extremely sensitive skin, plus some skin allergies. Proactiv-type products made me break out in a rash, (hot!). I have found that organic and natural skin care is what works best for me! You can find a TON of options at Whole Foods, but if I don’t want to spend a lot, I go for Aveeno at Target. It’s gentle and works wonders. I think I was trying to be too harsh with my skin with tons of chemicals and it just made it worse. Now everything is looking great… and I like to think that oily skin helps you stay looking young ;)

  41. Becky 08.19.2010

    I have the same skin sob story. It’s terrible. I would give anything for a day of clear skin! I recently switched to the Cetaphil cleanser, but I am going to add the nighttime moisturizer to my routine. I know I have serious moisturizing issues. Thanks for sharing your story and your tips!

  42. Jenny 08.19.2010

    I had acne when i was a teenager, but just a little bit, and mostly on my forehead. I had bangs and the zits weren’t bad, so you couldn’t really tell. Then when I was about 22 it got really bad. All of a sudden I had it everywhere, and it was leaving marks. I remember seeing my face one day in the rear view mirror and freaking out. All my friends said it wasn’t as bad as I thought, but it was bad enough for me. I ended up using proactiv, and also went on birth control, and that combo cleared up my skin really fast. I had also hidden from most of my friends that my back was horribly broken out. That was the worst part. It hurt and I didn’t want to go swimming or wear tank tops or anything that might show my back. The proactiv body wash helped that get better (with no scars!) Now I just use neutrogena acne bodywash to prevent a reoccurance (just on my chest and back.) I also use oil of olay face lotion with spf for oily skin. In the winter I use a facewash with salycylic acid and skip the proactiv so my face doesn’t get too dry.

  43. kate 08.19.2010

    I had a delicious Greek yogurt bowl for breakfast, too! Yum!

  44. Wow, that yogurt bowl looks flippin devine! Mannn, I’m jealous!

    I love Cetaphil products, I use there Moisterizers because I have super sensitive skin, most things make my psoriasis on my hands break out like crazy and it gets SO painful; like to the point I can’t type it hurts that bad :( Thank goodness I found something that works or I’d be covered in harsh steroid creams all the time which I DO NOT like.

  45. Terin 08.19.2010

    I have suffered from acne for as long as I can remember. I have used every product on the market, antibiotics, topical creams, proactiv, proactiv knock offs, even accutane! (which worked for a while, but then I got ezcema as a side effect so I quit taking it.) I wash my face with cetaphil twice a day and use their facial moisturizer. They are the best products I have ever found. I also use toner to strip some of the excess oil before using the facial moisturizer. That along with taking the pill and using retin a topical cream has helped keep my breakouts under control. My best tip, no matter how tired you are ALWAYS wash off your makeup at night!

  46. Lauren 08.19.2010

    SO TRUE!!! I think moisture is the BEST piece of skin care advice to give anyone. I moisturize 2x a day because I think its that important. By the way, I think you have beautiful skin!!!

  47. Kacy 08.19.2010

    I’ve never suffered from acne, but my skin has gone downhill in the last year or so – my pores are clogged and it looks pretty gross close up. Not really sure how to fix it.
    I’m going to look into those moisturizers though – my skin is really dry!

  48. Hilary 08.19.2010

    I use the EXACT same product combo, and it works wonders on my skin. Great minds thinks alike! Although, I’ve been using the Clean & Clear name-brand moisturizer… I’ll have to give the generic Target version a try next time!

  49. Amanda 08.19.2010

    It’s funny you mentioned this today. I have sporadic breakouts and recently it has been really, really bad. I’ve been slathering my face in that Ice Neutrogena spot treatment for days now. Well, last night, I used my proactive moisturizer… and BOOM this morning I noticed a HUGE difference.

  50. Susie 08.19.2010

    Proactiv has always been my saving grace! I have been using it for 6 years and love it!

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