Category Archives: How to heal acne scars

4 steps to heal large pores – from ya’ kitchen!

LargeporesLarge pores used to drive me insane.

When I was a lot younger, I had a ton of them on my cheeks and chin and lemme tell you, they drove me kookoo for cocoa puffs.

I already had self-confidence issues back then because of my acne, so having crazy pores all over my face made it so much worse.

Luckily, I’ve been able to help them appear smaller over time and I want to help you do the same!

I’ll go over the biggest reasons you may have large pores in the first place, and then give you some of my fav solutions.

5 reasons you might have larger pores:

#1: Oily Skin

Sometimes our own body’s “moisturizer” can cause large pores. By “moisturizer”, I mean the oil that is produced for our skin by our sebaceous glands.

Oil is our body’s natural moisturizer, but when there is an accumulation of oil and dead skin cells inside the pores, the pores will get clogged and inflamed, causing them to look bigger.

So, oil + dirt = large pores.

#2: Gender

4 Steps to Heal Large Pores
bein’ a lady ain’t always easy

I hate to include this on this list, because it seems just so unfair, but it needs to be here.

Male and female hormones are different. While we all have the same TYPE of hormones running through our veins, we don’t have the same levels. Men have more testosterone and women have more estrogen; which can both cause issues.

Also, on a chemical level, men generally have larger pores compared to women. Women’s pores, however, might enlarge when you have your period or if you’re going through any intense hormonal changes.

#3: Sun Damage


4 Steps to Heal Large Pores

I don’t think I’ve touched on this enough but…. I’m a crazy stickler for avoiding the sun (if you want to know why, check out the article on the breakout blues!)

Sun damage can cause a whole host of issues but my main problem with it is that it causes inflammation.

Inflammation is problematic because it can lead to thicker skin which then leads to larger pores, because tiny skin cells collect around the edge of the pore.

Too much exposure to the sun can also speed up the aging process which can cause the loss of your skin’s elasticity. This can lead to sagging and stretching of skin that will make your pores look larger. Total bummer, avoid the sun!!!!

#4: Genetics

Ok this one is annoying to include here (I know!) but I have to do it.

Probably one of the things you can NEVER change (in this lifetime, anyway) are your genetics.

There is some research that suggests you can inherit large pores. So if you have parents who have large pores, you may have them as well.

I found this info out first hand when I first started having my acne; my father and his siblings had acne and large pores when they were young as well, so it made sense that I had them too.

#5: Blackheads

Blackheads are caused by the clogged oil in your pores that has oxidized; so it’s actually not dirt, it’s oxidized oil!  One key tip to avoid blackheads is to exfoliate more often. Grab one of my favorite exfoliating masks here!

Now that we have acquainted ourselves with the causes of large pores,  I have to tell you that sadly, pores cannot be “permanently shrunk”, but we can minimize the appearance of large pores.

So here, without further ado, are 4 Steps To Heal Large Pores:

1. Avoid pro-inflammatory foods. Pro-inflammatory foods include:


4 Steps to Heal Large Pores

Sugar: If you have a sweet tooth, like me, I apologize in advance. Unfortunately, there have been studies done that indicate that a high sugar intake (high glycemic diet) is proportional to sebum (oil) production. And as discussed before, oily skin causes large pores.

Why does sugar promote sebum production, you ask? Well according to a study about the correlation of facial sebum to serum insulin, elevated levels of insulin could mean an increase in sebum production. I talk about it here more. The sugar I’m talking about here, by the way, is the added sugars (sugars not naturally present in food) and highly-refined foods such as white bread, pasta, cakes, etc.

Fried foods: Foods cooked in high-temperatures (deep-fried foods) promote inflammatory response in the body. They can cause an inflammation of the skin and therefore, larger pores and oilier skin.

2. Eat anti-inflammatory foods/nutrients aka foods that prevent inflammation.

4 Steps to Heal Large Pores


Here is a great list of anti-inflammatory foods:

Low glycemic foods. If high glycemic diet promotes inflammation, it only makes sense that the opposite, low glycemic diet, will prevent inflammation.

A low glycemic diet that includes whole grain foods, vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes which are digested slowly, meaning a slow release of energy and no insulin spikes. No insulin spikes = lower inflammation = fewer breakouts. Win win.

Vitamin C. If you’ve been skin-conscious and have done some of your research, you’ve most likely come across vitamin C as a magical vitamin for the skin.

(Need more vitamin suggestions? Learn about vitamins for acne here and here!!)

Vitamin C is a good – no, POWERFUL– antioxidant. It also promotes collagen formation, skin elasticity, and dirt extraction when applied topically. All of these contribute to smaller pores!

Vegetable sources of vitamin C are broccoli, spinach, kale, chives, parsley, etc. For topical application, you can puree or juice vegetables that are rich in vitamin C and include it in your daily facial cleanser to tighten your pores

Zinc. Vegetables high in zinc may reduce the inflammation of skin–therefore reducing the appearance of large pores. Vegetable sources are mushrooms, squash, zucchini, and spinach.

Polyphenols. Polyphenols are found in tea. Green, black, white, and oolong specifically. There have been studies that have found that polyphenols in tea have anti-inflammatory properties; which may help you with your large pores as well!

Selenium. Selenium helps promote skin elasticity, reduce skin inflammation, and helps in the regulation of glutathione peroxidase, a powerful antioxidant.

Selenium can be found in aromatic vegetables such as onion, and garlic. But it can also be found in Brazil nuts (best source), brown rice, chia seeds, sunflower, sesame, and flax seeds as well!

3. Drink water.

4 Steps to Heal Large Pores

I promised cheap, right?! Hehe.

Actually, I talked about this last week, but adding in lemon water is also super good for you too! Try to grab 8 glasses a day; and while this is only a general guideline, I’m pretty sure your hot bod will thank you for it:) Learn more about why water and lemon water especially, are great for your skin, here. (I talk about how dehydration can negatively impact your temple acne here, so grab details on that now.)

4. Unclog and tighten your pores.

Exfoliation is key here.

You have to handle a clogged pore gently, but also consistently, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite all natural face masks to unclog your pores if you need some SKIN-inspiration!

4 Steps to Heal Large Pores
glamorous AF over here in #healyourfacewithfood land.


Carrot mask. Carrots are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene. These vitamins act as antioxidants and unclog your pores by increasing the cell turnover.

For application, steam and mash carrots then add some honey for added anti-microbial benefits, apply to your face and let sit for 10 minutes before washing with warm water and patting (gently!) your face dry.

Cucumber mask. Cucumber is a great astringent aka a substance that shrinks or constricts body tissues. So instead of those alcohol-based astringent that may irritate your skin, try the cukes!

Cucumber also reduces facial oil which leads to minimized pores. It’s like a double-duty summer food; it’s refreshing, and it helps your skin.

To create and use the cucumber astringent, peel the cucumbers first, then blend until it is a smooth liquid consistency. Apply a generous amount of it onto your face and let sit for 15 minutes before washing with cold water.

Check your skin if the pores have tightened! I bet your eyes would look less puffy, too. #doublebonus (Like cucumber green juice? Grab a delish recipe here:)

Egg white mask.  First, crack an egg and separate the yolk from the white. You’re going to use the white part, not the yolk. You can add 1 tbsp. of honey, lemon juice (for skin lightening), extra virgin olive oil, and then whip the ingredients together. After whipping, dip a clean cotton ball onto the mixture and apply it to your face. Let it sit and dry out for 20 minutes or so before rinsing.

Bonus of egg whites: they contain lysozyme which is an antibacterial enzyme that can help get rid of the bacteria on your face that causes acne!

So what do you think?

Do these ideas help with some large pore woes that I know we all may have? 

What’s YOUR favorite large pore remedy? Leave in the comments below:)

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Top 10 Natural Acne Clearing Creams + My favorite acne scar cream

Jill PalmerMy lovely!

I wanted to give you the list of my Top 10 natural acne clearing creams!

I get so many questions all of the time and I LOVE them (keep ’em coming!) and I’m dedicated to answering as many as humanly possible so I wanted to answer a big one for you today:)

I know that so many of you ask me for the best natural acne remedies and so I wanted to give you a list of my 10 favorite natural creams for acne-prone skin. 

I’ve broken the list down into two parts-moisturizers and treatments– to make it supah simple. So read on and pick one moisturizer and one treatment option to start some acne clearing!

Here is a list of my 5 favorite moisturizers for acne prone skin:

1. Cetaphil’s Oil Free Moisturizer – pick this up at any local drugstore. It’s not the most organic and/or chemical-free moisturizer out there, but I have found that I could still use it even when I was having a really bad breakout. It was simple, inexpensive, and it help me stay moisturized without making me feel oily.

2. Coconut Oil – this is a great natural oil that you can pick up at a local health food store or grocery store. The reason coconut oil is awesome for your skin is because it has two powerful antimicrobial agents in it- capric acid and lauric acid. So basically, it helps to remove the bacteria on your face that can start the chain reaction for acne itself. I find that it leaves my skin feeling really moisturized but not too oily. If you’re worried about looking oily, apply this and the following two moisturizers at night, so that you’re not feeling oily all day.

3. Jojoba Oil – this oil is the botanical extract of the seed of the jojoba tree. The basic idea is that when you apply this oil, your skin thinks that it has enough oil, so it calms its production of sebum (the oil that can help to cause breakouts). Pick some up today in its purest form, and try it out in a few small places on your skin. It might make your skin appear a bit oily at first, but don’t fret, that’s normal at the beginning. I’ve just started using this on my nose (clogged pores there that drive me CRAZY!) because the goal is to soften the dirty in the pores and then really bring out the dirt. (I’ll let you know how this goes!)

4. Hemp Seed Oil – this oil is obtained by cold-pressing hemp seeds. It has a ton of linoleic acid and a very high concentration of fatty acids which are super beneficial to your skin, hair and nails. So many people have had a lot of luck in keeping their skin moisturized while they use hemp seed oil, and it can over time, help you to avoid breaking out further. A lot of people report that it even HELPS PREVENT breakouts! Give it a try :)

Try it out, and if it works – hey, it works! If not you can always try….

5. Grapeseed oil– this contains a lot of linoleic acid to help strengthen your skin, and your skin super, super needs this when you’re having acne problems (that can often upset the delicate imbalance of your skin as well as negatively effect any oil/dryness issues.) Again, there is a high level of fatty acids, antioxidants and super anti-inflammatory properties here as well that are powerful for acne healing.

Now, those are a few moisturizers for acne that you can try, let’s move on to my 4 favorite natural acne treatments!

1. Benonite clay mask- this is a natural clay that’s extracted from deposits from around the world. (I’m kinda obsessed with clay, so stay with me). The coolest part about this clay? When it’s combined with liquid it develops a mild electical charge that pulls impurities from tissues. So it literally pulls the junk out of your pores and helps to remove it from your skin. So cool right? Try a mask today!

2. Tamanu oil- this oil comes from the seed from the fruit of a flower on a tree that only blooms 2X a year! (Hehe, funny sentence). Ergo, this is a super hot commodity. One of the best parts about Tamanu oil is that it’s super rich in fatty acids- I talk about this a lot in the CYSCYL Program- and how important these acids are to healing your acne. It’s also antibacterial, has a ton of antioxidants, is antimicrobial and anti fungal as well.  It’s pretty thick and has a fruity/earthy smell to it… always test a little spot on your skin first too!

3. Tea tree oil- full disclaimer on this one. I totally, totally hated tea tree oil for my acne. The smell, for some reason, made me want to DIE inside, but I know a lot of people have had a ton of success with it for their acne so I wanted to include it. It’s super anti-inflammatory so it can really help with redness. It has some pretty awesome soothing and antimicrobial factors to it- so again, you’ll find that it kills the bacteria on your skin that originally causes breakouts. They have little “roller tube” options of it every where (I shudder when I pass them) (ok I’ll stop now…:) so grab one to try today!

5. Manuka honey – acne sufferers SWEAR by this treatment (I never got to try it though:). This honey is super powerful because it is SUPER antibacterial. Some scientists even say that it can inhibit 80 strains of bacteria (including the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria that sits on our face and causes our acne in the first place). It’s also super healing and soothing. They used to use this honey all the way back in 1892 in Egypt for wound healing. Yah, it’s that good:)


Bonus bonus. Trouble with scarring? My favorite acne scar remedy ( it’s not “natural” but has lovely ingredients) treatment is Kiehl’s Wild Rose Face and Eye Serum. (Definitely not even being paid to link to that website. I truly loved this stuff for my acne scars. I STILL use it for “brightening”).

What is YOUR favorite scar healing remedy?


How a 1.5 inch scar on my face helped me feel more confident

Do you feel good about yourself?photo (28)

Do you feel beautiful when you walk into a room,
do you feel confident when you approach that special someone who gives you butterflies?

Or do you hide, behind your hair, your make up, or just in general?

I used to hide a lot, in more ways than one, and after all of my experience with acne….I have a secret to tell you.

Confidence has nothing to do with the way you look. 

Ok, now before you get really angry and throw the computer across the room, hear me out :)

I know that you struggle so much with your acne, that you feel bad about yourself on a daily basis, that you’re embarrassed by your skin and that you hate that you have this problem when you feel like no one else does.

And believe me, I get it. 

But I wanted to tell you a little story today to help you understand what I mean when I say that confidence is an inside job. 

So you know how I’m obsessed with my skin, right? (Haha, by now, you most likely understand that my skin is very important to me).

Well, 2 years ago, I had a bad accident that ended with a 1.5 inch scar right above my eyebrow.

Do you know how pissed I could have been? I had cleared my acne after 15 years of struggling, I had basically gotten rid of 95% of my scarring, my face was finally porcelain-esque that I always dreamed of, but now I had a relatively noticeable scar (if I didn’t cover it with make-up) that I would most likely, never be able to get rid of. And guess what?

It was totally ok.

Why? Because I’ve realized after all of my years on this earth… and all of my acne healing, all of my random struggles and challenges that….

Here is what that scar did for me. It reminded me, once again, that I have absolutely no control over the things that happen to me. Literally. This was a total freak accident that I could never have seen coming… and you know what, it could have been worse! I could have lost my eye, the scar could have been right in the middle of my cheek (now it sits right above my eyebrow which is almost, ALMOST, cute hahaha…)

In a weird way, the scar helped me to continue to define my beauty and my confidence from the inside out. 

So, me being me, after the whole scar incident happened, I started to make a list one day of all of the things that make me feel powerful and confident- things that I DO have control over…..things that can’t be taken away from me.

I came up with these:

Working out. Years ago, I used to HATE working out. But a few things in my life changed and I really started to understand how powerful working out can actually BE. Now when I work out, I not only GLOW afterwards, but I feel powerful, strong, in charge. Working out makes me feel beautiful.

Reading and Learning. Does this sound weird to you? I hope not, because reading is like… my everything. I think that feeling intelligent is one of the ULTIMATE ways to feel powerful. When you know things about your life, your body, your mind, your circumstances, your money, the world…. you become powerful. This is also why I wrote Bold and Bare, because I want to arm you with acne clearing knowledge. So that you always make choices about your skin from a place of power, strength and knowledge.

Being kind and loving, even when others can’t.  Two people in my life did very mean spirited, callous and cruel things to me a while ago at the very worst time. Do you know how angry I could have been? How mean I could have been back? But you know what? Being mean, angry, or “retaliating” back, is also, just not me.  The second I give in to anger, I don’t respect myself as much. My nature is love, kindness, positivity, and generosity. And sticking to these loving principles, even in times when I am being treated badly, helps me love and respect myself so much more; it helps me feel powerful and confident.

These things above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my feeling powerful and confident, in spite of how I “look”. I wanted to share them with you so that you could maybe start to brainstorm some inside->out ways that you feel beautiful and confident.







4 Homemade Remedies for Cystic Acne

Happiest of Happy New Year’s!

I’ll have a longer post for you later on with some of my resolutions/goals this year (I was a bit busy over the past few weeks launching The Heal Your Face With Food- New Year’s Edition!) but for now I wanted to give you a few steps you can take tonight to start to relieve cystic acne inflammation ASAP with my 4 homemade remedies for cystic acne.

Cystic acne is the worst. I had cystic acne along my jawline and chin towards the end of my acne struggle and it was so frustrating.

I remember I was in the car one day with an old boyfriend, and I was so embarrassed by my skin that I was trying to use my hair to hide my acne…. it was terrible.

I’ll have a longer post for you later, on the causes of cystic acne, but for today I wanted to make sure I sent you over my quickest fixes for inflammation!

My fav 4 homemade remedies for cystic acne inflammation:

1. Baking soda and sea salt- mix baking soda and sea salt with water and apply 1-2x/week as a mask. Rinse off after 5-10 minutes.

2. Apple cider vinegar– apply to a cotton ball and use as a toner over the affected area 2-3 times a week.

3. Aspirin and honey- mash 2 aspirins in water and apply to face as a mask. Then, apply local, organic honey on the same area for antibacterial, moisturizing treatment (wash off after:)

4. Combine lemon juice and water and use as a toning treatment- apply to a cotton ball and use 2-3 times a week on the affected area.

I know that these aren’t fool proof answers to the root of your cystic acne problems, but hopefully we can get you a bit of relief in the meantime to reduce some inflammation.

And leave me a comment below- what are your favorite cystic acne homemade remedies? 


3 home remedies for cystic acne scars

cystic acne scars
(me, no filter, no scars:)

One of the worst things that can happen after you’ve finally cleared your acne are the cystic acne scars that come with your success.

You’re constantly having to cake
on make-up to cover it up, and then….
you have to worry about caked on make-up.

Also – any time you’re outside and can’t
wear a ton of make up – in the pool, playing
sports etc. –  there’s no hiding the stupid scars.

I remember when I FIRST cleared my acne, and took a gander at my skin, I was…. honestly? I was super disappointed.

My skin was covered in dark marks, and I felt so discouraged! I had fought the good fight against acne, and now here I was “clear”, but with terrible marks all over my face.

However – being acne free now for over 4 years, I have to tell you – I NEVER thought my skin could ever look like this.

When I tell people what I do, that I help people like you heal your acne naturally, and I tell them that I also used to have really bad skin, they don’t even believe me anymore. (#humblebrag)

Haha, and then I show them old pictures and they’re like “Ohhhh. Ok. I see” 

I used a bunch of different methods when I was FIRST healing my skin (methods that are coming to you soon!) but I wanted to share these 3 cystic acne scar treatments

I know you might struggle with scarring too, and so I wanted to give you some DIY acne scar help.

Here are the 3 home remedies for cystic acne scars that I used back in the day when I was still struggling with my skin.

Here are 3 home remedies for “cystic acne scars”:

Raw lemon juice











Here are the DIY steps:

  1. Clean your face with warm water, and gently squeeze a lemon onto a cotton ball.
  2. Completely cover the affected scarring area with the lemon and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Gently wash off with lukewarm water (if you’re wondering how to wash your face in a way that won’t make your skin breakout, check out this blog post on how to wash your face with acne, so that you don’t make breakouts worse!)

You heard about the goodness of lemons in the 5 step acne clearing detox plan from yesterday, but lemons can also be powerful for scarring.

Lemons have a “bleaching” effect so they’re powerful at fading cystic acne scars. (Lemons are also pretty awesome for a detox AM tea, check out my fav in the 5 step acne clearing detox plan:)













Here are the DIY steps:

  1. Cut up a cucumber so that you’re looking at the “white meat” inside the veggie.
  2. Take that and gently rub it over the affected area for 5-10 minutes (or as long as you can stand it:)

Cucumber has an anti inflammatory effect on your acne that’s quite powerful, so over time, it can really help with redness and puffiness!

Oatmeal Mask

cystic acne scars
oatmeal for the win!












Here are the DIY steps:

For a delicious mask for cystic acne scars (for your entire face) combine:

  1. Two scoops of oatmeal, 2 scoops yoghurt, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
  2. Mix into a delicious paste
  3. Gently rub all over your face and let it sit for 10 minutes.

This has an antibacterial affect (because of the yoghurt) as well as a lightening affect (because of the lemon juice) so you’ll be getting a double whammy of help!

***NON-DIY product for my cystic acne scars that I also loved!!!***

cystic acne scars











Also, I did use a product that I truly helped my acne scars and that was Korres Wild Rose Face and Eye Serum.

After so many bad experiences with so much money wasted on creams, this product was a miracle worker when I combined it with the other remedies!

*Bonus! I take a teeny tiny amount of oil for acne and apply it after the above treatments for moisture and soothing.

However, if you’re feeling a bit too oily, this probably might not be the best for you!

What are a few of your best home remedies for cystic acne scars? I’d love to hear the recipes, leave them in the comments below!





DIY Fridays- Heal Your Acne Glow Juice!

I am a BIG fan of using green juices to heal acne naturally, so I love sharing a few of my favorite juices with you! Here is one of my best acne clearing recipes! *Acne Clearing Glow Juice* This juice recipe is my Monday morning juice to ensure that my skin still glows… after having… Read More

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