how we have healed our acne: what we have changed

by purelytwins

Hello luvs,

This post is way overdo! And we apologize for that.


Status on how acne is doing!

more loris face

A few days before heading off to Blend I (Lori) changed my oil pulling method.

After talking with Michelle and reviewing everything I have eaten or done in the past few months to figure out my breakouts I made some simple changes. Pretty much stopped everything I was doing and did LESS! Yep – realized LESS IS MORE!! Within days of doing less to my face it started to get better.

UPDATE — see this video here of how our skin is doing.

Here’s a video of us sharing more of what has changed and how we are doing:

FACE OIL MIX UPDATE HERE. What we are using now. 

using different oils to oil pull for acne


Face: pretty much blemish free (currently) – still working on healing acne scars. I have just a few red very small bumps on skin randomly, but so much better than the large painful pimples I was getting a few weeks ago (as you can see in my pictures).

Back: it has gotten a lot better, but still have acne scars on back of shoulders that I am trying to heal (slow process).

Dry skin: scalp is still dry (have been trying new homemade shampoos to help) and dry itchy skin has gotten better. I still go through a few periods of bad itching but overall doing well!


Face: Still doing well and been blemish free for a few months now. I just get the very rare pimple here or there. This is HUGE for me as I used to have really bad acne like Lori a few years ago and to be able to say I rarely ever break out anymore is astonishing! I have thrown away so many past pictures of myself because I was so embarrassed.

Back: It has gotten a lot better, but still have a few acne scars on back of shoulders. Nothing too major.

Dry skin: Like Lori my scalp is still dry (been playing around with different homemade-natural shampoos) and dry itchy skin on legs is still pretty bad. I do have some days where I don’t itch that much. Though I still go through days when I can’t seem to stop itching them and now have red patches all over them. Very embarrassing. Now that I think I got my acne controlled on face I am focusing on healing my eczema on legs!

Here are some of Lori’s skin pictures over these past few weeks:

loris face

My face these past few months. Sorry for the bad lighting in some of the pictures. These were some of my bad days when I felt like a failure.

I am almost comfortable wearing little to no makeup.  I still have some leftover redness and scarring that will take a little bit longer to heal. But through using natural oils and putting lemon juice on my face every so often I know I will continue to help heal those scars.

makeup face

My face about an month ago. In both pictures I have makeup on but now my face is blemish free. Currently I do not have any big pimples that protrude off the skin like before.

What do we think that has helped our acne and skin?

  • drinking lemon water in the morning 
  • drinking detox tea daily ( a face tea for Yogi Tea)
  • controlling our stress – not letting things get to us
  • changing oil pulling oils (more on that below and discussed in video)
  • working on balancing out our hormones (taking Vitex and Maca has helped)
  • eating plenty of healthy fats (avocados, coconut oil, ghee*, etc)
  • doing less on face (less is more)
  • Lori’s is taking 2000mg of Pantothenic acid every morning (not a forever thing just to help with skin at the moment)

*ghee update: looking back during our gut healing journey we were having ghee but thought it was still causing us issues, so we stopped having it. But when we looked over old posts we realized when we mentioned our face was getting better when we were having ghee. So about 3-4 weeks ago we started having ghee again and our faces have continued to get better. We know some of you have mentioned that ghee makes your face worse, so again it does not work for everyone. But for now – for us- ghee has helped get rid of our acne.

What products we are using now on our skin:

  • eminence rose whip moisturizer  – use this only in the mornings
  • witch hazel – use in the mornings and at night before we wash with our oils (using it a night before oil pulling has really helped, we only do this if we had a lot of makeup on)
  • using a few essential oils (rose, lavender and thyme)
  • Lori uses a NiaSerum spray on her face at night before bed (after oil pulling) and sprays on her back
  • finding new oils to use on face (Lori uses: sunflower, tamanu, borage seed and sometimes just coconut oil; Michelle uses jojoba, olive and castor – and coconut oil experimenting with)
  • putting straight lemon juice on scars to help heal them a few times a week
  • using baking soda to exfoliant our face every other night
  • doing the heated oil pulling a few times a week – other nights we just clean the face with our oil mixture and splash with water

Other thoughts on healing adult acne:

  • take things slow – don’t rush (we know that is hard, but have to be patient)
  • try new things both topically and internally (food)
  • doing things that help our gut and hormones (through diet and supplements)
  • taking fermented cod liver oil (1/2 tsp in the mornings)
  • taking a variety of magnesium daily to help with bowel movements and so many other things
  • getting our water in (though not stressing if we don’t drink a lot)
  • reducing the intensity of our workouts and doing yoga as much as possible
  • figure out why you are breaking out: is it hormonal, stress, allergic reaction, food allergy or trying new products on face
  • experiment with different healthy fats and carbs to see what makes your skin shine
  • figure out how much fruit and what kinds of fruit your skin likes (as each person will react to different fruits)
  • limit your amount of raw foods (yes we know crazy, but ever since we have been enjoying more cooked food our face and stomach seem to be doing better)
  • say positive things to yourself every day
  • smile even on the bad days and visualize yourself getting better (mind over matter)

how to heal acne with oil puling

Now these are just our suggestions based off personal experience. We are not doctors but we both have experienced adult acne and know what it is like to have it. And no doctor was ever able to help us, we had to do it all ourselves.

We know we still might experience a few pimples here and there as we are still figuring our happy place. But we have a wider view on things that work and don’t work for us.

Be willing to try new things. And never give up!

We know this is a lot of information to take in. We do plan on discussing some of these items in further details in posts to come. We just wanted to give an update on what we are doing differently and what we think has been helping us. In hopes it helps someone else!

Please let us know if you have any questions. We are here to help!

Do you have anything to add to our list of what works to help heal acne? Please feel free to share what has worked for you and we will gather everyone’s comments so we can have one common place for a resource page.

Here are some more articles on oil pulling:

Ideas of oil from Crunchy Betty

If having issues with oil, look at this article to help you find different ones

More oil ideas for oil pulling

Finding the right ratio is important too.

Thanks for letting us share our acne journey with you. It is a tough topic to talk about as it is embarrassing but we feel it should be a topic people discuss more.

Updated skin care products that we use.



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lindsay May 28, 2013 - 5:52 pm

you two never cease to amaze me! Such inner and outer beauty.

purelytwins May 28, 2013 - 7:14 pm

thank you so much sweetie 🙂

Alisha May 28, 2013 - 6:05 pm

When you started taking Vitex did you get worse at first? I started taking Vitex and DIM and my acne really intensified around my mouth and chin.

Maybe I’ll just try the Vitex by itself first.


purelytwins May 28, 2013 - 7:16 pm

yes I was taking both Vitex and DIM for awhile a few weeks ago, and yes my acne around chin and mouth got worse, so I stopped the DIM and just do Vitex and it is a lot better!!

Elisabeth May 28, 2013 - 6:27 pm

You girls look beautiful! I am so happy to hear that your skin is improving! I don’t have any acne problems myself, but I have noticed that sometimes after I work out or, now that the weather is getting warmer, that my legs start itching like crazy. I get little red bumps/dots on them, and sometimes if I itch really hard, which I am prone to do, I get humongous bruises on my legs – like covering half the leg! Do have this problem? If so, what do you do? Thanks, girls!

Meghan May 28, 2013 - 7:10 pm

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you lovely ladies are so brave and generous to share your experiences. I hope your skin continues to improve!

purelytwins May 28, 2013 - 7:16 pm

thank you Meghan 🙂 xoxo

Steph! May 28, 2013 - 8:53 pm

Thanks so much for this update and the links! I’m just starting OCM today and hoping for good results. Appreciate all the info and love that you’re sharing all this info 🙂

purelytwins May 28, 2013 - 9:51 pm

your welcome Steph! Good luck with everything

Melissa May 28, 2013 - 8:53 pm

I very rarely post comments, but ever since I saw one of your comments on IG regarding acne scars I wanted to throw it out there that I’ve had a lot of success healing acne scars by washing my face with Manuka Honey (Active 16+) and using organic aloe vera that is made for skin at night before I go to bed. I know there is so much information overload on these types of topics, but as someone who has very few things actual work for me, I can’t help but share. Thank you for documenting your journey. 🙂

purelytwins May 28, 2013 - 9:52 pm

thanks Melissa for sharing. I sometimes use Manuka honey on my face too and like it. I forgot to mention that! thanks 🙂

Jen May 28, 2013 - 11:10 pm

So happy you posted this!! I’ve never tried topical oil pulling…I do the method where you swish oil around in your mouth for like 20 mins in the morning. I really want to try your mix though.

For me, my skin really likes Sea Buckthorn oil (it also comes as a cream and I use the night cream). It stains your pillow cases though so I bought orange pillow cases to match the cream hehehe.

Do you guys find brown rice protein or cacao makes you break out? I’m on an elimination diet and adding those back soon. I’m scared eek.

Judita May 28, 2013 - 11:12 pm

Great post ladies! As someone who also has acne prone skin I can totally relate to having to find that sweet spot with skin care products. I’ve been using the honey face wash from Worker B and their day and night serums for additional moisture. It’s a blend of different oils and I find it works pretty well for me. I also exfoliate every day or every other day. I use the Rhassoul Refining Exfoliant from ISun. I have chronically oily skin so I have to keep those pores open so oil doesn’t get trapped. I also avoid stress, sugar in all its forms, starches, caffeine, and cacao (this is a hard one!). I follow the Body Ecology principles most of the time which includes tons of fermented foods. I’ve also been doing hormone balancing with acupuncture and herbs. Oh and keep that colon moving! Colonics and enemas can do wonders!

Ruby May 29, 2013 - 3:53 am

I have a question for your Q&A segment 🙂 what first made you decide to incorporate more cooked foods in your diet and stop being raw vegans? And is Perfect Fit protein available in Australia? Xx

purelytwins May 29, 2013 - 7:31 pm

Ruby yes perfect fit ships to australia! We will work on answering those questions, thanks for asking!

Linz @ Itz Linz May 29, 2013 - 8:31 am

i’ve never done any oil pulling on my face, but i’m interested in trying coconut oil. i get a few zits here and there (argh!) and want to try coconut oil! but i’m kind of scared..

purelytwins May 29, 2013 - 10:21 am

it can be scary but really after a few times using oil on the face your face ends up loving it! 🙂

Julie M May 29, 2013 - 11:52 pm

I’m scared about the coconut oil too, but I keep reading different sources with success stories. I think I will try it.

Also, I never thought of using lemon juice for the scarring. Great idea!

purelytwins May 30, 2013 - 8:05 am

if you get really good quality coconut oil – your skin should be fine 🙂
and yes we have been loving lemon juice to help with scarring!

Maureen May 29, 2013 - 8:56 am

Thank you both for being so open about this. I struggle with adult acne from time to time, so I appreciate all the helpful tips you have!

purelytwins May 29, 2013 - 10:21 am

🙂 Maureen thanks

Deanna@healthyleanfit May 29, 2013 - 9:21 am

You girls are both soooo beautiful!!!! I am soooo.happy you are having success! I understand how hard it is because my bloat is so severe I liken it to the way you feel about your face. Hoping I’m finding the answers too!

purelytwins May 29, 2013 - 10:21 am

thanks girl!

Gillian May 29, 2013 - 9:29 am

Your skin looks amazing! You gals are radiant!

purelytwins May 29, 2013 - 10:21 am

aww thanks girl!! HUGS

Courtney May 29, 2013 - 9:56 am

So glad to hear that both of you are having success! So glad Lori is finally experiencing clearer skin!

I learned less is more too. We’re all so different and it’s hard to keep this in mind when you’re desperate for a solution. Patience is hardest thing to have when you’re experiencing bad acne. Unfortunately the oil cleanse method didn’t work for me. I think I was seriously contributing to the problem by trying so many different things, and so fast. Every night was a different face mask! My poor, poor skin. After trying the oil cleanse method unsuccessfully twice (it gave me a HUGE increase in black heads and little white bumps) I decided to try out a facial wash from Bubble and Bee. I experienced some mild success from that, but couldn’t afford a $14 bottle of face wash every few weeks. After studying the ingredients I realized it was just glorified castile soap. I bought a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s for washing my face and have been using castile soap as face wash ever since. That’s really worked for me. I had to slow down on everything else and just give my skin time to heal while using the castile soap. I had some pretty bad scars at first (I admit I’m a picker…), so I used straight tamanu oil on my scars. It took a couple of months, but that really helped me. I’ve been acne free a year and a half. It’s been quite a journey, and I’m still learning. Just two months ago I was able to quit my hormone supplement without breaking out, like I’d previously experienced. It’s just a slow process. I really hope you ladies continue to experience healing, and I look forward to future updates!

purelytwins May 29, 2013 - 10:24 am

oh Courtney thank you so much for sharing your story and your struggles! we are soooo happy that you have found something that works for YOUR skin 🙂 Yay!! and thank you, we hope our clear skin continues 🙂 HUGS

Alisha May 30, 2013 - 11:57 am

What hormone supplements were you taking?

Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut May 29, 2013 - 11:25 am

You ladies are looking lovely! Thanks for opening up about this! I experience mild acne and the only thing that really seems to help is leaving my skin alone a day or two, sleeping well and trying to limit stress…which is hard to do!!

Christa @ Edible Balance May 29, 2013 - 12:40 pm

FABulous post! I am so happy for you both! Seeing your progress is incredibly encouraging, I hope that I will have more news on that front myself soon. I’m almost done my 30-day fodo sensitivity elimination. I’m looking forward to start re-introducing foods to see if they are triggers. It’s such a long process but I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I think I’ll start this oil-pulling thing this weekend, it’s one thing I haven’t tried yet because I was a little intimidated by it. Thanks for posting the video!

Love and HUGS to you Lori and Michelle! I miss you ladies so much!

purelytwins May 29, 2013 - 3:24 pm

miss you too!!yes it is a long process but there is a light at the end of the tunnel!!! you’re doing great!! i know it is hard but you will start seeing changes in your skin soon 🙂 HUGS

Olivia May 29, 2013 - 2:30 pm

Our acne and eczema issues seem very similar! Like you, I feel like I’ve pretty much exhausted my resources searching for a cure to my skin issues. Nothing seem to help me, except for sticking to a Paleo-centric diet. Although, for me, it seems like I have to be on board 100% for even that to help. Veering off course (for example, I always seem to slip back into the occasional latte!!) always has really noticeable consequences. I’ve struggled with cystic acne on my back and face, and severe eczema on my legs for years. Finally, a derm prescribed me an antibiotic that has my face about 98-99% clear. I still have issues during that hormonal time of the month though. Also my derm put me on a couple prescription eczema creams that really, really helped. What’s helped me the MOST, surprisingly, is spending enough time out in direct sunlight. After a few days at the beach, my skin looks great: eczema clears up, my back acne is completely gone, and I’ve never felt more beautiful.

Thanks so much for your advice, encouragement and empathy for all of us suffering with similar issues! You both are such inspirations!

purelytwins May 29, 2013 - 3:28 pm

oh yes we notice and from our research having low vitamin D levels can cause the eczema for some people, so we are doing our best to get outside in the sun as much as possible! HUGS

Mandie Marie @ The Fruitful Turtle May 29, 2013 - 2:59 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this post and video! I suffer from adult acne and it can be so annoying! The worst is when people think you are not eating healthy and that is why your face is bad, when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. At first I did the more “medicine approach.” I was on Accutane and it was the worst experience ever! Sure after 6 horrible months your face gets better, but then your acne will resurface. I finally started doing a more “natural” approach to get rid of my acne and it is starting to get back to pre-teen days :). I use coconut oil on my face at night, a honey, baking soda, and cinnamon scrub and Vitamin E to get rid of acne scars. I’m going to try oil pulling now after reading all the wonders it does! Thanks girls! you both look great 🙂

purelytwins May 29, 2013 - 3:30 pm

it is frustrating when you do eat clean and still have acne, so we feel your pain! and sounds like you got a good face routine, and yes play around with OCM and see how you do. remember you might have to play around with different oils until you get the one that works for your skin 🙂 HUGS

Lisa May 29, 2013 - 5:06 pm

Amazing changes ladies! You’re looking so amazing! Skin changes can always be the hardest, since we have to be so patient! I can relate, as just a few years ago I suffered from awful adult acne.
I’m so happy to see the successes you’ve been having!
And sharing them with others too, I think that’s one thing I haven’t shared since I’m very nervous about sharing what my skin looked like before (trust me it was bad).
You girls always inspire me!
One thing – be careful with the oil directly on your skin. My neighbor is a dermatologist (and is the one who transformed my skin!) and he told me even natural oils are a huge no for acne prone skin. Just a suggestion, of course take it with a grain of salt, and do what works for you!
Love you ladies xo<3

purelytwins May 29, 2013 - 5:26 pm

thanks Lisa!! HUGS

Morgan May 29, 2013 - 5:58 pm

I think it is really great that ya’ll are sharing your skin issues. I think it is a common problem that no one likes to talk about. I don’t have regular break outs but I do get bad ones occasionally and I have really dry skin all over my body. I like to wash my face with fresh minced garlic and honey mixed together. It makes my face a little red afterward so I do it at night. It helps clear up those serious breakouts and I have always had great success with using coconut oil as my moisturizer. I recently started taking evening primrose oil and it has helped my dry skin a lot. My husband has bad eczema and dry scalp. He started taking flax oil and it really helped the eczema but nothing has worked very well for the scalp. Sometimes we will use jojoba seed oil on his scalp and let it set over night and then in the morning rinse it with ACV. It helps some but mostly just makes his hair look really nice that day.
Thanks again girls, you both are awesome!

Brittany @ Delights and Delectables May 29, 2013 - 8:34 pm

Thank you girls!! I think you both are gorgeous. At Blend, I thought your complexions both looked great. I’m going to start trying oil pulling. I’ve been battling acne, so I’m bookmarking this to start trying some new things after I get back from vacation!

purelytwins May 29, 2013 - 9:56 pm

aww thanks girl!! yes let us know when you do and if you have any questions.

Jillienne@ChasingRaspberries May 30, 2013 - 1:33 am

I think I need to give this oil pulling a try. Thanks for sharing!

Kristin June 1, 2013 - 1:30 am

I have had skin issues all my life until I found this all natural homemade soap. It has changed my skin completely. I use it on my face and body. No more breakouts and my skin has never been so soft.

(if the link doesn’t work, look for Nutressant on facebook, they are a couple based in Kansas City)

Katie June 6, 2013 - 8:17 pm

Thanks for sharing. I struggle with cystic acne on my back. Do you do the oil pulling on your back as well?

purelytwins June 6, 2013 - 8:42 pm

we have not tried that, but think it would work!

Debbie June 14, 2013 - 12:44 pm

Hey Ladies!
I wanted to let you know how amazing you both are and wow, this is just so inspiring! I hope your beautiful faces shine on with the beauty that is in you both

purelytwins June 14, 2013 - 4:44 pm

thank you!

Clara June 17, 2013 - 3:30 am

I had to experiment with several different types of oils as well before I found the right combination. I found that rosehip seed oil is amazing for acne scars. My skin loves it.

purelytwins June 17, 2013 - 9:46 am

we have heard about rosehip oil and we use a rose moisturizer so we will have to look more into rosehip! thanks

Ana July 30, 2013 - 2:22 am

Hello Lori and Michelle, amazing website 🙂 I was wondering if you could explain how do you girls wash your face in the mornings? just with plain water or again with the oil blend and then moisturizer? Do you use sunscreen? Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

SaDonna February 16, 2014 - 2:45 pm

Can I ask the brand and how much Vitex you are taking daily? Any new changes to your regimen?

purelytwins February 17, 2014 - 7:50 am

use Nature’s Way Vitex brand

B March 9, 2014 - 10:36 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your learnings. I just stopped using Proactiv and my face is really having a hissy fit – cystic acne all over again. But I’m experimenting with natural treatments and really trying to persevere with the oil cleansing method. I’m having a hard time right now, it just seems to be getting worse, but I think I need to try different oils and keep going. Thank you!!

purelytwins March 10, 2014 - 8:39 am

yes keep trying different oils, it takes the face sometime to get used to using them. over a few weeks it should calm down.

Gayatri Kumar March 23, 2014 - 12:25 am

Well, I don’t consume ghee, I put it on my acne spots, and that helps so much.

katrina July 10, 2014 - 9:40 am

Hi girls i know its been a while since you took vitex and DIM and got worse, i too have been doing that and just stopped the DIM, how long did it take you to clear up after stopping the DIM? x

purelytwins July 10, 2014 - 10:37 am

Katrina we found a better product that we like for our skin – check it out here in this video

stefeni July 18, 2015 - 11:59 pm

Your blog is posted 2013 & last comment 2014…what have you found that works after all the trial & error? What are you currently using?

purelytwins July 19, 2015 - 8:17 pm

You can see all our acne updates here

Reshmi December 4, 2016 - 12:47 am

I have been struggling with adult acne for 2 years after moving to a very dry climate . Have tried topical and antibiotics but nothing has helped . I am going to try a new diet now and keep stress at bay ☺️. Your story is inspiring . Thank you for posting it

purelytwins December 4, 2016 - 3:21 am

Best of luck to you. We found the more simple we kept our diet and face care routine the better it got. As well as keeping a positive mindset.

Renee January 13, 2018 - 3:48 am

Hi Lori and Michelle,
Great blog post! Adult acne always sucks and really is a pain to get rid of, but I like that you two are promoting a natural approach instead of nasty chemicals.
I am new to your blog so maybe you already mentioned this in another post, but I was wondering whether you ever took a look at the quality of your (drinking) water? I personally notice huge differences in my skin quality, depending on the water I use. I live in The Netherlands where the tap water quality is quite pure, without lots of added chemicals and it’s often low in minerals (soft water). When I went on a holliday to France and Spain, I noticed that I had a lot more breakouts. The same thing happened when I lived in New Zealand for almost 4 months. In both countries I was using the tap water as drinking water and to shower (and pretty much ate the same food). The taste of chlorine in the water was much more noticeable, as is the amount of scale buildup in household appliances and taps. Ever since I am back in The Netherlands my skin is less irritated and dry, my pimples are smaller and overall my skin shows less redness. It might be different for everybody, but I would definitely recommend trying to drink (and shower with) filtered water to reduce your acne.

purelytwins January 15, 2018 - 10:05 pm

Yes water is a big part and did go through a period of drinking spring water. But honestly we notice more of a difference depending on how much water we drink not so much the source.

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