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How I Naturally Cleared Up My Lifelong Hormonal Acne

How I Naturally Cleared Up My Lifelong Hormonal Acne

Dear readers,

It means so much to me that through the online maze of acne information, we have connected. You are here, you resonated with something I've said or shared, and you have said yes to receiving acne wisdom from me. I am so grateful for that.

I got started on my path to acne healing because I, like you, had acne. I had simply accepted it as a way of life, something that couldn't really be changed about me - because frankly, none of the doctors could help me get clear or give me any answers to get out of it.

I subconsciously accepted myself as broken, maybe some magical cream could eventually set me free. That wasn't true. I'm not broken, I'm not doomed to live with acne forever. The keys to acne freedom were right in my hands the whole time.

While on a volunteering trip at a monkey sanctuary in rural Guatemala, my acne magically cleared up. I had no idea why at the time, but I was completely overjoyed! Having spent over a decade with daily acne, having naturally clear skin was a radical experience - and it went on for weeks. I got to feel what it was like not to hide my face, but turn it upwards, towards the sun, in pride of who I was and how I felt.

When I returned back home to California, my acne inevitably returned too. I felt frustrated, but I knew there were answers there that no one had told me. I was on a quest to find out what it was in the jungle that cleared my skin.

I started looking for help, and for answers my dermatologists didn't have. So I went to an esthetician who told me my acne was caused by hormonal imbalance. When I asked what hormones were causing my acne, she recommended I see an acupuncturist. When I found an acupuncturist, she told me to eat complete proteins and recommended I take spirulina. This guidance did not lead me anywhere and my breakouts kept happening.

I was left to my own devices to figure out the path to clear skin. And it took me a really long time to figure out why my skin was clear in Guatemala. As it turns out - it was my diet.

While volunteering in Guatemala, the facility provided all of our food. It was always some combination of rice, beans, vegetables, and fresh corn tortillas. The diet was so simple, there wasn't any way for my body to react and breakout from foods. When I came back home, I had access to many foods that do cause acne, and my skin eventually broke out again.

Once I realized what I was eating was connected to my acne, I watched my skin and my diet everyday for two years. In that time, I started being able to see correlations with what I ate and the new pimples that came in.

What I saw was that it was easy to eat harmful, acne causing foods every day. Foods that our current society consider totally normal. Sometimes they even say these foods are healthy - talk about confusing!

These foods can cause hormonal imbalance that elevates oil production, clog pores, and creates breakouts. I saw that even when I was eating very healthy, just a one time exposure to these foods could still cause me new breakouts.

After two years of acne exploration, I found something mind blowing - that clearing my acne was shockingly simple. With all the complications of our modern foods, I found that just three simple food boundaries cleared my chronic acne for good - and has also done so for nearly every hormonal acne client I've worked with.

You don't have to be a strict vegan or follow a complicated meal plan. If you cut back on just 3 foods out in your life, you too can have clear skin and keep it that way for life.

I want everyone to have access to this information. And there is some re-education we must all go through to understand our acne differently, why these foods cause hormone imbalance, and how to integrate these changes into our everyday lives.

As a nutritionist with a primary focus on acne, I've spent the last 14+ years studying the acne-diet connection. If this is resonating with you, I want to give you some ways to get started and learn about the skin-health connection in your body too:


  1. Read this article on one of the biggest nutritional drivers of hormonal imbalance.

  2. Read the other articles on my blog to re-educate yourself about acne.

  3. Take my Clear Skin School online course. This is a streamlined, straightforward acne school that anyone with chronic breakouts should take. It will give you all the information you need to get DIY clear now.

  4. Work with me! I work with clients in San Francisco and worldwide to help them overcome their long-time acne issues and finally get the clear skin they deserve. You can book a free 15-min discovery call with me here or book a new client session online, HSA accepted. This work is extremely effective in-person or virtually.


Being a part of your acne journey on any level is truly a pleasure for me. Navigating my own clear skin journey took a radical awakening and then two long years of doing it by myself. It was hard and lengthy. I do this work now because I want to help lift other people out of acne together faster.

Don't give up. You don't have to live with acne. You can be free and I'm here to help you. Reach out if you need support, we're in this together.


May you be happy, healthy, and free!

Elise May, CN + LE, is a holistic esthetician, acne nutritionist, and founder of Skin Nutritious. Since 2009, she has helped over 1,600 clients overcome acne with a unique blend of coaching, treatments, and holistic skincare

Work with me. 
In San Francisco - book online here.
• Worldwide Clear Skin eConsults book here.


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