From Cystic Acne to Clear Skin (And Self-Confidence): My Natural Skincare Story

My skincare journey didn't start in my teens, it began in my early 20s. I thought I had gotten away with the acne struggle as I graduated high school and college, but unfortunately, I was not so lucky.

Around the age of 21, I suddenly experienced cystic acne breakouts. It was miserable, they were large, painful bumps under my skin that were extremely obvious. They weren't the kind that were angry and red - you almost didn’t notice them except for the raised lump on my face. Either way, they were tender and almost impossible to get rid of. Although I was unable to pick them, they left acne scars on my face nonetheless.

I was desperate to clear up my skin and I tried all the best-selling drugstore products from oil-free acne wash to benzoyl peroxide. There were moments where I thought I had a handle on it, and then I would have a massive breakout that would leave me depressed and demoralized. In the end, I just started wearing foundation every day to try to hide it.

I felt so defeated and constantly wondered if I would have to deal with it the rest of my life. 


I remember the first time I learned about natural skincare, it was through another small business on Instagram. I was initially hesitant to try their products, as I was broke and they cost more than I would usually spend. I ended up trying some travel sizes of a face wash, toner, oil, and mask and used them consistently for weeks.

Initially, my skin got worse and I panicked, but I had educated myself about the purging process people might go through. I stuck it out and gradually, my skin got better, but it still wasn’t where I wanted it to be. 

Fast forward a couple years, and I am scrolling through job postings on Indeed. I went through hundreds of jobs before I found the job posting for Primally Pure. I could NOT believe that this company had been local to me all this time. I immediately applied and scoured the website for products I wanted to try.

Thankfully I was hired on as a Skincare Chef, and found a wealth of information about our products and grew to know them personally by hand-making them. I tried everything until I found a routine that worked for my skin. I also took our Skin Quiz and adjusted my products until my skin truly took a turn for the best.

I cannot tell you how many comments I get from coworkers who knew me when I started and tell me they can see the difference in my skin and acne scarring.

I can honestly tell you I am 100% committed to my routine. Our products are amazing and have truly given my skin the support it needs, but if I had not been consistent in my routine morning and night, my skin would not have had the same transformation.

Everybody at work asks me what products I use, and I always laugh and ask them how much time they have. I love incorporating every step possible into my skincare, so I take advantage of all of the most nourishing products. My skincare routine is a ritual that allows me to connect more deeply with my body and myself.

One of the first things I do when I wake up is my skincare. I love starting my day by taking the time to appreciate how amazing my skin looks in the morning. And my boyfriend and family always tease me about how long it takes me to get ready for bed, but my routine is essential! My routine is a nighttime ritual that helps me wind down and ease the day’s tension in my face.

I know it’s helpful to know how others build their routines, so here’s what mine looks like:

My morning is quick, but efficient. After washing my face with warm water, I use our facial dry brush on dry skin to promote lymphatic drainage, spritz Plumping Mist in between CBD Soothing Serum and Plumping Cream and spray it once more for good measure. I truly take the advice of layering my products to heart. 
To wind down for the night, I set aside at least thirty minutes for skincare. Honestly, I have stuck to this every night for the past three years and the results speak for themselves. I start by oil cleansing with Cleansing Oil (Oily Skin). This was the first new step I incorporated after starting at Primally Pure, and while I only had a short purging period since I already used clean skincare, it immediately made a noticeable difference in the glow and health of my skin. Then I double cleanse with the Plumping Bar, use a reusable organic cotton round with some Everything Spray to wipe off any remaining oil and dirt, spray Soothing Mist in between Fancy Face Serum (our OG serum and hands down my favorite PP product ever, it is so amazing for acne scarring) and Soothing Cream
This last step has made the most difference in my acne scarring out of everything and has truly boosted my confidence in my skin. I use our Bian Gua Sha Stone every. single. night. Originally I started with our Jade Gua Sha Stone, but since we launched the Bian Stone I have noticed a huge difference in the glow and smoothness of my skin. I love that the stone hugs my face and allows me to cover more of my skin with each sweep. This tool has dramatically reduced the appearance of my acne scarring, smoothed the lines of my face, evened out my skin tone, prevents any premature wrinkles, and leaves my skin glowing the next morning. Trust me, consistent use of this tool is transformative and if you invest the time, it will be your holy grail skincare tool. 
I celebrate my three year work anniversary this month. As I look back on my time here, I am insanely grateful I found this company and our products. My commitment to clean skincare and Primally Pure has supported my skin in amazing ways. After searching for years to find a solution to my cystic acne, I found not only a company I love working for, but a routine that has cured it.

I love my skin now, and feel more myself than ever when I am barefaced.

I honestly prefer how I look without makeup, something my past self would be shocked by. I hope my journey has encouraged you and inspired you to keep going and working with your skin instead of against it. Real results will come, just trust in yourself and in pure ingredients.

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From Cystic Acne to Clear Skin (And Self-Confidence): My Natural Skincare Story | Primally Pure Skincare

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Maddy Shaw

Maddy Shaw works as the Shipping Lead at Primally Pure. She is passionate about clean skincare and how being a part of the Pure Team has led her to live a clean and more sustainable lifestyle. Maddy loves reading and writing in her free time and is working towards an MA in Communication. She also enjoys yoga, spending time in the sun, and true crime podcasts.