Anytime I see a brand on my instagram feed or in a magazine that I'm not familiar with, I'll immediately jump on their website and go straight towards the ingredient listing to see if there are any products worth looking into. More times then not, the initial excitement turns into disappointment - but oh how nice it is to be pleasantly surprised. After looking at a few of these products, my interest was piqued, and a sampler kit was ordered right away! 

TAHNYC (pronounced 'tonic') was started after the founder, Irene Barksy, had a myriad of skin issues. Irene explains: “It all really started after I found out that I unexpectedly developed a contact allergy to sesquiterpene lactones, parabens and the entire sunflower family, also knows as the Asteraceae or Compositae family which includes over 30,000 species of plants. I say unexpectedly, because I never experienced allergies as a child nor as an adult, then one day that changed. Among many of my internal symptoms, the reactions would leave my face covered in oozing painful pustules that would crack and continue to puss for days. So when I heard from my doctors with simple instructions, ‘remove all products that contained those allergens’, little did I know that that was the easy part. The allergic reactions left my skin sensitive and unable to tolerate fillers, slip agents and texture makers. Even after I removed all allergens from my skin, I found that my skin was still exceptionally reactive and not going back to ‘normal’. Being sensitive or reactive to additives in Skin Care is not so unusual, quite a large number of people who are tested are reactive or allergic to ingredients found in cosmetics. I realized then it wasn't about going back to normal, that would never happen, this was and still is, my new normal. I remember the moment TAHNYC began so clearly. I was standing in Whole Foods looking for a dish sponge, I picked up the Twist Naked Sponge and that's when you might say I lost it. ‘Wait, I can pick up a filler free sponge, I can get a filler free toothpaste, but I can't find filler free skin care!?!’ That was the moment that TAHNYC was born, after, of course I cried in the Whole Foods cleaning aisle.” (This excerpt is taken directly from their website,

And there you have it, from Irene's journey was born a gorgeous line of products with proven ingredients and without added fillers, fragrance, slip agents, parabens, or texture makers. This means every ingredient has a purpose. 

  • Samples are available, enough for about 4 to 5 uses. Products also come in .67 oz 'discovery sizes'  AND 1 oz full sizes. I wish all brands did this!
  • The serums have common similar ingredients, and I would confidently say any of them are good for all skin types. Oily or acne prone skin will love these, nothing will clog pores or let you feel greasy. Dry skin will get a boost of replenishing anti-aging ingredients all while calming and soothing. You can't pick the wrong one, although some are more geared towards aging skin.
  • I consider all of these products safe for the upper and lower eye area. 
  • TAHNYC also make powders, one silk powder and three shades of pearl powders. I didnt try these but they look fabulous.
  • Sets of serums for specific skin concerns are also available, which include two serums and an optional powder- and these also come in two sizes. The serums in the sets are actually slightly different formulas then the stand alone serums from my sampler kit, which I found a little confusing initially (!) since the ingredients in the sets are very similar to the other serums not in the set. If you are looking to fill a void in your routine, go with a stand alone serum, but if you want to try the line as a complete system, go with a set.
Photo taken from

Photo taken from

The sampler kit (shown above) included dropper style vials of 6 products:
Complex B: Concentrated Vitamin B5 Serum
Pure: Restoring Molecular Moisturizer
Contour: :Cellular Peptide Complex
Elemental:Gentle Hydration
Renew: Antiaging Collagen Complex
Translucent Jojoba: Organic Jojoba Oil

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Since these are truly great for any skin type, think about which ones to get based on age.
Teen to early twenties:  Elemental or Pure + Complex B
Early twenties to Early thirties: Pure + Renew + Complex B
Early thirties and up: Pure + Contour + Complex B

Complex B: Concentrated Vitamin B5 Serum
-Price: $36 (discovery size .67 oz) or $68 (full size 1 oz)
-Texture: waterlight, dries within seconds, no stickiness, very smooth feeling skin immediately
-Ingredients: aqua, panthenol, n-acetyl glucosamine, lactobacillus ferment,  tetrapeptide-21, glycerin, butylene glycol, acetyl tetrapeptide-40, caprylyl glycol, sodium hyaluronate, sodium pca.
-Benefits: Panthenol is a type of B vitamin pantothenic acid, excellent for attracting and holding moisture. N-acetyl glcosamine brightens, increases moisture AND is anti-aging. Lactobacillus ferment is antimicrobial and a skin conditioner. Two peptides for anti-aging. The glycols are skin conditioners. Glycerin is an awesome humectant. Pca hydrates and replenishes skin. Sodium Hyaluronate is a skin replenisher and skin restorer.

Pure: Restoring Molecular Moisturizer
-Price: $32 (discovery size .67 oz) or $58 (full size 1 oz)
-Texture: waterlight, dries within seconds, no stickiness, very smooth feeling skin immediately
-Ingredients: aqua, n-acetyl glucosamine, panthenol, niacinamide, sodium hyaluronate, lactobacillus ferment, sodium pca.
-Benefits: Similar to above, but without the peptides and the addition of niacinamide. Niacinamide is one of those 'does almost everything' ingredients, it's a form of vitamin B3, which can help pore size, plump wrinkles, and even out skin tone. 

Elemental: Gentle Hydration
-Price: $21 (discovery size .67oz) or $38 (full size 1 oz)
-Texture: waterlight, dries within seconds, no stickiness, very smooth feeling skin immediately
-Ingredients: aqua, panthenol,  n-acetyl glucosamine, sodium pca, lactobacillus ferment, acetyl tetrapeptide-40, caprylyl glycol, sodium hyaluronate
-Benefits: Very similar to B Complex but with a higher amount of sodium pca, so I would consider this more geared towards younger skin types that don't need as much anti-aging. 

Renew: Anti Aging Collagen Complex
-Price: $35 (discovery size .67oz) or $65 (full size 1oz)
-Texture: waterlight, dries within seconds, no stickiness, very smooth feeling skin immediately
-Ingredients: aqua, tetrapeptide-21, glycerin, butylene glycol, panthenol, lactobacillus ferment, tetradecyl aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric urea trifluoroacetate,  palmitoyl tripeptide-5, palmitoyl dipeptide-5 diaminobutyroyl hydroxythreonine, palmitoyl dipeptide-6 diaminohydroxybutyrate , sodium pca
-Benefits: This is a multi peptide serum, five in total. Plus skin restoring and replenishing ingredients like the panthenol, glycerin, and sodium pca. Great anti-aging serum for fine lines, I especially love this for oily or acne skin types that still want anti-aging ingredients. 

Contour: Cellular Peptide Complex
-Price: $50 (discovery size .67oz) or $95 ( full size 1oz)
-Texture: waterlight, dries within seconds, no stickiness, very smooth feeling skin immediately
-Ingredients: aqua, acetyl hexapeptide-8,  glycerin, butylene glycol, carbomer,  polysorbate 20, palmitoyl oligopeptide,  palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, tetrapeptide-21, panthenol, tetrapeptide-30 . glycerin, n-acetyl glucosamine,  niacinamide, sodium hyaluronate,  lactobacillus ferment, acetyl hexapeptide-38, acetyl tetrapeptide-40, caprylyl glycol, sodium pca,  phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate
-Benefits: This serum is a peptide powerhouse! Plus a dose of niacinamide and sodium hyaluronate. This is more suited for serious wrinkles and all signs of aging.

Translucent Jojoba: Organic Jojoba Oil
-Price: $20 (discovery size .67oz) or $38 (full size 1oz)
-Texture: Its the lightest oil, soaks in fast, leaves skin a little dewy. 
-Ingredients: Just one: Premium wildcrafted refined organic jojoba oil. 
-Benefits: Jojoba is rich in fatty acids, soothing, nourishing, and won't clog your pores. It's so lightweight. I would use this anywhere you need a little extra moisturizing protection. For us oily skin types, I love this under the eyes and over the lips.

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Final Thoughts
This is an amazing brand doing something really unique, and rarely am I able to say that every single product in the line is formulated beautifully.

With all of the actives we are using (retinoids, acids, etc) there is a place for a replenishing serum like these in anyone's skin type, not to mention those of you with very sensitive or highly reactive skin. Personally, I have very oily/acne prone/sensitive skin and have a hard time finding anti-aging and hydration in a liquid form, so these will become a mainstay in my routine. xx jm

GREEN BEAUTY: The Best Natural Exfoliants

Regular exfoliation is essential- and whether it's a manual scrub or a leave on acid, the days of your St Ives apricot scrub should be long gone. I've put together my favorites in all exfoliation categories, focusing on eco-friendly and clean beauty. 

You can read the full article on Garden Collage here!

Garden Collage curates stories about the aesthetic value of gardens, plant-based beauty products, environmental policy, the farm to table movement, DIY gardening tips, travel journals, and other fresh takes on the value of gardening in our modern world. Their mission is to bring back the garden into peoples’ lives and inspire readers to incorporate a new, dynamic concept of “gardening” based on perspectives from a global community of gardeners. From the farm to the fire escape, they cover it all. Prepare to be INSPIRED.


REVIEW: Allies Of Skin

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Image from

About the brand: Founded in 2015 but Singaporean Nicolas Travis, and launching in the US this past October, this streamlined skincare system has a simple goal in mind: to create smart, multi-tasking products for modern life. Currently there are three products in the line, a AM leave on mask, a toner mist, and a PM mask. The 'masks' are left on, but applied just as you would any moisturizer. I like that they call these masks, because you get such a huge dose of antioxidant protection, that they really do shield your skin! 

Allies of Skin is driven by a fundamental belief in the skin’s ability to heal and correct itself. Our guiding principle is to facilitate and enhance the healing process with powerful actives in clean, optimally concentrated formulas that repair, regenerate and also re-train your skin to perform at its best. By activating the receptors that stimulate collagen & elastin, and encourage cellular renewal & repair and by inhibiting melanin formation at its source, the long-term cumulative outcome is skin at its healthiest. That’s what we are all about.

Who are these products for? All skin types and all ages— especially dull, dehydrated skin. This line feels (and is) truly unisex, and I would think very appealing to men with the black luxe packaging. If you have dry skin, try spritzing the toner on top of the masks. For uber dry skin, you may feel the need for an oil or cream on top. All these products are safe for the eye area, and should be used in the eye area. Makeup applies nicely on top.

How much is it? The three piece full size kit is $205 USD.  All items are 1.69oz. The 1A All-Day Mask is $89, the 1A Overnight Mask is $109, and the toner is $55.

Where can I find it? In the states, at SpaceNK (in store or online) and through the Allies of Skin website.

Whats NOT in it:  silicones, mineral oil, petrochemicals, parabens, sulfates, GMOs. triclosan, DEA/TEA, alcohols, phthalates, fragrances or dyes. Vegan and 100% cruelty free. 

Texture and Smell: The toner is a mist liquid which dries quickly, has a mild fresh rose scent from the rosewater, which takes about 10 minutes to fully dissipate. The AM mask feels more like a thick serum, has no scent and dries soft but radiant. The PM mask has mild herbaceous scent, is slightly more moisturizing then the PM, but no tackiness or stickiness, and also dries soft and matte. 



  • Tones and refines pores.
  • Helps balances skin’s PH levels. 
  • Soothes and calms stressed skin. 
  • Provides antibacterial protection. 
  • Provides a heavy dose of healing hydration.
  • Reduces non-inflammatory acne lesions by 42.7% in 28 days.

Aqua (Water), Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Polysorbate 20, Propanediol, Gluconolactone, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Lactobacillus Ferment, Deuterium Oxide, Niacinamide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Ergothioneine (L), Phenyl t-Butylnitrone (Spin Trap), Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, CocodimoniumHydroxypropyl Silk Amino Acids, JuniperusCommunis (Juniper Berry) Fruit Oil, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Citrus AurantiumDulcis (Orange) Callus Culture Extract, Cymbopogon Martini (Palmarosa) Oil, CucumisSativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, CucumisSativus (Cucumber) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Colloidal Silver, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Chrysin, Glutamylamidoethyl Imidazole, Steareth-20, Xanthan Gum, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hydroxide.



  • De-puffs and tightens skin.
  • Hydrates and repairs tired, worn-out skin. 
  • Increases natural production of collagen and elastin.
  • Soothes skin while reducing redness and calming inflammation.
  • Reinforces skin’s barrier and reduces Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL).
  • Protects and purifies skin against pollution, heavy metals and cigarette smoke.
  • 36% reduction of non-inflammatory acne lesions (closed and open comedones) after 4 weeks of daily use.
  • Nutrient-rich reservoir that plumps skin with healing moisture and nutrients throughout the day with over 35 powerful actives.

Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caffeine, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Cetearyl Olivate, Squalane, Galactoarabinan, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Ceramide 2, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Crocus Chrysanthus Bulb Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum (Giant Knotweed Extract) Extract, Opuntia Vulgaris (Cactus) Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate (L), Hyaluronic Acid, Vigna Aconitifolia Seed Extract, Gardenia Jasminoides Callus Culture, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Callus Culture Extract, Niacinamide, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Sphingolipids, Phospholipids, Astaxanthin, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Madecassoside, Phenyl t-Butylnitrone (Spin Trap), Ergothioneine (L), Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Oil, Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Honey (Mel), Bisabolol (L-alpha), Tocopheryl Acetate (D-alpha), Panthenol (D), Sodium PCA, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Chrysin, Glutamylamidoethyl Imidazole, Lecithin, Lysophosphatidic Acid, Lysolecithin, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Aphanizomenon Flos-Aquae Powder, Sorbitan Olivate, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Isohexadecane, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Potassium Hydrolyzed Polygamma-Glutamate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tribehenin, Acacia Senegal Gum, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, PPG-2 Hydroxethyl Cocamide, Steareth-20, Polysorbate 80, Polysorbate 20, Carbomer, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Xanthan Gum, O-cymen-5-OL, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol.



  • Brightens dull, lifeless skin. 
  • Speeds up cellular renewal rate.
  • Nourishes dehydrated, stressed skin. 
  • Protects skin from dehydrating conditions. 
  • Stimulates the production of collagen and elastin.
  • Anti-glycation protection to maintain fresh, supple skin. 
  • Reduces non-inflammatory acne lesions by 67.2% in 28 days.
  • Ameliorates the appearance of acne, hyper-pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. 
  • Nutrient-rich reservoir that harnesses the skin’s most optimal repair period to heal and rejuvenate stressed, problematic skin — improving pore size, radiance and skin texture.

Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Propanediol, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil (Organic), Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Hydrolyzed Candida Saitoana Extract, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Albizia Julibrissin Bark Extract, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Galactoarabinan, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Caprooyl Tetrapeptide-3, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Sodium Hyaluronate (L), Oxycoccus Palustris (Arctic Cranberry) Seed Oil, Rubus Chamaemorus (Cloud Berry) Seed Oil, Niacinamide, Withania Somnifera (Indian Ginseng) Root Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Callus Culture Extract, Retinal (Retinaldehyde), Pterostilbene, Ellagic Acid, Phenyl t-Butylnitrone (Spin Trap), Ergothioneine (L), Glutathione (L), Mirabilis Jalapa Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Chrysin, Glutamylamidoethyl Imidazole, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lavandula Hybrida (Lavendin) Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Cyclodextrin, Caprylyl Glycol, Steareth-20, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Dextran, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol.

        Image from

        Image from




          THE 101: Adult Acne

          I contributed some information to Glamour Magazine for an article they were writing on adult acne. There is so much great information in this story,  I wanted to repost it in full. I hope this can help anyone still struggling with this pesky skin issue. 


          The Totally and Completely Unfair Reasons You're Still Breaking Out in Your 20s and 30s
          By Katheryn Erickson

          There are a lot of things I don't miss about being a teenager: My chemistry teacher's sarcasm, basketball practice, the challenge of sitting in a school hallway in extra-low-cut Frankie B. jeans (it was 2004, but what was I thinking!?), curfews. There’s another thing, however, that I'd like to add to that list—that’s somehow lingered with me well into adulthood (I'm 28). And that's acne.

          Here’s the thing: I honestly feel like I don’t have an excuse for breakouts. I’ve been working as a beauty editor since I graduated college, and with this job I have access to the best skin care pros in the world. I get regular peels. I do light laser treatments. I’ve been prescribed multiple rounds of antibiotics. I take Spironolactone, a mild blood pressure medication that’s prescribed off-label for acne, as it suppresses androgens. But—aside from the seven blissful years when I took a combined oral contraceptive pill that gave me The Clearest Skin Ever—I’ve always broken out. (The pill also gave me a blood clot, so relying on it for my skin is no longer an option. Cool!)As a result, I’m always in some way working to prevent a fiasco with my at-home skin care routine. I exfoliate every night with Lancer The Method: Polish Blemish Control, $75, which has purifying tea tree oil, before cleansing; I use Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Gel, $64 to control breakout-related inflammation; and I alternate between Tammy Fender Purifying Lucent Masque, $215, and Eminence Hungarian Herbal Mud Treatment, $46, once a week to keep my pores clear. I even do this thing where I wash my face after shampooing and conditioning my hair because I’m paranoid the fragrance and ingredients like silicones in hair products is yet another trigger. All of it combined keeps my breakouts mostly under control, but I still deal with more pimples than I’m cool with—on my cheeks, chin, back (as I write this story I have a cute one on my cheek). It’s getting old.

          And it turns out, I’m not alone. Adult acne (the kind that occurs in women 25 and above) haunts many of my closest friends—and, to varying degrees, effs up their lives. “I’m the perfect candidate for your story,” my friend Laura joked when I mentioned I was working on a piece about adult acne. She’s taken Accutane twice, and still relies on Spironolactone, like me, to minimize breakouts. “I was getting cystic acne—it wasn’t all over my face but I’d have two or three large cysts at a time. I will never forget when I met my husband’s family and I had two huge zits on my chin and cheek; I was so embarrassed,” she told me on the phone. “I had already been on Accutane once at that point. I was 35 or 36 at the time and I was like, ‘Why am I 35 and still getting acne?’ I assumed that I should have normal clear skin; I wanted that. But even after the second round of Accutane, I still got occasional cysts—they’re just embarrassing and huge—so I started taking Spironolactone. It helps a lot.”

          Then there’s my friend Sarah, who is dealing with acne for the first time in her life. “I’m beside myself,” she told me in an email. “I NEVER broke out as a teenager, but now that I’m an adult and experience real stress, I do. I feel like I’m too old to have zits and I get really embarrassed. I’ve definitely canceled plans because of a breakout.” Same, girl.

          My college roommate Eve, on the other hand, has more or less accepted zits as a part of life. “As a teenager they made me a bit depressed, but I’m less self-conscious about my skin now,” she explained. “I like to focus on the overall condition of my skin. But it does take longer to get ready if I have to cover pimples up!” Whether you’re cool with your acne or not, spending extra time covering up your zits is yet another thing we don’t need in our lives.

          So why are we still breaking out? Truth is, the answer isn't completely clear. "Unfortunately, we don't totally understand the difference in the cause of acne in teens versus adults," New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner says. "The main causes of acne are skin oil, acne-causing bacteria on the skin, sticky skin cells blocking your pores, and inflammation. Hormonal fluctuations, stress, and diet all likely play a roll as well.” One potential difference: “Where you’re a teenager your hormones are naturally fluctuating and you can’t control it,” Jordana Mattioli, a medical esthetician in NYC says. “But when you’re an adult your hormones are fluctuating because of things like inflammation and stress.” (More on that later).

          The good news: We’re constantly discovering new ways to treat acne. There’s a lot of research underway about how the microbiome—the massive colony of bacteria and organisms that live on our skin (gross, I know, but also kind of cool)—might affect skin conditions like acne and rosacea. Differin is launching the first ever over-the-counter topical retinoid in January. And we’ve come a long way from the old school method of dehydrating your face and using only “oil free” in an effort to keep skin smooth. Below, Zeichner and Mattioli share their top tips on the best, most up-to-date approaches to dealing with acne as a grown-up. Read them, try them, and know this: You’re not alone!

          First, cut the heavy creams
          Indulging in over-the-top skin care is something I’m personally guilty of. I mean, is there anything better than slathering your skin in a rich, yummy cream right before bed and binging on Netflix? Good skin care makes up for lack of sleep, right? “Once women hit 21, they automatically start buying anti-aging products,” Mattioli explains. “But most are too rich for their skin type. They’re designed for mature skin that doesn’t produce as much oil as it used to.” Whoops!

          Spot treat with your products
          Heard of multimasking? You can do the same thing with your skin care products, Mattioli says. In other words, if your skin isn’t dry on your forehead, go ahead and skimp a little on moisturizer there. “I’ve been dealing with acne my entire life and if I don’t keep it under control I will be a breakout mess,” she says. “I only moisturize where I need it.”

          Err on the side of gentle
          Layering a 10% benzoyl peroxide acne treatment all over your face may seem like a great idea and you may actually wake up with clear(er) skin. But you’ll likely also be incredibly inflamed. “More is not always better, especially with acne,” Zeichner says. “Higher concentrations of ingredients like benzoyl peroxide have been shown in studies to be no better, but certainly more irritating, than lower concentrations.”

          Pick the right spot treatment
          Consider what type of acne you have: Do you have scary red bumps? If so, it’s likely bacteria causing the inflammation and you’ll need something that combats it, Mattioli says. “Benzoyl peroxide kills acne-causing bacteria and reduces inflammation,” Zeichner explains (try Clinique Acne Solutions Emergency Gel-Lotion, $17.50). If you have blackheads and whiteheads, on the other hand, you’ll want something with salicylic acid (which comes in 1-2% formulations). “It helps remove excess oil and exfoliates dead cells from the skin’s surface,” Zeichner says.

          Do light therapy
          It used to be that you needed an appointment for an LED light treatment—or you could try the smaller at-home lights that take 45 minutes to treat your face. Neutrogena’s Light Therapy Mask, $40 uses a mixture of red and blue LED lights and takes just ten minutes. “Red light has been shown to be anti-inflammatory while blue light kills acne-causing bacteria,” Zeichner explains. Bonus: It makes for a hilarious selfie.

          Simplify, simplify, simplify
          Mae West may have said “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful,” but that philosophy shouldn’t apply to your acne treatment game plan. “Applying too many products and washing your face too often causes more harm than good,” Zeichner says.

          Check your diet
          “Dietary factors like high glycemic index foods have been shows to aggravate acne in predisposed people,” Zeichner says. “The increased sugar load promotes inflammation that in turn leads to breakouts.” Mattioli recommends cutting back on processed sugary foods in favor of anti-inflammatory options like wild fish, nuts, and fresh fruits and sticking with organic, hormone-free meat and dairy.

          Try yoga
          Seriously. Most of my friends listed stress high on the list as the cause of their breakouts, and it’s true: crazy amounts of stress do indeed affect your hormones. “Stress causes hormonal fluctuation that increases oil production and leads to acne breakouts,” Zeichner says. “Anything you can do to minimize stress—yoga, meditation—can help.”

          Don’t pick
          As tempting as it is to try to be your own esthetician in your bathroom, you must fight every single urge to squeeze. “Acne in adult women tends to be angry, underground pimples.” Zeichner says. “They are inflamed and cannot be easily opened by picking. It leads to more harm than good, a disrupted skin barrier, inflammation, and potential scarring.”

          If all else fails, see a derm
          If you’ve tried everything and you’re still breaking out, get thee to a dermatologist. Zeichner’s go-to solutions for adult acne in women: Aczone, an anti-inflammatory gel that “clears pimples while causing almost zero irritation” and Spironolactone (my personal favorite).