my best tips for healthy, clear skin

acne is the worst. if you’ve struggled with breakouts in any capacity before, you know what i’m talking about. and if you’ve ever had the deep cystic kind - you definitely know what i’m talking about. it’s painful on a physical and emotional level and makes you want to stay home and hide.

i struggled for years and years with terrible hormonal breakouts with a mix of mild to severe (cystic) acne. at the time i was working as a model and i had to turn down several jobs due to my temperamental skin. my struggle with acne is a huge part of my skincare story and the main reason berlin skin exists today.

and here’s the thing: i still get a blemish from time to time, but it’s nothing like it used to be. i have naturally oily skin, which is great for youthful looking skin, but a challenge when it comes to keeping my skin clear. i researched for so long and tried everything you can think of in hopes to keep my breakouts under control. so, if you too are struggling, know that you are not alone! and don’t give up hope! healing is possible.

our skin is a direct reflection of what’s going on inside our bodies, so my approach is always going to reflect doing work on the inside before anything else.

below are my best tips, tricks, and tools that helped to heal my acne (and my body) from the inside out!

*note that many of these tips are awesome for promoting healthy skin even if you don’t struggle with acne!

*please also keep in mind that this is a reflection of my own story and journey and what has specifically worked for me. it may also work for you, but we are all different! i encourage you to do your own research and work with a holistic health practitioner to find healing and balance for your skin.

  • eliminate dairy.

    this one is huge for me, and i’m still sad about it. because, cheese. amirite?? maybe you don’t have a sensitivity to dairy, but the fact is that many adults do. try cutting it out for a month and see if you notice any difference in your skin. if you must have dairy, make it an occasional treat and stick to raw goat’s milk cheese or parmesan.

  • take an honest look at your birth control.

    especially if your breakouts are hormonal and come on like clock work at the same time each month. do your research on the type of birth control you’re taking and how it effects your hormone levels. for me, this one change completely cleared up the deep, cystic acne almost overnight.

  • consider herbs and herbal teas.

    i’m a huge fan of working in herbs for healing imbalances in the body, especially when it comes to healthy skin and balanced hormones. here are a few that are must-haves for me:

    • vitex berry. may take up to 3 months to see results, so stick with it!

    • raspberry leaf. i love it as a tea. i order all of my teas from mountain rose herbs because they are the best of the best when it comes to quality. try the raspberry leaf straight up or this women’s balancing blend. add some local raw honey for extra deliciousness.

    • i’m really enjoy susan weed’s work and her recommendations on herbs and plants for women’s health. check out her books for more info.

  • hydration!

    water, water, water - preferably filtered if possible. also, try to add in foods with high water content like watermelon and cucumbers. and if you’re drinking caffeine or alcohol, be extra considerate of your water intake as both can dehydrate you.

  • how’s your digestion?

    not surprisingly, when my acne was at its worst, so was my digestion! our bodies are so connected and often when your struggling in one area, it will negatively affect other parts of your body as well.

    • if our digestion is off, it can affect so many other different parts of our body and mind. i’m a fan of dr. weston price’s work and philosophy on nutrition and diet, and follow many of his recommendations. check out his work and other specialists that follow his approach like sally fallon who has an awesome book called nourishing traditions. you’ll learn about adding in very important supplements like fermented cod liver oil, quality bone broth, and animal liver and key fats to help heal your gut and add in vitamins like A and D which you may be low on. if you have babies or kids, this is also an amazing book that follows the same sort of philosophy on nutrition and also has awesome lifestyle tips for raising healthy children.

    • i’m also a big fan of the plant paradox and cook for my family and i out of this cookbook often. i like it more than the paleo approach because it’s not so meat-heavy and has awesome vegetarian recipes that are very nutritious.

    • add in a high quality probiotic. i have been taking this one for years and absolutely love it.

  • work with trusted health practitioners.

    acupuncture, chiropractic work, a trusted esthetician and my dermatologist have all been huge in helping me in this journey of healing my body and skin. do you research and work to find people you love and trust to help you in your efforts. it’s worth it!

  • organic, plant-based skin care products.

    • your skin - your largest organ, most definitely absorbs what you are putting on it, and plants can be so incredibly powerful in preventing breakouts and keeping your skin looking fresh and youthful. don’t try to over-do it with tons of products, and when you find a routine that works for you - stick with it!

    • if you have oily, acne-prone skin, consider working in a mask once or twice a week that helps regulate oil production.

i truly hope that this guide is helpful for you and that you learned something new that can assist you in your efforts to glow from the inside out! as always, feel free to reach out to me at - i love having these conversations with you all!

from my heart,


Monica Watson