The Dorky Diva

fandom. fashion. fun.


Welcome to The Dorky Diva! I'm Savanna, a Star Wars fanatic who tries to sprinkle fandom into every day life. Follow along for new cosplay updates, outfit inspiration, beauty reviews, convention coverage, and more!

My Acne Story

Recently I've gotten several compliments from friends and strangers about how clear my skin looks. On each occasion, I've almost fallen to the ground out of complete shock because getting a positive comment about my skin was something I never thought would happen. I've struggled with acne ever since I was in my early teens and it severely affected my self confidence. Thankfully, last year I was finally able to get rid of my acne and keep it away for a full year, which is the longest period of time I've ever had clear skin since I was thirteen. Each time someone comments on my smooth skin, I tell them about the one product I used that took care of all the blemishes and scars. Since I know plenty of guys and gals out there struggle with acne, even in their adult years, I thought I would share my story. It's a long one, so hang in there!

First off, let me get two things off the table. 1) I am not a dermatologist or any sort of skincare expert. I'm just going to share my skincare routine and the things I did to kiss my acne goodbye. 2) This post is not sponsored or endorsed by Instanatural, Trader Joe's or Glossier. These products do the talking themselves when you see the real results!

Okay, now that we've cleared up those areas, let's get started. Like I said earlier, I've had acne since I was in my early teens. My mom gave me some makeup when I was around 12 years old (I think) and I never really started using it until acne became a big problem. At first it was small blemishes here and there, but it quickly turned into huge patches of skin always covered in red zits that continued to scar my skin and leave even worse blemishes behind. All of the popular acne products ended up drying out my skin so much that it became patchy. The blemishes would dry out on the surface and continue to get worse under the skin. It was a never-ending horrible cycle. 

I tried pretty much everything. All the over the counter products. Face washes, lotions, spot treatments, solutions. You name it, I've tried it. Some of them would temporarily work, but after two weeks of use, my acne would be back and worse than ever. I also tried cutting out certain things from my diet, like dairy. That didn't help either. I even had acne on my chest and back, which was super embarrassing and led to me never wearing tank tops, low cut shirts, or anything that showed my shoulders. In college, I was so embarrassed by my acne that I wouldn't even leave my dorm to go check the mail unless I had makeup on. I never realized how much it affected my confidence until all the acne was gone. I would look in the mirror and almost cry every time I saw a new breakout and had to go searching for a full coverage concealer that ended up never fully covering it. 

Back up to last winter, around February of 2017. I was chatting with a co-worker (hi Priya!) about how much my acne upset me and felt like it controlled my happiness. She told me that when she was in college, she tried using Vitamin C serum on her acne and it worked. The product she used ran for about $50, which was not in my budget as a college student working for free as an intern. I decided to do some digging and ended up finding a serum on Amazon that had wildly amazing reviews and it was less than $20 so I ordered it. Below is a photo (left) of my acne on a GOOD day and another photo (right) of the results after I used the Instanatural Vitamin C serum for only 2 weeks. 

You can see that most of my active blemishes were gone, my scars were dissipating, and what is that? a SMILE on my face?! Yeah, I was feeling pretty great about myself. So how does one use this serum? Every day I wash my face in the morning, put on the serum, let it dry which takes like 5-10 seconds, and then continue with the rest of my skincare routine and then makeup. I also use it again at night after I wash my face. One bottle lasts me about 2-3 months, depending on how generously I use the product. Below is a link that you can click to order the serum on Amazon if you're interested. I think $16.75 is a really good deal considering it only costs a little over $5 a month if I let it stretch to three months. 

Fast forward to today, a year after I started using the serum and this is my face. This photo isn't edited or altered at all. I'm not wearing any foundation, concealer or powder in this photo. Just a little bit of eyebrow gel and some tinted cherry lip balm (yum). Amazing, right? I have one teeny little acne scar still on my cheek, which doesn't bother me at all because it ends up looking like a freckle. I can't believe how much has changed in a year. My skin is sooooo soft, so even, and looks great with or without makeup. I can run errands make-up free now and still feel super confident about myself. 

After trying the Vitamin C serum, I decided to venture out and use some more Instanatural products. There are three (four including the serum) that I still use in my daily routine. Once a week I use the rose mask, which is really lightweight and almost dries into a lotion, but I still wash it off. This just keeps my skin looking bright and refreshed. Each day in the morning and before bed I use the age-defying eye cream and the retinol moisturizer. Both of these products aren't fragrancy, they're very lightweight and can be worn under makeup, plus they keep my skin moisturized without feeling greasy. I have really oily skin, so it's hard to find a lotion that doesn't make me feel too gross or slick. Below are links to each of these products. Amazon usually has the best prices, plus I love the Prime shipping option, but on occasion Instanatural will have some insane deals on their site, so I keep an eye on their e-mails. 

I haven't tried any of the Instanatural facial cleansers yet because I'm currently obsessed with the Trader Joe's facial cleansing oil. I mentioned above that I have really oily skin, but for some reason right after I wash my face, it dries out like crazy and leaves a really yucky base to put makeup on. This cleanser is AMAZING. It washes off all my makeup (yes, even the really thick waterproof mascara) and leaves my skin moisturized. I couldn't find this for a good price on Amazon, so I'd recommend just grabbing it at your local Trader Joe's store. It usually runs around $7, depending on where you live. You can click HERE to read about the ingredients. 

Last but not least, my lips get super dry and I have a really bad habit of picking at them when they get cracked (gross, but it's the truth). Glossier balm dot com has been a lifesaver! They carry it in multiple flavors. I have it in Birthday (my personal favorite), Cherry (yummy taste and a hint of red for when I don't want to wear lipstick), and Rose (relaxing smell that I wear before bed). I rarely have to reapply it because it's so thick and I swear a tube lasts forever. You can grab it on the Glossier site HERE

So there you have it. That's my long-winded acne story. I hope if you're reading this and you have acne, you give the Vitamin C serum a shot. I know acne can be caused by all sorts of reasons, but it did wonders for my skin when I really thought I had no options left. One last thing, all of these products are cruelty free and they do not test on animals. Plus, Instanatural has a 100% money-back guarantee policy so if you decide to try any of their products and don't like them, you can get your money back. It's a win-win for everyone! Big hugs to everyone out there who's had acne. I know how upsetting it can be to not feel like your best self. I'm so happy I finally found a solution that worked for me!

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used, meaning if you purchase through my link I will receive commission at no additional cost to you. I only ever recommend products that I use and LOVE. Affiliate marketing allows me to continue to share free and affordable information and services! Thanks for your support! 


  1. Girl, I struggle with adult acne too. It's the worst! But your skin really does look great! I am definitely going to try this magical serum. :) Thanks for sharing.

  2. Did I tell you? I've been using the serum for a while now and I have had little to no breakouts. Yay! However, my acne scaring on my cheek is still there. I only use it before bed at night but I wonder if I begin to use it in the morning, like you suggested, if that would make a difference. Hmm. I shall have to try!

  3. Thanks for sharing! I struggled with acne all through out high school, I hated going out in public. Being picked on and call awful names didn't help with my self-confidence. I'm definitely going to order the vitamin C serum and give it a go!

  4. Love this post! I completely get where you’re coming from, I’ve had acne since around 11/12 and it got worse and worse every year and affected my back as well as my face! I finally cleared up last year from using Roaccutance and also a Vitamin C serum I got from Amazon as well! I couldn’t get over how well Vitamin C serum works for scarring and spots! Your skin looks amazing now! Xx

    Andrea | Trxpical Andrea

  5. I'm sorry you had to deal with acne for so long but so glad you found something that works for you! I currently have an 11 year old daughter who is starting to get small breakouts. This is great info, thank you! xo -Colleen

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