How I DIY’ed My Way to Clear Skin

I had a pretty rough 2016, if I may say so myself. I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease, prescribed a boatload of medications, given infusion treatments and still managed to be in the emergency room or urgent care on average once a month. And while those things felt overwhelming at the time, I think my most loathed aspect of the entire circumstance has been the acne that developed on my face as a result of the steroids.

I grew up with pretty decent skin (shoutout to genetics). Unlike most teenagers, I didn’t have acne issues plaguing my high school years, despite chugging sodas like it was water. My skin wasn’t flawless or perfect but for the most part it was clear (minus the occasional pre-code red bumps). My biggest issues have also been eczema and sensitivity. So I was completely knocked off my game with acne. I didn’t have a clue what to do.  

Here’s a little Morg Math: fat face (weight gain) + the droopy lids + acne = breaking point

Your face is your greeting to the world.

My first thought was to try washing my face more often with a soap to that I was already using. That seemed to only make things worse. The bumps seemed to multiply overnight. This led to being more self-conscious about my appearance than I already was.

Being the completely obsessive person I am, I headed down the black hole of cosmetic products searching for anything to fix the issue. I spent hours looking up products and reviews. I went to Target and walked up and down the aisles.

I purchased three or four of the more popular name brand products that are meant to treat acne, used them according to their instructions and still every day I woke up to skin worse than the day before. It worked a little. I saw light reduction in the acne. However, the bumps that went away were replaces with dark marks and scarring. The medication in the products was so strong that it started burning my face in areas that didn’t have acne on it. Let’s just call that phase an EPIC FAIL.

I had nothing to lose.

Since big commerce seemed to fail me, I started exploring more natural methods for clearing up my acne. Through Instagram, I found a company that specialized in skin care using only natural products, The Butter Bar. I ordered a full system. It was a little expensive but my face is worth the investment. Let me tell you that my skin really improved over the course of a couple weeks. It wasn’t perfection but a dramatic improvement. I really liked these products. Not just because they worked for my acne but because it was natural. In all honesty, if it wasn’t for the price point as well as many steps required in the regimen, I might have continued purchasing and using them.

I spent a few weeks researching natural skin care and remedies for acne. The top recommendation was the oil cleansing method. If you are unfamiliar with oil cleansing, you can check out this article on Wellness Mama where it’s completely explained. OMG, why have ya’ll not told me about this? I thought we were cool.  I loved oil cleansing. It was so simple. Instead of making a mix of oils, I decided to use only one. I choose sweet almond oil at first. This worked wonders to clear up the acne and the dark marks. But I found that my skin was flaky and dry. So I swapped out my almond oil for argon oil. And again, I liked some of the aspects of using the argon oil. It didn’t blow me away but I can say that oil cleansing definitely helped my face do a 180.

But I want more, I want more.

Call me a perfectionist, but I wanted to restore my face to its prior glory or if not surpass it. While I experienced improvement with oil cleansing, the minimalist (possibly lazy) approach didn’t make my skin flourish. I should have known it wouldn’t be that simple. Nothing about me, my life or my body is ever simple.

So what now? The next logical step was for me to take a stab at making my own skin care products.


  1. Since I had seen a vast improvement by using natural products, I felt like that was the way to go. My body responded well and I’m listening to my body more and more these days.
  2. Doing it myself would give me customization control in terms of ingredients and scent. I could use this as an opportunity to tailor it to my skin and my preferences.
  3. I spend a lot of time at home so it’ll give me something do it.

I still wanted to keep the regimen as simple as possible. So I decided to make a cleanser, toner and moisturizer. Three steps seemed easy enough to maintain.

It’s been about two months since I’ve been making and using my homemade products. I just want to slap myself for not thinking of this sooner. My skin is clear, moisturized and glowing. I started out using my cleanser twice daily but now I’m down to just nightly or every other night.

This process made me realize that chemicals and artificial ingredients aren’t always best. They may work for some, but my skin preferred the natural products. I listen to my body more and more. It knows what it needs better than the labels. There is no magic cure or one size fits all for skin care. I have a bag full of partially used skin care products that prove that. Nothing against major products, but I can’t see myself going back to them. I loved it so much; I made my momma a batch too. I shared the wealth because fleek skin is ALWAYS in.

If you want the recipe, let me know in the comments below.


Morgan Greene is a Maryland chronic illness and holistic wellness lifestyle blogger. After years of struggling with her autoimmune disease diagnosis, Myasthenia Gravis, she decided to combine two of her favorite things…writing and informing others

IsWasWillBe.com was created to have unfiltered discussions about having a chronic illness. It has since become a place to inspire and create a sense of community among women with autoimmune diseases. Morgan loves trying new things and sharing with other spoonies how to live an ill life on their terms.

When she’s not blogging she is probably reading a book, drinking a Coke Slurpee or listening to music.

1 Comment

  1. September 13, 2017 / 8:57 am

    Wow! Quite a story! That’s awesome you made your own skincare products! It definitely is essential to be persistent in finding what works for your skin. I’d like to make my own face mask one day, DIY skincare intrigues me and I want to try my hand at it.

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