My Healthy Skin Routine

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

I receive all kinds of questions from readers. Most of them are about about recipes, Body Pump, and pugs, but others range from career and relationship advice to hip injuries and money matters. They’re typically all over the place, but I’m more than happy to help in anyway that I can! 🙂

Recently, I’ve received a number of questions about my skincare routine. I’ve struggled with breakouts for as long as I can remember, so it’s flattering that readers ask me for advice. (Maybe I’m just too critical of myself?)

In the past 6 months or so, I’ve finally gotten control of my skin. (*Knock on wood!*) I’ve made some changes to my routine and diet, which have really improved my skin. I hardly breakout anymore.

Obviously, I’m not a doctor or a skincare expert, so I can only tell you what works for me. We’re all different, so something that works for me, may not work for you. Maybe I “outgrew” my bad skin by turning 30-years-old? I have no idea. But, here’s what works for me and, hopefully,  it’ll work for you, too!

Routine & Products

I wash my face twice a day (morning and night) using Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash. It contains little “scrubbers” and salicylic acid to help prevent breakouts as well as aloe and chamomile to sooth and reduce redness. You can find it at most drugstores (CVS, Walgreens, etc.) and Target. It rules.


During the day, I use Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Tone Correcting Moisture SPF 30 all over my face and neck.

At night, I use Hope in a Jar on my face and neck. I like this product, but once it runs out, I’ll probably buy a similar night lotion from Neutrogena. I’ve heard that mixing and matching products from different lines can cause breakouts.


Once a week, I use an exfoliating masque from Arbonne. I lovveeee this masque!! In fact, when I ran out of it a few weeks ago, I used Twitter to find an Arbonne rep to sell me more. I’m obsessed.

As soon as I put this masque on my face, I feel it working. It tingles! When I wash it off, my skin feels soooo soft. I’d even say that it glows! 😀


Another thing I do to prevent breakouts is wash my makeup brushes once a month or so. I never used to wash my brushes until Jenna mentioned it to me. She said washing her brushes keeps her skin clear, so I figured I might as well give it a try. So far, so good! 😀

To wash your makeup brushes, just use a small amount of gentle shampoo and water, and then rub the bristles between your fingers. Do this until the water runs clean. Air dry the brushes.



With regard to the changes that I’ve made in my diet, please take what I say with a grain of salt. I’m not a Registered Dietitian. The information below comes from magazines, the Internet, my dermatologist, and my own opinions.

Breakouts are the result of too much oil and a collection of dead skin cells, which combine to clog pores. What goes into our bodies (as well as our hormones) affect the “health” of our skin. When I realized that certain foods can reduce or contribute to breakouts, I immediately started making changes to my diet. Here’s what I did:

  • Ate more whole, high-fiber grains and stayed away from refined carbs (except for the occasional cookie! 😉 ): When you eat refined carbs, your pancreas sends out a surge of insulin, which triggers a change in hormones that increases oil production and tells your cells to multiply. This clogs pores and leads to breakouts. Whole grains help your body absorb and burn carbs more slowly, which keeps your blood sugar and insulin levels steady. They’re also filling and keep you regular! 😉
  • Incorporated foods rich in vitamin A and zinc into my diet: Vitamin A is kryptonite for acne. It attacks blemishes by reducing inflammation and encouraging cell turnover, which leads to clearer pores and less breakouts. Vitamin A-rich foods include spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and cantaloupe. I also try to eat foods that are high in zinc, like pumpkin (pumpkin beer counts, right? 😉 ), chickpeas, and peanut butter. Zinc helps regulate oil production, which prevents shiny skin and breakouts.
  • Avoided cow’s milk. I always thought that the hormones in cow’s milk caused me to breakout, but after years of buying organic milk, my breakouts continued. I even “traded up” to organic non-fat milk when I started working at NuVal last fall and my skin freaked out. Again, I’m not an expert, but drinking cow’s milk (with or without hormones) makes me breakout.
  • Drank lots and lots of water. I’ve always been good about drinking water, but I started to drink more. I definitely notice a difference in the way my skin looks when I am hydrated verses dehydrated.


In addition to the diet tweaks above, I also take a daily fish oil supplement. I started taking the New Harvest capsules once a day after my trip to Philadelphia. About a month ago, I ran out of them and my skin started to act up again. Interesting, right? So, now I’m back on board with the fish oil supplements.

The omega-3’s in the fish oil reduce inflammation and keep your skin balanced and soft. Good sources of omega-3’s include salmon (and other fish), flaxseeds (not whole), chia seeds, and walnuts.


So, that is my healthy skin routine in a nutshell. Again, I’m not an expert. This post is based on my own personal experiences, but if you have specific questions, please let me know!

What’s your healthy skin routine? What are your tips for healthy skin?


I packed lunch to take to NuVal with me this afternoon. I had Stonyfield French Vanilla yogurt with sliced strawberries and Kashi 7 Grain cereal and a blueberry Soyjoy bar. In the afternoon, I also munched on some caramel popcorn.


Still no word from the sellers about the house. I’m getting antsy!!! 😕

P.S. I’m hosting an end of the summer giveaway on Trading Up Downtown today! 😀



  1. I also use Hope in a jar and love it! Just FYI, as a former Cosmetologist {with sensitive skin}, I’ve found shampoos with sodium laurel sulfate REALLY causes me to break out. It’s amazing how some hair care products can really affect your skin negatively.

  2. I never thought about supplements! I’ve always been blessed with pretty clear skin, just the occasional zit or two during my period, although in recent years those have lessened (I’m 27).

    I wash my face every night with Burt’s BeesSoap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream (this is AMAZING) and follow up with a Boots Moisturizer. In the morning, I just rinse my face off with water (unless I’ve done a strenuous workout) and then moisturize again with the same thing. I used to only wash my face in the mornings (I’ve never washed 2x a day) but then I read somewhere that if you are only going to wash once, it should be at night after the grime of the day has built up.

    Oh, I also use a facial scrub 2x a week, in place of my normal cream cleanser.

  3. I don’t do much for my beauty skin routine. I put moisturizer on in the morning and before bed. I drink lots of water. Get my fruit/veggie servings in. And take fish oil supplements. That’s about it! I really have to start remembering to wash my makeup brushes.

  4. My skin is really sensitive, dry, and breaks out easily. Woo hoo. I’ve found that the California Baby line works so well. My skin is clearer than it’s ever been. The line is technically for babies so there are no masks. So I use a Dermalogica acne mask once every couple of weeks–it’s gentle enough for sensitive skin.

  5. I keep hearing that peanuts/peanut butter isn’t all that great for us. And that we should stick to almond and other types of nut butters. I just read an article about how that’s supposed to help your skin too. Interesting.

    Great tips, Tina!!!

  6. Thanks for sharing your skin routine! I’m 23 and I still have breakouts and unruly skin. I really don’t want to go to a dermatologist because I don’t want to have to take medication to get my acne under control. I’ll definitely be trying some of your tricks like washing make-up brushes and trying fish oil capsules. After trying a million over the counter products over the years, I’ve landed on Neutrogena too. Thanks Girl!

  7. Love this post! I did not know the information about zinc and vitamin A. I will look for more of foods with those 2. I also have had a similar experience with dairy. It doesn’t make me break out per se, but my skin gets more sensitive. If I am eating dairy and I shave my legs I get razor burn from hell. If I am off dairy, my skin stays clear post shave. I have heard that animal products cause an inflammatory reaction in the body. I don’t know much about it and I have never heard it from a reputable source, but that has been my experience too. Also, exercise is great for your skin and too much sugar is detrimental. I did a post about it here —

  8. Thanks for doing this post, I love reading about what people do for skin care. While not horrible I have breakouts and they really bother me! I have found a routine of the FC5 Line from Arbonne work really well along with the exfoliating mask.

    I also use an acne treatment when needed.


  9. I use the generic ProActiv kit (I think it is the Clean and Clear version?) — it works great. I only use it in the morning and I use an Aveeno moisturizer with SPF.

    Cutting dairy out of my diet a few years ago helped my skin as well. My husband breaks out almost immediately when he consumes milk.

    Dare I say it? My face finally cleared up when I started taking birth control.

  10. As a make-up artist I am so glad to see you wash your brushes regularly! I think people would really be surprised to know how much bacteria and stuff can live in those brushes if you don’t take care of them. 🙂
    Also, I wouldn’t be too worried about using products from different brands, usually it’s the ingredients that affect the skin, not the specific brand itself. That’s why you can usually get similar results from drug store brands as from department store brands =X

  11. I had NEVER had a problem with my skin until recently. I think it’s a hormonal thing.
    As a teenager I washed my face everyday with a Dove Facial Cleanser. As I got older, I just used whatever. Then after college and moving around, I started breaking out on my forehead, and chin! This had never happened to me. I got a facial (which ended up not doing well on my skin) and she gave me great advice – carry blotting papers for my forehead so I get less breakouts, and also have cleansing wipes (with no fragrances) to reduce the sweat. I’ve also BEEN using for a few years the Balancing Dryness Facial Cleanser by Jurlique, which is very gentle. I used to be super dry. Once I run out, I’ll probably buy the one for oily skin.
    I also use Laura Mercier Facial Scrub and also use her Blue Masque. If times get really tough I use the Aztec Clay Mask ($9 and it lasts forever). Usually that keeps things at bay, but Im still figuring out my new skin 🙂
    I should note when I say ‘break out’ I mean one or two on my chin. I break out on my forehead because I have bangs. My breakouts there consist of “congestion” bumps.

  12. Taking the fish oil capsules has helped with me skin.

    I also seldom eat dairy, except for greek yogurt that I add to my granola parfait (about 1/4 cup) few times a week. If I eat a lot dairy, I start to see little bumps on my face.

    My skin has cleared up a lot in the last few months, I am eating healthier but I am also not sure if it’s just the summer weather. I tend to have clear skin in the summer and then I break out in the winter 🙁

  13. What an intense routine! I’ve never considered how my diet affects my skin, but I think you are right about milk, whole grains, and water. My routine is to wash my face when I take a shower and use moisturizer with SPF 30 every day on my face, neck, and chest.

  14. I have absurdly dry skin, but I find that rinsing with water, coconut oil and a homemade brown sugar and rosemary oil scrub (used once or twice a week) work for me. Not wearing any makeup helps, and I hear that sleep (still elusive for me) is also key……:)

  15. I totally agree on the milk. When I started subbing in things like almond milk and coconut milk, I noticed that I was breaking out less often and getting less redness. However, I still love greek yogurt, so I can’t cut it all out!

  16. I use a soap containing ganoderma that has worked wonders for my skin. I am on my 5th bar since January 🙂 I also always make sure to wash my face before bed. I tendto get blemishes if I get lazy and skip it.

  17. Cow’s milk doesn’t cause me to break out, it just makes me feel bad. One of these days, they’ll get around to telling us why so many of us have issues with it.
    That pick of you in the stonyfield t-shirt is cute. 🙂

  18. I have really sensitive and oily skin, and I also use Neutrogena on a daily basis, and it works great. I use the grapefruit (pink) kind that has scrubbers and salicylic acid, and it has done wonders for my skin. However, I think what has really made a difference is that I NEVER use any skin product that contains oil (even sunscreen). I also steer clear of fish oil because I had a really bad skin reaction to it once. I started taking it, and my skin immediately worsened, so it might not be the best suggestion for everyone.

  19. It’s so interesting to read how unique everyones skincare regimen is! For me I make sure whatever I use is totally natural… and especially make sure it is free of fragrance. I also struggled with breakouts and blotchy skin (probably because as a teenager I used soooooo many products and crappy make-up…. I’m not even going to talk about how horrid my diet was back then!)
    Now, for my skin, I totally stand by a healthy diet with loads of greens and water, I use Alba sea scrub morning and night plus avalon organics vitamin c gel wash and moisturize with Bare Essentials Rare Minerals moisturizer and use Bare Minerals make up, Alba lip color, and Zia mascara and eye liner. It works WONDERS for me. I haven’t changed in years and I get comments almost every day on my skin 🙂

  20. apply tea tree oil as a toner at night, also drink half a squeezed lemon mixed into water every morning on an empty stomach. these 2 tips have cleared my skin completely after years of bad breakouts!

  21. By cow’s milk, do you mean just straight milk, or do you also avoid yoghurt and cheese made from cow’s milk? I’m trying to phase out cow’s milk as well (I’ve been using the lactose-free variety in cooking and the occasional hot drink) since a holistic medical pracitioner told me that I might be able to improve my health problems by eliminating foods that she thought were allergy foods for me – in the main, sulphates and preservatives, but also chocolate (sob) and cow’s milk. However, the guideline sheet also recommended an increased intake of probiotic yoghurt and didn’t flag cheese as being a problem, so I wondered if – in terms of your skin problems – you find yoghurt and cheese, milk products I guess, as being less problematic as straight milk?

  22. Love, love, love Arbonne products!! I use their face wash, toner, and moisturizer daily. I was always a Lancome girl and my skin just looked bad. I thought I just had bad skin. My hair dresser turned me onto Arbonne. I’ve been using it over a year now and the difference is amazing.

  23. I never knew that about the Vitamin A and zinc! I think it’s high time that I up my nutritional game and learn about vitamins and minerals as well as fat, protein, carbs, calories, etc… Oh yeah, and what about sunscreen? Do you use any sunscreen? I use a 50 SPF face sunscreen from Nivea that sort of doubles as a lightly tinted lotion in the morning. It makes my skin look a little paler (an Asian tidbit for you – we LIKE to look paler ;D)

  24. Tina you do have gorgeous skin!! We also thought that, so thank you so much for sharing your tips. We struggling with our skin, eating a clean diet has helped, but most of our breakouts our due to hormones, well we think.

  25. Eminence products are amazing!! Completely organic and free from harmful chemicals. I am finally learning that what you put ON your body is just as important as what goes IN your body. Have sampled these in the past but have recently started using them exclusively and am amazed at what a difference they have made!! The Eminence products aren’t cheap by any means but a little bit of product goes a long way. I also use DHC’s Olive Virgin Oil. Applied to face at night immediately after moisturizer. Sounds totally counter productive I know – but it will do wonders for your skin. I have combination skin that can be prone to breakouts but trust me when I say this product is ah-may-zing!!

  26. I use Dr Hauschka and Lavera products- they are *amazing* for sensitive skin! I used to break out a lot, too, but my skin is so much happier with these. I also use a Clarsonic and wash my make-up brushes *at least* once a week completely, and use brush cleaner on them every day. For me, avoiding wheat is the other big key. I’ve had every type of diet over the years- vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, and now carnivore- but there wasn’t a difference with any of them. It wasn’t until I gave up wheat and started using better skincare products that my skin really got better.

  27. I love this post! Thank you so much for sharing! I am a big fan too of the philosophy (hope in a jar) and am also a HUGE fan of fish oils! They work wonders! =)

  28. Hey Tina, I’m an Arbonne consultant. I just wanted to let you know that they’re discontinuing the thermal fusion exfoliating mask. It’s still available, but only for a limited time as long as current supplies last. If you really love it and don’t want to switch products, I’d suggest you contact your Arbonne consultant and order a couple extras!

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