Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cashew Cream Cheese Icing // vegan, gf, refined sf

Sometimes all I want to do is indulge in something naughty

Ya feel me?

In my 17 years of life I have never made a better, more indulgent healthy treat. It’s like you’re deceiving your sweet tooth, it’s so good.

Fun fact about me: my favorite cake is carrot cake

What I love about this specific recipe is that the cake stays extremely moist, yet still fluffy and the icing seriously mimics real cream cheese frosting like nobody’s business. Plus, for all of you who are already prejudging it’s difficulty, I’m here to tell you that these are really easy to make and don’t require a lot of time or skill (woohoo!).

For the cupcakes…

    • 1 1/4 cups blanched almond flour
    • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 2 large eggs, room temperature
    • 1/3 cup refined melted coconut oil
    • 1/3 cup honey
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a muffin tin with 8 muffin liners.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (almond flour through nutmeg). Set this aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, honey, and vanilla.
  • Add the dry mix to the wet mix just until combined and then gently fold in the grated carrots.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the liners and bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Do not frost until completely cool.

For the faux cream cheese icing…

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in hot water 1 hour or cool water 6-8 hours
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk or cream
  • 3-4 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup  coconut oil (preferably the consistency of softened butter)
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Soak cashews in very hot water for 1 hour or in cool water for 6-8 hours. Drain thoroughly and add to a blender. To the blender, also add remaining ingredients.
  • Blend until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. It’s important to get the frosting as creamy and smooth as possible, so blend on high with a high-speed blender until the texture is silky and smooth.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness, vanilla for vanilla flavor, or more lemon zest for tang.
  • Transfer frosting to a medium mixing bowl (with room to blend / whisk) and cover. Place in the freezer and chill for 45 minutes. Then remove from freezer and whisk. Freeze for another 45 minutes – 1 hour and whisk again. Then leave in the freezer until semi-firm to the touch (cheesecake texture // ~ 2-4 hours) and use a hand mixer (or whisk) to blend until creamy and smooth. Depending on how firm your frosting is, this may take a little work at the beginning as it softens. If too thick, microwave in 15-second increments until blendable (or leave out at room temperature to soften).
  • Your frosting is ready to use.

It’s that simple.

I encourage everyone to try out this recipe, which is now one of my favorites. And anybody who does make these decadent cupcakes, please send me pictures via instagram @moodymadeline.

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read my previous blog post: But First, (no) Coffee

Grocery Haul

Is it weird that I like to know what people buy from the grocery store?

I have taken an interest in Youtube for many years now, and oddly enough, some of my favorite, most captivating videos to watch are grocery store hauls. Basically, I’m really lame….

But since I really enjoy knowing what people stock their fridge with, I thought I’d share my healthy items with all of you.

  • Bananas – for smoothies (best when ripe and frozen)
  • Honey crisp apples – my current obsession (if you haven’t tried one, you have to, hands down best apples)
  • Califia Farms unsweetened vanilla almond milk- just your basic almond milk (I actually prefer their toasted coconut almond milk more)
  • Aidell’s chicken apple sausage- my favorite breakfast sausage, I could eat it every morning (plus no nitrates, additives or unnatural sugar)
  • Nature’s Path fruit sweetened corn flakes- yummy cereal that doesn’t have added sugar? Yes please.
  • Organic cauliflower – my plan is to chop, steam and freeze this baby so I can add it to my smoothies for added thickness (I will keep you updated on that)
  • Strawberries – I actually bought 2 of these because they were on sale and I want to eat all the ripe strawberries before they’re out of season
  • Spinach – already washed and ready to eat (I got this specifically for green smoothies and breakfast scrambles)
  • Sonoma gluten free tortillas – I tried one of these this morning and I’m not sure if I like them or not yet

well now you know what I picked up at the grocery store

this just got personal

what do you buy at the grocery store?

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read my previous blog post: How to be Healthy When You’re a Student

 

The Best Healthy Chocolate Cookies // GF, DF + Refined SF

Do you ever come to a cross roads where you want to stick to your healthy eating lifestyle but you also really want to eat a bomb chocolate cookie? Me too.

Well… you’re in luck today because I’m sharing the most amazing cookie recipe that fits all of my weird health requirements and still tastes like junk food. Let’s be honest, when I first discovered these cookies I made them way too often and they disappeared way too quickly. Now I try to limit how often I make them, but they will always be one of my favorite chocolatey treats. Also, they are some of the simplest cookies to make ever.

Double Chocolate Fudge Cookies:

makes approximately: 20

Ingredients

2/3 cup cocoa (or cacao) powder

1 cup organic coconut sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

generous pinch of himalayan pink salt

1 cup natural unsweetened almond (or peanut) butter

1/2 cup aquafaba (canned chickpea juice)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. In a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients, making sure there’s no lumps. In a medium bowl combine remaining wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and thoroughly incorporate until a thick batter/slightly runny dough is formed. Line two cookie sheets with silpats or parchment paper, and make small balls out of the dough (about 2 tbsps each). Make sure to spread apart nicely because they tend to flatten out and expand. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges are slightly crisp. Cookies should be slightly crisped on edges and soft and gooey in the center. Let cool on a baking rack and keep for up to four days.

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If you make these cookies please send me a picture, I would love to see!

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Read my previous blog post: Simple Paleo Lemon Blueberry Muffins

xoxo, Madeline

Simple Paleo Lemon Blueberry Muffins

 

Let me tell you, these muffins did not last long in my house.

Just yesterday I went blueberry picking with my mom and best friend, and when I came home I couldn’t resist not making something with the berries . So that is what I did with my Friday afternoon. I made these very simple, healthy and yummy blueberry muffins. They are such a great snack.

I am starting to incorporate more eggs back into my diet, and I feel like this is a great way to make the slow transition. These muffins are full of protein, good fats and fiber. I love to stick them into my toaster oven to get nice and warmed throughout and then put some butter on them. So good.

4 eggs

½ cup full fat coconut milk

6 tbsp raw honey

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Zest of 1 small/med lemon

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

⅔ cup coconut flour

¼ cup tapioca flour

1 tsp baking soda

⅛ tsp salt

¾ cup fresh blueberries

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line  muffin tins with cupcake liners and then spray non-stick oil into liners (I failed to do this and mine stuck pretty bad to the liners).

In a large bowl combine all wet ingredients using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer.

In a medium sized bowl combine all dry ingredients. Then slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients just until incorporated (don’t over mix).

Finally, hand mix in the blueberries until thoroughly dispersed. Scoop batter into muffin tins and fill about 3/4 of the way, leaving room for them to rise. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely to store, or enjoy warm with butter. Yum.

Thank you for reading, if you try these out I’d love to hear how you liked them. xoxo

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Read my previous blog post: Beachin’ it 🌴 // Best Oahu Beaches

Adulting with Maddie

As I sit here contemplating my existence in a hipster coffee shop I can’t help but count my blessings today. 

I think it’s way too easy to fall into routines and forget to take those precious moments to recollect good memories and allow your heart to smile. I have to remind myself to slow down and find my happiness. 

My life has been nothing short of crazy lately. Crazy in the best way possible. I have three and a half days left of school, I graduate in 10 days and I leave for my Hawaii grad trip in exactly two weeks. Not to mention that my summer plans are all being pinned down… including multiple concerts and trips. Ahhhh, I get butterflies in my stomachs just thinking about the good times to come. 

With so many fun things looming in my future, I have been buckling down and working non-stop before the craziness and vacations begin. Working doubles, covering shifts and not getting a day of for a week straight has been the norm for me… but I am beyond blessed to have the opportunity to make money and have a blast while doing so. I don’t think I’ve said it enough, but I love my job. I’m so lucky to work for a company that makes me want to go to work and put in the hours (because many times it doesn’t even feel like a job). I know many people that can’t say that about their work, so it’s important for me to express my gratitude in that aspect. 

I will be finishing my associate of arts degree this upcoming fall (I only have two more classes to complete it). After that, I my currently planning to take a year off (because I have no clue what I want to study) and see what opportunities come my way. I am usually the type of person to stress about large life decisions like that, but right now I’m content with the uncertainty of everything. 

I cannot begin to express how genuinely happy and secure I am with the people who I’m surrounded by. Family and friends included, I find myself to have a constant smile on my face and a soar stomach from laughing uncontrollably. It’s an amazing feeling to know that you’ve met the right people. 

Overall, I just wanted to give you all a little life update from me… I may continue this “Adluting with Maddie” series if I so choose. Thank you for the constant support and encouragement in all that I do. 💛 

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My Favorite Healthy Snack Bars

I don’t know about you, but I am constantly on the go.

I find my biggest struggle to be keeping my body and mind nourished when my schedule barely leaves time for me to get a bite to eat. But my favorite, and easiest way I’ve found to fuel my body fast is always keeping snack bars on hand.

Today I’m sharing three of my favorite healthy snack bars with you, and they don’t even taste healthy.

The three main elements I look for in healthy snack bars: refined sugar-free, gluten free and dairy free. All of these bars meet these requirements with only slight exceptions.

  1. The RXBAR

High in protein, packed with flavor, and best of all, filled with ingredients that will fuel your body for an extended period of time. I have yet to try a flavor of the RXBAR that I even slightly dislike. Yes, these ones do contain egg whites, which are usually not a key component in my diet. However, lately I have been trying to reintroduce eggs by slowly adding them back into my eating habits. So far it has been going fantastic, and I haven’t noticed any negative effects of doing so in small quantities. I would 10/10 recommend these delicious snack bars for anyone looking for a clean pick-me-up. And can we just talk about how adorable their packaging is? I love how clearly they market their bars to only have a few wholesome ingredients, and of course no BS.

2. Go Macro Bars

Also high in protein, packed with healthy plant-based nutrients, vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free. Shop these vegan nutrition bars here. What more can you ask for? Plus, they taste like a treat. My favorite is the coconut and granola… so yummy. I definitely look forward to snacking on these throughout my day.

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3. Square Organics Protein Bars

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With each bar containing an average of 12 grams of protein, you can’t go wrong with these sustaining snack bars. The only downside to them, is that the chocolate coating on the outside has a small amount of dried cane syrup, which I normally try to avoid all together. I try to limit the number of bars I eat because of the sugar, but I don’t feel like it’s bad to have them once in a while. I love the variety that square organics offers, and the unique flavors like mint and cherry coconut. If you’re looking for a great alternative bar to one like a Luna or Cliff Bar (that are packed with sugar and processed ingredients) I would highly recommend Square Bars.

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If you’re like me and constantly need quick fuel for your busy lifestyle, then my biggest word of advice is to always keep healthy snacks on hand when those moments of hunger or cravings hit. Bars are some of the smartest ways to keep your body nourished in a pinch.

I hope my snack bar recommendations were helpful… I plan to do more of these healthy snack food posts in the future. I would love to know what healthy “snack” foods you eat, so please leave me a comment💛

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Read my previous blog post: “You Can’t Afford a New Pair of Jeans?”

“You Can’t Afford a New Pair of Jeans?”

I like to call these my “You can’t afford a new pair of jeans?” jeans. Ya know, since every time I wear them, I’m asked that about ten times. People nowadays, let me tell you, they are just so original, it cracks me up.

Here’s the story of this outfit choice…

I spent my Saturday running around; working in the morning, going to my cousin’s birthday party, doing errands and getting a facial treatment… then before I knew it, it was already time to be at the restaurant where my Aunt’s surprise party was being held. And it’s pretty important that you’re not late to those types of parties.

So, my sister and I rushed home, and I quickly changed my shirt (I had already been wearing the jeans all day), threw on my favorite hat since I hadn’t washed my hair in about four days, slipped into my new sandals, grabbed my makeup and ran out the door. That was all in the course of about five minutes.

No, if you were wondering, we were not late. We made it just in time.

My point is that you don’t have to spend an hour picking out an outfit for a special event. Just choose clothes that make you feel beautiful and confident. I didn’t care that my look was mix matched and bold. I think it’s really important to take fashion risks and to wear things that might not be in your comfort zone, because lots of times, the best outfits are ones that not everyone is brave enough to wear.

Sandals- Steve Madden

Jeans- Pacsun

Shirt- Elodie

Hat- a gift from New Mexico

xoxo💛

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Read my previous blog post: Improving my Low Energy

Improving my Low Energy

If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m a doer. I don’t enjoy being unproductive; I like to be busy, whether it’s creating something, spending time with others or working towards a goal.

But it’s extremely hard to be productive when you’re energy is drained for no reason and you constantly feel like you need a nap.

I usually have a packed schedule… go to school in the morning until early afternoon, go to work, then either hangout with friends or work out (occasionally.. ha). And normally I have no problem going, going, going (until I absolutely need a day of rest). But what I’m getting at is that I’m young and it’s typically not hard on my body to be busy.

But a couple months back I began noticing that I was so mentally and physically exhausted by mid-morning when I still faced a list of to-dos for the remainder of the day. At first I thought that it could be normal, and I was just over-exerting myself, but after I continually felt like I was a zombie, I decided it was not normal. I would literally go to bed around 11, wake up around 7, feel fine in the morning while I got ready, then I would get to school and my energy would literally crash around 10:30 everyday. And I don’t mean just the type of tired where you yawn once and then five minutes later you feel fine. I mean the type of tired where it’s almost painful to keep yourself awake, but then imagine that feeling lasting for a couple of hours sometimes. So obviously trying to be a focused student or good worker is difficult when you feel like death 24/7. I started to get frustrated that I didn’t have enough energy, and then not having any energy would put me in a bad mood. It was a terrible cycle.

I finally reached my tipping point when I went to lunch with my family one day, after going to school for a half-day. I met them at the restaurant, and not five minutes into our “hellos” and conversation, my mom said to me, “Mads, are you okay? You seem so out of it.” At that moment I realized how badly my energy was affecting my life, and I’m happy she pointed it out to me, because that was the first time someone else reassured me that I wasn’t myself and that I wasn’t crazy for thinking I had to fix this problem.

I decided to meet with a nutritionist who recommended ways in which I can improve my diet to boost my energy levels. Here is what she said…

Start your morning with an adrenal gland tonic. Supposedly, your adrenal glands play a large role in the amount of energy you have, so this morning drink is meant to kickstart your day and naturally fuel the body. Plus, the mollasses has a large quantity of iron which is perfect for me since I’m anemic.

1 Tbsp. Blackstrap Mollasses

Juice of a whole lemon (or 1/2 the juice depending on preference)

1/8 tsp. himalayan salt

Simply dilute all ingredients in hot water, and then top it off with about 12-16 ounces of cold water, which should make for a room temperature beverage. I drink this with my breakfast, and continue sipping on it throughout the morning until it’s gone. There’s no need for it to be drank fast, and my nutritionist recommended having it in a large quantity of water. I would say start with a small amount of salt, and build yourself up to more, and if it’s too sour with using a whole lemon, simply add as much as you’d like.

Before trying this drink, I was skeptical of the taste, but now that I drink it every morning, it has really grown on me and I don’t mind it at all. Not to mention, blackstrap mollasses has other great health benefits, such as healthy hair, skin and nails.

The nutritionist also emphasized incorporating more protein into my diet and having a higher healthy fat consumption, since your body burns fats at a slower rate than carbs, and will keep you energized for a longer amount of time. She told me that a large contributor to my energy crashes could have been from eating a lot of natural sugar early in the day, which elevates your blood-sugar, and then causes a drop during mid-morning.

I started implementing this by starting my day off with a high-protein, high-fat meal that has low sugar. For example, I’ve been cooking a lot of sausage/veggie stir-frys topped with about half an avocado and trying not to eat as much fruit in the morning.

I have been cooking at home a lot more often, which is good because I can incorporate healthy fats, such as coconut oil, into every meal and control exactly what I’m eating. This differs from eating out at restaurants where they could sneak in less healthy additives and ingredients.

Throughout the day I have been trying to choose snacks that will keep me full and satisfied for longer, such as coconut cream, or coconut manna, by the spoonfull. I am also doing my best to eat three balanced meals a day, which all include protein, at relatively normal times throughout the day.

Other tips include:

I do my best to drink as close to a gallon of water as possible when I remember. I no longer drink coffee, and the only times I drink anything caffeinated is green tea or matcha. I consistently take my favorite gelatin collagen which I have raved about 1000 times now. I opt for healthy, whole-food snacks, which satisfy my hunger and my cravings. Look out for an exciting upcoming blog post where I share my favorite healthy snacks.

With just these small dietary changes I have noticed a world of difference. I have been eating this way for about a week and a half, and only found myself to have low energy once. I am ecstatic with the results, and I can’t get over how rewarding it is to see the direct connection between eating a clean, specialized diet and the overall improvement of my health. It’s so obvious that food can completely alter your state of mind and physical performance. How amazing.

Thanks for reading. Do you have any life-changing tips on how to stay energized naturally (through food or miracle products)? I’d love to hear about them, or your experience if you’ve ever felt how I was feeling when I had low energy. xoxo

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Read my previous post: How to Get Long, Healthy Hair

 

How I Cleared my Skin // Products I Use

Want to read my two previous posts in my “How I Cleared my Skin” series (before and after pictures included)? –>

How I Cleared my Skin (pictures included) // My Diet

How I Cleared my Skin // Facial Treatments

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Although I don’t believe products play the largest role in clearing up acne, I do think that they are an important element in the healing process. Most of all, I think that the wrong products for your skin type can reek havoc on the skin. So today I’m discussing my favorite facial products for both morning and nighttime. For reference, I have oil/combination skin.

  1. PCA BPO 5% Cleanser-

I use this cleanser when I take my showers at night to take off any makeup I wore that day, and to give my skin a good, clean base. It contains 5% benzoyl peroxide which is a great ingredient to fight breakouts. I have been consistently using this facial wash for about five months, and have seen wonderful results because of it.

2. Derma E Purifying Daily Detox Scrub

3-4 times per week, after cleansing, I use this exfoliator to give my skin a deep clean. It has activated charcoal in it, which I feel helps detoxify my pores and extract dirt and residue from the day. I have tried many different face “scrubs”, and can hands-down say that this natural one is my absolute favorite. It’s gentle enough, but still does it’s job, and when my skin feels like it needs an extra boost, I just leave it on for about five minutes as a face mask while my conditioner is sitting in my hair.

3. Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer

After washing my face, I never skip moisturizing. When I first purchased this product, I was very uncertain about how my skin would react to it since it is only an over-the-counter lotion, but I have been very pleasantly surprised with my results. This Aveeno moisturizer has activated soy, which sounds weird, but I believe it’s done wonders for my skin. It is made for acne-prone skin and I use it morning and night and it has never left my skin feeling dehydrated.

4. PCA Acne Cream

After moisturizer, I use PCA’s spot treatment that has salicylic acid in it. I have used this product religiously for the last six months, and it has yielded great results. It does an amazing job at stopping pimples when you first notice them and killing the bacteria on the skin. It is my favorite spot treatment I’ve tried so far.

5. MinErbs Charcoal Face Cleanser

I use this face cleanser every morning. It is made locally in the Rogue Valley with the best natural ingredients. It is gentle, yet leaves the skin feeling squeeky clean and refreshed. I couldn’t recommend this product enough, and I’m all about supporting local small businesses. It’s perfect for my morning routine when I don’t want something too harsh.

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As always, I hope this post was helpful for you. Don’t forget, I know what it feels like to struggle with acne and the horrible feelings it brings. You are not alone, and it does get better with time and dedication, I promise. I am happy to answer any personal questions or go into further depth of my story and tips I have for fighting acne. Please comment below or send me a message on my social media platforms.

Love you all, and thank you for reading. xoxo

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Read my previous post: How I Cleared my Skin // Facial Treatments

Buy my favorite product for healthy skin and hair: Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate Beef, Kosher, 16 oz.

How I Cleared my Skin // Facial Treatments

Read my previous post to see before and after pictures, and to find out how cleaning up my diet improved my skin –> How I Cleared my Skin (pictures included) // My Diet

As many of you already know,  I am a firm believer in curing my skin from the inside out, as naturally as possible. After a number of months of eating a clean diet, I felt as if I needed to do something else in order to speed up the healing process of my skin. That’s when I began researching microdermabrasion and other medical-grade facial “treatments”.

The first few microdermabrasion treatments I received were done at a local spa where they used the crystal technique. If you’re unfamiliar with microdermabrasion, it is a non-chemical, non-invasive procedure that uses a spray of microcrystals to remove the outermost layer of dry, dead skin cells and reveal younger, healthier-looking skin. Crystal microderm literally sprays teeny tiny crystals on the surface of the skin while an attached vacuum sucks up dead skin cells and used crystals with every pass. After having that done several times over the course of about six months, I did not see any major results, except for the fact that my bank account was hurting. Just an FYI, spas are not cheap.

Then in the fall of 2016, I was introduced to an independent nurse practitioner who performs medical-grade facial treatments, peels and botox out of her single-room office. And let me tell you, she was a true God send. She loves helping kids who struggle with acne and her prices are amazing because she truly just wants to help people feel confident in their own skin. What more could I ask for?

I have received around six treatments in total from her over the last six months, so about once every month on average. I have never seen better results than the improvements I’ve seen in my skin during this time.

She first starts with diamond microdermabrasion, which differs form crystal in the sense that nothing is physically being sprayed onto your skin, but rather the wand has a diamond tip and an attached suction which makes direct contact with the skin. After trying out both types of microdermabrasion, I can say that I prefer diamond because it feels less abrasive on my skin. After that, she extracts if it’s necessary, and then goes in with a salicylic acid microneedling treatment that kills acne at the root. I am not going to lie, these treatments aren’t for the weak…. but you know what they say: beauty is pain. And without fail, I walk out of her office looking like a bright red tomato. But let me tell you, it’s so worth it. I see results the very next day, my face looks brighter and rejuvenated.

After consistently receiving intense facial treatments, I am ecstatic with the improvements my skin has made. My acne is no longer active, my skin tone and texture have significantly improved, and my minimal scarring/dark spots have noticeably reduced.

I was hesitant at first to get medical-grade facial treatments, but now after a good amount of sessions, I can say that I’m a firm believer in healing the skin from both the inside (what you eat) and the outside. If you’re contemplating medical grade acne treatments, such as microdermabrasion or microneedling, I would strongly recommend trying one out, because I have found great results. I’m sure many people have had varied experiences with treatments such as the ones I get on a regular basis, but from my personal experience, I have no complaints. I would recommend finding someone who performs the treatments who you trust and feel comfortable with.

If you have any further questions regarding my experience with facial treatments, feel free to leave them below and I’ll be sure to get back to you. I am here to help anyone in need of skin rescue!

Stay tuned for my next post in the series of how I cleared my acne: the skincare products that I use. xoxo

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Read my previous post: How I Cleared my Skin (pictures included) // My Diet