Get Glowing, Wellness

My Journey To Glowing Skin: An Update


About a month ago, I described the ongoing battle with my skin, which has long been a point of embarrassment for me, fraught with frustration and many tears. Rather than accept this fate, I vowed that I would work to dedicate myself to clearing my skin and achieving that signature vegan glow.

In my previous article, I enumerated my goals: eat foods to enhance overall complexion, exfoliate daily, wash my skin after any and all sweat sessions, and avoid touching my face. Overall, I’m happy with the results of my little experiment. Throughout the month, I made an effort to drink lots of green juice, consume water-rich vegetables, and eat foods containing high amounts of vitamin A and zinc. After exfoliating daily for a couple weeks, my much more beauty-competent sister told me that this routine will actually irritate my skin if done frequently. My goal is to exfoliate three times a week–Dumplings, do you think this is too much/too little? I’ve also been good about washing my face after the gym and yoga, carrying my favorite cleanser in a travel container with me at all times. Finally, I’ve been getting more disciplined with keeping my hands away from my face, though this is a practice that will take time to concretize. I have also started to use this rosehip oil before bed a few times a week, per Mary’s informative article.

Here’s a photo of my skin in its current state:


Granted, this was taken with an iPhone, so blemishes are much less apparent…but I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made in just a month! For years, my objective was never to achieve clear skin; instead, I focused on finding the best concealer, or locating the most efficacious acne cream. I simply did not want to expend the energy it takes to heal one’s skin. But this year, when I began to adopt a more whole foods vegan diet (and eating more food in general), I wanted my skin to reflect all the good I was doing for my body internally. Although I know that there are many other contributing factors to one’s complexion, including genetics, hormones, and stress levels, I am hoping to at least see some progress with my improved eating and cleansing habits.

For a long time, I thought a preoccupation with my complexion would convey a level of narcissism and self-obsession that I never wanted to reach. But, in refusing to invest time and energy in my outward appearance, I became deeply unsatisfied with myself–so much so that it literally consumed all of my thoughts. Now that I’ve gained some perspective, I see that caring for myself externally will settle (or at least mitigate) the warfare that goes on in my mind. Yes, we should all put some stock in the “beauty within” mentality, but it would be remiss to not acknowledge the real benefits of that glowing skin or those well-manicured nails.

What’s next for me? Time will tell. I plan to continue with the habits I’ve adopted over this month, while researching new products that I believe might be helpful to my skin. I also plan to get a facial this week as a little vacation treat, so here’s hoping it won’t irritate my skin. Any tips for someone relatively new to facials?

It’s important to note that I don’t regard any of this as some sort of panacea; everyone, no matter their status or prestige, will experience some sort of skin woe at least once in their lifetime. I’m simply trying to learn to care more and better, and hope that it will pay off in the end 🙂

What are your favorite tips for clear skin? Do you think external beauty should be valued in our culture?

Also in glowing skin: Getting My Best Skin Ever (Juhea)

My #Nomakeupselfie (Mary)

Also by Molly: Why It’s Important to Honor Your Inner Child


Photo: Molly Lansdowne

Molly Lansdowne

Molly Lansdowne

Contributing Editor at Peaceful Dumpling
Contributing Editor Molly Lansdowne lives in Boston, Massachusetts. In her free time, she enjoys writing, practicing yoga, and traveling around New England. Follow Molly on Pinterest @bostonvegan and Instagram @molly_lansdowne.
  • Juhea Kim

    You look amazing, Molly! “granted, this was taken with an iPhone…” so real! ;D Honestly, i don’t buy that women are supposed to somehow look magically like lilies without any cover up, using high definition cameras, all the time. So much pressure! We have jobs, we take care of ourselves and our families, and we’re also supposed to look poreless and spotless before breakfast? Why is our culture this way why? if I look sort of okay without makeup in non harsh lighting using an iPhone, that’s good enough for me. haha.
    It sounds like you’re definitely getting into the swing of good skin!! (A to Z, yay!) If I may recommend one more thing–I use bentonite clay mask 2-3 times a week. I use Mary’s maca cacao clay mask recipe very loosely, sometimes adding one or both, sometimes not at all. I am not sure if it removes *all* impurities but regular use does feel calming and helps reduce future breakouts.
    My #nomakeupselfie in solidarity.

    • Molly Lansdowne

      Gahh, you’re so beautiful! I actually forgot to mention in my article that I’ve been using a bentonite clay mask from a certain company that I won’t mention here..but yes, it does have a calming effect that I like 🙂 I’ll have to try Mary’s mask when I run out. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Sarah

    You BOTH look beautiful! I too struggle with skin issues. Mine is sensitivity. I get red and blotchy for no reason, just out of the blue, or so I think. I just ordered a calming mask, I should be getting it this week so I hope it goes well!

    • Juhea Kim

      Aw thanks Sarah! Let us know if it works well!!

  • Fruitbat

    Great post! I am on a similar challenge 🙂 fighting with my skin since I can remember.. and now it even time to start with anti-ageing, but the spots still havnt completely vanished 🙁 But I have improved a lot! Best results gives juicing (especially beetroot, carrot), low fat (vegan of course!) diet and lots of sleep. If I indulge in some fatty foods or don’t sleep well few days in a row – it also shows on my skin! Good luck with your journey 🙂

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