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My Story of Cystic Acne: & BeautyCounter Natural Skin Products

Updated: Aug 22, 2022


I have something really exciting to share with you! For over 20 years, I have been really interested in natural skin care products. And honestly, all natural non toxic products including those for hair, cosmetics, home cleaning and more.

In fact, back in the day, I used to make my own homemade natural skin care products using plant oils like almond or jojoba oil, essential oils and things like oats, walnuts, witch hazel astringent, avocados and other plant derived ingredients. I’d also give them away as gifts. I loved doing this! Then something terrible happened.  

When I was 25 years old, I had a severe case of cystic acne breakouts around the lower part of my face near my mouth. Then it spread to my jawline, then the front of my neck. If you’ve ever struggled with this, you know that these are not just little blemishes that go away in a few days. These are deeply embedded, larger, inflamed breakouts similar to boils that take a much longer time to heal. It was a brutal, struggling time for me that lasted nearly 2 years. While I had some acne as a teenager, I presumed that by age 25 I should be over this already. 


Over those 2 years, I had frequent emotionally distressing meltdowns over my plummeting self confidence in my appearance and copious amount of tears. I was beside myself with embarrassment and also frustration at trying countless products that never truly helped long term or in some cases made it worse.   

I became obsessed with finding the right product for my skin and tried countless ones (and spent a fortune in the meantime!) only to be later disappointed with the unsuccessful results. 

Then one day, I decided to give this higher end natural skin care line at Whole Foods Market a try. I had nothing to lose (other than more money) and figured something’s got to work!  This natural skin care line was specifically for acne and claimed to penetrate and heal the deeper layers of the skin. I bought several bottles and hoped and prayed for a miracle.  

Literally within 24 hours, I noticed the blemishes were less swollen and inflamed and the redness had lessened. I couldn’t believe it! I began to feel hopeful. As time went on over the next few weeks and months, not only did the acne heal, but the sebaceous glands beneath the surface of my skin stopped producing excessive amounts of sebum – the oil, waxy substance that can lead to acne.

These products were not only therapeutic, they were preventative as well. The redness diminished and the pitted acne scars began to heal and become less noticeable. To say that I was relieved and elated is an understatement!   

During that time in my life, I started researching all of the ingredients in those products (along with similar ones) to find out why they worked so well and so quickly compared to all of the other products that I had tried from drug stores, department stores, online products and even other products at natural food stores.  

What I discovered was that certain skin care companies were using clean, natural, non-toxic, plant derived ingredients like herbs, nut/seed oils, essential oils, natural astringents, natural vitamin based preservatives and emulsifiers that were aimed at healing at a deeper level. Rather than excessively drying out the layers of the skin (the epidermis and the dermis) which can lead to overproduction of acne, these natural ingredients and products were focused on balancing and nourishing the sebaceous glands, allowing the skin to function normally.  

Conversely, compare this to the mainstream skin care industry that uses a plethora of toxic, harmful and unsafe ingredients that are still capable of “slipping through the cracks” of the FDA and are commonly used in products that you might be applying topically on your body.  

Read more about those toxic ingredients HERE.  

And keep in mind that what you put ON your body gets INTO your body! 

And here’s what’s even more amazing. During my research at that time in my life, I realized that chronic skin problems are often the result of something deeper within the body – mainly the Gastro-Intestinal Tract, the Liver, the Endocrine System and more. It’s a whole body condition! Simply treating the surface with a quick “band-aid” product doesn’t address the root or underlying cause(s).  

Unfortunately, during that time I was undergoing a lot of emotional and adrenal stress, unhealthy diet filled with a lot of gluten, dairy, sugar and other processed foods. That lead to chronic gut issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Hormonal imbalances like excess testosterone, DHEA and insufficient Progesterone. All of that created the perfect storm for cystic acne!  

Serendipitously, this “terrible thing” of cystic acne lead me down a path towards pursuing my doctorate degree in Naturopathic Medicine. In 2002, I moved up to Seattle Washington to attend Bastyr University and several years later graduated and began my practice as a Naturopathic Medical Doctor helping and inspiring others to live healthier lives. 

Over the past 20 years, I have continued to be immensely passionate about natural skin care products and always look forward to trying something new and effective. Along with evaluating and treating patients from a whole body,  functional medical perspective, I love recommending high quality, safe products to my patients to help them achieve better looking skin.  

Fast forward to present day where I rarely have acne break outs. My main concern now is drier skin and a bit more fine lines and less collagen related to aging and Peri-Menopause. In addition to my healthy nutrient rich diet, consistent exercise, abundance of water intake and professional grade herbal/nutritional supplements, I am always searching for topical products that make my skin look moisturized, healthy, glowing and vibrant. 

Through collaboration with my doctor/colleagues friends, I have recently joined forces with an organization that absolutely stands by using only clean, non-toxic, natural and safe ingredients in their products. They create skin care products for the face, the whole body (FOR WOMEN & MEN) and even make-up/cosmetic products too. With that said…. 

I am so pleased to introduce to you – BeautyCounter!! 

Since 2013, BeautyCounter has been formulating healthy, clean skin care products and cosmetics, advocating for higher quality, safer ingredients and educating and empowering women and men across the world on ways to deepen and revitalize their self care and skin care practices.  

They are also tenacious about responsible sourcing of ingredients along with taking aligned action towards current environmental issues like Climate Change. Using skin care and cosmetic products should not only be fun, they should be safe and good for you too.  

I’ve been using several of the BeautyCounter products on my face for a little while now and I LOVE how they make my skin feel and look! And their natural fragrances from plant derived ingredients make this daily self care practice even more special and enjoyable.  

Regardless of your age, gender, skin type, skin color, skin sensitivity, BeautyCounter has something for you to help you look and feel happier and better about yourself – inside and out! 

If you’d like to try these products and take advantage of an amazing offer, BeautyCounter is offering 20% off your first order if you sign up below and use Promo Code CLEANFORALL20. 

Shop For BeautyCounter Products Here!

Please feel free to reach and let me know if you have any questions about the company, the products and what you think about the products after you’ve tried them.   I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, along with countless other women and men across the world!  

Please stay in touch.


Dr. Kristi

P.S. Interested in becoming a new patient for you or a family member? Please schedule a FREE 20 minute Discovery Call from the scheduler on my website –

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