Elisa and happy skin

Hello and welcome to Happy Skin Kitchen! Thank you so much for stopping by!

I have started this blog as a way of sharing my passion for healthy cooking and for sharing my struggle with hormonal acne, which unfortunately it can be extremely common amongst women of my age (25-35). About 7 years ago I moved to London from Italy and at the same time I also stopped taking the contraceptive pill. After 6 months of living in London my skin started to breakout like  never before.

I never had acne or spots, not even when I was a teenager and my skin has always been pretty flawless, never requiring any particular attention or maintainance. This sudden change really threw me off and as many people would probably have done, I went straight to a dermatologist, thinking they will give me a cream or something that will make them go away. My breakouts were mostly on my chin and jaw area and they were almost like a cyst, they were red and angry and were definitely affecting my self confidence and overall happiness. The dermatologist suggested that I went back on the pill as it would help regulate my hormones and make my acne disappear, as it was probably due to some sort of hormonal imbalance.  At the time I didn’t think twice about it. If the pill guaranteed that those horrible spots would go away, I was definitely up for it! As the dermatologist thought, it worked brilliantly and after only a month my skin was perfectly clear and spot free.

After about a year of being on the pill again I started thinking, could I possibly take it forever? The answer was obviously no, so I decided to take the leap and stop taking it, thinking maybe the spots were gone for good. How wrong I was! After just a month my acne came back, those nasty red pimples were there on my chin again, probably laughing at my naive hope of clear skin.

On that occasion I decided to take the “official medicine” route again and went to visit two different dermatologists. Both of them prescribed me two different type of antibiotics which both failed miserably, leaving me with the added stress of gut and digestion issues. I remembered feeling completely deflated and hopeless, but I am definitely too stubborn to give up on anything. I decided to do my own research and try to find my own cure for my hormonal acne. I went online and I started to learn how food can have a massive effect on how our skin looks.I know this  might sound really obvious but at the time I had no idea how certain foods can be potent triggers for acne, spots or breakouts. All I knew was that chocolate is bad for you, that was as far as my nutrition knowledge would go!

From the information I gathered online  I started to cut out certain foods that have been proven to make acne worse like dairy, sugar and red meat. I have never been a junk food eater and fizzy drinks lover but oh boy how much I loved my full fat creamy cappuccino in the morning or my super cheesy pizza – after all I am Italian! Desperate to see an improvement in my skin I gradually transitioned to a mostly plant based diet and that has proven to be the best choice I have ever made for my skin and for my overall health. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight as I always been a serious food lover. I decided that I would still have tasty food but with a “skin friendly” spin. I got seriously inspired by so many amazing food bloggers out there and taught myself how to cook delicious, healthy and full of goodness meals which my skin will thank me for.

My skin is still not perfect and maybe it will never be, but that’s ok! Part of my journey was and still is to accept myself and my skin for what it is, without always thinking it has to perfect all the times.The aim for this blog is to share all I have learnt in the past 3 years about food, nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyle which has helped improved my skin and hopefully will help you too!

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. ewyatthaines


    I wanted to get in contact as I saw that you recently liked one of my Instagram photos. Thank you so much for supporting me.

    I have only recently started blogging and would love some advice about how I can reach a bigger audience.

    I have created a website which you can see at http://www.literarynourishment.co.uk

    If you like it, I’d love it if you could share my Instagram (@literarynourishment) and my website with your followers.

    Thank you so much

    Emma x

  2. Lucy

    This is so similar to my own story, my acne started at 14, I was given various creams and antibiotics which didn’t work. Then I was on the pill for 8 years which worked wonderfully but I didn’t want to be reliant on something like that. I kept trying to come off it but would break out and go back on! In the end I just stopped it and stuck it out and my skin has never been as bad as it was back then. However I generally always have at least one spot at a time and go through periods of nasty cysts! I’ve cut down on dairy and sugar, and the sugar in particular has definitely helped. I’ll definitely follow your blog and would love to hear more about your experiences! Lucy

    1. happyskinkitchen

      Hi Lucy! Thank you so much for your message, our stories seems very similar indeed!Dairy and sugar for me have been 2 major factor, I now don’t eat dairy anymore and I try to eat sugar in smaller amount and not everyday and I always stick to more natural sources like fruit, dates or maple syrup. Have you ever try to cut out gluten? That could also be a trigger when it comes to hormonal acne. I also find exercise has helped massively to keep my skin clear. I do a mix of yoga/pilates/barre with some HIT classes (high intensity traning). Long period of cardio exercise are not advised if suffering of hormonal breakout. Are you taking any supplements at the moment? If not I would suggest to take fish oil (if you are eating fish) or flax seed oil. Zinc is also a great supplement for healthy skin in general.
      Hormonal acne is such a complex topic that is very difficult to narrow in down to few advise or tips, I am planning to do a blog post on how I have managed to clear my skin, I just need to find the time! 🙂 Please let me know if i can help you any further! And please never give up on your skin, it took me 4 years to figure it out a lifestyle that will make my skin happy and trust me so many times I felt completely helpless! Wishing you all the best!

  3. nataliesgreenkitchen

    Hi Elisa, Nice website! Thanx for sharing your story, its similar to my story, only it started 20 years ago when i was 12. Now i’m almost 33year and since 6 months i only eat plantbased food and i feel much better, have more energie and my skin is better than before. Now i have sometimes one breakout. I also started mine website #nataliesgreenkitchen.com since this year to share my plantbased & sugarfree recipes with everyone. Do you also avoid other food? Maybe i have to try to cut out gluten. Hope to read more from you about your experience and maybe wich products you use. Wish you all te best and i will follow you on Instagram and your blog!:) X Natalie

    1. happyskinkitchen

      Hi Natalie, Thank you so much for your kind message!I am so happy to hear that your skin got better since starting to eat a plant based diet. For me the key triggers were definitely sugar and dairy. I then decided to cut out red meat and gluten because I feel so much better when I don’t eat these foods, but it’s all very personal! the best thing is to test it on yourself so can figure it out what works for you. I also find that exercise really make a difference in keeping my skin clear. I normally try to move my body every day and I do a mix of HIT classes, pilates, barre and yoga. I had 2 months last year where I stopped exercising and my skin started to break out again, sounds crazy but it definitely has a massive effect, at least for me!
      Love your website too, will go and find you on Instagram! 🙂
      Lots of love

    2. Prachi Yadav

      Hi,I too suffer from hormonal acne tht too on jaw line and it annoys me so much.Would be really great if you can repeat the tips again i know you would not like it but would be really helpful to your fav followers like me….Thanks a ton in advance.


        1. Prachi Yadav

          So grateful to you……Much love…

    3. TRS

      Great to read all this. I’m vegan and my daughter has a few spots – age 13 – I can tell it is upsetting her! I asked her to follow your insta for some healthy ideas! Our family is veggie and she only has small amounts of dairy but I’m convinced sugar and wheat are causing issues too. As she’s young I’m not forcing her to restrict everything but gently guiding her towards a plant based diet. Thank you for all the lovely pics and recipes!

  4. sophielaetitia

    Lovely blog! Your recipes look so tasty too. I will definitely be making some ☺️

  5. Steph Timmins

    Hi there! My name is Steph and I am from Steamer Trading Cookshop and I would really like to talk to you about the possibility of working together. If you are interested, please send over an email so I could contact you about this 🙂



  6. VitaSun

    Hi Elisa! I love your blog! I’m definitely trying your Oaty banana and blueberry breakfast muffins! Is there any chance I could get your contact details? Cheers! xx

  7. Caroline

    Hi Elisa! Thanks so much for sharing your story! Although I’m glad to read that there is a healthier solution to getting rid of hormonal acne than taking the pill forever or antibiotics, it does look like a huge change is needed! I’ve already started cutting out sugar but just the thought of having to cut dairy and gluten is very overwhelming! How long did it take for you to see results after having cut out on those ? Thanks a lot, and keep sharing ! Caroline

    1. Happy Skin Kitchen

      Hi Caroline!Thank you so much for your lovely message and I am sorry for my late reply! It definitely took some times for me to see some improvements (about 1 year all together), I had various ups and downs with my skin over the past few years where I had clear skin in some period and breakouts in other. I also filmed a youtube video talking about how I clear my skin, you can watch it here:


      I hope it’s helpful!



  8. Devin

    You inspire me to make healthier foods they look so good to eat as well thank u

    1. Happy Skin Kitchen

      Hello!A bit late but thanks a lot for the lovely message! 🙂

  9. Sabrina Cardillo

    Found your blog via Instagram, loving your work!

    I also had hormonal acne in my early 30s and now I’m under investigation for autoimmune problems, I’m finding it harder to ignore the effect diet has on health, so I’m moving towards a mostly plant-based diet. I come from an Italian family too, cutting down on meat hasn’t been a challenge, but cheese? Oh man…

  10. Jocyl

    Hi Elisa! I stumbled on your blog through one of the instagram posts of your photo on @yoursuperfoods. I am in love with all your photos! I want to try all your recipes because everything looks so good!! With all these recipes, what are your top 5? Thank you in advance 🙂

  11. Tamara

    I love your recipes & continue to be inspired by your unique combination of healthy + artistic plates! Keep it up ?

  12. M.garado

    Hi Elisa.
    we are Very interested in your page, we are in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia We own an A company that sells organic food and After three months, we will open a special market to sell organic products Inside the shop will be a restaurant for healthy food so we need your help in regards healthy recipes.

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