Clear Skin in Two Weeks – How I Cured My Lifelong Acne

Editor’s Note 7/26/15 – Hey folks, because of the incredible volume of questions and comments that come to my inbox and the comments section below, I’ve created an FAQ page. It’s linked at the bottom of this post. Please keep the questions coming! I’ll add to the FAQ as needed! Thank you for all your awesome comments and questions!

My Quest for Clear Skin

Most of us have at least one physical feature we wish we could change — mine has always been my acne-ridden skin. It’s been a sore subject for as long as I can remember, with each new suggestion from a well-meaning friend creating a well of anger inside me: “I’ve literally tried EVERYTHING, including whatever you’re about to tell me, so shut up.”

By the time I was 19, I’d fallen for every gimmick on TV, tried anything a doctor would prescribe (including LOADS of antibiotics and topicals), and come up empty. At times, I was resigned to having acne forever, but somewhere inside me I always knew there was a puzzle to solve, and I’m happy to declare that I’ve finally solved it.

Until January of this year, not one single thing I’d tried brought me beyond what I’ll describe as my “baseline condition” — colorless rock-hard bumps covering my cheeks and forehead that never popped and never went away. But making this one final change was the key to pushing through that baseline into clear skin territory. Here’s my story.

Pubescent Acne

My acne started mildly at age 12. Embarrassed of my face, I was wearing make up for school pictures in 7th and 8th grade and making sure no one saw my back or chest in high school. My sister shared my acne woes, so we became the “zit sisters,” helping each other pick hard-to-reach “backne” and commiserating about our grueling regimens of medications and topicals. The older I got, the worse it got. From junior high into high school I single-handedly boosted Walgreens’ stock price. We tried Retin-A, Differin, Panoxyl, Brevoxyl, Amoxicillin, Doxycyclin, Emgel, and those were just some of the prescriptions I remember.

clear skin natural acne cure

Me as a teenager, probably 17 years old

At age 17, we went for the Nuclear Option: ACCUTANE. Accutane was a gruesome beast, requiring constant moisturizers, sunscreens, and lip balm on the entire lower half of my peeling, raw face. It was terrible. At softball practice, my legs would break out from the grass in the outfield, and everything I touched was greasy with spf.

By the time my junior prom rolled around, my chest and back were as clear as day, but not my face. I still hold onto a picture from that night, my clear back to the camera — a moment of triumph, if only partially so. I would later learn that drying out oily skin and killing all bacteria on and in your body to treat acne are just about the worst things you can do for yourself.

clear skin natural acne cure

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

At 19 years old, I was diagnosed with PCOS and told I would have to follow the South Beach Diet and take hormone-regulating medication for the rest of my life if I wanted clear skin (or to have babies one day). I begrudgingly took the meds, but I couldn’t manage the South Beach Diet. Not as a college student. Not at 19 years old.

From here, and for the next 6 years, my skin would get progressively worse, as would my digestion. I gained weight in my midsection, which only exacerbates PCOS, and became depressed. My skin was at its absolute worst when a late-night infomercial persuaded me to try ProActiv. It promised clear skin in 60 days, and I figured what the hell, I have nothing to lose.

Here’s a record of my progress:

clear skin natural acne cure

ProActiv did improve things after 8 months, but the problem never completely went away.

A Holistic Approach – Curing Acne Naturally

In the subsequent 7 years, I immersed myself in the natural healing arts. I soon learned that clearing my skin would be far more about what I put in my body than what I put on my face. The diet and lifestyle changes I made laid the groundwork for what would ultimately be the final piece of the puzzle. Making these changes would likely get most people the results they were looking for, but for me there was still something missing. Here’s a short recounting of my approach since 2006:

  1. Going gluten-free in 2010*
  2. Removing and/or limiting dairy
  3. Removing and/or limiting coffee and caffeine
  4. Eliminating eggs
  5. Candida cleansing
  6. Supplementing l-glutamate, alpha lipoic acid, selenium, zinc, and lecithin
  7. Using herbs for acne
  8. Trying homeopathics
  9. Hyper-dosing probiotics (and later trying raw kefir and kombucha*)
  10. Acupuncture
  11. Megadosing vitamin A (under a naturopathic doctor’s supervision)
  12. Improving food quality by choosing organic/pastured/clean when possible*
  13. Losing weight through a reduction in carbohydrates and sugar*
  14. Reducing alcohol to a few drinks a week*
  15. Moisturizing with natural oils*
  16. Switching to mineral makeup*
  17. Washing my face with raw honey a few times a week*

*the ones that remain as part of my regimen today and have made a huge difference

My Wedding Day

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I wanted clear skin on my wedding day, so I made some very expensive decisions. In the year leading up, I underwent 3 VI Peels ($150 a pop), 3 Profractional Treatments (over $300 a pop), and weekly light and acid treatments. I would guess that I spent upwards of $3000 to prepare my face for the big day. Here’s a picture of me getting ready and another mid-way through the honeymoon, bumps and all.

clear skin natural acne cure

definitely better, but not $3000 better — the bumps were still there,
just slightly smaller

My Miracle Acne Cure

In mid-January, feeling a little off from all the holiday sweets, I started drinking homemade bone broth every day to improve my digestion. Unexpectedly, the tiny bumps that have been on my face for twenty years shrank and disappeared!

I couldn’t believe it! For years I’ve been touting the health benefits of bone broth and chicken soup, but never once did I consider that it would actually clear up my terrible skin. Not only did the broth heal my gut, it cleansed and hydrated my system, and after almost two decades of constant disappointment and frustration, my lifelong acne was cured.

I don’t want to overstep here. My skin’s not PERFECT 100% of the time. But the smooth surface I feel today is something I haven’t experienced in the 20 years I’ve been dealing with this problem. Today, instead of impossible-to-extract, constant bumps, I get a few easily extracted blemishes a month, if that.

I’ll take that over the alternative any day.

Natural Acne Cure

Unfortunately, I do have some scarring from the ravages of the lifelong battle, but I can live with that.

Directions for the Miracle Acne Cure:

  1. Follow the instructions in this blogpost to make your bone broth
  2. Drink 1 warm coffee mugful first thing every morning for 14 days straight
  3. OPTIONAL: Begin tapering down to 5 days a week (weekdays makes sense), and then down to three for maintenance
  4. Continue this beautiful morning routine for as long as you can/want to, testing every once in a while to see if you can take a break without any negative consequences
  5. Keep eating well, whatever that means for you (for me, it’s staying off of gluten, taking a regular probiotic, and keeping sugar in check)
  6. Hydrate your skin with healthy oils instead of stripping away the natural ones

My plan is to continue at 3 days per week indefinitely, and ramp it back up to 5 or 7 if I start to see any backsliding. I’m enjoying the morning ritual, and have been doing great on 3 days a week for a little over 2 months.

So that’s it. Broth!

Broth to heal your gut.
Broth to boost your immune system.
Broth to restore your health.
Broth to cure acne naturally.

This one simple thing was the missing piece of the puzzle for me. I encourage you to try it for yourself, and if you do, please come back and tell me how it worked for you. I’d love to hear your story.

Simplify your quest for clear skin with this one-page guide: The CWB Bone Broth Acne Cure. Inside you’ll find everything you need to get started making your own bone broth, including links to purchase kitchen supplies to make the job easier. Download it now to get started on your journey to clear skin by clicking the image below!

What’s next? Find out how I took my clear skin to the next level with a simple cleansing routine.

FAQ – Your Answers for the CWB Bone Broth Acne Cure

Please check out my new FAQ section! I’ve also recently started a YouTube Station dedicated to answering all your questions about the Bone Broth Acne Cure. Here’s the most recent video, so you can get an idea of what it’s like:

I’m SO EXCITED to see so many people trying bone broth and finding success!!! It makes me SO HAPPY!!! Please keep the questions coming, and if you have a success story, PLEASE share it in the comments!

Don’t want to make your own bone broth? Check this out!

bone broth acne cure kettle and fire

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I'm a wellness professional with a Master's in Integrative Health, passionate about spreading health, happiness and personal fulfillment to as many people as possible. I have a professional background in health and wellness, dietary supplements, and nutrition, and embark every day to live a well, balanced, happy life. In being true to myself and what I seek in life, I hope to inspire others to do the same, to cultivate wellbeing in their own lives.

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333 thoughts on “Clear Skin in Two Weeks – How I Cured My Lifelong Acne

  1. Hi . Can i ask ? Did you put a bit of sugar in your coffee or there’s no sweetener in your coffee ? Sorry if my writing was bad . I’m a non native speakers

  2. Hi, I have just found your article after sitting here in tears and despair due to the state of my skin. To give you a brief background; I have had acne all my life – since 14 (I am now 42). I was on the Dinette pill for many years (from 18 to 30) and although my skin was bad, I stupidly thought this was part of ‘hormones’ and from being a teenager/young adult. My skin varied from terrible cycstic lumps all around my chin, under my jaw and my cheeks to just my jaw and chin (I count those as the good days). I tried acupuncture, chinese herbs, vitamins, probiotics, doxycycline, peroxide creams, glycolic acid (wash and peels), blue light and lasers…(to name but a few). Nothing seemed to help.

    I then got married and wanted children. I stopped the pill but never had a period again…for 3 years! A routine scan discovered cysts on my ovaries and informed me I had PCOS. I wanted a child more than anything and went through 1 round of Clomid treatment and amazingly became pregnant! About 4 months into pregnancy, my skin glowed. NO SPOTS at all!! Then once I stopped breastfeeding guess what happened?…yep, they came back and with avengence! I didn’t go back on the pill as I was past 30 and knew I wanted more children. I was astounded to find that 2.5 years later, I became pregnant with no help at all! I had another lovely son and was overjoyed to find that my acne (which was far worse by now) went away in month 5. Unfortunately, yet again, once I stopped breastfeeding, it came back…badly.

    I have now had 3 years of misery. My skin is terribly scarred and I plan to have fraxle laser for the scarring, but there is not point until I can heal myself bit.

    At the lowest point I have ever been, in desperation I agreed to go back onto Doxycycline last Xmas. It worked! Then 3 weeks later it all came back. I have not been put on a skin anti-biotic and back onto Dianette in a last bid to get something to work for me. I do not want to take actuate and feel that my issue is hormonal – i.e. if I can sort out my PCOS, maybe the rest will follow. It is very strange that the pregnancy hormones sorted me out (perhaps the hormones whilst pregnant with 2 boys are the key??).

    I just don’t know which way to turn. I am terrified of blood clots due to my age (and Dianette) and am now thousands of pounds poorer, with terrible skin, scarring and wrinkles. I feel so ugly. My face is red, sore. One spot clears up and another 3 spring up in its place. It is beyond embarrassing and I dare not even go on holiday this year as I will have to go make up free when in the water. I see myself type this and feel ridiculous…but what can I do to change myself? It is just unfair on my family. I feel beaten.

    My apologies for the lengthy message. I am going to try your broth recipe (thank you so much for that!). I am open to ideas if anyone can help me. When you have tried everything, where do you turn? I am revisiting old roads that did not work and scared of the increasing damage I am doing to myself.

    Thank you for the inspirational story and thank you for listening!


    • Hi CurlyK, I am so sad to hear about your skin woes and how it’s affecting your self-image and emotional state. Believe me, I have total empathy for your situation and am frustrated that you haven’t found any good answers. I totally agree with you that your issue sounds hormonal, based on the correlation with your pregnancies and breast-feeding, but it’s likely not the whole picture. For one, it doesn’t sound like the Dianette has helped much – or is it helping a little but not enough? I personally had the experience that hormonal birth control (HBC) helped me but not enough, and in healing my gut, the combination of the two things really ended up being great for my skin and other PCOS symptoms (namely, unwanted hair growth in all the wrong places).

      I do hope you try the bone broth and dietary changes I mentioned, as gut health can really have an impact on your hormones. Specifically cutting out (or at least reducing) sugar and dairy are the big ones. You might also consider asking your doctor to test you for SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), as it’s been correlated with certain skin conditions, and when I personally went through the SIBO protocol after things went a bit haywire for me last year (I went off HBC), I saw massive and long-standing improvements. That being said, it really does sound like there’s a significant hormonal aspect to your issue.

      Stress is a big contributor in exacerbating the symptoms of PCOS, and I do think that finding stress relief/relaxation techniques that work for you would be helpful. On this topic, I personally feel that nothing is more annoying to hear than “stop worrying about it,” so I hope you know that’s not what I mean, but I do mean to give yourself a little slack and try to take care of yourself emotionally. I wrote my whole thesis on mitigating PCOS using holistic interventions and was surprised to learn while researching how critical non-strenuous activities (like walking, riding a bike, yoga) and stress-reduction (mindfulness meditation, therapy, massage, acupuncture, etc) are in mitigating the symptoms. In addition to working to heal your gut, you might consider talking to someone to help you develop some of those techniques.

      I’ll be thinking about you and am crossing my fingers that you’re on the road to healing your skin. Please keep me posted and let me know how it goes.

  3. So in September 2017 I started getting mild acne after I used an ACV mask and it burned my skin. And it only got worse and worse cause I stressed a lot and used the wrong kind of skincare . So i was pressured to use Doxycycline. 50mg a day which a take at night and in the morning I take a probiotic and a 1000mg vitamin C supplement. I have been on them for six months and have two months Left. What can I do to resolve this mess . I don’t want acne to come back and want to restore my gut. I just don’t know what to do. I am fairly frustrated at this point cause it feels like doctors dont help. What can I do in terms of diet . I am using a natural acne face wash that has Vegetable glycerine, calcium montomorillonite clay , rooibos tea, magnesium, geranium and lavender oil. Plus I use a colloidal silver bar soap with glycerine. I also use Benzac 5 which Is BP( I am from south africa). Is there anything I can do that will help this situation

    • Hi Jenna-leigh, So sorry you’ve been going through this. I was pressured to take antibiotics for my acne as a pre-teen and teenager, and I honestly think (for me personally) it did more damage than anything else. That was long ago and before widespread knowledge of overuse of antibiotics, and probiotics certainly weren’t around like they are now. That being said, it’s probably good that you’re taking a probiotic along with it, but I don’t know if the doxy is just killing the bugs in your probiotic. Do you feel any digestive symptoms, either in general or as a result of the doxy? Just curious, sometimes antibiotics can cause diarrhea and other digestive upset.

      Anyway, all this is to say that I don’t think you should stay on an antibiotic for that long unless something is really wrong with you (like deadly infection or something). Based on your comment, it doesn’t sound like it’s helped much in 6 months. If I were you, I’d try to find a more holistically-minded doctor (no idea what’s available in SA), and consider investigating some gut-healing remedies. For me, bone broth was a major boon for my skin. All the things I mentioned here – laying off sugar and dairy (which I know can be really hard to do), taking a good probiotic or probiotic foods like raw sauer kraut and kombucha, making sure your meat isn’t treated with hormones (choose organic or pasture-raised if that’s possible/affordable), and finding some kind of stress-reduction technique, whether it’s going for a walk, watching funny cat videos, talking to a friend, meditating, whatever works for you. Two other things to consider are reducing inflammation and possibly seeing if there isn’t an underlying hormonal issue at hand (for me it was PCOS) that’s contributing to the problem. You could consider adding more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet – an omega 3 supplement, turmeric, tart cherry, dark leafy greens – google around, there are lots of other anti-inflammatory foods.

      If you didn’t download my recipe for bone broth or don’t feel like cooking it, my affiliate link to kettle & fire bone broth is in the right sidebar. I love their products and also started writing for them because I love the company so much too.

      I feel your pain, and I’m sorry it’s causing you stress and frustration. Please keep me updated, and good luck to you. I’m confident you’ll figure it out. Keep me posted!

  4. Glad i stumbled on this! I cannot stress how amazing bone broth is. I have one batch in my slow cooker now. Guess who it’s for: my senior dog. It’s AMAZING. She’s 11 but behaves like she is 2. I add the golden paste in for her as well (turmeric + coconut oil + black pepper).

    I personally never got on it properly. My acne was 0.5-1 apparently (when the doctors gave me an idea how bad it was ie not bad at all). However, since I’d never had an acne issue it bothered me SO MUCH. Adult acne at 26 was tough.

    I FINALLY figured it out at 35, after so many rounds of doxycycline over the years, birth control etc.

    Bloody probiotics and L-Lysine. Saw a video of someone saying how it helped her and thought meh, why not, it’s nt expensive.

    Well that worked. I now also drink a LOT of water kefir from the health foof store in my neighbourhood. And i also take fish oil.

    I’ve had glycolic peels, lasers and just did PRP (with AMAZING results).

    Gonna try bone broth because… yum!

  5. Is there an alternative to bone broth for vegetarians? Do you know what exactly is in the bone broth that makes it so good for the skin? Gelatin? Anything that could be replaced by a vegetarian substitute?

    • Hi Meow! While veggie broth can contribute nutrients to your overall health, it’s the bones themselves that offer the collagen that helps heal your skin and gut. There really isn’t a vegetarian version of that. One thing I will suggest to my vegetarian readers is to try all the other gut-boosting things I’ve listed first before considering bending your rule about animal products. So that would be reducing/eliminating dairy and gluten, adding in some fermented foods and/or a good probiotic, possibly considering going grain-free to see if it helps with any inflammation in your skin/acne, and attempting to alkalize your diet as much as you can. Depending on your digestive state (if you’re gassy or bloated a lot), you might also want to consider adding either a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before each meal or getting an HCl supplement to help boost your stomach acid. If none of that makes a difference, you might want to consider temporarily adding bone broth into your diet, just for a month or so to see if it works for you. It’s up to you – I know most vegetarians and vegans feel strongly in their convictions, so no pressure from me! Best of luck to you!! Please let me know how it goes!

    Hi guys my name is vibesh (Indian) currently in the Philippines and i am here to post my acne story,, like all of you guys out there i got my acne at my teenage , i still remember pricking my first pimple which turned out to be a bad decision for me. After two years struggling from acne i used proactive which stopped the acne but I still had intended scars and darkspots ,the dark spot started fading after i used to use a hydroquinone based cream which made my intended scars look even bigger and after years of struggling from using all whitening creams, serums , supplements ,i lost hope until I found a review about a product called “Intended scar peel ” on the website i was a bit hesitant at first but tried to give a try ,really the scars have improved like 70% and am so happy for that it was really a life saver for me being a student and having a scarless face meant a lot for me guys ,i have submitted my pics if u can’t see it please refer the url mentioned at the beginning of the post ..Thank you i hope u guys find success.

    • Hi Savvy,

      I did do an elimination diet supervised by my ND. She also ran an allergy/sensitivity test for me, which is how I learned about my slight egg allergy. Thanks for sharing your post. Hopefully it will be helpful to my readers.

  7. Hey Toni! Oh your story is amazing you seem like such a beautiful person and I came across your story thank the good Lord above..this will be my third dermatologist I’m going to..I’ve had this same red bump on my skin for 3 months and have dealt with restoring acne scars as well, as far as the bump is concerned these dermatologist I’ve been to have been a nightmare so far so praying for the right one, but after hearing your story you have given me hope praying and believing for this red bump to have to go their saying their going to have to surgically remove it, but however the good Lord wants to get it off my face, any good advice?…oh I have the bone broth too..I’m going to try that and possibly order more..I believe in healing however God wants to do it..

  8. I think dermalmd blemish serum has helped a lot to heal my acne if you have an open pimple or irritated skin dermalmd will sting for a bit at first. I don’t mind. Once it is dried I go to sleep and take it off in the morning. Really easy to wipe off with make up removers. Note if you do have a scab from a pimple this will keep its pink product on it hard to get off with a wipe actually cleans your face in this situation.!

  9. Hello! I read somewhere that if you want to heal your gut, for three consecutive days you should fast with bone broth. Do you think that’s doable or will it be bad for me? Thank you! While drinking bone broth, do you still use topical acne products? I want to stop using antibiotic topical creams for my face sighhh.

    • Hey Fatima! I haven’t ever fasted using bone broth. I don’t know enough about you to know if it would be bad for you or good for you. I’d talk to a health professional before doing something like a fast, just in case there’s a reason particular to you that they wouldn’t want you to do one. Topically, I use coconut oil on my face, and I use a natural facial sunscreen under my makeup. (I use good quality mineral makeup.) I hope that’s helpful!

  10. I have been suffering from serious acne and blackheads on my face,neck and back for over 7 years now. It was like I had a remission in 2012-about a month or two. Then it continued up till now. I’ve tried so many natural therapies- to no avail. Please could you let me know of some natural trustworthy recipes I can use to treat myself. It has given me a cause for concern. I really wish I can have a smooth face,neck and back without all the blackheads & acne.
    Yours sincerely,

    • Hi Kaise, so sorry you’ve been dealing with your skin issues for so long. I know how frustrating it can be! For me personally, my skin issues have been both hormonal and gut-related. The bone broth recipe I share in this post really helped with my initial gut problems, and my skin cleared up almost entirely for about three years. Recently, when I stopped taking hormonal birth control, my PCOS symptoms returned, including skin problems. In doing some deeper investigation with a Naturopathic Doctor, I discovered that I had SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). When I began treating that with a strict diet and herbal antibiotics, my skin cleared up again (almost entirely — its not perfect). Working with a professional to treat the SIBO has made a huge difference for me. If you have other SIBO symptoms (you can read my post about it here:, you should consult with a GI doctor, a functional medicine doctor, or a naturopathic doctor to find out if you do indeed have it. Best of luck to you!!

  11. I haven’t had the same experience when I’m drinking bone broth but after drinking Au Bon Broth I’ve felt much energetic than before. My friends were also complimenting me of my “glowing” skin.

  12. Hi,

    I’m a vegetarian so really couldn’t stand or stomach the taste of bone broth at all but I wouldn’t mind perhaps doing a vegetable broth and adding non-vegetarian collagen to it? As long as I can’t taste any meat flavours I would use non vegetarian supplements if it means my acne will finally go away. Could you advise me on which supplements to add to the broth other than collagen?

    • Hi Jessica!
      Thanks for your comments. I get the vegetarian question a lot and am relieved to see that you’re willing to consider a non-vegetarian option. My favorite (flavorless) collagen product is by Great Lakes: <-- that's an affiliate link you can use to get your collagen and help out CWB at the same time. : ) I hope that's helpful to you. I use it in my smoothies regularly. You can also add it to your coffee and soups, etc. It doesn't gel like Jello in cold things, which is why I like it. Let me know how it goes!

    • So true Masi! Making sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water is super important for clear skin AND vital health overall. We don’t realize it, but many, many Americans are chronically dehydrated. Drinking good quality water is an important part of just about any health plan.

  13. So I’ve had acne my whole life, and have tried proactive before, but that’s never worked too well. I looked up dermalmd acne serum, saw the reviews, and decided to go for it. It’s got benzoyl peroxide, which helps to kill off the microorganisms setting up shop in your pores. I put on the tiniest amount on an acne-rich part of my face, waited til the next day, and BAM the size definitely decreased! I’ve been putting it on all potential acne spots, and within 1-3 days, the acne visibly diminished. It’s incredible. Probably going to be using dermalmd serum for a long time.

    • Hey Julia, glad that works for you. Benzoil peroxide is one of the classic remedies for individual problem areas. I use it as spot treatment from time to time too! Thanks for the tip.

    • Hi Mario, the quality matters, so make sure you’re getting one that uses either organic or pasture/raised animals. Also, as long as it gels (looks like jello) after being refrigerated, then it’s a good one — if it’s thin and clear then it’s probably not a good quality one. You can give Kettle and Fire a try using my affiliate link if you’d like! They’re my favorite brand of broth and the only shelf-stable one on the market that I’d recommend at all. Lots of companies are doing good quality frozen ones now too.

  14. Hi toni… I googled and i got u here with your inspirational story.
    I m suffering from acne on my back ,chest and as well as on my face from the the age of 18/19. Now i m 26..i m totally in the state of dissapointment.
    I ve tried probiotics,zinc,etc but nothing good is happening to me. I ve cut my sugar ,diaries,caffeine,.in my diet also.and still no improvement.
    As you told,accutane worked on your back n chest acne..should i try it?whats the consequences?
    And about this bonebroth ,how it is made,or where can i get this? I want to try this..
    Thank you

    • Hey Sam, So sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling with acne for so long. I know how frustrating it can be to try everything and see no results! Accutane has serious side-effects for your liver. If you’re considering it, do your research — women CANNOT get pregnant on accutane or they will have deformed babies. I don’t know if it affect sperm. It’s such a powerful drug that you are REQUIRED to get blood work done every month that you’re on it so that they know it’s not messing you up permanently. Pretty scary stuff. I wouldn’t go on it before exhausting all other options.

      Sam (like Toni) is a name where I can’t tell if you’re male or female, but if you’re female, I suggest talking to your OBGYN about hormonal balance and considering your options. Whether you’re male or female, you might consider a naturopathic doctor or functional medicine doctor’s perspective or visiting an endocrinologist.

      The bone broth is a tool to help you heal your gut — it sounds like you’re on the right track with your diet, so it could help get you to the next level, along with a good probiotic and/or probiotic foods like raw sauer kraut, kimchee, and kombucha. My bone broth recipe is linked in this post, and there’s also a link where you can buy it to the right of this post called “kettle and fire.” Keep me posted on how you’re doing!

    • Hi Tiffany, yes if you make it yourself and cook it for at least 8 hours and reduce it down so that when it cools in the refrigerator it gels up like Jello, they’ll be comparable.

  15. Hey, i’ve been having acne for years now and im already drinking turmeric. It does help, but it hasnt cleared up my skin so i want to try bone broth 🙂
    Is the brand Bare Bones Broth an okay substitute for Kettle and Fire?
    And does it have to be beef/chicken broth or can it be say turkey broth?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Emily, as long as the broth gels when it’s cold (like jello), it doesn’t matter if it comes from a turkey or a chicken or a cow (or which brand it is). I haven’t used Bare Bones that I remember (I tested most of what was available before landing on Kettle and Fire, but it was a while go and now I can’t remember what the other ones were). I’m sure it’s fine if it gels.

    • Good question Brian. I really like Dr. Axe and think he shares great info but I haven’t tried his product. I can’t vouch for how well it works, but it’s worth a shot if it’s worth your cash and you don’t have time to make broth. I’ve been wanting to look into it for a while and just haven’t made it a priority. Thanks for putting it back on my radar. Maybe I’ll do a product review or something once I’ve tried it. 🙂

    • I drink mine in the morning, only because I’ll otherwise forget to do it. I don’t think it matters as far as effectiveness, it just matters that you’re consistent, so pick a time that you know you’ll stick to!

  16. Hello! I am excited to try this method for clear skin – I’m essentially desperate for any help at this point! My question is, is it ok to use pre-made organic, grass-fed chicken bone broth in place of making it yourself? While I see the benefits in using wholesome ingredients and making it fresh, I also know I’m less likely to be able to keep up with this regimen if I need to always make the broth myself. Would Pacific Foods’ Chicken Bone Broth be an acceptable substitute? THANK YOU!

    • Hi Ashley! Unfortunately Pacific Foods broth isn’t going to cut it. It’s too watered down. The brand I link to in my sidebar is awesome though — Kettle and Fire. That is the real-deal stuff. You can read about them on their website and either start a subscription program or even start a Thrive Market membership and get the boxes of broth for even cheaper. (If you used my affiliate link to join Thrive, I’d be forever grateful, but I care less about commission than getting you your broth!) I make my broth in giant batches to avoid having to make it more often than about once every month to 2 months, depending on how consistently I’m drinking it. Check out my FAQ and video links if you want to learn more about why the store bought broth won’t cut it. Thanks Ashley! Good luck!

    • Hi Georgia, I do see a bit of a difference but my scarring wasn’t terrible to begin with — I don’t have deep “ice-pick” type acne scars, so not sure how much it will help, but replenishing collagen through broth most definitely can’t hurt. Collagen is said to be great for fortifying the skin and filling it out, but I honestly don’t know the science behind that claim.

  17. Hi Toni. I have been drinking the CWB bone broth for 3 weeks now. At first, I thought my skin was improving and I was feeling so excited. Towards the end of week 2, it got pretty horrible again. I will keep drinking it for now. I’m 26 and have had acne on my cheeks/jaw for the majority of my life. I’ve tried SO many things like most sufferers. No relief. I currently take probiotics everyday, cut out dairy a year and a half ago, green smoothies with fruit every morning, and good hygiene (switch my pillow every night). I know my acne sounds hormonal, but birth control never made a difference and I don’t want to put drugs into my body. For the first time in my life, I think this is sending me into depression. I feel a lot of self hate. $250 for 2 meetings with a holistic Doctor here in town. I’ve run out of options. Excuse my Debbie downer-mess. Thanks for your website and I’m so happy some of you have found relief from the very sad bondage of acne!

    • Hi Emily,

      So sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling with acne with no real relief. It really is such a frustrating thing — and the first thing you see in the mirror if it’s on your face. I can completely understand and empathize with feeling depressed and hopeless about it. Based on the location on your face that you describe, it does sound like hormonal acne — but birth control didn’t do a ton for my face either, so I don’t think that’s the only solution at all. And gut health and hormones are intimately connected.

      Can I ask if there’s any protein or veggies in your morning smoothies? Fruit smoothies are pretty sugary for the most part (yes, even fruit sugar is still sugar), so there’s a chance you’re starting your day with a sugar rush/insulin spike that could be triggering your skin/hormones/gut. You might consider a protein-rich breakfast (eggs and veggies or avocado for example). Would love to know more about what you found out from the naturopath.

      Something that I remind people (and myself) when I’m feeling down about my skin or my weight or WHATEVER “imperfection” I’ve chosen to fixate on is that whatever that thing is doesn’t define me or mean anything about my character. There’s a meme that goes around the health bloggers’ pages on social media that says, “You’re not fat. You have fat. You also have fingernails. But you are not fingernails.” I encourage you to take that approach with your acne journey — it isn’t WHO you are. It’s an annoying struggle that feels unfair (for SURE), but it’s not YOU. It’s just something on the list of things about you that isn’t indicative of your worth as a human at all. And to the people who love you and see you every day, it’s not even on their top 10 things about you. And if I can make one more case for prioritizing gut health — the fact that you’re starting to feel depressed could be another affirmative that the gut is the big culprit here. If you haven’t checked out my series on gut health, please do. It’s linked in my menu at the top of the page. Dr. Axe also has some good posts on the skin-gut-mood axis. Check him out too. Keep me updated on how you’re doing Emily! Best of luck to you. *hugs*

    • Hi I just saw that 100 PERCENT cranberry juice DIPPED on a cotton ball with or without honey and nutmeg works great cranberry have salicylic acid also go on an anti-inflammatory diet dr. Perricone has a three-day Clear acne diet program you can look up just by diet alone a good fish oil is good too check out that before

  18. Hi Toni, i would just like to ask if the coffee before taking the broth is substantial to the cure to take effect? If so, would you suggest that I just have my coffee, black? No sugar and no cream.

    Buying my bones and “equipment” this weeknd! Hope everything goes well!

    Thank you! 🙂

    • Hi! I did try that. I’ve tried it in combination with other supplements too. Didn’t really help much. I was hoping it would help with gas/bloating to be perfectly honest. Didn’t do much for my face or for the gas/bloating. I’ve tried a few different brands of multi-enzyme formulas. I’ve also tried straight lactase just by itself. That helped a bit for gas caused by dairy, but since I started the bone broth I don’t have that problem much. Some people swear by them though. Everyone is different. If you have upper digestive issues like indigestion or lots of burping, they could help that too.

  19. Hi Toni, I was just curious on how acupuncture worked for you? Our stories sound similar. I have tried many things except acupuncture. Thank you!

    • Hey Paige,
      Honestly acupuncture didn’t do much for me. I know everyone’s different, so I don’t discount it as an option, as it can be helpful for many people. It just didn’t really do much for me at all. I consistently went to acupuncture for a while a long time ago (like 10 years ago) for stress, pain, and acne, and while it was relaxing and served almost like therapy for a while, it didn’t help my skin. Then I started going again recently (for about 4 months consistently at the end of last year) after I got off birth control hoping that it would help my hormones get back into alignment. I’m not sure it did much on that front either. Still battling getting my hormones back on track right now actually. So there’s a long answer for you. 🙂

    • Hi Beca, are you referring to just a box of chicken broth from the store? If yes, then no, unfortunately. Those boxes are super watered down and don’t have all the healing constituents that truly rich, slow-cooked (for 8 to 24 hours) broth would have. If you don’t want to make it yourself, I recommend trying bone broth from Bone Broths Co. (Here’s a link) I’m an affiliate with them (full disclosure) and I love their product! It’s delcious. : )

      Give it a try! Let me know

  20. Hello Toni! Thank goodness I found your blog!!
    I have struggled with acne since I was 15. It started in my T-zone and made its way to my chin/jawline/cheeks. Yay. Lol.
    I have been trying various things to cure my acne, but I have yet to find the right combination of things. I am going to try this bone broth method and hope I get the same results as you did!
    I have a few questions for you:
    1) I saw bone broth being sold at EarthFare the other day. When I don’t have time to make bone broth from scratch, would this be an okay substitute if it has the USDA seal on it?
    2) I am trying the gluten free diet as well. I read that you tried it and you still eat gluten free. Do you ever let yourself eat gluten occasionally? If you don’t, do you think it would be okay to eat gluten occasionally/in moderation? I am just finding it hard to stay on this diet because I love bread, cake( I know sugar! ahh!),ice cream,and breaded chicken etc……..I’m sure I can limit myself, but to give all of these foods up forever…it is so depressing! Lol.
    Any suggestions, or answers are much much appreciated!!

    Thanks for reading this!
    Hope your having a fantastic day!


    • Hi Cassie,

      Great questions: 1) What brand was at EarthFare? There are a few good brands of bone broth you can buy, but some are watery and not great. So the answer for that one is, “it depends.” If there’s a frozen option, go for that one. Otherwise, the only shelf-stable one I can recommend is the one I link to on my site: Bone Broths Co. If you go through my link, it helps me out too!
      2) I’m still gluten-free, and although I’ve re-incorporated a few times to see how I’d do, I’ve found that I do better without it. That’s not to say that I don’t eat gluten EVER, but it’s not ‘occasionally,’ it’s rarely and only on special occasions when it’s absolutely worth it. This weekend, I had a gourmet cupcake for a friend’s birthday that was absolutely worth it. And because I do it so infrequently, I had no real consequence. If I break out next week, I’ll let you know, but in my experience, an occasional lifting of the gluten-sanction (since I started drinking bone broth, that is) has been fine. Another note is that there are LOTS AND LOTS of great gluten-free treat and bread options. Where do you live. If you’re in the bay, there are even great g/f bakeries I can recommend that have bread you’d never know was gluten-free. That being said, sugar most definitely affects your gut health and therefor you skin health. Keep that in mind and see if you can do as Michael Pollan says and “Treat treats as treats” instead of every-day indulgences. And I’d put g/f bread in that “treat” category too. It doesn’t have to be depressing if you find some awesome and delicious things to eat instead! Let me know if you want some more help/suggestions with that!

  21. Thanks Toni! Is is possible to experience an initial breakout from bone broth cleaning you out?? I am a week and a half into it and I am experiencing little zits popping up more than usual. I know it’s the bone broth because it’s the only thing I have changed. I am just thinking that it’s getting ride or some crap…what do you think?

    • Hey there, I’m not sure why you’re breaking out. I’ve heard of a “burn-off” sort of period where your body is doing a sort of “cleanse” and it gets worse before it gets better. That could be what’s happening here. Because I sort of “accidentally” discovered this cure, I wasn’t paying close attention along the way — I just noticed that suddenly my face was clear, and I was like … uhhh, what just happened?! Another thing, I know you said you didn’t change anything else, but I just wanted to point out that over the holidays, many of us (including me) tend toward more sweets than usual, which can cause breakouts for a lot of people. Just thought I’d throw that out there as a possible culprit too. I’d give it another week or two and see if it doesn’t right itself. Please come back and let me know how it’s going for you! I’d really love an update. 🙂 Thanks for visiting CWB!

      • Hi Toni! Thanks for getting back to me. Yes, I think some sweets have to do with it but I also think I am cleansing since these breakouts look different than my normal breakouts when I eat a lot of sweets. What I have learned is that cleansing is good so I am going to keep pushing through. I will keep you updated 🙂

          • hi Toni! Quick question. I am going to Canada soon and I was wondering what I should do for my bone broth. I don’t want to stop drinking it for the 6 days that I am gone. How would you travel with bone broth? I was also looking at the customs guidelines in Canada and it doesn’t look like I would have a problem. Let me know what you would do. Thank you!!!

          • Hey there! When I travel I bring bone broth with me from Bone Broths Co. I have actually written a post about their awesome shelf-stable product (comes in a tetrapack box) and worked out an affiliate deal with them that ended on 12/31 at midnight. They actually sold out a little while before that, so I’m working with them now to extend the offer (which includes a discount) for a little while longer. If you’re in a hurry for your trip and you’d like to order now (without the discount), you can go to their main website — it’d be great if you could let them know I sent you there to purchase — but if you have a couple of days for me to get the discount sorted out, I can ping you when it’s fixed. Let me know what you want to do! It’s great stuff either way. Check out my post here to read more about it.

  22. Hi I am Chio and I have been suffering from acne since grade school. Now i am in college and will be graduating next year. I hope that I will be able to have a clear skin before my graduation day also for once in my life i hope to be able to smile confidently for my yearbook picture. I have tried a lot of products, pills and even visited countless doctors but nothing works -_- please tell me what i have to do. I am very desperate and i feel depress. If i drink this broth will it really help me? Do i have to do or take something else along with it? I’ll be very very grateful if you can help me with my problem. It means a lot to me.

  23. Are there any alternatives? I’m vegetarian leaning towards vegan. Your story sounds similar to mine, though no full cure yet with my biggest problem area being my chest. Much Congrats on the clear skin & thanks for sharing!!!

    • Hi Julie,

      Sorry to hear you’ve been struggling with acne. I had chest and back acne in high school, and I really do feel your pain. The bones that break down in the broth release the healing gelatin/collagen that seal the gut wall. There’s no vegetarian source of gelatin unfortunately. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no hope for you in healing your gut. You could try L-glutamine supplements, probiotics, and a friend shared with me that she was able to heal her lifelong acne using an herbal tea that her ayurvedic practitioner made for her. I’m actually going to be sharing a video on my YouTube channel addressing this very question early next year, and I’ll read my friend’s email about her tea right in that video. If you don’t want to wait til then (which I totally understand), let me know if it’s ok to email you at the email address you listed here and I’ll send the video over to you without all the links etc that I add once it gets to Youtube. Here’s my channel in the meantime: Best of luck to you Julie!

      • So did you noticed on the 3rd day your acne have gone down? Because I’m on my 3rd day and I still haven’t seen any diff or improvement. Did you also change your diet when u were taking beef broth.

        • I wasn’t paying attention at day 3 because my original intention with drinking the bone broth wasn’t to clear my skin. I would guess that after three days there probably wasn’t much change. Please give it at least two weeks. I did change my diet before I started drinking bone broth. I cut out gluten as my number one change — that took a lot of the redness out of my skin. I experimented with cutting out dairy. I really struggle with sugar but did my best to eliminate all non-natural sources of sugar for a while too (I sort of cycle with this in my life in general). Try to eliminate as much processed junk food as possible. Let me know how it goes Laura! Best of luck to you!

  24. Toni,
    I wanted to ask if you had ever used tallow before (to cook with)? Today is day four of drinking a mug of beef bone broth per day and my skin is clearing up exactly the way it did when I experimented with cooking with tallow (instead of coconut oil) about a year ago (no longer using tallow so I can tell its the bone broth).

    Both the broth and the tallow clear my skin in a way that no other supplement or diet does. My skin gets lighter in color and pore less as well as plumped.
    When I was cooking with tallow I noticed that if I took calcium supplement that my skin looked as if I was wearing foundation –the calcium seemed to incorporate with the oils in my skin and I could feel and see the difference texture wise.

    Unfortunately my insomnia has been worse with the broth.

  25. forgot to add..
    when I noticed the tallow clearing up my acne I did research online and found it did the same for a lot of people (lot of paleo folks using tallow) and there are even tallow balms for sale to clear up various skin issues. I was surprised.

  26. Hi Toni, im 17 years old and I’ve been struggling with acne since i was 11. My acne is mostly concentrated on my T-zone , and rarely on my cheeks, but mostly on my forehead. Ive been on birth control for 6 months now but the problem still isnt fixed. I notice that my acne comes up when i start my second week of my menstrual cycle. So , i know that my acne is hormonal. Will bone broth balance my hormones? If not, do you know anything that could help balance them without taking birth control?
    Also, i have anxiety. How does bone broth help cure it?

    • Hi Laura, thanks for writing in. Based on the pattern of your acne and the timing, it sounds like you have pubescent/hormonal acne. I had it too! Then it progressed to adult acne — from my forehead and chin to my cheeks. Ugh. I feel for you sister. Bone broth CAN help balance hormones, as hormonal imbalance can result from gut issues, although that’s not ALWAYS the case. I would say that it’s definitely worth a shot to try the bone broth. Anxiety is also often related to gut issues (again not ALWAYS, and I’m not a doctor so I can’t say that something will cure something), so I’d say it’s worth a shot there too. Bone broth was the last and most powerful of many changes I made on my journey to clear skin. I found that there were foods that caused me some digestive distress, and I eliminated or reduced them in this process. As terrible as it is to hear, sugar is NO GOOD if you’re battling with skin issues. If you’re drinking soda, stop. If you’re eating candy or sweets, cut back to once or twice a week. Try to eat some protein at every meal, including snacks. See if these small changes help with the addition of the bone broth and come back and let me know how you’re doing! Also, I haven’t made an official announcement yet, but I will be offering a pretty fantastic bone broth shortcut on this site really soon. You’re the first person I’ve told! I love it but I’m not quite ready to share yet. Stay tuned!

  27. Hi Toni, glad to hear that bone broth worked well for you. Do u know if bone broth works for dark spots on the body.i have pigmentation and scars everywhere due to eczema. Play skin is a really big issue for me. Do u know anything that cures darks spots.

    • Hi Ash, thanks for reaching out! I know that if you have active eczema the bone broth could help. As far as the scars from it — the dark spots — I don’t know that bone broth will help beyond encouraging healthy skin to grow and providing collagen to damaged skin. I struggle with my sun spots too. Topically, I know there are quite a few non-natural choices out there but I haven’t seen much success in the way of natural choices. Still looking into it though. Will let you know what I find out!

  28. Hi Toni!!! I made my bone broth in a brand new -quality 18/8 stainless steel stock pot and noticed afterwards when I cooked it for 24 hours, that inside the pot had changed to a lighter color steel. I left about 5 inches on top to give room for the broth, so you can see the color difference from where the broth was simmering compared to where it was not. My question is, do you ever notice an hue difference inside your pot when you are done cooking? (that is, if you leave enough room on top to be able to compare) I know steel can change colors when exposed to long-term heat, but what i’m most worried about is if the apple cider vinegar caused anything to leach out from the pot, and that’s why there is such a dramatic color difference. I appreciate your thoughts! Thanks Toni!!!!

  29. heya

    I’ve heard that it’s possible to make bone broth in a pressure cooker and i wanted to ask would you how long it takes to make in a pressure cooker.
    i also wanted to ask that doesn’t the water evaporate if you boil it for so long

    • Hi Khloe! Yes you can do it in a pressure cooker. I’ve never done it so I don’t know how long. I’d imagine that the cooker itself might have some guidelines? You want the bones to be pretty soft and easily bendable and breakable when you are done with the process. I know that much. Yes, water does evaporate out as you cook, which actually adds to the flavor and gelatinous quality of the finished broth. If you’re doing a pretty small batch, I’d recommend covering after a few hours to prevent too much water loss. Let me know if you have any other questions!

    • Hi Kristen, I have remained gluten-free about 90% of the time with very very occasional exceptions (like a dessert on a special occasion or something like that) and I never go overboard with it. After starting the broth, I found that dairy didn’t bother me as much as it used to, so I eat it although I also don’t go overboard with that either. I try to stick with fermented (yogurt or kefir), raw (milk, cream, cheese), super hard cheeses like parmesan or romano, or goat or sheep products. Those guidelines aren’t strictly followed ALL the time, but a lot of the time. Like I never get mozzarella on a pizza because it’s too much for me. Not exactly the clearest answer ever, but I hope that helps! Let me know how it goes for you!

  30. Hi

    Yes i was referring to bottled water.
    I live in the UK, England so would be using tap water be fine?
    Do you use tap water?
    I also asked how long i could leave the broth in the fridge or freezer for before it started going bad.

    • Hey Sam,

      I don’t now how England’s water is but if you drink it, I’m sure it’s fine! I use tap water in Alameda, CA. I’m not a big fan of bottled water — it’s terrible for the environment and is often just municipal tap slapped with a pretty label and sold at a premium. It’s a scam IMO. Chicken wings are probably fine but also probably pretty fatty. When you make your broth, you can refrigerate it, and the fat will all rise to the top. You can scrape that off and give it to your pet or toss it.

  31. Hi Toni 🙂

    i wanted to ask if it would be okay to use mineral water as you have said good quality water is needed or spring water. Can i use lemons instead of apple cider vinegar.
    plus how long can you store the bone broth in the fridge/ freezer for

    Many thanks

    • Hey Sam,

      Mineral water like from a bottle? It’s not necessary to use bottled water for broth. Do you live in a country where the tap water is questionable? And YES, you can definitely use fresh lemon juice instead of apple cider vinegar. Thanks for stopping by! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  32. Hi Toni,

    Thanks for your site!

    I took heaps of antibiotics and 2 courses of Accutane for acne when I was 17. I’m now 37 and a functional medicine doctor diagnosed leaky gut, candida and pyroluria. I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life, and developed CFS 2 years ago.

    I’ve tried L-glutamine supplements for leaky gut but got really painful stomach/gut pain. When I drink bone broth from marrow bones and joints I get the same stomach/gut pain. I googled it and it seems like I’m sensitive to free glutamates/glutamic acid which is high in long cooked proteins.

    Yesterday I made bone broth just with chicken feet, so it’s really high in gelatin… I’ve got stomach pain again today but maybe not as intense as with my bone broth. Do you think I can heal my leaky gut with just gelatin? I really would like to drink normal bone broth for the glutamine but my stomach/guts can’t do it. Do you know any other way around it?

    Thank you:)

    • Hey Regan,

      Thanks for reaching out. I’ve never heard of glutamine sensitivity, but it doesn’t surprise me considering there are people who have MSG sensitivities. Do you ever notice other foods high in glutamine bother you like tomato sauce, bacon, mushrooms, miso, etc? Just curious. You could try the plain gelatin and see how it works. This is the one I like. It doesn’t gel up, so it’s great to add to smoothies, other soups, even some dishes that are creamy where you might not notice. You also can’t taste it in things like pancakes either. I’ve added them to the pancake recipes I have on the site if you want to try those out. (gluten-free) The complex constituents in bone broth won’t be in the gelatin supplement, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t help if you used it consistently (as I’ve done with bone broth). I’d be curious to hear how it goes for you! Give it a whirl for 2 weeks straight every day and come back and let us all know how you’re doing. Best of luck to you!

  33. Hi Toni

    where do i start? I’ve had acne for almost 4 years now and it has ruined my life. I know it’s not as long as some people have had it but this has always been the downfall in everything I do. Depressed and always being let down I gave up. That was until I came across bone broth now all thanks to you. I haven’t tried it yet but am definitely planning to. The only problem is that I’m really confused and would really appreciate it if you could answer these questions.

    – Firstly can you please give me a step by step recipe of how to make bone broth including all the ingredients needed.
    – Will bone broth heal all types of acne?
    – How long will it take to see results?
    -what can i store the broth in (I’ve heard you are meant to store the broth in glass jars but i don’t have any, is there an alternative to storing the broth)?

    I thank you so much and am extremely grateful for this.This sounds like the most hopeful and best cure I’ve come across and i really hope the results will be the same.

    • Hi Ava,
      Sorry to hear that your acne has set you back — I can definitely relate to the feeling of giving up. But I’m so happy to see you’ve found this blog and this awesome solution that I really hope works for you as well as it worked for me! Because I’ve received lots of questions just like yours, I’ve created an FAQ that answers everything you’ve asked except the storage question. Here’s a link to the FAQ. As far as storage, I freeze my broth in jars. My sister freezes hers in those tall plastic “to-go” containers that usually hold soup from a take-out place, but I’m not a big fan of freezing things in plastic, especially if I don’t know what’s in the plastic. If you make smaller batches, you could strain the liquid, get rid of the scraps, and store the whole pot of liquid in the fridge, but if you make more than 3 or 4 day’s worth (which I recommend for time’s sake), you want to get some jars for freezing. There are tons of options for jars. I’m a collector, so I have them from foods I’ve bought that came in jars, but I’ve also purchased these exact jars and they work great. When you freeze the broth, make sure you leave at least an inch of room at the top of each jar, because liquid expands in the freezer and the jars could crack if you don’t leave space. I hope this is helpful. Once you have a look at the FAQ, if you have other questions, please let me know! Good luck to you!! Come back and let me know how you’re doing. 🙂

  34. I hate acne and my scars and all that bs. I’m 19 now and I’ve never really had breakouts until now.. I’ve been eating healthy now, my diet consists of white rice, gluten free pasta, and turkey breast. along with a juice (I juice with fruits and vegetables). and I haven’t seen much improvement. Do you think that diet is bad? I usually eat 3500 calories daily because I’m trying to gain muscle right now, well anyways I will give this a try and tell my mom about it

    • Hey Roman, thanks for reaching out! I’m sorry you’re having a hard time with acne right now — it can be so frustrating, especially when you think you got out of puberty scott-free! Your diet sounds like it’s missing vegetables and fiber. Unfortunately a lot of gluten-free pastas are pretty starchy without having very much fiber, and same goes for white rice, both of which turn to sugar pretty quickly in your gut. Sugar feeds bad bacteria which could cause dysbiosis which could create a skin problem for you. I’m not saying that’s absolutely the culprit, but you might try adding veggies in, maybe switching out some of the pasta for veggies (especially the leafy kind) and seeing how that goes for you (along with the broth). Also, if you’re trying to gain muscle, the best time to eat simple carbs (things that turn to sugar quickly) is immediately after your workout.
      Good luck to you! And yes, tell your mom! I hope she’ll visit CWB too! Let me know how it goes.

  35. Hi Toni! Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    I have had acne for around 6 years- since I was 13 years old. I have been able to temporarily cure it over the years with different OTC treatments, antibiotics, and some topical creams prescribed to me by a dermatologist. However, it always ended up coming back. The acne that I have now is mild- mainly small whiteheads- but I still feel terribly self-conscious about my skin! I decided to try your bone broth, and have a couple questions about it. I made a batch yesterday using chicken necks.These are the steps I followed.

    Let necks sit in the juice of 1 lemon,3-4 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, and water for around 20-30 min
    Bring water to a boil, and let it simmer for around 3 1/2 hours, covered.

    I wanted to cook it for longer, but the butcher that I got the bones said that the chicken necks are delicate and therefore he recommended cooking it for less time. When I turned the heat off, the amount of water had gone down dramatically and the necks still looked pretty solid. I let the broth cool down on the counter and then popped it in the fridge.

    My concerns are as follows.

    1. Did I cook the broth long enough to maximize benefits?
    2. When I drank the broth, it had a very vinegary taste- which makes sense because I added a decent amount of vinegar, and a great deal of the water evaporated during cooking. Could drinking too much vinegar be harmful?

    Please let me know if you have any other advice!

    • Whoops, I forgot to add one more thing. I used around 6-7 chicken necks and ended up with around 3 coffee mugfuls of broth.Did I add enough water?

      • Doesn’t sound like it. I’d imagine that 6-7 chicken necks are like 1 lb or so? Did you check the weight of your butcher package? For 1 lb of bones, I’d start with maybe 1 gallon of water? I’m not big on measuring, but I usually use 3 to 4 lbs of bones in a 2-3 gallon stock pot. Even accounting for the evaporation when the liquid cooks down, 1 gallon of water should yield more than 3 coffee mugs full. And for all the effort, you want to make more than that at a time. I usually make what amounts to 10-12 big jars of broth per batch. Good luck!

    • Hi Nanaki! Thanks for your questions!
      1) When you’re done with the broth you should be able to break or mush the bones between your fingers, so 3.5 hours might not have cut it to get the max benefit — doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drink the broth you made, just cook them longer next time. Chicken necks are indeed delicate, but you’re not cooking them to eat them, so it doesn’t matter if they fall apart, as you’re straining out all the bulk and only drinking the broth. Maybe the butcher was worried a bone would sneak down your throat? Or maybe he was just thinking you were going to eat them and would enjoy them more less cooked. Either way, you want to let your broth simmer for at least 6 to 8 hours, ideally even 24 (that’s what I do).
      2) Your broth shouldn’t taste like vinegar. How much water did you use? I use the amount you did for a gigantic stock pot (like 3 gallons I think) of broth, so for just a few chicken necks you probably used a little to much. I don’t think there’s any harm in it beyond potentially creating acid reflux, but since you cooked it so much, I doubt that will happen. Did you get any heartburn after you drank the broth?

      Yes, it should cook down a few inches over the course of cooking, so that’s a good thing.

      If you want to check out my FAQ page on this topic, it might answer a few more questions for you for your next batch. Enjoy! and please come back and let me know how it goes for you!

      • Thanks so much for your prompt reply and for directing me towards the FAQ page. It was very informative!

        So I made another batch of bone broth changing my method around a little

        My Second Attempt: Less vinegar (1 capful = ~ 1/2 tablespoon) + juice of 1/2 a lemon + more cooking time (6-7 hours).

        However, unlike my first batch, this round of broth did not gel when left in the fridge overnight. This could be for one of two reasons. First, that I added too little vinegar. And second, at around the 5 hour mark, I boiled more water and added it to the broth because given how much the water had gone down, I wasn’t sure how I would be able to cook it longer without this additional step.

        I’m going to be making my third batch in another 2 days ( I make enough broth for 2-3 days at a time) and am planning on using a little more vinegar (between 1-2 tablespoons), the juice of 1/2 a lemon and cooking it for around 4-5 hours. I would love to cook it for longer, but given how quickly the water seems to evaporate, am not sure how this would be possible.

        I’m curious about a couple things though.

        1. Is whether or not broth gels indicative of it has been prepared correctly? Since my broth gelled the first time I made it even though I cooked it for less time, does this mean that I was able to extract all of the goodness from the bones by adding extra vinegar?

        2. Would it be okay to simmer the broth covered rather than uncovered to reduce water loss?

        Let me know if you have any other suggestions! I’m hopeful that this will be a blessing for my skin like it was for yours, and am going to continue tweak my brothing method to maximize the benefits 🙂

        P.S- For anyone trying and failing to remove the small pieces of fat from their broth, try using a muslin cloth! I worked pretty well for me! 😀

        • Hey Nanki,

          I think you might should use a bigger pot?? How big is the one you’re using? The cook time is really dependent on how much water is in the pot to begin with — the bone-to-water ratio should be about 1 lb to 1 gallon. When I cook it in my giant stock pot, I lose anywhere from 2 to 4 inches of liquid in my pot — that definitely wouldn’t work for a smaller pot — it wouldn’t be worth it.

          Yes, adding the extra water is what prevented the jello effect. It’s ok, all the good stuff is still in there, it’s just a little less potent. drink it for sure, all’s not lost.

          Totally fine to keep the pot covered if you’re worried about losing too much water — it just might night gel up as much, which again is fine. I hope that helps!

          Great suggestion about the muslin cloth! I use a fine mesh strainer for that from time to time too. : )

  36. Hi Toni,
    I’ve been battling the worst breakout of my adult life (I’m 38) that I believe was triggered by a week of taking B12 (forced onto me by my mother who said I needed energy), the first week of June. Prior to this I had clear skin, the occasional pimple here and there. The only other times I had skin issues in the past I can identify a B12 connection. I don’t B12 is everyone’s trigger but it was so obvious in my case. Although I was also under major stress at work/home/life, so I originally thought it was just stress induced.

    I previously used bone broth to heal from a terrible case of hand foot and mouth I contracted last year from my son, and I now realize it probably helped my face as well I just didn’t put two and two together. This was exactly a year ago. And I did the broth for about 3 weeks. So, I am totally sold on your method.

    I just finished week 2 of broth and I can definitely see improvements, my face is smoother and I have only a few new bumps. I’m planning on continuing until my face is 100% clear again. I generally eat quite healthy, all organic, daily cold pressed juices, as little processed food as possible and I love to cook, so for me it’s all about the quality of the ingredients. My one vice is good wine, though.

    Here’s my question: do you see any drawback to using a pressure cooker to make the broth? (That’s how I’ve been doing it). I’ve made 4 batches in the pressure cooker, 2 beef bone broths and 2 chicken. (I agree that the chicken is much tastier). I roast a chicken once a week for my toddler, and save the carcasses. I found chicken feet and used them with a carcass in my last chicken broth, and I was left with totally thick chicken jello! My pressure cooker yields about a gallon and a half of broth after straining out the bones. Do you think I’m undercutting the nutritional value of the bone broth by making it with a pressure cooker? It’s obviously more convenient.

    Thank you for this blog. It’s fantastic.

    • Hey Tess,

      So happy to hear you’re getting a hold of your recent breakout with healing bone broth. Sounds like it’s working already! I’ve never heard of B12 causing skin problems, but since you’ve experienced it twice, I’d say to steer clear! I’m gonna look that up and see if I can find anything… There’s no problem at all with making the broth in a pressure cooker. In fact, I recently got a pressure cooker and was considering trying it out myself. I’ve heard that it almost turns the bones to mush (even more so than my slow cook method), which means you’re definitely getting the goods out of the bones. Also, since your broth is “chicken jello,” you know you’re doing it right and getting the healing benefits of the gelatin/collagen from the bones. Best of luck to you, and please give us an update on how you’re doing after you’ve been “brothing” for a while!

      • Hi Toni,
        I wanted to update you on my acne battle since August. I have religiously made a batch of bone broth in my pressure cooker (it’s a Power Pressure Cooker XL my mom bought for me) on a weekly basis since this post.

        First, my skin is 100% clear. It took about a month for me to get back to normal balance after the above post at the beginning of August. My flare up happened in the beginning of June, so I was suffering for most of June, July and August from problem skin.

        My skin flared up again a bit in late August, but I think it was because I was trying coconut oil as well. As it turns out, I think I’m one of those people who reacts to coconut oil on my face instead of benefiting from it. So, I went back to my tried & true facial regime: cleanser is Cetaphil foaming cleanser (aveeno or cera ve also work well); Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid (this stuff is amazing); and CeraVe Renewing SA Lotion. I also only use Chanel makeup, which works well with my skin. About a week later I’ve had clear skin since and I’ve had bone broth almost daily. I maybe get a blemish here and there if I forget to cleanse or it’s that time of the month.

        I really think the bone broth got me back to my normal self. And I think the pressure cooker is making some really great bone broth. My favorite recipe yields me about half a gallon of good, super thick, “chicken jello” broth that lasts me a little over a week if I have one large mug each morning (about 16 oz. put in my coffee thermos for my Los Angeles driving commute).

        I put the following ingredients in the pressure cooker bowl and cook it on the “meat” setting for about 1 hour. I strain the bones/veggies out of the broth and pour into a few large mason jars. When it is cold in the fridge, I trim off the fat – and am left with a very thick gelatinous, tasty, warming broth.

        – 3 carrots, peeled and cut into large 2-inch pieces
        – 1 medium onion, quartered
        – 2 stalks of celery, cut into large 2-inch pieces or handful of fresh parsley loosely chopped
        – 2 dried bay leaves
        – 6 stems fresh thyme (you could use dried)
        – 1 whole chicken carcass from a roasted organic chicken, broken up a bit
        – 2 lbs organic chicken feet
        – filtered water to fill until all ingredients are covered (about to the Max line in the cooker)
        – 1 tbsp kosher salt (or to taste)
        – a few turns on the peppermill for large cracked peppercorns

        I can’t always find chicken feet, and so sometimes I will add a few drumsticks or chicken necks/backs instead. It doesn’t produce as thick of a broth, but it’s still jelly when cold. This last time I also added one parsnip cut up like the carrots as well.

        I’m convinced your method brought me back to clear skin in short order. I also think I am gleaning benefits from it in healing from a sprained ankle in July and a few colds from my toddler in preschool. So, thank you so much Toni!

        • Tess! It makes me so happy to learn about your success!! Thank you for sharing your progress and experience with using bone broth for your skin. It really feels like a miracle doesn’t it?!?! And thanks for sharing your small batch recipe too — my recipe is for a giant batch, so it’s good that you shared that for people who don’t want to make 10 to 12 jars at once. You rock!! Do you want to email me before and after pictures so I can share them on the site? I’m so freakin happy for you!

          • Thanks Tess! Did anyone break out horribly at first from chicken feet broth? I only made it two days my first try because my face, scalp and body was so horribly oily and breaking out in blackheads from the oil. It took about a week to calm down/stop oozing from my pores (and I did strain off all the fat I could before/after chilling).

          • Hi Lise, This didn’t happen to me, but are you saying that everything got oily once you started drinking bone broth and wasn’t that way before? Are you sure the two things are connected? Did you stop drinking it entirely? Any allergies we should know about?

          • Hi Toni, thanks for responding. I normally get oily when I over consume oils high in oleic acid such as olive oil, and high oleic safflower/sunflower. Chicken and beef fat also makes me oily. Since I discovered this I can avoid oily skin if I avoid these.

            The type of oily skin I get from oleic is thick and sticky (hence the blackheads) as opposed to oily skin I may get from primrose oil (high in omega 6 but also contains some oleic) which is thin and free flowing.

            I wanted to try the broth to clear up blackheads (my main skin issue) and the broth multiplied the blackheads beyond crazy! Ugh. I dont know if I could stick it out for very long.

            Im curious if you ever tried l-glutamine for your acne, as Im wondering if its the l-glutamine in the broth that heals the gut.

            Any recommendations?

          • Thanks Lise, some people are sensitive to oleic acid but I’d never heard the “stickiness” you mention. Sounds like you’re super sensitive. You mentioned having taken a long course of antibiotics, so you might consider supplementing with a probiotic and/or adding more fermented foods into your diet to try to get the gut biome back in order. I used L-glutamine on its own and didn’t seem much result, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying. Everyone is different. There’s also the option of using just plain gelatin and mixing it into smoothies and soups, etc. This is the one I like — grassfed cows.

          • THanks again Toni,
            by “sticky oil” I mean its a thick tacky feeling oil rather than slick.
            I have tried gelatin and it broke me out in very deep cystic acne which I dont normally experience.
            Would like to hear from anyone who broke out from broth then made it to the other side clear. =)

          • Wow, you are literally the first person I’ve met with this type of reaction to bone broth. I did have someone report a glutamine sensitive with gut pains, so she was having trouble with bone broth too. Some natural detoxifying methods and skin clearing methods will come with warnings that it could get worse before it gets better, but I’ve never seen that for bone broth. I’ll do a little googling and see what I can find out. Are you interested in considering probiotics?

          • Toni, I dont get cystic acne from the bone broth just the gelatin powder/collagen supplements (i.e..neocell brand).
            I did some research after I broke out from Neocell and found that this is not an uncommon side effect. The cysts are odd in that they are deep nodules that never come to a head and are in weird places like on the neck or head..others mention this aspect as well.

          • Oh, so the bone broth creates extra oil and the gelatin by itself causes weird nodules. I’d say try the glutamine next then. I feel compelled to repeat that I’m not a doctor here and am not prescribing anything, but if you think you have a gut issue after taking an antibiotic, then it seems logical to me to start with a round of probiotics and cut sugar until your gut gets back on track. That’s what I’d do. (but I’d do it alongside bone broth — maybe you should do it along side glutamine…) Lise, please keep me posted, and best of luck to you!

          • Sorry I didnt respond earlier..yes you are correct..
            broth =oily + blackheads
            gelatin or collagen supplements/powder = cysts and nodules

            Im on probiotics, no sugar and glutamine. Which is frustrating, my diet is practically perfect.

            Im on day two of beef bone far no reactions..maybe a little oily.

          • Toni,

            I wanted to ask if you had ever used tallow before (to cook with)?

            Today is day four of drinking a mug of beef bone broth per day and my skin is clearing up exactly the way it did when I experimented with using tallow to cook with (instead of coconut oil) about a year ago.
            (Im no longer using tallow so I can tell its the bone broth).

            Both the broth and the tallow clear my skin in a way that no other supplement or diet does. My skin gets lighter in color and pore less as well as plumped. The acne I had has deflated from below the surface instead of coming to a head.

            When I was cooking with tallow I noticed that if I took calcium supplement that my skin looked as if I was wearing foundation –the calcium seemed to incorporate with the oils in my skin and I could feel and see the difference texture wise.

            Unfortunately my insomnia has been worse with the broth.

            Just wondering if tallow might work for your skin as well. It sure would be easier and cheaper. I jar of tallow lasted me months and only tiny amount of tallow per day kept my skin clear acne wise though I quit because it increased blackheads which is the type of acne that I cant deal with.

          • Hi Lise,

            I’ve never eaten tallow consistently. For many years, I was beef-free. It wasn’t until I started getting the grass-fed gelatin and drinking bone broth consistently that I started adding occasional beef bones into my broth and having an occasional grass-fed burger/bolognase/other beef from happy cows. But if it works for you, I say forge ahead! One thought: as an experiment, what if you just eliminated all poultry for a few weeks? I’m just curious if you don’t have an unknown issue with poultry. That’s not unheard of … just a thought based on your reaction to some of the stuff you’ve tried.

          • Hi Toni..Thanks for the idea to eliminate poultry. But Im sure its the oleic oils in the skin/fat. I dont have any acne with skin free white meat chicken.


          • She had a lot more luck with Accutane than I did back in high school. She has other digestive troubles though that bone broth helps with when she uses it consistently.

          • Sure thing, and Lise, I just learned that the boxes of BBCo bone broth aren’t 16oz each, they’re 17.6oz each. Just FYI! That’s more comparable to what else is out there in the way of frozen broths. (These broths are never frozen)

          • Thanks for the info. That is close to what Im getting..but then there is shipping cost. I found their broth being sold on for 15.00 with my prime but still costs more.

          • I don’t think the effectiveness changes. It’s just a matter of cost of shipping, packaging, eco-friendliness, and possibly shelf life, although if you’re drinking it with any frequency the shelf life part shouldn’t matter.

          • also forgot to add..I think my blackheads are caused by gut issue because I never had blackheads (and never any reaction from oleic oils) until a month long course of the antibiotic bactrim.

          • Hi Toni,
            Yes, I do feel like it is a miracle. And a god-send from you. It seems like you reposted this right at the time I needed to see it (google it). Who knew that just a small (delicious) thing could change your very well being. Our grandmothers knew something after all.

            I wanted to share with you the study that I found relating to B12 as a trigger for acne. Coincidentally, this study was published on June 24, 2015, right around the time I was suffering from symptoms. See I concluded my breakout had to be something related to the B12, because it was just a strange extra coincidental thing I was doing – taking 2 pills per day for about 10 days right after Memorial Day. Then, boom, two weeks later, skin craziness.

            There might also be something related to the way they make certain synthetic B12 vitamins pills that could be the cause. The most common Vitamin B12 found in most vitamin supplements is a synthetic form called cyanocobalamin. The other formulation you will see in supplements and that is naturally occurring and more bioavailable in the body is methylcobalamin. The chemical difference between the two is the fact that part of the molecule in methylcobalamin has methyl (carbon and hydrogen), and cyanocobalamin has cyanide (yes, the poison). B12 binds to cyanide molecules very well, and that’s why if someone gets cyanide poisoning, they are pumped with B12. Even though the amount contained in these vitamin supplements is thought to be negligible and not affect your body, the fact is that your body has to deal with the cyanide as a toxin, usually by trying to get rid of it. This would not be a problem if you are taking methylcobalamin. (I feel like I’m on a soapbox). Long story short: the supplement my mother was giving me was the cyanocobalamin formulation. I feel like it could be a possibility that this may be what my body reacted to. I have decided to stick to getting this vitamin through regular food sources (like fish and meat), but that is because of my particular reaction to it. I don’t think it is the same for everyone. For example, in the study I cited above, it was only 1 out of 10 subjects who had a reaction to the supplement. And, I don’t think they used cyanocobalamin formulation when supplementing the subjects.

            Anyway, sorry for my rant, but I feel like I need to share what I learned from my experience with someone. 🙂 There is always a possibility that none of these things caused my acne, but it seems like all the facts were converging all at the same time.

            As far as before and after pictures, I will try to email you something soon. I did take before pics to send to my physician sister, because I was concerned about my breakout. I just need to take good after pics. Ha ha.

            About the bone broth, I think you can also reduce the amount of chicken feet from 2lbs to 1lb in my pressure cooker recipe above and it will still yield a very luxurious, gelatinous broth. The broth that I have been making with the 2lbs is so thick, I could open my cold jar of broth, turn it upside down, and it would stay right in the jar and not budge. This broth is still very delicious and drinkable when warmed, though.

            I really believe there is something to the healing benefits of broth – and I just had a mug. Thanks again Toni.

          • That’s really interesting. Thanks for sharing the study Tess, and thanks again for sharing your journey! It’s so awesome to see that other people are benefitting from bone broth as much as I have. So gratifying and affirming! I just launched a YouTube channel that focuses on the Bone Broth Acne Cure where I answer a question submitted by a reader each week. Check it out and please share it too! Here’s the first official episode, which aired yesterday:

          • Hi Lise,
            My bone broth recipe (with chicken feet) is not oily/fattening at all. I generally do not drink it after it is first made and piping hot. I strain out the veggies and bones and pour into jars and stick it straight into the fridge. I will skim off the fat with a spoon the next day or when cold. As described in Toni’s original article, the fat will rise to the top and separate from the good stuff, so I get it all out easily. Since I get all the fat off after the broth is chilled, I do not have any fat or oil in my finished product that I drink, warming it in a mug in the microwave. I can’t speak in any official capacity to your reaction to your broth, since I am a corporate lawyer, and not a scientist or nutritionist like Toni. All I can share is my experience, and that is that drinking bone broth calmed (and eventually cleared) my skin. I religiously stuck to the regimen and still have the broth almost every day if possible. I don’t see a downside. I hope you figure it out…
            Take care,

          • HI Tess, Thank you so much for the details! I made a broth entirely of chicken feet and it was impossible to strain, skin and scrape off all the fat. I sure tried. Does your finished product contain mini droplets at all? Im terrible sensitive to getting blackheads from animal fats.

            May I ask you how much you drink per day?

            You mentioned you make one batch per week using one carcass and 2 pounds of chicken feet..thats a lot of bones! I couldnt eat a whole chicken every week. (do you keep the skin on?)

            thanks again and congratulations on your clear skin!

  37. Hi,thank you so much for sharing your story! I made this broth yesterday and am planning on drinking every day to try to get rid of acne! I have a question – do you reheat your broth in a microwave,or do you drink it cold?

    • Hi Nadia!

      I reheat it in the microwave. Ideally your broth will be like a chicken jello straight out of the fridge. It’s ok if it’s a little runnier than that, but you want it to be thick with that healing gelatin. Please keep me posted on your progress! Thanks for visiting CWB!

  38. Hi Toni!
    I’ve been making gelatin chicken bone broth just this past week. It’s very gelatinous and super thick, therefore, how much of it do you drink every morning? You say that you have a mugful every morning, but does that mean you have a mug full of just the gelatinous broth, warmed up? Or do you add water to the broth which ends up being a mugful size—if so, how much broth do you add to your water each morning? A tablespoon, half a cup? I just don’t know how much to be using each morning.

    • Hi Christy!
      Happy to hear you’ve been making broth! Yum! I don’t water down my broth, I just scoop it into a coffee mug and heat it up. Once it’s heated, it’s a rich delicious liquid. It’s become my morning ritual to warm it up while I brush my teeth and sip it while I put my make up on and get ready for work. Love it! Let me know how it goes for you.

  39. My earliest recollection of acne is from eight years old. I’m in my late twenties with four children and still battle acne. I felt pretty pathetic today when I saw yet another angry red welt on my face and all around it the flesh colored bumps that never ever go away, and I cried. I am totally serious when I say I feel I’ve tried everything when in monitary reason. I’ve always been quite healthy but over the last three four months I’ve really stepped things up to
    try and rid my face of this. I’ve always been a water drinker no pops and coffee, but now I’ve cut out dairy too. I have very limited grain/gluten intake, and eat my veggies and fruits that would make any momma proud. But still no no avail. I religiously wash and tone my face twice daily, make up is basically a joke because of time money and it looks horrible because of the little bumps all over. I am a health enthusiast, always reading about improvment or trying new exercises. I love being active and seeing what my body is capable of. So after years of this problem I finally talked to a dr about it, she started me on doxycycline, it makes me sick to my stomach and after a month I still don’t see any results. I know I have a lot of underlying issues like major stress with having a special needs daughter, divorce, custody battle, and my most recent admission of depression..and when those down times hit I pick.. I know that that act sets my skin back. I’m so hopeful in trying this you have no idea. I have searched all over for what my skin looks like, the bumps that just never go away, but it’s all about white heads or black heads, which yes I get occasionally but these are neither! I also get cystic acne along my jaw and on my neck which are itchy and painful. Do you know if this will help that or if that’s more a hormonal thing that needs to be addressed? I will be starting my bone broth regiment this week and I am going to implement it into my children’s diet as well, they already enjoy my green smoothies with me!

    • Karla! Sounds like you’ve really been battling with your skin and STRESS! Stress and skin are most certainly related, as are hormones. I was also told my acne was hormonal and that I needed to take a testosterone blocker to solve my problem. Helped but didn’t fix — at all. Yes, healing your gut could address your hormonal acne. Give it a try! I’m dying to hear how it goes. Sending good vibes and warm bone broth your way!

    • Itchy acne can point to an infection of skin mites/demodex. Sulfur ointments and sulfur soaps should help..if your skin gets worse before getting better this is a sure sign of mites as they cause die-off reaction as they are killed.

      Borage or primrose oil is necessary as well..Studies have shown that when the oil of the skin is low in GLA/fatty acids.. oleic fatty acids predominate. Oleic fatty acids feed mites, bacteria and fungus on skin. (many acne studies use oleic acid as growth medium for bacteria/fungus to create acne)

      You can research this all on pubmed..took me years to figure it out why I was breaking out from oils/foods high in oleic acid.
      Takes about three weeks for borage/primrose oil to incorporate into the skin oils.


    • Sorry for offering unsolicited advice, but I just read your comment and really feel for you! If you get a chance, maybe you could check out the subreddit skincare addiction on reddit. They offer some really good suggestions for topical skincare! But here’s to hoping that the bone broth works out 🙂

  40. Just an update! This has absolutely worked for me!!! I’m recommending it to everyone. I still get the occasional pimple of two here or there but my actual acne has gone. I can tell it’s not just a short lived thing as it’s been about 2 months now. I am forever grateful for finding this. Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou !

    • YAY!!!!!! Thanks for coming back and sharing your success Caitlin! I love it!! I’m so excited that drinking broth and healing your gut has worked for you. I know what you mean about feeling like “this time it’s different” — that’s exactly how I felt, although it took me a while to realize it, because I’d been disappointed so many times. So excited for you!!!

      • hello! I used either chicken or beef – however I found the chicken easier to drink, but I like the beef also. I would use either a whole grass fed chicken bone frame or just big beef bones. I used the slow cooker and added the vinegar with the water and let the bones sit in that for an hour or two. Then I add carrots, celery or whatever you have really. I let mine cook for a minimum 24 hours and top up the water as needed. By the end of it the bones should be paper thin almost. Then I strain it all out and put it in the freezer. Before I eat it I scape the layer of fat off then heat it up and enjoy. Drink it everyday for the first 2-3 weeks. It takes about 2 weeks to see a difference. I did have blackheads but not big ones that protrude out of my skin. I now drink it 2/4 times a week depending. I can honestly say this is a cure not a current fad to put the acne at bay for a few weeks. Hope this helped!!

          • The ones that would protrude out of my skin like bumps. Yes! The small ones on my nose, no. But they really aren’t that bad. Give it a try! I used to get small deep blackheads that would turn into craters if I tried to squeeze them which I no longer get 🙂

          • Yes those are the type of blackheads Im trying to eliminate ..the one that leave holes/small icepick scars (did your holes heal?) Im hopeful now. How much do you drink per day?

  41. Toni,
    I am super excited to start drinking bone broth for my acne after reading of your success! My husband and I started eating Paleo in February and I feel 1000% better physically and mentally. Unfortunately my acne (which I have chalked up to hormones from back to back extended nursing my daughters ) has continued to worsen. I have cystic zits that itch and hurt and are HUGE. I could literally cry when I look in the mirror which really stinks since I finally have self confidence in all other areas. My husband is very supportive and found your blog when researching potential treatment options for me. I must admit that I am hesitant to be hopeful since I have tried so many things. I will be visiting the grocery today and picking up your suggested ingredients. I will do nearly anything to remedy this! Thank you for sharing what has worked for you. I will definitely let you know if it works for me!!! One question, which you may have addressed but I missed: how long should it be before I start seeing results?

    • Hey Rachel,

      I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling with your skin for so long. I know what you mean when you say you want to cry in the mirror. I’ve been there sister! I really hope this is the solution for you! You might have other food sensitivities you don’t realize are exacerbating your skin and maybe causing the itching. It’s good to address that stuff too to help heal your gut along with the broth. If you want to explore some of that, shoot me an email and we can talk about it.
      Everyone is different as far as the length of time it might take to see some results. It took me about 2 weeks. I still drink broth all the time (not as consistently as I did the first year), but after just 2 weeks, I could feel and see the difference in my skin. It took me MUCH longer to believe it was permanent, which is why I didn’t write this post until my skin had been clear for a few months! I’m rooting for you! Please keep me posted!

      • Thank you for replying! I would love to email you about all of that but I can’t seem to find your email address anywhere. I’m probably overlooking it!! I bought a rotisserie chicken tonight and am going to start cooking tomorrow morning. I can’t wait to see how this goes!

  42. I have been trying the bone broth once a day for four days now and not sure that I have seen any change. How long did it take before you started seeing positive results? Thanks

    • Hey Pete, it took me about 2 weeks to see any changes. I felt them too when I washed my face — the surface of my skin got a lot smoother. I’d eliminated some of the redness through diet improvements, but the bumps were the last thing to go. Take some pictures and after another few weeks, do a comparison. I always tell my weight loss clients to do that — you’d be surprised of the changes you might not be noticing without documentation. Stick with it!! Let me know if there’s any other way I can help.

  43. Toni..Thank you for this post!! I tried broth before but with beef bones and it caused my insomnia to become much worse. Im going to try to find some chicken feet and try that instead.. did you start with chicken feet? How many pounds of chicken free would you say to use for a 10qt pot?
    Also did the broth heal any scars or scarred pores?
    Have you ever tried liver flushing in the past for your skin issues?

    thanks so much!!

    • Hi Lise,
      I save and freeze bones as I eat meat and supplement with chicken feet. Any time we have bone-in meats, we just toss the bones in a freezer bag. I always soak the bones (and feet) in cold water with some apple cider vinegar for at least 30 minutes before i turn on the heat. That ensures that they break down and give you all that gelatin you’re looking for in the broth. I don’t know how big my pot is, but it’s gigantic and I use between 3 and 4 lbs per batch. I bet 10 qts is probably pretty close to my pot. Not sure though. This blog is the only reason I ever measure anything — to share with the readers. I’m more of a “a little of this and a little of that” til it feels right kind of cook.

      As for scarring, I do see a bit of a difference but my scarring wasn’t terrible to begin with — I don’t have deep “ice-pick” type acne scars, so not sure how much it will help, but replenishing collagen through broth most definitely can’t hurt.

      The only liver flushing I ever did was years ago with a naturopath where she had me drinking crushed raw garlic in olive oil and lemon juice first thing in the morning. It made my skin worse.

      I do have

      • thank you Toni for your response. I just located some chicken feet an hour and a half away! I also meant to ask if you have tried Neocell collagen which is supposedly made from chicken feet and sternum?
        AND>>any difference in gums?
        (sorry Im desperate..chicken feet is my next hope for health, after trying SO many things.

        • I understand the desperation, believe me Lise! I’ve never heard of Neocell. Is it a pill? I’ve never had gum problems, but it’s all connective tissue so I bet it would make a difference there too — no experience from me though. I’d love to talk to you in more detail about your obstacles and goals for good health. Feel free to send me an email and we can chat outside the public eye. 🙂

          • Hi! Yes its a supplement, some reviewers noted that their acne was relived by taking it. Neocell sells two different types of collagen (type 1&3 and type 2) I haven’t researched these different types yet.

            Did you use chicken feet during those first two weeks of broth? (since Ive tried bones before with no luck, Im thinking its something in the feet that cleared your skin)

            I will send you an email concening my health, you might be able to help-thank you for mentioning that!
            SO I found this other post on the chicken feet broth and was wondering…does yours look like this when its done…?


            it looks too thick to drink as a broth. How is your recipe different?
            (Im planning to pick up my chicken feet this weekend and dont want to mess it up.)

            THANK YOU SO MUCH! Im so grateful to have found this post. I really think this broth will help me! So hopeful!

          • Hey Lise,

            You know you made your broth correctly when it looks thick and gelatinous like the picture in the link you shared. That means all the good stuff from the bones has made its way into your broth. Don’t worry, it’s only like that when it’s cold. Once you warm it up, it becomes a rich, delicious liquid that’s easy to drink.

            I didn’t start with chicken feet because I had multiple freezer bags of bones when I started this process last winter. I did realize that they made the broth so much better pretty quickly though — and they’re cheap, so they’re a great option. I’ll check out Neocell. Don’t know anything about them. Please check back in as you move through the process! I’d love to hear about it. 🙂 I’ll look for your email.

      • Ok.picked up 8lb of chicken feet. Im trying to figure out how many pounds of feet to make batch that will last a week (cup of broth per day)? I have to drive over three hours to get these feet so it would be good to know approximately how many feet for a weeks worth of broth?
        Also Toni, did the broth work for blackheads or any other health issues?
        Thanks for your post and help!

          • Thank you! You didnt say whether this got rid of blackheads? (they scar me and my biggest concern)

          • It did minimize blackheads for me for sure, but that wasn’t a huge problem for me in the first place. I had hard bumps all over my face that didn’t come out unless a dermatologist cut them out, and then they’d come right back. I do know that my sister struggled with blackheads and said that using coconut oil topically on her face in a thin layer at night helped hers go away. I have no science as to why that might be, except for that coconut oil is antimicrobial and could be killing the bacteria that creates the irritation that makes your skin hold on to sebum. That’s just a guess though. Looking forward to hearing how it goes for you!

          • Thank you! I have a pot cooking on the stove right now, but also complicating things because Im trying out the neocell collagen at the same time. Will give coconut oil a go!

    • I recommend making it yourself to save $$ but you can order it from a few places and they’ll ship it. There’s also a new product by Pacific Foods that comes in a box like regular chicken broth called bone broth. It’s not nearly as tasty as the homemade kind but it’s good as a backup when you’re between batches.

  44. Hi!
    This was a wonderful article and helped a lot. I was wondering if I could use just chicken soup to cure it or does it specifically have to be bone broth?

    • Chicken soup is great if it’s made with the bones like bone broth. The difference is mostly about where you fit it into a routine — and how filling you want it to be. I’m able to drink my broth in a coffee mug as part of my morning routine, but I would be less inclined to sit down with a bowl of soup every morning. In fact, I made chicken soup this way for a long time with no effect at all on my skin because I ate it every once in a while, not every single day. I would steer clear of adding noodles or anything like that to it. Do what you think you’ll stick with! Compliance is #1!

  45. This is one of the best articles i’ve ever read about skin care. Thank you very much! You are a very passionate health enthusiast 🙂

    • Thanks Janelle! I am passionate — after everything I’ve done to my skin and all the money I’ve spent, I hope to save people the trouble and expense and help them find a natural way to clear skin. Thanks for your comment! Hope to see you back at CWB soon!

  46. I have had acne ever since I can remember, I’ve tried countless products and although some things help for a little while nothing has ever really cleared me up. I’ve heard that bone broth has really great healing properties but I’ve never tried it before, I am excited to see where is takes me and my skin. If this actually works on my skin I will literally be forever in your debt hahaha I’ll try to keep you updated!

    • Thanks Miranda, please keep me posted! I just jarred up a nice thick batch of bone broth last night, and after over a week off, it was so refreshing to have a mug of goodness this morning. I wish you the best in your journey to healing your skin and your gut. If you want to talk about other aspects of your diet that could be contributing, I’m always here to help!

    • Hi Kyla,

      Yes, it should help with chest and back acne as well, because your skin all over your body is part of detoxification and can reflect what’s going on inside your gut. That being said, everyone is different, and if you have food sensitivities you aren’t addressing, the bone broth won’t be quite as beneficial. When I cut out gluten and reduced dairy a lot, inflammation in my skin subsided but didn’t disappear. For me, the bone broth made it disappear. If you suspect that you have food sensitivities, consider eliminating those foods as well as trying bone broth. Good luck to you! Let me know how it goes!

  47. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your article! Is it still working for you? I’ve had acne for 10 years too! Done antibiotics, every vitamin, accurate, diet changes etc and nothing is working!!
    I’m so frustrated 🙁 it gets me down and I avoid a lot of social situations because I feel so self conscious. Every time it gets better for a few days. It’s right back to breaking out again. Makeup looks so bad over my skin too because the texture is all uneven. Is there any specific kind of bones ie organic, grass fed etc? And what type of bones? Just hocks etc? Going to stay this in the morning. I hope it works for me!! Did it so much for your skin texture?

    • Hi Caitlin!

      Sorry to hear you’ve been struggling with your skin. Yes, the bone broth is still working for me. i totally understand the texture concern — that was my biggest problem after I improved my diet and the redness subsided. Just bumps everywhere. So frustrating! I use chicken feet and carcasses most often. Chicken feet have a ton of collagen in them, and they’re super cheap, so I’ve found that they were the easiest to use because I make the broth so often. I try to find organic, but I will settle for conventional if I can’t find organic and I don’t have enough carcasses stored in the freezer to make a full batch. If I use beef (which is very rare), it’s always grass-fed beef bones. (Probably for no good reason I feel more adamant about the beef being grass-fed than I do about the chicken feet. Well, I think the reason is probably cost. Pastured chickens are incredibly expensive unless you’re friends with a farmer.) If there’s one more piece of advice, it’s STOP PICKING. I have no idea if this is a problem for you, but I pick when I’m stressed. I don’t have all the bumps to pick at anymore, but I can always find a little something, and I always make it worse, and I always regret it. Don’t do it! Good luck Caitlin, and please come back and let me know how it goes!

      • Just bought two full chicken frames and some beef necks! Yes I always pick and Pop and touch!!!! Did your skin texture improve?

        • Yes, that was the part I couldn’t believe — after drinking bone broth for about 2 weeks straight, I couldn’t believe the difference in how smooth my skin felt. When I washed my face and ran my hands across, it felt like I was touching a stranger’s skin after all those years of constant bumps. I couldn’t believe it. Let me know how it goes Caitlin!!

  48. Hi Toni, do you think it could help to do two cups a day at first?

    Like you, I’m going crazy trying to clear my face for my Wedding (in less than 1 month).

    I’m low-sugar, gluten free, dairy free, even cut out oatmeal for now bc that seems to make a difference. I also try eat 1-3 tablespoons chia seeds a day or every other day and regularly eat walnuts, Brazil nuts (2 a day for selenium benefits), pumpkin seeds, and use almond milk. And I try to get plenty of green leafy vegetables and wild blueberries and cranberries. And for past 4-6 weeks, I’ve been trying a multi vitamin, liposomal vitamin C, and liposomal glutathione.
    (I do have my cheat meals, maybe 2-3 out of 21/week where might have some cheese or baked potato, or a croissant or roll, but not always. And I do drink coffee (1-2 day , mostly decaf, and make it with almond milk, coconut oil, and ghee) ).

    I’m so close, but not there yet. Am hoping the bone broth does it! And drinking more water. And perhaps having more regular sources of salmon.

    I inadvertently lost weight by eating well, and too much came from my face :(, so U am hoping the chicken broth also adds bit fullness back.

    Have you noticed any changes in fullness of skin or wrinkles (or heard many people have) once added in the broth?

    Thank you!

    • Hi EC! It definitely won’t hurt to drink two cups per day — I’m not sure that it will double the effect though. Might make sense to space them out if you’re going to drink more than one mug per day so your body can get multiple “doses” instead of one big “dose” in the morning. It sounds like you’re doing a lot already to take care of yourself and your skin! Not knowing anything about you or whether or not allergy tests have been done, it sounds like there are a lot of nuts in your diet — that’s a common allergen that could be creating challenges for you — I can’t say one way or the other, but you might consider soaking your nuts before eating them to make them easier to digest (or cut them out for a little while and see if it makes a difference). Possibly the hardest advice to follow ever leading up to a wedding, but it’s great advice for your skin: Try to relax. Get GOOD sleep. Take deep breaths, and find a good way to decompress — high levels of cortisol and poor sleep will negatively affect your skin as well. In case you haven’t read it, here’s a link to a post I wrote connected skin health to gut health.

      I haven’t noticed a difference in the fullness of my skin, but that doesn’t mean it won’t help — collagen is used for that all the time. Good luck! And congratulations on the upcoming wedding! Please let me know how it goes!

  49. Hello! I was wondering what kind of facial cleanser you use? I have had horrible acne that looks just like yours for years & have tried everything to get rid of it. I am definitely making some bone broth asap.

    • Hi Mickayla! For a really long time and during my healing process I was using Avalon Organics Vitamin C cleanser. I’ve recently started with a new line that I’ll be reviewing in the very near future (like next week or the week after) called Botanic Organic. I’ve been doing their two-step cleansing process and really loving it — it’s oil cleansing and gentle exfoliating with the grain cleanser. I’ve also been using one of their toners, which I really love too — the calendula cucumber one. Please let me know how your bone broht journey goes!

  50. Yes yes yes!
    Me too!
    It just happened. My skin’s still healing but it’s totally smooth to the touch. I can’t tell you how happy I am.
    I have been vegetarian since so was 8, but having studied holistic nutrition, worked for naturopaths etc for nearly 10 years, and like you had acne since I was 11… I finally heard this little voice that said, drink bone broth. I weighed my values, went and got local free range grass fed organic, single farm no truck beef knuckle bones. Voila.
    Thank thank thank thank thank you to the spirit(s) who whispered to me. I am immensely grateful. Glad you’re sharing this love too with others. Thanks!

  51. Hi Toni!
    I’m 26 and my skin is TERRIBLE and it’s ruining my life. I’ve tried a million things and nothing works at all. I googled “incurable acne” and this post came up. I am really excited to try it. This is a stupid questions but where do you get the bones? I don’t cook that much so chances of my going to buy a chicken and get the bones out of it are 0%. Can I buy just the bones? Is there an easier way to get them?

    Thanks for the idea/inspiration.

    • Hi Kate! Not a stupid question. 🙂
      I’ve had luck getting chicken backs and feet for super cheap at butchers and stores like Whole Foods and Berkeley Bowl (not sure where you live). Most butchers just throw that stuff away or freeze it to sell for super cheap. Chicken feet are VERY rich in the healing properties you want in your bone broth (gelatin), so that’s your best bet. I also save scraps as I eat — I’ll buy a cooked chicken from the store and save the bones in the freezer as I make my way through it. Or if I go out to eat, I’ll bring the bones home in a doggy bag. I do this with all the animals I eat, pork and lamb included. But if you don’t want to do that, you should be able to find the feet and backs no prob.

      I’ve been making giant batches of bone broth lately using 4 to 5 lbs of chicken feet and 1 whole raw chicken (I mean, takes up half my freezer giant). After about 7 hours of cooking, I fish the whole chicken parts out and take the meat off to make chicken salad for the week. If that sounds like too much work for you, stick with the feet and/or the backs. A word on the backs: they are pretty fatty, so you’ll likely end up with a thick layer of fat along the top of your broth. let it solidify in the fridge and scoop it off. You can either toss it, cook with it, or give it to your pets. Dexter loves it. 🙂

      If you eat beef, another option is to buy grass fed beef bones. Delicious stock comes from larger animal bones. You just want to make sure you roast them for 20 to 30 minutes before you make broth with them. It will taste better.

      Please let me know how it goes for you, and if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! I’m rooting for you Kate!

    • hi there use organic raw extra virgin coconut oil i use the cowel brand. it will bring all your skin problems to a head at first and after that you will see a healing process and a major claer face in my case a cure. just try it. clean your face with it then wash of then moisturise with it less is more. do this morning and night. im spot/and grease free. being using this for about 4 months but got results after 1 month. im still using it and have no intention on iving it up. it has lots of uses.

      Good luck

  52. Yep i had the same type of acne as the lady in the blogspot since middle school to 21 years old (current age) and as soon as i cut out the smoking, yeasty carbs and dairy .. and introduced daily bone broth before each meal my acne has almost went away. Now i know the next step is to introduce fermented vegetables and powerful pricey probiotic capsules, and im a little lazy on fermenting veggies.. but i know this is the next step. Whenever i eat steamed cruciferious / prebiotic vegetables the nasty critters in my stomach go nuts and i still experience abdominal discomforts and considerable flatulence.. BUT no where NEAR what it use to be when my diet with primary yeast foods and absent of bone broth. I also noticed the 3 months i spent working out lifting weights and running helped a considerable amount in my digestion therefore my skin, but when winter hit i lost much of my inspiration. I would also like to point out that i wasn’t breast fed for the recommended 18 months by my mother to her reluctant admittance, but rather a little less than half the time. I know this is often the differentiating factor in the people who got acne or not, i figure. Would you know if you were breast fed? Just curious, quite a sad thing corrupt industries have mothers believe that essential gut building enzymes in natural breast milk is no longer essential, and can rather be supplemented with soy based formulas.. what a health travesty that is.

    my acne isn’t completely cured unfortunately, im having a hard time stopping eating eggs and high fiber vegetables (heavy on my gut) and the occasional vegetable oil based seeds/nuts.. so sad that some people never had to worry about this gut damage to face health despite how unhealthy they eat in comparison to me… i know it has to do with breast milk at the beginning.. but no use sulking about what happened in the infancy when we find TRUE cures such as this..

    Gosh only if i knew the miracles of bone broth in high school and how my gut/intestines are actually damaged, would’ve saved lots of insecurity lol .. glad to know this powerful simple food item worked for someone else… ps: going vegan on a seed / pasta / raw vegetable diet probably did a huge number on damaging my diet in my late highschool experience after taking acutane… then afterwards when i couldn’t stand staying vegan, i only ate high high amounts of canned seafood and under cooked fish and i think i got some type of mold overgrowth, parasites and heavy metal impairment.. and + don’t smoke weed and tobacco if you have acne.. the heavy metals ruin everything.. so yeah im an anti fungal / parasite cleanse / and eat occasional chelators also … on top of taking daily bone broth… i have a problem with touching my face a lot now im socially reclusive so i get stressed … also for guys i would recommend abstaining from ejaculation since it depletes the zinc reservoirs and unbalances the hormones.. girls dont gotta worry about that one but thought i throw that in there… my problem is a year or more long effort of life long damage.. and people consider me something of a food nazi but they don’t get it , they should have a clue though given how many acne scars my face has… haha great post keep spreading the truth .. peace

    • Hey Max, Thanks so much for sharing your story. You’re absolutely right about breast-feeding. Vaginal birth is another big part of setting up a baby with a healthy gut biome. I was NEITHER breast fed NOR born vaginally, so I was pretty-much screwed on that front. It’s true that we’ll never get that back, but we can do everything we can now to heal the damage through a good diet, bone broth, healthy bacteria-rich foods, avoiding allergens, and trying to keep the stress low in lives.

      It can definitely be frustrating to see people around you eating garbage without suffering the same consequences you do when you eat that way. Believe me, I’m right there with you. Best of luck to you!

  53. Hi Toni, thanks so much for sharing your story! I’ve never heard of bone broth before but I’ll be looking into now. It’s amazing the medical problems that doctors can’t fix with their prescription pad and yet you just stumble onto the perfect cure for you. I’m sorry it took so long but I’m glad you finally found the answer!

    • Thanks Brian. Yes, it was years and years before I found it, but thank goodness I did. Bone broth has helped so much more than just my skin too — my digestion has improved as well. I’m still on the regimen, and it’s going to be part of my life for the foreseeable future. I hope you try it out! Thanks for your note!

  54. I wanna try the bone broth! I need to make some. I also found that adding 1/4 cups of chai seeds to your diet a day does wonders! I add 1/4 cup to 3 cups of hot tea a day and it helped clear my face up significantly!

    • Wow, that’s interesting about the chia seeds. I know that omega 3s in chia are great for inflammation and gut health. The fiber is also great for gut health as well. The happier the gut, the happier your skin! Thanks for sharing.

  55. I have had acne since middle school and now at the age of 29 I still have it. I have tried all the facial cleansers, proactive and the other acne treatments none of them work how can I clear up my face?

    • Tricia,

      What we put IN our bodies is so much more important than what we put ON our faces. It’s so important to heal your gut to help clear up your skin. For me, it was going gluten-free, eating organic, adding in probiotics (mostly in the form of kombucha), and drinking bone broth. The bone broth was what really pushed me into “clear skin territory” but it couldn’t have happened without changing my diet. Reducing inflammation by eliminating problem foods and adding in healing foods like broth is a great place to start. Happy to help if you’d like a coach to help get you there! Good luck, and please let me know how it goes for you.

  56. Wow. My acne has progressed in the EXACT same way as yours did. At 17 I went on accutane. I am 19 and currently have cheek/jawline/chin acne. (But do not have back acne anymore.) My skin is so inflamed and I feel absolutely hopeless. I thought it was my birth control causing it but am skeptical. Excited to try this, given that we have had the exact same acne. Thank you Toni.

    • keep me posted on how it goes Meghan. I’m sorry to hear you’re having such trouble. I went through a lot of dietary changes too before I finally hit on bone broth as the secret weapon. I think making sure you’re not eating foods that are inflaming your gut is part of what helps the bone broth create lasting success — I went gluten free a couple of years before trying it and have gone on and off a dairy-free diet based on how my digestion is feeling. If you want to talk about diet and how to figure out what could be causing your troubles, let me know!

  57. I also started using bone broth for the purpose of healing my digestive system, but have found other benefits as I am using it (I have been diagnosed with Barretts Esophagus.) At 37 I still get some acne flare ups. Since drinking the broth at bedtime I no longer get pimples (except a few before my period), My skin is sooo soft, I sleep so much better, My ankle, which has been hurting for 3 years, is getting better, My nails are stronger and I have less acid reflux and painful digestion. I am looking forward to my next endoscopy to see if it has helped heal my esophagus. I was really surprised at how many other things it has healed and helped than just my gut. Who knows what else it is healing that I don’t know about?

    Here are some suggestions that I do:
    – Cook the broth down to a condensed version, like the color off a penny. Then put it in an ice cube tray. This way it never goes bad. Each day I take out one cube and add boiling water and stir until it dissolves.
    -I keep a large Ziploc in the freezer and any time I eat something with bones I toss them in there. When it’s full I make the broth. I also add in veggie scraps such as carrot peel, celery ends and onion peel for flavor. It just goes in the same bag as the bones.
    Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. I am SUPER passionate about bone broth.

    • Missy! What an amazing story. I just heard from my uncle that drinking just one batch of bone broth smoothed out the ridges in his fingernails. Health begins in the gut. It’s the the organ inside our bodies that has the most contact with the outside world. The skin more directly interacts with the outside world, but what happens inside our bodies is often reflected in the skin. The connection between the skin and the gut is very well-documented in the scientific literature. Same with the gut and the brain. Healing the gut could mean healing the mood, and research is being done to pinpoint exactly what that could mean for certain mood disorders like depression and anxiety. I’m anxiously awaiting more research on this topic. I’m so happy that you’ve found bone broth! I love the ice cube idea! I have thought about doing that so I could use it more often in my cooking, but so far I’ve just put it in jars and frozen it. I’ll definitely try that for my next batch. Also happy to know you’re not wasting the peels of your carrots. The peel holds a lot of nutrition, so if you aren’t eating them with the carrots, great that your tossing them into your broth bag! Here’s my broth recipe. I do the same thing with the freezer bags and bone collecting. Thanks so much for sharing your story and suggestions! You’re awesome!

  58. My sister Thuy forwarded me your blog when I told her I am SO fed up with having acne for 12+ years, and I am so fascinated by your story! I want to give this a try, but was wondering how long was it before you started to see results? I have some digestive issues too so I am looking forward to see how this goes 🙂

    • That’s great that Thuy shared this with you! Thanks Thuy! I can absolutely empathize with the fed up feeling. It’s so frustrating when you try everything the doctor can give you and nothing helps. The connection between gut and skin is absolutely scientifically documented and has been for decades, but unfortunately doctors don’t treat skin issues with that information in mind. Please let me know how it goes, and let me know if you run into any snags.

      • Hi Toni! Since I posted Ive been on and off broth and I do see it has helped me feel better but not necessarily my acne. I’ve only tried beef bone marrow bones from whole foods (including the knuckle!) and it started to get so expensive. Also I never got it to gelatinize in the crock pot. Do you have any suggestions or wonder why it’s the case? I even tried adjusting the time or amount of water I put in but same thing. Do you think that may be why I haven’t seen acne benefits? I tried finding a butcher that would sell me chicken bones but no luck! Recently I heard of soup bones at some asian stores and might buy those to give it a try. Unfortunately I don’t eat enough on my own to save enough to make broth! I tend to drink it faster than I can make it. Thanks Toni!

        • Hi Thao,

          Strange that it didn’t gelatinize, but I bet it’s because it wasn’t able to reduce in the crock pot with the top on. When I do it on the stove, I generally let it reduce about 1/4 in volume (in my giant pot, that’s about 3 inches). That might be part of the problem. It could also be that you aren’t using enough bones. I use chicken because it’s a lot cheaper — and I prefer the flavor. Chicken feet are super rich in gelatin and like $1 a pound or something. Even organic ones are not that expensive. I usually use between 3 and 5 lbs per batch in my big stock pot. Whole Foods generally has chicken bones either fresh or frozen. If you live in the Bay, I often am able to get mine either from Berkeley Bowl or the butcher at Alameda Natural Grocer (I can’t remember the name of it). Some places will sell chicken backs too. It could also be that there’s something else in your diet or lifestyle that’s causing continued inflammation — poor sleep, stress, a food that you might be sensitive or allergic to for example. I’d be happy to talk more about it with you if you want! Let me know!

  59. I have not tried this but I am almost positive it will work. (Going to make some today, thanks for the recipe).

    Why do I know this will work? Several months I have been suffering from allergic reaction to dust mites. My eye would swell to the size of golf balls.
    In the past I have been given steroid eye drops to relieve the swelling. However this time, a new doctor, refused to give me eye drop b/c she was educated to know only eye docs should be giving that out as it could cause blindness. She gave me steroid pills instead.

    I woke up the next morning and my eyes were no longer swollen and looked in the mirror and my acne was gone!! 25 years of devastating acne and blackheads, gone, poof, baby smooth skin. The light bulb went off in my head– it was the steroids. Great, I think, now I need to be on steroids to cure my ace, never going to happen.

    So I have been researching the nets for the past 2 days and this cure is across the board, the cure for this and probably a lot of other aliments you have related to your inflammation of your body. I am depressed, have ADD, stringy hair, hang nails, digestive issues (ALL MY LIFE), beginning of wrinkles, and popping joints. I am expecting within 2 months or less these clear or greatly improve.

    I am not sure it will cure every type of acne, but I think for long term sufferers that have tried everything it is inflammatory issues you are having and this will work. Even if not, it will certainly help you in other ways. i am going to make this and Pho broth (now I know why I am addicted to Pho)
    Thank you for writing this post, it is the last I am reading on this subject. 🙂 Going to pass along to everyone I know.

    • Angela, what an amazing story about the steroid. So happy to know you had a doctor looking out for your vision! That’s scary! Yes, inflammation is a huge piece of the puzzle for long-term sufferers, and the broth will certainly help to address that. Please let know how it goea for you when you try it, and thanks for sharing this post!

  60. I’m gonna try this. I don’t know what bone broth is but I’m so desperate. I grew a beard to hide my acne but my beard wasn’t the best looking and so I shaved it and now I’m reminded even more.

        • Beef bone? If yes, you could roast them in the oven first. It will make the broth taste a lot better. If beef, make sure you skim the “gunk” off the top as you cook the broth too. And strain it again at the end too. Having meat cook in the broth is totally fine. Sometimes I put a whole raw chicken in and pull it out at hour 3 or 4 so I don’t boil the meat to death and can use it for chicken salad or something. I take the meat off the bone and put the bones back in. If you have no intention of eating the meat, then just leave it in there the whole time.

          • i roasted it then put it in the crock pot. going on day 2. it was not as hard as i thought it would be to make it and it doesn’t taste bad either.

          • Awesome!! I love my morning broth ritual. So glad your first batch was easy to make and tasty! Once you get started, it’s super easy to keep it up. Save your turkey bones from Thanksgiving! Keep me posted!

  61. I’m so excited to try this. I’ve made my own bone broth before but I haven’t ever tried drinking it on a regular basis. Given my current hideous acne outbreak, now seems like a good time to try it! Just bought a chicken today so he’s going straight into the pot! Thanks for posting your recipe/instructions!

    • Great to hear you’re ready to try it Rebecca! Sorry about your recent breakout — sometimes a changing of the seasons can really throw people out of whack. Sounds unrelated, but it’s really not. This is the perfect time of year to start a bone broth routine. I hope you’ll come back in a few weeks and let me know how it’s going! And if you haven’t checked out my post on gut health, I definitely recommend having a look to see if there aren’t a few more tweaks you can make to get your breakout cleared up. Also, I’m sure it’s not as hideous to everyone else as it seems to you. 🙂

  62. Hi Toni. While going gluten- and dairy-free has really helped in my 30-year battle with acne, I still experience the occasional breakout. My first batch of bone broth (your recipe 🙂 is now in the crockpot, but I had a question: How do you heat up your broth every morning?

    • Hi John! So happy to hear that you’re trying out the bone broth. I hope you report back in a few weeks to let me know how it’s working out for you! You can heat up the broth either in a coffee mug in the microwave or in a small pot on the stove if you’re averse to the microwave. I use the microwave. I know there’s a lot of information out there that says that microwaves are terrible, but I honestly don’t buy it. I think what you put in the microwave and for how long is what matters.

  63. Hey toni, i went to paleo diet and didnt see much results. Although, when i completely stopped using my acne wash/toner/cream and started taking cold showers the results were drastic! i reccomend to anyone struggling with acne to not let any hot water touch their face and try the cold shower method for a week. The results will be AMAZING.

    • Very interesting! Thanks for sharing Dylan! I wonder why that works. Maybe I’ll do a little research and see what I can find. I definitely don’t think that going paleo is intrinsically or particularly good for clearing acne, but I do think that reducing inflammatory foods can be. I hope your strategy continues to work for you! Thanks for the tip!

    • Hi Dylan,

      I can second your comment about cold showers and acne.. If I would have continued having hot showers through my teens, today Id be a ugly pock marked man who no one would care to look at

      Cold showers helped, never rid me completely – my acne just stopped coming through after a certain age… i think about 25 and I never saw acne breakouts again

      But during this phase cold showers especially the ones early in the morning where you freeze and come out is honestly the best

      I have gone back to warm showers these days and I’m 30 now, never have breakouts anymore…. the scars that are around , are better with a bit of subcision and I do a lot of bone broth these days

      the problem is when you ever lose weight and since your collagen texture on the face becomes uneven with scars.. when you lose weight overall, you may be surprised that your face will lose collagen unevenly… you may see a hollow on the apple of your cheeks if there were scars there and the skin will look more uneven

      just continue with bone broth through life … thats al I can say … if you can continue cold showers good for you.. i just dont get breakouts anymore ,,, so I decided to go back to hot….. cold showers constantly made me look brighter and amazing but with constant cramping as the blood flow in the body may get affected

  64. Toni, first of all I’m so happy for your journey! I’ve been thinking about making bone broth, so I definitely found this article helpful. I noticed that you eliminated eggs from your diet. Is this still true?

    • Thanks so much for your comment and question Linda! I do eat eggs now, just not every day like I had been. In the beginning, it was worth it to cut them out completely just to learn what the triggers were, but I have found that since improving the overall health of my gut, they don’t really cause the same problems they did before.

  65. Do you have any suggestions for those of us who are vegetarian? Is there a supplement I could take that has similar benefits to your broth? I eat a whole foods, plant based diet and still struggle with breakouts on my face and chest. Since going off the pill a couple months ago they’ve gotten worse. 🙁 I feel like I’ve tried every topical treatment and nothing works long term. I’ve cleansed with coconut oil in the past but didn’t stick with it because eventually my skin started breaking out again. Any suggestions are much appreciated! 🙂

    • Kristin, thanks so much for your question. There’s really no substitute for healing your gut. You could try supplementing with L-Glutamine, not sure how that’s sourced. I worked with a Naturopath for a while and took a product called GI Integrity by Pure Encapsulations, which you could try to get (you might need a doctor to get it, not sure). It has l-glutamine in it. It didn’t work as well as the broth for me, but could be a good vegetarian choice. There’s a chance you have some sensitivities you don’t know about too. Have you tried an elimination diet to see if there are any trigger foods for you?

      Also, while vitamin A isn’t always vegetarian-sourced, you might consider asking your doctor about high-dose supplementing. I did that for a while with my naturopath (don’t do it without a doctor), and it was moderately helpful but not great. It was sort of her version of a less-harmful accutane. Best of luck to you, and let me know if you have any other questions! Happy to help however I can!

  66. Hello! Im 30 and ive had acne ever since i was 16. Recently i stopped drinking coffee, stopped with gluten and sugar and started eating more slow cooked meats, eggs, vege, probiotic kefir and of course bone broth as well as cooking with only pure animal fats, butter or coconut oil. This is all in line with the nourishing traditions book which i highly recommend. I also spent about $200 on some nice Jurlique moisturizers, cleansers and a good mineral foundation and powder, its an australian brand which uses only high quality natural ingredients. For the first time in 14 years my skin looks great. I have the feeling that the bone broth has played the most important role as I really noticed a difference when I added that into the equasian.

    • Wow, sounds like we have a lot in common Poindexter! You’ve clearly found your solution! (I love that book too and have it listed as a favorite in my e-store at the top of the page) I’ve seen Jurlique but don’t know much about it and haven’t used it. I’ll have to check that out. I use Bare Minerals for my powder and bronzer and love it. That made a difference for me too — switching brands, believe it or not. I’d been using minerals before, but switching brands gave my skin yet another boost. So happy to see that we 30-ssomethings can finally enjoy some clear skin! Congratulations. 🙂

  67. I’m glad I found this blog. I’m
    Going to make some broth this weekend and keep my fingers crossed that it does the same for my skin. I’m
    47 and although I never had major acne as a teen, I’m finding now that I’m getting these bumps on my forehead and chin area. It’s making me so self conscience and I’m feeling desperate. Nothing is working. I also had polycystic ovarian disease and I’m
    Still on the birth control pill today! I’ll post back and let you know how this worked out for me. Thanks!

    • Sending good vibes your way Donna. I really believe that healing your gut is the path to clear skin. Definitely keep me updated on how it works for you to add bone broth in every day. I drink mine in a coffee mug first thing every morning to make sure I don’t miss it. It makes for a nice morning routine. It can be so frustrating — I totally know what you mean! Good luck to you, and please report back!

  68. In combination with being 4 weeks gluten free, and resisting caving into the myth of “avoiding oil” for acne prone skin — using Coconut oil nightly — blackheads LITERALLY fell out of my face. thanks Toni!

    • Exciting to see the progress Jana — awesome news about how much the changes you’re making are improving your skin and health! I’m really happy to know that you’re committing to a gluten-free lifestyle. Stay tuned for my first ebook, which will give you some tips to help you stick to it!

  69. Great post Toni! As you know, I also had horrific cystic acne as an adult. My derm threatened accutane but I never did it. What cleared it up for me was to resolve my liver and blood imbalances. I drank an herbal tea that consisted of red clover leaf, dandelion, boldo, nettle, lemon balm, spearmint, yarrow, and red clover blossom and it cleared up my acne which has not come back. I also used SK-II facial essence (spendy but awesome!). So I think that perhaps there is not a universal miracle cure for one’s acne, but there is something imbalanced internally (usually or else proactiv and clindamyacin would take care of it) and the search is on to figure out what the imbalance is and how to correct it.

    • Wow Jen, I didn’t realize you’d found your solution with herbal tea. That’s amazing! The liver piece is definitely important — I did quite a bit of work on my liver with a naturopath and acupuncture. Although I think that was part of what set me up for future success, it wasn’t the final solution for me. And I’m not even sure if the work I did solved the liver thing from a TCM perspective — to this day every time I go to acupuncture, the doctor talks about balancing my liver. Where’d you get that tea?

      • It was my ayurvedic practitioner friend who diagnosed the imbalance and she had a friend who made the tea. After I ran out I just made the tea myself with ingredients from Rainbow grocery. I actually haven’t been using the tea in quite a while and my skin is clear! I also think our bodies just go through long phases where things are out of whack and then they clear up. For example, my astrologer confirmed a decade-long period where I had problems with my teeth and gums, and yes I had to have gum surgery and cleanings every quarter during that time. But now they are fine and stable and actually improving a tad. Sooo… who knows? 🙂

        • Cool! that’s great that the ingredients are easy to find and that they had a lasting effect in balancing your system. Thanks for sharing — maybe someone reading this will find that herb combo helpful. 🙂

  70. YES! Toni, I so believe in the power of bone broth. This is a great article & I love the recipe for bone broth. It’s a simple recipe and your description and pictures are awesome. Thanks for sharing. xo

    • Thanks Alice! It’s a SUPER simple recipe, and as long as you don’t mind leaving your stove on low or using a giant crock pot, you can cook it for up t o 24 hours to get every bit of goodness out of those bones. I think the magic ingredient is the apple cider vinegar to help that process along as well.

  71. I love it too! The morning ritual is really rewarding for me, and it’s SO paid off. I am about to run out and need to go get another chicken! Enjoy your broth!

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