Current Skincare Routine (For Acne-Prone Skin!)

Cetaphil, Dermadoctor, Boots No.7, Mario Badescu, Simple Skincare, Origins | Candidly Kelsey

It just hit me that for how much I have talked about my skincare and acne woes on my blog, I have yet to share what my actual daily skincare regime is.

Though I’m always trying new things, and there are a few that have stayed tried and true through the long haul.  And as my skin is probably the best that it’s been in a while– due partly to one of my new favorite products, and partly because I’ve gotten on birth control to help control the hormonal acne –I think this is my best routine so far, I thought I’d share!

Cetaphil Gentle Facial Cleanser/Generic for Cetaphil (I’m using Kroger brand at this moment!).  A dermatologist recommended this, as opposed to acne-specific cleansers I had been using.

I swap between the Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion toner at night, which is specific for further cleansing the skin as part of their acne line.  And the Gylcolic Acid Lotion toner, usually in the morning, which is more for gentle exfoliating.  I like to swap them out like this so I’m not overloading my face with different treatments all at the same time, because I like the acne-treat at night.

In the evening, I will move on to my current favorite acne product: DERMADoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Medicated Acne Control Serum.  Ho-ly crap, guys.  Though I’ve raved about Mario Badescu acne products in the past, this has by far surpassed those in effectiveness and ease (SORRY MARIO!! STILL LOVE YA, KISSES).  I will do a whole post on this in the future for any other acne sufferers who are interested, but let’s just say this is my savior and I will bow down to the DERMADoctor Gods for the rest of my life.

In the morning, however, because my active breakouts are mostly gone at this point (knocks on wood), I skip the DERMADoctor and go straight for eye cream, which is the Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream.  I’m not a giant fan, but I’m using it up while looking for something else.

In the evening, I use the Boots No. 7 Youthful Eye Serum.

Then I top it off with my favorite moisturizer, which is the Simple Skincare Replenishing Rich Moisturizer.  It is so calming, and just the right amount of richness for me, so I don’t wake up in the morning with an overly oily face.

Aaaaand that’s it.  Simple enough, but working for me really well at the moment.

Got any skincare favorites I should know about? Let me know!




Pizza, Chips, and Macaroni: New Favorite Healthy Recipes

I’ve been experimenting with different healthy recipes lately.  In an effort to bribe myself to eat healthier, going a little more in depth than chicken and vegetables everyday has been helping.

I’ve been looking for good substitutes for some of my favorite indulgences: Kraft Mac and Cheese, Thursday Night Jed’s pizzas, crunchy Chez-Its.  These obviously aren’t exact replacements– no amount of cheese or cream will ever make spaghetti squash rival the deliciousness of really bad, cheap, bleached white flour pasta.  But they’re good for when you’ve got a craving.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Spaghetti Squash Macaroni ‘n Cheese

Oven-baked Chicken Fajitas

Kale Chips and tons of different ways to season them

Homemade Mexican Rice

Chicken and Avocado Salad

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cups

And of course, the Sweet Potato Gnocchi recipe I shared last week.

Got a favorite healthy recipe? Let me know! I’m down to try anything.


Idiot Proof Sweet Potato Gnocchi

I had fancy gnocchi at a fancy Italian restaurant in Chicago about two years ago, and it’s been in my dreams ever since.  Chewy potato dumplings in delicious sauces… basically tiny mashed potato balls.  Fancy Italian carbs?!  I’m so down.

So, like all good curious twenty-somethings, I searched Pinterest for an easy recipe to make my own.  And what’s better than regular potato dough balls?  Sweet potato dough balls.  Say it with me: YAAAAAAAAAAAS.
Full disclosure, I was apparently too lazy to actually click the link to the recipe, and instead just followed the directions in the pin description.  My method was as follows:
Step 1: Cook sweet potato (roast it for better flavor, or boil in microwave for laziness)
Step 2: Mash sweet potato.
Step 3: Add flour until it reaches a dough-like consistency, about 1/2 – 1 cup per potato.  Season with salt and pepper.
Step 4: Form into gnocchi shapes, and boil until they float.
Optional Step 5: Toss in butter, shredded parmesan and chicken, and then devour like you’ve been stuck on an island for a month without access to what one could loosely refer to as Italian food.
Optional Step 6: Tease your cat with it.
The pin links back to what looks like a delicious recipe from The Kitchen Paper.  In addition to the sauce she calls for, her recipe for the gnocchi gets kind of fancy, calling for adding egg and cheese to the mix before boiling.  Having made it several times using my very stupid simplified recipe above, I think adding the egg and cheese would probably take this to another level.
If that’s your style, that is.  My style is laziness and low standards, but whatever.
The best part of this recipe is that it’s super hard to screw it up, because even if you undercook the potato or overcook the gnocchi, it’s still chunks of sweet potato.  How is that a bad thing?  
Answer: it’s never a bad thing.
Bon Appetit!


No Gym? No Problem

With being a gym employee comes with a free membership as long as I am employed.  Logic would say that having access to the facility and working there would mean I would be a total gym rat, right?  Wrong.
For one, it is insanely difficult to muster up the energy/willpower to drive myself to work– I mean, the gym– when I have either already been there during the day, or will be going back there later in the evening to work.  Plus, I hate working out in front of my coworkers and all the gym regulars.
Call me paranoid, but I swear I get stared at sometimes because without my usual blue work shirt and white scarf, they are trying to figure out where they’ve seen my face before.  And that sh*t makes me feel self conscious, which is not what I want to be when I’m trying to throw around heavy objects.
Working out at home, however, has no excuse. Because you live there.  See how that works?


All you need is some space, a computer, maybe a smart phone, and 30 minutes.  No expensive equipment required!


There are a ton of exercise resources on Youtube.  I have created a playlist of at-home workouts featuring some of my favorites, or new ones I want to try.  Channels I recommend are Blogilates and FitnessBlender, but definitely search for your own as well.  There’s everything from strength building, to cardio, to pilates and yoga, to name a few.   Sometimes the moves take some getting used to if you’ve never done bodyweight exercises before, but that’s the beauty of Youtube– you can pause the video and rewind as much as you’d like!


There is fitness GOLD on Pinterest.  Though some workouts claim false information (“Burn 100 calories with this routine!”) there are some great routines on there to get your heart rate up.  Mix and match different routines to create a full 30-minute workout.  Or add at-home cardio moves in between body-weight exercises create your own.
To start you off, here’s my “Fitness” board with some great resources on it as well:


This may sound stupid, but it’s actually really fun.  Make a 30 minute long play-list of your favorite songs and then dance it out!  Throw in some squats, push-ups, ab exercises, lunges, planks, and any other body weight exercises you can think of in between.  Again, search “body weight exercises” if you need ideas for moves.  Mix it up– dance for a full song, then do as many squats as you can for the next song, then dance again.  Or just throw in some moves whenever you feel it. The point is to make it fun, and get you out of breath!
This one is especially great for if you’re having a bad day and need a pick-me-up.  Literally dance like nobody is watching and have fun while getting some cardio in.


I mentioned this in my Favorite Health and Fitness Apps post, but here it is again.  Your phone/iPad are great for equipment-less exercise.  Some great ones that I have personally used and like are SworkIt, Nike+ Training Club, and 7 Minute Workout.  Just search “workout” in your app store and take a look at what comes up.
Got any other tips for at-home and equipment-less workouts?  Leave them in the comments, I’d love to hear them!



Can we all just agree that there is no better combination than peanut butter and chocolate?  
Though Reese’s does a bang-up job of making a perfect candy, sometimes it’s hard to justify the sugar, calories and fat in a package of Reese’s for a pretty small treat.
Enter: 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cups.
This is a variation of a recipe for PB cups I have seen online countless times before, but this recipe uses only three wholesome ingredients: peanut butter, dark chocolate and bananas.
Here’s where the guilt free comes in:
Peanut Butter: Though high in calories/fat, it’s plant fats, so it’s nothing to fret about. The fats also help fill you up, so one of these is plenty– and this is even coming from ME, so you know it’s true.  Just make sure to choose a natural PB– one with the only ingredient listed is “peanuts”, to avoid added yucky filler stuff you don’t need.
Dark Chocolate: Not so full of sugar like semi-sweet or milk chocolate!  Gives it a much richer taste.
Bananas: Provide the smooth base for the center and natural sweetness, so it is the perfect substitute for the powdered sugar that many other homemade PB cup recipes call for. 
Plus, thanks to being made from bananas and dark chocolate, these are way heartier than regular PB cups, so just one is rich enough that you won’t feel the need to binge-eat 10293840234 of them like you would a regular Reese’s Cup
1/2 cup of Natural Nut Butter of Choice– I chose regular peanut butter as I prefer it, but if you are an almond or cashew butter person, go for it. 
1 Medium Ripe Banana
1 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate

Recipe yields about 9 peanut butter cups in a regular cupcake tin.

Create a double broiler on the stove by filling a small sauce pan with water, placing a heat-safe bowl on top of the pan, and turning the water on to boil.  Add the chocolate to the bowl.  The boiling water will heat the bowl, which will melt the chocolate without burning it.  Stir the chocolate occasionally to ensure it melts evenly.
While the chocolate melts, mash the banana in a bowl with a fork. Add the peanut butter, and using an electric mixer, mix the banana and peanut butter.  If you don’t have an electric mixer, you can use a regular spoon, but the mixer really helps make a fluffy, and uniform texture for the center.
Add paper liners to a cupcake tin and spray lightly with cooking spray so the cups don’t stick.  As soon as the chocolate is completely melted, turn the heat off and begin spooning about a tablespoon of chocolate in the bottom of each liner.  Then, add about tablespoon of banana/peanut butter mix, making sure to press down a little so that it is sunk down in the melted chocolate.  Add the rest of the chocolate on top, making sure it completely covers each blob of PB/banana mix.  Picture how a Reese’c up looks: blob of PB inside a shell of chocolate.  You want yours to have the same effect.

Freeze cups for about an hour before serving,  allowing the chocolate plenty of time to harden.  Keep in the refrigerator and eat within a few days, or keep in freezer for even longer shelf-life.
Or eat all of them in one sitting and don’t worry about storing them.  No judgement here.  Enjoy!

PS: I did not include nutrition info on here, because I had a little left over PB/banana mix and there are countless different kinds of nut butters and blends of dark chocolate you could use, so I didn’t feel my nutrition information would be accurate to everyone else.  Plus, the point of this recipe was to use as few ingredients as possible for a sweet treat, as opposed to making something gross and fake tasting that was low in calories/fat.  If you’re curious, feel free to plug all of your ingredients into a calorie counting app or website, and see for yourself 🙂