AAAAAND, WE’RE BACK! (episode 3: kim’s deal)

quick disclaimer: all the stuff i write about in my adrenal blog posts are relative to my own personal experience and recommendations.  what was recommended to and worked for me may not work for you, so please proceed with caution and enlist the help of a naturopathic doctor in your area for the best + safest results!

10/26/15
ok sorry guys for dropping off and lagging on this post.  we had some employee turnover that i had to handle, which left me little time, energy or motivation to completing and posting this post.  i am working on the mantra ‘done is better than perfect’!  here goes:

7/2015
warning: this one is kind of long and boring (if you’re not into this stuff, and especially since it’s not about you! :)).  you can scroll to the bottom if you just want to skip the explanations of each test, and see a quick review of what my blood, spit and poop said, and dr. fig’s recommended plan of action for me.

so a month had gone by, and until i got my test results (which was around july 10, 2015)  been able to live like normal, more or less.  the impending doom of all the gluten i can’t eat and who knows what else is weighing on my mind, but i’m not that upset about it.  i just remember how shitty i feel and how awesome it’s going to be when i have more energy to be active, the much better mood i’ll be in, and how i’ll get to wear all my ‘skinny’ clothes again after losing 30 pounds – and i’m motivated.  when i see happy, healthy and fit and buff people out and about, it reminds me how these changes i’m making now will positively impact my longterm health and happiness, and that i can do it!

how does this not look amazing?!growing up chinese american, i never really ate much wheat.  we had bread in the house for my mom and grandparents (they’d have it soaked in their morning instant coffee) but i just never really got into it.  i suppose my body intuitively knew gluten wasn’t the best for me.  i was a rice girl.  my favorite comfort meals were (and still are) most always involve white rice at some capacity.  as i got older and started growing ‘healthier’, i switched to brown rice and quinoa – but relished eating white rice anytime i had it; what a treat.  rice bowls!  rice porridge! sushi rice and ribeye steak!  nigiri and sushi rolls!  rice crackers and rice noodles!  and of course, sake, which is distilled from rice.*

any leftovers got a fried egg on top; over easy so that yolk could sauce everything up.  especially with ones i get from local farmer to deliver free-range, organic eggs to me every other weekend**.   pastured eggs are one of our favorite, quick and nutritious forms of protein.  yum yum yum!

sure, i’d get bloated sometimes after eating rice, but it didn’t seem to happen so much (or cause pain) that it was a problem.  wheat and gluten, were on the same boat – but not only bloating, fatigue came along too.  sometimes i’d eat it and feel ok, and sometimes i’d eat it and yawn all day.  but upon discovering della fattoria’s delicious seeded wheat bread, i ate it more (and noticed feeling even more tired).  so i did my best to lay off the gluten – after all, after hearing so many tales of going gluten-free had changed lives, i suspected this would be a culprit for my body’s behavior right now.

TEST RESULTS
sitting in dr. fig’s office, we go over the test results one by one.  she first started off with the adrenal test, which would have some questions the stool test could answer, which would have some questions the food allergy test could answer.  (happy to share the full reports to anyone that’s interested in seeing them, just ask! email frontdesk@skinsalvationsf.com).

adrenal test resultsDIAGNOS-TECHS, INC. – ADRENAL STRESS INDEX

‘energy graph’
looking at the cortisol test, the first page had a graph.  the graph has a ‘normal range’ lime green stripe, which shows the average cortisol output of a healthy human.  my line, a dark blue solid line, showed that my levels were on the low, if not lower than normal, end of the norm.  it seemed that as soon as i woke up, my cortisol was already at the low end of normal, which persisted, until about 4pm when my energy was it’s lowest – pretty much at the rock bottom of the chart.  then, i had a tiny energy boost right around midnight before going to sleep.  (this totally made sense, as i often complained of being tired upon arising, getting REALLY tired around 4-5, but then somehow getting a bit of energy at night before sleep; i had always attributed this to just being distracted at home with ‘home stuff’ – cooking, cleaning, socializing or being on the computer’).

along with this ‘energy’ graph, a few other hormones were detected and their roles explained.

dhea
my DHEA was on the high end of what’s normal (10 out of a range of 3-10).  DHEA is a “hormone made in the adrenal glands and in the brain, and leads to the production of male and female sex hormones..  typically, those with high DHEA can have oily skin, acne, among other more serious side effects.”

insulin
diabetes runs on the paternal side of my family, and after a borderline high blood sugar test a few years ago, i had been conscious of consuming sugar (both ‘sweet’ and refined grains kind of sugar) and making sure to have veggies with every meal.  exercising was on my mind, but lately i hadn’t had the energy to even go for a walk, let alone flat out work out.

i had tested just below borderline elevated (5 out of the borderline 6-25) so that was good; but not great.  the results explained that “insulin is tested because insulin activity is affected by the stress response.  chronic stress with cortisol elevation may counteract the effects of insulin, and may lead to functional insulin resistance.”

nothing to freak out about (right now), but something to keep watch of, and to be aware that my stress was a factor in this category.

total salivary SIgA
what is this thing?  the test says that “it’s the predominant antibody found on the mucosal membranes throughout the body.  one of it’s main functions is to bind to antigens and prevent their adherence/admittance into the body.  typically it moderates the mucosal inflammatory response…” and that it “may be associated with some autoimmune conditions, diabetes, gingivitis, ulcers, and inflammatory conditions.  in addition, acute physical or emotional stress can transiently raise values.”

and since i didn’t have any ofl the aforementioned autoimmune conditions,  here was another marker that my stress was an issue – so much that i tested abnormally high on this one – 39 mg/dl out of a normal 10-20, and borderline high of 21-25.

gliadin
ok.  so “gladins are proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and other grains which may trigger an immune reaction in some individuals.  a positive response to gliadin may warrant further diagnostic workup and/or dietary elimination trial in some patients. lab results should be used in context of the entire clinical picture.”  (which is why the stool and food allergy testing was such a good idea – thanks dr. fig!).

in this test, i had scored again, very high.  i got myself a 32 out of a borderline 13-15, and positive result of 15+.

———


DOCTOR’S DATA INC. – COMPREHENSIVE STOOL ANALYSIS
interested to see what else my guts were doing with the really high gliadin response, we now moved on to the stool test.  this test was divided up into sections for each enzyme, each with its own job.

bacteria
i had some good bacteria (but lacked lactobacillus, interestingly enough.  maybe because i don’t consume fermented dairy, and my probiotic doesn’t have this in it?  could also be because my gut’s environment couldn’t sustain it) and had some not so good (but not really bad) bacteria.  dr. figoski explained that this ‘not great’ bacteria could have been from any source – be it from trips involving drinking water or iced drinks in foreign countries, to eating ‘regular’ domestic food at home.  no real way to tell, but just to work towards cleaning it out and replenishing good bacteria.  luckily though, no really bad (dysbiotic) bacteria or yeast was to be found.

digestion + absorption, and all my short chain fatty acids
were all good!  woo!

inflammation
lysozymes are enzymes that are excreted at sites of inflammation in the GI tract.

under 600 is normal; i had 1140 (!).

immunology
another enzyme that has to do with mucosal tissues, “secretory IgA” is the “first line of defense of the GI mucosa and is central to the normal function of the GI tract as an immune barrier.  elevated levels have been associated with an unregulated immune response.”  this meant that my body’s immune system was working extra hard, all the time, to fight off ‘invaders’, which could explain my terrible seasonal allergies (as well as responses to things like dust and molds).

the normal range of this enzyme is 51-204, and i had tested 1240.

intestinal health markers
lastly, the pH of my poop would tell us about how the fermentation of fiber by the beneficial flora of the gut was doing.  it was a little low (5.6, normal range was 6-7.8).  but dr. fig wasn’t too worried about this – we had other bigger problems to deal with.

so, what foods are physically irritating my guts, and causing so much inflammation?!  now the finale – the food allergy test.
——

us biotek's general food panel
US BIOTEK LABORATORIES – GENERAL FOOD PANEL 
the quick and easy test dr. fig administered in my office the day of my testing consult a month ago is based on a scale of 0-6.  ideally, of course, the foods we eat have little to no reaction in our blood.  the idea is that if you are constantly exposing your body to allergens that rate 4-6, it’s natural that things 3 and below are probably going to be really irritating too.   when this happens, the body treats the offending foods like allergens, and manifests in the body in different ways: rashes, headaches, fatigue, even acne, in some.

so, dr. fig’s got me on a conservative plan – not only because these foods show up as irritants, but are also inflammatory (because they are irritating my guts, but also – like for example, sugar and corn – inherently are) – but also maybe she sees it in me to be 100% compliant?

on a scale of 0-6:
0 – no reaction
1 – very low
2 – low
3 – moderate
4 – high
5 – very high
6 – extremely high.

the basic food test i took has a panel of 100 foods, and these are the only ones that showed up as irritating, and therefore are the foods i am to avoid for at least 2 months:

DAIRY
casein (3)
cottage cheese (3)
mozzarella cheese
milk (3)
whey (4.5)
yogurt

MEAT
chicken egg whites (5.5)
chicken egg yolks (5)
duck whole eggs (3)

FRUIT
banana (2.5)
cranberry (2)
pineapple (3)

MISC
sugar cane (3.5)

FISH/SEAFOOD
none!

GRAINS/LEGUMES/NUTS
corn (4)
wheat gliadin (3)
wheat gluten (3)
oat (3)
write rice (3)
spelt (3)
whole wheat (3.5)

VEGGIES
none!

these restrictions sort of make up a diet close to the candida cleanse, except that i can’t have eggs.  and it’s also sort of like a gluten-free diet, but i can’t have rice or corn.  my beloved eggs and rice!  and no tortilla chips!  this makes it pretty challenging, since a lot of paleo recipes use a lot of eggs, and gluten-free alternatives are often based on rice or corn.

all the more diligent i must be, to 1. cook my own food, 2. and source responsibly.  i’ve got to read my labels even more, and have an even more watchful eye on not only cane sugar but also brown rice sugar/syrup – which is in almost everything that’s packaged.

with a bit of pinterest-ing, i found that this diet more or less makes up what’s called an “auto-immune paleo” diet – one that’s meant to be eaten for a short while (1-3 months) to allow the body to “reset and heal”, before reintroducing foods one at a time to see how my body reacts (if at all).

in many ways, it’s a mirror image journey of the clearing process at sS – allowing the 3-6 months of acne purging, while abstaining from the potentially acne-causing aggravators, before getting to a clean slate (clear skin!) and reintroducing possible triggers to see what substance causes acne-formation, if any.

on the bright side, it’s very cool that we are in this together 🙂

NUTSHELL SUMMARY OF TEST RESULTS 
my adrenal test said that i indeed was low on energy, and had certain hormones that get excreted when the body is (in my case) under a lot of chronic stress-related inflammation (i tested 39, when normal is 10-20), and exposed to gliadins (proteins found in gluten – i tested 32 and 15+ is considered reactive).  my blood sugar was also borderline high, but is probably attributed to the chronic stress.

my stool test revealed that enzymes excreted when inflammation in the GI is present and when the immune system is working at capacity at long intervals were abnormally high (one was double and other was 6 times the norm) – again probably due to the chronic stress and foods that were irritating my guts.

finally, the food allergy test showed the foods that my blood reacted negatively to; which probably were directly responsible for inflaming my gut so bad, and causing my immune system to work triple-time, which stresses the body out (and inflames it).

all in all, it’s a cycle of stress (mental and physical) causing irritation that’s causing inflammation, and it’s manifesting in my body via fatigue, depression, and frequent headaches, along with allergies.

PLAN OF ACTION
basically, i need to take a ton of supplements to restore much needed nutrients that my body needs to run efficiently and heal itself, avoid the foods that are aggravating my guts (literally), and manage my stress (probably the hardest part of the plan).

pills pills and more pillz

this picture shows the different pills dr. fig has me taking, but doesn’t include the inflammation controlling glutamine powder, or adrenal support tinctures that are also part of the mix.  my daily supplement schedule is as follows:

AM (breakfast)
2 – active vitamin b pills
1 – vitamin c capsule
1 – omega 3 capsule
1 – hydrochloric acid (stomach acid to help digest food and prevent bloating, gas, etc)
1 – squirt of adrenal support tincture
1 – scoop of inflammation controlling glutamine powder, in water

LUNCH
1 – hydrochloric acid pill
1 – vitamin c capsule
1 – omega 3 capsule
1 – squirt of adrenal support tincture

AWAY FROM FOOD
2 – zyflamend (taken away from food so it can work better at managing inflammation vs. digesting your food)

PM (dinner)
1 – hydrochloric acid pill
1 – omega 3 pill
1 – vitamin c pill
2 – neurocalm (or relaxed sleep herbs) – this is so that i can get restful sleep, because i have had active, stress- and dream-filled dreams for weeks which makes for even more fatigue in the morning.

8/3/2015 – 3 weeks in
i definitely felt some detoxing in the immediate 2 weeks after starting the diet (headaches, muscle tension, light-headedness after eating, and changes in bodily fluids).  after an hour or two of serious road rage while in the ovulating days of my hormonal cycle, i could slowly feel i had a mild boost of energy and a generally more positive outlook.  managing stress though, is still a struggle – and i think it will continue to be.  but in the days following, i was in high enough spirits to buy a new bicycle, and motivated enough to ride it around on errands (ok, maybe one so far).

a couple of hours’ of shopping at sf’s beloved rainbow grocery co-op and carefully reading labels, coupled with lots of pinterest-ing and google-ing, motivated me further to keep on the food part of the plan.  food has always been a big part of my life, and it sucks that i can’t go out and eat sushi, have chips and salsa, eat chinese or just a burger so easily (for now), i look at these diet restrictions as a new way to get creative with eating even more healthily.  and luckily, i’ve found some delicious recipes along the way!  in the coming weeks i’ll be posting what i’ve been cooking and eating on our blog, facebook, pinterest and instagram.

acne-safe laundry detergent + softener (and why it’s a thing)

find more stuff like this on our IG!

weird and nitpicky, yes we know.  we are crazy – acne crazy!  but this can be a really important one to keep in mind, if you want to have consistently clear skin.

WHAT’S OUT THERE
most laundry detergents on the market contain either the famous acne-causing foaming agents sodium lauryl (or laureth) sulfate (aka SLS), or the sneaky one: fragrance (click here to read more about this culprit).

WHY DOES IT MATTER
these ingredients leave a residue on your sheets, towels and clothing which can rub onto your skin and break you out.  this can be especially true if you are breaking out on your body, or the sides of your face.

case in point: sS’er MD – clear skinned for years – started getting mystery breakouts on the sides of her face.  after much investigative questioning during treatment, we discovered that she switched to using a new, fragranced detergent.  we suggested she switch to a safe one – she came back 4 weeks later, and was all cleared up!  we figured that the pillows and sheets were the only thing rubbing the sides of her face regularly, and that the new detergent was the only new, isolated thing we could find.

WHAT DO I USE NOW?
during a target shopping run, i spent a few extra minutes in the laundry detergent aisle.  geez louise there are so many options out there!  i stuck to the fragrance-free formulas, and eschewed any scent in it (even “natural” fragrance).

keep in mind though, that if you are already using these safe looking ones but are still breaking out, it’d be best to call the manufacturer and ask what exactly are the ‘surfactants’ in the formula you are using, in case they are using the SLS’s but not disclosing it in the ingredient list on the bottle.

ALSO – just because something is “natural” doesn’t meant that it’s acne-safe.  (ahem, coconut oil!).  these days, that positioning is almost always marketing.

here are the ones i found that seemed safe at target:

  • tide free * gentle
  • up & up (target brand) free+clear
  • all with stainlifters

i also used to use costco’s kirkland signature free and clear 2x concentrate ultra clean premium laundry detergent (geez, what a long name).  i went to google it to check it’s ingredients and found that 76% of amazon’s reviewers gave it a 1 star review, claiming that it made their eczema worse, gave them severe skin reactions, or induced skin allergies.  good to keep in mind for those with particularly sensitive or reactive skins, or those already affected.  however, i personally used it for years, with no problems.

green virgin products' soap nuts

EVEN BETTER
but thanks to an sS’er who told us about it, i got some truly naturally derived and clean (for us and the environment) laundry detergent derived from soapnuts, from a small family run company based in florida called green virgin.  please note that this is not a paid review, nor are we getting any kickbacks at all – i bought this stuff with my own money and after trying it out for several loads, i love it and here is why:

  • apparently, soapnuts are naturally full of surfactants (that bubbly, slippery substance that foams up and wicks away grease, dirt, etc) which means that
  • the soapnut that this liquid is extracted from is fully compostable
  • according to the brand i tried, green virgin, the preservatives they chose (caprylyl glycol and phenethyl alcohol) are rated 0-1 on the skin deep database
  • it cleans WAY better than conventional laundry detergent – even set-in stains.  i love to eat + cook, and get grease on my clothes all the time.  old clothing i’ve given up on spot treating over the last year, got clean after using this detergent just once!
  • you only need 2-3 pumps of liquid to do an entire load, saving money in the long run, and cutting down on emissions with the transport weight being so low.  it’s also nice not to have to lug a heavy thing of detergent to the laundry room each time.

they also sell a non-toxic solid stick prespotter, which did a great job with getting tougher, older stains out of clothing.  my partner found an old collared shirt with ring marks around the neck, and with the help of this bar and some elbow grease, got it washed out to relatively brand new.  (might i add that the shirt was worn once as a halloween costume, and found in a locker a whole year later – so the stain had plenty of time to settle).

DISCLAIMER: this prespotter bar DOES contain coconut oil, but i think when used as a spot treatment (and especially when later washed out with the soapnuts liquid), should not pose a huge breakout problem.  proceed at your own risk!

cute dryer ballswool balls (they also come in white)

FABRIC SOFTENER
we are not into it – liquid OR sheets.  both are designed to leave a waxy residue which makes fabric soft – your towels, sheets and clothing – that will transfer onto your skin, potentially causing breakouts too.  (if you notice, this waxy residue also keeps your towels from being as absorbent as if you hadn’t used it).  instead, we are a fan of the more environmentally sustainable option of reusable rubber (or wool) dryer balls. pop these into your dryer load and they will aerate your laundry to speed drying while helping to reduce static cling.  (DIY’ers can find a ton of ways to make your own wool balls on pinterest).

another tip: clip a metal safety pin or two onto your clothing while drying, and this should reduce static cling as well!

for those who like “good smelling” laundry:

  • keep in mind that most fragrances are synthetic, carcinogenic + toxic, and can be headache inducing (and this is fragrance in anything – detergent, perfume, hairspray, etc.)
  • you can try a few drops of essential oil onto a washcloth and throwing that into the dryer, or
  • get over it – clean laundry is clean laundry!

IN CONCLUSION
let us know what you find, and if you try out the soapnuts liquid, how it works out for you!

meal prep monday: the candida cleanse

some of you have heard us talk about the candida cleanse before and how it can positively impact your skin if you have a candida overgrowth. we’ve written blog posts about what candida is and how to treat it. you can read those popular posts here and here.

sweet

the most important aspects of the cleanse are taking your supplement to wipe out the candida (we recommend cansol) and strictly following the candida free diet. just because there are things that you can’t eat doesn’t mean that this diet has to be boring! here’s a meal plan to get your through the first week of candida cleanse. prep all of this food on your day off and keep it in the fridge throughout the week.

poppins

THIS WEEK’S MENU

  1. cauliflower tortillas are a super yummy candida safe alternative to corn or flour tortillas. wrap scrambled eggs in them for breakfast, meat to make tacos, or use as a “mini pizza crust.” find the recipe here.
  2. toasted pumpkin seed guacamole to eat with raw veggies or later on tacos! we left out the serano from this recipe.
  3. barbacoa from this chipotle copycat recipe for tacos or on top of salad.
  4. nappa cabbage, almond & chicken salad sub soy sauce for coconut aminos in this recipe
  5. marinated zucchini with mint sub the white wine vinegar for apple cider vinegar to keep this recipe candida free.
  6. roasted fennel & artichoke salad find the recipe here

guac

AN AVERAGE DAY

  • breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs with green onions and a cauliflower tortilla
  • snack: toasted pumpkin seed guacamole with celery stalks
  • lunch: nappa cabbage, almond & chicken salad
  • dinner: barbacoa and marinated zucchini with mint over arugula

HOW TO PREP IT ALL

  1. start your roast in the crockpot and bake your chicken breasts for the salad.
  2. make the cauliflower tortillas
  3. cook the zucchini
  4. roast the fennel
  5. combine remaining salad ingredients
  6. make nappa cabbage salad
  7. make guacamole
  8. enjoy! 

THIS WEEK’S SHOPPING LIST

fats:

  • 3 avocados
  • 1 cups organic raw pumpkin seeds
  • organic cold pressed sunflower seed oil
  • sesame oil
  • 1 cup raw almonds

protein:

  • 2 dozen free range organic eggs
  • 4 lb chuck roast
  • 1/2 lb organic free range chicken breast

veggies:

  • 1 head organic cauliflower
  • 1 napa cabbage
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 3 organic zucchini
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 can whole artichoke hearts in water
  • 1 bag organic spinach or arugula
  • 1 bunch organic celery

fruit:

  • 2 limes
  • 2 lemons

herbs:

  • celtic sea salt
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 1 head garlic
  • bay leaves
  • oregano
  • cloves
  • fresh ginger
  • green onions

packaged:

  • bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar with mother
  • coconut aminos
  • organic chicken broth (best to make it yourself or purchase handmade frozen from your local butcher. packaged broth often contains sugar and lacks the essential vitamins that homemade contains)

microneedling for textural scarring

skinSALVATION specializes in clearing your skin of active acne and teaching you how to maintain a clear beautiful complexion. many people (myself included) who have fought the acne battle know that some acne can cause scarring and hyper pigmentation. the work that we do at sS does more to PREVENT textural scarring, however we can definitely correct any hyper pigmentation that can come with acne, sun damage, aging and hormones.

TEXTURAL SCARRING 

there are two types of textural scarring which we call raised or depressed – or peaks and valleys.  raised peaks are scars that feel like bumps on the skin (examples include keloids & hypertrophic scars).  valleys are depressed indents in the skin (like ice pick, or pitted scarring).  both types of scarring can occur when pus (which comes with inflamed acne) sits in the skin for too long, causing it’s white blood cells to eat away at previously healthy follicle walls, or from improperly picking the skin and breaking follicle walls with pressure from your fingers, nails and extraction tools.  this is why keeping inflammation under control, as well as getting regular precise, professional extraction treatments are necessary to prevent textural scarring from forming.
acne and pigmentation have cleared but textural scarring remains.

acne and pigmentation have cleared but textural scarring remains.

HYPERPIGMENTATION SCARRING

the chemical peels that we perform in-clinic, as well as the exfoliating toners and serums that you use at home, all help lift pigmentation that already exists, and helps prevent future pigmentation from occurring. however, these tactics won’t make a huge difference in repairing textural scarring. according to dr. fulton, the best way to get rid of existing acne scars is to undergo the intense medical procedure, dermabrasion. not to be confused with microdermabrasion, which can be performed by an esthetician, dermabrasion is a surgery that must be performed by a dermatologist or cosmetic plastic surgeon. the procedure usually requires anesthetic sedation, and uses a surgical instrument with a diamond disk that rotates around 80,000 rpms. in essence, this disk planes the skin down below the scar tissue allowing the skin to grow back smooth and even. unfortunately, one possible complication of dermabrasion is a flare in acne breakouts, because the pores are being disturbed and over stimulated.  other risks include infection, hyperpigmentation, and not-very-drastic-improvements.

over the last twenty years, skincare professionals have been working on developing less invasive procedures for resurfacing scarred skin.one of these techniques is called micro needling; it uses a small cylindrical roller with fine needles to create controlled punctures in the skin, which stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin (theoretically filling up those depressed acne scarred spots), along with dramatically increasing active product penetration.

WHAT WE’VE LEARNED! 

kim and i recently attended a class about micro needling during the bay area’s annual face & body skincare conference withnumerous companies from around the world exhibiting and educating skincare professionals. 
according to sonia boghosian, owner of biojouvance, for optimal results, patients with acne scars should treat their entire face with thebiojouvance titanium dermal roller (along with a collagen boosting ampoule serum) once per week for six weeks. the needling aspect of the treatment allowed the ampoules to deliver the nutrients directly into the punctured skin.  she confidently promised significant and positive results in textural scarring at the end of the six weektreatment series. after that, you’d maintain the results by coming in for monthly treatments, and can repeat the entire treatment again after six months to one year.  the results however, are:

1. slow going.  remodeling can continue to take effect 9 months after the treatment series

2. are not permanent – you can expect the improved skin texture effects to last about 9 months, before having to repeat the series again.

it’s important to note that the biojouvance treatment protocol was very clear in that the technique, as effective as it is, is NOT in any way supposed to be intense or invasive at all – meaning, no bleeding or bruising should be involved, and that one treatment a week, for 6 weeks, would suffice.  we’ve had clients try this at home with a heavy hand, and ended up with scabs that needed time to heal before they could continue using their clearing regimen, let alone rolling again.
 
in any case, it’s extremely important that the active acne is under control, so as not to undo the effects of the scarring treatments (both textural and hyperpigmentation).  continual active acne can create more inflammation, which would induce more scarring.

microneedling

THE VERDICT

although we have not tried micro needling ourselves, we think that it is a promising solution for those of us who suffer from acne scars. in the state of california, micro needling must be performed by a nurse or doctor in a medical facility. here at skinSALVATION, we are estheticians and therefore cannot include it as a treatment option. however, we do have a client who has (somewhat) successfully performed the technique on himself at home.

below is his detailed regimen that he gave us permission to share with you. please note that this is based on his own individual experience and personal research. the class that kim and i attended gave different directions on how to do the rolling (technique, pressure, products used and timelines). our instructor, sonia, also emphasized the importance of using a good quality roller made from titanium. many inexpensive rollers are made of aluminum which is porous and can harbor bacteria. in addition, needles made from soft materials can break off of the roller inside of the skin – causing even more complications than you bargained for!
 

 


 

hey kim,

Ok, so here are the details of my dermarolling & dermastamping routine:

total time rolling and stamping: 6 weeks (started on May 1 but I was very sick for 2 weeks and did not do any face care during that time)

tools: i ordered the following (with prices from owndoc.com) –

2 mm OWNDOC dermaroller  – $19.00
2 mm DERMASTAMP (35 needles) – $15.00
Suction pump for tethered scars and acne scars – $13.00
Sterilizing agent Chloramine-T (20 g / 0.7 oz) – $4.00
Copper peptide + Hyaluronic acid serum 30 ml / 1 fl. oz. – $19.00
Vitamin C (20 g / 0.7 oz) – $3.00
Vitamin C serum bottle (empty) – $6.00
0.5 mm DERMASTAMP (35 needles) – $15.00
     
       
The copper peptide + hyaluronic acid is optional, but I figured I’d order everything to try it out.

routine: i begin my routine after showering and then proceed with the following –
1) wipe entire face with 70% ethyl rubbing alcohol
2) using the 2mm dermastamp i stamp each “section” of my face 12 times.  i look at my face and divide areas of my face so that I can put more attention to areas with more scarring, thus creating “sections”.
3) using the 2mm dermaroller i roll 12 times in each direction for every section ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGzHhxRfxho )
4) rinse face with lukewarm water and let air dry
5) use the suction device on your face starting one day from treatment (i do this everyday for 1 week)
6) once face is dry i apply retin-a (your skin will burn for a short amount of time)

*the above routine is performed once every 5 weeks.  i also dermastamp using the 0.5mm dermastamp twice a week.  i use the same routine as listed above with the exception of item #3.

** apply retin-a and vitamin c on alternating days and copper peptides once a day if you can remember

to disinfect roller:

1) let roller/stamp soak in warm water and liquid detergent for 30 minutes, and then soak in 70% ethyl alcohol for 1 hour

what else i’m going to start incorporating into my routine:
1) salicylic peel
2) tca peel

     
please note, that retin-a is cloggy, and can be very sensitizing.  so, we recommended to him that he use either an acne-safe version of retinol (check against the cloggy list), vivant’s retinols or skinSALVATION’s a1, a2 or a3 clearing serums (also retinol based).

we also recommended that he could try using barbicide, the universal disinfecting solution used in the industry for cleaning the implements post-rolling and stamping, which you can get at sally beauty supply, and disinfects in 15 minutes.

we will keep you updated with more information about micro needling as we learn and hopefully have some first hand experience. if you have ever received this treatment from a professional or performed it on yourself, please share your experience with us by emailing kim@skinsalvationsf.com.

spiced golden milk

hey team sS and whole30 challengers! yesterday kerry brought an amazing treat into the office for us. it is a recipe that was shared with her by her lovely sister in law. spiced golden milk has gained popularity over the last few years among the paleo and juicing communities as a power packed beverage that can be enjoyed warm, over ice, or even mixed into a smoothie. it’s delicious blend of fresh turmeric and ginger are great for controlling inflammation and promoting healthy digestion.

we adapted this recipe from reboot with joe to use dates instead of honey to keep it whole30 complaint.

golden milk

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) coconut milk
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • 2-3 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp fresh turmeric, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Optional: 

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cardamom
  • pinch of clove, ground or 2 cloves
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender (this is only optional – if you don’t want to grate turmeric and ginger) or simply mix together in a saucepan.
  2. Simmer ingredients on the stove gently for 10 minutes. (kerry made it in her vitamix which heated it gently)
  3. Strain and drink!