acne-safe ice cream!

what’s the scoop on acne-safe ice cream?

summer is right around the corner, and with the hot weather comes the siren song of the ice cream truck! it tempts our collective sweet tooth with soft-serve and ice cream bars. if you’re worried that you might not survive an acne-safe summer without frozen treats, we’ve got you covered! back in february, ben & jerry’s added three new flavors to their acclaimed dairy-free almond milk ice cream line. this left us all wondering: are they acne-safe? can we finally eat a bowl of cherry garcia on a hot summer night without fearing an impending breakout? at skinSALVATION, we take frozen dessert pretty seriously! we read some labels and put ben & jerry’s almond milk ice creams through our rigorous ingredient-auditing. while the creative and iconic vermont flavors still shine in the new ben & jerry’s dairy-free ice creams, they all contain a few acne-triggering ingredients. here are the culprits:

soy lecithin (in all flavors) – while we encourage our clients to avoid soy as much as possible, we’ve found that soy lecithin in small amounts does not aggravate most acne-prone skin.

soybean oil (in coconut seven-layer bar and chocolate fudge brownie) – soybean oil is highly inflammatory, so we recommend steering clear of these two flavors as much as possible.

coconut oil (in all flavors) – it’s not the end of the world if you consume coconut oil, but try not to let it come in contact with the skin around your mouth.

carrageenan (in caramel-almond, coffee caramel fudge, cherry garcia and coconut seven-layer bar) – this is an iodine-heavy thickener derived from seaweed and the body flushes excess iodides out through the skin. for that reason, we suggest limiting your consumption of these four flavors.

and if you’re sensitive to gluten, stick with chunky monkey and cherry garcia – these are the gluten-free options!
before you run to the nearest corner store to nab your favorite frozen pint, we’ve got one more caveat: the sugar content of these ben & jerry’s products is a little high. even though an ice cream flavor named after a beloved hippie rockstar sounds irresistible, cherry garcia and the rest of these flavors contain higher amounts of sugar than other non-dairy ice cream products on the market (25g per half cup vs. 13g in coconut bliss, 12g in almond dream and 5g in jöne’s gelato). sugar and soy can negatively impact acne-prone skin (more on soy in a new blog post coming soon). we recommend treating these ben & jerry’s products as occasional indulgences and seeking soy-free options for your regular ice cream cravings instead. if you can’t resist, the winner of the most acne-safe b&j’s flavor award is chunky monkey – so choose your vermont’s finest flavor wisely!

if you’re feeling adventurous and want to branch out into the decadent world of acne-safe ice cream just in time for summer, here is a list of some of our favorite brands that pass the sS test:

– coconut bliss – the house favorite! a dreamy, creamy coconut base that surrounds fun flavors like cinnamon chocolate fusion and ginger cookie caramel (check it out here)

– so delicious – a carrageenan-free product line! watch out for coconut oil and soy lecithin in some flavors and then bask in this super sweet and texturally-authentic ice cream (check it out here)

– jöne’s paleo – this smooth and squeaky-clean paleo gelato can be found all over the sf bay area and in whole foods stores across california (check it out here)

– mr. dewie’s – an oakland-based mom & pop ice cream company that shies away from soy and gluten and opts instead to amp up the protein content of its creations with creamy cashews (check it out here)

– almond dream – these products also contain small amounts of carrageenan for thickening purposes, but they are delicious! watch for soy lecithin in the chocolate chips! (check it out here)

– make your own! the internet is full of dairy-free ice cream recipes featuring homemade nut milks, coconut milk and even hemp milk! use our pinterest page to guide your courageous culinary endeavors.

(if you want to link to actual recipes, here are a couple – i’ve never made them but i trust these people)
this post was created for you by diane.

before + after micro-needling for acne scars

many of you are curious to know the results of my micro-needling experience to help reduce the appearance of textural scarring from acne. for a reminder about what textural scarring is and how micro-needling may help it, check out this blog post.

i received 6 full micro-needling treatments from natalie at the center for holistic skin rejuvenation in san francisco. during my initial consultation with her, i expressed that my main goal was to help reduce the appearance of the deep pitted scars on my cheeks where i used to have inflamed acne.

what were the treatments like? each treatment was one hour long. she began by cleansing my face with skinSALVATION charcoal cleanser, which i asked her to use to avoid future breakouts. she used a disposable needle roller on each area of my face for a total of about 10 minutes, which felt comparable to the pain of receiving extractions. after needling, she did full body acupuncture to help with internal issues like stress management, digestion, and hormone balance. i would lay on the table for 30 minutes with the acupuncture needles in, a heater on and relaxing music playing. this was my favorite part and felt like a total treat after the pain of the face treatment. at the end, she used safeguard sunscreen to help protect and moisturize my skin.

my skin felt hot and flushed for the remainder of the day and stayed pink for about 3 days post treatment. during these 3 healing days, i used hydrating cleanser morning and night, safeguard spf and hydrating cream. i didn’t use any other active products and did not apply makeup.

i waited at least 10 days before and after micro-needling treatments to receive extractions or chemical peels from skinSALVATION.

other than reduction of textural scarring, what did i notice? the micro-needling helped break up old scar tissue in my chin that looked like small seeds that we could never extract. i believe that these seeds were trapped so deep beneath scar tissue that they hadn’t been able to come to the surface before. micro-needling helped to bring these seeds to the surface, so i had a little bit of a, “purge” where i broke out. ultimately, this helped me be more clear and have a smooth chin.

am i happy with my results? yes. the reduction of my pitted textural scarring on my cheeks is not as dramatic as i anticipated. i hoped that after 6 treatments on micro-needling, the skin on my face would be flawless and as smooth as porcelain, but that wasn’t my experience. however, i love that:

  1. the scarring on my cheeks is much less noticeable
  2. i was able to bring the deep seeds in my chin up to the surface and get rid of them for good
  3. the acupuncture portion of the treatments helped me reduce overall stress and balance my hormones. my usual painful cramping associated with menstruation was MUCH better when i was receiving regular acupuncture from natalie.

who would i recommend this to? i would recommend micro-needling to people who have raised textural scarring on their skin. this might feel like little bumps on the skin that aren’t acne. if you aren’t sure if you have scarring or acne seeds, ask your esthetician at skinSALVATION.

if you have minimal pitted textural scarring, micro-needling may help you get closer to having completely smooth skin. like many treatments, there is no guarantee that you will have 100% success with this treatment. success depends on your skin type, genetics, natural collagen production, and severity of scarring.

the photos on the left-hand side are from before my treatments and the photos on the right are after 6 treatments, approximately 4.5 months later.

 

 

as you can see from the above photos (especially if you zoom in on them), there is some noticeable reduction in scarring on my cheeks and a reduction in hyper-pigmentation. the pigmentation is most likely lighter as a combined result of the micro-needling and chemical peels that i received during this time at skinSALVATION.

 

 

 

the opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal experience. this does not reflect the opinions of practitioners who perform micro-needling.

 

celebrate skinSALVATION’s 9th birthday with us!

skinSALVATION is celebrating 9 years of helping empower people with the tools that they need to get, and keep, clear skin FOR LIFE. we would love for you to join us in our celebration on march 25th from 3pm – 6pm. we will have cocktails, an acne-safe and soy-free noodle bar from mau vietnamese restaurant, and hundreds of dollars of gifts from skinSALVATION, kabuki spa, mateo’s taqueria and more. come hang out with kim and the entire skinSALVATION crew and let’s have a great time!

 

kayla’s morning rituals

rise and shine!

mornings can be rough and for some, nearly impossible! however, it is important to set good intentions each day for internal health as well as spiritual wellbeing. try to call a truce with the sunrise and learn to love it by treating yourself each morning!

to get things going, start with hydration. your body is dehydrated from sleeping, so i find that a glass of water with a squeeze of organic lemon provides optimal replenishment. try heating the water up on the stove for a few minutes, as cold water can be harsh on your system. warm lemon water jumpstarts your digestion, which affects and improves all other body functions.

jam out! put on your favorite playlist to set the good vibes, spark some inspiration, stimulate your brain and produce dopamine! maybe even do a little dance – why not?

or better yet, stretch! doing brief, easy stretches in the morning increases circulation and energy levels. concentrate on your breathing, making them deep and full. this promotes mental focus, self soothes and relieves stress.

finally, ground your thoughts and intentions by envisioning your day and the people with which you will spend it. focus on positive thoughts and intend to be your best self. skip the social media binge and instead write a note to someone you feel grateful for, give a compliment or send a friend the song you’re listening to! love resonates love.

and of course, last but not least, don’t forget to cleanse, ice, tone and apply that spf 😉 if you weren’t awake before, icing is guaranteed to do the trick!

what are some of your morning rituals? share with us in the comments below!

our favorite acne-safe restaurants in san francisco + the surrounding bay area

at skinSALVATION, we love to eat.

we love to grocery shop, cook meals at home and enjoy meals that are prepared for us by loved ones. we love to go to the neighborhood restaurants where they know us by name, and join year-long waitlists to have fine dining experiences. we love eating food that fuels our bodies and teaching our clients how to choose foods that will fuel theirs.

we consider cooking at home to be the most acne-safe option because it means that you have complete control of what goes into your food. often times when you eat out, there is hidden dairy, soy and cloggy cooking oils in dishes that you wouldn’t expect.

however, we recognize that we live in a mecca of some of the world’s most wonderful restaurants, so we’ve begun a list of some of our personal favorite places to eat acne-safe food. this list will be updated as we remember gems that we’ve experienced before and as we explore new restaurants.

note: not everything on these restaurant’s menus is acne-safe. make informed eating decisions by asking your server if dishes contain dairy or soy. they are happy to tell you and may be able to make substitutions to accommodate you.

pro tip: when a friend or a date asks you out to dinner, offer to cook for them or suggest a restaurant from this list where you know you’ll be able to find something to eat that fits your dietary restrictions. you can check out the menus online ahead of time and even call to ask about ingredients so that you already know what you’re going to order before you get there.

 

DINING OUT FOR DINNER IN SAN FRANCISCO

bar agricole has a seasonally based menu chock full of locally grown produce and sustainable meat options. all of their dishes can be made dairy + soy free and the “farm-to-table” restaurant just received another 3-star rating from michael bauer (esteemed food and drink writer for the sf chronicle for over 28 years!). be sure to try a handcrafted cocktail and the $1 pork sausages, served with gut-loving sauerkraut, during their daily happy hour from 5pm to 6pm.

trou normand is the sister restaurant of bar agricole and their made-in-house charcuterie selections are among the best the city has to offer! the protein-heavy menu favors us carnivores, but the citrus salad around this time of year is delicious and vegan, dairy + soy-free.

minas brazilian hosted the skinSALVATION team for our new years dinner and we pretty much ordered one of everything on the menu. they were very accommodating about making dishes dairy, soy and gluten-free for us.

llimon rotisserie has amazing roast chicken, sides + ceviche that are dairy + soy-free. they do have a few dishes on the menu that include soy sauce as indicated on their menu.

tin is a family-run restaurant that serves traditional vietnamese fare. we love to start with the fresh spring rolls, sans peanut dipping sauce, and follow it up with a steaming bowl of phō. perfect for these gloomy san francisco days we’ve been having!

turtle tower speaking of phō, turtle tower is know for this broth based soup, boasting some of the best freshly-made noodles. be sure to ask if they add soy sauce to any of the dishes that you order and if so, ask them to hold it.

*tip: bring your own bottle of coconut aminos in your bag when you dine at asian restaurants. you can add your own instead of soy sauce!

 

DINE IN OR TAKE OUT FOR LUNCH + DINNER IN SAN FRANCISCO

la taza has a huge menu including many great salads, which you can order without cheese. the kale con quinoa with steak is a staff favorite!

mateo’s taqueria is an upscale taqueria located downstairs from skinSALVATION. we love that they use organic ingredients and will make anything without cheese or crema, just ask for, “no dairy.”

staff favorites: guacamole (ask for no cheese!) + horchata made with almond milk. although horchata is a sweet cinnamon rice milk, it’s often mixed with dairy milk to make it creamy.

mau has delicious + nourishing broth as the base of many of their dishes. their staff is very knowledgable and can tell you if any of the dishes contain soy (a hard feat in many asian restaurants).

gracias madre takes a vegan approach to traditional mexican dishes. we LOVE that they use cashew cheese in their dishes, making them dairy AND soy-free.

burma love is a great burmese restaurant in the mission. some of their dishes contain soy so be sure to ask before ordering. staff favorite is their tea leaf salad (ask them to hold the peanuts to keep it acne-safe).

 

EAT IN THE EAST BAY

teni east kitchen makes an amazing burmese chickpea tofu for those of you who are missing the traditional soy dish.

burma superstar is the east bay mama restaurant of burma love. same rules apply.

mission heirloom is a beautiful paleo restaurant for meals and treats. their brazilian waffles (with cheddar cheese) and their coffee drinks are the only items on the menu to steer clear of. many of their dishes contain coconut oil, which can be problematic for many of us who are acne-prone but is okay in small amounts.

enssaro ethiopian is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and you get to eat it with your hands! the meat sampler and veggies sampler are both amazing.

 

DELIVERY

darn good food

mealmade delivers delicious paleo meals for lunch and dinner in san francisco. a staff favorite is their orange chicken with cauliflower rice.

methodology is a subscription based paleo meal delivery service. their delicious + healthy meals are perfect for people who don’t have time to meal prep acne-safe food for the week. use promo code SKINSALVATION to get 10% off of your first week.

sprig lists all of their ingredients and nutrition information on the website + app so you can check if dishes contain dairy or soy before ordering.

munchery allows you to add filters for things like dairy, gluten and eggs. you have to double check ingredient listings to be sure that there’s no soy added.

good eggs delivers organic groceries, prepared meals and snacks from stores across the bay area.

instacart delivers groceries, prepared meals and snacks from stores in your area like whole foods, bi-rite, and rainbow grocery.

postmates delivers food from a TON of restaurants in the bay area. some of our favs are:

  • roam artisan burgers, which can be ordered without dairy, and even without a bun!
  • pica pica maize kitchen, which makes gluten-free peruvian style arepas. be sure to ask for yours without cheese!
  • project juice, which has a ton of great soy-free and dairy-free prepared meals. their coconut crepes with cashew cheese + blueberries are a staff fav!

 

SWEETS + TREATS 

wholesome bakery makes cookies + cupcakes free from the top allergens including: dairy, soy, gluten, and eggs. their thin mint cookie sandwiches are a staff fav!

dandelion chocolate makes beautiful dairy-free and soy-free chocolate.

sidewalk juice makes great veggie juices + smoothies. some of their smoothies contain dairy, soy milk or sherbet (super high in sugar!) but they will gladly sub almond milk for you! staff favs are the green energy juice (ask for it without apple + add extra lemon if you’re on candida cleanse!) and the blueberry almond smoothie (ask them to leave out the fro-yo).

boba guys will make any of their delicious boba drinks with almond milk instead of dairy!

 

 

 

 

this article was written for you by liesse + chelsee.