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!

 

PRODUCT LAUNCH PARTY with us!

product-party

join us for a casual, fun and delicious happy hour party tomorrow to celebrate the launch of our newly reformulated top 5, and release of our brand new body lotion!

all guests will receive a travel-sized set of all our new formulas, plus a chance to win your full-sized favorite.

you’ll also get a chance to film your own video testimonial, to help spread the word on how working with us has changed your life – and how others can achieve skinSALVATION too.

AND…. a very special gift from the founder of methodology premium paleo food delivery: the first 10 party attendees will receive a yummy paleo meal to take home and prepare!   (ps – use code skinsalvation and get 10% off your first week 😉 ).

hope to see you there 🙂

xo, kim + team sS

our top 5 products – new and improved! (plus new body lotion too)

hey sS’ers –

heads up that we’ve spent the last year reformulating our best sellers, and they’ve finally arrived in-clinic for purchase!

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illustration by janice chuang

CHARCOAL WASH
our original formula used to have wheat protein in it for skin conditioning, but we’ve replaced it with quinoa protein so it’s now 100% gluten free!

HYDRATING CLEANSER (replacing the green tea cleanser)
this new formula now removes makeup!!  with a base of aloe vera, glycerin and sunflower seed oil, it also contains healing aloe vera, rosemary, honey; antioxidant gluconolactone and an active form of vitamin b to improve water retention.

HYDRATING CREAM
has been reformulated to absorb better into the skin, and moisturize without leaving it greasy.  the honeysuckle extract in it has been used in traditional chinese medicine to reduce inflammation.  bisabolol derived from chamomile soothes the skin, and fructooligosaccharides derived from cane and beet sugars help bind moisture to the skin, and promote the growth of healthy bacteria to strengthen skin immunity.

HYDRATING GEL
no longer blue, artificially fragranced or sticky, this new formula is chock-full of moisturizing, healing, and anti-aging ingredients: honeysuckle, feverfew, sodium hyaluronate (part of the skin’s natural moisturizing factor), bisabolol, peptides for anti-aging, and powerhouse antioxidants gluconolactone and mangosteen.

BENZOYL PEROXIDE GEL
the same great, aloe vera based formula, but now in 1.75 ounce tubes for easy dispensing, and better product preservation.

and introducing our newest baby..

BODY LOTION (!)
after derma-e abruptly discontinued our beloved and acne-safe body lotion, we got to work on our own, sS approved formula.  after several revisions and testing, we’ve finally got our own body lotion in stock.  formulated for everyday use, we’ve infused it with lots of healing and anti-itching ingredients, to aid in the post-treatment process (like, after a back chemical peel).

please let us know how you like the new formulations – we hope you love them as much as we do, but please do let us know how we can improve them!

we are delighted to be able to continually improve our products and processes with your support.  we couldn’t do it without you, and we look forward to expanding our reach with you at our side!

curly girl 101

curly hair can be a blessing and a curse. while those with straight locks seem to be envious of us curly girls, they may not understand how difficult it can be to tame hair that often has a mind of it’s own. to avoid using heavy hair products that break me out, i have come up with some curly hacks and personal favorite tricks to keep my hair bouncy and happy!  bonus: they work well without the use of any potentially cloggy products 🙂
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  1. silk pillow cases are a curly girl’s best friend, your curls will remain intact and the silk will keep your frizz at a minimum. just remember to change your pillow cases once or twice a week to remain acne-safe.
  2. i never use brushes! they damage and break fragile curls. instead i use my figures to comb through my wet hair in the shower. you will notice your curls will like this much better than a harsh brush. if your hair is knotty, work from the tip of the hair to detangle with your fingers, which will create the least damage to your hair.
  3. to revamp and reshape curls after a long day, try using a spray bottle of water with some lavender essential oil. it really helps to calm frizz and re-boost my hair. lavender is great for curls because it works on your hair the same way it does on your mind, calming down fly aways and frizzys!  wet curls down, flip your head over and scrunch! your hair will come back to life in no time.
  4. after i shower i use a micro fiber towel to scrunch my hair, removing excess liquids and helping to shape my curls. just flip your hair over in the shower and make sure you are scrunching from the tip of the hair to the root.
  5. to achieve lose beachy waves shower before bed,  part your wet hair, and create several medium size braids. simply go to bed,  wake up in the morning, carefully un-do braids and and enjoy beautiful flowing waves.
  6. for extra volume try using old school pin curl clips in your roots as your curls dry. divide your hair into 6 sections, lifting from the root as you insert the pin curls. this will create more volume and you can remove them when hair is semi dry or completely dry.
  7. diffusing is life! i diffuse my hair every time i wash it because i want maximum curl and volume. i insert my diffuser into the root of my hair working in sections around my head and drying each section one at a time. moving the hair dryer around constantly is what creates frizz. i like to cock my head to one side as i’m drying instead of flipping my head upside down.
  8. drink plenty of water and be good to yourself, i notice that when i am dehydrated or occasionally hungover, my hair is as well, looking tired and depleted! your hair and skin both see the effects of over working yourself and malnourishment will wreak havoc on your locks!