acne-safe hand soap back in stock!

many of you have been awaiting our beloved aloe80 hand soap to return to the shop, and great news, it has arrived!

a few things to know:

  • it’s the same amazing formula from lily of the desert with new and improved packaging! you may not recognize it because the package used to say “aloe80”, now it just says “liquid soap”.

 

  • its aloe based so it won’t dry out your hands, (remember your hands and your neck tend to show signs of aging first!)
  • acne safe ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about cloggy residue transferring to your face or body after to clean your hands!
  • pick it up any day in the shop or our online store!

 

Emily long-time sS client turned front of house cutie showing off the new goods!

 

 

product discontinuation alert:

by: kerry watson
 
after many years of carrying reviva stretch mark lotion, we will be discontinuing and no longer recommending this product as an acne safe option. the company has reformulated the product to now include a highly comedogenic ingredient, cocoa butter. if you have this product at home please read the ingredient list to make sure that your bottle does not contain this ingredient. you can use the following non-comdeogenic products in place of this product:
 
– organic safflower oil
– organic sunflower oil
– pure shea butter
 
about our acne-safety testing process:
 

finding acne-safe products is a very painstaking and time consuming process.  we carefully shop for products with acne-safe ingredient listings, and then test them in-house for at least 6 months on skins that are already clear, and on people who are religiously living the acne-safe lifestyle, so that we can isolate any new breakouts to that one variable – the product he/she is testing.

acne-safe guide to natural skin care trends

– by kerry watson
with all the natural skin care trends that fill up our social media feeds each day how do we know which ones are safe for our acne-prone skin. here’s a quick list of do’s and don’t’s to help you navigate the world of fad fabulous DIY natural skin care.
DON’T
“natural” trends to avoid:
100% apple cider vinegar (ACV) or 100% lemon juice: these are both very acidic and can cause burning of sensitive acne-prone skin. there are safe natural ways to hydrate and tone the skin that won’t cause burning or breakouts and these are not them.
the oil cleansing method (OCM): unfortunately, most of the oils used in the OCM are cloggy. coconut oil is a super popular example. it happens to be highly comedogenic (pore clogging) so stay away.
essential oils on the skin: most essential oils have not been tested for comedogenicity (rate of clogging the pores, producing acne) so we suggest avoiding using these directly on areas that tend to breakout. also, essential oils are too concentrated to use neat or without diluting first and most of the oils used to dilute essential oils happen to be cloggy. safflower or sunflower oils are the only acne-safe ones that we have come across. so if you are using essential oils on your skin, dilute them first and only apply them to areas that don’t get acne. the one exception is tea tree oil which can be used undiluted as a careful spot treatment for inflamed acne breakouts. all you need is apply one drop on a q-tip and then dab the inflamed spot gently.
clay masks: these sound like a good idea for acne; they are drying, detoxifying and natural. unfortunately, they are way too drying and can cause too much blood flow to rush to the surface of the skin. this can increase inflammation and can damage the fragile capillaries that lay just beneath the skin’s surface. no clay mask until your skin is all cleared up and then only keep them on the skin for a couple minutes, never allowing the clay to completely dry out on the skin.
facial steams: another good sounding thing for acne-prone skin: opening up the pores, hydrating, detoxifying – nope, don’t do it! especially if you tend to suffer from inflamed acne breakouts. the heat from the steam will make the inflammation worse. think of putting a heating pad on a sprained ankle. it’s just going to make everything swell up. your esthetician might use steam during your professional acne treatment but only if your skin clearly indicates that it would be beneficial. nine times out of ten it’s not.
manual scrubs and brushes: when it comes to acne-prone skin, exfoliation is key but not all types of exfoliation are the same or even recommended for acneic skin. chemical exfoliation in the form of peel, active toners and serums can work wonders on acne prone skin. physical exfoliation in the form of scrubs and brushes, though fine for some, are not always a good idea for all. scrubbing sensitive inflamed skin with active inflamed breakouts is going to make the inflammation worse and can cause lesions to burst open spreading bacteria to other parts of the face.
not washing your face: if you are working on managing your acenic skin, you are going to have to use a mild acne-safe cleanser twice a day. not washing your face will allow dirt, sweat and oils to sit on your skin which may not cause issues for some folks but if you are acne prone you need a more attentive skin care regimen which will most definitely include cleansing.
DO:
“natural” trends that are safe:
manuka honey:  manuka honey or any nice raw honey is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. you can use it as a mask all over or just apply it to inflamed breakouts. leave it on or up to 30 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.
collagen powder: it’s a great daily food supplement for the skin. we wrote a whole post on it. check it out here.
rosewater: looking for a gentle hydrating toner for your sensitive acne prone skin? try rosewater or rose hydrosol. it smells delicious and it’s great for any skin type because it’s hydrating, calming and slightly astringent. if you are struggling to control or manage your acne you may need an active toner with exfoliating ingredients. rosewater is a safe bet for cleared up acne prone skin but it may not be the best choice for active acneic conditions.
icing: icing is the best way to control inflammation topically. just as we would ice a sprained ankled or broken arm, we can ice the face to bring down inflammation. inflamed acne can quickly be reduced by icing at least twice a day for up to 30 minutes at a time. in addition to it’s anti-inflammatory action, icing the skin creates micro fissures in the skin, that allow the active ingredients in skin care products to penetrate deeper into the pore where acne starts to form.

PRODUCT ALERT – derma-e hydrating eye cream no longer acne-safe

hey sS’ers, lots of changes with manufacturers these days it seems. our latest shipment of the derma-e hyaluronic and pycnogenol eye cream came in a newly designed box, which signals change. often times, manufacturers will loop new formulation AND packaging changes together, to use up excess packaging that’s purchased in large quantities far in advance.

upon closer inspection of the ingredient list, derma-e has replaced an acne-safe emulsifier, “glyceryl stearate”, with a non-acne-safe one, called “glyceryl stearate SE”. tricky because they are so similar, but thanks to us, your acne detectives, we’ve caught the culprit!

for your reference, above you’ll find a picture of the old packaging with the SAFE formula, and the new packaging with now unsafe-acne formula, which we would recommend you avoid if you are at all acne prone, especially on your upper cheeks or temples.

until we research, test and find a suitable cream replacement, we suggest max + jane’s lovely eye nutrient. it’s an ultra-rich, silky gel that provides hydration, protection and rejuvenation within a beautiful, all natural formula.  we sell this at the clinic and in our online shop for $34.95.  (ps, this eye serum is made by our clinic manager, liesse’s mom, in new mexico!)

here are the max + jane’s eye nutrient ingredients:
vegan hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, cucumber hydrosol, vegetable glycerin, jasmine sambac, rosemary, xanthum gum, silk peptides, calendula oil, and carrot seed oil.

thanks for supporting us, your patience with our research, and your continued trust in us!

PRODUCT REPLACEMENT ALERT : vitamin a serums

THANK YOU to all of our sS’ers who have been so patiently waiting for our mandelic cleanser, vitamin a serums and superlight spf 15 sunscreens to be restocked. after several months of frustrating and inconsistent communication from our custom manufacturer of these products, we’ve FINALLY found out that they have decided to head in a completely new direction. they are going to stop making products for smaller companies like ours. unfortunately, they did not give us any notice which has resulted in the months-long waitlist for these top sellers. we deeply apologize for the delay, and appreciate your patience as we grow and deal with unforeseen circumstances as they come up!

needless to say, we are on the search for a reliable and professional manufacturer to pick up where that one left off. in the meanwhile, we’ve found some excellent replacements for these beloved products! (BTW, we have about 250 superlight spf 15’s left in stock – and once they’re gone, they’re gone. the vitamin a serum that will replace a1 and a1+peptides is scheduled to arrive in-clinic next week!).

you may remember that dr. fulton, our acne guru who (literally) wrote the book on acne – acne rx – had a lab in miami where he did all his research and experimentation. his right-hand female researcher in that same lab, olga valencia, has begun to formulate her own product line, beyond complexion. this is the line we have chosen to carry while we find a manufacturer to refine our formulas.

if you peruse her website, please remember to exercise caution: we are intentionally cherry picking from her line and will be introducing new products of hers into our curated selection one at a time. as with all products and processes we incorporate into sS, we are EXTREMELY nitpicky and need to make sure each product is evaluated in-house before making it on the ‘approved’ list.

as a general rule, beyond complexion products are much more potent than our former formulas, so they may require you to gradually introduce them into your existing regimen. too strong of a product, too quickly, can irritate your skin. we don’t want this! so please start slowly and watch your skin’s reaction. if your skin gets red, irritated, itchy or otherwise unhappy, the products are probably too strong for you. you’ll either need to:

  • use the product less frequently, (instead of jumping into the new mandelic wash 2x/day, try it in the mornings and your charcoal wash at night) or
  • use less of it (ie, one pump of the vitamin a serum vs. two), or
  • if your skin is really sensitive, give your skin a break. stop using the new thing altogether, and then slowwwwly work it back in (ie, use your charcoal wash 2x/day for a week, then switch it out for the new mandelic say in the mornings, 2-3x/week).

keep your eye out for our new products from beyond complexion in the coming weeks. let us know how they fit into your current regime as you fold them in! your feedback is super important to help us refine our processes for future sS experiences🙂

thanks again for your patience, support and trust.
kim