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

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

acne-safe deodorant

as the hot weather approaches, we all want to radiate fresh, yet delicate, aromas, right? but how can we keep our bodies smelling as fresh as a bouquet of dew-dropped roses while avoiding acne breakouts? we’ve got a few recommendations for acne-safe deodorants for you to check out, and as a bonus, all are aluminum-free!

  • tarte – tarte’s light-weight clean queen product is a natural vegan deodorant stick to satisfy your edgier side. adherents swear that it dries clear and that it lasts all day. it’s great as a first-time foray into the world of aluminum-free deodorants.
  • aesop – though this gender-neutral spray deodorant is a bit pricey, it lasts a long time and truly performs! it’s a personal favorite of some sS staff, and with hints of vetiver and citrus, this woodsy scent is to die for. the specific blend of essential oils prevents the formation of odor-causing bacteria.
  • crystal essence – these handy roll-on deodorants are easy to toss in your gym bag for a quick mid-day refresher. a popular chemical-free deodorant, crystal essence uses natural mineral salts and essential oils to stop odor in its tracks.
  • lavilin – this floral roll-on deodorant is the winner of new york magazine’s best aluminum-free deodorant competition. while it won’t necessarily keep you totally dry, this hypo-allergenic product boasts 72-hour odor-masking abilities even with physical activity and bathing in between.
  • desert essence – this is a solid, natural brand at a reasonable price. they’ve created several fun scents like tropical breeze and spring fresh, but you might need to reapply at some point during the workday
  • erbaviva – this brand crafts simple and unique scents from alcohol and essential oils but proponents of the natural deodorant phenomenon agree that these fresh scents last only around 5-6 hours. blends like jasmine grapefruit and lemon sage can satisfy anyone’s olfactory preferences.
  • weleda – these swiss spray deodorants have great reviews in the performance department. similar to aesop, the citrus in these sprays helps keep bacteria at bay. you can find them at any whole foods or natural foods store across the us.

as always, when buying new personal care products, use our comedogenic database to double check ingredients. though many of the above brands make acne-safe deodorants, their other products might not pass the test.

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.

note from kim: keep in mind that this series of micro-needling was performed by an acupuncturist, and not a dermatologist.  acupuncturists are (legally) only able to work on the skin’s uppermost, superficial layers of the skin, rendering much milder results than a dermatologist would (who is legally able to access the deeper, subcutaneous dermal layers of the skin).  dermatologists, being board certified and having access to more aggressive tools and treatments, would likely be able to render more aggressive results.  for example, a dermatologist may employ anesthesia to numb you from the pain of going much deeper, into the dermal layers of the skin to stimulate more collagen remodeling, whereas acupuncturists are really only treating the epidermis, or upper-most superficial layers of the skin.

liesse has yet to explore the same therapy with a different, more aggressive approach, and we will be sure to document and share with you the results of further experimentation as we can!

 

 

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!