relax and unwind!

by kerry watson

after a long stressful day at work or at home with the kids, making evening “me time” can be a challenge but it’s well worth the effort! prioritizing healthy downtime each night counteracts the negative effects of a stressful busy life, which otherwise takes it’s toll over time. so instead of flopping on the couch and turning on the tv, give your nervous system a much needed break each night by incorporating some of our favorite evening and bedtime rituals

if you enjoy doing yoga but have had trouble finding the time to take a class, try down dog. it’s a totally awesome free yoga app that provides you with your own private yoga class anytime and anywhere. use it at home or in a hotel room or even in your office at work. to have some fun, set little challenges for yourself like 20 minutes of yoga for 20 days. your entire body will thank you!

if you haven’t given meditation a fair try, there’s no better time than the present! especially now that there are so many great free apps available that make it super easy and fun! checkout headspace or calm or my absolute favorite one – insighttimer. i have a fear of public speaking but have had to do it many times over the course of my professional life. meditating for 5-20 minutes before a speaking event has absolutely saved me every time. the guided meditations on insighttimer are wonderful. you can search for a specific topic and length and each meditation is rated by other users so you never end up with a dud. my favorite topics to search for include – manifestation, letting go, sleep and anxiety. it works every time! and kim likes insighttimer for a quick am mediation t wake up verses snooze!

instead of looking at your phone, computer or tablet in bed, reach for a good old fashioned paperback book 1-2 hours before turning in. looking at the light from electronic devices can raise cortisol, a stimulating hormone that tells the body that it’s time to wake up. not exactly, the best thing to do when it’s bedtime. right now, i’m reading all the poldark books by winston graham. if anyone wants them after i’m done just say the word! also, if you have trouble falling asleep, kim likes to listen to brainwave sleep tracks on youtube with the display turned off to keep the room dark. it helps her slip off to dreamland in no time!

whenever i’ve had a particularly trying day, i light a yummy candle, turn down the lights and fill up the tub for a much needed evening soak or acne-safe bubble bath. what better way to let go of the trials and tribulations of a tough day?

and of course, last but not least, don’t forget to cleanse, ice, tone and apply your moisturizer. sweet dreams!

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.

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!

 

treats without the tricks!

halloween is just around the corner and with it comes a plethora of tempting candy! to help you navigate the aisles of hauntingly delicious treats, we have compiled a list of mouth watering acne-safe candies for you to indulge in, while still staying on track. note that the treats listed below are free of dairy and soy but still contain a lot of sugar which can cause new acne to form and inflame existing acne. proceed with caution and be sure to all read labels!

airheads (V)
atomic fireball (V)
bottlecaps
brach’s candy corn classic, brach’s candy corn mini
blow pops (V)
dots (V)
dum dum lollipops (V)
jujy fruits
jelly belly (except jelly bean chocolate dips, cold stone chocolate devotion®, cold stone mint mint chocolate chocolate chip®, chocolate pudding, and dark chocolate)
jolly ranchers (V)
nerds
now and later (original flavor is vegan)
pez (V)
pixy Stix (V)
runts
skittles (V)
smarties (V)
sour patch kids (V)
sour patch watermelon (V)
starburst, starburst fruity slushies, favereds
starburst fruit flavored candy corn
swedish fish (V)
sweeTARTS (V)
tootsie charms blow pops, charms pops, charms mini-pops, charms candy corn pops
trolli gummy bears
trolli sour brite frite crawlers
trolli sour brite eggs
trolli extreme sour bites
twizzlers (V)

***(V) signals all vegan treats

acne-safe halloween candy inforgraphic

although prepackaged candy can be enticing, the best way to stay on the road to clarity while going about halloween festivities is to make your own! a classic treat that we suggest is rice krispies! you can even make your own marshmallows!

rice krispies
6 cups rice krispies cereal
3 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
1 package (10 oz., about 40) marshmallows
OR
4 cups miniature marshmallows (you can use store bought ones that are dairy and soy free or make your own!)

extra help in the kitchen for eating acne-safe

with our busy lives we are all looking for ways that make it easier to stick to an acne-safe diet. here are some kitchen appliances and recipes that can help!
must haves:

vitamix: making soups, smoothies, sauces and dips is a breeze. you need a high speed blender in your life. vitamix blenders are pricey but they are worth every penny. think of all the money you’ll save once you start making fancy juice bar smoothies at home.

favorite recipes:
quick and easy smoothie – 1/2 frozen banana (i cut it into chunks before freezing), 1 scoop of this protein powder, 8-10 oz of this almond/cashew milk – run on the smoothie setting.
refreshing lovely skin smoothie – 2 scoops collagen powder, 10 oz coconut water, frozen fruit of your choice
 
delicious dessert smoothie – 3 dried black mission figs (soaked in warm water until soft), 12oz of this almond/cashew milk, 1-3 TBSP raw cacao powder (depending on how chocolatey you like it), 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, pinch of salt. run on the smoothie setting.
refreshing easy smoothie – 8-12 oz coconut water, a handful of frozen fruit – run on smoothie setting

instant pot: i use this 4-in-1 steamer/slow cooker/pressure cooker/saute pot everyday, sometimes several times a day. it gets way more action than my stove or oven. you can cook a whole chicken in 30 minutes, make amazing soups, pot roast, acne-safe indian food, spaghetti squash noodles and just about anything else you can think of.
 favorite recipes:
tikka masala – i use this acne-safe yogurt in place of the coconut milk/heavy cream
saag paneer – i use kite hill’s soft fresh original variety of acne-safe cheese alternative in place of paneer and the coyo – acne safe yogurt alternative in place of the yogurt in the recipe. for the cheese, cut it into 1 inch cubes, coat with some olive oil, dust with garam masala and bake on parchment paper at about 350 for 10 minutes, then turn the cubes once and bake again for another 10 minutes.
mexican meatloaf – serve with cilantro springs, chopped green onions and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
all these are really good over spaghetti squash, cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles, cauliflower mashed “potatoes” (use ghee instead of butter if you can)
nice to haves:
rice cooker : for making kasha or buckwheat groats, the most delicious gluten-free breakfast porridge that you never heard of. my husband and i take this little gadget with us when we travel and it’s been a life saver. you can also make buckwheat groats in the instant pot but it’s a little tougher to travel with.
 favorite recipes:
sweet breakfast groats – 2 cups coconut milk, one cup toasted buckwheat groats (sold as kasha), a little cinnamon, salt, raisins and whatever else sounds yummy. you just put all the ingredients into the rice cooker and turn it on. it stops cooking automatically when it’s done. if you make it in the instant pot then you lock the top and set it to high pressure for 10 minutes and then do the quick release when its done.
savory breakfast groatsbasically make these the same way as the sweet ones (without the raisins, cinnamon, etc) but instead of coconut milk, use chicken broth, beef broth, bone broth or veggie broth and add salt to taste. it’s also really good with a soft cooked egg on top.
spiralizer and/or food processor: i have witnessed the inflammatory effect of simple carbs like pasta first hand and i’ve seen it time and again with our clients. as you may already know, the first things acne sufferers need change about their diet is avoiding soy, dairy and coffee. a very close second is cutting way down on sugar and simple carbs. this is so much easier when you have a substitute for those comforting pasta and rice dishes. enter the spiralizer and food processor. with the spiralizer you can make oodles of zucchini and summer squash noodles or you can get really fancy and try cucumber noodles, carrot noodles, rutabaga noodles and sweet potato noodles. with the food processor making cauliflower rice is a breeze. i also love to make the carrot and fennel salad listed below with the food processor about once a month.
 favorite recipes:
carrot and fennel salad – i don’t bother with the mandolin slicer. i just shred the carrot and fennel together in the food processor.