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!


holiday travel essentials for clear skin


airplane travel and acne


airport and road trip food is often filled with dairy, soy and lots of salt. this article from BBC says that airplane food is heavily salted because lack of humidity and low pressure in the cabin decreases our ability to taste salt + sweet by 30%. not only can this heightened salt intake increase water retention making your body feel puffy, it can also irritate acne. forego the airport food and bring these snacks with you instead:

  • justin’s single serving almond butter with apple chips (i’ve found these at most metropolitan airports lately)
  • fresh fruit
  • a sandwich

keep leftover snacks from the trip with you in case you’re in a situation where you didn’t get much to eat at a meal that was dairy or soy heavy.


moskvitch also writes in her article, why does food taste different on planes? that, “at about 30,000 feet, humidity is less than 12% – drier than most deserts.” this can wreck havoc on your body and skin causing intense dehydration. add a cocktail in the mix and you’re guaranteed to wake up from your in-plane snooze with a headache. this article from the atlantic recommends that you drink one liter of water for every 5 hours of air travel.

topically, i like to add an extra layer of hydrating gel under my regular daytime moisturizer and bring a small bottle of rose water with me to regularly spritz my face during the trip.

hydration and acne

if you’re traveling to a warm climate

  • your regimen! you may want to opt for a lighter moisturizer like hydrating gel instead of hydrating cream if you’re traveling to a hot + humid climate. also, lay off of harsh exfoliants like vitamin a on days that you’re spending in the sun to reduce your chance of hyper-pigmentation.

if you’re traveling to a cold climate


it’s essential to bring your own washcloths and pillowcases with you so that you don’t have to use host’s or hotel’s that are washed in cloggy laundry detergent and fabric softener. in addition, it can be embarrassing to bleach a host’s linens with benzoyl peroxide!

bring one washcloth per day of travel. you can use the same one morning and night, but not into the next day. bring 1 pillow case for every 3-5 days of travel. use one side of the pillowcase only to avoid the transfer of cloggy detergent or fabric softener from the sheets to your face or benzoyl peroxide residue from your face to their sheets.

acne-safe pillowcase

to prevent travel induced inflammation

  • ice! bring your ice pop maker if you’ll be at a host’s house or in a hotel with a freezer. if you don’t have access to a freezer, you can ask the hotel bar or concierge to bring you a glass of ice or get a few cubes from the ice machine.
  • take zyflamend each night to help reduce and prevent inflammation.
  • stick to the acne-safe diet by avoiding dairy, soy and coffee completely and limiting your sugar and alcohol intake.
  • keep your sleep consistent. try to go to bed at the same time as you would if you were at home and be sure to get 8-9 hours of quality sleep each night.
  • if you take a birth control pill, take it every 24 hours. that may a different time of day than at home because of a time change.
  • have fun, breathe deeply, relax your mind an body, enjoy time spent with loved ones or for yourself.

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.

gelatin: an amazing superfood reinvented!


not the kind of gelatin we’re talking about. well kind of, but without the artificial colors, condensed milk or booze.


by kerry watson

when most people think of eating gelatin, images of bright green jello come to mind. i tend to think of the ghastly tomato aspic that my grandmother would always bring to our holiday parties growing up. but, gelatin wasn’t always relegated to the bottom shelf of the dessert aisle, in between the food coloring and the frosting in a tube. in fact, it was once a staple of healthy traditional diets around the world.

powdered gelatin products, these days, are usually derived from pigskins or cowhides.  but, when it comes from a healthy grass-fed animal source, it has a multitude of healing properties. this type of gelatin is a great substitute for labor-intensive bone broth which is fast becoming the new superfood of 2015.  most people don’t have the time or energy to make their own bone broth which involves sourcing pasture-raised, grass-feed beef (or free-range chicken, duck or organic pork) bones, roasting them in the oven (for richer flavor, but is an optional-but-totally-worth-it step) and then slow cooking them in a crockpot for a few days (or overnight).

tomato aspic

gelatin is essentially bone broth that has been dehydrated and powdered. it’s chock full of collagen, cartilage, minerals and protein; however, it’s important to note that all gelatin sources are not the same. i’m a fan of “great lakes beef gelatin” which is a kosher and grass-fed product (and available on amazon). this is the one i like to use for all my gelatin recipes.

as i’ve mentioned above, gelatin has a long list of health benefits making it a wonderful addition to any healthy diet. some of these include:

  • skin, hair, nail health and anti-aging: gelatin is an abundant source of collagen. the amino acid profile and protein make-up of collagen is what builds and maintains skin elasticity and tone. it also promotes cellular regeneration in all connective tissue. collagen is not absorbed into the dermis topically but taking it internally enables the body to utilize it in the extracellular matrix which contains tightly packed collagen fibers. the density and strength of these fibers are what prevent lines and wrinkles and it’s what keeps the skin looking youthful and rejuvenated. collagen also helps in wound repair making it an excellent food ingredient to eat before and after a sS signature facial.
  • liver cleansing: glycine is an amino acid that is found in very high amounts in gelatin. our bodies need an enormous amount of glycine to transform toxic chemicals from our environment into benign substances so that they can be eliminated as waste from the body. glycine, along with other amino acids converts to a super anti-oxidant amino acid called glutathione. this amino acid happens to be a very important component in the liver’s ability to remove toxic elements from the body.
  • intestinal health: studies have shown that gelatin has the ability to heal damage and inflammation in the small and large intestine (aka, leaky gut – which a lot of our acne-prone clients seem to have). it has a very high and bioavailable mineral content. this makes it a great source of nourishment to anyone with an impaired ability to absorb nutrients.
  • healthy hormones: glycine, helps to regulate insulin production and prevent blood sugar imbalance. it is converted by the body to glutathione which plays an important role in the removal of excess estrogen which can build up in the body from from environmental toxins or dietary sources like soy and from taking birth control pills. an elevation of estrogen is a risk factor for hormonal acne break outs and for more serious conditions like estrogen-dependent cancers.
  • joint health:  high in glycine and proline, both highly anti-inflammatory amino acids which (together with vitamin c) help strengthen cartilage fibers and are incredibly wound healing (thus being able to help repair leaky guts).
  • added protein: for those who crave nutritious, on-the-go breakfasts (or meal replacements/supplements), gelatin is a great source of protein – 6 grams per tablespoon! – that can be easily added to smoothies and shakes (some gelatins may be fussy about temperature, so you may have to experiment).  it helps build lean muscle, is easily digestible, helps keep you full, boosts metabolism, and is soy and dairy free!  you can try adding it to any smoothie, but this is the first recipe we’ve seen with it in it: dairy-free pumpkin nog smoothie!

there are many delicious ways to add more healthy gelatin to your diet. for further information, you can check out weston price’s stance on it here.  i’m playing with recipes all the time. below is a recipe that i modified from one that i found here.



1/4 cup grass-fed beef gelatin
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries


Place lemon juice and strawberries in a blender and blend on high until completely mixed.



Pour into a saucepan.

Add the honey and slowly add gelatin while whisking or mixing with a hand held mixer.  Turn the heat on low, and continue to whisk the mixture for 5-10 minutes, until it becomes thin and everything is incorporated. Take off the heat.  (You’ll want to use low and slow heat to be sure that the gelatin is completely melted and incorporated, so that you don’t end up with hard-to-chew bits of gelatin in the finished product).

Pour into silicone molds or a small baking dish.


Set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to firm up.

If you used a small baking dish as a receptacle, cut into bite-size squares. Otherwise, remove gummies from their molds and enjoy!


acne-safe cheeses galore

one of our favorite things is acne-safe cheese. we love it so much that we have included lush spreads of the many acne-safe cheeses at previous parties. if you haven’t had a chance to feast on cheese in a while, fear not, all of the nut cheeses featured below are easily available at a natural food store or whole foods near you. we even sell one of them at skinSALVATION!

it’s worth noting, that not all dairy-free cheeses are created equal: many of them have carrageenan and/or coconut oil in them — both of which can cause acne. the list below includes only the dairy-free cheeses that passed the skinSALVATION test. there are definitely other cheeses on the market that are acne-safe, but if you see a dairy-free cheese on the shelves that isn’t on the list below, make sure you check the ingredients first: any cheeses with coconut oil, carrageenan, or other seaweed/seaweed derivatives are definitely off-limits.

acne-safe cheese guide

chiacheezehot chiacheezenacheeztreeline cheesecheese

and of course, you’ll need some crackers to go with that cheese.  here are the safest options we found at rainbow grocery and at whole foods, containing whole grains and no dairy, soy or sugar.  for more information about acne-safe breads, read our blog post on it here.

acne safe crackers