acne-safe ice cream!

what’s the scoop on acne-safe ice cream?

summer is right around the corner, and with the hot weather comes the siren song of the ice cream truck! it tempts our collective sweet tooth with soft-serve and ice cream bars. if you’re worried that you might not survive an acne-safe summer without frozen treats, we’ve got you covered! back in february, ben & jerry’s added three new flavors to their acclaimed dairy-free almond milk ice cream line. this left us all wondering: are they acne-safe? can we finally eat a bowl of cherry garcia on a hot summer night without fearing an impending breakout? at skinSALVATION, we take frozen dessert pretty seriously! we read some labels and put ben & jerry’s almond milk ice creams through our rigorous ingredient-auditing. while the creative and iconic vermont flavors still shine in the new ben & jerry’s dairy-free ice creams, they all contain a few acne-triggering ingredients. here are the culprits:

soy lecithin (in all flavors) – while we encourage our clients to avoid soy as much as possible, we’ve found that soy lecithin in small amounts does not aggravate most acne-prone skin.

soybean oil (in coconut seven-layer bar and chocolate fudge brownie) – soybean oil is highly inflammatory, so we recommend steering clear of these two flavors as much as possible.

coconut oil (in all flavors) – it’s not the end of the world if you consume coconut oil, but try not to let it come in contact with the skin around your mouth.

carrageenan (in caramel-almond, coffee caramel fudge, cherry garcia and coconut seven-layer bar) – this is an iodine-heavy thickener derived from seaweed and the body flushes excess iodides out through the skin. for that reason, we suggest limiting your consumption of these four flavors.

and if you’re sensitive to gluten, stick with chunky monkey and cherry garcia – these are the gluten-free options!
before you run to the nearest corner store to nab your favorite frozen pint, we’ve got one more caveat: the sugar content of these ben & jerry’s products is a little high. even though an ice cream flavor named after a beloved hippie rockstar sounds irresistible, cherry garcia and the rest of these flavors contain higher amounts of sugar than other non-dairy ice cream products on the market (25g per half cup vs. 13g in coconut bliss, 12g in almond dream and 5g in jöne’s gelato). sugar and soy can negatively impact acne-prone skin (more on soy in a new blog post coming soon). we recommend treating these ben & jerry’s products as occasional indulgences and seeking soy-free options for your regular ice cream cravings instead. if you can’t resist, the winner of the most acne-safe b&j’s flavor award is chunky monkey – so choose your vermont’s finest flavor wisely!

if you’re feeling adventurous and want to branch out into the decadent world of acne-safe ice cream just in time for summer, here is a list of some of our favorite brands that pass the sS test:

– coconut bliss – the house favorite! a dreamy, creamy coconut base that surrounds fun flavors like cinnamon chocolate fusion and ginger cookie caramel (check it out here)

– so delicious – a carrageenan-free product line! watch out for coconut oil and soy lecithin in some flavors and then bask in this super sweet and texturally-authentic ice cream (check it out here)

– jöne’s paleo – this smooth and squeaky-clean paleo gelato can be found all over the sf bay area and in whole foods stores across california (check it out here)

– mr. dewie’s – an oakland-based mom & pop ice cream company that shies away from soy and gluten and opts instead to amp up the protein content of its creations with creamy cashews (check it out here)

– almond dream – these products also contain small amounts of carrageenan for thickening purposes, but they are delicious! watch for soy lecithin in the chocolate chips! (check it out here)

– make your own! the internet is full of dairy-free ice cream recipes featuring homemade nut milks, coconut milk and even hemp milk! use our pinterest page to guide your courageous culinary endeavors.

(if you want to link to actual recipes, here are a couple – i’ve never made them but i trust these people)
this post was created for you by diane.

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

snacks

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.

hydration

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

linens

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!

jell-oh!

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.

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ingredients:

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

directions: 

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

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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.

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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!

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