a quickie post : deep sleep soundtracks

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we’ve recently rediscovered the powers of youtube and deep sleep soundtracks.  easily pulled up on your phone while it’s charging, a quick search rendered a ton of deep sleep soundtracks to doze off to.

i find that i fall asleep within 30 minutes so the shorter tracks work well for me, but if you are an insomniac or tend to wake up in the middle of the night, you can pick out an 8+ hour one too!

just remember to face your phone upside down, so the display light doesn’t keep you up!

safe looking brown pencils


we’ve recently had a bunch of clients having trouble clearing up in or around their eyebrows, and we’ve linked it to cloggy brow pencils.  we did a quick search and after a visual + comedogenic search box look, here are some promising brands (some contain ingredients rated a 1 or 2, like tocopherol or talc).

***please note that we have not tested these in-house, so we do not vouch for any of them at this time!

try them out and let us know how you like them, and if they keep your skin clear!

nyx micro

NYX cosmetics : micro brow pencil

ingredients: Polyethylene, C12-15 Alkyl Ethylhexanoate, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Ozokerite, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, C20-40 Alcohols, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax/Candelilla Cera/Cire De Candelilla, Zinc Stearate, Microcrystalline Wax/Cera Microcristallina/Cire Microcrystalline, Dimethicone, Sorbitan Tristearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glyceryl Caprylate. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, 77492, 77499), Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (Ci 77510).


ULTA: ultra slim brow pencil 

ingredients: Diisostearyl Malate, Triethylhexanoin, C20-40 Acid, C20-40 Alcohols, Polyethylene, Synthetic Wax, Glyceryl Behenate / Eicosadioate, Ethylene / Propylene Copolymer, Ethylcellulose, Boron Nitride, VP / Eicosene Copolymer, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Mica (CI 77019).

benefit brow

BENEFIT cosmetics: instant brow pencil

ingredients: Paraffin, Mica, C11-12 Isoparaffin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polybutene, Ozokerite, Cyclohexasiloxane, Talc, Hydroxystearic Acid, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Polyethylene, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Tocopherol, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Ascorbyl Palmitate. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI77891), Iron Oxides (CI77491, CI77492, CI77499).

it brow

IT cosmetics: brow power universal eyebrow pencil

ingredients: Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract (Saw Palmetto), Biotin, Urtica Dioxica (Nettle) Leaf Powder, Iron Oxides (77492), Iron Oxides (77499),Ceresin, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Lecithin, Pantothenic Acid, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Ascorbic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Beeswax, Microcrystalline Wax, Iron Oxides, BHT, (77491), Retinyl Acetate.


tarte: amazonian clay waterproof eyebrow pencil

ingredients: Diisostearyl Malate, Triethylhexanoin, C20-40 Acid, C20-40 Alcohols, Polyethylene, Synthetic Wax, Glyceryl Behenate/Eicosadioate, Ethylene/Propylene Copolymer, Ethylcellulose, Boron Nitride, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Kaolin. Mica. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

nyx auto

NYX cosmetics: automatic eyebrow pencil

ingredients: Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax / Candelilla Cera / Cire De Candelilla, Ceresin, Rhus Succedanea Fruit Wax, Zinc Stearate, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax / Cera Carnauba / Cire De Carnauba, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Butylparaben, BHT. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77492, 77491, 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).

happy brow-sing!  

pillow case travel alternative

if fussing with extra pillowcases is too much to deal with when on vacay, try buying one or two of these extra large travel quick dry towels from REI.  i love using them for travel as they dry quickly, can be a blanket for warmth or to sit on, and also as impromptu pillow cases…  i just fold it in half and lay it on top of the hotel pillows for a quick and easy acne-safe sleep!

one of the best parts is, is that they go on sale during REI’s 2 annual sales, to about $15!


acne-safe dandruff shampoo – found!

we’ve had success with a client using this mineralfusion dandruff shampoo – the flaking has dissipated and his forehead remains clear.  would be worth a try – it’s available at whole foods and rainbow, and does not have any overpowering fragrance!

double check the shampoo bottle’s label to make sure it matches this list:

active ingredient:
2% salicylic acid (to control dandruff)

inactive ingredients:
aqua, aloe barbadensis (leaf juice/jus de feuilles), sodium laurylglucosides hydroxypropylsulfonate, coco-betaine, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, decyl glucoside, glycerin, panthenol, malachite (extract/extrait), smithsonite (extract/extrait), rhodochrosite (extract/extrait), hematite (extract/extrait), dimethicone, undecylenic acid, mica, titanium dioxide, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree leaf oil/l’huile de feuilles), guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, origanum vulgare (oregano leaf extract/extrait de feuilles), citric acid, maris limus, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, ethylhexylglycerin, natural fragrance. *certified organic

why olive oil may not be safe for people with acne- a scandal in the olive oil industry!



we have always been a little on the fence about our clients using olive oil. while it seems to be safe for most, if we don’t see improvement in the area around the mouth after a certain amount of time (and they’re using acne-safe toothpaste + lip products), we recommend switching to an acne safe(r) alternative.

a little background research FYI: olive oil was rated a 1-2 by dr. fulton in his research paper, “common ingredients” written in 1989, and sS has rated olive oil a 0-. we have it in our sS brand lipbalm, and have only seen (maybe) a handful of clients that reacted better with another lipbalm. as far as cooking and eating though, it’s an oil that is abundantly available at restaurants and grocery stores, and is certainly a ton better than the super-comedogenic coconut oil.

little did we know that a scandal rocked the olive oil industry and several well known and trusted brands have not measured up to snuff. this may be contributing to some of the reasons olive oil is not working for particular clients. many extra virgin olive oil brands have been found to be of poor quality, rancid or “adulterated” with other types of oil. at skinSALVATION, we know that a lot of cooking oils out there are not acne safe.

in july of 2010 the uc davis olive oil chemistry lab published a study about olive oils sold in california. the lab inspected the quality of the oils and whether they met the standards set for “extra virgin olive oil.” in a nutshell: german, italian, australian and california brands were put through a series of tests to see if they were, in fact, the real thing. 2 panels conducted sensory testing (sense of smell) followed by testing of each brand’s chemical makeup like fatty acids and diacylglycerol content. “sensory defects are indicators that these samples are oxidized, of poor quality, and/or adulterated with cheaper refined oils.” the sensory standard for extra virgin olive oil is that there is “zero defect and more than zero fruitiness.”

in an NPR live interview, tom mueller, a correspondent from new york magazine, stated that olives of poor quality, like those that are overripe or damaged, can contain free radicals and impurities. olive oils labeled as extra virgin may contain cheaper oils like soybean and canola. (soybean oil: there goes the acne-safe alert bell ding!).

this can mean bad news for our skinSALVATION peeps.

every country had multiple big name brands that failed these tests.

realfarmacy.com has a list outting some of the companies that “failed” the tests. these include Bertolli, Carapelli, Colavita, Star, Pompeian, Filippo Berio, Mazzola, Mezzetta, Newman’s Own, Safeway, and Whole Foods.

this same blog post also lists EVOO brands that did pass the uc davis test like California Olive Ranch, Cobram Estate, Lucini. Kirkland Organic Toscano (NOT the ones in the plastic liter jugs!), Lucero (Ascolano) and McEvoy Ranch Organic.

shopping local? how do you figure out the posers from the real deal?

tom mueller’s blog post on the “truth in olive oil” can help you choose brands in supermarkets that are easy to access. tom even performed a taste test of different brands from places like trader joe’s, whole foods and costco. the ones listed above that passed the uc davis test are included in his approved list; he also lists a few more that weren’t in the study.

the secret to finding a genuine extra virgin olive oil?

look for a harvest date. if there is no harvest date then it is instantly suspect. it’s also important to choose olive oils from the most current harvest (olives are traditionally harvested august through november depending on the local.)

what do you do if you have acne?

do your research and do your best to make sure the olive oil you’re using is the real thing. even then, we can’t guarantee it won’t break you out if you’re one of the few that is sensitive to it. adulterated olive oil (especially if it’s cut with soybean oil!) could be the reason for your lack of success on this, but only time and testing will tell.

for more information on cooking oils that are good at cold, warm and high heat cooking temperatures, check out our blog on acne safe favorite cooking oils!

happy eating!