you can really YELP us out!

by kerry watson

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as you may have heard, we are in the process of working towards 150 yelp reviews by september 17th. if we can meet or exceed this goal the entire sS team will get to see the queen bey herself in concert! but our REAL goal is to spread the word about sS to help more people achieve skinSALVATION.

to help launch us towards our goal, we are offering a free 0.5 oz hydrating cream OR a free 0.5 oz hydrating gel to clients who check in using yelp while in office. if you check in for a treatment monday through friday, you will get both! to do this, you’ll need:

  • the yelp app on your phone
  • open it up, check in and, if you have time, we’d love it if you could write a short review and make sure to mention your favorite esthetician. (this part is not mandatory to get your free products).
  • show the checked-in page to the front desk receptionist
  • collect your free products!

if you aren’t planning a trip to sS this month you can still help us get to our goal by writing a short yelp review about your experience in working with sS to treat your skin. make sure to mention your favorite esthetician(s) as well and what you like best about them 🙂

and/or you can write a short 1-2 sentence testimonial about sS that we will post to our website. please let us know if we can use your progress photos (we will blur out prominent features like eyes, lips, etc so that you remain anonymous). these testimonials will also count towards our goal!


collagen powder – our new favorite skin-loving supplement

by kerry watson

if you read my blog post about gelatin then you won’t be surprised to learn that collagen powder is my new jam. collagen is the main structural protein found in the connective tissue of all animals. with time, our bodies produce less and less of it which plays a big role in how we age. this is part of the reason that we experience more joint pain, slower wound healing, wrinkles, loss of volume and increased laxity of the skin.

by now we all  know that bone broth is a super healing food that everyone should be downing by the mason jar. bone broth is made from cooking down animal bones and joints which are loaded with collagen (which later becomes gelatin). most of us don’t have time to make bone broth everyday or even once a week for that matter. earlier this year i learned about taking collagen powder from my bodyworker, tasha berg. i went to see her for an appointment last december and i noticed that she was looking more fabulous than usual. when i asked her what she’s been doing she told me that she is taking collagen powder. her skin was glowing and she looked super well-rested. i decided that i had to try this new fountain of youth supplement. after a couple of  months taking 2 tablespoons twice a day i started noticing that my nails were strong and growing fast, my hair wasn’t as frizzy as usual and my skin looked great! it was less red, i needed less makeup to even out the tone and my tiny fine lines became almost nonexistent.

there is some question as to whether these results are permanent. after extensive research online, i have seen that most people who have taken collagen supplements for their anti-aging effects felt like the progress was lost after stopping the supplements. we are unclear as to whether or not this will be the same for textual scarring. if we have clients that decide to stop taking it after seeing improvement we will keep you posted on the results.

in addition to its obvious benefits in improving the appearance of textural scarring, collagen powder may improve the results and shorten the healing time after other treatment modalities geared towards improving textural scarring like micro-needling and laser. the possibilities are very exciting. if you decide to try this or this supplement (or a different one) please let us know. if you could take progress photos, we’d love to see them as well.

disclaimer: any reference to outside support (i.e. working with an herbalist and/or bodyworker) are from this client’s and my own personal experiences and are not endorsed  by or necessarily reflect the ideas or recommendations of skinSALVATION.

you had me at tadasana!

by: kerry watson


need a little yoga in your life? we’ve found the perfect thing! it’s the down dog yoga app! i have been meaning to get myself into better physical shape for many months now and after many failed attempts i’ve finally found this awesome app. it’s free, fun and something that i think i can stick to. it’s like having a private yoga class in the comfort of my own living room. i love the music and the routines. you can choose from yoga flow or restorative and there are beginner and intermediate options for both. you can choose the length and pace of your practice as well. i’ve been doing 30 minutes a day at the normal pace.

sticking to a regular yoga practice is a great way to calm and balance the stress response which helps to control inflammation. it also helps to improve sleep which has a positive effect on the skin. the other apps that we’ve found to be helpful with stress management are insighttimer and headspace. these are great mindfulness mediation apps. insighttimer is my personal fave. you can search for different guided mediations. i love to do the true north sleep mediation right before bed. here it is on youtube as well. it works like a charm anytime i’m having trouble falling or staying asleep.


do i have rosacea?

by kerry watson


this is a question we get asked a lot at sS especially when we are working with a client that tends towards having a rosy complexion. unfortunately, this is not a question that we, as estheticians, can answer. rosacea is a condition that can only be diagnosed by a medical doctor like a dermatologist. 

what exactly is rosacea? this is a question that we can answer:

rosacea is a disorder that mainly affects the skin of the face, causing flushing, redness and in some cases, inflamed papules and pustules. it is most commonly seen on the nose and cheeks but it can also show up on the forehead and chin or even on other parts of the body like the chest, neck or back and in some cases the eyes. the redness  and flushing comes from the dilation of capillaries underneath the skin. 

there are four basic types of rosacea. you can have just one type, or you can have more than one.

1st type: facial redness

this is the most common type and the one that most people are familiar with. symptoms can include the following:

– stinging, burning, sensitive skin

– distended blood vessels that are visible underneath the skin

– dry, rough or swollen skin

– blushing or flushing with exposure to triggers

2nd type: breakouts

this type causes papules and pustules on the skin that can look like acne. it’s the 2nd most common type of rosacea. other symptoms can include:

– oily skin

– patchy raised areas on the skin

– small visible blood vessels

– sensitive skin

type 3: thick skin

this type of rosacea is rare. most people have another type first. left untreated, it can cause skin thickening on the nose, making it look enlarged. other symptoms can also include:

– bumpy skin

– large pores

– oily skin

type 4: ocular rosacea

this type affects the eyes. if not treated, ocular rosacea can cause vision problems. other symptoms include:

– dry eyes

– burning or stinging of the eyes

– blurry vision

– frequent styes

why does this happen? there are several different factors that can cause/worsen the condition. this site is an excellent resource in understanding rosacea and its causes. i’ll highlight a few here as well.


generally, if you are diagnosed with rosacea someone else in your family has it too. it’s one of those genetic conditions (like acne). there’s not much we can do about our genetics but we can control and avoid the triggers that make the condition worse. 


the flushing can be triggered by a variety of causes. some of the most common triggers include stress, hot beverages, alcohol, spicy foods, some mediations, heat and caffeine. the more often someone with rosacea is exposed to their particular triggers the more often the flushing occurs. constant capillary distention over time often leads to the loss of elasticity in the capillary wall. think of a rubber band that has been stretched so many times that it doesn’t bounce back to it’s original size. loss of elasticity in the capillary wall causes permanent distention and inflammation which manifests on the skin as redness or a constantly flushed appearance. avoiding triggers is a major part of controlling the condition. also avoiding instances where the capillaries dilate and constrict is key. an example of this would be washing with super hot water and then rinsing with cold water. this would be remedied by washing and rinsing with tepid water only.

something that i’ve come across and find interesting is that many clients with rosacea experience migraines (either themselves or someone else in their family), which is another condition involving dilation and constriction of the capillaries (of the brain instead of the skin). my dad has severe rosacea. i have mild rosacea and migraines. also, many of the triggers for migraine are the same as those of rosacea. 

the demodex mite:

in recent years more scientific evidence has shown a strong correlation between rosacea and increased numbers of demodex mites in the skin. the demodex mite is a microbe found in at least 80% of human facial skin. normally, its presence doesn’t produce any symptoms but higher than average numbers have been consistently found on the skin of rosacea patients. it is believed that a bacteria found on the demodex mite may trigger an inflammatory immune response in the skin that causes rosacea to develop. find out more about the fascinating link between the demodex mite and rosacea here.

conventional medications:

if you are diagnosed with rosacea your doctor may prescribe some of these medications. keep in mind that many of the ingredients prescription topical products contain are cloggy and can lead to acne breakouts. also, we cannot treat you with extractions, peels or an active home care regimen. if you are using any topical or internal medication that can make your skin more reactive, sensitive or unpredictable unless you provide a note from your doctor.

finacea gel 15% is a topical prescription medication containing azelaic acid. this medication is most effective for treating the inflamed papules and pustules that can accompany the general redness of rosacea in some people. there are several common side effects of note including burning, stinging, tingling, dryness, tightness, flaking, itching, redness and irritation topically. dizziness, headache, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite constipation, changes in taste, furry tongue and dry mouth have also been reported with topical use.


metronidazole or metro-gel 1% is another topical medication that is commonly prescribed to treat rosacea. this product has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. side effects include stinging, burning, redness, irritation, dryness, scaling, itching, metallic taste, nausea, headache, numbness, tingling feeling in hands/feet, stuffy nose, sore throat, cold symptom, vaginal itching or discharge.

antibiotics (topical, oral) are often used for their temporary anti-inflammatory effect. once the course of antibiotic treatment is over the symptoms of inflammation can return and even worsen. antibiotics can also wreak havoc on other parts of the body, the digestive tract and immune system in particular. antibiotic medications do not distinguish between good and bad bacteria in the body, they just kill bacteria period. this includes the beneficial bacteria that lives in the small and large intestines which helps us breakdown and absorb nutrients from our food and makes up an important part of our immune system that protects us from food borne illness and harmful microbes. commonly prescribed antibiotics include tetracycline, minocycline, erythromycin, clindamycin and doxycycline.

steroid creams are sometimes prescribed to help reduce topical inflammation and redness temporarily. steroid creams can make rosacea worse if used for longer periods of time. in addition, they can thin the skin making it prone to bruising, tearing and premature aging.

we can help:

we have treated many rosacea clients for acne and general skin health with great success. the first step is getting the skin in a healthy place so that it can tolerate the active products that help reduce inflammation and properly exfoliate the skin. a gentle moisturizing regimen is the first step. when the skin is ready we’ll add in a mild exfoliant like our mandelic blend toner at a low to moderate percentage. once this regimen is being well tolerated for at least 2 weeks we can add benzoyl peroxide in the form of a face wash or gel. and then after a few more weeks we introduce a salicylic serum. the combination of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid is extremely successful in calming the inflammation of rosacea and getting the skin to a less reactive place. 

just like with acne, a combination of the right diet, lifestyle (avoiding triggers) and skin care products can make all the difference in rosacea.

* please remember that we are not doctors. we do not prescribe, treat or diagnose. we hope to be able to empower you with knowledge, different tools and alchemy to help you sustain the best version of yourself! if you think you may have rosacea please contact your dermatologist to get a proper diagnosis and keep him or her updated on the products that you are using on your skin as well as any supplements or dietary changes you decide to make.

what can i do to reduce the signs of aging?

by kerry and sally

this is a question we get asked a lot at sS. “anti-aging” is such an innocuous looking phrase but the fact is, it becomes so very important the minute we see our first fine line or our first gray hair. if you suffer from acne then sometimes it just feels like life is just piling it on. curse you father time (fist in air)!
so what is the secret to anti-aging? is there a magic pill? is there a machine? truth be told, the secret to staying and looking young comes from a variety of internal and external factors.
if you have acne, the best part about your sS treatments and home care regimen is that anti-aging is major fringe benefit. you’re already on an anti-aging regimen….at least at skinSALVATION you are. here’s why:
1. moisture sometimes the skin appears more wrinkly when its really just dry or dehydrated. try our hydrating cream under your spf in the AM and alone as the last step in your regimen in the PM.
2. exfoliation it’s best to use a mild exfoliant everyday and follow up with a good chemical peel (if you’re at skinSALVATION you’re already doing that!) the sS exfoliants that you may be using at home are mandelic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, or vitamin a.
3. antioxidants help kill free radicals and b3 and b5 and help bind moisture the skin. the antioxidants that you may be using from sS are green tea, spin traps, fruit extracts or vitamin c.
4. peptides are proteins made from amino acids that bind moisture to the skin and and help skin repair. in addition, they can inhibit the skin’s inflammatory response. you’ll find the peptide glutathione in sS’s skin brightening serum.
5. skin brighteners even out tone and help lift pigmentation from previous acne, inflammation, or sun damage. these include kojic acid, azelaic acid and ferulic acid. you can find one or more of these ingredients in sS’s skin brightening serum and our
6. spf! it’s super important to wear sunscreen every day to prevent hyper-pigmentation. when you have a wound on the skin (like a pimple) and the sun hits it, the skin produces more melanin in that area to protect the dermis (beneath the epidermis) from more serious damage. the sunscreens that we carry reflect the UV rays from the sun so that they are not absorbed by the skin. this prevents the over production of melanin in areas where pimples are coming and going.
7. LED stands for light emitting diode. certain molecules in our cells can absorb light energy and use it as fuel called ATP. think of these molecules as solar panels on the roof of a building. the solar panels absorb light from the sun and use it as energy to provide power in the building (our cells). some results from LED are immediate, like using the blue light to kill bacteria and red light to reduce redness and inflammation. other results are cumulative, like repairing damaged skin and increasing natural moisture and hydration.
we offer LED light treatments as an add on to the signature treatment or as a stand alone treatment. we also sell the acne light and the anti-wrinkle light for home use. we carry the anti-wrinkle light and the acne light. both lights help with both acne and anti-aging.
 to use the acne light at home as part of your regimen just do 3-10 minutes on each area (inflamed, healing) after cleansing/icing and before the rest of the regimen once a day. also, apply a little hydrating toner before doing the light so that your skin doesn’t get dried out. you can do the LED light while your skin is healing after the treatments and when you go back to your regular regimen.
to use the anti-wrinkle light at home do 3 minutes on each area of your entire face after cleansing and icing and before the rest of your regimen. it takes a total of 30 minutes and you can read or watch tv. just like with the acne light, it’s a good idea to apply a little hydrating toner before using the light to prevent dryness.

Q + A

Q: won’t the chemical peels i get at sS lighten the pigmentation and give me anti-aging benefits?

A: yes, however, there is no chemical peel out there that will be able to give you the same protection from hyper-pigmentation or the same level of anti-aging benefits that a good sunscreen can. peels can help to lighten pigmented areas but if you aren’t doing something to prevent the pigmentation/accelerated aging from happening they can end up being more of a risk for permanent hyper-pigmentation and damage.

so invest in a good sunscreen and wear it every day. prevention is the most important key to anti-aging. it’s easier to keep the wrinkles and hyper pigmentation from occurring then it is to take them away once they’re there. luckily this is part of your regimen already at skinSALVATION!

1. healthy diet limit sugar, alcohol, and refined foods. instead fuel your body with unrefined carbohydrates, organic produce and grass fed, organic, and wild caught proteins. kerry’s favorite anti-aging/acne reducing diet is a combination of a healthy paleo-based diet and a vegan raw foods diet. think bone broth meets raw tacos.
2. control your stress we know that it’s easier said than done! get back into or start up a new yoga practice, get some acupuncture or massage, start mediating, go for walks in the park or near the beach. one of our favorite tools is to write a list of 20 things that make you happy and then do at least one every single day.
3. sleep does your skin look great first thing in the morning after a restful night’s sleep? this is because you body does most of its healing at night while you are in the deep REM stage of sleep. the skin cells are turning over at a faster rate, the hormones are resetting and the toxins and waste are getting ready for that am evacuation. staying up late and burning the candle at both ends eventually takes its toll on the body and the skin. so prioritize that beauty sleep! if you have a hard time getting to sleep because your mind is too active then get this free app and listen to a guided mediation right before bed. kerry likes the true north sleep mediation best.
4. drinking enough water (half of your body weight, in ounces) throughout the day, is critical to keeping you looking and feeling your best. it keeps your body systems well hydrated, keeps your digestion steady and internal + external elimination regular. if you don’t believe us just look at this women’s skin before and after drinking 3 liters of water a day for four weeks.
5. collagen powder can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and textural scarring. check out our blog post about collagen powder to find out more.