is your cold weather clothing making you breakout?

mark twain may have said that the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in san francisco but locals know that the season is changing by a new crispness in the air. november through july often call for a few extra layers in the bay area (to those of you in the rest of the world, it sounds like i’m bragging about our moderate weather but it really does get cold here). check out this list of winter clothing that can cause breakouts and acne-safe solutions to each of them.

city in the winter

hats: beanies, toques, berets, fedoras – whatever hat suits your style, chances are that you’ve never washed it. think of all of the seasons that you’ve worn it during cold and sweaty activities alike (snowboarding anyone?), now think of all of the times that you’ve washed it. the buildup of sweat, dirt, makeup and bacteria can cause breakouts on the forehead and hairline.

hipster in hat

solution: wash knit and fabric hats in cold water using acne-safe laundry detergent (kim’s fav is soap nuts). be sure not to scrub too hard causing friction that will make wool become felt, and rinse until the water runs clear of soap and dirt. lay flat to dry.

wash the brim of wool hats that same way or spray with 100% pure alcohol and wipe dry until no debris is coming off of the hat and onto the washcloth.

how often: every 2-3 times that you wear a hat and more often if you are prone to breakouts on the forehead. to avoid spending time everyday washing hats, find a few that you like and rotate them in your wardrobe.

ear muffs: can cause breakouts around the ears and hairline from sweat, dirt, makeup and friction.

solution: spray with 100% pure alcohol and wipe clean with a cloth until no more debris is coming off of the muffs. you can also purchase these washable ear muffs which have minimal contact with the skin around your ears. be sure to get your cleanser, toner and serums all the way into your hairline, around and behind your ears to prevent breakouts.

how often: every few times that you wear them and at the beginning of the season.

scarves: can cause irritation and sweat around the chest, neck and jawline. in addition, they often contain cloggy detergents and manufacturing chemicals when you purchase them which can lead to breakouts.


solution: wash scarves by hand using your acne-safe laundry detergent. rinse with cool water and lay flat to dry.

how often: wash asap when you purchase (before you wear it for the first time) and again every few times that you wear it. be sure to wash all of your scarves together at the beginning of the season so that you have an assortment of options clean in your closet.


jacket collars: are cozy and cute but can lead to breakouts on the chest, neck and jawline if left unwashed.

fur collar

solution: wash collars by hand using a spray mix of one part water and one part pure alcohol. apply the solution and dry using a clean washcloth. repeat until no debris is coming off of the washcloth.

how often: once per week and at the beginning of the season.

turtle neck + shawl collared sweaters: are in full fashion right now but can cause irritation and breakouts on the chest, neck and jawline.

knit turtle neck solution: wash by hand using your acne-safe detergent. rinse with cold water and lay flat to dry. wear a silk or cotton tee underneath if you are experiencing irritation on your chest from itchy materials.

how often: after 1-2 wears.

remember to always wash new clothing and accessories before wearing to remove any chemicals that may have been added during manufacturing. check out this blog for acne-safe laundry detergents. 

FREE 2oz body lotion when you donate to EMPACT northwest

EMPACT northwest is a non profit organization that helps get professional medical volunteers to places in need. these volunteers assist with domestic and international medical emergencies, disasters, and scheduled medical missions. they are currently deploying a medical unit to haiti to aid the victims of hurricane matthew.


one of sS’s own beautiful clients arrived home safely this week from haiti and sent us this sweet message and update:


“Here are some shot of me with your products. I know I don’t post yelp reviews or FB comments. But I could not have the complexion and confidence if not for your amazing work!!! So even while on deployment in Haiti where there is NO running water I still manage to take my product with me! We had rain water we would use to take “bucket” rinses. The small bottle without a label is my charcoal wash. Please post the hell out it and make sure people know that you donate to us and make us possible!”


sS client uses her skin clearing products on a medical mission in Haiti! sS client brings charcoal cleanser and moisturizer with her on medical mission to Haiti!


how you can help (even if you aren’t a medical professional)

visit and make a donation of $10 or more. bring proof of your donation with you to sS and receive a FREE 2oz body lotion!

FOUND! acne-safe cooking fats

exiting news for anyone who has ever had anything prepared in animal fat – you know how incredibly delicious it is (duck fat fries anyone?). not only is cooking with animal fat tasty, it is completely acne-safe and full of nutrients.

it can seem a bit strange to make your own animal cooking fat, (instructions here), especially for people on the go, or who are strangers to the kitchen. the company epic has bottled up some super high quality stuff, including:

  • 100% beef tallow
  • pork lard
  • duck fat (our personal favorite!)

animal fats

i found these bad boys at my local whole foods market, and am very excited to prepare my morning eggs in duck fat.

there are some awesome nutritional benefits of cooking with animal fats.

  • great source of healthy fat, which our brains AND hearts need.
  • great source of omega fatty acids, and saturated fat which contrary to outdated nutrition ideas of the 80’s and 90’s is essential for the function of many of our organs. these fats act as a vehicle for fat-soluble vitamins, and countless natural processes inside our bodies. this is a great article about the need for saturated fats in our diet.
  • we have found it to be one of the safest oils to cook with, for more cooking oil information see an older blogpost here.


this post is by allyson!

candida care for your ayurvedic type by john douillard

candida is a yeast that can negatively influence the body and skin when it overgrows. we found this awesome article about the ayurvedic approach to balancing candida within the body. check it out and enjoy!


Candida Care for Your Ayurvedic Type

candida albicans Dandelion sunset imageCandida albicans yeast is a naturally-occurring intestinal inhabitant which is normally kept in check by a properly balanced intestinal medium. Candida albicans becomes a concern when the intestinal flora’s good bacteria is out-populated by this yeast, which is commonly included under the heading bad bacteria. The now-flourishing yeast can enter the bloodstream via the enteric cycle and elicit the classic yeast symptoms of low energy levels, interrupted sleep, immunity issues, ringing in the ears, and sluggish digestion.

The Western approach to candida overgrowth is to eradicate the yeast and therefore relieve the associated symptoms. Ayurvedically, it is considered most important to address the underlying cause of candida while using herbal remedies to rebalance the body towards a healthy intestinal medium.


How Does Candida Take Over?

In Ayurveda, the etiology, or cause underlying the uncontrolled proliferation of candida is considered to be agnimandya, or deficient digestion. Deficient digestion results in the production of ama, which is the by-product of undigested food. Ama is then either absorbed into the bloodstream or lymphatic system, creating a toxicity and the ground floor for many health issues. Invariably, this ama will accumulate in the seat of vata found in the lower digestive tract. The seat of vata is governed by the apana (or downward moving) energy, which regulates the growth of flora in the gastrointestinal tract. As the ama accumulates in the small and large intestines, it will putrefy and ferment, thus inhibiting the normal flora from proliferating. Under these conditions, yeast has free reign to spread throughout the intestines unchecked.

The next stage of the candida growth process is a result of the intestinal absorption of ama into the liver and blood via the portal system.

In Ayurveda it is believed that, once yeast enters the bloodstream, the step-by-step generation and regeneration process of the seven tissues of the body can be interrupted or damaged.

If the seven tissues – which include rasa (plasma), rakta (blood), mamsa (muscle), medha (fat), majja (nervous tissue), asthi (bone), and sukra (sperm and ovum) – are damaged or improperly formed, an overall lack of luster and vitality is the result. The dhatus are formed in a carefully designed succession, and if any one of the dhatus are improperly formed then the production of sukra will be inhibited. Sukra, the final culmination of the digestive process and of dhatu development, provides the body with immunity, procreation, vitality, luster, long life, and health. It is this gross lack of vitality and immunity that colors the symptoms of candida proliferation.

Reigning it Back In

From an Ayurvedic perspective, the two most important strategies in reigning candida back in are, first, to ensure the integrity of the digestive strength (also called agni, or fire) and second, to build immunity back into the body. With both of these in place, the treatment to kill off the excess yeast with medical drugs or herbs can safely and effectively be employed.

In Ayurveda, it’s understood that candida overgrowth can present differently based on body type, or prakriti, and can respond to a different support protocol depending on whether it’s a vata, pitta, or kapha form of candida overgrowth. Below, I’ll walk you through how to tell which form may match your presentation, and how to support each accordingly. After that, I’ll give you some general lifestyle suggestions that anypresentation of candida overgrowth will benefit from.

Vata Candida Issues

Vata is aggravated by the excessive intake of pungent, bitter, and astringent foods; sugar; hard-to-digest proteins; wheat, dairy, nuts and soy; too much cold food and excessive travel; the suppression of natural and normal urges; excessive intercourse, and irregular eating and sleeping habits. Signs of vata aggravation include dry skin; nervousness, moodiness and an inability to cope; constipation, gas and bloating; ups and downs in energy levels, and unbalanced sleep patterns. If these are paired with signs of yeast imbalance, this can be considered a vata presentation of candida.lemon ginger honey concoction image

Dietary Support

1. Start with an ama decreasing diet. This involves avoiding dairy, sugar, breads, and mucous-producing foods. Cold and raw foods should also be avoided. Sip hot water every 20 minutes and drink eight to ten 8oz glasses of warm lemon water per day. Eat a large relaxing lunch and a warm cooked soup for dinner. Avoid fruit juice and eat fresh fruit in moderation and separately from all other food groups. Use hing, ginger, basil ajwan, and garlic to spice your food*.

2. Start each meal with equal parts of ginger juice and honey, and a pinch of lemon juice, salt, and cumin powder*.

Pitta Candida Issues

Aggravated pitta can put out digestive fire in the same way that a flood of boiling water will put out a flame. Pitta is aggravated by greasy and spicy foods, and sugar. Signs of pitta imbalance are acidic digestion and occasional heartburn; bloating; yellowing complexion; irritability; swelling and other issues of the joints; yellowing loose stool; raised body temperature, and excessive thirst. Remember that often times the upward flow of vayu can take a vata based candida issue and mix it with a pitta presentation. Both sets of symptoms at the same time indicates a vata and pitta combined cause. A support protocol would then have to address both vata and pitta.

Dietary Support

1. Eat more fresh raw leafy green vegetables, avoid sugar and fruit juice. Emphasize pomegranates and bitter herbs, veggies, and spices.

Kapha Candida Issues

Kapha is aggravated by the intake of food that is too heavy, too oily, and cold, and by pasta, bread, and sugar. Overeating and sleeping after meals produces ama and puts out the digestive fire. In this case digestion becomes slow and difficult. Kapha yeast issues can present with lowered immunity, swollen glands, water retention, heavy mood, fatigue, and excessive sleep.

Dietary Support

1. Avoid all mucus-forming, oily, and greasy foods. Avoid salt and sugar. Eat primarily grains and vegetables. Dandelion, asparagus, kale, collard greens, and spinach are foods to increase.

2. Flavor food with pungent spices like cayenne, ginger, black pepper, clove, and curry.

Lifestyle Tips to Keep Candida in Check

If you are experiencing the signs of yeast overgrowth, it can be very helpful to follow a regular daily routine in waking, eating, and sleeping habits.

Each day:Bridge in the garden

  • Wake between 5 and 7am
  • Take lunch between 12 and 1pm
  • Take dinner between 5 and 7pm
  • Go to bed between 9 and 10pm

Perform a sesame oil self-massage in the morning, followed with a warm bath or shower. You can learn how to give yourself an Ayurvedic self-massage here.

Make lunch your main meal of the day – the biggest and most satisfying. Dinner should be light. Breakfast should be very light and is optional. Favor food that is freshly prepared. Avoid leftovers, frozen, canned, or processed food.

Sip hot water frequently throughout the day (every 1 or 2 hours or as often as desired). This keeps the digestive fire alive and flushes ama from the system. If you feel anxious, sipping hot water also settles the nervous system.

Get fresh air and regular exercise (preferably outdoors) through such methods as a morning or evening walk, sun salutations or other yoga asanas.

Extra Mealtime Tips

  • Eat in a settled environment.
  • Eat three meals a day and avoid snacking (except for the between lunch and dinner yogurt lassi, below).
  • Eat only when hungry, after the last meal has been digested. Stop eating when you feel satisfied, but not yet full (about 1/2 to 3/4 full).
  • Sit quietly for at least five minutes after eating to promote digestion.
  • If dairy tolerant, take a lassi (yogurt mixed with water, 1:1, 1:2, or 1:4) during lunch and between lunch and dinner, as needed to promote digestion. It is best to make lassi with freshly made yogurt. Although traditionally lassi can be sweet or seasoned, with yeast issues you’ll want to keep it savory, flavoring with spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom, for example, or salt, ginger, and cumin.
  • Avoid cold food or drinks, especially foods and drinks taken directly from the refrigerator.
  • Avoid heavy food at the evening meal, including heavy desserts, yogurt, cheese, oily food, and fried food.

Ayurveda is all about going downstream with the cycles. Combining the dietary and lifestyle suggestions in this article with your existing protocol for candida elimination will help support the body in regaining balance, which will help your body heal itself – the cornerstone of Ayurveda!


Sharma, P.V. Cakradatt, Chaukhambha Orientalia. New Delhi, India. 1994.
Altha Vale, V.B. Basic Principles of Ayurveda, Bombay India. 1980.
Bhishagratma, K.L. Shusshruta Samhita, Vols. 1 and 2, Varanasi, India. 1981.
Sharma, P.V. Caraka Samhita. Vols. 1 and 2. Varanasi, India.
Devaraj, T.L. The Panchakarma Treatment of Ayurveda. Dwanwantari Orientalia Publication, Bangalore, India. 1986.
Chopra, R., and De, P. The action of sympathomimetic alkaloids in Sida cordifolia. Ind. J. Med. Res. 18 (1930): 467.


meal prep monday: raw food!

hello beautiful people! i am super excited to share my weekly meal prep with you today. a lot of our clients think that they don’t have time to prepare their meals at home. all the cooking, cleaning, and scrubbing pots can add up if you don’t have a plan. so i decided to cut out the oven time and caked on pans this week and do a meal plan that’s 100% raw.

i ate raw for about a month a few years ago and felt really amazing. my energy was high, i was motivated and eager to work, and my skin was glowing. that was the clearest my skin has been in the last 10 years, until now 😉

kerry and i were chatting about raw food last week and i was inspired to give it another go and see what it does for my skin in conjunction with my sS regimen.

if you guys go for it please let me know how you feel mind, body, and SKIN!




  1. cauliflower pesto salad see the recipe below
  2. carrot and raisin salad we made this last week and it was so delicious that we included it again! substitute raisins and cold pressed organic sunflower oil in this recipe
  3. mango cucumber salad see recipe below
  4. collard wraps this recipe was the original inspiration but we are filling our collard wraps with whatever salad or veggies we want throughout the week.
  5. zucchini hummus with fresh tahini (weekly fav!) find the hummus recipe here and the tahini recipe here. *i added a handful of fresh chives to the hummus and it’s to die for. i used less than half of the tahini in the hummus and saved the rest to eat as a dip with veggies. you can even add a little honey to it and eat it with apples!
  6. overnight oats there are SO many delicious recipes on pinterest! see my simple recipe below.
  7. raw sunflower seed butter this taste like peanut butter… only better! get the recipe here
  8. i’ll probably try to go out for raw sashimi for dinner at least a few times this week just to pump up my protein intake. if you do indulge, remember to take your coconut aminos with you instead of using their cloggy soy sauce 😉



day one: marinate your cauliflower (pesto salad), soak your sesame seeds (tahini) and make your overnight oats.


day two: 

  1. make raw sunflower seed butter
  2. make tahini
  3. make zucchini hummus
  4. make pesto and finish the cauliflower pesto salad.
  5. make the carrot and raisin salad
  6. make the mango cucumber salad
  7. wash and cut any fresh veggies that you want to have on hand for the week.


  • breakfast: overnight oats
  • snack: celery sticks with zucchini hummus
  • lunch: collard wraps filled with tahini and carrot salad cauliflower pesto salad
  • snack 2 (if you’re hungry): cup of watermelon or 2 raw figs with sunflower seed butter
  • dinner: mango cucumber salad served with avocado, raw hemp seeds and raw sunflower seeds over arugula.
carrot and raisin salad with sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and figs over greens.

carrot and raisin salad with sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and figs over greens.



  • bob’s red mill gluten free oats


  • organic old pressed sunflower seed oil
  • green spanish olives (sun dried is preferred)
  • 1 bag organic avocados


  • organic raw hulled sesame seeds
  • raw hulled hemp seeds (i like the hemp hearts brand)
  • organic raw pumpkin seeds
  • organic raw hulled sunflower seeds


  • 1 head organic cauliflower
  • 1 organic red bell pepper
  • 1 box heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bunch organic carrots
  • 2 organic cucumbers
  • 2 organic zucchini
  • 1 bunch organic collard greens
  • 1 bag organic arugula
  • 1 bunch organic celery


  • 4 meyer lemons
  • 2 limes
  • 1 watermelon
  • 1 box organic strawberries
  • 1 box organic black mission figs
  • 2 organic mangos
  • 4 organic apples


  • celtic sea salt shaker
  • 1 bunch organic chives
  • 1 box organic basil

cauliflower pesto salad recipe

  • chop 1 head of cauliflower into florets and mix with 1 tbs sunflower oil, 3 tbs lemon juice, 1/2 tsp celtic sea salt, and fresh black pepper. toss to coat and let marinate in the fridge overnight.
  • the next day: add chopped green spanish olives, 1  finely chopped red bell pepper and 1 box of cherry tomatoes cut in quarters.
  • pesto: in a blender combine 1 box fresh organic basil, 1 handful fresh chives, 1/2 tsp celtic sea salt, 1 tbs organic no salt seasoning (we bought it at trader joe’s) and the juice of 1 lime.
  • toss the cauliflower salad in the pesto and enjoy!

mango cucumber salad recipe

  • peel 2 mangos and 2 cucumbers and cut in cubes
  • toss with the juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 tsp celtic sea salt, 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper and 1/2 tsp paprika
  • store in the fridge and serve with avocado and fresh arugula

overnight oats recipe

  • combine 1/2 cup gluten free oats, 1/2 grated apple, 2 tbs raisins, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1 cup of water in a glass container with a lid.
  • soak overnight and enjoy cold in the morning!