makeup brush washing 101

keeping clean makeup brushes is a big deal if you have acne-prone skin, even if you are using acne-safe makeup. old makeup and your skin’s oils build up, potentially causing new breakouts to form.

there are makeup brush cleaning sprays on the market that are (in my opinion) totally not necessary and can actually add to the gunk that accumulates on your skin. brush cleaning sprays are like dry shampoo for your hair – imagine using dry shampoo for a straight month! gross.

actually washing your brushes with our charcoal face wash is akin to shampooing your hair in the shower with water – a much more thorough and preferred method of personal hygiene. we suggest you wash your brushes at least every 1 or 2 weeks and of course, only use skinSALVATION approved acne-safe mineral makeup.

in this video, we also show you how to wash your brushes with our charcoal wash, but also how to clean them with rubbing alcohol for everyday use, in between your weekly washings.




acne safe wedding – introduction

if i’m being fully honest, i will admit that while planning my wedding i became strangely obsessed with people telling me i was a laid-back bride. i’ll also admit there were times i felt stressed while planning my wedding (like when the photobooth company ghosted on us), but overall i am pretty proud with how i handled all the planning. this is partly due to meditation but mainly due to making a whole lot of little decisions with just this thought as the guiding factor: what is the low-stress option?

before we dive in, i want to fill you in on my skin “situation” so you know i’m legit and trust my advice. i’ve been a skinSALVATION client since 2014. my skin cleared up within a few months of strictly following the acne safe lifestyle. i got a little cocky after maintaining 95-98% clarity for 2 years. during this cocky period where i felt invincible, i stayed diligent with the acne safe products but ate pizza (dairy and potential soybean oil in dough = not acne safe), chinese (soy up the wazoo = definitely not acne safe), and an occasional slice of cheddar cheese off the block (precise + literal definition of not acne safe).

whew! that felt good to get all that off my chest. so, that aside, about 6 months before my wedding i got really serious about getting my skin to a state where i wouldn’t have to slather on concealer to get a smooth finish. so, i did everything skinSALVATION recommends: the acne safe diet, products, signature face treatments, peels, stress management, sleep, the whole shebang.

and…the day of my wedding i didn’t have to wear a full face of makeup!

now i’m going to be straightforward. adding the requirement “acne safe” to my wedding day definitely made things more complicated. while working reception at skinSALVATION i have had the pleasure of chatting with some of our clients who are getting married this year and realized i had some solid advice for planning a low stress, acne safe wedding. so, i have decided to be a good samaritan and share what i’ve learned. i’ve organized what i am going to share with you into sections so that it’s easier to navigate. we are going to separate them into 3 blog posts and will post one a week:

  • week one: straight up skincare routine and timeline for treatments
  • week two: makeup, planning ahead and day of (including advice from a makeup artist that’s also a skinSALVATION client and can do your makeup acne safe!)
  • week three: easy ways to keep stress low: flowers, table settings, food, cake, vows, and wedding favors

so, stay tuned for next week’s post on straight up skincare routine and timeline for treatments!

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!  

weleda lip balm discontinued at sS

skinSALVATION is committed to providing and recommending products that are completely acne safe. this includes products that you use on your lips and mouth like toothpaste, lipstick, lipgloss and lip balm.

we have been working with a rockstar client who is on point with her diet, lifestyle and regimen. all of her products are acne safe and she is clearing up nicely, except for some pesky pimples on her lip line. her toothpaste and cooking oils are acne safe and she has been using the weleda lip balm (orange tube) that we carry here at sS as her only lip product. as an experiment, we had her stop using the weleda and switch the the skinSALVATION lip balm with spf. when she swapped balms, her lip line cleared.


during this time we also emailed all of our previous clients who purchased the weleda lip balm from us to see if they had any adverse reactions. (if you were one of these clients, thank you for your feedback!) turns out that no one else seemed to have a problem with it.

if you are still using weleda with no problems that’s great! we would love a quick email from you so that we can keep track.

we consider one client breaking out enough to discontinue a product. with other great alternatives out there, it isn’t worth taking the chance.

if you are breaking out along the lip line, between the mouth and nostrils, or on the chin, here are a few things to look out for:

  • cloggy lip balm the only ones that we are currently recommending as 100% safe are skinSALVATION spearmint + lavender mint, and annemarie borlind “for lips”
  • cloggy lipgloss check out the hemporganics lip tints instead!
  • cloggy lipstick hemporganics has a ton of beautiful shades in matte and shimmer
  • cloggy toothpaste our recommendation is kiss my face gel *note that they are discontinuing their mega large tubes and their travel size so stock up while you can. ingredients to look out for in toothpaste are coconut oil, sodium laurel sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate and carrageenan (aka irish moss).
  • cloggy cooking oils coconut oil, soybean oil, corn oil, peanut oil + avocado oil. easy to avoid these at home but not so easy when you eat out, so limit the taqueria visits to stay your clearest.
  • waxing / threading / shaving can irritate the skin. make sure that your shaving cream, aftershave, etc. is acne safe. threading is preferred over waxing because it is less harsh on the skin and the wax itself can contain cloggy ingredients. make sure either way that they aren’t using products on your before or after, like oils and powders (pure witch hazel is okay).
  • kissing not the act itself, that can be a great way to relieve stress 😉 however, you want to make sure that your partner is using acne safe lip products, mustache wax, beard oil, lipstick, etc.

if you do experience breakouts around the mouth:

  • keep icing! to reduce current inflammation, prevent future inflammation and help your products penetrate better.
  • stick to your regimen morning and evening, as recommended by your esthetician.
  • stay away from foods that are not acne safe dairy, soy, coffee and sugar!
  • take a breather deep breaths or a quick meditation can help reduce stress and prevent inflamed and non inflamed breakouts.

new alima pure makeup, probably cloggy!

alima pressed photo

i was excited for about three minutes when a client told me that alima pure is now selling a pressed powder foundation formula. i checked their website right away to investigate. thankfully the company discloses what ingredients they put in their products, so checking them for comedonecity was a breeze. alas, and to my disappointment, in the pressed formula they have included a handful of oils known to be cloggy. the ingredients list shows that it contains tocopherol, squalane, evening primrose oil, and argan oil-all cloggy! they have also included perfume, and the contents of which aren’t disclosed so that may be cloggy too. occasionally a product will seem cloggy but it’s not, but i wouldn’t quite hold my breath for this one, given all the different oils. i love this brand and this is total bummer but at least they have kept the original formulas for their loose powders so they are still 100% acne-safe. if we give the pressed formula a test run there may be an update soon!