many of our new clients come to us with the same questions, so we’ve provided the FAQ’s below to hopefully help answer any questions you may have. before calling us, please thoroughly read our FAQ’s page to make sure we are the right fit for you – working with us is an investment in time, daily effort and resources for all involved. if after reading this thoroughly and carefully, you still have questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 415.525.2458 so that we can better inform you of our process.
what makes skinSALVATION different?
we only hire the best estheticians in san francisco, who then go through a very thorough and rigorous 4-8 week training process. we have hired new esthetician graduates who’ve said that our training program is tougher than actual esthetician school itself. from theory to hands-on, we are neurotic about the details.
most, if not all, our team have had acne that’s now – with our program – successfully under control. so, we completely understand what you are going through, because we have gone through it too! AND, our work has been so life-changing that several of our team members are actually clients turned-skinSALVATION employees.
our team is not paid on commission, so there is never any sales pressure. if and when our estheticians recommend a product or resource (like seeing a naturopath or acupuncturist), we do so because we feel strongly that you need it – NOT because we are trying to get a cut. our #1 goal is always to get you your healthiest and clearest, and we are truly looking out for your best interest, whether you are a client of ours or not.
we sell products that we have tested to be truly acne-safe – meaning that none of our products will ever break you out, or clog your pores, unless you are actually allergic to a specific ingredient within the formulation. with our expert treatments and close guidance and support, you will be in the best care our industry has to offer. (some of our products are made by manufacturers that change their formulas – usually to non-acne-safe ones – of which is out of our control, but do adapt and make changes to our offerings in these cases).
our goal is to empower you with the knowledge you’ll need to stay clear once we successfully purge all the acne you’ve come into our clinic with. you won’t need to be married to regular skin treatments for the rest of your life, so long as you understand and employ the philosophy of the acne-safe lifestyle, so that you can make informed decisions (and maybe even compromises), and know how your skin will be affected.
how can i become a skinSALVATION client?
we have several approaches on how to become a client of ours, whether you are local to the san francisco bay area, or miles away. in any case, please thoroughly read our FAQ’s page to make sure we are the right fit for you – working with us is an investment in time, daily effort and resources for all involved.
- for those local to SF, you may book an in-clinic, 2-hour initial consultation appointment, using our online scheduler.
- if you are not able to come into our clinic (or are tight on time), you may book a 1-hour remote consultation, conducted via skype or phone.
- if you would like a less structured approach to our work, you may book our exclusive acne-safe spa facial (san francisco’s first and only!), and/or get started on your journey to clarity by using our signature acne-safe skincare products available in our online shop.
many clients have found clarity using our products and our online library of acne-safe lifestyle resources on their own (via our blog, instagram, & pinterest), but this approach requires even more of your time, diligence and self-discipline. booking a consult with us will make things much more efficient and your clearing process, faster.
all new clients looking to work with us to clear their acne must complete an initial consultation appointment, however one is not mandatory if you are looking to book a spa facial or to purchase skincare products.
what happens during the consultation?
during your initial consult appointment, we will teach you exactly how acne works (so that you understand your daily choices and how it affects acne formation). we’ll then go over your skin, acne and health history, your current lifestyle (including stress management, hormone and gut health, diet, etc) in order to discover which imbalances are creating and exacerbating your acne. after that, we’ll create a treatment plan for you to correct those imbalances to clear you up, and teach you the tools needed in order to stay clear for life.
this appointment will create the foundation upon which our treatments and products are built upon, which will truly be the key to getting clear for the long term.
for consults held in-clinic, we’ll also cleanse and analyze your skin, take baseline photographs to track your progress, do a few test extractions and test products to ensure no allergic reactions. time permitting, we may also conduct an audit of your current skincare products to identify which ones have been problematic, and how they may have been affecting your skin.
the average duration of the in-clinic appointment is 1.5 to 2 hours, and the remote consultation is 1 hour. PLEASE NOTE that a full treatment is not included within these appointments (see below for an explanation why).
i'm coming from another acne clinic. do i still have to have to go through the consult process?
what we offer these clients is this: you can book a consult, and if the intake process is more of a quick review, we will allot the rest of the scheduled time for a full extraction session (sans chemical peel). however, if the intake process is more like an entire reeducation, then we will proceed with the rest of the consult appointment as scheduled (read: an in-depth skin analysis will be had, not a full extraction session).
why isn't a full extraction session included in the consult appointment?
on the topical level, there are several reasons for not jumping right into a full extraction session at our first meeting.
the first reason being, most commonly, is that the skin is simply not ready for the incredibly thorough extractions our treatments include. at the time of the consult, clients’ skin is most often imbalanced, compromised and/or sensitive from products and/or medications that they’ve used prior to coming to sS.
second, the skin needs to be prepared with a proper skincare regime for at least 2 weeks for a successful extraction session, much like an athlete needs to train prior to a victorious marathon win. at your consult, we put together a skincare regimen bespoke to your complexion which will offer the correct exfoliation & moisture levels your skin needs for an effective follow-up treatment. also, inflammation is often at it’s highest, so employing the regime & anti-inflammatory lifestyle for a couple of weeks prior to treatment will help bring it down, making for more effective extractions and faster healing.
third, because we have never worked on your skin before (and given the nature of our extraction-heavy signature treatments), we want to give your skin a couple of weeks to get to a healthy baseline and acclimate to the skincare regime, which will also allow us to negate any possible adverse reactions associated with those basics of the program.
what do the treatments consist of?
we will adjust your homecare regimen as your skin progresses, and support you on your acne-safe lifestyle changes to make sure you remain on the path to self-sustainably clear skin. there are many bits and pieces that can drastically affect your long-term clarity, so it is our goal to continuously reinforce these details to keep you your clearest.
how often should i come in?
most often, once clients are clear, they only need to come in for quarterly ‘tune up’ treatments to maintain their clarity. you may continue on with our signature acne treatments, or alternate with our acne-safe spa facial, as you and your esthetician see fit.
how long until i have clear skin?
however, depending on your compliance to the acne-safe lifestyle, skin care regimen and keep your regular treatment appointments, the average client sees marked improvement after 1 month, and clarity after 3 months.
if the skin is slow to heal, purge, or if there is a systemic imbalance present, the time to clarity may be longer, more like 6 months, or until the systemic issues are addressed. we will alert you of any foreseeable delays if and when we feel it is a possibility you may have a more challenging case, and communicate to you what additional tools and resources may be necessary to get you clear. it will then be up to you to employe our recommendations, for the best results possible.
do you accept insurance?
you can approach this two ways:
- the easiest way would be to use your FSA/HSA debit card at the clinic for your purchases, which directly deducts from your health savings account.
- the other way you can try is to submit your receipts for reimbursement from your provider.
most all clients have straightforward success with this process. a few cases where it required a few extra steps: we’ve only had one client whose treatments but not products would be covered. another client had his debit card decline about 4 times before it finally got approved. and another had us help her fill out some paperwork, which was approved.
let us know how if you need assistance with your plan administrator, and we are happy to do what we can to try and get your treatments and products with us approved.
how much do treatments cost?
i’m pregnant/breastfeeding - can i still get treatments and use your products?
that being said, pregnant and nursing clients have successfully and safely received our signature acne treatments, spa facials and continued to use our skincare products with just a little bit of baby-safe tweaking.
do the treatments fix scarring?
hyperpigmentation, or pigment scarring, look like brown or darker colored spots left over from old acne that’s healed. this type of scarring we can treat quite successfully with in-clinic treatments and at-home products. redness generally takes it’s own time to heal, without any extra skin care products. however, some stubborn pigmentation remains because a full extraction of the acne impaction needs to take place; if a pore is still clogged, the pigmentation will remain. our expert corrective acne-treatments will take care of this.
textural scarring is when the surface of the skin looks rough, or dimpled; ice-pick, ‘craters’, or pock-marks are terms often used to describe these kind. textural scarring is best treated with modalites currently not offered at skinSALVATION – either at a dermatologist or medical aesthetics practice via micro-needling with a micro-pen, platelet rich plasma, IPL and lasers.
that being said, regular extractions with our signature treatments while you are purging, will drastically reduce the chances of new textural and pigmentation scarring, and speed the healing of any scarring that has started to develop. it’s imperative to get your acne under control before beginning any scar treatments for the best results.
will i be red after treatments?
HOWEVER, you may choose to add-on an LED light treatment to your acne face treatment, to reduce redness and drastically reduce healing. many of our clients say that the investment is worth it – and that their skin seems to skip to what normally would be day 2 or 3 of healing, the day immediately after post-treatment.
i am under 18 - can i become a client?
in short, the results working with teens may be much less successful than what we see with our adult acne clients, and we do not offer guarantees or refunds.
do i have to have chemical peels?
if you are adamant about avoiding chemical peels, we can instead have you exfoliate at home with homecare products.
imagine your face is a garden bed, and all the acne present are carrot seeds. harvesting (extractions) and erosion of the soil (exfoliation) will help get all those carrots (pimples) out of the skin faster. we omit chemical peels for clients that are pregnant, nursing, or otherwise not fit for this type of treatment.
what is your success rate?
i'm on accutane - can i still come in for treatment?
by working with us, even without the more aggressive aspects of our program, you will prolong the (hopefully) positive clear-skinned results you achieve after stopping the drug.
if you choose to go off of accutane, you will be able to start receiving full extraction and peel treatments 6 months after you have stopped taking it with written permission from your doctor. doctor’s notes must include your name, date, and say, “this client has not taken the prescription medication accutane, or any of it’s derivatives under other trade names, for at least six months. the client is allowed to receive full professional extractions and chemical peels.”
skinSALVATION has the discretion to turn away a client, deny extractions, and/or deny chemical peels if we, with our best intentions and judgement, see that the skin is unfit.
i have acne rosacea - can you treat that?
how much do the products cost?
our products range from $3.95 for a lipbalm to $115.95 for a high level retinolic + peptide serum. we also sell acne-safe makeup, which ranges from $21.95 (blush, bronzer) to $47.95 (pressed mineral foundation).
a full skincare regimen set with cleanser, toner, day cream, night cream and corrective products (serums, benzoyl peroxide) averages about $150-200 and should last about 2-3 months with twice daily usage.
you may peruse our curated selection of acne-safe, corrective products here and schedule a time to chat with one of our estheticians about which regimen would be right for you by calling us at 415-525-2458.