all about our chemical peels

a chemical peel is a form of exfoliation with acids that target the keratinized or dead skin cells on the very outer layers of the skin. chemical peels help to increase the rate of turnover and sloughing off of these dead layers so that newer cells can reach the surface more quickly.

there are different acids used in chemical peels that target a variety of desired results but they all promote the exfoliation of dead cells on the surface (and inside the pores) of the skin.

OUR CHEMICAL PEELS

we work with a variety of chemical peels at skinSALVATION. your esthetician will help you figure out which of our peels is the best choice for your skin. below is a description of the different peels we offer in our clinic.

MANDELIC PEELS

our 20% and 35% mandelic acid peels are oftentimes the only peels many of our clients ever need and this is because they do their job so incredibly well. we use these peels more than all the other peels combined at our clinic. the many benefits of our mandelic acid peels include:

  • anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties which translate to a reduction in inflammation and inflamed acne
  • regulating sebum production while improving skin cell turnover preventing and clearing clogged pores
  • lightening and brightening, lifting hyper-pigmentation and improving the overall tone of the skin
  • promoting collagen production which decreases as we age – many clients notice a difference in their complexion and appearance after just one mandelic peel treatment. this also has an effect on the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, resulting in a more vibrant, youthful appearance.
  • safe for all skin types – mandelic acid is the most gentle of all the acids used as chemical exfoliating agents. this makes it well tolerated by even the more sensitive skin types.

OTHER PEELS

lightening of hyper-pigmentation is a major concern for many of our clients. we have great peel options that work beautifully for lifting pigmentation quickly. however, we counsel our clients to first do the work to get cleared up before worrying about the left over pigmentation. talk to your esthetician if you think you might be ready to try one of the peels below.

  • our 10% TCA depigmentation peel is a mild but very effective peel that delivers lighteners down to the melanocyte (pigment producing skin cell) without traumatizing the skin. the TCA peel contains other buffering acids that target hyper-pigmentation and sun damage. this is a wonderful peel for evening skin tone, reducing acne, retexturing the skin and refining pore size.
  • our 20% lactic lightening peel contains lactic acid, a milk-based ingredient that hydrates and exfoliates the skin in a gentle manner. this peel also includes two superb lighteners: arbutin and kojic acid that work with lactic to lighten and hydrate the skin.
  • our progressive pro peel is our strongest facial chemical peel offering. check out our blog post on the pro peel to learn about this powerful peel.
  • our smoothing body peel consists of a 2 step process. the pre-peel accelerator mask (step 1) provides nourishing ingredients that soften and hydrate the skin’s surface. the smoothing body peel (step 2) improves the appearance and texture of the skin with a combination of exfoliating, smoothing and brightening ingredients. this treatment is an excellent choice for promoting an even skin tone and clear complexion on the upper arms, shoulders and back.

shining a light on LED Therapy

ABOUT LED

LED was first discovered by NASA and stands for light emitting diode, which is a tiny computer chip encased in a glass bulb. there are different LED wavelengths resulting in different colors. each wavelength or color provides unique therapeutic benefits to the skin. LED delivers light to the skin similar to how plants absorb light from the sun. LED therapy is non-invasive, painless, requires no recovery time and is safe for all skin types.

OUR ACNE TARGETED LED LIGHT

we offer LED light treatments at our clinic in San Francisco both in combination with other therapies like extractions and chemical peels or as a stand alone appointment. our LED treatments consist of exposing the entire face to our acne targeting LED light panel for up to 20 minutes depending on the treatment type. the light is engineered to feel warm and soothing and clients often will fall asleep during the LED portion of their treatment.

our professional LED light uses the red and blue wavelengths in combination. together these work to encourage the production of adenosine triphosphate or ATP. the skin cells and surrounding structures then utilize this abundance of ATP to carry out skin repair functions that produce visible results.

red light stimulates connective tissue cells called fibroblasts to secrete collagen proteins that are used to maintain and repair the structural framework of the skin. this translates to more efficient wound healing, reduction of redness and lifting of old pigmentation left from topical damage. existing breakouts heal faster and the overall appearance of the skin is visibly improved, healthy-looking and glowing.

blue light targets and destroys Cutibacterium acnes or c. acnes bacteria. these bacteria proliferate inside acne lesions and their waste products contribute to the inflammation that results in a breakout-type pimple. blue light also reduces excessive sebum production inside the pore which helps to prevent the development of the seeds that lead to inflamed and non-inflamed acne.

TREATMENT RESULTS

results differ from person to person. some can be seen immediately after one treatment and others happen more slowly with several treatments over time.

immediate results:

  • a noticeable reduction in healing time post treatment for both peels and extractions with less rebound inflammation after treatments
  • when the light is applied to an area at the very beginning of the inflammation process it can completely reverse it preventing the breakout that was bound to occur without the help of the light. this may not work every time for everyone but it is something we have seen occur for many clients over the years.

results seen over time with several treatments spaced close together:

  • reduced visible signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles
  • improved tone and rejuvenation of the skin
  • accelerated lifting of post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation left from old acne breakouts or picking
  • a more pronounced reduction of inflamed breakout frequency and severity

client’s can book any of our LED treatments through our online scheduling platform. feel free to reach out to your esthetician with any questions regarding this or any of our treatment offerings.

what’s a pro peel and should i get one?

ABOUT THE PEEL

the PROGRESSIVE PRO PEEL was originally developed by our acne researcher and guru, Dr. James Fulton. he created this TCA and lactic-acid based peel system for the most congested types of acne, as well as for anti-aging and brightening purposes. it’s also a good option for those who:

    • are in a hurry to clear up as soon as possible
    • are sensitive to extractions and must rely solely on exfoliation to get clear
    • have plateaued in clarity with the regular acne treatments and peels
    • have very deep pores and the seeds are buried too far under the skin to fully extract with the regular treatments, and you typically get rebound inflamed breakouts after treatments
    • are looking to lift pigmentation left from old inflamed or picked acne lesions
    • are interested in smoothing fine lines and wrinkles
    • would like to improve the overall texture of your skin

here are some guidelines and information to read up on, when considering this more aggressive yet highly effective peel.

BEFORE THE PEEL

    • be careful to avoid sun exposure for the 2-4 weeks leading up to and the 1-2 weeks after the peel. we cannot perform this peel if you have a sunburn or sensitivity of any kind.
    • the peel application can make for an intense experience, so getting mentally prepared to deal with the discomfort of the peel application will be helpful. clients oftentimes will reach an 8-10 on the peeling sensation scale.
    • you will need your esthetician’s approval and a patch test before booking this peel to ensure that you are a good candidate

THE PEEL TREATMENT ITSELF

during the 30-minute treatment, we won’t cleanse your skin like we normally do with the signature acne treatments. that being said, it’s best to come in with a clean face – no makeup, but spf is fine. the peel is composed of 4 different chemical peel solutions that are applied onto the skin in layers. we will give you a large fan to keep you as cool as possible, but given the nature of the peel, a burning sensation is somewhat unavoidable. however, this is only present during the peel application, and we’ll wait for the sensation to come down in-between the application of each layer.

    • level 1 of the peel degreases the skin and wipes away the dead skin cells sitting on the surface layer. clients normally feel 1 or 2 on a scale of 1-10 of heat and spiciness with this layer.
    • level 2 is a slightly stronger blend of acids than in level 1, and clients might feel a 3 or 4.
    • level 3 is an even stronger blend of acids than level 2, and is the most intense layer. clients often will reach an 8, 9 or 10. keep in mind, that layer 3 may be skipped depending on the skin’s reaction to the first two layers. not to worry though, great results can still be achieved even if we skip this layer – it’s important to honor the health of your skin vs being overly aggressive with chemicals, to keep your skin healthy and happy.
    • level 4 is a blend of vitamin a and lactic acids. happily, this layer is not as stimulating as the rest, so it tends to cool things down. this layer leaves a yellow tint to the skin, which makes it difficult to apply makeup on top. we will however, finish off the treatment with an application of moisturizing spf.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE PEEL

  • you can wear a face shield (cone ones like this work best or a hat with a shield like this) instead of a mask after the PRO PEEL appointment to prevent rubbing and friction on your way out the door. or you can bring a loose light and clean face mask to wear out and take off when you get in your car. you’ll also want to avoid situations were you have to wear a mask as much as possible in the week after your PRO PEEL.
  • make sure to stock up on any post treatment products that you’ll need for healing in the week after the peel. you can pick these up at your appointment.
  • given the activity of this treatment and the yellow tint left by the last layer, we recommend that you lay low for the rest of the day and go home, relax, and stay out of the sun and heat. stay hydrated, and stay cool!

WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE DAYS AFTER THE PEEL

you’ll do the healing regimen (no active products) at home for the 5-7 days after the PRO PEEL. as soon as all peeling has completed, you may start back up on your active clearing regimen.

day 1: expect the skin to look shiny, with a healthy glow, and feel a bit tight. the tightness means that the skin is getting ready to peel!

days 2-5: peeling normally starts a few days after the peel, and lasts about 4 days and sometimes a little longer. the peeling will start around the mouth and inner face, moving towards the outer face and forehead in the next day or two, with the end of the peeling occurring around the hairline. sometimes the peeling is much more minimal. if this happens, don’t worry, you will still have good results and we can graduate you to the extra strength version for your next PRO PEEL.

results may vary but these photos depict the type of peeling that can occur in days 2-5.

 

*during the peeling days 2-5, it’s important to keep as hydrated (topically and internally) as possible to encourage the best results. you can use your hydrating gel, cream, shea butter or rosewater spray as much as you like throughout the day to support this process.

LAST THOUGHTS:

we have seen this peel improve the clarity of everyone who has done them, though it may take a few peels to see a change. clients can accelerate their treatment plan by getting PRO PEELS every 2-3 weeks for the best and fastest results.

also, keep in mind, any underlying systemic issues present that are not dealt with are beyond any topical treatment – the acne will be resistant until these are addressed, no matter how many PRO PEELS we do.

this is a service that must be booked on approval of your esthetician, so reach out to her by email for this and with any other questions you may have.

 

staying clear through the holiday party season

the holidays are fast approaching, and with the onset of holiday work parties and huge family gatherings comes our primal tendencies to binge and celebrate on overdrive. we get it – it’s cold outside, the sun makes a pathetic appearance for months on end, and the last thing you want to do is stay on top of your acne-safe lifestyle. it’s tempting to stay out ’til dawn, partying in the club and bingeing at the corner pizzeria, but this might not help you on your journey to clear skin.

the unfortunate truth is that sugary drinks, sporadic sleep and inflammatory substances like alcohol and sweet holiday foods can all contribute to acne by activating the body’s stress response. even though you may not feel stressed out mentally or physically, your body is working hard to combat the stressors of the holiday season, and sometimes it will let you know by producing a map of inflamed acne across your face.

we want to help you prepare for and adapt to the stress and stressors of the holidays, so here are our tried and true tips for making it through this party season with clear skin:

maintain your skin regimen. try your best to keep your morning and evening skincare habits afloat, even after a hard night of hard liquor. sleeping in makeup that has been caked onto your face for hours can be damaging to the health of your skin, as the ingredients in makeup can irritate pores and contribute to inflammation. plus, we can’t underestimate the importance of washing away the polluting particles that lodge themselves into our skin throughout a day of city-living. nightly cleansing is extra important if you are a smoker or if you are consistently exposed to second-hand smoke, damp and stuffy bar air, or if you interact on an intimate level with people who use cloggy products. if you have a more complex regimen that involves multiple serums, don’t worry about the extra steps – just be sure to cleanse, tone and moisturize in the morning and before bed. we love taping a step-by-step regimen card to the bathroom mirror so we don’t have a chance to forget this important nightly ritual. if you really can’t bring yourself to wash your face, at the very least, wet a makeup-removing sponge with some water and cleanser and wipe off the day’s dust. i must admit that even i have been guilty of saturating a toner pad with mandelic toner, moisturizing and calling it a night on occasion.

stay away from excess sugar. this can be a tough one throughout the holidays, when sweet spiced lattes beckon on every city corner and when the work fridge is packed with pumpkin pies and festive snacks. if you know you can’t make it through december without the tastes of the season, try making your own versions of classic holiday desserts, like a paleo pumpkin pie with low-glycemic coconut sugar instead of refined white sugar, or an apple pie that features an almond-flour crust for an added protein-boost. substitute ghee for butter in this recipe for chocolate-covered chestnuts and you’ll be invited back to holiday parties for years to come. rainbow grocery and whole foods usually offer a plethora of low-glycemic holiday sweets to choose from. bring these tasty treats to work or parties so you have something that you know is acne-safe to munch on. we wouldn’t want you to feel left out of the holiday fun! try your best to moderate your sugar intake, but if it’s not always possible, don’t stress – just remember to have a good time. opt for dark chocolate and fruit, and if you truly can’t resist the temptation of your uncle’s famous homemade pumpkin pie, have just a bite or two to satisfy that craving. as for alcohol, choose clear liquor with no added sugar – just a twist of lime or some bitters and sparkling water will do the trick! check out this site for a comprehensive guide to the sugar content in wines and steer towards the dry side. and don’t worry, dairy-free egg nog can totally be on the menu.

eat a well-balanced meal before or with drinks and skip the late-night mcdonald’s binge. in order to decrease the likelihood that you will face a punishing hangover after a wild night out, eat a good-sized meal with protein and healthy fats like avocado, olive oil and fish beforehand. eating before drinking will also help you steer clear of late-night fast food choices (it’s never fun standing in line at the pizzeria at 2am anyway). if you do end up craving a midnight snack, gnaw on some jerky or an avocado to balance out the blood sugar rush that accompanies a night of drinking. some late night san francisco snack options include the tamale lady, tacos without cheese or sour cream, street dogs on mission (hot dogs wrapped in bacon – yikes!) or crepes without dairy. and of course, if you are really craving some pizza, try a cheese-less slice.

hydrate. we can’t emphasize this one enough. drink plenty of water through the winter season. sometimes we can forget to drink enough water when it’s cold outside because our bodies don’t register dehydration in the same way that they do when they’re faced with a sweltering heat and harsh sun. this may mean that your body doesn’t offer the same thirst signals that it might during the peak of summer, so remember to always fill up your water bottle and sip from it all day long. and drink extra water if you know you’ll be consuming dehydrating alcoholic beverages – have ‘water bumpers’ between drinks by alternating alcohol with water all night. also, think about the hangover you’ll likely feel the next day – maybe that is enough of a deterrent from doing 151 shots?

get your beauty sleep. getting a good night’s sleep has not only been linked to more stable blood sugar levels throughout the day, but also with the ability to make better food choices, which is extra crucial this time of year. it makes sense – if you make it through the night with only five hours of sleep, you’re likely to wake up tired, reaching for that sugary coffee drink just to function at work. pair that with a fluffy pastry and you’re setting up yourself up for another afternoon crash. so try to prioritize this precious rest time and aim for a solid eight hours of sleep each night. just remember: you don’t have to go to ALL of the parties your invited to. you can always say no. if you do tend to your every social obligation, cut some of them short or party alcohol-free. allow a couple nights a week for your body to rest so that you don’t end up with a nasty cold that puts you out for days.

don’t leave home without your sterilizing toner. skinSALVATION’s sterilizing toner has many benefits throughout the holiday season. first, it’s a fantastic antidote to any type of hot and heavy behavior that may occur in the club. if you find yourself sweating buckets on the dance floor, simply swipe some sterilizing toner across your face as a way of freshening up while preventing the spread of acne-causing bacteria deep into your pores. and if you find a special someone on the dance floor and end up locking lips, the sterilizing toner can be a great way to help ensure that their cloggy products won’t interfere with your clear skin journey.

icing – if you haven’t already jumped on the icing bandwagon for clear skin, get on it! icing is a great way to decrease the redness and inflammation that sometimes accompany hormonal and stress-related acne. if done in conjunction with your regimen, icing also creatures micro-fissures in your skin that allow potent product like mandelic toner to penetrate more deeply. so if you don’t already have an ice pop, come by the shop and pick one up! then, head home, cleanse your face, pop in home alone and start icing your face for 20-30 minutes. be sure to move the ice constantly in order to avoid ice burn and follow it up with toner and moisturizer. it’s an easy and relaxing way to heal current acne and to prevent new acne from forming. icing is both a great way to relax before hitting the sack after a night of drinking AND a perfect pick-me-up on a hungover morning.

prepare for a long night out. if you know you’ll be spending the night at a friend’s house, pack an overnight bag full of 2oz travel size skinSALVATION products and a clean pillow case. don’t sabotage your clear skin journey by settling for your pal’s bacteria-filled linens. bringing your own pillow case also ensures that your skin won’t be exposed to any residue from her cloggy products. similarly, you won’t have to scrub with her coconut oil-infused bath and body bar if you think ahead and pack a travel bag of acne-safe face products.

take a minute to slow down. the holidays can be stressful as we rush around town in a frenzy, seeking perfect gifts for our loved ones while making holiday feasts for friends, hosting parties and still attempting to keep up with work deadlines. it’s a lot to handle. so take a minute to slow it on down everyday and either meditate or acknowledge a few aspects of your life for which you are thankful. this is the season for giving but we often get so caught up in giving to others that we forget to take time out for ourselves. so next time you need a few minutes for an epsom salt bath or a few sun salutations, don’t feel guilty. instead, recognize that you are making positive choices for yourself and for the people around you by allowing your holiday stress to melt away. we love the meditation app, simple habit, which has a ton of great 1-5 minute meditations that can be done anywhere – in a cab on the way to an event, on bart before walking to the office, or on your morning walk with the family pup.

at the end of the season, try out a liver cleanse. this can be especially important if you went a little overboard with the cigarettes/cocaine/molly that some random person offered you in the bathroom line at the bar. our livers work overtime during the holidays to process all of the added substances we feed our bodies, so it’s good to give our star quarterbacks a break every now and then. this is why january is such a popular month for cleanses and whole30s and detoxes. when you feel like your body has had enough of the drugs and alcohol, try nourishing it with liver-supporting herbs like dandelion and burdock roots, nettle and milk thistle. consuming these herbs as teas alongside a diet free of processed foods can help give your liver a much-deserved break. we love sipping on detox teas all through the cold winter months. when our livers are functioning properly, they become the front line of defense against acne, as they flush toxins and excess hormones like estrogen from our bodies. if the liver is overwhelmed, the skin becomes the next organ to take on the responsibility of flushing out these nasty little invaders. so, the less mess we put into our bodies, the more energy our livers devote to helping us maintain clear skin.

one of my favorite clean green soups to make involves simply steaming a ton of green vegetables (kale, broccoli, spinach, zuchinni) and blending them with the water from steaming (that’s where all the nutrients are). add half an avocado for creaminess, a bunch of cilantro, dill or parsley, and a hearty squeeze of lemon, and you’ve got yourself nutrient-dense detox powerhouse. i love this soup on cold mornings with a poached egg and some sauerkraut. you can also down some chlorophyll (not to be confused with chlorella, which is not acne-safe), to boost your daily dose of beauty greens. Check out these tips to get started on a gentle post-holiday liver cleanse for clear skin.

so what’s the bottom line? the holiday season is a time for celebrating with friends and for indulging, so have fun and don’t beat yourself up if you stray a bit from the acne-safe lifestyle. do your best and celebrate small victories, like the dairy-free pumpkin pie you brought to your holiday work party, where nobody knew the difference.

what are some of your favorite ways to celebrate the holidays acne-safe?

exercise and acne: move your body for clear skin

whether you are a yoga mat-toting cyclist or a gym rat with a penchant for the elliptical, working out is an important ritual for many of us – it’s our way of shedding daily stress while doing something positive for our physical bodies. daily movement of some kind, be it taking a walk during your lunch break, choosing the stairs over the escalator, going on a robust run or attending a barre class, has been linked to better digestion, better moods and more vibrant heart health. and if you struggle with persistent acne, finding the right balance of exercise and movement is crucial for maintaining healthy skin.

how exercise benefits the skin, the body and the mind

if improved overall health isn’t enough to get you off the couch and into some jumping jacks, here are a few more tantalising reasons to regularly move your body. 

  1. exercise eases stress and helps regulate mood. exercise releases the chemical norepinephrine, which helps the brain adapt to all types of stress. physical movement also releases endorphins, our happiness chemicals, and dopamine, our reward chemical. ever hear of runner’s high? it’s just the endorphins kicking in after intense energy expenditure. some studies have shown that exercise can be as effective an anti-depressant as prescription medication for some people.1 and since stress is linked to the development of acne, reducing stress by taking up some physical activity is a great step on your journey to clear skin. so get moving!
  2. exercise helps us stay sharp as a tack. not only has regular exercise been linked to an increased longevity of brain cells, it is now a common recommendation by doctors as an important step in staving off alzheimer’s. how does it work? exercising boosts the chemicals in the brain that help keep the hippocampus, our memory center, running as a well-oiled machine. exercise has also been linked to neurogenesis, or the creation of new brain cells, which primes us for a lifetime of learning and an enviable quick-wittedness.2
  3. confidence and self-worth skyrocket. this one is fairly obvious, but exercising can help boost self-esteem and self-image. because we know that movement is good for our physical bodies, this often translates to feeling better about ourselves overall. the more you move, the better you feel!
  4. exercise can help create vivacious skin. a recent study shows that regular exercise can help slow signs of aging by increasing circulation and oxygen flow to the skin around the face and by contributing to the growth of collagen.3 regular light exercise in combination with an anti-inflammatory diet and a non-comedogenic skin regimen can have powerful effects on skin health.
  5. exercise improves sleep quality. consistent exercise over long periods of time has been shown to benefit quality and length of sleep.4 daytime physical activity promotes longer periods of slow-wave sleep, which is the deep restful shut-eye we all crave. the quality of our sleep shows in our skin – when we skimp on sleep, our skin doesn’t have the time and resources to heal itself.5  so move your body and drift peacefully into dreamland.
  6. the more we move, the more energy we have. regular exercise can have an astounding impact on our ability to sustain vibrant energy levels throughout the day. those who engage in regular physical activity generally report feeling more awake in the mornings and better able to maintain a stable energy level over the course of the day.6 say goodbye to that afternoon slump! 
  7. movement keeps things moving. if you ever feel a bit…backed up, try some yoga or a gentle jog around the block. physical activity helps move things along internally, acting as a sort of massage for the internal organs. light exercise also helps us absorb nutrients from our foods more readily.7 beware of digestive issues – sedentarism has been linked to the onset of many gastrointestinal diseases. smooth digestion is hugely important for skin health, so make sure you move your body to keep things moving.

exercising your way to clear skin

now that we know why we should exercise, let’s talk about how. exercise is a form of temporary stress on the body that ultimately leads to a greater good – it’s also known as a hormetic stressor. even though exercise temporarily activates the release of cortisol, our stress hormone, from our adrenal glands, low levels of exercise with plenty of rest in between are very beneficial to our overall health and help make us stronger. 

but for many of us, especially us women, exercising can easily spin out of control because of the societal pressures we face to look a certain way, to attain perfect beach bodies and six-pack abs. overexercising can be downright dangerous for women because of the specific ways in which women’s bodies respond to stress, and despite the benefits of movement, an overzealous approach to exercise can contribute to, rather than heal, acne. because exercise is a physical stressor on the body, it’s important to not go overboard and send the body into a state of chronic stress without recovery. chronic stress causes our adrenal glands to release higher levels of male sex hormones like dhea-s, which is later converted into testosterone, often setting the stage for acne along the jawline, oily skin, menstrual irregularities and hair growth.

so how do you know if you are overexercising? feeling sore and totally drained after a workout and into the next day is a sign that you are working out too hard. if you experience any of the above symptoms of hormonal imbalance in combination with the symptoms of overexercising, try scaling things back. try less intensive types of exercise like swimming, tennis, walking, and yoga, or reduce the number of days each week that you engage in taxing workouts. if you are used to running ten miles a day, try swapping out a day or two for a moderately strenuous hike. if high intensity interval training is your movement of choice, try dialing it back and alternating with yoga. listen to your body’s needs each day and honor them by finding activities that you enjoy that also work your body – tennis, hiking, or group sports like soccer or basketball always do the trick. and always make time to allow the body to rest and recuperate after workouts. remember to refuel your glycogen stores afterwards by eating plenty of carbohydrates and protein8 – fasting creates an added stress on the body and leaves you utterly deprived of precious energy. so don’t skimp on the nourishing food and remember to take plenty of rest days!

rather than stressing about incorporating 30 minutes of exercise into my daily routine, i try to get other forms of movement in where i can. i take the stairs whenever possible. if i drive to a grocery store, i park far from the entrance to get a few more steps in. i take breaks at work to do a few sets of squats, lunges or jumping jacks. i stretch often and i coordinate walking meetings at work, rather than meetings around the conference table. think outside the box to add little bits of movement to your routine rather than attempting to force a strict exercise regimen into an already hectic day.

packing your acne-safe gym bag

if you choose to get your kicks at the gym, here are a few tips for staying acne-safe in the process. if you have access to a shower, try to rinse off using your sS cleanser immediately following a sweaty workout. the last thing you want is a build-up of sweat and dead skin cells collecting to clog your precious pores. if you can’t get to a shower, try to at least rinse your face at the bathroom sink and follow up with some sS sterilizing toner on some toner pads. if you exercise in the evening, clean any makeup off your face beforehand in order to avoid any makeup creeping into your open pores while you’re getting your groove on on the treadmill. tie your hair up and away from your face and always wear breathable, loose-fitting clothing. and remember to keep your hands off your face during your workout – you never know where that kettlebell has been!

when building your acne-safe gym bag, be sure to include the following items:

  1. cleanser – use sS charcoal or hydrating cleanser immediately after a workout to wash away any lingering sweat.
  2. hydrating toner or sterilizing toner  – use either of these directly after cleansing to close those pores and to ensure that the bacteria from your sweat doesn’t spread.
  3. toner pads – keep plenty of these on hand to apply your toner either as part of your regimen or as a face wipe when you can’t access running water.
  4. sunscreen – whether you’re heading out into the sun or not, pop some sun protection onto your face before AND after working out.
  5. travel-size acne-safe shampoo, conditioner and body wash – these are important pieces of every gym bag that often go overlooked. this is especially important if you are prone to body acne.
  6. acne-safe makeup and clean brushes – if you wear makeup, check those ingredients and make sure nothing is gonna clog your pores! clean your brushes at least once a week with sS charcoal cleanser.
  7. clean towels and fresh clothes. make sure you are not reusing the same grimy gym towel over and over, day after day. just like changing out your pillowcases, swap out your towel for a fresh one every single day to avoid spreading bacteria.

let us know your favorite ways to add movement into your day along with the contents of your acne-safe gym bag!

footnotes

1. american psychological association. stress and exercise.
2. disalvo, d. (2013) how exercise makes your brain grow. forbes magazine. oct 13 2013.
3. safdar, a., et al. (2011) endurance exercise rescues progeroid aging and induces systemic mitochondrial rejuvenation in mtDNA mutator mice. pnas. 2011 mar; 108(10):4135–4140.
4. breus, m. (2013) better sleep found by exercising on a regular basis. psychology today. sep 6 2013.
5. kubota, y., et al. (2010) community-based epidemiological study of psychosocial effects of acne in japanese adolescents. journal of dermatology. 2010 jul;37(7):617-22.
6. fahmy, s. (2008) low-intensity exercise reduces fatigue symptoms by 65 percent, study finds. university of georgia today. feb 28 2008.
7. tauseef, a., et al. (2013) sleep, immunity and inflammation in gastrointestinal disorders. world journal of gastroenterology. 2013 dec 28; 19(48): 9231–9239.
8. chandler, r.m., et al. (1994) dietary supplements affect the anabolic hormones after weight-training exercise. journal of applied physiology. 1994 feb; 76(2):839-45.