acne-safe hand soap back in stock!

many of you have been awaiting our beloved aloe80 hand soap to return to the shop, and great news, it has arrived!

a few things to know:

  • it’s the same amazing formula from lily of the desert with new and improved packaging! you may not recognize it because the package used to say “aloe80”, now it just says “liquid soap”.


  • its aloe based so it won’t dry out your hands, (remember your hands and your neck tend to show signs of aging first!)
  • acne safe ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about cloggy residue transferring to your face or body after to clean your hands!
  • pick it up any day in the shop or our online store!


Emily long-time sS client turned front of house cutie showing off the new goods!



product discontinuation alert:

by: kerry watson
after many years of carrying reviva stretch mark lotion, we will be discontinuing and no longer recommending this product as an acne safe option. the company has reformulated the product to now include a highly comedogenic ingredient, cocoa butter. if you have this product at home please read the ingredient list to make sure that your bottle does not contain this ingredient. you can use the following non-comdeogenic products in place of this product:
– organic safflower oil
– organic sunflower oil
– pure shea butter
about our acne-safety testing process:

finding acne-safe products is a very painstaking and time consuming process.  we carefully shop for products with acne-safe ingredient listings, and then test them in-house for at least 6 months on skins that are already clear, and on people who are religiously living the acne-safe lifestyle, so that we can isolate any new breakouts to that one variable – the product he/she is testing.

a good, acne-safe body lotion is hard to find!

sS’ers –

since derma-e discontinued our beloved, acne-safe body lotion, we’ve been trying to find an acne-safe substitute until the one we are formulating passes the development and stability testing stages.


it’s surprisingly difficult to find body lotions that don’t have any clogging ingredients.  i spent 45 minutes in the body lotion aisle at whole foods one day, and found only 2 or 3 lotions that seemed ok – but they still had fragrances in them that needed to be researched and tested.  (if i can find those pics, ill update this post and upload them).  all lotions i looked at at places like walgreen’s or target were heavy on these ingredients too.

the problematic ingredients i kept running into included:

  • coconut oil
  • cocoa butter
  • high concentrations of olive oil, grapeseed oil or argan oil
  • cetearyl alcohol AND ceteareth-20
  • ethylhexyl palmitate
  • glyceryl stearate SE

THEN, if the formula didn’t include any of the above, our old tricky friend fragrance was the questionable ingredient remaining.  (read here about fragrance, if you don’t already know). if a fragrance is derived from an essential oil it should be acne-safe.  BUT, if the fragrance is synthetic, the odds are that that fragrance is going to cause some trouble.  then, to make things even more complicated, many manufacturers will combine both essential oil and synthetic fragrances.  so, we can ask the companies what exactly is IN the fragrance.  and, if they are willing to disclose that info (most aren’t) and the ingredients seem safe, then we’d put that product through the live-body-testing: finding acne-safe-lifestyle compliant clients who happen to be acne-prone on their body but are now clear, and have them test the lotion for at least 3-6 months.  it’s imperative that they meet these criteria, so that we can isolate any new breakouts to the product in question.

quick tip: synthetic vs essential oil fragrance

a fragrance is more likely to be essential oil derived if: 1. the manufacturer is a ‘natural, hippy’ brand and 2. the scent comes from an actual flower or plant, like lavender, rose or peppermint.

but, if the product you’re checking out is fragranced from things that don’t readily come abundantly fragrant from nature, like ‘marshmallow pumpkin latte’, ‘strawberries and champagne’, it’s very VERY likely that the fragrance is synthetic, and can break you out or cause skin irritation.


shea butter seems to be the most abundantly and easily found moisturizer to date.  it’s not the best at moisturizing, takes a long time for the skin to absorb (so you’re left greasy for a little while until then) and some may not like the inherent shea butter scent.  but, we found that this combined with safflower and/or sunflower oil, if extra moisture is needed, is the best bet.

alaffia shea butter moisturizing lotion

this feels a little watery at first, but then it absorbs and it does ok. and we mean, just ok – it didn’t do much for dryness in the desert.

alaffia’s ‘shea moisturizing body lotion’ in the 8oz, clear plastic bottle pump bottle is the one that we’ve been using in clinic.  you can find it on amazon prime for $12.50!

the ingredients for this one should be:
camelia sinensis (green tea) aqueous extract, rubus idaeus (raspberry) aqueous extract, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter*, emulsifying wax, glycerin stearic acid, potassium sorbate, ascorbic acid, d-limonene.

everyday shea fair trade body lotion

this one has red palm oil in it, which we haven’t tested. try at your own risk!

BE AWARE that whole foods carries another alaffia shea butter body lotion called ‘everyday shea fair trade shea butter body lotion’ but it has red palm oil in it, which we have not tested so we don’t know if it’s safe, and dr. fulton’s team doesn’t have a definitive word on it either.  we would rather you stick with the unscented version, and of course, avoid the coconut oil scented one at all costs.  you can find this in lavender, vanilla and unscented on amazon for $14.50.

the ingredients for this one are:
lemongrass (cymbopogon citratus) extract (aqueous), shea leaf (butyrospermum parkii) extract (aqueous), handcrafted shea butter (butyrospermum parkii) certified fair trade, vegetable emulsifying wax, palm stearic acid, red palm oil (elaeis guineensis), essential oils (scented versions only), phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate, limonene, ascorbic acid.

it’s a much larger 32oz bottle and its also much cheaper – if you do end up trying it out, please let us know how it works and if you stay clear with it!  TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK!

sS body lotion update

new sS body lotion in the works!

new sS body lotion in the works!

so we’ve finally gotten a formula we like, and doesn’t seem to clog (we are still testing this).  we are now testing it’s healing abilities, as we’ve added some ingredients to help with itching and redness, as we are intending it for use post-body peel.  we know it absorbs well, smells neutral.. we just need to see how it does with itching and healing.  once we approve the formula, it will undergo 3 months of stability testing (to make sure it’s shelf stable and bacteria, etc don’t grow).  we hope to have it ready to launch in spring 2016!