Video: DIY Toner Pads using Exfoliating Toner by Acne Specialists

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After hitting the gym or going on a hike, your skin is left with residual sweat and oil. That sweat and oil dries and becomes a barrier that blocks more sweat and oil from getting out of the skin, and no oxygen can get in to fight bacteria. This can lead to folliculitis (inflamed follicles) and clogged pores.

Ideally, you will be able to cleanse your face with 5-10 minutes of when you finish exercising, but if no sink is available, having cleanser wipes with you can be a handy alternative. There are store ready versions of these on our “safe body list,” or you can create your own!

DIY toner pads can be made at a fraction of the cost of storebought facial wipes. Watch this video to learn how to make your own toner pads. As we explained in our post 4 Ways Toners Help Skin, the right toner can balance your skin and enhance the effectiveness of your other products.

How to create your own cleansing wipes

Supplies Needed:

  • Flat cotton rounds/disks (not cotton balls)
  • Sandwich bag or snack bag
  • JP Acne Specialist Toner or Witch Hazel


  1. Put your 10 cotton rounds (or desired amount) into your sandwich bag
  2. Pour your toner slowly over cotton rounds until fully saturated (not dripping wet)
  3. Seal sandwich bag tightly
  4. Throw it in your gym bag/purse/backpack and off you go!

Toner pads can be the best supplement to your daily routine. Use toner pads when you cleanse your face morning and night. Or, take toner pads with you to the gym. You can use them to clean off your make-up before a workout, or wipe away sweat during and after.

Our toners are specially formulated for acne-prone skin. For toner pads, we recommend using the Acne Specialist Exfoliating Toner because it contains salicylic acid. Of course, you can always contact us for personal recommendations on products.

Sodium Alginate Ingredient Added to Pore Cloggers List

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We added a new ingredient to the pore cloggers list.

Sodium Alginate, which is a natural product extracted from brown seaweed that grows in cold water regions. (Think alginate = algae.)

When mixed with water, sodium alginate creates a gel-like consistency. It’s used as a thickening agent in foods and cosmetic products.

People with acne-prone skin should steer clear of products that contain sodium alginate, as well as seaweed, kelp, and other algae ingredients. These ingredients contain iodine, which can irritate your pores and trigger inflammation as iodides penetrate the pore and accelerate growth of micro-comedones.

Check your products (both topical and oral, i.e. vitamins) for these pesky pore cloggers!

Source: Molecular Recipes

Pesky Pore Cloggers Sneak into Product Reformulations

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Remember when Coca-Cola changed its formula?

In 1985, Coke reformulated its classic taste to “New Coke.” A reformulation is when a company changes what a product is made of, even if it’s only a small change.

For those of us who are #blessed with acne-prone skin, we must check the labels of every product that touches us. This includes lotions, make-up, toothpaste, and even laundry detergent! Once we find a favorite #acnesafe product, we’ll re-buy the same product over and over again.

Sadly, there are no notifications that a product has reformulated. Without knowing, your favorite shampoo becomes a pesky pore-clogger quicker than you can say “coconut oil.” Continue reading

New Probiotic Cleanser to Balance Bacteria on Acne-Prone Skin

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New probiotic cleanser has a rich lather. Click the picture to purchase the product online.

If you’re a germaphobe, I hate to break it to you… But, you have bacteria all over your body.

Bacteria lives on your skin, eyes, ears, and, most of all, inside your gut. We refer to the bacteria inside and outside your body as the microbiome.

Imbalance in your microbiome (when the bad bacteria gets out of control) can cause skin problems to flare-up, including:

  • Acne
  • Folliculitis
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Rosacea flares

Continue reading

How to Maximize Your Acne Treatment Experience

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To get the most out of your acne treatment (or facial), follow the steps in this timeline before and after your appointment.

1 week before…
If you have a special event, schedule your treatment 1-2 weeks before the event date.

If you are using a prescription retinol, stop 1 week before treatment.

Be diligent about your SPF before a treatment. We can’t treat your skin if you’re sunburnt!

3 days before…
If you get your eyebrows waxed (or any other facial hair removal), schedule your facial hair appointment removal no closer than 3 days before treatment. After treatment, wait at least 1-week, or else your face will be red!

24 hours before…
Stop your actives (mandelic acid serums and benzoyl peroxide) 24 hours before your treatment. (If you’re dry of sensitive, make that 48 hours.) Continue reading

Prevent Eye Wrinkles With New Spin Trap Eye Serum

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Acne is not just for teens… Adult acne is a real problem affecting men and women into their 30s and 40s. While managing acne is the main concern of our clients, many ask about wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging.

In our efforts to treat acne-prone skin, we strive to make our clients’ skin look beautiful and radiant. That includes preventing pre-mature aging, especially in the eye area.
Continue reading

9 Beach Vacation Tips For Sensitive & Acne-Prone Skin

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Our client snapped us this picture from the beach in Oahu, Hawaii. Aloha! 

Before her trip, she asked us for tips for taking care of sensitive skin on a tropical beach vacation. Read below for tips on how to not get sunburnt (or break-out) on your next sunny trip!

Before your trip…

  1. Buy acne-safe sunblock & vitamin C products. As we always say, protect your skin from the sunshine rays for long lasting, beautiful skin! For long-lasting coverage, we carry the Solarex zinc sunscreen. For the body, our favorite beach sunblock is Neutrogena Beach Defense. Vitamin C products are also a boost to your sun protection. Try our Vitamin C Super serum and Vitamin C toner. (On a hot day, the toner is great in a little spray bottle to carry with you and spritz on your face!)
  2. Stop using Vitamin A serums. Vitamin A makes your skin more sensitive to the sun. If you’re using a Vitamin A serum, stop one week before your sunny trip.
  3. Spray tan gradient towards your face. If you’re getting a spray tan, avoid spraying the product on your face. If someone is airbrushing you, as them to spray a gradient towards your face, starting from your shoulders.
  4. Use Aquafor on the airplane. If your skin and lips get try on the airplane, use Aquafor original to keep the moisture locked in. (Use the original Aquafor and avoid Aquafor for lips.)

During your trip… Continue reading

Camping & Backpacking Skincare Tips for Acne-Prone Skin

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Spring and summer weather call for camping and backpacking trips. While you are fierce when facing the elements, your acne-prone skin is more delicate. Your skin is more sensitive as you literally face heat, humidity, elevation, dirt, sweat, and sun exposure. On top of mother nature’s forces, you’re breaking your skincare routine. (As we always say, a consistent routine is key to clear skin.)

To keep you looking as beautiful as Reese Witherspoon on your own Wild adventure, here are skincare tips for when you hit the trail.

Cleansing Wipes: You may want to save your water for drinking, not cleansing your skin. We get it. We recommend packing acne-safe cleansing wipes (our favorite is the Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Wipes). Or, you can soak cotton pads in a toner for DIY cleansing wipes. If you’re sweating bullets, use the toner pads a few times a day and reapply your SPF. Continue reading

10 Safe Laundry Detergents for Chin, Cheek & Body Acne

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Do you have acne on your chin, cheeks, or back?

Do you also sleep on your side?

If so, your linens and pillow cases may be causing your acne!

Pore-clogging ingredients found in everyday products cause acne. Obviously, you should check the products you directly apply to your body, like your shampoo & conditioner, make-up, soap, and toothpaste. But you should also check your laundry detergent.

Most commercial laundry detergent brands contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a common foaming agent and one of the worst acne-causing offenders. Natural detergents may not have SLS, but contain pore-clogging oils.

If you wash your sheets and pillow cases with pore-clogging detergent, your skin will absorb the ingredients while you sleep. This is especially true for side-sleepers and people who have body acne.

Need a new detergent? See below for our top 10 acne-safe laundry detergents.

Top 10 Acne-Safe Laundry Detergents*

  1. All Free & Clear
  2. Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder
  3. Eco Nuts Natural Laundry Soap
  4. Dapple Baby Laundry Detergent
  5. Grab Green 3-in-1 Laundry Pods (vegan)
  6. Molly Sud’s Laundry Detergent (vegan, gluten-free)
  7. NaturOli Soap Nuts/Soap Berries
  8. Nellie’s Laundry Soda Tin
  9. Planet 2X Ultra Laundry Detergent Free & Clear
  10. Tide Gentle & Free

*This list is valid as of April 5, 2017. Companies change their ingredients labels without warning, so always double-check the ingredients against our pore-clogging ingredients list!

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