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Anti-Aging Skincare

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  • Green Defined: What to Consider When Choosing Beauty Products

    Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2014

    The idea of being "green" and "eco-chic" has certainly been a part of mainstream consumer society for many years, influencing the food, clothes and cars we buy.  The desire to be "green" has also significantly extended to our choice of beauty products, from the creams we put on our faces to the mascaras that go on our lashes.

    When we choose "green" products it may mean different things to different people, including:

     Environmentally friendly  

     Cruelty-free (not tested on animals)  

     Organic  

     Chemical-free  

     All natural  

     Socially beneficial (supporting local or international  Sustainable principals  

     Local  

    Reading labels and ingredient lists can help us determine if we are buying products that fit our idea of what "going green" actually means, but when some of those terms carry very loose definitions, it makes it more difficult to do the right thing.

    The two main terms that lead us to believe the product is "green" appear to be "natural" and "organic" but what do they actually mean?

    1. Natural : In our minds, natural is synonymous with botanical or plant based, but in reality, there is currently no legal definition of "natural" when it comes to labelling of beauty products in Canada or the United States. The term "natural" on a label has no quantitative meaning, so the contents could be formulated with 100% ingredients sourced from the land or sea, or zero %. In most cases, the word "natural" is simply for marketing purposes.
    2. Organic : Although food can be certified organic and must meet specific, well-established criteria in order to bear either the USDA certified or Canada Organic logos, beauty and personal care products still have a ways to go in developing universal standards and guidelines. Like the term "natural", there are currently no governmental rules regarding the use of the word "organic" on beauty product labels.
    However, some cosmetic and skin care companies are seeking recognized designation from organizations such as EcoCert, a French company with a branch in Canada, which has established standards for natural and organic cosmetics. In Europe, the UK's Soil Association and Germany's BDHI both test and certify organic cosmetics.  In the US, it is possible to see USDA certified logos on personal care products but only if each step of production has in turn been USDA certified, from the growing of the ingredients to the processing and final manufacturing of the product – very stringent requirements.

    Until more globally uniform standards are established for cosmetics, the final decision as to what "green" means is ultimately up to the individual.  Perhaps the best approach is the same one that you would use for buying food:

     Look for high quality, naturally grown ingredients (aka    free of harmful pesticides and herbicides)  

     Familiarize yourself with the names of ingredients that you want to avoid  

     Read labels scrupulously  

     Get to know the company behind the product and determine if their values correspond to yours  

    So can "green" be defined?  Maybe not yet, but the day is coming.

    Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti-aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at PharmacyMix.com .
    For a limited time, Fabulously 40 members save 5% off all purchases. Code fab40 at checkout.


    1 Replies
  • Scary or Not? Ingredients in Your Cosmetics

    Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2014

    These days many of us are so careful about the foods we buy, yet we tend to forget that what we put on our skin and in our hair should also warrant some careful consideration. Beauty and skin care products often contain not so beautiful ingredients that are sometimes necessary, sometimes not, and sometimes downright scary!

    A rule of thumb when at the grocery store is that if you can't pronounce the ingredient on the label, you probably shouldn't buy it. When it comes to personal care products though, some multi-syllabic ingredients are often necessary to preserve and maintain the quality of what's in the bottle.

    Scary or not? Here are some ingredients that you may wonder about:

    1. Parabens : Parabens are preservatives used widely in cosmetics. Concerns exist that because they have mild estrogenic properties they may disrupt the endocrine system and cause reproductive and developmental disorders. They are also damaging to the marine environment. The jury is still out on their risks, but regardless, many individuals wish to avoid them. Earlier this year, the European Union banned the use of the following parabens in cosmetic products - isopropylparaben, isobutylparaben, phenylparaben, benzylparaben and pentylparaben. There are no such restrictions in either Canada or the USA, but many companies have moved on to alternative preservatives, which do not disrupt hormones. Should you wish to avoid parabens, don't go preservative free. Preseravtives are essential to keeping personal care products free from bacteria, fungi and other nasties that can grow in products and cause harm.
    2. Phthalates : Phthalates are a common industrial chemical used in PVC plastics, solvents, and synthetic fragrances. They've been around since the 1930′s, and now they're pretty ubiquitous. When they tested 289 people in 2000, the Center for Disease Control found phthalates in all of the subjects' blood at surprisingly high levels. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors linked to problems of the reproductive system, including decreased sperm motility and concentration in men and genital abnormalities in baby boys. More recently they've also been linked to asthma and allergies. Phthalates are found in many nail polishes (Dibutyl phthalate – DBP – is often used to make nail polish chip-resistant). In fragrances, Diethyl phthalate (DEP) is often used as part of the "fragrance" in some products. DEP won't be listed separately so steer away from personal care products, detergents, and cleansers that have the word "fragrance" on the ingredients list. Just like fragrances in personal care products, most air fresheners contain phthalates.
    3. Silicones : Found in moisturizers and shampoos, dimethicone (also known as polydimethylsiloxane) and cyclomethicone impart a silky feeling to skin. Both silicones sit on top of the skin and create a barrier helping to limit transdermal water loss. In hair care products, dimethicone is used to coat the hair's surface providing lubrication and helping to improve combing providing detangling, and thus, hair loss and breakage. Studies have shown that due to their large molecular size that the silicones are not absorbed into the body and that they are safe when used at the levels currently found in cosmetic preparations.
    4. Vitamin A in Sunscreens : Vitamin A in skin care products is highly effective at combating acne and is an important anti-aging ingredient. Yet, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a group that oversees the safety of personal care products recently issued a warning that a form of Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate), may damage skin in the presence of sunlight. The EWG claims that their warning is especially important because 41 percent of sunscreen manufacturers in the USA routinely add Vitamin A to their sunscreens. Retinyl palmitate does not protect the skin from the sun, but when added to sunscreens its antioxidant action may help to prevent free radical damage. However, since it is an extremely light sensitive ingredient, it is rendered inactive upon exposure to sunlight. Based on the evidence I've seen, I don't think retinyl palmitate in sunscreens is unsafe. But, because it is light sensitive and inactive in sunlight, I don't see the point of using a sunscreen that contains this ingredient.
    5. Triclosan & Triclocarban :  Antimicrobial pesticides in liquid soap (triclosan) or soap bars (triclocarban) are very toxic to the aquatic environment. Often found as contaminants in people due to the widespread use of antimicrobial cleaning products, triclosn disrupts thyroid function and reproductive hormones. The American Medical Association and the American Academy of Microbiology say that soap and water serves just as well to prevent spread of infections and reduce bacteria on the skin. Overuse may promote the development of bacterial resistance. Watch out for this ingredient in all manners of personal care products including toothpastes, where it is widely found.  

    Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti-aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at PharmacyMix.com .
    For a limited time, Fabulously 40 members save 5% off all purchases. Code fab40 at checkout.


    1 Replies
  • 2% Ketoconazole Helps Reverse Hair Loss

    Posted on Monday, November 10, 2014

    Hair loss affects up to 70% of men and up to 40% of women at some point during their lifetimes so how to reverse hair loss becomes a significant concern for a considerable number of people! Sure it may sound superficial, but our hair is often a major contributor to how good we feel about ourselves. The good news is that the topical application of 2% ketoconazole  can help.

    Many factors can contribute to hair loss in both men and women, including:

    Hormonal changes
    Genetic disposition
    Stress
    Diet
    Other health issues unrelated to hair
    Classic male pattern baldness is referred to as androgenetic alopecia.  The vast majority of cases concerning men are due to a genetic sensitivity to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a derivative of testosterone.  DHT is classified as an androgen, or "male sex hormone" that plays a role in male traits and reproductive activity.  Androgens are produced by both men and women.

    The process of balding is complicated, but evidence from various studies has shown that it is possible to reverse hair loss and encourage hair regrowth using 2% ketoconazole as found in Nizoral Shampoo . Although ketoconazole was used primarily to treat dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, researchers discovered that it also had anti-androgenic properties. This feature allows ketoconazole to block DHT from binding to hair follicles thereby inhibiting the process that leads to hair loss. When the hair follicle functions normally, the hair regrowth cycle continues. Even more encouraging is a 1998 study by Belgian researchers that found topical 2% ketoconazole to be as effective as 2% minoxidil at stimulating hair growth.

    If hair loss is due to hormonal changes, stress or diet, then attention must be focused on dealing with the causes.  The good news? Many cases of hair loss may be temporary when attributed to hormonal imbalances, traumatic experiences or nutritional deficiencies.  Hair-healthy vitamins and minerals including B, C, D, E, omega-3's, biotin and zinc, in conjunction with recognizing the importance of taking care of yourself, should improve the condition.

    Keep in mind that hair loss may also be an indication of other health issues, so it's always important to discuss your concerns with your doctor.

    Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti-aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at PharmacyMix.com .
    For a limited time, Fabulously 40 members save 5% off all purchases. Code fab40 at checkout.


    0 Replies
  • Winter Skin Care from Head to Toe

    Posted on Wednesday, November 5, 2014

    The puffy coats, hats and boots have come out of storage, all indications that winter is truly on its way and with it, dry skin.  Apart from using a humidifier and upping the amount of water you drink, there are steps you can take to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy from head to toe:

    Head:  People with dry skin are more prone to dandruff, especially in the winter time. The dryer air, hats, and central heating can all contribute to dandruff.  Using Nizoral shampoo with 2% ketoconazole or Dan Gard Shampoo  2% zinc pyrithione can help bring dandruff under control.  For best results, work the shampoo into a lather then wait 3-5 minutes to allow the active ingredients to work their magic before rinsing thoroughly. Regular use will help to keep things under control.

    Body:  As tempting as it may seem, a hot bath in winter will only rob your skin of moisture.  Opt instead for warm showers, applying a body cream or lotion while the skin is still damp.  Our favorite right now is Complex 15 Body  Lotion.  With its super-quick absorption and water-binding phospholipids, skin feels soft without a greasy residue.  Plus, there's no waiting time for it to dry before getting dressed and getting on with the day.

    Face:  Start off by replenishing the moisture in the skin and reinforcing the skin barrier with Neostrata's Skin Barrier Rescue. These convenient, single-use capsules instantly reduce water loss while increasing skin moisture with raspberry oil and vitamin E. To further preserve the skin, use Keys Solar Rx Moisturizer  with SPF 30.  This all natural moisturizer contains nourishing shea butter for hydration and mineral zinc oxide, providing excellent broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection.  Keys Solar Rx Moisturizer also does double duty on the back of the hands to keep them young-looking and to prevent age spots from developing due to sun exposure.

    Feet:  For dry skin on the feet, it's time to call in a specialist.  Some creams don't seem to penetrate, leaving a film that just washes away without providing any benefits. The difference is urea!  Eucerin Smoothing Foot Cream  contains 10% urea to not only improve moisture levels but also to exfoliate the dry, dead skin cells for a smoother, more healthy skin surface.

    Winter skin doesn't have to be synonymous with dry, scaly and itchy.  This is one battle that you can definitely win.

    Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti-aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at PharmacyMix.com .
    For a limited time, Fabulously 40 members save 5% off all purchases. Code fab40 at checkout.


    0 Replies
  • Polysporin Antibiotic Ear Drops Pain Relief

    Posted on Monday, November 3, 2014

    PharmacyMix may be known for its great Anthelios sunscreens and anti-aging treatments, but we also have a well-stocked medicine cabinet with products to keep you looking and feeling your best, including new Polysporin Antibiotic Ear Drops + Pain Relief treatment , an antibiotic plus pain reliever for treatment of external ear infections and relief of associated earaches.

    For those who are prone to Swimmer's Ear, most cases can be treated with antibiotic ear drops, such as Polysporin + Pain Relief Ear Drops.  Swimmer's Ear – otitis externa – is an infection and inflammation of the outer ear. It typically affects people who swim frequently or otherwise get water in their ears. It is also associated with people who regularly use cotton-tipped swabs in their ears. The ear's normal acidic environment can be disrupted by constant wetness or the scraping of cotton-tipped swabs, creating conditions that allow bacteria to invade and infect the ear.

    Polysporin Antibiotic Ear Drops contains lidocaine hydrochloride for fast pain relief from swimmer's ear and associated earaches.  It also contains Polymixin B, a broad spectrum antibiotic that can help to eliminate the bacteria causing the infection. Apply 3 to 4 Polysporin + Pain Relief Ear Drops in the affected ear 4 times a day for 5-7 days or as directed by a doctor. Avoid getting water into the ears until treatment is complete. Consult doctor before treating ear infections in children under 6 years of age.

    PRECAUTIONS :

    If irritation occurs, or if itch and pain has not started to clear in 2 days, discontinue use and consult a doctor. Do not use with ear tubes, after ear surgery or with damaged eardrums unless directed by a doctor. Consult a doctor before use if you have severe pain in the ear, severe hearing loss or fever.

    For eye infections and styes, Polysporin Antibiotic Eye Drops is coming soon!

    Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti-aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at PharmacyMix.com .
    For a limited time, Fabulously 40 members save 5% off all purchases. Code fab40 at checkout.


    0 Replies
  • Neostrata SecureWhite Anti-Dark Circle Complex

    Posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2014

    Dealing with under eye dark circles can be an exercise in frustration, but Neostrata SecureWhite Anti –Dark Circle Complex is up for the challenge!  Now available at PharmacyMix, this new treatment is a highly effective, fast-acting and targeted complex clinically proven to lighten dark circles under the eyes and reduce puffiness.

    This new lightening complex is composed of 4 potent ingredients clinically proven to reduce the appearance of dark circles due to pigmentation:

    • Radianskin: a biotechnical ingredient that inhibits the release of melanin to diminish the appearance of dark spots and to enhance the overall brightening effect of the skin.  In clinical studies, 1% Radianskin was shown to have superior lightening abilities over 2% kojic acid.
    • Actiwhite:  an active ingredient formulated with natural extracts that lightens the skin as effectively as 2% hydroquinone.  It decreases tyrosinase activity to diminish the appearance of dark spots as well as decreases the maturation of melanin to lighten and brighten skin.
    • Retinol:  our favorite anti-aging ingredient helps in repairing discolored, photo-damaged skin.  The 0.05% retinol in this lightening complex fights the appearance of wrinkles and mottled hyperpigmentation.
    • Titanium dioxide:  a natural sun filter that protects well against UVB and short UVA rays.  This treatment contains 1.2% to shield against further photo damage and to provide instant concealing properties.

    SecureWhite Anti-Dark Circle Complex is ideal for all skin types and ages in the fight against under eye dark circles and puffiness.  And thanks to Neostrata, the battle just got a bit easier.

    Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti-aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at PharmacyMix.com .
    For a limited time, Fabulously 40 members save 5% off all purchases. Code fab40 at checkout.


    0 Replies