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Anti-Aging Skincare

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  • Teens and Sun Safety

    Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2014

    As some of us get ready to take a warm weather break with family during the holidays, now is the perfect time to revisit sun safety and teens.  We hate to break it to you, but the news isn't good.

    Despite the amount of information readily available, the number of teens using sunscreen actually dropped by 12% between 2001 and 2011, this according to a recent study published in the "Preventing Chronic Disease" journal.  To add insult to injury, it seems that teens are still using tanning beds, despite 11 states banning their use for those under 18 years old.  Given that skin cancer is largely preventable, it's evident that teens are still not getting the message.

    To help reverse this disturbing trend, the Skin Cancer Foundation has started a program through its youth education initiative to stress the importance of sun protection. This free interactive program is available to educators and targets middle and high school students at a crucial time when teens are beginning to make their own decisions regarding lifestyle choices.  These decisions are likely to have long-term effects not only on their health but also on the health care system where costs related to skin cancer treatments have increased 5 times faster than with any other cancers in recent years.

    While teens and young adults see being tanned as "healthy" and fashionable, nothing could be further from the truth.  Unfortunately, the exact reasons for the drop in sunscreen use once children hit the teenage years is not clear.  As parents, we can certainly take steps to make it easier for teens to make sunscreen a regular part of their daily routines by:

    •Setting a good example and using a broad spectrum sunscreen ourselves every day, rain or shine
    •Discussing the long-term aesthetic benefits of sun protection (teens tend to respond more to the pitfalls of aging, such as wrinkles and dark spots, as opposed to fear of skin cancer)
    •Suggesting self-tanners as an alternative to lying in the sun
    •Trying different sunscreen products that provide good protection and are suitable for teens' changing skin with a pleasing finish that will encourage them to wear it every day

    Give us a call.  With our huge range of sunscreens and moisturizers with SPF , we'd be happy to discuss what may work best for your teen in what is sure to be an uphill, but ultimately rewarding, battle.

    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
  • Skin Care: Is Organic Better?

    Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2014

    Whether it's the food we eat or the personal care products we use each day, we're all concerned with reducing chemicals and additives in our lives. While we associate the word "organic" with something that is healthier and better for us, it's important to keep things in perspective. An organic may not always be your best choice.  After all, poison ivy is organic, but it isn't necessarily the best thing to put on your skin!

    When it comes to skin care, are organic or natural products better for you and worth the premium price?  The (long) answer may surprise you.

    Consider the following 3 facts:

    1.There is no substantiated, published research anywhere proving that organic ingredients are superior to non-organic or synthetic ingredients. There are good and bad ingredients in each category. For this reason, it's important to see beyond the marketing so that you can select the formulations best suited to your skin type and concerns.

    2.Many organic and natural products include synthetic ingredients, and many are exactly the kinds of ingredients they proclaim they don't include.

    3.Organic also does not mean cleaner or safer. They may contain essential oils or other ingredients (like fruit acids) which can irritate sensitive skin. Natural essential oils such as peppermint, menthol, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary and sandalwood are routinely included in natural and/or organic products – these clearly established irritants can actually harm skin. Organic products may have a short shelf life and can harm skin if the product is expired.

    So when it comes to "organic", what does this mean in the world of cosmetics, especially for skin care?

    You may be surprised to learn that it really means nothing—nothing at all. However, if you're still set on using them, look out for two labels – the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and ECOCERT (an international organic certification organization), who have their own systems for approving some standards of organic plant claims. Many other random companies have developed their own sets of guidelines for organic cosmetics and then charge a fee for their seal of approval. So, if you're a cosmetics company who really wants to be certified as organic and are willing to pay for the certification, the "organic" label is yours.

    Regardless, if you're set on using organic skin care products, look for the USDA Seal or Eco-Cert certification. These organizations carry strict criteria for certification.

    When it comes to USDA Certification, the following labelling guidelines apply:

    •"100% Organic"—The product must only organically produced ingredients contain (excluding water and salt). Products may display the USDA Organic Seal and must display the certifying agent's name and address.

    •"Organic"—The product must contain at least 95% organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt). The remaining ingredients must consist of non-agricultural substances approved on the National List of non-organically produced agricultural products that are not commercially available in organic form. Products may display the USDA Organic Seal and must display the certifying agent's name and address.

    •"Made with organic ingredients"—The product must contain at least 70% organic ingredients and the label can list up to three of the organic ingredients or "food" groups on the principal display panel. For example, body lotion made with at least 70% organic ingredients (excluding water and salt) and only organic herbs may be labeled either "body lotion made with organic lavender, rosemary, and chamomile," or "body lotion made with organic herbs." These products are not permitted to display the USDA Organic Seal, but they must display the certifying agent's name and address.

    ECO-CERT certification involves both an "organic" and "natural" certification.  For both certifications, the following standards apply:

    •The use of ingredients derived from renewable resources, manufactured by environmentally friendly processes. Ecocert therefore checks for the absence of GMO, parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicon, PEG, synthetic perfumes and dyes, animal-derived ingredients (unless naturally produced by them as with milk, honey, etc.).

    •The biodegradable or recyclable nature of packaging.

    •On site audit is performed by an Ecocert auditor.

    •For both labels, Ecocert Standard imposes that a minimum of 95% of the total ingredients come from natural origin.

    •For Eco-Cert Organic Certification, a minimum of 95% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 10% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming.

    •For Eco-Cert Natural Certification, a minimum of 50% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 5% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming.

    Ultimately it's up to you whether you buy organic skin care products.  Just remember that the label is not indicative of the quality of what's in the bottle so it's important to choose wisely.

    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
  • Anthelios KA SPF 100 – New at PharmacyMix!

    Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    We're so excited about adding Anthelios KA SPF 100  moisturizer to our PharmacyMix lineup! For those who are fans of multi-tasking products, you're going to love this daily protective moisturizer designed for skin at high risk from UV damage. It offers long-lasting moisture and broad spectrum SPF 100 protection in a comfortable and non-greasy emulsion. Ideal for all skin types, it can be used also as a makeup base.

    Anthelios KA with high SPF protection may be applied to the face, scalp, neck, décolleté, arms and hands – anywhere that is exposed to daily UV rays that can cause premature aging.  Its unique formula contains Mexoryl SX, Mexoryl XL and Tinosorb S and is formulated with La Roche Posay thermal spring water, the perfect blend of everyday sun protection and hydration.

    Anthelios KA SPF 100 is:

    ·Fragrance-free
    ·Paraben-free
    ·Non-comedogenic
    ·Tested under dermatological control
    ·Offered in a pump dispenser to maintain potency of ingredients
    ·Suitable for sun sensitive and intolerant dry skin

    This new moisturizer will protect skin but it is not a sunscreen. During intense or prolonged exposure to UV rays, practice sun safety by generously applying a dedicated sunscreen product adapted to your skin type and reapplying every 2 hours or as needed to maximize protection.

    We have a feeling this one will become a customer favorite.  Haven't we always said you have great taste?

    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
  • More Customer Questions Answered!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2014

    Thank you to our readers for your feedback and comments. Here are a few more questions that our customers have asked – and we've happily answered!

    1. I am currently using Anthelios 40 with Mexoryl SX on my face. It is thick and leaves me looking quite white. My friend uses Anthelios 45 with Mexoryl. Hers is much more transparent and doesn't leave her white. Which of us is getting more protection and why? Are they both "chemical" products that penetrate the skin?

    Both the Anthelios SPF 40 with Mexoryl SX and the Anthelios XL SPF 45 contain a combination of chemical AND physical sun filters to protect from as much of the UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) spectrum as possible.  You can read more about what the active ingredients do here in our blog post 

    Although both Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL are considered "chemical" sun filters, studies have demonstrated little or no absorption through the skin, making them very safe.

    The white finish from sunscreens may be attributed to the inclusion of titanium dioxide, a physical sunscreen that rests on the skin's surface and may leave a slightly white appearance. The less titanium dioxide, the less white residue.  That said, titanium dioxide does effectively reflect and scatter UVB and some UVA rays.

    As for whether you or your friend is getting more protection, it's impossible to categorically determine.  Much depends on how much product is used and how often you reapply.  The best protection is finding that product which balances effective UVA/UVB coverage and a finish that you will enjoy wearing every day, rain or shine.

    2. Do you need to apply sunscreen right after hydroquinone cream? And is it necessary to wear it indoors? Would the efficacy of hydroquinone not work anymore if you exclude sunscreen?

    Thanks for your question. We've always maintained that successful skin lightening involves a combination of products including a skin lightener (such as hydroquinone), a sunscreen (to block UVA/UVB rays and discourage dark spots from redeveloping), and a gentle exfoliant. Additional ingredients including Vitamin C (an effective skin lightening agent in concentrations over 3%) and retinoids  (increasing production of new, healthy skin cells), can also enhance the efficacy of a dedicated skin lightening agent.

    We suggest applying the hydroquinone on freshly cleansed skin, preferably at night. Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen during the day.  If you use your skin lightener during the day, allow a few minutes for the hydroquinone to be absorbed before layering your sunscreen on top.  Since sun exposure is a major cause of skin darkening due to melanin production, excluding sunscreen from your routine could negate any results from the hydroquinone.

    As for wearing sunscreen indoors, this is a personal preference but is a practice that is being encouraged more often as skin cancer rates go up.  UVA rays (those long penetrating rays that lead to wrinkles, age spots and saggy skin) can penetrate windows and glass so wearing sunscreen when you're indoors isn't as crazy as it sounds.

    3. How should you apply a chemical peel? I have glycolic acid treatments ranging from 15 – 70 % strength. And yet, I don't know what to do with either of them. Could you help with instructions?

    Thanks for your question. At-home chemical peels are generally applied evenly to the face with a cotton pad, left on for 5-15 minutes and then rinsed completely away. Detailed instructions should be included with each kit and should be followed carefully. If no instructions were included, you should refer to your skin care specialist to ensure that the peel is suitable for your skin type and to minimize any possible irritation. Because chemical peels and glycolic acid can be very potent, concentrations of over 30% should be administered by a professional only. Regardless of whether you have a chemical peel at home or at your dermatologist's office, you should limit exposure to the sun and protect your skin with an effective broad-spectrum sunscreen.

    4. I recently learned that the Canadian version of Preparation H  contains BioDyne, which is good for wrinkle repair. I know the product also contains petrolatum, which in the past clogged my pores and led to whiteheads and pimples. Any feedback/comments on this possible problem with using Preparation H cream on my face wrinkles?

    As Preparation H Cream is formulated and marketed as an effective treatment for hemorrhoids, it cannot be labelled as non-comedogenic for the face as no tests or clinical evaluations have been performed for that purpose. If you are already aware that petrolatum may trigger unwanted reactions, you want may to consider a product that is free of that ingredient but still contains a peptide (the active ingredient in biodyne has been isolated as a protein fraction containing a mixture of several peptides), such as Neostrata's Wrinkle Repair Moisturizing Cream  , which contains both Matrixyl 3000 and Peptide Q10.

    5. I use MaMa Lotion every other night followed by the M2 moisturizer. Every other night I use Sarah Chapman's Skin Tone Perfector Booster. Where should I add a retinol? Can I layer any serums with the Mama Lotion?

    In general, we recommend using a retinol product 5 nights a week for optimal results, alternating it with an exfoliant like MaMa Lotion  twice a week. Your skin tone perfector booster could be used in conjunction with the retinol as they would work synergistically together to reduce dark spots. However, if you prefer to use only one treatment per night, we suggest retinol 3x a week, the booster 2x a week, and then on weekends use the MaMa Lotion.

    An antioxidant serum like Apothekari Super C serum  would be ideal under the MaMa Lotion and M2 moisturizer. Just give the serum a few minutes to absorb before applying your other treatments.

    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.


    2 Replies
  • How To Stay Healthy This Winter: 6 Tips

    Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2014

    Winter is the season we tend to get sick with colds and flus. And, although the temperature itself doesn't cause illness, being indoors more and having contact with co-workers, friends and family in close quarters increase the chances of picking up a bug or two.

    If you would like to stay healthy this winter, you'll want to revisit your lifestyle choices to ensure that you eat well, get lots of rest and exercise regularly.  But there are also a few other small changes you can make to keep pesky germs at bay.  Here are 6 tips that can be easily incorporated into your everyday routine that will help you get through the season.

    1. Wipe down the keyboards, doorknobs, light switches, cell phone, and TV remotes – all the things that have a high "direct contact" rate.  Cold and flu viruses can survive (and be infectious!) on hard surfaces for as long as 24 hours.  Enough said.
    2. Wash your hands often. Recent guidelines suggest that it's not necessary to use an antibacterial soap. Reach for a gentle soap and aim to scrub the hands for 20 seconds before rinsing.
    3. Avoid shaking hands. You may think that this is carrying it a bit far, but a recent study at the University of Western Virginia determined that using the "fist bump" as an alternative to shaking hands reduced the amount of bacterial transmission between individuals. If a fist bump, friendly wave or nodding of the head isn't a feasible alternative, then make sure you...
    4. Keep your hands away from your face. Germs enter the most commonly through our eyes, nose and mouth. We all inadvertently touch our faces when we scratch an itch, fix our hair, even rest our chins on our hands, giving germs repeated opportunities to transfer from our hands into our bodies.
    5. Up your intake of vitamin D. Traditionally, vitamin C has been the go-to when it comes to colds, but vitamin D has been getting increased attention due to its ability to strengthen and enhance the immune system. When our bodies are low on vitamin D, we may be less able to fight off infections when exposed to bacteria and viruses. The easiest way to get your daily dose is with liquid D Drops. Each drop of this liquid sunshine contains 1000 IU of vitamin D3, the form that our skin naturally produces when exposed to the sun.
    6. Gargle with salt water. This simple and inexpensive practice has long been used to relieve sore throats, but a study published in 2005 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concluded that gargling with salt water was also effective in preventing upper respiratory tract infections such as tonsillitis, laryngitis and sinusitis by up to 40% when done three times a day.
    With a bit of preventive action, you'll have a healthy winter.  Let's face it, celebrating with good friends and food during the holidays is much more fun than spending quality time with a box of tissues.

    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 Wrinkle Repair Moisturizing CC Cream SPF 30 – New

    Posted on Thursday, November 27, 2014

    Neostrata Wrinkle Repair Moisturizing CC Cream SPF 30 is now available at PharmacyMix! With this newest addition to our anti-aging skin care treatments, we have officially jumped on the "alphabet cream" bandwagon!

    Neostrata's Wrinkle Repair Moisturizing CC Cream SPF 30 boasts all the wrinkle-fighting, moisturizing and sun protection benefits of Neostrata Wrinkle Repair Moisturizing Cream SPF 30  with some added benefits. The CC Cream contains light-reflecting pigments that immediately work to conceal imperfections and illuminate the skin for a radiant complexion.  It comes with a sheer universal tint that delivers a natural and polished finish, perfect for everyday use.

    With its unique formulation incorporating Matrixyl 3000 (5%), Peptide Q10 (0.5%) and retinol (0.1%), this CC cream moisturizes, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, improves skin tone and texture and reverses the visible signs of aging.  The MicroDelivery System protects the retinol to optimize its benefits while minimizing irritation. SPF 30 delivers protection against UVA and UVB rays, making it an ideal year-round moisturizer.

    Our favorite thing about this CC cream?  It provides the same amazing skincare benefits we've come to know and love with Neostrata products but with a pretty factor thrown in.  Call me superficial, but I like it.

    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