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We love hearing from our customers whether it's to tell us how they feel about the products we carry or to ask a question about skin care.  Either way, we're always learning something new and we wouldn't have it any other way.  Here are a few that have come up recently:

What is the shelf life of [Link Removed] products? If I don't use all of a product by the end of one season, will it still be good at the start of the next sunny season?  

Most sunscreens are labelled with expiration dates and if they are stored unopened you can expect them to be effective until this date. Once opened they start to lose their efficacy and should be used within one year of opening. With regard to using sunscreens past their expiration dates, if a sunscreen doesn't smell bad (an indication that it would be unsafe to use) it is probably still fine to use. As a pharmacist, however, I would advise throwing it out.

Where can I get Doak Oil?  

We wish we could help you!  As far as we know, Doak Oil has been discontinued by the manufacturer and has not been available for some time.  It had a very loyal following, and for the customers who used it regularly soothe their skin from the itchiness of eczema and psoriasis, its loss is still being felt.  We are doing our best to keep our eyes and ears open for possible alternatives.

Can I use retinol or AHAs if I am trying to get pregnant?  

If you are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant or breastfeeding, [Link Removed]  are generally considered to be safe, however it's best to check with your doctor if you have any concerns, especially with something as important as pregnancy.

How long can I use Lomelin?  

[Link Removed]  is a botanical based skin lightener that uses alpha arbutin and Melaslow to reduce the appearance of pigmentation.  Arbutin is a hydroquinone precursor and as such, the potential for irritation exists, however small.  We always like to err on the side of caution and would suggest that it be used in a cyclic fashion (4 months on, 2 months off) with daily application of a broad-spectrum sunscreen, as you would with a hydroquinone product.  As with any skin lightening product, if you are at all unsure, it would be best to consult your doctor or dermatologist regarding long-term use.

I am using a retinol product but find that it dries my skin. Can I use a moisturizer on top? Will the retinol still be effective?  

Retinoid treatments (including those containing retinol, retinal and retinoic acid) can potentially dry skin.  Other side effects of this high potency ingredient may include redness, tingling and slight peeling of the skin. Applying a [Link Removed]  approximately 20 minutes after applying your retinoid will help counteract the drying effects but will not interfere with its multitude of benefits.  It is a good idea, however, to ensure that your moisturizer does not include any exfoliants such as glycolic acid or AHA to avoid overtaxing the skin.

Any questions or comments? We'd love to hear from you!

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 [Link Removed] 

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