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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 [Link Removed] 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 [Link Removed] 

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 [Link Removed]  (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 [Link Removed]  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 [Link Removed] , 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 [Link Removed]  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 [Link Removed]  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 [Link Removed].
For a limited time, Fabulously 40 members save 5% off all purchases. Code fab40 at checkout.

Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Dec 10, 2014
    • Thank you!

      Have you heard or know anything about drinking hyraurlonic acid (sp?) and the benefits? If so whats your take?

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pharmagirl wrote Dec 12, 2014
    • Hi Vikki,
      Thank you for your very interesting question!
      The use of hyaluronic acid supplements to improve skin is controversial as there isn't a ton of evidence to support its use. However, although many individuals do report a benefit when taking hyaluronic acid supplements, it isn't something that we can recommend whole heartedly at this time.

            Report  Reply

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