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Anti-Aging Skincare

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  • Are BB and CC Creams Delivering?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014

    It's no secret that I'm a fan of multi-tasking skin care products. However, when it comes to BB and CC creams, I must confess that I have yet to jump on that bandwagon.  There is no disputing the popularity of these creams.  Yet, after trying countless versions, the perfect BB cream continues to be elusive and I am beginning to wonder whether these double-letter creams really can deliver.

    With all their promises, am I the only one who remains unconvinced of the BB cream's ability to be all things to all people?  The three areas where BB and CC creams appear to fall short are:

    1. Limited range of colors and shades.   Finding tinted products that match skin tone is difficult at the best of times, but when there is often only a choice between two or three shades by any given line, the chances of finding a suitable color decreases drastically.

    2. Not enough sun protection. The importance of daily UV protection using a stable, effective, broad-spectrum sunscreen and the tendency for most people is to [Link Removed]  leads me to doubt whether a BB or CC cream is enough to protect the skin from those aging and damaging sun rays.  A study showed that most sunscreen users only apply between 20 and 50% of the amount necessary to deliver the SPF rating.  If you're applying a product with low SPF, how much protection are you getting?

    3. Inadequate concentration of active ingredients. When it comes to anti-aging treatments, active ingredients must be present in [Link Removed]  to deliver results. Do BB creams contain the required amounts or are they just 'dusted' with minute quantities that are unlikely to do much good?

    The quest isn't over yet – I am still trying to find the BB cream that will satisfy all my skin care demands. I haven't even worked my way through the alphabet to get to CC and DD creams, yet the latest news is that EE creams are ready to hit the shelves.  There is some confusion, however, as to what EE actually stands for.  Extraordinarily exfoliating?  Exceedingly emulsifying?  Or perhaps energy enhancing?  Your guess is as good as mine.

    Have you found your dream BB cream or is it a case of try, try again?

    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.


    0 Replies
  • Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014

    Although there are no miracles when it comes to anti-aging skin care, the popularity of fractional laser skin resurfacing (Fraxel), indicates that the search is still on.  For those who are looking for a non-invasive procedure with minimum downtime, fractional laser skin resurfacing may be the rejuvenation technique for you.

    Fraxel is a procedure which uses the latest laser technology to reverse visible signs of aging – dark spots, fine lines, acne scarring and pigmentation, including [Link Removed] .  Unlike other laser resurfacing procedures which take off the top layer of the skin and require weeks of recovery before the results are evident, fractional laser skin resurfacing only affects a "fraction" of the skin's upper surface. Microscopic pixels of laser are used to burn away old skin cells in small dots that target only 15-20% of the skin's total surface.  This allows the intact skin free to support the treated areas, which speeds up  recovery time.

    Here's what to expect during a typical Fraxel treatment:
    •Topical anaesthetic is applied an hour prior to the procedure to numb the face.
    •A handheld laser, calibrated specifically for your skin condition and concern, is rolled over the skin in a gliding motion. A cold air fan is used during treatment to minimize discomfort.
    •Expect a light sunburnt feeling on the first day, then mild swelling for two to three days after that. Small whiteheads may come to the surface of the skin but should be left alone. They should disappear within a day. These first few days are best spent at home.
    •Skin will have a bronzed appearance with slight peeling for approximately a week. Frequent application of a [Link Removed] can help to alleviate this side effect.
    •Results may be seen as early as 7 days after the procedure and should continue to improve over time.

    For optimal results, a series of 3-5 treatments is scheduled 2 to 4 weeks apart. Each session costs anywhere from $800 to $2000.

    Before you run out and book a Fraxel appointment, keep in mind that fractional laser skin resurfacing will not give you perfect skin.  Have realistic expectations and seek out an experienced and highly trained dermatologist or plastic surgeon to provide the treatment.

    If you have darker skin you may run the risk of uneven results, a shadowing of lighter and darker areas.  Melasma may be improved with Fraxel, but recurrence is in the nature of the condition, particularly without proper prevention and sun protection. Protecting your skin with a stable and effective [Link Removed]  is more essential than ever after the procedure.

    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.


    0 Replies
  • Eat Your Way to Great Skin

    Posted on Tuesday, January 21, 2014

    Applying topical treatments is one of the best ways to ensure that your skin gets what it needs to stay healthy but you can also eat your way to great skin.  Diet plays a big role in how we feel and also how we look.  No matter how many creams and serums we use, good nutrition is the basis for healthy skin.

    Here are a few foods to add (and one to avoid!) in order to give your skin a chance to glow, from the inside out:

    1. Essential Fatty Acids.   Found in walnuts, fish, eggs, olive oil and avocados, essential fatty acids like omega-3 oils help to keep the top outer layer of the skin strong and intact.  A strong skin barrier keeps external toxins and pollutants out and can help the skin look more radiant and elastic.  Omega-3 fish oil supplements can help fill in the gap.

    2. Foods high in antioxidants, like green tea, fruits & veggies. Not enough can be said about the role of [Link Removed]  that break down collagen.  Aim for 5 to 10 servings daily of food loaded with antioxidants such as vitamin C (strawberries), selenium (Brazil nuts), and vitamin E (spinach and almonds).

    3. Beta Carotene and vitamin A. When consumed, the body converts beta carotene in foods to vitamin A. [Link Removed] , our favorite anti-aging ingredient, are derivatives of Vitamin A.  You'll find an abundance of this important nutrient in carrots, spinach, leafy greens and dried apricots.

    4. Skip the sugar. The link between sugar consumption and the aging process is a relatively new one. When there is excess sugar in the body, a process called glycation begins. [Link Removed] causes collagen and elastin molecules to become hard and stiff, robbing them of their flexibility that gives us firm, plump and taut skin. Sugar essentially speeds up the appearance of aging in our skin and body.

    Notice water wasn't included in the list? Contrary to popular belief, drinking 8 glasses of water a day does not necessarily mean perfect skin or even hydrated skin.  It's undeniably essential for overall health, but you can drink buckets full and still suffer from dry skin.

    Now great skin is as close as your grocery store.  What are you waiting for?

    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.


    0 Replies
  • 3 Mineral Oil Myths

    Posted on Monday, January 20, 2014

    Mineral oil is an ingredient in skin care products that has been widely used for many years. It can also be listed as paraffinum liquidum, liquid paraffin or white oil. And although studies have found it to be safe and problem-free for most individuals, it continues to have a bad reputation.

    Here are three myths regarding mineral oil that persist despite evidence to the contrary:

    Myth#1: Mineral oil is comedogenic.  A 2005 study published in the Blackwell's Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology reported that, contrary to popular belief, cosmetic grade mineral oil does not block pores.  In the study, volunteers tested a formulation containing cosmetic grade mineral oil applied to their upper back over a period of several weeks. Results of the test proved, categorically, that the cosmetic grade mineral oil was not comedogenic.  The misconception may lie in the fact that mineral oil is an occlusive and acts as a barrier to moisture loss.  Being an occlusive agent, mineral oil has the potential to trap other comedogenic ingredients in the pores when they have been applied to the skin prior to or along with the mineral oil.  Mineral oil itself, however, does not clog the pores.

    Myth#2: Mineral oil is not natural.  Although it may not conjure up images of green fields and flowers, mineral oil is indeed natural in that it is a by-product of naturally occurring petroleum.  The cosmetic and pharmaceutical grade mineral oil used in skin care has been highly refined and purified and little resembles the crude oil that was extracted from the earth.  On a side note, plant-based oils also require processing and purifying prior to being used in skin care.

    Myth#3: Mineral oil is not safe.   Crude petroleum oil contains a compound called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which, in historical studies, were pointed out as carcinogenic to rodents. The refining process of mineral oil removes these compounds, leaving the highly refined mineral oil that is required for use in the cosmetic and skin care industry safe for its intended use.

    Cosmetic grade mineral oil is odorless, colorless and has a long-shelf life.  While some individuals may be sensitive to this relatively innocuous ingredient, the majority of us have no trouble with it at all.  Whether you are in the "for" camp or "against" camp, the great thing is that you can make an informed decision based on your own skin type and preferences.  Mineral oil or not, we're luckily spoiled for choice when it comes to what we use on our skin.

    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.


    0 Replies
  • Sun Damage Happens In Just 2 Days!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    It's not news to us that sun exposure ages the skin, but [Link Removed]  shows just how quickly this damage happens: just two days. Researchers from the University of Michigan exposed volunteers to the equivalent of two hours of sunlight over a period of two days and discovered in that short span of time, UVA1 rays (measuring 340-400 nm) caused darkening of the skin as well as produced molecules that break down collagen.  This process can cause skin to show premature signs of aging, such as sagging, wrinkles and dullness of complexion.

    The UV rays that concern us can be divided into UVA (for Aging) and UVB (for Burning) rays.  Although the majority of sunscreens are formulated and SPF-labelled to protect us against burning, many do not contain effective active ingredients to shield us against the UVA rays that are almost 20 times more abundant than UVB rays.  We are exposed to UVA rays any time there is light outside.  From sun-up to sun-down, on clear days as well as cloudy days, UVA rays penetrate deeply into the layers of our skin and lead to age spots, sagging, wrinkles and some forms of cancer.  The bottom line, according to researchers, is that effective sunscreens should be used daily.

    To ensure the most comprehensive, broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays, select a photostable formulation with a combination of active ingredients.  Look for:
    •Titanium Dioxide : blocks UVB rays
    •Zinc Oxide : blocks both UVB and UVA rays measuring 300-400 nm. Zinc oxide is one of the few full UV spectrum sun blockers. Look for it if you are concerned about applying a chemical sunscreen. We like [Link Removed]
    •Mexoryl SX: may also be listed as Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid; blocks UVA rays measuring 290-400 nm.
    •Mexoryl XL: may also be listed as Drometrizole Trisiloxane; blocks UVA-II rays
    •Avobenzone: blocks UVA-I rays; should be stabilized with Octocrylene
    •Tinosorb S: blocks UVB and UVA rays measuring 280 nm to 400 nm

    We, our customers and most health care professionals love [Link Removed]  offer similar technology also.

    Questions? Give us a call and we'd be happy to help you [Link Removed]  that's right for 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] 

    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.


    0 Replies
  • Blackheads: What They Are & How to Treat Them

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014

    Blackheads, more scientifically known as open comedones, are a common skin condition that appear as small, dark spots on the skin.  Although they may look like specks of dirt, blackheads have nothing to do with your skin's level of cleanliness.  They're actually a combination of excess oil and dead skin cells that have been trapped in the pore and exposed to air, which causes it to turn black.

    Blackheads can be annoying and stubborn, but there are steps you can take to treat and get rid of them:
    1.1. Cleanse Your Skin. Effective cleansing with soap-free cleansers like [Link Removed] 

     are specially formulated to clean the skin while promoting normal oil production. A new concept that is slowly gaining popularity is the practice of [Link Removed]) or prescription tretinoin are vitamin A derivatives that are effective for treating blackheads. Retinoids work by accelerating skin cell turnover and preventing clogged pores. Though effective, retinoids should not be used on the same days as alpha or beta hydroxy acid products. The combination has the potential to be highly irritating to the skin.
    6.Gentle extraction. Contrary to the usual advice of never squeezing a blemish, gentle pressure using a sterile comedone extractor or tissue-covered fingers can be an effective way of removing the excess material within the clogged pore.  The key word here is gentle.  It's important to avoid applying too much pressure which has the potential to do more damage than good.  Visiting a trusted skin care professional is also an option to consider when dealing with manual extractions.

    With consistent care and the right products, results are just a few short weeks away.

    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.


    1 Replies