skincare blog

Topical Botox- No Longer Just Fiction

Happy SkinSince the introduction of botox to get rid of wrinkles, skin care companies have been working fast and furious to find a viable, topical alternative for those of us who prefer a less expensive and less invasive option. Injectable botox involves delivering botulinum toxin type A deep into the tissues in order to ‘paralyze’ the muscles, making it impossible for a wrinkle to develop. Botox inhibits the receptors in the muscles from responding to nerve signals that would normally control the contraction and relaxation of muscles when we, for instance, smile or laugh.

Although many topical creams containing active ingredients such as peptides and lab-grown stem cells may market themselves as a “topical botox”, no skin care product has been successfully developed using the botulinum toxin as the key ingredient, until now. And naturally, this revolutionary product comes from Korea, well-established as a global leader in skin care innovation.

Where peptides and retinoids boost production of collagen and increase skin’s elasticity, a topical botulinum treatment has the same aims as the injectable form: relax wrinkles, diminish the look of lines and give users a more youthful, fresh, well-rested appearance.

Topical botox may no longer be fiction, but does it actually work? As it has only recently been available outside of Asia, that remains to be seen. Much rides on whether or not the product can penetrate to a level that will deliver on the promise. The manufacturer does specify that, like other topical treatments, results will not be visible for approximately 4 weeks, a not unreasonable expectation.  Only time will tell.

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Anthelios Sunscreens – Worth the Wait

sunny familyAnthelios sunscreens with Mexoryl XL are highly sought-after sun protection products. And while their popularity means more people are aware of the effectiveness and wearability of these broad-spectrum sunscreens, it also means that keeping our shelves well-stocked can be a challenge, particularly in the spring and summer months.

We are so pleased that we have just received a new shipment of our bestselling (and most loved!) sunscreens, including:

  • Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Lait Velouté: With Mexoryl SX, Mexoryl XL and Tinosorb S, this highly photostable sunscreen protects against both UVB and UVA rays, making it ideal for both the face and the body. With an ultra velvety texture, this lotion is non-comedogenic, fragrance free, paraben free and very water resistant, maintaining effectiveness for up to 80 minutes in the water. Here’s the kicker: at 300ml (10 fluid ounces), it is an incredible value. Sometimes size does matter.
  • Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Ultra Fluid (previously Fluide Extreme): Made specifically for the face, Anthelios Ultra Fluid is non-greasy with a light texture most suitable for normal to combination complexions. It offers optimal SPF 50+ protection reinforced against UVA rays, stricter than the European recommendation. Our customers constantly tell us how much they love this one, and judging by the length of our waiting list when this is out of stock, they’re not exaggerating!
  • Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Dermo Kids Lotion: Specifically designed for children’s sensitive skin, this high protection, non-greasy formula can be used for the whole family. Formulated with patented Mexoryl technology and other sunscreen filters such as titanium dioxide and avobenzone, Dermo Kids Lotion has been tested under pediatric control to provide exceptional protection against high sun exposure with a pleasing finish and easy wearability.

Beyond just these though, we offer a wide range of Anthelios sunscreens, sure to suit everyone in the family – worth the wait!

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International Self- Care Day

spa treatmentIf International Self Care Day is unfamiliar to you, you’re not alone. Initially launched in 2011 by the World Self-Medication Industry, the goal is to highlight the importance of responsible self-care in order to improve overall health, reduce health care costs and, in the long run, alleviate the strain on the health care system. As a reminder that we need to take care of ourselves 24/7, the 24th of July was chosen as the perfect day to promote the value of self-care and, hopefully, make it the start of a lifelong habit.

Officially designated by the US Senate two years ago, International Self Care Day serves as a yearly reminder to stop our furious daily pace and take stock of what we ourselves need in order to continue being healthy and happy while still taking care of the ones we love. For those of us who rarely put our needs ahead of those of our family, this is the ideal excuse to focus on ourselves.

Batteries get recharged when we spend time doing things that replenish us physically, emotionally and mentally. Schedule in activities that put your needs first, and although it may be impossible to feel 100% refreshed, the realization that you can and should (and deserve!) a whole day to yourself may be enough to keep the self-care momentum going.

Here’s what I’ve pencilled in for my own version of self-care day:

A breakfast date with an old girlfriend. More than a chance to eat a healthy meal that I didn’t have to prepare myself, I’m looking forward to a proper chat and catching up on what’s been going on this summer with her and her family. Our relationship goes back to when the topics of conversation centred around diapers, napping and the next solid food to introduce to our babies. Although we keep in touch via regular emails, nothing replaces a face-to-face.

A facial at my favorite spa. Personally, there’s nothing more self-indulgent than booking a treatment at the spa. It’s an hour of forced inactivity with soothing music, ambient lighting and the expert ministrations of a trained esthetician. Result? I leave with glowing skin and feeling relaxed in body and spirit.

An unhurried wander around the bookstore. A 2015 study by the Reading Agency in the UK revealed that reading for pleasure reduced symptoms of depression, lowered levels of stress and increased overall sense of wellbeing. When the pace of the modern world seems geared toward reading short online articles and magazines, it’s a real treat to pick up a new book and make it an early night. Count me in.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s celebration

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Sunscreen 101

woman_applying_sunscreenIt’s official – summer is here! And what better time to refresh your memory on how to read sunscreen labels and decipher some of the common terminology found on the packaging.

First up, what exactly does SPF mean?

SPF= Sun Protection Factor. This rating system, developed in 1962, measures the length of time a sunscreen will protect you from the burning UVB rays compared to how long it would take you to burn with no protection whatsoever. For instance, if you typically burn in 10 minutes, an SPF 30 product should give you protection for 10 minutes x 30, so 300 minutes. However, this is very much dependent on applying adequate amounts, something most of us do not do. Another thing to keep in mind: reapplying after the recommended 2 hours does not extend your protection time by another 300 minutes. You are simply maintaining the same level of protection for the same amount of time. The SPF rating does not give any indication of the amount of protection afforded against UVA rays (those responsible for skin aging). Which brings us to….

Broad Spectrum. Sunscreen formulations that protect against both burning UVB rays as well as the longer, deeper penetrating UVA rays (linked with premature aging and many types of skin cancer) are known as broad spectrum. Over the last 10 years, it has become increasingly evident that UVA rays are responsible for damaging skin cells in the basal layer of the epidermis where most skin cancers occur. Unlike UVB rays, UVA rays are prevalent year round and can pass through clouds and windows, further supporting the need for sunscreen year round, regardless of weather. Lucky for you, we stock a wide selection of broad spectrum sunscreens including the popular line of Anthelios sunscreens and Ombrelle sunscreens.

So now that we know what SPF means, here are 3 top tips for getting the most out of your sunscreen:

  1. Apply 15-30 Minutes Prior to Sun Exposure: Although applying the sunscreen upon arriving at the beach or 5 minutes before you step out the door is probably more the norm, it may not be the optimum timeframe for application. Physical sunscreens, which contain only titanium dioxide or zinc oxide can be applied with no waiting time because they work by sitting on top of the skin and deflecting UV rays. Chemical sunscreens, containing ingredients such as Mexoryl XL and Tinosorb S, however, need some time to interact with the skin’s surface before reaching maximum effectiveness. These sun filters work by absorbing UV rays and releasing them as harmless heat. However, even if you’ve missed the 15-30 minute window, you’ll still get more protection if you put on the sunscreen than if you didn’t.
  2. Reapply Every 2 Hours: Which one of us hasn’t been guilty of applying sunscreen once in the morning before going out and then not reapplying diligently? Although we would love a sunscreen that lasts all day, the truth is that UV rays eventually break down the stability and effectiveness of sun filters. When it comes to reapplying, don’t think of it as “topping up”. Instead, use the same amount as the first time. Ideally that would be one ounce for the entire body. Of course this isn’t always realistic – we get that! If you’re not spending a day fully immersed in the sun, aim for at least one reapplication at midday.
  3. Use a Water-Resistant Sunscreen if Swimming or Sweating: Not all sunscreens are considered water-resistant so make sure it’s specified on the label. These sunscreens are formulated to resist being washed off by water. The industry standard for “water resistant” is effective for 40 minutes in the water. “Very water resistant” sunscreens must be effective for 80 minutes in the water. However, like the sun, water also breaks down the stability and effectiveness of the sun filters, leaving you exposed to harmful rays that will not only burn but age and potentially cause cancer. Being in the cool water may delay the feeling of getting sunburned so it’s doubly important to have an eye on the time. Keep in mind as well that no sunscreens are towel-resistant so no matter the time elapsed, if you’ve dried off with a towel, it’s time for another application.

When applying sunscreen, don’t neglect these often missed parts:

  • Lips
  • The part in your hair
  • Ears
  • Décolleté
  • Back of the neck
  • Under the chin
  • Tops of the feet
  • Hands
  • Backs of the knees

Meet you at the beach!

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