skincare blog

New! Cliniderm Soothing Scalp Shampoo

50113552New from Cliniderm: Soothing Scalp Shampoo!

Trusted by consumers and recommended by physicians for many years, Cliniderm offers a complete line of irritant-free products to suit the sensitive skin and scalp needs of adults and children. Cliniderm’s experience in bringing soothing comfort to eczema-prone skin now includes their new Soothing Scalp Shampoo, the only hair and scalp product to receive the Seal of Acceptance from the Eczema Society of Canada.

This pH neutral shampoo gently cleanses and moisturizes both hair and scalp while helping to:

  • Relieve itching and redness due to dryness
  • Increase scalp comfort
  • Protect from environmental stressors

As with other Cliniderm products, Soothing Scalp Shampoo is tear-free, soap-free, fragrance-free and paraben-free. All products are also formulated without dyes, lanolin, formaldehyde or proteins that can irritate the skin.

See our full line of Cliniderm products here. Peace of mind for sensitive skin.

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Alternatives to Retinoids

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When it comes to looking after your skin, dermatologists seem to agree that after sunscreen, adding a retinoid (derivative of Vitamin A) to your skin care routine is the top pick. We swear by Apothekari A is for Anti-Aging, our gentle but effective serum, formulated with retinaldehyde. However, we appreciate that sometimes using a vitamin A treatment may not be in your best interest.

Most non-prescription strength retinoids can be safely and effectively used by the majority of people, especially when incorporated gradually into a daily regimen. However, if you’ve taken all the right steps and still find yourself unable to tolerate the use of a retinoid, or if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant (retinoids are associated with birth defects and their use is not advised if you are pregnant or breast feeding), you’ll want to consider other alternatives without giving up the benefits of this skin care star.

Luckily, there are a number of ingredients to turn to with an equally tried-and-true history:

Vitamin C: When it comes to antioxidants, it’s hard not to think about vitamin C. Not only does it do a stellar job in fighting free radicals that can damage the skin, vitamin C also promotes collagen synthesis, restores elasticity and brightens overall skin tone. This little beauty works even better when paired up with vitamin E for a synergistically perfect duo. You’ll find them in Apothekari Bespoke Vitamin C+++ serums in 10% and 15% concentrations.

Peptides: Peptides are individual portions of proteins, which are composed of a long chain of amino acids. Just like retinoids, peptides work as cell communicators to encourage skin repair itself. Peptides also work to stimulate collagen production, improve elasticity and attract moisture to the skin. Maxtrixyl 3000, a combination of two peptides, can be found in Neostrata’s Anti-Aging Serum with Fruit Peptides. For those in the “know”, Preparation H Cream has long earned its reputation thanks to BioDyne, a protein fraction containing a mixture of several peptides that work to heal and counteract inflammation.

Glycolic acid: Although no longer the buzz-worthy ingredient of the fickle skin care world, glycolic acid continues to quietly and effectively do its work. Naturally sourced from sugar cane, glycolic acid’s small molecules allow it to easily penetrate the skin to even out the complexion by removing the dulling build-up of dead skin cells. Through regular use, glycolic acid can reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, giving the skin a fresher, more vibrant look. As if that’s not enough, glycolic acid can also unclog pores and help in fighting acne. Reversa has built many of its skin care products around the power of glycolic acid, combining it with arginine and allantoin to minimize irritation.

Resveratrol: This potent antioxidant is found in red grapes, red wine, nuts, and fruits such as blueberries and cranberries. When applied topically, resveratrol protects against sun damage, improves collagen production, and reduces cell damage. It also has anti-inflammatory properties making it useful in skin issues including acne, rosacea and eczema. Stable and potent, resveratrol is definitely worth keeping on the short list.

Whether you use a retinoid or one of its alternatives, keep in mind that most skin care treatments work best as a team in order to achieve significant results. Healthy skin is definitely a case where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts!

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Brazilian Beauty Ingredients

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If you were keeping up with the Rio Olympics, and in particular with beach volleyball, you would be forgiven for thinking that all Brazilians are young, fit and vibrant. Apart from (hopefully) using sunscreen on a regular basis, we figure there must be some secret to their good skin. Turns out that Brazil has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to natural skin care ingredients, thanks to the Amazon Rainforest on its doorstep.

For those of us in the Northern hemisphere, Brazilian beauty is no further than our local stores. Here are a few key ingredients to look out for:

Guarana: This climbing plant native to Brazil bears fruit whose dark brown seed is the real star of the show. Similar in size to a coffee bean but containing twice as much caffeine, the guarana seed is largely used in beverages in South America. However, it is also one of the main ingredients in a popular body (and booty) cream that reportedly stimulates circulation, smooths away cellulite and tightens the skin.

Maracuja:  Known more commonly as passion fruit, maracuja is high in vitamin C and essential fatty acids, both of which have legendary benefits to the skin.  Vitamin C continues to be the darling of the skin care world, providing antioxidant activity to protect from free radical damage as well as brightening overall skin tone and lightening hyperpigmentation.  Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) are needed to keep the skin supple and support a healthy acid mantle.  Look for maracuja oil in body lotions and as a dry oil treatment.

Cupuaçu: This melon-sized fruit harvested from the Amazon Rainforest belongs to the cacao family. While its white flesh is used mainly in desserts, the pressing of the fruit seeds produces cupuaçu butter, an impressive source of hydration that’s also rich in antioxidants, omega fatty acids and polyphenols. Fans of shea butter will not be disappointed with this South American powerhouse.

Brazil nut: It would be remiss of us to not mention the Brazil nut! Although technically a seed, the Brazil nut’s high selenium content is the reason behind its antioxidant strength. When included in skin care formulations, selenium improves skin elasticity, fights acne and aids in the healing of wounds. It’s also thought to have anti-bacterial properties. The Brazil nut’s rich oil can be used alone to moisturize or as a booster in creams and lotions to hydrate. Of course, these rounded, crescent moon shaped nuts are equally delicious as a nutrient-rich snack that just happens to give you the bonus of glowing skin.

We may have said goodbye to Rio yesterday but I suspect our love affair with all things Brazilian is just beginning.

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Matcha: Good for the Body, Good for the Skin

green face maskThe trend towards green and natural lifestyle choices continues, and if you’ve ever had a cup of matcha tea, then you’ll know that, literally, there’s nothing more “green” than this power-packed powdered tea.

Grown in the shade, matcha’s tea leaves are forced to overproduce chlorophyll, thus producing its very bright, very intense green color. This traditional Japanese beverage is loaded with antioxidants and has been gaining in popularity as an alternative to conventional coffee and tea options. And, what’s good for the body is usually good for the skin.

Matcha provides approximately half the amount of caffeine versus coffee, but thanks to the tea’s L-Theanine amino acid, drinking matcha allows for a slow-release of caffeine, resulting in a relaxed alertness without the twitchy caffeine high and quick crash that is often associated with a strong coffee hit. But it’s matcha’s concentrated antioxidant levels that put it over the top, providing 17 times more antioxidants than superfood blueberry (of which we are huge fans).

It’s well known that antioxidants are superheroes when it comes to fighting free radicals that damage cells, leading to premature aging, disease and some forms of cancer. Matcha’s got antioxidants in spades, particularly when it comes to EGCG (epigallocatechin-3 gallate). When applied topically, EGCG can prevent collagen breakdown, reduce inflammation and reduce UV damage to the skin. It’s no wonder that matcha is beginning to show up as an active ingredient in skin care products.

Since matcha is new to the skin care game, it may not be easy to find but don’t let that stop you from enjoying its benefits by making up a weekly DIY face mask at home. Mix one teaspoon each of matcha powder, honey and water into a gorgeous green paste, brush over a clean face and let sit for 10-20 minutes before wiping off with a soft cloth and rinsing clean with warm water. Follow with your favorite moisturizer if needed.

Dare I say it? Skin care never felt so green.

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