skincare blog

Ooh Ombrelle – Broad Spectrum Sun Protection For Everyone

Ombrelle Complete Dry Mist Spray SPF 60Ombrelle sunscreens are the less known cousin to top selling Anthelios sunscreens. What you may not know about Ombrelle, is that just like its famous relative, this brand is formulated with Mexoryl technology, available in a wide array of formulations and delivers excellent UVA/UVB protection.

Both Ombrelle and Anthelios are owned by French corporate giant L’Oreal, so they are privy to the same excellent sunscreen technology. And while Ombrelle certainly hasn’t achieved the cult like following attributed to Anthelios sunscreens, this line does deliver. A bonus? Ombrelle sunscreens tend to be better priced than Anthelios. And, since the line is bigger, it comes with a wider selection of products, especially those intended for sports and recreation use.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Ombrelle Ultra Fluid Face Lotion SPF 60 – new to the line, this light, mattifying lotion is ideal for daily use and can be worn under make-up
  • Ombrelle Complete SPF 60 Lotion – our top selling Ombrelle sunscreen contains both Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL and may be used on both face and body. It is water resistant. Perfect for warm weather getaways. 
  • Ombrelle Complete Dry Mist Spray SPF 60 – Delivers high protection that feels like nothing is on your skin. 100% alcohol free, fragrance and colorant free formula leaves skin feeling bare, hydrated, never sticky or greasy.
  • Ombrelle Kids Lotion SPF 60 – Specifically formulated for children, this water resistant and fast absorbing formula provides broad spectrum photostable protection against UVA & UVB rays.

View the full range of Ombrelle sunscreens here. Still not sure which one’s right for you? Call or email us and we’d be happy to help.

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Boswellia Serrata: Spotlight

 

Boswellia

An ingredient that few of us would think to look out for in our skin care products, boswellic acid, comes from a shrubby tree (Boswellia Serrata) that grows across India, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia. The tree produces a resin or milky sap, which when dried, becomes “frankincense” – an ingredient long used in religious and ritual ceremonies.

 

The sap contains boswellic acids, a range of organic acids, which have been studied for their ability to kill cancer cells, in particular brain tumors and cells affected by leukemia or colon cancer. They also exhibit anti-inflammatory behaviour. Boswellia was historically used as a painkiller, particularly for those with arthritis. More recent studies have shown that boswellia does in fact, help to relieve symptoms associated with arthritis

 

When it comes to skin care, boswellic acid is included in preparations for its anti-inflammatory abilities:

  • Wrinkle prevention: A 2010 study involving 15 women with sun-damaged skin showed significant improvement in the appearance of wrinkles and skin elasticity after 30 days of treatment.
  • Redness. Likely due to its anti-inflammatory effects, boswellic acid reduces redness, producing a more even tone. 
  • Acne. Boswellia has been used to clear up its appearance and encourage faster healing. It also has a reputation for reducing the likelihood of scarring.

Boswellic acid is well tolerated by most individuals and has no major side effects. It’s always exciting to find out that an ‘old’ ingredient has lots of exciting potential.

 

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6 Signs of Sun Damage

sunglasses portraitWhile skin cancer and melanoma are obvious and ultimate signs of sun damage, unprotected exposure to UVA and UVB rays can manifest itself in other ways too:

1. Tan: A golden glow has long been ingrained in our minds as the picture of health, but in actual fact, a tan is the body’s way of trying to protect itself from the sun’s damaging rays by producing more melanin and darkening the skin.  If you can’t give up the notion of tanned skin in the summer, opt for the safe and healthy method of a self tanner like Neostrata’s Natural InstaTan Self Tanner.

2. Sunburn: More than a tan gone wrong, sunburn is classified as a first degree burn.  A sunburn is the skin cells’ reaction to being damaged by the sun’s UV rays. In order to repair the damage, the body increases the blood flow to the skin, causing the telltale redness.  Staying out of the sun, plenty of liquids and a soothing and hydrating moisturizer like La Roche Posay Posthelios are key to a quick recovery.

3. Freckles:  Just like tanned skin, freckles develop more in the summer when the skin is exposed to the sun.  The UVB rays cause the skin to increase melanin production.  More common for those with fair hair and skin, anyone, regardless of skin or hair color, can have freckles.  Although generally harmless, freckles are a good indication of the amount of sun exposure you’re getting (and perhaps the need to protect yourself a bit more!).  Keep a close eye on freckles, however, as some skin cancers can resemble freckles in their early stages.

4. Wrinkles:  Sun damage accumulates over our lifetime and may eventually show up as wrinkles.  Over time, the long and penetrating UVA rays break down collagen and elastin cells in our skin, resulting in sagging, wrinkles and fine lines.  Sunscreen is the no. 1 anti-aging weapon we have at our disposal.

5. Melasma:  Melasma appears as a skin discoloration of dark, irregular patches on the face of adults.  Although melasma is thought to be triggered by hormonal changes involving estrogen or progesterone, exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can also contribute to melasma by stimulating melanocytes, or pigment- producing cells in the skin, causing the patches to darken.

6. Age spots:  The term “age spots” is a bit of a misnomer as they are not caused by simple aging.  These dark spots are the result of UV exposure and appear mainly on areas of the body typically exposed to the sun, such as the face, chest and back of the hands.  Also known as solar lentigines, age spots are localized production of melanin.  As with freckles, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for any changes in color, shape or size of the spots that may indicate a more serious skin condition.

As always, play it safe in the sun, and when in doubt, check it out.

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Osteopathy

woman-joggingOsteopathy may not be familiar to you, nor was it to me until a few weeks ago when it was mentioned by not one but two friends who had recently tried osteopathy to deal with shoulder, back and knee pain.  The simplest way to explain osteopathy is that it is a physiotherapy that uses a holistic approach to concentrate not only on the problem area but to treat the rest of the body as well.  The philosophy behind osteopathy is that all parts of the body function together in an integrated way, and when one area is in pain or restricted, other parts of the body are affected in an attempt to compensate.

Osteopathy therapy involves non-invasive “hands on” techniques to gently manipulate the body.  This can involve stretching, slight pressure on tissues, massage and joint movements.  An osteopath may also use the hands to assess how the pained area is affecting the spine, neck, hips and organs so that treatment can ultimately restore balance to all systems of the body.  Very much like physiotherapy, patients may be asked to continue stretches and exercises at home as well as altering lifestyle patterns.  A series of treatments and follow-ups are not uncommon to improve chances of a complete recovery and restoration of health.

Initial sessions last about an hour and involve assessment and treatment.  Techniques will vary depending on the injury.  Osteopathic therapists are highly trained and skilled individuals who view the body as interconnected systems that work together for complete health.  In Canada, the UK and Australia, osteopaths are required to undertake study and training for 4-5 years before being accredited.  In the US, osteopathy is a dedicated degree within the study of medicine and carrries with it a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) designation.

As much as treatments such as Voltaren Emulgel and methocarbamol tablets can help relieve pain, full recovery may involve changes in lifestyle and professional care.  As for my friends, the weekend athlete and the urban pack mule, they’ve been advised to slow down and carry a smaller purse, respectively.  Improvements continue.

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