skincare blog

NEW! Neostrata Pore Minimizing Anti-Shine Hydrating Gel

neostrata pore minimizerNew! Neostrata’s Pore Minimizing Anti-Shine Hydrating Gel is part of the Acne Care line, products that help control and clear up acne pimples.

This 3-in-1 oil-free gel refines skin texture, hydrates and reduces shine instantly while staying true to the Neostrata tradition of developing treatments that are non-comedogenic, non-irritating and paraben-free.

Ideal for:
• Combination to oily skin
• Dilated pores, shine
• Acne-prone skin and a tendency towards blackheads and pimples
• All ages

• Shine is instantly reduced and the mattifying effect lasts up to 8 hours
• Long lasting action: Shine is reduced by -27.3% after 28 days
• Visibly reduces pore size by -10.2% after 28 days
• Refines skin texture while hydrating

Neostrata’s Pore Minimizing Anti-Shine Hydrating uses two botanical-based ingredients in combination:

• p-Refinyl, a botanical extract from green lentil that refines skin texture and tightens dilated pores. This product contains 3% of p-Refinyl.
• Matmarine, developed from marine biotechnology, absorbs excess sebum to reduce shine and provide visible mattifying effect. This product contains 5%, the maximum recommended level for best results.

After cleansing, apply 1 or 2 times daily all over face for oily skin or on T-zone for combination skin. For optimal mattifying results, apply this gel after cleansing with the Neostrata Acne Clear Clarifying Gel Cleanser followed by the Purifying Solution.

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8 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep


With the start of the new year, you may have been tempted to make New Year’s resolutions.   But, let’s face it, we’re halfway through January and most of us have dropped the ball already.  Instead of setting ourselves up for failure, choose simple, practical behavior modification resolutions that you might actually keep. It’s not only the thought that counts: the possibility of success is important too.

Here are 8 New Year’s resolutions you may actually keep:

  1. Treat Yourself: Whether it’s a new book, fancy chocolates, or some quiet meditation or yoga, treat yourself to the small luxuries in life.  You cannot fail at this resolution.  I stress – CANNOT!
  2. Slow Down: We are all moving too quickly through life.  Make an effort to be more present this year; don’t just go through the motions.  It might take some practice, but there is no failing at this one either.
  3. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: We are all bombarded with messages of how we just don’t measure up to celebrities or amazing bloggers. Remember, it’s all manufactured and no one is perfect. Stop judging yourself.
  4. Accept Yourself As You Are: Continuing in the same vein, learn to be okay with yourself. You are pretty awesome, and it’s important to truly believe that you are! We’re not talking being an egomaniac here, but about recognizing and appreciating the unique qualities that make you “you.”
  5. Judge Less: By the same token, try to stop judging others. Give others a break, too. It’s easy to forget we’re all human and all struggling with our own challenges, even if it doesn’t appear that way on the surface.
  6. Listen More, Talk Less: Social media, “selfies”, and reality TV seem to be about a lot of people talking about themselves–and all talking past each other. Take a chill pill, stop talking so much, and listen to others more. Not only will it help you connect with others, but it might help you be more introspective as well.
  7. Say Yes More Often: For some, the knee-jerk reaction is to say no. “No” to plans, “no” to trying something new, “no” to looking for that new job. Open up your possibilities and get outside your comfort zone by learning to say “yes” more often.
  8. Be Beautiful in 2017: Over at Apothekari, we’ll be profiling a special face each month. A real woman, not a celebrity, who uses Apothekari skin care products.  Let’s celebrate genuine beauty, both inside and out.

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Niacinamide Revisited

blond-woman-applying-creamIn our seemingly never-ending search for the proverbial fountain of youth, it’s easy to overlook ingredients that are safe and effective but don’t have the “star power” of, say, retinoids. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is one of those unassuming ingredients that does its work well but deserves twice as much recognition as it currently receives.

Niacinamide is a water-soluble form of vitamin B that comes with a myriad of benefits when applied topically to skin. Just like its showier relative, the retinoid, niacinamide is a multi-tasking genius, helpful in fighting acne, redness from rosacea, hyperpigmentation and loss of skin elasticity.

The key to niacinamide’s efficacy is its ability to reduce the rate of decline of two important enzymes (NADH and NADPH) that can greatly affect the production of cellular energy and lipids that are responsible for cell growth. Topically applied niacinamide boosts skin barrier function by increasing the amount of ceramides produced, thus increasing hydration as well as the ability of your skin to protect against external assaults from pollution and bacteria. For those who suffer from rosacea, strengthening the skin barrier is critical to minimizing reactions to irritants. When used as a treatment for acne and hyperpigmentation, niacinamide’s anti-inflammatory properties come into play.

As part of an anti-aging routine, niacinamide has been shown to increase levels of fatty acids levels in skin, improve elasticity, brighten overall skin tone and fade dark spots that can age our appearance. Where niacinamide has an advantage over other anti-aging ingredients is that it causes little or no irritation to skin and is photostable. This allows niacinamide to be incorporated into formulations that can be used day or night with no risk of degradation. So, even exposed to light, niacinamide will continue to retain its integrity and efficacy. That’s definitely something to boast about!

Look for niacinamide in Apothekari A is for Anti-Aging where it is combined with retinaldehyde and other actives, making this treatment one big bang for your buck! Be cautious to apply only at night because even though niacinamide is stable for day time use, retinoids can be degraded upon exposure to sunlight.

We think 2017 will be niacinamide’s year, don’t you?

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Got a Question? We’ve Got an Answer

19589336 - thinking business woman looking up isolated on white backgroundWhen customers call or email us with questions, it gives a chance to find out what’s on their minds and an opportunity to learn new things as well. Here are a few of the recent inquiries we’ve received over the past few months:

1. I recently found out I’m pregnant with our second and am not sure all of my La Roche Posay products are safe to continue using. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
I’m using the following products: Redermic C Eyes and I switch between Anthelios 50 Mineral Tinted Ultra-Light Tinted Sunscreen Fluid for Face, Water Resistant with SPF 50 & Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Serum with Sunscreen with SPF 50.
If these are not safe can you suggest an eye crime and a facial & body SPF that are safe to use during pregnancy? I am fair skinned and have dry skin that can be sensitive at times.

First off, congratulations on the new baby! Skincare choices do occasionally need to change when pregnancy and/or breastfeeding are in the picture. In general, retinoids and hydroquinone should be avoided. The main ingredients in the products you mentioned (vitamin C, mineral sun filters and antioxidants) are generally considered safe during pregnancy. However, oxybenzone, a common sun filter, has been associated with hormone disruption. You may want to discuss this with your doctor as choices are even more important during pregnancy.

2. I am a long-term Anthelios sunscreen user and I have had great experience ordering Anthelios products from your site for the past a few years.
I would like to ask you what is the different between Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Comfort Creme vs Anthelios XL SPF 60 Comfort Cream? I know the SPF number is different, besides that, what are the other major differences? The reason I am asking is that I noticed SPF 50+ creme is priced at $35 for 50ml, however, SPF 60 creme is priced at $29 for 100ml. I am little bit confused, I thought the sunscreen with higher SPF # and larger volume should be more expensive. Can you please let me know? What makes you determine SPF 50+ at 50ml price should be higher that SPF 60 at 100ml? Thank you so much.

Thank you for your question. We’re so pleased that you have been using Anthelios sunscreens. We are also big fans. Both Anthelios products are manufactured in France by La Roche Posay. However, we receive the Anthelios XL SPF 60 Comfort Cream and the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Comfort Crème from different wholesale suppliers. Our retail prices are based on our wholesale costs and the difference in pricing is due to this.

The formulations, sun filters and overall finish/feel are different, although both contain coveted Mexoryl XL. Anthelios XL SPF 60 is made for the face and body but does have a slightly heavier feel with a bit of shine and can leave a white cast on some complexions. The Antheliox XL SPF 50+ Comfort Creme in the smaller tube is made specifically for the face with an invisible, lightweight, velvety dry finish that some customers find more pleasing and comfortable to wear on a daily basis.

As always, we strive to remain competitive while bringing our customers what we consider the best and most effective sunscreens currently available.

3. What concentration of propylene glycol is safe for the skin?

The FDA has categorized propylene glycol as “GRAS” (Generally Recognized as Safe). In concentrations used in skin care products, propylene glycol has been deemed safe for use when formulated to be non-irritating, according to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Board.
Since we touched on this subject in 2008, the Review Board has assessed more recent data and have concluded that it is still safe for use in cosmetic products. However, for sensitive individuals even small concentrations are potentially irritating. It’s difficult to quantify exactly what concentration as individuals differ so much and what can be tolerated by one person may be problematic for another.

4. What is the difference between Sodium Hyaluronate and Hyaluronic Acid if any. Which is better?

When it comes to skin care, the ingredients hyaluronic acid (sometimes referred to as hyaluronate) and sodium hyaluronate have become increasingly popular. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance that is widely distributed throughout our bodies. It is an important component of cartilage, synovial fluid (the lubricating fluid found between joints) and skin, where it is integral to a number of cellular reactions and in keeping skin hydrated. Sodium hyaluronate is the salt of hyaluronic acid and it has a much lower molecular size. This gives it the ability to penetrate skin when applied topically, which is why it works in creams and other lotions.

Although hyaluronic acid’s larger molecular size may hinder its absorbance and result in its sitting on the surface of the skin, it does nonetheless draw water to it, either from the water that is in the product or from the environment, keeping skin hydrated and plump-looking.
Both hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate provide benefits at different levels when used in topical skincare treatments. The sodium version may be more prevalent, however, due to its cost-effective advantage over hyaluronic acid.

Want to keep up to date on the latest in skin care and anti aging information? Visit this skin care blog updated 3 times a week. Sign up for our weekly newsletter with exclusive info and discounts on new products. Sign Up Here