skincare blog

Happy Canada Day!

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From all of us at PharmacyMix, Happy Canada Day!

 

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Vitamin D: Are You Getting Enough?

girl in sunshineIf you wonder whether or not you’re getting enough Vitamin D, you’re not alone. Depending on who you listen to, different organizations recommend different daily intakes all based on how they interpret current research. Confused? You’re not alone.

Your body turns vitamin D into a hormone “activated vitamin D” or “calcitriol.” This active form is used by your body to manage the amount of calcium in your blood, bones and gut and to help cells communicate properly. Vitamin D is important for good overall health and strong and healthy bones. It’s also an important factor in making sure your muscles, heart, lungs and brain work well and that your body can fight infection. There is also research that shows it has anti-cancer properties.

Because there are only small amounts of vitamin D in food (fatty fish, beef liver, egg yolks, fortified milk and orange juice, fortified cereals and infant formula)  the two best ways to get enough are by exposing your bare skin to sunlight or by taking vitamin D supplements. Because foods contain such small amounts of Vitamin D, it is difficult to get enough from food alone.

Large amounts of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) are produced in your skin when you expose all of your body to the sun’s ultraviolet (UVB) rays. This can happen very quickly; around half the time it takes for your skin to turn pink and begin to burn. For example, just 15 minutes for a very fair skinned person, yet a couple of hours or more for a dark skinned person. Your body can produce 10,000 to 25,000 IU of vitamin D in just a little under the time it takes for your skin to turn pink. You make the most vitamin D when you expose a large area of your skin, such as your back, rather than a small area such as your face or arms.
There are a number of factors that affect how much vitamin D your body produces when your skin is exposed to sunlight. These include:

  • The time of day – your skin produces more vitamin D if you expose it during the middle of the day.
  • Where you live – the closer to the equator you live, the easier it is for you to produce vitamin D from sunlight all year round.
  • The color of your skin – pale skins make vitamin D more quickly than darker skins.
  • The amount of skin you expose – the more skin you expose the more vitamin D your body will produce.

How much Vitamin D do you need?

Recommended daily intakes from various organizations vary because some researchers believe that there isn’t enough evidence to support taking higher amounts of vitamin D yet. On the other hand, some researchers believe that research is proving, or will prove, that taking lower amounts isn’t enough.

Vitamin D Council

  • Infants 1,000 IU/day
  • Children 1,000 IU/day per 25lbs of body weight 
  • Adults 5,000 IU/day 

Endocrine Society

  • Infants: 400-1,000 IU/day
  • Children: 600-1,000 IU/day
  • Adults: 1,500-2,000 IU/day

Food and Nutrition Board 

  • Infants: 400 IU/day
  • Children: 600 IU/day 
  • Adults: 600 IU/day, 800 IU/day for seniors

Vitamin D is fat-soluble, which means your body has a hard time getting rid of it if you take too much. Keep in mind that while some of the recommendations above seem like a lot, your body can produce 10,000 to 25,000 IUs of vitamin D after a little bit of full body sun exposure. Side effects from vitamin D supplementation usually happens if you take 40,000 IU a day for a couple of months or longer.

If you are interested in supplementing with higher doses of Vitamin D, work with your doctor and have your levels tested to ensure that your blood levels stay in a healthy range. Supplement with vitamin D3 as found in a product like D Drops rather than vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 is the type of vitamin D your body makes upon sun exposure; vitamin D2 is not. Although most people can supplement with vitamin D safely, take care if you have a medical condition or are taking certain medications. In these cases, your doctor will be able to guide you.

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Neostrata: Cosmeceuticals Delivered

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Neostrata was one of the first companies to focus on the benefits of exfoliation to skin. The exfoliating treatments even out the skin’s complexion by removing the build-up of dead cells on the surface and revealing radiant, younger-looking skin in a short period of time. Exfoliation benefits all skin types and ages especially individuals concerned with uneven and dull skin. Neostrata Glycolic Renewal Smoothing Cream  and Smoothing Lotion  are available in 5% and 10% glycolic acid concentrations to suit new or experienced users. Neostrata Skin Renewal Peel Solution  is a high potency AHA solution that delivers a quick fix for uneven and dull skin. Neostrata Body Smoothing Lotion is an exfoliating moisturizer that can help reduce flakiness and dehydration, leaving skin feeling softer and more supple.

The line contains a number of anti-aging products to help diminish multiple signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles, rough texture, and uneven skin tone. Several treatments incorporate fruit stem cells including Neostrata Anti-Aging Cream SPF 15  and Lash Enhancer Serum.

Neostrata also offers a range of skin lightening treatments including Neostrata HQ Plus Skin Lightening Gel  boasting a therapeutic 4% hydroquinone concentration. For individuals seeking a hydroquinone-free or more botanical solution, that’s covered too. Neostrata Spot Lightener contains 5% Gigawhite, an ingredient which inhibits the production of melanin (skin coloring pigment) resulting in a more evenly toned skin.

Always striving to introduce novel treatments utilizing cutting edge technology, the company recently introduced a number of treatments specifically designed for men. Along with an anti-aging cream, you will find an anti-aging eye gel, moisturizer and cleanser.

PharmacyMix is proud to carry this brand in our store. Look for the full line of Neostrata Skin Care here.

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3 Signs of Sleep Deprived Skin

sleeping_womanWe all know that good sleep equals good health. Yet getting a good night’s sleep in today’s fast paced world, may not be that easy to achieve. Beyond the effects of sleep deprivation on your general health, it can also show in your face.

Here are 3 signs of sleep deprived skin:

  1. Dark Shadows and Puffiness. A few nights of missed sleep often results in puffy eyes. Sleeplessness that goes on for longer can lead to dark circles under the eyes as well.
  2. Sallow, Lackluster, Dehydrated skin. This is a sign of poor circulation, which means less nutrients are getting to cells. The barrier function is also affected and subsequently TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss) is greater in poor sleepers. This leads to skin dryness leaving skin looking dull and lifeless.
  3. Skin infections, Cold sores, Inflammation. Sleep deprivation results in elevated levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Elevated levels of cortisol can lead to increased stress and inflammation in the body, which may manifest as an increase in acne breakouts, increased skin sensitivity, increased allergic contact dermatitis reactions and increased irritant dermatitis. An increase in inflammation increases the breakdown of collagen and hyaluronic acid, components of skin that give it glow and resilience. The body’s immune system is diminished and could lead to immune-related skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema.

Beautiful skin is dependent on a number of factors including good quality sleep. A number of skin positive processes take place during sleep:

  • The body’s hydration rebalances helping skin to recover moisture and remove excess water in the body.
  •  Growth hormone levels increase during deep sleep allowing damaged cells to repair

There’s no doubt that good sleep habits contribute to good looking skin. They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing!

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