skincare blog

4 Things to be Thankful for This Year

Sexy young woman with flowersAs the holiday season ramps up and the end of another year is within sight, now’s the perfect time to reflect back on things to be thankful for, big or small.  As the owner of a small business and in no particular order, here are 4 things that I am grateful for and that do, in turn, make my day.:

1. Access to good sunscreen.  I know, it’s an odd thing to be thankful for, but it’s no secret that we are sunscreen fanatics here, so when the US Senate recently passed the Sunscreen Innovation Bill to expedite the approval of new and effective sunscreen filters, we cheered!  As the rate of skin cancer goes up, effective broad spectrum sunscreen products like Anthelios should be available everywhere and to everyone.

2. Great customers.  We hear from many customers every day by telephone and email, and if there is one word that can describe them all, it’s kind.  We know how lucky we are when our customers make us feel good about what we do, and we hope in turn that we’ve helped them as well.

3. Gentle retinal serum.  We’ve long extolled the virtues of retinoids, but as we get older (as much as we hate to admit it), a gentle retinal serum is like a gift to our skin. Since day 1, we’ve been completely enamored with Apothekari’s A is for Anti-Aging Retinal Serum.  No tingling, no peeling, no irritation, just gentle yet effective skin-brightening and photo-aging protection.

4, Health.  In a year of challenges, I’m thankful that the ones I care most about are healthy or are on the mend.  It’s true what they say: You can’t put a price on good health.

Although you don’t need an excuse to get together with friends and family, the holidays are certainly a good reason.  Happy Thanksgiving, and let the festivities begin!

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Neostrata Wrinkle Repair Moisturizing CC Cream SPF 30 – New!

neostrata cc cream 2Neostrata Wrinkle Repair Moisturizing CC Cream SPF 30 is now available at PharmacyMix! With this newest addition to our anti-aging skin care treatments, we have officially jumped on the “alphabet cream” bandwagon!

Neostrata’s Wrinkle Repair Moisturizing CC Cream SPF 30 boasts all the wrinkle-fighting, moisturizing and sun protection benefits of Neostrata Wrinkle Repair Moisturizing Cream SPF 30 along with some added benefits. The CC Cream contains light-reflecting pigments that immediately work to conceal imperfections and illuminate the skin for a radiant complexion.  It comes with a sheer universal tint that delivers a natural and polished finish, perfect for everyday use.

With its unique formulation incorporating Matrixyl 3000 (5%), Peptide Q10 (0.5%) and retinol (0.1%), this CC cream moisturizes, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, improves skin tone and texture and reverses the visible signs of aging.  The MicroDelivery System protects the retinol to optimize its benefits while minimizing irritation. SPF 30 delivers protection against UVA and UVB rays, making it an ideal year-round moisturizer.

Our favorite thing about this CC cream?  It provides the same amazing skincare benefits we’ve come to know and love with Neostrata products but with a pretty factor thrown in.  Call me superficial, but I like it.

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Zax’s Original Creams – New at PharmacyMix!

zax's logoNew to the PharmacyMix family, Zax’s Original Creams are pharmacist-developed, natural remedies that treat and manage some common skin conditions, including rosacea, dark spots and dark circles under the eyes. Our customers tell us that they are concerned with reducing the amount of chemicals and additives in their lives and we’ve listened. These new products from Zax’s can help you reach your skin care goals.


Zax’s Original Facial Redness Cream

Facial redness can be a challenge to deal with, whether it is caused by rosacea, windburn or dehydrated skin.  All these conditions are addressed by hydrating Zax’s Original Facial Redness Cream, which contains a proprietary formula that combines:

  • Pine bark extract, with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties
  • Niacinamide, which improves the skin barrier function, leading to diminished reaction to irritants
  • Aloe, long-known for its soothing properties
  • Vitamin E, a multi-tasking antioxidant that fights free radicals and protects the skin from UV damage

Zax’s Dark Circle Eye Cream

Getting lots of sleep and avoiding allergy triggers are often not enough to keep dark circles at bay. That’s why Zax’s Dark-Circle Eye Cream was developed. It reduces puffiness and minimizes dark circles, leaving your eyes looking refreshed while tackling the bags under your eyes.

Zax’s Dark-Circle Eye Cream is made with ingredients that each play a special role in treating dark circles:

  • Witch Hazel, a natural astringent to help reduce dark circles under eyes, puffiness and swelling
  • Caffeine, a natural anti-inflammatory that can effectively reduce the amount of swelling throughout the under eye area by constricting blood vessels
  • Niacinamide, an effective skin-lightening compound that aids in the elimination of skin discolorations
  • Cucumber Extract, which soothes and moisturizes while tightening and toning the areas around the eye

Zax’s Darkspot Cream

This skin brightening formula removes dead skin cells, reduces the appearance of age/dark sports and moisturizes aging skin. Zax’s Darkspot Cream uses a unique combination of 5 natural and effective ingredients to tackle dark spots by blocking melanin production or by absorbing the UVA rays that darken the skin:

  • Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract has clinically proven skin-lightening effects  from a specific form of vitamin C, which inhibits melanin production.
  • Licorice Extract absorbs UVA and UVB rays. It is also acts as a de-pigmenting agent by inhibiting the production of melanin.
  • Aloe has subtle skin lightening properties while moisturizing aging skin.
  • Niacinamide, a unique form of Vitamin B3 that is an effective skin-lightening compound
  • Vitamin E with anti-oxidant properties that help protect and rejuvenate aging skin

Another great thing about Zax’s Original? Like well-respected brands Neostrata, Reversa and Cliniderm, Zax’s Original is Canadian.  Get ready to love your skin again.

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Green Defined: What to Consider When Choosing Beauty Products

woman tree huggingThe idea of being “green” and “eco-chic” has certainly been a part of mainstream consumer society for many years, influencing the food, clothes and cars we buy.  The desire to be “green” has also significantly extended to our choice of beauty products, from the creams we put on our faces to the mascaras that go on our lashes.

When we choose “green” products it may mean different things to different people, including:

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Cruelty-free (not tested on animals)
  • Organic
  • Chemical-free
  • All natural
  • Socially beneficial (supporting local or international charities; fair trade)
  • Sustainable principals
  • Local

Reading labels and ingredient lists can help us determine if we are buying products that fit our idea of what “going green” actually means, but when some of those terms carry very loose definitions, it makes it more difficult to do the right thing.

The two main terms that lead us to believe the product is “green” appear to be “natural” and “organic” but what do they actually mean?

  1. Natural:  In our minds, natural is synonymous with botanical or plant based, but in reality, there is currently no legal definition of “natural” when it comes to labelling of beauty products in Canada or the United States.  The term “natural” on a label has no quantitative meaning, so the contents could be formulated with 100% ingredients sourced from the land or sea, or zero %.  In most cases, the word “natural” is simply for marketing purposes.
  2. Organic:  Although food can be certified organic and must meet specific, well-established criteria in order to bear either the USDA certified or Canada Organic logos, beauty and personal care products still have a ways to go in developing universal standards and guidelines.  Like the term “natural”, there are currently no governmental rules regarding the use of the word “organic” on beauty product labels.

However, some cosmetic and skin care companies are seeking recognized designation from organizations such as EcoCert, a French company with a branch in Canada, which has established standards for natural and organic cosmetics. In Europe, the UK’s Soil Association and Germany’s BDHI both test and certify organic cosmetics.  In the US, it is possible to see USDA certified logos on personal care products but only if each step of production has in turn been USDA certified, from the growing of the ingredients to the processing and final manufacturing of the product – very stringent requirements.

Until more globally uniform standards are established for cosmetics, the final decision as to what “green” means is ultimately up to the individual.  Perhaps the best approach is the same one that you would use for buying food:

  • Look high quality, naturally grown ingredients (aka free of harmful pesticides and herbicides)
  • Familiarize yourself with the names of ingredients that you want to avoid
  • Read labels scrupulously
  • Get to know the company behind the product and determine if their values correspond to yours

So can “green” be defined?  Maybe not yet, but the day is coming.

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