skincare blog

Teens and Sun Safety

children in the sunAs some of us get ready to take a warm weather break with family during the holidays, now is the perfect time to revisit sun safety and teens.  We hate to break it to you, but the news isn’t good.

Despite the amount of information readily available, the number of teens using sunscreen actually dropped by 12% between 2001 and 2011, this according to a recent study published in the “Preventing Chronic Disease” journal.  To add insult to injury, it seems that teens are still using tanning beds, despite 11 states banning their use for those under 18 years old.  Given that skin cancer is largely preventable, it’s evident that teens are still not getting the message.

To help reverse this disturbing trend, the Skin Cancer Foundation has started a program through its youth education initiative to stress the importance of sun protection. This free interactive program is available to educators and targets middle and high school students at a crucial time when teens are beginning to make their own decisions regarding lifestyle choices.  These decisions are likely to have long-term effects not only on their health but also on the health care system where costs related to skin cancer treatments have increased 5 times faster than with any other cancers in recent years.

While teens and young adults see being tanned as “healthy” and fashionable, nothing could be further from the truth.  Unfortunately, the exact reasons for the drop in sunscreen use once children hit the teenage years is not clear.  As parents, we can certainly take steps to make it easier for teens to make sunscreen a regular part of their daily routines by:

  • Setting a good example and using a broad spectrum sunscreen ourselves every day, rain or shine
  • Discussing the long-term aesthetic benefits of sun protection (teens tend to respond more to the pitfalls of aging, such as wrinkles and dark spots, as opposed to fear of skin cancer)
  • Suggesting self-tanners as an alternative to lying in the sun
  • Trying different sunscreen products that provide good protection and are suitable for teens’ changing skin with a pleasing finish that will encourage them to wear it every day

Give us a call.  With our huge range of sunscreens and moisturizers with SPF, we’d be happy to discuss what may work best for your teen in what is sure to be an uphill, but ultimately rewarding, battle.

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How to Choose Your Anti-Aging Skin Care Products

BeautyTo celebrate National Healthy Skin Month, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has put together some top tips in choosing anti-aging skin care products.  Over the years, we’ve also touched on many of the same points that focus on protection, prevention and treatment.

We’ve always maintained that an effective broad-spectrum sunscreen is the No.1 thing you can do for your skin, and it looks like the experts at the AAD agree.  No surprise since this same organization created the Melanoma Monday campaign and the SPOT Skin Cancer initiative to educate the public about sun safety and encourage positive changes in the prevention of skin cancer.

Here are what we feel are their best and easiest tips to yield enviable results:

  1. Start with sunscreen and moisturizer.  Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 that will protect against both UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays.  If you’re spending time outdoors, remember to reapply every two hours.  Although a basic moisturizer may not be anti-aging per se, it will certainly help to minimize fine lines, reinforce the skin barrier to keep out bacteria and environmental irritants and minimize transepidermal water loss, all of which contribute to healthy skin.
  2. Treat your #1 aging-skin concern.  This differs for each individual.  For some, it’s dark spots.  For others, it’s wrinkles or sagging skin.  Focus on one concern and choose a product with adequate concentrations of active ingredients that deliver results.
  3. Buy a product formulated for your skin type.  Most of us can confidently say that we have either normal, dry, oily or combination skin.  With any one of these, we can also have sensitive skin, so more important than determining skin type may be identifying your skin’s specific needs.  Keep in mind that skin also changes through the seasons and over time so don’t be afraid to switch up your products if they aren’t yielding results.
  4. Have realistic expectations.  Alas, with all our advances in science and technology, there’s still no such thing as a miracle cream.  Don’t expect to turn back the clock 10 years overnight.  Even healthy skin takes approximately 28 days to renew itself.

For more insider tips and advice on how to get healthy skin, visit the AAD website here.

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Skin Care: Is Organic Better?

woman_beauty_products2Whether it’s the food we eat or the personal care products we use each day, we’re all concerned with reducing chemicals and additives in our lives. While we associate the word “organic” with something that is healthier and better for us, it’s important to keep things in perspective. An organic may not always be your best choice.  After all, poison ivy is organic, but it isn’t necessarily the best thing to put on your skin!

When it comes to skin care, are organic or natural products better for you and worth the premium price?  The (long) answer may surprise you.

Consider the following 3 facts:

 

  1. There is no substantiated, published research anywhere proving that organic ingredients are superior to non-organic or synthetic ingredients. There are good and bad ingredients in each category. For this reason, it’s important to see beyond the marketing so that you can select the formulations best suited to your skin type and concerns.
  2. Many organic and natural products include synthetic ingredients, and many are exactly the kinds of ingredients they proclaim they don’t include.
  3. Organic also does not mean cleaner or safer. They may contain essential oils or other ingredients (like fruit acids) which can irritate sensitive skin. Natural essential oils such as peppermint, menthol, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary and sandalwood are routinely included in natural and/or organic products – these clearly established irritants can actually harm skin. Organic products may have a short shelf life and can harm skin if the product is expired.

So when it comes to “organic”, what does this mean in the world of cosmetics, especially for skin care?

You may be surprised to learn that it really means nothing—nothing at all. However, if you’re still set on using them, look out for two labels – the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and ECOCERT (an international organic certification organization), who have their own systems for approving some standards of organic plant claims. Many other random companies have developed their own sets of guidelines for organic cosmetics and then charge a fee for their seal of approval. So, if you’re a cosmetics company who really wants to be certified as organic and are willing to pay for the certification, the “organic” label is yours.

Regardless, if you’re set on using organic skin care products, look for the USDA Seal or Eco-Cert certification. These organizations carry strict criteria for certification.

When it comes to USDA Certification, the following labelling guidelines apply:

  • “100% Organic”—The product must only organically produced ingredients contain (excluding water and salt). Products may display the USDA Organic Seal and must display the certifying agent’s name and address.
  • “Organic”—The product must contain at least 95% organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt). The remaining ingredients must consist of non-agricultural substances approved on the National List of non-organically produced agricultural products that are not commercially available in organic form. Products may display the USDA Organic Seal and must display the certifying agent’s name and address.
  • “Made with organic ingredients”—The product must contain at least 70% organic ingredients and the label can list up to three of the organic ingredients or “food” groups on the principal display panel. For example, body lotion made with at least 70% organic ingredients (excluding water and salt) and only organic herbs may be labeled either “body lotion made with organic lavender, rosemary, and chamomile,” or “body lotion made with organic herbs.” These products are not permitted to display the USDA Organic Seal, but they must display the certifying agent’s name and address.

ECO-CERT certification involves both an “organic” and “natural” certification.  For both certifications, the following standards apply:

  • The use of ingredients derived from renewable resources, manufactured by environmentally friendly processes. Ecocert therefore checks for the absence of GMO, parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicon, PEG, synthetic perfumes and dyes, animal-derived ingredients (unless naturally produced by them as with milk, honey, etc.).
  • The biodegradable or recyclable nature of packaging.
  • On site audit is performed by an Ecocert auditor.
  • For both labels, Ecocert Standard imposes that a minimum of 95% of the total ingredients come from natural origin.
  • For Eco-Cert Organic Certification, a minimum of 95% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 10% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming.
  • For Eco-Cert Natural Certification, a minimum of 50% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 5% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming.

Ultimately it’s up to you whether you buy organic skin care products.  Just remember that the label is not indicative of the quality of what’s in the bottle so it’s important to choose wisely.

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Anthelios KA SPF 100 – New at PharmacyMix!

ka100We’re so excited about adding Anthelios KA SPF 100 moisturizer to our PharmacyMix lineup! For those who are fans of multi-tasking products, you’re going to love this daily protective moisturizer designed for skin at high risk from UV damage. It offers long-lasting moisture and broad spectrum SPF 100 protection in a comfortable and non-greasy emulsion. Ideal for all skin types, it can be used also as a makeup base.

Anthelios KA with high SPF protection may be applied to the face, scalp, neck, décolleté, arms and hands – anywhere that is exposed to daily UV rays that can cause premature aging.  Its unique formula contains Mexoryl SX, Mexoryl XL and Tinosorb S and is formulated with La Roche Posay thermal spring water, the perfect blend of everyday sun protection and hydration.

Anthelios KA SPF 100 is:

·Fragrance-free
·Paraben-free
·Non-comedogenic
·Tested under dermatological control
·Offered in a pump dispenser to maintain potency of ingredients
·Suitable for sun sensitive and intolerant dry skin

This new moisturizer will protect skin but it is not a sunscreen. During intense or prolonged exposure to UV rays, practice sun safety by generously applying a dedicated sunscreen product adapted to your skin type and reapplying every 2 hours or as needed to maximize protection.

We have a feeling this one will become a customer favorite.  Haven’t we always said you have great taste?

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