skincare blog

Bye-Bye Facelift

woman_hand_over_mouthMireille Guiliano’s latest book French Women Don’t Get Facelifts, may have you wondering whether a facelift is avoidable after all. The author of the bestselling, French Women Don’t Get Fat, Guiliano shares the secrets and strategies of aging with attitude, joy, and no surgery. Guiliano maintains that aging has much more to do with how women think of themselves than with facelifts or outward appearances. While her book is more about an attitude fix, you may be interested to learn that some doctors believe that the facelift may be passé in about 20 to 30 years.

Experts maintain that a combination of healthy lifestyle habits along with non-invasive cosmetic procedures can help you look younger for longer. Here’s how:

  1. Treat Wrinkles Now. It turns out that wrinkle treatments like Botox not only relax wrinkles but also weaken muscles over time so that creases don’t deepen. In some cases, they may never appear. Is it worth dashing out for Botox right now? That’s a discussion between you and your doctor. However, some clinicians contend that the earlier the better.
  2. Get Filling. Hyaluronic acid fillers add fullness and plump out lines. Some new studies are showing that they may also lead to collagen growth and stimulate the production of chemicals that prevent the breakdown of existing collagen.
  3. Sleep Well. “Sleep wrinkles” develop when your face is compressed against your pillow at night. They tend to not disappear once awake. Stomach and side sleeping are problematic so experts recommend you sleep on your back. 
  4. Stop Grinding Your Teeth! Grinding shortens teeth, making the distance between nose and chin smaller over time. Your face is shrinking, leading to wrinkles and jowls. Cosmetic dentists recommend night guards if this is a problem for you. 
  5. Do You Really Want To Run? Running takes a toll on your body, including your face. The constant up and down force may loosen facial ligaments and cause sagging and drooping in the cheeks, jaw and jowls. Consider elliptical devices instead and invest in a pair of sneakers with extra shock absorption. 
  6. Eat Well. Extreme dieting can thin fat pads in the cheeks, lower eyelids and temples leaving you looking gaunt. Yo-yo dieting is the worst, often resulting in a loss of tight, taught skin. Make sure you’re eating the right things – nix simple carbs and inflammatory foods like candy, booze and fried foods. Load up instead on protein, vegetables and healthy fats, which contain essential nutrients to help synthesize collagen. 

Play your cards right and maybe the scalpel isn’t inevitable after all.

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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



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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