Ask Sharmani

I’m always happy to answer your questions. 

Though you will also receive an emailed response, all answers and questions will be posted on this site. By submitting your comment you are agreeing to this as well as to publication of your question and answer on any material that we may publish in the future. Your email address will remain private; please do not post your full name if your question is of a personal nature.  

Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to post your comment/question.

May you always feel beautiful,


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

s s said,

May 28, 2008 @ 9:21 am

Hello, I just recently purchased the Anthelios XL spf 60. However, I do not know whether I need 60 or something lower. I am of Asian-Indian ancestry and my skin is fairly light for an Asian-Indian. It does not burn and it tans moderately. Although, I do want the best protection from UVA rays as possible because my skin is prone to pigmentation problems if exposed to the sun for moderate amounts of time. It may be due to the fact that I use a cleanser with AHA, which makes your skin photosensitive. Therefore, I need something that provides the best UVA protection along with UVB protection.

Shannon Houk said,

June 5, 2008 @ 4:39 pm

I have had a rough april and may. On april 10th I wore a brand new shirt to work (didnt wash it before hand). I was off on the Friday and wore it all day. The tues after my neck felt itchy and sure enough I had a couple of rashes. Come the Sunday after it was full force. I had about 23 sores on the back of my neck. It looked like crop circles with red edges. I was tested for the herpes virus, shingles and all bloodwork and swab tests came back negative. I have tried fucidin cream ointment, bactroban cream and ointment, Hydroval..Elocom. Today the dermatolgist gave me cicaplast. All but one of the sores have healed. The derm suggested to apply fucidin ointment with a bandage to cover it up but to apply cicaplast to the rest of my neck. Will this cream help get rid of the scar thanks to the sores. I have never experienced anything like this before in my life but have learnt a valuable lesson. to wash brand new clothes before wearing them. please advise..thanks

Sharmani said,

June 9, 2008 @ 11:23 am

Hi Shannon

Sounds like you’ve been through a rough time. I hope you’re feeling better.

La Roche Posay’s Cicaplast contains madecassoside, an ingredient extracted from the plant Centella asiatica. In clinical studies, madecassoside has been shown to speed wound healing. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. And is included as an anti-aging ingredient for its ability to stimulate the production of collagen. It’s often used to help speed up the healing of skin after dermatological procedures like chemical peels and it sounds like you’ve benefitted from its use.

Cicaplast helps to heal, but will not help to fade scars. For that, you may want to consider a product like MaMa Lotion ( which may be of benefit.

I hope you find the information useful.


Salonge said,

June 18, 2008 @ 11:52 am


I am struggling with some new and old hyperpigmentaion or acne scarring on the face. My skin is brown. What would you recommend that I use that is easily purchased over the counter?

I would also like to know if there is anything you can recommend to even skin and smoothen. Are facials good?

I would also like to know if you have heard of Rx for Brown Skin, and what your thoughts are about that product.



Sharmani said,

June 18, 2008 @ 2:27 pm

Hi Salonge

Hyperpigmentation is often best treated in conjunction with a dermatologist who may be able to prescribe medications that aren’t available over the counter if they are necessary. However, there are a number of effective products that can be used without a prescription.

Many skin lightening agents work by inhibiting tyrosinase (the enzyme responsible for the production of melanin, the skin’s pigment). Others work by evening skin tone and still others work to exfoliate skin thus removing pigmented skin. In treating hyperpigmentation, it’s generally useful to use a multi-faceted approach. As with any new skin product always perform a test patch prior to using and it’s best to check with your physician first before combining active ingredients:
1. Hydroquinone is an effective agent that is regarded by many dermatologists as the gold standard in hyperpigmentation disorders. It is safe and effective if used as directed, but can come with side effects if used for very long periods of time at high concentrations. Read more about hydroquinone here
2. Vitamin C can brighten and even skin tone at concentrations above 5%. Products like La Roche Posay Active C and Neostrata Skin Brightener are good ones to consider.
3. Botanical skin lighteners contain other effective skin lighteners such as Gigawhite or Rumex extract. View selection here .
4. Kojic acid is derived from mushrooms and has been used effectively to treat hyperpigmentation. Mela D and Mela D Bright are two formulations containing kojic acid to consider.
5. Exfoliating agents such as alpha hydroxy acids and retinoids help to lift off top skin layers thereby brightening skin as well as helping with penetration of lightening ingredients. Two to consider include Mama Lotion and Green Cream .

Hope you find this useful,

takuhi said,

June 27, 2008 @ 5:41 pm

Dear Sharmani

I would like to know what is that ingredient in Lacota Back pain relief, Capsaicin, Can you please let me know.
I could not find any information on it.


Sharmani said,

June 27, 2008 @ 6:50 pm

Capsaicin is an active component of chili peppers and is used medicinally in topical preparations to relieve pain.

Teri said,

July 1, 2008 @ 5:14 am

Is LaRoche’s Redermix for Eyes to be used on the lids? I applied completely around my eyes and my lids are slightly swollen today.


Sharmani said,

July 2, 2008 @ 3:04 pm

Hi Teri

Most eye products are designed to be used in the orbital area (under the eyes) taking care to avoid getting product into the eyes. Redermic’s directions state using under the eye area and extending towards the temples.

Skin around the eye tends to be thinner than elsewhere on the body and as a result may be more sensitive. Try avoiding use on the lids and observe if swelling goes down.


Arlene said,

July 6, 2008 @ 2:12 pm

I am confused with all the Anthelios sunscreen products.
My skin is tanned because I live in So. Florida & play golf 4 days a week (always using sunscreen). What would you recommend in that line for a medium toned caucasian woman?

Hi Arlene

Because you are out in the sun so much I’d recommend using the highest SPF product available. In addition to getting great UVB protection, the higher SPF products (with Mexoryl at least) also deliver higher UVA protection against long term skin damage. Depending on your skin type, these are the products I’d recommend:
Anthelios XL SPF 60 for face and body – heavier, all-purpose sunscreen
Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Fluide Extreme for face – very lightweight formulation designed specifically for oily and sensitive skin types but suitable for everyone
Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Creme – creamier formulation designed for facial use (normal/combination skin)
Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Lait - (formulation between fluide extreme and creme) for face and body.
Anthelios W SPF 40 – most water resistant of the Anthelios formulations (this may be a good choice for you if you find that you perspire a lot). It is alcohol based so may be a bit drying.

Please note that SPF 50+ products offer similar to SPF 60 protection. Labeling requirements in the European Union have forced manufacturers to change from SPF 60 to SPF 50+.


Ruth said,

July 11, 2008 @ 10:24 am

Hi Sharmani,

Just wanted to let you know that I’m extremely happy with the Vichy Micro-Fluide Mat Visage 50+ sunscreen. I have sensitive skin and found that sunscreens (many brands including Anthelios) felt so heavy on my face. Thanks for recommending it. See you at the pool!


Sharmani said,

July 14, 2008 @ 9:23 pm

Hi Ruth

So glad that it works for you. Many people say that they like it as much (and some prefer it) as the Anthelios Fluide Extreme SPF 50+. We’ll keep your comments in mind when recommending to others.

Enjoy the summer!

Dianna said,

July 17, 2008 @ 2:39 pm

HI Sharmani.
My husband and I are going on the Herbal D-Tox for 12 days and we’re wondering if we can eat bread with this diet?
I have IBS and diverticulitis is this diet o.k. for me? Would appreciated if you could get back to me on this for, we are going on this diet in about 2 weeks.

Thank you,

Sharmani said,

July 21, 2008 @ 1:51 pm

Hi Dianna

The Herbal D-Tox should come with a plan that lets you know what you can and can’t eat. I’d check with the store that you purchased it from. As well, the cookbook contains some good recipes if you’re stuck on what to eat.

In general, on the diet, it’s recommended that you avoid flour products since the gluten tends to form a glue like consistency in the digestive tract.

Since you have health concerns, I’d check with your physician to see if the diet is suitable for you.


Shannon said,

July 22, 2008 @ 9:26 pm

It turns out that all the sores on my neck was caused from an allergic reaction to formaldehyde which was in the starch of the brand new shirt. I have gone for an IPL treatment to help combat the browns and reds and may require a second treatment next month.

Abbie Blair said,

July 23, 2008 @ 5:39 am

Dear Sharani, I have purchased both the anthelios and umbrelle 60spf and both have worked for me. I was reading the ingredients and find that they are different, anthelios contains two kinds of mexoryl and unbrelle only one. Would you tell me which formulation is considered the most effective sunblock? Thank you, Abbie

Raphael said,

July 23, 2008 @ 1:25 pm

Dear Sharmani,

I ordered Brand SPF 45 XL 3.38 oz which is on its way.

Since I have a good supply of Sunscreen Lotion SPF 45, UVA/UVB rated, with Vit. E & aloe.

Would there be any added advantage using this lotion in conjunction with the Mexoril XL that I ordered?


Sharmani said,

July 28, 2008 @ 1:00 pm

Hi Shannon

Thanks for your response re your allergic reaction. I’m glad that your specialist was able to determine the cause of the reaction. Your experience is certainly a lesson to all of us to wash all our clothes prior to wearing them.


Sharmani said,

July 28, 2008 @ 1:08 pm

To Abbie

As you may be aware the combination of Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL is patented by L’Oreal for use in their sunscreens. L’Oreal owns both the Ombrelle and Anthelios brands, both which offer a range of formulations.

Some Ombrelle products contain both Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL while others contain only Mexoryl SX. This is the same with the Anthelios sunscreens. Mexoryl XL offers both UVB as well as longer range UVA protection; Mexoryl SX offers more mid range UVA protection. Studies have shown the combination of the two Mexoryl molecules is synergistic delivering superior protection than any one of the agents alone.

Check the ingredient label to ensure that the product contains both Mexoryls. Our top selling products that contain both include:
Anthelios XL SPF 60 Cream
Anthelios XL SPF 45 Cream
Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Fluide Extreme
Ombrelle XL Lait SPF 60
Ombrelle Face Cream SPF 30, 45 and 60.

Hope that helps,

Sharmani said,

July 28, 2008 @ 1:11 pm

Dear Raphael

Adding another SPF 45 sunscreen will not double your protection. An SPF 45 will protect against about 98% of UV rays. The addition of Vitamin E to the other sunscreen fights against free radicals and protects skin in a different way to sunscreens. You will notice that Anthelios XL SPF 45 contains tocopherol which is a form of Vitamin E and will be skin beneficial.

Other products that will also protect skin include Vitamin C as found in Active C or Redermic.


Harish Kapur said,

August 7, 2008 @ 5:35 am

I need more information on Cicaplast Cream. Does it help in the acceleration of 2cm wound (without blood) that has resulted due to fall. How often should I apply it.

Magarita said,

August 9, 2008 @ 11:10 am


1.Can applying 0.5-2% BHA cream twice a day cause the side effects such as hearing loss or problem with kidney or others?
2.How long does sunscreen exactly stay efficient (can still work to prevent UV) on my skin (I’m using Anthelios XL lait SPF50+) , I applied it once on about 9.00 AM and didn’t reapplied anymore until I got back to dome on 17.00 PM.(But I didn’t face sunlight all the time) ?
3.I’m 21 and about to have noticed thin lines around my mouth (frontier between mounth and cheeks). Which ingredient will you recommend me ?
4.People said Vitamin C is the best anti-aging antioxidant ingredient.It caused my acne in vaious forms, can you recommend something to replace it ?

Athene said,

August 12, 2008 @ 3:54 am

I’m looking for a sunscreen with Mexoryl XL and Parson but no Titanium Dioxide. Is there one? Thanks.

Yvonne said,

August 12, 2008 @ 2:52 pm

Dear Sharmi,
I would like to use the Anthelios sport sunbloc, SPF 45 or 60 spray. In the past, however,I have always found that the sprays contain alcohol (as does this one) and have been told that the alcohol tends to dry out the skin.
I not only lifeguard, but also teach swimming all day long in hot and very sunny Sarasota, Florida.
All the sun lotions I have tried do not stay on my skin once I go in the water.
What would you suggest?

Sharmani said,

August 15, 2008 @ 11:25 am

For Harish:

Cicaplast contains madecassoside, an ingredient that is known to stimulate the production of collagen. It is often recommended after surgical procedures to speed healing as it also helps to improve the skin’s barrier function.

It certainly could help to help accelerate the healing of your wound. It’s generally applied lightly to affected area 2 to 3 times per day.


Sharmani said,

August 15, 2008 @ 11:51 am

For Margarita

1.Can applying 0.5-2% BHA cream twice a day cause the side effects such as hearing loss or problem with kidney or others?
I have not come across topical application of Beta Hydroxy Acid (also known as salicylic acid) having side effects such as hearing loss or kidney problems. Salicylic acid is also known as aspirin and aspirin taken at high doses over prolonged periods of time can lead to tinnitus (ringing in the ears) as well as kidney problems. This is possibly where the confusion comes in.

2.How long does sunscreen exactly stay efficient (can still work to prevent UV) on my skin (I’m using Anthelios XL lait SPF50+) , I applied it once on about 9.00 AM and didn’t reapplied anymore until I got back to dome on 17.00 PM.(But I didn’t face sunlight all the time) ?
Mexoryl XL and Mexoryl SX, are two sun filters in Anthelios XL which are highly photostable. Studies have shown that Mexoryl SX still maintains its efficacy 4 to 5 hours after application. However, manufacturers still recommend that you reapply every 2 hours or after exposure to water. You should probably consider reapplying once during the day, but if you are concerned about sun exposure, follow manufacturer directions and apply every 2 hours.
3.I’m 21 and about to have noticed thin lines around my mouth (frontier between mounth and cheeks). Which ingredient will you recommend me ?
There are a number of ingredients that will help. These include antioxidants such as Vitamin C (visit this page for more information As well a retinoid such as Green Cream is a very useful product to incorporate into your routine at an early age (read more here
4.People said Vitamin C is the best anti-aging antioxidant ingredient.It caused my acne in vaious forms, can you recommend something to replace it ?
It could be the Vitamin C formulation and not the Vitamin C itself that caused the reaction. Vitamin C tends to be quite well tolerated by most individuals. If you have oily skin you may want to consider a serum based Vitamin C as opposed to a cream or lotion. We will soon be introducing a Vitamin C serum at 20% concentration. Check back.


Dina said,

August 15, 2008 @ 12:58 pm

I am looking for the balm or an ointment for severe hemorrhoids I suffer with.
Do you have anything you can recommend?

Sharmani said,

August 20, 2008 @ 3:38 pm

Hi Dina

We are not really a site that carries a wide range of products for hemorrhoids. However, you mention that they are severe, so it would be wise to contact a physician. This is definitely the case if any bleeding is present.


Sharmani said,

August 20, 2008 @ 3:45 pm

Hi Yvonne

Many water resistant sunscreens do contain alcohol, but that isn’t always the case. The most water resistant sunscreen in the Anthelios line is Anthelios W SPF 40 Gel. It’s rated as highly water resistant (which tends to mean about 80 minutes in the water). The other water resistant sunscreens give you about 40 minutes in the water. Anthelios W does contain alcohol –

The other option is to with a children’s formula. They are generally formulated to be highly resistant to water but because they are designed for children the formulations are designed for more delicate and sensitive skin. In this case, you can consider Anthelios Dermo Pediatrics Lotion SPF 50+ ( or the Spray SPF 50+ ( Both contain alcohol but you may find them a bit more palatable.

Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 30+ is another good water resistant formulation that our customers like.

Hope that helps

Sharmani said,

August 20, 2008 @ 3:49 pm

Hi Athene

You are looking for a sunscreen with Mexoryl and Parsol but not Titanium Dioxide. Unfortunately you may not find such a combination as the Mexoryl molecule is patented by L’Oreal. They use a combination of Parsol, Mexoryl, Titanium Dioxide and Avobenzone in their sunscreens. A few omit the Avobenzone (Anthelios Fluide Extreme SPF 50+ for one), but I’m not aware of one without the Titanium Dioxide.


Ruthie said,

August 30, 2008 @ 2:32 pm

I am 20 y.o. with Dark skin. I use to have flawless glowing skin. Over 2 years, I have been plagued with ocassional breakous, which leave post acne marks. My skin texture also got a little courser. It isn’t hormonal acne because I got that checked. SO, 2 QUESIONS: 1. What do you think is causing my breakouts? 2. Do you think MaMa lotion will be a good solution? My concern is my oily skin, post acne marks, brightness and skin texture.

Sharmani said,

September 1, 2008 @ 7:26 pm

Hi Ruthie

Without knowing more specific details about your general health and medical condition it is hard to know exactly what is causing your acne.

What we do know about acne is that it is a result of pores being blocked by excess oil. Acne results when the pore becomes infected with a bacterium known as p. acnes, which loves the conditions provided by the blocked pore and the oil. Excess oil tends to be the result of hormones, however in some individuals food allergies may play a role.

The best treatment for acne is to avoid any potential triggers. Then following these steps can help:
1. Cleanse with a gentle cleanser that won’t strip away natural oils. Try Effaclar Purifying Foaming Face Gel ( is specifically developed for oily and acneic skin.
2. Exfoliate with a beta hydroxy acid (salicylic acid) as found in Effaclar K or alpha hydroxy acid (mandelic or malic acid as found in MaMa Lotion). These products helps to remove skin top layer. Beta hydroxy acid can help to unclog pores and the mandelic acid in MaMa Lotion is an antibacterial. Don’t use both together as the combination can be irritating.
3. Try and minimize oil by using a product like Clarex Oil Control Gel or Effaclar Matt Moisturizer ( This will help to reduce blemishes to some extent.

The advantage of MaMa Lotion is that it has demonstrated good success in fading scars, especially in individuals with darker skin. Darker skin types are more prone to hyperpigmentation with the use of many beta and alpha hydroxy acids.


Kerry said,

September 7, 2008 @ 1:10 pm

I am 45 and I am looking for a lotion or cream with a spf factor of 40 or above that can be applied over my daily moisturiser which i can then apply make up over the top. I have some pigmentation marks on my face so i need an effective daily sun block, i also have some hormone induced spots at the time of my period. Do you have anything you can recomend?

Sharmani said,

September 8, 2008 @ 11:50 am

Hi Kerry

In applying cosmetics, the rule of thumb is to start with products that are more liquid, working your way up to those with a thicker consistency. This tends to prevent the more liquid product from ‘dissolving’ the thicker one that it’s applied over. As well, it’s probalby a good idea to wait 5 to 10 minutes between each application to ensure that it has a chance to absorb.

Your choice of sunscreen will depend on skin type. In your case, since you have pigmentation marks already, I’d recommend going for the highest SPF possible. And, protection from both UVA and UVB rays is paramount. My choice would be an Anthelios sunscreen (you can read more about Anthelios sunscreens here –

If you have dry skin, opt for Anthelios Creme SPF 50+ (, which is slightly moisturizing and may allow you to skip the moisturizer. If you have oily, combination or sensitive skin, your best bet will be Anthelios Fluide Extreme SPF 50+ ( Both are water resistant and formulated specifically for the face.

Other Anthelios formulations are also available and a good majority are listed on the Anthelios article page posted above.

Doris said,

September 9, 2008 @ 6:24 am

My 4 years daughter had a surgery done on her arm and she developed keloid on sutures side.
I applied La Roche-Posay Cicaplast twice a day for her for about 3 weeks after her wound healed but not seeing improvement.
Did I use the right product for her or any other recommendation?
How long can I use this for her and when do I able to expect the result?

Tina said,

October 1, 2008 @ 6:41 am


I have acne and acne scars. I have tried almost everything including Roacutane but my acne returned. it is not so bad except it leaves scars. I tried Black Opal gel with 2% Hydroquinone and it seemed to clear the scars and my skin improved only that they just seemed to be lighter but not go. How much do you know about Zarina Fairtone skin toning cream. Will this work

What could i use to clear the scars,acne and have good complexion. Would any of your products help.

hope to hear from you soon


Christine said,

October 3, 2008 @ 4:47 am

I have very dry skin and I find that the sunscreens which contain meroxl are not hydrating enough, so I have been using a moisturizer underneath them. I wanted to know if this reduces the potency of the sunscreens, since they are not applied directly to bare skin. Also, if there is a very extemely hydrating forumla of a meroxl xl sunscreen please let me know of that as well.

Thank you!

Sharmani said,

October 3, 2008 @ 8:51 am

Hi Tina

As far as I’m aware, Zarina Fairtone claims that it incorporates an alpha hydroxy acid plus vitamin e complex. However, they don’t list a concentration, so I’m not certain how well it would perform.

Skin lightening tends to be a long term process as it involves a combination of removing exisiting pigmentation plus preventing formation of new. Best results are obtained by using products that complement one another’s action and by using a well formulated UVA and UVB blocking sunscreen to prevent formation of additional pigmentation. In your case, you could try the following:
MaMa Lotion – a high concentration of alpha hydroxy acids that work by exfoliation. It is particularly useful for sensitive and darker skin tones.
Green Cream – a retinol based exfoliant which can help to remove exisiting pigmentation by stimulating the production of new, healthy cells and reduce pigmentation (do not use MaMa Lotion and Green Cream together as the combination could be highly irritating)
Mela D or Mela D Bright – Kojic acid derivatives with added ingredients. Kojic acid is an effective skin lightener or
Vitamin C – at concentrations above 5% can effectively lighten skin. Vitamin C is well tolerated and can be combined with other treatments.
Hydroquinone – a skin lightener that is highly effective
Botanical lighteners – work in various ways to reduce pigmentation.

I hope these suggestions help.

Sharmani said,

October 3, 2008 @ 9:00 am


Good question. It’s one I get asked quite frequently.

When layering skin care products, the rule of thumb is to apply the lighter products first, following with those that are heavier in consistency. This should help stop the lighter, more liquid product from diluting the heavier product underneath and resulting in a mess that sits on top of skin.

If your moisturizer is heavier in consistency than your sunscreen, apply it over the sunscreen. If it lighter in consistency then apply before sunscreen.

You’re right that sunscreens are often not hydrating as their job tends to be to deliver sun protection rather than hydrate. It is fine to moisturize plus use sunscreen and if this works for you, then that is perfectly acceptable.

However, if you are seeking a combination moisturizer with sunscreen, then I’d recommend a product like Hydraphase UV SPF 30 It’s a lovely non-greasy every day product that is suitable for normal/dry skin types. It contains hyaluronic acid to help retain moisture plus glycerin and other emollients to help soothe dry skin. This product contains Mexoryl SX plus other sun filters and is one of our top sellers.

Xyala said,

October 17, 2008 @ 8:22 am

Hi Sharmani,

I have a freckle in the middle of my lower lip. I developed this a little while back after a trip to the Carribean. I have had it checked out by a dermatologist who confirmed it was benign and simply recommended I wear Anthelios XL 60 stick on my lips everytime I go outside. Her suggestion to get rid of it was to have it removed by a plastic surgeon. I asked if using hydroquinone to get rid of it was an option and she said that this is typically not used for lips but did not offer an explanation as to why. Is it because it might actually remove some of the “pink” pigment from my lips and bleach my lips beyond removing the freckle?

I really want to get rid of it and I am hoping you can recommend treatment that might work


Sharmani said,

October 22, 2008 @ 8:52 am

Dear Xyala

Hydroquinone is a depigmenting agent so it will remove pigmentation from any treated area, even if applied unintentionally. Though it tends to be well tolerated, there is the risk of sensitivity and lips tend to be one of the more sensitive parts of our face due to lack of sebum production and a very thin layer of skin. That’s possibly why your dermatologist didn’t want to recommend it for that area.

With regards to other treatment options, use of the Anthelios 60 lipstick should be adhered to. There are other effective skin lightening agents such as Vitamin C (concentrations above 10% tend to be most effective as in UltimaSkin Potent C Serum –, kojic acid (Mela D –, Mela D – Bright). Alpha hydroxy acids may also benefit you and there are several to consider including MaMa Lotion –

Because you are dealing with a sensitive skin area, please ensure you test first and it may also be a good idea to check with your dermatologist. Skin lightening is a very gradual process so it could take months to resolve.

Hope you find the information useful,

helenmbates said,

November 21, 2008 @ 6:26 am

can Anthelious sunscreen, #60 cream, be used as a moisturizer? If not, when do you apply it, if you are using moisturizer and makeup.

Sharmani said,

November 21, 2008 @ 10:16 am

Hi Helen

Anthelios XL SPF 60 is not a moisturizer, rather a sunscreen. However, it is a richer formulation so you may find that your skin won’t require additional moisturizer with it.

If you find that skin is still dry, the rule of thumb is to apply products in order of lightest to heaviest. Serums first, followed by lotions, then creams. In this way the lighter product won’t ‘dissolve’ the heavier one underneath creating a mess on your skin. Having said that, it is also a good idea to apply sunscreens early on in your routine since Anthelios works by reacting with your top skin layer to deflect UV rays. And, it may be a good idea to wait a few minutes between application of each product. In your case, apply the Anthelios first, followed by a moisturizer. If you are using a serum, use that before anything else.

Hope that helps,

Tina said,

November 23, 2008 @ 7:38 pm


I am looking to treat several skin conditions being; skin discolouration (brown pigmentation) from UV exposure and pregnancy. I have also noticed the following since I turned 36, larger pores, dehydration, not a very clean looking complexion. I am looking to incorporate the following products into my regime, please let me know if they would be beneficial, Green Cream (06. or 0.9), Mama lotion and Ultima C Potent C. Is this a good start or overload! I have read about the benefits of retinol, Vitamin C and I like the effects that the Mama lotion has on the before and after photos on your site, lighter and brighter and this what I also need. Your advise would be truly appreciated.
Kind Regards Tina.

Sharmani said,

November 24, 2008 @ 10:50 am

Hi Tina

Thanks for your question. The incorporation of the products you mention would be ideal for your skin type.
Green Cream should be started at Level 6 for 3 to 6 months. It contains high potency retinol and starting at Level 6 (Level 3 if skin is sensitive) minimizes irritation that accompanies its use. Build up to Level 9 and keep on this level for as long as you like. The benefits of Green Cream are numerous and a retinoid, as found in Green Cream, should be a key component of any anti aging skin care regimen.
Mama Lotion is a topical exfoliant and particularly beneficial to darker skin types as it tends to be better tolerated than glycolic acid preparations. It will help to even skin tone as well as resolve hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin C has oodles of clinical research to back up skin benefits. In addition to protecting against free radical damage which can age skin, at this 12% concentration it will also help to brighten skin and assist with lightening skin discolouration.

In terms of incorporating the products, start slowly, performing patch tests:
1. Potent C can be used day and night. During the day it will help to boost the protection afforded by your sunscreen as Vitamin C protects skin cells differently than sunscreens. This product can also be used at night if you wish.
2. Green Cream is best used at night. Build usage gradually until you are using nightly. It can sensitize skin to sunlight so ensure you are wearing broad spectrum UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen like Anthelios ( daily.
3. MaMa Lotion can be interchanged with Green Cream. Don’t use both at the same time as the combination would most likely be too irritating. Use the MaMa Lotion nightly 2 to 3 times per week and the Green Cream on the rest of the nights. Or you could use MaMa Lotion during the day and Green Cream at night. See what works best for skin. As with Green Cream, skin can become more sensitive to sunlight so cover up with sunscreen.

The only thing I can add is that you may find you need to use more moisturizer as Green Cream can be drying. Email us if you need a recommendation.

Hope you find the information useful.

Best, Sharmani

CA delecia said,

November 25, 2008 @ 8:52 am

I have been searching for a similar products like neostrata HQ for months and have just come across your website. Its not possible to explain how disappointed I am to learn that you do not ship your product outside the country. I live in the uk. Please please could you advise me of another alternative……just as effective as yours.
Many thanks

stacey said,

November 25, 2008 @ 8:26 pm

How do you feel about the effectiveness of Renova for fine lines and if I wanted to use Credentials for firming and hydroquonine for lightening and vitamin C for free radicals What order should I use these in? Isn’t it too much for my one face to handle??? I am confused on what to use but fine lines and firming are a definate priority. I am 40 and just seeing the signs of aging. Thanks

Sharmani said,

November 27, 2008 @ 12:10 pm

Hi Stacey

Thanks for your question. I definitely appreciate how difficult it is to try and decide what’s right for your skin when we’re constantly being bombarded with new research, new ingredients and new ads claiming sometimes miraculous results.

There are some very important components of good skin care:
1. Protection with a sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB rays as in the Anthelios ( range. Fallene Cotz ( is another great option if you want to stick with a physical blocker. As long as you aren’t darker skinned, it is pretty unnoticeable.
2. Antioxidants including Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Green tea amongst others. They protect against free radical damage, which can accelerate skin aging.
3. A retinoid – to reverse sun damage and increase cell turnover amongst other benefits.

Moisturizing ingredients can be added as needed. We’re also starting to see some good results with peptides. They can be added to the above or used as an alternative to retinoids if they just can’t be tolerated. Matrixyl is the peptide with most research to back up its claims and that can be found in Credentials Botanical Bio Peptide Concentrate –

Renova is a retinoid (Vitamin A derivative) with very good evidence to back up its use in reversing sun damage, boosting collagen production, increasing cell turnover, antioxidant ability along with thickening skin and more benefits. The one downside is that Renova (as are all prescription Vitamin A derivatives) can be quite an irritating ingredient and many individuals don’t tolerate it well. The alternative is an over the counter Vitamin A derivative, retinol, which is ultimately converted to retinoic acid and delivers the same benefits as Renova. Retinol can produce skin irritation as well but tends to be much better tolerated. Retinol must be packaged in air tight containers as it will degrade rapidly upon exposure to light and oxygen. Green Cream – – delivers retinol appropriately and my clients really do see benefits with its use.

You ask about Credentials and I’m assuming that you are referring to the Face Firming Complex – This product will fill your need for antioxidants, moisturize and also deliver DMAE, which has been shown in a small number of studies to help alleviate facial sag by firming and tightening skin. It’s important to note that this is a temporary effect; in order to maintain benefits you’ll have to continue using DMAE.

Hydroquinone – – is still the gold standard for skin lightening if you have Melasma or other skin discoloration. Skin lightening is a gradual process and best results are obtained by combining it with Vitamin C (higher concentrations as found in UltimaSkin Potent C – ) and a retinoid. The latter two work in different ways to brighten skin and lighten discolorations. Hydroquinone can lighten non discoloured skin so caution is advised. And, with any skin lightening program, strict sun avoidance and diligent use of sun protection is a must. Most dermatologists will recommend a product like Anthelios XL SPF 60 every day.

Glycolic acid used once or twice weekly (use on days you are not using a retinoid or the combination can become highly irritating) can be useful as well to help remove dead skin cells.

Hope I haven’t overloaded you, but these are some of the foundations to a good anti aging skin care regimen.


Steve said,

November 30, 2008 @ 9:45 am

Hi. I have very sensitive skin, and I have this problem where I tend to produce too much oil around the middle of my forehead area and around my nose and above my cheeks. I noticed as well that around my face and on my forehead I have “enlargened pores”. When I try to use creams to get rid of the excess oil my skin then tends to get scaly, dry, and irritated (turns red). I went to a dermatologist and they recommended some kind of expensive ultraviolet treatment. Should I try the retinol 3 treatments to a) stop the excessive oil buildup, b) avoid the dryness afterwards, and c)try to reduce the enlargened pores that are growing in number on my face?

Ana said,

December 1, 2008 @ 8:34 am

I just purchased the Hydraphase XL from La Roche-Posay, because I have very very dry skin, I am pregnany right now and I wanted to know if it was safe to use.
Thank you and I will be expecting your reply

Bev Squire said,

December 3, 2008 @ 12:01 am

Hello,I have low iron I need a good vitiamin. I work 10 hrs and its grave yard. I also stopped my period so I get extremly tired, also because of the low iron. I would really like to get rid of my dark ness under my eyes. I might think that its heritary.My brothers have it to. We are Hungarians. I see alot of my people with it. I am to cute for circuls LOL! i am 49 yrs of age

Sharmani said,

December 4, 2008 @ 12:04 pm

Hi Steve

Thanks for your question. You ask if you should try retinol to reduce the oiliness and help with enlarged pores.

Retinol may very well be the answer for you. However it is an active ingredient and sometimes individuals with sensitive skin just can’t tolerate it. If you decide to do a trial with retinol, I’d advise starting with the mildest concentration as found in Green Cream Level 3 ( Do a patch test first.

Another product to consider is MaMa Lotion ( It is a combination of malic and mandelic acids – two alpha hydroxy acids that are much gentler on skin than glycolic acid, which tends to be used more widely. The properties of MaMa Lotion enable it to help control oil production and also provide greaseless hydration. Pores appear tighter and less visible. It is suitable for sensitive skin.

Hope this helps,

Sharmani said,

December 4, 2008 @ 12:16 pm

Hi Ana

You ask if Hydraphase XL is safe to use during pregnancy.

To my knowledge, the active ingredients Mexoryl XL, glycerine and octocrylene are not associated with any risks to fetal development. However, I don’t believe that La Roche Posay provides any specific guidelines regarding the use of this product during pregnancy.

You can check Environmental Working Group’s Safety Database regarding the ingredients here – Please keep in mind that this is their take on ingredients and doesn’t always agree with safety as determined by other associations including the FDA, The American Academy of Dermatology, etc. If you still have concerns, this is something that would probably best be discussed with your physician.


Sharmani said,

December 4, 2008 @ 12:25 pm

Hi Bev

Thanks for your questions.

Firstly with regards to your question re tiredness and iron. Withouth knowing your medical condition it is very difficult for me to make a recommendation re supplements and what might be causing your symptoms. I do recommend that everyone take a good multivitamin/mineral supplement like my Daily Essentials (

You mention that you are no longer menstruating. If this is the case, then low iron may not be your issue. Your mention of long work and graveyard shifts makes me suspect that you could have some adrenal/cortisol issues and possibly other hormonal imbalances. However, this is something that would need to be followed up with your physician or another qualified healthcare professional.

Re dark circles, you are right that heredity is one cause. Lack of sleep, allergies is another and you can read the full article here – Studies have shown a combination of Vitamin K and retinol to be effective in helping to reduce dark circles and this combination may be found in Neostrata Dark Circle Serum –

Hope this information is useful,

hi said,

December 19, 2008 @ 3:12 pm

hi dear
i ahve few questions,
i have brown spots like sun damege on my checks and some all over my face,, my doctor suggested this two creams Lusra AF and Retina A Micro an dhe also told me to mic them and apply it all over my face, he said applying it on only the dark spots might jsut give this white spot in the end and its going to be a long process it will take about 8 month.. now i dont knw what to doo,, i dont want to get whiter and i heard this creams pple use o get lighter skin.. so do u think it lightns the skin i mean whiter?? and is there anything else that i canu se to get rid of the sun dameges that doesnt take 8 month,, thanks

Kate said,

December 22, 2008 @ 5:38 am

Hi Sharmani,

Is Anthelios with Mexoryl safe to use during pregnancy?


Ernie said,

December 22, 2008 @ 5:05 pm


Thank you for taking my question….

Puffy eyes.. I think it might be from sleeping flat for around 2 months.. I had some neck pain so I decided to roll up a towel and sleep flat.. I started to notice puffy eyes in the morning as well as mid-afternoon.. I also drink lots of water before bed and during the night… How much? 20 oz. before bedtime and another 16oz during the night.. not to mention the gallon during the day!! If this is the reason for my puffy eyes how long will it take to go away?

I stop taking my protein drinks.. I eat low sodium as well as 6 small meals per day and workout 5 days a week.. I changed my chicken, spring water company, no oatmeal, peanuts, almonds, walnuts etc.. even stop taking all of my supplements.. Not real happy right now, but trying to find the culprit.. Just had a special filter put into my home this morning!! I’m still waiting for a change?? I’m turning 44 years old in Feb.. Male! Never had this problem before..Going for a full series of blood work in the middle of Jan…

wendy whetstone said,

December 30, 2008 @ 4:33 am

please could you help me i have bad around the eye dark circles i am a female so struggle to wear eye shadow as it just looks like i have got black eyes i have tried lots of cover up products please could you advise me i know its irredatory .what are the best products i have read about so many. thanks w whetstone is vitamin k worth using

Denise Ouellette said,

January 4, 2009 @ 6:29 am

Good morning..
I am spending the winter in Florida.I live in Canada.
Before I left I bought Neostrata skin brightener. I love this product but I only have a little bit left. I checked on the Internet to buy more but they say they can’t mail these products to another country..I see you can buy some skin brightener in the gel forme in the United States. But is is the same product ? I sure wish I could have some sent here….So can you get some answer on that? Thanks

Sharmani said,

January 5, 2009 @ 11:38 am

Dear “Hi”

Your question re treatment of brown spots…

Skin lightening is a slow process. It can take many months to fade age spots and hyperpigmented areas as you mention.

The creams that your doctor suggests make sense. Lustra AF contains hydroquinone – (an effective skin lightening agent) plus sunscreen, while Retin A contains tretinoin, a Vitamin A derivative. Hydroquinone and tretinoin are often combined together to achieve good success.

You may want to consider adding Vitamin C in concentrations above 5%. This concentration has been shown to help lighten skin. As well, there are several botanical skin lighteners such as kojic acid – – , Rumex extract – – and licorice – – that you may want to consider adding to the Lustra and Retin A Micro.


Sharmani said,

January 5, 2009 @ 11:45 am

Dear Kate

Thanks for your question, which several customers have asked before. As far as I’m aware, there isn’t any evidence to suggest that Mexoryl is unsafe for use during pregnancy. And La Roche Posay doesn’t explicitly state that it is safe.

Your best bet may be to use a purely physical blocking sunscreen such as Cotz SPF 58, which contains only titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in ultra micronized form. These work by sitting on top of skin rather than being absorbed by it and are considered safe for use on babies and individuals with sensitive skin.

Sharmani said,

January 5, 2009 @ 11:53 am

Dear Ernie

Re puffy eyes….

As you may be aware, puffy eyes may be caused by a range of factors – It sounds like you live a healthy lifestyle so key is to identify and/or rule out possible allergies or underlying health issues. It sounds like you are doing the right thing by going to visit your physician.


Sharmani said,

January 5, 2009 @ 12:01 pm

Dear Wendy

You may know that a number of factors including our genetic make up, lack of sleep and even allergies can cause dark circles under the eyes –

Under eye concealer is a good option, but you may want to consider a product with Vitamin K and retinol as in Neostrata Dark Circle Night Serum – It’s been shown to help some individuals. Apart from that, you may want to consider laser surgery, which you should discuss with a qualified medical practitioner.


Beverly said,

January 5, 2009 @ 11:08 pm

Hi Sharmani!

I just started using Anthelios XL Creme Fondant SPF 50+ and I really really love the texture and the feel in my skin.

I was wondering however, because I work long hours, I apply the sunscreen before I put my make up on in the morning at about 8am and I get off the office at 7 pm. Will this be enough to protect my skin until the evening? I’m not exposed to a lot of sun I would say, just during lunch time, walking around and stuff.

Thanks again! Looking forward to your kind reply.

stacey said,

January 12, 2009 @ 8:01 am

Hi and thanks for your time. I read your blog on vitamin E on fab 40. Just wondering is there a combo topical vitamin E and Vitamin C or how would I combine those properly? Also, is the Anthelios good as a daily moisturizer too or just a sunscreen? It might help for you to know that I have sensitive skin and I use Renova once a day (at night)
Thanks for your time.

stacey said,

January 12, 2009 @ 8:14 am

I use Renova .02% and tolerate it pretty well but I was looking on your website and saw some other retinol products. Is there something you find even more effective than prescription Renova? I maybe under a false impression but I just would think that products that have to be prescribed by a physician would do the job better? I am about to go to the next strength as soon as this tube is done. Thank you.

Sharmani said,

January 12, 2009 @ 9:21 pm

Hi Beverly

Glad you enjoy using the Anthelios XL Creme Fondante SPF 50+. It’s a wonderful product for normal/dry skin types.

Studies with Mexoryl SX (as found in Anthelios XL along with Mexoryl XL) have shown that it retains its protection ability up to 5 hours after application. Since the sun emits peak UVB rays between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm, you are probably going to be fine if you just pop out at lunch. However, if you are concerned with avoiding UV rays as much as possible, then you may want to consider reapplying at lunchtime.

When I use Anthelios, I just apply in the morning on a normal office day. But in the summer, I will reapply at lunch and more often if I’m spending the day outdoors.

Hope this is helpful,

Sharmani said,

January 12, 2009 @ 9:34 pm

Hi Stacy

We currently don’t offer a combination Vitamin C/E product, but I’m investigating some possibilities for the store.

Re your question on Anthelios as a moisturizer, it depends on which one and your skin type. Anthelios Creme SPF 50+ – – is a great formulation for normal/dry skin types and may be moisturizing enough, depending on what feels comfortable for your skin. If you’re looking for a specific moisturizer with sunscreen, one of my favorites is Hydraphase UV SPF 30 – – which contains Mexoryl SX as found in Anthelios sunscreens plus sodium hyaluronate and glycerin to moisturize. It’s a lovely product for normal/dry skin types and one of our top sellers.

My one concern is the fact that you mention your skin is sensitive. Your best bet may be Anthelios Fluide Extreme SPF 50+ – – which is specially formulated for sensitive and oily skin types. It’s very light so you would need to moisturize, especially since you are currently using Renova, which is a very drying product.

Sharmani said,

January 12, 2009 @ 9:39 pm

Hi Stacey

Renova is a highly effective product indicated to help reduce wrinkles and fine lines. The active ingredient in Renova and all prescription Vitamin A derivatives is retinoic acid. Although very effective, some individuals find prescription strength retinoids (like Renova) very irritating and just can’t tolerate them. The alternative you’re referring to is probably Green Cream, which is a high potency retinol cream.

Retinol is converted into retinoic acid, which then acts on skin cells as the retinoic acid in Renova. As long as you are using adequate concentrations and it is packaged appropriately (protected from light and air),it is able to deliver similar benefits as the prescription products. The advantage is that it tends to be much better tolerated.

Star said,

January 13, 2009 @ 11:06 am

Dear Sharmani,

I recently began using Vichy normaderm products, and i got wonderful results…for a few days and then my skin became tight and dry. I then changed my cleansing regime to Oligo 25 cleansing foam, aqualia serum as a day moisturiser and normaderm night cream. However, my pores feel and looked blocked and i suspect it is because the Oilgo 25 cleanser is not working as well on my oily-acne prone skin. I am unsure of using the normaderm cleansers because they might dry my skin too much and i jus recived a sample of effaclar(la roche-posay) and after one use my skin feels and looks clean. My question is which of the cleansers would you recommend, between normaderm and laroche, because i know normaderm contains salicyic and glycolic acid as well as witch hazel, but it can be very drying. I would really appreciate your advice I’ve already spent a fortune on the products im using already and if my boyfriend found out exactly how much I’ve spent, he would kill me! Help!

stacey said,

January 13, 2009 @ 6:36 pm

Hi again. Ok so I use renova at night and I read that you said an AHA is good too and exfoliates which renova does which aha would I use in my morning routine (would it be every morning or a couple times a week?) and would it be terribly drying b/c renova does that already. Thank you!

stacey said,

January 13, 2009 @ 6:38 pm

one more thing…how do I add a vitamin C in all that too? uggh so much I need but don’t know the right order to use them in or will it be too much for my skin? Thanks Sharmani

stacey said,

January 13, 2009 @ 6:54 pm

would reversa eye cream be too much for my eye skin being that I am using Renova at night?I AM SO CONFUSED LOL also I am lookin to buy that prepration H with the ingredient that isn’t in the U.S. one is that for everyday use? I know I am full of questions…sorry just don’t want to make my skin worse. Thanks!!

dave said,

January 14, 2009 @ 5:48 am

blood vessels on face i probably have roseca ??

dave said,

January 14, 2009 @ 5:57 am

further to Jan14 from dave Have tried several expensive chemical sunscreens ALL case redness on face as soon as applied shaving also especially hard on face what about physical sunscreens have read they are less possible to cause reaction on skin Do you have any suggestion on pre and post shaving i will be having laser on face fer bllod vessells this week probably have roseca??

Sharmani said,

January 16, 2009 @ 10:03 am

Hi Star

Re your question on Vichy Normaderm vs La Roche Posay Effaclar…

Thanks for your question. I’m not that familiar with the Vichy line of skin care products, but understand that the Normaderm range is designed for acneic and oily skin. You mention that it contains both salicylic and glycolic acids which are effective exfoliating agents. Salicylic acid, in particular, penetrates pores and is able to help remove oil that may become trapped, making it an ideal ingredient for oily skin care.

The La Roche Posay Effaclar line is designed for oily skin as well. The purifying foaming cleanser contains zinc (which helps to regulate the production of oil), but not salicylic or glycolic acids. It’s designed to be used with Effaclar K and Effaclar Matt Moisturizer .

The Effaclar K is a treatment product that contains salicylic acid while the moisturizer helps to prevent skin from becoming overly dry without clogging pores. If you are finding the Vichy line too harsh for your skin, then you would certainly want to consider La Roche Posay Effaclar.

Sharmani said,

January 16, 2009 @ 10:21 am

Hi Stacy

Answers to your questions:

1. Hi again. Ok so I use renova at night and I read that you said an AHA is good too and exfoliates which renova does which aha would I use in my morning routine (would it be every morning or a couple times a week?) and would it be terribly drying b/c renova does that already. Thank you!
Answer – It’s generally advised not to combine retinoids with alpha hydroxy acids because the combination can be highly irritating. Your options would be to use the aha in the morning OR substitute the aha for the retinoid once or twice per week. As you know, retinoids can cause skin to peel so the addition of an aha can help to combat that effect.

2. One more thing…how do I add a vitamin C in all that too? uggh so much I need but don’t know the right order to use them in or will it be too much for my skin? Thanks Sharmani
Answer: The order in which you use products depends upon their texture as well as ingredients. Generally serum type products are applied first, followed by those that are heavier in texture. If you are introducing a sunscreen into your routine (as you would in the am) then if a chemical sunscreen, apply close to the beginning of your routine. If a physical sunscreen, it can be the last thing you apply before makeup. This article will help to provide some guidance – – and I’ll cover this topic in more detail in a future blog posting.

3. Would reversa eye cream be too much for my eye skin being that I am using Renova at night?I AM SO CONFUSED LOL also I am lookin to buy that prepration H with the ingredient that isn’t in the U.S. one is that for everyday use? I know I am full of questions…sorry just don’t want to make my skin worse. Thanks!!

Answer: The Reversa line contains glycolic acid. What’s nice about this eye cream is that it includes SPF protection, which isn’t easy to come by in an eye cream. Again, you wouldn’t want to combine the two together. Especially in the delicate eye area, your skin will not like it. You could try a small amount once or twice a week on nights you are not using the Renova or use in the morning. Start slowly to check for reactions first.

Preparation H contains LYCD (live yeast cell derivative), which is a peptide. Studies have shown that it may contribute to collagen formation that declines with aging. It is available at our store –

Sharmani said,

January 16, 2009 @ 10:35 am

Hi Dave

Blood vessels on face can certainly be an indication that rosacea is present.

You also ask about the use of physical vs chemical sunscreens for skin with rosacea. Studies have shown that individuals with rosacea tend to tolerate physical sunscreens better than those that are chemical. And this could be due to the fact that physical sunscreens act as a barrier and don’t get absorbed in the skin, causing less possibility for irritation.

One product that is recommended for post procedures is La Roche Posay Cicaplast, which contains minerals to speed healing as well as madecassoside, a botanical extract to boost collagen production. One of our clients maintains that it’s the best thing she’s found for her rosacea. However, you should be aware that La Roche Posay does not indicate this product specifically for rosacea.

We are looking at introducing some new mineral based sunscreens in the coming weeks so please sign up for our newsletter to stay informed if you haven’t done so already.

further to Jan14 from dave Have tried several expensive chemical sunscreens ALL case redness on face as soon as applied shaving also especially hard on face what about physical sunscreens have read they are less possible to cause reaction on skin Do you have any suggestion on pre and post shaving i will be having laser on face fer bllod vessells this week probably have roseca??

tam said,

January 21, 2009 @ 12:08 am


I want to purchase green cream – my skin reacts well to vitamin A so I can start with a level 6. I am 36 and want to target fine lines and get a glowing complexion. I will be starting on a green peel regime soon.

Will the green cream be OK to use around my eyes? Do I need another product/moisturiser to go with it? OR is it OK to use on it’s own?

If I need to purchase something else can you please tell me which product to buy?

Thanks so much :)

Sharmani said,

January 22, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

Hi Tam

Please see answers to your questions below:

Green Cream is a terrific addition to any anti aging skin care regimen as it has so many benefits.

You may find that your skin around the eyes cannot tolerate Green Cream because the skin is thinner and sometimes more sensitive. If you apply with a moisturizer and go very slowly, then you may be able to build tolerance. But be aware that the area could become quite irritated.

Since skin can flake, become dry and even red with initial use of Green Cream so a good moisturizer may be beneficial. Depending on your skin type, how you react to Green Cream and how gradually you build up use you may or may not need a moisturizer. It is fine to use Green Cream with a moisturizer if necessary; let your skin guide you.

It is useful to exfoliate with a product like an alpha hydroxy acid when using Green Cream. This can help to remove dry, dead, flaking skin. Don’t use both products at the same time as the combination can be irritating for skin. I’d recommend a product like MaMa Lotion, which you could use in the morning (Green Cream at night), or intersperse the MaMa Lotion once or twice a week when not using Green Cream.

Lastly, if you’re not already incorporating a good UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 every day, then I recommend that you add one to your routine. A brand like
Anthelios sunscreens is a good one to consider.

Anna said,

January 24, 2009 @ 5:34 am

How would you describe difference in formula between Vichy Micro-Fluide Mat Visage 50+ and Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Fluide Extreme ? I use the second one and it is a little bit watery, is Vichy the same? I also tried to use Anthelios XL SPF 60 and acnes occured. I have dry-combination sensitive skin (what I had discovered some time ago) do you think if I use to creamy sunscreen with my skin type acnes can occure? I try to find what is the best for my skin and I feel with Anthelios sunscreen like I am really good protected against sun. Thank you for this site!
One more question – do you know why USA doesn’t have these products available at stores?

anne said,

January 28, 2009 @ 7:18 pm

I am 54 years old and am a fair skinned caucasian. At my request, my doctor prescribed Tretinoin (retinol) cream .05%. I have several questions regarding its use. Can I put a serum on after I wash my face, BEFORE I put on the Tretinoin or do I have to put the Tretinoin directly on clean, dry skin? Can I put a moisturizer on over the retinol? If I do, does it reduce the effects of the retinol? Can I use an exfoliating cleanser, or will that irritate my skin? Should I use the retinol every night or alternate with my routine of serum and moisturizer every other night? Are there any skin care products that I should never use with retinol?

Thanks so much for your help,


melissa said,

January 31, 2009 @ 4:10 pm

Hi, about 8 years ago i went on vacation and had gotten numerous mosquito bites. I still crrently have many of these dark marks on my arms and leg. I am biracial with an olive skintone, the marks are more noticable because i am not of a lighter skin color. Is there any creams i can use to finally get rid of the dark marks i have about 100 on both arms and legs. Please help.

Niko said,

February 4, 2009 @ 9:48 am

I am a very active athlete. I swim, run and bike for hours at a time in the sun and need the best sunscreen with the highest protection that is VERY sweat resistent. I use the 60 Anthelios XL on a daily basis. But it doesn’t say anything about being water resistent. thanks.

Sharmani said,

February 4, 2009 @ 11:03 am

Hi Anna

You ask about the difference between Vichy Micro-Fluide Mat Visage 50+ and Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Fluide Extreme ? Both are very similar in terms of texture. If you find the Fluide EXtreme too watery, you’d probably find the same with the Vichy.

You can try Anthelios Creme SPF 50 + instead – It’s designed for normal/dry skin types and has more texture.

Sharmani said,

February 4, 2009 @ 11:11 am

Hi Anne,

Re your question – am 54 years old and am a fair skinned caucasian. At my request, my doctor prescribed Tretinoin (retinol) cream .05%. I have several questions regarding its use. Can I put a serum on after I wash my face, BEFORE I put on the Tretinoin or do I have to put the Tretinoin directly on clean, dry skin? Can I put a moisturizer on over the retinol? If I do, does it reduce the effects of the retinol? Can I use an exfoliating cleanser, or will that irritate my skin? Should I use the retinol every night or alternate with my routine of serum and moisturizer every other night? Are there any skin care products that I should never use with retinol?

Answer – tretinoin is effective but can be highly irritating. Most individuals have difficulty putting it on to clean, dry skin and are better able to tolerate it if face is washed and natural oils are on the skin first. In this case you’d wait about 1/2 hour after washing to apply tretinoin. Because it is an active product, apply it first, then wait a few moments, follow with serum and moisturizer.

Exfoliation is important with the use of tretinoin as flaking occurs – this helps to remove dry, dead skin cells. Exfoliating cleansers will work, but test first to see how well you tolerate it. One option is to use an exfoliating cream such as MaMa Lotion 1 to 2 times per week when you are NOT using the tretinoin. Avoid using alpha hydroxy acids at the same time as tretinoin as the combination can be highly irritating – use one in the morning, the other at night. Alternatively, use them on separate evenings.

Sharmani said,

February 4, 2009 @ 11:25 am

Hi Melissa

You ask about dark marks on your skin from mosquito bites. These marks are often referred to as post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and individuals with darker skin tones are more susceptible to developing it.

There isn’t an easy solution, but in general, you can try skin lightening agents including kojic acid, hydroquinone, as well as tetinol and glycolic acid.

You may also wish to seek professional help where chemicals peels have been shown to help. Although keep in mind that these can also aggravate the situation in darker skinned individuals.

Sharmani said,

February 4, 2009 @ 11:32 am

Hi Niko

Anthelios XL 60 Cream is an excellent sunscreen in terms of protection against UVA and UVB rays. However, it is not water resistant

The most water resistant Anthelios sunscreen is Anthelios W SPF 40 Gel. Other water resistant ones to consider include Anthelios Fluide Extreme SPF 50+, Anthelios Creme SPF 50+ and the SPF 40 and 50 Sprays.

Lorna Tannahill said,

February 7, 2009 @ 2:54 pm

I have Lupus and have shown sun sensitivity in the past and at present have an eruption (on going for 3 years)from radiation treatments (breast area). I am going on holiday to Hawaii in March and would like to know your recommends for sunscreen protection. I intend to stay in shade when possible, wide sunhat 4\"+, T-shirt plus over shirt etc. My swim wear will be exercise tights from knees to wrists. I need best possible sun screen for face, hands etc. Thanks for your considerattion

Sharmani said,

February 9, 2009 @ 10:52 am

Dear Lorna

Thanks for your question:

I have Lupus and have shown sun sensitivity in the past and at present have an eruption (on going for 3 years)from radiation treatments (breast area). I am going on holiday to Hawaii in March and would like to know your recommends for sunscreen protection. I intend to stay in shade when possible, wide sunhat 4\"+, T-shirt plus over shirt etc. My swim wear will be exercise tights from knees to wrists. I need best possible sun screen for face, hands etc. Thanks for your consideration.


You are doing the right thing by covering up and trying to avoid the sun where possible. In addition, consider a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays with a minimum SPF of 30. The following brands all offer good protection:

Anthelios sunscreens

– SPFs up to 60. I would choose the highest SPF possible.

Cotz SPF 58 Water Resistant Sunscreen

– a physical blocking sunscreen. A lip balm is also available.

Anna said,

February 9, 2009 @ 11:28 am

I am confused a little bit. I’ve learned before that sunscreens with Mexoryl don’t need to be reaplied so often, just every 6-8 hours. I would like to purchase facial sunscreen Anthelios 50+ for dry skin :

Why I need to reaply this one every 2 hours, they say it in directions? Thank you so much for your time!

Tina said,

February 15, 2009 @ 11:15 pm


I have been involved in many outdoor school sports for the past four years. Therefore, I have noticed that my skin has become very dark with many brown spots. I was born with fair skin but my involvement in sports has changed my skin color; it is no where near the color it used to be. I went to the doctor and she prescribed me Lustra-AF for my dark pigmentation. I was wondering will my skin get back its natural color if I use this and stay away from the sun? Will my dark spots go away?

P.S. I also visited India three months ago and was under the sun alot.

Sharmani said,

February 18, 2009 @ 9:54 am

Hi Anna

Thanks for your question. While studies have shown that the Mexoryl molecule is capable of retaining its UV protecting ability for 4 to 5 hours or longer, almost all sunscreens will state that you need to reapply every 2 hours. This seems to be standard and probably accounts for the fact that if you are perspiring or exposed to water that even with a highly water resistant formulation, that it will last for about 80 minutes (40 minutes for just a regular water resistant formulation).

Hope that helps

Sharmani said,

February 18, 2009 @ 10:10 am

Dear Tina

Brown spots are generally caused by over stimulation of the melanocytes or pigment producing cells. Exposure to sunlight is one of the primary causes of this condition, often referred to as hyperpigmentation.

Treatment of hyperpigmentation is a slow process that can take many months to achieve results.

One key component of treatment is strict sun avoidance and use of a high SPF UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen such as Anthelios sunscreens. The Lustra AF that your doctor prescribed contains hydroquinone, glycolic acid plus sun protection, which is a combination of ingredients found to be effective in treating hyperpigmentation.

Other products used to treat hyperpigmentation include retinol, retinoids and Vitamin C in concentrations above 5%.

A good overview of effective ingredients may be found here –

raj said,

February 19, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

hi i have vitiligo and am over 50% white i have been looking for products to whiten my skin to even it out i have been advise between hydroquinin/benoquin and monobenzone and have aso been advised by elderquin please could advise me which cream i should go for and that will give me the best result.

Thank you


Elizabeth G said,

February 22, 2009 @ 2:51 pm

I have sensitive skin and often develop clogged pores in my skin if I use a moisturizer that contains lanolin, petroleum or oils e.g. mineral oil on my body. I don\\\’t have this problem with my face, although I wouldn\\\’t use a product that had these ingredients on my face. Do you have any suggestions for what I should look for or try to moisturize my body?

Sharmani said,

February 25, 2009 @ 10:52 am

Dear Raj

Thanks for your question. Hydroquinone is an effective skin lightening agent. It works, but the lightening process is gradual and areas will repigment if exposed to sunlight.

Monobenzone (Benoquin) offers irreversible depigmentation and is an option that some individuals with vitiligo seek. As it is a permanent depigmenting agent it is not recommended for use other than in individuals with vitiligo.

I understand your confusion, however, I think these options are best discussed with your physician and/or dermatologist. They are more adequately placed to inform you about the best option for your condition.

Sharmani said,

February 25, 2009 @ 11:04 am

Hi Elizabeth

You may wish to read a couple of articles on our site and which discuss both the cause as well as treatments for dry skin.

However, you ask about a specific recommendation that does not contain mineral oil, petrolatum or lanolin. The most appropriate product would probably be Impruv Cream. Other treatments like Iso Urea and Lac Hydrin are also effective, but because you mention that you cannot tolerate mineral oil, etc, I wouldn’t recommend them for you.

Best regards,

Mulenga said,

February 28, 2009 @ 5:35 am

My question is: I had Melasma on my cheeks when I was pregnant for my baby who is nine years now, 2 years ago I started having flare outs on my skin which became so bad I had to be refered to the dermatologist who let decided to put me on Isotretinoin after trying so many topical creams which were all too strong for my skin, and made my melasma become more. I have very sensitive skin and over the last 2 years the melasma has increased, I am still on Isotretinoin which has caused my skin to dry and more dark as I have a fair skin like asian though I am African,I want to try mama lotion, what is guarantee that melasma will not come back once you stop. I don’t think I would want to stay on using a strong lotion like mama. can you please advise. Many Thanks Mulenga

Dan said,

March 1, 2009 @ 2:13 pm

Hi my 14 year old daughter suddenly got small white bumps on he skin last summer, they went away but came back after a trip to Florida after a biopsy and blood work the dermatologist thinks she has polymorpheos light eruption. have you had any other questions regarding this? she said to try your product she didnt know if it would be effective.the only other alternative is to avoid the sun.which one of your prducts would you recommend? Thanks for your help Dan fom Ohio

Christie S. said,

March 3, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

Dear Sharmani:
I am a brown skinned black woman who breaks out in a bad rash from sun-exposure. I learned about Anthelios SPF 60 sunscreen from searching the web for a solution. Do you think this lotion would work for me?

Staci said,

March 4, 2009 @ 11:34 am

I have been ordering all of my Mexoryl sunscreens from you for the last two years and LOVE them. However, I am looking for something for my three year old twins’ faces that will not sting their eyes. I have tried Anthelios-Dermo-Pediatrics SPF 50+ Lotion, and that stung their eyes when they reached up to wipe their cheeks or forehead. I have since resorted to using a inferior “No Tears” sunscreen from Banana Boat on their face, and they do great, and the Anthelios on the rest of their body. Do you have any recommendations that might not sting their eyes that contain Mexoryl?

Also, I have mild erythematotelangiectatic rosacea with dry skin. Which Anthelios sunscreen would be best for use on my face?

Sharmani said,

March 4, 2009 @ 2:05 pm

Dear Mulenga

Re your question about Melasma.

As you’re probably aware, hormonal changes can bring on Melasma. Individuals who are susceptible to Melasma tend to be light browned skinned (as you sound you are) and even once treated it can return. The best way to prevent Melasma is strict avoidance of sun exposure as the sun tends to stimulate melanocytes (pigment cells) which lead to Melasma. Your first step should be in selecting a broad spectrum UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen as in Anthelios sunscreens or Keys Solar Rx sunblock.

Read more about Melasma here –

MaMa Lotion is an effective product, however any results will be gradual (expect months of treatment). In addition it may be combined with isotretinoin (do not use them together as the combination can be highly irritating) and other ingredients such as Vitamin C and botanical skin lighteners to obtain optimal results.

Sharmani said,

March 4, 2009 @ 2:14 pm

Hi Dan

Re your question on a product recommendation for polymorpheos light eruption…

As I understand it, polymorpheos light eruption is a type of sun sensitivity or allergy, which causes a rash. It is generally caused by UV rays and the UVA component is thought to be more related to it than the UVB component. If this is the case, then you should choose a broad spectrum UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen as in Anthelios sunscreens or Keys Solar Rx sunblock.
Both are effective blockers of UVA and UVB rays, but the Keys is formulated with a physical blocking agent.

You may want to consider a water resistant product as 14 year olds tend to be quite active. If this is the case, you may want to consider the following Anthelios products (Keys is not water resistant):
Anthelios Dermo Pediatrics Lotion SPF 50+ or Spray 50(specially formulated for kids)
Anthelios W Gel SPF 40 highly water resistant).

Sunscreen should be your second line of defense with minimizing sun exposure (especially during peak hours of 10am and 2 pm) and covering up being the first.

Sharmani said,

March 4, 2009 @ 2:19 pm

Hi Christie

You ask if Anthelios sunscreens can help with a sun allergy that you have….

Anthelios sunscreens offer broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Depending on which component of the UV spectrum is responsible for your rash (it is often both the UVA and UVB rays), then Anthelios protects against both. In your case, you may want to select one of the higher SPF products. And also remember that while sunscreens can help, that you should try to minimize exposure to the sun by avoiding it during peak hours (between 10am and 2 pm), covering up and seeking shade.

Sharmani said,

March 4, 2009 @ 2:36 pm

Hi Stacie

Glad that you like the Anthelios sunscreens, however I’m not sure if I can help with an alternative for your children. If the Dermo Pediatrics line is stinging your childrens’ eyes, I’m not certain that any other Anthelios sunscreen will be less irritating. The Dermo Pediatrics line is especially formulated for sensitive children’s skin and if this is problematic, I don’t think you’ll have much more luck with any of the other Anthelios products. You may do better with the Ombrelle line – we carry Ombrelle 30 for Sensitive Skin (, Ombrelle 30 ( and Ombrelle 45 (

Re a recommendation for your skin, rosacea tends to be reactive skin so I’m not sure how you will respond to the following. The Anthelios crème ( is formulated for normal/dry skin while the Fluide Extreme SPF 50+ ( – for oily/sensitive skin. However, the Fluide Extreme does contain alcohol so if you have rosacea this might be problematic. My recommendation would be for the Anthelios Crème SPF 50+. You may also wish to consider Keys Solar Rx sunblock, which is formulated with uncoated nano-zinc and has been shown to be beneficial to individuals with sensitive skin. It is also broad spectrum UVA and UVB blocking.

Lisa said,

March 5, 2009 @ 1:35 pm


I have developed a sun allergy (severe dermatitis) to strong sun. This occurs ONLY when we vacation, eventhough I use sunscreen (SPF 55) religiosly and do not \"sit\" in the sun. It does not happen when I am outside during the summer months. We live on the East Coast of the U.S. The affected areas are usually my arms, legs, chest. Frequently, the rash (bumps and blisters)becomes so bad that I end up taking steroids. I always wear a hat so my face is generally not effected.

I am wondering if one of your products might really help prevent this reaction. I have never used a total sunblock-but maybe that would work? I play golf-so sun protective clothing is not completely practical.

Also-should I order the highest SPF possible (from Canada)
or would the SPF 40-sold here in the states-suffice.

I am hoping not to ruin our next trip to Arizona!

Thank you.

vicky said,

March 12, 2009 @ 9:21 am

I’m using the LA ROCHE POSAY ANTHELIOS XL 50+ TINTED CREAM and I’m just wondering if any of the ingredients is not safe to use during pregnancy. I’ve heard that there is a research saying that the chemical sunscreen can be absorbed through blood stream and reach the urine. I’m aware that this finding is not certain. also, the Soybean Oil is said to make the mask of pregnancy worse. I love this sunscreen because of its PDD rating. What do you think about this product for pregnant women? Is there any other sunscreen that can be used in place of it? ( I included the ingredients list of the La Roche Posay sunscreen) Thank you very much for your help.
Active Ingredients: Mexoryl SX, Mexoryl XL, Titanium Dioxide and Octocrylene. Ingredients: Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Titanium Dioxide, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Propylene Glycol, Octocrylene, Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearic Acid, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Dimethicone, Myristyl Myristate, Nylon 12, Petrolatum, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Butylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Drometrizole Trisiloxane, Ethylparaben, Glycine Sojo/Soybean Oil, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Isobutylparaben, Methylparaben, PEG 100 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Stearyl Alcohol, Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid, Tocopherol, Triethanolamine.

Product Description

myming said,

March 13, 2009 @ 2:25 pm

hello sharmani,
i can’t see my dermatologist until may ’09, can you help me with under-eye PUFFINESS?

thank you.

Brent Chernoff said,

March 14, 2009 @ 4:44 pm

Hello Sharmani, I am trying to decide on a stable vitamin C product and I think I might get either Active C or Redermic. I notice that the active C contains polyols, and apparantly polyols promote vitamin C’s penetration by retaining water molecules within their chemical structure so they do not contribute to oxidation. I have looked at the ingredients of the Redermic, but I don’t see any mention of polyols in the Redermic product so do you think it is a less stable formulation? Which one would you recommend?

Sharmani said,

March 16, 2009 @ 3:22 pm

Hi Vicki

I don’t believe that La Roche Posay has issued any guidelines on their chemical sun filters for use in pregnancy. However, that said, Mexoryl SX and XL are considered to be safe and studies have shown that less than 0.1% are absorbed upon application.

Since Anthelios does contain a chemical sun filtering system you may wish to opt for one that uses only a physical barrier such as Keys Solar Rx during your pregnancy. If this is the case, you could consider Keys Solar Rx, which is rated highly by the Environmental Working Group as a very safe and effective UVA/UVB blocker. It also does not leave a white cast and is slightly moisturizing.

Sharmani said,

March 16, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

Hi Lisa

Dermatologists often recommend Anthelios sunscreens to clients with sun allergies because they deliver broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. The higher SPFs are certainly recommended for sun reactive skin. Having said that, sunscreens do not block out 100% of the rays so you may well experience a reaction, but hopefully it will be less severe than usual if it does occur.

Also remember to cover up, wear a big hat, sunglasses and try to avoid the sun during peak hours of 10 am to 4pm.

Sharmani said,

March 16, 2009 @ 3:30 pm

Hi Myming

You may be interested in reading this following article which explains possible causes for eye puffiness as well as potential treatments –

Sharmani said,

March 16, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

Hi Brent

You asked about the difference between Redermic and Active C. Both contain 5% stable active Vitamin C and both absorb well into the skin.

Active C is designed for individuals over 30 who wish to correct wrinkles and fine lines. Redermic contains 5% Vitamin C with the added benefit of madecassoside, a botanical ingredient. In clinical studies, madecassoside has been shown to increase collagen synthesis. Redermic also contains hyaluronic acid, a very effective moisturizer, which can be a bonus to dry, dehydrated skin. Redermic is ideal for individuals aged 40+ who have deep wrinkles and loss of skin firmness.

Both are effective, but for greater anti aging benefit you may want to consider Redermic over the Active C. Both are available in formulations for either dry or normal/combination skin types. Complementary eye treatments are also available.

Christine said,

March 18, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

Dear Sharmani,

I recently started using the M2 skin care products. I am 40 years old and still prone to acne on my T-zone, especially around the nose and chin.

What daily facial sunscreen would you recommend for me? I understand that M2 users need at least to use sunscreen with SPF30. My foundation provides only SPF15.

Thank you!

Jay Paul said,

March 21, 2009 @ 4:21 am

Is there a lip sunscreen without Avobenzone? I seem to be allergic to it.

aurora jimenez said,

March 25, 2009 @ 8:12 am

Dear Sharmani.

Three weeks ago I went to the dermatologist because for a long time I start to have some readness on my face. My skin is light brown. The doctor told me that I have rosacea and he gave me some medications Fincaea gel, Effaclar H(la Roche)and Tretracilina. I week ago I discover that I am pregnant. It’s safe to use the medication that the dermatologist gave me now that I am pregnant. Please let me know if there is something else that I can use that will not affect my baby. or shold I wait to continue with my treatment after the pregnancy

Sharmani said,

March 26, 2009 @ 10:29 am

Hi Christine

Thanks for your question. As you are probably aware, sunscreen is one of the most important skin care products, especially as it pertains to an ‘anti-aging’ skin care routine.

I’m a big fan of Anthelios sunscreens because they block both UVA and UVB rays and studies have shown that they retain their sun filtering ability for many hours after application. Another product that we’ve recently introduced is Keys Solar Rx, which is an all natural zinc oxide sunscreen, that offers very good broad spectrum protection in a lovely formulation. I’ve been using it myself with very good success.

My picks for your skin would be Anthelios Fluide Extreme SPF 50+, which is a very light formulation, ideal for oilier and sensitive skin types. The Keys is slightly moisturizing but it works well for combination skin, without greasiness. It depends on how oily your skin is. You could also consider Hydraphase UV SPF 30, which is a moisturizer with SPF. Again it is moisturizing so may be too much for your skin.

I hope these recommendations help.

Sharmani said,

March 26, 2009 @ 10:34 am

Hi Jay

If you’re looking for an avobenzone free lip balm, consider Lipcotz SPP 45 , which contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, but no avobenzone.

Bobby said,

March 26, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

Dear Shamani,

I am a 35+ something yr old woman of African american descent, i have used skin lightening creams for many years, some with really high concentrations of Hydroquinone, even steroids creams, regretably my skin is now somewhat damaged with Striae and my veins showing and skin thinning. I do not want to stop using lightening creams but would really appreciate your advice on what to use safely to stop further damage to my skin. I now know to shield myself from sun rays (never used to do that, i also use sunscreen now everyday. I cannot face my skin getting darker and would like to maintain the colour that i have now. I live in the south where it is usually very hot throughout the year, so please advice on what i should do. Will very much appreciate an honest answer.

Jen Curtin said,

March 27, 2009 @ 4:19 am


I have very sensitive, and reactive skin to the sun..I am very fair and my skin “flushes” alot..I am currently using La Roche Posey products..I use Cetaphil to cleanse my skin..I am using Active C and the Rosialiac moisturizer. My question is, what is the best Anthelios sunscreen solely for the face, to use everyday, over my moisturizer and under makeup? I tried the Anthelios XL tinted creme, but it was too dark for my fair skin..even though I tend to be on the dry side, I don’t like my sunscreen to be too oily as in the summer, I tend to sweat alot in the heat and my face gets quite slick..



mandy said,

March 27, 2009 @ 10:05 am

Hi Sharmani,

Can you advice on what products to use for really bad stretch marks on my inner thigh.

Sharmani said,

March 27, 2009 @ 10:15 am

Dear Aurora

You mention that you are pregnant and wonder about continuing the use of Finacea, Effaclar and Tetracycline.

Tetracycline is definitely not recommended during pregnancy and while the other two products are topical, there may be systemic absorption with either one.

Best to check with your physician about these.

Sharmani said,

March 27, 2009 @ 10:19 am

Dear Bobby

As you know long term use of topical steroids can thin the skin and high concentration hydroquinone has been associated with skin darkening.

In your situation, use of broad spectrum sunscreen is a great start. You should probably also consider the use of antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A to fight free radical damage plus boost collagen production. In your situation, consultation with a dermatologist might also be wise to ensure that products you select will not cause further damage to your skin.

Sharmani said,

March 27, 2009 @ 10:26 am

Hi Jen

If you are looking for an Anthelios sunscreen, then you might want to consider Anthelios Fluide Extreme SPF 50+, which has been specifically developed for oily and sensitive skin types. What is nice about it is that it is a very fluid light texture so should work well under your moisturizer. You can also consider Keys Solar Rx, which is a new product we’ve introduced. It contains nano zinc oxide, which has been shown to help improve the symptoms of rosacea in some studies.

Sharmani said,

March 30, 2009 @ 11:15 am

Hi Mandy

You ask about treatments for stretch marks. You may like to read this article which discusses the cause and possible treatments – Studies have shown that a couple of topical ingredients including retinol (as found in Green Cream ) and Vitamin C are effective.

Darcie said,

March 31, 2009 @ 2:07 pm

I’ve been using Green Cream for several years with just wonderful results (the eye & forehead area). However, those awful marionette lines don’t react nearly as well.
Could you suggest something for this problem area??
Thank u!!!

Jen Curtin said,

April 4, 2009 @ 4:35 pm

HI Sharmani,

Thanks for the info on the Anthelios sunscreen..I further question..would I use the Active c, then the sunscreen, then my daily moisturizer, the Anthelios Rosaliac? Also, is there a Anthelios product or another product that you would recommend for exfoliation, besides the Active C that I am using, to be used on a weekly basis that would work with all of the above products and well on sensitive skin. The Active C is working well to brighten my skin, but I do need an exfoliation product, or something to use to help shed old cells.


Sharmani said,

April 6, 2009 @ 10:13 am


You’re probably aware that marionette lines are caused to some extent by a reduction in collagen and elastin, the supporting network of skin. This tends to occur as a natural part of the aging process, but also due to unprotected exposure to UV rays, free radical damage, etc.

The use of Green Cream can help to some extent by stimulating collagen production, protecting against free radicals and enhancing cell communication. Other ingredients such as Vitamin C, peptides, soy and the daily use of a good UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen are also important. Read more about these anti-aging ingredients.

However, keep in mind that topical agents do have limitations and while they certainly deliver results, you won’t be able to achieve any dramatic results. For those, you’ll have to turn to the use of a cosmetic filler that contains hyaluronic acid, collagen or a range of other ingredients. If this is the route you select, ensure that you work with a well qualified and experienced medical professional.

Sharmani said,

April 6, 2009 @ 10:23 am


The rule of thumb when applying multiple skin care products is to layer in order of density. Start with the one lightest in texture, finally working up to the one heaviest in texture. Serums, followed by lotions, then finally creams. When using a chemical sunscreen, you do want to put it on close to the beginning as it needs to react with your skin in order to deliver the best protection. In your case, apply the Active C first, followed by sunscreen and then finally the moisturizer.

For a weekly exfoliating product, you can consider new
M2 Skin Care, which can be used nightly if you wish. Start gradually and then build use. It’s made by the makers of MaMa Lotion and I’m getting very good reveiws from customers. You can also consider using a weekly mask as found in Neostrata Deep Cleansing Mask, a 10% glycolic mask designed to be used 1-3 times a week.

Diane said,

April 9, 2009 @ 8:17 am

Hi Sharmani,
I am wondering about the M2 line as well as the MaMalotion. What is the difference between the mamalotion and the cleanser in the M2 line? Should I use both products? It sounds like these products have great reviews for pregnancy mask – which I got during both pregnancies. I am nursing my 9 month old and plan to do so until she is one year old; can I use these products while nursing? I am fair/medium skin toned, clear, normal/dry skin, caucasian and use a sunscreen everyday in my moisturizer. The “mask” has faded since delivering my girls but there are still some ‘patchy’ areas and freckling that I always try to blend away with some foundation to even my skin tone – is this a product that will significantly treat this problem area for me?

Thanks in advance for your expertise!

yvette said,

April 9, 2009 @ 6:11 pm

Hi i am asian and have dark complexion my problem is my knee and my underarm is really dark what is the best and fastest way the whiten it. Also can you give me a best product to use? Thanks in advance!

reena said,

April 13, 2009 @ 2:23 am

hey sharmani :)
i just bought the bioderma photoderm max spf100 sunblock and i just wanted to ask if it is okay to apply makeup on top of the sunblock without any incompatibilities or damage to my skin or not ????
and also,how often should i apply it….i am a college student and i leave home at 8 am and get back at 5 or 6 pm and i have moderate skin colour(not white nor dark..i donno what u call it :)??
thankssss sharmani:)

Betty said,

April 13, 2009 @ 7:04 am

Hi Sharmani,
How are you. I am a 44 year old woman with an olive to dark beige complexion. I suffer from acne, dark spots and undereye dark circles. Make up and sun screen does not help either, they cause breakouts. In the past several years, I have visited several dermatologist. Each have prescribed medication for each of the above mentioned but nothing seemed to work. Can you please help me to choose a good sunscreen, (something that will not clog my pores and can stop the breakouts/dark spots) and possibly something that can help with my undereye dark circle. I would highly appreciate it.

Thank you


Sharmani said,

April 13, 2009 @ 7:34 pm

Hi Diane

M2 is manufactured by MCK Technologies, the makers of
MaMa Lotion. The M2 Skin Care line contains an M2 Serum (indentical to MaMa Lotion, except for some improvements to the formulation), M2 Exfoliating Cleanser plus M2 Moisturizer. The collection is also available as an M2 Set.

In terms of the difference, M2 HP Refinish Serum contains the same active ingredients found in MaMa Lotion (10% mandelic acid, 10% malic acid), with these improvements:

• Paraben preservatives and Polyacrylimide are in the MAMA and not in the HP skin refinish. These ingredients are synthetics that are associated with some side effects – some studies suggest a link between parabens and an increased risk of breast cancer.
• M2 HP skin refinish contains:
- Artemisia Vulgaris Extract Artemisia is a naturally occurring polyphenol that has nitric oxide scavenging properties and is a natural source of antioxidants and has been shown to increase levels of ascorbic acid and glutathione in human tissue. It also has strong anti inflamatory properties.
- Aloe Leaf Juice – An effective and well known anti inflammatory that speeds healing and soothes irritation.
- Hyaluronic Acid – An important component in healthy skin, which plumps the skin and repairs damaged tissue
- Coralina Officinalis Extract – Coralina is a mineral rich red algae vegetal coral that helps reinforce the moisture barrier function of the skin

The pH is identical on the two product formulations (M2 Serum and MaMa Lotion). Customers (and friends) who have switched to the new M2 from using MaMa Lotion are very happy with it.

Sharmani said,

April 13, 2009 @ 8:01 pm

Hi Yvette

Skin on areas like the knees and elbows can be a lot thicker than elsewhere on the body. Areas like these benefit from regular exfoliation with scrubs to help remove dry, dead skin.

Chemical exfoliants like MaMa Lotion, and new M2 Skin Care can also help by removing dead skin cells and promoting the growth of healthy skin underneath. They have also been shown to help lighten dark knees and elbows.

Sharmani said,

April 13, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

Hi Betty

Your concerns are acne, dark spots and under eye dark circles.

With regards to the under eye dark circles – you would probably benefit by reading the highlighted article, which discusses possible causes as well as solutions. There isn’t an easy fix to under eye dark circles; some individuals are more prone than others.

One product that contains ingredients that have proven to help dark circles is Neostrata Dark Circle Night Serum. It contains a combination of retinol and Vitamin K shown to help improve the appearance of dark circles.

Given your skin’s reaction to various skin care products and makeup, you may have sensitive skin. In this case, it would be a good idea for you to keep a diary of products that cause breakouts to see if there are common ingredients that are causing the reaction. A good sunscreen is one of the first recommendations I make to anyone looking to keep skin looking young and healthy. In your case, I’d recommend either Anthelios sunscreens (the Fluide Extreme might work for your sensitive skin). However, many individuals with sensitive skin respond much better to physical sunscreens like Keys Solar Rx.

Lastly, one product that many clients with sensitive skin respond to is MaMa Lotion or MCK’s new M2 HP Skin Refinish, which is essentially a new and improved MaMa Lotion.

Heather said,

April 17, 2009 @ 10:11 am

My daughter is 3 years old and had eczema. I have tried many, many sun-protectors (even the sensitive brands that have been recommended by her allergist) and all end with the same result…breakouts! Your product has been recommended to me by a friend and I thought “Why not give this a try!” So hear I am on your website and feeling confused with all my choices. Can you guide me to the best for a 3 year old with VERY sensitive skin!
Thank you!

Sharmani said,

April 20, 2009 @ 11:14 am

Hi Heather

The Anthelios Dermo Pediatrics line of sunscreens is specifically developed for children’s skin. However, there is no guarantee that someone with sensitive skin will tolerate it (as you well know from your experience with other products).
What I can tell you is that customers who purchase either the Anthelios Dermo Pediatrics Spray or the Dermo Pediatrics Lotion are very happy with them . Dermatologists do recommend this line for children with sun allergies and sun sensitivity. You may also want to consider a purely physical blocking sunscreen as individuals with sensitive skin often tolerate them more readily. We carry Keys Solar Rx, which is based on uncoated nano zinc oxide. It is not water resistant, but your daughter may tolerate it more readily than a chemical based sunscreen product.

Rejeanne Jalbert said,

April 24, 2009 @ 6:55 am

I am facing surgery to refine a scar (caused by a dog bite a year ago) on my upper lip (half of the scar is above the lip and lower half is on the lip itself). Do you have any products which would help heal the surgical revision site (my guess is I will have to wait a few weeks for the revision wound to close before I can apply any topicals).

parmjit said,

April 27, 2009 @ 9:42 am

I have a question for you. I have really bad Melasma. Which product do I need to buy? I am cofused, Please helo me. I have used lot of products, but never worked.

Adriane said,

April 28, 2009 @ 5:39 am

Hello Sharmani,

I have some sun spots, some acne marks, and exporadically still some blemishes even though I am 37. I want to use a product that removes the sun spots and acne marks and possibly also helps even my skin tone – which is olive. Could you give me some advice there? Thanks, Adriane

Diane said,

May 2, 2009 @ 7:44 pm

Hi Sharmani,
Thank you for your feedback on each product’s ingredients. Is the M2 line safe to use while breastfeeding?

Thanks again,

Carter said,

May 3, 2009 @ 7:44 am

I am looking for a highly water resistant product for my somewhat oily face, as I swim alot. I see you recommend Anthelios W SPF 30 Gel or the Anthelios DermoPediatrics SPF 50+ lotion for this use, is that correct? Is the gel less oily?

I also see you recommend Ombrelle XL SPF 60 face cream. Is there any difference between this particular Ombrelle product and the above Anthelios products in terms of ingredients, or in terms of water resistance? The price seems much lower than the Anthelios products above. Is there any reason to pay more for the Anthelios products?

Carter said,

May 3, 2009 @ 7:58 am

Sorry, I neglected to mention that the product must have both Mexoryl XL and SX and another block as well.

Finally, may I ask another question? I am also looking for a chemical free sunblock for my very young children that is also highly water resistant. The product you recommend usually is not water resistant. Any suggestions?

Puja said,

May 4, 2009 @ 4:20 am

Hi Sharmani,

Because of my illness I was on steroids for some time. This led to a sudden increase in weight and stretch marks on my butts and thighs. I am 26 yr old i have stopped taking steroids 9 month ago. Can you please suggest me a good creame to get rid of these marks or at least lighten them.


Sharmani said,

May 4, 2009 @ 10:37 am

Hi Rejeanne

One product that you may want to consider is Psoria-Gold. It contains an extract of curcurmin and the company has done many studies demonstrating its benefits in scar reduction, hyperpigmentation and psoriasis. I have also spoken to several individuals who have used this product with great success.

The other product you may wish to consider is Dermatix C Gel, which is a silicone gel containing the added benefits of Vitamin C ester. It is clinically tested and proven to soften, flatten and smooth scars, and relieve the itching and discomfort associated with them.

Sharmani said,

May 4, 2009 @ 10:39 am

Hi Parmjit

Thanks for your question. While advice on the site is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, there are some guidelines to treating Melasma, which you can read here

Most skin care experts recognize hydroquinone as the gold standard in treating conditions that involve hyperpigmentation, however some individuals are sensitive to this ingredient and it is recommended that you work with a skin care professional while using it. Melasma responds best to a range of skin care ingredients. Sun protection is very important as sun exposure tends to worsen the condition.

Skin bleaching agents such as hydroquinone or a plant derived agent can be combined with alpha hydroxy acids, retinoids, vitamin c for optimal results. You may wish to seek the help of a dermatologist since you have tried many products that haven’t worked.

Sharmani said,

May 4, 2009 @ 10:59 am

Hi Adriane

Many of our customers have used MaMa Lotion with good success. The manufacturer has also launched a paraben free formulation – M2 HP Skin Refinish to give skin a glowing look. The combination of alpha hydroxy acids is gentle, yet effective in helping to fade acne scars and even skin tone.

You may also want to consider a skin lightener – there are several to choose from including hydroquinone. It is effective yet does come with side effects or a botanical formulation such as Neostrata Spot Lightener or Reversa Anti-Spot Care.

As well, consider including a 5% or higher concentration of Vitamin C along with a retinoid (such as Green Cream for their ability to help brighten skin and other anti aging skin benefits.

Sharmani said,

May 4, 2009 @ 11:00 am

Hi Diane

The active ingredients in M2 – alpha hydroxy acids (mandelic and malic acid) are considered safe to use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. You may want to clear with your physician first.

Sharmani said,

May 4, 2009 @ 11:11 am

Hi Carter

The most water resistant Anthelios product is Anthelios W SPF 30 (it is considered highly water resistant as opposed to the other water resistant products). Highly water resistant means 80 minutes in the water; water resistant is 40 minutes. The Dermo Pediatrics line is also water resistant, but not highly water resistant. Both products have pleasant textures, but the gel is a lighter formulation.

Ombrelle 60 face cream does contain Mexoryl SX and XL, but it is not water resistant. It does offer good protection, but will not be suitable for sports. You may want to consider Ombrelle Sport SPF 30 if you are looking for water resistant protection, but this product contains Mexoryl SX only and not Mexoryl XL.

For a water resistant physical blocking sunscreen consider Cotz SPF 58.

Sharmani said,

May 4, 2009 @ 11:17 am

Hi Puja

Thanks for your question re stretch marks. You may wish to read this article – – which discusses causes and treatments.

Topical treatments that have been found to be effective include retinoids as in Green Cream or UltimaSkin Potent C

Hope this helps.

star said,

May 5, 2009 @ 12:33 pm

dear sharmani,

i’m 24 years old and have dark brown skin. i’m looking into getting a medium strength peel(Jessner’s) that will deal with my acne prone, sundamaged skin. I was told that before i start this peel i will have to use a bleaching agent to prevent pigmentation problems. So I would like to ask is there a hypoallergenic/non comegedonic hydroquinone% bleaching cream with SPF, that will allow me to safely bleach my skin and prevent further sun damage?

I really hope you can help me.

Warm Regards

Tina said,

May 5, 2009 @ 3:01 pm

My doctor prescribed me with Lustra- Af and Retin-a micro, but I am not how to use it. I tried to contact the doctor, but he is out of town for this week because he also is a professor. I remember he said apply lutra-af in the morning and retin-a micro at night. also, he said that i can apply lustra- af at night wait fifteen minutes and apply retin- a micro. therefore, i am not sure if i am doing the night routine right. what is the best way to apply these two medications?

sim said,

May 6, 2009 @ 1:15 pm

hi sharmani, i would like to ask you before i place an order that effaclar K is safe to use during pregnancy and also meld D from la roche posay . i am suffering from adult acne and melasma.
Thank you

Cole said,

May 7, 2009 @ 11:33 am

Hi Sharmani;

I had a Levulan /Blu U treatment done on my face and scalp about a month ago to take care of some acne scarring/sun damage. For the most part, my skin appears to have healed, however, I’ve been left with patches of uneven skin tone and apparent spots of hypopigmentation.
I’ve become concerned (and confused), b/c depending on who you speak with; hypopigmentation can be permanent OR can correct itself. With summer on the way, I don’t know what to do?

Thanks in advance.

liza said,

May 8, 2009 @ 6:22 am

hi i Sharmani, I just want to ask if what product is fast and effective to used to lighten up my dar underarm.

Thank you!

Pamela said,

May 10, 2009 @ 9:28 am

Hi Sharmani,

How are you? I thought of trying to use the anthelios xl cream SPF 60. However, the liquid foundation (clinique) I use does not spread smoothly over it. Is this because I let the sunscreen dry first for 30 min? Should I apply make-up right after I apply this sunscreen, while it’s still moist?

shari jill said,

May 12, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

Hi Sharmani,
Do you also work with Ombrelle sunscreen? Wanted to know the real difference btween SPF 30 and 45 on the lotion? Also, if I have very sensitve skin(sometimes break out) should I use the SPF for babies?
Thanks, Shari

derek said,

May 12, 2009 @ 9:49 pm


I’m considering buying Neostrata HQ Plus Cream SPF 15
4% HQ for lightening my skin. I’ve been constantly exposed to the sun during the past 2 years and my face, neck and hands look considerably darker than the rest of my body. Is it safe to apply the cream evenly on my face and neck, I want to have an even complexion.

jamie said,

May 13, 2009 @ 7:35 am

Hello Sharmani, at the moment I’m using anthelios XL 50+ fluid extreme as a daily moisturiser/sun screen.
Is this appropriate for everyday use or is this damaging my skin. i don’t live in a hot climate but i row every day of the week.
I have combination to oily skin.
Thanks very much

Colleen said,

May 13, 2009 @ 7:43 am


Could you please tell me the difference between La Roche Posay Anthelios Dermo-pediatrics 50+ and the XL Fluide Extreme 50+.

I have medium skin that tans well, but is prone to dark spots and I’d like to prevent them. I live in Hawaii and exercise outside a alot, so a water resistant formula works best for me.

Sharmani said,

May 13, 2009 @ 9:36 am

To Star:

It sounds like you will be working with a skin care professional to have your peel done. Given that you are working with someone regarding this procedure, it may be more appropriate for you to check with them regarding the type of product that would be most suited to your skin type and procedure.

Sharmani said,

May 13, 2009 @ 9:39 am

To Tina:

Retin A is generally applied at night due to its potential to increase sensitivity to the sun. Lustra may be applied day or night. Remember that the daily use of good UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen is an important part of any skin lightening program. Given that these two products were recommended by your physician, I’d check with him for more specific instruction.

Sharmani said,

May 13, 2009 @ 9:50 am

To Sim:

Effaclar contains a derivative of salicylic acid, which is contraindicated during pregnancy for its potential to cause birth defects and other pregnancy complications.

Mela D contains kojic acid as one of its active ingredients. Kojic acid is considered safe to be used during your pregnancy, but it is always to check with your physician first.

Sharmani said,

May 13, 2009 @ 9:55 am

To Cole:

Please check with skin care professional regarding the after effects of your procedure. Given that they understand your skin type and the ins and outs of the procedure they most likely have specific recommendations for after procedure care that may help with healing and minimizing any potential side effects.

My recommendation is to find and use a good UVA and UVB blocking sunscreen. While it is important to use one daily year round (the sun is known to contribute to over 80% of skin aging), it becomes even more important during the summer when intense sunlight can contribute to more hyperpigmentation. Good sunscreens to consider include Anthelios sunscreens ( ), Keys Solar Rx ( ) and Cliniderm SPF 45 ( depending on your skin type and preference for a chemical or physical blocker.

Sharmani said,

May 13, 2009 @ 10:13 am

To Liza

Dark underarms are fairly common. They can be caused by shaving (the irritation may cause the area to darken). You can try skin lightening products including ingredients like hydroquinone, kojic acid, and other botanical skin brighteners. Because the area is sensitive you may want to stay away from hydroquinone and opt for products including Mela D, Neostrata Spot Lightener (, Reversa Anti Spot Care (

Sharmani said,

May 13, 2009 @ 10:18 am

To Pamela:

It is usually best to let the sunscreen dry and absorb in prior to applying a product over top of it. This ensures that you are not diluting the sunscreen and ending us with less protection. It is more likely that for some reason that the Clinique product is not compatible with the Anthelios XL SPF 60 due to ingredients contained within them. Is the Clinique a mineral based foundation? Sometimes mineral makeup isn’t compatible with other products.

Sharmani said,

May 13, 2009 @ 10:20 am

To Shari:

The difference between an SPF 30 and SPF 45 is minimal (SPF 30 protects against 97% of UVB rays and 45 against about 98%). What you do tend to get with higher SPF is also more UVA protection if the product is a broad spectrum UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen as Ombrelle products are.

Sunscreens formulated for children do tend to be less sensitizing as they are developed for more sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, then it is quite likely that your skin will tolerate a formulation for sensitive skin more readily.

Sharmani said,

May 13, 2009 @ 10:22 am

To Derek:

Hydroquinone 4% is a very effective skin lightening agent. If used appropriately it will deliver results. Always remember to use a broad spectrum UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen daily with a skin lightening program. And watch to see if your skin can tolerate it well. Discontinue use of hydroquinone if your skin experiences any type of skin reaction.

Sharmani said,

May 13, 2009 @ 10:24 am

To Jamie:

Good for you using sunscreen every day, especially since you are outdoors a lot. You may know that the sun contributes to more than 80% of skin aging (wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, sagging skin) as well as an increased risk for skin cancer. With the use of Anthelios Fluid Extreme, you are protecting and not damaging your skin. As long as you are tolerating it well, then you should continue to use it.

Sharmani said,

May 13, 2009 @ 10:28 am

To Colleen:

Both the Anthelios Dermo Pediatrics Lotion 50+ and the Fluide Extreme 50+ are water resistant formulations that will deliver good UVA and UVB protection. In terms of texture, the dermo pediatrics will be a slightly heavier formulation; the Fluide Extreme is a very light consistency. You may prefer the Fluide Extreme for daily use especially if your skin is oily.

Luz Mary said,

May 13, 2009 @ 10:16 pm

Hi! i’m 39 years old and i have melasma, i’m latin with olive skin, i tried almost everything and nothig has working, i tried lasser that it makes my problem worst,after that i tried Dermaland and cosmeland but nothing change,finally a tried hydroquinone 8% and not one of those products work now i ordered meladerm cream, but i kind of worried about it. Shoul i use that.
Thanks a lot for you advise!

Karen said,

May 18, 2009 @ 7:45 am

Hi Sharmani,

I’m sure you’ve been asked this many times- I have very fair skin and quite bad rosacea. What’s the best facial cleanser for rosacea?
I’ve just ordered some Anthelios sunscreen to get me through the summer and I’d like to wash it off at the end of the day without my usual flushing and swelling. I love your site and read all your email news, by the way.

Ann said,

May 18, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

I suffer from discoloration around my lips and on my forehead. I would like to try La Roche-Posay Mela-D and Lustra AF. Could I use them both together? Or would I need just one? I use sunscreen everyday, but really want to diminish by discoloration that is worsening as I age. I’m 45.

Amanda Jones said,

May 19, 2009 @ 1:48 pm

Hi Sharmani,

Are the organic sunscreens as effective as the Mexoryl products? Specifically Keys Solar and Cliniderm? Does Mexoryl have any known health dangers? I am trying to decide whether to switch my children to an organic sunscreen. Also, what would you recommend as the best waterproof sunscreen for the beach?



Thelma said,

May 19, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

Hi Sharmani…I have become very confused with the skin care companies today just wondering which products are good and which are bad. Could you please advise me what you think is a good skin regimen for mature, normal to dry skin skin showing visable signs of aging. I have read quite a bit about peptides in skincare. Do you think this is the answer? Looking forward to your reply. Thank you

Guilherme said,

May 24, 2009 @ 5:44 pm

Hi Sharmani. A little question :

Can I use Effaclar K and Mela-D together, I mean, use Effcalar, wait something like 20 minutes and then use Mela-D ? I live in Brazil, so our Mela-D active ingredient is Kojic Acid not Hidroquinone.

Thanks a lot for your time, love your blog,


Sharmani said,

May 25, 2009 @ 11:31 am

To Mary (re your question about Melasma)

You may know that light brown skin (like yours) is more prone to developing Melasma. If even an 8% hydroquinone cream isn’t working, your dermatologist is probably the best professional to advise.


Melasma responds well to treatment to a combination of ingredients including:

·         Vitamin C (to brighten skin; concentrations above 5% can actually help to lighten spots as found in Active C   and UltimaSkin Potent C

·         Retinoids (increase cell turnover giving rise to new, healthy skin cells). Retinol as found in Green Cream  is an excellent non-prescription alternative to consider.         And a range of different skin lightening ingredients such as :

o   Kojic acid (Mela D)

o   Alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid, mandelic acid) as in Neostrata, Reversa and M2 Skin Care

o  Botanical skin lighteners (Gigawhite, licorice, Rumex extract) –

o   Curcurmin


Re Meladerm, please read my review, which is posted on my blog here .


Sharmani said,

May 25, 2009 @ 11:41 am

To Ann (re skin discoloration)

Skin discoloration often responds best to treatment with a range of ingredients that work in complementary ways. It would be fine to combine the Lustra with the Mela D since each contain different ingredients.

Please read the answer to Mary’s question (directly above this post) as it pertains to skin discoloration as well as Melasma.

Sharmani said,

May 25, 2009 @ 3:54 pm

To Amanda:

Physical blocking sun filtering agents like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide found in Keys Solar Rx or Cliniderm SPF 45 are considered safer than those that are chemical blockers because they are less likely to cause allergic reactions, release free radicals or disrupt hormones. The downside is that they can appear white upon application. Newer micronized and nano-particle versions are nearly transparent on the skin, but the process of micronizing may decrease their efficacy (you will have to apply more frequently).

As far as Mexoryl is concerned, it appears to be safe in terms of not causing allergic reactions, releasing free radicals or disrupting hormones. It (along with Tinosorb) seems to the safest chemical blocking sun filters we have available. Most Mexoryl sunscreens also include avobenzone, which is safe as combined with octocrylene (the result is a stable form of avobenzone) as in Ombrelle or Anthelios sunscreens. Unstable avobenzone has been known to generate free radicals.  Some individuals cannot tolerate avobenzone, but most tolerate it well.

Re waterproof sunscreen for the beach, my picks would be any of the waterproof Anthelios products – the Dermo Pediatrics Spray and Lotion are suitable as are Anthelios Spray 50+ or Anthelios W Gel SPF 30. W Gel is labeled as highly water resistant and is the most water resistant Anthelios sunscreen we carry.

LIZ said,

May 28, 2009 @ 7:07 am

I am looking for a daily facila moisturizer to help prevent anti-aging for combination skin with sunscreen (preferably mexoryl). What would you suggest? Please help!

Sheri said,

June 1, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

I see in a couple of your articles that you promote the Preperation-H cream with Biodyne for eye puffiness and wrinkles. I also see in another article, the funny one with your sisters underground zit, that you recommend the Green Cream for acne, which is also purchased for its anti-aging wrinkles effect. I had just ordered some of the P.H cream with Biodyne, hoping that it will help with my acne and wrinkles. I am 50 and have not had periods for about 8 years now. I was so hoping the zits would of been history by now. What product would you recommend for me to use?

steve mullen said,

June 2, 2009 @ 2:48 am

your comments are very caring and helpful to those who contact you.
my problem is that i have a seafood allergy which brings me out in spots – usually on or around my face. i use superdrug pure and simple soap to dry the spots up with / clean my face (no alcohol / perfume etc in it). the spots soon go, however my face then becomes very dry to the point i have to put e45 on it to give it back its normal and untight feeling. it’s driving me mad with all this washing, tight skin etc. can you advise what i can use instead of e45 to keep the spots away and keep my face feeling normal and not tight. thanx.

Asana said,

June 3, 2009 @ 9:26 am

I would like to know what product(s) can be used to help improve skin elasticity. I am a mother of three and have nursed all babies, as well. I am looking for a treatment for both abdomen and bust areas. What non-surgical remedy would you recommend?

Sharmani said,

June 5, 2009 @ 11:25 am

Hi Liz

For combination skin, you many want to try the following Mexoryl products:

Hi Liz

For combination skin, you many want to try the following Mexoryl products:

Hydraphase UV SPF 30 which is a moisturizer with SPF
Fluide Extreme SPF 50+ which is a very light sunscreen that can be used under moisturizer if necessary.

Sharmani said,

June 5, 2009 @ 11:38 am

To Sheri

Thanks for your question.

The hormonal changes that accompany perimenopause and menopause can last for many, many years. This can sometimes wreck havoc with skin, leading not only to dryness, but breakouts as well.

Preparation H can help to boost collagen (which can help to diminish the appearance of wrinkles) due to LYCD, which is a collagen boosting ingredient. Green Cream is a Vitamin A derivative; it is useful in managing acne, reversing sun damage and boosting collagen production in addition to possessing antioxidant activity. In terms of efficacy, Green Cream is broader acting. The one caveat is that it can cause skin irritation. This is diminished with a gradual introduction to the product.

Certainly in terms of overall benefit, the retinol in Green Cream has more clinical studies to back up its use. However, you could use both the Preparation H in addition to the Green Cream. And Preparation H (as are other collagen boosters such as peptides) is a good alternative if you cannot tolerate a retinoid based product.

Sharmani said,

June 5, 2009 @ 11:47 am

To Steve:

The problem could be your cleanser. Does it contain sodium lauryl sulfate (you can read more about that here – SLS is a degreasing agent found in many cleansers and shampoos. It strips skin of natural oils and can leave it feeling tight and dry. You may want to look for a product without it as in p>
The problem could be your cleanser. Does it contain sodium lauryl sulfate (you can read more about that here 0 – SLS is a degreasing agent found in many cleansers and shampoos. It strips skin of natural oils and can leave it feeling tight and dry. You may want to look for a product without it as in La Roche Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel or a natural product like Keys Therapeutic Wash.

Moisturize as you are doing as often as is necessary.

Sharmani said,

June 5, 2009 @ 11:56 am

To Asana:

There are many products on the market that claim to help increase the firmness of your bust as well as other part of your body. Unfortunately most are unproven and can possibly contain ingredients that may have side effects. You may be interested in reading my post on bust enhancement creams here – In terms of firming up the area, exercise is your best bet as it will strengthen surrounding muscles and help to support the bust area.

Re abdomen, again exercise is your best strategy. Creams and topical agents will deliver few results.

If you are concerned with the appearance of these areas, then you may wish to consult with a dermatologist about surgical procedures that may help.

Mork said,

June 8, 2009 @ 6:56 am

Hi, my kid had a cut at the eye brown last year n had been using Erase, a vitamin E that would do some erase of the scar, but seems no effect, friends told me can use Alpha Hydroxy to peel the skin , but some say use Hydroquinone 2% to lighten the color? in fact the scar is whiter than the skin, so Hydroquinoneis to lighten n is not correct to use n should use AHA peel off? Thank you.

Sharmani said,

June 11, 2009 @ 1:26 pm

To Mork:

Scars are usually a result of skin that hasn’t healed normally. There are many different types of scars and the type you describe is one referred to as a hypopigmented (lighter than surrounding skin) type. In general, these types of scars will often repigment themselves over time, but it can take a while to resolve.

An alpha hydroxy acid product may be suitable, however, they are often not recommended for use in children. Gentle products include malic and mandelic acid as found in M2 Serum. Check with your physician to see if this might be suitable for use.

Bonni Lewis said,

June 17, 2009 @ 11:32 am

I have read a considerable amount of info regarding the dangers of “Hydroquinone” in various lightning creams, yet it appears that this ingedient is still used in the USA. Can you clarify please??

Judi said,

June 17, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

I am interested in Lipcotz spf45 but noticed it is ‘flavored’. I cannot use any flavored lipbalms or lip sunscreens without a recurrent outbreak of herpes simplex which seems to be triggered by sun as well as chemicals. Would you recommend lipcotz for me?

Tricia Chaves said,

June 21, 2009 @ 12:44 pm

I fell in love with Anthelios Fluide Extreme SPF 60 (and another SPF 45 product I used while there). After doing some research, I found a much more affordable Ombrelle SPF 45 for Kids with the same active ingredient Mexoryl. Can you tell me what the difference is between the two? I wasn’t crazy about how greasy the Anthelios Fluide Extreme was for the face either. Any products you recommend with a more matte finish?

Carol said,

June 21, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

I am looking for Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid but can’t find it in any store or on your website. Has it been discontinued? If so, is there a comparable product? Thanks much.

Evette said,

June 30, 2009 @ 9:48 am

Hi,I am African American.My neck is darker then my face and chest.It’s worst at the base of my neck.What do you suggest?

Sharmani said,

July 2, 2009 @ 10:47 am

To Bonni

Hydroquinone is still recognized by most dermatologists as the most effective ingredient for skin lightening disorders including Melasma.

When used as directed (low concentrations for short periods of time) it is well tolerated and effective. Side effects tend to occur in individuals who have used high concentrations for long period of times. As with any medication (hydroquinone is considered an active ingredient vs a cosmetic one), individuals should be diligent in watching for side effects. Use should be discontinued and a physician consulted if side effects persist and seem serious.

Sharmani said,

July 2, 2009 @ 10:56 am

To Tricia:

Anthelios and Ombrelle are lines both owned by L’Oreal who has patented the Mexoryl molecules (SX and XL) for use in their sunscreens. Both products are effective, but may contain slightly different ingredients. The Fluide Extreme contains Mexoryl SX and XL; most Ombrelle sunscreens for kids contain only Mexoryl SX at this time. This isn’t necessarily problematic as Mexoryl SX is an excellent blocker of short to medium UVA rays and the other sun filters in both products would provide UVB protection as well as protection against the longer UVA rays.

If you are seeking Anthelios with a more matte finish, you may want to consider the Creme 50+. However, it is a thicker formulation and not really matte; it is recommended more for dry/normal skin, whereas the Fluide Extreme is more suitable for oilier skin types.

Sharmani said,

July 2, 2009 @ 10:59 am

To Carol:

The Anthelios 60 Ultralight Fluid is only available in the US. Please note that this product does not contain Mexoryl SX or Mexoryl XL as do other Anthelios products. Instead it contains a combination of 5 older sun filters including oxybenzone. You can read more about this product here –

Sharmani said,

July 2, 2009 @ 11:31 am

To Evette:

Re treating your darker neck area…

Treatment would depend on what is the cause of the darkness. It is most likely due to melanin (skin pigment that adds color to skin). You may also want to rule out any medical cause by checking with your physician first.

If it is caused by excessive melanin, prevent any further darkening by diligently applying sunscreen. You may also wish to try a variety of skin lightening treatments including hydroquinone, vitamin C, retinol and botanical lighteners including  kojic acid to ensure that the area does not get any darker.

Michelle said,

July 4, 2009 @ 4:27 pm

I’m still unsure of whether to use a physical or chemical sunscreen on my children. I have found a sunscreen with 10% titanium dioxide but it also contains 8% Padimate O. PABA is believed to be photo-carcinogenic; is this PABA ester that much safer than the PABA that was in sunscreens years ago? I also found Heiko sunscreen which is sold on this site and contains 25% zinc oxide in the children’s formulation. However, there is no information as to whether it is micro-ionized as this is believed to be carcinogenic as well. I have been using Ombrelle SPF 45 on my kids but with all the recent hype about not using chemical sunscreens I started looking for an alternative. I’m more confused than ever now. What do you recommend?

toobee said,

July 5, 2009 @ 11:48 pm

hi Sharmani,

I like to find out if there is any difference between la roche posay anthelios w gel Spf 40 and La roche posay anthelios w gel spf 30 ? Well, my nature of job requires me to be always under the hot sun and i wonder if you have any good recommendation for me on sunblock that are highly water resiatance, simply because I stay in a country that is very high in humility .

angela said,

July 10, 2009 @ 11:11 am

Why has some of the la roche posay products got fragrance in them? can it irritate sensitive skin? or rosacea skin.

Eunice said,

July 10, 2009 @ 9:34 pm

can i use both vitamin c and retinol together?

Olga said,

July 16, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

Dear Sharmani,
I am 37 years old with fair skin and lots of wrinkles around my eyes. I just started using retinol crem at night. My understanding is that I\’ll need extra sun protection because of that. I am using SPF 30 physical sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, but it is too heavy for under the eye area. To offset white tint from it, I have to apply foundation, and that makes my wrinkles look even worse.
Would you please help me to choose Anthelios sunscreen with Mexoryl XL and SX for my face? I would like to apply it under the eye area, and physical sunscreen on the rest of the face. I am looking for something without alcohol in it, so it wuoldn\’t dry out the skin. Also, it would be good to avoid oxybenzone as well. Is ther such a cream on the market these days? If not, what is the closest alternative?
One more question: do I need to apply sunscreen on the upper lid of the eyes?
Many thanks.

Heidi said,

July 17, 2009 @ 9:33 am

I have recently heard of Botanic No-Needle Serum which contains Matrixyl and Retinol. Can you tell me if this product is safe and as good as it is claimed to be?
Thank you.

Teresa Nally said,

July 22, 2009 @ 9:35 am

hello..I would like you to recommend a body cream to use after a shower. For years I have used \"Formula 3\" but it is being discontinued. I live in California and tend to have dry skin..I no longer get tan, but I would like a good cream.
Thank you!
Teresa Nally

Alex said,

July 23, 2009 @ 7:32 pm

Hi Sharmani,

I’m 27 years old, with no wrinkles yet! Should I be using an eye cream, and if so, which products would you recommend? I have normal to dry skin.

Many thanks,

barbara said,

July 26, 2009 @ 8:44 am

I recently had my hormones tested and my progesterone came back over 1,000. As I am not on any supplementation my doctor said it must be from my skin care. How can I find out what products I am using have progesterone? Does this make sense to you? Thank you

Sharmani said,

July 28, 2009 @ 11:43 am

To Michelle

The issue of sunscreens is becoming quite confusing as there are choices between chemical and physical sunscreens, but we are also finding out that many sunscreens are not adequately protecting against UVA rays (the ones associated with skin aging and some types of skin cancer).

The Padimate O that you mention is a PABA ester and while effective some studies show that it can lead to skin damage and is suspected to be carcinogenic.

Re Heiko sunscreens, I am still waiting to hear back from the manufacturer whether they use micronized or nano zinc. I will let you know as soon as we hear back. Please note that the Environmental Working Group recently changed their position on nano and micronized zinc oxide stating that evidence available suggests that they are safe to use. You can read more about their position here: It essentially concludes that titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (nano or not) are reasonable choices for sunscreens as long as they are not in spray or powdered form (inhalation risk).

In light of recent research and the EWG’s stance on nano particles, my choices are for either a zinc oxide and/or titanium based sunscreen or non-reactive chemical sunscreen (Mexoryl SX, MExoryl XL, Tinosorb). You can consider Badger Sunscreen SPF 30, Keys Solar Rx, Marie Veronique Sunscreens and other natural sunscreens here. Otherwise consider lines such as Anthelios or Ombrelle. If you are choosing an Ombrelle product watch out for chemicals such as octinoxate, oxybenzone as some of their formulations do contain these.

View all our non-chemical natural sunscreens here: and read more about Anthelios sunscreens here

Garry said,

July 28, 2009 @ 2:46 pm

Hi , I am east indian , my skin is dark toned however i have noticed hyper pigmentation on particular areas of my face. I am using neostrata oil free cleanser and toner. I also have Neo strata level 2 moist cream. What would be the best topical solution that i can use to lighten or reduce the appearance of my hyperigmenation marks on my face?

Sharmani said,

July 28, 2009 @ 2:54 pm

To Toobee

Both the Anthelios W 30 and W 40 Gels are considered highly water resistant. The only difference would be in the amount of SPF protection offered. There is probably a small difference in UVA protection as well. Note that the formulations are nearly indentical (the W 40 was discontinued and replaced with the W 30 earlier this year). Both are considered highly water resistant giving you 80 minutes protection in wet situations. They are excellent choices for water sports and in cases of perspiration.

Afsheen said,

July 31, 2009 @ 7:03 am

hi sharmani,
i have bought zarina fairtone for my face.i have scares from you recommend me to use this product?i have bought it already but havent used it as yet.

thank you


Theresa Given said,

August 7, 2009 @ 5:11 pm

I have sensitive skin and cannot use skincare with parabens or sunscreens containing benzones. I have been struggling trying to find an oil-free facial sunscreen of 30 or higher that I can wear everyday that doesn’t look like or feel like I’m wearing sunscreen. All the ones that I have tried even though they say oil-free, make my skin look greasy. Do you know of any good ones that I can try??

Jennifer said,

August 12, 2009 @ 10:01 am

Does La Roche Posay Anthelios XL sunscreens contain antioxidants? I read antioxidants help keep the ingredients in sunscreens more stable and give you extra protection from the sun by counteracting the free radicals generated by sun exposure and breakdown of those active ingredients in most sunscreens. I use sunscreen daily so I would like to find a product that is safe and won’t cause more harm than good. After reading all these articles I’ve come across recently, I’m so confused as to what to use. I’ve used Anthelios SX and Anthelios XL in the past…should I go back? Or, should I stay with the product I am currently using that contains both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide? By the way, my husband gets tiny rashes after using either Anthelios XL or Neutrogena sunscreen products with lot of sun exposure. It does not appear to itch or irritate him so should I continue to let him use those products?

Ellie said,

August 14, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

Is M2 skin care safe for preganant and nursing women?

lori said,

August 26, 2009 @ 8:08 am

hi-please help. the estrogen has left and my skin is asking \"now what\". of course my face the wrinkles,uneven tones,the bages under my eyes,on both sides of my neck big brown blotches.also my whole body skin is just awful.cannot find anything that will re-store moisture.what can you recommend that really works?

Sharmani said,

September 9, 2009 @ 10:29 am

To Angela

Cosmetics manufacturers may include fragrances in their products to either enhance the smell of the product or to mask the smell of some of the ingredients.

Some La Roche Posay products contain fragrances; others do not. They may irritate some skin types while others will be fine. Since one’s reaction to skin care products is
highly individualized it is hard to ascertain in advance whether skin will react or not.
If you are looking for fragrance free La Roche Posay products consider:
products, specifically designed for rosacea skin
href=” “>Toleriane
products, specifically designed for sensitive skin
href=” “>Physiological
cleansers, specifically designed for sensitive skin.

Sharmani said,

September 9, 2009 @ 11:45 am

To Eunice

Vitamin C and retinol may be used together (there don’t seem to be any issues of incompatibility based on my research). A study showed that the combination increased production of skin collagen and helped to reverse the effects of sun damage.

As with any new skin care regimen it may be wise to do a patch test first to ensure that skin doesn’t react.

Preeti said,

September 11, 2009 @ 2:34 pm

Hi Shamani,

I am East Indian and the skin around my lips/chin is much darker than the rest of the face. Is there any way, I can lighten the skin around my lips/chin?


MiMi said,

September 12, 2009 @ 2:36 pm

Hey Asani, I live in the carribean where there is lots of sun. I’m 20 years old and have dry and dull skin,my skin also scars easily. I have oily skin when it comes to my face though and I would like to know if I can use the Reversa Skin Firming Gel. I have no issues with sagging or wrinkles or anything,but i do want to start protecting my skin from it now that I am still young. Am I too young to start using anti-aging creams and if so is there anything else I can use preventitive against wrinkles and also what could I use against dry/ dull skin? I drink lots of water,exfoliate and I also take vitamins but my skin is still dull and dry.

Alyssa said,

September 14, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

Hi Sharmani,
I’m wondering about product absorption. Often times I’ll layer two products on my face – for example, moisturizer and sunscreen in the morning or a treatment and moisturizer at night. I have a few questions regarding this. First, does layering negatively affect the potency of either of the products? How long does it take for the initial layer to be absorbed? And finally, how long is best to wait between applying the first and second layer?
Thanks again – you’re always so helpful and informative!

Rochele said,

September 16, 2009 @ 8:11 pm

Hi Sharmani,

I read recently about the danger of chemical sunscreens (EWG’s report), so I’m looking into a natural, but highly-effective option. As I live in Florida, I need a high protection year-round, and one that is good under makeup. Do you recommend the Marie Veronique Creme de Soleil or Creme du Jour, and what is the difference?


Yose said,

September 17, 2009 @ 6:27 am

Hi, Im 34 years old. I have some wrinkles around my mouth and my forehead and I have also notice loss of firmess in my face. Im interested in a good antiaging cream to wear every day and also a cream that would help firming my skin in my face. If you could please recommend some that would help me have a more young looking skin. Im so affraid of looking older than what I am. And also an antiaging cream for my eyes as well. Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!

tom said,

September 18, 2009 @ 8:29 am

I have oily combination skin and would like to try one of the athelios sunscreens, but am unsure which one would work best for me. I also use retin-a, so am looking for a sunscreen that is non-irritating, will not leave my skin with a white cast and that is definitely not shiny. I have tried so many sunscreens, but cannot find one that will not leave my skin shiny, white or irritated.


becky said,

September 22, 2009 @ 7:55 pm


I use Retin and just bought a tube of La Roche Redermic UV. Can I combine it with Retin A or do I need to use one in the morning and one at night? Thanks

geneve said,

September 23, 2009 @ 1:04 am

i just want to ask you which cream can I use for the black rings around the eyes

Sharmani said,

October 5, 2009 @ 10:02 am

To Preeti

Thanks for your question. If you are concerned about dark patches on your facial area, then you can consider a range of skin lightening options which can include hydroquinone and other botanical skin lighteners. Hyperpigmentation can be treated with a range of different products. Read more here

Heeman Kim said,

October 12, 2009 @ 9:03 am

Hi, Sharmani~
I am trying to find the perfect tinted sunscreen.
And I thought Total BLock Tinted could be the choice. But why hass this product been discontinued?
What other products would you recommend?

Tracy said,

October 15, 2009 @ 3:55 am

Hi Sharmani

I was recently recommended to start using products from the roc range. I’m in my thirties and my skin is changing and the wrinkles are beginning to appear.

I want to ask what your opinion on the range is and are there alternative ranges you would recommend?

Thank you

diana said,

October 19, 2009 @ 10:12 am

currently i am alternating GC9 and MML at night. i was thinking of incorporating the NeoStrata 4% Hydroquinone into my regime.

how would i go about adding that? do i use it in the morning before moisturizer or at night?

please help!

Lola said,

October 19, 2009 @ 11:02 am

Dear Sharmani,

I fear I may have been too eager trying many products on my face…because my face is now covered in a rash that feels like I have sand all over my face and makes my skin feel tight. Here is the regime I put together myself – in the morning wash face with biore salycilic acid acne wash (2%) followed by ambi to get ríd of my acne spots and then an AHA cream (glycolic acid 10%. in the evening/night wash with biore and then ROC retinol. I got this rash after a few days of using the products. I have never used any of these products before (no AHA, salycilic acid or retinol before) but have read so many good things about them so I wanted to try them. I am dark skinned – my main concerns are acne, acne spots, anti-aging (sagging around the mouth) and uneven tone. I have stopped using all the products to get my skin back to normal but I so want to be able to use these products to get their treatment. So my questions are: which one of these am I reacting to (many say you can react to Retinol)? can I gradually reintroduce these products to my skin? Would you say that these are good products? What would you recommend as a better daily regime? Also do you think it is overkill using Ambi when I am using an AHA and a retinol, perhaps Ambi isn’t necessary? I am sorry to ask so many questions and hope you don’t mind terribly. Thank you for your time and look forward to reading your response.

Tom said,

October 26, 2009 @ 11:16 am

Hey Sharmani,
I have been using Anthelios Extreme Fluid 50+ for a couple of months now. I generally apply it and then wait 10-15 minutes then apply moisturizer, but often it seems like the Anthelios is coming off when I apply moisturizer, ie I’m left with white crumb type particles on my fingers ad face after gently rubbing in my moisturizer. I’m worried that I’m removing the anthelios protection when this happens. Perhaps I should maybe try switching to a different Anthelios product or if this is not a problem. I have combination skin.

Shweta said,

November 3, 2009 @ 10:21 pm

i am Asian with dusky skin how can i keep my skin clean, glowing & healthy, i can not go for facial/parlour because i have a history of acne. After 6 month treatment with salicylic & glycolic peel by my doctor now i don’t have any acne but my skin is non radiant and i don’t know how to keep it clean (i do cleansing & tonning morning & night) & is now darker than before. Please tell me product or kit that can take care of my problem & i can use it forever.

Sheena said,

November 7, 2009 @ 8:27 pm

Hi Sharmani!

I am looking for the best sunscreen out there to provide me with the best UVA/ antiaging properties. I usually use organic sunscreen on my face so am interested in the RX organic line, but now I have read about the Anthelios line and I don\’t know which is better? Aside from that, I’m also looking for an organic cream or something that will stimulate collagen?

Sheena said,

November 7, 2009 @ 8:39 pm

HI Sharmani,

I have another sunscreen question. I was reading about the RX sunscreen and it says that it is “not intended for direct sunlight…” I’m confused. It’s a sunscreen, isn’t that what it’s for? Also, I am really interested in the Veronique line of sunscreen and don’t know which has better UVA/antiaging properties, the Veronique one or the RX one?

Thank you!!

Mandeep said,

November 9, 2009 @ 4:10 pm

I have Melasma and I have been using obagi for more than 9 months no results. Any good recommended product to try for
Melasma. My skin is very sensitive and I am born skin.


Sharmani said,

November 12, 2009 @ 12:09 pm

To Afheem.

Dear Afsheen,

Sharmani has asked me to email you a response. Unfortunately Sharmani is not familiar with the product Zarina Fairtone.

For scar treatment you might want to consider the following products;

Dermatix C Gel
M2 HP Refinish Serum

Hope this information helps.

Best Regards,


Sharmani said,

November 12, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

To Afheem.

For scar treatment you might want to consider the following products;

Dermatix C Gel
M2 HP Refinish Serum

Hope this information helps.

Melissa said,

November 14, 2009 @ 8:43 am

Hi Sharmani,
I have a 10 inch surgical scar on the inside of my arm from the top of the humerus to the bottom due to a fracture. I have been applying Kelo-Cote gel to the site for 2 mos. with fairly good results but was wondering if you would suggest something else to decrease the scarring. Also would you suggest the Athelios stick for sunblock protection?

Jay said,

November 14, 2009 @ 9:11 pm

How Much Sunscreen, when using Anthelios?

Hi Sharmani,

Traditional sunscreens/sunblocks are tested at 2 mg/cm2. This amounts to about a 1/4 tsp for the average face. 1/2 tsp for face and neck. Now the Anthelios line has cream, lait(lotion), and fluid extreme. What is the appropriate amount(in ml) for each of these types of sunscreen for one\’s face alone to ensure effective protection. Suncreen applied with amounts less than what it has been demonstrated with have been shown to be almost useless, in terms of protection.

2nd Q. Do you the anthelios sunscreens leave a white residue, those with titanium dioxide that is. How well
do they blend with darker skin types.


Sharmani said,

November 25, 2009 @ 10:38 am

To Alyssa,

Layering is a technique commonly used when applying skincare products. As long as the ingredients are compatible this is a good way to maximize the effectiveness. For example you can optimize ultraviolet ray protection by combining antioxidanats (vitamins C and E, green tea for example) with your sunscreen. As a general rule waiting 3 to 5 minutes between product application makes sense.

When using sunscreens if it is chemical based (as with Anthelios Sunscreens) apply first as it need to interact with the skins top layer to be effective.  This isn't as important with physical blocking sunscreens such as Keys Solar RX. 

Hope this helps.

Sharmani said,

November 26, 2009 @ 11:05 am

To Yose,

Hi, Im 34 years old. I have some wrinkles around my mouth and my forehead and I have also notice loss of firmess in my face. Im interested in a good antiaging cream to wear every day and also a cream that would help firming my skin in my face. If you could please recommend some that would help me have a more young looking skin. Im so affraid of looking older than what I am. And also an antiaging cream for my eyes as well. Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!

Hi Yose

In general, a good anti aging skin care program will help to protect against damage of collagen and elastin which leads to wrinkles, fine lines and loss of skin firmness. It will also help to keep skin even toned and brighter looking. Consider incorporating the following products:

-          A sunscreen worn daily year round to protect against damage from UVA and UVB rays. Choose from our selection including Anthelios sunscreens  If you prefer a physical (non-chemical blocking sunscreen) use one that contains zinc oxide. View our selection here

-          An antioxidant formulation including Vitamin C, Vitamin E and/or green tea. Antioxidants help to protect skin against free radical damage, which occurs upon exposure to environmental pollution and UV rays. It also boosts the protection of your sunscreen. Use daily, morning and/or night. Choose from products including La Roche Posay Active C , Redermic  or Reversa Antioxidant Booster Serum.

-          Gentle cleansers that won’t strip away natural oils.  View selection here

-          A product that includes a Vitamin A derivative such as retinol or retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is available only by prescription, but retinol may be purchased over the counter in a product like  Green Cream. Vitamin A is a wonderful addition in helping to reverse sun damage, even skin tone and thicken skin.

-          Eye cream – we have a great selection including Active C Eyes, Reversa Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream. Both help to boost collagen production and fight against wrinkles and fine lines. View full selection here

-          If you are looking for a specific firming cream, consider La Roche Posay Substiane. It contains Pro-Xylane, a cell communicating ingredient which helps skin cells to replicate the activity of younger, healthier skin cells.

As well, you may want to read the article 10 Top Anti Aging Ingredients


Sharmani said,

November 26, 2009 @ 11:24 am

To Tom,


Good choice re Anthelios sunscreens – they all provide excellent UVA and UVB protection with La Roche Posay’s patented sun filtering system. My recommendations for oily skin include Anthelios Fluide Extreme SPF 50+ and Anthelios AC SPF 30. The AC 30 is designed specifically for oily/acneic skin, but skin should tolerate both quite well. 

Sharmani said,

November 26, 2009 @ 11:42 am

To Rochele,

Marie Veronique sunscreens are an excellent choice for a natural sunscreen. The Crème de Soleil contains additional antioxidant support plus essential fatty acids so is a great all round moisturizer plus sunscreen. The Crème du Jour is a straight sunscreen with some antioxidant support; you may need to use a moisturizer with it.

Sharmani said,

November 26, 2009 @ 11:59 am

To Barbara,

Some skin care companies may include progesterone in their creams, but it should be listed as ingredient. I’ve seen creams that include estrogen and other hormones as you probably know, its not wise to use products containing hormones without guidance from a qualified health care professional.

I would check your labels to determine if progesterone might be an ingredient in your personal care product.

Sharmani said,

November 26, 2009 @ 12:07 pm

To Jay,

Glad to hear that this product works for you. It is peptide based and studies have shown that peptides can boost collagen production. I’m not aware of any studies showing that a skin care product’s efficacy decreases with prolonged use, although I’m aware of immune boosting ingredients such as Echinacea, which should be consumed in an on again off again basis. With skin care products, changes may be necessitated by the season, illness or aging (which may affect how skin looks and feels). If this is the case, then I’d certainly recommend revisiting your skin care regimen to find more suitable products. From Preparation H and puffy eyes,

Sharmani said,

November 26, 2009 @ 12:26 pm

To Teresa,

First, I’d recommend that you read our two articles on dry skin causes and dry skin treatments. Following the self help measures is a good place to start. The following products are good ones to consider  Aqualant  a novel formulation incorporating retinol, shea butter, grape seed oil and other moisturizing plant oils,  Lac Hydrin – 12% lactic acid in a highly effective base, make this a must have for dry winter skin Epilyt – highly effective skin moisturizer.

Sharmani said,

November 26, 2009 @ 12:46 pm

To Gary,

Individuals with medium to darker skin tones are most prone to hyperpigmentation, especially as they age. This is due to a result of excessive production of melanin, the skin’s pigment.  While hydroquinone is seen as the gold standard, other more natural options are also available. The following article sheds more light on hyperpigmentation  and will give you some treatment options.  Also keep in mind that the sun is responsible for the development of discolored skin. Please consider using a good UVA and UVB blocking sunscreen year round. Choose from a wide selection here.

Aungel Evans said,

November 29, 2009 @ 11:05 am


I have had sensitive skin all my life. I mean to say that any cleanser or moisturizer that I use will cause my cheeks to breakout into red blotchy spots – and I have tried a lot! After a few days of not using this, it goes a way. I have been using Dove soap and vaseline (yuck) on my skin for years and I don’t have a problem with it. But I am repeatedly told that those two things are awful for my skin, but I simply can’t find a product that won’t break my skin out! I was even told that Cetaphil is not good, and that sometimes works for a while. My skin is normal, with dryness on my cheeks. What can I do??

ARMEND said,

November 30, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

i have these little brown dots on my face. My doctor says there isnothing i could doabout it. Now iam wondering if that is true. I hear hydroquinone could help that. The thing is i am turning 11 in feb. 5, 2009.I am not allergic to anything in the product. So, my questions are is it safe to use and will it work.

Sharmani said,

November 30, 2009 @ 5:16 pm

To Aniqa,

Neostrata Skin Brightener is marketed to women over 30, primarily because it is this age group that tends to be concerned about keeping skin looking young and healthy. It certainly will not harm skin in anyone under the age of 30 and will definitely be useful in delivering all the benefits of topically applied Vitamin C.

Sharmani said,

November 30, 2009 @ 6:15 pm

To Lori,

Skin changes associated with perimenopause and menopause can be problematic for many individuals. Dryness, thinning skin and the appearance of new lines and wrinkles are not uncommon. In order to help skin, it is important to treat from both inside and out. You may wish to add fish oil capsules and take a good quality multi-vitamin to support a healthy body. Fish oil has been shown to benefit dry skin conditions in several studies. Read the following article
to find out more about product recommendations during perimenopasue and menopause. Also the article
on top 10 anti aging ingredients may be useful.

If you would like some more specific product recommendations don’t hesitate to call us or email us directly at

Sharmani said,

November 30, 2009 @ 6:39 pm

To Ellie,

M2 products contain mandelic and malic acids, 2 types of alpha hydroxy acids. In general, alpha hydroxy acids are considered safe during pregnancy. However, you may wish to check with your physician first prior to using.

Sharmani said,

November 30, 2009 @ 7:04 pm

To Jennifer,

Antioxidants are an important addition to any suncare and anti aging skin care regimen as studies show that they not only boost the effectiveness of sunscreens but also help to fight free radical damage associated with exposure to pollution and UV rays. Anthelios sunscreens tend not to contain antioxidants so it is a good idea to combine them with one. My picks would be for products containing Vitamins C, E and/or green tea. Some to consider include UltimaSkin Potent C Serum, La Roche Posay Active C and Reversa Antioxidant Booster Serum.

Sharmani said,

November 30, 2009 @ 7:17 pm

To Theresa, 

We stock a range of highly effective chemical free sunscreens. Many are suitable for day use as they do not leave a white cast or leave skin looking greasy. Some to consider are: Keys Solar Rx SPF 30+ – moisturizing due to addition of shea butter, this product also contains antioxidants to further boost sun protection. Cliniderm SPF 45 Lotion and Marie Veronique Crème du Jour or Crème de Soleil.


Sharmani said,

November 30, 2009 @ 7:47 pm

To Geneve,

Under eye dark circles may be caused by a range of factors. Our article covers the topic in more detail and includes product recommendations as well.

Sharmani said,

November 30, 2009 @ 8:15 pm

To Becky,

Retin A is generally applied at night as it can increase skin’s sensitivity to the sun. When using Retin A (or any other Vitamin A derivative for that matter) daily sun protection year round is a must. Look for products with a minimum of SPF 30 and that block both UVA and UVB rays. View our selection here. The Redermic UV contains a sunscreen so I would use it during the day. However you don’t mention the SPF value so you may want to consider adding a dedicated sunscreen as well. The Redermic UV could also be used at night; you won’t need the sun protection, but it won’t harm skin.  

OLGA said,

November 30, 2009 @ 10:09 pm

can i use anthelios sunscreens if im using hiroquinone?

Yochana said,

December 8, 2009 @ 9:46 pm

Hi Sharmani, thanks so much for answering our questions! I just want to say I\’m very interested in the Anthelios XL SPF 60 and the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Fluide Extreme.

My question is, if I buy either one of these products, do I still need a moisturizer or do these heavy duty sunscreens substitute as a good moisturizer? If they do, does that mean I have have the sunscreen on all day without reapplying unless I get wet? If they don\’t substitute as a moisturizer, would it better to layer a moisturizer under the sunscreen or above?
Thank you!

Hui said,

January 6, 2010 @ 6:54 am

I have searched for many websites about how to reduce under eye bags and wrinkles around eye area. So many brands out there and even the rating sites all have different rankings. I just want something that really will show good result, prefer within a month. Any recommendation? Thanks

Stacy said,

January 7, 2010 @ 8:41 am

I want to know when using a skin bleaching cream for melasma and vitamin c, which product would I put on first?

Sarah said,

January 7, 2010 @ 8:24 pm


I had a question on a routine that I was using.

Day 1: Palmer’s Skin Success Kit (morning and night)

Day 2: Wash face, 1st apply a 10% AHA cream and then after 2-3 minutes apply Palmer’s Age Spot cream( this cream includes 2% hydroquine, kojic complex, and AHA) (morning and night)

Day 3: AcneFree Severe System

You get the point now. I basically just alternate the days.

I was wondering is this routine okay, or should I change something up? Is there anything wrong with applying glycolic acid and hydroquine at the same time? Is there anything wrong with using Palmer’s Acne Kit, or should I change to University Medical Acne Free System?

Thank you so much for your help!

Regina said,

January 9, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

Hi Sharmani, I have sensitive skin to the sun and i also suffre from rosacea. I use Rosaliac moisturizer from Le Roche Possay. I need a very good sun block. I have been using Total Block from Fallene and City Block from Clinique, they are very good products, but it leave a film in my face and i look too white. I read the Athelios XL SPF 60 cream with Mexoryl is the best sun block ever, however I can not seem to find what other ingredients is use in this product. I need titanium dioxide and zinc because these ingredients are the best for sunblock. Could you please tell me all the components of this product and also tell me if leave residue on the face, I do not wear make up during the day and i don\\\’t want to look so white wearing sunblock. tks.

Gail said,

January 12, 2010 @ 7:09 am

I am heading to the Carribean for a 2wk vacation (soon). I am concerned about getting too much sun on my face and I am prone to acne so I am looking for maybe a 45-60spf that is not greasy. I also break out from sun-induced cold sores so do you have anything that I could use to cover all that? I use a chapstik all the time but would like something for afterward to carry around but there so many to choose from….any advice?

KADOCH said,

January 14, 2010 @ 12:54 am


ESt ce que vous livrez en France ?
Si oui, merci de me donner le tarif de :
- préparation h ointment
+ frais d’envoi en euros.

david said,

January 14, 2010 @ 10:25 am

What is recommended shower wash fragrance and soap free Find i ger rash when using fragrance !!!!

Lynette said,

January 18, 2010 @ 5:46 am

Hi Sharmani,

I’m a black woman aged 39 and I have several scars as a result of a burn accident I had over 10 years ago. I’m light skinned but the scars are dotted black and very conspicious. I have tried laser treatment and skin peel which did not work. I was wondering if there is something I could use to lighten these parts and why they have not faded since they healed. Could hydroquinone work on this. Please help and give me options of skin lighteners that can work on stubborn scars. Thank You.

Sharmani said,

January 26, 2010 @ 11:59 am

To Lola,

Sorry to hear about your skin reacting to this combination of products. However, it is not surprising that it has. Salicylic acid and alpha hydroxy acid along with retinol is quite the regimen all at one time. Many products do combine salicylic acid with alpha hydroxy acid and it tends to be well tolerated. However, retinol should generally not be used in conjunction with alpha hydroxy acid. Both are active ingredients and the combination is highly irritating. If you want to use both you should use them on alternate nights, starting gradually and building up use to ensure that your skin can tolerate the combination.

You mention also using Ambi and without knowing exactly which Ambi product you are using, it is hard for me to give any specific pointers. However, if it contains hydroquinone, it may also contain an alpha hydroxy acid, which can assist the skin lightening process. If you’ve added an additional alpha hydroxy acid product, plus retinol, it’s easy to see why you developed a rash. The combination sounds far too irritating for most skin types to tolerate. I suggest that you work with a qualified professional to get some advice on the correct combination of products to use.

Sharmani said,

January 26, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

To Diana,

Neostrata 4% HQ may be used morning and night. Most important when you are using a hydroquinone product is to ensure adequate sun protection with a well formulated UVA/UVB blocking product such as Anthelios sunscreens.

Note that Neostrata HQ contains glycolic acid, so skin may become irritated if you combine with another active product such as the Green Cream or the MaMa Lotion. You can use a product such as Ultraquin, which contains hydroquinone only. In this case you’d be okay to combine with the Green Cream or MaMa, ensuring that you don’t use both the GC and MaMa Lotion together.

sassy42 said,

January 26, 2010 @ 4:27 pm

Hi, Can you tell me a good cream for Acne marks? i cannot use any product with Hydroquinone because i have acne marks is very bad

bushra said,

January 27, 2010 @ 7:37 pm

Hi Sharmani,

I’m pregnant now.i noticed my whole body skin becoming darker after pregnancy and also not glowing at all my face skin.i’m so worried about my skin.
I’m assin fair.i bought MELA-D bright ointment.i want to know that MELA-D bright can remove my discolouration or pigmentation?
and also can u give me suggestion like homemade mask or cleanser or oil than can remove my discolouration in a very few weeks.and a lotion for whole body please please.
And also i want to ask u….i used lemon juice with honey or sugar or just lemon juice everyday like face wash or cleanser,i saw that tips in many website,it works as bleach. is this ok?

pleeeeeeeeeease help me.
Thankyou very much.

Sharmani said,

February 2, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

Hi Tracy

All skin care lines contain good (and some not so good) products. I haven’t assessed the Roc line and since we don’t carry it, it is difficult for me to comment specifically on their products.

However, having said that, all skin benefits from:

1.       Gentle cleansing

2.       Daily use of a sunscreen with UVA/UVB blocking ingredients as found in Anthelios sunscreens or our range of natural sunscreens

3.       Antioxidants like Vitamin C, green tea, vitamin e, etc

4.       Gentle exfoliants including alpha hydroxy acids

5.       Vitamin A retinol –  over the counter or retinoic acid by prescription

6.       Good moisturizers.

It isn’t necessary to stick to one line. Find products that work for your skin type and use them regularly.

Sharmani said,

February 2, 2010 @ 5:35 pm

Hi Mandeep

Though not medically serious melasma, can be emotionally upsetting. Please read our article on melasma treatments for more specific information regarding product recommendation.

Sharmani said,

February 2, 2010 @ 5:49 pm

Hi Sheena

Having met with the Keys representatives, I can only assume it’s because they are being responsible in recommending sunscreen as a secondary source of protection with staying out of the sun during peak periods, covering up, wearing hats and seeking shade being your first line of defense in minimizing skin damage associated with UV exposure. Sunscreen is important, but taking the necessary precautions should always be your first step. Both the Marie Veronique sunscreens and Keys Solar Rx are effective and well formulated. In addition to sun protection they offer anti aging properties. If I were to choose one over the other the Marie Veronique Crème de Soleil probably offers the most in terms of both sun and antioxidant/anti aging protection.

Sharmani said,

February 2, 2010 @ 6:07 pm

Hi Sheena,

Both Anthelios sunscreens and well formulated natural sunscreens are effective. Chemical free sunscreens like Keys Solar Rx tend to cause less skin sensitivity and if you are concerned about avoiding unnecessary chemicals like many of us today, then I’d go with the Keys Solar Rx.

Re organic creams to stimulate collagen, we have just introduced Dr Hauschka. I would recommend any one of Dr Hauschka Regenerating Day Cream along with the Regenerating Serum to help boost collagen production. Soy isoflavones have been shown to do that. You could supplement throughout the year with Dr Hauschka Intensive Serum 4 or Intensive Serum 5 to further benefit mature skin.

Products containing Vitamin C are certainly worth a consideration as well.

Sharmani said,

February 2, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

Hi Shweta,

 If you are concerned about your skin darkening, the most important thing is to protect it from the sun by seeking shade, covering up with hats and glasses and staying out of the sun during peak hours. Wear a good UVA/uvb blocking sunscreen every day, regardless of the weather or season. Choose from our extensive selection including Anthelios sunscreens or natural sunscreens.

Sharmani said,

February 2, 2010 @ 6:36 pm

Hi Tom,

What you are doing is fine. Maybe you can try applying moisturizer first to see if this resolves the problems. Technically the sunscreen should go on first (as you are doing), but your moisturizer may be heavy and therefore ‘dissolving’ the sunscreens. See if this helps. Otherwise you may want to try Anthelios Lait SPf 50+, which is a lotion based product or Anthelios W Gel 30

Staci said,

February 3, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

I have been reading about the potential estrogenic effects of parabens and was wondering if there are mexoryl containing products, free of parabens, suitable for body and face use on children. No one in the family has ever had irritation due to parabens, but it seems like they may be good to avoid.


Sharmani said,

February 4, 2010 @ 11:19 am

Hi Jay

Thanks for the info. You are right that most of us don’t tend to apply as much as needed; studies show that we are often getting only between 10 and 50% of the SPF protection indicated on the label because of this. I think applying, waiting 5-10 minutes and then applying a second coat is often a good idea.

Re application for any sunscreen, including Anthelios, the amounts you’ve quoted above are accurate. They blend quite well with darker skin types. I have tried all of them and I think that the Fluide Extreme is least noticeable (nearly transparent on my skin – I’m of East Indian descent).

Sharmani said,

February 4, 2010 @ 11:25 am

Hi Melissa

Dermatix Advanced with Vitamin C is a silicone based product with good studies to back up its efficacy even with scars that are older. You may wish to try that.

All of the Anthelios sunscreens including the Anthelios stick would be excellent choices to consider when choosing a sunblock.

Sharmani said,

February 23, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

To Armend,

Hydroquinone is not indicated for use in children. I’d check with your physician about a suitable treatment if you are concerned.

Sharmani said,

February 23, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

To Yochana,

Whether or not a moisturizer is necessary in conjunction with a sunscreen is highly dependent on your skin type. Both the Anthelios sunscreens you mention above are different in formulation. The XL SP F60 is a creamier base, while the Fluide Extreme is very light. You may be able to skin the moisturizer with the Cream XL 60, but may find you need one with the Fluide Extreme, especially if you have normal to dry skin.

In terms of lasting, most sunscreens (and the same is true of Anthelios) will state that reapplication is necessary every 2 hours or after swimming and/or perspiring.

With chemical sunscreens like Anthelios, it is best to apply the sunscreen first since it must react with the skin in order to deliver its UV filtering effects.

Sharmani said,

February 23, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

To Olga

Yes! Sunscreen is an essential part of any skin lightening program and will help to prevent any further darkening of skin.

Sharmani said,

March 15, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

To Bushra,

I wouldn’t recommend skin lighteners during pregnancy or breastfeeding as their safety has not been established. Please read our article on skin lightening for advice on products that can help. However, please ensure that you don’t use these while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Sharmani said,

March 15, 2010 @ 5:24 pm

To Sassy,

You can consider M2 HP Skin Refinish which has demonstrated success in helping to fade acne marks. As well, consider one of 3 Mela D products by La Roche Posay, which contain kojic acid along with other ingredients to help face dark patches of skin. Last, you may want to consider a botanical (plant based) skin lightener.

Sharmani said,

March 15, 2010 @ 6:37 pm

To Staci,

The following Anthelios products do not contain parabens: Anthelios Dermo Ped Spray SPF 50 -, Anthelios dermo ped lotion, Anthelios w 30 gel -, Anthelios fluide extreme, Anthelios crème spf 50+,Anthelios spray 50

Sharmani said,

March 15, 2010 @ 6:58 pm

To Lynette,

Old scars can be difficult to treat but there are some ingredients that may help. Scar resolution can take several months and individual response varies so it is difficult to say what will work for you. Hydroquinone could certainly be tried and we offer several formulations. You could also consider Dermatix Ultra, which is a combination of dimethicone (a silicone) and Vitamin C, which has demonstrated a 70% improvement in newer scars.

Sharmani said,

March 15, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

To David,

You could consider Keys Island RX Foaming Wash  which is a natural brand formulated specially for sensitive skin.

Sharmani said,

March 15, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

To Gail,

You may want to consider either one of Anthelios Fluide Extreme SPF 50+ or Anthelios AC SPF 30  for your reactive skin. Consider Anthelios lipstick SPF 50+ or Antherpos XL SPF 50 for lip protection.

Sharmani said,

March 15, 2010 @ 7:46 pm

To Regina,

Ingredients for the Anthelios  XL SPF 60 can be found on the product detail page - It contains titanium dioxide along with chemical sun filters, but does not contain zinc oxide. If you are looking for a pure physical blocking sunscreen with zinc oxide consider Keys Solar Rx, Marie Veronique Organic Sunscreens or Cliniderm SPF 45

Hope this helps.

Sharmani said,

March 15, 2010 @ 7:55 pm

Hi Sarah,

I am not familiar with Palmer’s skin care so I can’t comment specifically on this line or how best to use it. I’d follow instructions or check in with someone who does sell the line. As to using hydroquinone and glycolic acid together, the combination is readily found in many skin lightening preparations including Glyquin XM, Lustra and Neostrata HQ. Hydroquinone works to inhibit tyrosinase, the enzyme necessary to produce melanin, while glycolic acid helps to exfoliate the top layer of skin allowing for hydroquinone to penetrate effectively. As with any new skin treatment perform a patch test first to ensure that you tolerate it without skin irritation.

Sharmani said,

March 15, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

To Stacy,

In general, start with applying the thinner product first (serum, gel), followed by a lotion, then cream. It’s a good idea to wait about 5 to 10 minutes between application in order to ensure absorption of the first before applying the second.

Sharmani said,

March 15, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

To Hui,

You can read more about causes and product recommendations for puffy eyes and under eye bags here . If you eliminate anything that may be causing an allergic reaction first, then work on boosting collagen production to firm up the area and helping to diminish the appearance of puffy eyes. Good products to consider include: Preparation H which contains a peptide and can help to reduce under eye bags. As well, products like Active C Eyes and Redermic Eyes contain Vitamin C which also boosts collagen production and can help as well.

amy said,

July 29, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

Dear Sharmani -

I have suffered from melasma for years and finally found a way to keep it from progressing with Anthelios containing Mexoryl. I then made huge progress by using topical (non-hydroquinone) products and a series of chemical peels.

Much to my dismay I recently noticed some unexplained darkening occuring, and I thought something might be off. I realized that the last couple of tubes of Anthelios said “Cell-Ox” and not Mexoryl. I did a search for with the Cell-Ox vs. Mexoryl and came up with your article. I have ordered the Mexoryl from you, and have stopped using the Cell-Ox & I will continue to order products from you.

Shame on La Roche Posay for not differentiating the products.

Samantha said,

August 15, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

I have Tenia Versicolor, and I have had it for 7 yeaers, I got it to go away for a while, but it always comes back and I know that that is the nature of this yeast. I had someone tell me that Thorne Research Formula SF722 would help with the Tenia Versicolor, is that true? Will it help take care of it and if so, if I continue to take it when I don’t have signs of the tenia versicolor is that ok?

Kathleen said,

August 19, 2010 @ 3:26 pm

Does the Anthelios line of body sunscreen stain clothing? I’ve stopped wearing body sunscreen due to staining and my white tops smell like strong bleach.

Kay said,

August 24, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

Hi Dear,
I used bleaching cream for many yrs because i had major acne problems ..the cream got rid of the spots on my face. Only problem is, after I stop using the bleach, my entire face became darker than it was.
I’ve tried just about everything with no results. Someone recommanded Mela-D to me. Would it turn my face darker after I have discontinue using it??

Holly said,

August 25, 2010 @ 3:40 pm


I was an avid user and lover of La Roche Posay’s Potent C. I now understand it is discontinued. Are there similar products on teh amrket?

Kaye Richardson said,

August 28, 2010 @ 12:27 am

Can you help me please. My skin comes out in horrid brown raised wart type blemishes. They are spreading so badly over my whole body and no one has any answers for me. The drs just say, oh some people\’s skin does this. They call them \"senile warts\". I am frantic as each morning i wake up with more of them. My whole back is now covered with them and some of them grow to a size of several centimetres in width. Sometimes they are itchy. I am desperate as my whole body is getting covered in them and my legs and arms and front are now just continunually coming out in them. Pls help!! dermatologists just they just have to burn them off. Well i have too many for that and anyway they just come back.

izzat said,

September 1, 2010 @ 5:57 am

hi,i don\’t know sis how to write my prblm but the best i can write is that i am just 17yr of age,a girl with tan or u can say a bit dark skin tone.i was just 14 when i got up with a problem of melasma.i have just come to know what these dark spots on both sides of my face are….u just tell me that if i use sunblock 60 for outdoor activities,meladerm cream at night and lustra AF as a bleach.Would these dark spots vanish.
do answer me…i \’ll be waiting.

Sabine Hamilton said,

September 13, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

Dear Sharmani,
is it true, that one should not use waterproof sunscreen in the face for daily use, that means when I am not in the water (just errands, for work, walking the dog). I finally have found a good suncreen (Avene), but it’s extremely water proof. Is it an overkill to use daily?
Thanks for your answer.

Beth said,

September 14, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

I am looking for a sunscreen with the highest SPF with mexoryl for face and body.
What can you recommend?

Bob Jancewicz said,

October 2, 2010 @ 7:06 am

My wife\’s doctor wants her to use the Canadian version of the Anthelios SPF 60 Cream. Aparently there is a difference between the USA & Canadian product. How does one tell the difference? Please advise. Thanks in advance,

kevin hoenie said,

October 4, 2010 @ 2:46 pm


i have been using the lustra product now on some hyperpigmentation spots on my legs for several months now. i apply the cream in the morning and at bedtime. i have seen fairly good results. but i read that the use of retinol can enhance hydroquinone 4%. can i apply both products to the areas? or do i need to alternate the lustra and the green cream? thanks for your time.


Effie said,

October 8, 2010 @ 2:26 am

Hi Sharmani,
I find your posts very useful indeed and thought perhaps you could help me out. I am a teenager with rather fair skin but also many freckles and slightly pink nose and cheeks- despite my constantly wearing SPF 30+ sunscreen, the freckles just do not seem to fade. I would really like to know what a safe solution to this problem would be? Given my age, my skin is also somewhat prone to breakouts (not major ones, just small) and so I would need a product that would not block pores or anything.
Thanks so much,

gwen said,

October 14, 2010 @ 11:20 am

I am 67, and have developed etched lines on the sides of my face, the left side being more pronounced than the right, which leads me to believe it has been caused by sun damage.
I use Renova cream at night, and have tried many sunscreens, including the Anthelios products, but I wonder if they have made the situation worse,, not better. I seem to do best with physical blockers (z.ox., tit. ox). I do play tennis three times a week, garden, and walk, and live in California (northern).
I have tried many moisturizers, most with peptides,from thin to thick, and nothing seems to make this better. Do you have any suggestins for me? * I also use glycolic exfoliation at my aetheticians every six weeks, and two or three times a week after cleansing with a mild cleanser in the morning. I have tried Vit. C products (skinceuticals, and Dermalogica) but have not noticed any improvement. I\’ve probably tried 10 different serums from $20 to $200! My skin is not sagging that badly, but as I lose volume , it has worsened the lines. Thank you for your help!

Ronnie Collins said,

October 21, 2010 @ 12:15 pm


I’m African American and I have been using the Lustra-AF product for five weeks. It works really well on the areas I was seeking, but my face is considerably lighter around the areas that I was hoping not to fade.

When I discontinue use, will some of my normal melanin come back to better even our what the cream has removed?


Vida said,

October 23, 2010 @ 7:26 am

What product is good for strech marks on arms

Sharmani said,

October 27, 2010 @ 11:18 am

Hi Elizabeth

We have a wide range of high SPF Mexoryl SX/XL sunscreens. These are formulated for both face and body:
Anthelios XL SPF 60
Anthelios XL SPF 45
Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Lait
Anthelios W Gel SPF 30.

The SPF 45 and 60 are NOT water resistant; the latter two are.

Sharmani said,

October 27, 2010 @ 11:25 am

Hi …

Skin lightening can be complicated. Not only do you have to remove exiting pigmentation, but also prevent new pigment from forming. For this reason, it benefits from a range of ingredients including a great sunscreen (one like Anthelios sunscreens – please hyperlink to article The products you recommend would work well together and you may want to consider the addition of a topical exfoliant like M2 HP Refinish Serum (please link to product) or Green Cream (please link to this article Don’t overdo it – alternate the use of exfoliants like M2 and Green Cream and discontinue use if skin develops excessive irritation. Read more here

Sharmani said,

October 27, 2010 @ 11:27 am

Hi Sabine
I have never come across a recommendation to avoid water resistant sunscreens for daily use. Water resistant sunscreens are formulated to stay on the skin so the issue could be that they are a heavier formulation and therefore not as comfortable on the skin. However, in terms of efficacy, I can’t see any reason why they wouldn’t be suitable for daily use.

Sharmani said,

October 27, 2010 @ 11:29 am

Dear Kaye

I am sorry to hear about your skin condition. However I don’t feel qualified to advise you regarding this. I would recommend you continue seeking help including a discussion with a well qualified naturopath. It could be that your condition is linked to issues that they may be able to help with.

Sharmani said,

October 27, 2010 @ 11:35 am

The most similar product is La Roche Posay Active C (5% vitamin c) or La Roche Posay Redermic (5% Vitamin c plus madecassoside, a botanical collagen booster).

Sharmani said,

October 27, 2010 @ 11:38 am

The sun promotes the production of melanin. Skin lightening agents work by disrupting the production of melanin or removing existing melanin. During and after embarking on any skin lightening program it is essential to use sun protection to ensure that you block melanin production, otherwise the pigment will return.

Choose from a wide range of effective UVA/UVB blocking sunscreens including Anthelios sunscreens –

Sharmani said,

October 27, 2010 @ 11:42 am

Most sunscreens have the capacity to stain clothing and all Anthelios sunscreens are packaged with an insert to that effect. To minimize the chance that this will occur, we recommend waiting 10 to 20 minutes before coming in contact with clothes. However, there is always the potential for clothing being stained.

Sharmani said,

October 27, 2010 @ 11:49 am

I am not sure if Thorne SF722 can help with Tinea versicolor. However, it does contain undecylinic acid, which is an anti fungal so there is certainly the possibility that it may help. You may want to check with a naturopath.

Sharmani said,

October 27, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

Retinoids have good evidence to support their use for fading stretch marks. Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A and may be prescription (Retin A for example) or non-prescription (retinol as found in Green Cream – link to this please ) Results won’t happen overnight and may take several months, but you should notice a gradual fading of the marks.Vitamin A products are not recommended if you are pregnant or breast feeding.

Sharmani said,

October 29, 2010 @ 10:53 am

Retinoids have good evidence to support their use for fading stretch marks. Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A and may be prescription (Retin A for example) or non-prescription (retinol as found in Green Cream). Results won’t happen overnight and may take several months, but you should notice a gradual fading of the marks. Vitamin A products are not recommended if you are pregnant or breast feeding.

Sharmani said,

October 29, 2010 @ 10:58 am

Hydroquinone (as found in Lustra AF) will fade all areas that it is applied to, even skin that is not dark. Please take extra care to avoid contact with those areas that you do not wish to lighten. Repigmentation does occur, but it is possible that it may not come back as well.

Sharmani said,

October 29, 2010 @ 11:11 am

To Gwen: it sounds like you are on the right track with your use of Renova and sunscreen. Vitamin A derivatives as found in Renova and non prescription Green Cream are most effective at reversing sun damage, boosting collagen production and helping to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. A good sunscreen will help to prevent the effects of photo aging. Ensure that you look for one that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and is photostable. Sunscreens that lack photostability can lead to the development of free radicals, which can cause further skin damage. A good physical blocker like Keys Solar Rx SPF 30 or Cliniderm SPF 45 are great choices. Anthelios sunscreens are an excellent choice as well.

Antioxidants such as Vitamin C (green tea, vitamin e are other examples) work by boosting the protection of your sunscreen and also help to fight free radical damage. Incorporate them into both am and pm routine if possible. Vitamin C has the additional benefit of boosting collagen production and increasing the skin’s ability to retain moisture.

Routine glycolic exfoliation will help to remove dry skin cells that may make skin appear older – you may want to cut back on these – the combination with the Renova could possibly be too irritating?

Without inundating you with too many products, you may want to consider the addition of ingredients that boost collagen production to complement your present routine. Products to consider include La Roche Posay Redermic (also has added benefit of Vitamin C) or Neostrata Wrinkle Repair, which contains 5% Matrixyl, a peptide that helps to boost collagen production.

Sharmani said,

October 29, 2010 @ 11:18 am

To Kevin: Yes, retinol can enhance the effects of hydroquinone. It also works on lightening skin via a different mechanism. In fact, dermatologists often recommend a combination of prescription retinoids along with hydroquinone to lighten skin. As you probably know, both ingredients are potentially irritating to skin, so you should do a patch test before using together. Since the treatment area is your leg (as opposed to face), you may tolerate the combination successfully. However, you may need to alternate every other night. You can apply the hydroquinone during the day (along with sunscreen), but not the retinol as it does make the skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Sharmani said,

October 29, 2010 @ 11:19 am

To Effie – Good to know that you use sunscreen diligently. Not only will it help to keep freckles in check, but also prevent skin damage from UVA and UVB rays.
If you wish to fade freckles then you will probably want to consider a skin lightening product. Skin lighteners work to break down melanin and inhibit its production. The process can take several months, but is probably the most effective class of treatments for fading freckles. Our post on fading freckles provides some specific recommendations. Hope the info is useful.

Sharmani said,

October 29, 2010 @ 11:21 am

To Bob: Anthelios SPF 60 Cream in Canada contains both Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL. The combination (along with other sun filters) is highly effective at blocking both UVA and UVB rays. The chemical names for these are Drometrizole trisiloxane (Mexoryl XL) and Terephthalylidene dicamphor sulfonic acid (Mexoryl SX).

As far as I’m aware, the US version contains a blend of 5 older sun filtering agents and neither of the Mexoryl molecules. While Mexoryl SX has been approved by the FDA, the XL has not. However, both Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL have been widely available in both Canada and the EU for many years. The combination is safe and effective.

David Purpi said,

October 31, 2010 @ 7:49 am

Am interested in buying Lustra 4% hydroquinone. Have purchased here in US under prescription and received the 2 ounce tube. Still have prescription but insurance no longer covers so price now quite high. Do you offer the product without need for me to send the prescription? Thanks

Sharmani said,

November 1, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

To David – yes, we can provide you with Lustra 4% hydroquinone without a prescription. You can visit our Lustra page on our site by clicking here.

Janet said,

November 3, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

I’m 58 and have some wrinkles above my lip (hate this the most). I’ve had a series of chemical peels,used Green Cream, Renova,and I’m on maintenance with Obagi. I had some Botox for the 11 and I expected my frown lines to be completely gone, but wasn’t. But, I do want to look natural! The same day I had some juvederm in my wrinkle above my lip and on each side of my lower lip. Honestly, for the $$, I felt cheated. I didn’t see any difference in the wrinkles above my lip. Maybe the Dermatologist knew how nervous I was and I didn’t want the “startled” look, and was ok with the botox. I wasn’t pleased with the Juvederm and he said he didn’t want to put too much in, I suppose making under my nose look too full? What options do I have? I would never be able to afford surgery. I saw Rachel Ray and they had a Dr. talking about laser with no down time?
I just notice that my skin is starting to sag and I’m using the blender and tretinoin every night now.
What would you suggest? Do I need to see a different Dermatologist. I’m just tired of feeling like I’m wasting my money and getting no results. I do have to say, that the Obagi, has helped but I didn’t have too much pigment problem. I had a few age spots and one is gone! I want firmness.

Sharmani said,

November 5, 2010 @ 1:32 pm


I’m sorry to hear that you aren’t pleased with results from Botox and Juvederm. They can be costly procedures so I understand your frustration.

Keep in mind that topical skin care products will never be able to achieve the results that you can get from procedures and surgery. Even though ingredients are effective, there is only so much that they will be able to achieve in terms of rejuvenation. Your best bet is prevention – minimizing exposure to UV rays and using sun protection when you can’t avoid the sun. Incorporating a range of effective topicals including Vitamin A derivatives as in Green Cream (hyperlink), antioxidants, moisturizers, gentle cleansers and exfoliants can help skin. Vitamin A derivatives can reverse sun damage, but very little will help to firm up sagging skin.

Surgery probably is your best option. I know that this may be costly, but is probably the only thing that will give you results you are after. If this is the route you opt for, I recommend you work with a qualified professional. Ask around, get recommendations from friends and ensure that your practitioner has lots of experience.

Best of luck to you,

Susan Cunningham said,

November 7, 2010 @ 7:29 am

I have used Lustra AF in the past as a bleaching agent with good results but I am considering Neostrata HQ and Glyquin XM also. Can you tell me, out of the 3 which one has the most Glycolic acid?


Sharmani said,

November 8, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

Hello Susan,

All three of the products you name are known for their Hydroquinone content of 4%. Hydroquinone works by decreasing the production and increasing the breakdown of melanosomes (melanin pigment granules) in the skin’s pigment cells (melanocytes). Melanin is responsible for skin colouring. However, each of these products also contains glycolic acid, which works to shed the topmost layers of the dermis (skin), exposing the younger, smoother skin underneath. Lustra AF contains 2% glycolic acid; Neostrata HQ Gel and Cream each contain 5% glycolic acid, and Glyquin XM weighs in with a whopping 10% glycolic acid.

PharmacyMix encloses special information with each purchase of products containing hydroquinone 4%. Please observe this information to ensure that your skin remains healthy. Thanks for your question!

Manish said,

November 10, 2010 @ 8:04 am

Year after year my skin started becoming dark. I am 24 years complete now. So, I started using Hydroquinone cream as i felt insecure of my face. I now apply Melatite 15 (HQ 2%, oxybenzone 2.5%, octinoxate 9%) in the daytime and Melacare (HQ 2%, Tretinon 0.025%, Mometasone Furoate 0.1%) before bedtime and Sunban lotion (SPF 20.47) while out in sun. This creams were bought by me for skin lightening but now the skin has turned much darker then before I was using this creams. It is just a week application result. This is more than concerning me. Kindly require your eager assistance on this issue. Kindly help.
Other issue is my lips dehyrate round the clock. My derm has prescribed me Lipz moisturiser (Squalene, Mineral oil, kokum butter, shea butter, sun filters, silicon oil). This smootens my lips for 5 minutes and again they turn dry. My lips dryness is all seasons. Sometimes the lip skin tears apart causing bleeding. Kindly guide on this also.

R. Perl said,

November 15, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

Just wanted to know what the difference is between Hydrosal Professional Gel and Hydrosal Gel? Everything looks the same except for the word Professional

Sharmani said,

November 16, 2010 @ 11:23 am

Hello R Perl,
You are quite right: there is no difference. They are the same product marketed under different names. Good question!

John said,

November 18, 2010 @ 7:54 pm

Hi Sharmani,

Excellent Blog! I am a 31 year old male with dry, flaky skin type.

I had problems with my skin since my teens, but after getting some advice from dermatologists and dermal clinicians I feel that the condition of my skin is finally starting to change for the better. I keep my skincare routine fairly basic so there is a greater chance that I will stick to it.

Can you please comment on my current skincare routine?

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense SPF 50 Facial Moisturizer

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Retacnyl 0.025% Tretinoin Cream by Galderma

Because I have dry skin, I use the retinoid cream I mentioned only on alternate days. Just recently I was thinking of using the Aqua Glycolic Cleanser (7.7% glycolic acid, pH 4.4) and Aqua Glycolic Face Cream (6.7% glycolic acid, pH 4.4) on the nights when I am not using the retinoid. Do you think this is a good idea? (I chose the Aqua Glycolic line because the base formulation of the cleanser is very similar to that of Cetaphil (practically identical except for some slight differences) and therefore I don’t think I would be overloading my skin with too many product types and increase the chance of irritation.)

Many dermatologists advise on using the glycolic in the morning and retinoid at night (with sunscreen of course), however I feel that this might irritate sensitive skins. I spoke to a dermal clinician once who said to exfoliate every other day while using tretinoin on alternate nights. I forget if he said to use a salicylic or glycolic product as an exfoliant, but given that I do not have oily skin and have dry skin I am assuming that glycolic would be better for me.

I have recently developed dark circles under my eyes and some eye bags. I know that Preparation H is said to be a popular remedy for getting rid of eye bags etc. However I am sceptical of using this product because it was not designed for use on the eye area.

I was wondering if you know of any fragrance-free eye products that contain large amounts of the active ingredients found in Preparation H? That is, shark liver oil & Live Yeast Cell Derivative (Biodyne)? Or even similar ingredients like squalane and yeast extract?

Kind Regards,


Cindy said,

November 21, 2010 @ 1:00 pm


I was wondering if a person should use the Canada version Preparation H on the whole face or just under the eyes. If it helps with wrinkles maybe it would work on the whole face. However, perhaps it is too heavy to use under during the day. Does it work well as a night cream? Also, is it safe to use on the upper eyelids as well? I have problems with puffiness there as well.

Thank you so much,


Tata said,

November 23, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

Hi! May I ask how I can incorporate Vitamin C serum or moisturizer into my regimen. I use AHA (Mandelic Malic) and Vit. C moisturizer with SPF 30 in the morning (is that ok) and Retinol at night. Can I still use Vitamin C Radiance capsules (Body Shop)which I love, with the Retinol? If yes, do I apply it before or after the retinol and how many minutes apart should they be applied? If I cannot use them together, can I use each alternately at night? Thanks!

Sharmani said,

November 24, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

Hi Cindy

Preparation H is not designed specifically for facial use so I can’t recommend that it be applied to the face. There is, however, anecdotal evidence to suggest that its use can help with under eye puffiness due to the addition of Biodyne. As with any skin care product, always test for skin irritation by doing a patch test first. Skin around the eyes can be very sensitive so use caution.

Sharmani said,

November 24, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

Hi Manish

If your skin has turned darker after starting use of skin lightening products I would stop using them and seek medical attention. You could be experiencing a reaction and your physician would be best able to advise you.

Regarding your lips, lip dryness can be an issue, particularly in colder, drier climates where the humidity is low. Keep them covered with a good lip moisturizer as your dermatologist has recommended and apply as often as necessary. Refrain from licking your lips, which can worsen the problem. If lips tear and bleed, please consult with your physician regarding stronger options.

Sharmani said,

November 24, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

Hi John

Your skin care sounds ideal and as you are consulting with a dermatologist and skin specialists, I expect that they are giving you good advice.

The addition of glycolic products on non-retinoid days is a good idea. Retinoids, as you’ve probably discovered, can cause skin to flake. The glycolic acid will help to exfoliate that dry, dead skin leading to smoother skin overall. You are wise to alternate use of the retinoid and glycolic as the combination could be highly irritating. Salicylic is an excellent exfoliant as well, particularly beneficial in helping with clogged pores.

You are right that Preparation H is not designed for under eye use so there does exist the potential for skin irritation. The evidence to support its use is anecdotal. Biodyne is a peptide so if you are looking for a peptide based under eye preparation you may want to consider Neostrata All In One Eye Contour Serum which contains Matrixyl (a peptide) along with retinol and skin brighteners. It’s an excellent all in one eye product.

Tea said,

November 27, 2010 @ 3:45 am

Hi I’m 18 and about 10 days ago i woke up and my eye lid was puffy, they told me it was just sleep, but it didn’t change over days there are no other symptoms my eyes aren’t itchy they aren’t sensitive their not red. I went to they eye doctor 2 days ago and he said my eyes were fine and it might just be a allergic reaction and gave me some light allergy medication but so far it’s not getting much better. Its’s the worst in the morning and it gets better as the day progresses. What is wrong with my eyes!
Thank you

Sharmani said,

November 30, 2010 @ 11:16 am

Hi Tea,

I really can’t comment on what’s going on with your eyes without seeing you for myself. If you aren’t convinced by the allergy idea, try seeing another medical professional, such as a naturopathic practitioner. Even a second opinion from a general or family doctor would be worth seeking if it doesn’t get any better. Good luck!


Sharmani said,

November 30, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

Your regimen sounds fine and you ask if it is OK to use your AHA/Vit C SPF 30 moisturizer in the morning. AHAs can increase skin’s sensitivity to sunlight so this is something to consider. However, you are using an SPF 30 sunscreen so you are probably fine. Just make sure that your formulation protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Retinol is an excellent product to use at night as it too can increase skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. Yes, you can use Vitamin C capsules along with the retinol. The general rule of thumb when layering products is to go from thinnest to thickest. This ensures absorption of the product with the thinner consistency and will allow absorption of the thicker one applied over top. You don’t mention whether your retinol is a cream, lotion or serum. I’d be inclined to recommend that you apply the retinol first as it is so important to any antiaging skin care regimen and you are already getting Vit C in the morning. However, if the retinol is a cream, then apply the Vit C first, wait a few minutes and then follow with the retinol.

siva said,

December 2, 2010 @ 10:22 am

Hi Sharmani,
I had jock itch few years ago and it is cured completely and there is no itching at the moment. But the discolouration of the skin is still there between my groins.
Could you please advice me of any cream which will help me regain my original skin colour.
Can hydroquinone helps?

Sharmani said,

December 2, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

Hydroquinone products are formulated for use on the face, and while there is anecdotal evidence of their sometimes being effective elsewhere on the body, I would hesitate to recommend it without a personal consultation. As with all hydroquinone use, testing it first on a small patch of skin will indicate to you whether it is going to be effective and safe. I would advise asking this of your physician before applying any HQ products to your groin.

david said,

December 8, 2010 @ 11:35 am

do you offer perscripton medications at discount price

Sharmani said,

December 8, 2010 @ 11:45 am

Many of the products on our website are prescription medications in the USA, but not in Canada (where we are based). Others are simply not available in the US. We understand that the cost of some our products is much lower in Canada than in the States. Please review the website if you are looking for a particular product, and feel free to email us if you have any further questions.

sam said,

December 9, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

can we apply Anthelios XL 60spf cream under the make-up as a base would it still work, as it should work

Sharmani said,

December 10, 2010 @ 2:52 pm

Hello Sam,
Yes, you can apply sunscreen, particularly Anthelios XL 60, under make-up. It will not affect the efficacy of the sunscreen. Do be sure to allow your skin to absorb the sunscreen 5 to 10 minutes before applying make-up.

Erik said,

December 11, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

Hello, i am just curious about this questions
1.if we can combine both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide?
2.if we can combine both insect repellant and sunscreen in one mixture? can i test the effectivity of my homemade product without using animals and expensive lab testing?


sarbjit said,

December 12, 2010 @ 11:13 am

hi i’m indian and i m 32 year oldbefore i have acne problem and then i start using neostrata oil free gel cleanser and level 3 lotion my acne is fine but now ihave dark black acne scar and around my chin big black scar and some blackhead on my chin and i think because of cold weather my skin gets a little dry to i dont know what i should do because i’m so scare from acne please help me

Sharmani said,

December 22, 2010 @ 12:14 pm

Hello Sarbjit,

It sounds like your acne is under control and you still need some help with the scarring and blackheads. The M2 line is a very good product for dealing with both of these. It contains mandelic and malic acids for smoothing and lightening the skin. The mandelic acid is also an antibacterial agent, which can help to keep your acne in check. You can see our full line of M2 products here.

I understand about the dry skin in winter, because I get it too. Lately I’ve discovered Impruv cream which contains ceramides which protect your skin’s natural barriers, resulting in better moisture retention and less irritation. I use it on my face and it’s not at all greasy.

Acne is hard to live with at the best of times. I hope these products make it a little easier for you.

Sharmani said,

December 22, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

Hello Erik,
As we are not formulating chemists, your question is outside the realm of our business. We are not able to comment on the safety or efficacy of mixing together ingredients.

jay said,

January 6, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

sharmani i need ur help its been 3yrs now ive had this problem its started when i had acne like ive never seen before i had n audition at that time n suddenly my face had rash from knowhere all over my face couple of days it turned into blackheads all over ma face i couldint even recognise my face then i panicked went to the shop bought cream that contained hydroquinine i think it was 2 or 3% n i started putting it on ma face like facial srub when u live it longer on ur face n it covered ma whole face like a mud mask but i done it 4 times a day everyday n then ma face burned went red like fire since then ive locked myself in ma room i dont come out the house i have depression n mylife has stopped i am black not dark not 2 light but fare like caramell but not 2 bright n ma ma chicks down 2ma neck is dark brown compared 2 ma skintone if i wer 2 come out da house they\\\’ll be looking at me like im a clown 2 me it looks black like something that shouldint be there on your pharmacy mix blog des a picture of a woman with melasma my melasma looks exacly like hers but both sides going down 2 ma neck like 2 different shades on ma face this year i made it ma newyrs resolution 2 finally come out the house n go shopping working socialising so my plan was 2 go to a clinic where they do peels microdermabrasion etc but its cost 2 much n i havent been working n den i saw ur page the creams u have say they\\\’ll get rid of melasma i was happy n ur a doctore ontop of that my Qs is since my skin was siverely damaged by hydroquinine n the way i used it was ridiculous i know i cry everyday i panicked but i learned the hard way about the chemical wont me using hydroquinine damage my skin more bcoz i wanted 2 ask about LUSTRA 4% n NEOSTRATA hq 4% i wanted u to tell me as a doctore which cream do u think would help me or if none of them would help me at all plz plz i really need urhelp n im from the united kindom i also wantend 2 be sure if u ship there plz reply

Sharmani said,

January 7, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

I’m sorry to hear about your skin. Hydroquinone damage is, as you know, very serious, and I would not recommend you use Lustra or Ultraquin, at least not right now. I also would not advise you to get microdermabrasion without medical advice first. You must see a dermatologist as soon as possible to get a professional opinion about your recovery. I realise it is very difficult to have a normal life right now, but please just take one small step to a dermatologist or skin doctor. Don’t worry about what comes after that — just one baby step to the doctor for now, okay? Best wishes, and good luck with your skin.

Stanley Linger said,

January 9, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

I have one question,

How dangerous is hydroquino??

Thank you

Sharmani said,

January 10, 2011 @ 11:10 am

Hello Stanley,
Used correctly, hydroquinone is a useful skin bleaching agent with minimal side effects for most people. However, it does need to be used correctly and with caution. Mild stinging, itching, or reddening of the skin are normal with use of this product, but if these do not subside the cream should be stopped. Also, if you experience other side effects (severe burning, itching, crusting, or swelling of treated areas, or any unusual skin discolouration) use of the cream should be stopped and medical advice sought. You should not use products containing any peroxide products when using hydroquinone as they may cause a temporary dark staining of the skin. Hydroquinone creams may contain sodium metabisulphite that may cause serious allergic reactions (including anaphylaxis) in certain susceptible people. Finally, hydroquinone should not be used in pregnancy or when breastfeeding. All purchases of hydroquinone products through come with a sheet of directions and safety information.

Sarita said,

January 10, 2011 @ 11:43 am

Hi Sharmani
I was wondering if you could reccomend a good product to use to get rid of beauty marks (not moles). Are there any effective lighteners that will fade them?
Also, when using these products, should you only apply directly on the beauty mark? (it is pretty small).

Sharmani said,

January 11, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

Hi Sarah,
Hydroquinone products such as Lustra, Neostrata or Ultraquin, while not formulated to remove beauty marks, may fade them over time. Using hydroquinone in this way would involve applying very carefully just to the beauty mark. For more information please visit our article on hydroquinone.

Nat said,

January 12, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

I recently learned I am 12 weeks pregant and I used the Wild rose detox early on in my pregancy, approximately 3-5 weeks. Should I be concerned?

Sharmani said,

January 13, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

There aren’t any ingredients in the Herbal Rose Detox which would be red flags for early pregnancy, but if you’re concerned you should see your physician.
Best wishes, Sharmani

Farida said,

January 14, 2011 @ 11:53 am

Hey there i have been using bleaching creams for sometimes but ma face looks good bt my hands and feet are dark i went to a place before and i was told ma skin is damaged i need something with 4% of hydroquinone and a sun cream will help me what do you recommend am desperate

Sharmani said,

January 14, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

Hello Farida,

It sounds like you are experiencing hyperpigmentation on your hands and feet. Please read about this condition in our hyperpigmentation article. You may also be interested in our article on Melasma. As for a hydroquinone product, you will be interested in Lustra AF, which contains 4% hydroquinone as well as sunscreens to protect your skin from further damage. There are specific directions for safe use of this product. Once your skin has lightened up, continue to use an effective broad-spectrum sunscreen such as one from the Anthelios line. Visit us anytime at Best wishes!

sahar said,

January 25, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

Hi Sharmani
I had skin burn in my face after using topical vitamin heald after 3-4 weeks but there is hyperpigmented area pinkish little pit with skin texture not 100%normal
I used every thing you can imagin to help make it looks better.
currently I’m using silicon gel and combination of Vit C 10%And hydroqun 4%.but after few days the skin become red again and itchy
I want to know is this normal and expected with the use of Vit C. should I decrease the %of vit C ?

please let me know what I need to do

Best regards and waiting for your answer


Sharmani said,

January 26, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

Hello Sahar,

Likely your difficulty is one of two things:
a. A sensitivity to ingredients. The combination of Vitamins A and C isn’t a bad one, as long as it can be tolerated. On the other hand, both are acids and some people are sensitive to one or both. As far as concentrations are concerned, if your skin has become irritated using it, I wouldn’t recommend concentrations above 5 or 10%.
b. Another possibility is that the vitamin A has increased your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight (which is why it’s recommended you use it at bedtime). Never, ever go out without wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen such as Anthelios. La Roche Posay Hydraphase UV SPF 30 is an excellent sunscreen moisturiser.
It is hard to know for certain what is causing the problem since you have been using a combination of products. I would recommend that, for a few weeks, you discontinue use of all the products you’ve been using. If skin is highly irritated, raw and/or looks to become infected, you should see your physician.
After you’ve given your skin time to heal, it’s a good idea to do a skin patch test for individual items in different spots. If tolerated, you should introduce one product at a time. If the products together are causing a problem, you could try applying them at different times — for example, Vitamin C in the morning, and hydroquinone at night. The silicone scar treatment would most likely be fine to combine with another treatment.

Susan said,

January 26, 2011 @ 6:28 pm

I noticed Glyquin XM is not available. Why? Will it be made available again soon?


Sharmani said,

January 27, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

Hi Susan,
Thanks for your enquiry. Glyquin XM has not been available since mid-December. All the stock available from our suppliers has an expiry date of May 2011, which is too short a lead time for us to offer it to our customers. We are checking with our suppliers every week, and as soon as it comes back, we’ll reinstate it on the website.

Michael said,

February 3, 2011 @ 8:33 am

What are your shipping methods?

Do you ship to the Philippines?

Do you provide courier shipment methods?

Hope to hear from you soon thank you!

Sharmani said,

February 3, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

Hello Michael,
We ship via Canada Post and USPS, never by courier, and do not usually ship to the Philippines. If you have an address in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan or Hong Kong from which you are able to forward mail at your own risk, we would be pleased to assist you.

Verdene chiles said,

February 6, 2011 @ 10:53 pm

Do I need a prescription to purchase the hydroquinone 4%? Is there one a little stronger than this percentage?

Sharmani said,

February 7, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

No, you do not need a prescription to purchase hydroquinone products through PharmacyMix. Although we do not carry formulations stronger than 4% Hydroquinone, the efficacy of a skin lightening product can be enhanced by the inclusion of a topical exfoliant such as glycolic acid. The glycolic acid content of our hydroquinone products varies. The strongest (10% glycolic) is Glyquin XM, which is currently unavailable. The next highest concentration is 5%, represented by Neostrata HQ Cream and Gel skin lighteners, and then 2%, as in Lustra and Lustra AF. Both glycolic acid and hydroquinone carry a risk and should be used with caution. Please read further about hydroquinone here and glycolic acid (and other AHAs) here.

fran said,

February 22, 2011 @ 10:36 pm

Hello, my question is about the prep H with bio-dyne Ointment. I know the cream contains sodium lauryl sulfate. Does the OINTMENT also contain sodium lauryl sulfate? I am highly allergic to SLS. I won’t be using it as a beauty item.
Thanks, fran

Sharmani said,

February 23, 2011 @ 11:45 am

Hi Fran, You’re right: the Preparation H with Bio-Dyne cream contains SLS, but the ointment does not. The ointment contains two active ingredients: yeast as a live cell derivative (Bio-Dyne: Skin Respiratory Factor) 1% and shark liver oil 3%. The nonmedicinal ingredients are: chlorhexidine gluconate, falba, flavor, lanolin, mineral oil and petrolatum.

Shaunna said,

February 27, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

Hi Sharmani:

I am currently travelling in Australia and Asia and unfortunately have not been able to find the Neostarta Wrinkle Repair product that I have been using. I like this product very much because it is not heavy or greasy on my skin and I can use it around my eyes as well (a great product when you’re travelling for an extended period of time and living out of a suitcase). I do not have the option to order this product on-line as I am not in any one place for long enough.
Can you suggest another product that would be similar and available in Australia and Asia?
Thank you

Sharmani said,

March 1, 2011 @ 11:43 am

Hello Shaunna, why don’t you contact Chemist Australia and ask them? Another online pharmacy down under is ePharmacy. One of these two might be able to reccommend a similar product. Best of luck.

Amy said,

March 2, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

Is the vitamin c stable? Why is it only 20% and not a 100%?

Sharmani said,

March 3, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

Hi Amy, studies have shown that concentrations over 20% Vitamin C may actually be harmful to skin. For that reason we don’t recommend or carry any products containing concentrations greater than 20%. However, the product must contain at least 5% Vitamin C to be effective. Hope this helps!

Amy said,

March 3, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

Yes that was helpful. I was watching the DRS show and they said make sure the vitaminc cream is stable is your stable?

Sharmani said,

March 4, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

Hi Amy, Vitamin C is inherently unstable: light and air will cause it to decompose very rapidly. Stable versions include l-ascorbic acid, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and a host of others. The serums that we carry (Active C, Redermic, Nesotrata Skin Brightener and Neostrata Vitamin C Concentrate) all contain the stable l-ascorbic acid. Best wishes, Sharmani

Claudia Schmidt said,

March 9, 2011 @ 10:03 am

Re: La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF60
after using that cream my skin felt like dry out, can I first apply a day cream or lotion and than the Anthelios?
Or is it possible to mix Anthelios with a little bit JoJoba Oil? If yes do I have the same protection?
Thanks for a respond

Sharmani said,

March 9, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

Hi Claudia, It’s better to apply the sunscreen first with chemical sunscreens like Anthelios. This gives the sun filters time to interact with skin’s top layer and become active. Wait 5 to 10 mins and apply moisturizer if needed. With physical blocking sunscreens (such as Cotz, ones that contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide), it doesn’t matter when you apply as they work by providing a barrier against sun’s rays. In this case, you could apply moisturizer first and then the sunscreen or vice versa. Mixing sunscreens with other ingredients not recommended as they dilute the sunscreen leaving them with less UV protection than labelled. Glad you asked! Sharmani

Gemma Powell said,

March 12, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

Hi, need some advice please. I live in the U.K and have been diagnosed with PMlE, I am going on holiday in June to Egypt and have read about products which contain mexoryl help PMLE suffers. Is this true? If so, what products?

Many Thanks

Jerry said,

March 13, 2011 @ 4:50 pm

Hi Sharmani;
I am 65 yrs of age, and have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis. I have constant aching of my one knee at night which keeps me awake. Will votaren gel help my situation.

kaushik said,

March 16, 2011 @ 12:24 am

my name is kaushik and i live in gujarat i m 19 years old.
i had acne since past three years(16,17,18),now that all acne is healed but my skin has gone uneven along with scars on face,additionally my face skin has turned little dark and needs to be treated.
i would like to ask you which cream should i go for that contains alpha hydroxy acid,vitamin e and hydroquinone all together in one.
please give a specific name(along with company name) of that cream ,easily available in indian medicals.

Rosa said,

March 16, 2011 @ 11:09 am

I have very photo sensitive skin as a result of using birth control and TCA peels in the past. I am interested in the Anthelios sunscreem line so I can protect my skin from hyperpigmentation and sun spots, as I am prone to them. I have somewhat oily skin and would like to know which sunscreen is best for me. I want total protection for my face as Eucerin spf 30 seems to weak for my delicate face as far as sun protection goes.
Thanks for the help!!!

Sharmani said,

March 16, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

Hi Rosa,
The Anthelios line of sunscreens will be more effective than the sunscreen you’ve been using because of its mexoryl technology. It blocks UVA and UVB rays across a very wide spectrum and is more photostable than any other chemical sunscreen on the market. At first glance, I’d recommend the Anthelios Lait 50+, because it has a light, velvety texture and doesn’t leave much of a film on the face. However, some people like the Fluide Extreme Visage 50+. (I find it a little filmier.) If you look at our Anthelios article on the website, you’ll find a chart of available Anthelios products together with the skin types and lifestyles they’re appropriate for. Let us know if we can help further. Sharmani

Sharmani said,

March 18, 2011 @ 11:43 am

Hi Jerry,
As per the package insert or labelling on the Voltaren Emulgel packaging, Voltaren Emulgel is formulated for relief of aches and pain associated with acute, localized muscle or joint injuries such as sprains, strains or sports injuries. The active ingredient, diclofenac, blocks the production of prostaglandins, which are involved in the development of pain and inflammation. I hope this helps you decide if this product is suitable for your needs.

Sharmani said,

March 18, 2011 @ 11:47 am

Hello Kaushik,

The product you are looking for is called Lustra, which is available with and without sunscreen. It contains glycolic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid), Vitamin E and hydroquinone 4%. Please click on this link to find out more.

Sharmani said,

March 18, 2011 @ 11:51 am

Hi Gemma, we also have heard that mexoryl sunscreens such as Anthelios and Ombrelle can be helpful for PMLE sufferers. Please see our Anthelios Sunscreens article for a discussion of the range of products available to help you decide. Best wishes, Sharmani

Dahlia Zgheib said,

March 20, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

can we applu Sustiane cream on eye contour?

Sharmani said,

March 22, 2011 @ 9:16 am

Hello Dahlia, Yes, you can apply Substiane to the eye contour area although it is not a product designed for the delicate eye area. For a product better suited to treating signs of aging around the eyes, we would reccommend La Roche Posay Active C Eyes. It is formulated to be safe near the eye itself and is suitable for very sensitive eyes, making it a better candidate. Thanks for your question!

Mia said,

March 24, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

Dear Sharmani,

I have heard a lot of good about the product Voltaren for arthritis pain in the joints.
Could you tell me what the side effects are (strokes, heart-attacks etc.?)
I am in a lot of pain and am taking Tylenol 3 right now, but that does not seem to work.
Could you please answer my question? I really appreciate it!

TLC said,

March 24, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

I just purchased a tube of Substiane UV. I now see that it is for mature skin (50′s) vs my skin (30′s). Can I still use it or will it be damaging/not good for me?

Sharmani said,

March 25, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

Hi Elizabeth. Substiane UV is designed to stimulate the production of factors that tend to deteriorate with aging. This will not be a problem for your younger skin. It may even exercise a little preventative medicine.

Sharmani said,

March 25, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

Hi Mia,
Many of our customers buy Voltaren for the purpose you describe. The side effects as listed on the product insert include: itching, reddening or irritation of the skin, which are usually mild, passing and harmless. More serious and less common side effects include allergic reaction (hives, rash covering large parts of the body, wheezing, shortness of breath, swelling of face or tongue), blistering of skin, increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight, and stomach pains. In all serious cases, please stop using the product and contact your doctor.
The insert cautions speaking to a doctor if you have a history of stomach ulcers or take stomach medications; or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, please speak to a doctor about using this product if you anre taking any other NSAIDs (eg. ibuprofen), blood thinners, high blood pressure meds, anti-diabetic agents, fluoroquinolone antibiotics or ulcer and acid control medications.
I hope this helps you! Sharmani

alex said,

April 4, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

i just bought labello sun FPS 30. and i wonder if there is some problem if i lick my lips..i cant stop…so iwant to know if there is some risks..maybe its toxic or sometingh like that (sorry for my poor english)

Sharmani said,

April 5, 2011 @ 11:09 am

Hi Alex — no, there shouldn’t be a problem with licking your lips. The product has been formulated to be safe to ingest in small amounts. In fact, if you lick your lips frequently, the lip balm will protect your lips from drying out. Best regards, Sharmani

AP said,

April 26, 2011 @ 10:59 am

Hi Sharmani. I posted a question on APR20 re voltaren emugel questioning if there were/are any negative side affects known and whether or not voltaren has been approved by Health Canada and have not received an answer yet. Could you please answer my questions and if there are any potential side affects what are the likely hood of them happening on a % basis
I would like to purchase the product but do require some further information



Sharmani said,

April 26, 2011 @ 11:28 am

Hello AP,
Voltaren Emulgel is made in Canada by Novartis (located in Mississauga) and approved by Health Canada. The side effects as listed on the product insert include: itching, reddening or irritation of the skin, which are usually mild, passing and harmless. More serious and less common side effects include allergic reaction (hives, rash covering large parts of the body, wheezing, shortness of breath, swelling of face or tongue), blistering of skin, increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight, and stomach pains. In all serious cases, please stop using the product and contact your doctor. We have had no complaints from our large customer base about side effects. The insert cautions speaking to a doctor if you have a history of stomach ulcers or take stomach medications; or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, please speak to a doctor about using this product if you are taking any other NSAIDs (eg. ibuprofen), blood thinners, high blood pressure meds, anti-diabetic agents, fluoroquinolone antibiotics or ulcer and acid control medications. As we do not have access to the statistics about risk associated with using this product, we would advise your contacting Novartis directly for more information. Best wishes.

michael cox said,

April 28, 2011 @ 10:01 am

Hi, which Anthelios daily sunscreen is right for me? You have so many. I am white male with fair skin, combo/oily, 39. I want one that is a moisturizer if you have one. I would like a very high spf that is invisible. thank you, m

Sharmani said,

April 28, 2011 @ 10:30 am

Hi Michael, You may be interested in visiting our Anthelios sunscreens article with its handy chart for choosing the right product for you. But my quick tips are: for oily skin, Anthelios XL Fluide Extreme Visage (Face) and Anthelios XL Fluide Extreme Corps (Body) are great products. Both are SPF 50+. Anthelios XL 60 Cream is good for face and body, and is a richer formulation, better as a moisturizer. Do please consider also La Roche Posay Hydraphase UV SPF 30 moisturizer for daily wear. If you would like any other assistance, please get in touch! Best regards, Sharmani

Daniela Roman said,

May 4, 2011 @ 11:44 am

I underwent rhinoplasty on Jan 11 of this year and was prescribed 3 decadron injections to help with the internal inflammation.. I suddenly started to notice that my face ballooned and now i’m stuck with a moon face. I’m devastated. i was told by other doctors that the cause of my puffy face was due to the decadron as it is a corticosteroid.. I was wondering if the preparation H will help lower down my puffy face as it is claimed to work for puffy eyes.. thank you..

Sharmani said,

May 5, 2011 @ 10:48 am

Hi Daniela, I’m sorry to hear about the struggle to recover from your surgery. We trust that the effects of the decadron are not permanent, and we hesitate to recommend the Preparation H with BioDyne as there are no studies to support the claim that it reduces puffy eyes. We would recommend, however, a product called Cicaplast by La Roche Posay, which is made specifically for post-surgery use. Please check with your doctor about using this product, as well as about the long-term prognosis for the swelling you are experiencing. We wish you well in your recovery!

Diana said,

May 17, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

Hi Sharma, what can you recommend for me? I am Afro-Caribbean and was using the Kligman’s formula with 2% hydroquinone. As I have sensitive skin, there was a slight irritation. I have dark pigmentation around and under my eye area, upper lip pigmentation and melasma on both sides of my face.


Kristina said,

May 19, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

What i love about this blog is that you use science and reason!
I wanted to ask if oils in skincare can be considered hydrating.
Like jojoba oil, etc. I really wanna know, because everyone claims they are hydrating, but i cant imagine how oils could hydrate the skin.
Thank you very much for your time!

maddison said,

May 19, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

Hello Sharmani,
How can I get my skin whiter? My skin is so dark and I try everything i do not know what to do please help me!! THANK YOU, from maddison

pgp said,

May 20, 2011 @ 6:41 am

I have dark skin around lips and on chin. Which cream do you suggest for that?

Sharmani said,

May 20, 2011 @ 10:21 am

Hi pgp, You asked about a cream for dark skin around your lips and chin. You may be interested in our article on hyperpigmentation of the skin. We carry a range of treatments for hyperpigmentation, including hydroquinone 4% (Lustra, Neostrata HQ, Ultraquin), kojic acid (La Roche Posay Mela D), and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (Green Cream, M2 Skin Refinish). Please click here to see the full range. Also, it is very important to protect your skin from exposure to UV rays to prevent further darkening of the skin. We recommend Anthelios sunscreens. Cheers, Sharmani

nick said,

May 24, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

wondering how to know if the Anthelios sun protection i am ordering contains both maxoryl SX and XL? i guess i am asking how to identify these ingredients via their chemical names in the listed ingredients so that i don’t purchase an american version which i assume only has xl not sx.

thanks so much, nick

Lyn said,

May 25, 2011 @ 9:11 am

I’ve been using Anthelios 40 but would prefer something smoother for under makeup every day. I have it all – rosacea, dry skin, brown areas, scars so I need the strongest possible but I don’t go in the water outside. We’re going to Florida soon so I’ll need to order quickly. Thanks for your help!

Sharmani said,

May 25, 2011 @ 10:40 am

Hi Nick: the chemical names can be confusing. Mexoryl XL is Drometrizole Trisiloxane, and Mexoryl SX is Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid. If you have both in your sunscreen, you are getting very broad-spectrum sun protection. As Mexoryl XL has not been approved by the FDA, sunscreens containing it are not legally available for sale within the States. Here’s the link to our page of sunscreens. Cheers, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

May 25, 2011 @ 11:02 am

Hello Lyn, You have done your research and you know how important it is to protect your skin from the sun — with all the conditions you mention, sun protection is important. If you are looking for an Anthelios sunscreen that is smooth under makeup, many of our customers like Anthelios XL Fluide Extreme Visage (Face) SPF 50+. It is very light and sinks into the skin well. I love the tinted version of this product and find it works really well with my darker skin. My personal favourite is Hydraphase UV SPF 30 by La Roche Posay — it contains Anthelios’ patented mexoryl technology and I use it year-round. If you like a rich moisturiser, I like the Anthelios XL Melt-in cream SPF 50+. If you are interested, please visit our pages on dry skin, hyperpigmentation, rosacea and scar treatments. Best wishes, Sharmani

GR said,

May 25, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

I would like to purchase Anthelios XL Fluide Extreme Visage (Face) SPF 50+. As I was researching it, I found that the la-roche posay website does not feature this product. I wonder why? Also could you write me the concentration of the active ingredients in this formula. Thanks a lot in advance.

nick said,

May 26, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

wondering what the most matte non-greasy oily sunscreens are, a chemical one and a mineral one please. i would like to try both but of the two you recommend please tell me which one is the least greasy.

thanks so much, nick


May 28, 2011 @ 5:37 am

My problem is ingrown hairs around my chin and due to plucking I have cause discoloration around my chin and uper lip. Hate it can you recomend the right thing to use to help the discoloration and the ingrown hairs
thank you

jim mazza said,

May 29, 2011 @ 7:51 am

I have vitiligo, and have had it for the last 40 years. It is generalized and covers my arms , legs, and head and neck. I have used sunscreens consistently over that period of time. I have used Anthelios xl 60 cream for the last few years and find it to be the best sunscreen to date. My question is… is there any other product or form of the product in the Anthelios line that you would suggest as being even better? Thanks for your help.

Sharmani said,

May 31, 2011 @ 11:00 am

Hello Jim, As you know, vitiligo is a sun-sensitive condition which results in the depigmentation of skin. It appears in white patches, and can be minimised with the use of a good sunscreen. Already you are using Anthelios XL Cream SPF 60, and you won’t find better protection elsewhere in the Anthelios line. It is the one sunscreen most often recommended by dermatologists. However, you might find a differently-textured product which you prefer to use. Please browse our Anthelios department if you would like to try another product which is equally effective while offering a different “feel” on face and body.

Mickey said,

June 6, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

Would you please explain the difference between oxybenzone and avobenzone.If oxybenzone is bad for the skin what about avobezone.? Thank you

Sharmani said,

June 7, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

For Mickey: Oxybenzone is a chemical UVA/B sun filter which has been associated with free radical damage due to its highly unstable nature. Products from Europe which contain this ingredient must display a warning on the packaging. Its cousin Avobenzone primarily filters UVA rays, and is also unstable — the difference is that Avobenzone can be effective stabilised with the inclusion of other ultraviolet blockers such as Tinosorb S and Octocrylene. Consider the Anthelios line of sunscreens which includes these stabilizers and which conforms to the highest standards in sunscreen safety. I don’t know of any ingredient which can effectively stabilize Oxybenzone. Hope this helps! Sharmani

Sharmani said,

June 7, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

For Mickey: Oxybenzone is a chemical UVA/B sun filter which has been associated with free radical damage due to its highly unstable nature. Products from Europe which contain this ingredient must display a warning on the packaging. Its cousin Avobenzone primarily filters UVA rays, and is also unstable — the difference is that Avobenzone can be effective stabilised with the inclusion of other ultraviolet blockers such as Tinosorb S and Octocrylene. Consider the Anthelios line of sunscreens which includes these stabilizers and which conforms to the highest standards in sunscreen safety. I don’t know of any ingredient which can effectively stabilize Oxybenzone. Hope this helps! Sharmani

Sharmani said,

June 9, 2011 @ 11:59 am

For Rosemarie, thanks for asking about discoloration and texture problems resulting from plucking. For both, I would advise you try M2 Skin Care Skin Refinish with 20% Malic and Mandelic Acids. These are alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs derived from almonds, apples and pears which help to exfoliate and nourish the skin, gradually fading discoloration and revealing the fresher layers of skin underneath. This should help to allieviate the ingrown hairs as well. Please read our article on AHAs for more information. Best of luck, Sharmani

Mario said,

June 13, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

Dear Sharmani,

Where do you guys carry the following product:
ANTHELIOS AE (gel-creme veloute), 30fps,50mle
Please let me know
Thank You


steve said,

June 22, 2011 @ 8:47 am

hi– i’m currently using Badger Sunscreen SPF 30
with Micronized Zinc Oxide 20.5%. if possible, i’d like you to compare this to the active ingredients of the Anthelios products that you sell. is there any reason to stop using zinc oxide 20.5% and start using the Octocrylene 10%, Titanium Dioxide 4.15%, Avobenzone 3.5%, Drometrizole Trisiloxane (Mexoryl XL) 3%, Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid (Mexoryl SX) 3%?? thanks

Martha said,

June 23, 2011 @ 8:58 am

I have used anthelios Xl 60 creme ever since it became
available. I like the thickness and it doubles as a
moisturizer for me. I just replaced it from your company,and asked specifically for the CREME. When it arrived two days ago, it was 60 creme melt-in. It has a thinner texture than the regular creme. I do not see a 60 melt-in advertised on your site, only a 50 melt-in. Why was I sent the 60 melt-in creme, instead of regular creme. Is the regular creme no longer available? I prefer the item I requested! Thanks for your reply.

Kayla said,

June 23, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

Hi. I was recommended to use 4% Hydroquinone for some hyperpigmentation and skin discolorations on my face. I have sensitive oily sometimes acne-prone skin. I was wondering how soon I would see results and which absorbs better the gel or the cream? Thank you! :)

Shelley said,

June 26, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

My daughter and I both have fair skin and burn easily and I recently purchased what I though would be good…a sunscreen that said spf uvb 110 with high uva and supposed to protect against 99% of burning rays and I got it because it was recommeded by the skin cancer foundation…well as it turns out…my daughter and still ended up with very bad sunburns, even after using as it directed….applied it and re applied it every time we got out of the water and it’s even supposed to be water and sweat proof….
I want to know what you recommend for us, as my daughter has a medical condtion and needs excellent coverage…thank you!

Danielle said,

June 29, 2011 @ 10:54 am

I am African and I have scars from acne. They are not the kind of scars that affect the texture of my skin, they are spots of dark pigment left after a pimple has come and go. I am currently using a 2% hydroquinone lotion on them. Is a 2% preparation effective? Also on my chin and around my nose are these TINY whitish bumps. If I squeeze them, sometimes, a white thick creamy substance comes out, then the bump disappears. They are only around my nose and my chin. The ones on my chin are highly visible if I \"stretch\" my skin, and by stretch I mean drop my jaw and pull my lower lip in. I once had microdermabration and the ones on my nose were gone for a little bit but came back a few weeks later. What are they?? And how can I rid my face of them?

Jan LeVesque said,

July 12, 2011 @ 10:16 am

I am trying to decide which retinol green creme to order. I’ve used retinol for years in products like ROK and Neutragena and it has never bothered me. What potency of green creme should I try first?
Also, I need a product that is fragrance free? So I’m looking for a retinol product that is high potency and fragrance free. Thanks.

Aruna said,

July 25, 2011 @ 11:11 am

Should Lustra be kept in the fridge? I find it begins to smell quite bad within a couple of weeks of opening the package.


Sharmani said,

July 27, 2011 @ 11:15 am

Yes, a 2% hydroquinone is effective against hyperpigmentation and scarring of the kind you describe. The 4% is however considered the gold standard and is available without prescription here in Canada. Read about hydroquinone products here. As for the white bumps around your nose and chin, these are whiteheads and are caused by blockages in the oil glands on your face. They are normal but distracting for you. Please don’t squeeze them as this will lead to inflammation and further scarring. It would help to use a good chemical exfoliant such as M2 Skin Care HP Skin Refinish. It is especially effective against imperfections on darker skin. Read about the active ingredients in the M2 line of products here. Hope this is helpful! Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

July 27, 2011 @ 11:25 am

Shelley, Thanks for asking — sorry to hear about your bad burn. I’d be interested to know the ingredient list for a product that promised SPF 110 and 99% protection. You may want to check out our sunscreen bible on the articles page of our website for all you need to know about how sunscreens work. Basically, the very best protection there is comes from ingredients which have been patented by L’Oreal Paris under the names Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL. The SX products are available in the States, but have to be reformulated to perform on par with the European product, which carries both SX and XL. Please get in touch with us so we can help you choose something appropriate. Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

July 27, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

Hi Mario, please click here to view our full line of Anthelios sunscreens. Kind regards, Sharmani

Earl said,

July 30, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

Do you still sell Epilyt Lotion Concentrate 4 fl.oz.?

Sharmani said,

August 3, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

Earl: Yes, we still carry Epilyt lotion. Contact us at if you have any further questions.

Sharmani said,

August 3, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

Hi Aruna, it might do some harm to refrigerate your Lustra. The package indicates that the product should be kept between 15 and 25 degrees centigrade. In Fahrenheit, that’s 59 to 77 degrees — a comfortable room temperature. The product does contain some preservatives which should prevent bacterial growth. If you’re concerned, please discontinue use and see a dermatologist.

Sharmani said,

August 3, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

For Jan: We highly recommend Green Cream. Most people, especially previous users of retinols, will be able to start with a Level 6 and progress to a Level 9. The ingredient list does not indicated any fragrance. Please click on this link to view the ingredients for Level 6.

farah said,

August 5, 2011 @ 7:12 am

Hi there! Im currently on my 5th month of pregnancy and battling with on and off breakouts and flaky ry sensitive skin due to the hormonal imbalance during pregnancy.The clarisonic and gentle cleanser helps to get rid of the flakiness, but Im confused on what cream to be used as my night cream/Currently I have LA Roche Posay active C and Cicaplast.Are both safe to be used during preganacy? I know vitamin C is fine but is cicaplast safe to be used at this time? Will it help to improve my condition?

Sharmani said,

August 5, 2011 @ 11:31 am

Farah, Thanks for your question. I’d suggest you contact your doctor if you’re concerned about any of the ingredients in Cicaplast during pregnancy. Not knowing the particulars of your health, I’m reluctant to give such specific advice over the internet. Click here to find the ingredients on the product page. Best wishes for a happy, healthy pregnancy, Sharmani

Ash said,

August 7, 2011 @ 9:31 am

Hi Sharmani!
I had a question regarding skin lightening. I am not looking to bleach my face or anything, but to fade out the tan. I am a light skinned indian, though for some reason my face tans faster/tans last longer than that of my arms and chest..I would really just like it all to be even and matching. I wanted to know what product you would recommend for this.

Sharmani said,

August 8, 2011 @ 10:46 am

For Ash: Before all else, you should be wearing a reliable broad-spectrum sunscreen such as Anthelios. All treatments which lighten skin and exfoliate outer layers cause hypersensitivity to UV rays, and without proper protection you could be allowing greater skin damage. As for the lightening itself, there are a couple of options which would suit you. You could go with hydroquinone 4%, which is the gold standard in skin lightening. However, I hesitate to recommend this to you as a long-term solution as there are no long term-studies confirming the safety of this active ingredient. It is a popular and effective ingredient, but it requires considerable caution. A lot of darker skinned people (including me) like the M2 line of products — which contain 20% malic and mandelic acids, a form of AHA, for gradually refinishing the skin and gently exfoliating hyperpigmented layers. Both are solutions which take time, so be patient. Best wishes, Sharmani

Ash said,

August 23, 2011 @ 6:45 am

Thanks Sharmani!
Just wanted to ask you a quick question before making a purchase. Which product from the hydroquinone line would you recommend? I am concerned if anything will react with my skin since i am also using a retinoid every night (Tazorac). Thanks!

Gerry said,

August 24, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

Thank you in advance for your help. For over 30 years I have used Lacticare to deal with ichthiosis. It worked wonderfully well. Stiefel then repackaged and called it Impruv deep moisturizing lotion. It did not seem to work as well, however. I just found out that they discontinued the product. I found Impruv on your web site. It does not, however, seem to be the same formula. I do not find the whole ingredient list. The cost is also almost three times the price at the retail drug store. Can you please explain this conundrum? Thank you, Gerry

Sharmani said,

August 25, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

For Ash: For a good hydroquinone product, I recommend either Lustra or Neostrata HQ, as both contain glycolic acid, an exfoliant which allows the active ingredient to penetrate into the skin. You may want to consider alternating the HQ product with the retinoid (using one tonight, switching to the other tomorrow, and repeating) to avoid undue irritation. However, some skin types can handle hydroquinone and retinol together. If you wish to try this, please test a small area first. If your skin tolerates the combination, it may be fine. Or, you could use the combination every other night, applying the hydroquinone alone on the other nights. It’s important not to stress your skin with too many harsh chemicals. Hope this helps! Sharmani

Sharmani said,

August 25, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

For Gerry, here is the ingredient list for Impruv cream as available in Canada: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Coconut Oil, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Shea Butter, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Squalane, Carbomer, Sodium Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Ceramide 3. It’s not unusual for product formulations to vary slightly from country to country for marketing or legal reasons. The price of $35.00 for a 150ml/5oz bottle is standard retail markup. You may also wish to consider La Roche Posay Iso Urea Body Milk or LacHydrin lotion, which are also effective against icthyosis. Hope this helps! Best, Sharmani

tang said,

August 26, 2011 @ 9:51 am

hi i would like to know if there are any products which i can use to whiten private area? thanks

Sharmani said,

August 26, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

For Tang: We are unable to advise you about using hydroquinone products in any way except as directed by the manufacturer. Please speak to your dermatologist. Best, Sharmani

Cristina said,

August 30, 2011 @ 1:18 pm


I have been using the LRP Hydraphase UV spf 30 for many years and I am loving it. It is also excellent under make-up but I have been noticing some mild freckles on my cheekbones area. I really do avoid the sun except for accidental exposure from driving and buildings to parking. I am using Retin A. I am aware that there is really not much difference with spf 30 and anything above but I am not sure if a suncreen/moisturizer formulation is good enough. I am thinking of maybe switching to a more heavy duty one like Anthelios 50+ or the Anthelios 60/45….. but my concern is – I have tried the Anthelios spf 60 before on my face but I ended up looking like a greasy frying pan oil slick not cosmetically elegant:), I am still using it for body though. I heard that the new melt-in formulation is less greasy but some reviews says otherwise. I need protection + cosmetically elegance so I’ll be wearing it all the time otherwise it will defeat the purpose. I have combination skin, So what is your recommendation stick to Hydraphase uv spf 30 which I love – it is good eough protection? or switch to Anthelios – which one? BTW I am not considering the fluid extreme amongst my choices. Hoping for your response.

Thanks much!!!! :)

Cristina said,

August 30, 2011 @ 8:05 pm


I’ve been using LRP Hydraphase UV spf 30 for many years and I love it! I just wanna know if you have any idea on it’s PPD rating?

Thanks much!

iris boswell said,

August 31, 2011 @ 7:10 am

Is there a substitute for the UltimaskinPotent C serum? It seems to be similar to the Obagi c-serum.


Buffy said,

August 31, 2011 @ 10:17 am

I am 73 with good but dry and sensitive skin. I am using an AHA product in the morning and a prescription Retin-A in the evening. I am very fair but have dark spots on my hands and some on my face. What skin lightening product would be best for me–one with just hydroquinone? Many products contain that plus an AHA and I believe those might be too much for my skin. Would the product be appropriate to use on my arms which have freckles from the sun.

Sharmani said,

August 31, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

For Buffy: if it’s hydroquinone you’re interested in, consider using either Lustra or Neostrata HQ. Both contain 4% hydroquinone with a small amount of glycolic acid — a chemical exfoliant which allows the hydroquinone to penetrate into the skin. If you would like a product without glycolic acid, have a look at the the Ultraquin line. These products are fine for face and body if used as directed. As you are also using Retin-A, you might find that it is best to alternate with the HQ product — one night use the retinol, the next the HQ, then repeat. And most important of all, both retinol and HQ make your skin ultrasensitive to UV rays so cover up by day with a good sunscreen. Best wishes, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

August 31, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

For Iris: Yes, we recommend Apothekari Vitamin C/E/Ferulic Acid Serum AOX, a pharmacist-formulated antioxidant with UV and free radical protection. It contains Vitamin C (L-ascorbic Acid) 15.0%, Vitamin E 1.0%, Ferulic Acid 0.5% (antioxidant), and Hyaluronic Acid (a naturallly occuring skin moisturizer/plumper). Click on the link to read more, or contact us at Regards, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

August 31, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

For Cristina, thanks for your question about Hydraphase UV. As this product is primarily a moisturizer, and a good one (I recommend it to all my friends), it won’t give you the broad spectrum protection that Anthelios sunscreens offer. The best protection comes from using a product which contains both Mexoryl XL and Mexoryl SX. The Hydraphase UV contains Mexoryl SX only — plus a little titanium dioxide, which does offer some protection. I use it during the winter months because where I live, we get very little sun eight months of the year. In the summer I switch to Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Melt In Cream. (I like the tinted version of this product because it works so well with my skin tone.) I don’t find it greasy at all, just rich and moisturizing. I also like the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Lait (Lotion): it has a very similar texture, just a little lighter. We have heard conflicting reviews about the new Anthelios XL SPF 60 formulation — some love it, others don’t. Be in touch if we can help further. Sharmani

Olivia said,

September 1, 2011 @ 10:48 am

I live in the U.S. and love the Glyquin 4% cream. I have used this cream over the years with satisfactory results, but lately I am unable to find this cream on any of the Canadian sites. They all show “OUT OF STOCK” and this message has been posted for quite some time. Do your site sell this cream and if so, is it sold the American patrons without a prescription?

Sharmani said,

September 1, 2011 @ 11:39 am

For Olivia, Thanks for asking about Glyquin cream. We have many customers asking for this product — not only does it contain Hydroquinone 4%, the gold standard in skin lightening, it has a higher concentration of glycolic acid (10%) than most other HQ products, allowing the active ingredient to better penetrate the outer layers of the skin. This makes it a very effective product. Currently all the Canadian suppliers for this product are listing it as a Manufacturer Short, which means the manufacturer of Glyquin XM is unable to provide it to the Canadian market at this time. We keep a list of customers who would like to be notified when it becomes available again, and I’d be happy to see you are added to our list if you wish. Meanwhile, you may want to investigate some of our other Hydroquinone creams. Let us know if we can help you furhter. Best wishes, Sharmani

Christine Larkins said,

September 2, 2011 @ 11:31 am

I have been a Tri-Luma cream user for quite awhile now, however, it is not on the market right now. I was wondering if I can use Lustra and Retin A together for the same effect?

Sharmani said,

September 2, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

For Christine, it’s likely using Lustra and Retin-A will produce similar results as Tri-Luma. The active ingredients in Tri-Luma are Hydroquinone 4% (as in Lustra) and tretinoin .5% (as in Retin-A). Tri-Luma also contains a low-potency anti-inflammatory corticosteroid called fluocinolone acetonide. If you have already been using Tri-Luma with no side effects, then it should be fine to use Lustra and a retinol product (we recommend high-potency, non-prescription Green Cream), either together or on alternating nights. It’s always good to test a small area first, however, to be sure — and don’t forget the sunscreen. Both retinol and hydroquinone increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV rays. Regards, Sharmani

Maris said,

September 8, 2011 @ 9:53 am


I have fair combination skin. I am using the LRP fluid extreme spf 50+ it is not greasy at all and is perfect under make-up but it leaves a bit of a white cast even on my fair skin and feels a bit tight. I am considering switching to the anthelios creme spf 50+ or the anthelios lait spf 50+ but I am not sure which is better for me. Which of the two is less greasy on the face and better under make-up?It it helps, I love the feel and look of LRP Hydraphase spf 30…which of the 2 is closer to hydraphase feel and look/effect on the face? When was the Anthelios lait spf 50+ reformulated? Because I am not sure if the Anthelios lait spf 50+ I bought in 2009 is the new version already, I bought a few tubes, the one I have is a bit greasy for face use. And lastly is it ok to mix Anthelios fluid extreme spf 50+ with hydraphase spf 30 on the face? Thanks much!!!


Sharmani said,

September 8, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

For Maris: You’re looking for a sunscreen which comes as close as possible to the sensation of La Roche Posay Hydraphase UV. It’s hard to find a sunscreen which feels the same because the main goal of the sunscreen is UV protection, while the Hydraphase aims to moisturise skin first and foremost. Speaking as someone who has used all the products you name, I can tell you that the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Lait (reformulated since your 2009 purchase) is probably the closest in sensation to the Hydraphase UV. The Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Melt In Cream is definitely heavier, although I personally love it; and if you are finding the Lait greasy, you may prefer using the 50+ Melt In like I do. Mixing the Anthelios product with the Hydraphase UV should be fine, although it will dilute the sunscreen, probably resulting in a product of about SPF 40. Hope this helps! Best wishes, Sharmani

Catherine said,

September 29, 2011 @ 11:38 am

I’m using Retin-A and was advised by my dermatologist not to use any other products which contain salicylic acid while using Retin-A. Also, Retin-A makes the skin sun-sensitive, so I need a sunscreen which is compatible with it.

The other issue is the “whitening effect”, a white residue, which some sunscreens have and which isn’t really due to using too much sunscreen.

Any suggestions?


Sharmani said,

September 29, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

For Catherine: You have been advised correctly: sunscreen is very important while you’re using a retinoid. Otherwise your skin can be damaged by UV rays. Also, the salicylic acid tends to over-irritate the skin. It’s important not the stress your skin out too much when you’re using a product as potent as Retin-A.
The whitening effect of some sunscreens is due to their mineral content: either Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide, both highly effective physical sunblocks. The whitening is a bigger problem for those with darker skin. Lately improvements have been made to the whitening effect of physical sunblocks through micronizing the particles so that they do not appear so white on the skin. But chemical sunblocks are also a good solution. Anthelios Sunscreens, while they do contain some Titanium Dioxide, tend to be well accepted even into very dark skin. If you are so inclined, this can be further helped by using a tinted version. I have a medium brown (Indian) complexion and the tint works for me. My favorites are the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Melt-in Cream (which comes in a tinted version) and the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Lait. I hope you find something you like. Best wishes, Sharmani

Inderpreet said,

October 13, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

hi, i went to the doctor today and they said i have chicken pox but i already had them we i was little kid. can you get them twice? or is the 2nd time you get them called shingles? if so, what medication should i use? my doctor gave me a calamine lotion but i heard it has a lot of side effects and i also got fucidin cream. which one is better? and how long would it take to heal, will it ever come again? is there any food i can eat from preventing the shingles/chicken pox from coming again? i have the blisters on my shoulder, a bit on my back and on one side of my stomach

Sharmani said,

October 14, 2011 @ 11:53 am

For Inderpreet, this is definitely an instance in which you need to follow the advice of your doctor. Chicken pox/shingles is much more than a skin issue and can have long term effects on your health if not treated properly. Please see a doctor and follow his/her advice. Best wishes for your good health, Sharmani

Ruth in New Jersey said,

October 19, 2011 @ 5:56 am

Do you recommend anything for a dry scalp. It is the top of my head part that itches like crazy and has a white scaly look if one looks closely. I only wash my hair once, maximum twice a week. The night before I wash my hair I put on Kronos Phyx [Rp(2)] Intensive Hair Repair Masque. My hair looks great but my scalp is still dry. This product did not make the scale worse or better. Today you sent out an e-mail for dry skin creams like Epilyt, Lac-Hydrin, etc. Do you think any of these products might help. By the way my scalp started itching ever since I got my forehead lift about 6 years ago. Thank you in advance for any help you may offer. I’ve been a customer of yours for many years and my favorite product is the Anthelios sunscreen which is marvelous. I use it almost daily.

Umesh Kanade said,

October 23, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

My son loves playing football and is currently being coached. Our problem is his dark coloration due to playing in the sun. We will appreciate if you please recommend a sunscreen which will prevent the dark coloration of his face & body and also will not affect his skin.

Sharmani said,

October 25, 2011 @ 11:37 am

Hello Ruth in New Jersey, we are unable to diagnosis conditions remotely. However, it sounds like you could have a fungal infection, in which case Nizoral shampoo would do the trick. Please see your doctor for a definitive diagnosis. Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

October 25, 2011 @ 11:42 am

For Umesh: As you probably know, skin doesn’t need to burn to be UV damaged. Even a tan indicates UV damage. Please have a look at our Anthelios sunscreens. You will find one specifically for kids (DermoKids SPF 45) as well as a highly water resistant gel (Anthelios W Gel) which is good for outdoor exercise. Best wishes, Sharmani

fara said,

October 26, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

hi, tis fara..
i hav pimples problem, and due to over exposure of skin my skin tone hav cum down than my prior and i also dark circle problem, my friends prefered me to either use aha or mela face wash, i am in confuse to use which face wash to get rid of all of my skin probs and to get fairer and can u plz tel me the difference, merits & demerits of these face wash and wich will suits for me with all these problem?

Sharmani said,

October 27, 2011 @ 11:38 am

For Fara, we would recommend M2 Skin Refinish — which also comes in a moisturizer and exfoliating cleanser. This resurfacing product uses plant-based AHAs to clear eruptions in the skin, as well as to lighten scarring and hyperpigmentation. Please read more about it in this article. Regards, Sharmani

Dipika said,

October 31, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

Hi Sharmani,
I am an Indian and have a less-oily skin which means acne prone, high on oil on t-zone but on cheeks, I have normal skin. Whenever I had acne, i used retinol based medicinal creams (as advised by my doctor), it has dried and flaky. Now my acne have cleared, however, skin doesnt look smooth. If you use a magnifying lens to see my skin texture, you will see slight redness but not very obvious with naked eye. I read somewhere that La Roche Posay Cicaplast works wonders but for such kind of oily skin, is it useful and effective? Or is there something else which I should try to use to even out my skintone? Please suggest.

Sharmani said,

November 2, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

For Dipika, La Roche Posay Cicaplast is designed for use after surgery or dermatology procedures to help heal scar tissue. There’s no reason not to try it to help heal acne scars. Our customers also find that the M2 Skin Refinish with exfoliant cleanser and moisturizer are also effective in fading scars and restoring even skin tone, even in treating acne. Clients with sensitive skin and with darker skin report the best results. Retinol is also a good ingredient for evening out skin tone, available without prescription in Green Cream. Best wishes, Sharmani

Marie said,

November 6, 2011 @ 10:05 am


I would like to start by thanking for the great support and great tips offered at this website.

I am 30 years old with normal skin.
I have started to use Dermalogica products which works very well on my skin.

However I am considering to start using Retinol, Green Cream as a night cream.

My concern is however that it is mentioned that Retinol makes the skin more sensitive to sun and that the consumer should avoid the sun.

It sound like Retinol decrease the skins defence against sun rays.

This worries my because I live in a country were the sun is very strong. I do not want to increase the risk of getting any skin related diseases.

Is it enough to use a SPF 15 cream after using Green cream, Retinol?

Also have you heard about Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Face Cream?

If so how does it compare to Green Cream?

Thank you for all the help


Sharmani said,

November 9, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

For Marie, We’re glad you are finding our website helpful. Yes, retinol and all AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) make the skin very sensitive to UV damage. We recommend using sunscreen of at least SPF 30 year-round. This is true whether or you are using a retinol product. We recommend Anthelios Sunscreens as they are proven highly effective against the broadest range of UV rays.
As for the Neutrogena product you ask about, it is difficult to compare potency as we don’t know the concentrations for the ingredients listed. We can say that the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Face Cream looks to be more preservative-laden than is Green Cream. Also, it may be well tolerated by more sensitive skin. Please visit our Green Cream page for more information. Best wishes, Sharmani

Thadavi said,

November 24, 2011 @ 3:07 am

I am browned skined and have hyperpigmentation. I have black spots on the skin.
Can you recommend a product to help with the uneven skin tone.

Can you help please.
Thank you.

Sara said,

December 4, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

Can I wear a chemical sunscreen (Mexorly SX eg.) over a moisturizer. Is it effective that way?

Sharmani said,

December 5, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

Hi Sara, Chemical sunscreens (like Anthelios and Ombrelle) are not as effective when applied over a moisturizer. This is because the active ingredients need to be in direct contact with your skin in order to do their work, i.e., to convert damaging UV rays into a form more benign and useful to your body. The best option is to choose a formulation which is also moisturizing. If you don’t get a lot of direct sun in the winter, La Roche Posay Hydraphase UV SPF 30 is a good winter moisturizer which contains Mexoryl SX and is good for protecting you primarily from UVA (aging) rays. If sun is a year-round reality, then choose a rich moisturizing formulation like Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Melt In Cream/Creme Fondant. Or, if you’re really committed to your moisturizer, continue to wear it next to your skin and top it off with a good physical sunblock. Safe sun care to you! Sharmani

zabak said,

December 14, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

Dear Sharmani, I developed vitiligo about 6 years ago and most of my body and face turned white except some patches on my face and spots on my hands. I got some ipl laser treatments to lighten the dark spots. After the treatments I have been using Neova Ti Silk Sheer SPF 45 which contains Octinoxat 6.5% and Titanium Dioxide 3.5%. This sunblock is now discontinued. I will appreciate it if you can you please advise me or recommend a good sunblock for my sensitive skin. Many thanks and god bless you.

Ronald Froehlich said,

December 18, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

You offer Voltaren Emulgel in a 150g tube. Are larger packs also available, say 250g or even 500g, which can be special ordered?

Sharmani said,

December 19, 2011 @ 11:19 am

For Ronald: In Canada, Voltaren Emulgel is available in tubes of 50g, 100g and 150g. There is also a tube with an easy open cap in the 150g size. We sell the largest size we can acquire as we find it is most economical. Best regards, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

December 19, 2011 @ 11:30 am

For Zabak: Thanks for asking about a sunblock to prevent a return of vitiligo symptoms. If your skin is very sensitive you may find that a physical sunblock containing zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide works best. I recommend Cliniderm SPF 45 Gentle Lotion Chemical Free as well as Keys Solar Rx. Both contain micronized physical sunblocks which do not whiten skin overmuch. Alternately, La Roche Posay makes a line of chemical sun filters under the brand name Anthelios which are excellent for sensitive skin. Try their Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Fluid Extreme Body or the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Lait/Lotion. Best wishes, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

December 21, 2011 @ 10:53 am

Thadavi, If you have hyperpigmentation, we can help. You may wish to try hydroquinone 4% (the gold standard in skin lightening) or one of the botanical alternatives. Please see our article on hyperpigmentation for more information. You can also explore Lomelin Skin Brightening Cream, Lustra, Mela D, and M2 Skin Refinish. Best wishes, Sharmani

Linda Rone said,

December 21, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

I have very dry skin which is very light,I’m of Swedish decent. I spend 10 weeks in Mexico every year and need some type of sun protection and moisturizer for my face and lips. I recently noticed a thick uneven spot on my upper lip. My dermatologist saw it and prescribed a creme called fluorouracil 5%. He told me not to use it until I get back from Mexico because it causes a rash and I need to use it for 2 weeks. Now my husband insists that I get a second opinion because this may be pre cancerous. I would like your opinion on what type of sunscreen you recommend and will your lipbalm protect my lips?

Sonu said,

December 21, 2011 @ 10:51 pm


Which shapmoo is best for dandruff? And how frequently we can use?

caren said,

December 22, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

Hello Sharmani,
I want to purchase a hydroquinon cream to fade some dark spots I have from acne scars. I have combination skin that breaks out easily. Which hydroquinon cream do you recommend? Should i use 4% or 2%? I really want them to fade quickly =) thank you for your help and guidence in advance. Have a great day.

Sharmani said,

December 22, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

For Caren, Hydroquinone 4% will work faster than 2%, and if you want the fastest results, get a product with glycolic acid or another AHA in it, such as Lustra or Neostrata. The AHAs work to exfoliate the skin and allow the hydroquinone to penetrate the skin better. If your skin is too sensitive for hydroquinone, you could try a product like M2 Skin Refinish. Acne scars also respond well to Green Cream Level 6, a high potency retinol cream. Best wishes, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

December 22, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

Hello Linda, Many people use sunscreen but neglect their lips. Worse, they may use lip glosses which increase the UV damage to this tender tissue. Dermatologists recommend Anthelios sunscreens. One of our favorites is the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Lait, which has a lovely texture. We carry the European formulation (containing both Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL), including a highly effective lip balm which we recommend to everyone. You might also wish to explore a high SPF lip gloss by Colorescience. Do follow medical advice with respect to your prescription. If you have any other questions, do call us. Best wishes, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

December 22, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

Hello Sonu, there are many highly effective dandruff treatments. Look for active ingredients such as coal tar, zinc pyrithione or ketocanozole. We recommend Dan Gard and Nizoral. Instructions vary depending on ingredients, but you can use 1-3 times weekly for maximum benefit. (More frequently for treatment, less frequently for prevention.) Best wishes, Sharmani

Karen said,

December 27, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

I have recently developed perioral dermatitis. I have been using the La Roche-Posay daily sunscreen/moisturizer. I can’t find a total list of ingredients anywhere. Does it have any SLS in it? Are there any other ingredients I should avoid for perioral dermatitis? Thanks!

Sharmani said,

December 30, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

For Karen, you may find the full list of ingredients for La Roche Posay Hydraphase UV SPF 30 on our website. For further information about using this or any other product with perioral dermatitis, please consult your doctor or dermatologist. Best wishes, Sharmani

Laura Stade said,

December 31, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

Hi, my question is in regards to the texture of the Green Creme. I am presently using my second bottle of Level 6. I like the creme, and it took me a long time to find it.
My first bottle of creme was like a gel. It came out of the bottle in a nice pea-size amount. My second bottle, however, from the moment I opened it, was all runny! Entirely different texture and more difficult to use and apply (also makes for more waste as it runs down my fingers). Is the creme still effective? Or, is it a bad batch? Why do you think it is runny, I’m sure this isn’t right. Did I waste my money? Should I exchange it? Or is it ok?

Thanks, Laura.

Elijah Rachael said,

January 2, 2012 @ 11:05 am

Please I’m having a challenge with the creams I use. I’m really feedup now because I’ve not found the right cream to use.
I’m based in Nigeria & light in complextion.
I’m 22yrs old & I’m begining to have sun burnt on my face. I’ve tried several product I’m really tired now.
please what do I use to mentain my light complextion without using one cream for my body, and another for the face.

Sharmani said,

January 4, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

For Elijah Rachael, sounds like you are looking for a product to protect your skin from sun damage. We recommend Anthelios sunscreens. Anthelios XL SPF 60 Cream is ideal for both face and body. We also like Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Lait (nice texture). You can boost the power of your sunscreen with an antioxidant serum from Apothekari — C&E with Ferulic acid for normal/dry complexions, and Phloretin + C for oily/combination skin. We love them and recommend them to all our friends. Although we don’t ship to Nigeria, we may be able to arrange an intermediary if you have a friend in Europe or the US who can help. Let us know if we can help you further. Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

January 4, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

For Laura, We also like the Green Cream. It’s an excellent product. We’ve rarely had an issue with texture or formula, although the manufacturers are knows to tweak the formulation occasionally. This should not greatly affect the consistency of the product. If shaking the bottle to mix the contents doesn’t help, you may have a bad batch. Contact the company which supplied the product to you to discuss an exchange. Best wishes, Sharmani

Marnie said,

January 5, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

Hello, i hope you can you be honest and truthful with women like me that are looking for answers. Is there really a product out there that actually works with getting rid of wrinkles around your eyes or is Botox the best way to go? Thank you, Marnie

Sharmani said,

January 6, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

For Marnie, I only recommend to you the products I recommend to my friends. I’m all about products with some decent scientific evidence to back up manufacturer’s claims. That said, there is no miracle wrinkle cream. Perhaps Botox may be the way to go for some people — not for me, but maybe for others. I prefer topical treatments containing ingredients that have been proven effective. For wrinkles around the eyes, and indeed for good skin overall, there are three ways to go: 1. Sunscreen. I can’t say this enough. Protect your skin from UV damage year-round with a high-quality sunscreen, whether the sun’s out or not. Remember, all sunscreens are not created equal. 2. Collagen boosters: choose AHAs which boost the collagen protein in the skin: for example, LYCD as in Canadian Preparation H, retinol as in Green Cream, or stable L-ascorbic acid as in Apothekari Antioxidant C&E Serum. 3. Live a healthy lifestyle. Quit smoking, eat your greens, get plenty of sleep, and manage your stress. You can’t go wrong with these three points. Best wishes, Sharmani

pel said,

January 12, 2012 @ 4:25 am

hey i just wanted to ask if the la roche posay anthelios xl 50+ melt in cream is suitable for black skin

Sharmani said,

January 12, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

For Pel: La Roche Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Melt In Cream is an outstanding product which I’ve used myself for a long time. (I have medium brown, South Asian skin.) However, I was relieved when La Roche Posay came out with a tinted version, because the regular cream is a little whitening. They also make a tinted version of the Fluide Extreme. You might want to give one of them a try. Best wishes, Sharmani

Bb said,

January 14, 2012 @ 7:42 am

Dear Sharami,

I have severe Melasma on my cheeks. It has developed couple years after the birth of my daughter. I have stop using birth control pills since 2005. I have tried numerous products and have seen any results except for these one that I am using currently for the past year. This is a prescription which is used at night it consist of Hydroquinone 4% in (AA) Topicort 0.25% CR & Retisol Forte 0.1% CR (AA) compounded and Glyquin XM in the day also with sunscreen SPF 60. I’ve noticed the spots have become a bit lighter and my face brighter but I guess it will be a long process before I could see significant differences. I would like to try another day cream and was wondering what would you recommend? Also can I use Vitamin C along with these products? Thank you

Sharmani said,

January 16, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

For BB: Thanks for asking about treating your melasma. It sounds like you have already done some good research. You have the right products, and I think the only issue might be how you are using them. Skin lighteners make you more susceptible to UV damage, which is why a good, photostable sunscreen such as La Roche Posay Anthelios XL SPF 60 is very important. However, you may be limiting progress in lightening your dark patches by using the Glyquin XM and sunscreen together. Anthelios is a chemical sun filter, which means the active ingredients need to be in direct contact with your skin in order to protect you properly. For this reason, you should never wear another product under Anthelios, with the exception of a light serum. Read more here about layering products. Also, yes, Vitamin C will help in lightening melasma as well as boosting the protective power of your sunscreen. I recommend apothekari Antioxidant Serum with C, E and Ferulic Acid. Let us know if you need anything else! Sharmani

Ify said,

January 26, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

Hi Sharmni,
I am a 21 yr old, based in the UK. I sweat ALL the time, it’s really embarassing and for that reason I can’t wear bright coloured tops/shirts cause my underarm gets wet in mins! I have tried Sure products and a couple of other deodorants, antiperspirants – rolls on and sprays but nothing has helped. It really bothering me and wondering if there is something you can recommend, something i can get in the UK. Thanks. Ify

Sharmani said,

January 27, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

Hello Ify — you may have a condition known as hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating. It would be best to see a physician as all the available treatments are intended to be used under a doctor’s instruction. You may like to have a look at Hydrosal and Drysol, both effective treatments for hyperhidrosis available here in Canada. Your doctor will be able to advise if there is an equivalent product available in the UK. Best wishes, Sharmani

Ify said,

January 28, 2012 @ 3:16 am

thank you Sharmani.I will look into that and what is the difference between Drysol and Driclor ?

Anand said,

February 5, 2012 @ 8:26 am


I have brown patches on the top portion of my foot (both left and right). They are scattered across all places.

My doctor prescribed DIPSALIC (Cobestol + Salicylic Acid) cream but the recovery process is slow. Does Salicylic Acid cure hyper pigemtation.

Can I apply Kojic Acid creams? I am in India.

Will you be able to tell me whether Kojic Acid will be suitable for my problem if I email the pictures of my foot?

Please include your email in your reply if it is possible to tell me.


Sharmani said,

February 6, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

Hello Anand, the salicylic acid in the product prescribed by your doctor is a chemical exfoliant. This means that it increases the rate at which your skin renews itself, allowing the fresher, newer skin underneath to come to the surface. It can be quite drying, and is also sometimes used to assist in delivering another ingredient more deeply into the skin. Please note that treating hyperpigmentation takes time; the longer you’ve had the patches on your skin, the longer it may take to treat them. You should certainly be protecting your feet from sun exposure whenever possible. Kojic Acid is a botanical skin lightener which is a safe for individuals who are unable to tolerate hydroquinone 4%. Other botanical skin lighteners include malic acid and/or mandelic acid. Best wishes, Sharmani

saika said,

February 7, 2012 @ 6:40 am

Hi there

Just a quick question in relation to topical isotretinoin. I have been using this treatment for my acne for roughly 6 months now. I can see an improvement in the acne however it seems to be causing discolouration on my skin. I am developing patches of brown skin on my face and these patches feel sensitive when I am outdoors. please note that I use a broad spectrum spf 30 everyday. Hope that you can shed some light on these symptoms and advise me accordingly.

Sharmani said,

February 9, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

For Saika, Tretinoin is the active form of Vitamin A and a common treatment for acne as well as an anti aging treatment. You are doing right in using a broad spectrum sunscreen as this ingredient does make your skin very photosensitive. Please be sure that it is also sufficiently photostable to protect your skin. Please see our article on what makes a good sunscreen. Please direct any further questions to your physician or dermatologist. Best wishes, Sharmani

Sam said,

February 13, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

Dear Sharmani,

I realised Redoxon Vitamin C+Zinc works well for my sinus. Lately, I noticed a layer of wax (look like wax) floating after I mixed a tablet in a cup of water. Initially, I thought my cup was oily so I washed my cup again and rinsed with it hot water. The layer of wax still appeared after I put a new tablets. Is that the case?

Caren said,

February 14, 2012 @ 9:08 am

Sharmani i have a quick inquiry. I am currently on topical and oral medication for acne. Its mild acne, and its gotten a lot better, but i have some acne scars that I would love to get rid of. Can I use hydroquinon while on topical medication? What do you recommend I do for the acne scarring to help it dissapear faster. ( they make me crazy and so self concious) Thank you in advance for all your help.


Sharmani said,

February 15, 2012 @ 11:41 am

For Caren – As we aren’t sure what you’re using to treat your acne, it’s best to check with your doctor about what you can and can’t use with your medications. Both Green Cream and M2 Skin Refinish are good products for refinishing skin and decreasing the appearance of scarring. However, you may be at increased risk for skin irritation. Yes, hydroquinone can be useful for scarring and so can Dermatix, but each works differently, so you may want to read more by clicking on the links provided. Again, check in with your physician as you don’t want to irritate skin by using too many harsh ingredients, thus creating the potential for further scarring. Best wishes, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

February 15, 2012 @ 11:46 am

For Sam, Thank you for asking about Redoxon C + Zinc. As we don’t carry this particular product we’re unable to comment. To speculate: it could be that one of the fillers in the tablet is oil soluble rather than water soluble. That would account for the oily residue. Do please check with your doctor if you are concerned. Best, Sharmani

Sarah said,

February 16, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

Hello – I am overwhelmed by the information regarding sunscreen and sunblock. I have severe melasma due to pregnancy that hasn’t gone away. I’ve had laser treatments which lightened but not much. I was always an active person and loved being outside. Since having kids it’s really hard for me to enjoy the outdoors. True, I can wear a large hat but who can do that and ride a bike or play softball? I need to know what would be the BEST sunblock available for me? I will apply and re-apply and wear a hat at all times but I would like to be able to get back outdoors without being terrified of the sun. thanks!!

Sharmani said,

February 17, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

For Sarah, thanks for asking about sunscreen to guard against melasma. Yes, there is a bewildering array of choice. I would definitely recommend Anthelios sunscreens with Mexoryl to give you the best protection possible. Many dermatologists recommend Anthelios XL SPF 60 Cream for face and body, and it’s a very good all-round product. You also might wish to try out one of the other formulations specifically for the face, such as the Fluid Extreme (for oily skin) or the Melt-in Cream (for dry skin). I would also recommend using apothekari Antioxidant Serum with C, E and Ferulic Acid to boost the power of your sunscreen and help to lighten dark spots. For more information on treating melasma, click here. You’re doing the best you can to prevent further sun damage, so relax and enjoy. Best wishes, Sharmani

ranjini said,

February 20, 2012 @ 2:49 am


I have sun allergy problem and whenever i got out in the sun without applying sunscreen lotion , i get red patches on my face which goes after applying sun allergy cream.

So while going out in the sun can i use Sun ban forte spf-60 as my skin is very sensitive .

Or can you suggest me some better cream?

Sharmani said,

February 20, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

For Ranjini, I don’t know the Sun Ban Forte line of sunscreens, but having had a quick look at the ingredient list, I think you could do better for your sensitive skin. The active ingredients are octyl methoxycinnamate, titanium dioxide, and oxybenzone. Octyl methoxycinnamate has been associated with possible toxicity as well as hormonal fluctuations in lab animals. Titanium dioxide is ideal for sensitive skin, although you may find it a little whitening if your skin is darker. Have a look at my article on Anthelios sunscreens, which are indicated for sun allergies. You might also like the all-natural Solar Rx SPF 30. Best wishes, Sharmani

Vangie said,

February 23, 2012 @ 7:54 am

Hi Sharmani,

I would like to ask the correct the dosage that should be taken for an adult person that has pinworms/roundworms. I just recently bought Combantrin 125mg and when I seach it in the internet, it says and I quote:

“Directions: A single dose of 1 tablet (125 mg) per 25 lbs (11 kg ) of body weight. May be taken with or without food, or with water, milk or fruit juice. CAUTION: Do not exceed recommended dosage. On rare occasions a second dose has been found necessary.”

If a person weight’s 110 lbs does it means 4 tablets should be taken at the same time? And when is the best time to take it?

Hoping for your reply. Thanks!

star said,

February 23, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

Hi Sharmani,

Do you know any products that contain a high amount of Niacin or Niacinimide? I’d like to use this for hyperpigmentation, anti aging and acne prevention.

Warm Regards,

Sharmani said,

February 24, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

For Star: Niacinamide or Vitamin B3 is an effective ingredient against acne as in Effaclar Duo or Neostrata Clarifying Lotion. It works to plump the lips in Neostrata Anti Wrinkle Lip Enhancer, and is also a key ingredient in the antirosacea product Rosaliac by La Roche Posay. The OlayX Professional line also contains niacinamide to help with increasing skin hydration and skin cell renewal. Hope you find something you like! Sharmani

Sharmani said,

February 27, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

For Vangie, Yes, you should take 4 tablets all at once, given your body weight. This is a single dose treatment. Please read carefully the information which comes with the box. Best wishes, Sharmani

Radha Pillay said,

March 3, 2012 @ 12:38 am

Hi Sharmani
I have hyperpigmentation on my cheek and melasma on my forehead and coming down my cheeks. I have been to a dermatologist who treated it and cleared up for a while. After this I have tried Meladerm cream which did nothing for me. I have searched the internet and have come across Lustra AF (contains 4% hydroquinone)and want to try this product – does it need a prescription – I do not want to go back to dermatologist to ask for prescription. Can u pls help me – I am desperate.
Thanks and kind regards – Ra

BB said,

March 3, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

Hi Sharmani,

As mentioned before i have melasma on my cheeks, I was told that laser treatment will help. I am a bit skeptical about laser treatment. I have been recently prescribe a new cream that consist of Hydroquione 4%, equal parts of Hydroval 0.2%cream and Tazorac 0.05% cream. It’s for a 2 month trial with Ferulic Acid Serum C E to use first and finish off with sunscreen. If this does not work, then laser treatment will be my next option.

Sharmani said,

March 5, 2012 @ 11:38 am

For Ra: Thanks for asking about hydroquinone 4% as in Lustra AF. We are able to sell it without prescription here in Canada, and we ship internationally. Please check our website to see if we are able to ship to your country. I invite you to read more about hyperpigmentation, melasma and hydroquinone 4% by clicking on the links provided here. Hope this helps, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

March 5, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

For BB: Yes, although laser treatment might be helpful, I also would first recommend a course of treatment with a skin cream similar to the one you’ve been prescribed. Hydroquinone 4% is the gold standard in skin lightening, Hydroval is a steroid which will address irritation, and Tazorac is a retinoid (vitamin A) which will increase cell turnover and help to refinish the skin and allow the hydroquinone to penetrate into the skin where it can do its work. The serum will be good for evening out your skin tone and boosting the power of your sunscreen, which is essential to prevent further damage. You will need to give the treatment at least six weeks, more if the pigmentation has been an issue for a long time. Best of luck, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

March 5, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

For BB, You have been informed correctly. I also would have recommended a treatment similar to the one prescribed to you. The hydroquinone 4% is the gold standard in skin lightening; the Hydroval is a steroid which is designed to address irritation; and the Tazorac is a retinoid (Vitamin A) which will increase cell turnover, refinish the skin, and give the hydroquinone a better chance of penetrating to where it can do the most good. The serum will neutralize free radicals, even out skin tone and boost the power of your sunscreen, which is essential to prevent further damage. Give the treatment at least six weeks before expecting results — longer if the melasma has been around for some time. Also, beware of using hydroquinone long-term. There have not been studies which confirm its safety for usage beyond a few months. Hope this helps, Sharmani

Megan said,

March 7, 2012 @ 10:03 am

I have a question about hydroquinone. I used a product called AcneFree Scar Fade & Erase in 2007 for a couple weeks on some acne marks on my chest but only used it for a couple weeks because it made me break out. I did not understand the controversy surrounding hydroquinone at the time and wish that this was not sold at stores without prescriptions as I would not have been able to buy it! Anyways, in order for the ingredients in hydroquinone to remain active, does the cream containing the hydroquinone have to be continuously applied? I’m paranoid that the cream I used that had hydroqionone in it may have gotten on my bed mattress and am scared that it will rub off onto my sheets onto me! Please let me know your thoughts.

Sharmani said,

March 7, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

For Megan, to the best of current medical knowledge, hydroquinone is safe when used as directed. If you had a reaction to the product you were using, you were wise to stop. There is no need to be concerned about any product remaining in your bed mattress or linens. Please consult a physician if you have any further concerns. Best wishes, Sharmani

scott said,

March 13, 2012 @ 8:14 am

hi ,Sharmani i just wanted to know if there are any updates on this new ingredient “Cinnamomum subavenium” and also when would the end product be available to the public? and also would you guys be carrying it in your store? am definitely willing to become your new customer if you guys would be carrying it in your store , thanks

Sharmani said,

March 14, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

For Scott, Cinnamomum subavenium is a product which caused some stir last year when a study indicated it might be an effective skin lightener. However, to our knowledge, no products containing this ingredient are on the market as yet. We presume that clinical trials are still underway. If it proves both safe and effective, it may be an excellent alternative for those needing to lighten hyperpigmented patches of skin. Read more about Cinnamomum subavenium here. Best wishes, Sharmani

Sonia said,

March 19, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

Hi Sharmani,

I would like to know which is the expiration date for Voltaren Emulgel
Diclofenac Gel
(150 g/5 oz
SKU emulgel150

Thanks in advance,

Arti said,

March 20, 2012 @ 10:03 am

I have had ezcema but now on my legs i have had skin that has squiggly lines and is very dry and scaly. its not smooth. the skin on my legs is now darker then my feet. its so embrassing i cant even wear summer clothes due to this. it is also on my arms but my arms are not that scaly. and my hands are fairer then my arms. could anything reverse this as my original colour was like my foot and hands. my lower legs have it but when i started to itch my thighs it started happening on thighs but thigh are bit fair then lower legs. also on my chest i have scars from these little spots that blisterde with water. that was scary and not even my doctor knew what it was. the scars don\’t go.
hope u can help me

Sharmani said,

March 20, 2012 @ 11:26 am

For Sonia, the Voltaren Emulgel which is currently shipping from our offices has an expiration date of August 2014.

Sharmani said,

March 20, 2012 @ 11:54 am

For Arti: Sounds like you have three issues: the dry scaliness, the discoloration, and the scarring on your chest. All could be addressed, to some extent, with an alpha hydroxy acid lotion such as Lac Hydrin or with urea as in La Roche Posay Iso Urea. The ingredients will soothe and moisturize the skin while exfoliating the outer layers. The exfoliation will allow a certain amount of depigmentation, but it will depend on how deeply the pigment resides in your skin. For the scarring, I recommend a product like Dermatix Ultra (on sale this week) or Mederma Scar Gel. The treatment will take time, but you should see some lightening. If you did not receive a diagnosis for any of these conditions, you might like to check with your doctor or dermatologist before proceeding. Best wishes, and good health. Sharmani

Judy Tarbell said,

March 22, 2012 @ 12:33 am

In the past I have ordered five or six tubes of Anthelios and received a discount for ordering in quantity. Is this discount still available? A great product, but I was looking forward to a quantity discount.
Judy Tarbell

Sharmani said,

March 22, 2012 @ 11:43 am

For Judy: From time to time we offer special discounts on volume or on particular items. There are two ways to keep in touch about special pricing: one is to subscribe to our newsletter. It is delivered bimonthly via email and contains promotional codes which allow discounts at the till. The other is to visit our weekly specials page regularly. Hope you find some deals you like! Sharmani

Ali said,

March 22, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

Hi Sharmani what would be the best remedy for stretch marks? Plus is there a way to permanently get rid of them?

Ali said,

March 22, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

Hi its me agian one more thing whats the best for open pores?

Sharmani said,

March 23, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

For Ali: While there is no miracle cream that will permanently ban stretch marks (or any scar), some ingredients can decrease their prominence. Among these are retinol (as in Green Cream) and topical vitamin C (try apothekari Antioxidant Serum). You could also try a dedicated stretch mark product like Mederma. As for large pores, these can result from excess oiliness, sun damage, aging or acne. Products like Effaclar can help keep pores clear. You can also try a skin resurfacing product like Green Cream or M2 Skin Refinish. Both improve overall skin tone and exfoliate the surface to allow fresher, younger skin to appear. They can also be drying, so investigate a good moisturizer. Hope you find a product you like! Sharmani

Angela said,

March 26, 2012 @ 6:43 am

Hi sharmani,
I am 38years old and used hydorquinone 4% for a faint sun spot and melasma. after only the third day of use I woke up to the sun spot looking much darker and more apparent than ever. Is this a possible side of hydroquionone? I stopped using immediately. I should note that it didn’t affect my melasma in this way, only the sun spot.

Arti said,

March 26, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

jus to add to my previous comment, when i come out the shower my skin feels dry and its uncomfortable. out of the two,LacHydrin or La Roche Posay Iso Urea, which would you recommend and also between Mederma Scar Gel Treatment and dermatix ultra. How long will it take to see a difference? On my face my skin is uneven and sensitive. at night i feel itchy then in the morning its pink.its very embrassing. can u suggest anything for it? thank you sharmani

Sharmani said,

March 26, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

For Angela, Hydroquinone has been associated with a rare side effect called ochronosis, which is a darkening of the skin. However, this tends to occur with prolonged usage (many months) at very high concentrations (10% or more). When used as directed, hydroquinone 4% tends to be well tolerated and safe. However, as with any topical treatment, some individuals may experience side effects, and this could be one. You are wise to discontinue treatment and we recommend that you follow up with your physician if you are concerned about it. We always advise that customers using hydroquinone or any new treatment do a patch test first on an inconspicuous bit of skin. If after 24 hours there is no reaction, it is considered safe to proceed. For more information, please read our article on hydroquinone. Best wishes, Sharmani

Mona said,

March 28, 2012 @ 5:20 am

I am dark indian..can you reccomend me a product that will intensivly whiten my skin ? and do make sure this product work…thank you..:D

Sharmani said,

March 28, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

For Mona: Generally speaking we do not recommend skin lightening products except to treat conditions such as melasma or hyperpigmentation. There are products on the market which will effectively lighten skin but they are intended for use on small areas for a limited amount of time. We are aware that many people are using them to alter the color of their skin, but there are not yet sufficient studies regarding the safety of this practice. To read more about treatments for hyperpigmentation, please click here. Best wishes, Sharmani

BB said,

March 29, 2012 @ 6:21 am

Hi Sharmani,

Thank you for all your response. I need to know which of one these products are much more effective to treat Melasma/hyperpigmentaion. Neostrata HQ Plus OR Glyquin XM? Also can my teenage son use either one get rid of acne marks?

Have a great day!

Sharmani said,

March 29, 2012 @ 11:27 am

For BB: If you’re looking for something to treat melasma and hyperpigmentation, please follow the links given here to obtain for information on the range of treatments available. Between Neostrata HQ and Glyquin XM, anecdotal evidence has it that Glyquin XM is a better product. This will be due to its high glycolic acid content. Glycolic acid works to exfoliate the skin, revealing the fresher cells underneath and therefore allowing the active skin lightening ingredients to penetrate deeper. However, Glyquin XM is not available any longer from the manufacturer. You can mimic the results by using any hydroquinone 4% product (such as Neostrata HQ cream or gel), and alternating with an AHA such as glycolic acid. Neostrata make many cleansers and moisturizers containing it.
In answer to your question about using a hydroquinone product to treat acne scarring, you might find it yields some results. However, my first recommendation for acne scarring as well as acne itself would be a retinol product such as Green Cream. Best wishes from Sharmani

Sharmani said,

March 29, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

For Arti: Both LacHydrin and Iso Urea will work well for moisturizing as well as gentle exfoliation. The LacHydrin will address the itchiness more effectively. Mederma and Dermatix treat scars effectively but in quite different ways. Please click on the links provided to find out more. Scars in particular take considerable time to improve when treated, and there is no miracle product which will make them vanish. I wouldn’t expect to see any result for the first 6-8 weeks. It sounds as though you have very sensitive skin and may have multiple issues, so I would certainly recommend you see a qualified dermatologist. Sharmani

arti said,

March 29, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

Can u recommend anything for my face? i keep getting flaky skin on my upper lip and on my cheek near my nose. with the discolouration its all over my body so would the cream work everywhere? Are there any pills that can work for the whole body for discolouration? Thank you Sharmani

Sharmani said,

March 30, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

For Arti: You can use LacHydrin all over the body. It is not specifically a skin lightener, but as an AHA, it will perform some exfoliation which will help to address some of your pigmentation problems. There are no miracle creams, although cosmetics companies would like you to believe otherwise. May I reiterate that I believe your myriad skin issues really warrant a visit to your doctor or dermatologist? That would be the appropriate forum for a treatment specifically for your wishes. Best of health, Sharmani

Shaz said,

April 2, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

Hi Sharmani,

I have Lupus SLE, and recently been diagnosed with Seborrhiec dermatitis, where my face peels and is very sensitive to the sun. Due to the sun, i have also developed hyperpigmentation.I got the Anthelos XL 50+ SPF (melt-in cream) and I realized that my face peels even more after I use it and my face becomes very very dry with it.

What do you suggest I use for a sunblock and a moisturizer?


Shaz said,

April 2, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

I forgot to mention, what sunblock can I use on my body to prevent from hyperpigmentation caused by the sun? I have sensitive eczema prone skin.

Thanks! Shaz

Sharmani said,

April 5, 2012 @ 10:10 am

For Shaz: Because of your Lupus, I would recommend that you speak to your doctor to confirm any issues about sunscreen and medicated lotion use which may have an impact on your overall health. If we are speaking of seborrheic dermatitis, sensitive skin, eczema and hyperpigmentation without factoring in the Lupus, there are a number of products which you might try. If you are finding the Anthelios product irritating, you may find you can tolerate a mineral based (zinc oxide) sunscreen such as Keys Solar Rx SPF 30. Eczemic skin can also benefit from mineral sun protection with Colorescience primers and powders. For the body, there are a variety of mineral based sunscreens on the market (such as Badger) which you might try. Reapplication of product and conscientious use of protective clothing are musts with hyperpigmentation. You may need to avoid hyperpigmention treatments (such as hydroquinone or retinol) due to your skin’s senstivity. You can address the seborrhea with Sebcur T. It is good for both scalp and body use. Please do check with your doctor, however, as I would not advise your using anything which might interfere with your other conditions. Best of health, Sharmani

Gary said,

April 5, 2012 @ 11:56 am

I would like to know if Voltaren Emulgel
Diclofenac Gel (150 g/5 oz) SKU emulgel150
can be purchased in a higher dose other than 1.16%

Thank you, Gary

Sharmani said,

April 5, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

For Gary: Any concentration of diclofenac diethylamine higher than 1.16% (or, in the US, any 1% diclofenac sodium) would only be available by prescription and available by special formulation. Please see your doctor if you wish to try a topical anti-inflammatory of greater strength. Regards, Sharmani

Brian said,

April 8, 2012 @ 9:26 pm


2 things. 1st, I have been using nizoral 2% SHAMPOO for 2 bottles of time, during that time I cant say I have seen any hair growth however, I definitely have STOPPED losing it. So I would like to order more.
2nd, with out expression on my face there is not 1 wrinkle (50 yrs old) I have consistsntly been usinn everything Ican to prevent. straight vitamin e to all the olay serums and creams, to dr weller mushroom stuff to collagen cream and on and on and on.(olay serum 2times a day and the moisturizer WORKS) but i think the skin gets used to these things after a whlle and needs a change up. SO my question is, what do you have to really really prevent wrinkles on my face and decrease the smile lines that I DO have?.

Brian said,

April 8, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

oh and, what will work along with the Nizoral safely to regrow my hair?

Taylor said,

April 9, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

What do you recommend for best results in the removal of freckles?

Sharmani said,

April 10, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

For Brian, I’m glad to hear the Nizoral 2% has decreased the rate at which you are losing hair. There is certainly good scientific evidence to support this. As for regrowing lost hair, if you want to kick it up a notch, I understand that Rogaine is good. I believe there is also a product on the market in the US which incorporates both Rogaine and 2% ketacanozole. You may wish to look into that. I would reccommend four things you can do to prevent wrinkles: use a good, broad spectrum, photostable sunscreen such as Anthelios, and use it every day without fail; use collagen boosters such as retinol; moisturize well; and eat a healthy diet incorporating lots of antioxidant-rich vegetables. If you wish to use an injectable neurotoxin such as Botox to “freeze” certain muscle groups, this has been known to be effective, but I personally to not recommend it. An alternative is cryotechnology. Stay healthy and keep smiling. Sharmani

Sharmani said,

April 10, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

For Taylor: Freckles are the result of melanin or pigment gathering in specific locations in the skin. They are a form of hyperpigmentation, and like all such conditions are particularly sensitive to the sun. Skin lighteners can be effective, but as freckles can be a lifelong issue, creams may not be so effective. Also, we strongly advise a good, photostable sunscreen. Please see our articles page for a variety of ways to address hyperpigmentation. Best wishes, Sharmani

Carol said,

April 15, 2012 @ 10:13 am

Hello, people are raving about a new product called Nerium AD. Is it safe to use and does it work like it says? Or, is it another multimarketing scam.

BB said,

April 17, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

Hi Sharmani,

Can Makari Caviar cream use to treat Melasma? It claims to lighten dark skin color up to five shades.

BB said,

April 17, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

Can tea tree oil or cream contains sulphur use to treat Tinea Versicolor?

nisha said,

April 18, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

Hi, i am asian dark brown skinned 26 years old and suffered eczema for most of my life and i am left with dark black marks on lower legs,stomach and arms.the doctor wont give me anything and says it is hyperpigmentation although my eczema has now so depressed about this.please give ms ome advice on this.

Sharmani said,

April 20, 2012 @ 10:59 am

For BB: Sulphur is known to have antifungal and antibacterial properties and is commonly used to treat various skin conditions. Versel lotion with selenium sulfide is one effective option. Tea tree oil is claimed to be effective in treating Tinea versicolor — as it is an antibacterial and antifungal agent this stands to reason. As for Makari Caviar cream, it does contain a number of ingredients known for refinishing the skin, and therefore will contribute to some skin lightening. You can also find these in products like Green Cream, M2 Skin Refinish, and apothekari Antioxidant C&E Serum. If the Makari people were to make available any independent studies which demonstrate its effectiveness, I would be able to make a more decisive evaluation. There are no miracle creams, but there are some ingredients which have been proven to work. Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

April 20, 2012 @ 11:39 am

Hello Carol: Yes, there’s a lot of buzz about Nerium AD, which as you say is sold on a tiered marketing scheme. As they aren’t open about their ingredients and do not reference any independent studies, I would advise a little healthy skepticism. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work, only that our sole authority is hearsay. Sharmani

Sharmani said,

April 20, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

For Nisha: Sorry to hear about the hyperpigmentation you’ve suffered from eczema. There are a range of treatments available for this condition, including hydroquinone and a number of alternatives. Please click here to read our article on hyperpigmentation so that you may be informed when you speak to your doctor about it. If your doctor is not receptive, see a qualified dermatologist. Always exercise caution with hyperpigmentation treatments or any new skin treatment. Hope this helps. Sharmani

Debbie said,

April 21, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

Dear Sharma,
Over the past years i’ve be using lightening creams like movate cream, etc–which was very effective as i always want to have a nce clean light skin…recently i found my skin getting very ugly and two toned…just found out that the products are fake, not what they use to be..can you pls help me with some to use..summer is here and afraid to even show my skin..something with more contents than what you have on your website…tnks

Sharmani said,

April 23, 2012 @ 11:32 am

For Debbie, As I’m not familiar with Movate cream (manufactured in England)or the generics available which imitate it, I’m not able to comment on their formula, except to say that their lightening creams appear to contain the lightening ingredient hydroquinone 2%. Considered the gold standard in skin lightening, hydroquinone 4% is well tolerated by most skin types when used as directed. We carry a variety of hydroquinone 4% creams, which are available without prescription here in Canada. Please see our article on hydroquinone for more information. You may wish to look into alternatives such as kojic acid, retinol or topical vitamin c. A consultation with a dermatologist who knows your specific health concerns may also be advisable. Hope this helps, Sharmani

Rosie Papaya said,

April 23, 2012 @ 7:48 pm

I used the Reversa anti-spot night care and noticed some irritation around the bottom of my eyes…. I stopped using it and now the last couple of days my eyes are still very swollen and itchy…. what should I use to reduce the irritation and swelling…its so irritating ….

Sharmani said,

April 26, 2012 @ 11:22 am

For Rosie: You’ve done the right thing. It certainly sounds as if you have had a reaction to one ingredient or another, though I couldn’t say for certain. If ever you experience irritation using a new product, discontinue use immediately. To be on the safe side, we always advise our customers to test new products in an inconspicuous area first, for instance, behind the ear. If after 24 hours there is no apparent irritation, it is considered safe to proceed with using the product as directed. If your irritation persists or worsens, I would advise you to see a doctor before taking any further action. Best wishes, Sharmani

JoAnn said,

April 28, 2012 @ 10:16 am

I have a prescription for Voltaren gel 1% 100 grams. None of our local pharmacies are carrying it at this time. Is thing I can purchase here.

Sharmani said,

April 30, 2012 @ 9:53 am

For JoAnn, we understand that Voltaren Gel is unavailable right now on the US market. There has been some indication that US manufacture of this product will begin again in July. Meanwhile, PharmacyMix is happy to provide Voltaren Emulgel 1.16% diclofenac diethylamine, as the product is formulated here in Canada. For more information on the differences between Voltaren Gel and Voltaren Emulgel, please click here. Good health, Sharmani

Bb said,

April 30, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

Hi Sharmani,

Is 8 % Hydroquione safe to use. I have been using 4% for about a year and my Dr. has increased it to 8%. I don’t intend to use this on a long term basis. Probably for the next couple months.

Thank you
Have a great day!

Sarah Cramer said,

May 1, 2012 @ 11:27 am

Hi, I’m interested in purchasing the Ultraquin 4% Hydroquinone plain cream, but I’m curious as to the ingredients in the base. Can you tell me what it’s comprised of? I get clogged from most creams.


Deborah said,

May 4, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

Dear Sharma,
I have read that only zinc oxide covers the complete UV spectrum. Why is it, then, that anthelios xl has a higher PPD (38) than a sunscreen like skinceuticals physical fusion (21)? See

Sharmani said,

May 7, 2012 @ 9:36 am

Hi Bb

As you are under a physician’s care, I’d check in with him/her if you have any concerns. Hydroquinone 4% is safe when used as directed. In some cases, the dosage is increased. The length of treatment along with the concentration prescribed is under the discretion of the practitioner and can give very good results. Good luck with your treatment!

Sharmani said,

May 7, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

To Sarah

Here is the list of ingredients for Ultraquin Plain Cream:
Medicinal: hydroquinone 4%
Non-medicinal: aqua, glyceryl stearate, PEG-100 stearate, octyldodecyl, stearoyl stearate, propylene glycol, glyceryl stearate SE, mineral oil, ethylhexyl palmitate, propylene glycol, quaternium-26, cetearyl glucoside, cetearyl alcohol, sodium metabisulfite, polydimethylsiloxane polymer, ascorbic acid, benzalkonium chloride, hydroxyethylcellulose, phosphoric acid, disodium EDTA.

Hope that’s useful.

Sharmani said,

May 7, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

To Deborah

Zinc oxide is the only sun filter that affords protection against the full UVA/UVB spectrum, you are correct. As you know, PPD is a rating system that lets us know how effective a sunscreen is against both UV rays. It is a reflection of the product and not of the ingredients. Anthelios sunscreens contain a range of sun filters including titanium dioxide, Mexoryl SX, Mexoryl XL, octocylene and avobenzone. This combination of ingredients provides greater protection against ultraviolet light than zinc oxide alone.

Maria Jose Conde said,

May 8, 2012 @ 10:24 am

Hi, My name is Maria Jose. I live in Ecuador. I would like to ask what sunscreen you recommend me to buy since in Ecuador you only find brands such as Neutrogena, Nivea, Bioderma, Avene, Eucerin,Banana Boat, Suncare, etc. I have some freckles and tendency for oily skin. My fear is that these brands have a lot of unwanted ingredients. Can you suggest me some options? Thanks

Sharmani said,

May 9, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

To Maria

We love Anthelios sunscreens because they are photostable, protect against the full range of UVA and UVB rays and come in a range of formulations to suit all skin types. Which one you choose depends on your skin type and needs. Our top seller is Anthelios XL SPF 60, which is a water resistant formulation good for face and body. Anthelios XL Fluide Extreme 50+ is a great facial product if you have oily or combination skin and like a very light texture. It is also available as a tinted formulation. Anthelios XL Creme SPF 50+ is good for normal/dry skin types as it is slightly moisturizing. It too comes as a tinted version.

You can read more about Anthelios sunscreens here. I hope that you find the information useful.

Fred Smyth said,

May 12, 2012 @ 11:01 am

Is the Drixoral you sell the green pill and box sold in Canada or is it imported?


Gina C. said,

May 15, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

I would like to purchase one of the creams on your site but can you tell me which one is best for dark circles under eye on a women of color?

Helen Mathieson said,

May 15, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

I was wondering if the Voltaren Gel is the same as we get in the states?

waheed uzzaman said,

May 15, 2012 @ 7:51 pm


eliza said,

May 30, 2012 @ 5:55 pm

do any of your sunscreens NOT contain octocrylene or octinoxate? i am looking for one without these 2 ingredients.
thank you kindly

Noel Egan said,

May 31, 2012 @ 6:45 am

Hi Sharmani,
I use La Roche Posay Anthelios 50 sunscreen. Because it is a chemical sunscreen the general opinion it to apply to bare skin before moisturiser, serums etc. Just wondering would moisturisers, serums etc. be effective if placed on top of this sunscreen. Thanks.

Christine said,

June 2, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

I’ve been buying my Anthelios products in France for the past several years and I’m thrilled to find them in the US now. But I’m confused between everything on the market. Because I’ve had recurring skin cancer on my face and neck, my doctor recommends the products with Mexoryl. I saw on the La Roche Posay web-site that they are patenting a new system for UVA / UVB protections, I think it’s called cell-ox. Should I stay with the mexoryl products for the best protection? I’m in my 60′s with fair, dry-ish skin, and I live in the sunbelt. I’m down to the end of my last tube from France of Anthelios 50+ Very High Protection Lait (Lotion) – what do you recommend as a replacement for this product? Thanks.

Diana said,

June 9, 2012 @ 3:56 pm


I have just had a small melonoma (in situ) removed from my arm: a warning shot per my surgeon. I am 50, in good shape, fair, own a landscape company in Texas, and am in the Yucattan Mexico (beach/water/etc.) 2 months per year. So I spend a lot of time outside. So I need a new program, with easy to use products that work and can be quickly, repeatedly aplied in humid environments. Also, I need help in healing this scar.

I have read about the Anthelios product line and would like to know the best lineup for this situation.

Silver said,

June 16, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

What is the best product to reduce melasma

Aileen Stewart said,

June 22, 2012 @ 5:44 am


I am currently 4 months pregnant and wanted to check if the Roche Posay Hydraphase serum and moisture cream are safe to use in pregnancy

Many thanks

Donna said,

June 29, 2012 @ 6:27 am

Why have you discontinued Heiko products? I have always liked them. Are there concerns?

Haidee said,

July 9, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

Dear Sharmani,
I’m 38 years old and my eyebags have been noticeable as of late. I tried icing it, eyecreams, gel, and nothing works. I heard of preparation h with biodyne that is only sold in Canada. The Canadian version has live yeast on its formula. I’ve read on it on the internet and they said it worked but I’m skeptical. Before I waste another dime I want your expertise on the matter. Is it safe and how do I know if I’m buying the original product and not a fake one? Is their a product you can recommend that will help alleviate the eyebags? Thank you.

Catherine said,

July 13, 2012 @ 7:50 am

Which sunscreens have mexoryl sx and xl as well as tinosorb. Recent removal of melanoma. Derm recommending tinosorb.

Renee Fine said,

July 17, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

I understand that there is a Voltaren pad on the market.
Where can I obtain it?

cookiee said,

September 5, 2012 @ 4:12 am

i have been to the dermatologist and was diagnosed with extensive atopic eczema. i am on predisolone steriods and was wondering can i use lac hydrin at the same time. i was researching and i think i have xerosis or IV. the dermatologist is planning to put me on a strong steriod called Azapriothine. can i use lac hydrin to lighten the pigments on my skin? thanks

Sharmani said,

September 7, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

Dear Cookiee

Lac-Hydrin tends to be used to treat dry skin rather than hyperpigmentation. However is does contain lactic acid, which can help to exfoliate existing pigmentation. As you are under the care of a dermatologist, we advise that you check in with him or her to determine if this treatment would be suitable for you.

In health,

Sharmani said,

September 7, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

Hi Christine

We are located in Canada so are able to supply Anthelios products containing Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL. Please view our full selection here
Cell-Ox Shield is a patented formulation containing 5 older sun filtering agents and we’ve written about it in a blog post previously. Please read more about Cell-Ox Shield here


Sharmani said,

September 7, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

Dear Fred

The Drixoral we sell is manufactured for the Canadian market. It is the only one that we are aware of.

Sharmani said,

September 7, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

Dear Waheed

These products are not the same. Fluocinoline is a steroid preparation available only via prescription. Lac-Hydrin is a moisturizer containing lactic acid and glycerin and is available without prescription.

Sharmani said,

September 7, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

To Helen

The Voltaren Emulgel in Canada is slightly different to the Voltaren Gel in the USA. Please read more here.

Sharmani said,

September 7, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

To Gina

Please read our article on dark circles here It provides specific recommendations for treating dark circles depending on their cause.

Sharmani said,

September 7, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

To Catherine

I am not aware of any sunscreens that contain both Mexoryl and Tinosorb. We stock the range of Anthelios sunscreens, which contain Mexoryl, however do not carry any sunscreens formulated with Tinosorb.

Sharmani said,

September 7, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

Dear Renee

We have not heard of a Voltaren pad as yet.

Sharmani said,

September 13, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

Dear Eliza

Most Anthelios sunscreens contain Octocrylene as both a UVB blocker and stabilizer of avobenzone. Ombrelle sunscreens are similarly formulated. If you wish to avoid both octocrylene and octinoxate, you may wish to consider a chemical free sunscreens such as Cliniderm SPF 45 or Keys Solar Rx SPF 30.


Sharmani said,

September 13, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

To Noel

You are correct in applying chemical sunscreens prior to any other skin care product as the chemicals often are required to interact with the skin’s top layer to provide the best protection. Moisturizers and serums are effective if applied over the top of the sunscreen.


Sharmani said,

September 13, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

To Silver

Hydroquinone 4% is regarded as the gold standard in treating hyperpigmentation disorders such as melasma. You can read more here.

Best Sharmani

Sharmani said,

September 13, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

Dear Aileen

Most moisturizers are safe to use during pregnancy. I would, however, clear anything with your physician just to make sure.


Sharmani said,

September 13, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

Dear Donna

We are always reviewing our product line up to offer you the best available. We sometimes discontinue products that don’t sell well or have safety issues. In Heiko’s case, it is an excellent product, but we choose to no longer stock it.


Sharmani said,

September 13, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

Dear Haidee

Eye bags may be caused by a range of issues – read more here. It is hard to know for certain whether a product that works for one individual will deliver results to another. In the case of eye bags since the causes may be different, this becomes harder to predict. The Preparation H we carry contains Live Yeast Cell Derivative which has been shown to boost collagen production. However, if your eye bags are being caused by an allergy, it wouldn’t work in this instance.


Moana said,

October 11, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

Hi Sharmani. I’m living in New Zealand and I was just wondering how can I get some 4% Hydroquinone sent to me over from Canada. Please.

Nancy Lane said,

October 12, 2012 @ 9:42 am

Dear Sharmani,
I tried to post a question before but don\’t think it worked.

I would like to know about the usefulness or potential harm of combining Apothekari Antioxidant C + E Serum with a plain 1% hyaluronic acid.

I have been using the hyaluronic acid for quite a few years, and I thought to add your antioxidant as a first step.

My skincare regimen generally looks like this:
1. Cleanse with Cetaphil gentle, rinse
2. Retinoic product like Green Cream 6%

1. Cleanse with Cetaphil gentle, rinse
2. Tone with CoQ10 toner
3. Apothekari Antioxidant C + E Serum (added in the last month)
4. 1% hyaluronic acid
5. Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Melt-in Creme (March to November) or a drugstore moisturizer with SPF 30 in winter
then Smashbox Primer and mineral foundation.

Any potential harm? Am I wasting money using both?

many thanks.
- Nancy

nausin said,

October 13, 2012 @ 2:54 am

hi sharmani
my hair is loss day by day what can i do for this plz sugusst me to stop this.

Jacqui said,

October 24, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

I have hyperpigmentation skin and recently purchased Anthelios fluide extreme spf 50. Does it last all day or do I have to reapply in the afternoon. I go to the park to walk at around 5.00pm and I need to make sure I’m protected. Also will liquid foundation be good for my face? Will it be an added protection from the sun? I don’t really wear foundation because I’m a homemaker and have been for many years, but people keep telling me that it protects from the sun and maybe thats why my skin got discolored.

Laura said,

October 25, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

Hi Sharmani
I had to wear a wig due to chemo and have recently started growing my hair back. The wig had left a light brown line going across my forehead that is noticeable. The line is ight brown that has strained my skin. I believe it might have been from a black marker. I tried natural ways to clear this with lemon and sugar and also olive oil and washing it off with warm water but it has not done anything. Is there anything you can recommend for me?


BBB said,

November 7, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

I am from India.
I have very much scars on my face because of acne and my skintone is also uneven. Should I use Lustra? If so should I use Lustra-AF or just Lustra?
My skin color on my body is much darker than my face so I want to lighten my body to. What should I use to lighten my body?

Deb said,

November 17, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

Hi Sharmani, I just wanted to know does Ultraquin 4% work exactly the same as Lustra 4%? and If so, why is lustra much more expensive. I need a skin lightener for my face that will work fast, within weeks or even a month, can you tell me which you recommend? I also need a skin lightener for my body that is just as effective, please help. I want to get my skin tone back. This summer I got really dark and being african american, it takes months for our natural skin colour to come back. Also, if I was to order a skin lightener from here, how long does it usually take for it to be delivered? I am in Canada by the way.

Thanks so much.

Koala said,

November 30, 2012 @ 5:20 am

Dear Sharmani,
I have just purchased the Apothekari Antioxidant C + E
Ferulic Acid Serum to go under sunscreen. Would this be best kept in the fridge? (We are approaching very warm weather DownUnder).
Also, the sunscreen I purchased is the Anthelios XL 50+ Fluide Extreme. I’m a little confused from an earlier post though. Can you please clarify, is the reason you recommend placing the sunscreen on first because it is a chemical blocker, or would you recommend this approach even for physical blockers like those containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide?
Thanks in advance…

Sharmani said,

December 5, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

To Lindsay,
Thank you for your blog comment.
Although it is not absolutely necessary, there is no harm in storing the Apothekari C&E serum in the fridge.
Chemical blocking sunscreens like Anthelios need to be applied to the bare skin in order to react with the skin’s top layer and provide protection. The exception would be light treatments like serums, for example, which won’t interfere with the sunscreen’s efficacy.

Elena said,

December 6, 2012 @ 11:53 am

Dear Sharmani,

Can you please tell me if Green Cream and MaMa Lotion can be used underneath/ on top of Estee Lauder’s Even Skin Tone Illuminator?

If so, would it benefit me at all to be using all three or am I being redundant with the products?

Thank you!

Yulia Tingley said,

December 6, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

Hi Sharmani,
What is the difference between Redermic r and Redermic c+? I am 52 y.o. and need an anti wrinkle treatment. Especially I am concern with the eyes wrinkles. Which cream would you recommend? Thank you.

Yulia Tingley said,

December 6, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

Hi Sharmani,
What is difference between Redermic r and redermic c? Which one is better for woman 52 years old as wrinkles treatment? Thank you.

Sandy said,

December 8, 2012 @ 1:51 am

To Sharmani,

i have super sensitive skin, im currently usin impruv and it’s working very well in terms of keeping my skin moisturized.
but over this summer, i got lightly skin damaged on my forehead so right now, my forehead color is different from my skin down from my forehead.
i dont want to try anything that is too strong for my skin and will make it worse. are there any other prescribed skincare that you would recommend that i can easily get it over the counter in canada? Thank you very much

Sharmani said,

December 10, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

To Moana,
Thank you for your question.
We ship our products, including those with 4% hydroquinone, all over the world, including New Zealand. Please feel free to go onliine to our store and place an order for shipment right to your door.

Sharmani said,

December 10, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

To Nausin,
Hair loss can be a result of many different things, such as stress, diet and hormones. You might consider trying Nizoral shampoo as it has shown some benefits for hair loss in a small study involving men. As hair loss can also be a result of health issues, it would be best to consult your doctor.

Sharmani said,

December 10, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

To Jacqui,
As with any sunscreen, Anthelios Fluide Extreme SPF 50+ should be reapplied every two hours or immediately after swimming. As for liquid foundation being extra protection for your face, it entirely depends on whether it contains any active sunscreen ingredients and should be considered something to use in addtion to the Anthelios Fluide Extreme.

Sharmani said,

December 10, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

To Laura,
As the line on your forehead may be from a black marker and only on the surface of your skin, you might want to consider a gentle exfoliator like M2 HP Skin Refinish. Skin renews itself approximately every 28 days, so with time and some encouragement for the new skin cells to come to the surface with a gentle exfoliator, the line should fade. If this persists, please consult your doctor.

Sharmani said,

December 10, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

To Nancy Lane,
It sounds like you have a great skin care regime going. I’m glad to see that you are using a good broadspectrum sunscreen every day, rain or shine, summer and winter. As for your question, there is no harm in using a plain 1% hyaluronic acid with the Apothekari Antioxidant Vitamin C&E serum, but you may find that it is no longer necessary as the serum contains sodium hyaluronate which should boost moisture levels in your skin.

Sharmani said,

December 15, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

For acne scars and uneven skin tone, you may want to give M2 HP Skin Refinish a try. It contains Mandelic and Malic acids and is suitable for all skin types. As for lightening the skin on your body, we generally do not recommend it and do not carry products specifically for that purpose.

Sharmani said,

December 15, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

For Deb,
Both Ultraquin and Lustra contain 4% hydroquinone. However, Lustra also contains glycolic acid for effective exfoliation. Both products are made by different manufacturers and come in different sizes, hence the difference in price. We do not generally recommend using skin lightening products for your body. You may find something like Reversa’s Skin Smoothing Lotion helpful. It also contains 10% glycolic acid to mildly exfoliate the skin which encourages the new skin cells to come to the surface.

Sharmani said,

December 15, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

To Elena,
As we are not able to obtain a full ingredient list of Estee Lauder’s Even Skin Tone Illuminator, we cannot say if it can be used in conjunction with Green Cream.

Sharmani said,

December 18, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

To Yulia,
La Roche Posay’s Redermic C contains 5% vitamin C, mannose (which will help minimize the appearance of wrinkles), and hyaluronic acid (for intense hydration). Redermic R contains retinol, which really is designed to fight wrinkles by boosting collagen production. Redermic R contains 0.1% retinol in a gentle formula with virtually no irritation. It would be ideal for crow’s feet around the eyes and other facial wrinkles.
You might also consider supplementing this with either Redermic Eyes (containing madecassoside which boosts collagen production in a different way) or Redermic C (which could be used to tackle other facial wrinkles).

Sharmani said,

December 18, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

To Sandy,
It sounds like you are being very careful with your sensitive skin, and I agree that you don’t want to use anything that will cause any adverse reaction. As I am unsure of the extent of your skin damage or the cause of it from your comment, it would be best to consult your doctor before starting any new treatments.

rozina said,

December 29, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

hi Sharmani, I just want to know what skin care product should I use. I have whiteheads, blackheads and pimple on my face and my skin is tan because of sun.Can you give me some advice about it.

leah said,

January 2, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

I would like to order preparation h do you send orders to
Australia. Thanks

Julie said,

January 3, 2013 @ 4:16 am

I am African American with brown skin and I am in desperate help. I have some old and new unsightly acne scars on my face that I would like to get rid of. Please let me know which one of your products is best for fastest results that contains sunblock. I have looked at all the products but not sure of which one to choose.

Sharmani said,

January 3, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

Thank you for your interest in Preparation H. Yes, we do ship orders to Australia. Please feel free to go to our store at and process an order online.
Best, Sharmani

Laura said,

January 6, 2013 @ 9:34 am

What is the Difference between LUSTRA and LUSTRA-AF ?
Thank you.

Sharmani said,

January 10, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

To Rozina:
Green Cream is a high potency retinol cream that you may want to consider. It was initially developed to treat acne and was found to have many more benefits to the skin, such as boosting collagen production and evening out skin tone. You may also want to consider using it in conjunction with Unagel which contains 2% salicylic acid, the maximum amount of treatment without the irritation commonly associated with most acne products.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

January 10, 2013 @ 3:34 pm

To Julie:
Many of our customers have found great success in using the M2 Skin Refinish Lotion. It provides gentle exfoliation to help even out skin tone and allow the new skin to come to the surface. We are glad that you mentioned sunscreen. Although the M2 Skin Refinish does not contain any sunscreen, it is important to wear a good, broad-spectrum sunscreen to minimize further damage. We think the Anthelios line is the best on the market right now.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

January 10, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

To Laura,
Lustra and Lustra AF both contain 4% hydroquinone, the gold standard of skin lightening. The only difference is that Lustra AF has a sunscreen ingredient that provides an SPF of 20.
Best, Sharmani

Eden said,

January 18, 2013 @ 12:25 am

Hi I have a dark skin relative that has been exposed to sun very highily for the last 18 years, I recently saw him and he is alot darker than he used to be( sunburned) I was wondering is it too late for him to start using sun protection in order to get the benefit from it?
Please help, thank you

Sharmani said,

January 18, 2013 @ 2:00 pm

For Eden:
It’s never too late for sun protection. We are big fans of the Anthelios XL line which contains Mexoryl. If you are concerned that your relative has already sustained sun damage, please have him consult his doctor to have any dark spots or moles examined and monitored.
Best, Sharmani

tulya said,

January 24, 2013 @ 11:16 am

which one is the best shampoo NIZORAL OR NIZRAL.
am very much scaring about nizral becoz of everybody talking about nizoral..
thats way am asking u..
can u help me.
and i am regularly head bath.
but idont know why i am getting maximum hair fall since 1 year.
plzzzz help me.

Sharmani said,

January 25, 2013 @ 1:47 pm

We cannot comment on the effectiveness of Nizral Shampoo as we do not carry it. We do have the brand name Nizoral Shampoo with 2% ketacozanole, which showed some effectiveness in hair loss in a very small study with men.
Best, Sharmani

paul said,

February 1, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

Hello could you help me,i was on a criuse last year while i was in the british virgin islands my lips were severly burnt,blisters and cracking my sister got me some vanicream spf60 would this solve my problem,I going on a cruise in march 2013 to fort lauderdale if the vanicream is not suitable what could i buy to solve my problem. thank you paul

Sharmani said,

February 4, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

For Paul,
Many people forget about the lips when they think of sun protection. Although we do not have Vanicream, we do carry Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Lipstick, which offers very high protection for sensitive lips.
Should you require a lip treatment for extremely dry and cracked lips, La Roche Posay’s Ceralip Lip Repair Cream may provide the restorative moisture needed.
Best, Sharmani

mac said,

February 9, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

What products actually work to reduce swollen bags under the eyes? It’s a genetic issue, exacerbated by lack of sleep and aging (currently 60 years old). Thank you.

Sharmani said,

February 12, 2013 @ 3:09 pm

For Mac:
It’s always a challenge to manage puffy eyes as the skin is so sensitive and thin around the eye area. Our website dedicates a whole skin care article on dealing with puffy eyes . Two of our customers’ favorites are Preparation H Cream with Biodyne and Neostrata’s All-in-One Eye Contour Serum. Although there isn’t much that can be done about the genetic source of your puffy eyes, getting more sleep will definitely help!
Best, Sharmani

zeen said,

February 12, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

i am having hyper pigmentation & acne marks on my face & i was consulting a dermatologist & on my 2 visits she gave me hydroquinone creams & anti acne creams but my marks were still on my face & on my last visit she gave me the NEOSTRATA SKIN BRIGHTENING CREAM & im looking forward to buy it & my question is… how long i can use it & will the results be permanent if i discontinue the use of iT & can i use it for a longggggggggggggg time ??? please answer me….

Sharmani said,

February 14, 2013 @ 2:20 pm

For Zeen:
Neostrata Skin Brightener contains 20% vitamin C, the workhorse of the skin care industry. Many studies have shown that vitamin C is effective in evening out skin tone and in fighting free radicals that can prematurely age the skin. There is no danger in using it indefinitely as long as it is well tolerated. As new skin comes to the surface, your acne scars should fade permanently. Any improvements in hyperpigmentation should be maintained by daily use of a good, broad-spectrum sunscreen, such as Anthelios, to prevent future formation of dark spots.
Best, Sharmani

ZEEN said,

February 16, 2013 @ 9:45 pm

thnx alot…..dear shamini & is it same with the NEOSTRATA SKIN BRIGHTENING SPF15 cream or has it any + or – points when compared to the NEOSTRATA SKIN BRIGHTENING CREAM (without spf 15) or both are same kind of creams??? plss im confused which is THE BEST ???
thnx :)

Sharmani said,

February 20, 2013 @ 10:35 am

For Zeen,
PharmacyMix carries Neostrata’s Skin Brightener, a light formulation containing 20% vitamin C. This product does not contain hydroquinone. I believe your question refers to Neostrata’s Bionic Skin Brightening Cream with SPF 15, containing 2% hydroquinone. These are completely different products. Please click here to find out more about hydroquinone and whether it is right for you. Whichever product you choose, please read the enclosed directions carefully to find out about long-term use.
Best, Sharmani

Julia P. Causey said,

March 6, 2013 @ 11:06 am

I would like to order the Lustra AF but notice that it contains metabisulphite. I am very allergic to sulfites (ingested) so do precieve this as a reason not to get this product? Thanks, Julia

Sharmani said,

March 10, 2013 @ 12:34 pm

For Julia:
Considering your severe allergy to sulfites, it would be best to consult with your doctor before using any topical products that contain sodium metabisulfites, a widely-used preservative. As all of our hydroquinone products have sodium metasulfites listed as an ingredient, you may want to consider a plant-based skin lightening product such as Lomelin Skin Brightening Cream.
Best, Sharmani

staciphillipswiemelt said,

April 19, 2013 @ 12:12 pm

I am sue you have mentioned this a million times, but I can’t find a link to it. When should I apply my Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Melt-in Creme , before or after other moisturizers/serums? Especially in the winter my very dry skin needs more moisture than this sunscreen provides so I need to use an additional moisturizer. I thought I read someplace that if it is a chemical sunscreen it must be applied to clean skin before anything else, and a physical sunscreen can be applied after other lotions. Is that true? Therefore I should apply the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Melt In to my clean skin before any other product? Thank you!

Sharmani said,

April 23, 2013 @ 6:45 pm

For Staci:
You are right: chemical sunscreens, like Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Melt in Cream, should be applied on your bare skin in order to be most effective. A physical sunscreen, like Keys Solar Rx, should be applied last so that it acts as a physical barrier between you and the sun’s damaging rays.
For how to layer your skin care products, check out our blog post dedicated to just that topic.
Best, Sharmani

Kristen said,

May 2, 2013 @ 10:29 am

I have been using prescription Retin-A Micro for over a year for my acne and it works great but it is just so expensive that I am now considering looking for a OTC Retinol. I was told the Green Cream works well but wasn’t sure if it would have similair results or which level to purchase. Any insight would be appreciated. Thank You!

Sharmani said,

May 5, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

For Kristen,
If you have been using Retin-A Micro with no irritation, you should be able to tolerate Green Cream Level 9 very well. Level 9 makes an excellent alternative to prescription retinoids. You may also want to consider our newest addition to the Apothekari line, A is for Anti-Aging Retinal Serum, formulated with retinaldehyde, the least irritating Vitamin A to skin.
Best, Sharmani

elaine said,

May 7, 2013 @ 1:36 am

Hi Sharmani,

I have a LRP Lait Veloute 50+ Anthelios XL sunscreen and I noticed that the recommended use is within 12 months per the “12M” illustration on the back of the tube. However, I also noticed that the expiry date is January 2016.

Must I use this sunscreen within 12 months or just by the expiration date? Also, is it okay to use sunscreen past their expiration dates?

Thanks in advance,


Sharmani said,

May 8, 2013 @ 6:43 am

For Elaine:
That’s a great question. Most sunscreens are labelled with expiration dates and if they are stored unopened you can expect them to be effective until this date. Once opened they start to lose their efficacy and should be discarded within a year of opening. With regard to using sunscreens past their expiration dates, if a sunscreen doesn’t smell bad (an indication that it would be unsafe to use) it is probably still fine to use. As a pharmacist, however, I would advise throwing it out.
We’ve written two blog posts on just that subject. Check them out here and here.
Best, Sharmani

Catherine McCormick said,

May 19, 2013 @ 1:16 pm


Which Anthelios sunscreens contain Tinosorb S and M. ? I had melanoma and this is recommended by my dermatologist. Need face and body.

Cydna said,

May 21, 2013 @ 8:22 am

I have just purchased Lomelin. I have fairly bad Hyperpigmentation and or Melesma.

I used the Lomelin for approx 4 days but feel my Melesma is looking darker. Please advise, I have no other reactions, is this normal and should I continue to use the product?

Thanks in advance

Sharmani said,

May 27, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

To Cydna

Thanks for your question regarding Lomelin. It is not normal to experience skin darkening upon use of Lomelin. We recommend you stop using it and check in with your physician if it continues or you experience any further skin irritation.


Sharmani said,

May 27, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

To Catherine

The formulations of Anthelios that contain Tinosorb S (as far as we are aware, none contain Tinosorb M) are Anthelios Fluide Extreme SPF 50+ and Anthelios XL Melt-In Crème SPF 50+ along with their tinted versions. Both are facial formulations but may be used on the body also.


Janet said,

May 30, 2013 @ 6:54 am

I started out using Green cream, got to 9. Then still had the upper lip wrinkles ( I’m 61). I tried fillers, ( waste of $$), went to the Obagi Nuderm system, been on it since 2010. Worked up to .1% trieitnotin, it’s helped with pigmentation, pores, etc, still had the complaints of the wrinkles around mouth. Finally, Derm. Said only thing to get rid of those, is laser. I had to go to another Derm for this. I did it, wasn’t fully prepared for the after results, I looked like a burnt marshmallow. Sept. will be a year and one side of my jaw is still red. (but wrinkles are gone). I want my upper lip area to stay that way, still using Obagi ( but so expensive). I was thinking to go back to 9 green cream or adding mama lotion. I feel like my face has lost the glow, it’s always flaky form the tretnoin , Derm said I could add a little moisturizer to the new skin area. It seems when I use BB cream, it just fills up my pores or sits on top of my skin. I use Bare minerals, but like to use BB cream around the house. Any suggestions ?

Sharmani said,

June 3, 2013 @ 11:51 am

To Janet

It seems like you have tried a number of products with mixed results. You are likely familiar with Vitamin A (retinoids) and its derivatives as in the Green Cream . You may wish to continue with that or try our new Apothekari A is For Anti-Aging Retinal Serum. It contains retinaldehyde, which studies have shown to be effective in removing and preventing wrinkles as well as evening out skin tone. The formulation contains other anti-aging ingredients to deliver results with minimal skin irritation. Don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions regarding this product.


mary said,

June 5, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

Hi Sharmani

Can I mix Anthelios tinted fluid extreme with the non-tinted one to lighten the color a bit. Please advise.

Sharmani said,

June 10, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

For Mary:
Yes, absolutely, you can mix the untinted Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Fluide Extreme with the tinted version and blend it to best match your skin tone. We would not, however, recommend mixing a sunscreen product with liquid makeup as this could change the effectiveness of your sunscreen.
Best, Sharmani

Natalee said,

June 12, 2013 @ 9:43 pm

What causes acne on the back, upper arms,chest and neck? What is the best treatment for it?

Sharmani said,

June 16, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

For Natalee:
The cause of acne on the body is just as varied and complicated as acne on the face. It could be anything from hormones to genetics to the products used. Fortunately, the treatment for either is the same: use a gentle, soap-free cleanser that will eliminate excess sebum, like La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel, and apply a topical treatment like Unagel Acne Treatment. It’s also a good idea to make sure that clothes and bed linens are fresh and clean to prevent excess oils from absorbing and then being reabsorbed by the skin. Hope this helps!
Best, Sharmani

Christine said,

June 16, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

Hi, Sharmani,
I am looking for a fragrance free sunscreen for my body, that is chemical free. Upon application of oxybenzone, octinoxate, avobenzone, I turn shades of bright pink to red. I do best with zinc oxide and titanium oxide no fragrances or any thing uses as an emollient that has fragrance. It seems my chemical sensitivity is becoming worse.

Sharmani said,

June 19, 2013 @ 10:59 am

For Christine,
We carry two chemical-free sunscreens that use only zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide that you may want to consider for your sensitive skin: Cliniderm Gentle Protective Lotion SPF 45 and Keys Solar Rx Moisturizer with Sunscreen with SPF 30+. Please visit our website for full ingredient lists to see if either is right for you.
Best, Sharmani

susan Feldman said,

June 26, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

I am a 70 year old woman with very fair skin and mild Rosacea. For many years, I have been using Anthelios xl lait 50 for my face. With this product, I do not need a moisturizer. However, I do need to use foundation after I apply the sun block. I was wondering , now that it is summer, if this is the best sun product in the Anthelios line for my skin.I love the protection Anthelios gives. Thank you

Denise said,

June 28, 2013 @ 11:36 am

I have Lupus and am extremely photosensitive. I live on Long Island, NY in the NorthEast. I use Anthelios, but would like to know which product you recommend for the best protection. I also must protect my lips at all times, so which is best for that also? Too thick and my face breaks out. Thank you. Denise

Thierry said,

June 28, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

Hello Sharmani,
We just purchased the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo-Pediatrics sunscreen because of the effectiveness of Mexoryl, however, upon looking at the ingredients, I can’t find any reference of Mexoryl on the bottle. Could you confirm that it does have Mexoryl OR any other product that I can use on my children (6 & 7 y.o.) that contains Mexoryl. We are visiting europe and want to take advantage of the product by stocking-up prior to returning to the U.S.
Thank you Sharmani,

Sharmani said,

June 28, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

For Susan:
If your rosacea-prone is tolerating the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Lait well with no irritations and you do not find that it is heavy for the changing summer temperatures, there is no need to change your sunscreen. We are happy to hear that you love the protection that Anthelios is able to provide. We love it too!
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

June 28, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

For Thierry,
La Roche Posay’s Anthelios Dermo-kids SPF 45 contains both Mexoryl SX (may be listed in the ingredient list as Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid) and Mexoryl XL (Drometrizole Trisiloxane). You may also want to consider the Anthelios XL SPF 45 Spray (which also contains both Mexoryl SX and XL) for your children. It’s easy to apply and has a dry, velvety finish.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

June 28, 2013 @ 2:07 pm

For Denise,
It’s important to look for a sunscreen that is hypoallergenic, provides broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays, and is SPF 30 or higher. If your skin tolerates Anthelios without irritation or side effects, you can’t do better than the protection that Mexoryl XL and SX provide. Anthelios has just introduced two lightweight lotions in SPF 30 and SPF 60 that may be suitable. As for the lips, try the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Lip Stick.
Best, Sharmani

Lynzi said,

July 2, 2013 @ 1:15 am


I have very extreme eczema and attend dermatology unit at my local hospital. When on holiday to Turkey I found an incredicble moisturiser called Excipial Lipo containing 4% urea do you have something similar that I could purchase or recommend something I could purchase? I purchased a lot of bottles of this but have now run out. Thanks, Lynzi

Sharmani said,

July 3, 2013 @ 10:11 am

For Lynzi:
PharmacyMix carries two moisturizers that contain urea. La Roche Posay’s Iso Urea Body Milk contains 5% urea. This is my go-to moisturizer for dry, itchy skin in the winter. We also have Uremol 10 Lotion, containing 10% urea. If you have questions about which one would be best for you, please consult with your doctor.
Best, Sharmani

Val said,

July 9, 2013 @ 5:42 am

Hi, I am in my mid 60′s I am unsure which sunscreen is best for me. I am fair skinned prone to vitiligo and some redness can you help?. Thanks Val. x

Robert said,

July 11, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

What is the shelf life of Ombrelle or Anthelios products? If I don’t use all of a product by the end of one season, will it still be good at the start of the next sunny season?

Andra said,

July 13, 2013 @ 8:01 am

My grandson has severe acne. His face is really red and dry, very dry. He is on meds but it is really harsh. What should he use to cleanse and moisturize

Sharmani said,

July 15, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

For Val:
For those who are prone to vitiligo, their skin may potentially be more sensitive. For this reason, a physical sunscreen, like Cliniderm SPF 45 Gentle Protective Lotion or Keys Solar Rx, may be better tolerated. However, there are some very effective chemicals sunscreens, like Anthelios XL SPF 45 Spray, which are made for sensitive skin. The best way would be to try them and see which suits your skin.
Regards, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

July 15, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

For Robert:
Most sunscreens are labelled with expiration dates and if they are stored unopened you can expect them to be effective until this date. Once opened they start to lose their efficacy and should be discarded within a year of opening. With regard to using sunscreens past their expiration dates, if a sunscreen doesn’t smell bad (an indication that it would be unsafe to use) it is probably still fine to use. As a pharmacist, however, I would advise throwing it out.
We’ve written two blog posts on just that subject. Check them out here and here.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

July 15, 2013 @ 1:05 pm

For Andra:
Many strong acne medications are harsh and drying. For cleansing, your grandson should use a soap-free, gentle cleanser like La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel and then moisturize with a non-greasy moisturizer that will rehydrate the skin, like La Roche Posay’s Effaclar H Moisturizer. Hope that helps!
Best, Sharmani

Ellen said,

July 16, 2013 @ 10:26 am

Hello, I had a question about these three La Roche Posay products:
Anthelios XL 50+ Melt-In Cream
Anthelios XL 50+ Fluide Extreme Visage/Face
Anthelios XL 50+ Fluide Extreme Body

What is the percentage that each sunscreen has, if any, for each of these ingredients:
Mexoryl SX
Mexoryl XL
Tinsorb S
Titanium Dioxide

Your website lists the ingredients, but I was wondering about specific amounts. Thank you!

LDJones said,

July 21, 2013 @ 1:35 pm

Hi Sharmani,
I’m 50 years old and have much dark pigmentation as the result of sun damage (too many years laying in the sun as a 20-30 year old). in order to prevent further darkening of my pigmented spots, I am religious about wearing sun screen anytime I am outside and even when in my car. In the past I’ve purchased sun screens in Europe, as the ones that I’ve had most success with are not available in the USA (those with Tinosorb or Mexoryl such as Avene Creme SPF 50+, which I noticed is discontinued on your site). Can you recommend a product(s) that you carry that would be comparable? None of the products that are available in the US keep my spots from darkening. And I’ve tried everything. Many thanks. Lisa

Sharmani said,

July 22, 2013 @ 2:07 pm

For Ellen:
Thanks for your question. When concentrations of active ingredients are listed by the manufacturer, we are able to pass this on to our customers. However, not all manufacturers list concentrations as it is not always a legal necessity. Additionally, some companies safeguard concentrations of their active ingredients as they like to keep their formulations a ‘secret recipe’ to make it more difficult for competitors to copy the formula.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

July 22, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

For LDJones,
Thanks for your question, Lisa. It’s no secret that I am a big fan of the Anthelios line of suncreens. If you’re looking for a product that contains Mexoryl SX, Mexoryl XL and Tinosorb S, look no further than Anthelios XL SPF 50+ melt-in-cream. For a lighter, more liquid formulation, try Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Fluide Extreme. Both are made for the European market and may be a good substitute for the European Avene that you favor.
Best, Sharmani

Gail said,

July 26, 2013 @ 6:01 am

Hi Sharmani
I am 40 yrs old, and have oily skin. I have been taking alfacalcidol for 3 yrs as I have a vitamin D deficiency. I do tan fairly easily but I am looking for a suitable sunscreen. Can you help please.

Sharmani said,

July 29, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

For Gail:
Thanks for your enquiry regarding a suitable sunscreen for use while taking alfacalcidol to correct a Vitamin D deficiency. A well formulated sunscreen protects against skin damage caused by UVA and UVB rays. It will also, however, interfere with Vitamin D production.
As you are currently supplementing with medication to correct a Vitamin D deficiency, it may be a good idea to check in with your physician to ensure that it is ok for you to use a sunscreen. We can’t see any reason why you shouldn’t but in your case, it won’t hurt to make certain.
As far as brands go, Anthelios sunscreens are formulated with innovative Mexoryl technology and offer unparalleled UVA/UVB protection. It is widely recommended by dermatologists and a top seller at our store. Our customers with oily complexions tend to favor the Anthelios Fluide Extreme SPF 50+.
Best, Sharmani

Michelle said,

August 10, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

HI Sharmani,

I bought the Apothekari C+E + Ferulic serum in June and it was clear with a very slight tint of yellow. It’s a few months now and I noticed the color is now light yellow. Did it oxidised? Is it still safe to use? Please advise. Thanks.

Kathy said,

August 10, 2013 @ 7:35 pm

Hello Sharmani,
I have very sensitive skin (episodes of plaque psoriasis, eczema, contact demititis etc. I noticed that after using sunscreen,(I have been using Vanicream) I have a rash around my eyes, down the side of my nose and around my mouth. Skin feels very tight and raw.I am also allergic to several preservatives that are included in many cosmetic products. I am a golfer so I neeed to use sunscreens. My dermatologist mentioned Antheliose sunscreen. could you please recommend the product that may be the least irritating to my skin. yet provide both UVA/UVB protection? Thank you so much for your suggestions.

Sharmani said,

August 12, 2013 @ 2:12 pm

For Kathy:
We usually recommend a chemical-free, physical sunscreen like Keys Solar Rx or Cliniderm Gentle Protective Lotion SPF 45 for our customers who have sensitive skin. That said, there are many people with sensitive skin who use the Anthelios line with no adverse reactions. The Anthelios products we carry have been tested on sensitive skin. Some are labelled specifically with “sensitive skin” on the packaging, and the Anthelios XL Kids Lotion has been tested under dermatological control. Unfortunately, the only way to know for sure whether they are suitable for you or not is to try. Feel free to give us a call and we can help you choose.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

August 12, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

For Michelle,
Any product with vitamin C carries the potential for oxidization upon opening. Once it is exposed to air, there may be a slight color change. However, with the amber glass container and proper storage in a dry, cool and dark environment, our lab assures us that the serum has a shelf life of 12 months after opening and should be safe to use. It should be noted as well that L-ascorbic acid is the the most stable form of vitamin C.
Best, Sharmani

lorna said,

August 26, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

hi sharmani! i wanna get the Ombrelle Face Cream SPF 45 that i will use for my face but i wonder if the ombrelle complete lotion spf 45 is also can be use on the face. so what is the difference between the two? im on a tight budget right now to spend and get it both. have a good day! hope for your reply.

Middge said,

August 27, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

Which do I apply first the Anthelios XL 45 sunscreen or the Apothekari Undercover Agent Serum during my morning routine and after which product do I apply my moisturizer or do I still need one after the sunscreen. I have recently began using the Tazorac 0.1% gel which causes my normal to oily skin to become very dry and peel mid day. But I am unsure of the correct order to use the products.

Sharmani said,

August 30, 2013 @ 10:19 am

For Lorna:
The main difference between the Ombrelle SPF45 Face Cream and the Complete Lotion is the texture. The Face Cream is an ultra-light formulation; the Complete Lotion has a slightly shinier finish. Both, however, provide the same great protection with Mexoryl Technology.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

August 30, 2013 @ 10:29 am

For Middge:
In terms of layering your skin care products in the morning, begin with the lightest, the Apothekari Undercover Agent Serum, followed by the Anthelios XL 45 suncreen. Lastly, if needed, apply your moisturizer over top after you have given the sunscreen time to be absorbed.
Best, Sharmani

Megan said,

September 17, 2013 @ 6:29 am

Hi there! Is Anthelios XL 50+ fluide extreme (mexoryl) safe while pregnant? Is there any research behind it?

Sharmani said,

September 17, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

For Megan:
As far as we know, there have been no studies done specifically to determine safety of sunscreen and pregnancy. If you have any concerns regarding Mexoryl or any sunscreen ingredient, you should consult your physician.
Best, Sharmani

raja sharma said,

September 21, 2013 @ 2:14 am

mam i m male 21 suffering from hyperhidrosis from childhood which medicine i have to take?

Sharmani said,

September 23, 2013 @ 11:33 am

For Raja:
Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, can be often be treated with topical antiperspirants. Read more about the options available at our blog post here. If there is no improvement, your doctor may suggest other treatments including Botox injections or oral medications.
Best, Sharmani

jewel said,

September 25, 2013 @ 6:05 am

I have purchased the ultraquin 4% with sunblock from your company and have been using it for approx 2 weeks now. I have noticed that the areas in which I am applying on my face is starting to get wrinkly and peel. It is however not red, sore or itchy. Is this normal?

Sharmani said,

September 25, 2013 @ 11:01 am

For Jewel,
When used properly, side effects from hydroquinone are minimal. You may want to decrease the frequency of use to every other day. If you are concerned about your reaction, discontinue use immediately and seek medical advice. Read more about hydroquinone precautions here.
Best, Sharmani

janet kane said,

September 26, 2013 @ 9:10 am

Hi Sharmani,
I’m of Indian origin. I have a couple of age/sun spots on my face.
Will “Eau Thermale” Avene Emulsion with Tinosorb M+S, 40 SPF cream reduce these spots?

Sharmani said,

September 30, 2013 @ 11:30 am

For Janet:
Applying a sunscreen daily will go a long way in preventing further darkening of age or sun spots. A lightening treatment, such as hydroquinone or a botanical-based alternative, would be required in order to actually lighten the hyperpigmentation.
Best, Sharmani

BlueandBlessed said,

October 5, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

Hello Sharmani,

Can you PLEASE help me with this! I want to know if there’s any Oleic Acid in the following and if so what is the percentage: Lanolin, Mineral Oil/Petroleum Jelly, Vegetable Glycerin/Glycerin USP, and Black Cumin Seed Oil?

Please know that I have searched high and low and haven’t come up the answer as of yet.

Much help is appreciated-and Thanks a million,

Sharmani said,

October 11, 2013 @ 10:36 am

For BlueandBlessed:
Oleic acid is an omega-9 fatty acid that is found in many plant and animal sources, including lanolin and black cumin seed oil and possibly vegetable glycerin, depending on the source. Petroleum jelly and mineral oil are obtained from a non-vegetable source. If you are using skin care products containing lanolin, black cumin seed oil, etc and are curious about the oleic acid content, the manufacturer would be your best resource as a great many factors affect this percentage. If it isn’t listed specifically as an ingredient, it probably isn’t present in any great concentration but it would still be best to contact the manufacturer.
Best, Sharmani

Dominique said,

October 12, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

I have sebaceous hyperplasia and its only getting worse, I have tried many different products nothing has really worked thus far. At this time I can not afford to go to a Dermatologist for treatment,so I was hoping you could give me some information on anything that I could do on my own maby there are some products I dont know about. Any information would be helpful!

Catherine said,

October 13, 2013 @ 7:55 pm

Hi Sharmani,
Do i only need to avoid the sun on days when i’ve applied the AHA pro-retinol cream eg Vaseline ultimate 10 anti-ageing? Does it have a cumulative effect? Thank you for your advice:)

Sharmani said,

October 15, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

For Dominique:
Sebaceous hyperplasia can be a stubborn condition to eliminate. A visit to your dermatologist for professional advice and consultation would be recommended. In the meantime, however, the addition of a beta hydroxy acid or retinoid treatment may improve the condition. Read more about it here.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

October 15, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

For Catherine,
Although the Vaseline product you mentioned is not one that we are familiar with here, any AHA and/or retinoid product can increase skin’s sensitivity to sunlight and therefore more prone to sunburn. For this reason, the use of a broad spectrum UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen while using any alpha hydroxy preparation is essential.
Best, Sharmani

Nina ward said,

October 21, 2013 @ 10:47 am

Hello how are you. I have receive my order a few weeks now and I try the skins product hydroquinon gel and my skin start to break out with a lot of bumps and it itches and burn I had to run to my pharmacy to get an ointment to clear up my skin fast. I was so scare that my face would be damage. Please let me know what I need to do about this do I get a refund are a saluting thank.

Sharmani said,

October 23, 2013 @ 10:48 am

For Nina:
We’re sorry to hear that you had an adverse reaction to hydroquinone. Hydroquinone 4% tends to be well tolerated by most individuals when used as directed and there is a lot of research to support its safety. However, some individuals may experience minor and temporary skin irritations including mild itching or stinging and reddening of the skin (irritant contact dermatitis). If these do not subside, usage should be stopped. Seek medical advice immediately if reactions include severe burning, itching, crusting, or swelling of treated areas. Performing a test patch and following manufacturer instructions, including introducing it slowly to your skin routine,may also help minimize adverse reactions.
We understand that you have spoken to one of our representatives and discussed our refund policy as well as possible botanical-based skin lighteners if you find that your skin cannot tolerate hydroquinone. Although hydroquinone is still the gold standard for skin lightening, other ingredients such as kojic acid, bearberry and arbutin are also effective.
Best, Sharmani

Aimee said,

November 1, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

Hi Sharmani,
My daughter’s hair has been thinning since the onset of puberty. She is only 13 and has seen an endocrinologist who did a full set of blood tests that determined her hormone levels are normal. I was the same way and basically have experienced gradual thinning for the past 20+ years. That’s why I believe this to be genetic hair loss and just need to know the best way to help her (and me too) keep the hair she has. I’ve read of several shampoos that might help do a decent job of keeping the hair that’s there but because she is only 13, I need it to be safe for her to use, nothing that will negatively affect her reproductive system, etc… Would Nizoral be good? Is some kind of biotin shampoo with dht blockers safe?
Thank you for your help,

Sharmani said,

November 4, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

For Aimee:
Thanks for your question. It sounds like you are being very proactive in dealing with your daughter’s thinning hair. We are happy to hear that you have seen an endocrinologist and ruled out a hormone imbalance as the reason for the hair loss. As your daughter is still quite young, it would be best to see a doctor to 1) rule out other possible reasons and 2) ensure that Nizoral Shampoo is the right course of treatment. Nizoral Shampoo is not recommended for use on children under the age of 12, but as your daughter is older, it should be safe to use with your doctor’s approval.
Although Nizoral was shown to be effective in promoting hair regrowth, the study done involved a very small number of subjects, all of whom were adult males. There is currently no evidence to support its use in women to alleviate thinning hair – anyone using it for this reason would be assuming it might work in the same way as in a male, but there is nothing to support this, only anecdotal evidence. The active ingredient ketoconazole is anti-androgenic (blocks male hormones , aka DHT blocker), which is why it is thought to help stop hair loss. Its activity as an anti-fungal may also play a role in its activity, but this hasn’t been corroborated.
Hope this helps! Sharmani

RoxxiBaybii said,

December 2, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

Hi, this is Roxanne here.

I want to buy a hydroquinone 4% cream but I’m afraid that I will buy a fake, fraudulent product from a fake and misleading website. Could you recommend the best sites that sell authentic hydroquinone 4% creams. I really don’t want to be ripped-off in my purchases.

Thank you.

sobia ch. said,

December 5, 2013 @ 2:00 am

hi sharmani
my name is sobia and i have series problem releated to my skin is to much dry no shine on my face genereate lot of oil all the time. before its colour was white but with the passege f time colour turning dark . and its not proper clear face,make up dus not suit on m face can u plz suggest my any thning like creame or some thing else.that can help all my problems thnks so much i m so worry and waiting for your reply

Sharmani said,

December 5, 2013 @ 2:27 pm

For Sobia:
It sounds like you have several issues, including melasma or hyperpigmentation. There are many causes and treatments for melasma – more information may be found here. You may want to consult a skin care specialist who can help assess your skin and help you build a skin care regimen that is suited to your specific needs.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

December 5, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

For Roxanne:
We carry several 4% hydroquinone creams here at PharmacyMix including Lustra AF and Ultraquin. All of them are brand name products, sourced straight from the manufacturers. We do not carry any generic brands or substitutes. Having said that, it is always in your best interest to make sure that you are dealing with reputable companies. We have been helping customers with their skin care needs for 8 years and would be happy to answer your questions. Feel free to contact us at 1-866-876-3649.
Best, Sharmani

Wayne said,

December 15, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

When will Polytar A/F be available again. Your site states that it is tempoariy unavailable. This specific products works so well for me.

Sharmani said,

December 19, 2013 @ 6:24 am

For Wayne,
Thank you for your interest in Polytar AF Shampoo. Unfortunately, we have not been able to confirm when the manufacturers plan on bringing back the Polytar line of shampoos. We do, however, carry Sebcur T Shampoo which also contains coal tar and salicylic acid for treatment of psoriasis of the scalp.
Best, Sharmani

Aisha said,

January 7, 2014 @ 9:46 pm

Hey Sharmani :)

I’m South Asian and a common problem with us, as you must already know, is pigmented lips. The middle part of my lower lip is pink, however the edge is dark outline. My upper lip is dark, as in brown. I don’t smoke or drink coffee, I don’t bite or lick my lips, I do apply sunblock before going outdoors, I avoid lipsticks. I want both my lips to be rosy, so what do you suggest? Exfoliants? Hydroquinone? Vitamin C? I have the MaMa lotion…should I apply that? Sometimes I wonder what color my upper lip would be if it lightened……would it just fade into a light or pale brown as opposed to a rosy color? I want something that will produce fast results.

Also, just wanna say that I’ve been using a sample of ypur Apothekari and apart from smelling really good, I feel it’s doing something to my skin. Can’t put my finger on it, but appears clearer and there’s a glow to it. :)

Sharmani said,

January 15, 2014 @ 2:29 pm

For Aisha,
Thank you for your question and your kind words about the Apothekari products. We really love them as well!
You’re right that darker, pigmented lips can be a common problem for those with darker skin. It sounds as though you are doing all the right things by avoiding coffee, keeping your lips hydrated and protected from the sun. Because the skin on the lips is some of the thinnest on the body, we would not recommend using hydroquinone or MaMa Lotion. Using a very soft toothbrush to gently exfoliate your lips will remove dry, dead skin cells but may not necessarily be effective for pigmentation. Although a quick fix would be ideal, the bottom line is that pigmented lips may be one genetic characteristic that we just have to live with. Luckily, lip concealers abound that can even out the color before applying a moisturizing lip balm or lipstick for a consistent color.
Best, Sharmani

Joy said,

January 15, 2014 @ 9:46 pm

Do you ship Transderm-V patches to Australia?

Sharmani said,

January 16, 2014 @ 11:47 am

For Joy:
Thanks for your question. We do ship Transderm-V patches to Australia (as well as other places around the world!).
Best, Sharmani

wintana said,

January 22, 2014 @ 2:10 am

hi sharmani,
I have a malasma that have been for 5years on my face. I have used everything on the market like bleaching cream scar fading cream and chemical peels. and nothing work all make my asking really sencetive and oily. now my skin getting thinner and I can see the line of my blood on my face that’s how thin my face look like. I like ur help wut do u think will be good for malasma and sensetive skin.

I have olive golden under tone skin color.

thank u for your time.

Leah Fiander said,

January 25, 2014 @ 6:41 am

i use Ombrelle 45 on my face. How frequently do I need to replace the tube. I have fair skin and Actinic Keratosis on my nose, which has been surgically treated. Is 45 enough or should I be using another product.

Sharmani said,

January 27, 2014 @ 2:13 pm

For Wintana,
Thanks for your question. Considering the delicate condition of your skin at the moment, you may want to concentrate on regaining some balance in your skin with regard to the sensitivity and excess oil before treating the melasma. It would be best to consult your dermatologist and/or skin care specialist to establish a gentle routine in order to strengthen your skin barrier. Once your skin has regained some resilience, you may want to consider the original MaMa Lotion to help fade your melasma.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

January 27, 2014 @ 2:27 pm

For Leah,
For maximum effectiveness, sunscreens should be used within 12 months of opening. If there are any changes to smell or colour, it’s best to play it safe and discard it.
The Ombrelle Face Cream SPF 45 with Mexoryl provides excellent sun protection when applied and reapplied as directed. However, studies have shown that most of us don’t actually use enough or reapply often enough to reap the full SPF benefits listed on the product. Choosing a higher SPF product may ensure slightly better coverage but it’s equally important to find a sunscreen with a texture and finish that you’ll love using every day of the year.
Best, Sharmani

Cecilia Bastien said,

January 27, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

Polytar shampoo is not available in Canada. Is it legal to ship to Canada? I was using it for my scalp psoriasis and it helped a lot.

Sharmani said,

January 29, 2014 @ 11:27 am

For Cecilia,
You are correct that Polytar Shampoo is not available Canada (PharmacyMix is also located here) and has not been manufactured for quite a while. Judging by the number of inquiries we get, it had a loyal following. If you are looking for a shampoo for scalp psoriasis or seborrhea, you may want to consider Sebcur T Shampoo, which contains not only 10% coal tar but also 4% salicylic acid.
Best, Sharmani

Jolene Winn said,

January 31, 2014 @ 7:24 am

Is the Apothkari A serum orange in color? I have one that I put in the refrigerator for a time while I used up another product and I want to be sure it didn’t oxidize or degrade. Thanks.

Regina said,

February 1, 2014 @ 12:28 am

I am of mixed ethnicity (Asian and African-American) and I have eczema. Between the rashes and my scratching, I have horrible hyperpigmentation as a result and would like to lighten those blemishes before the summer arrives. Is an AHA the best option as a skin lightening agent as if so, is there a particular brand you have in your inventory that you would recommend.

Kind regards,
Rashed-Out Regina

Ashley said,

February 2, 2014 @ 11:37 am

Hi Sharmani,

Can Ultraquin expire and, if so, what are the ramifications of using it after it expires? My mom gave me an old tube of hers as I am treating hyperpigmentation on my upper lip. I am applying it as part of my Obagi regiment. I put it on after step 5 – do you recommend this?

Sharmani said,

February 3, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

For Ashley,
All the Ultraquin 4% hydroquinone skin lightening products that we carry have a best before date determined by the manufacturer. As with all skin care treatments, we would not recommend using the product if it has passed its expiry date. Keep in mind that shelf life also plays a part in the efficacy of a product. If it was opened more than 12 months ago or if there are changes to the color or smell of the product, it’s safer to throw it out and not risk any adverse reactions.
As we are not familiar with the Obagi line nor have a list of the product ingredients, we cannot recommend how Ultraquin would fit into your current skin care routine. However, if you would like to learn more about incorporating hydroquinone into your regimen, you can find out more here at PharmacyMix.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

February 3, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

For Jolene,
Thank you for your question. The Apothekari A is for Anti-Aging serum is indeed a bright yellow color. This is the natural, unaltered color of retinaldehyde.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

February 5, 2014 @ 12:02 pm

For Regina,
Thanks for your question. It sounds like your hyperpigmentation is a result of scarring. MaMa Lotion, containing malic and mandelic acids, would help for the face. Many of our customers have found it to be very effective for reducing the appearance of dark patches from acne scarring and other skin conditions. A gentle retinoid like Apothekari Retinal Serum would also help in exfoliating the dead skin cells on top and promoting the regeneration of new, healthy skin.
For the body, both the Neostrata Body Smoothing Lotion and the Reversa Skin Smoothing Lotion have 10% glycolic acid. Although they are not necessarily formulated for skin lightening, the glycolic acid would help with exfoliation.
As with any new skin care product, it’s best to do a skin patch test to minimize any possible reactions, particularly when it comes to eczema-prone skin.
Best, Sharmani

logie Govender said,

February 19, 2014 @ 5:53 am

hi Sharmani I had a 40% peel I had about 4 of them unfortunately this not agree with me & peel off like they advised the marks are gone darker please advise what can I used to remove this burn & acid peel off from my face

Sharmani said,

February 19, 2014 @ 11:57 am

For Iogie,
Thanks for your question. If you have been using a 40% glycolic acid peel and have been experiencing an adverse reaction, it would be best to discontinue usage and allow your skin ample time to repair itself. Stick to the basics of gentle cleansing, moisturizing and a good, broad-spectrum sunscreen every day until your skin has recovered. You may want to see your dermatologist before beginning any new treatments targeting dark spots.
Best, Sharmani

BB said,

February 22, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

Hi Sharmani,

When is the best time to use Vit C serum? Can Vit A 0.25% and vit C serum on my face at night?

Sharmani said,

February 24, 2014 @ 2:45 pm

For BB,
Vitamin C is one of our favorite antioxidants and all-around anti-aging active ingredients. A vitamin C serum can be used during the day when it protects against free radicals and also during the night when it works to repair damaged skin. If you are using both a vitamin C serum and a retinoid at night, I would suggest applying the retinoid first, waiting 5-10 minutes for it to absorb, and then applying the vitamin C serum.
Best, Sharmani

Annalee said,

February 28, 2014 @ 3:11 am


I know 4% hydroquinone is very effective but I believe 2% hydroquinone will work very well. Should I buy the 4% or the 2% to counteract hyperpigmentation? Also, could you recommend a few hydroquinone 2% products.

And one more thing; What is the difference between Stieva-A and Retin-A? Do they work in the same way?

Please reply ASAP and thank you.

Jenny said,

March 2, 2014 @ 1:13 am

I am currently using TriLuma for my melasma (first week and not seeing the same dramatic results most have mentioned in their reviews). Can I also use MaMa lotion concurrently to speed up lightening results?

Elena said,

March 4, 2014 @ 5:44 pm


I am wondering if Green Cream contains tretinoin. I have read that this can cause toxicity and specifically changes in vision. Have there been any side effects reported with Green Cream where users have experienced changes in their vision?

Thank you,


Sharmani said,

March 5, 2014 @ 11:37 am

For Annalee,
We currently carry only 4% hydroquinone skin lightening products. If you believe a 2% hydroquinone product will be effective for your hyperpigmentation, purchase from a reputable company or manufacturer to ensure that the product you buy contains safe and effective ingredients. As for Retin-A and Stieva-A, both contain tretinoin (retinoic acid) and come in several strengths and formulations. Your dermatologist will be able to best advise you on which one would be most suitable.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

March 5, 2014 @ 11:47 am

For Jenny,
Successful skin lightening is often a combination of a skin lightener, an exfoliant, a retinoid and sunscreen. Used twice a week, MaMa Lotion, a gentle exfoliant containing malic and mandelic acids, could be an effective part of the process. However, as TriLuma advises users to avoid products that may dry or irritate the skin, such as abrasive cleansers, scrubs, or skin‐peeling agents, it would be best to check with your dermatologist before adding MaMa Lotion into your routine.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

March 5, 2014 @ 12:00 pm

For Elena,
Thanks for your question. Green Cream contains retinol in various strengths. When applied to the skin, retinol is converted to retinaldehyde and then to retinoic acid, also known as tretinoin, before it can produce those amazing benefits. We are not aware of any links between the use of Green Cream and loss of vision.
Please click here to find out more about Green Cream. Alternatively, you may also consult your dermatologist about introducing a retinoid into your skin care routine.
Best, Sharmani

Sofia said,

March 9, 2014 @ 8:55 am

May i use mela d moistruriser (la roche posay) in the morning with the sunscreen anthelios 50+ and redermic r (la roche posay) at night?

Sharmani said,

March 10, 2014 @ 12:34 pm

For Sofia,
Thanks for your question. Using the Mela D Dark Spots during the day along with an effective broad spectrum sunscreen like the one from Anthelios is an excellent combination. You are also doing the right thing by using the Redermic R at night. Due to the nature of retinol (the possibility of it making you more sun-sensitive as well as the retinol breaking down due to UV exposure), our advice is to use any retinoid product only at night.
Best, Sharmani

sherri clark said,

March 11, 2014 @ 9:17 am

My husband currently uses MG217 coal tar shampoo, while visiting your site I noticed you offer coal tar shampoo. Can you tell me the strongest coal tar shampoo you offer. The Mg217 contain coal tar solution of 15% equivalent to 3% coal tar. I noticed several coal tar shampoos but can’t tell the percentage of coal tar and I’m looking for a stronger coal tar shampoo. Thank you for the help.

Sharmani said,

March 12, 2014 @ 7:46 pm

For Sherri,
Currently, the only medicated shampoo we carry which contains coal tar is Sebcur T Shampoo. It is formulated with 10% coal tar and 4% salicylic acid.
Best, Sharmani

Victoria said,

March 17, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

Do you have any sunscreens that contain Tinosorb?

Sharmani said,

March 19, 2014 @ 6:59 am

For Victoria,
We have quite a few Anthelios sunscreens which contain Tinosorb S. You’ll find a list of them in our blog here. If you need assistance choosing the right one for you, please give us a call. We’d be happy to help you!
Best, Sharmani

Kathy said,

March 23, 2014 @ 1:51 pm

Hi Sharmani,

I am highly allergic to most cosmetics, (fragrance, geraniol etc and preservatives, to name a few.) Presently, I am trying to cure contact dermatitis (scalp) without any luck! I am also interested in purchasing a sunscreen/sunblock which will not have any serious side effects. Can you advise both on a sunscreen and shampoo/conditioner that are organic in nature?
Perhaps a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide only? Thanks so much for your help.

Sharmani said,

March 24, 2014 @ 8:32 am

For Kathy,
Thanks for your questions. With sensitive skin, it’s important to try and keep the ingredient list of your skincare treatments to a minimum in order to minimize adverse reactions. You may want to consider Keys Solar Rx as a suitable sunscreen. It is chemical-free and contains only zinc oxide as the active ingredient. Please check here for the full list of natural ingredients. As for a shampoo and conditioner, Cliniderm’s complete line is geared toward sensitive skin, including their Gentle Shampoo and Gentle Conditioner.
However, those with sensitive skin are also undoubtedly aware that what works well with others may not with their own skin, so it’s even more important to do a skin patch test with every new product you try.
Best, Sharmani

Scott said,

March 27, 2014 @ 6:17 pm

Hello, hope all is well,

I was wondering if you could help me see the pro’s and con’s of two “men’s” facial moisturizers. The first is “NeoStrata Men: Soothing Moisturizer” and the second is “Kiehl’s: Facial Fuel: energizing moisture treatment for men.” I would like to start using a daily moisturizer for my face, these came recommended, what do yo think?

Best regards,


Kathy said,

March 29, 2014 @ 1:48 pm


I have contact dermititis (scalp)and I am interested in finding a demi-perm hair color that will not be too harsh on scalp/and or face. Are you familiar with Naturtint? Can you advise your thoughts about this product as well as other recommendations you may have? I am allergic to most chemicals including preservatives and fragrances. Thanks for your help.

Sharmani said,

March 31, 2014 @ 1:13 pm

For Scott,
Thank you for your question. It is difficult to compare two different products without a full ingredient list and without knowing the condition of our skin or skin care goals. If you have not been using any moisturizer previously, either of the ones you mentioned, the Neostrata Soothing Moisturizer or the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel, would most certainly hydrate your skin. If you are able to do so locally, the best thing to do is try both. Texture, finish and fragrance all influence our choice of treatments and are very individual.
We would like to suggest, however, that you consider adding a separate broad spectrum sunscreen, such as Anthelios. If you want to keep your skin care routine to a minimum, opt for a moisturizer with sunscreen added like La Roche Posay’s Hydraphase UV.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

March 31, 2014 @ 1:27 pm

For Kathy,
Being allergic to most chemicals, preservatives and fragrances, it’s wise to be looking at botanical-based, ammonia-free hair dyes. That said, a skin sensitivity patch test should be performed with any hair dye each and every time prior to use. Skin sensitivities, allergies and reactions can occur at any time. As for the Naturtint, you may want to speak to a service representative locally who can provide you with feedback from a wide customer base.
Best, Sharmani

Anna said,

April 4, 2014 @ 10:41 am

Hi, I would like to compound my own hydroquinone cream. Is cosmetic hq powder the same as hq photographic grade powder?

Thanks, Sharmani.

Sharmani said,

April 16, 2014 @ 10:21 am

To Anna: Hydroquinone is a highly unstable compound so for that reason I would not recommend compounding it at home. It degrades very quickly upon exposure to oxygen and light and unless it is stabilized appropriately it may do your skin more harm than good. As to the various forms of hq, I’m sorry but we cannot advise regarding the difference between the two. Best, Sharmani

Neetu said,

May 1, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

Hello Sharmani,

I am 28 and Indian, live in CA. I have been suffering from skin discolouration for many years now. My whole face has many skin tones, initially i thought it could be because I get laser hair removal on my face, my therapist said that is not the case. I have tried every home treatments my aunts and grandma suggested, but nothing seems to be working. I do have hypothyroidism, could that be the reason? what would you suggest could work for me.

Sharmani said,

May 2, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

To Neetu

Thanks for your question Neetu. I’m sorry to hear about your skin discolouration; I know how difficult that must be for you.

Regarding laser hair removal and skin discolouration, it’s my understanding that this procedure can contribute to either hypo (less) or hyper (more) pigmentation under certain circumstances. This usually happens when the procedure isn’t done properly. There also does seem to be a link between hypothyroidism and melasma so it is possible that this condition may be contributing to your discolouration.

Because we are an online store it is difficult for us to assess any individual situation. Additionally, it sounds like there may be several contributing factors to your condition. For this reason, I feel it best for you to consult with a skin care professional like a dermatologist.

Best of luck, Sharmani

R said,

May 10, 2014 @ 12:05 pm

Hi Sharmani,

I use to have really bad psoriasis but I went on humira and it has luckily cleared up my skin. However, I now have dark spots where the psoriasis use to be. I was told it would go away with time but it has been some years now and it is still there. Do you have any recommendations for creams that will give me fast results? Should I try neostrata HQ cream it has hydroquinone in it which I know can be quite toxic. Please advise accordingly.

Sharmani said,

May 14, 2014 @ 10:20 am

Hello R,
Thanks for your question. For evening out skin tone gently in the case of acne or psoriasis scars, we really like MaMa Lotion. While MaMa Lotion tends to be very well tolerated by most individuals, it is hard to know for certain what type of effect any medication will have on its use. The manufacturer doesn’t typically provide guidance in these types of cases and so it is difficult for us to advise. In this case, I would check with your physician to ensure that it won’t be problematic. If you get the green light, we’d advise caution to begin with. While a test patch is always a good idea with any new topical treatment, in your case it is especially so.
Hope this is helpful!

Sharmani said,

May 29, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

For Angie,
The Epilyt AHA Lotion which we carry is manufactured by Valeo Pharmaceuticals here in Canada. The ingredients are the same when compared to an old bottle of the Steiffel product that one of our customers has kept for comparison.
Best, Sharmani

Victoria said,

June 7, 2014 @ 3:11 pm

Do you know when Anthelios XL 50+ Fluide Extreme (Tinted and non-Tinted) will be available. Is there a waiting list so I can get my name on and get them as soon as the are available? Thanks!

Sharmani said,

June 9, 2014 @ 9:33 am

For Victoria,
Absolutely, we can add you to our list of customers who are waiting for new stock of the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Fluide Extreme to arrive. We hope to have some in the next 2 or 3 weeks. Thanks for your interest!
Best, Sharmani

Teresa said,

July 7, 2014 @ 7:33 am

I have lines around the mouth they call Marionette lines,they are not real bad but I am looking for a product that will help make them less noticeable,and maybe more firmer,I was thinking of starting the Green cream level 6 what can you recommend that would help me?

Sharmani said,

July 9, 2014 @ 9:43 am

For Teresa,
Thanks for your question. Either high-potency retinol Green Cream Level 6 or gentle Apothekari A is for Anti-Aging retinal serum would both be very good choices to start with for the lines around your mouth. Retinoids in general boost collagen production, leading to smoother and “plumper” skin. Incorporate gradually into your skin care routine and give it at least a month to work (skin renews itself every 28 days) and you may find that it is a great alternative to more invasive procedures.
Best, Sharmani

Teresa said,

July 12, 2014 @ 2:52 pm

I am thinking of starting Retin A to help my skin will it help the lines around my mouth and make them less noticable?What other product could I use that would help I can;t afford plastic surgery,or fillers I just want to make my skin to look better and look good for my age,Please tell me what you think any help will be most apprciated.I hate these lines around my mouth I am starting a new job,and don;t want to look older than I am,

Sharmani said,

July 14, 2014 @ 9:47 am

For Teresa,
Retinoids should be effective for the lines around your mouth. As mentioned before, Green Cream or Apothekari’s A is for Anti-Aging would both be very good choices. If you prefer not to go the retinoid route, look for a cream with peptides as they also boost collagen production and help plump the skin to fill in wrinkles for a smoother look.
Best, Sharmani

Lori said,

July 19, 2014 @ 2:45 pm

Hi! What is the best product to use for my 15 year old son who has moderate acne.

Kim said,

July 23, 2014 @ 8:59 am

Can I lay out in the sun using preparation H or will it burn under my eyes?

Sharmani said,

July 23, 2014 @ 9:39 am

For Lori,
Thanks for your question. Although there is no one best product for teenage acne, a consistent routine using a few over-the-counter products can help improve and control uncomplicated acne:
1. Cleansing twice a day with a gentle, soap-free cleanser
2. Exfoliating with a glycolic acid toner like Neostrata’s Level 1 Toning Solution to clear away dead skin cells that can clog pores, and
3. Treating with salicylic acid product such as Neostrata’s Blemish Spot Gel Treatment.
If there is no improvement, you may want to consult your dermatologist.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

July 23, 2014 @ 9:45 am

For Kim,
As Preparation H Cream is not specifically formulated as an eye cream, there have been no tests that we know of regarding reactions from sun exposure. We would suggest using it sparingly at night and using a broad spectrum sunscreen during the day. You may also want to consider Reversa’s Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream with SPF 15 which provides hydration as well as sun protection.
Best, Sharmani

Inge Beckham said,

August 6, 2014 @ 11:15 am

I have Melia around my nose and on my scalp. These white little pimples (white heads?)are coming out everywhere and are hard to take out – other than to stick a needle into it and squeeze very hard. Isn’t there an easier way to get rid of these pests?
Would appreciate your answer. Thank you.
Inge Beckham

Mary said,

August 21, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

Hi, regarding the anthelios line of sunscreens. The descriptions are confusing as to the texture. There is MATTE, VELVET, DRY TOUCH. I cant see the difference. Which would be not shiny, and perhaps a silky feel?

Barry said,

August 30, 2014 @ 9:15 am

I have tried LaRoche-Posay Face 60 Anthelios 60, also Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid. I bout this locally. I do not see this for sale on your site – but maybe its no longer in production? Or, what would be equivalent?

Sharmani said,

September 3, 2014 @ 9:59 am

For Inge:
Milia form when skin cells don’t slough off normally, resulting in a benign keratin-filled cyst on the skin’s surface. They are often confused with whiteheads because of a similar appearance. Eliminating skin care products that may be problematic and regular but gentle exfoliation should help remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and eliminate existing milia. As with many skin care treatments, consistency and patience are key. Read more about milia here.
If you see no improvements in a few weeks, it may be time to visit your dermatologist for professional treatment.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

September 3, 2014 @ 10:22 am

For Mary:
Choosing a sunscreen amongst all the offerings can certainly be confusing. Matte, dry-touch and velvet would all indicate a non-shiny finish. To find one that is most suitable for your skin type, needs and preferences, please give us a call and we would be happy to give you some suggestions. Our customer service team have tried most of the ones we carry and can help point you in the right direction.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

September 3, 2014 @ 10:42 am

For Barry,
Thanks for your question. we are big fans of Anthelios sunscreens and love hearing about our customers’ favorite products. If you are looking for an ultra-light fluid, we currently carry the Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra Fluid with SPF 50 (this one uses titanium dioxide as the sun filter) as well as the untinted Anthelios SPF 60 Ultra Fluid which contains a combination of effective sun filters.
If you need further assistance, please give us a call and would be happy to help.
Best, Sharmani

Roger Gietzen MD said,

September 23, 2014 @ 11:12 pm

Hi Sharmani,

Does the pyrantel 125 mg tab come scored? Please see this page for the exact med:


Healthy Mind Body

Sharmani said,

September 29, 2014 @ 12:17 pm

For Roger,
The latest information that we have been able to obtain from two separate sources is that the Combantrin pyrantel tablets are indeed scored to help with accurate dosage.
Best, Sharmani

Rupa maharjan said,

October 10, 2014 @ 8:09 am

Hi Sharmani, Im 28 year old with an asian skin type . My skin is very sensitive an oily skin . I have struggled a lot during my teenage perioud because of achne or pimples. Now im facing another new problem as some dark spots started to seen in my face. People says its hyperpigmentation but i have no any idea how it came in my face because im not a pregnant ,i have never taken any pills , i have no any health problem and i hardly take a paracetamol .i dont use any cosmetic products not even sunscreen as my skin is sensitive,sometime i use powder foundation and twice a week i use my own homemade natural face pack and thats all i do for my face . I think that dark spot in my face getting bigger so i desparately need your precious suggetion to control it . Is it good idea to use hydroquinone 4% ??and what would be tha best product for me ? Thanks, Rupa

Sharmani said,

October 13, 2014 @ 11:13 am

Hello Rupa,
Thanks for your question. From your description, it certainly sounds like you have hyperpigmentation. Those with Asian skin often find that we are more prone to dark spots. I would advise using an effective broad spectrum sunscreen every day (regardless of weather) to prevent the development of further hyperpigmentation. As your skin is sensitive and oily, it may take some time to find one that is suitable. You may want to consider Anthelios SPF 50 Mineral Ultra-fluid as a starting point.
To control and lighten existing hyperpigmentation, MaMa Lotion with gentle malic and mandelic acids is a favourite with our customers who have very sensitive skin that may not tolerate hydroquinone well. As with all new skin treatments, performing a skin patch test and introducing them gradually into your routine to allow your skin to build up tolerance are key.
Read more about how to treat hyperpigmentation here and here.
Best, Sharmani

Lisa Judge said,

October 16, 2014 @ 9:10 pm

I recently learned that Canadian Preparation H contains BioDyne, which is good for wrinkle repair. I know the product also contains petrolatum, which in the past clogged my pores and led to whiteheads and pimples. Any feedback/comments on this possible problem with using Preparation H cream on my face wrinkles (forehead and chin Thank you very much.

Lisa Judge said,

October 17, 2014 @ 6:07 pm

In a simpler form, is the Canadian Prep H non-comedogenic on the face? Thank you.

Sharmani said,

October 20, 2014 @ 11:53 am

For Lisa,
As Preparation H Cream is formulated and marketed as an effective treatment for hemorrhoids, it cannot be labelled as non-comedogenic for the face as no tests or clinical evaluations have been performed for that purpose. If you are already aware that petrolatum may trigger unwanted reactions, you want may to consider a product that is free of that ingredient but still contains a peptide (the active ingredient in biodyne has been isolated as a protein fraction containing a mixture of several peptides), such as Neostrata’s Wrinkle Repair Moisturizing Cream, which contains both Matrixyl 3000 and Peptide Q10.
Best, Sharmani

Annalee said,

October 21, 2014 @ 1:33 am

Hi, how should you apply a chemical peel? I have glycolic acid bottles ranging from 15 – 70 strength. And yet, I don’t know what to do with either of them. Could you help with instructions? Thankyou.

Sharmani said,

October 22, 2014 @ 10:06 am

For Annalee,
Thanks for your question. At-home chemical peels are generally applied evenly to the face with a cotton pad, left on for 5-15 minutes and then rinsed completely away. Detailed instructions should be included with each kit and should be followed carefully. If no instructions were included, you should refer to your skin care specialist to ensure that the peel is suitable for your skin type and to minimize any possible irritation.
Because chemical peels and glycolic acid can be very potent, concentrations of over 30% should be administered by a professional only.
Regardless of whether you have a chemical peel at home or at your dermatologist’s office, you should limit exposure to the sun and protect your skin with a good, broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Best, Sharmani

Mary Groll said,

October 23, 2014 @ 8:14 am

I am currently using anthelios 40 with Mexoral SX on my face. It is thick and leaves me looking quite white. My friend uses anthelios 45 with Mexoral (not sure if SX or LX). Hers is much more transparent and doesn’t leave her white. Which of us is getting more protection and why? Are they both “chemical” products that penetrate the skin?

Sharmani said,

October 28, 2014 @ 12:39 pm

For Mary,
Both the Anthelios SPF 40 with Mexoryl SX and the Anthelios XL SPF 45 contain a combination of chemical AND physical sun filters to protect from as much of the UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) spectrum as possible. You can read more about what the active ingredients do here in our blog post.
Although both Mexoryl sun filters are considered “chemical”, studies have demonstrated little or no absorption through the skin, making them very safe.
The white finish from sunscreens may be attributed to the inclusion of titanium dioxide, a physical sun filter that rests on the skin’s surface and may leave a slightly white appearance. The less titanium dioxide, the less white residue. That said, titanium dioxide does effectively reflect and scatter UVB and some UVA rays.
As for whether you or your friend is getting more protection, it’s impossible to categorically determine. Much depends on how much product is used and how often you reapply. The best protection is finding that a product that balances effective UVA/UVB coverage and a finish that you will enjoy wearing every day, rain or shine.
Best, Sharmani

Roxann said,

November 27, 2014 @ 6:15 am

Do you need to apply sunscreen right after hydroquinone cream? And is it necessary to wear it indoors? Would the efficacy of hq not work anymore if you exclude sunscreen? Please advise me best.

Sharmani said,

November 27, 2014 @ 11:28 am

For Roxann,
Thanks for your question. We’ve always maintained that successful skin lightening involves a combination of products: a skin lightener (such as hydroquinone), a sunscreen (to block UVA/UVB rays and discourage dark spots from redeveloping), and a gentle exfoliant.
We would suggest applying the hydroquinone on bare skin, preferably at night, and wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen during the day. If you are using your skin lightener during the day, allow a few minutes for the hydroquinone to be absorbed before layering your sunscreen on top. Since sun exposure is a major cause of skin darkening due to melanin production, excluding sunscreen from your routine could negate any results from the hydroquinone.
As for wearing sunscreen indoors, this is a personal preference but is a practice that is being encouraged more often as skin cancer rates go up. Keep in mind that UVA rays can still penetrate windows and glass and lead to wrinkles, premature signs of aging and dark spots, even when we are inside.
Hope this helps, Sharmani

swarnafernando said,

December 10, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

can we give pyrentin 125 pets please?
I have 125mgm. tabs with me.

cats weight:
I have 6……….cats.
2.8 kgs,1.1 kgs, 2.1 kgs,3.9 kgs, 2.1 kgs, 2.3 kgs.
1 dog. 15 kgs.

Thank you.

Sharmani said,

December 11, 2014 @ 11:45 am

For Swarnafernando:
As Combantrin Pyrantel Pamoate tablets are used for treating specific worm infestations in humans, they may not be effective for your cats. Please consult your veterinarian for appropriate medication that will protect and treat your pets against “animal specific” worms.
Best, Sharmani

Katherine said,

January 5, 2015 @ 8:57 pm

Hi –

I have Sjogren’s Syndrome and rosacea. I live in the U.S. and have been using Complex 15 Face Cream for decades. It was made by Schering Plough which has been bought by Merck. Merck has supposedly discontinued this product “for business reasons.” Now I can’t find it anywhere in the U.S. for less than $50 a 2.5 oz tube. My question: is it still being made in Canada? Or will Pharmacymix run out of stock?

Thanks for your time and trouble

Sharmani said,

January 6, 2015 @ 11:47 am

For Katherine,
Thanks for your question. Complex 15 Face Cream is still available and being manufactured in Canada by Schering Plough. We have not heard of any plans for this popular cream to be discontinued.
Best, Sharmani

Faye Justin said,

January 9, 2015 @ 8:23 am

Which product will work better to lighten dark spots on my skin from pimples, Lustra or Ultraquin Plain?
I have used Lustra for many years, but it is now discontinued and they only offer Lustra AF. Not sure how this product will work for me. Please advise which will work better for dark spots. Thanks.

Sharmani said,

January 12, 2015 @ 2:48 pm

For Faye,
Lustra AF Cream contains the same effective 4% hydroquinone but now also contains retinol, our favorite anti-aging ingredient. However, for dark spots due to acne, you may want to consider the original MaMa Lotion with 20% AHA (10% malic acid & 10% mandelic acid) in a gentle but highly-effective formula that minimizes irritation.
Whichever you choose, a skin patch test is always advisable.
Best, Sharmani

Martha Womack said,

January 17, 2015 @ 4:52 pm

How do you layer Cicaplast, Anthelios KA, and Anthelios XL 60 in the day while using Tazorac? Redness is a problem-week 3. Also, can Cicaplast be used over the Taz after it has sunken in for a few minutes? Thank you so much.

Sharmani said,

January 19, 2015 @ 12:14 pm

For Martha,
Thank you for your question. If you find that your skin is slightly irritated or dry after using Tazorac at night, a moisturizer over top, like Cicaplast, can certainly be used. During the day, either the Anthelios KA SPF 100 or the Anthelios XL SPF 60 should give you enough hydration and sun protection. Sun exposure should be limited while using Tazorac. If you find during the day that your skin requires more hydration, apply a moisturizer first, allow it to absorb for a few minutes and then apply your sunscreen over top.
If the redness is severe or continues, it would be best to consult with your doctor or dermatologist to ensure that the Tazorac is right for you.
Best, Sharmani

Anjum said,

January 29, 2015 @ 7:25 am

which company is good for Hydroquinone 2% (5 grams) for dry skin ,fineline and wrinkles to use? is avilable in india and in karnatka?

Sharmani said,

January 29, 2015 @ 12:12 pm

For Anjum,
Thanks for your question. Hydroquinone 2% is formulated as a skin lightening treatment. Brands depend on local availability. For dry skin, fine lines and wrinkles, we would suggest a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid for hydration and either peptides or a gentle retinoid to boost collagen production to plump out the skin.
Best, Sharmani

paul said,

February 4, 2015 @ 6:42 pm

Hi Sharmani My name is Paul and Ive been looking for Epilyt lotion for quite some time now. Was manufactured by the Stiefel Corporation until they discontinued it. Is this the same lotion on your site. Worked incredibly well for me. Please respond and what is the price?

Sharmani said,

February 10, 2015 @ 1:54 pm

For Paul,
The Epi-lyt Lotion we carry is manufactured in Canada by Valeo Pharmaceuticals. It is not uncommon for different companies in different countries to have licences to produce the same product.
We have had in the past US customers contact us, looking for the same product that was manufactured by Stiefel. Upon comparing the list of ingredients, we have found the two to be identical.
Hope this helps!
Best, Sharmani

peg said,

February 21, 2015 @ 6:23 am

is the ingredient biodyne the same thing as LYCD in Prep H cream? Also, if the cream has an odor, does the odor fade when the cream drys? If one has a fish allergy, is there anything in this cream to avoid?

Sharmani said,

February 24, 2015 @ 12:57 pm

For Peg,
BioDyne, the active ingredient in Preparation H Cream, is indeed the same thing as LYCD (Live Yeast Cell Derivative). Although there is a slight odor to the cream, it does dissipate.
Although the remainder of the ingredients are not contraindicative for those with fish allergies, any risk of serious reaction should be referred to your doctor or dermatologist before use. Furthermore, a skin patch test should be performed when introducing any new skin care product in order to minimize any potential adverse reactions.
Best, Sharmani

Patricia said,

February 25, 2015 @ 7:39 pm

I have a dark circle on my cheeks and under eye please what can I use to get rid of it.

Sharmani said,

March 2, 2015 @ 1:30 pm

For Patricia,
We recently wrote a blog about dark circles on our website here. It’s important to first determine the reason for the dark circles in order to choose the right product. Causes of dark circles can range from allergies to hyperpigmentation to hereditary signs of aging, each of which require a different treatment. Our blog post should help in steering you in the right direction.
Best, Sharmani

Cathie said,

March 11, 2015 @ 7:06 pm

Hi Sharmani,

I’m quite excited about the new LRP sunscreens in Europe, and would like to buy an untinted version of the Anthelios XL 50+ Fluide Extreme TINTED Ultra.
As listed here:

Would this be available here?

I noticed that Shoppers sells a Canadian version of this, with exactly the same package, but it misses Mexoryl XL and Tinosorb S in the ingredients list.

Thank you very much!

Sharmani said,

March 12, 2015 @ 10:17 am

For Cathie,
Thank you for your question regarding the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Fluide Extreme (now called Ultra Light Fluide), untinted. We are hoping to receive stock of this popular sunscreen within the next few weeks.
As far as we know, this product is not available in stores in Canada. There is a similarly packaged product available locally, the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Mineral Ultra-fluid Lotion, tinted, which uses titanium dioxide as its main filter. It does not contain either Mexoryl SX, XL or Tinosorb S.
Best, Sharmani


March 12, 2015 @ 6:13 pm

Hi There: My dermatologist has moved out of Ontario(niagara), and moved to B.C. Niagara region is so lacking in dermatologists that i can`t see another one until july. It was suggested to me to use Lustra Af because i am so fair. I have a few sun spots, and maybe also combined with some age spots. I want to know if i should continue to use lustra Af? is it also a good moisturize, to use as my daily lotion on my face? Can you also suggest a cream I should use at night to work on fading these sun spots/dark spots.

Ahsan said,

March 16, 2015 @ 10:08 am

hi… i use to have a excessive sweating problem in my hands and feet. Sweating in hands and feet become more problem for me in summer time. Any lotion that you think would be helpful or any other suggestion by which i can able to control that poblem?

Sharmani said,

March 16, 2015 @ 10:46 am

For Ahsan,
Excessive sweating on the hands and feet is not an uncommon problem, especially as temperatures climb in the summer. We would suggest either Dehydral Antiperspirant Cream for the feet or one of the Drysol Antiperspirants.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

March 16, 2015 @ 10:52 am

For Catherine,
Thanks for your question. Lustra AF Cream with 4% hydroquinone is considered the gold standard for skin lightening and should be used only on the affected areas (dark spots, sun spots). It is a treatment cream and is not formulated as a moisturizer. If, after performing a skin patch test, your skin is able to tolerate the hydroquinone and retinol, we would suggest using it AT NIGHT with a basic moisturizer over top if needed (no AHA’s or other active ingredients that could irritate the skin). During the day, an effective, broad-spectrum sunscreen is essential for successful skin lightening.
Best, Sharmani

Lori said,

March 28, 2015 @ 2:41 pm

I was wondering if using a cream contIning vit c under sunscreen (ombrelle) would help protect my skin (going to Mexico shortly) , or would it affect the properties of the sunscreen

Sharmani said,

March 30, 2015 @ 9:48 am

For Lori,
Using a vitamin C cream or serum is a great way to boost the power of your sunscreen! As an antioxidant, vitamin C neutralizes the free radicals created when skin is exposed to UV rays. We would suggest, however, doing a skin patch test to ensure that there are no reactions when using the two specific products together. You may find that with the heat and humidity, a cream during the day may feel heavy under your sunscreen. In that case, applying the vitamin C cream at night will help to reinforce the fight against free radical damage while you sleep. Have a great trip!
Best, Sharmani

Vicki said,

April 4, 2015 @ 9:25 am

When will Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Melt-in Creme be back in stock?

Sharmani said,

April 12, 2015 @ 11:05 am

For Vicki,
We are currently awaiting new stock of the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Melt in Cream in the untinted version. We hope to have good news for our customers very soon. We do, however, have the tinted version in stock currently.
Best, Sharmani

Linda l said,

May 3, 2015 @ 2:07 pm

I need a sunscreen that will not run into eyes. I also need a very water resistant one. I noticed that an Anthelios XL one is being reformulated & is not available now. Please advise.

Sharmani said,

May 4, 2015 @ 10:59 am

For Linda L,
If you are a fan of the Anthelios line, we carry the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Gel-Crème, a very water-resistant sunscreen that is ideal for oily/combination skin. For outdoor activities, sunscreens made specifically for sports will cut down the chances of the product running into the eyes. You may also want to consider Ombrelle’s SPF 45 Sports Lotion.
Best, Sharmani

Meenakshi Aggarwal said,

June 1, 2015 @ 3:53 pm

I need consultation about black dark spot in my skin (area underarms and and inner area of legs).

Can you suggest any effective cream or lotion to remove those spots.


Sharmani said,

June 7, 2015 @ 12:18 pm

For Meenakshi,
Thank you for your question. Dark spots on the skin can be a result of many different causes. We would suggest that you consult your doctor or dermatologist for a diagnosis before beginning any treatment program.
Best, Sharmani

Steve A said,

June 15, 2015 @ 5:26 pm

Just a “thank you” for the great service and quality products!
I have been a customer for a few years now and I’m NEVER disappointed !!!
All others should order with confidence !
Again, “KUDOS” to Pharmacymix…..keep up the good work !!!

Pat said,

June 16, 2015 @ 12:07 pm

Please explain the difference between Anthelios XL SPF 60 Lightweight Lotion and Anthelios XL SPF 60 Melt-in Cream (Mexoryl). The active ingredients are different but both contain Mexoryl. What is the advantage of one over the other? Is one a newer product?

Thank you.

Elizabeth said,

June 19, 2015 @ 5:56 am

HI! I´m 42 years old and about two months ago I had chicken pox. I am Latin American so my skin tans very quickly. I would like to know what I can do with the dark spots that chicken pox has left on my face (I did not scratch them). I read somewhere that they can take even a year to go. At the moment I am taking vitamin E tablets and covering them with vitamin E cream during the day and vitamin E oil during the night. I also use sun cream. Should I just wait for a year before I start something more drastic? What would you recommend please. Thank you

Sharmani said,

June 21, 2015 @ 10:51 am

For Steve A:
Thank you so much for your kind comments! They will certainly get passed on to the rest of the team. We certainly appreciate hearing from you!
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

June 21, 2015 @ 11:00 am

For Pat,
Thanks for your question. The Anthelios XL SPF 60 Melt in Cream is our most popular sunscreen and provides excellent UVA and UVB protection. The Anthelios XL SPF 60 Lightweight Lotion was introduced just over a year ago. It also contains both Mexoryl XL and SX (albeit in lower percentages) as well as other sun filters. The main difference is that the Lightweight Lotion does not contain titanium dioxide, a physical sunscreen which can, on some skin tones, leave a white cast which some customers would prefer not to have. The Lightweight Lotion still provides excellent UVA and UVB protection but with a different mix of sun filters and an invisible finish that some customer find more pleasant. We always say that the best sunscreen is the one that you will wear every day, without fail.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

June 21, 2015 @ 12:03 pm

For Elizabeth:
It’s likely that your scars will fade away over time (unless you get infected blisters, chicken pox tends not to leave many scars). Hydrating with vitamin E cream and protecting with a stable, broad-spectrum sunscreen will also help speed the process. As long as your skin is healed and healthy, you may want to consider using a treatment like the original MaMa Lotion that will gently exfoliate while promoting new skin growth.
If you find that you are left with residual scars after a year or more, you can seek help from a dermatologist. A professional peel or laser treatment may be suitable and he/she will be able to advise.
Best, Sharmani

Mik said,

June 25, 2015 @ 2:38 am

I am 6.5 weeks pregnant.
And absent minded-ly, as you do when pregnant, i was worming my family with Combantrin. I had it too. I had only just finished chewing it up and swallowing it when I remembered I hadn’t checked the label – I actually went and made myself vomit it up as it said if you’re pregnant check with your doctor first.

Since then I have been madly searching the net for information as to how bad/safe it is while in early pregnancy. There are mixed answers – can you tell me – now that I was able to spit up most of it, should all be ok?

Thank you

Sharmani said,

June 28, 2015 @ 2:44 pm

For Mik,
Your doctor would be the best resource to determine whether or not the small amount of Combantrin you ingested may have any long-term effects on your pregnancy and to answer any specific concerns you may have in this case.
Best, Sharmani

Jess said,

July 8, 2015 @ 12:06 pm


Can hydroquinone products such as Lustra and NeoStrata HQ be used in the pubic area? (bikini area, inner thighs, etc)

Sharmani said,

July 8, 2015 @ 12:16 pm

For Jess,
As the groin/pubic area is very sensitive, we would not recommend using Lustra or any skin lightening products in that area.
Best, Sharmani

Maria said,

July 16, 2015 @ 7:56 pm

Are the la Roche anthelios products u sell made in France ? And are they in stock? I live in the U.S. But only want the products made in France not what is sold in cvs and walgreens

Billy said,

July 18, 2015 @ 11:55 am

A friend suggests that Ketoprofen gel is more effective than Voltaren gel in managing joint pain. Is it the case? And do you carry Ketoprofen gel?

infinite said,

July 25, 2015 @ 7:51 am

hello i wanted to ask will hq remove scars left after acnes please? And can it be used for evening the sun tan? Can it be used without doctors prescribe,Thank you very much looking forward to hearing from you soon.

infinite said,

July 25, 2015 @ 7:58 am

And i want to add saying which hq 2% or 4% is more effective and save?

Sharmani said,

July 26, 2015 @ 9:04 am

For Maria,
Thank you for your blog question. All the La Roche Posay Anthelios sunscreens we carry are made in France for either the Canadian or European market. As such, they contain Mexoryl XL and/or Tinosorb S, sun filters which are currently not available in sunscreens made for the US market. If there is a product in particular that would like, please contact us and we would be happy to let you know if it is in stock.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

July 26, 2015 @ 9:58 am

For Infinite:
There has been much study in the effectiveness and safety of hydroquinone for lightening melasma, dark spots from sun exposure and age spots. You can read more about it here on our website. While concentrations of up to 4% hydroquinone do not require a prescription here in Canada, regulations differ in other countries. Depending on the intensity of your hyperpigmentation and the length of time you have had them, you may find that 2% hydroquinone may be adequate for your needs.
For acne scarring, however,we would suggest using a gentle exfoliate like original MaMa Lotion over a skin lightening product. As sun tans will naturally fade, time and a broad-spectrum sunscreen with stable sun filters like Anthelios would be a preferable solution.
Best, Sharmani

infinite said,

July 28, 2015 @ 1:48 am

Thank you very much for your kind and informative reply. I wanted to know please can i use retinol for scrars? And can it be used with Hydroquinone.? Thank you very much looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Supriya said,

July 28, 2015 @ 6:56 am

Hi Sharmani,
I am 25yrs, recently married. I had really clean and flawless skin until last year. This year i have been having on and off relapses of pimples and acne continuously. I have consulted almost 4-5 7 astheticians so far. Everytime the treatment works properly for a week or so and later the pimples come back all over again. Yesterday my doctor suggested me to use AHA 8 Solution in the night after cleansing, tonning and before moisturizing. I have red post hyperpigmentation from the previous relapse of pimples and hence he asked me to use the AHA soultion. However, the skin feels very tingly after applying the solution and after a while the skin feels very tight. Is this expected? I also want to know how much time is usually expected for the exfoliating agents to actually start working ? I travel a lot and i don’t want these red huge blotches to get even more worse. Please help.

Sharmani said,

July 31, 2015 @ 12:54 pm

For Billy,
Thank you for your question regarding Ketoprofen gel. A 2010 Cochrane review suggested that in terms of efficacy and safety, both Ketoprofen gel and Voltaren Diclofenac gel were similar in effectiveness.
Keep in mind that individual results vary greatly and you may find one more suitable than the other. If you are unsure as to which is most appropriate for your situation, we suggest that you seek medical advice as this is not something we can offer. At this time, we do not, however, carry Ketoprofen gel.

Sharmani said,

July 31, 2015 @ 12:56 pm

For Infinite:
Retinol does speed up cell renewal, so in that sense, it may help lessen the appearance of scars. As both retinol and hydroquinone may cause some irritation to the skin, we would suggest alternating usage: one night hydroquinone, the next night retinol.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

July 31, 2015 @ 1:07 pm

For Supriya,
Thank you for your question. Alpha-hydroxy acids do occasionally cause the skin to feel “tingly” until the skin adapts. We would suggest slowly building up tolerance: use the solution once a day, every other day, for the first week. Then use once a day for the next week, then twice a day if this is what has been advised by your doctor. You should see a difference within 4 weeks as the skin takes, on average, 28 days to renew.
If the irritation is severe, discontinue use of the AHA solution and see your doctor.
Best, Sharmani

teresa eagleton said,

August 1, 2015 @ 3:04 am

i have embarrassing skin discolouring on my skin on inner thighs armpits & elbows – i am especially embarrassed of it on the inner thigh – not particularly over weight even, do have olive skin tone, it’s upset me all my life
any ideas ? xx

Infinite said,

August 13, 2015 @ 7:29 am

hello, dear madam,i wanted to ask a few questions please? well i didnt use to have that bad acnes in my face but i now i am having gradual break outs. As a sloution to this what cam you recommend me to do? And once i came across the artical stating that hydroquinone should never be used with benzoyl peroxide and resorcinol..Can you tell me the products here you offer dont contain that banned ingredients, do they? Thank you.

Sharmani said,

August 19, 2015 @ 1:25 pm

For Teresa,
Thanks for your question. Slight skin discoloration is not uncommon for those of us with olive skin tone. Whether it is from sun exposure or genetic disposition, gentle exfoliants may help even out the color. You may want to consider either Reversa Skin Smoothing Body Lotion or Neostrata Body Smoothing Lotion. Both contain 10% glycolic acid to help remove the darker, dead skin cells on the surface.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

August 19, 2015 @ 1:35 pm

For Infinite,
Adult acne is not uncommon. If it is uncomplicated, it can be treated with gentle cleansing, applying a topical treatment containing either salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or alpha hydroxy acids (like Neostrata’a Blemish Spot Gel). Gently exfoliating on a weekly basis could also help.
As for using hydroquinone and benzoyl peroxide at the same time, you are right: this should be avoided as it may cause a temporary darkening of the skin. Read more about hydroquinone use here.
Best, Sharmani

Penny said,

August 27, 2015 @ 7:01 pm

Do you know where to get LYCD or biodynes? Thank you!

Sharmani said,

August 30, 2015 @ 11:28 am

For Penny,
BioDyne can be found in the Canadian formula of Preparation H Cream.
Best, Sharmani

Infinite said,

September 6, 2015 @ 12:30 pm

Hello dear Sharmani, Could you tell me about shipping to poland? How much does it cost shipping itself? And how many days will it take? Thank you very much.

Sharmani said,

September 8, 2015 @ 10:31 am

For Infinite,
To ship to Poland, we use Canada Post Xpresspost International, a reliable tracked service. Cost may vary depending on the value and weight of the order. The delivery standard is approximately 7 days. Please note that this does not include any customs delays or duty costs, which are beyond our control.
Best, Sharmani

Susan said,

September 11, 2015 @ 9:29 pm

Help. I have used the La Roche-Posay 60 Anthelios XL Crème Fondante with Mexoryl 100mls which I used to purchase on your site. I can’t find this exact product anyway. But then I saw perhaps you had renamed it
comfort Crème but I wanted to check please.

Sharmani said,

September 14, 2015 @ 11:13 am

For Susan,
Thank you for your question. La Roche Posay recently changed the name of the Anthelios XL SPF 60 Melt in Cream/Creme Fondante with Mexoryl in the 100ml tube to Anthelios XL SPF 60 Comfort Cream. Although the name and packaging were altered slightly, the formula with Mexoryl XL and SX remained the same.
Best, Sharmani

BB said,

September 18, 2015 @ 5:51 pm

Hi Sharmani,

Retin a cream 0.025 is the same as Stieve A 0.025 cream?


Nina sood said,

September 21, 2015 @ 12:52 am

Can prep h with biodyne be used always on face and under eyes,since it contains parabens I was wondering ,is it safe

Sharmani said,

September 21, 2015 @ 11:04 am

For Nina,
Although Preparation H Cream with BioDyne is not formulated specifically for the face, it has long been used to fight wrinkles and under-eye puffiness for those in the know. In fact, BioDyne is a form of peptides, which are used extensively in skin care products with anti-aging and anti-wrinkling benefits. As for its safety for using on the face, a skin patch test should be performed when using any new product. With regard to parabens, we’ve written a blog here about them. In the end, it’s really up to the individual.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

September 21, 2015 @ 11:31 am

For BB,
Thanks for your question. As for as we have been able to ascertain, Retin-A and Stieve-A are both brand names of topical medication that contain tretinoin. It would make sense that Retin-A 0.025 and Stieve-A 0.025 both contain 0.025% tretinoin.
Best, Sharmani

fatty said,

September 26, 2015 @ 8:16 am

hello, Well if customer wants to buy what kind of guarantee you will provide that the customer will get his booked product? And how it takes to get the booked item over 125$ purchase? Thank you

Sharmani said,

September 28, 2015 @ 11:39 am

For Fatty,
Thanks for your question. For international orders, we ship exclusively using Canada Post Tracked Packets International or Xpresspost International. We have found their service to be very reliable. As the name of the service indicates, we are able to track the package both within Canada and also when it arrives in the destination country, where the local postal service picks up the tracking service. Delivery is approximately 1-2 weeks, depending on where it is being shipped. Please note that we are not able to control customs duties or time that the package requires to clear local customs.
Best, Sharmani

Farah said,

October 2, 2015 @ 9:43 am

HI. I have olive to dark skin as I am Asian in origin. I’m very keen on getting a chemical peel with glycolic acid. My doctor says I may get dark spots after it and I shd start on a cream for a few weeks before the peel. Is this true? And what kind of creams or regime do you recommend? My skin can be a bit sensitive sometimes.

Eli said,

October 4, 2015 @ 1:29 pm

I have two questions and if you can answer them, that would be great.
I want to know if we can and should use sun screen creams around our eyes to protect it’s skin from sun rays and causing wrinkles and so on? _ I mean using one cream for all areas of the skin. Or if we should not do that, is there any other cream just for the areas around the eyes?
I also want to know if I can always use a sun screen cream instead of my daily cream? Can you recommend me one, please? I have a complex kind of skin. The areas around my my lip and nose and cheek sometimes get dry while my nose and forehead get fatty. My nose also becomes instantly red in a cold weather.
thank you in advance!

Gina said,

October 4, 2015 @ 2:31 pm

I would like to order some Epilyt skin lotion. Is this the same Epilyt that was discontinued by the manufacturer… because I can not get it in the USA any longer. I’m concerned if it is the same, and if so, wondering why it is available from you here? Just trying to be sure it’s the same formula, and if the availability is limited.

Sharmani said,

October 5, 2015 @ 11:57 am

For Farah,
Thank you for your question. Chemical peels are a great way to get rid of damaged skin while improving appearance and texture. It is true, however, that peels have the potential to irritate sensitive skin. Those with darker skin tones are also more prone to experiencing hyperpigmentation after the treatment. Your dermatologist should be able to determine if a chemical peel (and at what strength) would benefit you. If your doctor has already recommended using a cream with glycolic acid, you may want to consider Neostrata Glycolic Renewal Smoothing Cream with 5% glycolic acid, perfect for first-time users and those with sensitive skin. As always, performing a skin patch test will help to minimize any possible irritation.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

October 5, 2015 @ 12:38 pm

For Gina,
The Epilyt Lotion we carry is manufactured in Canada by Valeo Pharmaceuticals. It is not uncommon for different companies in different countries to have licences to produce the same product. We have had in the past US customers contact us, looking for the same product that was manufactured by Stiefel. Upon comparing the list of ingredients, we have found the two to be identical.
We have not heard of any plans for the Epilyt Lotion manufactured here by Valeo to be discontinued at any time in the near future.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

October 5, 2015 @ 12:40 pm

For Eli:
Thank you for your great questions! Sunscreen around the eyes can certainly be tricky, especially in the summer when high temperatures and water sports increase the risk of getting sunscreen INTO the eyes – ouch! We would recommend looking for either an eye cream that contains sun filters (there have been several introduced within the last year by well-known cosmeceutical and cosmetic brands) or wearing sunglasses to protect both your eyes and the delicate skin around them from damaging UV rays.
As for using a sunscreen instead of your daily moisturizer, the answer would be yes! In the warmer months, I tend not to need moisturizer after applying my favorite sunscreen (I like Anthelios XL SPF 60 Lightweight Lotion because it doesn’t leave any visible finish on my face). In the winter, when my skin needs a bit more hydration, I have been turning to Anthelios KA SPF 100 moisturizer. You can also apply your sunscreen, wait a few minutes to allow the product to sink in, then simply apply moisturizer on the areas of your face that need it.
Best, Sharmani

Helen said,

October 21, 2015 @ 4:19 am

Dear Sharmani

I am currently using retacnyl retinoid cream as prescribed at night except twice a week when I use a Vitamin C cream as I believe the two together are counter productive when applied together, with an spf 50 sunscreen everyday. I would like to add a lactic acid cream to regime, for that extra boost as my skin can still look sallow and lack a glow. Would you recommend this and if so which product would you recommend?

Sharmani said,

October 23, 2015 @ 12:28 pm

For Helen,
We love that you use a retinoid, a vitamin C product and a daily sunscreen! If you want to throw in an AHA product, we would suggest this routine to minimize the chances of overtaxing the skin: keep using the retinoid at night 5 days a week, then use an AHA product like the original MaMa Lotion 2 nights a week. During the day, use a vitamin C serum with your sunscreen over top. Retinoids and AHA’s work best when they are not exposed to UV light. The vitamin C serum fights free radicals and will boost the effectiveness of your sunscreen.
Best, Sharmani

Sara said,

November 5, 2015 @ 2:22 pm

Shammer I have written to you before I have melsma and have been struggling with it for 5 year . I I use lustra 2 nights a week and isotrexin the rest of the days . Melsma has become for stubone . It had disappeared then came back in May this year . Dermatologist told me have to keep using hydroqunie. As to maintaine it always once or twice a week. Wanted to try mama lotion . Can u advice pls and how do I use it in conjunction pls

Sharmani said,

November 9, 2015 @ 1:11 pm

For Sara,
We’re sorry to hear that you have been struggling to get the upper hand with melasma. It can be a persistent condition. With any hyperpigmentation, the challenge can be ongoing. If you would like to add MaMa Lotion to your skin care regimen, we would suggest using it once or twice a week at night. It may mean using your treatments all on different days (Lustra twice a week, isotrexin three times a week and MaMa Lotion for the remaining two nights a week). Because you are under a dermatologist’s care, you may want to consult her/him before changing your routine to ensure maximum effectiveness with your products.
Best, Sharmani

Mike said,

November 10, 2015 @ 9:30 am

Voltaren Emulgel 150 g is currently available in a promotion pack that contains a bonus 30g tube with every 2 x 150g purchased.

Does this promotion include 2 tubes purchased of the extra strength Votaren?

Sharmani said,

November 10, 2015 @ 1:45 pm

For Mike,
The promotion does not currently include the Extra Strength Voltaren, only the 150g tubes of original formula.
Best, Sharmani

Bb said,

November 14, 2015 @ 11:29 am

Hi Sharmani,

Is it safe to do micro needing/derma roller on dermal melasma skin? Is there any side effect to this treatment?

Thank you

Sharmani said,

November 16, 2015 @ 2:44 pm

For Bb,
Microneedling has become more popular recently to treat melasma in addition to encouraging collagen production and providing micro-channels in the skin for deeper absorption of topical treatments. This minimally-invasive treatment may cause some swelling, pain, tightness and/or minimal bleeding. It’s best to consult with an experienced and trusted dermatologist who can determine if microneedling will be an effective part of a larger treatment plan when dealing with melasma.
Best, Sharmani

Cheri said,

November 20, 2015 @ 1:17 am

Hello, can you tell me the best most natural way to remove spider veins which for me are mainly on my legs, thighs and lower legs as well). Also, do you know of any good makeup lines that would be good for coverage. I am an mixed race person with light brown skin. Thank you.

Sharmani said,

November 23, 2015 @ 2:47 pm

For Cheri,
Thank you for your question. Spider veins can have a number of causes, including genetics, extended periods of time spent standing and hormonal fluctuations. Many of the treatments available involve slightly invasive procedures that may be done in your doctor’s office. If you are looking for a natural way to improve spider veins, you may need to address the underlying causes first and foremost. Your doctor would be the best one to consult.
As for makeup to mask the veins, self-tanners may be just enough to blur the appearance of any imperfections. There’s no end to the options available now, from the traditional bronzer/tanners to moisturizers that gradually darken over a few days, even self-tanners that work in the shower.
Best, Sharmani

infinite said,

November 24, 2015 @ 4:03 am

Hello,what buyer protections do you offer, in case…? On orders over 125$ you offer free shipping to all countries? Or only Canada and USA? Thank you.

Sharmani said,

November 25, 2015 @ 2:20 pm

Hello Infinite,
Thank you for your question. Our free shipping option on orders over $125 is available only within Canada and the United States. All international orders are shipped via Canada Post with a tracked postal service in countries where this is available.
Best, Sharmani

Blue flower said,

November 27, 2015 @ 2:05 am

Would you please let me know if you ship your products to Switzerland?

Many thanks in advance for your answer
Kind regards

Sharmani said,

November 30, 2015 @ 10:28 am

For Blue Flower,
Thanks for your question. We do indeed ship to Switzerland. Your tracked options are available during the checkout process. Please note that with all international orders, any customs or duties are the responsibility of the receiver. Please see our website here for more information about orders sent overseas.
Best, Sharmani

Ben said,

December 28, 2015 @ 9:11 pm

how can i get hydroquinone 4 percent without a prescription/

Sharmani said,

January 4, 2016 @ 1:03 pm

For Ben,
We have several 4% hydroquinone products available here in Canada over-the-counter, no prescription necessary. Please visit our website here for options.
Best, Sharmani

Mike said,

January 7, 2016 @ 8:47 am

I have been purchasing the Anthelios Sunscreen products with Mexoryl from Pharmacy mix for years. At this point what is the best one for an active athletic lifestyle. I am a 55 year old tri-athelete and part of my exercise is (bi)cycling and swimming where I can be in the Florida morning and early afternoon sun for 4 hours training 3 times per week outside. May- Sept can be brutal for sun exposure here with the other months not quite as bad. Do I need UVA PLUS UVB mexoryl products? is there a better type of mexoryl technology mix that I should be using?. I currently use the follwing line of products: Anthelios SPF 60 Ultra Light Fluid, Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Gel-Cream, Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Lip Stick, Anthelios XL SPF 60 Melt-In Cream(Mexoryl. I have tried the anthelios sport-spray and find it easiest to use and reapply but believe it or not, I get more sun exposure with that product vs the cremes. I read that each of these products has mexoryl technology in them but there are various types of mexoryl in some of the products. It can get confusing. Which is best to use for my lifestyle. PS: I see a dermatologist every 6 months and so far nothing significant after living here for decades now. Thanks

Sharmani said,

January 12, 2016 @ 12:01 pm

For Mike,
Thanks for your question. We’re glad to hear that the Anthelios sun products you purchase from us are effective for your very active lifestyle. We believe the combination of Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL provides some of the best sun protection available. Although we do carry other sport sunscreens under the Ombrelle brand, including a spray and a lotion, neither one of them combines both Mexoryl sun filters which protect from both UVA and UVB rays in the 290-400 nanometer range. We think you’ve made excellent choices. Just keep in mind that effective sun protection also hinges on applying enough product and then reapplying after 2 hours, swimming, perspiring heavily or towelling off.
Best, Sharmani

Ariel said,

February 2, 2016 @ 7:15 pm

Do have HYDROSAL GEL available right now?

Sharmani said,

February 4, 2016 @ 11:36 am

For Ariel,
We do indeed have Hydrosal Gel in stock right now. Please feel free to order online or call us directly during our office hours of 10am to 2pm, Pacific Standard Time, Monday to Friday.
Best, Sharmani

Tracey said,

February 5, 2016 @ 1:59 pm

Hi Sharmani,

Can you please tell me what the expiration date on the Anthelios XL SPF 60 Melt-In Cream is? Also, it appears that this is the best sunscreen for those of us who suffer from PMLE. Do you agree? If not, please let me know if you have any alternative suggestions.

Thank you,

Sharmani said,

February 9, 2016 @ 1:35 pm

For Tracey,
The stock we are currently receiving from our suppliers have an expiration date of January 2018. Anthelios XL SPF 60 Melt in Cream (now called Comfort Cream with the same formula) contains both Mexoryl SX and XL which protect against both UVA and UVB rays, essential to those who are extremely sensitive to the sun. We can say that the Anthelios XL SPF 60 Comfort Cream is the one product that more of our customers order based on recommendations from their dermatologists and skin cancer specialists. You may also want to consider Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Lait Veloute which also contains sun filter Tinosorb S in addition to the two Mexoryls mentioned above.
Best, Sharmani

Martin said,

February 10, 2016 @ 5:49 am

I wish to buy antheliosXL 30. is that available?

Sharmani said,

February 15, 2016 @ 12:27 pm

For Martin,
We do not currently carry any SPF 30 Anthelios products with Mexoryl. However, if you would like assistance choosing a suitable replacement, please check our webpage here and feel free to call us at 1-866-876-3649.

BB said,

March 4, 2016 @ 2:29 pm

Hi Sharmani,

Hope you are keeping well, I am from the carribbean, with brown skin tone, would I benefit from Fractional 1540 laser treatment for dermal melasma, I have tried numerous prescriptions and products nothing seems to help.


Sharmani said,

March 10, 2016 @ 11:41 am

For BB,
Fractional 1540 laser treatment is a series of non-ablative (does not remove the top layer of skin), non-surgical resurfacing procedures that boast minimal-to-no downtime and only mild discomfort during the sessions. The laser’s deep penetrating beams stimulate collagen production and can purportedly improve fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, stretch marks and scarring. As a retailer of skin care products, it’s inappropriate for us to give advice regarding medical procedures. We recommend you consult with your dermatologist or medical provider as to the suitability of the procedure for your concerns and skin type.
Best, Sharmani

Merry said,

April 18, 2016 @ 12:41 pm

Hi Sharmani,

I would like to know do all La Roche Posay sunscreen contain Mexoryl Sx AND Mexoryl Xl? I see on the left panel of the page, it has “Mexoryl Sx Sunscreens (Ecamsule)” link, and “Mexoryl Xl Sunscreens” link, it seems indicate that sunscreen under “Mexoryl Sx Sunscreens (Ecamsule”” has Mexoryl Sx, sunscreen under “Mexoryl Xl Sunscreens” has Mexoryl Xl. I’m look for a sunscreen that would have both Mexoryl Sx and Mexoryl Xl, will you be able to help to recommend them?

Thank you!

Sharmani said,

April 19, 2016 @ 1:55 pm

Hello Merry,
Thanks for your question. Not all of La Roche Posay’s Anthelios sunscreens contain both Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL. Much of it depends on where you live, actually. In the US, Mexoryl XL (also known as Drometrizole Trisiloxane) is currently still awaiting FDA approval. Until that is achieved, the sunscreens manufactured for the American market will not contain this sun filter. At Pharmacymix, we carry sunscreens that have been made for the Canadian or European market. As such, brands like Anthelios and Ombrelle are able to use Mexoryl XL and Tinosorb S as part of their sun protection formula as both have been approved in Canada and Europe. We do our best to include a full list of ingredients on our website but would be happy to help you. Please contact us during our customer service hours, 10am to 2pm Pacific Standard Time, Monday to Friday and we would be glad to lend a hand.
Best, Sharmani

BB said,

May 11, 2016 @ 6:12 am

Hello Sharmani,

Hope you are keeping well. Would it be okay to use pigmanorm and cysteamine cream together?

Best Regards

Sharmani said,

May 11, 2016 @ 11:21 am

For BB:
Pigmanorm Cream contains a combination of hydroquinone, tretinoin and hydrocortisone and is a prescription-only treatment for hyperpigmentation. As such, it would be best to consult your dermatologist before using Cysteamine Cream (a depigmenting product) in order to minimize any possible reactions or side effects.
Best, Sharmani

Minnie Kline said,

May 19, 2016 @ 2:38 pm

I have a skin disease call Ichthyosis. I had it since birth but didn’t realize it had a name until lately. I only thought I had really dry skin. I been trying to research this disease and found that it doesn’t have a cure. In my research I found that Lac-Hydrin might help can you or do you have anything that might help this disease.

Thank you
Minnie Kline

Sharmani said,

May 26, 2016 @ 12:06 pm

For Minnie,
Lac Hydrin Lotion, Epi-lyt AHA Lotion or an alternate lotion containing an exfoliating ingredient and moisturizers should help with the dry, scaly skin of ichthyosis. Read more about it here in our blog post.
Best, Sharmani

Frank Kiernan said,

May 28, 2016 @ 1:50 am

Are any of your products made with stem cells from aborted babies.

Rachel said,

May 30, 2016 @ 10:30 am

Dear Sharmani,

Please could you recommend a high spf daily facial sunscreen to be worn under make up. I live in California and although I don’t spend time directly in the sun I am exposed through daily activities! I’m 37,have sensitive skin and don’t like products with parabens etc.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!



Sharmani said,

May 30, 2016 @ 10:43 am

For Frank,
We carry a few Neostrata products that contain FRUIT stem cells, such as the Anti-Aging SPF 15 Cream and the Anti-Aging Eye Cream.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

May 30, 2016 @ 12:32 pm

For Rachel,
We’re so glad to hear that you are wearing a dedicated sunscreen every day, especially in sunny California. Our favorites made specifically for the face would be either the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Comfort Creme (invisible finish, very lightweight feel) or the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Ultra Fluid (was called Fluide Extreme in the past, seems to be more suitable for normal to oily complexions based on customer feedback). Both contain Mexoryl XL, Mexoryl SX and Tinosorb S, all very effective sun filters. However, we are currently awaiting new stock to arrive in the next 2-4 weeks from France. In the meantime, our next go-to sunscreen without parabens or fragrance would be Anthelios XL SPF 60 Ultra-light Lotion which uses Mexoryl XL, Mexoryl SX and a combination of other sun filters. Please note that it does not contain titanium dioxide so it does not leave a white finish on the skin. It has a dry-touch finish and would be a very good choice under makeup.
Best, Sharmani

Susan said,

June 5, 2016 @ 11:46 am

Hello Sharmani,

Could you tell me the percent Mexoryl SX and the percent Mexoryl XL in the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Melt-In Comfort Crème ($35/1.7oz)? I see this info is listed for the Anthelios XL SPF 60 ($29) but not this one.

Thank you.

Sharmani said,

June 6, 2016 @ 10:52 am

For Susan,
Thank you for your blog question. Anthelios XL SPF 60 is made in France and labelled for the North American market where laws require the percentages of sun filters to be listed in the ingredients. The Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Melt in Cream/Comfort Creme is made and labelled for the European market where laws do not require those specifics. As such, we are not able to pass on that information. However, Anthelios continues to be a leader in Europe of effective sunscreens containing Mexoryl XL and, in some of their products, Tinosorb S.
Best, Sharmani

April said,

June 13, 2016 @ 8:19 am

I have d neostrata acne cleanser, neostrata acne clarifying solution 2% and neostrata acne clarifying lotion and l aso have d neostrata glycolic peel lotion am i going to use all?what would be my daily routine?

Mary said,

June 13, 2016 @ 9:16 am


I want to know what the difference is between Anthelios 60 with Cell-OX Shield and Anthelios 60 XL with Mexoryl? and which is better. Everything I read talks about Mexoryl and nothing about the Cell-OX Shield.
Thank you!

Sharmani said,

June 13, 2016 @ 10:50 am

For Mary,
Thanks for your question. Anthelios sunscreens manufactured for the American market are often formulated with Cell-Ox Shield, a combination of 5 older-generation sun filters (Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene and Oxybenzone) These sun filters are not unique to Anthelios and can be found in many other sunscreens. Mexoryl XL and Mexoryl SX are some of the latest sun filters available. Safe, efficient and photostable, Mexoryl XL has been available in Canada and Europe for many years but has not yet been approved by the FDA for the US market as of yet. Read more about Cell-Ox Shield here and Mexoryl XL here in our blogs.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

June 13, 2016 @ 11:06 am

For April,
We would suggest that the Neostrata Acne Care Gel Cleanser be used twice a day. In the morning, this can be followed with the Clarifying Lotion. In the evenings, you may want to alternate the two products which contain glycolic acid (so one night the Clarifying Solution and a gentle moisturizer if needed, then the next night use the Glycolic Renewal 5% Smoothing Lotion). Please give your skin time to build up tolerance to the active ingredients in these products by introducing them gradually into your routine in order to minimize any possible irritation.
Best, Sharmani

Michele Tolbert said,

June 21, 2016 @ 1:42 pm

I am not sure what he needs but he has an allergy to the sun he breaks out in hives all over the ares exposed to the sun. This just started about 3 years ago and he has to take Steroids at least 3-4 time a year to get rid of it. He is a Farmer he is in the sun regularly and he is over 50 and changing careers at his age is not a option. Can you please help us?

Sharmani said,

June 23, 2016 @ 1:09 pm

For Michele,
Rashes and hives from sun exposure can be caused by many different conditions, including heat rash, benign summer light eruption, PMLE or solar urticaria. If your husband has already consulted a doctor or dermatologist, he may want to combine the steroidal treatment with a stable, broad-spectrum sunscreen such as Anthelios XL SPF 60 with Mexoryl XL. Although avoiding the sun may not be possible with his work, using a sunscreen and wearing protective clothing may go a long way to minimizing outbreaks. Please see our website here for a full list of ingredients of the Anthelios XL SPF 60 and consult your doctor to ensure that it is suitable.
Best, Sharmani

Sandy said,

June 28, 2016 @ 6:12 am

I just saw a retinol product claiming 2.5% retinol. Yours says highest is .o9%. I’m very confused. Hope you will help answer.

Mark Russell said,

June 28, 2016 @ 7:30 pm

It is seeming harder and harder to get Mexoryl sunscreen. Is there a problem with production of is Laroche Posay focusing on other things.


Sharmani said,

June 29, 2016 @ 12:24 pm

For Sandy,
Thanks for your question. We currently carry two retinoid products: Apothekari A is for Anti-Aging Retinal Serum and Green Cream in three levels, including Green Cream Level 9 with 0.9% retinol. Both are high potency products with levels of retinoids that do not require a prescription. Without knowing specific information about the 2.5% retinol product that you are referring to, we are not able to comment on whether it is an item that is commercially available or how it would compare to the products we carry.
Best, Sharmani

Sharmani said,

June 29, 2016 @ 12:41 pm

Hello Mark,
Thanks for your question. There is typically high demand for sunscreens at this time of year, and although we are currently waiting for some stock to arrive, we do have available many sunscreens which contain Mexoryl XL and Mexoryl SX, including Anthelios XL SPF 60 Comfort Cream (our top seller), Anthelios XL SPF 45 Comfort Cream and Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Lait/Lotion in the 10oz value-size. If there is one in particular you are interested in or would like to be placed on our waiting list for a favorite product, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Best, Sharmani

#sahil said,

July 20, 2016 @ 11:49 pm

I want to ask that why the black layer appear on the face n nose n what is the genuine reason for that?
And with which drug we can treat it?

Sharmani said,

July 21, 2016 @ 1:20 pm

For Sahil,
Thanks for your question. There could be many reasons for discoloration or hyperpigmentation of the skin, including sun exposure, hormonal changes, even side effects from certain drugs and medications. It would be best to consult a doctor or dermatologist to properly diagnose and treat your particular case.
Best, Sharmani

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment

Current day month ye@r *

2 + five =