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You planned ahead this year and made sure you booked your appointment for fillers and microneedling so you’d be extra glowing for all those holiday parties, yay! But you didn’t plan on the combination of cold temperatures, dry air from the heat being on overdrive, late nights, and one too many glasses of bubbly wreaking havoc on your skin. If you wake up feeling less than fabulous, here are some tips to get you back on track.

Help! Everything feels dry.

Did you wake up feeling like a raisin today? We know the feeling. Cold air carries less moisture than warm air, and cranking up the heater isn’t helping, either — all that dry air can cause skin irritation ranging from redness and flaking to cracking, chapping and even bleeding. Gross, we know. Add alcohol — which increases inflammation in the skin and can cause blood vessels to dilate, leading to redness — and you’ve set yourself up for one rough morning. Fortunately, that rough morning can be avoided with a bit of preparation.

You can combat the dry air by sleeping with a humidifier and by adding ultra moisturizing products to your skincare routine, such as our Skin Pharm Biotherapy Cream. This skin lifesaver is packed with intensely moisturizing ingredients that work together to repair your skin’s barrier function, combating dryness, restoring firmness and visibly reducing signs of aging, all while you sleep.

For days — or nights — when you need some extra TLC, we recommend Epionce’s Enriched Firming Mask. Powered by botanical ingredients that nourish stressed-out skin with a proprietary blend of barrier lipids, this mask calms visible redness and irritation. This mask works as a quick 10-minute refresher in the AM and is gentle enough to wear all night (we love it for long flights and car rides, too!).

We tend to drink less water in the winter, so be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day. Drinking water not only directly hydrates your skin, but is helps flush toxins out of your body and can improve symptoms of skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Help! I’m broken out like a teenager.

Dry winter air can actually cause your skin to produce more sebum, leading to breakouts. Another major culprit is going to bed without washing your makeup off your face, which is just really bad for your skin (and your pillowcase). For normal to oily skin, we recommend Skin Pharm Papaya Enzyme Cleanser, a deep cleanser with salicylic acid (a godsend for acne-prone folks). Normal to dry skin types should opt for Skin Pharm Gentle Soothing Cleanser, which strips all your makeup and impurities while soothing skin with rich botanical extracts.

All skin types will benefit from one of our best-sellers, our Skin Pharm Clarifying Pads, which deliver a gentle, microchemical peel to exfoliate skin, clear acne and prevent future breakouts. Sensitive skin types may only need to use the pads two to three times a week, while oiler types can tolerate daily use.

If you’re in need of a stronger peel, we’re big fans of our Light Refresh Peel, a simple, non-invasive treatment that reduces pore size and treats uneven skin tone and blemishes. A series of peels not only improves any sun damage left over from the summer, but can smooth rough texture, fine lines and wrinkles. Chemical peels also stimulate collagen production underneath the skin, improving the overall appearance of your skin. Peels are quick and easy and require minimal recovery — they can be done on your lunch break — so you’ll be refreshed and glowing for those holiday parties in no time!

Curious what products and treatments are best for your? Call us at (615) 582-6726 and schedule a consultation today!

 

 

You may have heard skincare and wellness companies use terms like “clean,” “nontoxic” or “all-natural.” Wondering what it means? You’re not alone.

Currently, this type of terminology is not regulated by the FDA for skincare and beauty products, so anyone can slap them on a product label to appeal to consumers avoiding unnecessary additives. To make things even more confusing, just because a product is “natural” or plant-derived doesn’t mean it’s risk-free (for example, would you put poison ivy on your face?). Today, we’re going to discuss parabens.

What are parabens?

Parabens, derived from para-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA), are a group of commonly used antimicrobial ingredients that act as preservatives within personal care products and cosmetics. Any product that contains water has the potential to be spoiled by the growth of bacteria and fungi that can lead to nasty problems like mold, discoloration and a degradation of the product. Parabens are added to formulas because they prevent the growth of these microorganisms and enhance the shelf life of personal care products across a wide range of cosmetic categories.

Since they’re gentle, easily absorbed and naturally derived from plants, parabens used to be the most commonly used type of preservatives for cosmetics. Some research indicates parabens are safe in cosmetics and are preferred over other preservatives to keep a formula stable. These studies claim that parabens — especially when used in small doses, as they tend to be in cosmetics or personal care products — did not have any effect when compared to natural hormones in the body. Additionally, the FDA has classified parabens as GRAS, or Generally Regarded As Safe, but is evaluating new data and will advise the public if they are deemed hazardous.

 

General chemical structure of a paraben (Wikipedia)

So, what’s the problem?

You’ll notice we said parabens “used to be” the most commonly used type of preservative. You may have also noticed an increasing number of skincare and personal care products now touting “paraben-free” labels. What happened?

Despite the FDA’s safety classification, some researchers have questioned if parabens can disrupt the body’s endocrine system or whether they have an estrogenic effect, interfering with the hormonal balance in the user’s body. While we noticed these studies are perhaps carried out in a way that is unrelated to what happens when parabens are applied to the skin, we think the potential of parabens presenting as harmful ingredients is something to take seriously (the EU does, for example — they’ve banned five types of parabens for use in cosmetic or personal care products).

Of course, it’s your choice to whether or not you should use parabens in your skincare routine. At Skin Pharm, we do not use parabens in any of our products. For transparency, we list all ingredients on individual product pages and packaging and our team is always happy to help.

If you’re trying to avoid parabens, check your labels for the following common ingredients: benzylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben.

Have a question for Skin Pharm? Ask it here!

So many paraben-free Skin Pharm products to choose from!

 

Skin Pharm How to Build a Skincare Routine

No matter what your skincare needs are, building and adhering to a skincare routine can be daunting. If your bathroom drawers are filled with half-used products that are irritating, underwhelming or ineffective, it’s probably time for a skincare reboot. We’re here to help!

Here’s a guide to our six-step skincare routine get you started (for the TL;DR types, watch this short video about our Skin Pharm “hero products” here):

STEP 1: CLEANSER

Skin Pharm Papaya Enzyme Cleanser

Properly cleansing your skin is an essential step as it removes impurities from makeup or the environment (yes, pollution affects your skin). This is the obvious first step in your skincare routine each evening. We like Papaya Enzyme (for normal to oily skin types) or Gentle Soothing (for those with dry, sensitive skin) by Skin Pharm. In the mornings, you can use a cleanser if you like, especially if you’re hitting a morning workout and want to freshen up before you apply makeup. If you worry that cleansing could irritate your skin, you can substitute micellar water or gentle towelettes. Also, a couple of times a week, add in an exfoliating step to your cleansing routine. We like Clarifying Brightening Polish by Skin Pharm.

STEP 2: TONER

Skin Pharm Clarifying Pads

Don’t fret if you’ve skipped this step in the past, or if you haven’t used a toner since you were a teenager. Most cleansers made today are pH balanced and do not require a toner immediately after. This step is more-so an opportunity to apply a solution to your skin that will target main concerns (i.e. appearance of pores, dull appearance). And don’t be afraid, because today’s toners are nothing like the stinging, harsh formulas you may recall from your adolescent years. We recommend the Clarifying Pads by Skin Pharm for every skin type. Sensitive skin types should use as a weekly micropeel, while oily skin types can tolerate once or twice daily.

STEP 3: SERUM

Skin Pharm Youth Serum

Serums help nourish your skin, promoting healing and fighting the visible signs of aging. These go on before moisturizers for maximum absorption. Be sure to pick a serum that can deliver the powerful punch of ingredients you need for your skin type and skincare concerns. If you have extremely damaged skin, you may want to use a serum both morning and evening. We’re partial to our Youth Serum and Antioxidant Boosting Serum by Skin Pharm. The hyaluronic acid and peptides in our Youth Serum provide intense hydration and noticeable plumping, while the vitamin complex in our Antioxidant Boosting Serum helps repair damaged collagen and build new collagen.

We recently launched one of our new favorite products, our Retinol Drops, a potent yet gentle treatment to refine pores, reduce the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles, and improve skin texture. This lightweight formula is the key to glowing skin, packed with retinol, Vitamins C and E, sea whip extract and bisabolol, which helps calm the anticipated reaction of retinol so you can use it every night. (Sensitive skin types may want to alternate with their nightly serum — check with us if you’re not sure!)

STEP 4: EYE CREAM

Skin Pharm Youth Eye Complex Open

The skin around your eyes is more delicate than the rest of your face, so it’s important to choose a product that is gentle but capable of addressing your main skin concerns, such as wrinkle prevention, puffiness or dark circles. We created Skin Pharm Youth Eye Complex, a fast-absorbing gel, for AM and PM use. Like our Youth Serum, the Youth Eye Complex is packed with peptides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to decrease puffiness and treat fine lines, wrinkles and decreased elasticity. Depending in your individual needs and concerns, you may need a different product in the AM than the PM. For example, a gel that quickly absorbs before makeup application is ideal for morning use, while a heavier cream is appropriate in the evening. For AM use, Total Eye by Colorescience has SPF and is lightly tinted, providing protection and hiding dark circles from the world. 

STEP 5: MOISTURIZER

Step 5: Moisturizer

In the morning, you’ll need a formula that absorbs quickly and provides a good base for cosmetics. We like Renewal Lite Facial Lotion by Epionce or Skin Pharm’s Youth Serum. As for your last product in the evening, we recommend Biotherapy Cream by Skin Pharm or the thicker version of the above mentioned Epionce product, Renewal Facial Lotion. If you’ve been relying upon your moisturizer — or your makeup — to be your sun protection, I advise that you add a separate SPF product to your skincare routine. Which leads me to the most important thing you can put on your skin each day …

STEP 6: SPF

Skin Pharm Mineral Tinted SPF 44

Patients often ask me what the most important skincare product is, and my answer is always the same: SPF. The best care is preventive care. No matter your age, applying a product with SPF — I recommend at least SPF 30 — on a daily basis is the single most effective way to protect your skin from damage and the signs of aging. We carry options for every skin type, and our favorites are 100% Mineral Tinted SPF or  Sheer Defense SPF by Skin Pharm, and Brush-On by Colorescience. 100% Mineral Tinted SPF is best for dry, normal and sensitive skin types while Sheer Defense is best for those who are oily. The Colorescience brush-on is ideal for re-application (especially during warmer months) and is great for all skin types.

If you’re going to be in direct sunlight during the day (any time of the year — not just summertime), you will need to reapply your SPF every two hours, or each time it’s rinsed off with water. And remember, the SPF in your makeup does not count as a reapplication, as you’re likely not applying enough makeup to get the full benefit from the SPF coverage.

QUESTIONS?

Starting a new skincare routine can be intimidating, but we promise that it gets easier once you make it part of your daily ritual. If you get confused about what order to apply products in, remember that the general rule of thumb is to apply the thinnest products first, and then work your way up to the thickest product. The one exception is your retinol product, which should be applied after cleansing and toning and before your moisturizer. I recommend talking to a dermatology provider to determine the best retinol product for your skin type, and how often you should use it.

The feedback that I get from my patients is that it’s worth finding the products that work best for you, and sticking with them until you see results. (We’ll talk more about that in another post, so watch this space!) We’re always here to guide you so you feel confident to face the world each day. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 615-582-6726 or schedule an appointment here

If you know what you want, check out our online store!

Skin Pharm - How to Build a Skincare Routine Infographic

Moisturizers — you know you need them, but do you understand what they do for your skin? As we are entering the drier months of the year, moisturizers are even more important for your daily skincare routine. We’ll break it down for you, and we’ll make it more fun than science class.(Because this is all about giving you the best skin possible, right?)

What is a moisturizer?

A moisturizer is a topical product designed to maintain levels of oils and water in the skin sufficient for it to be soft and pliable. Moisturizers can be creams, lotions, serums or oils that are applied to the very top portion of the skin, or the epidermis. The top layer of the epidermis is called the stratum corneum (composed of dead cells that you actively shed) and the bottom is called the basal cell (made of living cells that replace the dead cells in the stratum corneum). The dermis is directly underneath the epidermis and consists primarily of proteins such as collagen and elastin fibers. There is also blood supply here. 

Photo by Young Pharmaceuticals

Why do I need a moisturizer?

A certain amount of transepidermal water loss (a fancy way of saying water from inside our body evaporates out of our body) is necessary to ensure skin is not too greasy and, alternately, not too dry. When skin gets too dry — whether it’s affected by the temperature, humidity, hormone changes, or other factors — we treat it with moisturizers to maintain levels of oils and water in the skin. 

Are there different kinds of moisturizers?

The three kinds of moisturizers include humectants, occlusive agents and barrier enhancing agents. 

Humectants, also known as “moisture magnets,” are water-soluble compounds that attract water molecules. Water is attracted from the atmosphere around you and from water within the body. These are ideal for treating mild dry skin conditions. 

Examples of humectant ingredients include: Sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid), sodium lactate (lactic acid), polyhydric alcohols (glycerin, butylene glycol),and aloe vera. 

Occlusive agents, which are water insoluble (meaning they cannot dissolve in water) cover skin to prevent water from evaporating. When water from within the body tries to evaporate, the skin does not allow it, and the top of the skin swells with water. 

Examples of occlusive agents include: Beeswax, petrolatum (Vaseline), squalane, mineral oil, olive oil, lanolin, isopropyl palmitate, isopropyl myristate and dimethicone.

Barrier enhancing agents (BEA) are specific combinations of natural lipids that hold water within the skin. If the skin is not producing enough BEAs, applying these topically can improve skin health. When BEAs are applied to the skin, they can actually cause the skin the skin to make more of the BEAs that are needed for a healthy skin barrier, such as niacinamide!

Examples of BEAs include: cholesterol, palmitic and stearic acid, ceramides and niacinamide. 

Is there going to be a quiz or are you going to tell me what products I should use?

No quizzes today, we promise! The Skin Pharm line has several products with moisturizing ingredients. Our Youth Serum is packed with three peptides and hyaluronic acid and is suitable for all skin types and can be used in the AM and/or PM. For normal to dry skin types, our Biotherapy Cream is a lightweight moisturizing cream that nourishes and repairs the skin’s barrier function, restoring skin firmness and visibly reducing signs of aging. Biotherapy Cream is ideal for PM use, treating your skin while you sleep

We’ve created additional Skin Pharm products that gently exfoliate (say goodbye to those dead skin cells we talked about earlier) while providing the  added benefit of moisturizers to counteract any anticipated irritation or dryness. These include our popular Clarifying Pads (hydroxy acids exfoliate while added botanicals brighten and hydrate) and our Brightening Lotion ( botanicals treat dullness while peptides and glycerin address dryness).

Still have questions about what products are right for your individual skin needs? Call us at 615-582-6726 and book an appointment today!

 

It’s hard to say goodbye to summertime, but it’s also easy to say hello to boots, scarves, plaid flannels, PSLs and everything else that’s great about fall. But before you run outside and jump in a pile of leaves, there’s something else you need to move to the top of your to-do list: updating your skincare routine.

But I have a skincare routine. Now I have to change it?

Even if you’ve consulted with a Skin Pharm provider and you’re using our recommended 6-step skincare routine, you may need to tweak your routine when the seasons change. Higher humidity helps skin retain moisture, and we find that many of our patients need extra hydration in the fall. In Nashville, the hot, humid days are gone and cool, dry air is affecting everything from our skin to our static-filled hair.

How do I get extra hydration?

If you’re not already using Skin Pharm Youth Serum as part of your AM routine, this is the perfect time of year to add it (and if you’re only using in the AM, you may want to double up and apply in the PM, too). The lightweight formula absorbs quickly but hydrates and soothes skin.

During your nighttime routine, consider adding Skin Pharm Biotherapy Cream, a lightweight moisturizing cream that combats fine lines and wrinkles, nourishing and repairing your skin while you sleep.

My skin is already really dry. Help!

We are huge fans of masking at Skin Pharm — we apply masks to our freshly washed faces on planes, road trips, or when we’re sitting on the couch at home. Our favorite hydrating mask is Epionce’s Enriched Firming Mask, which instantly (OK, it takes 5-10 minutes) calms red, irritated skin and improves the visible appearance of elasticity and firmness of the skin. Powered by hyaluronic acid, shea butter and willow bark extract, this mask is suitable for all skin types. If your skin is super stressed and needs some extra TLC, leave the mask on instead of rinsing it off (this is a great way to hydrate skin during long flights, too).

Is there anything else I should do?

If you’re regularly using exfoliants like our Skin Pharm Clarifying Brightening Polish or retinoids like our Skin Pharm Retinol Drops, you may need to reduce frequency in the fall and winter months. Be sure to discuss any irritation or redness you’re experiencing with your Skin Pharm provider so we can tweak your routine and figure out how to keep your skin clear and glowing year-round.

Speaking of clear and glowing …

If you really want to keep your skin looking its best year-round, don’t even think of going outside without your SPF. Whatever formula you’ve been using in the summer should work fine for fall or winter. If you haven’t tried our SPF products yet, you can read more about them here.

Still not sure which one is right for you? Ask us at consultations@skinpharm.co.