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Operation Opioid Reduction
Pharmacies committed to fighting the opioid epidemic with cannabinoids
One of the biggest public health crises facing America is substance-use disorders. Resulting in nearly 20,000 deaths a year - more deadly than gun violence - opioid use is one of the most troublesome.
The consequences are profound, impacting individuals and families no matter where they live, how much they earn, or how old they are. And the impact is broad, affecting social services, the health care system, communities, and the economy.
The role of the pharmacist
Pharmacists are opioids’ gatekeepers and stand between the patient and pain relief. Pharmacists, according to Wilson M. Compton, MD, MPE, Deputy Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institutes of Health, are in an advantageous position to help reduce the availability of prescription opioids. Being involved in the “frontlines of co-prescribing” positions pharmacists to engage in a collaborative care approach with the prescribing physician and the patient. Multiple national pharmacy organizations have advocated for the pharmacists' role in the opioid crisis. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) states, “Pharmacists have the unique knowledge, skills and responsibilities for assuming an important role in substance abuse prevention, education, and assistance. Pharmacists, as health care providers, should be actively involved in reducing the negative effects that substance abuse has on society, health systems and the pharmacy profession.”
Shop some of the Hemp-CBD products we offer.
*Article excerpted from Ananda Professional
By now much of the medical community agrees that the benefits of cannabinoids naturally found in the Hemp plant are too long to list. The cannabinoid CBD found in the hemp flower has been shown to help ease chronic pain, uplift mood calm anxiety and more. It's one of the most known cannabinoids in Hemp, but it is just one of at least 113 types of cannabinoids identified so far. One of the most exciting parts of this (and there are many!) is that the full-spectrum of hemp cannabinoids work in unison.
Ingesting full-spectrum Hemp flower extract with all of the cannabinoids together amplifies the health benefits. Scientists have named this the Entourage Effect. What's even more convincing is that scientific and medical research shows that our body creates cannabinoids. These endogenous cannabinoids are called endocannabinoids. "Endo" means within.
How Exactly Does this Work and Who is Anandamide?
The first endogenous cannabinoid was discovered in 1992. Researchers named the molecule Anandamide, after the Sanskrit word for joy, bliss or happiness. Anandamide and other cannabinoids are chemical messengers. When they bind to receptors in our body, they transmit messages to other parts of the body providing instructions vital to our health and daily functioning. Together the cannabinoids and receptors make up the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). For an easier understanding, think of receptors as the lock and cannabinoids as the key.
The receptors CB1 and CB2 are sensitive to Anandamide. This is especially important because CB1 and CB2 are abundantly present in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral nervous system (organs and tissues outside of brain.) The effects of the relationship are positive for the human body and help regulate mood, boost brain function, improve sleep and strengthen our immune system. When the body does not produce enough endocannabinoids or cannot regulate them properly, you are more susceptible to illnesses that affect one or several of the functions mentioned above.
Over 100 cannabinoids have been uncovered so far, so it stands to reason, full-spectrum hemp could provide more benefits that just one isolated cannabinoid.
Short list of various cannabinoids and their health benefits
- Cannabidiol (CBD) is used to provide pain relief, have antioxidant effects, help reduce nausea and inflammation and prevent or reduce seizures
- Cannabigerol (CBG) can reduce inflammation, pain, and nausea, and can slow the proliferation of cancer cells. Research states that CBG helps with migraines and glaucoma by reducing intraocular eye pressure. The anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to benefit people with Inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease and cancer
- Cannabichromene (CBC) has been shown to: relieve pain, have anti-depressive properties, and provide migraine relief
- Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is heavily researched and used by the medical community to help manage type II diabetes
But we're not the only ones with an ECS. Scientists believe that all mammals have an ECS. It has certainly been identified in dogs, cats, horses, to name just a few. Vets and pet parents give their companions CBD to ease conditions such as chronic inflammation, arthritis, nausea, anxiety and skin allergies.
Hemp flower extract and CBD products can be found in Ananda Professional Hemp Salve, Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Tincture, Ananda Professional Hemp Soft Gels, and more. Ananda Professional is dedicated to producing industrial hemp products that are full-spectrum, and for added benefit, carried in hemp seed oil.
Why hemp seed oil? Hemp seed oil is known to be good for heart health because it has the ideal 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids. That balance has been shown to support heart health and overall cardiovascular function. Omega fatty acids also play a role in many biological processes and may help prevent a number of degenerative diseases.
So, what are the benefits of Hemp, CBD and the other 100+ cannabinoids?
- Relieve Pain - especially Chronic Pain
- Treat Depression (Elevate and Balance Moods)
- Relieve Anxiety (Calming Effect
- Reduce Inflammation
- Boost Memory
- Support the body’s immune system
- Help you sleep by regulating your sleep cycle
- Special benefits for women include helping to regulate hormones
Frequently Asked QuestionsIs Hemp legal?
Yes. It can be sold in all 50 US states.How do I know if I am buying real, quality Hemp flower extract/CBD?
Do your homework. There are CBD products on the market that are not tested or verified. Ananda Professional's line of Hemp Flower extract products are tested by a third party and are in strict compliance with the 2014 Farm Bill. In fact, Ananda Professional co-authored the 2014 Farm Bill authorizing industrial hemp cultivation in the US. The parent company of Ananda Professional owns the WORLD’S largest hemp seed bank.How Can I Obtain the Certificate of Analysis of the Hemp product I have purchased?
Just visit Ananda Professional and type in your batch number.I thought marijuana was illegal or only allowed in some states. How is this stuff legal?
Hemp and Marijuana are not the same, so the same laws do not apply. You can compare Hemp and Marijuana to a rose and an apple. Roses and apples are in the same plant family, called Rosaceae, but they are not the same. Likewise, hemp and marijuana are in the same plant family, but they are not the same.What is the Difference between Hemp and Marijuana?
The biggest difference between Hemp and Marijuana is that Hemp has no psychoactive effects. Marijuana has psychoactive properties (that's what makes people "high") which stem from high levels of the cannabinoid THC. Marijuana can have anywhere from 30% to even 80% THC. Meanwhile, Hemp has .3% THC. At a level so low, it is impossible for Hemp to make people "high." Hemp even has cannabinoids that counteract the psychoactive effects of THCWhat are cannabinoids? Is THC a cannabinoid? Is CBD a cannabinoid?
Cannabinoids are molecules found in the plant family cannabis. CBD is a cannabinoid, called cannabidiol. THC is a cannabinoid, named tetrahydrocannabinol.
When faced with skincare products for anti-aging, skin brightening and correcting discoloration, even the most educated skin care goddess (or god) has difficulty making a choice when it comes to the Power Trio: Hydroquinone, Tretinoin and Vitamin C.
After all, we're inundated with blogs and magazines articles warning that Vitamin C should NEVER be used in conjunction with tretinoin, generic Retin-A. It's also understandable to think that Hydroquinone and Vitamin C both do the same thing, so why use both? We're here to tell you why you should use all three if you want real results that will turn you into a devotee of this POWER 3!
We'll Explain why by Answering some FAQs.Can Vitamin C and tretinoin be used together?
Yes, but not at the same time. When used in the right order, Vitamin C during the day and tretinoin at night before bedtime, they magnify the benefits of each other.How do tretinoin, Vitamin C and hydroquinone work together?
Topical Vitamin C only works if it can be absorbed into the skin. This is where prescription-only tretinoin and hydroquinone 4 step in. Tretinoin and hydroquinone both increase cell turnover. This, in turn, causes exfoliation, the shedding of the thick outer layer of skin. Without exfoliation, Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) could never penetrate the thick outer layer of the epidermis. Our skin can have up to 20 outer layers of dead skin cells! If you are using all 3 products separately. The proper order of application is Hydroquinone in the am along with sunscreen if you're going to be exposed to the sun. Apply Vitamin C during the day along with sunscreen. Vitamin C offers protection from the sun but you still need broad spectrum suncare. Lastly, apply tretinoin at night before bedtime. Some suncare products that include Vitamin C are Obagi Professional-C Suncare SPF 30, Obagi Sun Shield Broad Spectrum Matte SPF 50 includes Vitamin C, Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Coenzyme Q10.How do I choose a quality Vitamin C formula?
Make sure you are purchasing a product that is science and research backed. Vitamin C is only effective in a topical solution if it can be absorbed by the skin. This requires a pH of around 2.0 to 3.0. Since that's an acidic pH, it can cause skin irritation. Not only will a prescription-grade formula have the optimum pH level, but it will also include skin-soothing ingredients. Another quick note, the L-ascorbic acid formula must be stable, fresh and packaged in a dark container to prevent deterioration of Vitamin C.Do hydroquinone and Vitamin C do the same thing? Vitamin C vs Hydroquinone, which is better?
Yes, Vitamin C and hydroquinone both fade hyperpigmentation. In fact, hydroquinone and Vitamin C work the same way. Each inhibits the production of the enzyme tyrosinase. That's important because tyrosinase synthesizes the pigment melanin. In the case of hyperpigmentation, the skin is producing or has already created enough melanin to cause dark spots. But when it comes to which is the winner, the votes are in. Clinical research proves that hydroquinone is the most effective product to fading melasma (pregnancy mask) and other brown-grey patches on the skin. So instead of buying both hydroquinone and Vitamin C, how about buying 4% prescription-strength hydroquinone and just washing your face with freshly squeezed lemons and oranges. Right? WRONG! You won't accomplish anything except painful skin irritation. What is a good idea, however, is eating and enjoying delicious citrus recipes. Vitamin C is essential for wound healing and building blood vessels, tendons and ligaments. For your skin try,Obagi C-Rx System. The complete kit includes Vitamin C and prescription hydroquinone 4% in one formula, along with Obagi C- Cleansing Gel and Obagi C-Exfoliating Day lotion. To round out your routine Obagi offers tretinoin in three strengths: tretinoin .025%, tretinoin cream .05%, and .100% tretinoin.What is the difference between retinol, tretinoin and retinoic acid?
Tretinoin and retinol are both retinoids. Retinoids are natural derivatives of Vitamin A. However, tretinoin is only available with a prescription, while retinol is OTC. Tretinoin is much more potent than retinol because it is the same acid (Retinoic Acid) the body synthesizes from Vitamin A. Once applied to the skin, tretinoin is ready to go and is easily absorbed by the skin and begins boosting skin cell growth. On the other hand, retinols must undergo a two-step process before the skin can reap any benefits.
The Power Trio at a Glance:
Remember: Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen when using hydroquinone and tretinoin. Shop our wide selection of sunblock products to match any lifestyle. To make your skincare regimen easier Obagi Nu-Derm Sunfader combines prescription-strength hydroquinone with sunscreen. Both make your skin more susceptible to sun damage. But let's give a shout out to Vitamin C for its anti-oxidant power. The essential vitamin helps to protect the skin from free radicals and sun damage. Even so, sunscreen is essential for healthy skin!
- Hydroquinone 4% - The #1 choice for hyperpigmentation-erasing and skin lightening
- Tretinoin (Retin-A) - The most used and research-proven anti-aging product for collagen-boosting, skin firming, skin renewal ... and let's face it almost everything else related to anti-aging! Plus, it's been used for 30+ years as a first-line treatment for acne. Yes, tretinoin is hard to beat.
- Vitamin C - Also among the elite in skin care ingredients, Vitamin C brightens and erases discoloration by stimulating skin cell renewal and blocking the creation of the skin pigment melanin.
Want to Fade Age Spots, Shed Sun Damage, Erase Pregnancy Mask? Try Hydroquinone 4%!
Hyperpigmentation goes by a lot of different names: age spots, melasma, pregnancy mask and liver spots. The list goes on. But as far as a top solution to fade stubborn scars, redness, brown and grayish blotches, the list is short. Prescription strength Hydroquinone stands out as one of the most recommended solutions worldwide. Prescription-strength hydroquinone (HQ) is even US FDA approved to treat hyperpigmentation caused by melasma, also known as pregnancy mask.
No matter your skin type or color, everyone's skin develops and uneven tone and discoloration eventually. Who hasn’t experienced post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, AKA, red or brown spots left behind after acne, bug bites, cuts, and blemishes heal? Even age spots, typically appearing around age 40, will accept an early invitation if provoked by lifestyle, hereditary factors, and medical conditions.
What causes blotchy skin?
- Marks after bug bites or skin lesions have healed
Redness left behind by psoriasis and eczema
Exposure to pollution or chemicals
How does hydroquinone work?
In simple terms, hydroquinone slows the production of melanin, the source of skin color. In pharmacological terms, hydroquinone inhibits the production of tyrosinase and suppression of other melanocyte metabolic processes. That’s a mouthful!
How long does it take for hydroquinone to lighten skin?
Depending on each individual's skin tone, sensitivities, and hyperpigmentation severity, hydroquinone can show results as fast as 3 weeks or up to 12 weeks. Remember, Hydroquinone 4% strength is only available with a prescription, so be sure to follow your physician's instructions in your treatment. But here are some tips to help you along the way.
Hydroquinone 4% Do’s and Don’ts
Do be vigilant. Follow a schedule and monitor any adverse or allergic reactions. Dryness or redness may be common. Moisturizers will help along with using hydroquinone less frequently in the beginning. Keep in mind, when treating age spots on your hands, you may want to reapply after washing. And always use your judgment when deciding to see a doctor if you experience an allergic response or other worrisome side effects.
Do use sun protection. Not using sun protection will undo the progress you’ve made with hydroquinone. Increasing pigmentation is your skin’s way of protecting itself from the sun. So the goal of reducing pigmentation through skin lightening makes skin vulnerable to sun damage. Bottom line: Always use broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen of at least 30 SPF. Go for SPF 50 to be safe. Sun damage is among the top causes of unwanted skin darkening. See that as a positive because you’re in control. Protect your skin from the sun. For a daily sun block that goes on light but shields your skin from UVA/UVB rays, try SKinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense.
Do be patient. Hydroquinone 4% works faster than OTC, but lightening skin is a gradual process. So hang in there with your treatment. Also, it’s important to understand that depigmentation with hydroquinone is temporary. Speak with your physician on the duration of your treatment and how you can take a break and then restart your treatment.
Do go for the Skin Lightening/Anti-Aging TRIFECTA: Use Hydroquinone with Tretinoin and Vitamin C serum. Tretinoin, also known by the brand name Retin-A, preps the skin for better absorption of hydroquinone, and VItamin C brightens your skin throughout the day. Obagi-C Rx Clarifying Serum with 4% hydroquinone gets you two-thirds of the way there. Just add tretinoin and you are all set! For a complete skin brightening and age reversal system with Vitamin C and hydroquinone 4, try Obagi-C Rx System.
The flexibility of 3 prescription strengths, 025% tretinoin, 05% tretinoin and .100% tretinoin (Retin-A), eases any fear you may have if you're trying this potent retinoid for the first time. For more information on tretinoin, visit our Tretinoin FAQs.
Do maximize hydroquinone by creating a regular and complete skincare routine. Obagi Nu-Derm Rx System provides specially formulated products for all skin types and keeps you on track with a six-step plan. Obagi's Nu-Derm Rx complete system includes:
- Obagi Nu-Derm Foaming Gel that cleans out pores, then soothes skin with aloe vera
- Obagi Nu-Derm Toner
- Both Obagi Nu-Derm Clear Rx and Obagi Nu-Derm Blender Rx, two 4% hydroquinone formulas
- Obagi Nu-Derm Exfoderm Forte , an alpha-hydroxy acid (6% glycolic acid, 4% lactic acid) exfoliator
- Obagi Sun Shield SPF 50
Do go outdoors and enjoy life. Just because the use of hydroquinone requires you to protect your skin from the sun doesn't mean you can't enjoy your regular activities. Just take extra precaution. If you're a sporty person, who loves swimming, and beach time, try a sunblock specially formulated to withstand heavy perspiration and is water resistant like EltaMD UV Sport Broad Spectrum SPF 50 and remember to reapply as directed. Wear a hat, UV protective clothing and overall, be mindful. Obagi Sun Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 50 with Vitamin C, offers the strong protection you need and boosts your skin care brightening journey.
Do consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What skincare products should I avoid when using hydroquinone?Don’t use hydroquinone with peroxides and. Carefully read ingredients in other skin care products you are using in conjunction with hydroquinone. A quick heads up, several ingredients that you want to avoid are typically found in OTC acne treatments., Among them are hydrogen peroxide, benzoyl peroxide, and resorcinol.
Don’t spot treat. Just as hyperpigmentation is a gradual process, so is skin lightening with hydroquinone. It’s best to spread hydroquinone over the entire nearby area where melasma, dark spots and scars are visible, no matter the severity. The reason? Hyperpigmentation can be deep within the skin from acne or only surface discoloration lingering after a blemish. Hyperpigmentation deep within the epidermal layers is stubborn and can take time to fully reveal itself. Treat one small area and you could end up chasing dark spots that show up at different points.
Hydroquinone FAQsWhat is hydroquinone 4?
Prescription strength hydroquinone is 4% concentration, the highest amount of the active ingredient permitted in the US in Rx products.How does hydroquinone work?
Hydroquinone gradually depletes hyperpigmentation on the skin’s outer layer through exfoliation and skin cell renewal. Then hydroquinone slows the production of melanin, the source of skin color. In pharmacological terms, hydroquinone inhibits the production of tyrosinase and suppression of other melanocyte metabolic processes. That’s a mouthful!In what order do I apply Hydroquinone, Vitamin C and Retin A?
A common recommendation is to apply Vitamin C serum in the morning with hydroquinone, followed by moisturizer, then strong sun protection. If you experience redness or irritation, you may try applying the Vitamin C serum in the morning and hydroquinone at midday. Apply the tretinoin at night. Obagi Nu-Derm Sunfader combines Vitamin C and hydroquinone with sunscreen for a one-step morning routine. Just apply the tretinoin at night.What types of hyperpigmentation does Hydroquinone 4 treat?
What does melasma look like?
- Acne scars
- Post-traumatic inflammatory response (marks left after skin trauma heals)
- Melasma (AKA pregnancy mask and chloasma)
- Sun damage
- Dark spots
- Discoloration and uneven skin tone
- Liver spots, AKA age spots
- Redness caused by psoriasis and eczema
Melasma, also called chloasma and pregnancy mask, is a skin condition stemming from hormonal imbalances. Although melasma is greatly exacerbated by sun damage, in order for the condition to be diagnosed as melasma, hormonal influences must be present. trigger. Melasma is most commonly associated with darkening of skin above the lip and on cheekbones. It can also show as asymmetrical gray and brown spots on high areas of the face, such as cheeks, forehead, nose and other body areas prone to frequent sun exposure. Since hormonal imbalance is the melasma trigger, the skin condition mostly affects women. Men can develop melasma on their arms and shoulders also resulting from a combination of hormones and sun exposure.What are liver spots or age spots?
An overproduction of pigmentation appearing as dark patches or extra large freckles on hands is commonly known as liver spots. Liver spots are mostly attributed to age (that’s why they’re also called age spots) and years of sun exposure.
Test Your Knowledge
Did you Know?
- Hydroquinone use dates back as far as the 1800s when it was used to develop photos.
- Natural sources of hydroquinone include leaves of plants like huckleberry (AKA whortleberry), and mountain cranberry, also called bearberry.
- As we age, gray hairs sprout due to the reduction of melanin production in our body. So, in the case of retaining natural hair color, the desired effect is the opposite of what hydroquinone does. Speed up melanin production to keep gray hair at bay. It can seem like we have our hands full. Luckily we have science on our side!
CYNTHIANA, Ky. — Ananda Professional, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ecofibre, recently announced the launch of a Cannabidiol (CBD) oil product line that’s available exclusively in U.S. independent pharmacies.
“Pharmacists are considered the most trusted healthcare professional,” stated chief revenue officer Chuck Schneider, “They are often the first stop for patients and consumers seeking information about prescription and over-the-counter treatments. Most importantly, they are best equipped as they have an understanding of a patient’s therapy regiment.”The line includes for oral use, a 300ml and 600ml tincture and a 30 and 60 count, 15ml soft gel, as well as a 125mg salve for topical use.
Added Ecofibre’s CEO Eric Wang, “Vertical integration and full control of the manufacturing process ensures federal compliancy. Ananda Professional adheres to the strict government guidelines outlined by section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill and we proudly guarantee this. Our product is also cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Processes) compliant, ensuring product consistency, purity and potency.”
The company is also working to bridge the knowledge gap and confusion about what hemp-derived CBD is and isn’t.
Both hemp and marijuana are members of the cannabis sativa family, but marijuana contains high levels of the psychoactive compound, THC. Hemp contains less than 0.3 percent THC and high levels of CBD, the non-psychoactive compound with a vast array of therapeutic potential, the company stated.
“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) present in all humans is responsible for a host of homeostasis activities, including immune response, inflammation, sleep/wake cycle regulation, and mood. ECS receptors are found extensively throughout the body; in the brain, the lymphatic system, the digestive system, the reproductive system and more. CBD influences activity within the ECS, upregulating our endogenous neurotransmitters to promote a variety of therapeutic responses,” explained Ananda Professional’s medical director Alex Capano,
Ananda Professional conducts free webinars to help educate pharmacists and their staff on the ECS, CBD’s safety and efficacy profile and how CBD helps patients suffering from pain, inflammation (arthritis), sleep disorders, anxiety and other conditions.
The company noted that pharmacists and executives will have the opportunity to speak directly with Ananda Professional at Cardinal’s RBC conference in San Diego, June 26 to 30, and the National Community Pharmacy Association convention this October in Boston.
Your skin has an acid mantle, which is actually a thin layer that protects your skin. Having a skin pH level less than or higher than 5.5 inhibits your body's ability to produce lipids, also known as fat. Lipids produced by your body maintain a healthy barrier against germs and other irritants that cause allergies and other skin conditions like acne and eczema and bacteria and organisms like staph and candida.
If you are washing your face too often, using soaps or cleanser that are too harsh, you're probably washing away this strong, protective barrier.
Tips to keep your skin acid mantle strong and balanced
Skincare products that are pH balanced support a healthy skin barrier. You can also turn to our selection of CherylLeeMD products for skin care products that are carefully pH balanced, non-toxic, and free of the 88 most common allergens found in skin care. Or, explore our other top-rated skin care lines including Obagi Medical, Obagi Rx, SkinCeuticals and EltaMD to find the cleansers, sunscreen, eye care, and serums that are right for you. If you have severe skin issues, you should consult a physician or dermatologist to prescribe or recommend treatments and healthy regimens, and you can ask whether they feel you should have your skin’s pH tested. You can set up a convenient, confidential consultation with a dermatologist affordably online with telemedicine companies like TellaDermMD.
What does the skin acid mantle do?
Your Skin's Natural Defense
Your skin relies on its ability to produce lipids, or fats, to maintain a healthy barrier against irritants and germs. If your skin pH is higher than 5.6, the enzymes that create those lipids can’t function, leaving your skin dry and vulnerable.
Within your skin barrier, antimicrobial peptides are created that fight off bacteria and organisms like P. acnes, staph and candida. But they, too, can only function in a pH of 4.6-5.6. What’s worse is that all those bad bugs thrive in an alkaline pH, and all of them are associated with conditions like eczema, acne, rosacea, and intertrigo.
Slightly acidic skin pH inhibits inflammation. In fact, babies born with a genetic tendency for eczema may never develop an acid mantle, which leads to them developing eczema.
Skin allergies are much more common in people with a skin pH that is too alkaline, which is why eczema patients are also much more likely to have skin allergies. (For instance, 24% of non-eczema sufferers develop nickel allergies, whereas 90% of eczema patients are allergic to nickel.
Sloughing Dead Skin
Your skin’s pH affects what is called “cellular differentiation”, or the process by which your skin changes the outermost skin cells to form a healthy and constantly-renewing barrier. When your pH is too alkaline, it disturbs the amount of calcium in the skin layers, and that renewal process can’t function properly. Now that that's out.
Revised January 14, 2019.
Avoiding tretinoin because you fear the sun? Well, you're in luck. Timing is everything. The sunless winter is an opportunity to introduce your skin to the #1 acne-fighting Rx skincare product, tretinoin (generic Retin A).
Because tretinoin has incredible exfoliating and skin-regenerating power, new skin will crop up quickly. Be good to it! Sunscreen is always mandatory, but tretinoin requires strict vigilance to protect delicate, fresh skin from the sun. Try tretinoin in the winter when the sun is at bay. Again, no skipping on the sunblock.
Ok, so you've decided to stand up to your acne. Here's what you need to know:
First, try not to get upset. Most people think acne is isolated to teenagers but it's not. Adult acne is common and can show up suddenly. Typical causes of adult acne:
- hormonal changes such as pregnancy or menopause
- change in diet
- discontinuing or starting birth control
The good news is that there are many routes you can take to treat your acne and clear your skin.
Tretinoin cream has been on the market for over 30 years and has mounds of evidence proving its effectiveness. It is one of the top-recommended prescription topicals by dermatologists on the market. You also have alternative steps you can take to get acne under control.
Find out why you have acne
One of the first steps in clearing your skin is identifying what’s causing the acne breakout. Besides the possible triggers mentioned above, you may also have a genetic predisposition to adult acne if close relatives suffer from it. Some other likely culprits are your hair and skin products as well as side effects to medications or an undiagnosed medical condition. Adult acne is more commonly seen in women than in men and can be severe.
If one of these things is causing your acne, here’s what you can do...
- Lower your stress. Some of the best ways to help lower your stress are through exercise, quality sleep, meditation, and spending time with people who make you happy.
- Balance your hormones. You can’t always control your hormones but there are things you can do to help balance them such as, eating healthy, avoiding caffeine, exercising, getting more sleep, and improving your gut health.
- Confirm your skin and hair products are non- comedogenic. Some other terms to look for are, non-acnegenic, oil-free, and won’t clog pores.
- Consult with your doctor if any medications you are taking have a side effect of acne.
- Consult with your doctor if you are concerned you may have an undiagnosed medical condition that may be causing your adult acne.
- Discuss with your dermatologist if you have a genetic predisposition to acne. You should follow the above recommendations to avoid breakouts and you must be diligent with a good skincare regimen that is effective for acne prone skin.
- POP birth control pills can be effective is treating acne
So, you've tried everything to clear your adult acne and it's still there...now what?
Try prescription topical tretinoin (generic Retin-A). This product is nearly guaranteed to clear your acne and reduce post-acne scars, also known as hyperpigmentation, with minimal side effects if used correctly. It's an effective adult acne treatment by shrinking enlarged pores and improving cell turnover within the pores to prevent them from clogging and becoming whiteheads or blackheads. It's possible acne may temporarily worsen until you see improvements, but stick with it and you'll notice a difference in as little as 4 to 6 weeks, versus up to 12 weeks from most over-the-counter products.
No sun in the winter = good time to use tretinoin.
Sensitive skin from tretinoin + harsh winter air = Uh-oh.
Actually, no worries. You may be able to keep using your favorite moisturizer and just switch to a gentler cleanser.
How to moisturize skin when using tretinoin
Try Obagi Nu-Derm Gentle Cleanser. To step up moisturizing take advantage of your skin's overnight renewal process with Obagi Hydrate Luxe or Obagi Medical Gentle Rejuvenation Advanced Night Cream. Adding a Vitamin C serum can help also. Vitamin C calms irritated skin, speeds up healing and help retain moisture. Remember to apply serum before moisturizer.
Once your acne has cleared and you want to fade any scars left behind, prescription strength hydroquinone will be your next top go-to product. Hydroquinone 4% is the top skin bleaching product available with a prescription. Vitamin C is also a skin brightener and works great in conjunction with hydroquinone. Obagi has an entire skin care system dedicated to lightening acne scars, sundamage and other types of hyperpigmentation. The Obagi-C Rx System includes everything you need to work in conjunction with the acne-clearing power of tretinoin. Tretinoin preps the skin for the hydroquinone to get to work and continue exfoliation and also lighten skin. VItamin C also lightens skin in a more gentle way than hydroquinone and also offers some protection from the sun. However, a big warning. Always wear sunblock when using tretinoin or hydroquinone. The good news is that Obagi Complete Skin Care systems like the Obagi Nu-Derm System and the Obagi-C Rx System also contain broad spectrum sunblock.
You also have the option of purchasing each item in the kit separately. Obagi C-Rx C-Clarifying Serum contains Vitamin C and prescription-strength hydroquinone. Obagi Nu-Derm Sunfader includes prescription-strength hydroquinone with SPF 30. Then, as if that wasn't enough! You have the option of sunblock with Vitamin C. Obagi Professional-C Suncare is an OTC product.
With the right products, healthy habits, and tretinoin cream in your arsenal, you can say goodbye to your adult acne!
To learn more about how Rx-only Tretinoin, Rx-only Hydroquinone and Vitamin C work together, read our blog on what we're calling the Skin Care Power Trio: Tretinoin, Hydroquinone and Vitamin C.
Detoxing is Great - Just Do it the Healthy WayThere are too many unhealthy detox trends out there that limit your diet so much that it actually causes more harm than good. The point of a detox cleanse is to relieve pressure on your liver, kidneys and colon and to provide your body all of the nutrients it needs to do it’s job more efficiently.
How to Cleanse SafelySkip processed foods and added sugars. Eat whole, organic fruits, vegetables and fiber. Stay away from starchy white breads and pastas. It's important to feed your body healthy foods to get the most benefit from a cleanse. A good way to get enough fruits and veggies is by juicing! Juicing is delicious and it's easy to consume multiple servings of fruits and vegetables.No alcohol or caffeine. Alcohol and caffeine put more work on your kidneys, since the point of a cleanse is to lessen the pressure on your kidneys, these should be avoided. Alcohol and caffeine also dehydrate you, you need to be hydrated for your kidneys to clear out toxins effectively.Don't forget protein! Protein helps support cellular growth and repair. You should limit consumption of red meat, eggs and dairy. But, you can still have some animal proteins such as, wild caught fish and organic poultry. If you want to avoid animal protein, you can eat grains high in protein like quinoa or beans, nuts and seeds.Eat foods rich in probiotics like plain greek yogurt, or take a probiotic supplement. Probiotics are healthy bacteria and yeast (the good kind) that help support your digestive system. They help keep your gut healthy and functioning properly.Drink plenty of water, this is super important in supporting your natural detoxification processes. You can drink caffeine free teas and natural fruit infused water, like lemon cucumber water. You know you're drinking enough fluids for your kidneys when your urine is light in color and odor free. Water also aids in healthy bowel functions!Sweat it out! Get your heart rate up and increase your blood circulation. You can workout or use a steam room or sauna if you have access to one. Sweating helps remove toxins and cleanse the body, the increase in blood circulation helps transport nutrients throughout the body. Just make sure to drink fluids to replace the water you lost through sweating.
How long should you cleanse?Any length of a detox cleanse is helpful, it can be as short as 1 day or as long as 2 weeks. Just be sure to eat a balanced diet so you aren't missing any necessary vitamins and nutrients. When you've completed a cleanse, try to continue on the habit of healthy, clean eating. Feed your body all of the right things to improve your mood, health and wellness.
“When I was in college I thought I was an introvert because I hated going out, didn’t want to attend parties, dreaded summer vacations, and just about any public appearance. My second roommate in college was the opposite. She loved being social and was always trying to drag me out, and I think sometimes she just thought I wasn’t a fun person at all. Brenda did have something I didn’t, and that was perfect skin, literally. Brenda’s face would glow with such a lovely tone, her skin was so consistently unflawed, and she was 3 years older than me.
I grew up always having freckles and blemishes, and over the last few years they have become more pronounced. I just thought this was the norm for people like me… Oh, how I was wrong! We went on a fun spring break road trip together her senior year, and I became privy to her secret – Hydroquinone! She had this prescription cream with hydroquinone as one of the active ingredients, and she swore by it. She gave me Mint Pharmacy's website and I totally went and bought some, started using it regularly, and it has seriously changed my whole outlook on life! They set me up on a subscription refill and it ships to my door once I’m out. I saw results in a few weeks and fast forward 2 years to today and it’s been a game changer for me. This once college introvert can now barely stay indoors! I flaunt my drastically improved face and glowing skin like it’s going out of style! My roommate, the Mint pharmacy people, and the products they recommended for my skin have totally helped change my whole outlook, literally! I have more confidence, and an ace up my sleeve for dealing with blemishes.” - Lisa
This is Lisa’s actual customer story and review, and we wanted to share her story with you to help our customers understand the positive benefits only prescription-strength skincare can bring.
Hydroquinone, the active ingredient mentioned above, is a common ingredient in topical exfoliating agents, and is used in cosmetic treatment of hyperpigmented skin conditions and blemishes. This hyperpigmentation has many names, to include melasma, liver spots, age spots, freckles, lentigines and acne scars. It has been established as the most effective topical agent for clearing dark spots, fading uneven skin tone, and ultimately lightening the skin leaving a sleek, soft and bright skin.
Hydroquinone, also called quinol, is a drug that belongs to the phenol group of hydrocarbon. The drug blocks the complex mechanism that leads to skin discoloration. It helps skin normalize the production of melanin which is what gives the skin the dark coloration and pigmentations. When there is too much melanin around a spot on the skin, it leads to brown/dark spots. This process is what hydroquinone interrupts.
Most over-the-counter Hydroquinone is typically available up to 2% concentration and usually only achieves minor results, which can take 6-12 months to see. Prescription Hydroquinone is much stronger and is typically a 4% strength. Obagi Nu-Derm Blender Rx is 4% and most patients see results in around 8 weeks of use. MintRxPharmacy.com is the legitimate place online to buy prescription strength Hydroquinone, and is a fully licensed mail order pharmacy shipping direct to your doorstep!
To get the best results from products containing quinol, sun protection is a key part of your skincare routine. Hydroquinone, or quinol, makes the skin sensitive to the sun’s ultraviolet rays and users are advised to apply the product in the evening when the sun is down. We recommend using Obagi’s specifically formulated sun block in addition to any Hydroquinone products to help ensure extra protection from damaging UV rays, and as a separate product for routine sun protection – a vital part of any skincare routine. Obagi’s Nu-Derm Rx is specifically formulated to treat chloasma, melasma, freckles and other melanin issues. Their prescription product lightens skin hyperpigmentation superbly, revealing evenly-toned, radiant, and consistent skin. The healthy complexion Lisa mentioned in her personal account.
The Mint Pharmacy team has a combined 70 years of top level skin care expertise! We love skin, and we love to see you happy. Visit MintRxPharmacy.com for more great products and to order your prescription strength Obagi products today!
Superfoods pack a powerful punch of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that are greatly needed for our bodies to function properly. Eating these superfoods can provide a wide range of benefits including preventing chronic diseases, prolonging life, sexual wellness, and proper hormonal function. The list below includes the top 5 best superfoods of 2017 that you need to start eating now!
This root is grown in the high mountains of South America and is usually found in a powder form. Historically, the maca root has been believed to be a potent aphrodisiac and a fertility secret among the population in the Andes. This nutrient dense powerhouse boosts the immune system, balances hormones, increases energy levels, stamina, memory, and focus. Due to its ability to balance hormone levels it improves symptoms of PMS, menopause, and infertility. The easiest way to consume this superfood powder is to blend it in smoothies!
These delicious superfood berries are found in the Amazonian rainforest and have higher levels of antioxidants than blueberries! Having such high levels of antioxidants helps prevent cellular damage which lowers the risks of diseases and premature aging. The benefits of these berries include improving heart health, weight loss, skin health, boosting the immune system, increasing energy, libido, and mental function. These berries are usually blended and frozen into popular “acai bowls” which are typically topped with granola and fruit.
Matcha Green Tea
This nutrient rich tea is a staple of traditional Japanese culture. The tea leaves are steamed before being stone-ground into a very fine powder. It is easily recognizable by its brilliant bright green color. It is full of formidable antioxidants, phytonutrients, and amino acids. This combination, along with caffeine, boosts memory, concentration and energy levels without the jittery feeling you may get when drinking coffee.
Kombucha originated 2,000 years ago from China and is referred to as the “elixir of life”. It is a fermented black tea that is full of gut-healthy bacteria and probiotics. All of these probiotics help aid in digestion and keep your gut happy and healthy. A properly functioning digestive system leads to a stronger immune system, a rise in energy levels, weight loss, and likely cancer prevention.
This Amazonian super berry has 60 times more Vitamin C than oranges, in fact, it is said to have more than any other food on earth! Because of its high level of Vitamin C it is a powerful boost for the immune system, liver health and leads the brain to produce serotonin, which enhances your mood. It is also shown to have a positive effect on slowing and improving the aging process. This berry has a very sour taste so it is usually found in a powder form and is added to smoothies.
What is your skin type?
Knowing your true skin type is critical for picking the best skincare regimen for you. It may surprise you that most people don’t know their skin type and are using the wrong skincare products. This can exacerbate current skin issues as you’re not addressing the real problem. The four most common skin types are dry, oily, sensitive and combination.
Dry skin most commonly appears as flakey, scaly, or rough. It can be caused by dehydration, makeup, diet, or skincare products! Some skincare products can be too harsh and strip the skin of its natural oils, if you aren’t applying a moisturizer your skin will be too dry and feel tight or itchy. Make sure that you use a mild cleanser and apply moisturizer twice daily, especially before bed because the body heals itself during the night. For night-time moisturizing try Obagi Medical Gentle Rejuvenation Advanced Night Cream It may also be beneficial to gently exfoliate the skin once a week. Relief for dry skin is within reach. Shop physician-grade and pharmaceutical-grade dry skin care products and skin care treatments for dry skin.
Oily skin can appear as shiny, greasy, or enlarged pores. Oily skin can be caused by hormone fluctuations so it is common for teenagers. It is also common to have acne with this skin type. For help fighting acne, consider tretinoin. Tretinoin, generic Retin-A, is backed by worldwide research and more than 30 years of successful treatment in preventing and healing acne. Tretinoin is FDA-approved acne medicine.
It is important to cleanse the skin twice daily, but do not cleanse your skin more frequently that that. If you strip all of the oils from your skin it will cause your sebaceous glands to overproduce oil. Caring for oily skin can be tricky. You don't want to leave too much oil on your face which can lead to blocked pores, blackheads, whiteheads, blemishes and even acne. On the flip side, over-cleansing or using a cleanser that is too strong can create dryness and even cause your skin to create more oil. For help choosing the right cleanser for oily skin, shop our specialty skin care products tailored specifically for oily skin conditions.
Sensitive skin is often red and it may burn or sting when applying makeup or skincare products. It is important to use skincare products that are mild, alcohol and scent-free. Stay away from harsh chemical exfoliants, retinoids, and chemical sunscreens. Sensitive skin may also be dry so apply a soothing moisturizer. Some suggestions:
- SkinCeuticals Redness Neutralizer provides clinically proven relief for redness and itchy skin. Also, Epidermal Repair by SkinCeuticals supports the skin's natural barrier function creating therapeutic care for sensitive skin.
- CherylLeeMD specialty skin care treatments relieve redness and irritation. Severely itchy skin can be soothed with hydrocortisone and the LipidRelease Technology found in CherylLeeMD's "expert" formula that provides long-lasting relief for skin conditions such as Eczema, Hypersensitive Skin, Inflammation, Irritation, Itchy Skin, Psoriasis and Rosacea.
- Obagi Nu-Derm Gentle Cleanser for hypersensitive skin
Combination skin is often oily in the T-zone area (forehead, nose, chin) and dry on the cheeks. Theoretically, you could treat each area with different products specific for the dry and oily areas of the skin, but who can afford to buy double the products? The better option for your wallet is to find a skincare regimen that can treat both skin types.
Try Obagi Luxe, an all-day skin nourishing formula for all skin types. Its key ingredient, hydromanil, is a natural moisturizer made from tara seed. The effect is gradual rehydration of your skin to restore your skin's supple and smooth texture.
SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Gel combines a patented blend of 2% phloretin, 10% pure vitamin C, and 0.5% ferulic acid for broad-range environmental protection.
CherylLeeMD TrueLipids Hydrate, Correct & Perfect Lotion is ideal for all skin types and also treats specific issues such as inflammation, hyperpigmentation, eczema and more. Great for your skin and easy on your wallet, CherylLeeMD TrueLipids is an anti-aging formula, luxurious moisturizer and skin texture repair lotion combined in one perfect solution.
We all spend a lot of time seeking balance in our lives: work-life balance, a balanced diet, a healthy bank account balance. But most of us never realize that we also need balance when it comes to our skin care. Specifically, we need skin care products and treatments that are pH balanced to maintain the health and normal function of our skin.
To start, what is skin pH?
First, let’s get a quick refresher on our long-ago science classes! The pH scale measures how acidic, neutral, or alkaline a substance is. A pH of 0 is extremely acidic, and 14 is extremely alkaline. Healthy skin has a pH of about 4.6-5.6, which is slightly acidic—about the same as black coffee, tomatoes, and bananas. This comes from what’s called the “acid mantle”, a thin protective layer that’s part of the skin’s natural barrier functions, made up of a mix of sebum with lactic and amino acids produced by sweat.
Now let's talk about how to improve our skin's pH
Too often, when we think we’re taking care of our skin, we’re actually disrupting the acid mantle and leaving our skin open to dryness, breakouts, or even flare-ups of conditions like eczema or rosacea. It’s hardly our fault; skin pH was something we were probably never taught about, and we’re encouraged to do things like wash our hands regularly with soap. It’s a good hygiene habit, but ordinary hand soap has a pH of 10 or 11—very alkaline!
So, what if you have a skin condition like eczema?
Likewise, eczema patients are often encouraged to take baths using a diluted bleach solution. But bleach ranks a whopping 13 on the pH scale, the same as oven cleaner and just one step below liquid drain cleaner. Considering that eczema patients usually have a skin pH around 6 or 7 to begin with, you can see that bleach baths are only going to add to the problem.
If you suffer from eczema, Dr. Cheryl Lee Eberting, M.D., founder of CherylLeeMD Sensitive Skin Care, recommends using a dilution of vinegar (particularly apple cider vinegar) instead of bleach to treat symptoms and support the acidity of the skin barrier.
You can also view our selection of CherylLeeMD products for skin care that is carefully pH balanced, non-toxic, and free of the 88 most common allergens found in skin care.
So what is keratosis pilaris and why does it have the nickname "chicken skin"! Keratosis Pilaris is a skin condition caused by the build up of keratin, a protein in the body that protects the skin. When keratin is not naturally exfoliated, it can form a hard plug that clogs hair follicles and creates inflamed bumps on the skin. Learn the best skin products to use to prevent or clear up chicken skin. These 5 easy skin care steps will bring back your confidence and get you showing off your beautiful skin again.
1. Gently exfoliateThe keyword here is, “gently". If you use an exfoliator that is too rough or abrasive you can worsen keratosis pilaris, inflaming the bumps, making them more noticeable. Loofahs are great for exfoliation but make sure to soak them before using.
2. Find the right products for you
Look for products with glycolic, salicylic, or lactic acid to help smooth the area and break down the buildup of excess keratin. We recommend Obagi KèraPhine Body Smoothing Lotion for keratosis pilaris. This product contains 15% glycolic acid.
3. Try vitamins & supplementsTake a daily fish oil supplement. A diet rich in omega-3's can aide the skin in shedding dead skin cells, preventing them from sticking in hair follicles.
4. Prescription retinoidsAs if Tretinoin (Retin-A) wasn't amazing enough for its effectiveness on acne and aging skin, you can also use it to treat keratosis pilaris! This vitamin A derivative increases the cell turnover rate which flattens out those annoying bumps. Tretinoin is available in 3 prescription strengths
5. Moisturize!Keratosis pilaris is caused by dry skin, it’s more noticeable in the winter months when the weather is drier. Use a good moisturizer that won’t clog your pores. Again, Obagi's Keraphine lotion, specially formulated for rough skin is the clear winner. This lotion is specially formulated to treat keratosis pilaris. It contains alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that exfoliates dead skin cells, smoothing bumpy skin patches.
Your reward? Sleeveless shirts!Finish the Summer wearing sleeveless shirts without feeling self-conscious.Check out our products for Chicken skin/Keratosis Pilaris.
Updated January 2019
Everyone wants to know how Jennifer does it. She looks like she hasn’t aged a day since she first came on the scene in the 90's. There’s no denying she looks amazing AND she’s almost the big 5-0 What’s her secret?
Well, here are some tips to stay looking young like J-Lo.
Get plenty of sleep
At least 7-9 hours! Lower stress! Meditate to help keep those stress wrinkles away!
Eat a well balanced whole food diet free of processed and artificial substances.
Drink 8 ounces of fluid daily to keep skin looking fresh and plump.
Regular physical activity slows aging at a cellular level.
Great skin care regimen
Start using a skin care regimen for anti-aging, it should include a retinol, lactic or glycolic acid.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
A great moisturizer works wonders on giving your skin that youthful glow from within.
Avoid excessive sun exposure between 10am and 3pm when the sun’s damaging rays are the strongest.
Start taking multivitamins, especially E and C which are shown to be effective in the battle against aging skin.
Constant squinting can cause wrinkles around the eye area to occur.