Monthly Archives: May 2018
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.