Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How SimplySkin Rx came to be

If you're wondering who we are over at SimplySkin Rx, this post is for you. 
Here's a picture of The Hubs (Lee Henderson PharmD) and me (Catherine Henderson PharmD)

We are a husband and wife team (as if you hadn't already guessed that from the matching last names and our proximity to each other in the pic!), who came up with the SIMPLE idea that people would get better results from their skincare if their products had MORE (higher concentrations of) beneficial ingredients.  You see, many skin care brands put in negligible quantities of their "star" ingredients, just so they can say they've included it (never mind that they used 0.01% of something when clinical studies with that ingredient may have used 1%)…but I digress  

So, Lee and I are both pharmacists and entrepreneurs (hence the business).  Our company evolved from The Pill Box Pharmacy, where we have a thriving BHRT (bio-identical hormone replacement therapy) clinic.  Through this avenue we were able to talk to lots and lots of women about their hormones, nutrition, skincare and overall wellness.  We heard the need for good skincare over and over, until finally, Lee was sent (by "The Boss", who you'll hear more about later) to a special training program about anti-aging skincare.

Well, that's all it took to ignite our excitement.  Especially me, I've been a product junkie for years, so I was ecstatic to get in the lab and put together the best of what I already knew, with what Lee had learned and adding in a ton of research on top of that.  After our initial learning and planning phase we began working on formulas and recruiting tester clients .  Once we had a few basic formulas, we began to really play with the additional ingredients (think mad scientist!) until we had a line that offered comprehensive anti-aging benefits- where every product could be used together to work synergistically, but each product could also stand alone and deliver skin-improving benefits.  Our testers gave us two thumbs up (many are still clients) and we knew we had created something great.

We also have a third member of our team- I call him "The Boss".  His name is Sam Costello, RPh and here's his picture.

Sam is the owner of The Pill Box Pharmacy and a women's health guru.  He started our BHRT program (long before Lee and I arrived on the scene) and he's counseled women on all things concerning hormones, nutrition and skincare.  If you were to look at his bookshelf you would assume that it belonged to a menopausal woman, because it is crammed full of books and research papers relating to hormone health and nutritional supplements.  He's a pretty amazing guy (I have to say that, because he's "The Boss", right?).  Sam is the one that originally saw the need for our skincare line and he saw the potential of our SIMPLE idea.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Good eats

When it comes to good skin care I think one of the things we overlook the most is our diet.  I'm a stickler for healthy eating for a whole list of reasons, but one of the first benefits you'll notice when you clean up your diet is more beautiful and radiant skin!

Have you ever examined your skin after you've been on a sugar binge?  Of course, that is assuming that you don't live in a state of perpetual sugar binge.  Consuming too much raw sugar seems to make skin look tired and less supple.

In contrast, have you ever done a trial of clean eating and examined your skin 1 week in, 2 weeks in…?  It's amazing how you can see benefits that quick!  Aside from healthier, radiant skin-- you'll also notice other benefits when you clean up your diet, like weight loss and improvements in overall health.

Hmm….feeling better and looking better through clean eating, kind of sounds like a no brainer to me.

So, what is clean eating exactly?  Well, the basic answer is that it involves removing processed foods from your diet.  There are different definitions clean eating-- and sort of different levels.  Some people are adamant about having less than 4 ingredients in any purchased/pre-made item.  Personally, I feel like that is a little strict-- I lean towards reading labels and making sure that all of the ingredients are real ingredients (and not preservatives and color additives), and there are not a lot of added sugars.

Want some clean eating education?  Follow us on Pinterest, where I'll be setting up a clean eating board with all of my go-to websites and blogs for recipes, ideas and tips.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Microderm Scrub

It's another new day and I'm going to tell you about another new addition to our SimplySkin Rx line.  We have a fantastic new exfoliator in the form of our Microderm Scrub.  Now, if you've heard me talk about scrubs before, you know that I believe you have to be very…VERY…cautious when using a scrub type of product on your face, but this scrub is actually pretty fantastic for periodic use.  The particles in it are extremely small and you can tell the difference in this scrub vs. other scrubs as soon as you rub a little bit between your fingers.

I recommend that you use this once or twice a week by applying it to damp skin and gently rubbing in circular motions, avoiding contact with the eyes.  Wash away with soap and water and feel how soft and smooth your skin will be.  It also helps your other products to absorb into your skin better and your makeup to stay on longer.

If you are trying to decide between our Microderm Scrub and our Renew Exfoliating Mask, I'll help make your decision a little easier.  You will get a better exfoliation from the Renew Mask, but it is more time consuming…so, if you are going to dedicate the time go with the mask and if you are (like most of us) doing good to get your face washed some days, go with the scrub.  Hope that helps.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Products from SimplySkin Rx

Hello all!  It has been awhile since we've been on the blog, but we've been working very hard to crank out some new formulas and improve on some old ones (more on that later).  You'll notice that there are five new products on our website: a lip plumper, microderm scrub, and three different retinol serums.  We want to take the next few days to tell you about these new products- starting with our lip plumper: Plump Up the Jam!

We wanted to make a new product that would be really fun, affordable and fantastic-- so we started testing out some different lip formulas (like, a lot) and we came up with a fantastic lip treatment that people really connected with because it has shea butter and coconut oil to give great hydration to the lips….but then, we wanted to take it a step further and add the plumping effect so we added cinnamon oil and arginine.  If you like lip plumpers, you'll love ours!  It has a mild tingling sensation and a lip plumping effect that lasts for up to two hours (and hydration that lasts even longer).

Now, I know that not everyone likes that tingling sensation, so we've also formulated it as a hydrating lip gloss that you can select instead.  If you are on our website, just select Non-Plumping in the formula line.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

BB Creams- Skin Care Breakthrough or Just Another Product You Don't Need?

Earlier in 2012, beauty companies began to introduce "BB Creams" to the U.S market and they were an instant hit. These BB Creams (BB stands for Blemish Balm or Beauty Balm) are touted to be great multi-tasking products that will replace your serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation, sunscreen….well, you get the idea.  Here is a link to the current list of BB Creams available at Sephora, so you can see for yourself all of the claims that these companies are making.

Now, as a formula developer, I'm always skeptical of ANYTHING that gets as much hype as I've seen surrounding BB Creams…and people often ask me what my opinion is of certain products, so here it is.  Are BB Creams bad? No.  Are BB Creams good?  Sure, some of them are great products.  Can they replace all of your other skin care products? No.  And that's really the kicker- these product can be great moisturizers and they can give you that light, natural coverage and they can even contain some good anti-aging ingredients.

So, what's missing?  How about some retinol- which is hands down, my favorite anti-aging ingredient.  And what about glycolic acid, or any other exfoliating acid?  For me, these are the two biggies that are not (and likely cannot be) in these BB Creams.

Now, just to make sure that I'm making things clear I'll tell you how you can incorporate these BB Creams into a great skincare regimen that will cover all of your skin care needs.  Each morning, wash your face with an exfoliating cleanser (something with glycolic acid is really best IMHO).  After washing, apply your BB Cream and your morning routine is complete.  Now, your nighttime routine will be a little different, depending on your needs.  I would absolutely use a Retinol serum in the evening (you can find ours here), and you will likely want an additional moisturizer with some antioxidants and peptides.  Once a week, use our Renew mask to fully exfoliate.

When would I suggest that you skip the BB Cream?  On occasions when you are going to wear foundation, because it's not really saving you that much time or money if you are going to wear foundation over it, and I believe that there are better moisturizers you could choose from.

Have you tried BB Creams?  I know some people love them…and some don't.  Tell me what you think!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ingredient Spotlight: DMAE


So, for today's Ingredient Spotlight I'm actually going to refer you to one of my competitor's blogs (gasp!).  I wanted to provide you all with some information about DMAE and it's wonderful benefits and who better to learn from than Dr. Perricone, who has been one of the leading researchers of this wonderful ingredient.  You can find his blog here.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.  Dr. Perricone is very well respected and his products are highly coveted.

Of course, SimplySkin Rx has included DMAE (and alpha-lipoic acid) in our night cream and our clients have experienced great results with the combination of these ingredients.  If you want to check out our take on DMAE you can find it here.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Ingredient Spotlight: Alpha-Lipoic Acid

What does it do?
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a potent antioxidant- which prevents aging caused by oxidative damage.  It has been called the "universal antioxidant" because it is soluble in water and oil, which means that it can penetrate all components of our cells and provide better protection against free radicals.  It also boosts the effectiveness of other antioxidants.

Are there side effects?
Unfortunately, this is an ingredient that can cause irritation on some people's skin if it is being used in proper strengths.  To get the wonderful anti-aging results you will need to use it in a 5-10% concentration.  The best way to avoid irritation is to start slow (this is a universal rule with new skincare products) and increase your usage as you are able to.  Your skin will most likely develop a tolerance to any irritation unless you are truly allergic to the ingredient.

What about oral supplements?
There are many ALA supplements on the market and I'll address those while we are on the subject.  In your body, ALA is a component in glutathione production, and glutathione removes toxic substances from the liver.  ALA has also shown promise in treating diabetic neuropathy- which is also due to it's glutathione connection.  It provides antioxidant protection for your body-which we have learned is increasingly important.  There are several other proposed benefits of ALA, but there is not a lot of quality research to support many other benefits.  ALA is naturally occurring in meats and some vegetables, but it would certainly be a great supplement to consider based on the antioxidant benefit and the fact that it is both water and lipid soluble.  An oral supplement can provide some benefit for your skin as well, but topical application will give you the best skincare results.

Which SimplySkin Rx Products have Alpha-Lipoic Acid?
We have a 5% concentration of ALA in our Refine Night Cream.  This concentration is strong enough to give you great results, hopefully with minimal side effects.  We've combined it with other beneficial anti-aging ingredients that we will be sharing with you over the next few blog posts.