Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Difference Between Retin-A and Retinol

Is there a difference between Retin-A and Retinol ?

Yes. The FDA 40 years ago approved Vitamin A, retinoids or Tretinoin under the brand name Retin-A as a prescription for acne. Dermatologists after prolonged use by patients noticed not just clearer skin, but softer ,smoother and brighter skin ( less wrinkles my friends ).

Retinol is the non-prescription or over the counter version of retinoids. While prescription protocols yield more affective results, retinol is less aggressive and may take twelve weeks or more for desired results.

Now let me dispel a common myth : retinoids will not render one's skin sun sensitive, just as an exfoliated skin is not any more vulnerable to UV rays. The ingredient itself is sensitive to sunlight which is why it should be applied at night. In fact a humid summer is an optimal time to start retinoids, because the humidity would render the drying effects less irritating. Don't forget your sunscreen.

Cheers, Miss Violet

Friday, December 27, 2013

Is Nerium AD a scam or legit?

What is Nerium AD
Being in the skin care industry we get information from friends and relatives of what they have heard is the next hot thing in skincare, and a couple people have name dropped NeriumAD.  The product says it is an anti aging wrinkle reducer that helps discoloration, uneven texture, enlarged pores and loose skin.  I took a look at the ingredients and the first, and so should also be the largest ingredient in the product is NAE-8® Proprietary Blend  which has Aloe Barbadensis Leaf  and Nerium Oleander Leaf Extract.  The resale value is $110 and is sold by a Multi - Level Marketing strategy in where the sales force earns a commission from sales and who they recruit to sell the product.

Their are three points that I state in the above explanation that I would like to chat with you on for making an informed decision about this product:

1. Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, or Aloe in general is one of the cheapest skincare products on the market, which brings into question the retail price of $110.
2. Nerium Oleander Leaf is fatal if ingested, one leaf ingested can kill a child.  No other skincare product has this ingredient.
3. Multi - Level Marketing are a sales force that wants to sell the item for commission.  They are not trained Dermatologists or Estheticians.

Dermatologist Grade Skincare and the Price of Ingredients
When searching for an anti aging skincare cream it is important to go with a brand and ingredients that Dermatologists recommend and have clinical proven results.  It is also important that the price matches the ingredients in it. The third ingredient is allusive, Proprietary Protein, Collagen, Elastin, and Glycosaminoglycans.  These are not ingredients, but cells in the skin that make up the skin structure, so we have no knowledge of the ingredient that they are using to promote these 3 proteins are good or bad.  Going through the ingredients, all are very cheap, the only ones in question are the allusive proteins and the poisonous nerium oleander leaf. One ingredient is Parfum, where perfume is never recommended to help skin, it is a way to sell a product because of smell, but can also cause allergic reactions and irritation.

Nerium Oleander Leaf is a Poison
Why would you put poison on your skin?  Oleander is an old world medicine that contains glycosides that essentially slows your heartrate down, sometimes to a fatal level. All parts of the plant is poisonous, and even a small dose such as oleander nectar made into honey or smoke from burning oleander has proved to be fatal.

Test tube studies have shown that oleander extract applied to prostate cancer cells caused apoptosis (cell death).  Clinical studies with humans have shown no results. Apoptosis is a form of removing oxygen to create stress, causing cell death.  This should conclude though that it would do a similar thing to healthy skin cell, promoting aging, instead of regeneration.  Another point to make, Anti-Oxidants are big in the skincare industry for promoting health in your skin.  Removing oxygen is an Oxidant, hmmm the opposite of what is good for skin.

A group of researchers tested Nerium AD and if the topical use had any heart changes or signs of absorbtion in the blood stream.  The findings were that it did not and the oleander extract wasn't present in the blood samples or heart rate changed (
One reason why their it Nerium AD may be safe is that on their website under FAQ's they state that a child would have to ingest 400 bottles of it for it to be toxic (‎).  If this is so, and if studies have shown that it takes one leaf to kill a child, than one bottle has 1/400 th of a leaf. Since it is the first ingredient, then we wonder if it is adhering to the FDA Fair Packaging and Labeling Act that says the the ingredients with the most weight are named first (

Multi Level Marketing can Make Uninformed Salespeople

This marketing works by recruiting a person to sell the product.  If they recruit others to sell it, they get a commission from their sales as well.  It's a pyramid scheme of getting many people to sell the product under you to have a nice paycheck coming in.  The problem is, the product could be anything, the dream and desire for the marketer is to sell, not to believe in the product or care if it works. 

We at shopspaViolet sell many products and pick and choose from popularity of what Dermatologists recommend and have a proven track record of ingredients that have been shown in clinical studies to be safe and effective.  We would never rely on one product to fit all skin types, all ages, ethnic backgrounds, skin problems and all purposes.  Write us any time with your skin concerns and by talking to you with our professional esthetician that has over 20 years of experience we can recommend a product for your needs.  Of course we are in the business of selling, but as you will see by our auto refill, low prices, free samples and free shipping, we are building a relationship with our customers to give a win win for both and give everyone happy skin.

Miss Violet

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Are Chemical Sunscreens Safe?

Sunscreens can be categorized as and Physical or Mineral, and Chemical or Organic. Physical sunscreens block UV rays and are ingredients like Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.  Chemical sunscreens absorb the UV rays and are ingredients like avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene and oxybenzone.  The most widely used chemical ingredient being avobenzone.

Chemical sunscreens have had bad press about causing hormone disruption.  The ingredients have shown to break down to exposure to sunlight and must be stabilized, usually with a chemical octocrylene.  As of now, the chemical ingredients Avobenzone and Homosalate have received FDA approval.

Many of the research you will find on Avobenzone will show that it is an endocrine hormone disrupting ingredient, and therefore it is toxic and to stay away.  Although studies have shown this is correct, the reality is, this has been blown WAY out of proportion.  The levels of causing the hormone disruption is "several orders of magnitude lower than that of natural estrogens". (Source: Environment International, July 2007, pages 654–669)  Another common ingredient that has the same endocrine hormone disruptors is acetaminophen.  The effects are so small, it is not a factor, as well as topical use stays on the surface of the skin, not penetrating internally.

As for how chemical sunscreens break down under sunlight, that is correct.  However, all ingredients, physical and chemical break down, and this is why reapplication every two hours is needed on sunscreen. Chemical sunscreens can result in allergic reactions and irritations because of chemical filters, however only a small percentage of people are effected by the adverse effects.

How Chemical Sunscreens Work

Chemical sunscreens are colorless, orderless and usually runny that when applied start being effective after they have been absorbed by the skin, usually taking twenty minutes until it is effective.  Mineral sunscreen offers protection only for UVB protection, making avobenzone an important ingredient to make a broad spectrum sunscreen.  Free radical damage can occur with all sunscreens, and a Vitamin C serum to correct skin damage from free radicals should be used with sunscreen.

Here some information about each chemical ingredient:

Avobenzone - Also known as Parsol 1789 and butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, it is FDA approved and protects for UVA rays, giving a broad range to the sunscreen.

Homosalate - An FDA approved ingredient, it protects mostly for UVB rays.

Octinoxate - Also known as octyl methozycinnamate protect for UVB rays.

Octisalate - Also known as octyl salicylate protects for UVB rays.

Oxybenzone - Also known as benzophenone-3 protects from UVB and for a small amount of UVA rays.  It is used as a stabilizer to help the ingredients not break down.  Controversy for this ingredient has been found for being a hormone disrupter.  When used at the concentration allowed though it has not shown through studies to have any adverse effects.  Because Oxybenzone is in a lot of products as a preservative, it can be found in urine in most people and mothers milk, but has shown to have no hazardous effects.

Are EBAY Products Fake?

And let's widen that, how about Amazon, Overstock and other bargain or bidding websites?  The answer is, it may be real, it may not.  Here is what we at shopspaViolet do know, none of the brands we sell want their products sold on these sites.  If they know that a merchant that they are working with are selling on EBay, Amazon and other bidding websites, they will shut down those accounts.  In a way, if you buy professional dermatologist grade skincare from these sites, they are being sold like a black market.

What have we experienced with these websites? Fraud at our expense.  Criminals set up Ebay accounts and sell an item that we sell and get a customer and collect that customers money.  Then they use a stolen credit card to buy the product on our website and tell us to ship it to their customer.  When the stolen card holder calls the credit card company, we are stuck with lost product and shipping cost, and the charge back amount.  So yes, the person who purchased on Ebay got a legitimate product, but was also part of a ring of fraud.  Buyer Beware! Cheers.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Gift Certificates for Skincare

Gift Certificates for Skincare

You can now get gift certificates for great skincare with free shipping so your loved ones can shop with ease and get the brands they love.  They can choose from Revision, SkinCeuticals, PCA Skin, NeoStrata, Lilash, Coola, EltaMD, Clarisonic, Exuviance and more!  You can have it sent to them, or emailed to them, and select any amount!  Great for stocking stuffers!

Eczema, What it is and Treatments

An Understanding of Eczema

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is skin that can be dry, rough, red, itchy, leathery, cracked, fluid filled blisters or inflamed.  Eczema is most seen in infants and they grow out of it as they get older.  Eczema is a very general and broad term, as it cannot describe what it looks like, how you got it, or how to treat it. Narrowing down the region of the body, how it looks, your environment and family history can begin to decide what type of eczema it is and treatment.

It is important to see a doctor when you have persistent eczema that doesn't go away.  Some people may be fine riding out the discomfort, however you need to verify that the condition isn't something worse like skin cancer.

Causes of Eczema

Sometimes eczema is an allergic reaction, like the most common atopic dermatitis. The most common form found in infants is not an allergic reaction, more dealing with the immune system not regulating itself properly yet.  Eczema is not contagious, but seasonal allergies, asthma, people with older mothers and people with food allergies have a greater risk of getting it.   The following are common causes of eczema:

- heredity (genetics)
- immune system not working properly
     - Dust and Sand
     - Mold and Pollen and Pet Dander
     - Cold, flu, or infection
- pollution, weather and environment
     - Being in extreme temperatures
     - Exposed to water for a long time
     - Hot showers and baths
     - Dry climate
     - Sweat
     - Stress
- exposure to ingredients that cause a reaction
     - Wool and Synthetic Fabrics
     - Soap and detergents
     - Perfume and Makeup
     - Chlorine and other industrial solvents
     - Cigarette Smoke
- problems with the skin barrier, cuts or scrapes

Treatment for Eczema

Moisturizers-  For dry, cracked, scaly and leathery skin a good moisturizer and refraining from taking hot baths and showers can aid in reducing the symptoms of eczema.

Hydrocortisone - If you feel it was caused by exposure to something, try over the counter hydrocortisone, if it persists you will need to see a doctor for stronger medication.

Steroids - For immune caused eczema and inflamed skin, a prescription corticosteroid can reduce inflammation by regulating skin cell growth and immune function. for bigger immune problems, especially if connected with asthma and other heredity factors, an oral corticosteroid may be necessary.

Antihistamines - Rashes and other allergic reactions can be relieved with such antihistamines such as Benadryl to reduce swelling.

If the above treatments have not worked, more drastic treatments may be needed:

Ultraviolet Light Therapy: UV light can suppress the overactive skin cells that are causing the inflammation.  Like all over exposure to light, there are risks, such as sunburns if not properly regulated, tanning and skin damage, and also leading to skin cancer.

Immunomodulators - Cream that controls inflammation and reduced immune reactions such as elidel and protopic.

Immunosupressants - Oral drugs that control the immune system such as azathioprine, cyclosporine and methotrexate as a last option.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Great results in Skincare with Linoleic Acid

Some of the ingredients in skincare sounds like going through the spice isle of a grocery store, and the reasons for putting them in your lotions can seem mysterious.  We noticed there were a lot of seed oils in some of our popular skincare products, so we investigated why.  Seed oils have linoleic acid in them, which is an unsaturated Omega 6 fatty acid.  Linoleic Acid offer the following benefits to your skin:

• For UV induced hyperpigmentation, studies have shown to reduce pigmentation and used as a lightener.

• Hydrates skin and creates a moisture barrier.

• Wound healing

• reduce acne

• reduce Eczema

• anti inflammatory

Linolic Acid, combined with  alpha-linolenic acid (Omega 3) in old terms is Vitamin F, however research in 1929 found that these nutrients are composed more as an essential fatty acid ( EFA ) than a vitamin, so it is no longer known as this.

Some products that we carry that have linoleic acid are the following

Raspberry Seed Oil - Coola Sport SPF 35 Sunscreen Spray Pina Colada
Borage Seed Oil - PCA Skin ReBalance
Grape Seed Oil - PCA Skin BPO 5% Cleanser
Sesame Seed Oil - Coola MineralBaby Organic SPF 50 
Wheat Germ Oil - PCA Skin Apres Peel Hydrating Balm
Other Products:
EltaMD UV Physical SPF 41

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Benefits of Red Raspberry Seed Oil in Skincare

Smearing your favorite Berries on your Skin !?

Red Raspberry Seed Oil can boost your sunscreen benefits to make your wild summer days be nonstop and long.  The decadent summer fruit offers an SPF sunscreen protection of around 30 when applied to the skin, which compliments in a sunscreen well to ad protection.  This is a top shelf summer ingredient for many other reasons that promote comfort and skin health.

Rich in alpha linolenic, raspberry seed oil is a great anti inflammatory which can help soothe and comfort sunburns.  Vitamins E and A as well as Omega 3 and 6 are packed in this nourishing oil which may make it sound like we are talking about a healthy food recipe and making you hungry.  Your skin though can reap the same benefits to ad antioxidant to aid in skin repair, and prevention of skin disease.  Omega 3 and 6 also protect against UV rays and retain moisture to keep skin from flaking and drying out.

Raspberry Seed Oil can be used in full strength or added to quality sunscreens to nourish while protecting the skin from the sun.  A treatment for eczema, rashes and wounds for the anti-inflammatory, hydrating and nourishing properties.  Coola Sport Spray SPF 35 is an organic sunscreen that has raspberry seed oil giving a full day in the sun be comfortable and feel like you didn't over do it.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

What is Elastin Anyway?!

 Where can I buy Elastin?

I have felt compelled to write about Elastin from viewing continuous marketing ads plastered on my Facebook by skincare gimmicks.  Their message is about famous movie stars like Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Cindy Crawford and Kelly Ripa and many other movie stars finding the fountain of youth in this particular skincare.  Let me just put the secret right out to you that they are trying to say, the ingredients Elastin and Vitamin C are what all the award winning movie stars use to stay young.  There's just one problem, Elastin isn't an ingredient!

What is Elastin?

Elastin is a protein fiber in the skin that is the connective tissue to make your skin elastic, tight, retain a youthful form and prevents wrinkles.  As we age, our body produces less of this connective tissue and the wrinkles start appearing to reveal our age.  Elastin is in the skin but also in internal organs, helping circulation, elasticity and function of organs.

What Stimulates Elastin?

The ad explained above is partly correct, Vitamin C is an ascorbic acid, an ingredient needed in the body to contribute to maintaining elastin in the body.  Vitamin C has many more benefits above this as it helps reduce sunburns, antioxidant to combat free radical damage, increase circulation in the skin for a collagen boost, and reduce hyper-pigmentation to name a few benefits. Don't buy the cheapest version of Vitamin C, all brands have different percentages, and some are manufactured for optimal stabilization and PH values that may make them very effective, or a waste of time from trying to get a bargain.

Vitamin K helps reduce the calcification to elastin fibers that can cause them to become stiff and rigid.  Vitamin K works in conjuntion with Vitamin A and C to be more easily absorbed and become effective.

Elastin is a protein, and eating a diet where you get a healthy amount of good protein will stimulate elastin growth.  Beans, fish, nuts, lean meat are to name a few things to make sure you have a couple servings of every day.

A good Exfoliating Cream helps to remove the dead skin cells and restore proper function of the healthy skin cells for circulation and promoting collagen and elastin growth.

Blueberry Extract helps slow down the degradation of glycation, a process in the skin that makes the fibers of the skin more rigid as we age.  This ingredient is a great product to correct previous aging.

Acupuncture is a great alternative medicine treatment to increase circulation in the body and can be used to increase skin function.  By increasing the circulation the health of the skin can improve and promote elastin growth.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hyaluronic Acid in Skincare

Hyaluronic Acid (HA), is naturally found in the human body, predominately in the eyes and joints.  Hyaluronic Acid is what gives skin volume an fullness, making a youthful skin look tight healthy and wrinkle free.  The HA that is used as medicine or in skin care products is usually extracts from kelp, rooster comb or bacteria.

Hyaluronic Acid helps collagen production, being an integral part of anti aging.  Collagen is rich in the amino acids of hydroxylysine and hydroxyproline.  Lysine and proline are acquired from diet, and is converted into the amino acids with Vitamin C.  Hyaluronic works in conjunction with Vitamin C to form collagen and elastin bindings, repairing and replenishing collagen.

Topical Hyaluronic Acid occurs in the forms of gels and serums but is efficacy is limited. As an extremely capable humectant HA can hold hundreds of times its weight in water and is utilized in many moisturizers as a key ingredient for hydration.  The smaller the molecule the more effective in penetrating the skin.  There is some controversy whether undiluted HA should be used especially in dry climates. The conjecture is when humidity in the air is very low, being that HA's ability to pull moisture from the air.  It might in fact pull moisture from ones skin instead.  More research is required, but in the meantime do not use pure Hyaluronic Acid in dry environments or simply as a general rule, use a HA combination product.

in the body Hyaluronic Acid works as a cushion and lubricant in our joints and other tissues.  Also known as Restylane, it is used by plastic surgeons as a filler for facial wrinkles, folds and lip augmentation.  The nature of HA is to attract and bind water to allow fullness in where it applied. Approved by the FDA in 2003 it may last up to six months or longer as a filler.

Hyaluronic Acid is touted as the large glass of water our skin is craving, and by all means, satisfy the craving for healthier skin!

Miss Violet

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