The End of Avon?


Will this American icon survive the competition in the powerful skin care industry? 

Avon was founded in 1886 as the California Perfume Company.  When the company expanded overseas, the name was later changed to “Avon” after a town in England in 1939 and the company has prospered ever since.  But, fast-forward to 2013 and trouble is brewing on the horizon…global analysts on Wall Street have singled out this US firm as one most likely to disappear in 2013 due to its operations abroad and in the US:


  • The vice-president had been fired in 2012 due to bribery allegations in China
  • Ongoing internal investigations from 2008-on, regarding company violations of the Foreign Corrupts Practices Act
  • Back in October, the FDA determined that Avon’s “Anew” product claims contravened FDA guidelines
  • By December, Avon announced leaving its S. Korea and Vietnam markets and cutting 1500 jobs
  • Avon will be closing 2 US facilities; in Atlanta and Pasadena

Analysts say that Avon is in a venerable position since it hasn’t concentrated on its core business, but rather on other concerns, making 2013 a make or break year for this troubled company.

Resources: Cosmetic Design News

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The Eczema App

EczemaKidNeed help with eczema?  Now there is an App for that!

A large majority of moms of children who suffer from the skin condition eczema didn’t feel knowledgeable about the condition and were unsatisfied with conversations with doctors (and adult sufferers too)  Now, to help bridge the information gap and improve patient-physician dialogue about the condition, the Dermatology Unit of Bayer Health Care has newly launched The Eczema App, which can be downloaded for free at, the App Store and Google Play.

The Eczema App enables patients to record and track their flare-ups over time, store photos of affected areas, and keep notes on their flare-ups and treatment. Patients and parents can then use this information to have more informed discussions with their doctor or their children’s doctor. Additionally, the app provides news from the National Eczema Association and access to comprehensive information about the condition.


As more of us go mobile (nearly 80% of us now own  a smartphone or tablet), three out of four moms said an app which provided them with quality health care information, especially in the area of children’s skin health, would be a welcome aid.  The Eczema App is a supportive tool that moms can use in coordination with their child’s doctor to help better manage their child’s condition and make informed decisions.”

Resources: Skin Inc Magazine 12/11/12

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Are They Blackheads?

To most of us, blackheads are a sign of troubled skin and clogged pores. However, what you may be seeing are not actual blackheads, rather they are just that, pores!  Pores naturally contain a threadlike filament (a fiber formed from thickened oil and shed cells) that sometimes make the pores appear more obvious, called “sebaceous figments”. The size of a person’s pores is determined by genetics and larger pores are due to having larger oil glands (called sebaceous glands).  Therefore, larger pores may have more noticeable sebaceous figments, which are often mistaken for blackheads.

No matter what size a pore is, it is the nature of pores to contain these filaments, and we all have them, especially in areas of the face, such as the nose.  Sebaceous filaments appear as uniform dots of darkish pores (due to oxidation of the oil on top), whereas blackheads are larger, inconsistent and are darker. Blackheads are an indication of a clogged pore that may lead to a breakout or is a pore enlarged with skin debris.  A blackhead can be extracted and disappear, and although sebaceous filaments may be extracted to some degree, they will always return again due to normal skin cycles.

What can be done about them? Over- scrubbing and squeezing will damage the pore, and pore strips leave the pore open to collect debris and may appear larger over time.  But, the pore’s surface may be lightened with routine, gentle exfoliation and benzoyl peroxide, or covered with makeup.

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Accutane for Chemotherapy

Accutane is well-known as an acne drug. But did you know that it was originally developed for chemotherapy? This helps explain why Accutane side effects can be so devastating!

Chemotherapy drugs can wreak devastation on a person’s immune system as their healthy immune cells are killed. Accutane (isotretinoin) was developed as a chemotherapy drug for pancreatic cancer, brain cancer and other lethal cancers. It has the ability to kill rapidly dividing cells.

It takes time for a person’s body and immune system to fight back after the devastation caused by chemotherapy. That is consistent with the fact that some people develop inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) years after taking Accutane.  Accutane side effects from inflammatory bowel disease can include diarrhea, constipation, pain and bloody stools.

Side effects can go beyond the abdomen and include many other parts of the body and can be severely painful and chronic.  Others develop symptoms much more quickly, and flare-ups can occur without warning and varies from person to person.  Accutane like other chemotherapy drugs also weakens the immune system and could trigger the inappropriate immune system reactions that leads to ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Resources: The Accutane

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A Juice Skin Boost

Concentrates of fruits and vegetables taken as capsules may boost skin health by improving hydration and thickness, suggests a new study.

Skin Hydration improved 9% while skin thickens increased by 6% following just 12 weeks of supplementation with a micronutrient-dense concentrate of a range of fruit and vegetables including cherry, apply, broccoli, cabbage, kale, cranberry, orange, pineapple, spinach, tomato, and bilberry along with other dark colored berries with antioxidant values.

Microcirculation also improved 40% following supplementation with the juice concentrate, which could boost the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the skin and thereby boosting health.  So mom was right, “Eat your fruits and vegetables”!

Resources: USA | Fornulations & Science

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Antioxidant For Skin Aging

A new study finds Pycnogenol® is effective in improving visible signs of skin aging in women, aged 55–68 years.

Pycnogenol is an herbal supplement that was first patented in 1970 Pycnogenol  is derived from the bark of the French maritime pine tree. It is used to fight free radicals within the human body, which improves skin appearance and dexterity, reduces the toxic effects of stress on the body  and combats the numerous effects of aging on the body both internally and  externally. Pycnogenol is also used for antioxidant properties comparable to Vitamin C.

The study, published in a recent issue of Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, found that after 12 weeks of supplementing with Pycnogenol®, women experienced improved skin hydration and elasticity. Results showed that Pycnogenol® significantly elevated collagen by an average of 29 percent and 41 percent for respective collagen type 1 proteins and increased hyaluronic acid production in skin by 44 percent. Skin elasticity also increased by 25 percent. Women taking Pycnogenol® also experienced decreased skin fatigue, reduced skin wrinkles and increased skin smoothness.

This study confirms previous findings that Pycnogenol® effectively improves skin conditions, including promoting glowing skin and reducing the appearance of over-pigmentation and skin inflammation.  Pycnogenol is found at most health food stores and many places online.

Resources: USA, (Health)

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Sunscreen Myth or Fact #1

No matter what season it is, skin cancer still on the rise!

Fact or Myth-The higher the “Skin Protection Factor” (SPF) rating, the better the protection

Myth – SPF ratings only refer to protection from UVB (burning rays), NOT the more damaging UVA aging rays. Therefore, a higher SPF gives a false sense of security.  For example, a SPF of 50 is only marginally more protective than an SPF of 15; an SPF of 30 has only 2% more protection than an SPF of 15, and a SPF of  40 has only 1% more than a 30. Sunscreens need to be reapplied every 90–120 minutes to insure adequate protection.

Fact or Myth– If you wear a moisturizer with SPF, then you do not need to wear sunscreen

Myth – These moisturizers (and liquid foundations) do not “offer broad spectrum” protection from UVA (aging rays) and only offer minimal protection from UVB (burning rays) so additional sun protection  is recommended.  A good coverage mineral powder is best since its ingredients already provide excellent sun protection due their mineral content.

Fact or Myth  – Layering several products with SPF ratings increases protection

Myth – You are only protected to the extent of the higher rating of one product. A foundation with an SPF of 10, moisturizer with an SPF of 15 and a sunscreen with an SPF of 20 does not yield an SPF rating of 45.

See part 2

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