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Friday, January 31, 2014


I've been getting some requests lately to talk about skincare.   To me, skincare is serious business.  Makeup, not so much.  I believe that the real investment is great skin.  If you can put a pretty finish on top of it, that's great, but it starts with the skin.  And, of course, your skin starts with your genes, your overall health, your nutrition, your level of stress, the amount of exercise you are getting, exposure to chemicals, availability of clean air and clean water, and a consistent skincare routine.  Until recently it was thought that there was nothing we could do about our genetics; you had to deal with what you were dealt with.  Fortunately, new studies are coming out showing that the gene expression largely depends on the conditions to which the genes are exposed.  Hence, more than ever greater emphasis are placed on nutrition, stress management, and general care in living.  

The next step is finding the right skincare.  I've spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars looking for just the right kind.  Very expensive disappointments were abound.   And I was never able to find "the one" product in each category, to which I would want to go back.  My bathroom even now looks like Sephora, Nordstrom, Target, and Whole Foods face and body care aisles exploded in it.  Most of the products are simply abandoned, since I never have the time or desire to take anything back.  

One product that particularly evaded me was daytime moisturizer.  My requirements were simple:  it needed to have sunscreen (more than SPF 15, so it would be suitable for the warmer months); the sunscreen needed to be natural, preferably zinc oxide; the said zinc oxide needed to not leave a yucky white film on my face that in an hour would pool together into fuzzy balls; it needed to be free of parabens, GMOs, artificial dyes, colors and scents; it needed to sink right into my face, rather than taking its sweet time to do so; it needed to keep my face comfortably moisturized all day; it needed to have a pleasant (natural) smell; and it needed to not make me look greasy three hours later.  At the end of last summer, by pure luck, I stumbled upon Pratima Skincare and all my wishes finally came true with Neem Rose Face Sunscreen SPF 30.  Here are its ingredients, taken from Pratima's website,


Because zinc oxide is micronized, there is no white chalk effect upon application and because the micronization is "non-nano," it gives me some peace of mind, that it won't be traveling through my skin and into my bloodstream, which is what nano-particles allegedly do (and even if the jury's still out on this one, I am simply not willing to wait for the resolution of that debate).  I also like that it is not packaged in plastic (since the chemicals in plastic can leach into products) and that it comes with a pump (no contamination from dipping your finger into the product).  Did I mention it also has a faint rose smell? 

I also bought Pratima's Rejuvenating Gold Eye Cream, with which I am also quite impressed.  For the first time in many years I will be making a repeat purchase.  

I also wanted to see if my dermatologist would have any daytime moisturizer recommendations for me at my last appointment (since I am always trying to improve upon everything), but our discussion ended with my doctor taking down the name Pratima Skincare and their website url, which I showed her on my iPhone, so she could recommend it to her other patients.  My dermatologist was particularly impressed with the product ingredients.  Up until our conversation, she has never heard of this line.

Over the years, I've also read many books on skincare in an attempt to become a better-educated consumer.  My latest favorite is No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products -- And the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics.  It's full of amazing, in-depth information on all aspects of beauty products.

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