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Is your Skincare Routine ready for a BOOST?

Dreaming of Summer? I am! It’s that time of year when many of us are looking forward to emerging from the isolation of winter to spend time outdoors with friends and family. This is also a great time to focus on a healthy skin routine! In addition to a proper diet and adequate hydration, a routine of clean skin care products can get you ready to emerge this Spring with fresh glowing skin!

All Sanitas Skincare products are 20% off with a $99 purchase (no code required), so this is a great time to stock up, get started, or boost your routine!

NEW TO SANITAS? START WITH THE BASICS. 
CLEANSER • SERUM • MOISTURIZER

These are the every day basics that make up the foundation of your skin care routine.
CLEANSER - removes debris and preps skin for serum.
SERUM - think of serum like vitamins for your skin. Serums nourish and hydrate skin.
MOISTURIZER - hydrates skin and locks in moisture.

Note: Of these three, moisturizer is the only one I consider potentially optional.  Depending on the time of year and the hydrating-effect of the serum, moisturizer is not always needed.


FOR NORMAL AND DRY SKIN:
LEMON CREAM CLEANSER
A citrus-infused enriching everyday cleanser.
Removes surface debris without stripping or dehydrating skin. Fresh lemon scent!

VITA RICH SERUM
A hydrating, reparative serum. Contains a protective blend of Vitamins E, D, C, E, K, and essential fatty acids.  A little goes a long way!  Very hydrating, great for dry, winter skin.

ANTIOXIDANT MOISTURIZER
Highly concentrated, deeply nourishing. Contains a blend of avocado and shea butters, with vitamins and hydrating Hyaluronic Acid.


FOR NORMAL, COMBINATION, AND OILY SKIN:
ENZYMATIC FOAMING CLEANSER
A balancing formula of natural fruit acids, enzymes, and gentle foaming agents lifts surface impurities without irritating or drying.

WEIGHTLESS SERUM
Lightweight. Reduces congestion, brightens dark spots, and balances skin. Contains Zinc, Vitamin C, and Astragalus Root extract.

BALANCING MOISTURIZER
A lightweight moisturizer that tones and nourishes the skin while keeping oil under control. Matte finish.

Note: You can mix and match!  You don't have to stick with one product line.  I keep both Lemon Cream Cleanser and Enzymatic Foaming Cleanser on hand, as well as a treatment cleanser (I like Vitamin C Lactic Cleanser) to use before exfoliating.  While Weightless Serum is my go-to, I break out the Vita-Rich serum during dry winter months...

READY TO TAKE YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE UP A NOTCH?
BOOST RESULTS WITH ALPHA-HYDROXY ACIDS
Alpha-hydroxy Acids (AHAs) exfoliate by dissolving dead skin cells, increasing cell turnover and triggering collagen regeneration.

AHAs make your skin more receptive to hydration, and even those with dry or sensitive skin can benefit from regular use of a quality AHA product, which is less likely to irritate than manual exfoliation.

CLICK HERE to learn more about AHAs.

NEW TO AHAs?
Start with a low concentration 5% glycolic acid solution 2-3 nights per week.

ALREADY USING AHAs?
Increase your concentration for improved results.
Slowly work up from a 5% to a 10%, and then a 15% GLYCOLIC ACID SOLUTION. When your current product no longer has the same “tingling” feeling, that is a sign that it’s time to increase your concentration.


A FEW CLASSIC PRODUCTS YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS. 
My absolute favorite combination - BRIGHTENING PEEL PADS and VITA C SERUM. This duo provides an instant facial and is my go-to routine before a night out or special event. After cleansing, swab face and neck with a Brightening Peel Pad. Follow with 3 drops Vita C Serum for an instant glow!

Vita C Serum is also a great reparative serum for regular use day or night, containing 30% Vitamin C with essential fatty acids for potent antioxidant protection and instant hydration to minimize the signs of aging. With Vita C Serum - a little goes a LONG WAY!  I generally use 2-3 drops at a time, not even 1/2 pump!

Boost hydration for dry winter skin with HYALURONIC CONCENTRATE. Add 1-2 pumps to your regular moisturizer for a hydrating boost that protects skin from dry winter air.  do not head to the ski hill without this!

Sanitas HAND THERAPY and LIP KITS are perfect to have on hand for last-minute gifts. Stock up while they are on sale!

All Sanitas products are cruelty free and contain no parabens, phthalates, dyes, harsh preservatives or gluten.



Carin Nielsen, MD Integrative Medicine I use an Integrative/Functional Medicine approach with my patients to treat a variety of chronic medical conditions, as well as for general health/wellness. If you are interested in learning more or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 231-638-5585.

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Non-toxic Skincare. The Why, What and How. Part Two

Non-toxic Skincare.  The Why, What and How. Part Two
Non-toxic Skincare - The Why, What and How.  
Part two:  The WHAT

This month we are highlighting healthy skin, including skincare basics, healthy skin care products, food and skin and more. This is part two of a three-part series going in-depth on the topic of toxic skincare products, including why it’s important to choose healthy skincare products, ingredients to be aware of, and resources to help you choose safe, healthy skin care products for you and your family.


PART TWO: THE WHAT

As explained in my previous blog, your skin absorbs up to 60% of what you apply to it, and serves in some cases as a direct route to your blood. Chemicals in skin care products can bioaccumulate, or store and accumulate in your body over time, potentially causing hormone disruption, inflammation, weight gain and increased cancer risk. Unfortunately, the FDA does not require proof of safety before cosmetics and other skincare products reach the market, so you need to be your own advocate to protect yourself and your family!

There are so many potentially toxic ingredients in skin care products that I had trouble choosing which ones to feature! I’ve chosen three of the most pervasive, and potentially most dangerous chemicals for today’s blog, and I provide links to articles I used in my research with more extensive information should you choose to read more!


b2ap3_thumbnail_natural-shampoo-label.jpgPARABENS

Parabens serve as preservatives in a wide variety of skincare products. Parabens are everywhere, and it’s likely that most of us have been exposed to Parabens through a number of different products throughout our lifetime. Some researchers have estimated that some 90 percent of typical grocery items contain measurable amounts of parabens. Scary!

The main concern with Parabens is that they have hormone-mimicking and estrogenic properties. This means that they can act like estrogen in the body, competing with naturally-produced estrogen and binding to estrogen receptors on cells. This can potentially create an “estrogen overload” effect in the body, which may increase the risk of hormonally-driven cancers like Breast Cancer and fuel other hormone-mediated conditions such as endometriosis.

Ingredient Keywords: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and isobutylparaben


b2ap3_thumbnail_makeup__large.jpgPHTHALATES 

Phthalates serve as plasticizers They are used to make skincare products flexible and better able to hold color and scent.

The concern with Phthalates is that they belong to a group of chemicals referred to as endocrine disrupters, which means they have the potential to disrupt your hormones. Phthalates have been shown to reduce fertility in both men and women, reduce testosterone production in men, reduce egg quality and quantity in women, and are associated with endometriosis.

How to find them? You can look for phthalates on labels, but unfortunately, you won't always find them. The FDA does not require manufacturers to list every ingredient in proprietary fragrances, so they may be hidden in the term ‘fragrance/parfum’.


b2ap3_thumbnail_Triclosan.jpgTRICLOSAN

Triclosan is added to a variety of skin care products to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination. Exposure to Triclosan is so pervasive that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that it can be found in the urine of 75 percent of all U.S. residents, as well as in plasma and breast milk.

There are a variety of concerns with Triclosan. Not only does it function as an endocrine disruptor (like phthalates), it also promotes antibiotic resistance, has been shown to be a skin irritant, and is considered to be carcinogenic, increasing the risk of certain cancers. In addition, Triclosan has been shown to have a negative environmental impact, most notably in aquatic ecosystems.

While the FDA banned the use of Triclosan in over-the-counter antiseptic soaps, gels and wipes ion 2016, it is still in widespread use in personal care products like toothpastes, shampoos, and deodorants.

Look for “Triclosan” directly on your label.

Looking for more information? Check out these resources:

Sara Gottfried, MD: Ten Toxic Ingredients That Might Be in Your Skin Care (And What to Use Instead).

MindBodyGreen: 12 Toxic Ingredients to AVOID in Cosmetics & Skin Care Products

Andrew Weil, MD: What's Wrong With Triclosan?

Scientific American: Should People be Concerned about Parabens in Beauty Products?



Carin Nielsen, MD Integrative Medicine I use an Integrative/Functional Medicine approach with my patients to treat a variety of chronic medical conditions, as well as general wellness and healthy aging. Treating symptoms simply by prescribing medication as a “band-aid” does not address the underlying factors that contributed to your problems in the first place, and is not likely to provide lasting results. My approach involves getting "under the surface” to find and correct underlying imbalances, and provide treatment options that go beyond the prescription pad. If you are interested in learning more or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 231-638-5585.
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Skin Care Basics - The Benefits of Alpha-hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

Skin Care Basics - The Benefits of Alpha-hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Alpha-hydroxyl Acids (AHAs)


HOW AHAs WORK

Our skin has a natural ability to exfoliate dead skin cells and does so daily. Unfortunately, this process slows down with age, which can lead to an accumulation of dead skin cells, leaving skin appearing dull and uneven.

AHAs dissolve the upper layer of skin cells by weakening the cellular “glue” that holds dead skin cells together, encouraging exfoliation and triggering skin repair.


HOW AHAs IMPROVE YOUR SKIN.

AHAs have a number of proven skin benefits.

AHAs remove dead skin cells, revealing healthy, younger skin cells, resulting in a brighter complexion and more even skin tone. This increase in cell turnover is also effective in treating sun-damaged skin, hyperpigmentation, and melasma.

AHAs trigger collagen regeneration, thickening the outer skin layers. This works to firm and tighten skin. minimize fine lines/wrinkles, and fade blotches. (When combined with a retinol, these results can be even more dramatic, but we’ll save that for another blog...)


AHAs AND DRY OR SENSITIVE SKIN.  

Many of my clients with dry or sensitive skin get nervous when they hear the word “acid“. Have no fear! Even those with dry or sensitive skin can benefit from regular use of a quality AHA product with proper pH balance.

AHAs may actually be a better choice to exfoliate sensitive skin because they are less likely to irritate then manual exfoliation. AHAs are gently applied to the skin, no need to scrub. AHAs can also be effective for dry skin. By removing the outer layer of dead skin cells, healthy skin cells become more receptive to the skin care products you apply. Regular AHA use, combined with appropriate product, can significantly increase your skin’s moisture factor.


GETTING STARTED WITH AHAs. 
While there are a number of AHAs, the two most commonly used in skin care are Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid. Glycolic Acid is considered to be the most powerful because it has the smallest molecular size of all AHAs. The smaller the molecule, the deeper it is able to penetrate skin layers.

When beginning an AHA regimen, it is important to “start low and go slow”.
Start low - choose a product with a lower concentration of acid to start. Over time, and under the supervision of your skin care provider, you can gradually increase the concentration of your product for added benefits.

Go slow - don’t overdo it! Start your AHA routine only 1-2 times per week, giving your skin plenty of time in between treatments to rest and repair. You can gradually work up two more frequent use. I typically recommend an every other day regimen for my patients, using AHAs twice daily on “active“ days, with “rest“ days in between.

You can add an AHA right into your regular skincare routine. Apply your AHA after cleansing, and follow with serum and/or moisturizer. Don’t forget sun protection! Use of AHAs can make your skin more susceptible to sun damage, so don’t forget your daily sunblock!

b2ap3_thumbnail_BL_Sanitas3.jpg

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS FROM OUR SANITAS SKINCARE LINE:   

Glycosolution 5% 
The perfect starting point. Removes spent skin cells and helps stimulate skin renewal. An amino acid complex, blended with glycolic acid, helps smooth the appearance of wrinkles, boost moisture retention and brighten dark spots. (also included in all Sanitas System Kits)

Brightening Peel Pads 
Instant results! These pads contain a triple acid blend to brighten, tone and reveal clear, radiant skin. Follow with 3 drops of Vita C Serum for an instant glow.

Solar Block 
A natural, non-toxic broad-spectrum sunscreen for daily use. Contains a blend of zinc oxide and antioxidants. Absorbs quickly and will not clog pores.

All Sanitas products are cruelty-free and contain no parabens, phthalates, dyes, harsh preservatives or gluten.

Carin Nielsen, MD Integrative Medicine I use an Integrative/Functional Medicine approach with my patients to treat a variety of chronic medical conditions, as well as general wellness and healthy aging. Treating symptoms simply by prescribing medication as a “band-aid” does not address the underlying factors that contributed to your problems in the first place, and is not likely to provide lasting results. My approach involves getting "under the surface” to find and correct underlying imbalances, and providing treatment options that go beyond the prescription pad. If you are interested in learning more or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 231-638-5585.
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Non-toxic Skincare. The Why, What and How. Part One

Non-toxic Skincare.  The Why, What and How. Part One
Non-Toxic Skincare - The Why, What and How
Part One:  The WHY

This month we are highlighting healthy skin, including skincare basics, healthy skin care products, food and skin, and more. This is part one in a series of three blogs going in-depth on the topic of toxic skincare products, including why it’s important to choose healthy skincare products, ingredients to be aware of, and resources to help you choose safe, healthy skin care products for you and your family.

PART ONE: THE WHY

Our skin is our largest organ! The average adult has about 8 pounds, or 22 square feet of skin. That is a lot of surface! Not only is that a large area that requires care and protection, but it’s also like a big sponge. What we put on our skin can be absorbed by the body and enter our blood. In fact, we absorb up to 60 percent of what we put on our skin, even more through delicate areas such as the face and armpits.
b2ap3_thumbnail_SKIN2.jpg

So WHY care about the safety of your skincare products? Because what you put on your skin can go directly into your blood.

Toxic ingredients in your skincare products can be sneaky. While you generally won’t notice a problem right away, many toxic ingredients bioaccumulate in the body, meaning they store in the body and build up over time. When it comes to toxic skincare chemicals, this can lead, over time, to hormone disruption, inflammation, weight gain and increased risk of certain cancers.

Bioaccumulation = The accumulation of a substance, such as a toxic chemical, in various tissues of a living organism.

“The FDA protects me from potentially harmful chemicals, right?”

Absolutely not! The FDA does not require proof of safety before cosmetics and other skincare products reach the market. In addition, there is no skincare industry standard for claims like “natural,” “organic,” “green,” “clean”, or “non-toxic.” Buyer beware! You have to do your own research and be your own advocate.

The FDA is not protecting you against potentially harmful chemicals in your skincare products.

Stay tuned…next up we’ll be reviewing a few of the toxic chemicals that you need to be aware of in your skincare products.




Carin Nielsen, MD Integrative Medicine I use an Integrative/Functional Medicine approach with my patients to treat a variety of chronic medical conditions, as well as general wellness and healthy aging. Treating symptoms simply by prescribing medication as a “band-aid” does not address the underlying factors that contributed to your problems in the first place, and is not likely to provide lasting results. My approach involves getting "under the surface” to find and correct underlying imbalances, and going beyond the prescription pad for true health and wellness. If you are interested in learning more or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 231-638-5585.
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