Canadian & US Pharmacies Launch New Cosmetic Breakthrough

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New products to fight Acne, Rosacea, Psoriasis and Eczema, backed with 30 years clinical research.

Suzanne Grittani, an Ontario pharmacist, suffered with acne rosacea for more than 15 years.

Despite visits to numerous doctors, the use of various prescription drugs and just about every soap and cream available, Grittani said if she had any results at all, they were always short-term. Red irritated patches, characteristic of acne rosacea, would reappear on her cheeks, chin and forehead.

But about 15 months ago, she finally found something that, with daily use, is keeping her skin clear.

Grittani was introduced to FaceDoctor products last July when she took a phone call from Derek Lepage, a national sales and marketing representative, who offered to send her some samples of FaceDoctor soap. Grittani stressed that she's not a buyer of pharmaceutical products and her comments are strictly based on personal experience.

She still has a photo from a conference she attended last year which shows how inflamed her face was before using the soap.

"You could see I had acne rosacea - what they call a mask on the cheeks, the chin and the forehead - and it was quite red and inflamed with quite a bit of pimpling," she said.

But within three months, there was a marked difference in her skin.

In an interview, Lepage explained that FaceDoctor products were developed based on research in China that has linked skin problems from acne, rosacea, psoriasis and eczema with a microscopic parasite. It's believed that human demodex folliculorum, a mite that lives in hair follicles and oil glands, can cause the complexion to become rough, lumpy and red, cause hair loss, premature aging of the skin, enlarged pores and acne.

The FaceDoctor complexion soap, medicated "surgeon's soap," beauty cream and shampoo, are formulated with natural seabuckthorn oil as the main active ingredient, which eliminates the demodex mite. Seabuckthorn oil comes from a type of shrub also known as hippophae rhamnoides. Other ingredients in the products include Vitamin E, aloe vera and beneficial yeasts such as astragalus membraceus and spirodela polyrhiza.

The products, which are now available for distribution in Canada through McKesson Wholesale, are being sold in pharmacies including Pharmasave, A and P, and some Dominion and IDA drug stores.

Parkdale Pharmacy on Elizabeth Avenue in St. John's carries the full line of products, and pharmacist Dave Rogers said Tuesday he's tried the complexion soap himself.

"It's excellent," he said. "There are lots of products I tried as a teenager, just for mild acne, over-the-counter products that really didn't work."

Rogers, 28, said he was still having flare-ups until about six weeks ago, when he decided to try the FaceDoctor soap. "I was having a bad flare-up, so I tried it, and within a week, it was a total difference," he said. "I'd recommend it to anybody who has tried everything else and had no luck."

Dr. Neal Bhatia, assistant clinical professor of dermatology with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, conducted a small placebo-controlled double-blind study in which he concluded that the soaps were "an effective natural weapon" against the demodex parasite.

In an article on website, Bhatia explains there has long been a theory that parasites in hair follicles or oil glands on the face can stimulate inflammation by their activity or even their presence.

"One such organism is the demodex folliculorum mite, which studies have shown to be more prevalent and active in rosacea patients than in control groups," said Bhatia, who says that seabuckthorn oil, by eliminating the demodex mite, works to reduce inflammation under the skin and provide "relief of the mechanisms that cause the rosacea complex of symptoms."

The incidence of demodex is said to increase with age, and in healthy individuals, one or more demodex can be found in every 10th eyelash. The parasite has also been attributed to blepharitis, or eyelid inflammation.

At first, Grittani said, she was concerned that the seabuckthorn oil in the FaceDoctor Soap might add more moisture to her already oily skin, but it seems to clean the skin and improve its texture, leaving it smooth and clear.

She has found the stronger surgeon's medicated soap the best one for her complexion. The manufacturer recommends leaving it on the skin for one minute before rinsing.

Grittani recommends using your hands to apply the soap and rinse it off with water instead of using face cloths, which can rub the skin and cause irritation.

She said some friends and co-workers have been asking her what she's doing differently because her skin is so clear and healthy looking.

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Cory Chiarello
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