BioRenew Skincare Blog

Skin Care Blog with Anti-Aging Tips

  • Rick Rhoads, Pharm.D. Speaks About Skin Care at the American Academy of Anti Aging Medicine (A4M) in Las Vegas

    from left to right: Rick Rhoads, Thierry Hertoghe, Lauren Rhoads, Amy Colo from left to right: Rick Rhoads, Pharm.D., Thierry Hertoghe M.D., Lauren Rhoads, Amy Colo L.E.

    We had a great time here at the A4M conference in Las Vegas! Rick spoke to a packed audience of doctors about hormones, their effect on the skin at midlife, and BioRenew's potent formulations of proven, exceptional quality ingredients. Later in the conference Dr. Thierry Hertoghe joined us at the booth signing copies of his book, The Hormone Handbook, 2nd edition.

  • The Truth About Nerium AD Toxicity on Your Skin – Gimmick Alert?

    Nerium Oleander Leaf in Skin Care Is Nerium a scientific breakthrough, extremely toxic, or complete marketing scheme?

    Is Nerium AD toxic skin care? I’ll discuss if applying Nerium Oleander to your skin can be harmful.

    A friend recently asked about Nerium after an MLM rep approached her. She was concerned about the controversy of applying Nerium Oleander to her skin because of possible toxicity. I did some research on Nerium AD. I've uncovered gimmicks before, but with this product I was surprised what I discovered

    The toxicity of actual Nerium Oleander is no joke

    The key ingredient in Nerium AD is NAE-8™ which is supposedly oleander extract. Nerium claims that Oleander extract contains beneficial ingredients for your skin.

    The problem is that every part of the Oleander plant is highly toxic. It contains Oleandrin, which is a cardiac glycoside. This is a fancy name for a certain type of drug that can stop your heart in very small doses. It happens to be the chemical in the plant that has a pharmaceutical affect.

    There are several reports in scientific journals of the harmful affect of Oleander after ingestion and application to the skin.

    According to the American Cancer Society, “There have been numerous reports of poisoning and death from ingestion of oleander, oleander leaf tea, and its extracts.”

    After my research, I am left wondering if this product actually works. More importantly, I am wondering if I want it to. It is not just your heart that Oleander can affect.

    Nerium says there is no problem with toxicity

    Nerium did substantial independent safety testing with ST&T laboratories. Subjects applied the cream to their skin and subsequently a blood test was performed. At no time during the study, was oleandrin found in their blood work. This is rather odd to me because even small amounts of Oleander can pass through the skin and become harmful. In fairness, it seems to be a well designed and conclusive study.

    I truly don't believe Nerium AD is toxic. The studies seem conclusive and the downside of harming someone is too great. However, this is not the end of the story.

    To take it one step further, an analysis from a medical doctor concluded that a child could swallow 400 bottles of Nerium AD and not get toxic levels of Oleander. This is where my suspicion turned into high gear – and possibly yours should too.

    Does NAE-8 even contain Oleander?

    I'm not sure Nerium AD contains Oleander at all. I can hear the MLM reps shouting now. “Rick, didn't you read about their Oleander farms and strict quality control standards at every phase of production?”

    There is no doubt that Nerium Biotechnology is affiliated with or owns Oleander farms. They have performed a significant amount of research on Oleander for cancer treatment. My question is whether the Nerium AD skin care actually contains detectable amounts of Oleander.

    Why do I suspect a marketing gimmick?

    Gimmicks are EVERYWHERE in skin care. Claiming to have a secret miracle ingredient causes instant intrigue. It attempts to separate you from the other skin care brands. It creates mystery. This is perfect for multi-level marketing because it's an easy story to share. Once the mystery deepens into controversy you have instant visibility.

    Besides the need for a marketing gimmick, there is no research for Oleandrin and skin care. All of the true research is for cancer therapy. When you dig below the surface, their “scientific” statements are mostly smoke and mirrors. They flash credentials but never say anything at all.

    Lets' do the math

    Don't just take my opinion; let's put this hypothesis to the test by analyzing their statement.

    If a one-year-old child ingested the full contents of 400 bottles of NeriumAD product, the child would still only reach a non-toxic dose of NeriumAD”

    • 400 bottles of Nerium AD x 30ml = 12000 ml (approximately)
    • Pure Nerium Oleander contains at about 0.4% Oleandrin.
    • As little as 1 gram (approximately 1 leaf) can be lethal to a child.
    • 1 gram / 12000 ml = 0.00008 gm/ml = 0.008%

    This might seem like a lot of numbers and calculations. What this means is that even if Nerium AD skin care contained 0.008% Nerium Oleander and 0.000002% Oleandrin, ingesting 400 bottles would still be toxic to a child.

    If this is true, it is ludicrous to base the entire scientific foundation of your product on something that is essentially undetectable. Skin care gimmicks are based on marketing stories rather than science.

    Will it work?

    It is hard to refute all the stories from Nerium MLM sales people. There are plenty online testimonials. This is not uncommon with an MLM product.

    Also, they performed a study of the clinical results of Nerium AD products. The before and after photos on their website are impressive. The consumer will have to decide whether these legitimately reflect the results for actual users. It is very unlikely it had anything to do with Oleander extract or Oleandrin.

    The other ingredients are less than stellar. What is absent from these formulas is high concentrations of active ingredients. For the Nerium AD night cream, the highlights are glycosaminoglycans and natural oils. These will moisturize and enhance the protective skin barrier. Ingredients like rice bran oil and castor oil are good but hardly breakthrough anti aging science.

    My final take is that it is probably not harmful and might have minor benefits based on the emollients and glycosaminoglycans. A cheap bottle of Olay Regenerist is a better non-professional formula at half the cost…and without the gimmicks.
    That's my take. What's yours?

    >>Click here to learn more about skin care for women experiencing the changes of menopause.

    About the Author: Rick Rhoads, Pharm.D. is a compounding pharmacist and creator of BioRenew Skincare. To get a free sample of pharmacist formulated skin care, send us a request here!

  • The ABC’s of Skincare During and After Menopause

    Are you dealing with aging skin and menopause at the same time? Most people don’t associate menopause with their skin, but declining hormones can wreak havoc on your appearance.

    Hot flashes AND skin aging?!

    The most common result of hormonal skin aging is loss of collagen, which causes wrinkles and sagging skin. Your face will appear dry and dull looking.

    I often hear from women that “I've always had good skin until recently.”

    For women in menopause, many products aren't good enough

    I’m sure you have seen all types of exotic ingredients on the television. It's a shame that most of these ingredients make for good commercials but they don't work any better than cheap lotions. When it comes to skin care that gives true results for women in menopause, let’s go back to the basics…the ABC’s.

    The most basic ingredients can be the best... if strong enough

    Vitamin A (Retinoids):

    Retinol is a form of vitamin A and is proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol works by speeding up the cell turnover in the skin. It is important to know how to use retinol products properly. You can read more about essential tips for apply retinoids correctly.

    Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide):

    Vitamin B3 is clinically proven to be effective in reducing the appearance of sun damage (hyperpigmentation and brown spots). It is a strong antioxidant and age reversing agent.

    Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid):

    Vitamin C plays a critical role in skin care. As we age the amount of natural vitamin C in our bodies decreases. Vitamin C aids in the production of collagen, brings back radiance to the skin and reduces sun damage. Only highly concentrated preparations (10% or more) deliver enough vitamin C to the cells to be topically effective at changing your appearance. Applying Vitamin C to the skin can be 20 times more effective than taking it orally. You can read more about how Vitamin C can brighten you skin and reverse the appearance of sun damage.

    (Hint:  look for Vitamin C in several forms - Ascorbic Acid, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, and Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate).

    >>Click here to learn more about skin care for women experiencing the changes of menopause.

    About the Author: Amy Colo is a licensed esthetician and skin care consultant at BioRenew Skincare. To get a free sample of our pharmacist-formulated skin care, send us a request here!

  • Superstar Retinoids: 4 Essential Tips to Get Anti-Aging Results. I’ll bet you’ve ignored tip #4

    Topical retinoids truly are superstar anti-aging products, but ONLY when used correctly. They are considered the best skin care treatments because they have so many benefits. Clinical studies point to numerous skin effects:

    • boosting collagen
    • reducing wrinkles
    • lightening age spot
    • clearing acne

    Retinoids have stood the test of time so use them correctly

    Ingredients like Retin-A and Retinol are tried and true, unlike so many other fads in skin care. Dr. Albert Kligman made it extremely popular in the 70’s and it has remained so for decades. The Rx version (tretinoin) was discovered to have a complex way of communicating with cells to promote younger skin and get rid of older skin. (Scientifically, this is called influencing the development, differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis of skin cells.)

    The point is that there is real science behind retinoid products, so it matters whether you use them the right way.

    If you want results with topical retinoids, these tips can’t be ignored.

    1. Apply a pea size amount.

    More doesn’t mean better and will likely result in just worse side effects.

    2. Know which form of retinoid you are using.

    Not all types of retinoids are effective.The prescription only products are tretinoin and adapalene. They work extremely well but must be prescribed by your doctor. If you are using a non-prescription cream, the most effective form is retinol. Beware of many ineffective topical non-rx retinoids such as retinyl palmitate and beta-carotene.

    3. Applying at night is best.

    Retinoids can be broken down easily in sunlight, which make it a good product to be used in your night regimen. There is also some evidence that it might increase sun sensitivity. Be sure to wear sunscreen.

    4. Mild redness doesn’t mean you have to stop.

    Most doctors will recommend that you try to get through the redness phase, because the benefits are right around the corner. Mild redness will usually resolve on it’s own. Many people miss out on the anti-aging benefits of retinol and Retin-A because they stop using it too soon.

    Retinoid skin creams are too effective for anyone who is serious about skin care to pass up. Choose a good formula and use it the right way to see amazing changes in the appearance of your skin.

    >>Click here to learn more about skin care for women experiencing the changes of menopause.

    About the Author: Rick Rhoads, Pharm.D. is a compounding pharmacist and creator of BioRenew Skincare. To get a free sample of pharmacist formulated skin care, send us a request here!

  • Middle-Aged Women See Melanoma Rates Increase (With Skin Cancer Prevention Tips)

    Rates of melanoma in middle-aged women have risen dramatically. This is unfortunate because sun exposure is the most preventable cause.

    The news comes from the results of a new Mayo clinic study that looked at cancer rates between 1970 and 2009. Although the incidence of skin cancer rose within all groups, women had the largest increase.

    “The most striking finding was among women in that age group,” states principal investigator Jerry Brewer, MD. “Women between 40 and 50 showed the highest rates of increase we’ve seen in any group so far.”

    There was good news from the study as well. Survival from melanoma has steadily improved over the years, which may be attributed to more skin cancer screenings and better detection.

    A few prevention tips can dramatically help:

    1. Avoid sun tanning, especially tanning beds.
    2. Use a good anti-aging sunscreen everyday, even in cloudy conditions or indirect sunlight.
    3. See a dermatologist on a regular basis, especially when you detect an area of concern on your skin. (If you live in San Diego, I recommend Dermatologist Dr. Mary Dobry)

    Mayo Clinic. "Dramatic rise in skin cancer among middle-aged adults, study shows." Science Daily, 4 February 2014..

  • The Benefit of Exfoliating Moisturizers For Peri-Menopausal Women With Dry Skin

    Women with Dry SkinExfoliating creams may help your dry skin.

    Women with declining estrogens can have worsening dry skin, especially in the winter months. During menopause, the body doesn't efficiently produce glycosaminoglycans (GAG's) and natural oils. These substances naturally keep your skin moist and provide a barrier against water loss. This process also rapidly increases the signs of aging skin, wrinkles and loss of elasticity.

    Dry and flaky skin can benefit from a physical or chemical exfoliant and a moisturizer. The exfoliation process should be light enough to only remove the dead skin build-up but not any layers of the epidermis. Proper exfoliation will leave a smooth and glowing look without irritation. A popular and well tolerated chemical exfoliant is glycolic acid. When it is lower concentrated and buffered properly to a higher pH, it acts more gently on the skin.

    Tip: Exfoliating moisturizers for the face also work well on dry and flaky hands. Try the Advanced Face Smoother (glycolic acid 3%, pH 4.0) for great results.

    >>Click here to learn more about skin care for women experiencing the changes of menopause.

    About the Author: Rick Rhoads, Pharm.D. is a compounding pharmacist and creator of BioRenew Skincare. To get a free sample of pharmacist formulated skin care, send us a request here!

  • The Absolute Worst Holiday Desserts That Cause Wrinkles and Speed Up Skin Aging

    Sugar and Holiday Sweets Cause Aging Skin

    Enjoy the best holiday sweets and avoid the foods that cause the most skin damage.

    We have all heard the age old advice to stay away from sugar because it’s not good for us. Too much of it will show up on our waistlines and cause our bodies all sorts of unwanted problems. Sugar also accelerates skin aging process.

    The problem is that sugar is harmful to the tissue under your skin, and you have no immediate reaction. Unlike sun damage, where you get redness or a sunburn if you over indulge.

    How To Keep Your Skin Healthy During the Holiday Season

    Let’s be honest you want to enjoy the holidays and avoiding every dessert on the buffet line is unlikely to happen and will just put you in a bad mood if you try.  We will tell you the worst desserts to avoid so that you may guilt free pick ones that fill your holiday appetite.

    Sugar Attacks Your Collagen.  (Let me explain)

    Sugar comes in many forms: refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sugar in the raw, and processed flour, to name a few.

    At blame, is a biological process in which sugar in your blood attaches to the proteins and lipids in your body. The result is harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products (or AGEs for short). The more sugar that your body has to process on a regular basis, the more unwanted AGEs are formed.

    The bad news: The proteins most vulnerable to glycation are collagen and elastin… you know… those very important proteins we’ve all heard of that KEEP OUR SKIN FIRM AND SUPPLE!   To make matters worse, skin damage from sugar tends to accelerate around the age of 35 and on.

    Although glycation cannot be completely avoided, staying away from the worst holiday desserts can drastically help.

     The Five Holiday Sweets You Should Avoid For Your Skin’s Health

    • Peppermint Bark - 19 grams of sugar in one small square
    • Eggnog - 34 grams of Sugar in one glass
    • Holiday Latte - 54 grams of sugar in one drink
    • Pecan Pie - 55 grams of sugar in one slice
    • Fudge - 60 grams of sugar in two squares

    Choose Desserts That Don’t Accelerate Skin Aging

    Choose complex carbohydrates in your diet. High fiber and nutrient rich carbohydrates such as vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains will go through the glycation process much slower than simple sugars and in the end form less AGEs.

    These “complex sugars” also provide power anti-oxidants and vitamins that fight off free radicals and help keep our skin healthy. Instead of the Pecan Pie opt for the sweet potato pie and avoid the crust. You will get your sweet tooth fix with a much lower sugar intake and higher fiber intake.  If you are searching for a chocolate fix, have dark chocolate squares over the Fudge and Peppermint Bark.  Stick to your favorite peppermint tea over the sugar packed lattes and eggnog.

    >>Click here to learn more about skin care for women experiencing the changes of menopause.

    About the Author: Rick Rhoads, Pharm.D. is a compounding pharmacist and creator of BioRenew Skincare. To get a free sample of pharmacist formulated skin care, send us a request here!

  • What Causes an Age Spot and Why Does My Skin Darken?

    How do you find out if your skin is in danger of developing dark spots?

    As a matter of fact, age spots develop because of potential danger to your skin. Sounds crazy, I know. I'll explain later.

    "All of the sudden, I had this big dark spot on my face!"

    Actually liver spots start long before you ever see it. If you look at your skin under a UV lamp, you will likely see spots that aren't visible yet.

    Why Does Melanin Darken?

    Most people know that melanin is the source of skin pigment but they don’t know why certain areas darken. Actually there are minor changes in your skin cells that produce melanin, called melanocytes. After it is produced, melanin is stored in a carrier called a melanosome. The melanosome is then released from the melanin producing cell to a regular skin cell, called a keratinocyte.

    Still with me? Let me explain.

    I know we are getting a bit scientific, but it is important information if we want to know how to prevent dark spots...

    There are certain things that seem to speed up the process of creating and transferring melanin. The production of melanin requires an enzyme called tyrosinase. This enzyme is like a tool that used for making melanin. When tyrosinase increases, melanin production increases. This is important because many skin lightening products actually block the tyrosinase enzyme.

    Why Age Spots Could Be Called “Danger Spots”

    That’s right, melanin is a defense mechanism to protect itself from danger. The darker the spots, the more likely that your skin has been trying prevent something "dangerous". Your body senses the danger and reacts to it.

    Continue reading

  • Dry Skin Treatments With Instant Results

    Is your dry skin moisturizer not cutting it? Learn two easy steps that give instant and professional skin rejuvenation.

    We combine professional dry skin products and an easy regimen for amazing results. This is especially good for skin that has been negatively effected by dry weather, lack of good daily skin care regimen, and stress. The winter months are harshest on the skin and are a major cause of increasing aging factors.

    Dry Skin And Itching

    Many people suffer from dry skin, often on their lower legs, elbows, and lower arms. Dry skin feels rough and scaly.

    Fight Dry Skin with the Right Moisturizer


    There are many possible reasons for dry skin, such as:

    • Not drinking enough liquids
    • Staying out in the sun
    • Being in very dry air
    • Smoking
    • Feeling stress
    • Losing sweat and oil glands (common with age)

    Dry skin also can be caused by health problems, such as diabetes or kidney disease. Using too much soap, antiperspirant, or perfume and taking hot baths will make dry skin worse.

    As we are our skin gets thinner and excessive scratching can cause bleeding that may lead to infection. Some medicines make the skin itchier. If your skin is very dry and itchy, see your doctor.

    Moisturizers like lotions, creams, or ointments can soothe dry, itchy skin. They should be used every day. Try taking fewer baths and using milder soap to help your dry skin. Warm water is less drying than hot water. Don't add bath oil to your water -- it will make the tub too slippery. Some people find that a humidifier helps.

    Dry Skin or Dehydration?

    Important Fact: The difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin? Simple!

    Dry Skin is a lack of oil production in the skin, while dehydrated skin is a lack of water. All skin types (even oily) can be dehydrated, especially in the dryer winter months.

    The problem is that a simple moisturizer might not be enough to keep your skin hydrated. This easy treatment is a great addition to your daily regimen.

    Get Instant Skin Soothing Results With This Regimen

    Step 1: Detox and Exfoliate

    Continue reading

  • Daily Anti Aging Skin Care Routine Part 2: Night

    You still don't have a good night time anti aging skin care routine? Let me show you some easy tricks and one ingredient that I always recommend at night.

    While you sleep, your body is programmed for renewal and detoxification. This is necessary because of daily exposure to environmental pollution, sun exposure, and sweat build up. Without a good nightly beauty routine, you are actually making it harder for your body to fight these daytime stressors.  (This is especially true for smokers.)

    We’ll give you the essentials for a good night time skin care beauty routine. You will want to implement this night time regimen along with a day time protection routine. If you haven’t read our post about proper skin care in the morning, make sure to read it first.

    This is the night time skin care routine I recommend to all my patients.

    Step 1: Remove makeup

    A cleanser won’t be able to adequately remove all of your makeup. This is especially true for eye makeup and heavy foundation. Don’t be fooled into buying expensive makeup remover.

    Believe it or not, I use a Huggies Baby Wipe with Aloe to remove my makeup and it works fantastic!

    I realize that many people don’t remove their make up at night. Truthfully, I used to be guilty of this.

    Let me tell you why I always tell my patients to completely remove their makeup. Wearing makeup during sleep can clog pores and cause acne breakouts. It also increases irritations and possible eye infections. When you have aging skin, the last thing you need is any level of irritation. This can be simply avoided.

    Continue reading

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