You may not realize it but your cosmetics can easily become contaminated with a variety of yukky stuff, from oil and dirt, to bacteria and fungal spores! In the process it can become potentially harmful for your skin, causing an uneven complexion and breakouts.  Here are 10 tips to keep your make-up fresh and germ-free.

  1. Wash your hands. Before touching your make-up try to wash your hands or use a little hand sanitizer – this can reduce the transfer of bacteria into your makeup by as much as 99%.
  2. Keep your brushes clean. Try to keep your make-up brushes clean by washing them once a week. Follow these guidelines. You don’t need any elaborate cleansing solutions either – you can use baby shampoo and place the brush just off the edge of your bathroom shelf. This way the brush dries completely. 
  3. Sharing makeup. Yes, we know it’s fun but sharing lipsticks or mascaras is unfortunately an ideal way to spread infections, like conjunctivitis and cold sores etc. Do try to keep the sharing to a minimum if you can! 
  4. Expired products – Most make-up products have an expiry date. Keeping make-up for months – or even years – isn’t the best idea. Aside from contamination concerns, product performance will be degraded over time so foundations look more cakey and mascaras look more clumpy. Be sure to replace your collection regularly.  Here are some recommendations:
  • Mascara: 2-3 months
  • Foundation: 6-12 months
  • Concealer: 1 year (liquid) or 2 years (stick)
  • Powder: 1 year
  • Eye shadow and eyeliner: 2-3 months
  • Lipstick and lip gloss: 1 year    

5.  Make-up storage – Humidity – which is often higher in bathrooms – can be a               problem for make-up. Warmth and humidity can ‘assist’ microbial growth.                            Also, makeup should be kept away from extreme heat – never glove          compartment of your car for example! Light can cause pigments to fade, so find some space inside a cool, dark cupboard to keep your precious make-up in tip top condition.

6.  Sharpen your pencils. Keep sharpening as regular sharpening can shave away contaminated surfaces on your pencils.

7.  Don’t allow your wet brushes to stay damp. If you like to wet your brushes and pencils with water to intensify the effect of your eyeshadow for example, make sure the brush is stored so that the bristles can dry quickly afterwards. This will help to prevent fungal and bacterial growth.

8.  Always use makeup for its intended purpose. Using lip liner as eyeliner can spread dangerous bacteria from your mouth to your eyes or introduce ingredients to your eyes that could cause irritation.

9.  Pay attention to skin irritations or infections. Throw out old cosmetics and stop wearing makeup if you experience any irritation like a cold sore or eye infection. It’s best to play it safe and discard any products you’ve used within two weeks of spotting the infection.

10. Be smart about testers. If you do want to try the latest shades in the store, be sure to use single-use testers or clean cotton swabs. If the consultant doesn’t seem to care about hygeine, walk away and find someone who does!

If you have any tips of your own we would love to hear about them.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment


We can all use great make-up and all sorts of products to make us look good, but the most effective beauty makeover that you’ll ever get comes from the inside.  Our skin, nails and hair also need nourishment to look great, so we’ve put together some key food essentials that will help boost your beauty from the inside!

If your skin isn’t getting enough nutrients then it will soon start to look dull, grey, dries out and feels fragile- not a good look we hear you cry. 

For a glowing complexion

Shining morning faces need their daily dose of antioxidants and that means vitamin B. 

Vitamin B aids metabolic reactions to repair and build collagen and elastin fibre – we can always do with a bit more collagen.

Good sources: Whole grains and cereals (bread, pasta, rice, wheat, meat, fish, eggs with essential fatty acids like Omega 3 and 6 which limit water loss in the skin cells – salmon is great for this, anchovies, sardines, tuna as well as avocados.

water is essential for healthy skin, for deep-down hydration. It also gets rid of waste, which causes dull skin.

Good sources : Aside from drinking water, get your fill from tea, soup, herbal tea, fruit and veg (they’re 90% water on average!).

Vitamin C
- is essential for collagen production and protects your skin from UV damage and if you have any scars it does help to get rid of those too or certainly lessen the effects.

Good sources: Fresh fruit and veg, especially citrus fruit (lemon, orange and grapefruit), kiwi, cabbage vegetables and parsley.

Vitamin A – this is the most important vitamin for supple, radiant skin – we’ll take a truck load please!

Good sources: Liver, eggs, butter and butter for Vitamin A, and brightly-coloured fruit and veg (mango, melon, pepper, carrot, etc) for Provitamin A, which the body converts into Vitamin A.

Vitamin E – this baby is a powerhouse antioxidant with an unrivalled talent in repairing sun damage – if you like the sun then it might be worth stocking up!  Basically vitamin E traps aging free radicals and partners with vitamin A and C to protect cell membranes, which are the main target of those nasty free radicals.

Good sources: Nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds), whole grains, cereals and vegetable/plant oils.

- partner your vitamin E with selenium and you have the best weapon against free radicals.  Quite recently it has also been recognized as a major player in anti-aging and aids in the elimination of toxins such as tobacco and alcohol through urine.

Good sources: Meat, fish, seafood and eggs.

For clear skin

If your skin tends to be a bit sensitive or greasy then your best bet is to cut down on strong coffee, alcohol, chocolate, and certain spices like pepper, ginger, curry powder, paprika, mustard and fermented cheeses and try to avoid eating excessive amounts of fat and sugar.  Now before you panic because that does sound a bit heavy – remember if they happen to be some of your favourite things above, then just be moderate with them – don’t consume in excess amounts and you should be fine.

Zinc-Zinc is an antioxidant mineral, so if you suffer from spots and blotches, Zinc regulates sebum production and aids cell healing.

Good sources: Shellfish, fish, whole grains and cereals.

Probiotics – Friendly bacteria in your digestive system protect your intestines and strengthen the immune system including your skin.

Good sources: Fermented yoghurts and dairy produce

For beautiful lips

All lips will look great if they are backed with a gorgeous set of pearly white teeth.  So if you like your cigarettes and coffee just be careful they can stain, but you probably know that already.  Get plenty of nutrients to make sure your teeth stay strong, white and dazzling.

Calcium builds and strengthens teeth.

Good sources: Dairy produce, fruit, vegetables and some types of mineral water.

Along with calcium, phosphorus forms the mineral ‘weave’ of our bones.

Good sources: All foods contain phosphorus, so as long as you eat a balanced diet you’ll get enough of it.

Fluorine is a trace element that strengthens tooth enamel.

Good sources: Mineral water that contains fluorine, radishes, cress, cherries and tomatoes.

For shiny hair

Now you can tell a lot about a person’s health by the state of their skin and hair.  When you are unwell or unhealthy, the hair becomes fragile, dry and brittle and can fall out and our skin can just look grey – not a good look!

B Vitamins  
These all contribute to healthy hair, especially B2, which regulates the scalp’s sebum; B5, which improves the structure and shine of the hair; and B8, which slows down hair loss and the appearance of grey hairs.

Good sources: Whole grains and cereals, meat, fish, eggs and brewer’s yeast (live yeast).

Zinc aids hair growth. Zinc deficiency hinders the formation of keratin, causing your hair follicles to atrophy.

Good sources: Shellfish, fish, whole grains and cereals.

For perfect nails

Like our hair and skin, our nails also reflect how healthy we are.  If nails break easily, or are weak or white marks on them then they are trying to tell us something – you need some vital nutrients – keep an eye on your nails and adjust your diet and include some of the following:

Calcium strengthens nails and makes them grow.

Good sources: Dairy produce, fruit and vegetables and some types of mineral water.

Iron is a fortifying trace element that enriches red blood cells and increases oxygenisation of tissue, especially in nails that break easily.

Good sources: Red meat, shellfish and pulses.

Sulphur is a misunderstood mineral that’s vital for strong nails – it basically strengthens the nail structure

Good sources: Seafood, asparagus, onion, garlic and cabbage. 
At Planet Pharmacy we always want to lend a helping hand when it comes to looking and feeling great, so we’ve put together the following menu for a day of beauty food.


BreakfastA hot drink.

A glass of fresh fruit juice or a piece of fresh fruit

A fermented milk yoghurt or soya yoghurt

2 slices of wholemeal bread with Omega-3 rich butter (butter made with vegetable oil is better than animal fat butter)

A piece of fresh fruit


A plate of raw veg or mixed salad

(shallots, chives, parsley and other herbs), drizzled with lemon juice and rapeseed oil

Around 150g oily fish

Steamed vegetables and whole grains/cereals with a drizzle of olive oil

A piece of fresh fruit


Green tea (left to infuse for less than 2min)
A yoghurt or a piece of fresh fruit


Mixed vegetable soup
100-150g steamed fish and steamed vegetables

A yoghurt or fresh fruit salad

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How to avoid the curse of dry skin – 4 key tips for beautiful skin body and face

We all suffer from dry skin from time to time.  Dry skin is basically caused by the loss of moisture from the outer surface of the skin and its insufficient replacement from the tissues below.   The levels of dryness will be different in everyone and is essentially down to the wide variation in the amount of perspiration and oil secreted by the glands.  These differences can be hereditary or caused by the environment.

Air-conditioning for us here in the desert is the main culprit as the a/c sucks moisture from the atmosphere.

To reduce the risks of dry skin take a look at the following tips:

Tip #1: Use lotion or creams

Always use a moisturizing body cream after a shower or bath.  The type of body moisturizer will depend on the individual.  You could also try a baby oil – step our of the bath/shower – lightly dry yourself but still leave your skin damp and slap the oil over your entire body.  The oil will lock in the moisture – you’ll be amazed at the results.

On your face make sure you use a soap free face wash, or if you use a cleansing lotion make sure it’s light, creamy texture.

After cleansing the face always use a toner to close pores and then use a hyaluronic acid product and then your normal moisturizer.  We recommend hyaluronic as it is a natural way to increase moisture levels in the skin – see the Beauty Intelligence article on Hyaluronic Acid.

Tip #2: Control soap usage.

Try to use a moisturizing shower-gel if you can.  Soaps can have an extremely drying effect on the skin and can often strip the skin of natural oils. in your garden, make sure to also put on gloves to protect your hands from getting into contact with harmful chemicals that may also cause dry skin.

Tip #3:  Drink plenty of water.

Drinking a lot of water – as we all know water is the elixir of life so drinking plenty will help keep skin moisturized.

Tip #4:  Have sufficient sleep.

Ahhh – the magic of sleep.  Sleeping at least 7 to 8 hours each night will help improve the release of melatonin and serotonin hormones, which are essential in maintaining excellent texture of the skin.

These essential tips will keep your skin in a tip top condition and may even make you look younger.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Frizzy hair is for some something they have to live with and it is no fun.  Some people think that frizzy hair is an actual hair type.  In fact frizzy hair is a condition, which mostly affects people with wavy or curly hair.

There are many reasons for frizzy hair, such as excessive brushing, over washing can dry out the hair or increase in humidity in the air – and we all know how much humidity is in the air on our fair Dubai shores.

If you suffer from frizzy hair it really can be the bane of one’s life.  It is frustrating because of the amount of work that goes into taking care of your hair and spending time on it to look nice and all you get is a frizzy mop the minute you step outside the door.  It’s not something you’re doing wrong it’s just a bit unlucky.

It’s not all doom and gloom there are various ways you can tame it – in fact it might be worth considering that it’s something that you’re doing every day that’s causing the frizz.

  1. Try trimming your hair.  Think about the last time you had a hair-cut. Split ends get gradually worse and worse and this can cause the hair to frizz.  Try to get a hair trim every 6-8 weeks to keep hair healthy.
  2. Cleaning hair.  Try not to clean your hair every day.  Instead shampoo and condition every other day to preserve natural oils.  Also, check out products that contain keratin, which fights frizz and repairs damaged hair.
  3. Blow-dry properly 

If you blow-dry, first apply an anti-frizz product,. Then hold your hair straight with a brush. As you dry, direct the air downward as you smooth out your hair with the brush. For best results, only blow-dry every other day — though preferably even less. For those with curly hair, use a diffuser.
  4. Take a look at your brush – some brushes actually promote frizziness particularly if you naturally have curly or wavy hair.  Might be worth using a wide toothed comb or your fingers
  5. Deep-condition.  Treat yourself once a week to a deep conditioning treatment and that will help with enabling your hair to retain moisture, because dehydrated hair will develop into frizz.
  6. Protect your hair

Sunscreen isn’t just for the skin; it’s also for your hair. UV rays, chlorine all damage hair so,make sure you rub some sunscreen into your scalp and through the hair.  This way your hair will be protected and stay healthy and reduce the chance of frizz – what could be better.




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Continuing our theme of health eating we decided to tackle healthy snacking and why healthy snacking is good for you.

With our endlessly hectic lifestyles, healthy snacking seems to fly out of the window and when you do stop to eat the temptation to go the quick and easy route is strong and go for a bag of crisps or chocolate becomes incredibly tempting.

To ensure that you have the right snacks at hand it’s best to prepare them in advance – that way you can avoid being tempted by the high fat snacks.  Having the right snacks to hand will ensure your energy levels remain consistent and that you have the fuel you need to keep you going throughout the course of the day – vital if you have a tough meeting!

Why Healthy Snacking Is Good for You

Healthy snacking is an integral part of your daily diet.  Not only will your energy levels remain high you will also avoid unnecessary weight gain by consuming high fat snack.  You’re best to avoid foods that contain simple carbohydrates – basically sugars, like candy bars or fizzy drinks.

To keep you firing on all cylinders throughout the day choose foods that contain complex carbohydrates, which are found in foods like wholegrain breads, cereals.  These can be combined with protein rich snacks such as peanut butter or low-fat yoghurt and cheese.

Smart Snacking Strategies

Here are some ways to make healthy snacking part of your everyday routine:

  • Keep healthy snacks with you. Make it a habit to stash some fruit, wholegrain crackers, or baby carrots in your bag so you always have some healthy food nearby. Half a cheese sandwich also makes a great snack to have on standby.
  • Make it interesting. Healthy snacking doesn’t have to be boring as long as you give yourself a variety of choices. Whole-wheat pretzels with spicy mustard, rice cakes with peanut butter and raisins, or low-fat fruit yogurt are healthy, tasty, and easy.
  • Satisfy cravings with healthier approaches.  If you’re really craving some chocolate why not try a mug of hot chocolate which has only 140 calories and 3 grams of fat.  A chocolate bar has 230 calories and 13 grams of fat.  Instead of ice cream go for a frozen yoghurt.  Go for tortilla chips or a pretzel instead of regular crisps

After dinner can also be a slippery time. If you’re really feeling hungry, then don’t ignore it.   Instead of giving into the sweet cravings try some dried fruit like dates or figs, rice cakes or air popped popcorn or some strawberries with natural yoghurt.

Below are some treats you can prepare yourself:

  • Ants on a log: spread peanut butter on a celery stick and top with raisins
  • Banana ice: Peel several very ripe bananas, break them into 1-inch pieces, and freeze the pieces in a sealed plastic bag.  Just before serving, whirl the pieces in the blender with a small amount of water or juice.  Serve right away.  Add berries for a different flavor or top with fruit and nuts
  • Health ice pops: Freeze fresh, unsweetened 100% juice in ice pop moulds or ice cube trays
  • Whole grain pita and hummus: Warm a pita in the oven on low, then cut it into small triangles.  Dip it in a tasty, low-fat hummus.
  • Happy trails mix: Combine 1 cup whole-grain toasted oat cereal with ¼ cup dried cranberries for a health trail  mix.

As with everything, moderation is the key to smart snacking. People who eat regular meals and healthy snacks are less likely to overeat and gain weight than people who skip meals or go for long periods without eating.

Remember you can indulge sometimes – all we at Planet Lifestyle say make the indulgence the exception rather than the rule and then you’ll be able to have your ‘cake’ and eat it too.

Good luck.




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Ways to Get Your 5 a Day

We all know how important it is to get fruit and vegetables into our diet.  But, as we all know, it is easier said than done when we lead such busy lives.  However, it is important.  Not only is it great for maintaining weight but it is good for our long term health.

We at Planet Pharmacy want to give you 5 very easy ways with which to get your five a day.  It works out actually to a total of about 2½ cups.  That’s the minimum anyway – if you can manage more then fantastic.

Here are some ideas to help you get into the 5-a-day (or more!) habit:

1. Start with the first meal of the day.

Breakfast is a great way to start the fruit and veggies rolling.  Have a banana with your cereal – it really sweetens up a bowl of cornflakes or bran flakes.  This can also work with berries and apples – have a mixture of all and you’ve already had a 1-3 of your fruits before you’ve left the house.

Don’t forget that orange juice counts too — but only if you drink 100% juice. (Limit juice to 1 or 2 servings a day). Continue this pattern by eating vegetables at lunch and at dinner.

2. Get extra energy from fruit or vegetable snacks.

There’s a good source of carbohydrates in fruit and vegetables which will provide valuable energy source for getting you through the rest of the day.  Combining with some protein such as a piece of cheese, yoghurt and you’ll have some serious staying power through the day.

3. Double up on fruit and veggie servings.

Recommended servings tend to be ½ cup so just double it to one cup and there of course aren’t extra calories and you’ll feel fuller for longer, which will stop that after work picking that destroys the waistline!

4. Use fruit and vegetables as ingredients.

Enjoy potatoes?  Then mash your potatoes with some broccoli and cauliflower.  Use applesauce instead of oil for your baked goods – pretty cool huh!  If your cooking up a good old fashioned chili then chop up some veggies like peppers, carrots, peas and toss them in – a great way to get your veggies without tasting them too much if you’re not really a lover of veggies in the first place.

5.  Try a new fruit, vegetable, or recipe each week.

There’s nothing like a bit of variety so try something different each week.  You never know you might find a new favourity.  Try the local fruit from your area – they’re normally fresher than imported fruits and can taste better.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment


We all know that when we exercise and watch what we eat, we lose some weight and we feel really good about ourselves.  Did you know that this healthy eating and exercise also has an amazing impact on your skin? By exercising your skin, the body’s largest organ, gets the boost it needs to look younger and even clear up acne.  If you are already into exercise or just starting out, here are some tips for taking care of your skin while burning those calories. 

  • Exercise eliminates toxins

We all know how many toxins we expose ourselves to on a regular basis.  Exercise enhances the body’s ability to eliminate these toxins.  By exercising our organs become stronger- the kidneys, the liver and the skin become more in sync with the body’s mechanics, which can result in the body becoming more effective at flushing out our systems.

  • Exercise helps smooth wrinkles and other signs of ageing

As we get older, our collagen-producing cells become fewer and fewer, leading to dry and wrinkled skin.

Exercising essentially breathes oxygen into skin cells, allowing them to produce the essential collagen that softens existing wrinkles and prevents new ones from forming. Exercise increases the blood supply throughout the body (including the face!) delivering the oxygen and other age-fighting nutrients.

  • Exercise can reduce stress

Stress can have an effect on our skin and for some people that means an unsightly and discomforting break out of acne.

Exercise can be a great source of stress relief, and can reduce the production of testosterone-related hormones that can cause acne.

Physical exercise reduces your level of stress and consequently a woman’s adrenal glands produce less of the male-type hormones that contribute to skin flare-ups.  Sweating also helps to unclog pores – which may also help prevent breakouts and improve your overall complexion.

Caring for your skin while exercising

While exercise can boost the health and appearance of skin, it’s essential to take special care of your complexion when working out – especially if you are someone who is prone to acne. Here are some tips:

  • Always start with a clean face.

It is preferable to have a make-up free face when exercising.  When we exercise the pores do tend to open as we sweat, so if there is any make-up on your face it could lead to the pores becoming clogged and leading to breakouts.

So, try to include some facial prep time into your pre workout routine.  La Cure has a great face wash that will clear away any impurities and freshen up your face so you can ‘feel the burn’ with confidence.

  • Shower soon after exercise. Post-workout showers are more than just hygienic – they can help prevent body acne on the arms, shoulders and back.
  • Hydrate. Well-hydrated skin benefits from exercise even more, leading to increased blood flow, which helps to flush out toxins. So remember to drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.
  • Keep it cool. Exercise in a cool environment, and take breaks every 15 minutes to keep your body temperature down. In the summer, work out in the mornings before the sun’s rays become strongest and don’t forget to keep drinking water throughout your workout.
  • It’s important to check with your doctor or pharmacist should you have skin conditions or rashes.

Despite the immense benefits of fitness for your skin, it’s important to check with your doctor or Pharmacist if you have certain skin conditions – you might benefit from something that is prescribed.

So remember, there are many benefits of exercise on your body, and your skin is no exception. By helping to clear away toxins, fight the signs of ageing and reduce stress and acne, exercise can help give your skin a softer and more youthful look – the ultimate post-workout glow!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment