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Beauty Secrets at Indian Pharmacies

In my last post I took you on a trip to Myanmar for their beauty secrets.

Today I take you down a much more mundane lane. Specifically to your local chemist.

A lot of my favorite skincare products come from the chemist. For the simple reason that having worked in the pharmaceutical sector, I know that these products have to undergo scientific trials, and the formulations are designed to be far more effective than your off-the-shelf creams.

These dermatology products may not smell as nice or be packaged as nicely as store bought brands, but I personally find them to be very effective as they have higher percentages & refined versions of "active ingredients". Most of these creams are basic moisturizers and should be safe for use. However, having said that, please note I'm no dermatologist and kindly refer to a dermatologist before using these. Especially if you have acne or sensitive skin.

So without further ado, here is a quick list of products I like:

1. Lacto Calamine Reneu Cream: This is an anti-aging cream that I have been using for over a year
now. It has a patented ULMa Technology that I think is peptide based. Very simply, the peptides simulate the skin cells to repair and generate new collagen. Unlike my experience with Olay or Ponds, I find that this cream works does not stop working over time as well as does not require that you purchase the entire range of serum & face wash & toner & eye-cream & day and night creams to be truly effective. It is one single cream for both day & night. It is "creamy" rather than silicony in feel (compared to serums) but it does seem to "sit" on the skin for a while before sinking in. While this works well for winters, I find a bit heavy for summer daily wear. I just use much lesser quantity in that case.

2. Emolene Cream: I discovered this blue tube on an office colleague's desk six months ago and since then always have a tube in my desk. The name is a misnomer, it is a water based lotion rather than a cream. The active ingredient is "Urea". Urea is commonly found in healthy skin cells and helps to hold on moisture and water. I love using this as a non-greasy hand lotion during the day. I also use this as a face-pack by applying a thin layer to the face and letting it sink in slowly for 15 minutes before wiping off the excess. I don't use it very often on the face as it is a keratolytic - meaning it causes dead skin skins to shed aka exfoliation. My skin stings a bit with twice a day use. The other drawback is the metal tube it is sold in. It tends to develop cracks & holes along the places it bends into folds. I used to carry it in my bag but it started to leak from these perforations so into the office desk it went. I wish it came in a more sturdy tube so that it is travel-friendly.

3. Elovera Cream: Discovered on Nive's blog post, this is a gorgeous life saver when you have been negligent with your skin moisturisation. A light application at night and you will wake up to soft, smooth skin. It is pretty basic and no frills cream, but it does the job. I actually prefer this to using Vaseline Petroluem Jelly as it is lighter and far more effective. I prefer using this at night as it can feel greasy.

Disclaimer: I used to work for the company that makes this - Glenmark Pharmaceuticals. I have now moved on to an FMCG company, but my review of this is completely unbiased. I get no benefit - social or monetary - from you purchasing, liking or hating this product.

4.WunderEye Cream: The name is odd, but the product is really good. I read about this first on Rashmi's blog. Works best if your dark circles are because of thin skin or frail capillaries. It didn't seem to do much for puffy eyes though or crow's feet but then it ain't intended for that anyways. It has to be used consistently, like everyday for three weeks before you see results. And you have to keep using it - the treatment is not permanent. Stop using it and you will be back on square one within a few weeks. But unlike other eye creams, it works beyond just moisturizing.  I'm lazy and tend to go off at times, and always regret it. It is a good product. Again it is made by Glenmark Pharma and the above disclaimer applies here too.

5. Salicylix - SF 6%: This is my go-to when pimples threaten. Manufactured by DRL, it is 6% salicylic acid in a petroleum jelly base, which prevents drying of skin. Salicylic acid is notorious for drying out skin, which is why I love this unique oily formulation. It is highly effective against pimples and clears them in a day for me. Be careful while using this, as it is very potent. Salicylic acid is a very strong skin exfoliator and can make your skin more prone to sun-burn. Use it as a spot treatment at night and you should be okay. This is sold in a green tube. I also use this like a quick 20 minute pack for the feet - during a pedicure - before moisturizing. Don't buy the orange one - that is 12% concentration and meant for warts and stuff. Not recommended at all for use without medical supervision.

6. Cetaphil Skin Cleanser: One of the most famous pharmacy skin care products. This is pretty much the back-up cleanser for most girls when their skin misbehaves. It is a lotion based gentle cleanser. Does what it says. I wish it were sold in a slightly more oily variant. That would not only remove makeup more effectively but also give the product the slip it needs to make it easier to massage into the skin.

What are your pharmacy secrets?


  1. hey Tanveer...good to see you after so long :) wow. i hardly know of any other product than lacto calamine and cetaphil. have heard of elovera but never tried it.

    1. Thanks Swati! It is nice to be blogging after long.. I hope I don't get bored again *fingers crossed*

    2. I bought salicylix on 30 th. Did wonders to my pimples I was having issues from last 2 weeks. Thanks a lot!
      Now I will try elovera next

    3. I bought salicylix on 30 th. Did wonders to my pimples I was having issues from last 2 weeks. Thanks a lot!
      Now I will try elovera next


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