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Are There Unhelpful Chemicals Hidden in Your Skin Care Routine?

Most individuals dealing with frequent acne breakouts are aware of the everyday offenders that trigger them, whether it be hormones, stress or diet. Through experience these triggers can become somewhat predictable and in some cases manageable with lifestyle changes.

But what about the less obvious culprits? Currently on the market there are seemingly innocent cosmetic and skin care products using chemicals that not only irritate sensitive skin, but can trigger breakouts.

That is why we have put together this list of the not so obvious ingredients you should be on the lookout for when purchasing cosmetics or skin care products.


Parabens refer to a selection of chemicals found in many acne cleansing products, and are used mainly as a preservative. The most common Parabens you’ll find are as follows:

  • Butylparaben is one of the most common bactericidal/fungicidal additives in both acne cleansers and cosmetics. It has been used in cosmetic products since the 1940s and in pharmaceutical products since 1924.
  • Isobutylparaben is found in many skin care products, ranging from skin cream to acne prevention to deodorant. This is a less frequently used preservative, but can still be found in a few cleansers.
  • Another lesser-seen Paraben found in some anti-acne cleansers is Propylparaben, used for a similar reason but is also linked to skin irritation especially with sensitive skin.

Basically, look for anything that ends with “-paraben” and avoid it.

Retinyl Palmitate

Retinyl palmitate is considered an exfoliator and its effect of repeatedly shedding the upper layer of skin forces the skin to produce new cells.

This can have a damaging effect on sensitive skin, and we typically want to avoid products that damage the upper layers of skin.


Triclosan is the most controversial ingredient on this list because Health Canada, among other countries, has taken steps to limit its use in skincare products while the FDA in the United States has banned it entirely.

Triclosan is a preservative and an anti-bacterial agent used in 1,600 cosmetics and personal care products in Canada – including things like anti-bacterial soaps, hand washes, acne care, and deodorants. Increasingly, scientific evidence shows that it is harmful to the environment as well as humans.

As a result, this is the rarest ingredient you’ll find on this list, but you should be aware of any products that have it since there may be some still available and it is currently legal to use.

What Next?
Avoiding these ingredients may help you to avoid further skin irritation and acne breakouts that often follow.

  1. Take ten minutes to go through your current cosmetics and skin care products to see if they have any of these ingredients.
  2. When shopping for new products be on the lookout for cosmetics or products that’s exclude these ingredients.
  3. Remember everyone has unique skin that reacts differently to ingredients. When trying a new product, you should always follow the instructions carefully and complete a spot test.

* This content is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice.



Incorporating Benzagel Into Your Morning Routine

It should be noted before we start that this list does not incorporate any specialized medicines or facial creams. It’s advised that you check with your doctor if you take any prescription facial medications or washes and how this may affect your daily routine.


Cleanse your skin in the morning and in the evening to keep your pores clear and your face fresh. Your cleanser may vary based on skin type, but with all cleansers, the general consensus is to apply them using an upward, circular motion so as to prevent wrinkles from forming. Make sure your hands are clean in order to prevent excess dirt from entering your pores. If you have very sensitive skin, using only water would also do the trick!

Regular exfoliation helps to keep the pores free of excess skin cells and oil. Exfoliation removes dead skin cell buildup, reduces the formation of comedones, and helps smooth and soften the skin.

General Skin Care

Astringents or toners can help remove excess oil, and some even contain acne-fighting ingredients. Apply toner to a cotton ball or pad and gently smooth over the face and neck to help remove any leftover makeup, cleanser residue, and oil. But if toners or astringents seem to over-dry or irritate your skin, don’t use them.

Acne Care

Smooth on your acne treatment creams as directed. This could be a medication prescribed by your doctor, or an over-the-counter acne gel or cream. Let the medication absorb or dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Controlling acne relies on a two-pronged approach: a consistent daily skin care routine plus effective acne treatment medications.

Final Steps

This is where you will do all of your makeup, sunscreen, and anti-aging moisturizer. It’s important to use these products at the end, and some people apply acne medication incorrectly at the end because they believe they will rub off the acne medication. On the contrary, as long as you apply it correctly you want to keep it beneath your makeup and additional topical products to make sure it is working.

Many people with oily skin steer clear of moisturizers. But moisturizing is a good thing, even if you’re acne-prone. A good, oil-free moisturizer applied at the end of your process won’t trigger breakouts, and could in fact help ease dryness, flakiness, and peeling caused by acne treatments on sensitive skin.


Announcing the #bestiesbecause Product Giveaway!

The best part of our day is hearing from you about how our products are your go-to acne treatment brand when dealing with stubborn acne breakouts. We’re so excited that we wanted to give you the chance to celebrate other people in your life who are there when you need them. That’s why we’re launching the NEW #bestiesbecause Product Giveaway.

Here’s to your bestie who knows everything about you, and you can count on to be honest no matter what.  From romantic advice to univited opinions on how you look that day, they’re the one person who tells you how it is.

To participate just go to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, use the hashtag #bestiesbecause, tag @BenzagelCanada, tag your bestie and share why your bestie is your number one. You can share a fond memory, or a time they went above and beyond for you. Whether they were the only one to point out you had something on your face, constantly let you raid their closet, or spent hours helping you level up on your favourite video game. Get creative and have fun with it.

Tag your friend to let them know you appreciate all they do for you and you will both be entered for a chance to win a free Benzagel Bestie Care Package. 


  • Start Date: Thursday, October 19, 2017 8:00AM EST
  • End Date: Thursday, November 9, 2017, 11:59 PM EST
  • Winner Announcement : Friday, November 10, 2017 12:00PM EST
  • Criteria: This is not a random draw, prizes will be awarded on merit, based on the selections of our judges.
  • Prizes: 12 Benzagel Bestie Care Packages containing:
    – 2 Benzagel Acne Gels 30g
    – 2 Benzagel Acne Washes (85 mL)
    – 2 Benzagel Spot Ons
    – 2 Benzagel Cleansa-Wipes




Contest: “Benzagel’s #BestieBecause Product Giveaway” (the “Contest”)

Contest Sponsor: Benzagel®, a registered brand of Columbia Laboratories Canada, Inc. (the “Company” or the “Contest Sponsor”)

Site: The Company’s website including social media microsites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

General Statement


The chances of winning depend on the total number of eligible entries received. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


The Contest is open only to legal residents of Canada, excluding residents of Quebec, who are at least thirteen (13) years of age or older at the time of entry. Employees and agents of the Company, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, any other prize sponsor, and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of the Contest (all of the foregoing, together with Sponsor, collectively referred to as “Contest Entities”), as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and household members of each such employee, whether or not related, are not eligible.

The Contest is subject to all applicable federal and provincial laws and regulations and is void where prohibited, including the province of Quebec. Participation constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and the Contest Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Contest. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.


Limit one (1) entry per person. All entries must be received by 11:00 PM EST on November 9, 2017 to be eligible. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated or mechanical means and entries by any means which subvert the entry process are void.


Potential winners will be selected in a random drawing held after 9:00am EST on November 13, 2017 from all eligible entries. The winners will be notified immediately on the social media platform they created the message on. If a selected winner is unable to be contacted after three (3) attempts, he/she forfeits the prize and another entrant may, at the sole discretion of the Company, be selected. If potential winner is not in compliance with these Official Rules or is a minor, prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner selected.

The administration and operation of the Contest and the selection of the potential winners are final and binding in all matters related to the Contest.


The prize must be used as awarded after November 13, 2017. The prize cannot be deferred or substituted. Winners must reside in Canada. Transportation is not included in the prize. Utilizing the prize is the sole responsibility of the prizewinner. The prize must be accepted as awarded. No transfer, cash redemption or substitution is permitted. All prize details are at the sole discretion of the Company.


Information collected from entrants is subject to the Company’s Privacy Policy and in accordance with PIPEDA. Any communication or material you transmit to the Company by Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or otherwise, will be treated in accordance with this privacy policy. By transmitting or posting any communications or materials to this site, you agree that the Company or any of its affiliates may use your communications or materials for any purpose, including reproduction, transmission, publication, broadcast and posting. The Company and its affiliates are free to use any ideas, concepts or know-how contained in such communications or materials for any purpose whatsoever including, but not limited to developing, manufacturing, distributing and marketing products using such information.


Contest Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Contest, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures or any other factor impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Contest, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. If terminated, Sponsor may, at its sole discretion, award any remaining prize(s) at random from among all non-suspect, eligible entries received up to time of such action. The Contest Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or to be acting in violation of the Official Rules of this or any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner and void all associated entries. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, the Company reserves the right to seek damages and other remedies (including attorneys’ fees) from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

Images of people or places displayed on the Site are either the property of, or used with permission by, the Company. The use of these images by you, or anyone else authorized by you, is prohibited unless specifically permitted by these Terms and Conditions or specific permission provided elsewhere on the Site. Any unauthorized use of the images may violate copyright laws, trademark laws, the laws of privacy and publicity, and communications regulations and statutes.

Although the Contest Sponsor may from time to time monitor or review discussions, chats, postings, transmissions, bulletin boards, and the like on the Site, the Company is under no obligation to do so and assumes no responsibility or liability arising from the content of any such locations nor for any error, defamation, libel, slander, omission, falsehood, obscenity, pornography, profanity, danger, or inaccuracy contained in any information within such locations on the Site. You are prohibited from posting or transmitting any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, scandalous, inflammatory, pornographic, or profane material or any material that could constitute or encourage conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any law. The Company will fully cooperate with any law enforcement authorities or court order requesting or directing the Company to disclose the identity of anyone posting any such information or materials.


The Company is also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest. The Contest Sponsor is not responsible for injury or damage to participants’ or to any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in this Contest or downloading material.

The Company is not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, stolen, misdirected, undelivered or garbled entries, any connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the Contest, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the Contest, the processing of entries, the announcement of the prizes or in any Contest-related materials.

Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the Contest or website or who are in violation of these Official Rules, as solely determined by the Contest Sponsor, will be disqualified and all associated entries will be void. Should any portion of the Contest be, in the Contest Sponsor’s sole opinion, compromised by virus, worms, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes which, in the sole opinion of the Company corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper play, or submission of entries, the Company reserves the right at its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the Contest and, if terminated, at its discretion, select the potential winners from all eligible, non-suspect entries received prior to action taken or as otherwise deemed fair and appropriate by the Company.


By participating, entrants agree that the Contest Sponsor or Facebook and their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, retailers and advertising and promotion agencies and all of their respective officers, directors, employees, representatives and agents will have no liability whatsoever for, and shall be held harmless by entrants against, any liability, for any injuries, losses or damages of any kind, including death, to persons, or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, misuse or use of a prize or participation in this Contest.

NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, You understand that you are providing your information to Benzagel®, a registered brand of Columbia Laboratories Canada, Inc. and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for sending company updates, partner updates and future offers to subscribers.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this statement, please contact us at


How to Use Benzagel Products

For the last five years in a row Benzagel Canada has been named the #1 recommended acne treatment by pharmacists across Canada. With such a wide range of consumers, the most frequent question is how to best use the products. So if you have questions, you’re not alone.

There are many people out there who may be using these products incorrectly, and we are here to provide the correct steps to use our set of products in the most straightforward way possible.

Acne Gel

How to Use:
1). Wash your hands and face with a non-medicated soap and dry with a towel. Use warm water, not hot or cold.
2). Test gel on small area of your skin to test for excessive irritation and dryness.
3). Apply the gel to problem areas, but don’t use more than a pea-sized amount for each.
4). Make sure to rub the gel in gently, but don’t press too hard.
5). Use the gel once a day to start, then go up to twice a day once you get comfortable; once in the morning and once before you go to bed.

Considerations: People with fair or sensitive skin should begin with one application daily. Slight stinging, peeling, and redness may occur; this is evidence that Benzagel is working.
If you have a severe case of acne and you do not see improvement after a couple of weeks, consult a doctor.

Caution: Avoid contact with eyes, nostrils, lips and mouth; if contact occurs, rinse thoroughly with water. For external use only. Keep tightly closed. Protect from heat. Keep out of reach of children. May bleach fabrics.

Acne Wash

How to Use:
1). Shake the bottle well before opening it.
2). Wash your face gently with warm water and dry with a towel.
3). Test the wash on a small portion of your face, testing for irritation.
4). Fully apply the wash in soft, circular motions on your skin. Be careful to keep away from eyes and mouth.
5). Rinse with warm water.
6). Use the wash once a day to start, then go up to twice a day once you get comfortable; once in the morning and once before you go to bed.

Considerations: It may take a couple of weeks at least to start seeing results depending on severity of the acne. Slight stinging, peeling, and redness may occur; this is evidence that Benzagel is working.
If you have a severe case of acne and you do not see improvement after a couple of weeks, consult a doctor.

Caution: Avoid contact with eyes, nostrils, lips and mouth; if contact occurs, rinse thoroughly with water.

Spot On

How to Use:
1). Wash hands and face with non-medicated soap and warm water before applying.
2). Simply apply the cream in a tiny dab over infected area and gently rub in.
3). If applying sunscreen or any other facial products, put them on after applying spot-on.
4). Use up to 3 times daily, but no more. Applying spot-on too frequently can cause irritation and won’t make the pimple go away any faster!

Considerations: Spot On is recommended for individual pimples and not acne. If you have acne, you’ll want something stronger like the products listed above.

Caution: For external use only. Avoid contact with eyes, lips, mouth and nostrils; if contact occurs, rinse thoroughly with water. This product may bleach hair or dyed fabrics.


How to Use:
1). Wash hands and face with non-medicated soap and warm water before applying.
2). Wipe pad across problem areas and then dispose of.
3). Use 2-3 times daily as a facial cleanser or in a combination with Benzagel Acne Gel and Acne Wash for acne treatment and to and achieve a healthier looking complexion.

Considerations: Do not use these wipes as a substitute for makeup removal pads.

Caution: For external use only. Avoid contact with eyes, lips, mouth and nostrils; if contact occurs, rinse thoroughly with water. This product may bleach hair or dyed fabrics.

*Rankings based on the results of the Pharmacy Practice+ and Profession Santé 2017 Survey on OTC Counselling and Recommendations


Benzoyl Peroxide: How Benzagel’s Acne Fighting Ingredient Works

Benzoyl Peroxide is one of the most highly recommended, and trusted acne fighting treatments in the world. However, many people don’t know the long history that this bacteria killing ingredient has, and how it helps people put their best face forward.

First created in 1905, and introduced as an effective acne treatment in the 1930s, Benzoyl Peroxide has been helping individuals with acne prone skin for over 80 years. Today, you can find it in all of the Benzagel family of products, (Acne Gel, Acne Wash, and Spot On) as an active and effective topical treatment of acne breakouts.

In fact, Benzoyl Peroxide is so effective that it has been included on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines.

Benzoyl Peroxide works two ways. First, by attacking and killing acne causing bacteria and unclogging pores by clearing away dead skin cells. And second, by adding oxygen to the skin which removes the ability of Propionibacterium acnes bacteria to cause redness and inflammation to acne spots. By washing with products including Benzoyl Peroxide, you give yourself the best chance to win in the fight against acne. In fact, many studies have shown that Benzoyl Peroxide continues to be effective even when acne has become resistant and antibiotic treatments have stopped working. (1)

We recommend that everyone test new products on a small patch of skin on their arm, as some people may experience allergic reactions to Benzoyl Peroxide based products. For people with more senstive skin, Benzagel offers a 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide formula as well as our 5% formula.

As the #1 Pharmacist Recommended OTC acne treatment brand in Canada, Benzagel is proud of our Benzoyl Peroxide based formulas, and the success that many Canadians have experienced with their use.

Benzagel Testimonials

I suffered with acne since I was 13 years old. I tried every single face wash I could get my hands on. It got so bad I got referred to a dermatologist and he prescribed me with antibiotics I needed to take twice a day and I was on it for about 3 years. My acne still wasn’t under control so a doctor told me to try the Benzagel 5 Acne Gel and it worked!Vsearson,

I bought this, used it, and within a week about 90% of my pimples were gone! Yes it dries out your skin, but just remember to use this at night and then use a moisterizer in the morning. Once my skin was almost all clear, I switched to using this on single blemish spots only. Seriously this stuff works and has truly brought back a nice clear completion for me. The super relentless acne on my chin still shows up but nowhere near as big and as stubborn as it was before. This was pretty inexpensive as well. It works!ada18,

*results may vary from person to person

If you’re looking for a trusted, recommended, and effective acne treatment, we’ve got you covered.

Put Your Best Face Forward.

(1) 9 Things To Know About Benzoyl Peroxide. Accessed: Aug. 3, 2017.


Simple Summer Vacation Tips for You!

Summer is coming, and that means it’s time to start planning for your super summer vacation. To help you get ready, we’ve got a few tips to pass on to you today.

Pack the Right Clothes

If you’re going camping or to a cottage with friends, and you’re planning on sitting out on the dock, or by the fire as the day turns to night and the stars come out, you’re going to want to pack some long sleeved shirts, long pants, and maybe even a hoodie to keep you warm.

Yes, it’s going to be hot all day, and you’re going to be thinking about bathing suits, shorts and tank tops, but when the night-time comes, you don’t want to have to go inside (or get in your sleeping bag) because you got chilly!

Long pants and long sleeves (light fabrics are ok, you don’t need to wear heavy pants and sweaters) will also help protect you from bugs that can make a great summer day a little less awesome when they start to buzz around you and bite.

Don’t Forget Your Accessories

We all know that hats and sunglasses are must haves for summer vacations, not only because they make for great fashion, but because you need to protect yourself from the sun.

A great hat with a wide brim can help to keep the sun off of your face and neck, helping to avoid sunburn. Remember though, if you have a favourite hat that you wear a lot in the summer, you need to wash it regularly to avoid spreading accumulated bacteria to your forehead and hairline. Nobody wants to deal with an acne breakout while they’re on summer vacation!

When it comes to choosing your summer sunglasses, it is important to look for UV protection. Cute sunglasses might look great in pictures, but if your eyes aren’t being protected from the harmful rays from the sun, you are doing yourself a disservice that may cost you in the future in the form of eye damage.

And here’s our last accessory tip: If you’re going to a music festival, don’t wear your best jewellery and accessories. Pop into a store, buy some bargain pieces (there are always great deals available!) that fit your look, and you’ll worry less about losing or breaking the good pieces while you’re having a good time!

Taking Pictures vs. Staying in the Moment Balance

We all love seeing awesome vacation photos on Twitter and Instagram, and we know how good it feels to get Likes and Favourites and Retweets… but some moments and memories truly need to be experienced by your eyes, and not the lens of your camera.

When you see a brilliant sunset or you’re having an awesome moment with your friends, stop to experience and love it for a moment before you decide that you need to pull your phone out. Those precious moments enjoyed live and in person, are totally worth it.

And if you’re at a great concert or festival this summer, don’t worry about taking too many photos. There’s a balance you need to find between snapping a photo or video for your timeline to share with friends, and experiencing the awesome live music happening right in front of you.

We love seeing your selfies that celebrate life and all of the great things you’re experiencing; but remember that your life doesn’t have to be 100% shared with the world. Some moments you’re allowed to keep for yourself!

Remember Your Skincare Routine

Vacations are a great excuse to get a break from many of life’s routines, but you don’t want to slack off on your skin care!

When you’re packing your adorable and functional summer vacation clothes, remember to also pack your sunscreen, moisturizer, and Benzagel products to help keep your skin clean, so you can put your best face forward all summer long.

No matter what your plans are, whether you’re going to be in a canoe, on the beach, at a music festival, hiking a trail, or sitting in a park with friends, you should absolutely be taking the time in the morning and before bed to make sure that your face is clean from the day, and ready for tomorrow!

Have an awesome summer, and drop us a comment to share what you’re planning!


Benzagel is #1 in Canada for the 5th Year in a Row!

For the fifth year in a row, Benzagel has been named the #1 recommended acne treatment by pharmacists across Canada!

We know acne sucks. It’s inconvenient, adds stress to your life, hurts your self-confidence, and has zero positive impact on your life. That’s why we continue to offer our products, and why we love to connect with our awesome community online.

We’re proud that pharmacists across the country have once again named Benzagel as the top choice for you. It’s continuing proof to you, and us, that the Benzagel family of products can help you put your best face forward.

Benzagel is #1 with pharmacists because it really works. But here’s a good tip from Dr. Julia Carroll, a Toronto-based Dermatologist that you can also keep in mind…

“People tend to get frustrated after a couple of days but … they really should keep using a product for four to six weeks to let it do what it is supposed to do.”

So, when you’re going through your morning and evening facial routines, reach for Benzagel Acne Gel and Acne Wash. When you’re on the go and notice that a new pimple has popped up, reach into your bag for your Benzagel Spot On applicator. And when you need to give your face a little prep before you wash, use our invigorating Cleansa-Wipes to “take off your day” and refresh your skin.

From coast-to-coast, we’re honoured to be named #1 in Canada – again – and we feel privileged to offer quality products that can really help you mange your acne problems effectively.

Rankings based on the results of the Pharmacy Practice+ and Profession Santé 2017 Survey on OTC Counselling and Recommendations.

Rankings based on the results of the Pharmacy Practice+ and Profession Santé 2017 Survey on OTC Counselling and Recommendations.