If you have a question that was not answered on this page,
ask the chemist
When and how did the B. Kamins skincare line become a brand?
B. Kamins actually began with an episode of innovative enlightenment. While on a winter fishing trip in Northern Canada, I noticed that the hearty maple trees surrounding the lakes were the only plant life to survive the brutal weather. Upon further laboratory investigation, I discovered that the serum from these maples was especially rich in life-sustaining materials like polysaccharides, anti-oxidants, minerals, natural preservatives and Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)---and that the base was aqueous, non greasy, making it an ideal compound for skin care. I was able to purify the maple serum into an all natural, non-toxin, additive---and the patent pending Bio-MapleTM Compound was born.
I first started creating products to suit the “special” request or needs of the members of my family. For example, my wife experienced a change in her skin with menopause and I developed Menopause Skin Cream / Nutrient Replacement Cream for her.
How is maple good for your skin?
- Hydrates: Bio-Maple™ compound physiologically rehydrates, and helps repair the skin by performing several gentle synergistic actions:
- absorbs and stores moisture from the environment (hygroscopic action).
- lifts water from the inner layers of the epidermis to the top layers (osmotic action).
- combats the aging action of peroxidases (free radicals) with natural polyphenols.
- Exfoliates: Bio-Maple™ compound contains pure AHAs, anti-oxidants naturally derived from maple trees (acer saccharum). These ingredients are infused into the stratum corneum to help speed up the rate at which old, tired skin cells are shed, and to combat the visible appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Gentle/Safeguards: The compound is gentle to skin due to its natural pH (hydrogen ion concentration which is a necessity for healthy skin) being similar to that of skin itself. Maintaining the skin's natural pH safeguards against germs (micro organisms), which constantly battle to invade and cause skin blemishes and irritations.
What kind of feedback do you hear from clients who use the Bio-Maple™ products?
The feedback has been tremendous. Consumers notice an improvement in their skin's texture, it is softer and lines seem less apparent. We have a strong base of repeat customers, so somehow the products are working their magic.
You were the first scientist to develop a range of products especially for menopausal women - what kind of response have you had to your products? Do you think this is a market that's going to grow in the next few years?
The response has been tremendous and is still growing. The percentage of women approaching menopause in the next few years is higher than when we introduced this product. There is an openness and willingness among enlightened women to address the needs of their changing skin. Considering that most menopausal women (approx. age 51) still have a life expectancy of thirty to thirty five years, we have provided them with a responsible, non-aggressive topical preparation, which can and should be used over a prolonged period of time.
Are there other companies using this compound?
Bio-Maple™ compound was developed in our laboratories and is exclusive to our B. Kamins, Chemist skincare line.
What advice can you offer to women about how to best take care of their skin?
Women should know their skin. They should evaluate it every few months and notice, texture, oiliness, dryness and other visible signs of change.
- Understand that older women’s skin will have less oil than younger skin and will need to treat their conditions individually.
- No matter what your age, protect yourself with a high SPF.
- Eat well, sleep well, exercise well and relax – your overall good health will radiate through to your complexion.
Finally, accept that aging happens to all of us, some women may look better than others at the same age, but women who know their skin and gather intelligent, good advice and information will see the benefits from their knowledge.
What should a woman change about her skincare regime as she moves from her 20’s to 30’s and then from her 30’s to 40’s?
Women in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s should all avoid excess exposure to sun rays and other harsh environmental conditions, both cold and hot, as well as first and second-hand smoke, which all contribute to premature skin aging.
Women in their 20s’ to 30’s should use an appropriate emollient moisturizer around the eye area, regularly apply an oil-free sun screening agent, as well as an antioxidant daily moisturizer under makeup.
In their 30’s to 40’s, women should begin serious anti-aging treatments, including daily use of eye cream, antioxidant day cream, mild skin cleansers and weekly exfoliation to reveal clear brighter-looking skin.
Are any of the B. Kamins products tested on animals?
No, absolutely no animal testing.
What is menopause?
Menopause is the stage in a woman’s life that marks the end of menstruation, as well as declining levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones. It is a natural phenomenon and is usually accompanied by many physiological and psychological changes.
When does menopause begin?
- Peri-menopause: Peri-menopause is the transitional stage prior to menopause where the physical signs of menopause appear. This period begins up to ten years or more prior to natural menopause and usually ends one year after the start of menopause. Some symptoms include irregular menstrual periods, vaginal dryness, sleep disturbances and mood swings.
- Menopause: The average age for natural menopause is 51 years old.
- Post-menopause: Post-menopause refers to the stage in a woman’s life that follows menopause. In other words, all the years after the end of menopause.
- Induced menopause: Induced menopause refers to immediate menopause caused by medical or surgical intervention like cancer chemotherapy or pelvic radiation where the ovaries are either removed or seriously damaged.
- Premature menopause: Menopause is termed premature menopause when it begins before the age 40 and is the result of genetics, autoimmune process or medical intervention.
How does menopause affect the skin? What are the symptoms?
Estrogen and progesterone affect the skin and help keep it healthy. Therefore, decreasing levels of estrogen and progesterone induced by menopause often contribute to the poor appearance of the skin. Estrogen levels have a direct effect on the plentitude and thickness of collagen and elastin, the firming tissues that help support the structure of the skin. The onset of menopause may cause collagen levels to decrease by as much as 2% per year, contributing to poor wound healing and leaving cystic spaces in the dermal layer known as lacunae. These may manifest themselves as openings or deep ridges under the skin, which may appear as wrinkles to the naked eye.
Many more symptoms are also associated with menopause, the most common being:
- Thinning skin resulting in visualization of anatomical features under the skin.
- Loss of sebum (skin oil), which often leads to excessive skin dryness, roughness and possible itching.
- Loss of collagen fibers resulting in the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Uneven skin tone due to diminished melanin distribution (brown spots).
- Serious loss of moisture due to excessive perspiration from fluctuations in skin temperature and hot flashes. These may result in skin irritation, redness and itchiness.
Can changing your skincare regime really help combat menopause symptoms?
Yes. The many important changes occurring during this period require a completely different approach to skincare. It is important to use appropriate preparations to directly treat menopausal symptoms and help combat the serious effects of hormone deprivation. Therefore the incorporation of specific ingredients to combat excess flushing or flashing (menthyl lactate), dryer skin (triglycerides), water loss (Bio-Maple™, urea, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid), among others, are crucial to ongoing skin health during this period.
What kind of ingredients should women specifically be looking for?
Women should look for ingredients that combat uneven skin tone, penetrate into the stratum corneum and form a film on the skin to lock in moisture. These include Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s and BHA’s), anti-oxidant Episphere-Blue™ (vitamin E), vitamin A, as well as powerful natural moisturizing factor ingredients such as Bio-Maple™ compound, hyaluronic acid, urea, lactic acid and Profusion-Ceramides™ (sphingoloids and phospholipids).
What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic, acne-like condition of the facial skin that may affect over 15 million North Americans. The condition manifests itself as red patches on the face, mostly on the nose, chin, cheeks forehead and eyelids. The cause of rosacea remains unknown. Some theories include microorganisms (mite) and poor blood flow from the face causing a facial vasodilation (opening of pores) and strong vascular response to heat and other stimuli resulting in redness, swelling, etc. but the evidence is not sufficient to make an accurate claim. Unfortunately, there exists no cure for the condition. However, the symptoms can be controlled.
The condition occurs in both men and women and usually manifests itself around the age of 30. It occurs most often in blue eyed, fair skinned people usually of Celtic decent, but not exclusively. Women are more commonly affected by the disorder, but men are usually more severely affected.
What are the symptoms of rosacea?
- Initial symptoms are a flushing or redness of the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead and eyelids.
- The most prominent features of rosacea in addition to the redness, are swelling, papules (raised bumps), pustules (open sores) and dilated capillaries or enlarged blood vessels directly underneath the skin and often more visible on cheeks, nose, chin and eye area.
- Other symptoms may also include eye irritation, burning or stinging, rough or dry appearance, and plaques.
- Thickened skin, a condition referred to as rhinophyma, may result from tissue buildup around the nose area. This affects more men than women.
- Facial swelling, a condition known as edema, may also occur to rosacea affected areas.
- One or more of the above symptoms may be present at any time to classify a case of rosacea.
What are the aggravators?
- Hot drinks
- Spicy foods
- Sinus and allergy conditions
- Extreme temperatures (both hot and cold)
What are the different types of rosacea?
Although rosacea is known to be a skin disorder that affects the nose, chin, cheeks and forehead, its form may vary from one individual to the next. Medical experts worldwide have identified four subtypes of rosacea, defined as common patterns or groupings of signs and symptoms. These include:
- Subtype 1 (erythematotelangiectatic rosacea), characterized by flushing and persistent redness, and may also include visible blood vessels.
- Subtype 2 (papulopustular rosacea), characterized by persistent redness with transient bumps and pimples.
- Subtype 3 (phymatous rosacea), characterized by skin thickening, often resulting in an enlargement of the nose from excess tissue.
- Subtype 4 (ocular rosacea), characterized by ocular manifestations such as dry eye, tearing and burning, swollen eyelids, recurrent styes and potential vision loss from corneal damage.
Each symptom can progress from mild to moderate to severe conditions, and may or may not evolve from one subtype to another.
How should rosacea be treated?
- Treatment of rosacea is aimed at the control of redness, inflammation, and skin eruptions. There is no cure for rosacea. The effects of current medical treatments are unfortunately uneven.
- Long-term treatment (5 to 8 weeks or more) with oral antibiotics such as tetracycline may control skin eruptions.
- Another long-term treatment for skin eruptions may also include topical (applied to localized area of the skin) anti-fungals (such as metronidazole), steroids, or antibiotics-prescription medications.
- Rosacea is a chronic condition with episodes of activity and latent periods (remission) lasting for years. Some patients form irreversible hypertrophy (deep inflammation).
- If left untreated, rosacea tends to worsen over time.
What to avoid if you have rosacea?
Avoid conditions that aggravate redness, such as hot beverages (at one time it was thought that coffee and other hot drinks were involved in triggering a reaction, however we now believe that the extreme heat or in some cases, extreme cold is the cause and not the ingredients), the heat of a sauna or a very hot bath, the heat of the sun or alcoholic beverages.
What is eczema?
- Eczema is a form of dermatitis, or inflammation of the upper layers of the skin.
- Eczema affects 10-15% of the population and is becoming more common for reasons that are not completely clear.
What are the symptoms of eczema?
Basic symptoms of Eczema include dry skin, sore & recurrent rashes, terrible itching, crusting, and blistering.
How should eczema be treated?
- Eczema is a recurring, long-term inflammation of the skin which has no cure as the cause is still unknown - it may be caused by a combination of environmental, genetic, and immune system factors. There are, however, ways to help manage the condition to lessen the frequency and severity of flare ups.
- Dry skin associated with eczema requires an abundant use of emollients and hydrators to keep skin moisturized and to trap and hold water in the skin. This will help to restore the skin barrier providing a protective layer on the surface of the skin to prevent the penetration of irritants and allergens.
- Avoiding skincare products with perfumes and other irritants.
- The use of anti-itch creams, like our Antipruritic, will help soothe and calm eczema flare ups.
- Traditional treatment will often entail prescription cortisone creams.
- Manage and minimize stress levels.
What to avoid if you have eczema?
- Harsh soaps and detergents
- Pollution and smog
- Extreme temperatures
- Very hot water