If you take acne meds, you may be keenly aware of the void that exists between your prescription and the guidance you may (or may not) receive on what the best complementing skin-care to use is. In fact, many prescribers of acne medication overlook the right skin-care products to pair with their medication. To bring a holistic approach to those dealing with acne, the dermatologists at online prescription provider Felix have hand selected award-winning skin-care brand Consonant’s clinically-proven products to help with the drying effects of acne medication and the ever-important, non-negotiable need to use a sunscreen when taking medications such as retinol. We chatted with Bill Baker, founder and CEO, Consonant Skin+Care, and Emma Stern, co-founder and COO, Felix, to learn more about the partnership, and find out what it means for you … and your skin. —Noa Nichol
Hello! Please tell us a bit about yourselves and Consonant Skin+Care/Felix (respectively) to start.
Emma: My name is Emma Stern, I’m the co-Founder and COO of Felix, a leading telemedicine company in Canada. For over three years now, we’ve been helping Canadians access virtual assessments and prescriptions for non-urgent health needs such as acne, hair loss, erectile dysfunction, birth control, herpes, anxiety, and depression. Because roughly 5 million Canadians don’t have access to a family doctor, providing quick and reliable access to a qualified telehealth provider, along with discreet prescription and refill delivery, is vital to ensuring that all Canadians can access quality healthcare. We’re proud to call ourselves Canada’s first end-to-end digital healthcare platform—from diagnosis to delivery.
Bill: I only half-jokingly say I was the person with the worst skin on the planet. For years I lived in a cycle of inflammation, irritation and outbreaks. Until someone turned me on to natural skin care products, and my problems went away overnight. While the products that helped me were gentle and eliminated my skin irritation, they weren’t particularly pleasing to use nor were they high performance. So Consonant Skin+Care was founded over 10 years ago as a way of bringing high performance skin care to the market in healthy (all natural) formulations that also feel wonderful to use.
We’re very curious about this new collaboration between Consonant and Felix. How did it materialize, what is the partnership about and what makes the pairing such a good fit?
Emma: As Felix grew, we knew we always wanted to include over-the-counter products as a way to complement medical prescriptions and to round out our users’ treatment experience. Beginning with acne, our team of industry-leading doctors identified Consonant as the perfect Canadian skin-care company to partner with. This “wellness partnership,” which focuses on meeting the unique skin-care needs of patients using acne medications such as tretinoin, is the first of many to come. We’re thrilled to offer Consonant’s top-notch Skin+Care products to our patients!
Let’s dig into the disconnect that can happen around prescribers of acne medication overlooking the right skin-care products to pair with their medication. Why do you think this may occur?
Emma: Acne medications can work wonders, but people sometimes overlook the important role that non-prescription grade skin-care products can play in the overall patient experience and outcomes. Even when patients are told to pair their prescription treatment with OTC products like an oil-free moisturizer or great sunscreen – patients often struggle to find the right, high-quality products that are best for them. That’s the gap we’re aiming to fill with this partnership. Felix users taking acne medication will now be offered doctor-curated products to complement their medication treatment plans, and those clinically-proven Skin+Care products from Consonant will be delivered right to patients’ doors alongside their acne medication.
What are some of the issues, skin and health wise, that can arise when people are prescribed acne med, but not the right skin-care products to pair them with?
Emma: When taking prescriptions for acne-prone skin, having the right skin-care routine is non-negotiable. Using an appropriate moisturizing face cream can combat the common drying effects of acne medications, and applying an SPF mineral-based sunscreen can help protect UV-sensitive skin, which is also associated with many acne prescriptions. At Felix, we’re all about making sure our patients have access to the best treatments possible, regardless of if those treatments are medical or over-the-counter.
Why is a holistic approach important in these types of situations, and what is the solution you are offering together?
Bill: We have always believed great skin comes from more than just great skin care products. It is a fact, when you don’t move your body, if you are not eating well or if you are very stressed, it will all show on your skin. That’s why we pair our high-performance products with the wellness practices you need to amplify their benefits to achieve your best skin. That’s the “+ Care” in Consonant Skin+Care. Sometimes it is enough to meditate while you’re masking to achieve your best skin, but there are times when meditation is not enough, and our customers need medication. Of course we aren’t in a position to prescribe pharmaceuticals, so partnering with Felix Health is allowing us to elevate our “360 Degree Solutions” offer to our customers, with no caveats or exceptions.
In terms of the right products to use when on acne medication, is there an overall regime or certain non-negotiable products you can recommend or is it very personal/dependent on the patient/prescribed medication/skin type (not just “acne prone”)/etc?
Bill: We worked closely with the prescribing physicians at Felix to create an Acne Edit Regimen that is designed to give your skin the support it needs while on acne medication (which can often be drying and irritating to skin).
The Acne Edit is a simple, three-step regimen of our truly clean, all-natural, high performance skin-care products. Step one is our gentle Natural Foaming Face Wash which is made with a natural coconut surfactant, niacinamide, and ginseng root extract, so it helps to control oil, boost clarity, and improve the look of acne scars. Step two is our Balancing Face Cream with grape and flaxseed oils to reduce redness due to dryness and balance visible oil activity. And the last step of course is sunscreen! Sun protection is crucial as many acne treatments increase skin sensitivity to UV light. The Perfect Sunscreen from Consonant (the name says it all) contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to help protect the skin while organic, cold-pressed aloe leaf juice and grape seed oil add light moisturization without clogging pores. All the products in the Acne Edit are pure, and absent of any fragrances that can be particularly irritating to acne sufferers.
Tell us about the “skin + care” approach that, really, seems to be at the centre of this new collaboration.
Bill: You are right, our unique “+Care” 360 Degree Solutions approach to discovering your best skin is at the heart of this partnership. Felix, like Consonant, recognizes great skin is best achieved through an integrative, holistic approach that combines great skin care products with wellness practices, and sometimes even medication. From Felix’s side, medication is just the first step for their patients. To support the great skin they achieve with medication, their patients also need great skin-care products that will help maintain their results without aggravating their condition and causing other problems
Technically speaking, how can people access this new service?
Emma: It’s easy to get an acne consultation from a Felix doctor. To start, visit app.felixforyou.ca/submit-application/acne. You’ll fill out the online medical assessment and select your preferred acne medication or request the doctor select one, then you can add the three curated Skin+Care products by Consonant: Natural Foaming Face Wash, Balancing Face Cream, and The Perfect Sunscreen. All this information will be submitted and the medical assessment will be reviewed by one of Felix’s doctors within 24 hours, and a treatment will be prescribed that best supports your skin-care needs. The pharmacy will fill your prescription and over-the-counter products from Consonant at the same time and they will be mailed out together and delivered right to your door.
If you could send one message to people out there who are dealing (suffering) with acne, what would it be?
Emma: So many of us have suffered with acne at one point or another, and it can be really, really frustrating. The good news is there’s medication available that can do wonders for our skin. It’s often not just one or the other—medication or over-the-counter—that gets the desired results; with the right mix of treatments (and a little bit of patience) you’ll be ready for your glow up in no time!
Bill: You don’t have to suffer! With medication prescribed by Felix Health physicians in combination with the carefully curated skin-care products in our Acne Edit, you truly can discover your best skin.
Win! The Consonant Acne Edit + A Free Online Visit To Felix!
Congrats Kim T. of Ville Mont Royal, QC, who will receive a Consonant Acne Edit + A Free Online Visit To Felix! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.
February 28th, 2022 at 3:40 pm
February 28th, 2022 at 3:59 pm
cleansing! makes me feel so much better whether it’s first thing in the morning or at night ☺️
March 2nd, 2022 at 2:26 pm
My favourite step is moisturizing!
March 2nd, 2022 at 3:11 pm
Sun Protection (SPF) + Moisturizing
March 3rd, 2022 at 6:14 am
My favourite part is cleansing @fossie55
March 3rd, 2022 at 8:45 pm
My favourite skincare step is cleansing!
March 4th, 2022 at 7:31 am
My fav step is moisturizing!
March 5th, 2022 at 8:49 pm
Moisturizing is my fav step. @liangliangcanada
March 5th, 2022 at 9:54 pm
I have dry mature skin
March 7th, 2022 at 1:50 am
Toner and Moisturizer