Stocking up for staycations

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Stocking up for staycations

With a holiday on the Costa costing more than ever, we take a look at how pharmacists can prepare for the staycation boom

An increase in the value of the pound making travel abroad costlier, along with concerns over security, mean that ‘staycations’, or domestic holidays are becoming more popular. ABTA’s Travel Trends report for 2016 says that 64% of holidaymakers are taking at least one UK holiday and the trend is predicted to continue in 2017.

According to the Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB), people are more likely to self-manage conditions when they are on holiday in the UK than abroad. But it is important that they also adopt the same healthy travel habits on their staycations.

John Smith, chief executive of the PABG, says: “When people travel abroad they become much more engaged with their health and think ahead about the conditions they may need to treat to ensure they have the right medicines to hand. Some people may do this because they like to have a particular brand of medicine to treat a condition, which they might not be able to get abroad, but for the majority it’s probably the fear of the unknown.

“However, people are less likely to purchase these products when holidaying at home/in the UK because they know that they have immediate access to a pharmacist or another healthcare professional should they become unwell – something that is not as freely available abroad or more difficult where there is a language barrier.”

Sun safety
Blighty is prone to spells of hot weather – we experienced a short heatwave in the third week of July last year – so, there is a market for sun protection both at home and abroad. Sweden’s top selling sunscreen, EVY Sun Mousse, previously known as Proderm and Bergaderm, is now available in the UK and its distributors, EVY UK Ltd, are looking to gain momentum in local pharmacies. The fragrance-free and hypoallergenic mousse, lasts for up to six hours and is effective after swimming. The brand has already been shortlisted in the ‘Best New Sun Care’ category at the OK! and Debenhams Beauty Awards. There are currently six UVA five-star rated formulations on the market, with a new Daily UV Facial Mousse SPF30 launching later in 2017.

Lisa Jackson, director at EVY UK, says: “EVY Sunscreen Mousse is hugely popular in Sweden – where it is manufactured – and Iceland, where it has a 10% market share. After its UK launch in 2016, the interest shown from smaller, independent pharmacies is growing due to our strong retailer backing in the way of free tester cans, excellent margins and PR efforts. We are especially keen to drive EVY through pharmacies because, of course, it’s great to be on a ‘shop floor’ where people can try it and where advice is readily available.”

Jackson explains that the product is unique because it is absorbed into the top layer of the skin. “EVY Sunscreen Mousse is also particularly popular amongst eczema sufferers due to the fact that it creates an ‘osmotic membrane’ on the skin and works within the entire epidermis. We believe this is one of the main reasons EVY is particularly popular among pharmacists.

Another USP is that it is one of the few products on the market that can be used on the scalp and on hair.” Also new on the sun protection scene is HEVL SPF50 Face Crème. The product was showcased for the first time at the Natural and Organic Products Europe show in April 2017. Its USP is that it protects against the High Energy Visible Light (HEVL) rays in the violet/blue band in the visible spectrum (400nm-500nm), coined as the new ‘danger rays’. HEVA contains Liposhield HEV, a large molecule, which ‘soaks up’ the HEVL before it can penetrate into skin and cause harm.

Dr Barbara Brockway, biochemist and lecturer at Reading University and the former president of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists, explains that there is growing evidence that this spectrum of light causes skin damage that could result in the premature appearance of ageing, such as fine lines and the loss of elasticity. She explains: “HEVL penetrates deep into our skin and generates damaging reactive oxygen species. Also, when skin is exposed to HEVL we see levels of molecules – which degrade and weaken the skin by breaking down its structural elements, ie, Matrix- Degrading Enzymes – increase. Some interesting work, which looked closely at the way skin cells behave when irradiated with HEVL, showed changes that are associated with uneven or increased pigmentation and that makes skin a poorer barrier.”

Bite back
Pharmacists can help treat the pain, itchiness and swelling from stings from wasps, bees, midges and horseflies with traditional paracetamol, ibuprofen, antihistamines, calamine and hydrocortisone creams, or take immediate action in the of sweating. It is applied via a spray head pump and includes silicon to ensure it is spread evenly on the skin.

An alternative to creams is Zap-It!,a small device that generates a harmless and mild low electrical impulse created by crystals to deliver harmless little ‘zaps’ which stops the itching and urge to scratch.

A study carried out at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine confirmed its therapeutic benefits as being twofold: firstly, by reducing histamine flow and therefore the itch, and secondly, by stimulating the capillaries into flushing out toxins.


No sweat
Odaban Antiperspirant Spray has been around for over 40 years and there is currently a national marketing campaign in the pipeline to encourage pharmacists to position the product as an over-the-counter solution to excessive sweating.

One application of the product can last for up to seven days, regulating the rate of sweating. It is applied via a spray head pump and includes silicon to ensure it is spread evenly on the skin. 

Managing director Daniel Bracey says: “We are running a national PR campaign to raise awareness about excessive sweating and to show that there are solutions available such as Odaban. We aim to encourage consumers to go into their local pharmacist and ask for it, rather than hiding their problems.”

Plane speaking
Whether it is ear pain due to changes in cabin pressure on a flight, or blockages caused by swimmer’s ear, summer holidays are a common time for ear pain, inflammation and infection to occur. LanesHealth recently introduced its new Earex Pain Relief Spray to the market, which comes in a 100ml hand luggage size.

Earex brand manager, Miriam Luff explains: “Earex Pain Relief Ear Spray is recommended as a holiday travel essential for everyone, but particularly consumers who enjoy swimming and water sports as excess water in the ear canal can cause pain, inflammation and irritation. Earex Pain Relief Ear Spray provides first-aid for these common ear problems, with local analgesics to calm, soothe and reduce ear pain.” 

The spray contains a blend of plant oils and extracts, including bisabolol. “Bisabolol is taken from the essential oil of the chamomile plant, known for its healing properties,” explains Luff. “This combination of ingredients has been chosen for their antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties which work together to relieve pain, inflammation and treat infections. No other branded ear care product provides all of these benefits, making the spray an exclusive addition to the ear care market. Pain Relief Ear Spray, with its mechanical spray arm for easy application, irrigates the inner ear with its clinically proven formula,” she adds.

Holiday nightmare
According to the Health Protection Agency and the National Travel Health Network and Centre reports, travellers’ diarrhoea is the most common infection affecting international travellers. Bio-Kult Advanced Multi-Strain formula has recently been voted the Pharmacy Product of the Year for digestive support by independent pharmacies across the UK. The probiotic supplement contains 14 strains of probiotic bacteria, formulated to help maintain healthy digestive and immune systems, when travelling abroad.

Barbecue safety
RoSPA data reports that around 1,800 people visit A&E because of barbecue accidents (Home and Leisure Accident Surveillance System figures). Burns and fire related incidents accounted for about 800 of these visits, while 200 trips were down to cuts. And, after a family of seven suffered suspected carbon monoxide poisoning at a BBQ in March this year, remember that any heaters that burn gas, coal or wood can give off poisonous carbon monoxide fumes if they’re not working properly. Signs of poisoning can include headaches, dizziness, feeling or being sick, tiredness or drowsiness, stomach pain and difficulty breathing. The RoSPA website lists advice and tips that pharmacists can share for safe barbecuing at rospa.com/home-safety/advice/general/barbecue-safety

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