If you care about putting only the cleanest ingredients on your skin, but still want to look great, our Project Wellness blog offers the best in natural makeup tips. Our estheticians and favorite brands love to share their makeup tips with our readers—from creating the perfect natural makeup look for an evening out to protecting your skin with mineral makeup. You’ll learn about natural makeup techniques, powerful ingredients your skin will love and sales and specials on our favorite cosmetics brands. Turn to Pharmaca for the latest information on luxurious natural makeup that not only makes your skin look great, but also makes it feel great.

  • On Trend for Spring: Radiant Orchid

    OrchidPink, fuchsia and purple all come together in this year’s Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid. Pantone, the color experts, choose a new "it" color each year that influences everything from fashion to makeup to home furnishings. According to the folks at Pantone, this year’s color inspires creativity, imagination and joy. What better way to welcome spring and perk up our makeup palette? Esthetician Nicole Mueller in Albuquerque shares some fun ways to try this cheerful color.

    Pretty pout

    Lip gloss or tint is one of the easiest ways to add radiant orchid to your makeup bag. These four work well with any skin tone. For the softest hint of color, Burt’s Bees' Tinted Lip Balm in Blush Orchid is a lightly tinted balm that nourishes with shea butter. Another soft wash of color can be found in Pacifica's Color Quench Lip Tint in Sugared Fig. This tint is packed with moisturizers like coconut and avocado oils for smooth, soft lips. For a little more intense color, Nicole recommends Love and Toast's Misbehavin’ Lip Glaze, which includes botanical oils that bring the shine factor up a notch. For staying power, try ZuZu Luxe's Lip Gloss in Mania, a long-lasting gloss that protects your lips with SPF 8.

    Fresh blush

    Orchid can be more of a cool tone, says Nicole. For those with a cool undertone to their skin (pink, red or bluish tone), orchids blend beautifully. Those with naturally warmer skin undertones (yellow, peachy or golden), can use orchid blush by first balancing the warmer tones with an overall bronzer on the face. Try applying jane iredale's Quad Bronzer in Rose Dawn, then lightly brushing orchid on your cheekbones. Or try ZuZu Luxe's Blush in Nymph, a subtle orchid that gives a fresh, natural look.

    Pop of color for your eyes

    If you’ve got green eyes, Nicole says, radiant orchid is made for you! It complements the green and makes your eyes really stand out. W3LL People's Elitist Mineral Shadow in Luminous Cassis is a plummy orchid that can be layered for more intensity. Blue, brown and hazel eyes can wear orchid, too—try jane iredale's Eye Steppes Go Cool, a four-shadow compact featuring the right shade for every eye color.

    Make a statement mani or pedi

    Radiant orchid nails are a fresh way to let the world know you’re ready for spring and summer.  Deborah Lippman's Nail Color in Makin’ Whoopee is a high-energy orchid that conditions your nails with biotin and green tea extract. SpaRitual's Nail Lacquer in Disco Inferno is a good choice for those who prefer colors with a shimmery finish. Bonus: These vegan lacquers are free of toxic chemicals like toluene, formaldehyde or DBP (dibutyl phthalate).

  • The Case for Natural Makeup

    PL makeup brushes group shot no bkgrndIs your medicine cabinet already stocked with the best in natural skin care? Time to take it to the next level and make sure your cosmetics are clean and healthy too. Here, a few of our estheticians talk to us about why natural cosmetics are the way to go.

    First, it’s important to remember that 60 percent of what goes on our skin gets absorbed into your body (read more about skin care by the numbers). That’s more than half of every drop of body lotion, serum, lip gloss or concealer you put on. Just like skin care, cosmetics serve as a sort of conduit to your body—what type of ingredients they’re conducting is up to you.

    Pharmaca’s natural cosmetics lines ensure that these ingredients are actually good for your skin while doing their job. Take jane iredale’s Circle/Delete, an undereye concealer that hides flaws while healing skin with avocado and cucumber extracts. “Many mainstream cosmetics companies have similar products that are full of chemicals,” says Beth Walker, esthetician in Boulder. “It may camouflage the skin, but once it’s washed away, the chemicals have probably created a whole new problem.”

    Instead of creating new problems, mineral foundations, like those from jane iredale and ZuZu Luxe, actually serve as nutrition for the skin, says Beth. “It’s wonderful for sensitive skin, acne, rosacea, sun damage,” she says. Instead of exacerbating those conditions, it will actually treat the skin while providing coverage.

    “I love the fact that mineral foundations include zinc, which is especially good for healing acneic skin,” says Kathleen McCummings, esthetician in Seattle. Plus, she says, “It’s good for all skin types, it doesn’t tend to emphasize lines and wrinkles, and it gives you a complete, natural SPF!”

    “Knowing that our natural mineral makeup is talc free is another big bonus,” says Kathleen. “Talc is a known carcinogen and it’s at the base of all conventional makeup. You don’t want to put a product on your face that can potentially cause cancer.”

    Beth adds that lip glosses and lipsticks can also be full of unwanted ingredients. “They say we ingest something like a tube of lipstick each year, so choose something without petroleum or parabens. (Learn more about other ingredients to avoid—and why.) She loves PureGloss from jane iredale, which includes pomegranate oil and vitamin E to provide hydration along with shine and color.

    In the end, both Beth and Kathleen love the way natural cosmetics look. “People wearing natural makeup have a much more radiant look about them than people wearing mainstream foundations,” Beth says. She also loves the fact that they’re easy to use and many are cruelty free. “It’s guilt-free beauty!”

  • Four of Our Favorite BB and CC Creams Among EWG’s Top Picks

    AgingWe just love it when we can spot a great product that harnesses the power of natural ingredients to make your skin look and feel great! It’s part of Pharmaca’s commitment to being your trusted editor when it comes to clean skin and beauty care products.

    Many of the brands we carry have come out with BB and CC creams in the last few years as a simple way to get moisture, sun protection and coverage all in one simple tube (learn more about the ABCs of these multitaskers).

    Because of this emerging trend, the Environmental Working Group recently rated many of the BB and CC Creams on the market today for their safety and efficacy. Among the top 10? Four popular products from our favorite brands:

    Researchers at the EWG added that BB and CC Creams are a better, safer bet anyway, since you’re combining the function of three products into one. So take comfort in nourishing your skin with moisturizing, sun-protecting, coverage-providing multitaskers from Pharmaca!

  • Nail Know-How: Expert Manicures & Inspired Designs

    sparitual-emeraldcityGlance down at someone’s nails these days and you might be in for a surprise. Bold colored polishes, metallic top coats and intricate artistic patterns are making nails a fashion accessory. But how do you get these on-trend looks?

    SpaRitual, innovative creators of vegan nail care products, and Pharmaca team up in this DIY guide to beautiful nails.

    Manicure 101
    Follow these simple steps for a salon-worthy look, and create a base ready for artistic designs.

    1. Clean and shape. Start by removing old polish (SpaRitual’s Extra Strength Lacquer Remover Cloths are extra convenient). Next, shape with the right file. On natural nails, a fine-grit file is gentle yet effective; acrylics require a coarser grit. Pharmaca’s Nail Files are color-coded to make it simple to choose the right grit:
    • Acrylic nails: violet or green, coarse grit
    • Acrylics, for smoothing edges: yellow, medium grit
    • Natural nails: black, fine grit
    • Buffing and shining: white, extra fine
    1. Treat cuticles. The secret to healthy cuticles is to keep them moisturized. Never cut the cuticle, just gently push it back. Try SpaRitual’s Cuti-Cocktail Pen & Pusher, which contains botanical oils and vitamins to soften the cuticle, and a pusher to safely move the cuticle back. Use the oil at night for extra hydration.
    2. Exfoliate and moisturize. SpaRitual’s Affirming Scrub Masque gently exfoliates and refines the skin with micro-algae, plus Indonesian ginger essential oil warms and energizes. Follow it up with Pharmaca’s unscented Ultra Moisturizer is non-greasy and hydrates with natural shea butter, grapeseed and sesame oils.
    3. Prepare for color. Wipe nails clean and apply a basecoat. Try SpaRitual’s Lacquer Lock Colorstay Basecoat, which bonds polish to the nail for longer wear.

    Design Time!
    Start by choosing fun colors. SpaRitual’s Nail Lacquers come in a wide range of hues, from pale pinks to inky blue-blacks. The only tools you’ll need are transparent tape or striping tape (available in many narrow widths), toothpicks, bobby pins or a disposable wedge makeup sponge. Here are some ideas to get started.

    • Make one nail stand out. Use an accent polish in the same color family, but a shade lighter or darker on one nail. Or try a metallic version of the same color on one nail if the rest are matte.
    • French, with a twist. Instead of the classic white tip of a French manicure, use a different color on the tip. Black or metallic tips are hipster-chic.
    • Try this year’s “it” color, emerald green. SpaRitual’s Emerald City Crème Lacquer is a standout, and a great match for fall clothing.
    • Break out the tape. Stripes, plaids or chevron designs are easy to create with transparent tape, or thin striping tape. First, apply a light color polish. When it’s dry, apply narrow strips of tape over the nail in the pattern of your choice (leave a little hanging over the edge for easier lift-off). Press it down firmly so your lines are clean.  Next, brush on another color over the tape and nail. While the polish is still wet gently remove the tape. Let the nail dry and apply a topcoat, or even a light shimmery metallic, to preserve your masterpiece.
    • Digging the dots. Apply one or two coats of polish and let it dry, then apply dots by dipping the end of a bobby pin, toothpick or straight pin in another color and dabbing onto the nail. Start in the center and circle outward for an even pattern.
    • Easy ombre. Apply a base of white polish and let it dry. Cut a makeup sponge so it’s as wide as your nail. Paint two or three stripes of the same color family (from light to dark) across the sponge, then dab the sponge onto the nail a few times in the same spot. Re-paint the sponge for each nail.
  • Nix the Toxins in Your Skin Care Products

    Skin-Care-IngredientsWe all know that the US is woefully behind the times in regulating the ingredients used in our skin care. The 27 countries in the European Commission have banned 1,372 chemicals in cosmetics and skin care products that are linked to cancer or birth defects; the FDA has only banned eight, plus two that may be used only in limited quantities (Hexachlorophene and Mercury compounds).

    But that may just change with the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act that was introduced in congress in March. The Act would give the FDA authority to ensure that personal care products are free of harmful ingredients. Until such legislation is passed, however, it’s up to us to monitor our products for potentially harmful ingredients. Read labels, look for these terms, and avoid known problem-causing agents. Here are some of the most important ingredients to be wary of.

    Paraben or Urea

    These are the most widely used preservatives, often found in body lotions, sunscreens, makeup products, deodorants and shampoos. Parabens are classified as endocrine disrupters, which mimic estrogen in the body and may be linked to an increased breast cancer risk. Ureas have the potential to release formaldehyde in small amounts and are a primary cause of contact dermatitis, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

    FD&C, D&C or C.I. #

    These synthetic and coal-tar coloring agents are found in many mass-marketed eye shadows, blushes and hair dyes. The ingredients are listed as FD&C, D&C or a five-digit C.I. (color index) number, followed by a color. Be especially aware of Red #40—it’s very common and has been linked to allergic reactions and immune tumors in animals. Yellow #5 (Tartrazine) is another one to avoid; it’s reported to cause severe allergic or intolerance reactions, especially in those with asthma or aspirin allergies.

    Petroleum, Mineral Oil or Paraffin

    These petroleum-based products are often found in lip balms, mascara and body lotions as a soothing moisturizer. Ironically, they interfere with our body's own natural moisturizing mechanism, leading to dry skin and chapping. They also create a barrier that does not allow skin to breathe, clogging pores and blocking the body’s ability to naturally detoxify.

    Sodium Lauryl (or Laureth) Sulfate

    This low-cost synthetic detergent is used in facial cleansers or shampoos for its lathering properties. It causes eye irritations, skin rashes and allergic reactions. Although usually derived from petroleum, sulfates can also come from coconut oil that’s processed with petrochemicals. Look for the “sulfate-free” labels.

    “Fragrance,” “Scented” or Phthalates, Diethyl Phthalate (DEP)

    Fragrance is added to almost every category of skin care or cosmetic product and often contains scent-enhancing phthalates, a proven hormone disrupter. Companies aren’t required to list the actual ingredients that make up a fragrance, and many of them are often suspected toxins. As a result, fragrances are among the top five allergens in the world. Buy unscented products listed as Phthalate-free, or those with fragrance from essential oils.

    Detox Yourself

    Don’t have time to read all those labels? Pharmaca carries a number of skin care and cosmetic lines that are free of these toxins. The evanhealy and Dr. Hauschka product lines, for example, are a great way to transition to natural products, says Bambi Stenberg, esthetician in Portland.

    “These botanical based products help your skin clear itself of the buildup of synthetic ingredients found in many department store or drugstore brands.” Evanhealy’s Face Care Kits and Dr. Hauschka’s Skin Sets come in starter sizes, formulated for various skin types, and are perfect for trying out a new line.

    It’s important to note that detoxification from synthetic ingredients can be a process for some people, says Bambi. As your skin is purifying itself, you may have mild reactions for a week or two, including a few breakouts. This is all perfectly natural and is proof your skin is detoxing, according to Bambi. Keep it up and you’ll have good results and healthy skin in no time.

  • When Good Makeup Goes Bad

    Makeup Expiration DatesQuestion: When exactly did you open that tube of mascara you used this morning? And that trendy blue eyeshadow? If your makeup bag is as packed as ours are, chances are you have no idea.

    The reality is that makeup and skin care products have shelf lives that affect safety and effectiveness. Here, Kelly DeRuosi, esthetician at our Monterey store, shares her expert advice on recommended discard dates and ways to keep cosmetics safe.

    Should it stay or should it go?

    Where cosmetics are used and what they’re made of make a difference in their longevity. Products used near your eyes need to be replaced more often since bacteria and other microbes can grow in the product containers, causing eye irritations or infections. Likewise, liquid- or water-based products, and those labeled preservative-free, are more likely to allow bacteria growth. Some products, especially those rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, become less effective when exposed to light or heat.

    Here’s a general rundown of how long your favorite cosmetics will safely last after opening:

    • Mascara: 3 months
    • Gel or liquid eyeliners: 3-6 months (pencils last a bit longer, but need to be re-sharpened often)
    • Cream blush or shadow: 1 year
    • Water-based liquid foundations or concealers: 9 months
    • Powder based cosmetics: 2 years
    • Lipsticks and glosses: 1 year
    • Nail polish: 1 year

    Proceed directly to the trash can! 

    Watch for these tell-tale signs that mean a product has gone bad and should be thrown out:

    • Off-odor or funky smell
    • Discoloration in liquid products
    • Powders that have become so caked and hardened that they won’t budge
    • Change in texture, e.g. liquids or creams becoming runny or separated
    • Packaging that bulges or shows signs of deterioration
    • Any eye products used when you’ve had an eye infection. Products could still harbor microorganisms and re-infect you. Toss now!

    Play it safe 

    These good housekeeping practices help products stay fresh and limit bacterial contamination.

    • Keep makeup brushes clean. Wash them at least once a month. Caveat: If you toss brushes in your purse they can come in contact with a host of germ-laden items. Wash these weekly. (Check out the chic Apple & Bee Cosmetic Bags—because a new bag can inspire you to toss old makeup and keep your brushes clean!)
    • Disposable makeup sponges can be used once, washed once for a second use, then thrown out.
    • Apply creams and lotions from jars with cotton swabs, not your fingers.
    • Don’t “pump” mascara in the tube or add water if it dries out.
    • Never share mascara or cream-based eye products—you’re setting yourself up to contract eye infections like conjunctivitis (a.k.a. pink eye). Ditto for trying these on in sampling areas at Pharmaca or other retail stores.
    • Store products in cool areas, and out of direct sunlight.
    • Write the date you opened a product on the bottom of the container.

    Finally, Kelly says, there is an easy way to be sure your products are fresh—buy a new set of your favorites each summer and winter. Your coloring and clothing are different, so get new makeup and reflect the right seasonal look! A Pharmaca esthetician can help you choose the products that work best for you.

  • Beautiful Brows: Pointers from the Pros

    Thick, bushy, pencil-thin. Arched or straight. The fashion-questionable "unibrow" (thanks, Anthony Davis and Frida Kahlo). Eyebrows can make a fashion statement. This season, beauty editors tell us that flat, bold brows are in. But unless your plans include a walk down the runway, makeup professionals recommend choosing a natural brow shape that complements your features. To help you find your best brow, we got tips from Coco Paladino, in Pacific Palisades, and Victoria Haket, in Menlo Park, both estheticians and brow experts.

    Tip #1: Balanced, but not equal. Brows, like the rest of your facial features are not mirror images of each other. “Your brows are not twins, they’re sisters.” explains Coco. Each of your brows is shaped somewhat differently, and the key to making them look their best is to carefully look at each brow separately—not try to shape them into identical matches.

    Tip #2: Find your arch. One of the biggest mistakes customers make is not knowing where the natural arch is on the brow, and tweezing hairs in the wrong place, says Victoria. “It usually is about two-thirds from the inner edge of the brow.” If you create a brow in the wrong place you won’t be accenting your eyes to their best advantage.

    Tip #3: Don’t stray. “Brow hairs grow in rows,” explains Coco. Customers sometimes come in with obvious missing hairs, or holes in the brow line. In an attempt to shape them, they trim or tweeze their brows outside of the natural line. Follow the line, and only tweeze the few hairs that might have grown outside the bottom row.

    Tip #4: Fuller is better. Even aside from the current trend of thicker brows, experts agree that a fuller brow is the most flattering. A well-groomed, full brow will open up your eyes, and make you look younger and less tired. To support new hair growth, try MyChelle’s Ultimate Lash and Brow Serum, featuring peptides and apple fruit stem cells that nourish the hair follicle and stimulate hair cells.

    Tip #5: Color within the lines. Choosing the right color and product to fill in and accent the brows is important. ZuZu Luxe Cream Brow Pencil comes in 4 shades to perfectly match any brow color, blonde, red, brown or black. To set the color and keep brows in place try brushing on ZuZu Luxe Clear Mascara. Customers also love jane iredale’s Bitty Brow Kit, which comes with three brushes, clear botanical brow wax and a naturally pigmented (brown or brunette) brow powder. Applying color with short strokes is the key, not drawing a line through the brow to create a new shape.

    Experts recommend a professional shaping if you’ve never had one, or if it’s been awhile. The pros can show you what shape is right for your face, where your natural arch lies and how to fill in gaps with product.

    Live near a Pharmaca store in Portland, Brentwood, Novato, Oakland, Menlo Park or Pacific Palisades? Stop in to our Natural Beauty Bar to get our expert estheticians’ help with brow shaping! Our Natural Beauty Bars offer a variety of beauty services, including makeup and lash application, and other facial waxing.  

  • Brush Up! Tools & Tips for Flawless Makeup

    “Great cheekbones.” “Beautiful eyes.”  When you notice someone’s best features, you’re probably not thinking about the makeup brushes behind the beauty. But according to pro makeup artists, the secret to enhancing your assets is well-applied, well-blended makeup. And the strategy is in using the right brush for the task.

    Form & function

    Pharmaca’s new Natural Beauty Brushes have been carefully designed to do specific jobs. “Pharmaca brushes are high-quality, an excellent value and they’re easy to use,” says Jeri Coakley, esthetician in San Francisco. “And, they make a great gift!”  Crafted in the U.S., the brushes are cruelty-free and made of natural goat or pony hair, or synthetic taklon. Goat hair, a premium bristle, is known for its lush softness and ability to provide a smooth, flawless finish. Pony hair, while still soft, has more strength and bounce-back ability, perfect for contouring. Taklon, a polyester material, has smooth, non-absorbent bristles that don’t trap product or bacteria, and is best for “laying down” creams or liquids. 

    Choosing & using brushes
    Jeri explains why these brushes give you the results you want. “Natural goat and pony bristles are soft and give a lighter, blended effect—perfect for loose and pressed powders, blush and shimmery highlighters,” she says. “Synthetic materials, like taklon, are stiffer and great for applying liquids or gels.” Here’s a closer look at the best brushes for each job.


    • Camouflage Tapered Angle Brush is the one to choose for applying eye and brow liner. The firmer taklon bristles make it easy to apply a perfectly defined line, especially when you want to get close to the lash line or sweep eyeliner up at the corners for a cat-eye look.
    • Camouflage Oval #8 is the right choice for concealers and eyeshadows, particularly cream ones.  The tapered edge lets you smoothly blend product into the inner corners of your eyes, under lower lashes and on your eyelids.

    Face & Cheeks:

    • Super Dome Duster Makeup Brush, made with pony and goat hairs, is the one to use with loose mineral powders. The dome shape lets you pick up just the right amount of product, avoiding a cakey or powdery look. The technique? Dab the brush in powder, tap off excess, sweep around the face to apply, then blend by brushing downwards, in smooth strokes.
    • Luscious Dome Makeup Brush’s super capra goat hair bristlesmake applying pressed powder foundation, bronzer or blush a breeze. This super soft goat hair, with the tips still intact, gives medium to full coverage and a flawless finish.
    • Chisel Powder Makeup Brush lets you layer on powders, especially blush and highlighters, to sculpt and contour and get the depth of coverage you want.
    • Deluxe Soft Fan Makeup Brush picks up the least amount of product (and white bristles let you see just how much) fora light, delicate wash of shimmer or blush, perfect for sheer color on the apples of your cheeks.

    Finally, to keep your brushes in the best condition, Jeri recommends washing them every week or two with a gentle cleanser like Pharmaca’s Little Pip Shampoo and Wash.

    Talk to a Pharmaca esthetician for more tips on choosing and using the right brushes for your look.

  • Get a Fresh New Look with ZuZu Luxe

    If your calendar is filling up with events and parties, now is the time to find a fresh, new look for the season. Jean Silva, the National Sales Manager for Gabriel Cosmetics and ZuZu Luxe, helped enlighten us on what beauty trends are hot now.

    What tips and tricks do you have for prepping skin before applying makeup?

    Always start with clean skin and lightly moisturize. If you want a more sustainable look, you can take it a step further by priming skin to create a more smooth canvas with something like a concealer or liquid foundation.

    How do I choose the right foundation?

    Not everybody needs a liquid foundation, but those with uneven skin tone can benefit from this treatment. Always be sure to test your liquid foundation on the face, as opposed to the wrist or neck. You can also go for lighter coverage with a simple powder. It’s a good idea to choose a foundation with a slightly lighter shade in the winter since you aren’t in the sun as much.

    What features should you play up?

    It’s a good idea to play up one feature, but not the whole face. For example, you would want to tone down the lips if you decide to boost your eyes.

    What shades are hot right now?

    For eyes, the full range of grey shadows from light metallics to smoldering shades are in right now. Both matte and shimmer finishes look great. To achieve these looks, go for the Vixen eye shadow which is metallic, or deepen it with Gem which is a dark charcoal grey.

    zuzu eye shadow

    For lips, cherry red is big right now. There are lots of variations, like Starlet in a cherry shade, or for a deeper, more trendy red, choose Femme Fatale. Not only do these have fabulous staying power, but they are also gluten and lead free. Lip gloss is great for a pearly nude lip, which is also nice this season during the day time. Try Divinity which is a pearlescent clear, or the Bronzite which has a brown nude shimmer. And, if you are a confident woman who wants to wear red during the day…go for it.

    zuzu lipsticks

    How do you go from day to night?

    Simply stick with the same palette but deepen it for nighttime. For example, say you’re using Vixen all over the eyelid with a pale pink lip. Add a little more contoured blush to the cheeks, then take a darker gray like the Gem eye shadow and add it to the crease of the lid to deepen. Finish with another coat of mascara and some eyeliner.

    Do you have any final words of advice?

    Overall, the most important thing is to experiment. Find a look that you are excited about, and rock it.

    Acting on Jean’s last bit of advice is as easy as visiting your neighborhood Pharmaca and asking one of our licensed estheticians about colors and products that will help you look your best this season.

  • Your Spring Greening Checklist

    It’s almost Earth Day...why not take advantage of this opportunity to start fresh (and green)? Here are a few ideas we love for greening your spring.

    Get your garden growing
    Growing your own food can be one of the most rewarding and environmentally friendly activities we can engage in. Get started now and you’ll have fresh (and local!) veggies on your plate in no time. New to gardening? Check out Whole Living’s Beginner’s Guide to Organic Gardening.

    Conventional wisdom says to wait to plant seeds outside until after the last frost—usually around Mother’s Day (check out the Farmer’s Almanac for planting recommendations by zip code). Whether you’re planning a serious vegetable garden or just a few herbs, start planning your plot with certified organic seeds from Seeds of Change (buy one, get one free in stores in April!).

    Give your home a deep clean

    Cleaning out your home’s nooks and crannies doesn’t require toxic chemicals—just a little elbow grease and some eco-friendly cleaning products from Pharmaca.

    According to a 2008 story in US News and World Report, exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in some household cleaners can reduce lung function or increase the risk of asthma. Companies aren’t required to list the ingredients in their cleaning products and air fresheners, so you never know what hazardous toxins are lurking in there.

    Instead, scrub the tub with Mrs. Meyer’s Surface Scrub, get mirrors sparkling with Seventh Generation’s Multi-Surface Cleaner, and throw the clothes in the washer with a Grab Green Laundry Detergent Pod.

    Do a spring cleanse

    “Dieting and cleansing is most effective during this time of year,” says Kate Brainard, ND. “Spring is a time of new growth and restarts, as your body is following the biorhythms of the planet.”

    Help your body clean out the liver and gall bladder, as well as purify the blood, with a whole body cleanse. Start by incorporating some of the new fruits and veggies coming up, then get into a detox. Kate likes to recommend Renew Life’s First Cleanse, a simple 14-day cleanse that includes a morning and evening formula that target multiple organs all at once. While you’re cleansing, Kate says, stay away from complex carbohydrates, refined sugars and saturated fats, and drink lots of water.

    Make over your look

    When flip-flops and sundresses beckon, it’s time to integrate some fresh spring colors and trends into your makeup routine.

    Cosmetics can be one of the most important areas to make sure you’re getting the cleanest products, since 60 percent of what we put on our skin gets absorbed into our bodies. That’s an astonishing number, especially considering people use an average of 10 different cosmetics or personal care products on their skin each day.

    Rest easy with some of our favorite (non-toxic) spring trends:

    All-in-one makeup kits: We love My Steppes from jane iredale, a three-step that includes complementary bronzer, blush and two shades of lip glosses. Available in Cool and Warm palettes. Perfect for slipping in the beach bag to go from day to night!

    Colored eyeliner on the lower lash line: Pick up ZuZu Luxe eyeliner in brilliant colors like Iguana, Indigo or South Pacific. Line the lower lid with color, then soften the look by applying a corresponding eyeshadow directly on top of the eyeliner. Instantly brightens and adds flair for a night on the town.

    Suggested ZuZu combinations:
    Blue eyes – Slate eyeliner with Gem eyeshadow
    Green eyes – Indigo eyeliner with Odyssey eyeshadow
    Brown eyes – Ocean eyeliner with Ice Princess eyeshadow OR Tobacco eyeliner with Sahara eyeshadow

    Lip and cheek stains: Another double-duty item to stash in your purse. Look for jane iredale’s Forever Pink Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain. This combination lip and cheek stain, filled with nourishing plant-based ingredients, naturally adjusts to your chemistry to provide just the right pink hue for cheeks and lips.

    Stop into Pharmaca today for more great ideas about spring greening!

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