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.

  • 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!

  • BB & CC: The New ABCs of Beauty

    BB and CC creams are some of the most talked about beauty innovations to hit the market in recent times. BB, short for beauty balm, is a time-saving, all-in-one facial product. Created by a German dermatologist years ago, BB creams have steadily grown in popularity around the world, even as their formulations have evolved.

    Today’s BB creams cover all the essentials in one package. Advanced technologies combine moisturizer, coverage, skin treatment and sunscreen. The next generation of these multi-tasking creams is the CC cream, short for color correcting, that takes the benefits of BBs and adds ingredients that balance skin in a lighter-textured product. Here are a few of our favorite versions of these one-stop wonders.

    Beth Walker-Ellwood, esthetician at our downtown Boulder store, recommends jane iredale’s Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream. “I love that this offers serious coverage that’s great for hiding scars or discoloration, along with a host of healthy nutrients. It’s good for all skin types (except for those with acne), and makes it easy to obtain a polished look.”

    Glow Time combines the best of Mother Nature, including grapefruit extracts to minimize wrinkles and large pores, sunflower seed oil to moisturize, apple extracts for brightening and aloe juice to soothe the skin. This BB also has a broad-spectrum SPF 25 sunscreen to block both UVA and UVB rays. Ranging from fair to very dark, Glow Time is offered in six shades to match most skin tones.

    Great skin care isn’t just for women, however. Men can benefit, too, from Andalou Naturals’ Oil Control Beauty Balm Un-Tinted SPF 30featuring the same multi-purpose formula as other BBs, but without the color or tint. Especially good for oily skin, or for those prone to acne, this BB is full of botanicals and minerals that renew the skin, diminish oil and offer moisturizing, SPF 30 UVA/UVB protection.

    For those with mature skin, or those just looking for a lighter-weight product, Juice Beauty's Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream is the answer. “It’s especially great for summer with its chemical-free, high SPF and light texture,” says Beth. This cream incorporates skin perfecting color technology and mineral pigments that adjust to match individual skin tones. And its stem cell properties minimize signs of aging, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, improve firmness and moisturize.

    Ready to try a BB on for size? Talk to a Pharmaca esthetician about choosing the multi-tasker that’s right for your skin.

  • Glam Up Your Holiday Look!

    Need a little sparkle for your next holiday party (or just any party for that matter)? Pharmaca esthetician Federica Raparelli gives us her tips for creating the perfect holiday glam look.

    First, the foundation. “If you know you’re going to be taking pictures or really want full coverage, try jane iredale’s Glow Time Full-Coverage Mineral BB Cream,” Federica says. The BB Cream serves as moisturizer, primer and foundation in one, and can really give your skin a flawless look, she says. For lighter coverage, try Dr. Hauschka's Translucent Make-Up, which Federica says gives a nice, healthy glow.

    Next, sweep on a bright color to create dramatic eyes. Federica likes jane iredale’s Mystikol, featuring a creamy eyeliner and highlighter in one. For blue eyes, try Mystikol in Amethyst; for brown, try Smoky Quartz and for green, try Citrine.

    For all over sparkle, Federica loves jane iredale’s 24k Gold Dust, available in a variety of shades. “It can be used as an eye shadow, mixed with lip gloss, or even mixed with moisturizer to create a glowy cream,” says Federica. “It’s lovely for the holidays!”

    Get ready for the mistletoe with a festive lip color, like one of Juice Beauty’s Reflecting Glosses, packed with organic antioxidants and plant oils to nourish lips while they wow. Looking for something with serious staying power? Try a Lip Fixation from jane iredale, including lip stain and gloss in one, and available in powerful colors like Relish (a deep purple) or Passion (bright red).

    Want some extra credit? Make fingernails pop with one of SpaRitual’s shimmery shades from their winter Metal Collection. You can even combine multiple shades for a fun, festive nailstyle—learn how.

  • jane iredale's Three Steps to Complexion Perfection

    jane iredale mineral makeup provides you with beautiful ways to simplify your life while enhancing the natural beauty of your skin. Their Power of Three system means that your complexion is only a foundation, a makeup brush and a hydration spray away from total perfection. Here's more about iredale's foundation-setting sprays.

    D20 Hydration Spray
    This facial spritz resists evaporation and helps to hydrate and plump the cells with ingredients that calm the skin and fight free radicals. Some makeup artists believe that D2O is the quintessential last step in applying our makeup—it sets the minerals in seconds. D20 also contains seaweed extracts and ylang ylang to help reduce sebaceous hypersecretion and to regulate the pH of the skin.


    Balance Hydration Spray
    You'll love the fresh, clean young fragrance of Balance, and you'll love what it does for the health of your skin. This antioxidant hydration spray was formulated specifically to help balance the skin's oil production and pH. It provides all the hydration you would expect from a facial spritz, and is also packed full of ingredients that help to battle free radical and microbial damage, including seaweed extracts to help to reduce sebaceous hypersecretion and regulate the pH of the skin, and green tea extract, proven to aid acne-prone skin.

    Just think what a spritz of POMMIST and a layer of sun-protective minerals will do for your skin! This hydration spray offers the added benefit of pomegranate extract, a powerful antioxidant and UV protector.

    Stop by the jane iredale counter today to learn how you can achieve complexion perfection in seconds.

  • Love Your Lips

    Want a side-by-side comparison of what's in a natural lip product vs. a synthetic one?

    Check out the ingredients in Juice Beauty’s Reflecting Lip Gloss or ZuZu Luxe’s Lipstick (available on their website).

    Ingredients of many common drugstore brands can only be found at EWG’s

    If you’re concerned about what you’re putting on your skin, make sure the ingredients in your lip products get extra special attention. According to, we absorb 60 percent of what we put on our skin—and may ingest an even higher percentage of our lip products.

    Pharmaca is proud to offer only the best cosmetics, ones that are packed with skin-nourishing ingredients instead of synthetic chemicals. Here are a few ingredients we love in our lip products—and a few to stay away from. (Read more about Pharmaca’s position as the trusted editor of your skin care.)

    Ingredients we love

    • Plant extracts rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, such as acai, goji berry and raspberry seed oils. Find them in Juice Beauty’s Reflecting Lip Gloss.
    • Mica or iron oxides provide rich, natural color. Find them in ZuZu Luxe Lipstick (gluten free, too!)
    • Plant-based oils like jojoba and sweet almond absorb quickly and lock in moisture. Find them in lipsticks by Dr. Hauschka.

    Ingredients to avoid

    The lipsticks with the worst rating on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database include some of the following ingredients:

    • BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole): Used as a preservative and stabilizer. The National Institutes of Health have classified BHA as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" based on evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals.
    • Members of the paraben family: Used as preservatives. Parabens mimic estrogen and can act as potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptors.
    • Oxybenzone: A chemical often used as a sunscreen ingredient. Oxybenzone gets absorbed through the skin in significant amounts.
    • Fragrance: When you see this one, it’s usually an undisclosed mixture of various chemicals that create a certain scent. According to the EWG, fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.
    • Lead has long been a concern in lipsticks, and a study done by the FDA in 2007 confirmed that lead is present in many common lipstick brands. Though the lead levels (0.09-3.06 parts per million) tested lower than the FDA’s official limits (20 ppm), Pharmaca offers plenty of lipsticks that are guaranteed lead free.

    Visit Pharmaca today to swap out your old lipstick for one that actually feeds your skin.  

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