Facial Care

The great thing about all natural skin care is that it's not just about using natural beauty products—it's also about nourishing your skin from the inside. Project Wellness serves as a natural skin care blog that can help you decipher which products to use and how to feed your skin internally. We'll continue to fill the blog with natural skin care tips, from cleansing rituals to hydration to the latest and greatest product ingredients. In one easy spot, you'll find information about natural skin care that draws from clinical research and the expertise of our estheticians, including information about natural sun protection and natural makeup looks that are perfect for every woman.

  • Helpful Habits for Healthy Eyes

    EyesNot too long ago the best advice for keeping your eyes healthy was to eat carrots. But now we know that it’s about more than just carrots—supplemental nutrients, moisturizing products and healthy practices can also play a big part in keeping your eyes healthy and beautiful.

    Get necessary nutrients
    Scientists have found certain antioxidant nutrients can make their way directly to the retina and lens. Lutein and zeaxanthin for example, found naturally in leafy green vegetables, absorb damaging, high-energy blue and ultra-violet light, which can contribute to many troubling eye conditions.

    While eating greens is a good way to up your antioxidant intake, the National Eye Institute says taking a daily supplement can also help you get the recommended dosage. Ones to try: Pharmaca Super Vision Formula, which features both lutein and zeaxanthin along with other potent antioxidants like blueberries and grape seed extract. Nordic Naturals’ Omega Vision combines natural lutein and zeaxanthin with concentrated DHA, a beneficial fatty acid that supports healthy vision and may help prevent eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration.

    Be cool, wear your shades
    Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. UV radiation increases your odds of getting cataractsmacular degeneration and pterygiums (aka surfer’s eye, growths of pink, fleshy tissue on the white of the eye). Skiers also can experience eye problems like snow blindness or corneal sunburn. To help avoid these conditions, look for sunglasses that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation.

    Give ‘em a rest
    Spend a lot of time at the computer? Don’t forget to blink! Eyes can become fatigued after staring at your screen for too long. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. For even greater relief, try Similasan’s Computer Relief Eye Drops, a homeopathic blend of natural ingredients that relieve symptoms of eye fatigue like blurred vision and strained eyes. For spa-like luxury, try Dr. Hauschka’s Eye Solace ampules, featuring eyebright, fennel and black tea extracts that soothe tired, puffy, irritated eyes.

    Maintain moistness
    Dry eyes can occur for many reasons, like medication use, illness, contact lenses or even just aging. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and/or omega-3 supplements can help increase moisture in the eyes. And for immediate relief, try an eyedrop like Tears Naturale Free Lubricant Eye Drops, which offer convenient, preservative-free moisture.

    Beat laugh lines, bags or dark circles
    The skin around the eyes is very thin and fragile so signs of aging, dark circles or puffiness can be difficult to treat with regular facial products. Esthetician-favorite evanhealy Chamomile Eye Care Cream can target all of these problems with a combination of Himalayan sea buckthorn oil, organic chrysanthemum and oat beta glucan to soothe, minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, brighten and lighten dark circles. To use, tap gently on both upper and lower lid areas.

  • 5 Winter Skin-Saving Tips

    TIM woman1. Start on the Inside

    Supplementing with essential fatty acids such as fish oil and borage oil not only offers mood and cognition benefits, it can also boost your skin’s hydration and offer support for skin cells, says Carrie Lee, esthetician at our West Seattle store. And of course, be sure to complement your daily EFA dose with plenty of hydrating water.

    2. Exfoliate Weekly

    Avoid dry skin by exfoliating 1-3 times a week, says Carrie. “It helps your skin accept whatever you put on it more readily.”  She likes Acure’s Brightening Facial Scrub, with organic lemon peel that helps exfoliate both physically and enzymatically. And, of course, using a Clarisonic every day can also keep skin extra smooth and clear!

    3. Prep Skin for Moisture

    “When you apply a toner or some kind of moisturizing mist, it sets the skin up for better absorption,” says Carrie. “Like a plant—if you let it dry out, the water will sit for a while before absorbing. But if there’s already some dampness there, water will absorb much better.” Carrie loves Suki’s Concentrated Toners, or evanhealy’s Hydrosols, available in different formulas for different skin types.

    4. Apply a Topical Moisturizer

    This is a no-brainer, but different moisturizers provide different levels of hydration. Carrie loves Sanitas’ Peptiderm line, as well as many of Suki’s moisturizers, which she calls light, nourishing and really effective. “No matter what moisturizer you use, for some extra hydration, nourishment and protection, add a few drops of argan oil on top to help drive in the nourishing ingredients of your moisturizer.” Try Acure’s Argan Oil.

    5. Turn on the Humidifier

    The winter months are noticeably drier because cold air holds less moisture than warm air. Even though your heater may make your house feel warm and cozy, home humidity levels can drop as low as 5-10 percent in the winter. If you start experiencing dry skin, static electricity or respiratory problems, try boosting interior moisture levels back to a healthy 45 percent with a simple humidifier.

  • Dr. Hauschka's 7 Facts That Will Change the Way You Think About Your Skin Care

    Junge FrauSome wisdom from Dr. Hauschka about how to treat your skin right--and support its naturally regenerative processes.

    1.     Skip the night cream; your skin will thank you.
    While you sleep, your skin is hard at work regenerating itself, balancing oil production and expelling impurities. Use of nighttime moisturizers interferes with these essential tasks. A Dr. Hauschka regimen allows skin to carry on its essential balancing and regenerating functions.

    2.     Like treats like.
    It might seem counterintuitive to apply oil to an oily complexion, but your skin knows when it’s protected and can regulate itself. Drying products can rob the skin of its defenses and cause dependency. Dr. Hauschka Normalizing Day Oil balances oiliness while soothing skin.

    3.     Stop scrubbing—your skin is not the bathroom floor.
    Many soaps and harsh exfoliants strip the skin of its defenses. As part of the Dr. Hauschka Signature Cleansing method, the Cleansing Cream gently exfoliates without disturbing the skin’s natural defenses, resulting in a clear, radiant complexion.

    4.     Ingredients matter—and quality ingredients matter most.
    Dr. Hauschka Skin Care has been 100 percent natural since 1967 and is certified by the BDIH and NATRUE. WALA Heilmittel, the manufacturer of Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, owns and operates its own certified biodynamic farms and gardens, from which a number of our skin care ingredients are sourced. Dr. Hauschka relies exclusively on ecologically and socially responsible sources, and helps establish and support fair trade/ethical organic and biodynamic cultivation projects around the world.

    5.     Your skin is smart.
    Your skin has an amazing ability to care for itself, responding constantly to changes in your internal and external environments. Unlike many other skin care lines that suppress the skin’s functions or interfere with its natural rhythms, Dr. Hauschka Skin Care respects and supports the skin’s ability to regulate, protect and renew itself, while helping to bring skin  back into balance when needed.

    6.     Not all facials are created equal.
    Dr. Hauschka Signature Treatments are far more than your standard facials. Certified Dr. Hauschka estheticians use rhythmic, caring touch and a personalized selection of our skin care products to guide you and your skin to balance and serenity, supporting skin health by calming the mind and stimulating lymph flow to promote its self-cleansing processes. The result is a transformed complexion that brings forth your own inherent radiant beauty.

    7.     Rhythm is the key to health and vibrancy.
    All of nature has rhythm. You see it in the change of seasons, the ebb and flow of tides and in the 28-day cycle of skin renewal. Dr. Hauschka Skin Care’s rhythmical processing methods capture the vital forces of plants in products that deliver their benefits to your skin, so it achieves a state of lasting health, balance and beauty.

  • Dr. Hauschka: Ingredients for a Better World

    DrHauschka_HarvestingRosesEthiopiaThe Dr. Hauschka Skin Care community extends beyond their offices and gardens. Dr. Hauschka works with local communities around the world to establish Fair Trade organic and biodynamic initiatives that provide us with the highest quality botanical ingredients while helping to promote sustainable agriculture and economic self-reliance.

    Shea Butter Cooperative in Burkina Faso

    In 2001, Dr. Hauschka helped establish a shea butter cooperative in Burkino Faso, Africa, purchasing the ingredient from two villages at above-average prices and giving long-term purchase guarantees. The cooperative provides some 350 women a source of income while ensuring an enduring supply of Fair Trade organic shea butter for Dr. Hauschka products. Today the cooperative sells to several cosmetics companies around the world, benefitting the greater international community.

    Shea butter is found in more than 20 Dr. Hauschka products, including: Rose Day Cream, Regenerating Day Cream, Translucent Make-up 00-04, Quince Day Cream, Lip Care Stick and Daily Revitalizing Eye Cream

    Organic Castor Oil Project in India

    In 2005, Dr. Hauschka began an organic castor oil project in India, helping to establish the first certified organic source for castor oil worldwide. The manufacturer sells us the oil, but is free to offer the remaining supply to other trading partners. The freedom and ultimate autonomy of their suppliers is an essential part of Dr. Hauschka’s approach to sustainability.

    Organic castor oil is found in: Lip Care Stick, Lip Balm, Lipstick, Lip Gloss, Lipstick Novum, Bath Essence,

    Rose Essential Oil from Africa and Central Asia

    Since 2006, Dr. Hauschka has supported Damask rose cultivation projects in Africa and Central Asia. Four hundred farmers now grow organic roses in Afghanistan, providing them with a viable alternative to the poppy trade. In Ethiopia, Dr. Hauschka supports a Damask rose fair trade initiative that provides a source for biodynamic rose essential oil while helping to establish a self-reliant and economically sustainable community.

    Rose essential oil is found in more than 25 products, including: Rose Body Moisturizer, Rose Body Oil, Firming Mask, Volume Mascara, Liquid Eyeliners and Rhythmic Night Conditioner. Rose Essential Oil is also a component of many mixtures of natural essential oils used to scent products.

    Organic Mango Butter from India

    Working with the same Indian company that processes their organic castor oil, in 2008 Dr. Hauschka helped establish the first organic mango butter-processing source worldwide. Sourcing this valuable raw material in organic quality comes at a price: Dr. Hauschka pays 10 times the world market price for conventional mango butter. But the benefits are worth the cost.

    The company can now employ an additional 40 seasonal workers, and Dr. Hauschka’s customers enjoy the benefits of the highest quality organic mango butter.

    Find it in: Firming Mask, Daily Revitalizing Eye Cream, Lip Gloss

  • Clarisonic: 6 Secrets to Success

    clarasonic-MiaFront_PinkWe love how the Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System makes our skin feel…And how its patented sonic technology gently removes six times more makeup and two times more dirt and oil than manual cleansing...And how it makes our skin care products absorb better….

    But could there be new or better ways to use it? We talked to expert estheticians Jeanette Hickox in Novato and Nicole Mueller in Albuquerque, to get the low down on the best ways to use the Clarisonic.

    1. Choose the best model for your needs.

    • Mia is the simplest to use—one button, one speed. It’s compact and the most affordable.
    • Mia 2 is compact, features two speeds, includes a travel case and comes in lots of fun colors.
    • Aria has 3 speeds and is techno-friendly with its USB-enabled universal voltage charger, making it ideal for international travel.
    • Plus has both face and body modes and brushes (for when you just can’t get enough!).
    • Opal is a palm-sizes sonic serum-infusion device for the eye area that reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

    2. Select the right brush head. 

    • Brush Heads come in Delicate, Sensitive, Normal, Acne, Deep Pore and Body versions.  Sensitive is a good one to start with, but a Pharmaca esthetician can guide you to your best choice.
    • We don’t share toothbrushes, so don’t share your Clarisonic brush head. Go ahead and share the device, but make sure everybody gets their own brush.
    • Break out a fresh new brush head every three months.

    3. Use the right cleanser for your skin type.

    It’s best to use a cream-based cleanser to remove oil-based makeup, and a gel cleanser for water-based makeup. Avoid clay cleansers, as the clay can get embedded in your pores if you’re not careful. Here are some customer and esthetician favorites:

    4. Give yourself a healthy glow.

    The Clarisonic does more than just clean. The sonic technology actually improves your skin’s circulation by bringing blood flow to the surface. It provides a gentle lymphatic massage, too. But be sure to let the device do the work—there’s no need to press hard. Just let it gently glide across the skin in a circular motion.

    5. Exfoliate like a pro.

    While the Clarisonic cleans the skin by massaging open the pores and whisking out dirt, it can also be a great exfoliation device, too. Using a scrub with smooth, round exfoliating beads is the key (never use those with rough salt, sand, sugar or ground shells).

    6. Man up.

    The Clarisonic’s techno-vibe appeals to men, too. Of course it’s a superior cleaning device, but it also can provide a closer, more comfortable shave and reduce the incidence of razor irritation and rash. Use it with a gentle shaving gel or cream like Dr. Bonner’s Shaving Gel (try the invigorating Lemongrass Lime scent) or Zia Men Hydra Shave Cream. The brush motion lifts the scruff to seriously prep the beard for a close shave.

    Find your perfect Clarisonic at Pharmaca today!

  • Your Skin: Three Anti-Aging Strategies

    Keep your skin fresh and glowing throughout the coming years! We spoke with Janet Nelson, esthetician at our Oakland store, about three powerful ways to keep aging skin on the DL.

    Essential fatty acids are key to healthy, moisturized skin, says Janet. One product in particular that’s great is Supercritical Omega-7 from New Chapter, which is good for hydrating the skin and the internal mucous membranes, which helps the entire body maintain a youthful feel.

    “I’m also a big fan of evening primrose oil, an essential fatty acid that’s great for dry skin—and psoriasis and eczema. It’s very hydrating, like all nutritional oils,” says Janet. (Try Evening Primrose Oil from Pharmaca or Barleans.)

    Finally, she recommends adding in Natural Factors’ BioSil. “It’s always nice to boost your collagen, but BioSil not only makes the skin look great—it also nourishes the hair and the nails.”

    Anti-aging serums have nourishing, protective properties that help fight the free radical damage that can speed the aging process. “They protect the skin through antioxidants like vitamin C or pomegranate,” says Janet. The more you can limit free radicals, the more you can keep the skin looking good.

    That’s why she turns to serums infused with a variety of vitamins and active botanicals. “Sanitas’ Vita C Serum is one of my favorites,” says Janet. She also likes the Desert Recovery Serum from Cowgirl. Both of these, she says, can be applied to clean skin and double as a moisturizer, since they’re also packed with essential fatty acids.

    A few things can help keep skin calm and glowy in the first place, says Janet, including hydration, maintaining low stress levels and regular exfoliation. “We have a new Lemongrass Facial Polish from evanhealy that’s amazing.” As a powder, you can add water—or one of evanhealy’s hydrosols for extra nourishment—until you get the right consistency. “You can feel it working as you’re massaging it into the skin.” Because it’s mild, it can be used 2-3 a week on normal skin. “When you put your serums over the top and mist with a hydrosol, you feel radiant.”

    “Of course, keeping a handle on the stress in one’s life makes the skin and the aging process even smoother,” says Janet. “So don’t forget your adaptogenic herbs!” And make sure you’re drinking enough water, especially in the summer months. She recommends raw coconut water as a wonderful way to get refreshed and rehydrated quickly.

    For more anti-aging strategies for your skin, speak with a Pharmaca esthetician today.

  • 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.

  • Acne: Triggers, Taboos & Treatments

    A pimple is a pimple no matter if you’re male or female, 15 or 55, vegan or full-on omnivore. The root cause of pimples is the same: too much sebum (oil) production, layers of dead skin cells, plugged hair follicles and thriving bacteria.

    So what triggers these breakouts? It’s often a mix of things. Hormonal imbalances and surges can start the chain of events by boosting oily sebum output. A less-than-clean face lets acne-causing bacteria grow (that’s where the Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System comes in!). And drugs containing corticosteroids, androgens and lithium are troublesome due to the hormones activated by their use.

    “There is a very strong link between diet and acne,” says Mariana Friedman, nutritional consultant in Los Gatos. Foods to look out for: “Things with high glycemic levels like white bread, sugary drinks and highly processed food as well as cow’s milk products, high in androgen hormones and added growth hormones.”

    Some skin care practices do more harm than good. Teens often attack acne aggressively by washing several times a day with strong, overly drying products. The skin compensates by actually producing more oil, Mariana explains. It’s better to wash just once or twice a day with a gentle cleanser, then tone and moisturize, and spot treat as needed. Touching is also taboo, Mariana says, so keep your hands off your face. And, of course, keep cell phones clean and don’t pick at pimples.

    For adults, avoid products targeted for teens that are too drying to combination or mature skin. Instead, cleanse with gentle, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free products. Hair care products can contribute to the problem too. A condition called “pomade acne” (seriously, it’s a thing!) occurs when heavy mineral oils and petroleum byproducts in hair styling products clog pores. Shampoo ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate and ammonium lauryl sulfate have been proven to aggravate acne too.
    Prevention is the best first line of defense. A diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, particularly raw veggies, and low-fat, non-processed foods benefit your whole body—skin included. Vitamin supplements can be useful too. Vitamin A helps reduce sebum production, while zinc and selenium combine to reduce inflammation. Flaxseed oil, due to its high omega-3 content, helps thin pore-clogging sebum. Many people also report success with brewer’s yeast, high in chromium and selenium.

    Topical treatments can also be very effective. Nicole Hugel, esthetician at our Napa store, and Mariana guide us through customers’ (and personal) favorites.

    Juice Beauty’s Blemish Clearing Cleanser is very popular with teens.Organic lemon, cherry and aloe juices, along with botanical extracts of dandelion leaf, lemon balm and sage leaf purify, detoxify and cleanse.

    Sanitas’ Glycolic Citrus Cleanser is a favorite of acne-prone adults who prefer natural alpha hydroxy acids that stimulate and gently exfoliate the skin, helping with acne and providing anti-aging benefits.

    MyChelle’s Fruit Enzyme Toning Mist with pineapple stempowder is an excellent toner that balances, moisturizes, gently exfoliates and provides anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory benefits.

    Astara’s Blue Flame Oil Free Moisturizer uses totara tree essence to purify clogged pores, reduce oily shine and lightly moisturize.

    Alba Botanica’s Acnedote Invisible Treatment Gel gets rave reviews. With 2% salicylic acid, arnica and aloe, it’s a very effective spot treatment, especially for teens.

    Primavera’s Anti-Blemish Treatment balances, calms and reduces oil with natural botanicals like sage, grape seed, licorice and willow bark.

    Pharmaca’s Tea Tree Oil has anti-bacterial properties that make it a great spot treatment. Mix with a few drops with a carrier oil (try Grapeseed) before applying to skin.

    evanhealy’s Green Tea Clay Mask, used weekly, is a super skin detoxifier that draws pimples and blackheads to the surface, neutralizes bacteria, minimizes the appearance of pores and absorbs excess oil.

    Talk to Pharmaca’s practitioners about the best ways to address your skin’s specific needs.

  • Gluten-Free Skin and Body Care

    No wheat, barley or rye. Sometimes no oats. For those living with Celiac disease or wheat allergies, reading food labels in search of these ingredients is a way of life.

    Although a gluten-free diet helps manage both conditions, the causes of the two are different. Wheat allergies are one of the most-common food allergies—they generate an antibody in reaction to the proteins found in wheat, producing a variety of symptoms, from hives and rashes to abdominal pain or breathing trouble. For those with Celiac disease, on the other hand, the reaction comes from one particular protein in wheat, called gluten, which can result in an abnormal and often severe immune system reaction in the small intestines.

    But what about gluten in products besides food? Gluten is often added to skin care products in ingredients that thicken or provide a creamy texture. Wheat protein in shampoos, for example, strengthens and adds fullness to the hair. Although some researchers say the proteins in gluten are too large to be absorbed through the skin, many people with Celiac disease and gluten or wheat allergies choose to limit their exposure.

    “There definitely needs to be more clinical research on topical gluten reactions,” says Julie McGinnis, a dietician at our south Boulder location (who happens to be an expert in gluten-free living). She says that in her practice, she’s seen many individuals who experience skin problems like acne, rashes or inflammation when they use products that contain gluten or other wheat proteins. “It may be a reaction from ingested glutens, topical glutens or both. Switching to gluten-free skin and body products can often help,” she says. Many people with eczema and less severe wheat sensitivities say their skin reacts better to gluten-free body, hair and skin care products, too.

    But glutens or wheat proteins may be tricky to identify. A good place to start is looking for any ingredient with wheat, barley, malt, rye or oat included in the name. Some of the most common ingredients containing gluten can be found as triticum vulgare (wheat), hordeum vulgare (barley), secale cereale (rye), avena (oat), phytosphingosine (made from yeast), tocopherol and vitamin E (sometimes derived from wheat).

    Because of the number of ingredients that may be suspect, sometimes it’s simplest to just look for products that are already labeled “gluten-free.” Fortunately Pharmaca offers a wide variety of skin care products that come with the gluten-free label. Here’s a rundown of some gluten-free favorites from Staci Minovitz, esthetician at our Los Angeles store.

    Acure’s Sensitive Facial Cleanser Argan Oil + Probiotic. This creamy cleanser is rich in calming botanical extracts like chamomile and rosehips, and its omega fatty acids hydrate and protect the skin’s natural balance.

    Alaffia EveryDay Shea Butter Body Lotion is a luxurious body moisturizer that blends hand-crafted shea butter with soothing lemongrass and antioxidants red palm oil and shea leaf.

    Pre de Provence Soaps and Cleansing Bars are gluten-free, and the milk, shea butter and argan varieties are particularly kind to sensitive skin.

    Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic Shampoos and Conditioners are formulated without chemical preservatives, petrochemicals or sulfates. Good for all hair types, these are nourishing, lightweight and full of antioxidants and organic essential oils like tamanu seed, red raspberry, pumpkin seed and black cumin to keep your scalp healthy.

    Finally, a gluten-free no-brainer: If you’ve got Celiac or a wheat allergy, it’s especially important to look for gluten-free lip balms, since they’re so easily ingested. Recommended by both Staci and Julie, ZuZu Luxe Lip Glosses are vegan and blend jojoba seed oil, sea fennel extract and sunscreen to moisturize and protect. Suki Lip Repair Butter and Juice Beauty’s Lip Glosses also hydrate and treat lips with natural oils and (safe) soy-based vitamin E.

    Check with a Pharmaca esthetician for more selections and favorites, or check out our entire selection of gluten-free facial care, glute-free body care, gluten-free hair care and gluten-free oral care.

  • 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.

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