Tag Archives: PROD-462999

  • Medicine Cabinet Spotlight: An Esthetician’s Beauty Essentials

    LaehBcroppedOur health and beauty practitioners are pros at recommending natural skin care remedies for customers. But what are the essentials they always keep on hand? We asked Laeh Benyamin, herbalist and esthetician at our store in south Boulder to tell us about Pharmaca favorites.

    ZuZu Luxe Mascara
    “This is hands down the best mascara we carry! It gives a natural look, it’s hypo-allergenic, it never flakes, and it stays on all day.”

    Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream

    “They call it the multi-tasker and that’s exactly what it is—it includes natural mineral SPF 30, anti-aging botanicals, antioxidants and a slight tint to even out skin tone.”

    Astara Blue Flame Purifying Treatment

    “This is a great product for adolescent/adult acne. It can be used as an all-over serum or as a spot treatment. I’ve felt a pimple coming on, put on the blemish serum at night and woke the next morning and it’s gone! It works wonders.”

    John Masters Jojoba & Ginseng Exfoliating Face Cleanser

    “This is a great gentle scrub that’s well-suited to a normal or drier skin type. For dry skin especially, a scrub really helps get the dead skin off the surface so your face can look smooth and bright. This product does the trick without overdrying.”

    Jane Iredale Magic Mitt

    “I take it for every overnight I go on, from camping to the Ritz. It removes my makeup so easily—even mascara. Just wash and use again!”

    Garden of Life Kind Organics Women’s Multi
    “This vitamin is made from 100 organic percent food from a farm, which I love because I think real food is easier for your body to assimilate than synthetic vitamins. I take one every day to ensure I’m getting all the minerals, vitamins and micro-nutrients needed to look and feel healthy.”

  • Ayurvedic Beauty: Let Your Dosha Guide You

    Face of a young womanAyurveda is an ancient natural healing system that teaches us how to maintain optimal health by balancing our mind, body, spirit and environment. To help achieve this balance we need to understand the three doshas, or fundamental energies, that are found in all of us. One dosha is usually prominent in each of us, and keeping that dosha in balance lets us look and feel our best—while dosha imbalance leads to troublesome skin conditions. Here’s more about how our doshas work.

    Determine your dosha

    To help figure out which of the three is your strongest dosha, take this simple Dosha Quiz. You’ll find out if your mind-body type is mostly Vata (air), Pitta (fire) or Kapha (earth). Your dosha determines what energy rules your body, inside and out.

    In terms of your skin, these characteristics are typical for each dosha.

    Vata: Ruled by air. Skin: dry, thin, bruises easily, prone to premature aging

    Pitta: Ruled by fire. Skin: sensitive, reactive, prone to redness and inflammation

    Kapha: Ruled by Earth and water. Skin: oily, plump, soft, large pores, prone to pimples and blackheads


    Dosha do’s

    For your skin to look its best, Ayurvedic practitioners recommend caring for it in a way that balances the energy of your dosha. We asked Kathryn Fairbanks, esthetician and Ayurvedic expert in our Berkeley store, about the best ways to enhance natural beauty and prevent dosha imbalance.

    First off, Kathryn says, it’s important to understand that while our skin type is usually a reflection of our primary dosha, sometimes another dosha comes into play—so ask a practitioner to help guide you toward products that can help maintain balance between the two.


    These lively, restless souls need to keep skin nourished and moisturized, and take steps to treat premature wrinkles and lines. Cleansing skin without drying it out is key; Kathryn recommends Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular Cleansing Oil for the job. Fruit stem cells brighten skin tone and resveratrol-rich grape seed oil balances skin’s natural moisture, and nutrient-dense and collagen-building products help strengthen Vata’s thin skin. Derma E’s Deep Wrinkle Reverse Moisturizer with Peptides Plus uses two powerful peptides to build collagen along with antioxidant green tea and vitamin C to keep further damage in check.


    Keeping cool is the goal for Pittas to avoid redness, inflammation or rashes. To treat reactive skin, Kathryn recommends oil-based vitamin C serums like Sanitas’ Vita C Serum. With a whopping 25 percent lipophilic (i.e. oil attracting) vitamin C concentration, this powerful antioxidant penetrates the skin to repair damage without irritation. Cooling mists and plant hydrosols used throughout the day will ease redness and calm Pitta skin, too. Try Jurlique’s Calendula Redness Rescue Calming Mist with soothing calendula and chamomile, or evanhealy’s Lavender Facial Tonic Hydrosol for sensitive skin.


    Detoxing is the key to healthy Kapha skin, flushing toxins that tend to accumulate in this dosha’s thick, oily skin. Evanhealy’s Lemongrass Facial Polish with Moroccan clay and natural astringent lemongrass is perfect for decongesting skin and deep cleaning pores, says Kathryn. Keep oiliness and blemishes in check with Astara’s Blue Flame Purifying Treatment that clarifies the skin with bacteria-fighting totara tree essence and tea tree oil. Evanhealy’s Lemon Thyme Facial Tonic Hydrosol is another good choice to spritz on after cleansing and throughout the day to balance and tone skin.

  • A Solution for Every Skin Problem

    From breakouts to skin discolorations, Pharmaca has a natural, effective solution for every one of your skin concerns. Here, our estheticians recommend their favorites.

    Astara’s Blue Flame Purifying Treatment
    is a really wonderful product. It’s got salicylic acid, Tottara tree essence, witch hazel and tea tree oil that work together to kill bacteria. It works really well as a spot treatment, and even works for women who have hormonal or stress-related breakouts.
    -Margie Gonzales, Menlo Park

    I recommend the Sanitas Skin Light Gentle, which contains high concentrations of vitamin C and kojic acid to speed cell renewal—the discolored skin will slowly fade and new skin will show through. It also contains a small amount of hydroquinone, which can be prescribed in higher doses by a dermatologist to lighten skin. I also like Jurlique’s new Purely Bright line, which contains a powerful concentration of Kakadu Plum, the world's richest natural fruit source of vitamin C.
    -Lisa Sawabini, Portland

    Our herbalists recommend Quantum’s Scar Reducing Herbal Cream. One of the main ingredients is odorless onion extract, found in a lot of physician-recommended scar treatments, but with vitamin E and 14 other herbs for healing. It’s always best to use immediately after the wound heals, but it may even help later, since it can help heal stretch marks and calluses. We’ve been getting fabulous customer feedback on this for years!
    -Dana Garced, La Jolla

    Dry Skin
    Many skin issues need to be addressed internally, so if someone said they have dry skin, I’d want to make sure they’re taking omega-3s internally and getting lots of fruits and veggies in their diet.

    On the skin, I like Sanitas’ Topical C since it firms the skin, repairs elasticity and can help reduce free radical damage from the sun. I also love anything with hyaluronic acid—it’s a humectant that binds the moisture from the environment to the skin. Even people with oily skin say it helps balance their oil production. Derma E offers a Hyaluronic Acid Crème for day use and a more concentrated formula for the evening.
    -Victoria Haket, Menlo Park

    If you’re looking to treat wrinkles under your eyes, I like the Sanitas PeptiDerm Eye Treatment. Many people see a difference in just a few weeks! Other treatments are meant to prevent wrinkles, but this is actually supposed to reverse the damage that’s already been done. Peptides work on wrinkles in other areas of the skin, too.
    -Catherine Navarro, Brentwood, Calif.  

    Dark circles
    I love the new Cowgirl Extreme Eye Cream—it’s kind of an all-purpose eye treatment for hydration, fine lines, dark circles and puffiness. It’s got collagen-boosting peptides, as well as a shot of vitamins A and C to help keep your eyes looking healthy and bright!
    -Sara A., Seattle - Madison Park

    Get a personalized recommendation for your skin concerns when you speak with a Pharmaca esthetician.

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