Tag Archives: prod-526870

  • Natural Eczema Relief

    PlayfulScience has yet to figure out the exact cause of eczema, a chronic skin condition, but those who experience it know there are variety of things that can set it off—causing red, inflamed, crusty or itchy patches. Children are especially prone; about 10-15 percent of babies will have symptoms. Heat and stress can trigger flare-ups, as can food allergies, soaps, detergents, perfumes and even rough fabrics like wool. If you or your little ones suffer from eczema, try these practices to help ease symptoms.

    Cleanse with shea butter or neem oil. Body washes or soaps can be very drying to sensitive skin; look for one with shea butter or neem oil that are rich in skin-saving fatty acids. Shea Moisture's Raw Shea Chamomile and Argan Oil Baby Eczema Soap cleanses babies and adults with super hydrating shea butter and argan oil, as well as soothing chamomile. Theraneem's Maximum Strength Neem Oil Cleansing Bar Soap combines neem, olive and coconut oils to calm and safely cleanse sensitive skin.

    Moisturize naturally, without synthetic chemicals. Keeping skin well hydrated locks in your skin’s own moisture in and can prevent dry patches from occurring. Moisturizing lotions or creams should be applied often during the day, but be sure they are free from potential irritants like fragrance, parabens or synthetic additives. For severely dry and inflamed skin, esthetician Renee Oleson in Portland says Avene’s Trixera+ Selectiose Emollient Cream is a customer favorite. Featuring mineral-rich thermal spring water and evening primrose oil, this soothing balm calms hyper-sensitive skin and has received a seal of acceptance by the National Eczema Association.

    For a lightweight, yet deeply hydrating, moisturizer, Alaffia’s EveryDay Shea Butter Unscented Body Lotion combines unrefined shea butter with soothing lemongrass. And for kids, parents love Babo Botanicals’ Oatmeal Calendula Moisturizing Baby Lotion, filled with gentle organic botanicals that calm and colloidal oatmeal that comforts dry skin, especially on the scalp.

    Ease the itch with herbs and minerals. Topical ointments can help soothe the itch, and prevent infections in scratched skin. Herbal remedies with burdock root and barberry like Derma E’s Psorzema Creme are great for reducing inflammation. Water can soothe itchiness too, and Avene’s Thermal Spring Water Spray's cooling mist is pH balanced and rich in trace elements and minerals. Or try a warm epsom salt bath—the magnesium in the salt helps reduce swelling (stick with just a teaspoon of salt in the water for babies, and be sure to moisturize afterwards). Hydrocortisone creams are a quick fix, but aren’t recommended for long-term use because they gradually thin the skin and make it more prone to infection.

    Add anti-inflammatory and immune-strengthing supplements to your diet. Supplements like fish oil and probiotics can help, says Dr. Lee Dennis, a naturopathic doctor in Portland, by adding important nutrients that reduce inflammation and modulate the immune system to keep it healthy. Fish oils, like Pharmaca’s Omega-3 Clinical Strength Fish Oil, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that researchers say can reduce leukotrienes, an inflammatory substance that plays a role in eczema. Probiotics are another good addition, as they can keep our immune system strong. Try Jarrow Formulas’ Jarro-Dophilus EPS Higher Potency capsules or Baby’s Jarro-Dophilus Powder, which deliver a blend of beneficial probiotic bacteria.

  • Wedding Beauty Countdown: 6 Months to Perfect Skin, Hair & Nails

    WeddingCouple’ve got the venue, photographer and dress all set, but don’t forget that glowing skin and shiny hair need advance planning, too. With wedding season just months away, here’s what to get started on now to get ready the big day.

    6 months: Get your hair and nails in shape

    Now’s the time to be sure your diet supports healthy hair and nails. Foods rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and zinc are key to fortifying the hair follicle, which leads to healthier hair. Salmon, nuts, legumes and yogurt are especially helpful, and biotin, a B vitamin found in peanuts and almonds, helps nails grow strong, too. For an extra boost, supplement your diet with Enzymatic Therapy’s Biotin Forte with Zinc and Pharmaca’s Omega-3 Clinical Strength Fish Oil.

    3 months: Shine the spotlight on skin

    Camera-ready skin needs to be smooth and glowing. This is the time to faithfully follow an exfoliation and moisturizing routine. Treat oily skin with a gentle exfoliator like evanhealy’s Lemongrass Facial Polish that deep cleans pores and reduces excess sebum and inflammation.

    Follow up with evanhealy’s Lemon Thyme Facial Tonic Hydrosol and Light Moisture Replenishing Fluid to balance and soften skin. Dry or mature skin can improve with weekly brightening treatments like Sanitas’ Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. This mask exfoliates with fresh organic pumpkin and moisturizes with powerful hyaluronic acid and squalane.

    It’s also a good time to experiment with self-tanning lotion so you can execute an expert sun-kissed look on the wedding day. The key to a streak-free finish? Gentle exfoliation before application of a self tanner. Try Weleda’s Birch Body Scrub to polish skin with natural plant wax pearls, then apply jane iredale’s Tantasia Self Tanner for natural-looking color (and no smelly self tanner scent!).

    1 month: Make those makeup decisions

    Makeup experts like the estheticians at Pharmaca can help you choose the right products for a natural, picture-perfect look. Makeup primers, for example, can keep you shine free and extend the life of your makeup. Jane iredale’s Absence Oil Control Primer is a colorless base that prevents oiliness and your makeup from changing color throughout the day. For creaseless eye shadow, blend jane iredale’s Lid Primer in Canvas or their Eye Gloss in Pink Silk over the entire lid before applying eye shadow.

    And don’t forget to shape your brows! Get help from an esthetician at Pharmaca, or read more about strategies for creating the perfect arch.

    1 week: Put together your emergency kit

    Having a kit with your essentials nearby can ease some wedding day stress from last-minute snafus or makeup problems. Facial powder, concealer, lip gloss, deodorant, floss, an energy bar, safety pins and a mini sewing kit are all good ideas. Pack them all in a cute bag like Danica’s Ephemera Linen Cosmetic Bag. These bags are thoughtful gifts for your bridesmaids, too!

    1 day: Pamper

    Feeling a little jittery? Calming lavender to the rescue! Treat yourself to a relaxing bath with Pharmaca’s Lavender Bath Salts, or a luxurious hair treatment with John Masters’ Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner. A pampering way to put you in just the right mood.

    Wedding Day: Relax and enjoy the fruits of your preparation. Congrats!

  • Omega-3s for Better Health (Video)

    Learn why omega-3s are an important part of your diet. Here, Dr. Tieraona Low Dog talks about why you should be getting fish in your diet or supplementing with fish oil. Fish oil is especially vital during pregnancy and early childhood because it supports cognitive development and eye and nerve health, and can be great for supporting cardiovascular health in later life. Some evidence has even shown it can help prevent cancer, support weight loss, improve insulin resistance, reduce inflammation and more.

  • Natural Care for Aging Joints and Bones

    FibromyalgiaStiff, achy joints and brittle bones don’t have to be an inevitable part of aging. Natural supplements and nutrients can help keep us strong, explains Dr. Matt Murphy, a chiropractor and practitioner at our Napa store. These remedies, along with vitamin-rich foods and exercise, can go a long way in keeping our bones and joints fit and feeling good.

    Keep inflammation down

    As we age we notice the after-effects of physical activity a lot more than we used to. Natural anti-inflammatories can help reduce the swelling and pain of achy joints, and may be safer than pharmaceutical NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), Dr. Murphy tell us.

    “Chronic, long-term use of NSAIDS may actually damage joints, and reduce cartilage. Natural turmeric, bromelain and ginger work well to reduce swelling and related pain.” Pharmaca's Turmeric & Bromelain Capsules combine the anti-inflammatory power of turmeric root extract and curcumin (turmeric’s active compound) with bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple that enhances absorption. Gaia Herbs' Ginger Supreme Caps blend ginger root extract with turmeric to ease inflammation in joints. And systemic enzymes, such as Garden of Life's Wobenzym, can also help break down inflammation-causing proteins in the joints.

    Omega-3 fatty acids are another good choice for helping reduce inflammation and keeping joints lubricated. A diet that includes omega-3 rich foods is your first line of defense, but if yours doesn’t include plenty of fish like salmon, mackerel or sardines, a natural omega-3 supplement like Pharmaca's Omega-3 Clinical Strength Fish Oil can help.

    Repair the damage

    When cartilage (the cushion in the joint) breaks down, natural supplements can help repair the damage, says Dr. Murphy. Glucosamine and chondroitin, which are found in and around the tissue that surrounds joints, have been found to help reduce pain and stimulate the repair of cartilage. MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), a naturally occurring sulfur compound, is often combined with glucosamine and chondroitin because it can slow down joint degeneration and help speed exercise recovery.

    Pharmaca's MSM with Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfates has all three of these active ingredients. Glucosamine usually comes from shrimp or crab shells, so those with shellfish allergies or sensitivities can use Genuine Health's Fast Joint + Care. It uses natural eggshell membranes (NEM) that provide similar joint benefits, and studies have shown it works well in reducing pain and increasing flexibility.

    Build strong bones

    Women over the age of 50 (and men over 75) need to take extra care of their bones to prevent osteopenia (low bone density) and osteoporosis. “Calcium and magnesium supplements, taken with vitamin D to help absorption, are the way to go. Jarrow Formulas' Bone-Up features calcium, magnesium and vitamin D, along with boron, an essential nutrient that helps build healthy bones,” says Dr. Murphy. And be sure to take calcium supplements twice a day instead of all at once for better absorption.

    Dr. Murphy also reminds us to include light resistance exercise in our workout routine to increase bone density, and eat bone-strengthening foods including dairy, dark leafy greens and fish like tuna and salmon that are rich in vitamin D.

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