Tag Archives: prod-528332

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

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