Tag Archives: skin care

  • Help for those with dry, sensitive skin

    Here in Boulder, Colo., where Pharmaca has its headquarters, we revel in the mixed blessing of dry air. While it's great to live without the humidity during the warm summers, at about this point in the season the dry air can lead to cracked, rough skin.

    That's why a recent study in the journal Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology got us so excited. Turns out, supplementing with flaxseed oil (a good source of essential fatty acids), can help not only hydrate and smooth skin, but also reduce sensitivity.

    The study followed women who were given supplements of either safflower seed oil or flax oil. After 12 weeks, the women who were supplementing with the flaxseed had significant increases in skin hydration and smoothness, along with decreased sensitivity and transepidermal water loss.

    To find out why, we spoke with some practitioners at our South Boulder store, who told us that flaxseed contains a unique essential fatty acid called alpha-lipoic acid. ALA creates a fatty understructure in the skin that helps smooth out and plump the skin. Sounds good, right?

    While you can consume flaxseed through your diet, you can get higher concentrations through supplementation. Pharmaca offers flaxseed in either capsules or liquid form, with liquid being the biggest “bang for your buck.”

    Our staffers like Barleans Lignan Flaxseed Oil, a tasty way to get a liquid dose every day. Barlean’s even offers a combination oil, Total Omega Swirl, that includes GLA from Borage and Evening Primrose Oils, and EPA and DHA from Fish Oils.

    If you prefer a capsule, Pharmaca's Certified Organic Flaxseed Oil is another great way to go. Talk to a practitioner about how to incorporate more flax into your supplement regimen!

  • Compact for Safe Cosmetics closing down

    You may have heard that the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, the coalition of skin care companies who have pledged to remove hazardous ingredients in their products, is being closed to new signers. The goal of the Compact, developed by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, was to improve the safety of cosmetics and skin care products, and make ingredient information widely available so that consumers can make educated choices.

    The closing of the Compact means that companies who have signed it will have until June 2011 to come into compliance with the Compact (details of compliance requirements here). Ultimately it seems as though the administration of the Compact was simply too cumbersome for the CSC, but they are hoping to continue the work in different ways.

    What does this mean for the Pharmaca products you love? Many of our personal care products, including those from jane iredale, Juice Beauty, Giovanni, MyChelle and more have already signed the Compact, and will continue to be noted as signers in EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. You can also find them noted on shelves in our stores. And as always, you can rely on Pharmaca to be the trusted editor of your natural skin care products.

  • Saving your winter skin

    With the chill of winter comes a tendency for our skin to get a little, well, flaky. We talked with Pam Martinie, esthetician and assistant manager at Pharmaca’s Seattle-Wallingford store about battling the dry skin blues.

    Step 1: Hydrate
    We all know water is vital to keeping skin hydrated, but here’s a special tip from Pam: Drink an extra glass of room-temperature water right before bed. Even if it’s hard to get down 8 glasses throughout the day, Pam says, “make the most of the resting period at night, when cell repair is going on.”

    Step 2: Eat right
    Give your skin a fighting chance by adding in the good fats found in salmon, almonds and avocados, says Pam. And add a good dose of vitamin A—necessary for skin tissue repair—through leafy greens like chard and collard greens.

    Step 3: Nourish
    Supplement with an essential-fatty-acid rich fish oil to “lubricate skin from the inside out.” Pam likes Pharmax or Nordic Naturals fish oils. She also suggests adding a probiotic like Pharmax Maintenance to boost gut health, which is linked to the health of our skin.

    Step 4: Cleanse
    Counter-intuitive as it sounds, “jane iredale has this magic mitt that allows you to wash your face without cleanser,” says Pam. “If you’re extra sensitive to cleansers, use the magic mitt at night to keep skin supple and soft without stripping it.” If you can handle liquid cleansers, Pam recommends milky products like Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk or one of Primavera's Cream Cleansers. In addition, Pam suggests sloughing dead skin cells with a good scrub at least once a week. She likes Astara Daily Refining Scrub for its polishing effects.

    Step 5: Moisturize
    For the driest cases, Pam will suggest a serious moisture infusion with Dr. Hauschka Moisturizing Mask or Primavera Multi-Purpose Face Oil. “Wear that to bed once or twice a week to help the skin feel more balanced,” she says. For everyday use, try Jurlique Balancing Day Care Cream.

    To find the perfect solution for your winter skin problems, speak with a Pharmaca esthetician today.

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