Pharmaca Blog

  • Get spa-quality skin care at Pharmaca

    SanitasMasks

    You already know Pharmaca has certified estheticians on staff to help you find the best skin care routine for your skin type.

    But did you know that because of their training, our estheticians are allowed to sell the kind of cleansers, moisturizers and masks typically available only at your favorite spa or dermatologists’ office?

    For more about the many benefits these premium “spa-quality” skin care lines offer, read on.

    Avène

    A favorite of dermatologists, Avène’s soothing, calming formulas address a multitude of skin concerns. Each product contains therapeutic thermal spring water to refresh and rejuvenate the skin.

    “Our customers with sensitive skin especially love this line from the south of France,” says merchandising manager Tiana Ukleja. “The thermal spring water is infused with trace elements and silicates, which offer healing benefits.”

    The popular line also includes formulas for dry, aging or oily skin types, with everything from cleansers to soothing masks and anti-wrinkle creams to gentle make-up removers.

    Pharmaca now carries super-hydrating Avène’s sun care, which provides chemical-free, broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

    Product Pick

    Available in a convenient, travel-size bottle, Avène Thermal Spring Water soothes, softens and calms skin.

    Sanítas

    With its emphasis on skin health, Sanítas is specially formulated to target and correct a variety of skin care challenges, from hyperpigmentation and rosacea to fine lines, wrinkles and acne.

    “What sets Sanítas apart is its unique philosophy of alternating between stimulating and nourishing your skin,” explains Tiana. “They recommend using more active ingredients like alpha or beta hydroxy acids one day and then giving your skin ‘a rest’ by using more nourishing cleansers the next.”

    With regimens for dry, oily and normal skin, Sanítas offers introductory kits so customers can try out a line for 30 days. Each kit includes a travel-size active cleanser, resting cleanser, toner, moisturizer and serum. There are also masks, peels and spot treatments for a variety of skin concerns.

    Product Pick

    Pumpkin Enzyme Mask: Organic pumpkin enzymes break down impurities, oil and dead skin while stimulating healthy cell growth and reducing age spots.

    Astara

    Best known for its hydrating, detoxifying and exfoliating masks, Astra’s products and treatments are synergistically formulated to reverse the damaging effects of aging, the environment and lifestyle factors.

    “Astara has been around for nearly two decades and has developed a cult following,” explains Tiana.

    Formulated with raw plants, powerful antioxidents, flower essences and sea extracts, Astara offers cleansing gels, moisturizers, purifying treatments and purification masks featuring pure ingredients. Pharmaca estheticians often recommend products from this natural skin pioneer for acne sufferers.

    Product Pick

    Astara Blue Flame Collection: Penetrates clogged pores, clarifies skin tone and soothes inflammation.

    <p class="italic">Speak with a Pharmaca practioner about your health and beauty questions.</p>

  • 6 Mother's Day Gift Ideas

    For the years of wiped noses, changed diapers, cuts cleaned, bruises kissed and feelings comforted, it’s time to show mom you appreciate her. Pharmaca has you covered with an endless selection of gift options: luscious natural bath and beauty kits, aromatherapy essentials, tea time luxuries, yoga accessories and other special items.

    NEXT UP: TEA TIME

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Tea Time

    Kick off Mother’s Day with breakfast in bed, accompanied by Tea Forte’s adorable ceramic teapot filled with a rich chocolate rose brew of hand-picked loose leaf black tea. A well-deserved indulgence.

    Serenity Now


    Bring the spa home with SpaRoom Essentials’ Aromaharmony, a Bluetooth-connected wireless sound system that diffuses delicate scents and soft sounds to create the a peaceful retreat. Enhance the atmosphere with one of Caldrea’s beautiful and uniquely scented candles for a hint of lavender pine or ginger pomelo. For a quick aromatherapy refresh on the go, Pacifica’s natural, portable roll-on scents pack away in mom’s purse perfectly.

    Luxury Beauty Kits

    For a little bit of luxury, Pharmaca’s high-end beauty brands offer popular cosmetics and natural skin care in a gorgeous assortment of kits. Help mom refresh and revive with Dr. Hauschka’s radiance-boosting, spa-quality home facial kit, which includes a porcelain mask mixing bowl, natural bristle application brush and a selection of revitalizing and refreshing masks to open pores and revive skin. Follow up with one of MyChelle’s ‘Hello, Beautiful’ collections, which include serum, sun care, scrub, cleanser, hydration mist and moisturizer, each customized for individual skin types.

    Springtime Nail Care

    Help mom show off natty nails and on-trend toes with an array of springtime nail polish shades—think Deborah Lippman’s pretty pink, hint of mint and tropical sunsets—and soft, creamy lotions that keep hands soft and delicately scented. Pre de Provence’s set of three shea butter hand creams allows mom to soothe her hands anytime, with one tube for her bag, one for her desk and the other for her car. For portable touch-ups, Tweezerman’s Mini Nail Rescue Kit cures cuticle woes as it cleans away the grime of the day, neatening nails in a jiffy.

    Blissful Bath

    A relaxing bath can be a rare indulgence. For Mother’s Day, help mom up-level a blissful bath experience with Kneipp’s Revive 5 natural herbal bath collection. In Lavender, Pure Bliss, Enjoy Life, Stress Free and Soft Skin, each bath oil offers a new experience in meditative relaxation. Add Eco Tools’ Bamboo Bristle Bath Brush and Ahava’s Deadsea Mud Gentle Body Scrub for silky exfoliation and a sense of renewal.

    Yoga Essentials

    Say Om. Paired with a punch card to her favorite studio, an eco-friendly yoga mat and Earthlust’s cool graphic water bottle are just the thing for your favorite yogi. A light spritz of Aura Cacia's Organic Purifying Yoga Mist brings an element of relaxing aromatherapy to her yoga session.

     

  • More about Medium Chain Triglycerides: The Saturated Fat With Benefits!

    CoconutOil

    Contrary to popular thought, not all saturated fats can lead to heart disease and obesity. That’s because they’re not all created equal—Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), for example, are saturated fats with many health benefits, including support for metabolism, energy and beauty. (Learn more about the beauty benefits of MCTs and coconut oil here.)

    What Are Medium Chain Triglycerides?

    Medium Chain Triglycerides are saturated fats naturally found in coconut oil and palm kernel oils (and in lesser amounts in whole milk and butter). Long Chain Triglycerides (LCTs), on the other hand, are the most abundant fat in nature, and the source of 98 percent of our dietary fat.

    Medium and Long Chain Triglycerides are named based on the length of their carbon chains, and as you would suspect, LCTs have longer carbons chains than MCTs. This structural difference affects how each fat is metabolized—LCTs pass slowly through the digestive tract, requiring bile salts and enzymes to break them down, then entering the lymphatic system and ending up mostly in fat stores as conserved energy. Conversely, MCTs are metabolized by the liver—bypassing the lymphatic system and the need for bile salts and enzymes—making them available for quick energy.

    MCTs for metabolism and weight management

    By replacing common LCTs with MCTs in your diet, you reap many metabolism- and weight-associated benefits. First, MCTs provide about 10 percent fewer calories per gram than LCTs. Consuming MCTs also slows down accumulation of fat over time, since MCTs are not stored in fat deposits the way LCTs are. MCTs may also suppress appetite.

    To get started, try cooking and baking with coconut oil to get more fat calories from MCTs and fewer from LCTs. Palm kernel and coconut oils are also great for cooking because they are stable at high temperatures, unlike vegetable oils such as canola oil.

    Other healthy benefits of MCTs

    Energy – As we’ve established, MCTs provide quick energy because they are so readily metabolized by the liver. This makes them great for endurance athletes, bodybuilders or anyone looking for a quick energy boost.

    Heart Health – MCTs promote normal blood platelet function, healthy cholesterol levels and prevent plaque build-up. Worth noting: Pacific Islanders—whose diet features a whopping 30-60 percent coconut content—show nearly non-existent rates of cardiovascular disease.

    Brain Health – MCTs may also be helpful in supporting cognitive health. Here’s why: The brain regularly uses insulin to convert glucose to brain fuel. When insulin response is compromised (e.g. through poor diet or diabetes), the brain can starve of the glucose-converted energy it needs. But MCTs can be converted into ketone bodies or ketoacids, an alternative form of fuel for the brain. In this way, the body treats MCTs more like a carbohydrate than a fat, turning it into quick brain fuel.

    Immunity – The fatty acids in coconut oil (i.e. capric, caprylic and lauric acids) have many immune-benefitting properties, including anti-microbial actions.

    Ways to get your MCTs

    Ready to improve energy, boost immunity and brain power, manage weight and beautify your skin and hair? Pharmaca carries a variety of great products containing MCTs.

    NOW Foods’ MCT Oil – A blend of liquefied pure coconut/palm kernel oils.

    Nutiva’s Organic Red Palm Oil – A buttery, MCT-rich oil that’s great for sauces, sautéing and baking. (Note: Red palm oil is not to be confused with palm kernel oil that has a richer amount of MCTs.)

    Nature’s Way’s Liquid Coconut Premium Oil Made from pure, expeller-pressed coconuts, and formulated to maintain a liquid form wither refrigerated or at room temperature. A great alternative for vegetable oil in cooking, or adding to dressing, sauces and dips.

    Jarrow Formulas’ Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Made with organic, non-GMO, cold-pressed coconuts. Try the easy-to-take pill form, or the solid form that’s great for cooking, baking and for use topically on the hair and skin.

    Nature’s Way’s EFAGold Coconut Oil – Another great option made from certified organic, non-GMO, extra virgin coconuts. Cold pressed, hexane-free, unrefined and non-bleached.

  • Get Extra Protection from Natural Sunscreen Boosters

    LadyOnBeachWe know that mineral sunscreens like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are very effective at physically blocking damaging UVA and UVB rays without harmful chemicals. But did you know that these skin protectors can get a boost from certain natural botanicals that prevent and repair UV radiation damage? Look for these added ingredients in your sunscreen to amp up its protective qualities.

    Licorice

    Recent scientific studies show that licorice root extract can boost our skin’s defenses against UV rays by producing antioxidant molecules in our skin that create a protective shield. The active ingredient in licorice, Licochalcone A, combined with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, gives us a more complete defense. Kiss My Face’s Sunscreen Oat Protein Complex SPF 30 blends licorice extract with skin-calming oat protein and powerful antioxidants to provide extra protection from sun damage. Or add licorice to your daily skin care routine by applying Eminence’s Bright Skin Licorice Root Booster Serum before your sunscreen. This multi-purpose serum combines pure licorice root with skin brighteners to created protected skin with more even tone.

    Tea

    Green and white teas contain antioxidants called polyphenols that make our skin more resistant to UV radiation and protect us against cell damage caused by sunburn, say researchers. Drinking just two cups of green tea daily boosts our skin’s ability to repair damage from the sun’s rays.

    Makes sense, then, that tea extract added to our daily sunscreen can maximize the benefits of these powerful antioxidants. Green tea extract, grape seed juice and zinc oxide come together to protect and moisturize in Elemental Herbs’ Sport Zinc Sunscreen SPF 33, which goes on smooth without leaving a sticky white residue. And white tea and licorice extracts combine with both zinc and titanium dioxide in Mineral Fusion’s Oil-Free Moisturizer SPF 15 to provide a light, daily facial moisturizer and sunscreen that’s especially good for oily skin.

    Sesame

    Plant oils have been found to block UV rays, and sesame oil is one of the most effective, blocking about 30 percent of the UV rays. It’s rich in antioxidants too, neutralizing free radicals that cause skin damage and premature wrinkles. Elemental Herbs’ Zinc Sunstick SPF 30 blends organic sesame seed oil with zinc oxide in an easy-to-use stick. And kids and babies get SPF 30 protection from zinc and sesame seed oil in Babo Botanicals’ Clear Zinc Sport Stick that absorbs quickly and goes on clear.

    Aloe Vera

    Known for its skin-healing and anti-inflammatory properties, aloe also helps absorb damaging UV rays. Rich in aloe leaf juice powder, MyChelle’s Sun Shield SPF 28, maximizes sun protection with both botanical and physical sun blockers. Its unscented, chemical-free formula is especially good for sensitive skin. Finally, customer favorite Goddess Garden’s Sunny Body Organic Sunscreen Continuous Spray SPF 30 adds organic aloe vera and calming lavender and honeysuckle extracts to a lightweight zinc and titanium dioxide formula that sprays on for fast, easy application.

  • The ABCs of Adrenal Health

    Massage Lady
    Are you tired and sluggish? Having trouble sleeping? These are just a few symptoms of adrenal fatigue, which many of our practitioners believe can be the result of a nutrient-poor diet and high levels of stress.

    Finding relief can be easier when you understand how best to nourish your adrenal glands. We asked certified herbalist and nutritionist Shizandra Fox from our Sonoma store to shed some light on this all-too-common syndrome.

    What are the adrenal glands?

    Sometimes called the body’s “shock absorbers,” the adrenals are two thumb-shaped glands located above your kidneys. Kicking into high gear when we feel stress, the adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones including, cortisol, norepinephrine and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

    What are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue?

    People suffering from adrenal fatigue are usually very run down, have difficulty sleeping, wake up with panic and can be overly emotional. In addition, Shizandra often notices her customers complaining of:

    • Low blood sugar
    • Poor circulation
    • Depression
    • Low self-esteem
    • Muscle weakness
    • Pain in the joints
    • Constipation
    • Compromised immune function

    How does diet affect adrenal fatigue?

    What you eat and drink can make a huge difference in how you feel, Shizandra says. That’s why she recommends that before you take any herb or supplement, you first clean up your diet—and keep it cleaned up. Here are a few simple ways to do that:

    • Choose fresh, whole foods, preferably organic and locally grown.
    • Include lean protein with each meal and snack to help stabilize blood sugar.
    • Try to prepare extra nutritious snacks to have on hand when you crave sugar and caffeine.

    Shizandra also recommends preparing the digestive tract with a combination of probiotics, enzymes and minerals that can help boost absorption of any supplements you take for adrenal nourishment. She also suggests a morning “liver flush” of 12–16 ounces of filtered water with lemon juice, and advocates for taking a good B complex that includes pantothenic acid or B5.

    What supplements can help?

    First, Shizandra has customers describe their symptoms, so she can best match an herb or supplement with what they need. “If they’re feeling primarily depleted, for example, then I might suggest rhodiola to support their energy levels,” she says. “Or, if they’re really stressed out, I might suggest ashwagandha for its calming effect.”

    Rhodiola, along with ashwagandha, astragalus and eleuthero are among a class of herbs called adaptogens, which are said to help you adapt to physical, emotional and environmental forms of stress.

    One popular adaptogen blend Shizandra frequently recommends is MegaFood’s Adrenal Strength, which includes functional food mushrooms, along with astragalus and schisandra to help to strengthen adrenals and support immune health.

    And to promote better sleep and help normalize stress-related hormones, Shizandra often suggests Gaia Herbs’ Adrenal Health, which includes a combination of ashwagandha, rhodiola, holy basil, schisandra and wild oats. Shizandra also loves Vitanica’s Adrenal Assist, a naturopath-developed formula that supports and promotes adrenal hormone production with key nutrients and a variety of adaptogenic herbs.

    Finally, because stress plays such an important role in adrenal fatigue, Shizandra tells customers to do anything they can to lower their overall stress level on a daily basis—get enough sleep, exercise regularly or breathe more deeply.

    If you’re feeling run down and are wondering how to nourish your adrenals, talk with a Pharmaca practitioner today for customized solutions.

  • Buyer Spotlight: What's in our Lifestyle Buyer's Medicine Cabinet?

    MCsFavesEver wonder what the person who gets to make all the decisions about our lifestyle category keeps around for herself? We asked our Lifestyle Buyer, Mary Catherine Horgan, to break down the Pharmaca faves she always has with her.

    Wean Green Food Storage Containers
    These are my everyday food storage containers. There’s a perfect size for everything, from sauces to salads. The lids don’t leak and the tempered glass doesn’t break, even when I drop a container. Plus the vibrant colors make me happy!”

    Bucky Travel Pillows
    “I love Bucky's buckwheat and millet-filled pillows that adjust to exactly where I need support, meaning I am comfortable no matter what position I’m snoozing in. The Duo Bed Pillow is great for home and the Minnie travel pillow is perfect for on the go!”

    Radius Vegan Xylitol Antibacterial Cranberry Floss Sachets
    “These single-use packets of dental floss are so ingenious! They’re so small that they can fit into my wallet or purse so I always have dental floss when I need it.”

    SpaRoom Aromaharmony
    “I love how clever this product is—it combines an essential oil diffuser with soothing colored lights and a Bluetooth receiver, creating an instant spa environment in any room.”

    One Love Organics Vitamin C Facial Serum
    We sell so many awesome facial care products at Pharmaca, but this is one of my favorites! I love the scent and consistency—and I really love how this makes my skin brighter and more radiant.”

    Goodlight Natural Candles Tea Lights
    These candles are inexpensive, eco-friendly and unscented—making them the perfect way to add a warm glow to any room. I imagine myself using them to decorate my back deck for a fabulous summer dinner party this summer.”

    Pharmaca Barrel Mug
    “I gave this as a gift to my husband and brother-in-law, both whom use it all the time and get so many compliments on them! They love that the extra insulation keeps beverages keeps their coffee hot for hours.”

  • The Gratitude Challenge: Simple Ways to Start a Gratitude Practice

    Grateful Lady“What we think, we become.”
    — Buddha

    What boosts your mood, lowers your blood pressure and even strengthens your immune system? The answer may surprise you. It’s gratitude.

    Turns out, people who make a point of being thankful for the blessings in their lives feel better than those who do not. Studies show they experience more joy, act with more compassion and even feel less isolated.

    Here at Pharmaca, we understand how important the mind-body connection is to your overall wellbeing. And we know that spending just a few minutes a day practicing gratitude can impact your health. Below are some simple ways you can start your own gratitude practice.

    Keep a gratitude journal. Write down three things you are grateful for each day in a notebook. (Or, just jot them down on your calendar.) Be sure to be as specific as possible. For example: “I am grateful for my strong legs and powerful lungs.” Not, “I am grateful for my health.”

    Send a thank you letter. Take a moment and express gratitude to someone you’ve never properly thanked with a short, handwritten letter. This can be especially powerful if you write to someone with whom you share a complicated history. The trick is to be as genuine as possible.

    Share during dinner. Like saying grace, have your family take turns expressing their appreciation for specific things that happened during their day. Be sure to acknowledge each person’s contribution before going on to the next person.

    Use visual reminders. Inspirational messages, quotes and uplifting pictures around your home or office can remind you to stop, breathe and remember to focus on gratitude during your busy day.

    Read inspirational material. Autobiographies, blog posts, Facebook feeds—there’s a never-ending supply of sources that can move you to appreciate all of the good in your life.

    Take a gratitude walk. Slow down, be in the moment and notice your surroundings. Take in the birds singing, the clouds rolling by, the rustle of leaves in the trees. Pause and appreciate the beauty nature offers us each and every day.

    Notice the lesson. Think about a hardship you’ve experienced—losing a loved one or job. What did you learn from the situation that you can now be grateful for? When you find yourself being negative, stop and reframe your thoughts to find this positive point of view.

    Get support. Find a similar-minded group of people who focus on practicing gratitude, like a meditation group (learn more about how to get started with a simple practice). If there’s no one in your local community, look for one online—or challenge your friends to share what they’re grateful for every day for a week through social media.

    Have other great ideas about how you incorporate an attitude of gratitude into your daily life? Tell us your favorite way to practice gratitude below.

  • Coconut Oil’s Beauty Benefits

    coconutBake with it, take it by the spoonful or smear it on dry elbows: No matter how you use coconut oil, you’ll find that it’s chock full of healthy benefits, due in part to its high content of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).

    What are MCTs? First, let’s talk about what they’re not—they’re not long chain triglycerides (LCTs), which are the most abundant fat found in nature and the source of 98 percent of our dietary fat. LCTs are digested slowly and stored in fat deposits; MCTs, on the other hand, are digested quickly and used for immediate energy. MCTs also contain fatty acids that benefit immunity.

    Coconut oil has the highest naturally occurring MCT content, making it a great source of MCTs for both internal and external benefits:

    • Coconut oil nourishes connective tissues, keeping skin healthy and smooth, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and promoting even skin tone.
    • Coconut fats are deeply moisturizing and reduce moisture loss through skin pores.
    • Coconut oil’s antioxidant-like activity provides protection from the aging effects of free radicals.
    • Coconut oil contains fatty acids (e.g. lauric acid) with strong disinfectant and anti-microbial properties, meaning it can help prevent infection when used internally or applied topically to wounds.
    • The lauric acid in coconut oil is also a great mouth disinfectant. Try swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil for 15 minutes (then spitting into the trash) for a brighter smile and enhanced oral health.
    • Coconut and palm kernel oils contain vitamin E—a powerful antioxidant that’s essential for skin growth and repair, protection from cracking, prevention of premature aging and wrinkling, and enhanced sun tolerance.
    • Proteins in coconut oil contribute to cellular health and tissue repair, providing relief for skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.

     

    Our coconut oil and MCT-filled favorites:

    Barlean’s MCT Swirl – A daily liquid supplement that features the delicious taste and texture of a coconut smoothie—as well as important omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA.

    Coconut Oils from Nature’s Way and Jarrow Formulas – Choose from a number of multi-use products that are made from pure, organic coconuts. Great for daily supplementation, cooking, and skin and hair care!

    Pharmaca brand Organic Coconut & Vanilla Lip Balm Our very own delicious, nourishing and moisturizing lip balm made with certified organic coconut oil.

    Eminence’s Coconut Age Corrective MoisturizerThis ultra-hydrating, pH-balancing and toning organic face cream is made with coconut oil and coconut water, natural retinol, green apple stem cells and shea butter.

    MyChelle’s Sun Shield SPF 28 Coconut Nourishing broad-spectrum mineral sun protection featuring coconut and palm kernel oils, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

    Nubian Heritage’s Coconut Papaya Deodorant An effective natural deodorant with coconut oil to keep underarm skin moisturized and soft.

    Elemental Herbs’ All Good Organic Coconut Skin FoodOrganic, unrefined coconut oil for all-over moisturizing skin care...in scents like lavender or lemongrass!

    Creative uses for coconut oil

    Use as an all-over moisturizer - Deep condition hair - Use as a cuticle soother to improve nail health - Try it as a shave oil - Run a small dab through wet hair to eliminate frizz - Remove makeup - Clear up cold sores with coconut’s anti-viral properties - Use as a massage oil - Combine with salt or sugar to make the perfect exfoliant - Use as diaper cream for baby’s bottom - Decrease stretch marks during pregnancy - Use as an after-sun soother - Use as a carrier base for essential oils (e.g. natural perfume or natural bug repellant) - Use in dips, spreads, sauces or add to food and smoothies - Swap it for butter or vegetable oil in baking and cooking

  • Teething, Gas & Eczema: Natural Solutions to Infant Problems

    BabyAcne? Gas? Eczema? If you’ve had a baby, you know that all of these can crop up in baby’s first few weeks of life. Thankfully baby’s skin woes, belly blues and teething troubles can be relieved with a variety of natural techniques and remedies that soothe your little one and ease your mind.

    Baby Acne

    Many babies develop small red bumps or pimples on their face within 2-4 weeks after birth, most likely from hormones transferred in the latter stages of pregnancy. It usually clears up within 4 months, but keeping skin clean and dry and free of oils is the best way to treat the condition, say doctors at the Mayo Clinic. Gently washing baby’s face with plain water or a fragrance-free soap like Dr. Bronner’s Mild Baby Unscented Liquid Soap help keep bumps in check.

    Cradle Cap

    White or yellow scaly patches or crusty skin on the scalp, ears and nose (usually without itchiness) can be symptoms of cradle cap, a condition common in newborns. It often clears up by 8 months, but gentle shampooing is recommended while cradle cap symptoms are present. We like Earth’s Best Baby Shampoo & Body Wash, which features oat kernel oil and aloe vera to calm symptoms. Brushing the scalp lightly with a soft brush while shampooing can also help remove scales.

    Eczema

    Red, rough itchy patches on your baby’s body, especially cheeks, and elbow and knee creases, are often signs of baby eczema. Dry skin, heat, irritants from fragrances in products and even allergens in food can trigger the patches, which usually diminish over time. Keeping your baby’s skin moisturized is important, and using products with itch-relieving botanicals can ease fussiness. Babo Botanicals’ Moisturizing Baby Shampoo & Wash blends aloe with oatmilk and calendula that comfort and hydrate sensitive skin, while Pharmaca’s Little Pip Baby Lotion protects with olive oil, calendula and lavender.

    We also like eczema-specific lotions and washes from TruKid and Avene’s Trixera line, both of which have the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association.

    Diaper Rash

    Symptoms of diaper rash tend to increase around 9-12 months—wet diapers and chafing are the biggest culprits, so keeping your baby dry and clean is the best way to help prevent the rash. Try soft, chlorine-free, natural wipes like The Honest Company’s Baby Wipes for cleaning irritated skin, and apply Weleda’s White Mallow Diaper Rash Cream with zinc oxide to help heal irritation.

    Baby Gas

    Swallowing air when bottle or breastfeeding, or even crying, can cause gassiness in babies, who can pass gas as much as 20 times a day! As their digestive tracks grow and mature it becomes less of a problem, but until then, tried-and-true remedies like burping, keeping baby’s head higher than the stomach while feeding or working out the extra gas with gentle massage can help. Hyland’s Baby Gas Drops are another great way to naturally calm baby’s belly and ease bloating.

    Teething

    Fussiness, drooling and refusing to eat are common symptoms of teething, which usually starts around 6 months of age. Refrigerated teething rings are a great way to provide relief for their little gums—Lifefactory’s Silicone Teether can be worn as a bracelet on mom, so it’s always handy. If pain relief is needed, try the parent-approved Hyland’s Baby Teething Gel for immediate soothing of irritated gums.

  • 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.

    Vata

    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.

    Pitta

    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.

    Kapha

    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.

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