Pharmaca Blog

  • Easy Switches for a Healthy Thanksgiving

    SaladEaterIf you’ve got dinner guests following a Paleo, Gluten-Free or Vegan diet—or just anyone concerned with all the calories that come with Thanksgiving dinner—planning a meal that will suit everyone’s needs is no small task. But fear not: A few easy switches can accommodate them and help everyone celebrate and enjoy the holidays! We got ideas for simple swaps from Nutritionists Liz Gilliam in Albuquerque and Toni Eastwood in Redmond.

    Traditional trade outs
    Thankfully roasted turkey (white meat without the skin) is low in fat and calories. But traditional side dishes can be loaded with hidden fat and sugar. Canned cranberry sauce is full of high fructose corn syrup, Liz says. She suggests making a cranberry side dish with fresh cranberries (like this Cranberry Apple Sauce—it’s super easy, tastes better and is loaded with healthy antioxidants).

    Other healthy ideas

    • Bread stuffing comes packed with carbohydrates that can leave us feeling bloated, says Liz. Instead, try a stuffing made with whole grains that are rich in protein (like this Quinoa Stuffing).
    • Homemade gravy can be high in fat, so be sure to skim the fat off before using pan drippings.
    • For dessert, Liz tell us to choose pumpkin pie over pecan; it has about half of the calories and pumpkin is rich in vitamins A and C, and potassium, to boot. Fruit desserts are an elegant and healthy option, too—try these Vanilla Poached Pears that are naturally high in fiber to aid digestion.

    Paleo swaps
    Paleo dieters enjoy all things that could be hunted or gathered in the caveman era. Roasted poultry or meat and root veggies are ideal, but grains, dairy and refined sugar are a no-no—so traditional foods will need some tweaking. Bread stuffing can easily be Paleo-fied by using only chopped onions, apples and celery. Or try a pork, apple and cranberry recipe like this Best Ever Paleo Thanksgiving Stuffing.

    Instead of mashed potatoes whipped with milk or cheese, try blending boiled or steamed cauliflower with a little butter or almond milk in a food processor, then adding roasted garlic or chives. Finally, think nut crusts when you’re looking for a flavorful switch for pies. This Grain-free Pumpkin Pie is Paleo-friendly with an almond and coconut grain-free crust and yummy pumpkin-honey filling.

    Vegan swaps
    Adding a veggie, grain and bean dish will keep vegans (and non-vegans, too!) happy at holiday meals. Fall produce like squash, apples and pumpkin are especially welcome. Stuffed butternut squash filled with rice, Brussels sprouts, garbanzo beans and flavorful spices is an easy make-ahead dish. Traditional Style Vegan Shepherd’s Pie cooked in individual baking dishes is a full-flavored side or main dish (and can easily be made with regular dairy products for vegetarians). And celebrate the fall harvest with Vegan Pumpkin Pie Blondies, moist brownie-like bars with a spicy twist.

    Gluten-free swaps
    For those with celiac disease, or gluten sensitivities, think beyond traditional bread stuffing for a side dish and try protein-rich ancient grains or rice, Toni tells us. Baked Rice flavored with shitake mushrooms and saffron pairs beautifully with roasted poultry or meat dishes. Or choose a quinoa-based salad like Quinoa with Currants, Dill and Zucchini. Using nuts instead of flour, this Pecan Nut Crust is a perfect accompaniment to your favorite creamy pumpkin filling.

    And don’t forget about digestive support
    Regardless of what foods you eat, keeping your digestive tract functioning well is important, especially during the holidays when stress and over-eating is more common. Pharmaca’s Chewable Papaya Enzymes feature natural papaya and pineapple enzymes that help break down food so it’s more easily digested. And vegetarian-friendly Doctor’s Best Digestive Enzymes and Enzymedica’s Digest Gold with ATPro (great for Paleo and gluten-free diets) are a good bet for helping your body digest fats, proteins and carbs.

  • Medicine Cabinet Spotlight: Our Pharmacist’s Must-Have Pharmaca Products

    group shotEvery day at Pharmaca, our health care practitioners recommend remedies for customers from all walks of life. But what do they take home with them? We asked Jami Sheth, pharmacist at our Pacific Palisades location, for her must-have Pharmaca products.

    Metagenics Omegagenics EPA-DHA 720
    “Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most researched nutritional supplements on the market right now. The list of benefits are extensive. The reason I take 4 capsules of these daily is to help reduce inflammation and to optimize memory, learning and cognitive function.”

    Pure Encapsulations B12 liquid 1000 mcg
    “B12 deficiency is overwhelmingly common especially amongst vegetarians and vegans. My last blood work showed I was deficient, so I started supplementing with a liquid form that I could keep in my purse. This methylated formulation is the active form of B12, which assists the liver in removing toxins from the body and is the perfect antidote to low energy and lack of mental clarity.”

    Designs for Health Vitamin D Supreme
    Most people are deficient, and despite living in southern California, my latest blood work showed I was, too. Vitamin D regulates thousands of genes in our bodies. I use it to keep my immune system at peak and my mood high. What I love about this formulation is that it is blended with vitamin K2 which provides a synergistic balance that enhances bone health and prevents overdose of vitamin D.

    Thorne Research CystePlus
    “Once inside the body, it is converted into glutathione (also known as “the master antioxidant”). It’s responsible for helping the liver remove toxins as well as recycling other antioxidants. I use it to lift brain fog or to break down mucus when I have a cold.”

    jane iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation
    “My favorite compact powder! Makeup from jane iredale is beloved for their lack of irritating chemicals. This foundation provides a natural finish with built-in SPF protection and does not clog my pores.”

    SpaRitual Nail Lacquer in In The Buff
    “Nude nails are the current rage and create the perfect clean esthetic for both work and evening wear. These lacquers are formulated without DBP, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and are 100% vegan. They have all the benefits of a professional-grade lacquer without the toxic components of standard polishes!”

  • Argan, Marula and Rosehip, Oh My!

    FlowerOilBotanical oils are the name of the game these days, offering benefits for skin, hair, cuticles and so much more. Here’s the low-down on some of our favorite oils.

    Argan Oil
    Extracted from the kernels of the Moroccan argan tree, argan oil has long been valued for its nutritive, cosmetic and numerous medicinal properties. Incredibly rich in vitamin E, essential fatty acids and proteins, argan oil helps fight lines, repair imperfections, minimize scars and stretch marks, restore texture, elasticity and tone, and reduce inflammation.
    Bottom line: Argan is a good lightweight oil for all-over hydration.  

    Where to find it
    Hair: Acure’s Repairing Shampoo with Moroccan Argan Stem Cell + Argan Oil
    Face: evanhealy’s Argan Intensive Facial Serum
    All over: Derma E’s Skin Hair and Nail Oil with Organic Argan and Jojoba Oils

    Marula Oil
    Harvested from the nut inside the marula fruit grown in southern Africa, marula oil is packed with nourishing essential fatty acids and antioxidants—at a higher concentration than argan—that protect your skin from free radical damage.

    The molecules in marula are also smaller than other hydrating oils, meaning it absorbs quickly and can take other treatments—like retinol, glycolic acid or vitamin C layered on after the marula—with it into the deepest layers of skin. Marula’s antimicrobial properties can also help heal breakouts and fight future bacteria.
    Bottom line: Marula offers serious antioxidant punch, is good for acneic skin and absorbs quickly.

    Where to find it
    Face: Marula Pure’s Marula Facial Oil
    Body: Shea Terra’s Namibian Marula Double Shea Butter
    Hands: SpaRitual’s Hydrating Hand Salve

    Rosehip Seed Oil
    Rosehip seed oil has been used since the times of the ancient Egyptians for its nourishing properties. Now harvested mainly from the seeds of rose bushes grown in Chile, rosehip seed oil is packed with vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids that offer a variety of benefits.

    Vitamin C and lycopene are antioxidants that help protect against sun and pollution that can lead to wrinkles, while essential fatty acids offer serious dry skin relief (even for dry scalps). And a natural form of vitamin A does wonders on existing wrinkles and scars.

    Pure rosehip seed oil is best when it’s been cold-pressed to maintain more of the original nutrients. It’s gentle enough to be used undiluted on the skin, and is a great addition to other creams and lotions for face and body.
    Bottom line: Rosehip is great for balancing normal to dry skin, anti-aging and reducing scars.    

    Where to find it
    All over: Aura Cacia Restoring Rosehip Skin Care Oil
    Face: Suki Nourishing Facial Oil
    Eyes: Mineral Fusion Brightening Eye Cream
    Hands: Pangea Organics Chilean Rosehip with Tamanu & Red Clover Hand Cream

    Evening Primrose Oil
    Evening primrose oil comes from the seeds of a group of wildflowers grown throughout the US, and has the one of the highest concentrations of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) of any plant. GLA is an omega-6 essential fatty acid that’s vital to cell structure and the elasticity of the skin, and is ideal for the treatment of dry skin and inflammatory conditions, such as eczema and arthritis.

    Evening primrose oil is also ideal for acneic skin, since it helps dilute pore-clogging sebum, and for rosacea because it reduces inflammation and stimulates the contraction of blood vessels.
    Bottom line: Evening primrose is best for balancing, firming and taming inflammation caused by acne and rosacea. 

    Where to find it
    Face, Hands, Eyes, Body: Weleda Evening Primrose line
    Hair: John Masters Evening Primrose Shampoo for Dry Hair
    Nails/Cuticles: SpaRitual Cuti-Cocktail Nail & Cuticle Oil

  • Five-Minute (or Less!) Stress Busters

    SnowPlayThe holidays are coming! It’s easy to get overwhelmed and stressed during this busy season, so take five with these quick and easy stress relievers.

    Take a walk, breathe fresh air.
    Sometimes the best way to reduce the emotional intensity of stressful feelings or events is to take a break and remove yourself from that environment. A brief 5-minute walk can help clear your head as you breathe in fresh air and take more oxygen in, letting you deal with stressors more calmly (check out this recent study about how engaging with nature can physically change the brain). Even just using that 5 minutes to take slow deep breaths on an outside balcony or terrace works since measured breathing prompts our nervous system to stop releasing cortisol, the stress hormone.

    Diffuse calming scents.
    Aromatherapy helps relieve stress because when we smell calming scents, receptor cells in our nose send signals to the part of our brain that regulates emotions, lessening feelings of anxiety. Try Pharmaca’s Be Calm Lavender Essential Oil Blends, balancing Bergamot or relaxing Rose Moroccan in SpaRoom Essentials’ new Natura Diffuser and within minutes your air will be filled with soothing scents. This beautiful diffuser is crafted from fallen trees in Thailand and uses ultrasonic technology to provide a fine aromatherapy mist for up to 4 hours.

    Sip a cuppa.
    Take it from English mums and nannies who know that when you’re upset or stressed, sitting down for a few minutes and sipping a cup of tea makes the world seem right again. Scientists agree that a cup of black tea brings stress hormone (cortisol) levels back to normal. Pamper yourself and try Tea Forte’s Noir Single Steeps Black Tea Sampler, blends of hand-picked black tea leaves with scrumptious flavors like Blood Orange and Chocolate Rose. If you prefer herbal teas, chamomile and lemon balm are natural soothers and both are found in Traditional Medicinals' Organic Chamomile with Lavender, made with organic, Fair Trade certified chamomile.

    Chew something.
    Simply chewing a stick of sugarless gum can help relieve stress. It can also make you more alert and help you multi-task, say researchers from Melbourne's Swinburne University who saw anxiety levels drop 17 percent and efficiency during multi-tasking exercises improve 67 percent when people chewed gum. Flower remedies calm and reduce anxiety too; Bach’s Rescue Remedy Pastilles blend five emotionally balancing botanicals into one tasty drop.

    Rub your feet.
    There’s an acupressure pressure point on your feet called Bubbling Spring that can calm and ground you during stressful times, or even help with insomnia. To find the Bubbling Spring point, use your thumb to find the natural depression about 1/3 of the way down your foot from the base of the toes, directly under the second and third toe. Firm pressure and kneading on that point will release tension and relax you. Add to this massage’s bliss factor by adding in Pharmaca’s Massage Lotion in Lavender…and try to have someone do it for you!

  • Spice Up Your Makeup with Marsala This Fall

    Have you spotted Marsala in your travels this fall? #Pantone #ColoroftheYear 2015 #Marsala

    A photo posted by PANTONE (@pantone) on

    It’s time to put away the pastel eye shadows, pink lip glosses and brightly painted nails of summer....and turn our attention to fall-inspired red-browns, like Marsala, the Pantone Color of the Year! This earthy, warm color gives you a look that says you just came in from a brisk walk in chilly air. To help you find the marsala that’s right for every skin type, we turned to cosmetologist Cintya Lull in Portland.

    Fair skin tones
    Marsala’s deep tones can stand in sharp contrast to fair skin during the day, so it’s best to stick with sheer tints of this rich color. “Start with one light swipe at first,” says Cintya, “and build more layers until you get the color you want.” For a hint of marsala-hued color on your cheeks and lips, try jane iredale’s In Touch Cream Blush in Charisma and Mineral Fusion’s Sheer Moisture Lip Tint in Adorn. At night, marsala’s rich wine color is perfect for adding a touch of glam to pale skin. We love jane iredale’s PureMoist Lipstick in Katerina for its saturated color and nourishing botanicals.

    Medium skin tones
    Medium skin looks great with a pop of marsala on one feature and more neutral or nude tones for the rest. W3LL PEOPLE’s Universalist Multi-Use Colorstick 3 in Berry Aubergine lets you choose which feature to emphasize with marsala since it’s made for eyes, cheeks and lips. Turn to their Universalist Multi-Use Colorstick 9 – Nude Flush to highlight other features in a more subtle way. The lightweight creamy formulas are extremely blendable, Cintya tells us, and help nourish skin with aloe, vitamin E and green tea extracts.

    Olive or dark skin tones
    Marsala perfectly complements darker skin with its warm richness (“This color is made for you!” says Cintya). Start with a blush that gives your skin a soft glow like W3LL PEOPLE’s Purist Luminous Mineral Blush in Rose. Paraben, talc and chemical free, this powder can also be used as eye shadow for a monochromatic look. At night, amp up your look with jane iredale’s PurePressed Eye Shadow in Merlot, a highly pigmented color that’s crease-resistant. For lips, try Burt’s Bees’ Lip Crayon in Napa Vineyard, a full-coverage matte color that’s creamy and moisturizing with shea butter, jojoba oil and kendi oil.

    Every skin tone
    Want to dip your toe into the marsala trend? Spice up your fall pedicure with Deborah Lippmann’s Nail Color in Lady is a Tramp, a matte cream polish free of toluene, formaldehyde and DPB (dibutyl phthalate), and rich in nail-saving botanicals including green tea extract and aucoumea. If you prefer a little sparkle, try SpaRitual’s Fall in Love Nail Lacquer, a vegan polish that uses mica for shimmer instead of guanine (fish scales that are often found in mass-marketed nail polishes). Keep your nails chip-free longer with a base coat that bonds your polish to nails with a rubberized basecoat like SpaRitual’s Lacquer Lock Colorstay Basecoat, that’s free of nasty chemicals (and vegan, too).

  • Beautiful skin, in 5 easy steps

    SkinCareStepsSo you’ve committed to using the best possible natural products for your skin. But do you know how to most effectively layer each step?

    “In my experience the development of a regimen is the most stressful part for many people—that's what we're here to help with!” says Tiffany Stafford, esthetician at our Seattle-Queen Anne store. “The most important part is really knowing your skin, and knowing how the ingredients you are using everyday work together FOR your skin.”

    “You’re layering ingredients that are designed to work together,” adds Tiffany. “With each step you’re prepping for the next.”

    The first step, for obvious reasons, is the cleanser. “Typically the most effective is going to be a gentle, most often milky, cleanser,” says Tiffany. “But you want it to really get all that dirt and sweat of the day off without stripping the skin.” She adds that if you have oily or acneic skin, you may want to go with a formula designed for your skin type.

    Next up: Toner. “There are a variety of toners for target purposes, such as brightening, lightening, soothing, etc, but toner is most commonly used for two reasons,” says Tiffany. “First, to remove all traces of makeup and dirt from the day and second, to rebalance the pH of the skin to ensure maximum absorption of the good stuff that comes next, such as serums and moisturizers.”

    The next step are serums, and you’ll want to use different types in the morning and at night. “You can get really creative here. The serum is the most powerful step, so choosing the right product for your skin type is going to be key in an effective and protective regimen.”

    The morning serum “is going to help protect your skin from the abuse of everyday environmental factors, so something with a high level antioxidant is going to be your best friend.” At the top of Tiffany’s list? Serums infused with vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that help to shield the skin from free radicals like UV rays, pollution, etc.

    For an evening serum, Tiffany says, you want regenerative ingredients that help speed up the skin’s cellular renewal process, such as vitamin A (look for retinal, retinol or retinoic acid) or glycolic acid. “These are extremely active and do increase your sensitivity to sun’s rays,” says Tiffany, adding that if you do use them in the morning, make sure to follow them with a moisturizer with at least SPF 30.

    Once the serums are applied, seal in all that goodness with a moisturizer, which doesn’t penetrate as deeply as a serum. “Something full of fatty acids can help plump and nourish skin overnight, and can also be used to brighten up a tired face in the morning,” says Tiffany. Shoot for lighter moisture during the day—preferably one with SPF included—and a richer moisturizer at night that can aid in the serum’s work of repairing skin while you sleep.

    Finally, every morning make sure you’re finishing up with a mineral sunscreen (yes, even in winter). Minerals sit on top of the skin, so that’s why they should always be last—to make sure your serums and moisturizer have a chance to sink into the skin.

  • Natural Ways to Enhance Immunity

    Hispanic woman smiling in fieldAre you the type of person that seems to get ill just thinking about cold and flu season? Do you get frequent infections throughout the fall and winter? Once you’re sick, do you have trouble regaining health? Here are some ideas to keep those seasonal illnesses at bay.

    First off, not all illness is “bad.” I tend to look at it as exercise for our immune systems—if we’re never challenged, our immune cells don’t have the opportunity to build up and create memory immune cells for quicker response against future illness of the same kind.

    Here are a few things to consider when trying to stay healthy this season.


    High levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) tend to suppress or lower our immune response to invading pathogens. So make time to decompress and reduce your stress level. If you find you’re responding to stressors in a less than positive way, work on mentally reframing the experiences—it’s not about the stressors, it’s about how we react to them. Whether you do yoga, cook, dance, listen to music (or make your own), take bubble baths or embrace your inner child and color in coloring books, do it and do it often!

    For additional support, drink some stress relief tea throughout the day and/or take adrenal support supplements. Also be sure to get adequate sleep, since increased stress and lowered immunity are among the many effects of sleep deprivation!

    Keep moving

    Exercise helps with lymph flow and the circulation of white blood cells, thereby increasing the detection of illness and helping to combat the illness more quickly. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, 5 days per week, to get a decent fitness dose.  Of course, check with your medical provider before beginning a new exercise regimen.

    Eat with intention

    Eating for immunity ideally includes a lot of anti-microbial herbs such as garlic, ginger, and parsley. You should also include immune-modulating mushrooms, particularly shiitake. Combining these mushrooms and herbs in a mineral-rich broth is one of my favorite seasonal meals.

    Tried-and-true immune support products

    This is by no means an exhaustive list. As always, consult a supplement-literate physician before adding them to your regimen, in order to avoid any potential medicine interactions and to make sure they’re right for you.

    Regular use of a neti pot/saline rinse can decrease adherence of pathogens to our nasal passages, which is a common entry point of microbes. Although it can take some getting used to (and the willpower to do it), it is well worth the benefits!

    Elderberry syrup or extract is one of my favorite, tasty ways to help prevent and shorten the duration of cold and flu viruses. Not only is it antiviral, but the proanthocyanidins in the elderberries make it a potent antioxidant. Children love it, too!

    Astragalus is an adaptogenic herb that helps keep you protected by enhancing immune function, and helps you deal with stress. That makes it a great preventive herb to take on a daily basis to build up your immune system and help you cope through the holiday season.

    In the first 48 hours of feeling ill, consider frequent dosing with echinacea root. Beyond the initial phase of illness, the root may have little or likely no impact, but when used correctly can be quite helpful. The aerial parts of echinacea however, can be taken throughout the season to strengthen the immune system.

    Andrographis is an excellent immune-stimulating herb to take in the beginning stages of illness. It works to decrease the symptoms of the acute cold or flu quickly, particularly helping to provide relief from sore throat or fever.

    There is an undeniable connection between the gut and the immune system. An incredible 80 percent of our immune system is located in our digestive systems. Probiotics should be taken daily throughout the year to support beneficial flora in the GI tract.

    Vitamin C is a classic immune-boosting standby, and can be dosed in high amounts, up to bowel tolerance, as more is required during acute infections. Lower amounts can be used daily to ward off illness.

    Zinc lozenges, when used within the first 24 hours of illness, can help to shorten the duration and decrease the symptoms of the common cold. Zinc given at appropriate dosages over time can help prevent infections.

    Medicinal mushrooms contain polysaccharides and beneficial compounds that work to modulate or enhance immune function. Taking a mushroom extract or capsule supplement on a daily basis can be very beneficial in helping the immune system to function properly.

    Stay healthy this season and don’t forget to frequently wash your hands! Talk with a practitioner at your local Pharmaca for more information and product suggestions.

  • Which Makeup Foundation is Right for You?

    Woman with makeup brushThe secret to the perfect foundation? Not letting anyone know we have it on! We look radiant and our skin looks poreless, glowing and youthful—not caked with color. Choosing the wrong color or type can actually detract from our looks. To get the low down on how to pick and apply the best makeup for a flawless face, we turned to Pharmaca cosmetologist Joyce Anderson at our Los Altos store.

    Start with a primer or color corrector

    Using a sheer primer or color-correcting base under foundation helps makeup last throughout the day, and corrects any unevenness in skin tone, Joyce tells us.

    If your skin looks dull, a brightening primer is a good bet. Try jane iredale’s Smooth Affair Primer & Brightener with fruit, tea and algae extracts that minimize large pores, boost skin’s radiance and create a smooth, satiny finish.

    If you flush or get red splotches easily, use a green-tinted primer that balances redness, like ZuZu Luxe’s Color Correcting Primer Anti-Blotchiness. For sallow or very pale skin, try jane iredale’s Dream Tint Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 15, in either Lilac (to balance yellowness), or Peach to bring subtle warmth to skin. These can be used alone too, if you just want a hint of color.

    Liquid, powder or stick?

    Mineral-based foundations are free of irritating chemical preservatives and come in formulations that work for every skin type.

    For normal-to-combination skin, Joyce says customers rave about W3LL PEOPLE’s Narcissist Foundation Stick. It’s a super easy-to-use cream—just swipe it on. Plus, it comes in eight easy-to-match shades for medium coverage with a velvety matte finish.

    If you tend to have oily skin, try jane iredale’s PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation in a refillable gold compact case. This sheer pressed powder comes in 26 shades, can be layered for just the right amount of coverage and gives a semi-matte, weightless finish. And it has broad-spectrum, SPF 20 coverage! For perfect application, use their Handi Brush.

    For dry or mature skin that needs coverage with a boost of moisture, look for liquid-based products like jane iredale’s Liquid Minerals Foundation. This light-reflecting (read: flaw-hiding) foundation feels moist and light, comes in 12 shades and nourishes skin with hydrating botanicals and skin-plumping hyaluronic acid.

    Set it up

    A translucent powder helps set your foundation, making it last longer, and is also a great way to touch up your makeup during the day. Mineral-based powders work best since they won’t clog pores with waxes or silica, and don’t leave an unnatural white sheen on your skin, Joyce says. Customers love the 100 percent mineral-based Realist Satin Mineral Setting Powder from W3LL PEOPLE for its weightless feel and ability to control shine. And oil-absorbing silk powder and tapioca come together in Dr. Hauschka’s Translucent Face Powder that leaves skin soft and smooth with a clean, natural finish.

    When applying, be sure to use a fluffy brush that picks up just the right amount of powder, like EcoTools’ Bamboo Powder Brush. Just dab it in the powder, tap off the excess and lightly dust over your face.

  • Got Sun? Helpful Post-Sun Treatments for the Whole Body

    SunShoulderA sunny day outdoors does wonders for our spirit, but it can take a toll on our bodies. Even if we’re diligent about slathering ourselves in broad-spectrum sunscreen, there’s always room for error: we miss a spot, or the lotion wears off and the sun’s UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays damage our skin. Maybe it’s our hair that feels the burn, getting dried out from wind, salt water and chlorine. And at the end of a day in the sun, our bodies can all too often become dehydrated. Here are a few after-sun remedies that help repair and restore the entire body.

    Treat a burn

    When UVB rays reach exposed skin they cause sunburns that need calming treatments. Try easing the pain with witch hazel or cold water compresses. Avene’s Thermal Spring Water Spray is particularly soothing and provides healing nutrients for damaged skin, says Tammara Denninger, esthetician at our Greenwood Village, Colo. location.

    Natural botanicals like calendula and aloe vera calm tender skin and reduce inflammation, too. Jurlique’s Calendula Lotion combines highly concentrated calendula flower extract with witch hazel to relieve sunburn symptoms and help prevent peeling. (Note: those with ragweed allergies should avoid calendula since it comes from the same plant family.)

    Aloe is another good choice, Tammara tells us, as it has been used for centuries to treat skin irritations and burns. All Terrain’s Aloe Skin Repair blends aloe gel with skin-soothing chamomile, cucumber and lavender.

    Revitalize skin and hair

    Even if we aren’t sunburned, the sun’s UVA rays can damage cells below the skin’s surface by creating free radicals in our skin. Free radicals make our skin look older by damaging cell function, breaking down collagen and causing wrinkles. Sun exposure dehydrates our skin, too, as fluids are lost through sweat.

    Look for relief in antioxidant-rich facial products that neutralize free radicals and moisturize with botanicals. One we like is Jurlique’s Rose Moisture Plus Revitalizing Gel-Lotion with Antioxidant Complex. This cool gel blends powerful antioxidants like rosehip fruit oil and grape seed extract with hydrating white mushroom extract. Treat your body to extra moisture, too, with a lush cream like 100% Pure Coconut Whipped Body Butter, rich in nourishing cocoa, shea and avocado butters and damage-repairing acai and goji berries.

    Start repairing hair that’s been dried out from sun, wind and swimming, with a gentle clarifying shampoo that removes buildup, like MOP’s Mixed Greens Shampoo with detoxifying rosemary and peppermint, and chlorine-removing vinegar. Next, add a deep conditioning hair mask that can restore vitality to dry hair. Try 100% Pure Sea Algae Hair Mask with healing aloe, argan oil and shea butter, and super-hydrating red algae collagen.

    Hydrate your body

    When we’re outside in the sun for any length of time, we lose fluids and salts through sweat as our bodies try to keep us cool. To ward off dehydration, be sure to drink plenty of water—both during your time in the sun and after. And to help replace electrolytes lost through sweating, try Skratch Labs’ Daily Electrolyte Mix which makes a tasty raspberry drink that’s great for post-sun hydration.

  • Savvy Summer Travel Essentials

    SurfboardAh, summer. Time to head to the beach, gather at your family’s vacation cabin or even plan a fun stay-cation in your own backyard. With all of the changes in schedules, time zones and eating habits, travel can be stressful.

    But with a few simple items, you can make any trip as relaxing as vacations are meant to be. Here are just a few of our favorites to take on your next trip.

    Staying Hydrated

    Whether you’re traveling by car or plane, taking along water bottles for everyone in your family can make a big difference in their comfort levels. Staying hydrated can help you stay alert on long car drives, avoid traveler’s constipation and even stave off altitude sickness. Plus, you can refill your water bottle again and again during your trip from any tap.

    Tip: Pack an empty water bottle in your carry-on bag. Fill it with tap water after you’ve gone through the airport security checkpoint.

    Sleeping Well

    The better you sleep while traveling—and once you reach your destination—the more energy you’ll have for exploring your new surroundings. Bucky’s

    ultralight, foam sleep eye masks are contoured for pressure-free, smudge-free eye comfort. These light-blocking masks conform to fit comfortably on your face and the deep molded cups allow you to blink freely.

    Tip: Bring along a travel pillow for easier napping on the plane, in the car or your hotel room.

    Enjoying the Comforts of Home

    Keep yourself organized—and travel in style—with super functional cosmetic bags. Larger bags have spacious storage for all your beauty essentials, while the smaller bags are ideal for stashing makeup for speedy touch-ups on the go.

    Tip: Chic cosmetic bags from Danica make lovely hostess gifts, especially when filled with travel-size bath gels and lotions or regional candy.

    Creating a Relaxing Atmosphere

    Musty cabins and unfamiliar hotel rooms can benefit from soothing scents. Perfect for creating a cozy environment wherever you go, the SpaRoom Essentials Scentifier Aromatherapy Diffuser can also run on batteries for easy portability.

    Tip: Lavender essential oil promotes relaxation and can help you begin your vacation on the right note.

    Eating Healthfully

    Not only can you save money bringing your own snacks, you’ll be less likely to eat junk food if you have some healthy treats easily accessible. Lifefactory makes glass food storage containers with silicone wrappers designed to protect the containers from breakage. And Bentology's box sets and insulated lunch sleeves make it a snap to pack all of your healthy favorites.

    Tip: Instead of fussing with multiple supplement bottles, pack a week’s worth of your vitamins in a handy pill box.

    Keeping Kids Busy

    Finally, if you’re traveling with little ones, have a few distractions on hand to keep them entertained while you’re sitting in your car or waiting in lines at the airport. On the Go Travel Activity Books from Melissa and Doug are sure to keep their little hands busy.

    Tip: Keep a few small items tucked away to pull out as surprises when your kids reach their patience limit.

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