What I buy at Pharmaca: April Edition

What I buy at Pharmaca: April Edition

What I buy at Pharmaca: April edition is here!  If you haven’t figured out by now I’m a huge fan of Pharmaca.  They really carry it all when it comes to natural living.  I love one stop shops as a mom- even better when they’re online.

*This post does contain affiliate links.  If you do purchase something from one of them I will receive a small commission.  

Want to find out why I can’t get enough of this one stop natural shopping store?  Then keep reading!

1st- Pharmaca carries QUALITY products.

Yes, you read that right.  It’s not some retailer selling random things.  They carry all the big name green beauty brands, natural living brands and supplement brands.  Plus, their selection is amazing!

2nd- It’s all in ONE place.

No more going back and forth between five websites trying to get green beauty brands in one place and supplements in another.  Now, you can just do it all at once and save yourself some precious time.

3rd- Shopping at Pharmaca SAVES you money.

Yes, you heard me right!  They are always having a great sale or gift with purchase.  Plus, you get free shipping after $35- hello.  Most retailers are $50 and higher.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to their website to purchase something and was amazed to find they also carried another one of my products too.  Pharmaca has made my life more streamlined and easier as a mom and fellow natural living enthusiast.

Here are some products you can find at Pharmaca:

Some green beauty brands I love that they carry are:

Every month I’m working with Pharmaca to show you what you can get for $100(it’s pretty incredible).  Here is this month’s order:

*These products were sent to me by Pharmaca, however thoughts and opinions are my own.

Preserve Razor Triple Blade-

These razors are made from recycled materials, some of the recycled products are yogurt cups.  Pretty cool!  Also, the whole razor is recyclable itself. They give my skin a smooth feeling but I don’t feel like they’re so sharp that they are going to nick me easily.  I love that they’re easy to travel with too and budget friendly.  A great pick instead of getting a plastic one you can’t recycle.  Get your Preserve Razor here!

Evan Healy Blue Cactus Beauty Elixir-

Ok, I had heard really good things about this elixir and I was SO excited to finally get my hands on it.  Well, it did not disappoint!  If you’ve been following me long enough on my blog, you know I’m a huge fan of anything Blue Tansy or prickly pear seed oil, well this elixir has them both.  A match made in skincare heaven!  The prickly pear seed oil is perfect for dry or irritated skin, while the blue tansy helps to clam and minimize redness.  My skin literally drank it all up!  I can’t recommend it enough.  I would put it on after cleansing and toning my skin.  My skin felt so nourished and supple.  Plus, the blue tansy smell is intoxicating.  Such a great elixir!  Get it here!

Even Healy Sweet Blossom Hydrating Oil-

Another Evan Healy product but one I’m familiar with!  This body oil has been in my beauty arsenal for 5 years- it’s so good!  I love the smell.  It has notes of frankincense, neroli, and ylang ylang in it.  When you apply it to your skin it soaks right up.  But leaves behind a silly smooth feeling.  Made with a combination of jojoba, sunflower, sesame and apricot kernel oil.  It envelops your skin and leaves lasting moisture.  Get your Body oil here!

Acure Captivating Light Body Oil-

This body oil is great for travel!  I love having it on hand for trips.  It doesn’t come in glass like the Evan Healy one, which makes it perfect for a trip.  You can easily toss it in your bag and not worry about it breaking.  Plus, it smells so good and sprays too- pretty cool.  If coconut isn’t your fave, they also have other scents too.  Snag your body oil here!

U Konserve Mini Containers-

I’m obsessed with these little containers.  Perfect for traveling anywhere.  With kids you always have to have snacks on hand and these are the perfect container. They are stainless steel, which I love- no plastic.  The lids also stay on so easy, another huge win.  I find a lot of small bowls or containers often don’t have great lids.  I fill them with snacks for the kids too even if we’re just at home.  Traveling or not, these hit the mark!  Grab your containers here!

Melissa and Doug Travel Books-

Another reason I love Pharmaca so much- they even have kid’s activities and toys!  I love Melissa and Doug products.  These books are great for when traveling or in the car.  They’re easy to pull out and not make a mess with a ton of markers or crayons.  You just need some water to put in the pen and you’re good to go.  My girls love playing with these.  Get your Melissa and Doug products here!

Best Green Beauty Oils/Serums

Best Green Beauty Oils/Serums

This post has been a long time coming, but I’m finally dishing on the best green beauty oils/serums.  I seriously have had an oils/serums post in the works forever.  I have notes I jotted down about each one I tried.  This is one product that you can’t just try in 2 weeks- it takes some time to really get to know the formula and see results.  I’ve done my homework though and rounded out my favorite green beauty facial oils/serums.  I often get asked which ones I like best in green beauty- so I knew I needed to eventually write a dedicated post.

Now you might be wondering why use an oil/serum on your face?  Good question.  First, I must explain what the difference is between an oil and a serum.

A serum is meant to target specific concerns of the skin and is usually a mixture of water, and ingredients like antioxidants, vitamins, etc.  The molecule structure is smaller, so it’s able to penetrate the skin and do the work, repairing, replenishing and so on. I like to think of a serum as the real game changer when it comes to your skincare routine.  It isn’t filled with a lot of extras, instead it’s loaded with all the potent, skin changing ingredients.  Usually a serum is the most expensive product of a skincare line because it’s the most activated.

“My mantra as an esthetician has been, put your money into oils/serums and skimp on cleansers.  Cleansers you wash off, an oil/serum stays on your skin doing the work.”

A facial oil is different.  It’s going to give your skin moisture and nourishment, and obviously doesn’t include water.  You want an oil to have a blend of essential fatty acids(EFA’s) or omegas.  Our bodies don’t produce EFA’s on their own so we need to supplement them internally and externally.  I like taking a fish oil daily for some good omega 3’s.  Oils also can contain a mix of essential oils that help to balance the skin and provide therapeutic properties.  Oil’s work perfectly with our skin’s cutaneous and get to the center of the epidermis.  Many people with oily skin think they should avoid oils- when really the opposite is true.  Using oils helps bring balance to the skin and don’t clog pores like other moisturizers that contain emulsifiers, waxes, etc.

Ok, now that you know the difference between an oil and a serum, let’s talk about when and how to use them.

This is how to apply an oil/serum:

  • Cleanse skin
  • Tone/Mist
  • Add a few drops of serum to your hands and press into your face(allow to seep in before applying oil, also don’t overdue it with a serum. They can contain powerful ingredients and often people apply too much which leads to sensitivity if not careful)
  • Add a few drops of oil to your hands and press- in rub in with upwards streaks
  • Apply eye serum(use your ring finger and apply in tapping motions. Your ring finger has the least muscles out of all your fingers)
  • Finish with a cream if you need additional moisture and to protect skin(a cream doesn’t seep into the skin like an oil or serum will, it’s meant to protect the skin from environment and elements)

An oil/serum have the power to change your skin.  Think words like resurface, hyper pigmentation, fade, even out skin tone, and so on. All words that perk people’s ears up when it comes to skincare.  Often people give up on an oil or serum too early.  I’ve seen it time and time again.  They use a product for two weeks and say it doesn’t work or my skin is freaking out.  You need to give oils and serums time to see change.  Especially when it comes to clean skincare.  If you’ve switched over from conventional it may take a period of time for your skin to adjust to your new products.  Give it time and watch your skin take on a whole new look.  Many of the products I list below are really powerful oils.  I have a few dedicated serums as well.

Things I’ve noticed since using oils and serums:

  • Hyper pigmentation fade
  • Overall brighter/radiant complexion
  • A more balanced complexion(doesn’t feel dry in certain areas)
  • Less red and more even toned

Ready to see my favorites??  I’ve got options for low and high budgets and all kinds of skincare needs.  These are products that I’ve personally tried over the years and can say they they work.  So grab your note pad- it’s time to take notes!  I’m not going to go into great detail about ingredients, or brands.  I’ve done reviews on most of these already and will link the review so you can check out more details if you wish!

Maya Chia-

The Super Couple- (all skin types, even sensitive) Love this oil.  The smell is so good, nothing over powering, just an amazing mixture of essential oils.  It just feels so luxe the moment you apply.  It’s not super heavy, but a nice medium rich feel.  It literally absorbs so well into the skin leaving behind a pinkish hue that gives your skin a glow. My skin drinks up every drop of this oil. It helped to lighten my hyper pigmentation and even my skin tone.  It also brightened my under eye mom circles- seriously.  I started using this when I had a 4 month old and lets just say I needed all the help I could get.  This oil is a game changer. Check out my full review here and grab one for yourself here!

Supercritical Pure Chia Oil- (dry skin, sensitive) This oil is from Maya Chia as well but it is different than The Super Couple.  It smells more citrusy in my opinion but still light. This oil is made for even the driest skin types.  Literally hydrating the most parched skin.  It also has ingredients that plump up the skin and minimize fine lines.  This is an all around super hydrator.  I use it in the morning before my makeup or after a serum at night when I need some extra moisture.  Your skin will feel like silk!  Read more on the Supercritical Pure Chia Oil here and get one for yourself here!

Laurel Whole Plant Organics- (All skin types, sun damaged skin)

Sun Damaged Repair Facial Serum- This is a serum and oil in one that helps to repair sun damaged skin.  The formula contains 27 whole organic plants!  It helps to reverse the signs of aging that the sun brings.  It also helps to brighten and fade age spots.  The oil feels richer on the skin but it also seeps right in.  When I used it I noticed a decrease in overall redness, faded sun spots and clearer skin tone.  I just love how this oil feels on the skin too.  Laurel really uses the power of plants to restore the skin.  Read my full review here and get your Sun Damaged Repair Facial Serum here!

Live Botanical- (normal/sensitive skin types/acne, budget friendly)

Clary Sage Chamomile Calming Serum- This serum is also an oil.  It really is filled with so many therapeutic oils that help promote cell turnover and calm the skin.  Great for those who have acne or have sensitive skin that wants to flare up.  I love the smell of this oil! I get hints of rose and chamomile, but it’s not overwhelming.  It’s not a super heavy feeling oil but a good medium texture.  I noticed improved skin clearness, the redness was minimized- especially around my t-zone.  I also noticed my skin felt so hydrated and smooth in the morning.  Like it had a big gulp of water.  My sisters used this as well when we were on vacation and they loved it too!  This is a budget friendly oil.  Read my full review here and snag your’s here!

Agent Nateur- (All skin types, male and female)

Holi(oil) Youth Serum- This frosted bottle contains a rich oil that smells like roses.  Not only does it help smooth skin and wrinkles but it also is extremely hydrating.  It doesn’t feel greasy at all and seeps into your skin, giving your face a radiance.  My skin looked restored.  I used this after several sleepless nights and it literally brought the life back into my skin.  It’s true to it’s name- giving you your youthful skin back!  There isn’t a long list of ingredients but the ones that are in there are effective.  I also love using this before makeup.  My foundation glides on.  Bonus- my husband can use it too!  Grab your bottle here!

True Botanicals- 

Pure Radiance Oil- (all skin types) This rich oil does what it’s name suggests- gives you a radiance.  It smells so fresh too.  This oil is packed full of powerful antioxidants that do some serious work on the skin.  It’s  True Botanical’s best selling product and for good reason- it performs.  It not only hydrates the skin to the core, but also provides antioxidants to help fight free radical damage.  My skin looks renewed and dewy when using this oil.  I often feel like a broken record, but True Botanical’s products perform.  Even though I try many serums/oils I find myself reaching for this one often when I need an extra surge of hydration and a pick me up.  Read my full review here and snag your bottle here!

Basics Collection Hydrating Oil- (budget friendly, ok for pregnancy) This oil is from True Botanical’s Basic Collection.  It’s a more budget friendly line from True Botanicals and I love it.  This oil doesn’t feel quite as heavy as True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil.  It has the signature TB scent but much lighter.  This oil is completely safe for pregnancy too.  It really just delivers all around.  From hydration to soothing the skin and it has antioxidants that help fight signs of aging too.  This is such a good deal for what you get!  Read my full review here and get your bottle here!

Basics Collection Hydrating Serum- (budget friendly, ok for pregnancy) Another budget friendly option from TB’s Basic’s Collection. This is a traditional serum that isn’t going to hydrate on it’s own but assist in hydrating your skin with hyaluronic acid.  It penetrates deep into the skin, leaving lasting hydration and helping fight free radical damage.  I really loved how this made my skin feel.  It would feel completely plump and moist.  I felt my skin looked more youthful because all my wrinkles weren’t defined from being dried out but were filled with water.  Huge fan!  Read my full review here and get yourself a bottle here!

Leahlani- (dry, combination, sensitive skin)

Mahina- This elixir oil quickly became a fave.  It not only hydrates your skin, but nourishes it with nutrients while you sleep.  You wake up with smooth, even skin.  One particular oil that Leah put in that I love is prickly pear seed oil.  It has been known to help brighten skin, fight signs of aging and moisturize like crazy.  A definite home run oil.  The biggest thing I noticed right away with Mahina is how much it calmed my redness.  Especially around my nose.  My skin felt replenished and soothed.  The smell is of course wonderful too, as are all of Leahlani’s products.  Read my full review on Leahlani here and grab your Mahina here!

Marie Veronique- (acne, sensitive, rosacea)

Soothing B3 Serum-This is a powerful serum!  It’s main ingredient B3 helps calm inflammation and help ceramide rejuvenate production.  It acts like a gel when it goes on your skin, leaving a serious glow all day long.  I feel like everyone needs this!  Got hormonal breakouts, acne or redness?? This serum helps to reduce inflammation, which causes all acne.  My redness was reduced and my skin looked more even and clear.  I love that it is fragrance free and essential oil free, great for those with the most sensitive skin types.  Great for night time or day time, this is a must in anyone’s skincare routine!  Get your Soothing B3 Serum here!

Kahina- (all skin types)

Brightening Serum- I’ve been using this serum for 5 years and it still remains one of my faves!  It helps to minimize dark spots and hyper pigmentation and bring an overall brightness to my complexion. It also helps to fight free radical damage and protect your skin from the environment.  It’s such a great thing to have in your bag to apply everyday.  Not only does it protect but also deliver nutrients to help treat your skin as well.  Grab your bottle here!

Acure- (budget Friendly, all skin types)

Seriously Glowing Facial Serum- This is another great serum that really works and doesn’t break the bank.  Full of all organic ingredients like pumpkin seed oil, borage oil and argan oil, this little bottle packs a punch.  It’s heavier then some serums, definitely more of a rich oil.  It smells so good too-the scents that stick out to me are lavender and orange.  This felt like a drink of water for my skin.  I would wake up in the morning and my skin would just feel so plump…in a good way.  Grab your ACURE Seriously Glowing Facial Serum!

Well, that’s a wrap!  See any faves?  What are some of your must have oils/serums??

Top Natural Exfoliants

Top Natural Exfoliants

This post has been a long time coming.  I’ve been testing and testing, to bring you guys the top natural exfoliants out there.  Well, I’m finally done and ready to spill my faves!  Before we get to the nitty gritty, let’s first chat about why it’s so important to exfoliate in the first place.

As we age, our skin’s regeneration process slows down, and are skin cells don’t turn over as quickly.  As a result, skin becomes more ruddy and dull looking.   To combat this, gentle exfoliation will help to slough off those dead skin cells, and give you that radiant complexion, because you’re revealing the freshest cells.  Not only that, but product actually is more effective when regular exfoliation is done.  Imagine if your skin never gets exfoliated, and is just sitting in it’s own pile of dead skin cells?  Sounds gross uh?!  Then when you try and put product on it’s not as effective because the old skin is getting in the way.  It also helps get rid of buildup of oils and dirt, which can turn into blackheads if left alone.  If this whole chat hasn’t convinced you of the importance of exfoliation, then maybe this will.  After exfoliation makeup goes on smoother, because all the dead skin is gone.  Are you seeing why it’s so important to exfoliate?

Now that you know why it’s so important to exfoliate, let’s discuss how to properly do it.  I know this may sound elementary to a lot of people, but trust me when I say it’s not!  I’ve seen too many people actually make their skin worse with exfoliation, versus better.  For starters, don’t scrub your face like you’re getting a stain out of carpet…you’ll scratch your face and cause some serious damage.  I’ve seen it time and time again as an esthetician, where clients would come in and their skin was raw!  An exfoliant generally has some sort of gritty texture or property to it-it’s what gets rid of those dead skin cells.  So you don’t need to add anymore than a little light pressure to your skin as you move your hands in small circular motions.  The exfoliant is doing the work, so you don’t have too!  Another piece of advice-don’t exfoliate more than 1-2 times per week.   Know your skin and follow it’s lead.  Maybe you only need it once per week.  Experiment a bit to find your sweet spot.  However, I would not recommend more than 2 times if you’re using a gritty scrub.  Any more than that and you could be disrupting your skin’s natural balance.

One last thing.  Why choose one of my top natural exfoliants over toxic ones?  It’s simple actually.  Many main stream exfoliants today are filled with plastic microbeads.  Yep, you heard me right!  These little plastic microbeads are so small that they slip right through water treatment facilities, and soak up toxic chemicals.  Just like all plastic, once they’re here, they’re not leaving.  Thankfully, many states have banned the sale of products with microbeads.  However, there are plenty that haven’t.  Make sure and check your label.  If it says  polyethylene or polypropylene, then it may contain microbeads.  Your best bet is just to snag one of my top natural exfoliant picks!

True Nature Botanicals Exfoliating Cleanser-

This cleanser is a great mild exfoliant-perfect for those with sensitive skin who can’t tolerate a heavy gritty exfoliant. This will give you a nice exfoliation, but nothing crazy.  It leaves your skin soft and smooth.  This mild exfoliant contains adsuki bean powder, known for its exfoliating properties, but with no irritation.  It gives the skin a polished clean look.  If you have sensitive skin, I highly recommend this gentle exfoliant!  Plus, I love that it comes in a glass pump bottle.  $48

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Leahlani Skincare Honey Love Microdermabrasion 3-in-1 Cleanser, Mask and Exfoliant-

This beautiful product does it all!  It contains Corundum microdermabrasion crystals that aid in sloughing off all those dead skin cells.  This beauty is full of skin food like Hawaiian honey, hibiscus, chamomile and lavender flowers, and a special essential oil blend…oh and lots of love!  The texture is more gooey and smooth, not gritty.  If you want to use it as an exfoliant, just stir the jar since the crystals tend to settle at the bottom of the jar.  This gives you a very mild exfoliation, leaving your skin with a smooth and radiant look.  Your skin won’t feel dry or taut after using this.   This is especially good for skin that has been out in the sun or acne prone.  As a cleanser it’s just as amazing!  Just scoop the product out of the top, and gently rub off the day’s grime.  The Honey Love smells insanely good too!  In fact, you may want to eat it…no joke.  This is also a great affordable option.  Leahlani Skincare is about to launch their website Wednesday January 6th!  Check out their new products and packaging there.

 

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Josh Rosebrook Active Enzyme Exfoliator-

If you haven’t heard of Josh Rosebrook, you’re missing out!  He not only knows skincare but hair as well.  His exfoliator is nothing short of amazing.  I noticed a brighter complexion, after the first use.  He uses both an enzyme exfoliant and a mechanical exfoliant in this baby.  The perfect blend of herb and fruit enzymes with the mechanical exfoliant of walnut shells, give skin the ultimate treat.  The texture is similar to a wet sugar mixture but with much finer granules.  It smells like black licorice to me-which I don’t mind.  A little goes a long way, so you’ll have this for a bit.  I like using Josh’s Hydrating Accelerator before applying the exfoliant-this helps to prep my skin by opening up my cells.  Massage gently onto skin, and leave on for 10 minutes to 1 hour for maximum benefit.  A great exfoliant for those with any skin type.  $60

 

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Acure Brightening Facial Scrub-

Last but certainly not least is Acure’s Brightening Facial Scrub.  This scrub gets rave reviews from the green beauty community and for good reason-it works and it’s affordable.  First, it comes in a tube unlike other exfoliants.  It’s the most gritty out of all the exfoliants I’ve mentioned.  This is not only a great facial exfoliant but also body exfoliant.  I love using this before applying my self tanner.  It gets rid of everything and doesn’t leave behind an oily residue-which makes it perfect for sun-less tanner application.  Since this is such a gritty exfoliant, only a little is needed, and just use gentle circular motions as you work it into your skin.  It smells very earthy and green.  It will give your skin a brighter more even complexion.  A great affordable option, that can be found even at Target.  $  9.99

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Well, that sums up my top natural exfoliant picks.  Have you used any of these?  What’s your favorite exfoliant?

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