Our bodies are in sync with the earth's cycles and spring is a time of cleansing and renewal.
During spring, the body naturally starts cleansing and detox. Spring is ruled by the organs, liver and gallbladder and good time to give these organs a mild cleanse. Here are some spring cleaning body care tips to assist your body.
If you suffer from Spring allergies, increase intake of bitters (arugula, mustard greens, dandelion greens) sours (dill, pickles, kimchee, lemons, limes) and astringent (apple, pomegranate, pear, quinoa, legumes, sprouts).
Bitter foods encourage gallbladder and liver to release bile. Pistachios are particular to liver and gallbladder. Include dandelion in fresh juice and drink dandelion tea. Chamomile tea at night helps digestion.
Turmeric reinvigorates the blood, cleanses the liver, restores circulation and reignites the metabolism.
Spring foods to eat: Leafy Greens, salads, nuts, ginger, turmeric, arugula, bananas berries, kumquats, limes, mandarins, strawberries, artichoke, asparagus, green beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, chili, cucumber, leeks, lettuce, onions, potatoes, spinach, squash, zucchini. Herbs: mint, bay leaf, parsley, rosemary.
Avoid heavy, oil, sweet and salty foods.
Incorporate dry brushing to help move stagnant lymph.
Meditate. Move your body. Clear out the past, make room for the new.
With Love and Natural Beauty,
These special treats replace items you’ve recently eliminated during your beauty cabinet detox. The natural actives found in these products are organically sourced when possible and when combined support good health, love, openness and connection; perfect sentiments for the celebration of Saint Valentine! All are available now at Siren Apothecary.
Rrose Excellent Body Milk by Ellis Brooklyn- An olfactive ode to Rrose Sélavy (a pun of Eros, C’est la Vie), the feminine alter ego of the author, artist and provocateur Marcel Duchamp, this fresh rose fragrance is as playful as its muse. Petals of Centifolia roses sparkle with peony and Sicilian lemon, all above a seductive base of spring musks and cashmere woods. $55.
No. 2 Perfume Oil by Elaia- In numerology, the number 2 carries the energy of love, gentleness and receptivity. Conjure the gods of love with a meditative and sensual marriage of rose absolute, sandalwood and patchouli. $38
Rosewater by Kosås- A nude pink with a neutral base and just the right touch of blue to make it especially lovely on fair skin types but suitable for all. Kosas describes it as "A blushing rose. The perfect hue our lips long to be." It’s actually the go-to color for Kosas creator Sheena, who thinks of it as “the perfect color for moms on the go — you don’t need mirror to put it on.” $24
Sex Dust by Moon Juice- A lusty edible formula alchemized to ignite and excite your sexy energy in and out of the bedroom. A holistic approach to deeply nourished sexual vigor, this warming elixir sends waves of sensitivity and power to all the right places. Add this aphrodisiac to your smoothie or morning latte to deeply mineralize, energize, radiate beauty. $3 single/$30 1.5oz.
Digital Detox Bath by Pursoma- Put down your cell phone. Shut down the computer. Sea salt stimulates circulation and blood flow, priming the body for healing while relieving tightness and stress. Montmorillonite clay attracts positively charged radiation from your mobile phone and other devices and extracts these toxins, aiding in cellular revitalization and healing. $34
Holi(stick) No.3 by Agent Nateur - Recently named best natural deodarant by Glamour Magazine, Agent Nateur will keep you smelling lovely well into the evening hours with a light trace of honey, lavender and eucalyptus. $21
Replenishing Oil Cleanser by Marie Veronique- The first and most critical step in detoxifying your skincare routine, this oil cleanser will have you on the road to no-makeup natural beauty (the kind you want to wake up to your love with) in no time. It removes sunscreen and makeup without stripping, penetrates and dissolves congestion and supports the lipid barrier, while age-fighting enzymes destroy free radicals and maintain dermal integrity. $40
5-step easy beauty cabinet detox
A woman uses on average 12 skincare and beauty products before she leaves the house every day. If she is using conventional products, this equals 12 potentially toxic loads applied directly to her skin.
The skin is the largest organ of the body -- and just like nicotine through a patch, the skin absorbs anything topically applied into your bloodstream. This means with every application you are circulating potentially dangerous matter to every cell in your body. The skin is also colonized with healthy bacteria; forming a microbiome that contributes to essential barrier function of the skin and perhaps even overall health. Ingredients in conventional skin care destroy these healthy helpers, disabling the skin’s main function as our first line of defense to the elements.
Make your routine one that will nourish your cells and support your skin microbiome with non-toxic and plant based options. Here are the first 5 things that you should swap when you detoxify your routine. Instead of complicated ingredient lists I’ve tried to use some common sense references to make your reorganization less stressful. Top common sense rule: If you can’t pronounce it or wouldn’t eat it, it might not belong on your body.
1. The most problematic ingredients in conventional antiperspirants are anti-microbials, aluminum and parabens. Collectively they upset healthy microbial balance and disrupt hormone function (think: fertility issues, early puberty, early menopause). Aluminum and parabens have been linked to breast cancer. Safeguard yourself from these toxins -- you should be able to recognize all the ingredients as natural in your deodorant, like those found in Agent Nateur Holi(stick) No. 3.
2. The problem with conventional cleansers (face cleanser, body wash, shampoo) is the detergent itself. The ingredient that makes cleansers “sudsy” can be irritating, drying and overly stripping to an unhealthy degree. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and its relatives should be avoided. If you think you need a sudsy effect to feel clean, opt for clean castile soaps. Or, eliminate suds entirely by choosing an oil or cream-based cleanser like Replenishing Oil Cleanser by Marie Veronique for the face.
3. Do you feel like you have to reapply your lipstick, gloss, or balm throughout the day? Where do you think it goes when it gets licked off, or transferred to your food? That’s right -- it gets ingested directly into your body. When the FDA reviewed lip products in 2011, the majority of the products had lead and other heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury present, even Burt’s Bees. Since heavy metals build up in our bodies over time, (and in spite of its findings the FDA won’t take steps to regulate cosmetic ingredients) it’s best to avoid conventional lip products altogether and instead opt for those made from food-grade ingredients and pigments like Kosas.
4. Body moisturizers will cover most of your skin surface meaning maximum absorption, so make sure your creams are clean. Common culprits in conventional body lotions include formaldehyde releasers, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, and parabens. Choose instead milks that contain naturally moisturizing and soothing ingredients such as meadowfoam, rosehip and camellia oils, and always opt for a maker like Ellis Brooklyn that only uses naturally-sourced fragrances such as essential oils.
5. Immersing yourself in a hot bath can be one of the most relaxing and luxurious moments of self-care you can possibly gift to yourself. Rather than sinking into bubbles (see above reference to detergents) soak in mineral rich salts and clays that can detoxify and heal.
Stay tuned for my upcoming Valentine’s Day Gift List where I’ll recommend my top picks for filling these new spaces in your beauty cabinet!
As the season changes we like to get warm- cozy indoors under a blanket, outdoors with layers and tones of the fabrics we wear, and of course with the shades of our hair color. Christina is a classic brunette with golden highlights and undertones that perfectly complement her attitude this fall.
When I decided it was finally “Go!” time for the apothecary, there was absolutely no doubt that the first product I had to line up was Vintner’s Daughter. Praised by top celebrity makeup artists and beauty editors alike, Vintner’s Daughter has gained a cult following amongst beauty professionals across the globe. This Active Botanical Serum is a luxurious multi-correctional infusion of 22 of the world’s most active organic and wildcrafted botanicals. It has been referred to as “the face oil to end all face oils”, “liquid gold”, and “unicorn tears”.
Using her winemaking background (hence the name), founder April Gargiulo sources only the purest botanical actives from the most conscious farmers and like an alchemist extracts and combines ingredients in such a way that the efficacy of each is emphasized- making the sum greater than it’s parts. And, of course, there are no parabens, phthalates or synthetic fragrances.
So if you were wondering what multi-correctional implies- just a few drops of this magic can fight signs of aging, stimulate cellular turnover, improve skin elasticity, strengthen capillaries, inhibit melanin production, prevent wrinkles, treat acne, deliver oxygen to cells and protect against free-radical damage.
Seriously. If you do ONE thing, this should be it. Even though I’m a product junkie, in real life I have to be a minimalist. I can’t handle one more job, in addition to the 3 (mom, hairdresser, entrepreneur) I already have! Sometimes the night time regime can feel like that- a job or a burden. Just too much when I’m basically toast. Speaking of 3 full time jobs… Could there be any connection here to my dark circles, fine lines, chin breakouts and dry patches?
I use it at night after cleansing and toning, and in the morning before I apply my tinted sunscreen. The application is crucial- the “push/press” technique is charmingly illustrated in the product packaging and helps the skin better absorb the serum. Inhaling the beautiful aroma after warming it in the palms and pressing my face, neck and décolletage has become more a meditative, therapeutic and luxurious moment of self care than just another chore on my to-do list.
I noticed a difference in my skin immediately, but it has gotten even better after a few weeks of regular use. My skin is more healthy, even toned, radiant and youthful. My friends, family and clients are even commenting! For me, Vintner’s Daughter is a silver bullet; a concentrated multi-tasker that delivers immediate results. Cheers to that!
Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum, available NOW at Siren Apothecary. 30ml $185
When Siren Salon launched 10 years ago, non-toxic hair care was only just beginning to come into the forefront of consciousness. Always at the heart of Siren’s core values was an endeavor to find the most sustainable and ethical brands to work with, without sacrificing performance. I looked at line after line and between “greenwashing” (which I’ll speak more on in a later post) and products that literally went rancid (a little problem when watered down product formulations are organic and lack natural preservatives and antimicrobials) I thought perhaps the search was an exercise in futility.
Then, Oribe Haircare came to market, and I found high performance, luxury hair care that leverages natural actives and advanced technology without things like endocrine disruptors and carcinogens. Siren was the first salon in Marin to offer the Oribe line exclusively, and the line is the perfect complement to the effortless beauty look that we are known for here at Siren.
While I ticked that box for the salon, there were more and more events in my personal and professional life that were driving my pursuit of clean products for the salon and in general. I had a stylist leave the industry due to an allergy to hair color. I was personally developing a case of contact dermatitis on my hand. I was hearing more and more stories of people in my community falling chronically or terminally ill. And finally, I decided that I wanted to start a family.
Of course I try to eat clean and organic, and I keep my home as green and clean as possible, but with my undeniable passion for all things beauty, naturally I became most critical of the chemicals found in my every day beauty products. Refusing to believe that luxury and natural beauty were exclusive terms, and with endless experimentation, I curated quite a selection of go-to products for the skin and body… from luxurious oils and serums to sunscreens and balms for the baby.
Naturally, I report my findings to my family, friends and clients. I can not count the times I’ve guided my clients to purchase things that I recommended a moment before, online with their smartphone, while still in my chair. As most of the products I have found and fell in love with are indie labels that are under the mainstream radar, online was the only way.
So, this is how over the last several years Siren Apothecary was growing as a concept, organically (pun not intended). The launch timing seems auspicious as it lines up perfectly with with other exclusive Siren milestones including offering PPD free hair color, the salon's Sustainability Certification by Green Circle, and our tenth anniversary.
The green beauty movement has grown substantially over the last 10 years. It’s no longer a natural foods store or fringe retail concept with stores like Credo hitting the scene. Editorially it’s no longer limited to bloggers alone as every major fashion publication from WWD to Vogue are featuring more and more green products. Surprisingly, in spite of all this, Siren will be the first of it’s kind in Marin, offering a highly curated selection of non-toxic hair, beauty and body products and accessories in a downtown, main street boutique environment.
This will be your new favorite look for Spring... Easy waves and sun kissed ends!
Be sure to pick up the Style Section of the San Francisco Chronicle. This Sunday April 17th, Nicole, owner of Siren Salon, will be featured as the best Haircut in the Bay Area.
The wedding was Halloween weekend, so the bride and groom sent their guests custom animal masks to wear to the black-tie masquerade ball later that evening.