Hand Cream by Pharmacopia
Pharmacopia Hand Cream Verbena & Green Tea - 1.7 oz (50ml)
Pharmacopia Verbena and Green Tea Hand cream a rich shea butter based moisturizer for even the driest of hands. leaves skin soft and renewed. Pharmacopia would like to help you understand the various products and methods used in creating natural nontoxic body care products. In addition to using essential oils for aromatherapy and organic ingredients in their lotions, they use a variety of natural ingredients to contribute to your good health.
Aloe Vera - The viscous gel obtained from the leaves of the aloe vera plant is widely used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals because of its soothing and healing properties. Aloe vera properties include: mildy anesthetic, antibacterial, antifungal, increases blood flow to areas where applied and stimulates new skin growth (which speeds wound healing).
Antioxidant - A substance (such as vitamin E, vitamin C, or beta carotene) that protects body cells from oxidation damage.
Arnica - A. montana species is applied externally to reduce pain and inflammation from sprains, bruises and wounds. Arnica is a popular remedy with long-standing use.
Aromachology - The practice of using aromas to influence people's moods; a term often used to describe products with artificial scents, which disqualifies them from being genuine aromatherapy. According to personal care writer Sarah Mandel, "If natural essential oils can be likened to diamond, synthetic fragrances are cubic zirconia." Regulations to distinguish which products are truly natural aromatherapy and which are artificial aromachology are in development by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy - The use of natural essential oils (alone, or in lotions and inhalants) to promote health and well-being of body, mind and spirit. When applied to the skin, the oils are absorbed to affect the physical body. When inhaled, the aromas affect moods and feelings.
Body Burden - The amount of contaminants found in a human's system. A study conducted by Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, to measure the amounts of environmental contaminants found in humans, found an average of 91 industrial compounds, pollutants, and other chemicals in the blood and urine of volunteers. Some chemicals were known carcinogens while others were banned or are untested for their potential health hazards. Using organic products is a great way to avoid toxins and is a good way to detoxify and lower one's body burden. Click here for an article about organic products and body burden.
Calendula Petals - The flower petals of the Mediterranean annual plant Calendula officinalis. A very useful and versatile herb for skin care, calendula cleanses, softens, and soothes the skin. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory and healing qualities.
Carotene (natural color) - An orange-yellow to red pigment extracted from plants (such as carrots and squash). When eaten, it is converted to vitamin A by the liver.
Cellulose - An inert carbohydrate that is the chief constituent of the cell walls of plants and of wood, cotton and hemp.
Chamomile (Roman) Essential Oil - The oil extracted from the small, stocky herb Anthemis nobilis. It has been long used and widely known as Òthe physicianÓ for its effectiveness in promoting general good health. Soothes and calms inflamed, itchy skin. Antibacterial and good for inducing and regulating menstruation and rebalancing female energies. Mildly sedative. Relaxes the body, release anxiety and fear.
Chlorophyll (natural color) - The green pigment in higher plants that turns sunlight into nutrition for the plants. Used as a natural colorant in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
Cinnamon Essential Oil - The oil extracted from the leaves and twigs of the plant cinnamomum zeylanicum. Warming, it is effective for headaches, rheumatic pains or muscular stiffness. Antibacterial and antifungal, it addresses infections that can aggravate bronchitis or throat irritation, open wounds and skin infections. Inhaling it can relieve coughs, colds and sore throats. Cinnamon oil is good for sluggish circulation and stimulates the heart to promote vitality and increase energy. Good for intestinal problems, including colitis, diarrhea and digestive upsets. Emotionally, it helps relieve fear and feelings of being separated or isolated; it also arouses the senses and stimulates the subconscious mind.
Coconut Oil - A very mild oil that is pressed from the flesh of the coconut. The first choice to produce lather in the cosmetic industry. A very good moisturizer, it also protects the top layer of skin helping retain moisture.
Cold-pressed - An extraction method where materials are squeezed under pressure to remove oils or liquids, without the eternal application of heat to help the process along. Implies a fresh, all-natural product.
Comfrey - A perennial Eurasian herb Symphytum officinale has variously colored flowers and has long been used in herbal medicine. Its high allantoin contents stimulate cell growth, helping rapid healing of connective tissue, bone and cartilage.
Emulsifier - A substance that combines two unmixable liquids such as oil and water so that small globules of one liquid are suspended in the second liquid.
Epsom salts - Hydrated magnesium sulfate; used as a cathartic and to reduce inflammation. Most commonly used as the therapeutic agent in a hot bath.
Essential Oils - Concentrated substances distilled from plants. Used for health and fragrance for centuries.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil - The oil extracted from the young blue-green leaves of the Eucalyptus globulus tree. Long used for respiratory conditions, eucalyptus has many beneficial effects. It is a powerful expectorant and decongestant, a good insect repellent, and aids poor circulation. By increasing the body's ability to utilize oxygen, it helps one feel more alive and lifts the spirits. Emotionally it increases confidence, helps with focus and concentration, and encourages seeing the broader picture, and minimizes negativity. Eucalyptus gives a sense of eliminating restrictions and providing room to breathe.
Ginger Essential Oil - Oil extracted from the root of zingiber officinale plant. Warming, so it’s used to treat rheumatism, muscle and joint aches and pains, and fatigue. A good digestive aid, it also helps cleanse the body and purify it of toxins. Promotes circulation of extremities and counteracts infections that cause colds, bronchitis, congestion and coughs. Fiery in nature, it helps develop confidence, willpower and is known as an aphrodisiac.
Glycerin - Glycerin helps the skin draw and hold onto moisture without blocking pores. It is a natural by-product of soap making and can be derived from animal, plant or petroleum sources; they use only glycerin from vegetable sources.
Infused Oils - Oils in which herbs or other substances have been soaked, then strained and pressed. Since oil is not a good solvent, the herbs are usually soaked for some time to impart their essence into the oil. The flowers have been soaked in the base oil, strained and pressed to yield the infused oil. Infused oils are often used by themselves, but can also be used as a base oil for massages and as an ingredient in creams, lotions and ointments.
Jojoba - Not truly an oil, but an array of liquid wax esters, jojoba is extracted by crushing the seeds of the jojoba shrub, found in the deserts of North America. The brilliant liquid has amazing properties restoring moisture and repairing damaged skin. Has a longer shelf-life than most natural oils. Relatively expensive, so many manufacturers include only a tiny percentage. Pharmacopia massage oils have a very high percentage of this wonderful, precious liquid.
Lavender Essential Oil - Oils extracted from the flowers of Lanandula angustifolia. Lavender is mildly antiseptic, healing and therapeutic for asthma, respiratory problems, muscle spasms, skin problems (burns, itching, scars, wounds, psoriasis), insomnia, exhaustion, and nervousness. Relaxing and calming. One of the few essential oils that can be safely applied to the skin without dilution.
Lavender (herbal infusions) - A liquid created by soaking lavender flowers in water or oil, pressing and straining. Many of the healing and therapeutic properties of the flower/herb are thereby transmitted to the liquid.
Lemongrass Essential Oil - A potent, pungent oil extracted from the plant Cymbopogon citratse, it is uplifting, antibacterial and antiviral. It assists the digestive tract and stimulates gastric juices. Regulates the autonomous nervous system and is an analgesic for headaches and migraines (especially when caused by nerves or digestive disorders). Good for a massage and it promotes blood flow and eases muscle spasms, sprains and strains. Great for a post-training rubdown; improves muscle tone and disperses lactic acid. Relieves tension; beneficial for stress-related conditions. With its antimicrobial properties, it is an excellent room deodorizer. Lifts the spirit and helps sustain momentum for creativity. Fights depression, moodiness and negativity.
Moisturizer - A combination of oil and water that binds moisture to the skin. Because bacteria will grow where there is water, moisturizers require some kind of preservative. (A moisturizer without water is called a balm and has an oily feel.)
Natural - When Pharmacopia uses natural to describe its products, it means that the ingredients come from nature or are derived from natural ingredients (as opposed to synthesized or "nature-identical" ingredients). There is no legal standard in the cosmetic/beauty/body care industry for the use of the word ‘natural’ to describe a product or ingredient; Pharmacopia supports the development of an industry-wide definition. Having a standard will stop companies from the current practice of misleading customers with the term ‘natural’ when their products contain primarily artificial ingredients with a tiny percentage of truly natural ones. to read the full text of their article on the use of the word "natural."
Neroli (orange blossom) Essential Oil - Oil from the plant Citrus aurantium has a warm floral scent and increases vitality and suppleness in skin (especially damaged or mature skin). Helps alleviate anxiety, insomnia and depression. Slight sedative, it blends will with many other oils.
Orange Essential Oil - The oil from Citrus sinensis, renown for its vitamin content, is uplifting and refreshing, and combats fatigue, premenstrual tension and stress. Excellent for toning the stomach and aiding digestion, it is an antispasmodic and reinforces the immune system. It is a natural blood purifier. Rejuvenates the skin; good for eczema and dermatitis. Softens and strengthens the outer layers of the skin and stimulates circulation. Helpful for insomnia and depression (especially during menopause). Alleviates frustration; good for spontaneity.
Organic - A term used to describe products produced in ways that meet the guidelines of the Organic Foods Production Act. "Certified organic" means that the producer offers certain assurances that the products meet the standards for that industry. The principal guidelines for an item being labeled ‘organic’ is that it was produced using materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems. Producers of organic products strive to minimize pollution from air, soil and water and maximize the health and productivity of plants, animals and people.
Peppermint Essential Oil - One of the most widely and commonly used essential oils, the strong minty scent of the oil from Menta piperita is cooling, refreshing and slightly stimulating, as well as detoxifying and helpful for digestion. Warming at first, then cooling and refreshing. Its anti-infection properties helps fight coughs, flu, colds, sore throats. Purifies and increases oxygen carrying quality of the blood. Great for concentration; prevents nervous exhaustion and overload. Sharpens the senses and focuses the mind.
Rosemary Essential Oil - Oil extracted from the plant Rosemarinus officinalil has a fresh, herbaceous scent and is great for clearing and energizing. It helps disinfect respiratory and sinus passages and increases circulation.
Shea Butter - Revered in Africa for its almost mystical skin-nourishing properties, it is cold pressed from the Karite nut of the Mangifolia tree, which is exclusive to Africa. The high content of fatty acids and vitamins A, E, and F make it a rich and powerful moisturizer. This ancient compound was even mentioned in Cleopatra's Egypt, with caravans carrying clay jars filled with the valuable treasure.
Surfactant - A foaming and cleansing agent. They use primarily decyl polyglucose (which is derived from corn and coconut oils) in combination with other plant-based cleansers. They are very mild and make suds that are rich and creamy. Decyl polyglucose is a fatty polyglycoside prepared by reacting cornstarch glucose with natural fatty alcohol. Sodium Laurel Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate are the most common surfactants found in personal care. There are many rumors that these ingredients cause cancer. Even though these rumors are unsubstantiated, they don't use them because they are cheap detergents that can be irritating to skin and eyes.
Tangerine Essential Oil - A light-spicy-sweet citrus oil from the plant Citrus reticulata that cheers and soothes. Also good for cramped muscles, stress and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
Therapeutic - Healing, curative; pertaining to discovering and applying remedies for diseases and conditions; restoring heath.
Pharmacopia removed all parabens from their products three years ago, and the old formulations are listed as “old formulation” – so keep an eye out for that. Old formulation products from Pharmacopia are no longer for sale.
Below are definitions of the ingredients that are listed as potentially hazardous. They hope this explains their usage of them.
Benzoic Acid - An aromatic acid that comes from the resin (also called Benjamin Gum) of Asian laurel trees, or cranberries. It is commonly used to preserve foods and medicine. It is not linked to cancer and is not harmful when used topically.
Cinnamon - Anyone might be allergic to the cinnamon in their ginger bath salts, but most people aren’t. If you are, opt for the citrus, rosemary, or lavender blends!
Citric Acid - An alpha hydroxy acid that is perfectly safe for use in body and face care in concentrations equal to or less than 10%. They use less than 1% in their citrus lotion. Citric acid comes from citrus fruit and acts as an anti-oxidant. It can help refresh skin and reduce the look of aging by promoting new skin growth and reducing free radicals.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine - is composed of fatty acids from the coconut. It is a surfactant (foaming agent) that is safe and mild, commonly used in washes for babies. It is not known to be a skin irritant, but recent studies show that some people may be allergic to it, which is why it is listed as potentially harmful. It is perfectly safe in most cases, especially in rinse-off products such as shampoo and body wash.
Guar Gum - An annual plant, probably native to India, grown for its seed which yields guar gum. Guar gum is used as a thickening agent. it as dangerous when it is aerosolized and inhaled in large doses but NOT when used topically.
Lecithin - A derivative of soy beans. It is only dangerous when aerosolized (inhaled). They use it as an emulsifier. It is perfectly safe when used topically.
Phenoxyethanol - is the aromatic ether alcohol used as part of their preservative line, in place of parabens.
Retinyl Palmitate - A natural form of vitamin A. It is an organic compound that is orange in color (carrots are full of it) and perfectly safe in low doses. Skin cells naturally convert retinal palmitate to retinoic acid, which adjusts cell metabolism toward a more youthful state, for skin elasticity, thickness, and plumpness.It is listed as dangerous when it is used in high concentrations, in products like acne treatments and anti-wrinkle creams. Pharmacopia products contain less than 1%.
Tocopherol Acetate - Any of several fat soluble oily, phenolic compounds containing anti-oxidant vitamin E. It provides a little bit of protection against ultra violet rays, and protects cell membranes. Some people might be allergic to Vitamin E. If you are one of those people, be careful when choosing a body lotion or cream.
Sorbic Acid - A crystalline compound found in the berries of mountain ash (or synthesized). It is used as a food preservative. Pharmacopia products contain less than ½ of 1%.
Frequently Asked Questioins
Q: What is aromatherapy?
A: Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to promote health and well-being of body, mind and spirit. When applied to the skin, these oils are absorbed to affect the physical body. When inhaled, the aromas affect moods and feelings.
Q: What are essential oils?
A: Essential oils are concentrated substances distilled from plants that have been used for health and fragrance for centuries. Essential oils come in many grades. They use therapeutic grade oils, because they retain the most of the plant’s healing qualities.
Many companies say their products are natural but they really aren't. How can you tell the difference?
Read the labels. Ingredients are listed in descending order on the label. If all the natural ingredients are at the bottom of the list, chances are they make up only a small percent of the product. Look for the percent of natural ingredients on the label. All their products contain at least 99% natural ingredients and they say so on the label.
Q: Why aren't Pharmacopia products 100% organic?
A: It is not possible to make a lotion or body wash with 100% certified organic ingredients. Water, a main ingredient, does not count toward the percentage of organic ingredients. Wildcrafted ingredients (like shea butter which is gathered in the wild) are not certified as organic and therefore, according to the California Organic Products Act of 2003 they cannot count it in the percentage of organic ingredients. There are many ingredients (like decyl polyglucose, a plant-based foaming agent) that are not available as organic.
Q: Why do you use preservatives in some of Pharmacopia products?
A: Any non-refridgerated product containing water needs a preservative to prevent molds and bacteria from growing. Some companies use alcohol or grapefruit seed extract as preservatives. They don't want to use alcohol because of its drying aspects and their lab tests have determined that grapefruit seed extract is not an adequate preservative. They use a very small amount of food grade preservative (about 1/2%) in the products that require it.
Q: Where are Pharmacopia products from?
A: They source ingredients from all over the world. The products are produced by several specialty manufacturers who follow their custom-formulas to produce small batches; most are located in northern California.
Q: Why can't I find Pharmacopia products at a store near me?
A:They do not yet have sales representatives in all parts of the country; however, any store can order from us directly. If you like their products and what they are committed to, please support Pharmacopia by suggesting us to the buyers at your favorite store. You can also contact us and they'll send them a catalog and order form.
Q: What is natural and organic?
A:Organic refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. Organic products are produced from non-gmo, non-synthetic natural ingredients that are grown without pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or sewage sludge. Certified organic means that a certifying agency (like USDA or European Ecocert) approved that the producer has grown and handled the ingredients according to strict procedures. This insures that the products are truly natural.
The term natural, on the other hand, has no regulations. These days, it is just a marketing term used with varying degrees of accuracy. They define natural to describe something that was grown in nature or was derived from something that grows in nature. No petroleum products, no synthetic ingredients, no synthetic fragrances or colors. Because there is no official standard for certified organic body care products in the US, they are in the process of certifying them to the European standard for organic body care. Look for a certified organic label on their body care products soon.
Pharmacopia wholeheartedly supports fair trade.
They source Fair Trade certified, hand made grass baskets from a women’s cooperative in the Philippines, and Shea Butter from a women’s cooperative in South Africa. They believe that Fair Trade is an important social movement. It empowers farmers and farm workers to lift themselves out of poverty by investing in their farms and communities, protecting the environment, and developing the business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace. Below is a list of principles which guide the Fair Trade movement.
Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit. Fair labor conditions: Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited.
With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
Democratic and transparent organizations:
Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fair Trade revenues.
Community development: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, quality improvement trainings, and organic certification.
Environmental sustainability: Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.
Pharmacopia is one of the few luxurious and organic lines that is also vegan. That means they do not use animal products of any kind, including lanolin and beeswax. They are glad to be able to provide vegetarians and vegans with products that fit their lifestyle.
Pharmacopia is a lot more than natural and organic. Their wholistic approach to personal care promotes health and wellness inside and out. They are on a mission to provide their customers with authentic and indulgent products made from pure ingredients produced sustainably, locally and organically whenever possible. Their gentle infusions of herbs and oils and unique blends of antioxidants and essential oils are designed to keep skin healthy and radiant, naturally.
They make it their business to choose the healthiest ingredients because they believe that what you put on your body is as important to your health as what you put in your body. That’s why you won’t find synthetic colors, fillers, or fragrances in any of their products. No phthalates or parabens either. Instead, they pack their products full of plant-based, nourishing ingredients like organic shea butter and aloe vera. Better for you. Better for the earth.
Lisa Levin started Pharmacopia in her garden, literally, harvesting the abundant herbs and creating natural potions, fragrant soaks and healing creams. Her passion for natural products began with a concern for her health, when she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but grew into a dream to create natural body care that could be healthy at the same time as being beautiful and luxurious.
That was in 1999. Today, Pharmacopia is recognized as a pioneer of the natural and organic personal care category and is sold in top spas and boutiques internationally. Lisa developed the products according to ancient healing wisdom, promoting balance and comfort while delighting the senses. Pharmacopia’s products are fabulously effective, luscious formulations using potent anti-oxidants and therapeutic plant extracts with no parabens, petro-chemicals, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, or colors.
Pharmacopia has been featured in the pages of Oprah, Allure, Harpers Bazaar, Natural Health, Vogue and People, to name a few, and was chosen as one of the top natural body lotions by Town and Country Magazine. Along the way, Pharmacopia has amassed a following of fans and celebrities including Alicia Silverstone and Amy Smart. Your skin devours what you feed it. Feed it well.