Botnia’s Guide to Building a Home Apothecary

You don’t need the most expensive serums and exotic herbs to have an at-home apothecary that can treat almost any minor skin ailment that comes your way. Stroll into your kitchen and you’ll probably find some useful ingredients for skincare! Creating a home apothecary is simple: just a few plants and items that can help with sunburns, reduce puffiness under your eyes, and more! We’re sharing some of our favorite things we love to use that are already in our kitchen cabinets.

The Botnia must-haves for an at-home apothecary//

Besides having a skincare routine that best fits your unique skin, our collection of masks is a great addition to your medicine cabinet. Each one has its own amazing healing properties. 

The Essential Enzymes is (dare we say) essential for your apothecary! It can be used as a cleanser, standalone mask or mixed in as a base with one of our powdered masks. You can even mix it with our other cleansers to add enzymatic activity and mild exfoliation, and will cut down the surfactants, making our cleansers more gentle for the skin. This is especially beneficial for those experiencing compromised barrier of the skin.

The Soothing Repair Mask is an all-star when it comes to being a multi-use product! Healing on its own, it can also be mixed with our powdered masks as a base for the ultimate in hydration. Use it with one of our foaming face washes to create a luxurious foam you can use as a cleanser or shaving cream. It’s perfect for soothing sunburns and works as an overnight face and lip mask too!

The Fix-Zit Mask is a MUST for your apothecary. Not only does it target acne and can be used as an all over mask once a week or as a spot treatment as needed, but it can help to reduce inflammation for those with rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis as well! If you find that you have inflamed skin from any of those skin conditions anywhere on the body, we recommend mixing the Fix-Zit with goat milk yogurt to take down inflammation and soothe the skin. The key ingredient, sulfur, has antimicrobial properties that help to clear breakouts quickly. 

The Weekly Digest Mask can be used every week and helps to gently exfoliate your skin with pumpkin and pomegranate enzymes, while colloidal oatmeal soothes and moisturizes.

Topical green smoothie for the skin? Look no further than our Kale-Yeah Mask! The antioxidant powerhouse kale brightens the skin and reduces inflammation, oats soothe and bind moisture to the skin, and chamomile reduces redness and calms any irritation. This powder mask is packed with powerful vitamins and minerals to nurture and restore your skin.

Lastly, our Flower Powder Mask is perfect for those who are fighting redness and inflammation. Soothing colloidal oatmeal proteins bind moisture to the skin, chamomile calms and reduces redness with anti-inflammatory properties, and rosehip powder brightens. This trio of powders treats uneven skin tone and texture. Mix this one with our Soothing Repair Mask for best results! 

Everyday items as skincare//

We love a curated Pinterest-worthy medicine cabinet, but what do you really need to treat under-eye puffiness if you didn’t rest well the night before? Of course, our Eye Cream would be a great call, but using a warm compress with chamomile tea bags could also do the trick! What’s so wonderful about plants is that our bodies recognize their constituents and assimilate them as our own, which is why it’s great to have plants and ingredients in your home medicine cabinet.

The first ingredient we recommend is goat’s milk yogurt. We love using it for its high concentration of lactic acid which helps to remove dead skin cells helping to unclog congested pores. Add it as a base for our powered mask mixtures for your weekly mask treatment. For those with sensitive skin, use it as a cleanser as it’s a gentle exfoliant with soothing properties that are wonderful for compromised skin. 

Honey is also a lovely base mixed with our powered masks. Honey is naturally antimicrobial,  a great antioxidant, and has humectant properties keeping you nice and hydrated. You’ll want to make sure you’re using high-quality honey with no extra additives. Buying locally is even better! We love using honey from our friends at Sonoma County Bee Company. You might even see a special collab coming down the line this holiday! 😉 

Other items you might already have in your pantry are tea bags, using them as eye compresses or in a facial steam which is great for the skin and lungs! Facial steam opens up your pores, increases circulation, releases trapped sebum, hydrates the skin, helps your skin absorb more product, and is totally accessible! Chamomile tea is relaxing and anti-inflammatory, and lavender, green tea and Breathe Easy by Traditional Medicinals are also great options. Here’s how to create a facial steam at home:
– Add a tea bag or two to 4-6 cups of boiling water in a large bowl. 
– If you have fresh or dried herbs, this is a great time to add those in. 
– If you’re into essential oils, a drop or two of something relaxing like lavender can help you get into a relaxed state of mind. 
– Take a seat and drape a towel over your head and the bowl and hold your face about six inches above the water. 
– Keep your eyes closed and steam for 5-10 minutes and don’t forget to take deep breaths!
– If you get too hot, open the towel or raise your head higher and away from the steam. 
– You can do a facial steam once a week and add some facial massage or gua sha for that extra spa experience!
Note: For those with rosacea or extra sensitive skin, we recommend checking in with your esthetician or health practitioner before steaming at home.

One of the few ingredients we recommend avoiding on the skin is apple cider vinegar. Because of its high acidity of 2-3 pH, it’s way too harsh to be used on your skin. It can remove the protective layer of your skin’s barrier inviting potential inflammation and potentially even burning your skin. Stay away! 

Foods as skincare//

Here are some foods that can also double as skincare ingredients and are perfect allies for treating specific conditions! 

Take avocado, for example. It has fats, fatty acids, and vitamins E and C that aid in hydration and moisturization of the skin and helps reduce inflammation in the skin. Waiting to re-up on your Daily Face Cream? Save those avocado skins, and use the inside of an avocado peel and massage it onto your face as a moisturizer. Leave it on for about 15 minutes and rinse with warm water. You can even mix it in with goat’s milk yogurt and honey for a super moisturizing face mask that’s soothing for extremely dry skin. 

Cucumbers: great for the eyes and for your water–try adding a few slices to your glass and some mint or lemon for that ultimate spa experience! Cucumbers help to soothe puffy eyes and reduce swelling. They’re rich in vitamin C and folic acid and their high water content helps to moisturize the skin under the eyes. Pair it with our Hydrating Serum to help absorb the water into your skin. 

Speaking of cool and soothing, ice is a super simple way to bring down inflammation. Our holistic estheticians love using regular ol’ ice as a refreshing skin awakening practice and when it’s hot outside. Leia of Flower Power Skin Studio has chill pill silicone ice molds that keep your fingers from freezing. 

Eat bananas? Save the peel! As you probably know, it’s high in potassium, but it’s also high in vitamin C as well! You can rub the inside of the peel on your face to brighten skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. 

Plants in your garden as skincare//

If we could recommend only one plant to grow in your garden, it would be Aloe! Peel open an aloe leaf to reveal its jelly-like healing medicine that helps with burns and cuts, soothes sunburns, and alleviates dry itchy skin. (Avoid using it on infected skin: it can disrupt your natural healing process and make an infection worse.) You can even use the gel as a moisturizer, after-shave treatment, or leave-in conditioner for your hair. Here’s a great resource for growing aloe at home. 

Other useful plants to have in your garden are chamomile, calendula, lavender, mint, and rosemary. All of these make great teas but also separately can be used in different ways for their healing properties. 

This is just a taste of a few of our favorite ingredients to start a home medicine cabinet that works for every skin type and any person regardless of age or gender. No need to use OTC products with synthesized ingredients or extra ingredients your skin doesn’t need! Your skin recognizes plants and food constituents and uses them to help heal itself. Share your #shelfie with us; we’d love to see what’s in your cabinet!


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