Posted by Christy Whitney-Matz on

WE ARE ON VACATION 8/9 - 8/15,  Shipping will resume upon our return! Thank you for your patience.
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Rejuvenate, Rebalance, Rebirth

Posted by Christy Whitney-Matz on


S P R I N G  C L E A N S E   &   N O U R I S H M E N T

~   Radiant skin requires internal and external regeneration ~ 

During Spring, the Ayurvedic body/mind type, Kapha, can be seen in our natural surround as climate changes to damp, wet and cool, undertaking a period of renewing itself.  As our outer world goes through this process, our internal world does as well.  With the onset of Spring we often feel sluggish and heavy. Our mucus membranes tend to produce more fluid, and our skin tends to experience occasional breakouts as waste moves out of our bodies.  While our bodies are working hard to cleanse themselves, focusing on exfoliation and cleansing will help our skin to be clear and radiant.  Regular herbal steaming, exfoliation, and warm oil massage aids our lymphatic system in releasing waste buildup over the winter months.  

Let's first talk about internal cleansing...

Internal Cleansing

  • Before eating, begin your day with 16 ounces of warm water with a squeeze of lemon to awaken digestive fire, increase vitamin C intake (which helps us to produce collagen), and hydrate our bodies from in the inside out. *Lemon juice’s structure is similar to our digestive juices.  It tricks the liver into producing bile, which helps keep food moving through the body and gastrointestinal tract smoothly. 
  • Favor a diet rich in (preferably organic) cooked leafy greens and vegetables, legumes, whole grains and juicy fruits. Cooked vegetables are easier to digest which means they are also more easily assimilated by the body.  Fully digesting our food is extremely important. All unprocessed foods and (even thoughts) become waste that sits in the body and are the seeds of imbalance.  More on importance of digestion in a future post.
  • Eat your last meal of the day before sundown.  Digestive fire is highest mid-day and reduces significantly after sunset.
  • Eat fruits alone. When fruits are eaten with other food groups (especially dairy!), they tend to become putrid in our digestive tract acidifying the body rather than alkalizing it.  When fruits are eaten alone, they alkalize our system.
  • Add detoxifying spices to your food such as coriander, cumin, fennel and turmeric.  
  • Drink plenty of warm water or better yet, drink detoxifying teas throughout the day that include Dandelion and Milk Thistle for liver detoxification, Chickweed to help expel fats and flush excess water, and Amla, Rosehip or Hibiscus for their rich Vitamin C content.  
  • Avoid dairy, fatty meat, deep fried, oily and cold foods.  Always avoid processed foods.
  • Spend time in nature.  **Studies show that 20 minutes per day increases vitality, and energy, and boosts our immune systems.
  • Exercise at least 20-30 minutes per day.  Moving your body burns excess waste, boosts our immune systems and rids of heaviness and stiffness, improves flexibility, lightness and ease.

The Spring Skin Care Guide

~  Spring is the perfect time to deep cleanse and nourish our largest organ  ~  

Herbal Facial Steaming

Steaming with herbs is a beautiful and meditative way to detoxify the skin, sinuses and spirit. Start with a cleansed face.  Add a few tablespoons of herbs such as holy basil, comfrey, lavender, calendula and rose to a mixing bowl or better yet use a special beautiful bowl.  Then add approximately 4-6 cups of boiled water to the bowl. Add 1-2 drops of your favorite essential oil.  Create a steam tent over your head with a towel or favorite shawl.  Steam for 5-10 minutes inhale deeply and release all burdensome thoughts.  Follow with a splash of lukewarm water, then apply a clay mask mixed with raw honey and water, or move directly to your moisturizing routine with facial mist, oil, and balm.
pAra organic and wild harvested facial steams:  Holy Basil Steam ,  Flora Facial Steam



Exfoliation for the Face
Exfoliate the face 1-3 times per week depending on your needs.  For all skin types, use a clay mask mixed the Argan and Raw Honey Mask and water or aloe.  This is the perfect marriage of skin cleansing, repair and hydration and is gentle enough to be used every day.  For skin in need of a more vigorous exfoliation, use the Hibiscus Amla Facial Exfoliator 1-2x per week.  

 Cleanser/Exfoliator/Mask Mixing Guidelines

Gather your materials:
To your small bowl, add 3/4 tsp of clay mask to 1/4 tsp Argan and Raw Honey Mask, plus 1/2 tsp pure water, or aloe.
Mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined into a paste.  Apply a thin layer to the skin (avoiding delicate eye area) massaging for 20-30 seconds to buff dead skin cells, then rinse thoroughly; as a mask, apply a thin layer then rest with your feet up for 15- 20 minutes which helps increase blood flow to your face.  Gently rinse off using circular motions to buff away dead cells. Follow with appropriate facial mist, oil and balm.  Use as a daily cleanser/exfoliator or 2x per week as a mask.
If you are taking time to rest with the mask on, consider lighting palo santo to enhance your healing experience.


Exfoliation for the Body

Massaging the skin with sea salts, sugar, coffee, cinnamon and ginger rev the body’s circulation which in turns helps to drain the lymphatic system riding us of our winter wastes.

Coffee tightens the skin temporarily, which decreases the visibility of cellulite. Exfoliate the body with an invigorating organic body scrub a few times per week.  I recommend JAVA Magic Exfoliator or Lemongrass Cedar Exfoliator. Massage into the skin then leave on for 5-10 minutes.  Rinse away thoroughly. Post scrub, drink a large cup of warm water to aid in moving waste out of the body. 


Self Massage with Warming Oil

The way in which we love ourselves will unfold upon all who surround us.  Performing a warm oil massage or abayangha over your entire body before bathing is nourishing and detoxifying as it liquefies toxins in the body which helps us expel them through our lymphatic system.  This can take as little as 3 minutes or as long as you like.  Choose a body oil that speaks to you and then thoroughly enjoy the scent and self care massage while focusing on the gift that your body is to you.   Note: Before your massage, consider warming your bathroom up enough so as not to catch a chill.





Taking time to nourish yourself inside and out is one of the most profound things you can do.  When you are cared for, only then can you care for others.


All photos © Christy Whitney
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Holiday Market Calendar

Posted by christy whitney on

Join us for a sampling of our healthful living products and giveaways at our next holiday markets.

November 30th,  4PM - 8PM:  Jersey City Grove Street ARTIST AND MAKER Market 

Located at the Grove Street PATH Station in Downtown Jersey City.   

December 5th and 6th,  11AM - 6PM:  JC PROJECT:  HOLIDAY Market  (this is a heated market!)
Directions:  Via PATH:  take the path to the Grove St. stop, walk 1 block to City Hall.  The market will be in big heated tents behind City Hall.  280 Grove Street in the Historic Downtown section of Jersey City, NJ. 

December 10th, 14th, 17th, and 21st 4PM - 8PM:   Jersey City Grove Street ARTIST AND MAKER Market.  Located at the Grove Street PATH Station in Downtown Jersey City.  
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pAra Apothecary Opens It's Virtual Door Today!

Posted by christy whitney on

It's with the utmost gratitude for the power of Mother Nature and the outpouring of love I'm surrounded by, that I open the virtual door to pAra Apothecary today.  Our new line of ethically made organic skin care is finally here and I can't wait for you to try it.  Your skin is your largest organ, it deserves to be fed with unadulterated whole food and nutrients from the source. 

A few things about us:

  • We use raw, organic or wildcrafted botanicals, (you could practically eat most of our products!)
  • We enlist plant based organic preservatives when a recipe calls for it.
  • Our line is non-toxic, cruelty free, and vegan.
  • We source our ingredients from the most reputable, ethical, earth loving companies, like Mountain Rose Herbs and Organic Infusions.
  • Each batch is hand made with loving abandon and is infused with healing energy right in Jersey City.
  • We carefully package our goods in (100% recyclable forever) glass and metal wherever possible to avoid adding more plastic to our oceans.
  • We have a very soft spot for horses, especially those who have been forgotten, and there are many.  A portion of our proceeds go toward horse rescue and recovery at one of the shelters in the Unwanted Project Exhibition.

Our world functions as a whole. The daily decisions we make effect all creatures, the planet and their energies.  If our outer world is unwell, we too, are unwell.  And so, we are committed to shining our brightest light on you, knowing that in return our world will be a balanced, happy and healthy place for all beings.

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UPDATE ON THIS EVENT: Java Magic Scrub Will Be Featured at ATHLETA Monday Night!

Posted by christy whitney on

I'm so excited to have been asked to do an event with two lovely health experts - Katie DeMaria and Lisa DeMaria at Athleta on Monday Night! 

Our JAVA MAGIC scrub will be ready to stimulate and move your lymphatic system for optimal purification and release of winter toxic buildup.   We also will be showcasing a small batch, organic, herbal-infusion of JUNIPER GiNGKO Anti-Cellulite massage oil to support cleansing and lymphatic massage to prep your body for the summer season!

**All pAra skin care is locally and responsibly made in small batches with organic ingredients. We take great care in knowing that our skin is the largest organ we have. It deserves real unadulterated food just as much as our internal body.  That's why we make real, organic, unadulterated foods for your skin. We use glass packaging in every instance that we can, and source our ingredients from fair trade, sustainable, organic harvesters. 

More info on the event below...
A holistic approach to radiant beauty featuring award winning stylist and integrative health coach Lisa Demaria and Katie Demaria, holistic skin care expert and licensed esthetician. Lisa and Katie will be featuring Purium Cleanse and Dr. Hauschka holistic skin care treatments. First 20 people will receive gift bags with free skin care samples and a $50 gift card towards a cleanse. RSVP E: Ashley_rodrigues@stores.gap.com P: 212-787-5602
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