Pandemic Self Care

As adults, we often channel our energy to the needs of our careers, our families, our pets, even our houseplants more than on taking care of ourselves. However, now, more than ever, we must make caring for our physical + emotional well-being a priority.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic first struck last spring, our worlds have been turned upside down + we have all had to work our hardest to pivot to the new reality of our lives. All while, most likely, looking to the needs of everyone but ourselves. This post is all about how to treat yourself to some self-care + how Pantry Products can help you manage the stress + uncertainty the world brings your way.

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care means putting yourself first. While many of us often put others first, it’s important to realize that self-care is not a selfish concept, it is a necessary one.

Self-Care Helps You.

Self-care helps us cope with stress, unhappiness, illness, depression, and negative emotions. It provides relief when we feel overwhelmed. Most importantly, it reminds us that we are important too.

Self-Care Helps You Help Others

When you maintain your own health and sense of calm, you are more energized and refreshed and you can provide a more positive outlook for others.

Self-Care is Simple. 

It includes daily activities, like washing your face and taking deep breaths, to more extravagant ways such as getting a massage or taking an trip.

At Pantry Products, we like to think of self-care as a simple extravagance that everybody can afford to indulge in. We started from simple ingredients pulled from the shelves of my kitchen pantry. And still today, we are employing those same ingredients in the handmade products lining our shelves. Always know that you can find the means to self-care without having to leave the comforts + confines of your own home.

So, let’s get to it…

1. Prioritize Sleep

We all know how amazing a great night of sleep feels. But, as adults, getting enough sleep is often difficult. It’s even more difficult when we’re in the midst of a global pandemic

However, now more than ever, we need to ensure we are getting enough sleep to keep our immune system running at its best to fight off infections. In fact, there are parts of the body’s immune response that happen only during sleep.

Sleep is also one of the top ways we can help keep stress in check. Since sleep deprivation can make us more sensitive to the effects of stress, ramping up our reactions (or overreactions).

Finally, the brain needs sleep to function; without it you’ll be less patient and less focused, make poor decisions, and be more moody, irritable, and emotional.

How to get your best sleep: 

I, like many, have a hard time shutting off the day + settling into sleep. In order to ensure sleep success, I have created a bedtime routine that includes the usual brushing of teeth/washing of face/lotioning up. But, to ensure once I crawl into bed, I can easily slip into sleep, I also shut out all unwanted light, turn my phone to Do Not Disturb mode, and then spritz by pillow, sheets, and air with Pantry’s Sweet Dreams Essential Spray. For the ultimate in sleep, team your Sweet Dreams spray with our Sleep Salve and/or Sweet Dreams Roller Ball Remedy.

Sweet Dreams essential spray

This blend of lavender, chamomile, ylang ylang, and cedarwood essential oils helps to relax the mind, reduce anxiety, and induce sleep. Plus, it smells ah-mazing!

2. Wake up + Rejuvenate

As much as getting a good night’s sleep is important to managing stress, so is having a healthy start to your day. And let’s be honest, our days are rough since COVID struck. Between endless Zoom calls, homeschooling kids, not being able to get away from your spouse or partner, and sometimes not even bothering to put on pants…life is hard. Taking some time to take care of yourself in the morning + throughout the day may seem daunting but trust me, you can do it.

Facial Mists
So, take a minute to rejuvenate. Literally, 1 minute. No matter how busy we are, we can find a spare minute. Find that minute, lock yourself in your bathroom/garage/car, bust out a bottle of Pantry’s Rejuvenating Facial Mist, take a few deeps breaths, know that you’ve got this. This hydrating + reviving facial spray contains:
  • Rosewater to revitalize + balance your skin’s pH
  • Vegetable glycerin to moisturize
  • Vitamin E to restore skin cells
  • Jasmine essential oil – antidepressant
  • Clary Sage essential oil – antidepressant + stress reducer
  • Chamomile essential oil – calming

Our facial mist will boost your mood, refresh your skin, and doesn’t come with the jittery side effects of a 2pm cup of coffee.

3. Work it Out

Spending a lot more time at home does not mean you get to be a couch potato. Just because your gym closed doesn’t mean you don’t need to work out.

Staying active not only keeps your body healthy physically (keeping your risk of chronic health issues down and lowering your chances of acute illness, like COVID-19), it also helps up your mood and well-being.

Exercise releases endorphins, sharpens focus, and aids sleep. Staying physically active also lessens the risk of mood disorders, boosts energy, and improves mood overall. So, lace up those running shoes, pump up those bike tires, or pull on that swim cap.

And when you wake up tomorrow morning a little sore from getting ripped, reach for Pantry’s Arnica Muscle Salve.

Arnica Muscle Salve

This wonder balm features:

  • Arnica Flowers- anti-inflammatory
  • Cayenne Pepper – anti-inflammatory, analgesic
  • Ground Ginger – anti-inflammatory
  • Peppermint + Eucalyptus essential oils – anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic
  • Clove essential oil – analgesic (aka numbing)
  • Cypress essential oil – antispasmodic
  • Wintergreen essential oil – revitalizes muscles

4. Manage Stress w/ Scents

When you use scents to improve your health or mood, you’re using aromatherapy. In aromatherapy, essential oils that are distilled from plants are absorbed into the body either through the pores of the skin or by inhaling.

The scents released by EOs affect the hypothalamus, which is a part of the brain that influences the hormonal system. While individual responses to EOs are highly personal, a scent can affect your mood, metabolism, stress levels, and even your libido. Meow!

Most of Pantry’s products feature aromatherapeutic benefits as well as their main function. I chose Serenity Now! for this feature because honestly, who couldn’t use some serenity. RIGHT NOW! However, Pantry crafts 12 essential oil Roller Ball Remedies that are tailored to various ailments.

Serenity Now Essential Oil Roller Ball

Serenity Now! harnesses the power of these oils:

  • Lavender, Chamomile, Ylang Ylang – relaxation
  • Cedarwood – induces sleep, reduces anxiety
  • Vetiver – reduces stress, nervousness
  • Clary Sage -reduces stress, natural antidepressant
  • Lemon + Orange – boost mood

5. The Healing Power of Touch

We all know how wonderful a massage feels on our aching + aging bones + muscles. But did you know that it also helps us physiologically and mentally?

Therapeutic massage can help boost immunity through the reduction of stress hormones + pain, but at the root of the benefits of massage sits oxytocin: a naturally-produced hormone in the human body). Oxytocin (also known as the “Love Hormone) is stimulated by human touch + the release of oxytocin relieves pain + relaxes tense muscles, which signals your brain to go into a calmer state

As oxytocin is released, stress hormones that wreak havoc on your immune system decrease.

Massages can help build your immune system too by increasing circulation in your body. And you need to have access to your favorite spa or even a spare pair of hands. There are several self massage methods you can use to release tension while in quarantine.

Calming Massage Candle

Whether you’re tending to your aches + pains or a loved one is treating you to a little tender touch, Pantry’s Calming Massage Candle can help ease your muscles, soften your skin, + calm your mind.

  • Shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil to hydrate + condition
  • Lavender, Chamomile, Bergamot essential oils – calming
  • Palmarosa essential oil – comforting, calms anxiety

6. Take Time for Yourself

It’s common for folks (myself included) to keep themselves busy, busy, busy in order to avoid assessing their current well-being. But it’s healthier to be still + do nothing. To take time to listen to what your body + mind need. And to check in with yourself.

In times such as these, acknowledging our feelings for the loss of normal activities can help us stay grounded + process the profound changes we are experiencing.

Taking a bath is the perfect way to create a quiet space to reflect. It also has a beneficial effect on your physical + mental wellbeing.

Studies have found baths to be more effective in aiding depression than aerobic exercise, mental health benefits resulted in less stress, tension-anxiety, anger-hostility, and depression. Also, increased body temperature at night helps synchronise our natural circadian rhythms, leading to better sleep patterns, along with improved quality of sleep and overall wellbeing. Treat your self + your soul to some soothing with Pantry’s Soul Soother Sea Salt Soak.

Soul Soother Sea Salt Soak

  • Epsom salt – relax muscles, loosen stiff joints
  • Sea salt – stimulate circulation, soothe aches
  • Dried Lavender – calming
  • Dried Peppermint + Spearmint – muscle relaxant
  • Dried Eucalyptus – analgesic/pain relief

I hope these tips + our handcrafted products allow you to create a simple + attainable self-care routine to help you survive the pandemic. As always, feel free to reach out to me + the Pantry team with any questions on how to harness the power of Mother Nature to live your healthiest life.

Stay well!

Michelle

 

 

 

Pumpkin Spice DIY Skincare

Hey everyone! Pantry boss lady, Michelle here with another installment of our wellness blog! This week, we are feeling full of fall spirit so what better to talk about than pumpkin + spice!? As an October baby (shout out to my fellow Libras!), fall, with all its scents, flavors, colors, + traditions, has always been my favorite time of year. I love finding new ways to celebrate + harness the bounty of the season. Hence Pantry’s cornucopia of autumn-inspired products including my favorite among all favorites, our Force Field Rollerball Remedy.

Apart from being delicious, pumpkin + fall spices are also crazy good for you/your skin.  Join us on a virtual stroll through fall to discover the benefits as well as find a couple pumpkin spicy beauty recipes you can make at home.

PUMPKIN

Thanks to high levels of beta carotene + vitamin C and E, pumpkin protects your skin against UV damage, free radicals, + premature wrinkles and sagging. As if that’s not reason enough, studies have shown that the yellow-orange pigments, called carotenoids, lend a natural glow to the skin. Pumpkin is also a natural exfoliant that helps slough off old skin cells + supports the regeneration of new ones. The fruit enzymes, alpha hydroxy acid, and vitamin A (aka ‘retinoids’) in pumpkin break down the “glue” holding old, dead skin cells on your face, and allows them to fall away naturally. When you’re done, you’re left with a bright, clean, refreshed skin surface!

AND SPICE… 

CLOVE

Not only is clove an aphrodisiac (hubba hubba!) but it can also work wonders on your skin. It’s anti-bacterial + anti-fungal properties make it a powerful tool in the treatment of breakouts. Since clove is a highly potent antioxidant, it helps in maintaining the collagen level of the skin which prevents premature aging.  Bonus: the above-mentioned antibacterial properties also means that clove can help to promote oral health + it has been used to treat oral problems since ancient times. This is why it was a must-have ingredient for our Tooth Powder. Please note: clove oil is very strong! Always dilute clove oil with a carrier oil to prevent burns. 

Cinnamon Clove Skincare

CINNAMON

The anti-fungal, antioxidant +  antibacterial properties of cinnamon make it one of the best spices to spice up your skincare. It improves blood flow to the surface of the skin, resulting in a hydrated skin while helping to fight against acne + skin blemishes. Bonus: it makes a great lip plumper! Add a couple drops of cinnamon oil to any carrier oil for a lip boost or pick up a tube of our Spiced Chai Lip Balm.

GINGER

With 40 antioxidant properties, what can’t you do with this invigorating spice? Rub fresh ginger directly onto your face to ease inflammation, boost skin tone + fight blemishes. Pair it with honey + lemon juice to improve elasticity, clean up breakouts, and brighten skin tone. (Just be careful around your eyes.) Want a little more invigoration? Grab a pouch of our Warming Chai Milk Bath to boost your circulation, moisturize your skin, + treat your senses to a bouquet of seasonal scents. 

NUTMEG

Nutmeg is considered a wonder spice for good reason. It eliminates irritation + inflammation on your skin by smoothing out its appearance + promoting hydration. For those with acne scarring, nutmeg can help soften the appearance of scars as well as sun spots. It is highly recommended for individuals with dry skin as it aids in exfoliation + moisturization but it also helps those with oily skin due to its antiseptic, antiviral, and antibacterial elements. These elements help to reduce excess oil production + the clogged pores it brings. And, if that wasn’t enough, it also works wonders as a toner. Win, win, win! Feeling nutty for nutmeg? Our Autumn Spice Body Polish is just the thing for you! This sweet + spicy combination works to exfoliate + moisturize dry skin while smoothing out imperfections. 

TURMERIC

Also known as the golden root, turmeric is a must-have spice in your wellness regimen! It contains antioxidants + anti-inflammatory components that help beat back breakouts + break up clogged pores so your skin can glow. Another one of the major benefits of turmeric for your skin is its ability to boost collagen production + speed up the body’s ability to form new, healthy tissue. It also blocks elastase, an enzyme that attacks your skin’s ability to produce elastin. If elastin production slows down, fine lines, wrinkles and sagging are more likely to appear. Luckily, turmeric is full of antioxidants that mop up these skin-damaging molecules and dial down the potential effects of environmental damage. And speaking of environmental damage, turmeric is also beneficial in the battle against hyperpigmentation. Since it inhibits the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for dark spots and other kinds of hyperpigmentation, using turmeric regularly on your skin can fade away discoloration to give skin a more even-toned appearance!

Now that you’ve read up on the benefits of these autumnal superstars, let’s bust open those pantries + mix up some skin care treats!

Pumpkin Spice Skincare

DIY Pumpkin-Turmeric Face Mask

Ingredients

2 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon oats, ground

Instructions

In a small bowl, mix puree, coconut oil, and turmeric. In a blender or food processor, pulverize oats into a fine powder + sprinkle into pumpkin mixture. Apply to face + neck and leave on for 20 minutes. Before rinsing, gently work product into face in circular motions. Rinse and moisturize. 


Pumpkin Hair Mask

Pumpkin Hair Mask

This hair mask recipe from the blog Naturally Curly is simple-yet-effective…a maybe a little delicious. 😉 Coconut oil paired with moisturizing honey + pumpkin is sure to bring even the driest hair back from the dead.

Ingredients

1/4 pumpkin purée

2 tbsp. unrefined coconut oil

2 tbsp. honey

Instructions

Mix together + coat your locks starting at the roots. Rinse + wash as usual. Repeat as needed but no more than once a week. You don’t want to turn into The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!


Nutmeg Cinnamon Exfoliator
Nutmeg + Cinnamon Exfoliator

Ingredients

1/2 Tbsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp whole milk or yogurt

Instructions

Combine the spice +  milk/yogurt into small bowl, stir well. Starting with a clean face, massage the mixture lightly over your face in small circles, always moving upwards. If you’re brave and don’t mind getting a little messy, do this on your decolletage, as well. It would make for a very glowing, soft neck and chest. After you’ve exfoliated for 5-10 minutes, rinse well with warm water and pat dry.

A Day in the Life of a Small Business Owner

Greetings! In case you aren’t familiar with this face, I am Michelle, Founder/Owner of Pantry Products: a modern apothecary that has been handcrafting wellness products since 2015. I work alongside a team of 9 incredible ladies who produce nearly 100 products sold through our website, our brick + mortar store, and on the shelves of over 300 stores in over 40 states.

This week, our social media maven, Taylor, thought it would be interesting to give our readers a sneak peek at the life of a small business owner. So, here I am. 🙂

One thing that I’ve found with running a small business is I don’t work a typical schedule. Prior to starting Pantry, I spent nearly 20 years holding down a desk Mon – Fri, 8- 5 pm. It was draining to “have” to be somewhere and to build my life around someone else’s desires. Now, I work more than I did when I worked for others but I have a better work/life balance. Some days, I’m at work at 7 am and work until 8 pm. Some days, I‘ll take off to play outside but I’ll work all weekend. When I first started Pantry, I wanted to make all the things happen so I would wake up at 4 am and work until 12 am. This took a huge toll on me both personally and professionally. Now, I am working on a good balance of work and play. Here’s how a typical day typically looks for me….


6 – 8 a.m.
 Wakey-wakey!
I wake up sometime between these two times. If I wake up past 8, I feel like I’ve missed getting a jump start on my day and that I am already behind on my to-dos. While I love lounging in bed, on work days, I try to be up and out of bed within 30 mins of waking. I have a cup of coffee while checking in on emails, social, and my calendar before tossing on some clothes, making the bed, spraying down my million cowlicks, and taking the dogs for a quick walk.

6:30-8 a.m. Getting a move on. 
After the dogs have been walked and more coffee has been made, I’ll turn on one of our two of our favorite local radio stations: KUER or KRCL while spending the next half hour getting ready. (I always have music on. Always!) Clothes are selected, a shower is taken, breakfast is either made or packed up for taking to work, and I chat with my partner, Heather, on the plans for our day: how our work days are looking, who will walk the dogs in the afternoon, what we’ll do that evening for dinner, if we can squeeze in a hike/bike, etc.

8:30 a.m. Head out for the work day.
We recently moved to Salt Lake City so going into the shop to work with my team happens only one week a month now. To ensure I don’t get cabin fever working from home and to help meet new folks in our new town, I recently joined Kiln, a co-working community. I go into “the office” at least 3 days a week and, since it’s a short commute from our home, I often ride my bike over. Before I leave, I load my backpack with all my tech items, my notebook and journal, my water bottle and my Keep cup, a few pieces of fruit, and my must-have Pantry work items: hand sanitizer, Get Sh$t Done roller ball, Honey + Lavender lip balm, and Nail + Cuticle Essential Oil. And of course, my Neverender face mask. Once I’m ready, I say goodbye to the family, don my helmet and cruise out the door.

9:00 a.m. Getting down to business.
Once I fill my coffee cup and water bottle and find a chill Spotify playlist, it’s work time! On Monday mornings, I make a weekly to-do list so I always know my main priorities for the day and week. As one who struggles with staying focused and not jumping from task to task, having a short list of high priority items helps me hone in on what I should be doing. If it’s not on the list, it gets jotted down for a later time. My general manager, Jessica, and I both post our weekly to-dos on a Slack channel so we can stay tuned in to top-level initiatives. Every morning when I get to my laptop, I review this list before I begin any other tasks.

9:15 – 10:00 a.m. Check e-correspondence.
With 2 business email accounts, 2 social media accounts, 2 third-party wholesale accounts, 2 Slack workspaces, and our assorted shop lists, I spend at least 30 minutes responding to messages, checking in with the team, and getting a feel for what the shop needs for the week. Action items are jotted down in my notebook for tackling when I need a quick break from priorities.

Kiln coworking

10:00 – 12:00 p.m. Let’s do that work!
As a small business owner, I wear many hats. On any given day, I can be found managing any/all of the following: web design + content creation, sales +  marketing, graphic design, Human Resources, finances, product research + development, inventory management, and community engagement. When I announced I was moving to Salt Lake, people thought, that by not being in my shop, I was leaving my business. Moving is actually one of the best things for Pantry as I am not devoting 80% of my day to running the brick + mortar during the day and then trying to find the time to work on the lengthy list above. The shop always took priority over strategic planning but now I can focus on higher-level tasks. I am fortunate that my Pantry team members can keep the shop flourishing so I focus on growing the business.

12-12:15 p.m. Journal Time!
Recently, I started journaling again. While this was something I did religiously in my younger years, I stopped writing around the time my OCD and general anxiety disorder started increasing as I found it easier to avoid my thoughts than to acknowledge them. I thought I had everything under control but, in reality, I was stuffing everything which led to even more anxiety, less sleep, and increased avoidant behavior. Upon seeking professional help and actively working on my anxiety, I know it’s better to tackle my worries head on. By setting aside the time to journal every single day, I can communicate my concerns and insecurities before my brain has a chance to catastrophize them. But journaling is not only for working on the negative thoughts. It also allows me to “talk” through ideas with Pantry, plot out plans for my future, and celebrate my wins (both personally and professionally).

12:15-12:30 p.m. Quiet Time
It is rare that I have time to myself to do absolutely nothing. Most of the time, this is my choice. As an ambivert, I feed off of being around people and have been known to be blue if I spend too much time alone. However, sometimes I become too overwhelmed by the constant stimulation of others. Recently, I discovered the Relaxation room at Kiln which features an essential oil diffuser, mood light lamp, and the most incredible Kyota massage chair. While I’d prefer to be out on a bike ride, going for a hike or taking a yoga class, sometimes my schedule/the weather/COVID won’t allow it. Taking these few minutes during the day helps to recharge my batteries while working out muscle tension.

12:30-1:00 p.m. Lunchtime
While I try to eat what I bring from home, the best part about being in a new city is discovering their food culture. And Salt Lake hasn’t disappointed. From their wide array of Greek/Mediterranean restaurants to handmade arepas, crispy curry fried chicken, housemade mole, and gluten-free pizza.

1:00-4 p.m. More work.
Having the time to dedicate to Pantry‘s growth has allowed me to take on tasks that have been on my list for years. Recently, I have tackled the following:

  – Restart this blog – there’s so much wellness product info in this head of mine. I now have the time to get it out to you.

  – Work through ongoing website issues that affect sales. These include fixing the shipping rate calculator, adding more subscription options, improving website copy and SEO, more in-depth product descriptions, offering gift wrap, Skin Care by Skin Type

  – Roll out new products – keep a look out for new offerings such as more cleaning products, a new mens’ line, virtual workshops, and festive holiday offerings

  – Pursue more wholesale business – more Pantry Products to more people

  – Find a business mentor – I don’t have a background in Business so it’s important to work with a mentor who can help guide me in my journey. SCORE is the best resource I have found.

  – Develop a dedicated production facility – Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to see the team crafting your favorite products. This location would handle our wholesale production demand.

4-4:30 p.m.  Head home.

4:30-5:30 p.m. Catch up with the fam.
This usually means Heather and I walking/hanging out with the dogs while discussing our workdays. You wouldn’t think an associate professor in Chemical Engineering would have much crossover with running a small business but Heather’s experience running her research lab and leading her team of students is very relatable to what I experience as Pantry’s leader. I cherish the time we get to spend together discussing our respective days, challenge, and achievements. Even if most of the time she’s helping to peel me off the ceiling because I’m overwhelmed.

6-8 p.m. Enter Chef Czarka
I typically end the work day around 6 p.m. and start in on one of my favorite activities: making dinner. I would say I spend the majority of my free time thinking about and/or talking about food and my love for spending time in the kitchen is what helped spawn Pantry. I cherish taking ingredients from my kitchen pantry and combining them into something delish. Bonus: Pantry creations are also WAY better for my waistline!

7-10 p.m. Dinnertime
While Heather and I well aware that we shouldn’t eat late dinners, our schedules often result in dinner closer to bedtime. Other times, it’s not our schedules but the fact that I (once again) have spent too much time creating something nourishing. Once dinner is ready, we set aside work, social media, and other other distractions and select a spot to continue catching up on each other’s lives.

Between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m. Time for bed!
Since my days can be long and I cannot stand/afford to be dragging through a workday, I am usually in bed by 10:30 p.m. Sometimes, we opt to “rot our brains” which consists of watching an episode of Monk that Heather will last 10 minutes into.  I’m not one of those lucky folks that falls asleep quickly and I struggle with shutting my brain off. In the instances where I need some assistance finding slumber, I load up Sleepcasts on the Headspace app or tune into Nothing Much Happens for one of Kathryn Nicolai‘s soothing stories. These two have changed my bedtime!

And that, folks, is a sneak peek into my days. It’s exciting to reflect back on how my schedule has changed in the last 5 years and I’m excited to be able to reflect back in 5 years again.

Want to more about what it’s like to run a small business? Comment below!

Thank you for reading along!
xo Michelle

I know what you are thinking right now, “What the heck is a Dainty Rhino?” Is it an endangered species? Meh, not really. Some wild creature who eats mass amounts of greens and is as buff as Schwarzenegger? Well, that’s a little bit of a stretch, but I’ll take it! Alright, alright, let the drum roll slow and allow myself to introduce…myself (insert Austin Powers accent, please). My name is Rachel and I am Pantry’s leading expert in packing tape security management, cardboard cutting specialist, and product packing connoisseur. Why Amazon has not tried to poach me from Pantry Products for my wide variety of skills– I have no idea. So, now the question is, what does a box packing dainty rhino have to do with skincare products?…

Photo by Rachel Koester on May 27, 2018.

 

Outside of my gun slinging box cutter skills, I am a full time personal trainer at a small local gym here in Reno. Along with being in the gym hours on end each day, I am an avid mountain biker and former collegiate soccer player. Basically I’ve spent my entire life sweaty, dirty, smelly, bruised, and have always struggled to find skincare products that didn’t make my skin breakout, give me rash, or make me wonder why I couldn’t pronounce the ingredients on the label. This gym rat + weekend dirt shredder is tough on the inside, but wow, is she dainty on the outside.

Let’s face it– literally. Sensitive skin sucks. Bad products suck even more. A few years ago I had such a bad reaction to a particular lotion, my legs and stomach were covered in a rash so terrible that the dermatologist thought it was staph infection. This Dainty Rhino was so done being…well, dainty. This fueled my mad search for clean products with natural ingredients that weren’t going to annihilate my skin and force me to wear pants and long sleeves in the gym or on the trail. Cue the cloud parting music, throw in some singing angels, rays of sunshine, and that is how my body and face felt the first time I used Pantry Products. So, let’s take a peek into what a Dainty Rhino skin regime looks like…

RISE & GRIND: The only graceful part of my morning routine is when I’m actually using Pantry Products. The alarm goes off anywhere between 5:30-6:00 am, in which I slowly manipulate and twist my body in order not to crush our tiny 10lb dog who likes to sleep between my legs. I would love to say my feet hit the ground running after that, but it’s actually more of a dainty tip toe over our 70 lb Golden Retriever who likes to sleep in the middle of the floor. Did you even know a Dainty Rhino could move like a ninja? I finally stumble to the sink and I rinse my face with warm water (I don’t ever actually “wash” my face in the morning- is that good or bad? I have no idea!) Besides coffee, the best part of my morning is using my absolute favorite product, the Aloe + Rosewater Toner. I put a few dabs on a cotton round and gently sweep over my entire face. Right after the toner, I use the Moisturizing Facial Mist, which gives an awesome refreshing spritz and helps me wake up and get ready to face…three hungry dogs. After dog mom duties are completed, caffeine has been ingested, breakfast consumed, I always do several generous swipes of the Rise + Shine essential oil rollerball before I run out the door. Phew, does anyone else need more coffee?

SWEAT, BABY, SWEAT: I absolutely love being a personal trainer, but if you’re not conscious of your body, well…things get funkay. Whether I’m sweating during my own workout or getting amped up while teaching group class, I am constantly varying between sweating and not sweating. This is why the Lavender + Ylang Ylang Deodorant is my BFF in the gym. Not only does it keep me so fresh and so clean clean, but I don’t have to worry that toxic chemicals are seeping into my lady pits. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I am fortunate that my schedule allows me to workout in the afternoon, but the downside to this is freshening-up after my workout to get ready for the second half of my day. The other absolute must in my gym bag is the Apple Cider Vinegar + Rosewater Toner. I always keep a few cotton rounds in my travel makeup bag and do a quick sweep of the toner over my face. Not only does it do an awesome job of getting the sweat off my face, it is also a very pleasant smell under your mask!

A must have for the gym bag!

 I FEEL NAKED WITHOUT: If I’m at the gym, grocery shopping, on the trail, or gracefully trying to walk three dogs, there is a 99.99% chance that I ALWAYS have the Orange + Vanilla lip balm in my pocket. Most lip balm products actually end up drying out your lips even more, therefore forcing you to use even MORE lip balm! Ugh, lame. I don’t know about you guys, but now that we are living in the times of wearing these awesome pieces of fabric covering our faces all day, my lips started to become as dry as our Nevada desert. It is quite awesome (and more safe), to not have to pull your face mask down every few minutes to apply lip balm. This smooth-like-butter feeling will leave your smackers moisturized for hours on end.

Bruce knows the good stuff!

NIGHT-NIGHT DAINTY RHINO: I wish I could say that my evenings are comprised of Netflix & chill, but in all reality my partner and I live the glamorous night life of doggie dinnertime, nighttime poop walks, and administering senior dog medications. With that being said, if a quick shower can be squeezed into the evening, I always get a little taste of pampering from the Honey + Lemon Exfoliating Face Scrub. This product is a great way to literally scrub the day away and give your face a little TLC that it deserves. On the flip side, if a shower doesn’t happen amongst the doggie madness, I always have a bottle of the Makeup Remover in my medicine cabinet armory. I love the makeup remover because not only does it actually work, but it doesn’t burn your eyeballs out of your head to get the job done.

Before the last of the dog kisses for the night (who am I kidding, there’s probably 5 more minutes of dog kissing and a Pug massage), I like to do a little swoop of the Pack Your Bags Neroli Eye Serum. Now that I am officially smack in the mid-30’s (ah!), there ain’t no shame in a little help with those puffy eyes that say, “This is what I look like if I go to bed after 10pm.” One last spritz of the moisturizing facial mist, thirty-seven more dog kisses, eye mask on my head, pillows perfectly propped and squished, a smooch for the partner, and this Dainty Rhino is down for the count.

Managing Maskne
You don’t need to be an essential worker wearing protective gear for hours every day to have noticed a skin reaction after wearing a face mask. (Shout outs of gratitude to our essential workers!). This unfortunate side effect, known as mask acne, or ‘maskne,’ can plague us all.

Maskne occurs when sweat, skin oils, and bacteria are trapped on the skin. Face masks can cause further irritation due to rubbing against the skin, which can damage the skin’s protective barrier, or by trapping moisture. This type of acne is called acne mechanica, which includes any skin issues due to pressure, friction, rubbing, squeezing, or stretching. It’s different from other kinds of acne (like the pimples that show up around your period, for example, which are hormonal) because it occurs only in areas where the mask sits against the skin. In healthy skin, there are normal amounts of bacteria and yeast present, but when pores become clogged because of excess sweat and moisture from masks, these organisms overgrow, leading to pimples or acne cysts.

The warm, humid weather in the summer months can make mask acne especially cruel. The combination of sweat, oil, and moisture from breathing under the mask can lead to clogged pores. In addition, the friction and chafing of the mask in contact with the moist skin can cause the skin to break down. Unfortunately, winter air won’t do much to resolve maskne either. The mask rubbing against your drier-than-usual skin can cause the hair follicles to break open, which then allows acne-causing bacteria into the skin.

• cleansing
• enzymatic exfoliation
• extractions
• customized skin mask
• LED blue light therapy
• neck & shoulder massage
• cold roll therapy
• moisturizer to lock in all the goodness!

Offer valid to new customers only.
@skinlove_by_erica
Call or text/dm to book appointment
775-338-5647

There’s no age limit on living your true life!

Greetings, Pantry fans! Pantry founder + owner, Michelle here! This week, I’ll be talking about a topic few women want to think about…aging skin. While we may still be kids at heart, our skin is the easiest tell that bifocals may be in our near future. If we had listened to our moms about staying out of the sun, washing our face before bed, and drinking plenty of water, our skin may help hide what our driver’s license shows. But, nobody is perfect and, even those who live the purest lifestyle can use some help battling back Father Time. So, this week I will give you my tips + tricks to keep my skin looking + feeling its best.

This October, I will be turning 43. (EEEEEEK!! GASP! WAAAAH!!!) Yup, I’m definitely a few years beyond being considered a spring chicken.

And, if I’m being honest, I haven’t always taken the best care of my skin. I spent many years baking in the sun lathered with Coppertone SPF 4, opted for coffee + wine over water, and woke up with last night’s makeup still on my face.  When I started a skincare brand, friends + family were quite surprised because I’m not really a skincare kinda gal. However, as time kept ticking by, I had to make some changes. While I still have a relapse from time to time, here is how I do my best treat my skin like the precious treasure it is:

Tip #1: Drink your darn water!
I love my coffee. I go to bed excited that, when I wake up, I get to have a big ol’ mug. My skin (+ body), however, benefit far more from starting the day with a big ol’ glass of water + keeping it going until I crawl into bed at night. Drinking 64 oz. of water may seem overwhelming in concept but just do it as the benefits to your skin are worth it! The cells in every part of your body get hydrated through the blood resulting in a flushing out of impurities and toxins. And that’s not all! Hydrating tightens and tones the skin, prevents premature aging, helps skin heal faster, reduces puffiness, prevents acne + balances the skin’s pH. Plus, you feel SO dang good!

Tip #2: Wash your face before bed

I despise washing my face. It is not as glamorous as those Noxzema commercials make it look. Who cleans up all of that water splashing all over? How do I still have soap on my face after all that splashing?! The solution to my face washing woes came about a few years when I read about the Oil Cleansing Method. Based on the principal that like breaks down like, OCM employs good oils to break down not-so-good oils. I tested it out and days later, created Pantry’s Oil Cleanser.

Pore Clearing Oil Cleanser
By combining nourishing nut and seed oils with the drawing power of castor oil and the healing/clearing powers of pure lavender and frankincense essential oils, Pantry’s Oil Cleanser breaks down excess oils on your skin and clogged up in your pores. It also helps to balance out uneven moisture levels which my combination (oily/dry) skin desperately needs. To use, dampen skin then massage the cleanser on, allow it to be adsorbed for 10-15 minutes, then apply a steamy washcloth to open pores, wipe away dirt, and remove excess product. No soaked PJs, no wet floors. Just clean + glowing skin.

Tip #3: Slough it off

As we age,  the body is slower to shed skin cells and generate new ones. When old skin cells pile up on the skin’s surface, it looks dull + dry. Furthermore, the build-up of dead skin cells can result in excess oil and clogged pores, leading to blemishes and acne. (Yes, even 40 year olds deal with breakouts). To brighten + refresh my skin, I use exfoliation to remove of dead skin cells + uncover fresh new cells below. This also allows my moisturizer to penetrate more deeply into the skin.

Honey Lemon Exfoliating Scrub
For exfoliating on a tight schedule, I keep Pantry’s Honey + Lemon Exfoliating Face Scrub in my shower. Not only is it delicious, but the sugar works to slough off dead skin cells while the honey boosts collagen production, hydrates dry skin, heals damage and opens up clogged pores. Much like how I used lemon juice to lighten my hair back in the day, the lemon essential oil in this product works to lighten areas of scarring/hyper-pigmentation.

If I am having a little “Treat Yo Self” time, I reach for Pantry’s Exfoliating Pink Clay Mask. The french pink clay draws out impurities, toxins, + oils that clog pores while the super fine himalayan sea salt gently exfoliates + provides anti-inflammatory properties that heal and soothe skin. It also helps retain moisture in the deeper layers of the skin.

Clay Face MaskI’m a fan of the Detox Charcoal Mask too!

Tip #4: Hydrate

I spent about 40 years trying to figure out how to properly hydrate my skin. I’ve gone from looking like the Gobi Desert to a runner-up in a fried chicken eating contest and everything in between. I can now proudly say that I have found the perfect solution in the form of Pantry’s Refresh + Repair Serum.

Anti Aging Face Serum
This 2 oz. bottle of magic is loaded with skin-nourishing oils that help fight back the signs of aging, heal damage, and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Since it’s oil-based, it absorbs quickly without leaving behind a sheen or clogging my pores. And, while the benefits of this product are preached by all who use it, one of the most popular comments we receive is about how INCREDIBLE it smells. Try.It.NOW!! When my skin is feeling a little extra needy, I reach for two wrinkle-fighting products to provide nourishment + help to boost skin cell production: Wrinkle Buffer Butter + Fountain of Youth, our age Spot + wrinkler reducer. Applied before bed, I wake up looking 20 years younger! jk but I certainly notice a difference.

Tip #5: ‘screen up!
This shouldn’t need a explanation but I’ll give a little one. Aside from protecting you from deadly skin cancer, using sunscreen daily protects your skin from harmful UV + UVB rays that cause premature aging + leathery skin. It also reduces the chances of brown spots + skin discoloration. Use it daily. Even if you’re only going to be working day. Blue light emitted from electronic devices like our smartphones, tablets, and TVs may be leading to premature skin aging and skin damage. Pantry’s SPF 30 Sunscreen comes in an easy-to-apply tube so I just daub it on and go. It rubs in easily and also helps my makeup stay on longer.

Tip #6: (Try to) stress less
Recently, my partner took a peek at my driver’s license picture, which was taken before I started Pantry. She couldn’t get over how young I looked. Pantry has only been in business since 2015 + in those years, I have stressed A LOT!

Stress less to age less
Stress can affect us in a lot of ways – our quality of sleep, what we eat, and our overall mood and well-being – but what a lot of us don’t think about is how stress can actually affect our physical appearance. Stressing causes the production of cortisol – a hormone that helps your body. However, when your body starts producing excess cortisol, it loses its ability to retain water. Since stress often leads to lack of sleep, an increase in caffeine consumption + a decrease in water, you become dehydrated. Then, you begin to see stress-related acne breakouts, dry, flaky skin, and dark circles + bags under your eyes. If you don’t minimize the strain, the effects of stress can often take a lasting toll on your face. I still stress a lot but I’ve found ways to better manage it + care for my physical + mental well-being. Aside from drinking alllll the water (see Tip #1), I do my best to actively recognize when I am stressing + work immediately to manage the stressors. Whether it’s taking a few deep breaths or a quick meditation (I LOVE the Headspace app!), quickly troubleshooting the stress, taking a break to give Lou some love, or reaching for my Serenity Now! Roller Ball Remedy. (I have one in my laptop bag, one at home, and one in the car), I work to manage what’s irking me before it shows up on my skin.

Serenity Now Essential Oil Roller BallTip #6: Embrace it
I always say that growing older is better than the alternative. I can’t stop the clock + I’d much rather add to my life experiences than not so I do my best to embrace the beauty that is growing older. I’ve come to accept that I have a few more “super blondes” at my temples, that I may never be a size 4 again, and that I have a few extra lines on my face. But, what fun I have had getting to this point! I look forward to another 43 years of living life to the best of my abilities!

I hope these tips help you to age gracefully + treat yourself like the true gift you are. Thank you for reading along + please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

XO, Michelle

 

 

 

Hiya Pantry Pals, it’s Dani + Kayla here! Together, we make up Pantry’s Production team crafting every single of one your favorite Pantry products by hand. And we do it all while laughing over memes, dancing, and generally being silly. (Note from Michelle: if you’ve been in the shop when these two are working, you’ve most likely heard them giggling in the back. It’s the best sound for a boss lady to hear!) 

This week, we’re joining forces for our first ever blog post (and the second in Pantry’s Natural Skincare Junkie series) to tell you all about how we each care for our skin type: young, oily/combo, acne-prone skin. 

Dani will go first…

Hello, Dani here! I’ve been a Pantry Shop Assistant for about 9 months now + I am delighted to contribute to this blog for the first time. Today, I will be telling you all about one of the most important staples of my day-to-day regimen: SKINCARE.

For the entirety of my teenage years, I battled with the idealization of obtaining “perfect” skin. I also battled with my fair share of T-zone breakouts and I would poke and prod my upset skin which resulted in only making it worse. I thought I was doing myself a favor by using drugstore brand facial cleansers, toners, and scrubs (which are full of harmful sulfates and parabens) but, I realized later, I was causing exponential damage to the top layer of skin and ultimately, ruining my skin barrier. As I caked on multiple chemicals to dry out my breakouts, my skin would compensate by over-producing natural oils which I would then consistently work to remove from my forehead, nose, and chin. It became a never-ending battle. At the same time, it would not hydrate my cheek/upper neck area as I was scared to over moisturize. Not only until a few years ago did I realize that I am not enemies with my skin. It’s a part of me and I need to treat it and nourish it with care to achieve not the “perfect” skin, but healthy + clean skin. In this blog post, I will be listing off the easy tips + tricks that I use to care for my combination skin type (oily + dry). I hope what I’ve learned can help you manage this tricky skin dynamic. 

I prefer to focus on my skincare routine every single morning as a nice daily refresher. Personally, nothing feels more invigorating than waking up and starting each new day with freshly treated skin, so get your notepads ready, cause here we go:

TIP #1: Remove excess makeup from the night before that you may have missed. It is a nice precursor before getting into treating your skin. Pantry’s simple ingredient Makeup Remover is more than nice to the sensitive skin around your eyes. It removes gritty eye makeup that likes to linger in the kindest way possible. The combination of tear-free shampoo with fractionated coconut oil gently breaks down the residual product left on my face without clogging my pores. Not having to worry about irritation is a plus, as well. The neroli essential oil in the product holds anti-inflammatory properties that prevent aggravation in my skin while taking my makeup off. 

TIP #2: Cleansing your skin with a gently will also brighten your skin. Washing your face with a soft applicator is a step that goes unrecognized by many. Though it is important to cleanse your face, it is also equally as important to notice what you wash your face with. I recommend the Nash + Jones bamboo washpads we carry at Pantry. Not only are they sustainable, they are naturally antimicrobial. Meaning, these washpads prevent the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites that no one wants creeping on their face. 

TIP #3: MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE! I no longer slather my skin in chemical-filled drugstore moisturizers. I generously apply our Green Tea Moisturizer. It is such a lightweight formula that I do not fret about feeling/looking oily when applying to my T-zone and surrounding areas. Made with organic matcha powder, it is a naturally powerful antioxidant that prevents the buildup of free radicals which can cause damage to helpful cells in your skin + body. Teamed up with the hand-blended mixture of coconut oil, beeswax, and almond oil, this moisturizer helps form a protective barrier from debris without clogging my pores + is a natural SPF. Not to mention it duals as an amazing thin primer before applying your makeup. Amazing, right?! Who would not want to try it? 

What’s next are not tips, but they are a few tricks I like to use to help refresh my face and feel rejuvenated. I am obsessed with our Pack Your Bags Neroli Eye Serum, just like Sarah! (And apparently, the rest of our Pantry fans as it is our #1 seller 3 years in a row!) When I wake up, my puffy under eyes are in dire need of some assistance and Pack Your Bags does the trick. The aloe gel-based formula and the calming lavender and neroli essential oils never fail to reduce my baggy under-eye prominence. 

Now, while I am no longer focused on having “perfect” skin as it is a vague standard to obtain, blemishes are inevitable and completely normal. My recommendation for those pesky blemishes that always seem to pop up when you are least expecting them? Our Blemish Balm! The combination of baking soda and tea tree essential oil help dry out breakouts while reducing inflammation caused by them with lavender essential oil. 

Last but not least, for a pleasant + fun treat for my face, I reach for our Clarifying Lavender + Frankincense Clay Mask. The bentonite clay base pulls the built-up toxins in your skin while the dried lavender bud/frankincense essential oil combo clarify + calm my skin, leaving it feeling refreshed and tranquil. 

I absolutely hope this helps any fellow combo skin type buddies, like myself. And now, I will pass the mic to my sidekick, Kayla.  

 

Hey y’all, it’s Kayla! I have been working at Pantry for roughly eight months now and I’ve loved every second here. 🙂 I work on the Production team my fellow team member, Dani. We have loads of fun working at Pantry + getting to meet/help all of you lovely people. This week, we decided to go over our routines for combo/oily acne-prone skin types. Given we are the youngest team members here at Pantry, I think going over “teenage” skin is a great way to help our younger audience. 

I stumbled upon Pantry in my early high school years at the peak of my acne situation. My skin wasn’t bad at first but, when you’re in high school, even the smallest things freak you out. So, I started using harsh, over-drying, full of fragrance, and overall AWFUL products on my skin. I would use astringents (basically alcohol) + face masks every night. My skin almost immediately got 10 times worse. I started getting cystic acne + breakouts weekly, which quickly declined my self-confidence. I then turned to using a popular TV acne treatment. I gave it months but saw no difference. If anything, my skin got worse. I used all of the big brand name skin care products but no results. I almost gave up, until one day, when taking a trip to the thrift store, I saw Pantry! I stopped in and was greeted by a little white dog + a cool gal named Michelle. I asked her questions + explained my complicated relationship with my skin. I walked out with an entirely new routine that helped not only my skin but my confidence as well. 

Of course, the change didn’t happen overnight but I stuck to my routine, started eating less dairy (highly recommend) and I started seeing results. My skin wasn’t absolutely perfect, it still isn’t but I’m finally confident enough to go without makeup every single day. So here are my tips+tricks for oily/acne-prone skin. I hope these can help you find your best routine. 

TIP #1: Use a makeup remover day + night to get rid of the leftover makeup or residue. I stand by this! It helps with providing a clean base to kick off the rest of my routine. I like the makeup remover from Pantry because it has a very simple ingredient list + has fractionated coconut oil making it awesome for sensitive skin. I noticed a huge difference in my skin when I took the time to double cleanse, getting my makeup all off before washing my face. You shouldn’t rely on your face wash to take off your makeup completely. 

TIP #2: I only wash my face at night so my skin doesn’t have the chance to over-dry. To do this,  I use the Fresh + Clear Face Wash with my Konjac sponge (in charcoal) to cleanse/exfoliate. I learned a few years ago that the reason why my face was so oily was due to me washing it as much as possible + never using any oils to rehydrate it. I love the Fresh + Clean Face Wash because it contains honey which is a humectant + it contains natural antioxidants making it great for removing pore-clogging bacteria + helping your skin heal faster.  This wash also contains coconut oil for added moisture + inflammation reduction.  The Nash + Jones konjac sponge I mentioned is something I will continue to rave about until the end of time! This muffin-looking sponge gently exfoliates, getting rid of dead skin or those annoying bumps you can normally find in your T-zone. 

TIP #3: Toning is essential! When you have acne-prone skin, a toner is your best friend. Not only does a toner balance uneven skin tones, but it helps with cleaning your skin of impurities + stressors. The Apple Cider Vinegar + Rosewater Toner is a lifesaver for almost every reason. You hear about people drinking apple cider vinegar for its internal health benefits but it can also be used to balance your skin’s natural pH, fight against aging, and much much more.  Rosewater, the second main ingredient, soothes irritation + heals scars. If you’re like me, violently poking at every single imperfection in sight, you’re left with acne scarring + redness so this toner helps repair some of the damage I’ve inflicted. I use a reusable wash pad with a generous amount of toner to gently refresh my skin. If you want to keep your waste at zero, you can absolutely apply the toner into the palm of your hands + pat it in. 

TIP #4: (and this is my favorite part) Moisturizer! I LOVE LOVE the Green Tea Moisturizer not only because it smells amazing but it is the perfect emollient for acne-prone skin. It contains matcha aka green tea powder, a great anti-bacterial ingredient that increases skin elasticity. For people who live in the city or high polluted areas, matcha is a natural toxin eliminator. Inside and out matcha can be used to strengthen your body. I also go in with the Aloe + Chamomile Cream under my eyes to de-puff (it too smells amazing).  Chamomile not only calms your skin but it’s shockingly good for acne.

TIP #5: USE SPF EVERY SINGLE DAY!! I cannot stress this enough! No matter your age, skin type, or routine, using an SPF of at least 30 on your face (entire body, really) will help fight against the damaging effects of our sun. When you have acne scars, wrinkles, redness, or eczema, the sun’s rays will make them 100 times worse. I appreciate our sun to the fullest, but we can enjoy the sun without the sunburns. I have noticed that so many sunscreens (which are meant to help protect our skin) usually contain chemicals + harmful oils; defeating the purpose entirely. So, I use Pantry’s Sunscreen Stick w/ SPF 30 SPF since I know what goes in it + who makes it (the answer is me). I apply it GENTLY with my fingertips and only need a dime-sized amount for my entire face + neck. 

The following are the items I use either when I have a flare-up or a rough day but aren’t necessarily in my daily routine

I know all of us at Pantry LOVE the Pack Your Bags roller ball but it’s for a good reason (I promise!) It has neroli oil which is awesome for de-puffing/calming your under eyes + aloe gel for soothing + rosehip oil for regenerating skin cells.

The Blemish Balm stick is the only product I’ve ever found to get rid of my cystic acne. I swear by this product for those pesky unground gremlins that make your skin their home. I apply it generously with my fingertip + leave it on overnight. Its main ingredient is baking soda, which helps PREVENT future acne. 

Once a week I use a simple face mask for 10 minutes max. This gives the face mask the right amount of time to work its magic without drying my skin out. I will also follow it with a face serum to build that top skin barrier. Pantry makes 3 types of clay masks so you can find the perfect one for your skin. For acne-prone skin, we recommend our Activated Charcoal Detox Mask

If you happen to try out these astounding products, please don’t feel shy to let us at Pantry Products know what you think and how it transformed your routine (for the better, of course). 

Thank you for reading along to learn about us + the products we love. I hope you can take these tips with you in the future to hopefully find what best suits you. 

Join us next week when Michelle goes through her skincare routine. 

Have a great day! 

Kayla 😀 + Dani Xx

Hello Pantry friends! Sarah here 🙂 I hope you all are happy, healthy and enjoying summer!

We are kicking off a new series, Natural Skincare Junkie, exploring Pantry Products skin care routines for all skin types. Not sure what type of skin you have? Take this quiz!

I have volunteered to go first so this week, we are talking about my skin type, which is dry + sensitive.

At Pantry, we’re not scientists or skin experts, but making natural skin + body care day in and day out has taught us a thing or two about how to treat our skin and how to help others do the same. As a “lucky” someone with dry/sensitive skin, these are my recommendations for my fellow dry and/or sensitive skin friends.


First off, figuring out your skin type is a lifelong pursuit. With sensitivity, hormones, hydration, diet, changing seasons, climate, and product ingredients, it can be really frustrating to understand what your skin is trying to tell you. AND your skin can completely change over time! Just when I think I have my skin type figured out.. BOOM! I’m back to square one.

Okay, a little backstory… My skin is VERY sensitive. I can’t tell you how many times “gentle” products have left me with a rash, hives or redness + irritation. And, my skin is generally very dry. Living in Nevada with little humidity definitely doesn’t help. A few years ago, I was experiencing major issues with my skin reacting poorly to skincare products.  I stumbled upon Pantry Products with my friend, bought a couple products, and boy… I was impressed! Because everything is made with natural essential oils and ingredients, my sensitive skin fell in love. When I learned more about the shop’s mission and values, I was hooked! So hooked, I reached out to Michelle in hopes of a job, and the rest is history! (P.S. thanks for hiring me, Michelle!)

My skin is far from perfect, but with a consistent + clean routine, it’s on track to being happy + healthy. And, keep in mind what works for me, may not work for you but hopefully this helps guide you to discovering what makes your skin happy. I have added a few random skin care tips, too! Here is my daily dry skin routine:


My morning routine starts with three things: brushing my teeth, washing my face, and making myself some coffee.

Tip #1 is to wash your face in the morning + night! I think many people skip washing their face in the morning. However, I have found that is a great way to wake up my skin and wash off any sweat + dirt still remaining in my pores. Your favorite face wash or soap should do the trick!

Next step is toner! Toners are really important in any skin care routine because they balance the pH levels in your skin. When your skin is balanced, it not only feels and looks better but it helps serums + moisturizers to go on more evenly. Tip #2 is to change up toners depending on what is going on with your skin! Lately, I have been struggling with more breakouts due to wearing a mask (p.s. is #mackne happening to anyone else?!). I have been loving the Apple Cider Vinegar + Rosewater Toner! Since ACV  is fantastic at helping skin find balance, we recommend this for all skin types. Aside from vinegar, it contains distilled water, rosewater, witch hazel, vegetable glycerin, vitamin e,  frankincense, lavender, and tea tree essential oils. This toner has been great at combating my breakouts, but the rosewater and vegetable glycerin make it soothing + moisturizing enough for my skin type! When my skin is feeling it’s driest/most sensitive, I reach for another favorite: the Aloe + Rosewater Toner for  dry + normal skin types. This toner is made with rosewater, organic aloe juice, vegetable glycerin,  vitamin e, + tea tree essential oil, and is very gentle and hydrating.

Next, I use my Pack Your Bags Neroli Eye Serum under my eyes.  I love using this in the morning and at night! It is so refreshing with organic aloe gel, rosehip oil and neroli and lavender essential oils. All these great ingredients work together to calm under eye puffiness, banish bags, and smooth and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Tip # 3 is to use Pantry Products in versatile ways! Because all of our products are made with all-natural + organic ingredients, they can serve many purposes. I will use the Pack Your Bags Neroli Eye Serum in other areas of my skin if I notice an extra dry spot. For example, I will simply apply a small amount on my finger + tap around my nose or in-between my brows. Out of all my recommendations, this product one on the top of my Pantry-must-haves. 

 

 

My other Pantry love is the Aloe + Chamomile Hydrating Cream! This is a long standing best seller for us, and for good reason! I was experiencing very unhappy skin for a few weeks. But this face cream soothed and calmed my skin back to a normal state. With a blend of organic aloe gel, sunflower oil, organic beeswax, and chamomile and rose essential oils, this cream is ideal for anyone with thirsty skin in need of serious hydration, or skin that is sensitive to products (a.k.a. me!). This stuff has the most luxurious, rich texture without being too greasy or heavy. It also smells wonderful and layers great under makeup! While most of our products last 12 mos +, this 2 oz jar expires after 6 mos. However, I find that I use it up in the perfect amount of time so none of it goes to waste. The 0.5 oz is a great little sample size to try it out + see how you like it, but I would DEFINITELY recommend to anyone with dry/sensitive skin!

 

 

At night, I will wash my face again and reapply my toner. Then, I use a generous amount of the Refresh + Repair Serum. This product was formerly called “Nighttime Repair Serum” and although the name changed, the recipe is the same. This serum is another MUST for my dry skin. We use a high concentration of quality ingredients, so that the Refresh + Repair Serum will penetrate skin faster and more effectively than commercially available creams and lotions. This serum is ideal for problems such as dry+ age spots, sun damage and fine lines. My tip #4 is to use products that help reduce signs of aging, such as the Refresh + Repair Serum, even if you are not noticing any wrinkles, or dark spots. It’s better to be preventative and care for your skin consistently! The Refresh + Repair Serum is made with sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba oil, rosehip oil, carrotseed oil, argan oil, vitamin E, a proprietary blend of geranium, lemon, frankincense, myrrh, and rosemary essential oils.

 

 

My final step at night is to apply my Nighttime Repair Cream. This face cream is rich and just what my dry skin craves at the end of the day. It is made with rosehip oil, which is full of great vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids that help correct dark spots + hydrate skin. It is so gentle + soothing, and free of gluten, parabens, sulphates, additives or any other harsh chemicals. Which brings me to my last tip… Tip #5! Your skincare routine should never stop at your face, but continue down your neck! I apply my Nighttime Repair cream all over my face + neck every night to get the most out of the product.


So, this is what my current day-to-day skincare routine looks like for my dry/sensitive skin. I have learned over time that there is a VERY high standard for “perfect” skin. Small pores, no breakouts, even skin tone, no under eye circles… I was going crazy and buying products with big claims to give me (what I thought) was “perfect skin.” But the reality is… no part of me is perfect. Like everyone else, I have my own insecurities + have many flaws. For example… Random fact about Sarah- I don’t like my knees! And whether we fret about our body type, gray hairs, breakouts or what my mom calls my “grandma knees,” we are all imperfect humans.  And maybe it’s not about obtaining the body type of a photoshopped model or skin that makes you look like an Instagram filter.. It’s about embracing the imperfections and rolling with what you have. When I recognized that it was better to  have skin that is clean, happy + healthy, I stopped feeling like my products were failing me. I began listening to what my skin was telling me. Honestly, it was screaming at me to stop trying to achieve “perfect skin” with chemicals and ingredients I couldn’t even pronounce. And now, it is singing praise for Pantry, and our clean, natural + organic skincare.

 

 

If you need skincare advice or help, our Pantry team is here to answer questions! Or if you too feel like you have weird knees.. I’d LOVE to get a good laugh about our shared, random imperfections!  You can either call the shop from 12-4pm at 775-683-9844, send us a message on Instagram @pantryproducts or email us at [email protected]

Tune in next week when Dani + Kayla will discuss the products they love for combo/oily skin types!

XO, Sarah at Pantry

Our home set up for the night at the Bragg Family Sugarhouse + Farm in Vermont

Travel is great for the soul + during a pandemic, road trips are the best way to travel. 🚘. Recently, our family embarked on a trek across the U.S. in a 25 ft. travel trailer! Of course, we stuffed our bags with Pantry Products’ road-trip essentials but with some considerations in terms of space + environmental gentleness.

Living in a camper is a blast because, if you need anything (a snack, a shower, a nap), home is right behind you. However, whether boondocking through Harvest Hosts or hooking up to a full-service campground, life on the road presents some unique challenges.

Challenge #1: Space is tight!

Our 160 sq. ft. camper must store everyday essentials for 2 adults + 2 dogs plus the equipment required to “run” our home. When selecting what to bring, size + longevity is important. While I love having every single Pantry item at my disposal, the camper won’t allow it.

Challenge #2: Continuing to be gentle to Mother Nature

We made the decision to be able to go off-grid with our trailer which means sometimes, we need to empty our gray water tank into nature (shower + dish water, no waste) . In order to ensure the water we provide is beneficial, our personal + household cleaning products must be biodegradable.

Challenge #3: Daily showers may not always be available.

Sad but true. Even though we have a full bathroom, if we are not plugged in at a campground, our water, water heating + water disposal resources are limited. Sometimes showers don’t take top priority. (Coffee always come first!)

Challenge #4: Camping puts you out in the elements

Camp life is food for the soul. Camp life is also muddy, buggy, sandy, rainy + sunny. It’s crucial to have the right products to battle what the outdoors sends your way.

Road Trip Dog ProductsLou found a mud bog + we didn’t have access to running water

Fortunately for us,  Pantry has a full line of products to meet our camp life needs. Here’s a sample of what you’ll find in our stash:

Grapefruit + Mint Hand Soap: Not only does this hand soap smell divine but it can also be used as a body wash, dish soap, and dog bath. 1 bottle, multiple uses. Since it’s biodegradable, we don’t have to worry about harming the earth.

Rosemary + Mint Shampoo Bar: There is no room (or want) for a large plastic shampoo bottle. This handy bar does the job and lasts for 60 + washes. Added bonus, it can be used as body wash + hand soap too. The cardboard packing and soap are biodegradable.

Dry Shampoo: this one’s a no-brainer on those shower-less days.

Sunscreen: a must-have 24/7, 365 days a year + the twist-up tube makes it perfect for travel. And for those times when we don’t heed our own advice on the importance of reapplying sunscreen, we also have Pantry’s Cooling After Sun Spray. This also works wonders for cooling off on ridiculously hot days.

Bugs-Be-Gone Spraynot only are mosquito bites annoying + unsightly, they can also be harmful. Having a bottle of our heavenly-smelling spray nearby is a must! And, since some bugs won’t take “no” for an answer, I also came packed with our Bite Me! Bug Bite Soother.

Konjac Sponges for the Body: I’m not sure I’ve ever loved a sponge before but the Nash + Jones Konjac Sponges made me melt. Since it can be used with or without soap, it’s the ideal camp beauty tool to gently cleanse and remove dirt from the day’s adventures. Each sponge last for 1 month, air dries, and is biodegradable.  (When I’m not on the road, I pair my sponge with Pantry’s Fresh + Clear Face Wash)

Hand Sanitizer: This one probably doesn’t need an explanation and, while we are avoiding public spaces as much as possible, we still need to gas up our tow vehicle, get coffee, use rest stops, etc. so Pantry’s Hand Sanitizer lives in the van console.

Apple Cider Vinegar + Rosewater Toner: We’ve traveled from dry + hot to humid + rainy and our skin is fully confused. In order to keep breakouts at bay, I reach for our pH balancing skin toner. It helps keep my skin looking + feeling it’s best. Plus, the rosewater scent is a luxury when you’ve been washing with hand soap. 😉 I apply using our Nash + Jones reusable bamboo pads to keep down on waste.

Lavender + Mint Air + Linen Spray: Small spaces + humidity/rain + 2 dogs = not always the freshest of air. A couple spritzes of this naturally-scented spray + our camper is fresh as a spring day. It also works great to help remove wrinkles from clothes…just keep away from lightly-colored fabrics.

While our cabinets are crammed with as much Pantry as we could fit, these items are the ones we reach for the most + those which help make camp life a little cleaner, safer, and more comfortable.

If you have the opportunity to get outside this summer, do it! Mother Nature is always open even during a pandemic. Just be sure to mask up, prepare properly, and be kind to your fellow travelers.

Our family at Niagara Falls (Michelle, Lou, Max, Heather)

Stay well!

Michelle, Pantry Products’ Founder

Hello friends!

My name is Sarah and I am one of the Shop Assistants at Pantry. I am often the one to write these blog posts, so it is so nice to officially introduce myself!

My family loves to go camping. And when I say we love it… I mean we LOVE it! Whether it is camping in a tent, trailer, or backpacking through the wilderness… We do it all! Last summer, we squeezed in 5 camping trips + 2 backpacking trips. This year, many of our adventures have changed due to COVID, but my family was able to camp at Lassen Volcanic National Park over the weekend. It was about 3 hours from Reno and so beautiful! The park has miles of hiking trails, and small mountain lakes to kayak, fish or swim. Because of the elevation, the snow had recently melted + it was like springtime. There were meadows with wild flowers + everything was so lush and green. We had a great time + were able to safely maintain social distancing mandates, while enjoying the forest and fresh mountain air! Mostly, it was so nice to be able to get out of the house. I was feeling like I have spent too many hours on the couch watching Netflix + on my phone, reading news articles. It was remarkable to be without cell service for a few days, hiking, eating good camp food, star gazing, and sitting by the fire with my family. I needed to reset + get away for a bit, and Lassen Volcanic National Park was perfect! I would highly recommend the park to any of my fellow camping friends.


I brought some of my favorite Pantry Products with me on our trip. I was packing in a rush, so there were quite a few things I forgot. (P.S. Does that happen to anyone else?! I’m always forgetting something before a trip!) Anyway, the travel size products are great to throw in your duffle bag or hiking pack. Here’s what I brought with me!

Bugs-Be-Gone Spray is a must for any adventure outside. A little goes a long way + boy, is it effective! I managed through the whole trip without any mosquito bites or noticing any pesky bugs flying near me. With ingredients of distilled water, witch hazel, vitamin e, vegetable glycerin, lemongrass, cedarwood, lavender, lemon, + peppermint essential oils, this stuff smells great and works even better! I loved not needing to use citronella candles or any harsh, chemical sprays. I threw it in my hiking pack + applied a few sprays during the day, and was good to go!

Happy Cramper was a great for our hard hikes! With sage, majoram, ginger, geranium and cinnamon essential oils, this mighty roller ball soothed my achy muscles on our trip. I was so glad I brought it! Also, it was the perfect size to keep in the small pocket.

The healing Boo-Boo Balm is something good to have on hand. This little guy has so many functions! It is an all-natural salve for use on scrapes, scratches, bug bites, and other minor skin irritations. It is made from a base containing anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and moisturizing organic coconut. Boo-Boo balm is scented with tea tree, lavender and frankincense essential oils, so it is smells so nice! We did a night hike to go star gazing, and I scratched my arm on a branch. But the Boo-Boo balm helped heal my scrape right away!

Of course you need to bring sunscreen when you are camping. I threw the travel size in my bag for hiking. Our Sunscreen Stick is so compact + effective! I love that it doesn’t make my skin feel greasy or contain any harsh chemicals! With nourishing organic coconut oil + shea butter, the Sunscreen Stick definitely blocked evil rays from harming my fair skin. And boy, do I sunburn SO easily! It’s a Pantry favorite for a reason!

My least favorite part of camping is not sleeping well. I often struggle with restful sleep, but it generally is worse when I am camping or in an unfamiliar place. I used the Sweet Dreams Essential Spray to spritz my pillow + sleeping bag before bed. The lavender, chamomile, ylang ylang and cedarwood essential oils are so relaxing. The scent calmed me + helped me sleep better. Essential sprays also help kill germs, while smelling heavenly. Even my husband said he slept better.

I can’t go anywhere lately without my Nourishing Nightime Cream. For any of my dry skin friends out there, this stuff is amazing! It is a rich, emollient cream, with aloe gel, rosehip oil, along with neroli, lavender, and chamomile essential oils. Rosehip oil is full of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids that are known to correct dark spots and hydrate dry, itchy skin, all while reducing scars and fine lines. It also fights signs of aging. I always apply at night + wake up with softer skin.


Last summer, I went on a backpacking trip with my friend. We had a long, hard day of hiking, and finally made it to the lake we planned to stay at for the night. We were tired + sore, and were doing our final hike out the next morning. She and I were soaking our aching feet in the water, staring into the tree line. She commented how the trees were simply up here in the forest, growing. That was all they did, no matter what was going on in the world. She said that she spends her weeks constantly worrying about small things in her life, stressing at work and always running herself into the ground. But the trees…they just grew. When we were camping, I remembered her words. I think we can only carry so much stress + burdens on our shoulders. Even though life is crazy, hasn’t it always been a little crazy? My hope is that we can put the crazy on hold for a few hours this week, grab our necessary things to go on small adventure, and get out for awhile. Because the trees get to simply grow. And I think we all deserve a pause, so we can grow too.

As always, I hope everyone is safe and well. Here’s to your next adventure, whenever or whatever it may be!

Pantry Products