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Mona Bahraini
Mother Essentials

Pregnancy Essentials: Mona Bahraini of Prickly Pear & PPBody

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Using the power of cacti to heal has been the MO of Mona Bahraini from day one—first with her Sacramento-based cactus and succulent nursery, The Prickly Pear, and later with PPBody, the skincare line she launched in 2020. The later uses the natural wonders of the prickly pear plant to create a line of face and hair oils, body scrubs and whips, and lip balms that have gained a beloved following. Mona was a plant lover and collector (with over 200 cacti and succulents of her own) before she became a plant-centric entrepreneur. A “freak accident” led her to taking a break from her work as a dental hygienist in Arizona and travel to Northern California, where she soon opened her nursery (listen to her inspiring story here). And in just a few months time, another big new chapter will begin for Mona: motherhood! Currently 8 months pregnant, the self-proclaimed “Earth Muffin” (“someone who tries to honor the Earth first in every aspect of life”), shares her nature-centric Pregnancy Essentials below!

Morning Shower Routine. “I love waking up with the sun and try to avoid sleeping in. A morning shower usually helps to boost my energy and using PPBody’s Prickly Pear Face & Body Scrub is a must. Rhyme and Reason’s Repair & Restore Shampoo and Conditioner are my go-to’s for healthy hair and scalp. Not to mention, their products are infused with prickly pear, which I’m obsessed with, and are vegan. Next, I wake up my skin with PPBody’s Prickly Pear Face & Body Scrub and Morning Majesty facial oil.” Prickly Pear Face & Body Scrub, $25, PPBody. Morning Majesty Oil, $39, PPBody. RR Hair Rhyme & Reason Repair and Restore Shampoo Conditioner Set, $15.99, Amazon.

All Natural, Small Biz Skincare. “After showering, I lather my body and baby bump with Prickly Pear Body Whip to help my growing belly with stretch marks. The key ingredient in PPBody’s products is Prickly Pear Cactus, which is jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients beneficial for your body and topically. I love that these facial oils are also non-comedogenic, which means they do not clog pores, they actually balance the PH of your skin and its microbiome without stripping your skin of the natural microbes its needs on a daily. Using natural products is important to me and I enjoy supporting brands with the same values as me, such as Kopari, Bite, Unsun Cosmetics, and 100% Pure. Once I switched to Bite’s Fresh Mint Toothpaste Bits, I can’t go back to any other toothpaste brand and it comes in non-plastic packaging, so that’s a win for our mama earth. Kopari’s Coco Deodorant works SO WELL, and I only need to re-buy once a year! Although it comes in a plastic container, it makes me feel good knowing it can be recycled. The only sunscreens I use are from Unsun Cosmetics; they’re mineral, vegan, and reef-safe! Unsun’s Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen is amazing and works as a primer/ base for makeup. 100% Pure is my go-to makeup brand and truly all of their products are magic. Its name says it all, 100% pure formulations, naturally pigmented, and cruelty-free is a win in my book.” Prickly Pear Body Whip, $25, PPBody. Coco Deodorant, $10, Kopari. Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF30, $29, Unsun. Fresh Mint Toothpaste Bits (4-Month Supply), $32, Bite. Fruit Pigmented Full Coverage Water Foundation, $48, 100% Pure.

Mid-Day Workout. “When I need a break, I love to workout for about 30-40 minutes. It does wonders for my body and mind. I workout on my AssaultRunner Pro, a non-motorized treadmill powered by your own stride. Since I started using it, it reduced the swelling in my knees and I never have knee issues anymore.” AssaultRunner Pro, $2999, AssaultFitness.

Eating Local. “I try my best to source all of our food from local farms, co-ops, and farmer’s markets because it’s important to know where your food is grown and to be sure it’s nutrient-dense. One of my happy places is the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op.” Sac.coop.

Nighttime Routine. “After I wind down, I prepare my skin for beauty sleep using PPBody’s Queen Of The Night facial oil. This one facial oil replaces toners, moisturizers, and serums. It renews and hydrates your skin throughout the night, and I can see the difference in my skin complexion, dark areas, and fine lines and wrinkles thanks to its key ingredients: prickly pear seed oil, broccoli seed oil, and baobab oil.” Queen Of The Night, $39, PPBody.

For more Mother Essentials, peep our recent features on Solace Summer founder Megan Bre Camp, Wonder Valley co-founder Alison Carroll, OZMA designer Heidi Baker, author Tiffany Rose Smith, PR pro Temi Adamolekun, Heidi Baker of OZMA, Phoebe Sung of Cold Picnic, Sach Paneer founder Jasleen Kaur, Essential Labor author Angela Garbes, The Mamas author Helena Andrews-Dyer, Olivia J founder Shae Jones, author Brynne BarnesTisha Thompson of LYS Beauty, Blueland’s Sarah Paiji Yoo, Heirloom’s Sri Bodanapu, Lady Falcon Coffee Club founder Buffy Maguire, the mama-duo behind Spring & Mulberry chocolate, and Dear Bella Creamery co-founder Alice Cherng.

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