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June 1, 2015 marks exactly one year of being in our new space at 72 St. Leger St. Kitchener, Ontario. It took until December to be fully up and running. It was a huge project – PHEW. Very happy and grateful every day I come into work!

Check out our before and afters. This is where we manufacture, ship, receive, retail and admin.

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In my experience, the best mature skin that I see belongs to women that have been using natural products for an extended amount of time. Their wrinkles are minimal and skin is taut and firm thanks to all the topical nutrients they’ve been getting. The second best skin surprisingly belongs to people that claim to use nothing at all. They say things like “I just splash water on my face” or “I just use soap”. This is leading me to believe that conventional, petrochemical products are aging people’s skin prematurely. It makes sense since many of these chemicals are harsh and inflammatory and can stress the skin.

You may wonder why some celebrities have beautiful skin when they are clearly purchasing luxury lines that don’t make any ‘natural’ claims. This is because most of those high priced lines use a lot of botanicals in their formulas. Take for instance the very popular and expensive Crème de la Mer. It contains seaweed extract, lime, eucalyptus, lanolin, sesame, alfalfa, sunflower, and almond. Natural ingredients take up a good portion of this formula so it would be similar to a natural line in performance. When you look at a low priced (under $10) cream that you would buy at a drug store, it will be 100% petroleum and palm-based synthetics, which is how those massive companies are able to price it so low. This is where the bad performance comes in.

Natural is the way to go and the best thing about the green beauty industry is that you get the best bang for your buck because you get luxury ingredients that aren’t priced that way.

PAO-Period-After-Opening-Symbol

If a red, raised area suddenly appears on your face for no reason and doesn’t go away no matter how much balm or coconut oil you put on it, you might be dealing with unwanted bacteria from a skin care product, cosmetic or makeup brush. Staphylococcus, candida and e.coli are just some of the microbes that can be found in expired, abused (not stored properly) or under-preserved formula.

You will need to treat this area with an antibiotic ointment and/or anti-microbial essential oils. The most effective oils against staph are cinnamon, oregano, clove thyme and savory. These potent oils can be irritating to the skin so must be diluted to a maximum of 1%. You don’t want to further inflame the area. If it still doesn’t go away or improve after one day, visit your doctor. This is not something you want to mess with.

Prevention Tips

  • Throw out whatever you used before the infection appeared. You will probably know exactly what it was – something old or maybe a DIY formula.
  • Stay on top of your product’s expiry date. It will either be printed somewhere on the bottle or you will see a symbol of an open jar with a number inside that will indicate how many months after opening you can use it.
  • When you’re buying from small batch producers, ask them about the preservative that they use. If they say none, be skeptical. This is not a responsible way to create products and there are many great non-toxic, sustainable preservatives out there.
  • Buy products and use them up THEN buy more. Don’t stockpile them in your closet to never be seen again. If you don’t like it, throw it away or give it to someone that does.
  • Clean your make up brushes regularly.

Here is a chart showing the costs of the most common fixed oils (as in fatty, not volatile essential oils). I think this is great information to have when you are purchasing products. It’s important to know the value of what you are buying when you read the ingredients.

Cost of oils used in the beauty industry.

Cost of oils used in the beauty industry.

Ban The Beads

What a way to start Earth Month. In exciting, hopeful news…Canada is coming very close to banning plastic microbeads from personal care products. These beads found in facial washes, scrubs and toothpastes have been located in samples from all of our Great Lakes because they are washed down our drains and make their way into our water systems. The plastic pollutants do not break down so they will continue to build up in our oceans, lakes and wildlife unless we do something about it. Similar bans have been put in place in Illinois and New Jersey but we will be the first country to do it if we pass the bill recently introduced to the House of Commons by the NDP.

Until then, you can ban the beads from your bathroom. Look for the words ‘microbeads’ on labels as well as “polyethylene” and “polypropylene” in the ingredients list. There’s also an app that will scan barcodes and let you know if the product contains them at http://www.beatthemicrobead.org. There are eco-friendly alternatives that are made from rice, sunflower, bamboo or jojoba, which we have been using since 2008!

We had already scheduled our Petal Purity Exfoliating Facial Cleanser promotion to honour Earth Month so this perfect timing to put this water-safe product on sale.

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Argan Oil

Argania spinosa

Certified Organic

Extraction: Cold pressed

Description: The argan tree grows to 8-10 metres high and lives to 150–200 years old in the semi-desert region of Morrocco, where it is endemic. It bears a fruit with a hard nut that is rich in oil. The thick skin is removed along with a fleshy pulp and the nuts are broken to release kernals which are then cold pressed into an oil. Most of this processing is done by women in co-ops.

Components: 44% oleic acid (omega 9), 30% linoleic acid (omega 6), vitamin E (four times higher than olive oil), polyphenols, carotenes, squalene, ferulic acid, phytosterols.

Benefits:

Softens and conditions skin
Very high in vitamin E
Rejuvenating and healing
Diminishes fine line and wrinkles

Found In: Argan Oil Moisturizing Serum, Eyewaken Eye Cream, Orange Blossom Facial Cream

One of the main causes of aging skin is inflammation. It damages cells and reduces collagen production, creating wrinkles and sagging well before they are supposed to appear. There are two types of inflammation – acute inflammation, which is the body’s healthy response to injuries and infection and chronic inflammation, which is when the body is continuously in a state of inflammation. Chronic inflammation in the body can trigger serious diseases such as atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and diabetes. On the skin, it can lead to premature aging, rosacea, eczema and hyper-pigmentation. It is caused by eating the wrong foods, drinking excessively, smoking, stress, infections, immune responses, uv rays and the most common, harsh skin care products.

People inundate their skin with harsh ingredients every day of their lives because they are in so many products. Sensitive skin types know exactly what these products are because they will feel a burn, and develop redness and/or swelling. Other people won’t feel a thing but that doesn’t mean it is not incurring the damage.

Look for the following ingredients to avoid chronic skin inflammation in your daily routine:

1. Alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids – Includes glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, citric acid, salicylic acid and tartaric acid. The are chemical exfoliants that remove dead skin cells but can also damage healthy cells and barrier function. They also leave the skin vulnerable to UV rays.

2. Chemical sunscreens – These types of sunscreen turn UV rays into heat on the skin. They can be very irritating and cause redness and bumps to form. Look for products with zinc, a physical sunscreen that blocks UV rays by deflecting it off the face.

3. Fragrance – Can be an assortment of many chemicals, including harmful ones like phthalates and synthetic musks. Choose natural products with no fragrance or ones with gentle essential oils.

4. Detergents – These cleansers are currently in everything. They have even replaced bar soap for many people. They are meant to remove grease, dirt and pollutants but will also remove protective barriers and cause imbalances and inflammation in the skin. Use bars soaps and milk cleansers instead.

5. Retinoids – Retinol, retinyl palmitate, retinaldehyde, and retinyl linoleate are anti-aging ingredients related to vitamin A. They make your skin sun-sensitive and break down when exposed to UV rays to create free radicals that will damage your skin. Stick to anti-aging rosehip oil for a natural dose of retinoid, sans the side effects.

If one of the main causes of premature aging is chronic skin inflammation, then it is wise to keep inflammatories out of your life by way of lifestyle choices and the right skin care products. Natural skin care is the best choice for this because the ingredients are not only free of harsh ingredients, but they also contain anti-inflammatories and antioxidants that will reverse the damage that occurs.

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