in the know AROMATIC BLOOMS: LAVENDER, PEPPERMINT AND ROSEMARY Aromatherapy is an integral element of most skincare products and spas, and these three – primarily fragrance ingredients – can be considered the official trifecta of essential oils. Although not officially an herb, lavender is often used in herbal medicine, and is prized for its gentle fragrance which is said to enhance sleep, lower heart rate and blood pressure. It’s actually a distant cousin of peppermint and shares qualities with rosemary. Peppermint, a hybrid of watermint and spearmint, contains 44 percent menthol, which is primarily responsible for the plant’s benefits and has been used as a remedy for irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, skin conditions and colds. Rosemary is considered an anti-oxidant and can aid in memory improvement. The volatile chemicals that give all three their potent fragrance are also capable of causing sensitivity, so caution is necessary when applying essential oils directly on skin. B.C.-based Scentuals developed its Rosemary Mint Hand Repair Cream with organic aloe, shea butter and argan oil, which moisturizes with an intoxicating burst of aroma.
All-natural, all Canadian
10 homegrown beauty and skincare companies that put nature first. 1. Céla. Founded by Celine Tadrissi of the Hammam Spa in Toronto, Céla products feature naturally sourced Canadian botanicals to nourish the skin. The popular Crème de la Crème moisturizer contains bioactive benefits from ingredients such as evening primrose, elderberry, juniper berry, rosemary and lavender. thisiscela.com 2. Eminence Organics. Since 1958, Eminence Organics has been providing customers with natural, organic high-quality skincare products, all while maintaining sustainable farming practices. Products like its award-winning Facial Recovery Oil feature plant ingredients from certified biodynamic/organic farms in Hungary. eminenceorganics.com 3. Graydon. Graydon Skincare prides itself on “plant-powered skincare,” mixing science with superfoods (such as oils from kale, cranberry, blueberry and goji) and bioactive ingredients. The array of products ranges from facial mists and serums to hair care and “home essentials” like an aromatic, non-toxic germ killer. graydonskincare.ca 4. Harlow Skin Co. All skincare products by Harlow Skin Co. contain 12 ingredients or less. Handmade in Vancouver and using only pure and whole ingredients, the product line includes tinted Skin Gloss for lips, cheeks and eyes, along with a selection of serums, oils, balms and toners. harlowskinco.com 5. Nayelle. With a focus on naturally sourced, probiotic ingredients including goat milk kefir and sea kelp, Nayelle’s skincare line has 100 percent active ingredients, compared to only 20 to 30 percent in most other skincare lines. nayelle.com 6. Bliss Botanicals. For over 10 years, Bliss Botanicals has used certified organic ingredients to meet customers’ skincare needs, with products such as White Clay Exfoliating Cleanser and Age Defying Resurfacing Toner. The company also offers a pediatric line that focuses on four skin types, from normal to eczema/dermatitis. blissbotanicals.ca 7. Province Apothecary. Based in Toronto, where its storefront also offers facials, Province Apothecary produces holistic, organic skincare products that are crueltyfree and vegan. The company also donates percentages of its yearly sales to Canadian Organic Growers and the Canadian Honey Council. provinceapothecary.ca 8. Pura Botanicals. This Alberta-based line of hand-crafted skincare products, as well as baby products and bespoke perfumes, is created without synthetic chemicals. The selection of unique products includes Exotic Pink Coffee Dust, a plant-based exfoliator (with banana extract and fair-trade coffee from Colombia) that removes dead skin cells while moisturizing. purabotanicals.ca 9. Skin Essence Organics. Developed nearly 20 years ago, Skin Essence Organics provides products for all skin types. Not only are the products organic, but they use sustainable materials and practices throughout their shipping and packaging process, making them an all-around environmentally friendly company. skinessence.ca 10. Zorah Biocosmétiques. Founded in the early 2000s, Quebec-based Zorah Biocosmétiques uses only organic and fair-trade ingredients in its lineup, which includes exfoliants, face masks and makeup – among many other products to complete the ultimate skincare routine. zorahbiocosmetiques.com/en/ We'll also be featuring ongoing reviews on the Test Diva blog.
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