Debbie Alger did a solo six-month hike from Patagonia to Chile in 2016 that changed her life. “I have always been passionate about the environment and concerned with what goes in and on my body,” she says, but what she saw on her trip was eye-opening. “I saw a lot of waste in Argentina and Chile however while in Patagonia I noticed that everyone was super conscientious about their waste because they were remote.” When she got home she quit her job and began developing clean skin and body care products. She got a diploma in organic skincare formulations and had all of her products certified with CertClean.
During the pandemic in 2020, both of Alger’s daughters (Kelsey and Lindsay) found themselves out of work. “They saw how overwhelmed I was becoming, so we decided to join forces and rebrand Birch Babe. We launched a brand new website, new branding and an Organics Collection in October 2020 and have not looked back since!”
“Each of us has our own departments which I think helps us work together so well. I take care of quality control and formulations of existing and new products, Lindsay is our Studio Director overseeing all inventory, packaging, shipping and store logistics. Kelsey is our Creative Director leading our branding, communications, social media and PR. I really couldn’t have continued without them, we really are the dream team and growing steadily.
You can see more in our Brand Video ‘Connected’.”
Learn more about Birch Babe, the brand’s best-selling products and how it feels to be a Clean Beauty Awards finalist.
Why did you create your brand?
In the beginning, it was a way for me to make clean, toxin-free products for myself, my friends and my family. Once it started to gain momentum and positive feedback I was motivated to provide these same products to other like-minded people. Creating a collection of everyday products that are plastic or package-free, refillable and made in Canada with premium and carefully curated ingredients is what drives me now.
Why do you think your product was chosen as a Clean Beauty Awards finalist?
That’s a great question!
We are so honoured and super excited (literally, our dance video here!) to have three of our products as finalists! (our Organic Hydrating Face Cream came in 2nd, our All Natural 100% Mineral Sunscreen came in 3rd and our Lip & Cheek Tint came in 4th place). I can’t name one reason why, but I can think of a mix of reasons why we think we were chosen.
One is that we work very hard to ensure we use ethically sourced, premium, and vegan ingredients. We also take the time and invest months and develop hundreds of iterations to fine tune each recipe! During this time we reach out to our community and ask for feedback and thoughts to ensure each product is a collaborative effort so we can feel good about creating something that can work for most people. We then get everything chemist approved and certified “clean” by CertClean (of course!).
I think overall it’s the effort, handmade quality and love that goes into each of our products that helped judges want to vote for us.
Why did you create this product? What need were you fulfilling?
It originally started as a desire to live a cleaner and healthier lifestyle for myself and my family and friends.
It’s now evolved and we truly believe and feel that we’ve created Birch Babe not just to make another skincare brand but to help as many people as possible make easy lifestyle choices for the better health of their bodies and our planet.
Would you say this is your best-selling product? If not, what is and why?
We have over 47 products and they all sell to different consumers and retail stores for different reasons so there are a few “Best Sellers”.
Our Lip & Cheek Tints are definitely a bestseller alongside the All Natural, Plastic Free Mascara. These are 2 very sensitive areas that can be damaged or infected very easily. We use safe ingredients that are Certified All Natural, organic and sustainably sourced. The Lip & Cheek Tints are fun and easy to wear as well as safe for kids. The All Natural Mascara is a great plastic-free alternative that really works and is great for sensitive skin.
What are the ingredients of this product and what do they do?
The ingredients in the Lip & Cheek Tints are organic (90%), ethically sourced and vegan.
Each colour is infused for days with several herbs and oils to ensure we extract all of their benefits to soothe and moisturize lips. Herbs include comfrey, chamomile, yarrow, echinacea, sea buckthorn, calendula, rosemary and lemon balm. Luxurious oils for skin are grapeseed, rosehip, castor, vitamin E and shea butter.
The mica helps with the colour and is sustainably and ethically sourced from North America.
What does being named as a finalist mean to you?
Being a finalist is such an honour and to us means that all the hard work and effort our entire team has done over the last few years is all worth it. We have always strived to create the best, high quality products so we are so happy that others agree.
Why is being a clean beauty brand important?
What we put into and on our skin has a direct impact on the health of our bodies and the plant. We only have one of each and so it’s extremely important we treat them with respect, care and love so we can live happy and healthy lives.
What’s next for your brand?
There’s so much!
To name a few, in the new year we are excited to be able to offer a 100% Plastic Free Collection of products (right now we are about 90% plastic-free overall) that will remove our sprayers and droppers. We will also be launching a new line of fragrance-free products.
In addition, we can’t say who right now however soon you may be able to find us in a few big retailers (fingers crossed!).
Love Birch Babe’s Lip & Cheek Tint? Discover more top-performing clean makeup products.