Category Archives: Meet the Makers

Meet the Maker: Elaine Becker from Alighten Skincare

What makes your heart smile?

I love the freshness and sunshine of Spring in Colorado. My family and I feel so much happiness spending time in some of our favorite mountain towns, like Vail and Aspen. We enjoy the crispness and lush green beauty and the friendly people. It makes my heart smile to walk along the creek in Vail and watch my daughter and husband wade out into the creek amongst the giant trees.

What are your 3 go-to beauty products that you can never leave your house without?

I use our Alighten products twice every day including our Gentle Renewing Facial Cleanser, our Nutritive Revitalizing Facial Oil, and our Vitality and Restoration Serum. I notice a huge difference in my skin if I don’t follow the regimen. Our cleanser is soothing and creamy and truly removes all traces of makeup but gives your skin a boost of moisture in the process with capuacu butter and beet sugar extract so it doesn’t feel stripped. I like to leave it on for an extra few minutes as a mask before I rinse it because the pumpkin enzymes and bilberry and sugarcane extracts help gently exfoliate to smooth and uncover a healthy glow.

Our Nutritive Revitalizing Facial Oil is my secret to a glowy looking complexion. Just a drop or two helps soothe my dry skin and it feels like I’m giving my skin a dose of vitamins because it is filled with beautiful plant oils that are antioxidant, vitamin, and fatty acid rich, including a unique blend of watermelon, pumpkin, spinach, blueberry, and rose hip seed oils. I also like to use a little on the ends of my hair to keep it smooth. And it smells divine, so I like to take a travel size on the plane with me and use it as aromatherapy.

My final step is our Vitality and Restoration Serum, which is a great multi-taster that plumps, hydrates, and helps with little fine lines and discoloration. It soothes my dry sensitive skin. All our products are fantastic multi-taskers, which is really important to me as a busy business owner and Mom. 

I also love natural makeup products. A few of my favorites are Hynt Beauty Aria Pure Lipstick in Passion Plum. It is just the most perfect color for my porcelain skin and the texture and wear are just perfect. I also love their DUET Perfecting Concealer which is creamy, covers amazingly and lasts. I also love RMS Beauty’s Eye Polish in Lucky. The texture is beautiful and the color really makes blue/green eyes pop. 

What’s a product you absolutely love and know is amazing but it just doesn’t get enough attention?

One of my most favorite products that I feel is really just being discovered is our Alighten Vitality and Restoration Serum. It is a fantastic multi-tasker. It is a very light treatment that is extremely hydrating and plumping. After cleansing and patting on a few drops of facial oil, it’s all I need for moisture, beyond adding a sunscreen. I have many clients with oily skin that use this as their sole moisturizer. And it’s great that it treats while it hydrates. It helps soften the look of fine lines and skin discoloration, plumps, creates radiance, brightens, and energizes.

It is packed with beautiful, skin loving and beneficial ingredients, including agave stem cells, natural peptides, and hyaluronic acid, as well as gotu kola, goji, ginseng, calendula, cucumber, aloe vera, licorice, and mushroom extracts. It also contains nutrient rich plant oils, including watermelon, spinach, pumpkin, rose hip seed oils, and olive squalane oil. If I had to choose only one product to take with me this would be it because it does so much.

Which is your most favorite ingredient to play with?

I think calendula is one of the most beautiful and soothing skin care ingredients. It’s in every product we make because it is so calming to the skin.

What new additions are on the horizon at Alighten Skin Care?

We’ve been working on a refreshing, light-as-air toning essence and a lush, creamy exfoliating and moisturizing rose clay mask. More to come… 🙂

What kind of stories do you love hearing from customers?

I love to hear that they are seeing real results from the products. I also love that the scents and textures of the products make them feel uplifted and special for taking a little time to pamper themselves. Creating a little peace is a great joy.

Can you share your experience in creating Alighten Skin Care? 

When I created this company I wanted to create something that I could feel good about doing every day. Something that has a positive impact on those who use our products. That’s why we looked at how we make and deliver our products from a more wholistic perspective.

Not only was it important to me that we use only clean, natural and non-toxic ingredients that have a true benefit for your skin and to create formulas that make you feel special, because you are taking a moment of peace to care for yourself with healthy products that feel a bit luxurious. But it was also important that we deliver those products in glass bottles that are infinitely recyclable and box packaging made from recycled and recyclable materials.

We also felt very strongly about giving back, so we donate a percentage of every sale to an organization that helps communities, families, and children to be empowered to become free from hunger and to have basic necessities like clean water, food, and health care. We want to have a company that is focused on helping and giving and products that are the best of the best and truly beneficial. 

Tag and help a friend you know is looking for cleaner and healthier skincare options for the summers! <3

Happy Summers 🙂

Meet the Maker: Elaine Li from Iremia Skincare

What makes your heart smile?

Every morning when I head out for my run, I look up and am so thankful for everything I see. We are surrounded by clean air (especially in the morning)  and it’s something I don’t take for granted. Watching my kids play also puts a huge smile in my heart – they are blessings and really embody a peaceful and strong spirit. I learn a lot from them! Also, reading email and reviews by our customers – it makes my heart incredibly happy to hear how our products are impacting their skin and their lives!

What are your 3 go-to beauty products that you can never leave your house without?

Our Restorative Facial Oil is always in my purse. I can’t travel anywhere without it. It provides so much nutrition for my skin and is my frizzy and unruly hair’s savior. Plus, it’s small enough to bring on a plane – bonus points for lighter packing and useful for the whole family! I also can’t leave the house without sunscreen and lip balm. They are absolute must-have’s, year-round.

What’s a product you absolutely love and know is amazing but it just doesn’t get enough attention?

Hands down our Restorative Facial Oil. It really is a beautiful blend full of so many healing and balancing oils. It made the biggest difference in my own skin, giving it a second life. It’s helped my daughter’s cradle cap. It’s helped people with scars. And it smells like heaven. It even won Fashion Canada’s Best Facial Oil (Over $50) Award! We just don’t talk about it enough.

Which is your most favorite ingredient to play with?

Right now it’s sea buckthorn oil, mostly because of its rich and intense color! Rice water is a second favorite at the moment. I absolutely love the effects it has on the skin with the high mineral and vitamin content.

What new additions are on the horizon at Iremia Skincare?

I’m always dreaming of solutions to calm the skin in different situations, but I want to be conscious about how many products we actually need and use. With new products, there needs to be a strong benefit for people who have super sensitive or redness-prone skin. I’ve been working on two formulas for over a year. One is a beautiful mist that is meant to boost your skins hydration while calming any redness. This final formula is something I don’t react to (I’ve reacted to all the other formulas!) and leaves your skin with a dewy glow and comfortable. The ingredients are incredible and I can’t wait to share more when it’s completely ready – hopefully later this year! The other one is a very different cleanser that is not really a foam, not really a cream. It has a bit of fluffy texture to it, but leaves your skin bright, soft and soothed. It will be launched hopefully by early next year. I’m not really in a rush – everything needs to be slow and purposeful.

What kind of stories do you love hearing from customers?

I love hearing what it has done for their skin and the improvements! Especially those with rosacea. Creating this line was all about finding something that people like me with sensitive, reactive skin can use and SEE an improvement. To really feel that nourishment and help manage their skin with a highly effective approach with each product.

How are your products special/different?

My line is completely formulated with sensitive skin in mind and tested on my own reactive skin. I can’t launch something that I react to or that doesn’t meet my packaging needs. I’m completely invested in it from top to bottom and the ingredients have to be the best that I can find. I want people who use the product to feel like they are using absolute luxury. I want them to feel and know that they are treating themselves to something special, but not paying the price for it. I’m constantly searching for ingredients that will provide calming results on the skin and combining it with other active ingredients that have clinical evidence to support skin nutrition and provide improvements (protection, anti-aging effects, etc). I’m always looking at the way things have been done in traditional practices in my culture and others vs. using ingredients that are just popular. I think it really comes down to the belief system of the brand and what they are trying to achieve.

Can you share your experience in creating Iremia Skincare? 

Iremia was born out of my journey to discover a more holistic way of living.  Compounded stress, inflammation and chronic illness were taking a toll on my skin, my body’s way of screaming at me that something needed to change.  Over the years of searching, I tried beauty product after product, and it would all end up the same: with no change or worse.  This is why I created Iremia Skincare.  

Since I take a less is more approach, the products serve to have multiple benefits, minimizing your need for complicated routines or many products for individual purposes. For example, the Soothing Lotion has an extract that is clinically proven to stimulate collagen leading to complete skin rejuvenation (pore, wrinkle, and fine line reduction). Incorporating active ingredients like these is what is important to Iremia as a company – making effective products in order to reduce the impact on the environment by being conscious about how much we all consume and how. Take the journey with Iremia to use less while gaining more!

Tag and help a friend you know is looking for cleaner and healthier skincare options for the summers! <3

Happy Summers 🙂

Meet the Maker: Cynthia Ransom of Good Karma Skincare

 

Name:  Cynthia Ransom

Title:  Founder and Potion Master

Brand:  Good Karma Skincare

Certifications:  CertClean

Personal Motto: Enjoy the Journey

When you see what Cynthia creates, what she chooses to work on, and how she chooses to spend her time, you will see that she’s a creative, curious and compassionate soul. We’re lucky to interview Cynthia Ransom, the founder of Good Karma Skincare. As a Traditional Naturopath and holistic practitioner, Cynthia embarked on a new journey creating the beautiful, potent and super functional brand, Good Karma Skincare.  What is neat about the brand is that it won as the best performing eye cream in the 2017 Clean Beauty Awards – what is even neater is that the Good Karma Skincare website has lots of “before” and “after” photos where photos clearly demonstrate that appearance of rosacea, wrinkles, redness, fine lines are drastically reduced, if not eliminated!

If you are curious, here are Good Karma Skinare’s top selling products

Lux 7 Four in One Face Cream

Lux 7 Purifying Facial Cleanser

The LUX 7 cleanser is a wonderful product! The pump makes that product easy to use and cleanser goes on smoothly.
My skin looks clean and refreshed. I would definitely recommend this cleanser!

Julie Anderholm

This is my very favorite skin cream for day and also night. I’ve tried many different night creams but this one seems to make my face feel so good and knowing that it takes care of everything makes it even better. I use it every other night because I like to rotate it with the facial oil which I also love. Of course the skin cream is used every day before I put on my makeup. Can’t say enough good things about it.

Linda Schmid

When did you start to create natural beauty products? Why did you start?

2013. My personal quest to find anti-aging products that performed without nasty chemicals, and were a value, was a failure- they didn’t exist. I began using my holistic background to create something for myself.

What’s a myth about conventional beauty products/routines you wished everyone would stop believing?

I spoke with a celebrity—who I cannot name, nor tell you the major cosmetic company he was a spokesperson for (EVERYONE throughout the world knows this company): “People don’t understand the products are the same thing, year after year. There is nothing new. Every year the big companies find the newest hyped ingredient and add insignificant amounts to the same base product and market the heck out of it as ‘a break through’. It’s all smoke and mirrors”.

Why was getting the CertClean certification important to you?

We wanted an outside source to vet our products. CertClean is the only certification program founded by a chemical engineer with a focus on beauty products. They really do their due diligence and dig into every product. I believe the CertClean certification provides our customers confidence in their choice. 

How are your products special/different?

We incorporated my love of energy medicine in our products. I worked with several companies to help formulate an advanced form of homeopathy that is focused on anti-aging. I wanted the ingredients to work in synergy, and vibrate at the highest, most effective level. In fact, I just heard from a woman and healer that uses our products; she does energy healing and ‘just for fun’ she took out our products and smaller samples of ‘big name/department store/serums and creams’ and measured their energy. The ‘other’ brands all measured around 20K bovis units (the unit of energy), every Good Karma product was a tad over 1 Million bovis units.

What makes your heart smile?

My heart smiles daily, I live in joy and know that winning the lottery would not make me happier, but it sure would be fun! Good Karma would become bigger and faster, with more products, more reach, and more people involved—we could do so much more good in the world. My furry ‘kids’ bring me so much joy—animal welfare is where our company focuses (for now, we have our own 501C3, we hope to expand in other areas to help children and more). Our give program is “Beauty Feeds the Beasts, we don’t test on animals, we feed them!”. The picture included is of me (far right) with Linda & Alison on the left; we are off to deliver a truckload of food to a shelter. Joy!

What’s a product you absolutely love and know is amazing but it just doesn’t get enough attention?

Our Lux 7 Rejuvenating Facial Oil. This is the formula that was given to us by a Shaman who received it in meditation (full story here). Craziest thing, and we are so blessed to be able to share it. It is the product that gets rid of the deeper lines, crepe-y skin and more. I alternate using this and our Four in One Face Cream, the changes in my complexion are crazy good!  Many people are conditioned to use a ‘nicely scented’ oil, and ours smells like oil. Period. No added scent.

Why?

You need to strip out the oil scent via refining to add even essential oils- that process also strips out the nutrients. Our product is so effective because of the nutrients! Additionally, using a 7-oil blend out performs and single oil product. Take argan oil; it is a wonderful oil, it has its benefits. Yet our rejuvenating oil gives you the healing profiles of 7 different oils, not just one. There is no comparison.  

What new additions are on the horizon at Good Karma?

We are adding a Men’s line, hopefully out by November. My book, The Blue Sheep Movement, will be out around the same time. It contains stories from my private holistic practice, opening the door to holistic medicine in everyday life. True healthcare isn’t an either/or decision; you can use both medical advice and holistic doctrine . The issue is most people don’t realize they have a choice because of the legal limitations of our current medical system. Hopefully this will guide people to make choices right for them!

Cynthia Ransom

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Thank you Cynthia for your time and for making healthier products for all of our faces to enjoy! For those wanting to see what people are saying about Good Karma Skincare products, click here!

Meet the Maker: Wendy Morris of EarthlyEssentials

Meet the Maker behind EarthlyEssentials: Wendy Morris

Wendy Morris, Natural Health Practitioner & Owner of EarthlyEssentials

Certifications:  CertClean, Orthotherapy Massage, Certified Aromatherapist, Chartered Herbalist, Yoga Instructor, Reflexologist, see more

Personal Motto/Mantra: Breathe, Believe, Inspire

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We asked Wendy for 3 adjectives she’d use to describe herself but that the adjectives must start with the first letter of her name, she says: Wonderful, Wild and Witch. We love that so much!

Then we asked Wendy what her “former life” was .. there was no way we could summarize it so here it goes:

B.S.Sc., Aquatic Teacher Trainer for Red Cross & Life Saving Societies 18 yrs, Heart & Stroke CPR Instructor/Examiner, First Aid Instructor/Examiner (25 yrs), Personal Trainer, Aquatic Assistant Manager, Recreational Program Director private Gym, EducationCentre Coordinator National Capital YW/YMCA)

What is she up to now? This wonderfully wild witch has created her town’s Health & Wellness Center, not only is there an apothecary store, there’s also 2 yoga studios, massage clinic, and infrared sauna! Needless to say, she is all about holistic health! Thank goodness for the internet because we’re glad that she can share her goodies in her apothecary store online!

She makes a variety of soaps – from dead sea mud soap to pure olive soap to lavendar poppy seed soaps to bathcare and skincare products.  Like you, we’re curious as to what her top selling products are — here you go (you’re welcome!):

Three Top Selling products:

EarthlyEssentials Men's Scrub

Men’s Scrub Soap

EarthlyEssentials Beautiful Face Cream

Beautiful Face Cream

EarthlyEssentials Everlasting Cream

Everlasting Lotion

I have tried many face creams but this one is the best, my skin isn’t dried out, not too oily, it’s unbelievable what a difference it makes, I can’t live without it!

Earlana

What is not to love about this daily facial cream. Its magical, leaves my face so smooth and I’ve received alot of compliments. Just knowing about all of the natural ingredients is so worth it and Wendy’s knowledge and hard work says it all.

Lise Lalinde

When did you start to create natural beauty products? Why did you start?

I started in 1996 as my children were small and sensitive to conventional products, often with allergic reactions from conventional– so I learned to make my own products with genuine ingredients. 

What’s a myth about conventional beauty products/routines you wished everyone would stop believing? 

The myth that age can be defeated by a cream, especially those that cost more than $75 over the counter. 

Why was getting the CertClean certification important to you?

The CertClean certification is a stepping stone which provides a visible logo and support that my products do not contain synthetic or chemical ingredients which could increase the toxic load of an individual. It is a reassurance to my current and new customers that my products are recognized as Clean and enhanced by its Logo.

How are your products special/different?

I prefer to use mostly certified organic ingredients when I can. I choose my suppliers based not only on literature but by speaking to the company verbally. I inquire sources, methods of processing, shelf life and health benefits. Most of my companies are used by Naturopathic Doctors, Food manufacturers. I believe if you can eat it, you can apply it to your skin.

What makes your heart smile?

I love making the products and having repeat customers. I am blessed that many have been purchasing their potions from me for over 15 years. I love teaching others how to DIY and feel that the more people doing so makes increases self sufficiency and brings us back to our roots. Success to me, already exists, and the additional perks along the way, reassure me that I am on the right track and serving my purpose. 

What’s a product you absolutely love and know is amazing but it just doesn’t get enough attention?

My Majik Salve is one of those “doesn’t get enough attention”. Formulated with infused herbal oils and essential oils combinations for multi purpose healing was a great seller in the past. Changes in time, and perhaps changes in my packaging showed a drop-in sales. It is an awesome all-around healing salve for cuts, scrapes, minor wounds & bruising, minor burns, minor skin irritations, and have even had clients share benefits for dark circles under the eyes, I continue to make it and my family uses it on a regular basis.

Wendy Morris 

 

What are some of your favourite EarthlyEssentials products? Let us know in the comments below which ones you love!

Meet the Maker: Cydney Higgins of Immersion Botanica

Meet the Maker: How Cydney Higgins’ Hobby Became A Business

Name:  Cydney Higgins

Title:  Founder/Owner

Brand:  Immersion Botanica

Certifications:  CertClean, Registered Nurse (retired)

Year Started:  February 2018 official launch of online shop. Worked on products for 2.5 years before launch.

Personal Motto  Seek to understand

To catch a glimpse of the personality of Cydney, we asked her to describe herself with 3 adjectives that first start with a “c” – and she says, she’s curious, calm and comprehensive. Perhaps she has these wonderful qualities because she was formerly a Nurse then Nurse Manager, and now retired. And by retired, she really meant she founded a new clean beauty brand, Immersion Botanica.

For such a young company, Immersion Botanica is growing fast and very well loved. Within 6 months of her launch, Cydney has over 60 reviews on her products on PurPicks! How neat is that! 

While we were chatting, we asked what her top selling products are (because we are sure you’re interested!) – here you go:

Immersion Botanica Jojoba & Sea Buckthorn Facial Nutrient Serum

Jojoba Sea Buckthorn Facial Nutrient Serum

Immersion Botanica Hydrating Geranium Mist

Geranium Hydrating Mist

Immersion Botanica Rosemary & Lavender Cleansing Oil

Rosemary Lavender Facial Cleansing Oil

I liked this product a lot! It smelled really fruity but in a nice way! It mad my skin nice and soft and I would put it on before bed to wake up with fresh skin! Definitely recommend!

Giuliana

I love this product! It has a beautiful scent. While my face is still damp with the mist, I apply my serum and my skin is so soft. I have been using the product for three weeks and have noticed a real difference.

Victoria S.

I’ve never used a cleansing oil before… I honestly didn’t know what to think – seems counter intuitive. But I was pleasantly surprised! I liked the silky feel of my skin afterwards. I also liked that I my skin didn’t feel dried out like soap can do sometimes.

jacienik

When did you start to create natural beauty products? Why did you start?

I became curious about herbalism when I started making soap as a hobby. My learning and discovery grew in my attempts to fulfill both an enduring desire to understand as well as to create. Many years ago, I studied fashion design and merchandising. I have always needed a creative outlet in my life. As I transition to retirement from healthcare, I am so excited about wading into the world of herbs and natural skincare, there is so much scope and I find the complexity and learning fascinating!

What’s a myth about conventional beauty products/routines you wished everyone would stop believing?

It is wonderful to learn about the ingredients in our personal care products AND they do not have to be complicated or exotic. Sticking to only 5 ingredients is a great start however there are so many plant-based ingredients that our skin can benefit from. I think that there is confusion about what our skin needs and a fear or avoidance of oil. There are a wide variety of oils, all of which have different properties and benefits for the skin. While important for repairing and protecting the skin, oils do not hydrate the skin. Hydration is the most difficult aspect of skincare to maintain as we are constantly losing moisture and need to replenish. The health of our skin barrier is paramount to maintaining this balance. We tend to lack knowledge of which ingredients and/or methods may be best to avoid.

It is hard to know what to believe as a consumer since beauty products are mysterious and at times, have had ingredients that are questionable in terms of safety. I think people are seeking simplicity, clarity and appreciate transparency as to what is safe and beneficial. I am someone who needs to understand and so I have made it my focus to research and learn in more depth.

Why was getting the CertClean certification important to you?

Safety is #1 importance. As I learn about formulation, I realize that I must be very diligent and transparent in regard to the safety of the ingredients I use. I think a 3rd party review my products enhances credibility and transparency.

How are your products special/different?  

It is all about repairing and protecting the health of the skin barrier. Each product does this in it’s own way and so they are most beneficial when used to complement one another. The cleansers do not strip the skin’s protective barrier, the hydrating mists offer nutrition, the oils repair and protect. For example, niacinamide & glucosamine are some amazing ingredients that have stood the test of time and offer so many benefits for skin from exfoliation, hydration, preventing acne, and calming redness. I include these in my hydrating mists which are a key product in my line.

What does success look like to you?

I would love to be able to continue learning and creating products that enrich the lives of others. My goal is to help people to feel good, learn about healthy skincare and connect with the beauty and amazing benefits of nature.

What’s a product you absolutely love and know is amazing but it just doesn’t get enough attention?

Fruit & Grains Cleanser – this product is a wonderful alternative to soap. It is full of ground florals and is useful for cleansing, controlling oil, exfoliating dead skin cells, and protecting the skin barrier.

It may not get enough attention because it is simple and not exotic. Also, there is confusion about what our skin needs, we are not necessarily taught skin biology. We could all benefit from learning about skin health both from the inside out and the outside in. It doesn’t need to be exotic or complicated.

Cydney Higgins

How has switching to clean beauty changed your life and—most importantly—your skin? Let us know in the comments below!

Meet the Maker: Michelle Rosetta of BEE23

Meet the Maker: Michelle—the Queen Bee of BEE23 Natural Beauty

Name:  Michelle Rosetta

Title:  Queen Bee of BEE23 Natural Beauty

Certifications:  CertClean

When did you start:  2007

Former Life/Day Job:  Honors Bachelor of Social Work

Personal Motto: It will be fun, it will be an adventure!

Michelle is one meaningful and motivated maven. If you have ever met or chatted with this beautiful woman, you wouldn’t be surprised that she lives by “It will be fun, it will be an adventure!”. She is positive and bold – and as they say, fortune favours the bold!  Due to her hustle, drive and carefully crafted products, BEE23 is growing fast. We’re not surprised since her products are incredibly well-loved; reviews of her water-less products consistently rave about how great her products are for sensitive skin and those struggling with eczema – see here for yourself!

If interested to try some of her products, here are her top three sellers:

Hotty Balm Mature To Dry

Mature to Dry Hotty Balm

BEE23 Natural Beauty – Hotty Balm Normal To Oily

Normal to Oily Hotty Balm

Lazy Afternoons Hotty Body Balm

The smell of this product is amazing. At first try I thought it would take a while to rub into my hands but it didn’t leave any residue and I could smell this lovely citrus for ages after.

Andrea

Loved this product for an all around balm. Good, natural replacement for vaseline.

AM

I’ve actually been using this on my face in the winter, and it’s pretty great. My skin is really dry and this seems to be one of the few things I can use to protect it in the winter.

Bianca

When did you start to create natural beauty products? Why did you start?

My choice to start my current venture BEE23 Natural Beauty in 2007 was out of necessity. There were several factors contributing to the launch, including the outright rage I felt with highly toxic products on the market, the need for my own products due to my skin sensitivities and the need to support myself. I did presentations and projects on environmental issues in university involving both our human view on what our actual connection to our physical planet is to the immense damage we were creating as a species and what that meant for future generations based on science from the 70s and prior. I have followed environmental trends, politics and news for decades. I took my children in marches for social justice and environmental issues but I felt a lack of satisfaction in my efforts and ranting to others about these issues did not get the response I was hoping for. I needed to put this energy somewhere positive, productive and inviting.

I still had not truly connected this acquired knowledge about nasty ingredients to the beauty products industry, until I was in my 30s and starting to see the wear and tear of life on my own face, plus I wanted a product for protection in the elements because I was living off-the-grid at the time and continued to participate in a lot of outdoor sports like snowboarding. When I went to purchase my ‘anti-aging cream’ I couldn’t believe all of the toxins. Early on I was very sensitive to fragrance and commonly used ingredients, so I didn’t use or think to use anything in my 20s. I had not really thought of what was in those products, I just didn’t use them. I couldn’t find anything with the properties of a product I wanted for myself in the market, so I thought back to the healing ointments my Grandmother would make for the horses and invariably use for herself. An idea started to form wherein I could create a suitable product for my own use and wrap it up with an important environmental message that my audience may be more interested in if it was first presented in the form of wrinkles or acne, little did I realize my idea would bloom into a product that is much more superior to toxic water based products anyhow. I worked with an essential oils practitioner and began to gain the knowledge I needed to create the product I was looking for.

What’s a myth about conventional beauty products/routines you wished everyone would stop believing?

I would like others to think about how we have been conditioned to believe our skincare is supposed to be so complex and multi-stepped to work. I can say with my own personal experience along with watching my customers results through choosing simple regimens, our skin would appear to be much healthier and happier with the less products and steps that we use. Believing that the tight dry feeling after cleansing is a good sign is not actually good for our skin. Choosing mostly water to cleanse the skin with a simple oil cleanser like Jojoba Oil, will work so much better for all skin types. All these years, mostly because I’m lazy, all I have ever done is wash with water, a little SLS free soap if necessary and then put my Hotty Balm. Oh and saunas in my opinion are the best detox for our skin.

Why was getting the CertClean certification important to you?

One of the first questions I am asked regardless as to whether it is in my sign or on the packaging is, ‘is your product all natural.’ The CertClean certification is a very easy tool for me to use as a company in order to state that this particular company only certifies clean products. You cannot be certified CertClean unless you fall within their credentials. It has been a way for me to give legitimacy to my claims and act as an important sales tool. The marketing CertClean has done for their companies has also been a very good leverage for my brand and I appreciate all of their efforts.

How are your products special/different?

The way we put our ingredients together creates a very potent and unique formula that has really worked wonders consistently for a wide variety of skin conditions. It can be used alongside other quality brands but it adds this incredible protective quality for harsh environmental factors living in the city or in extreme climates. We also source our ingredients with care. I love our essential oils so much and I love the company that produces them. I feel they are quite special and superior in comparison to much that is out on the market. Much like our essential oils our beeswax is locally produced in Ontario and sourced from all small independent farmers. As well, our Olive Oil is brought in directly through the Olive Oil Boutique from a farm in Italy. There is absolutely no adulteration or filler added.

What makes your heart smile?

It makes my heart smile when a customer comes up to me and thanks me for making our product line. When I am told that our products in some way has given an individual their confidence or power back, there is absolutely no better feeling. A successful outcome for me in regards to this company would be that we are in a place where I directly purchase all of my ingredients from the communities of origin and we are established enough to be employing individuals in our own community at fair wages in a progressive and positive environment.

What’s a product you absolutely love and know is amazing but it just doesn’t get enough attention?

The Mango Mornings Hotty Body Balm is really good for individuals with very sensitive skin looking for a simple formula. It is super light, feels amazing all year round and truly does wonders for the skin, including face and body. The reason the Mango Mornings can be overlooked is that Mango can fractionate faster in temperature changes, so it can get this little grainy texture but grainy is good because it means there isn’t all the synthetic chemicals holding the product together. The little balls just melt on contact with the skin, and the benefits of this formula far out weight a small variation in texture.

Michelle Rosetta

What do you love most about BEE23 products? Let us know in the comments below!

Meet the Maker: Alexa Campbell of Penny Lane Organics

Meet the Maker: Alexa Campbell of Penny Lane Organics Talks Family, Calendula Oil, and Shampoo Bars

 

Name:  Alexa Campbell

Title:  Owner / President

Brand:  Penny Lane Organics

Certifications:  CertClean & Joyous Health Approved

Personal Motto/Mantra:  Nothing worth having comes easy

As of 2016, Alexa Campbell is the CEO for Penny Lane Organics (originally founded by Bo and Brian Penny). Formerly, she was a life guard, swim instructor and gymnastics teacher so it is no wonder that she described herself as ambitions, attentive and active (we asked for adjectives that started with an “a” because we are dorky like that!)

In the inaugural Clean Beauty Awards, Penny Lane Organics won the Awards for the best performing OdourCare! So no surprise here to see their natural deodorant as one of their best sellers, and here are two other products that are well loved by others:

Three Top Selling products:

Natural Deodorant – Pink Grapefruit

Pennylane Cleansing Milk Makeup Remover

Cleansing Milk and Makeup Remover

Natural Deodorant – Scent Free

This deodorant is the best one I have used so far. Unlike the one i used to use earlier (From Dove) it doesn’t leave your underarms feeling greasy after application. It’s light on the skin and the fragrance is mild.

Swathi M.

Another great Penny Lane product. The cleansing milk and makeup remover is light but very soothing leaving my skin feeling clean and soft. I love that it is chemical free.

DEBBIE M.

I have the most sensitive skin and this is one of the only products I’ve found that I can enjoy. So gentle and refreshing. Feel like I’m having a special spa day from my own home. 🙂 10 stars!

Vivian

When did you start to create natural beauty products?

I started in May 2016. I had just met and started working for Bo, the previous owner of Penny Lane Organics. 

What’s a myth about conventional beauty products/routines you wished everyone would stop believing?

Myth: There’s only one right way to do skin care.

Why it is not true: Not everyone’s skin is the same, what works for your friend might not work for you!

Why was getting the CertClean certification important to you?

Getting the certification was important to me because we are a small Canadian business that wants to be recognized for having natural and clean products and we can’t afford higher up certifications. CertClean is North America’s leading certification for safer beauty and personal care products. This is great for us as a small company in Ontario. Communication is always great from CertClean to us as a client!

How are your products different from conventional beauty products?

Our products are special because they are made by hand and with love to help people around the world have a clean and natural choice when it comes to personal care products. We always try to find the best combinations of ingredients to make a products the best and the most efficient as possible. For example, Calendula Oil is an oil we make ourselves. We grow the flower in our own backyard harvesting and drying it ourselves. We diffuse it to create a beautiful oil that has soothing and skin softening properties and is gentle enough to use as a baby oil or instead of a diaper creamCalendula Herbal Oil is used in many of our facial creams, serums, ointments, shampoos and baby products.

What makes your heart smile?

My Family makes me smile! I love my big crazy family. They got me where I am today and without them I do not know where I would be. They are supportive, loving and caring and everything anyone would need to help them reach their goals

What’s a product you absolutely love and know is amazing, but it just doesn’t get enough attention?

A product I love is our shampoo bars. I don’t think they get as much love as they could because most people use what their hair dresser recommends (which is always full of chemicals). Our shampoo bars moisturize and cleanse, and lather great. The best part is how long one bar lasts and that there is nothing left behind!

Alexa Campbell

In the comments below, tell us about your favorite Penny Lane products! Is it the shampoo bars? The deodorants? Give them some love!

Elaine Kao of LilliPads on Why Going Organic Could Save Your Life

Meet the Maker: An Interview with Elaine Kao of LilliPads

Name:  Elaine Kao

Your Title:  Owner & Founder

Brand Name: Lilli Pads

When did you start (year): 2017 Full Time

Former Life/Day Job: Banking & Investments

Personal Motto/Mantra: Do what you can today to make for a better tomorrow.

Why Going Organic Could Save Your Life!

Do you know what kinds of ingredients go into making your skin care products? It’s a question that has become increasingly more pervasive to us as consumers as the beauty and wellness industry continues to evolve.

We sat down with Elaine Kao, founder/owner of Lilli Pads to learn more about how her trauma led her to start her own company and just how organic sanitary products can save lives.

Read on to find out what makes this entrepreneur dedicated to creating a better tomorrow!

Can you tell us what products you’ve incorporated into your daily routine?

I am a fan of Pure & Simple products. Ever since I discovered their holistic approach to beauty and skin care, I was sold! I found that before P&S, I used to have extremely dry and flaky skin, but they have since corrected the imbalance when I started going to them for my skincare needs. My go-to products from them has to be the Collagen Elastin Plus and the Sensitive skin and Exfoliant Mask.

With my hair routine, ever since I discovered Carina Organics, I was hooked. The great thing about their shampoo is that virtually all of the ingredients found in their shampoo are things that you can pronounce. There has also been a noticeable difference in my hair: I used to have to wash my hair every day to avoid having oily hair, but after switching over, my hair has become thicker, healthier and less oily.

Collagen Elastin Plus

Face Mask

Sweet Pea Shampoo

I’ve always been a fan of Pure+Simple facials, so I thought I would try some of their products. This serum is great – it is lightweight and has no noticeable scent = super important for me! However I am not sure if it is moisturizing enough for my skin. I use it at night, which feels great, but it doesn’t give me that “plump” moisturized look in the AM. Might be best to use this under a moisturizer.

Y Sim

Love how gentle this skin exfoliant is on my skin! I have dry and sensitive skin and ever since I started incorporating this exfoliant into my skincare routine, I have noticed a major difference! My skin went from dull and dry to glowing and smooth. Love this product!!

Elaine

This shampoo will leave your hair squeaky clean! The smell is light and amazingly fresh! Combine with the light conditioner and you have a winning combination! Love these products.

Cindy

What are three adjectives you’d use to describe yourself…that also starts with the first letter of your name:

Empathetic: I’m a people’s person!

Experimental: Learn best by doing & open to new ideas/experiences.

Exponential: We are exposed to infinite potential and opportunities. Most of all, we are all capable.

Around four years ago, Elaine experienced an adverse skin reaction that would re-define her life. Surprisingly, this type of skin reaction is not what you would expect: it was in the reproductive area of her body. Elaine fell sick from using a sanitary pad which resulted in such acute pain that she could not walk and was left incapacitated in her hotel bed.

The health scare led Elaine to re-evaluate her personal hygiene and skin care products that she had used in the past, products that, up until that point, she took for granted. Upon doing more research, she realized the importance of knowing your products—what materials goes into them, how they are made, and where these raw materials are sourced from, all of which make a huge impact on the final product. Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) and other health issues from using unsanitary sanitary products is exactly why organic pads and tampons can save your life!

After all, how the company is run, what its philosophy is and how it operates can often define how they view and ultimately treat you as a customer. Nowadays, it’s no longer a trend to be an informed and ethical consumer, it’s the norm.

How has your health incident revolutionized your life?

I have become much more aware of what we use in our everyday products and as a result, have become much more discerning in what I choose to apply to my body. It is hard to believe that something as mundane as a pad or a tampon can cause such a serious reaction, especially when you have been using these products for a majority of your life without any issue.

My experience was also the catalyst that led me to found my company, Lilli Pads, that specializes in providing organic period products to women all across North America. Our philosophy is simple and centres around clean hygiene; all of our products are made with certified organic cotton and have been tested to ensure that no dangerous substances or toxins are present when it comes to you managing your feminine hygiene routine.

What does the term “Going Organic” mean to you?

“Going Organic” can be subject to different interpretations. To put this into context, the organic health and wellness industry has experienced rapid growth over the last two decades. One major caveat is that most regulatory bodies have not been able to keep up with all the changes in the industry. Some companies may be marketed as “organic” using technicalities, while others may have products that are made with close to, if not 100%, organic ingredients.  

It really boils down to what the company’s core philosophies are. Sometimes, that may not be so clear. The need for more clarity on what it means to be organic has led to why we need certification bodies like CertClean, which is a prime example of a certification body which effectively provides a uniform organic standard around beauty and personal care products.

Tell us about the importance of going organic when it comes to skincare.

As a society, we tend to focus a lot on eating organic foods, or driving fuel-efficient cars, but the conversation around skin care has been lagging: your skin is a semi-permeable layer barrier that acts as the first line of protection for your body although some foreign substances can get through your primary defense system quite easily. Some areas of your skin can be more effective in absorbing chemicals than if you were to ingest these substances. Your skin can therefore act as a route of exposure for toxic substances.

As seen by several reports and studies conducted by the NIH, many conventional products can contain ingredients such as sodium laureth sulphate, phthalates or parabens. Although these chemicals may be benign with infrequent exposure, these materials can disrupt your hormonal cycle, interfere with your immune system and may ultimately be carcinogenic if used long term.

For those of us who are trying to incorporate organic products as first-timers or novices, what advice would you give to us?

Start small and work your way up!  It can be something as simple as just changing your toothpaste. The world of organic products may be intimidating at first, but I would say this: be patient and don’t go for a product just because it’s natural—go for it because it works for you.  Sometimes you’ll be lucky on your first try and other times, not so much, but don’t give up! Many natural products can take some time before you start realizing their effects—many natural goods don’t rely on instantaneous results like many conventional products do to wow you.

Your health is an investment. If you can find some ways to incorporate healthier practices into your life to make yourself feel better, why wouldn’t you?

The Ultimate List Of All-Natural, Organic Face Moisturizers

5 Ways to be more Eco-Friendly this Earth Day (And Every Day)!

The Big Switch- From Conventional to Clean Beauty

Elaine 

 

Thanks Elaine for letting us interview you! Go to LilliPads.com and subscribe to their mailing list for more info, and to read more articles about life-changing organics, check out these related articles:

Meet the Maker: Lauren Padawar of Alaska Glacial Mud

Meet the Maker: Lauren Padawer of Alaska Glacial Mud

Name:  Lauren Padawer

Title:  Founder

Brand: Alaska Glacial Mud Co.

Certifications: CertClean, Bcorp, Made In Alaska, Leaping Bunny, Campaign For Safe Cosmetics

Former Life/Day Job: Commercial Salmon Fisherman

Personal Motto: Pessimism Is Not an Option

As one of 7 women in her hometown who fish commercially, it is no surprise that Lauren, founder of Alaska Glacial Mud, is persistent, practical and positive. Lauren discovered the buttery mud from Copper River in Alaska one day while she was on a camping trip – she had the most wild spa experience in the world, her skin felt so soft and was glowing after the experience. Well, since 2007, Lauren has been bringing the Alaska mud into the natural beauty market across North America today.

If you’re interested in nutrient-dense glacial mud that absorbs toxins and lightly exfoliates your face, try Lauren’s top 3 sellers:

Lavender peppermint

Vanilla Lavender

Gift Box Mailer

very nice mask without getting hard and crusty. Easy to remove, leaves skin feeling fabulous! I take the small sizes with me when I travel for pampering and a lift at the end of a long day!

Joan

This is the most purifying and powerful mask I have tried. Each time I use it, I notice a huge change in my acne and oilyness the next morning! I highly recommend this to anyone

Morgan

I have the most sensitive skin and this is one of the only products I’ve found that I can enjoy. So gentle and refreshing. Feel like I’m having a special spa day from my own home. 🙂 10 stars!

Vivian

When did you start creating natural beauty products? Why did you start?

I began making natural beauty products in 2002 following a rafting trip on the copper river in Alaska. I loved the buttery texture of the mud and wanted start a business and product line that would philanthropically support the copper river watershed.

What’s a myth about conventional beauty products/routines you wished everyone would stop believing?  

There’s no single miracle cream. Skin care is a lifestylistic approach of good hygiene combined with nutrition, hydration and sleep.

Why was getting the CertClean certification important to you?

The CertClean certification and being part of the CertClean community distinguishes our brand for having quality ingredients.

How are your products special/different?

Alaska glacial mineral mud is the most mineral rich mud on earth. Our formulated products enhance the mud with beneficial vitamins, antioxidants and essential oils to detoxify, nourish and soften skin.

What does success look like to you?

To me, success is having longevity in the marketplace and slowly developing a brand based on market demand and unique effective ingredients whilst giving back and being your own boss!

What’s a product you absolutely love and know is amazing, but it just doesn’t get enough attention?

I love Sambucol tablets; they are fizzy immune-boosting supplements with echinacea & elderberry, but more righteous ingredients than airborne! They’re hard to come by in the USA.

Lauren

What are your thoughts on mineral mud masks? What are your thoughts on the application? See the plenty and positive reviews for all of Alaska Glacial Mud’s CertClean certified products — 5 stars across the board!

Meet the Maker: Helen MacIsaac-Bertrim of Bee Real

Meet the Maker: Helen MacIsaac-Bertrim of Bee Real

Name:  Helen MacIsaac-Bertrim

Title:  Owner/Product Creator

Brand: Bee Real™ 

Certifications: CertClean, Student Aromatherapist, and necessity for lifestyle

When did you start: April of 2012

Helen is a gem – she’s honest, hopeful and humble all in one. From running a household and raising 3 children, her motto is “you don’t know what you are capable of until you try” — no wonder she has become a successful founder and owner of a fast-growing clean beauty brand! Undoubtedly, her products perform; see reviews by those who have used her products here – 5 stars across the board.

Located in Eastern Ontario in Canada, Helen, a Reiki Master, also offers Reiki Workshops, her online store not only sells makeup and skincare products but also raw and tumbled crystals, along with smudge sticks.

Every time we chat with Helen, we have a great laugh – she is incredibly fun and genuine. Here is our interview with this fun-loving woman – enjoy!

Oh, if you are in the market for a deodorant, body care or a lip balm — check out her top selling products:

Deodorant

Lotion Bar

Lip Balm

I love Bee Real! The deodorant works great and you only need to use a little for it to go a long way. I’ve tried a lot of natural deodorants, but this one really works! Thank you also for all the love and Reiki healing energy that is infused in every product… there’s a reason why I feel so much better when I use them! I highly recommend Bee Real products!

Pam MacPhee

I have extremely dry hands that crack and bleed, especially during the winter months. I have tried numerous creams and lotions, with little to no success. After speaking with Helen, I gave the BEE REAL lotion bar a try and its amazing! My hands are so soft and smooth. I really love the orange lotion bar. I would highly recommend this product.

Kelly

I use this in both winter and summer. It keeps my lips moist in winter, no cracks and you don’t have to keep re-applying after a drink or food. Summer time protection from the sun is on point. My kids use them in winter too!

Debora A Ladouceur

When did you start creating natural beauty products? Why did you start?

I started creating natural products in April of 2012 because I was actually so tired of reading labels and finding the “clean” products really weren’t that “clean”. It was very frustrating to me. My journey began when I started researching candles and found out just how harmful they were. I loved candles and burned them all the time. So, I took a workshop on making Beeswax candles. One thing let to another and here I am today with a full line of skincare. Real Ingredients for Real People, Be Real, Be You!

The Myth about conventional beauty products that I wish everyone would stop believing is:  

“Well it must be ok, otherwise they wouldn’t sell it.”

They are out to make money, they are not in the business of health. They add ingredients to their products so you will have to keep reapplying, take for instance your favourite conventional lip balm or chapstick. Read the ingredients, I bet that there is alcohol in it. This is so that the lip balm will work for a bit but then your lips will feel dry and you need to reapply, making you go through it faster and then having to purchase more. 

Why was getting the CertClean certification important to you?

Getting the certCLEAN certification was important to me because I needed and wanted my products to be recognized as one of the best out there on the market. Top quality is important to me and having a company to certify my products as clean is huge.  Its in line with what I, and the company stands for. I am about healthy products for everyone. Having the certification helps bring my products mainstream. Which I believe they should be. It’s about informing the masses on how what you put on your skin can hurt you or help heal you.

How is/are your product(s) special/different? What’s your secret sauce?

My products are different as the formulation of oils are targeted for specific actions; the synergy of the oils is something that I have been studying and creating. I have an Acne Serum that works wonderfully for combatting acne as well as helping hydrate the skin and regulate the natural oil production of the face. Which in turn helps with lessening acne and possible scarring. Also, my products last longer than conventional brands as I don’t use water in any of my products, just active ingredients, which means you need less of the actual product (which also helps the pocket book)!

What does success look like to you?

Success to me is when people leave my establishment feeling empowered and with a smile on their face! We are all on a journey and mine is to empower, help people listen to their bodies, and tune in to help heal themselves on all levels. 

What’s a product you absolutely love and know is amazing, but it just doesn’t get enough attention?

My favourite product is my Rejuvenating Face Serum. I believe the price point is an issue. It is a high-end product, and it is priced accordingly. The oils in it are a blend of expensive oils working together in a perfect synergy for moisturizing and also to reduce puffiness, dark circles and minimize fine lines and wrinkles.

Helen

Give Helen and Bee Real some love in the comments below. Click here to see the benefits of beeswax in skincare products and the best rated beeswax-y products that you may want to incorporate into your beauty ritual!