Two Canadian Non-Toxic Skincare Brands to Try This Winter

Two Canadian Non-Toxic Skincare Brands Image

I don’t let the cold and snow keep me inside. In fact, my love for winter activities like skiing and snowshoeing was one thing that tipped the scales in favour of our move north of Toronto a year ago. If there’s one thing I learned during our first winter here, it’s colder, snowier, and windier than in the city. And therefore, my skin needs a little extra protection. But I’m also super picky about what brands I’ll try, let alone continue to use. I like to support local where possible, Canadian companies at a minimum. And whatever country you’re in, I encourage you to do the same.

So when CertClean, North America’s leading certification for safer skincare, asked if I’d be interested in trying out some of their certified Canadian brands, I jumped at the chance. And there were a couple that really stood out for me so I wanted to share them with you in case you’re looking for Canadian non-toxic skincare too.

 

PUUR Ingrid

PUUR Ingrid’s focus is on products that use clinically-proven, bioavailable plant antioxidants that properly nourish your skin from the outside in. They manufacture their products themselves (i.e. they don’t outsource production) in small batches in Calgary, Alberta.

One thing I love about this brand in particular is their scent-free options for those with sensitivities. They are also reasonably priced, especially considering the high quality ingredients.

The products I tried (and loved) were the facial oils:

Facial Radiance has a very light and natural scent and absorbs nicely into the skin for hydration any time of day. The product description includes benefits like enhancing skin elasticity, regenerates and repairs damaged skin cells, and promotes collagen production. It’s cruelty free, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and of course free from ingredients I wouldn’t recommend.

Squalane Absolute is a multi-use oil made of 100% plant-derived squalene. What I love about this, is that it’s completely scent-free. It can be used as a multi-purpose oil for face, body, and hair. It’s a nice light treatment on its own, and I liked to combine it with the Facial Radiance oil for extra hydration.

 

Iremia Skincare

As a fair-skinned redhead, it’s probably no surprise that I also have sensitive skin. Iremia Skincare was formulated for highly sensitive and reactive skin, and oh boy do they deliver! Founder Elaine worked with a chemist to formulate products that would help her own highly reactive skin – after working with a naturopath to support her from the inside-out first (which is my philosophy as well). Their products are made in Mississauga, Ontario and come in glass jars for reuse or recycling.

I’m a skincare simpleton – meaning, less is more – and I’m lazy. But this 3-product combo quickly became an important part of my bedtime routine, setting me up to be more relaxed heading into my new evening meditation practice. I have come to love the little self-care ritual, and the results for my skin. This system is an investment, but unlike many conventional “premium” skincare lines, the ingredients are fully nourishing, toxin-free, and a little goes a very long way.

Step 1: The Restorative Facial Oil has a lovely, light scent and texture that absorbs nicely and doesn’t feel too greasy. Elaine gave me the tip that it can be used to tame frizz so I gave it a try and she was right! Hair, body, and facial oil in one 😊.

Step 2: The Soothing Lotion is calming, and it has helped with mask and wind-induced redness. It is a light cream that applies easily and a very small amount offers great coverage.

Step 3: The Protective Cream is a thicker cream than the Soothing Lotion, but doesn’t feel heavy or cakey on the skin. This is also a great protecting layer before heading out in the cold, and is safe for the kiddos too – mine are prone to windburn so I know this will get good use this winter!

 

As an aside, I was curious about the preservative system used by these products since the Lotion and Cream are finger-applied. The founder was quick to answer, and I thought I’d share here as well because there can be a lot of confusion around preservatives and natural products.

First of all, any product that contains water – especially if it’s in an open container that you dip your finger in to apply – should have some form of preservation. Otherwise, bacteria can form and cause other issues. So preservative-free isn’t necessarily a good thing. But conventional preservatives are concerning (parabens are potential hormone disruptors, DMDM hydantoin can release formaldehyde, etc.).

The preservative system for both the Soothing Lotion and Protective Cream is a combination of glyceryl caprylate & glyceryl undecylenate, which is naturally-derived from coconut oil and castor oil to preserve cosmetic formulations. According to the company, it has excellent microbial resistance to bacteria as well as yeast and mold.

 

If you’re looking for Canadian non-toxic skincare that works, I hope you’ll check out these brands!

 

Disclaimer: I received their products for free, but otherwise was not compensated for this post. And I tested more products than I’m sharing here – these are the ones that I truly loved.

mini mioche and More: Organic Kids’ Clothes You’ll Love

Organic kids' clothes

You know about organic food, but did you know you can get organic clothing too?

Organic clothing, especially for kids, is increasing in popularity – even big brands like Costco’s Kirkland label and H&M sell organic. But what do those labels really mean, and are they worth it? Let’s take a look.

Why Organic?

Many proponents of organic clothes focus on the benefits from organic cotton. Cotton is one of the most pesticide intensive crops, and requires a substantial amount of water. Whether those pesticides remain on your t-shirt or not is up for debate, but environmentally, organic farming practices are likely better for the environment.

Eco-friendly fabrics are also available for those looking for a cotton alternative:

  • Bamboo is a renewable resource, but often will be treated with chemicals during manufacture. It’s a good option environmentally, but may be questionable from a chemical exposure perspective.
  • Tencel is a brand name of a newer textile called lyocell. It is made from wood pulp in an environmentally-friendly process, but may still involve chemical treatments during manufacture.
  • Hemp is the latest and greatest eco fabric. It can be grown in colder climates than cotton and bamboo (you can find Canadian-grown hemp). Many products will be made dye-free or with non-toxic dyes (though check the specific product to be sure).

Organic Clothing Labels

A product may use organic fabric, but that doesn’t tell you anything about the dyes used. You can look for a finished product that is GOTS certified if you want to use less-toxic dyes, but this can be a challenge. A product can still be labelled organic even if only the cotton is organic, it just won’t carry the GOTS seal on the label (unless it’s with a statement saying “made with GOTS organic certified cotton”).

It should be noted that it is likely cost prohibitive for a small clothing company to certify each piece of clothing. This is likely one reason why it’s more common to find clothes simply made with organic cotton then those that carry the GOTS label.

Organic Kids’ Clothing Brands

If you’re on the hunt for organic clothing, here are some reputable and local brands that parents love. If you’re lucky enough to snag these up at your local consignment store, I say go for it! But you can get them online and in some brick-and-mortar stores too.

mini mioche

mini mioche is a popular brand, and for good reason! Founded by a mom in Toronto, all of the clothes are made in Canada using GOTS certified organic cotton yarn. It doesn’t appear to be fully GOTS certified, but they do claim that “fabrics are dyed using low-impact, non-toxic, re-usable dyes.” You can find mini mioche in their own stores on Queen West and the Distillery District in Toronto. And, of course, online.

Ollie Jones

Handmade in Toronto, Ollie Jones is a great option for those looking to support local. You can find adorable prints and styles made with GOTS certified cotton and water-based dyes. Again, not fully GOTS certified, but a step in the right direction.

Parade Organics

Parade Organics kids’ clothes are fully GOTS certified organic. They are made in India (where the cotton comes from) under fair trade conditions. Parade Organics is a Canadian company with a brick and mortar shop in Vancouver. You can also find Parade more readily in boutique baby stores across Canada, which makes them a little more accessible as far as organic clothing goes.

Pingo Apparel

I was recently introduced to the Pingo Apparel online shop specializing in organic clothes with fun patterns that kids are sure to love. They even have a page where you can purchase pre-loved clothes – how cool is that?! Read their blog post on building a more eco-friendly and ethical kids’ wardrobe on a budget for more ideas too.

Modern Rascals

This Toronto-based online shop offers European brands of kids’ clothes that are fun and practical at the same time. Most of the brands use GOTS certified organic cotton, and some of the lines are fully GOTS certified. The prints are gorgeous, and not your typical “boys” and “girls” stereotypes. While these clothes may have a larger ecological footprint than those made and sold in Canada, Modern Rascals offers a great collection for ethical and sustainable fashion.

 

Do you have a favourite brand that makes and sells certified organic kids’ clothes? Comment below with your favourites!