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’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.
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.
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.