Full disclosure: I’m not a “maker” and I don’t own my own business. I did start my own Clean Living & Green Beauty blog a few months ago, but that would more likely be classified as a nonprofit charity… I do, however, have an obsession with discovering and supporting local and Canadian-made products; Market Collective is my Happy Place, and I’m addicted to Etsy and Instagram (I thought I was in recovery, but I have relapses all the time).
While I’ve been aware of the importance of clean eating for our health for many years, I only recently made the connection that what we put ON our body is equally as important. I’m trying to keep this intro relatively short, so I won’t go on forever now about what led me to having my revelation and frantically tossing everything that was in my bathroom. I will encourage you to look into the Think Dirty App (also a Canadian company) and check out for yourself how many nasty chemicals, known carcinogens, and toxins you’re loading onto your largest organ (FYI that’s your skin for all of you that didn’t pay attention in Science class) on a daily basis with the multitude of products we – women especially – use and just can’t live without.
After you’re done tossing 90 – 100% of all of your makeup, skincare, and personal hygiene products too, don’t freak out! Because I’m going to save you hours of research finding safer, healthier alternatives that actually work.The green beauty movement is really exploding, which is super exciting because the shift in awareness is happening (even here in good ol’ Cowtown), but there’s just so many amazing options now that you may actually become overwhelmed, as I was. Some brands are becoming more accessible in stores, but please be wary of “green-washing” – check the ingredients with your new handy app! Or, better yet, pick from this trusted resource to support the makers, movers, and shakers in YYC and across the Great White North.
So without further ado, my current list of Canadian Green Beauty Favourites.
Created by a former teacher with an extensive background in Chemistry, Gia Minerals products are 100% natural, with organically sourced high quality botanicals that are rich in antioxidants, herbal soothing extracts, and vitamins. They offer an extensive color selection in their high performance makeup line, which is catching the attention of green beauty bloggers everywhere and standing up to the rigorous tests of athletes and performers alike. I love that the owner, Georgina, is still so focused on educating and has a real passion for developing hand-crafted, small batch items that are eco-friendly, nontoxic, and effective.
Handmade all-natural items using local ingredients like beer (yep, you read that right), honey, and herbs. The owner, Noni, is the sweetest thing and really knows her stuff! I’ve personally tried her speciality soaps, as well as her shampoo bar, hair serum and deodorant. Other products include lip balms, moisturizers, body butters & scrubs. You can find her at different events around town, such as Market Collective, and get help picking the best products for your skin.
Bath, body, and skincare products made from pure botanicals, high quality oils, and fresh ingredients. The “owner/maker/bosslady” Amelia recently expanded her product line of mostly bath products like bombs, salts, and scrubs, to include facial skincare items such as cleansing masks and oils. Another of my Market Collective finds!
If you’ve ever had a bad experience with lash extensions breaking your eyelashes, toxic lash glue in your eye, or harmful side effects from pharmaceutical and/or synthetic based lash serums (some of their warnings include skin discolouration, darkening of the iris, allergic reactions and loss of vision – yikes!), or you’re just tired of loading 18 coats of mascara onto your stumpy little lashes, then NuvaLash is for you. Formulated with the highest quality, most potent, all-natural ingredients sourced from around the globe without any added preservatives or synthetic chemicals. Backed up with clinical testing for safety and efficacy. This #momboss created a kick ass product that is taking the green beauty community by storm because it’s safe AND it actually works!
To CAMP is to embrace minimalism and natural knowledge. When you head into the wilderness, you need to pack tools that will serve you well but too much stuff is a burden – on you and on nature. So pack light and pack smart.
This impressive line is so great because it really appeals to both women and men. Graydon “sources bioavailable grown ingredients (Canadian and organic whenever possible)” that “have transformative, nutrient dense qualities that are easily absorbed so that your skin gets ‘fed’ the nutrients it needs. Plus, they offer mini kits for travel, sampling, or gifting – everything is better in baby size, am I right??
When we use cleansers or even mattifyers to try and control our shiny complexion or to simply cleanse our skin – the stripping of the skin’s natural oils will automatically trigger our skin into “thinking” that it needs to produce more oil to try and compensate for the lack thereof – the excess oils that are thus produced by our body is what causes clogged pores and breakouts. It is this intuitive need to balance out the oil on our skin that actually does more harm than good; so too, when we replace cleansers and other beauty products with pure-grade, natural botanical oils that are actually nourishing to the skin – it will “trick” the skin into thinking that it is sufficiently replenished with proper oil distribution.
When balance is restored, those over-active sebaceous glands will normalize and halt its oil production which will, in turn, leave your skin more healthier and smoother.
Started by two sisters who were tired of using conventional products full of synthetic ingredients that aggravated their eczema-prone skin, this little indie company stands behind their findings that “less is more” when it comes to skin care. Their name is very suiting, because the packaging on all of their items – which range from body oils to eye serums, to cleansers, toners, and a line of mama & baby care, plus more – is just so Pretty. Not only do their products look beautiful on your bathroom counter, but they work better than those nasty mainstream brands. And the naturally-derived scents are ahhhhmazing; I’m obsessed with the intoxicating smell of the Cardamom & Magnolia Comfort Triple Use Oil (for bath, body & massage) and was actually really sad when I finished the bottle, in record time I might add since I was literally bathing myself in it!
The former Makeup Artist in me was so intrigued by this company, because it was founded by an Emmy nominated Makeup Artist who has worked in the film industry since 1989. So it’s no surprise that many professionals in the field are absolutely loving these high performance products that are best in class, organic, and safe. Their liquid foundation pretty much blew my mind, and now I HAVE to try the whole line of cosmetics (essential research for my blog, you guys!).
Ok, don’t hate me, but I have to tell you something that might devastate you: Lush is NOT all-natural. You know, that soap store that gives a lot of us an instant headache when you walk past it in the mall? A lot of people love this place and think they are buying safe, eco-friendly items, but this is pretty much a green-washed corporation with some “ok” products in the mix. Of course I wouldn’t tell you this to break your heart without providing you a better alternative to soothe the pain and fill the void: Sudsatorium offers a similar range BUT they actually are safe and all natural, vegan and organic, and are formulated without potentially harmful ingredients, synthetics, fake fragrances or preservatives. Plus they donate 5% of all sales to grassroots charities, are passionate about being environmentally friendly and reducing their carbon footprint, and buy from small-scale grower cooperative to promote fair trade. Aaaaaand they’re super active in their community and on social media so I already feel like we’re besties 🙂
From branding, to packaging, to selection, to performance and price point, this green beauty brand is hard to beat. Visually breathtaking in sustainable bamboo shells, the lipsticks are hands down my favourite out there. I also adore their Universal Creme (for lips, cheeks, and eyes) because I’m all about the multi-purpose products to keep my routine simple and quick. Everything is top quality and Makeup Artist approved. Plus, the ladies behind this company are so inspiring – just read this passage taken from their website and you’ll understand why I love this company so much:
At Elate cosmetics we want to empower all women to make healthy choices and use the best possible products for their daily ritual. Products that never compromise your lifestyle or our planet. Products that are cruelty and chemical free, vegan and organic. Affordable and sustainable. Products that support women in need, and are kind in every way possible. We believe in inspiring confidence through kindness. We delight in the simple pleasures of life. We make products you will love.
Elate cosmetics won’t compromise your skin, your lifestyle, or the earth. Beautiful colours. Skin loving ingredients. Sustainable packaging. Made in Canada, all natural and vegan.
My brother’s name is Harlow, so I spotted this line from a mile away while poking around Inglewood and it just happened to be a real green beauty champion. “Carefully curated whole ingredient blends – ethically sourced from all over the world, free from preservatives and other unnecessary additives – are meant to nourish, repair, and protect your skin leaving it smooth and hydrated.” Looks great, sounds great, I’m obviously a fan of the name, AND you can find their gorgeous products in local stores like The Livery Shop. Total win.
I randomly came across this gem and I’m so glad I did, because I was finally able to end my desperate search for a truly all-natural deodorant that actually works for me – a near impossible and frustrating task for most who try to make the switch! My little tip is to gradually phase out your conventional anti-perspirant and allow your body time to transition: you most likely will be stinky for a week or two but I promise that goes away once you find a good one and you will start to become less “wet” feeling too. Anyways, the husband and wife team behind Sola has experience in Chinese medicine and incorporate healing herbs into their formulas. Not only do I swear by their Coconut deodorant, but their Rose Hydrosol is also a staple item on my bathroom counter. Cleansing grains, face oil, and body butters are a few of the other products in their line up of small-batch, hand-crafted skincare items.
This is a little different, but this new company produces kits for you to make your own Body Butter or Lip Balm. They include everything you will need, even adorable labels you can personalize yourself, and easy instructions. I think this is such a fun, cute idea for a gift or a girls night! Plus it will get you on the DIY train once you realize how uncomplicated and simple your skincare products can be, while still being as – if not more – effective as conventional brands that are loaded with toxic ingredients.
- Clementine Fields: based in Toronto
- The Detox Market Canada: based in Toronto, with a physical location there too
- Eco Diva Beauty: based in Vancouver
- The Green Jungle Beauty Shop: based in Montreal
- Petal and Post: based in Toronto)
- Well.ca : a really big Canadian online Health, Beauty, and Baby store, with a focus on Green & Natural products. Speedy delivery and reasonable prices – but also lots of not so great and green-washed brands so just be aware!
If you have any questions, or suggestions to add to my list, drop me a comment or connect with me on my blog (www.coralhummingbird.com) or Instagram account (@coralhummingbird) anytime!