It's that time of year again and we all know what the Canadian winter can do to your skin, hair, and even mood - especially if you live in Vancouver, like I do, and have to deal with endless grey skies and rainy days for weeks...... and sometimes even months.
I've rounded up some of my favourite clean, non-toxic beauty and wellness products that have not only changed my skin but also have had an impact on my mood and overall wellbeing as well. Because as we all know - when you can feel confident about your skin and makeup, and take a little time to yourself to enjoy the beauty and fragrances that you love, you can shift your mood and perspective to one of happiness, acceptance, and self-love - even on the darkest days.
All of the below skincare and makeup products are cruelty-free, non-toxic, and carefully curated using only natural and quality ingredients to make you feel beautiful - inside and out. Don't be fooled into thinking that Natural does not mean effective - all of the brands mentioned create effective and high-performance products using plant based ingredients that pack a punch!
Skin Hydration is one of our biggest concerns as the cold sets in and wreaks havoc on our skin. Using a cleanser that does not strip your skin of hydration and natural oils, and is soothing on tired winter skin, is essential (particularly for my combination skin). Personally I'm a big fan of double cleansing in the evening with a soothing oil or rich cream based cleanser. I find that with many gentler cleansers the first cleanse removes the makeup and the second is needed to purify the skin.
My new favourite is the AKAR SKIN BALANCE SOOTHE CLEANSER. It's a rich satin-like cream that leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated and washes off completely without leaving behind oily residue. Organic plant nutrients nourish, while pumpkin and cranberry enzymes exfoliate dead cells on skin’s top-most layer, making way for brighter complexion. And the bonus - it smells amazing!
One thing to remember is that Oils do not provide hydration to the skin - they act as a sealant to lock in hydration and protect it from the elements. So make sure you're giving your skin the hydration it needs before you apply your facial oil or cream.
The BIOEFFECT EGF ESSENCE is hands down my favourite facial essence as it's light but leaves skin soft, hydrated and healthy-looking. It replenishes the skin and also perfectly prepares it for any BIOEFFECT serum or moisturizer to follow and enhances its EGF efficacy. There are days when I'm running around with my 2 kids and forget to apply a moisturizer and I still find my skin feels soft and hydrated at the end of my day with just this Essence alone.
Another amazing product for adding extra hydration and moisture to the skin is a hydrating mask. The KNESKO SKIN ROSE QUARTZ ANTIOXIDANT COLLAGEN FACE MASK definitely does the job and feels luxurious on the skin as well. Infused with Reiki energy and the healing power of Rose Quartz Crystals this mask will repair, hydrate, and calm your skin while helping you open your heart Chakra for self-love. The leftover serum can be massaged into the skin with your hands or a dermal roller after treatment and to be honest - the pearly pink colour of the mask and luxe packaging just makes me smile....
One of the easiest things to make myself feel good at the beginning of the day is to apply make-up in the morning. The take-away from this is not that I need to put a mask on to feel beautiful, but that taking a little time to myself in the morning is essential for my wellbeing. And, as I just happen to love beauty products, the ritual of applying makeup makes me feel good!
This particular Blush by Antonym Cosmetics is my current go to: THE ANTONYM COSMETICS ORGANIC BAKED HIGHLIGHTING BLUSH LILY is a two-in-one to die for - and I love multitasking products! This luminous antique rose baked highlighting blush gives your cheeks a sweep of gorgeous colour, while highlighting and sculpting your cheekbones, and is Eco-Cert Certified Organic and Natural. It gives my skin a perfect flush of colour that shimmers without the sparkle and lasts all day long. The addition of plant-derived SQALANE oil - an exceptional oil that helps support skin hydration and can help prevent the ongoing loss of hydration which impairs dermal suppleness. The fact that it comes in a natural bamboo case that you can basically plant in your garden so it can de-compose is a definite bonus!
And of course.... let's not forget that exfoliation is key for stripping dead skin cells and dry winter patches and MIFA's OATMEAL SHEA OLIVE OIL SOAP BAR does not disappoint! This 100% natural Olive Oil based soap bar is effectively paired with oatmeal and shea, making this soap ideal for anyone suffering from dry, flaky, eczema prone skin. It essentially acts like a loofa and helps remove dead skin cells, while leaving your skin feeling soothed and moisturized all day long. It's also made with organic ingredients, vitamine E, and is unscented so if you have sensitive skin it'll become your new go-to!
Following any exfoliating treatment it's so important to apply a moisturizing treatment on the skin. The best time to do this is right after you get out of the bath or shower and while your skin is still a little damp - as this locks the moisture in. My go-to is the SANGRE DE FRUTA BOTANICAL BODY SERUM JASMINE DE NUIT. Sangre de Fruta's serums are formulated using the most precious oils and botanicals and the scents are finely curated by the brands Founder Allison Weldon in her studio on Bowen Island - which definitely deserves a visit if you're visiting Artisan Lane on your next trip over to the Island! This serum is oil based and feels luxurious and smooth on the skin but does not sit on the surface too long - so it can be used in the morning without any worries that it'll stain your clothes. And the scent is just soooo precious!
If you have a more persistent skin condition than dry flaky skin, like I do, then SATYA's ORGANIC ECZEMA RELIEF may also become your best friend through the Canadian winter months. This magical balm helps to relieve inflammation, itching and irritation, while retaining moisture and reducing flaking. It also helps to restore suppleness to dry and damaged skin - and it really works! And the best part is that it comes in a pocket or purse travel size as well so you can take it easily wherever you go - and it's safe to use on your babies sensitive skin.
The RARE EL'EMENTS ESSENTIAL CONDITIONER DAILY MASQUE is an effectively luxurious and natural way to soothe and protect those strands - as they feel the effects of the cold too!
Free from silicone enhancers and harsh or harmful chemicals, and full of soothing properties found in moisture drenching rain-forest butters, the pure botanicals & nourishing nut oils in this mask will help seal in moisture and reverse the signs of damage on your winter locks.
Try this trick as mentioned by Bahar Niramwalla - BEAUTY EXPERT on Cityline: Apply your conditioning mask to your strands on freshly washed and towel-dried hair at bedtime and cover with one of LOUVELLE'S DAHLIA or AMELIE SHOWER CAPS - and leave on overnight to help seal in the moisture! The caps will protect your bedding as they have a nylon liner - and keep your strands and conditioner warm through the night for optimal penetration.
Shorter days mean less time spent in the sunshine of course - and less time spent in the sunshine. If you live in Vancouver like I do and sometimes the rain doesn't stop for weeks then the WELL TOLD HEALTH BOTANICALS VITAMIN-D is a daily essential for both optimal health and mood. And remember - how we treat our bodies on the inside eventually shows on the outside....
“Your skin is the fingerprint of what is going on inside your body, and all skin conditions, from psoriasis to acne to aging, are the manifestations of your body's internal needs, including its nutritional needs. "
Dr. Georgiana Donadio
This plant based sunshine-in-a-bottle is made with nothing but 100% ORGANIC PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS that are specially grown and exposed to the sun to create vitamin D, ORGANIC QUINOA which is high in magnesium and helps vitamin D absorption, and ORGANIC SPINACH - an antioxidant powerhouse that helps with vitamin D absorption. Truly a Canadian winter essential....
Practicing self-care is a ritual that I oftentimes don't set aside enough time for - being a busy mom of 2 and a business owner. But, I also realize that it's important for me to MAKE the time by carving out moments for myself to indulge in little luxuries that make me feel calm and special - like taking hot bubbly baths while applying a face mask and reading a good novel before bed, or taking a few minutes to apply my and makeup in the morning.
And when I do - filling my space with beautiful and sensual objects helps me to relax and sets my mood. This looks different for everyone of course but I like to set the mood with little luxuries to make myself feel special and take the winter blues away..... in my next BLOG I will be sharing a few of the objects that I love with you - and I hope you will love them as well.
WITH LOVE AND GRATITUDE,
All of the above can be found purchased Online at Shop Kalosophie and select specialty retailers in Canada and worldwide. Please contact us to find out where you may find these bespoke anti-aging powerhouses in your neighbourhood!