Health Canada regulates all cosmetics in Canada, as well as drugs, pesticides, natural health products, etc.) and each classification has their own list of requirements. First, let’s start by looking at how Health Canada defines a cosmetic:
"Any substance or mixture of substances manufactured, sold or represented for use in cleansing, improving or altering the complexion, skin, hair or teeth, and includes deodorants and perfumes." Cosmetics
Side note: A sunscreen is considered a natural health product and requires a product license. In order to obtain a product license, you must have a site license. In order to obtain a site license, you need to follow all the Good Manufacturing Practices. And sure, those practices sound like a good idea but it’s overkill for a small business like mine. However, I do follow as many as I can and keep working towards more! (This is why I will no longer be making my Sunny Day Lotion.).
Back to cosmetics….
All products meeting the cosmetic definition, no matter where they are from, MUST have a Cosmetic Notification Form (CNF) submitted to Health Canada. This form contains:
Submitting the form ensures that the ingredients used, and their proportions, are within acceptable guidelines. Health Canada reviews the CNF and follows up with any questions, but they never approve products. This process can take six months to a year!
Is it effective enough? Let’s look at what other countries are doing:
So, we fall somewhere in the middle which isn’t too bad, but there’s always room for improvement. I’m not one for mediocrity! Industry exerts a large amount of pressure and influences some decisions, not necessarily for our health or benefit. More on that another time…!
Additionally, cosmetics also have to follow the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act. I’m saving that for another day too but you can learn more here: Labelling Act.
If you’re shopping in another country, you might want to pay attention to the ingredient lists. And what about right here at home? Handmade markets are always offering cosmetics for sale, but the makers may not be aware of the requirements. If you’re concerned, ask the vendor if they’ve filed anything with Health Canada.
For more information see International Cosmetic Lists.
You’re running low on essential oils and start shopping for more, but what’s the deal with the range of prices? How do you know what you’re really getting?
Start by reading the label:
If you think something is shady, there is a test you can perform:
Now that you’re armed with knowledge, enjoy your shopping!
Healthy body products and a healthy lifestyle are important to me but I also try to consider the environment in everything I do. My products are made with organic coconut oil, shea butter, sunflower oil, aloe, tea tree, eucalyptus, cocoa and jojoba oil and Alberta beeswax. Although I minimize packaging, at least 79% of my packaging is recyclable. The paper bags I use for your purchases are made from 100% recycled paper and are reusable and recyclable. If I'm shipping your purchase, I reuse boxes and packing material that I receive from my supplier orders. I shred all the Kraft paper I get my hands on to cushion and fill gift boxes. And I even reuse my personal coffee grinds in my Coffee & Spice soap! There's still lots of room for improvement but its a start!
Essential oils have amazing properties and unlimited uses. Today I'm going to talk about seven ways you can use them - some might just surprise you!
Cause life should smell good!
Do you have another use for them? Tell us about your essential oil hacks!
Some people balk at the price of my natural deodorant. And I understand, it shocked me a bit too! But I'm not interested in making a cheap deodorant, I'm interested in one that is effective. Here's the short version of how I arrived there.
I research all the possible ingredients I can use, how they work and their benefits. I look at problems with other deodorants. I learned stories about deodorant stains, irritation such as armpit burns and deodorants that pulled out armpit hair! Ouch! I make a list of requirements my deodorant needs to meet and some added bonuses:
Did you notice that price is not in there?
I select a few different recipes and test them on myself. I test out arrowroot powder, bentonite clay, magnesium myristate and zinc oxide for their ability to prevent odour. I find that arrowroot powder leaves me a little stinky and eliminate the bentonite clay as it can cause irritation. The magnesium doesn't seem effective but wow, that zinc oxide! I keep improving the recipes and testing the scents, oils and butters for the best results. I spend a lot of time smelling my pits! I ensure it's moisturizing and use clary sage in one scent, which is known to help with sweating. Once I'm happy with it, I provide samples of my top two formulas to my testers to get their feedback. My testers confirm the zinc oxide sample was more effective (no odour for 8 hours or more!). As an extra bonus, you won't sunburn your pits! And then, and only then, do I calculate the price! And yes it shocked me a little but I confirmed its in line with similar products. I mean, I could make it cheaper by substituting other ingredients but why?
So if you find a cheaper one that works for you, that's great. Every body is different. If you can't find anything that works - please give mine a try!
For more information on natural deodorant and how to use it, see here.
Last weekend I tried a lotion bar, a face scrub and two face masks from Pinterest recipes. Based on how other recipes turned out, I was a little afraid! Here's what happened:
It was a rainy and snowy weekend so I decided to try out some body care recipes I had pinned on Pinterest. I wasn't very optimistic based on my previous experience but I thought I'd try out products I've never made before. I chose hairspray, a face mask and his and hers shaving creams. Here's what happened:
Come back next week when I try lotion bars, a face scrub and two more face masks!
Have you tried making something from Pinterest? Was it a tragic fail or super success?
This potentially incredible oil is generally unheard of here in North America but it's known as the "remedy for everything except death"! It has been used for over 2000 years and goes by many names including blackseed, black caraway, black sesame, fennel flower, black oil, Baraka, fitch, Kalonji, Love in a Mist and many others. Many of its suggested uses have not been proven scientifically or they haven't been tested on humans yet.
There are claims that this oil treats muscular aches and joint pain, tension, allergies, diabetes, asthma, Alzheimers, autism, glaucoma, dementia, apathy, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, obesity, hair loss, liver problems, eczema, headaches, high blood pressure, digestive disorders, arthritis, acne, psoriasis and dry skin. It's also said to be antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, immune boosting, anti-viral, pesticidal, anti-ulcer and antispasmodic. Wow, that's one hard working oil!
Even though its so potentially beneficial it should be avoided in people on blood clotting medication and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
I just received my bottle of oil today and am looking forward to seeing how I can incorporate it into my products!
For more information, check out the following links:
I remember going to my very first market, as a customer, many, many years ago. I was afraid to be too interested in a booth or talk to the vendor for fear of the hard sell. And those prices - yikes! I could get 4 of those for the same price at (gulp...) Walmart! Now I'm on the other side of that table and understand the time, costs and the quality that goes into those items and that most vendors aren't going to harass you. And I very, very rarely step into a Walmart anymore!
Based on my experience (and others I've heard about), I'm going to give you a sneak peek at what it's like to be on the vendor's side of the table. But before you even get a table you have to apply - sometimes 6-12 months in advance. I hate thinking about Christmas in July! If you're accepted you submit your payment and start plugging the event on social media. Sometimes you're asked to submit a prize or donation. You spend a week or more creating your inventory. You drive to your event an hour and a half early so you have time to set up. Then you wish you took that extra five minutes to stop for a coffee! You cart all your stuff in, find your booth and get to work with quick introductions to your neighbours. Then the show starts. You hope its gonna be good. At least good enough to cover your costs.
And rarely, you're stuck beside another vendor who is loud, obnoxious and almost aggressive, distracting customers while others avoid them and the booths on either side of them. But more often you meet vendors who go out of their way to give you a plug on social media or valuable tips and information on a variety of things. And sometimes this person is you.
The rest of it is mostly up and down. Sometimes, for whatever reason, it's a ghost town. Other times it can be packed with people who may or may not be spending. And sometimes it seems that today's the day that you're going to sell out. No two shows are alike and they are all unpredictable! You get to know your neighbours better as you check out their wares and cover each other's bathroom breaks. Sometimes your heart sinks as nobody seems interested in your booth. Then you notice those food vendors are always busy and wonder if you should have got into something else! You talk to a lot of people - mostly customers and vendors. Sometimes you are approached by other companies offering their products or services. And every once in a while someone stops by your table and tells you they absolutely LOVE one of your products. It makes you do a little happy dance!
It can be lonely. Sometimes you see someone you know and they avoid you. What? I just want to say hi to you, not sell you something! Then you get that one customer who buys more than you've sold in the past hour. I smile most often when watching people who have tried my lotion and they're walking away as they're rubbing it in. They smell their hands. And smile a dreamy smile! Then they stop and MAKE their friends smell their hands. I smile every time! Sometimes things happen that you'll never forget. My most heart-warming story happened at the Make It Show. Mom, grandma and grandson stop at my booth and spend a lot of time looking at my lip balm. Grandma comes over to pay for one and is ecstatic because she's so happy her grandson is willing to try the bubble gum flavour. This poor kid had red, dry, inflamed lips but had always refused to use lip balm. She was absolutely grateful and he walked away putting it on his lips. An hour later they were back. Grandma bought four more and told me how it was already making a difference for him. It's the ultimate feeling when you know you've helped someone!
The show ends and you start packing up. It seems to go a bit faster then setting up - hopefully there's less inventory! You say goodbye to the new friends you've made and cart your stuff out. You're tired but you're already thinking about your next show.
You know the feeling. That tingly, prickly sensation you get after applying a skincare product. Reminds me of the days of Sea Breeze! Many people assume that this reaction means that the product is working but that's not necessarily the case.
Products such as chemical exfoliators can tingle for a good reason. Chemical exfoliators may include Alpha Hydroxy Acids (lactic acid, glycolic acid) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (salicylic acid). These acids will usually cause a reaction when they absorb into your skin. These acids have a pH about 3-4 and your skin has a pH of about 5.5 (1 = very acidic, 7 = neutral, 14 = very alkaline) and this causes the skin to become temporarily unbalanced. Applying a lotion or face oil afterward will help rebalance your skin's pH.
Face masks containing menthol, peppermint or camphor can cause stinging. Avoid these if you have sensitive or dry skin.
Other ingredients that can cause tingling are alcohol, surfactants such as SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) and some preservatives. As well, your skin's barrier function may be weak which makes it susceptible to irritation and inflammation.
If the tingling is mild and doesn't last long then it's probably fine. If the tingling becomes stinging or burning, lasts a long time or causes redness or peeling, it's doing you more harm than good.
For more information see:
Loves living a healthy lifestyle and sharing what she learns along the way.