The Canadian Brands Taking Green Beauty to the Next Level

By | 2017-10-23T14:34:20+00:00 October 19th, 2017|The Beauty Edit|

Meet the women staying one step ahead in the sustainable beauty game.

Cardea AuSet natural beauty brand product line

If you’ve noticed that natural beauty is taking over your social media feeds and popping up on the bathroom counters of all your BFFs, it’s because here in Canada we are #blessed with an abundance of innovative, green brands. And we’re not talking about farmer’s market favourites. These brands are designed with purpose and carefully considered ingredient lists.

We spoke to five female founders about their visions, their decisions to go all-natural, and where they hope to be in five years. Wherever these industry leaders are going, our beauty routines are sure to follow.

Jennifer Brodeur, founder of Peoni
Jennifer Brodeur, Peoni

The Background: 
Brodeur is the CEO and founder of JB Skin Guru whose Peoni face oil was featured as one of Oprah’s favourite things last winter. That’s kind of a big deal.

The must-buy:
Peoni L’Extrait, $225 at jbskinguru.com.

Why did you start working with all-natural ingredients?
My desire to work with natural, clean ingredients began when I was diagnosed with celiac disease over 17 years ago. As I learned more about my autoimmune disease and its impacts on my life, I made an astonishing correlation between food, ingredients and the impacts on the skin.

How have things changed for your brand since launching? Can you explain the impact that Oprah has had on your brand?
I feel people finally started taking me more seriously. It’s been easier to knock on doors and people will not only open thembut offer you a coffee and even a piece of gluten-free cake. This is something that only Ms. Winfrey can achieve by giving her stamp of approval. It’s credibility that cannot be bought.

Do you have any products in your line that are favourites?
I love all four. If I had to choose: L’Extrait face oil and La Crème, as they are game changers!

Where do you see your line going in one year? And five years?
In a year, we will have two lines, and I hope both will be doing exceptionally well. That would enable me to work on my book. In 5 years, our flagship store will be thriving!

Chitra Desikan, founder of Subtle Green
Chitra Desikan, Subtle Green

The Background:
Desikan’s customizable potions have become go-tos for many Canadian beauty editors, who are nothing if not discerning.

The must-buy:
Subtle Green Pour l’amour du Champagne Hydration Mist, $34.99 at subtlegreen.com.

Why did you start working with all-natural ingredients?
I learned over time and through experience with my own skin that natural ingredients (organic, plant-based, non-GMO) are healthier and safer than [those found in] mainstream skincare. I recall having sallow, lacklustre skin, even though I was using my favourite prestige brand. A visit to a spa in Marina Del Rey, California introduced me to natural skincare. While it was a very basic product, it improved my skin within weeks. My interest grew so much, I committed time to earn an advanced diploma in Organic Formulation, started my brand, and never looked back.

Why is customizing ingredients and products for each customer an important part of your ethos?
Personalization and individuality are core attributes of our society and our being. We are not all alike, and a specific set of things does not work for everyone. There isn’t one ingredient, however popular and trendy, that makes everyone’s skin glow. Customization is our solution to empower people to pick and choose, to create memorable experiences and to enjoy fragrances or textures that they fancy while creating a product that suits their individual skin needs.

Where do you see your line going in one year? And five years?
In one year, we will have customizable face masks and a new body butter with some more interesting toning mists. In five years, I would like to have a boutique with an onsite lab in Toronto and San Diego, where our customers can customize products on the spot.

Bhavna Kashyap founder of The Innate Life scalp care line
Bhavna Kashyap, The Innate Life

The Background:
An all-natural hair line that really delivers.

The must-buy:
The Innate Life Rose Hair Elixir, $18.81 at theinnatelife.co.

Why did you start working with all-natural ingredients?
In 2015, through my years of dealing with acne and other health issues, I began experimenting with natural ways of healing and discovered how effective natural ingredients can be. A year later, I applied what I had learned in creating The Scalp Treatment, and The Innate Life was born.

Why did you decide to focus on hair care?
While experimenting with natural ingredients, I wasn’t trying to start a business or create a product to sell. I was trying to solve my own scalp issues, which included dandruff and an irritated scalp. When over-the-counter products and prescription topical treatments failed, I turned to natural ingredients such as herbs and oils, which helped with zero side effects. After solving my own problems, I decided to create a brand to reintroduce the effective healing powers of herbs and oils people have been using for centuries. Also, growing up in India, I experienced women performing beauty rituals such as scalp massages with beautiful blends of oils every week. I wanted to bring that experience of scalp massages to the North American market.

Do you have any products in your line that are your favourites?
Our very first product, Scalp Treatment, is my favourite. It’s a great representation of how natural The Innate Life is. It contains a blend of over 10 herbs, and you can tell how pure it is by its texture and scent.

Where do you see your line going in one year? And five years?
In one year, I hope to expand the brand into personal-care products, which we already started with the launch of The Innate Life Box on Indiegogo. In five years, I hope to expand our international and retail reach, as well as expand The Innate Life brand into a makeup line and beyond.

Founders of Cardea AuSet
Jennifer Bonato and Taylor Williams, Cardea AuSet

The Background:
The freshly launched lifestyle brand, which utilizes the powers of rose and more, is about a beautiful mindset, not just skincare.

The must-buy:
Cardea AuSet Calm Essential Oil Mists, $34 each at cardeaauset.com.

Why did you start working with all-natural ingredients?
JB: Working with natural, plant-based and GMO-free ingredients is something that aligned with both of our ethical values in terms of products that we would feel comfortable creating and selling. We’re both conscious of what goes into the products that we consume, so there isn’t a hard why, because this is the only way we would have it — we don’t believe that there’s an alternative.

Do you have any products in your line that are your favourites?
JB: It is hard to choose a favourite. I use Activate as a body spray in the morning because I think it helps to wake me up, and Rosa on my face in the morning and at night.

TW: Yes, it is so hard to choose a favourite! But if I had to it would be Rosa, simply because I find myself picking it up every time I walk past it.

Bonus! We’re giving you a chance to win a gift bag containing Cardea AuSet’s essential oil mists in Calm and Activate and a bundle of Palo Santo for you and a friend! To enter, complete the steps below by October 31, 2017:
1. If you aren’t already, Follow both Editors Inc. and Cardea Auset on Instagram
2. Like Editors Inc.’s contest post on either Instagram or Facebook and tag your beauty-junkie BFF

Contest Rules