A Canadian Sunscreen Company

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This year has certainly been a sunscreen kind of summer! The one thing I have always disliked about sunscreen is the feeling of pure grease that lingers on my skin…it definitely doesn’t do my pores any favours.

I’ve come across a few really good brands that don’t feel greasy and don’t make me feel like I need to scrub my face before I breakout, but I’ve never been a fan of the quality of ingredients in them.

A couple months ago I was on one of my favourite beauty blogger’s websites (Beauty Editor) and thought I’d see what her go-to sunscreen was. She recommended CyberDERM. I read up on the company and not only was intrigued by the fact that there isn’t any gluten in their products and that their ingredients are pure, but that they are a Canadian company founded by Canadian physicians, Denis Dudley and Sharyn Laughlin. CyberDERM categorizes themselves as a ‘new’ school of sunscreen formulas, created with handpicked, unique ingredients that are beneficial to the skin – whether it has anti-aging properties or is therapeutic in healing the skin.

The three products I’ve been reviewing are H2O Hydration, Every Morning Sun Whip and Simply Zinc Sun Whip.

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H2O Hydration – $60

H2O Hydration is a great morning cream (that doesn’t actually contain sunscreen) for when you aren’t going to be outside a whole lot. I like to use this for days that I’m at work…sitting in my office. It’s very light, easy to blend and feels fresh. I also find that it’s a really good base before I apply my makeup.

This moisturizer is olive-based, which apparently mimics the skin’s barrier in order to allow for the active ingredients to penetrate the skin. The three active ingredients in the H2O Hydration are: ‘tetrapeptides’, which increase the production of collagen and elastin (important components in keeping our skin plump); ‘ectoins’, which is a natural substance that stimulates the skin’s own defense mechanisms in fighting off UV stressors and lastly reservatrol, an A+ antioxidant that rids free radicals to prevent oxidative damage.

Every Morning Sun Whip – SPF 25 ($38)

Every Morning Sun Whip has the same consistency as H2O Hydration and feels just as light. It has a matte finish, but I do find that to the touch it has the slightest bit of sunscreen feeling (it also acts as a good base before applying makeup). I like to put this all over my face and use the Simply Zinc Sun Whip for more sensitive spots (like my nose and around my hair line). This Sun Whip has 15% zinc, which makes it calming and gentle to the face. It’s also great for those with combination, oily or acneic skin. Definitely a keeper!

Simply Zinc Sun Whip – SPF 30 ($38)

Simply Zinc Sun Whip is full of zinc…a whopping 22%! Like the description on the website says, it does absorb nicely – considering the amount of zinc it contains – but I find it to have a glue-like consistency. I did not like the feeling of it on my whole face. Like I mentioned above, I like to put this on my nose and around my hairline, as it protects very well. I also found this to be a great day-time spot treatment. Pesky zits do not like zinc! I found that a little dab here and there reduced redness and helped erase them quickly.

Overall I am very impressed with this company. The ingredients are high quality, the product is packaged nicely and I love that it’s Canadian made – a huge plus! These have definitely been staples in my morning regime.

Where to buy? Online or at a few spas around the country (check out their store locator here).

 

*Disclaimer: I was provided with all three products for editorial consideration and review. My opinion isn’t compensated. 

A Simple Vision, A ‘Pure + simple’ Brand

When a brand claims that it’s pure and/or natural, I wish to believe that they are telling the truth. When a brand’s name states a claim, I want to trust that the ingredient list reflects the name. Sometimes company’s will state that their product is pure or natural, when really there are only a couple of ingredients in their list that are. Pure + simple, a Canadian skincare line and holistic, Ayurvedic spa, delivers the promise that their name on the bottle states. 
Within the past year, I have become more aware of ingredients in beauty and skincare products. I am very conscious and aware of what I put in my body, but I haven’t always been mindful of what I put on my body. It’s crazy to think of all the chemicals and harsh ingredients that are in everyday beauty products that may not be causing visible damage externally, but could potentially cause harm internally in the long run. Our skin soaks up everything we put on it!  
When I discovered Pure + simple online, I did my research and read into their ingredients to determine if they were actually ‘pure’ and ‘simple’. True to their name, all ingredients were simple to understand and extremely pure. They also are natural and some ingredients are even organic. I read several reviews to gauge what other Pure + simple users were saying about the product and the majority of reviews were very positive. I was excited to try the brand. 
They say it takes a couple of weeks to a few months to see any drastic changes in skin when beginning a new skincare regime or using a new product, so I took that to heart when starting the line of Pure + simple skincare products. 
The products I reviewed are all gluten free, vegan and nut free (except for the Pure Skin Face Oil, which contains nuts). 
I really love this mask. It’s cooling, calming and my face feels very refreshed when I wash it off. Sometimes I find that a mask will leave my face feeling stripped and tight, but this does the opposite. My skin feels nourished. I actually have it on while I’m writing this post! The mask is suitable for all skin types and is best known for its hydrating and calming properties. When I first got the mask, I was using it once a week, now I only use it a couple times a month. It has lasted quite a while and you don’t need too much to cover your face. It’s a gel consistency and smells like cucumber and aloe. The bottle indicates to keep it on for 15-20 minutes, but sometimes I will get wrapped up with what I’m doing and will leave it for 45 minutes. I would recommend this mask to anyone, but particularly those with breakouts who want a bit of relief. It doesn’t magically cure your breakout after 20 minutes, but it does help in calming inflamed skin. 

The one thing that frustrates me with skincare products are moisturizers. I find that moisturizers will either be too oily, or not oily enough and leave my skin feeling dull and dry (something that a moisturizer should not do!). I am so excited to say that the Pure + simple Skin Softening Moisture Lotion is the best face lotion I have ever used. It is lightweight, without being too light and not doing the job. My skin doesn’t feel oily after I apply it and it soaks into my skin nicely, allowing me to apply makeup without having my face feeling heavy. The aroma is very lovely, with an underlying rose scent, while not being overpowering. Before I was using this lotion, I had tried another all-natural lotion that unfortunately clogged my pores and didn’t do anything for my skin. I began to wonder if ‘all-natural’ actually had any benefits in healing skin. Fortunately it does and I have to say that since using this lotion, my skin has become more clear and soft. The bottle has lasted me about four months, and I use two pumps twice a day. I will definitely be getting another bottle once this one runs out.
I’m not going to lie…I was a little nervous using this at first because I thought that it would add extra moisture that my face didn’t need. After my aesthetician told me I should start using it prior to applying moisturizer, I did and I am very happy with the results. I’ve been using it for three weeks now and I can confidently say that I have seen an improvement in my skin tone. My skin is beginning to look more even and it feels more hydrated. The Pria Cocos Extract in the ingredients is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and skin sensitivity. I can vouch for that – it has made a huge difference in my sensitive skin. I apply one pump after cleansing my skin and once it’s soaked in I apply the Skin Softening Moisture Lotion. 
This mighty bottle of pure oils can be another addition to your skincare regime. I don’t apply it to my face due to the fact that I find the three-step regime I’m doing now works well for my sensitive skin and I’d rather not add in a fourth product to disrupt any of the improvements that have been happening so far. I have been using it as an overnight hand moisturizer though and my hands have never felt more soft! The oil is supposed to be great for helping to reduce breakouts and congestion and contains ingredients that help balance the skin’s own oil production. I’m planning on introducing it in a couple of months after I see how well the serum has worked. 
Everyone’s skin is very different, so these four products I tried may not work for your skin. There are, however, several products that Pure + simple has for a variety of different skin types and conditions. The price of the products is high, but a little goes a long way and the quality reflects the price. I would highly recommend checking out their site, or taking a trip to one of their stores in Toronto. They also offer a variety of spa services…their ‘Urban Renewal Facial’ is on my list of things to-do! 
Have you tried any products from Pure + simple? I would love to hear what you think – add any reviews in the comment section below!

Natural, Organic Personal Care with Dawn

When we think of personal care products, such as creams, makeup and nail polish, we often don’t think of the toxins that we are applying to our bodies. When I sat down with Dawn Canning a little while back, I heard about her perspective on green beauty products and learned about her online ‘Worry Free Dispensary’, Sessabel. Dawn Canning is extremely knowledgable when it comes to environmental chemicals, as she graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science from UofT. Dawn writes a blog of her own, ‘Dawn Canning‘, where she gives a mom’s perspective on reducing common household toxins.

My main reason for meeting with Dawn was to discuss a gluten free, safe ingredient based nail polish that I had stumbled across online, Keeki Pure & Simple. She carries this product on her online store and is a fantastic representative for it. For those who are extremely sensitive to gluten, such as those who have Celiac disease, any product containing gluten that they may be in contact with could pose a potential threat to their health. Anything we put on our skin (including our nails) gets absorbed into our bodies.

The founder and owner of Keeki Pure & Simple is a mother of two, Natalie Bauss who had the mission to create wholesome products, free of chemicals and full of nourishing ingredients. The neat thing about Keeki Pure & Simple is that they are 100% tested and gluten free approved. Not only are the products gluten free, they are also cruelty-free, soy free, acetone free and free of harmful chemicals found in mainstream nail polishes (such as formaldehyde – yuk!).

The line of products includes nail polish, nail polish remover, cuticle rejuvenator, lip balm, body lotion and sunscreen. The products are targeted more towards younger girls and teens, as the line includes fun bright nail colours, fruity smelling creams and subtle sparkly lip balms. There is a large array of nail polish colours though, so they really can be enjoyed by any age…we are all kids at heart anyway!

I love how Keeki Pure & Simple brands their product; it’s fun, colourful, creative and just looking at it you wouldn’t think it was wholesome and healthy. I really like the names of the nail polish and lip balm, such as Flirty, Sophisticated and Sassy for the Shimmer Sticks, and names such as Grasshopper Pie, Graham Cracker and Raspberry Sorbet for the nail polishes.

I tried two different Keeki nail colours, a light pink and a bright purple.


I found the consistency of the polishes to be different, the purple went on easier than the pink did – the pink was a bit streaky going on. I should factor in the fact that perhaps the two colours were bottled on different dates…maybe the pink was a bit older.  I also love, love, love how the nail polish remover is natural and free of toxic chemicals. I always find it so terrible using harsh chemical laden remover. I don’t think something that smells so terrible should be applied to the skin. The only down side about this remover is that it doesn’t seem to get the job done with other nail polishes (such as OPI, Essie, etc). I think if you’re going to go the natural route with a nail polish remover, you should have the natural polish on.

The Nail Polish Remover is a corn-alcohol base, made with aloe vera and vitamin E to protect and condition the nails and cuticles. Keeki also claims that it smells like coconut, however I thought it just smelt like rubbing alcohol.

The lip products are nice. The Shimmer Sticks have a subtle ‘shimmery’ touch to them and they go on nice and smooth. The only downside to these lip products is that I find the taste to be very bitter if you accidentally lip your licks. The upside to that though is they are organic, natural and gluten free – a bonus for sensitive gluten allergies. It can be hard to find a 100% tested & dedicated gluten free lip product, so I would highly recommend these. They also are very reasonably priced (as is the nail polish). $5.99-$6.99 for lip products and $9.99 for the nail polish.

After Dawn and I discussed Keeki Pure & Simple, she showed me a a company called Dr. Robin for Kids. Although I don’t have children I thought this product sounded excellent. It was developed by Dr. Robin Scaffran, a M.D certified Dermatologist specializing in children’s skin. Dr. Robin was born and raised in Toronto, studied at McGill and UofT, interned at Harvard’s Medical School and finished her residency in Dermatology at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. She now lives in LA and practices in Beverly Hills. Not only do I think this product is amazing, but it’s also pretty cool that it was developed by a Canadian.

Dr. Robin created her line of skin care products for children, because she found that many of the children sunscreens and lotions were the same formula for adults, only camouflaged in kid-friendly packaging. Dr. Robin for Kids is free of parabens, fragrance, phthalates, nanotechnology, unnecessary preservatives, extracts or additives. It doesn’t leave any stick residue and contains green tea which helps with sun protection and oat & quinoa proteins for hydration

The reason I was drawn to this product wasn’t the elegant, kid-friendly bottle with the cute little bird on it (although it is cute), it was the fact that the product was something so good for your skin, safe for babies and children, gluten free (bonus!), vegan, without chemicals, parabens or fragrance and formulated to minimize allergic reactions. If it’s good enough for babies, then it’s good enough for any age.

If people are buying this line of products for their sensitive-skinned children, why wouldn’t I just do the same and buy it for my 20-something sensitive skin? It just made sense to me and after 3.5 months of using it day after day, I have to say my skin has never felt softer. I also haven’t experienced any itching that I used to get on my legs.

Dr. Robin for Kids also has a sunscreen and body lotion + shampoo. I haven’t tried those products yet, but I know I will continue to purchase the Moisture Cream. It’s just perfect.

I think it’s very important to feed your skin with the same respect you would feed your body. Why would I slather gluten filled cream all over my skin if I can’t eat anything gluten. It doesn’t make much sense, does it?

I think I’ve ranted enough about the fact that allergen free skin care is important if you suffer from specific allergies. Treat your skin with love, just like you would your tummy!

I loved meeting and chatting with Dawn, it was a great morning full of information and I recommend you visit her blog (dawncanning.com) and online dispensary (sessabeldispensary.com) – she has some pretty cool products!

You may also want to check out EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. You can search pretty much any product and it will tell you the rating, what chemicals it has and how good or bad it is for your skin.