As you know I’ve been working on my Green Beauty section of the blog. I recently came to the decision that if I want to continue on this healing journey and see more benefits I need to be conscious of what I put on my body as much as I’m conscious of what I put in it. Our skin is so amazing and incredible but we always to try cover it up, slather it in perfumed scents, block and clog it with hundreds of creams, lotions, potions and makeup. I’ve finally convinced myself that I’ve had enough. I want a clean body, inside and out, so I have to be conscious of everything I eat and use. This may seem like an extreme viewpoint or may seem daunting to those who don’t like change but think about this: Our skin absorbs at least 80% of what we put on it. Do you know what you’re absorbing?
With this in mind I started looking for companies that offer natural, organic and clean products for me to use. Imagine my surprise when I came across so many companies and websites that offer natural and healthy products. Of course, not all of them are 100% natural, so you should do your research but for those of you who order online or are in Toronto I’ve found some great brands and companies that I’m going to be featuring over the next little while in my series: Green Beauty Influencers. I’ll be interviewing the owners of green beauty companies who are influencing the market and the way we take care of our skin.
My first feature is one of my favourites: Cara from Cara’s All Natural Products. I found this lovely lady online and fell in love with her products. She is passionate about natural beauty and creating organic natural and luxury beauty items. She uses all natural products like coconut oil and mango butter and everything is scented with the finest most pure essential oils. I am currently sampling her lineup and can’t wait to post my follow-up review (spoiler: I love love love it, and my skin has never been happier!). I am over the moon excited to introduce you guys to Cara and share with you how she started Cara’s All Natural Products and why she’s so passionate about it.
Q: Can you share briefly about how you started Cara’s All Natural Products?
A: A couple of years ago, after learning I had a gluten allergy, I became very concerned with both what I was putting in and on my body. As my passion for the subject grew, I started researching how to make all natural products, originally, just for me. Before long, I formulated a hand cream and started experimenting with blending essential oils. One day, when a friend was over, she tried the cream. She loved it so much I gave her the jar. When she shared it at work, everyone, including her boss, wanted to know how to buy it. That was the beginning. In just two months, I had over 40 orders for my cream, all through word of mouth. Soon I was making more and more batches of cream, and thought maybe I should start looking into selling it. My friend Barbara designed a label as I researched Canadian wholesalers for both packaging and ingredients. Shortly after, I developed a lip balm line with the help of my friend Rhonwen. Now I have 16 products and continue to grow and explore new ideas every day. It has been an exciting and rewarding journey.
Q: You offer an amazing selection of products including body butter, scrubs, lip balm and baby products, can you share with us how you came to include all these products in your line up?
A: Although my first products were created for my own personal use, the variety I have now is in response to the needs of those who were part of my life. A year ago, everyone I knew seemed to be pregnant. They asked me if I had any products for stretch marks or diaper cream. So, I said, “give me nine months, and I will!” I developed Tender Touch, made with a gentle blend of lavender, chamomile, and organic virgin coconut oil. It naturally soothes itchiness and dryness on contact, and is microbial.
I was inspired to make the Body Butter after meeting the opera singer, Measha Brueggergosman when I was in Montreal last year. My husband was on stage with her for the final performance of Porgy and Bess. He introduced her to my lip balms, which I provided as gifts to the cast. She loved them and asked to meet me at the cast party. When we talked, she asked me to bring her a selection of my products when she was next in Toronto, which was two weeks later. She enjoyed the products so much that I developed one just for her. Measha’s Body Butter is one of my most popular products. It’s a smooth, luxurious body butter made with mango butter and coconut oil. It incorporates Measha’s favourite scents, which I call “Exotica” — a blend of essential oils of sandalwood, cedarwood, and patchouli with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon.
Q: You use a lot of Rosehip and sandalwood in your products, can you briefly explain the benefits of each and why you choose to use these essential oils?
A: Rosehip is extremely high in essential fatty acids, which promote collagen and elastin levels in the skin. It also assists with cell regeneration. Rosehip is highly effective at relieving dry skin, which can be a benefit for skin at any age.
In addition to having a beautiful scent, Sandalwood is multi-functional and rich in properties that are beneficial to your skin. It is said to be anti-inflammatory and a natural, calming agent. Sandalwood is also known to heal scar tissue and acne, and is wonderful for dry, chapped, or oily skin. As a versatile essential oil, it can be used for all skin types, even sensitive skin.
Q: On your site you highlight that your products are all natural, could you share your reasoning for not using toxic ingredients and highlight why these chemicals are so bad for our bodies and skin?
A: A healthy body starts from the inside out. So when I choose ingredients for my products, I ensure that they are free of parabens, petroleum, and sodium laureth sulfate, artificial fragrance, and colour. For many reasons, these ingredients not only can strip your skin of moisture, they may also cause irritation and other medical conditions.
Q: What is your most popular product?
The Dry Face Wash is made of colloidal oatmeal and sandalwood powder. Although it deep-cleans pores, it is non-abrasive and works to soothe skin and restore its natural beauty. It’s so gently it can be used twice a day.
The Hand Cream started it all, and to this day, it is still one of my best sellers. It also makes a luxurious face cream. It’s smooth and highly effective at relieving everyday dry skin, especially during the winter months.
Here’s what people are saying about the Ultra Rich Hand Cream:
“I have always had a really hard time finding products that do not cause a reaction to my super-sensitive skin. I was paying crazy prices for products that only sort of worked. Enter the ultra-rich hand cream in Lavender Rose and the Dry Face Wash…now I have a happy face!!!” Karen S. Toronto ON
“ I’ve been using Cara’s all natural Ultra Rich Orange Blossom Hand Cream, and it is the best hand cream I’ve ever used. I’m a hearing professional who works up close with people’s ears and hearing instruments, and frequent hand-washing is absolutely essential….I’ve tried over the years many different types of hand lotion/hand cream, and Cara’s Ultra Rich Hand Cream in Orange Blossom is by far the best product of everything that I’ve tried.” Brian W. Fergus ON
“The Ultra Rich Hand Cream lives on my bedside table- it’s my favourite rich and luscious moisturizer! I’m a lavender freak, so the Lavender Rose fragrance brightens my day every time I use the cream!” Nina S.S. , Lunenburg NS
Here’s what people are saying about the Sandalwood Luxury Dry Face Wash:
“ I used the Dry Face Wash to help me with my acne… it has cleared up quite a bit since I started using the product, and I like the wood smell it has.”Jorgen N, Toronto ON (quote from Cara’s All Natural Facebook Page)
“I’ve had a difficult time finding a face wash that was gentle enough for my skin, yet left it feeling clean and refreshed. Cara’s Dry Face Wash has this problem solved! It leaves my skin feeling clean, soft and calms any irritations it might have. Emily E, Miramichi NB
Q: Can you share with us what you carry in your beauty bag?
A: These skin care items are always in my purse:
- Chocolate Macaroon Lip Balm. Winter or summer it is always there!
- Ultra Rich Hand Cream. My favourite is Orange Blossom. This can be used on my face as well and even as a gentle make-up remover.
- A small jar of Sandalwood Luxury Dry Face Wash. I use this especially when I travel. Mini sizes will soon be available on my website.
- Measha’s Body Butter: Whether I slather it all over my body after a shower or give myself a overnight foot treatment, this product is so versatile it can even be used as a hand moisturizer.
For Makeup, I’m pretty low key during the week. When I do put it on, I like to keep it simple and easy. Here are my favourite choices:
- Marie Nattie’s Mineral Foundation Compact in Ivory. Lisa Noto’s organic line of cosmetics. I use her Mesmerized Mascara in Black; Mineral Eye Shadow in Salmon; and Forever Pink Lip Gloss.
Q: Do you carry this natural and organic lifestyle into the rest of your life? (i.e. diet)?
A: Yes. Ever since I learned of my gluten allergy, my slight intolerance to dairy, and my underactive thyroid, I have become much more mindful of what I put into my body. I try to buy organic produce as much as I can, especially when it is in season. The four items I will not compromise on and I always buy organic/free range are poultry, red meat, eggs and dairy.
Thank you so much Cara for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share this interview with me and my readers!
Cara will be at the Toronto One of a Kind Show starting Today until Sunday March 29, 2015. If you have a chance check out the show and stop by her booth!