Have a Conflict-Free Spa Day, At Home
Summer in Canada often means humid days, warm nights and some pretty dramatic thunderstorms in between. This summer has been no exception. For those who have never traveled to the country, Canada may come across as this mysterious waste-land of snow, igloos and maple syrup; maybe with the odd moose or bear thrown in. Contrary to popular belief, however, when we’re not eating syrup, huddling together in our igloos or playing hockey, we’re tanning on the beach, eating ice cream or playing water sports, patiently awaiting winter so we can get back to riding moose everywhere (unfortunately, some stereotypes ring true). Surprisingly for some, Canadian summers can be brutally hot, turning most of us into tanned hippies with dry skin and dull complexions; tans fade, lips crack, and hair dries out. Heck, if I spend too much time in the sun this summer, my skin is guaranteed to go the way of the lizard and get drier than a Bounce Sheet.
Alas, not all of us can spend everyday at the spa and, even if we could, would we want to? North America doesn’t exactly boast a healthy count of eco-spas — though some are moving in the direction of going green — and being “green” doesn’t stipulate that all products and services offered will be environmentally or animal friendly. So, when it comes to treating myself, you can find me having my own conflict-free spa day right here at home. The following products all stem from ethical brands that anyone can use; I’ll definitely be soaking in the tub with a Woodlot candle:
1 | Woodlot Candles: Original Jar ($22)
What can I say? I’m a candle junkie. There’s nothing better than filling a space with delicious aromas and relaxing scents to help you unwind and destress. I’m not saying you have to huff a candle to unwind, but with these, you’ll definitely consider it. Woodlot Candles are made using organic coconut wax lovingly poured into recyclable glass jars. They’re perfect for any space because of their modern, minimalist design with a burn-time of forty hours. Why the Original Jar? This candle smells like a walk in the woods — literally — with notes of pine, maple, and sweet orange. I’m Canadian, so of course a candle like this appeals to my senses; but it’s also Woodlot’s best selling candle, loved by men and women alike. Did I mention these candles are also 100% palm-oil free and Canadian?
2 | Perk Naturals: Coffee First Body + Face Scrub ($18.23)
Another Canadian company, Perk Naturals offers 100% natural, vegan & palm-oil free scrubs and products that make you fall in love with your skin all over again. Coffee grounds — whether used on their own or mixed up as a scrub — are known for their natural benefits of increasing circulation and helping to reduce the look of cellulite; Perk’s Coffee First scrub does just that. It uses natural ingredients such as Jojoba oil, Fair Trade coffee, Almond oil & Dead Sea Salt to help tone, moisturize, hydrate & soothe your skin. So whether you’re soaking in the tub, jumping into a quick shower or just pampering yourself, you can use this body scrub to rid yourself of dead skin, acne, cellulite or simply for an overall glow. It’s also very affordable and can be taken with you anywhere.
3 | Captain Blankenship: Avocado & Peppermint Cuticle & Foot Balm ($24)
Save your weekly mani/pedi budget and buy this Balm instead. Chances are, the products used at the spa won’t even come close to the natural goodness found in each jar of Captain Blankenship’s Cuticle & Foot Balm. Filled to the brim with organic oils like Avocado and Peppermint, this Balm will soften & soothe the roughest of feet & hands; but who said Shea Butter & Rosehip oil were only great for our limbs? Rosehip oil is a popular anti-aging agent used in many high-end brands of skin care & can even be used to reduce scarring, whilst Shea Butter is ultra-nourishing and hydrating. Try using this Balm on hands, feet, dry knees & elbows - it may even be great for rough patches on the face. Captain Blakenship, as a brand, only uses natural, organic ingredients, so you know this stuff will be golden for any at-home spa day.
4 | Wabi-Sabi Botanicals: Sampajanna Rhassoul Clay Facial Mask ($15)
No one likes a dull complexion, whether you’re sunning yourself at the beach or skiing with friends on top of a mountain. But many a mask these days contain artificial ingredients, giving your skin a fake glow at the expense of animal testing. Conflict palm-oil, in the form of unregulated glycerin or propylene glycol, is also rampant amongst most of the jars and packets you'll find at the store. Wabi-Sabi Botanical’s Rhassoul Clay mask is a simple, natural alternative for having the glowing, bright complexion you’re always searching for. Made with three stellar ingredients - Moraccan rhassoul clay, organic raw cacao, and organic fair trade coffee - and ready to use in less than a minute. You can bring this mask with you anywhere and use it as a quick, easy & conflict-free way to liven up even the dullest of skin.
5 | Aquarian Soul: New Moon Lunar Body Oil ($30)
It’s not often you find a line of products made with gemstones and traditional herbal medicine. Aquarian Soul, created by Master Herbalist Ally Sands in 2013, combines gemstones and properties of herbal medicine to create 100% natural products good for healing not only the body, but the mind & soul also. The Lunar Body Oil, a four-ingredient oil versatile for both skin & hair, uses natural oils but also contains Black Mica — a mineral commonly found in metamorphic rocks — which has a plethora of health benefits. It is said to help eliminate calcification in the lungs & brain, remove plaque from teeth and has a tremendous healing & nourishing ability. You can use the Lunar Body Oil as an addition to a relaxing bath, in your hair to nourish dead ends, or as a body moisturizer. Why not get all the healing benefits of a product while getting healthier, nourished skin?