WHERE ARE YOUR PRODUCTS MADE?
All products are formulated, handcrafted, packaged, and labelled in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
ARE YOUR PRODUCTS TESTED ON ANIMALS?
No! Products are only tested on willing human participants. This is just one of the benefits of choosing 100% natural skin care products made with whole, recognizable ingredients that have a long history of use.
Ok – full disclosure – sometimes my partner is less than willing to be slathered with my latest concoction followed by dozens of rapid-fire questions about aroma, texture, consistency, effectiveness, etc. But once convinced, he fares just fine, and usually ends up asking for “that stuff you made me try” when the need arises 🙂
DO YOUR PRODUCTS CONTAIN PRESERVATIVES?
In order to avoid nasty preservatives, all products are formulated with stable ingredients that work synergistically to keep the formula fresh. Products that contain only butters and oils do not require a preservative. For most products containing aloe vera and natural plant hydrosols (floral waters), I add one or two natural ingredients that act as preservatives by protecting against invaders, and they each happen to have unique skin care benefits!
The first is called Leuconostoc / Radish Root Ferment Filtrate. It’s made from a specific peptide, isolated from lactic acid bacteria produced during the fermentation of (you guessed it) radish root. It works to protect the shelf life of products by outcompeting bad bacteria, similar to the way fermented foods stay fresh and healthy due to the presence of beneficial bacteria. It also has skin conditioning properties that boost moisture retention to keep skin hydrated (bonus!).
The second is Aspen Bark extract. The antimicrobial qualities of aspen bark come from natural salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid that offers unique exfoliating benefits for all skin types. Beta-hydroxy acids are best known for their ability to deep-clean pores by dissolving the trapped oil and dirt that can cause blackheads. Salicylic acid works as a preservative by creating an “environment” that is inhospitable to harmful bacteria, yeast, and fungus.
IS EQUILIBRIA NATURALS ORGANICALLY CERTIFIED?
While most ingredients in my formulas are certified organic (and those that aren’t organic are wildcrafted or otherwise natural), Equilibria Naturals as a company is not certified. Simply put, the standards for certified organic skin care products aren’t good enough. Even for the USDA 100% Organic seal, there are loopholes that allow for “organic” ingredients processed with potentially harmful chemical solvents. That’s not cool.
Rather than spending time and energy going through the tedious and expensive process of obtaining organic certification when the requirements are below my own standards, I’ll continue to focus on sourcing the purest, highest quality whole ingredients I can find, from suppliers that I trust. Speaking of trust… let’s get real, shall we? Perhaps what you’re really asking is:
HOW DO I KNOW I CAN TRUST YOU?
I love that question! It means that you’re on a mission to rid your life of toxins, synthetics, and empty promises, and I have deep respect for that goal. I know how difficult it can be to find natural solutions that actually work for your skin, and your lifestyle. While there are many honest and excellent natural skin care companies out there, there are also some companies that participate in greenwashing – they represent their products as safe, natural, organic, or non-toxic, when they actually contain harmful ingredients (which they try to convince you are safe!).
Honestly, greenwashing is a hot-button topic for me. It’s misleading and deceitful. It’s just plain wrong.
It fuels my
So – If you want your natural skin care handcrafted by an obsessive purist, compulsive researcher, admitted control freak with slight perfectionist tendencies… I’m so glad we’ve found each other 😉
Want to read more about the motivation and philosophy behind Equilibria Naturals? Click Here
WHAT ARE THE ACTIVE INGREDIENTS IN YOUR PRODUCTS?
All of them! That’s the beauty of truly natural skin care – every ingredient has something to offer. What you won’t find in my formulas is water, fillers, stabilizers, synthetic preservatives, or even some natural ingredients that don’t seem to be of any great benefit to your skin.
For brief information on the properties and benefits of each ingredient I do use, click here.
I DON’T SEE VITAMIN E AS AN INGREDIENT IN YOUR PRODUCTS – WHY?
Vitamin E is a great antioxidant that helps to keep natural products fresh by reducing oxidation – you’re right, it’s an important ingredient. Rather than adding vitamin E that has been extracted from plants (usually soy), I take a “whole ingredient” approach by choosing base oils that are naturally high in vitamin E (like argan oil), and therefore contribute to the overall vitamin E content of the blend.
ARE EQUILIBRIA PRODUCTS SAFE DURING PREGNANCY / BREASTFEEDING?
Many herbalists recommend avoiding certain essential oils during pregnancy and breastfeeding; others say that only a short list of essential oils should be avoided, and most are fine in small amounts (like 1% of the total formula).
Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine which advice to take, so I would strongly suggest consulting with your trusted health care practitioner.
ARE YOUR PRODUCTS GLUTEN FREE / VEGAN?
While I certainly do not use gluten as an ingredient, and can confidently say that most ingredients will not have come into contact with gluten, there is one exception – the Oat, Green Tea, & Hibiscus Immaculate Cleansing Powder does contain organic rice, which may have come into contact with gluten at a facility during its journey.
All butters, salves, deodorants, and lip stuff contain beeswax. Products not containing beeswax are vegan.
WHAT ARE YOUR PRODUCTS PACKAGED IN?
Whenever possible, products are packaged in glass to ensure freshness and stability. Glass is the best non-reactive material for natural skin care products, especially dark coloured glass since it effectively prevents light from damaging natural ingredients.
Deodorant sticks and lip stuff are packaged in HDPE plastic – one of the least reactive plastics, in that it poses little risk of chemical leaching. Plastics typically leach their chemicals when exposed to temperature extremes, or when they are reused several times. For this reason, deodorant sticks and lip stuff tubes are filled when the product is as close to room temperature as possible, and I don’t recommend reusing the containers (recycle them instead).
Several mini sizes are packaged in glass, while others must be packaged in plastic (until I’m able to find suitable glass containers, which I’m working on!).
Shipping boxes and packing materials are reused whenever possible, and boxes are filled with compostable packing peanuts. I’ll tuck a little note in your package detailing which materials are compostable.
WHAT IS THE SHELF LIFE OF EQUILIBRIA PRODUCTS?
Butters, salves, serums, and masks have a shelf life of up to 18 months, while deodorants are most effective within 12 months of your first use. Products containing aloe or hydrosol are most effective if used up within 9 months, although you can extend that to 12-14 months if you choose to keep them in the fridge.
Please note that these are conservative estimates. You can protect the shelf life of your products by keeping them out of direct sunlight, at a stable room temperature, with caps and lids tightly closed, and by using clean fingers to apply butters, salves, and deodorant creams.
WHY IS MY DEODORANT / SALVE / BUTTER SOFTER OR HARDER THAN BEFORE?
Since I don’t use any stabilizers to “correct” the consistency of products containing butters or beeswax, you may notice that changes in temperature will affect the consistency of your products – that’s totally natural. Your butter, salve, or deodorant may get softer in the summer and harder in the winter, but only extreme and frequent temperature swings will affect their shelf life.
WHY DOES MY SALVE / BUTTER / CREAM HAVE LITTLE BEADS IN IT? HAS IT GONE BAD?
Absolutely not! Those little beads form because of the different melting points of butter, wax, and oils such as coconut. Changes in temperature (e.g. from winter to summer) will change the consistency of your products, and sometimes the softer oils with lower melting points (e.g. coconut) will melt in the formula, while harder ingredients like beeswax do not, leaving little beads of butter or beeswax dispersed throughout. They will easily melt right into your skin when you apply the product.
If you really want to restore the smooth consistency, you may consider placing your tightly-closed jar into a bowl of hot water for 3-5 minutes to warm it up, then stirring with a clean butter knife until the little beads are melted again. Then pop the jar into the fridge to cool. This should restore the smooth consistency, but be forewarned, there are drawbacks. When you heat natural products containing essential oils, there is always the risk that the aroma and effectiveness of the product could be diminished. If you choose to try this technique, it’s better to soften your product using lower heat and more time, as opposed to a quick burst of high heat. I strongly recommend against putting your natural products in a microwave, or using this technique with any products in plastic containers. Make sure not to get any water in the jar, as this will contaminate your product.
SHOULD FACIAL OIL / SERUM BE KEPT IN THE FRIDGE?
No. Equilibria’s facial serums are specifically formulated with stable oils, high in natural vitamin e and an ideal blend of essential fatty acids to protect the formula for at least 12-18 months. These oils are happy and effective at room temperature. While there are many beautiful skin care oils available, some have a shelf life of only 6-8 months even when refrigerated! I’ve chosen to prioritize oils with proven skin-nourishing benefits and a longer shelf life, to minimize the serious risk of spoilage.
It is often impossible to know when oil becomes rancid, since there are rarely any changes in colour, consistency, or aroma. This is concerning because rancid oils actually contribute to the formation of cell-damaging free radicals! As they say, when in doubt throw it out. Using a facial serum that may be rancid is simply not worth it.
That said, many natural skin care companies choose to use more delicate oils that offer wonderful skin care benefits, but have a specific composition of fatty acids that make the oil more prone to rancidity. If a natural skin care company recommends keeping their products in the fridge, then yes, absolutely follow that advice. Rancid oils are zero fun for your lovely skin.
MY PRODUCT SMELLS A BIT DIFFERENT FROM LAST TIME / LAST MONTH
There are two reasons why you may notice a change in aroma:
1) Essential oil blends can mellow out after a few months, not necessarily in the sense that they fade, but rather that they change. That’s totally normal. For example, citrusy essential oils tend to be bright and powerful at first, becoming softer as the blend settles in, while woodsy essential oils might get deeper and richer over time.
2) Natural, handcrafted products usually have slight variations from batch to batch. Even though my formulas stay the same (I’ll let you know if I make any changes to a formula!) the ingredients themselves may have slight differences due to a variety of factors, such as a particular crop of herbs with a more powerful aroma than usual.
It’s near impossible to “regulate” the aroma of natural skin care products without the use of synthetic fragrances – and synthetic fragrances are nasty. If you notice slight changes in smell from batch to batch or over time, you can consider that a reassuring sign that your product is truly natural 🙂
DO YOU MAKE PRODUCTS FOR MEN?
Not specifically, although many men are huge fans of the Restoration After-Shave Serum and the High Five Natural Deodorant. The Juniper & Lemongrass Immaculate Cleansing Gel (for cleansing and shaving) and the Clarity Facial Serum are also quite popular with men.
Have a question that’s not covered here?
Get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!