Part of my wellness journey this past year has been about finding good and natural skincare and beauty products. If I put so much effort in working out, eating clean and being healthy then I realized I should also be putting just as much thought into the products I choose to put on my skin.
A lot of research has shown lately that unfortunately, many products we use on a daily or even weekly basis can be very toxic for our health. A lot of these products are readily available and backed by tons of marketing and advertising dollars. Educating oneself about these products is key because they could be just as toxic if not more than the food we eat or the environment we live in.
I’m grateful to live in a city where shops like The Cure Apothecary exist. I happen to find this boutique while walking home from work one evening. The super cute shop located on Queen Street West has been open for just over a year now and is the brainchild of Nitasha Goel. She made the switch to natural beauty products 8 years ago and found it difficult to find certain products that she wanted to try in the city. She’s also a big boutique shopper and has always been a fan of the one on one shopping experience. So when came time to open up her shop, she made sure that she would carry that experience over to The Cure Apothecary.
Anyone that has been to the shop before, knows that Nitasha is incredibly knowledgeable, approachable and helpful. She’ll let clients touch, feel, smell and trial products before purchasing them. Though people are becoming more and more aware of what they’re putting onto their skin, Nitasha still feels that the transition has been slow towards adopting more natural skin and beauty products “A lot of people started changing their food and eating habits but that light bulb never really went off that what you’re putting topically is being absorbed. So it’s counteractive if you’re eating really healthy and then putting all this garbage on your skin,” she says.
When she opened the store, Nitasha wanted to make sure that the boutique was both for men and women, that all walks of life felt comfortable there and wanted her shop to be a really easy transition place for those who were new to natural products yet also providing different products for early adopters or veterans.
Nitasha tries to source newness to Toronto and the area and wants to make sure she only carries the best products available. She makes sure that each product line that she carries comes from the cleanest source. “A lot of essential oils and coconut oil are widely available on the market but you have to do your research. You have to know where that coconut oil is coming from. All of these brands have done that research for you. Even though it may say organic, you don’t know if the farm beside it is using pesticides. So even though it may be an organic farm, pesticides will affect the ingredients, it’s just like our food. All of these brands are using local farms if they can or their own farming facilities so they know what is happening there. They are doing that legwork for you and producing a good product,” explains Nitasha.
“Don’t stick with one brand, find what’s working for you in each brand. The beauty of organic brands is that you don’t have to buy A, B and C to get one result. You can mix and match and make the formula that works for you,” she adds.
People who tend to compare prices between natural products to generic pharmacy products are usually concerned with the sometimes hefty price tag that these products have but Nitasha points out that these are products that will last up to 6 months whereas the generic products tend to only last 1-2 months. She tells all of her customers that less is more when comes to applying these natural products.
“The whole skincare and food thing goes hand in hand. You want to eat local, know that our food is being treated in a certain way and the employees are being treated well so you would want the same thing for skincare,” she says.
Nitasha’s 5 product recommendations for those leading an active lifestyle:
Oils – “They are such a big thing. There’s a misconception that if you have oily skin, that the oils are going to make you oily. Oil really balances out your skin. I carry a good amount of oils because I think it’s the best way to hydrate. With moisturizers, people just keep adding, adding and adding and not getting the result. Whereas a little bit of oil will give you the best result. Evanhealy‘s rosehip oil and hydrosoul tonic spray creates a beautiful formula that is great for hydrating.”
CV Skinlabs – “They use turmeric, ginger, aloe and mushroom extract. Being in the elements, your skin’s going to get dry (especially if you already suffer from eczema, it’s going to get irritated) so this is going to help heal your skin. It comes in 4 formulas but the spray is great for someone that goes outside a lot, especially in the summer. The spray helps repair the skin. Their balm is also perfect for wind burn and for your lips.”
Kypris moisturizer – “For dark spots, when you’re in the sun or outside, you need vitamin C. This moisturizer has Vitamin C Ester, so it’s very gentle but effective.”
Skin Essence Mask – “Being outdoors, you have to be careful and you have to know what you’re doing to your skin. Any sort of hydrating mask is good for your skin. We do all invest in masks and it’s hard to get through them because they sometimes turn. So 90% of my masks are in clay form. All you have to do is mix it with water or toner or honey and you apply it. It won’t turn so it saves your product a little bit more.”
One Love Organics Konjac Sponge – “It’s a plant-based product from Japan. You soak it for a couple of seconds to puff up. You can apply your cleanser directly to the sponge, you can also remove your makeup and cleanse your face while using the sponge to buffer your skin. You can also use it just with water. If you aren’t going to invest into a good scrub, it’s good to at least buffer your skin and get your cleanser right into your pores. If you suffer from blackheads, this is amazing.”
For more info on The Cure Apothecary or to check out their online shop, go here. You can also drop by the shop and say hi to Nitasha at 719 Queen St. West, Toronto.