Tag Archives: skincare


I actually won this shower gel by accident in a Twitter contest I didn’t realize I had entered, and I’m pretty glad I did.

This is hands down the best smelling floral body wash I have ever used (My all-time, mouth-drooling favourite body wash is The Body Shop’s Satsuma. Orange jujubes on my body.) Dubbed a ‘sensory shower gel with 3 white flowers’, it smells exactly as described–a mix of my favourite floral perfumes, Jasmine, Camellia and Gardenia, paired with vanilla, amber, wood and vetiver. The fragrance smells expensive–creamy, feminine and delicate, but isn’t overpowering once combined with the steam of the shower and doesn’t linger on the skin.

While I wouldn’t say that this is exactly a hydrating body wash, it doesn’t strip the skin either, just leaves you feeling clean. Also, I love the chic bottle; clear with accents of black and the minimal image of the flower also looks expensive in my shower.

Lierac is available at Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall.



As you are all well aware, wearing sunscreen is important. And if you’re looking for a great sunscreen spray, this is the one you wanna get this summer. Vichy has formulated, in my opinion, the best spray sunscreen out there, save for one thing: I wish it came in a higher SPF (this, is selfish, because I am very fair). But! It contains no alcohol (so no dry skin or scary flames), has a really nice scent that doesn’t reek of coconuts, and is lightweight and non-greasy. It also protects from both UVA and UVB rays, which is of course, essential. I really cannot emphasize how much this doesn’t smell like sunscreen–this might be what I like most. It has a pleasant fruity/floral fragrance that isn’t overpowering in the least, and doesn’t have that sunscreen-y smell. I tested it out all weekend at the cottage and I was so impressed with it, especially when I compared it to my Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Spray. The Vichy was so much lighter, had a much nicer texture and smell. For this, or any spray, to work properly, be sure to spray on the correct amount (arms: 3 seconds each, front: 4 seconds, back: 4 seconds, legs: 7 seconds each), and then rub it in. Available at Shoppers Drug Mart.


Here we are, the last of the June giveaways! Again, the prize is perfect for the cottage or the beach.

Vichy Eau Thermale 

Lierac Hydra-Body Lait 

Vichy ProEven Brightening Cleansing Foam 

Live Clean Exotic Vitality Monoi Oil

Vichy Captial Soleil SPF 50

Contest closes Monday, June 30th at noon. Only open to Canadian residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Summer is here! Finally! And this weekend will be nice and long thanks to Canada Day. So to prep for all those days spent outdoors at the cottage or in the city on a patio, I’ve asked Dr. Sarah Gora, PhD, Scientific and Medical Relations Leader of Vichy Canada to answer all of my burning (ha) questions on sunscreen–from wearing it indoors, to the mysterious UVA rays, and how else we can protect ourselves against the sun.

Remember: Sunscreen is proven to fight skin aging–so unless you want to look like an old leather handbag by the age of 40, lather up and wear a hat!

Thanks again to Vichy and Dr. Gora for taking the time to respond to my questions.


What is the difference between chemical and physical sunscreen? Which ones should we use?

Sunscreen ingredients can be classified in two categories: organic (chemical) or physical. Organic filters have the ability to absorb the different UV rays, whereas physical filters, like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, work by reflecting the UV rays, with a less extend on UVA compared to some organic filters. So it is not necessary to choose one of the two but you can use a combination of both filter types that ensures a protection against UVA & UVB and adapted to sensitive skin, if you need so.

How often do we really need to reapply?
One should apply sunscreen 20 minutes prior to going outside to ensure the sunscreen has sufficient time to absorb into the skin and offer 100% protection. As a general rule, you should re-apply every 2 hours and of course, after being in the water or heavy heat/sweating.
Some people don’t think sunscreen is necessary on rainy or overcast days or in the colder months. Can you bust this myth?
Temperature is definitely not a good indicator about potential damage of UV rays exposure. Even if they are partly filtered, UV rays are not absorbed by clouds and neither rain (high cloud cover only stops the penetration of 5-10% of UV). Furthermore they are reflected by water and snow and that increases your exposure. It is good to remember that UVA (95% of UV rays), are present throughout the year contrary to UVB which is stronger in summer.

How much sunscreen should we be using per application?
You should apply a quantity enough to cover the uncovered area. The recommended quantity is about 30 ml for an adult’s body so the equivalent of a golf ball. For the new Capital Soleil InvisibleMist we recommend spraying the arms for 3 seconds, the legs for 4 seconds and the front and back for 4 seconds, then rub in with circular motions.
What is the minimum SPF everyone should be wearing?
The choice of the SPF should be oriented by the phototype (the skin tolerance to UV radiation and its ability to synthesis melanin) and sun condition. It is recommended to wear a borad-spectrum sunscreen (UVA & UVB protection) with a minimum SPF of 30, even for dark skin tone. For example people with very fair skin should use SPF 50 and more.
Why should we avoid alcohol in spray sunscreens?
A high content of alcohol in a sunscreen can leave the skin feeling dry (or even cause a stinging sensation) which can irritate people with sensitive skin.  It is also a personal preference, many people choose to only use products that are alcohol-free. And not to mention that accidents have happened in the past when an alcohol based sunscreen was applied too close to an open flame!
What is the importance of using a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays?
UVAs are the more abundant rays received and penetrate deeply through the skin. They are responsible for immediate pigmentation, skin ageing and skin cancer. Whereas UVBs cause sunburn, epidermal thickening and skin cancers.

I’ve read that sunscreen is just one way of protecting ourselves. What else can we do?
Sunscreen is a good way to be protected from UV rays but it is not enough and should be completed with other protection like clothing, wear factor 3 sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. We recommend to avoid exposure during the peak hours, i.e. between 11 am and 4 pm, when UV radiation–particularly UVB–is at its highest.

Do we need to wear sunscreen in the shade or in a car?
You don’t need to wear a sunscreen when indoors but shade made by an umbrella is not good enough to block UV rays. But you should be protected if you are exposed through a window like in your car. As contrary to UVB which produces an immediate reaction (sunburn), UVA pass through glass and penetrate into the skin deeply to cause silent and invisible damage day after day.
What are the long-term effects of sunburns?
Sunburns are the visible sign of over-exposure, they are mainly causes by UVB rays. But even before sun burn, unprotected exposure to UV ray affect skin’s support fibres and rise the synthesis of oxidising substances. The erythema or sun burn manifests an inflammatory reaction and may also cause DNA damage. These damages build up and can cause in long-term photo-aging and skin cancer in epidermal and dermal cells.
How often should we replace our sunscreen? Can I still use my bottle from last year?
Sun protection products generally have a 3 year shelf-life, unopened! A product that you open this year should never be used next year, since the temperature variations to which it is subjected after opening can affect the stability of the filters it contains.
Does a higher SPF sunscreen always protect your skin better?
A high SPF index represents a higher level of protection but it shouldn’t be the reason to expose longer! And it is important to remember that SPF is only an UVB factor and do not represent the UVA protection. It is therefore important to choose a SPF (min 30) accordingly to the photype/sun condition AND to have a UVA protection.
Those who don’t have fairer complexions often argue that they don’t burn, so they have no need for sunscreen. Is that true?
Dark skin tone has a natural sun protection related to their high concentration in melanin but this is not sufficient. Sun exposure can cause skin lesions of varying severity, ranging from premature aging of the skin, sunburn, or melanoma (skin cancer). Dark skin has a lower risk to develop a melanoma than a fair skin but excessive exposure to the sun damages all skin phototype. 



Now for the second of the June giveaways!

Get beach-ready with gorgeous tan, shimmery skin and polished nails, then refresh yourself from the heat with a thermal water spray. Here’s what’s in this week’s prize:

Clarins Backpack (not pictured)

Clarins Golden Glow Booster

Clarins HydraQuench Cream

Two Revlon Gel Polishes

Avene Thermal Water Spray

Omorovicza Gold Shimmer Oil

Approx. value of $160

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Remember that picture?

Right now, the beginning of summer, is the perfect time to go and scare yourself into wearing sunscreen forever and always.

The Vichy Skin Health Centre is back at the Eaton’s Centre this week up until Sunday, June 15th. Located just outside of Forever XXI are some friendly consultants, ready and waiting to provide you will a skin health analysis on your skin type, give you and up close and personal look at your epidermis, hydration levels and take a lovely picture of your UV damage (take notes as to where you are forgetting to apply ‘screen).

With Melanoma higher than ever right now in Canada, it is so important to be thinking about incorporating sunscreen into your daily routine.

So go and get analyzed, pick up some samples and buy yourself a bottle or two of Vichy’s amazing sunscreens.


Pai was created when it’s founder, Sarah Brown, was tired of suffering from a bad skin allergy. Tired of taking anti-histamines every single day, she decided to investigated the ingredients that she was putting on her face and was shocked at the amount of chemicals and how they can affect the body.

She has formulated products with sensitive and allergy-prone skin in mind. They are completely natural and organic and free of alcohol, beeswax, artifical fragrances, parabens and more. These products are perfect for every skin type really, whether dry, young, oily or mature, but especially for the girl who breaks out from anything and everything.

I had heard about Pai for a really long while from other British beauty bloggers (and Candice Batista) who raved about their products. At first, it seemed a little hard to find them in Canada, but Sally Glover at FreshFaced has taken care of that for us! (Also, be sure to take a look around her shop, she carries many great all-natural brands). I was lucky enough to receive Pai’s Camellia & Rose Cleanser and their Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil in a gift bag from the Green + Good event, so I couldn’t wait to try them out.

The cleanser is really lovely–light, wonderfully scented and removes eye makeup. It can be used with a washcloth to exfoliating (the cleanser itself comes with a muslin). Also really great for facial massage. It does include shea butter, however, this is nothing to worry about, since the people at Pai have reassured me that it is a very small amount and Caroline Hirons herself said that shea isn’t a big deal for acne-prone skin if you’re washing it off. Includes camellia, rose, almond, castor oils and more, as well as natural Vitamin E. I love to use this in the morning or as a second cleanse in the evening.

I was most excited to try the Rosehip Oil, as I had heard so much about how wonderful it is, especially for blemish-prone skin (and it has not let me down). It can be used in two ways: as a serum (2-3 drops) or as a hydrating booster (1-2 drops into moisturizer). I really love using it as a serum at night. My skin feels so hydrated and smooth in the morning. Rosehip contains natural Vitamin A (which helps to fade scars and prevent skin aging like Retinol would), and helps to soothe and calm breakouts–I find it to be really effective at hydrating and calming redness from irritated pimples. The oil itself isn’t heavy, it almost feels like a slightly thicker water, so it doesn’t feel greasy on the skin.

Their eye cream is also supposed to be amazing, must seek that one out…



I met Candice last month at Green + Good, a pop-up event at The Gladstone Hotel that hosted the best of Canada’s eco and natural beauty and skincare products. She gave an amazing presentation on what is really going into your products, what to avoid and how to change your routine. It doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul, because it’s not going to be easy. Don’t start with your absolute favourite product–instead find a better alternative for something easy like a body cream and go from there. Her presentation was really informative and I know really inspired the crowd to think about what they are applying onto their bodies every day.

The average woman applies about 9 personal care products a day, and in many cases this adds up to a great deal of toxic chemicals too, around 168 to be exact. Detoxing from the outside in is just as important as from the inside out. The skin after all is the largest organ on the body and absorbs 60% of the stuff we put on it, so it’s really important to use skin care products that don’t compromise your health.  As the Eco Expert on The Marilyn Denis Show, I get to try hundreds of products; here are some of my top choices. I use these everyday and are truly tired and tested.

I can’t live without:
Body Oil
Tata Harper’s revitalizing body oil. It feels like silk on the body, I have dry skin in the winter and simply can’t live without it. The smell….the texture…simple perfection! It softens and hydrates the skin and never ever stains my clothes. I have had a few issues with that over the years.
I have not worn perfume for 15 years, my hubby is horribly allergic.  Evoke The Elements Within is a collection of pure botanical perfume that I can wear and not kill my husband or co-workers with. EVOKE is so much more than a perfume, its aromatherapy in a bottle. Each scent is associated with an organ and all the ingredients used help to balance the mind and the body. Wood (liver) evokes harmony, Earth (stomach) evokes peace, Water (kidney) evokes wisdom, Metal (lungs) evokes happiness and Fire (heart) evokes joy. Okay I am a little biased with this choice as its curated manufactured by moi. I developed this collection because I was kinga grossed out by all the synthetics in perfume and wanted to give women a choice that’s healthy and luxurious.  
My morning and bed time routine:
I have never been one to use toner until I tried Pai’s Rice Plant and Rosemary BioAffinity Tonic. I spray this directly onto my face in the morning and the evening and feel totally revitalized. I use it every other day, not for any particular reason; I just love the way it smells and feels on my skin.
I use 3 different make up removers regularly because I can’t choose a fave:
Pai’s Camellia & Rose Hydrating Cleansing Cream because the smell is incredible and I love the texture of the cream, I have one dry spot on my left cheek that flares up every once in a while and this helps quite a bit. It’s technically a cleaner but I use it to remove makeup as well.

Tata Harper’s Refreshing Cleanser smells a-may-zing, clearly I love my products to smell beautiful. It also removes makeup really well; it’s soft and silky and washes off so easily.
I’ve been using the Cleansing Oil for a few months now. It smells amazing and feels light. My favorite part is that the oil does not drip into my eyes as I wash it off. I previously used makeup wipes, but always felt a residue on my skin after. With this my face felt super clean and refreshed!
Work day pick me up:
One love Organics vitamin d Active Moisture Time Release Mist: the only thing I can say about this product is TRY IT NOW.  I keep this at my desk and use it 3 times a day. One spray is all you need to feel completely revitalized. The smell is to die for and who does not love Vitamin D in a bottle?
Green Smoothie for your hair:

This product had me at “a smoothie for your hair”. I was intrigued when it landed on my desk. Eco hair products can be a tough sell (much like perfume) but this one is a cut above the rest. It did not weigh my hair down, my hair felt soft (but not too soft) and bouncy. Plus it has broccoli in it (but still smells yummy) which is really cool too!
Other things to keep in mind:
Go local and handmade
There is good news on the horizon, there are more small manufacturers popping up using mainly natural and organic ingredients. There is more transparency with their ingredients and because it’s made locally there is less of an impact on the environment, when it comes to carbon emissions caused by the transportation required to get the product to you.
Make scents when it comes to fragrance
Companies do not have to disclose certain ingredients if they use the words “fragrance”, “perfume” or “parfum”. Under this umbrella fall almost three thousand synthetic ingredients, so when you see those three words you really don’t know what you are getting. Synthetic ingredients are much cheaper than essential oils and are now widely used in all personal care products. Look for fragrance from herbal infusions, essential oils herbs and flowers.
No SLS please!
SLS or sodium laurel sulphates are foaming agents found in many personal care products, these are harmful toxins to us and the planet. Look for coconut oil or decyl glucoside, made from corn and plant based.
Remember, less is more when it comes to ingredients
The best beauty products in the eco market place are those that have the fewest ingredients. We simply don’t need all that extra stuff. Many of the toxins that are used in our favourite products act as preservatives and fillers. The fact is, products, like food, should “go off” after six months.


This serum, right here, is Sephora’s #1 bestselling serum.

And that’s for a reason. It is completely suitable for any skin type, and contains Vitamin C, one part of the holy trinity of effective anti-aging skincare (Retinol, Vitamin C, SPF). In other words, Vitamin C is an ingredient that actually works.

The serum is packed full of antixodiants that helps to brighten skin, fade discolouration and dark spots (caused by the sun or acne), minimize fine lines, protect skin from environmental stressors and prevent future damage. Vitamin C slows the rate of free radical damage–free radicals are what cause dryness, damage collagen and cause wrinkles. If you want to look young forever, Vitamin C is something you definitely should incorporate into your routine.

Not only does this wonder vitamin keep you looking young, it will also provide even more protection against the sun. C can reduce sunburns cause by UVB rays

I apply a tiny amount of this product in the mornings and evenings under my moisturizer –it is not tacky or oily at all–it feels like a lightweight gel. I can already see an improvement in my acne scars, you can definitely see the effectiveness of this serum pretty quickly–I noticed a difference in about a week.

If you’re in your 20’s and are looking to make a step towards anti-aging skincare, adding a Vitamin C serum is a great way to protect your skin and make a visible difference without worrying about things like peeling, dry skin or redness that other anti-aging products (retinol) can cause. There is no awkward adjustment stage whatsoever.