Last week I was interviewed for a documentary focusing on the cosmetic industry in Canada. It was so much fun! My basic message was that if we are concerned by what is in our cosmetics, we can use our creativity and empower ourselves to make our own. Yes, there is much to do in terms of petitioning the government and helping to change laws that will allow for greater transparency. We have gotta know what is in these products if we are to make informed consumer choices! And people are getting the word out there, such as the folks at Femme Toxic or those who are putting together the documentary, Fairly Foul. But, until we sort all of this out, if you want a really clean cream, facial cleanser, deodorant, etc., today, the fast and easy way of avoiding questionable chemicals in products is to make your own. I want people to see that is not that hard to make your own stuff. Your homemade products will be of excellent quality and you will know exactly what is in them!
Yes, people have their doubts! Sometimes when I mention how easy it is to make your own stuff, people ask about safety in terms of freshness and bacterial contamination. That is when I break the hard news that if you make your own products, you will be making some things every few weeks and other stuff every few months. It is like food. If you want a Twinkie for breakfast, go for it and buy enough for the year. Each day grab yourself a Twinkie from the pile. Yes, this is a safe breakfast, but not necessarily a beneficial one. If you want some nutrition to fuel your day, you are going to have to find fresh food and prepare it in some way. Great skin care products are somewhat similar. Like our friend Deborah says, this is a bit like the Slow Food Movement. It is the slow cosmetic movement. It takes some effort, but it is more than worth it.
To address the safety issue regarding natural products, I like to encourage people to know more about what they are putting on their face. It is a great idea to start a recipe file with two parts. One part should be the recipes. Include the ones that you have tried and the ones that you want to try. Record your experience, tweak your method. It is like cooking and you will only get better at it with practice. The second part to your recipe file should be a list of ingredients. For each ingredient you can keep record of all sorts of fascinating information such as what it does and what benefit it is to your skin, why you add it to products, what products it is use in, where it comes from, where to buy it and even any folklore or history of use. And, why not record what chemical constituents are also in it? Anytime you read anything new about this ingredient, add this information to the file and record where you found the information. Within weeks, months, or years, who knows, you might have enough to write your own book on the subject! Most importantly, you are educating yourself on this subject! And you will have a kick’n file that you can refer to at anytime.
For those who are interested, I offer a super introductory course on creating your own skin care products. We make the products, we try the products and you take home enough products for approximately one month’s worth of skin pampering Of course you take home the recipes, too. The cost is $40, plus tax, per participant. I am able to do this at our space, Fleurbain, and I am also available to come to you and lead the workshop anywhere within Montreal.
Tammy Schmidt, Montreal
Fleurbain is at 460 St Catherine St. West, suite #917.
For more information, email me at email@example.com