The Long Form - The topic this week
So who’s excited to adopt a new beauty routine next January? The amended regulations have finally been released - which means that topicals are coming to a store near you, soon! (If there’s a store near you... ) Health Canada expects topicals to hit the shelves mid-to-late December, and we’ve never been so excited to get a bar of soap from Aunt Jackie.
We did our first newsletter on topicals and the wild world of cosmetics a few months ago and we were shocked at some things people did in the name of beauty. To be fair, science has evolved quite a bit since the days of poisonous facial products, but don’t kid yourself, bad ingredients are still lurking in cosmetics everywhere.
Luckily, we can now type ingredients into Google and read up on the nitty gritty. We started reading the nutritional panels on our groceries, so it seems like a natural evolution to look beyond the featured active agents in our lotions and potions and see if they’re killer or all filler.
The greening of cosmetics has been happening for a few decades, but cosmetics and natural health products are still outside the scope of the Canada Organic Regime overseen by the CFIA. So while you can have certified-organic ingredients, there are no official organic skincare products. You’ll probably also see the word ‘natural’ thrown around a lot, once you start using a critical eye. It’s really up to you to read the full ingredients list to know whether you can trust that brand’s claim, because natural isn’t regulated at all.
Label reading and “pronounceability” has become a widely used tool for cosmetic shopping, with some shunning anything with ingredients they don’t immediately recognize. There are a few downsides to a minimal list of components though - products without preservatives can expire much more quickly, depending on their overall composition. You’ll have to rely on a combination of research and testing on your own skin to determine your spread on the skincare spectrum of ingredients.
The other thing to consider - and a tip that will help you narrow down your choices with the inevitable onslaught of skincare options - is the container. Choose products that are sold in glass. It’s not because glass automatically means quality, but because formulations can degrade due to exposure to oxygen and light when they are contained in plastic. Certain ingredients can even leach plasticizers out of the package. A dark glass bottle will protect the product from the elements and also won’t react with the formulation.
Ultimately, most cosmetic ingredients are available to anyone who would like to whip up a batch of lotion. So how will you decide on one eye cream over another? Be honest, a large part of your decision will probably depend on what it looks like. But in the world of Canadian cannabis, there isn’t a lot of information that we can share on the label. Ingredients might play a bigger role here than in the world of non-infused skincare. So how will you decide between two products with similar ingredients? We would hope that you’ll take a look at the other factors... How does the company source their ingredients? What kind of experts do they employ? Do they care about sustainability? The story counts.
We’re really excited for the advancement of cannabis in skincare, and as a company that values local, sustainable practices, we want to remind you to steer clear of the hype and take a minute to look at the details. We hope you look for ethical skincare brands that have science and a story behind their product.