Inventory: Beauty without the beast

Natural is the common theme in this roundup of the best B.C. wellness offerings on tap

Natural is the common theme in this roundup of the best B.C. wellness offerings on tap

From cosmetics to hair products to spa treatments, B.C. beauty and wellness brands are creating merchandise free of harmful chemicals. 

Smell of Success

Vitruvi was co-founded by Sara Panton (one of our 30 Under 30 winners in 2017), who has changed the essential oil game with her contemporary customized scents. Collaborations include a signature scent for Vancouver’s TED global event and real estate marketer Bob Rennie’s properties, plus partnerships with Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. The company also has deals with several hotels, including Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix, which teamed up with Vitruvi for an in-room aromatherapy program (lavender, eucalyptus, bergamot) to help ease guests’ travel anxiety. Online and at Sephora, Nordstrom and select retailers

Natural Evolution

Saje Wellness sells its all-natural wellness line, featuring 100-percent plant-based ingredients, at 84 locations in Canada and the U.S. Add the new Yoga Diffuser Blend (orange, patchouli, neroli) to the Aroma Om Lava Edition Ultrasonic Diffuser, a modern sculpture-like machine that uses aromatherapy to heal the mind, body and spirit. Online and in-store

Tea Party

Since 1992, tea master Daniela Cubelic has been serving her antioxidant-rich organic brew, made without artificial flavours or sweeteners, from Silk Road Tea in Victoria’s Chinatown. Sample the Beau-tea-ful Skincare Tea at the tea bar, or head downstairs to the tiny Organic Spa for chemical-free, non-toxic skin therapy like the Imperial Dragon facial, designed for men. All treatments feature Silk Road Tea’s handcrafted skincare line, which harnesses the power of tea. Online and in-store in Victoria and Vancouver

Under Armour 

Natural deodorant is a love-it-or-hate-it proposition. Some mineral salt– or baking soda–based products can cause rashes, while their lack of aluminum–the sweat-stopping ingredient in mainstream brands that is linked to Alzheimer’s–can still leave you sweaty. Enter science-based Apothekari Skincare from Vancouver pharmacist Sharmani Pillay. Free of parabens and aluminum, the collection’s Natural Deodorant three-set (Lavender Bergamot, Grapefruit Ginger and Sandalwood Myrrh) uses powerful enzymes to halt perspiration. Online and at select retailers

Raising the Bar

Liquid soap needs five times more energy for production and nearly 20 times more for packaging than bar soap. (Plus, you use almost seven times more liquid soap than bar soap when hand-washing.) Shrink your carbon footprint with Crescent Beach’s small-batch SeaLuxe soap from Tanya Droege, which celebrates the West Coast’s most basic ingredient: seaweed. Each single-serve piece of beach glass–inspired soap is made with seaweed harvested by kayak offshore from the Great Bear Rainforest. Online and at Kiss and Makeup

Big Hair

Canada’s largest independent producer of high-end unisex hair products, AG Hair got its start in the North Vancouver basement of founders Lotte and John Davis in 1989. Today, AG adds shine, shimmer and volume in more than 14,000 salons worldwide. Its brand-
new Repair line–a vegan collection that works to restore dry and damaged hair–includes Vita C Shampoo and Conditioner, sulphate-free cleansers with plant-based squalene. Online and at select salons

Sweat Surrender

Lululemon Athletica, the Vancouver-born retail dynamo that turned sweaty into sexy with its round-the-clock yoga pants, now offers a Selfcare lineup that helps your sweat smell great. Speed Up Cool Down Body Lotion, No-Show Dry Shampoo, Anti-Stink Deodorant (in black pepper sandalwood and aloe lotus) and Sweat Reset Face Moisturizer are all formulated without aluminum, parabens or sulphates. Downward dog not included. In-store, online and at

Cream of the Crop

Sangre de Fruta hit the wellness jackpot when Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop lifestyle site started hawking the Bowen Island–based company’s natural Vetiver & Fleur Botanical Body Cream to its millions of followers. Founder Allison Audrey Weldon subscribes to a more European model of wellness. “Our culture of denial isn’t healthy,” she says. “When we indulge in little rituals for ourselves, we feed our soul.” Expect to see this luxury brand, which avoids synthetic fillers, on the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel’s Gold Floor in 2020. Online and in-store on Bowen Island

Skin in the Game

Wanting to do more than buy green skincare, Vancouverites Michelle Lui and Fatemah Hamidi ditched corporate careers to create their own clean bath and bodycare collection. The result is Mifa & Co., formulated with zero synthetic, toxic or filler ingredients. Only high-quality botanical oils and plant butters allowed: the Mood Mist’s first ingredient is Bulgarian lavender water (many essential oil mists use plain water as their base). Online and at

Neutral Zone

B.C.’s new Evalina Beauty comes courtesy of Samanthe Legge (this magazine’s publisher), who launched a cosmetics brand to celebrate and uplift women in every role they play–from boardroom to school drop-off. From Shimmer Eyeshadow Sticks to Radiant Glaze Water-Based Highlighter, the paraben- and cruelty-free range comes in eminently wearable neutrals (no purples or blues here), all aimed at adding sparkle and confidence. Online

Teeth and Consequences

That natural toothpaste from the health food store? Chances are it has no fluoride, which is great until it comes time to fight cavities. “The science doesn’t lie,” says longtime Vancouver dentist Sean Sikorski of fluoride’s benefits. Health Canada considers it a medicinal ingredient, so it’s subject to onerous regulation that few but the Colgates and Crests of the world are willing to take on.

Yet Sikorski–who spent most of his 23-year career working with patients in the Downtown Eastside before opening his own Mount Pleasant practice, House of Teeth–figured out a way. His Lemon Coconut and Sea Salt & Anise natural toothpastes feature fluoride but skip the usual chemical suspects (sulphates, parabens, micro-plastics). They also come in biodegradable tubes, a first for the industry. Online and at House of Teeth