I was recently asked to do a photoshoot for a local company, Marché Elm, where consumers can discover amazing body care products that are natural and locally produced in Quebec and Ontario.
I love to share companies that I've personally met and offer a service I believe in, so following our shoot I asked the owner of the company, Erin Little, a few questions.
First, what is Marché Elm? Marché Elm is an online marketplace for the best, all-natural, eco-friendly body-care products made locally in Quebec and Ontario from ethically-sourced ingredients. We are based in Montreal, and we launched our website September 2015.
As consumers it's hard not to notice the changes that companies are making to their labels and claims surrounding ingredients and practices. Whether this is with our food or body care products, it's clear that people are a lot more conscious of what they are putting on and in their bodies. However, in the body care industry, which is largely unregulated, many companies take advantage of the ambiguity of the word “natural” to make unjustified or unfair claims about their products - this is what we call greenwashing. Although it’s nice to see that consumers care more and more about the impact of their choices on their health and the environment, it’s unfortunate that so many are being misled.
We have set out to find, test, select, honestly review, and offer high-quality products that are made only with natural (not synthetically produced) and environmentally friendly ingredients which are also organic and locally-sourced to the greatest extent possible. They are absolutely not tested on animals (other than the human kind). We offer these products all in one place to allow each person to decide what is right for her or him. We are focused on gathering and sharing feedback, and always looking out for new products that fit the profile. We would love to hear from you!
Our personal interest in starting this business: Two years ago we signed up to receive local organic food on a weekly basis. This was such a great experience that we wondered why the equivalent didn’t exist for locally made personal care products. For the same reasons we look to avoid pesticides in our food, we want to avoid certain chemicals in the products we put on our skin. I have sensitive skin so I was constantly looking for products that didn’t irritate but were also effective. We realized that it took a fair amount of research and testing to know what’s right, so we decided to offer that service to everyone else interested in going natural. Et voilà, Marché Elm was born.
Does Marché Elm cater to all skin/hair types? Yes, there are products for all types. Because we have tested all the products we carry, and asked our friends and family members with different skin and hair types to do the same, we have been able to provide honest reviews of what people can expect. We want people to experience all the benefits of natural products, but we also know that not everyone has the same needs.
Do you feel these brands are better for us with sensitive skin, opposed to conventional brands on Pharmacy shelves? Knowing what exactly it is you are sensitive to is difficult. In many cases it's things like fragrances, preservatives or additives that cause irritation. When you use a natural product you are avoiding these harsh synthetic chemicals and replacing them with gentler but still effective ingredients. We specifically point out products that are made for people with hypersensitive skin - these products use only the mildest cleansers and moisturizers.
Are the products better suited for women? In other words, can men find just as many benefits? Most of the products we carry are recommended for both men and women. It depends more on your skin type and needs, rather than your gender. Some scents can be more gender-specific, but it depends on taste. Also, the scents from essential oils (used in natural products) don’t linger like synthetic fragrances; if you wash your face with the Green Beaver Grapefruit Facial Cleanser (which I highly recommend) you will not walk around smelling like grapefruit. In every product description we describe our personal experience it. For every product, we describe the scent and the experience in general so people can decide for themselves.
What's your favourite product?
Erin: The Smith Farms Orange Blossom Facial Toner works wonders. I never used toner before this one and didn’t really understand why it existed. Now I use it after I wash my face both morning and night. My skin immediately feels hydrated, looking bright and dewy. Toner is meant to restore your face’s proper PH level after washing. It also helps close pores and hydrate. Sidenote - I always follow it up with the Smith Farms Marshmallow Face Cream.
Erin helped me decide which products I should invest in. My favourites have been the Green Beaver Grapefruit Facial Cleanser, which removes my make up flawlessly, and the Smith Farms Marshmallow face cream. It smells of oranges and is incredibly refreshing at the end of a long day. A tip from me to you: Apply a pearl size dab of the Marshmallow face cream before your concealer for a perfect smooth finish. I would suggest it as a night cream only for oily skin.
I thank Erin for sharing with me!
Pictured below: Green Beaver, Druide and Smith Farms.
Find more on Marché Elm's website: marcheelm.ca