Meet Candace, a woman with sensitive skin and an active interest in green living. She tried the Sola Coconut Deodorant, All Better Balm, Soft Skin Balm, and the Bare Bum Balm. Here is what she said about Sola Skincare:
Natural, handmade beauty products have always been a delightful obsession for me. My fascination with medicinal, beauty, and nutritional plant concoctions was what led me to first study and then work in sustainability. I like knowing what my products are made of, where and how they were grown and produced and whether they will heal and nourish my body or poison it. I am always on the search for a product I can trust.
My skin is quite sensitive. It dries out easily and becomes red and sore at the slightest change in weather, product use, or dietary change. I never quite understood why nothing seemed to work well on my skin until I met my partner who has asthma and is allergic to all chemical fragrances. Once we moved in together I rid our new shared apartment, and my cosmetic bag, of anything with fragrance. We had scentless everything and a whole slew of new “natural” skincare products (albeit made by large corporations I knew little about). Although we did this for his health I noticed a marked improvement in my skin resiliency.
The result of this was a new awareness of how bombarded we are by chemicals in our home and in our beauty products. Now when someone wears a commercial fragrance or uses scented soap, shampoo or anything else, I find it makes me feel very ill and when these products come in contact with my skin they produce a red, dry, sickly looking result.
In an effort to find products we could trust (from a sustainability perspective) and that were chemical and fragrance free we found Sola Skincare.
We began making our own dish and laundry soaps and household cleaners in an effort to know exactly what we were spraying all over our house. And, after switching to Sola Skinvare Balancing Face Oil and Rose Hydrosol, my face completely rebounded from rosacea and a cycle of dry to breakout skin. However, there was one product we just could not find an alternative to —deodorant.
I think the story of trying every natural deodorant on the market is probably familiar to most of the people reading this. Of course, none of them worked. The number of embarrassing moments brought to me by the natural deodorant market cannot be exaggerated. I gave up entirely on this challenge accepting that deodorant is just might be one of those things that must contain harmful chemicals to work. The alternative, smelling like a ripe cave-woman, tested the limits of my commitment to a toxic free lifestyle.
When Christine (owner of Sola Skincare) told me about her Coconut Deodorant I’ll admit I decided to humour her because she is a nice person with good intentions to make good products. My expectations were low honestly. As far as I was concerned there was no natural deodorant that worked. My partner and I tried it together and promised each other to tell her a “gentle lie” when in the end, we assumed, it wouldn’t work. Surprisingly though it did work and conversations like this one began to take place in our house.
“Wow, I exercised yesterday and haven’t showered for like the whole weekend and I still smell good. Smell my armpits!”
“That’s crazy. You should tell Christine that”
“Yeah! Oh, wait. No. Maybe I shouldn’t tell her that I didn’t shower all weekend”
“Yeah, maybe not”
That stuff works. It’s incredible. And, we’ve been phasing out our industrial deodorant ever since.
What I like particularly though about the Sola Coconut Deodorant is that it smells so lovely. The temptation to eat it has created silly moments where I am caught with the container an inch from my nose while I breathe it in. The thing about removing all fragrances from the house is that I have missed using fragrant beauty products. This deodorant has a light subtle scent of chocolate and coconut and has a calming effect on the senses. It is also calm and sensitive enough not to bother my partner’s allergies and I could swear it heals razor burn. Deodorant that provides additional aromatherapy (not the intended use for the product!) is a lovely addition to our bathroom cabinet.
I wouldn’t survive a whole winter in a cold dry climate. As my partner frequently says I am a “delicate flower” and my skin, not one to prove him wrong, is not fond of extremes in temperature. The snow and dry cold air this winter did a number on my hands. My knuckles and tops of many hands had become so dry that they began bleeding daily. Large Grand Canyon like cracks in my skin had begun to form and were so established that no normal creams seemed to be up for the challenge. Anything I put on them only gave me temporary comfort from the sharp pain.
I received the All Better Balm as a package of Sola Skincare balms for Christmas from my mother-in-law. I rubbed a small amount into the tops of my hands one night and let the balm sit. The next day they were measurably improved with the red softened to a light pink and the open cracks nearly sealed.
The second night I did the same thing. In the morning the tops of my hands were still a light pink but the Grand Canyons had become surface cracks. After that it stopped hurting so admittedly I forgot to keep using the balm. Occasionally, I would remember to put on the Sola All Better Balm which I wasn’t using regularly at that point, but otherwise I kind of forgot about it.
The Sola All Better Balm healed the immediate winter ravaging of my knuckles but somehow my hands never got that bad again for the rest of the season. My theory is that the balm allowed my skin to heal and build up a resiliency that required only the lighter balm to maintain. I am not a dermatologist and have no idea what I am talking about in this regard, but I swear the balm genuinely made the sores all better with a long-term result. A product that lives up to its name. What a strange thing in a world where this is rarely the case! The fact that I have been so surprised by the efficacy of these products says something about the other products on the market out there!
Of course, I was excited it worked and I made my partner feel my skin. "Feel my skin!" I said to which he gave me his "you're a weirdo" look but obliged. Then he said “feels like silk” and gave me wink. Now I'm thinking this balm should be renamed "marriage elixir?"
Not falling far from the tree my little five-year old son has even more sensitive skin than I do. He was also hit hard by the recent cold dry winter. After a particularly long cold, and an approach to managing a runny nose that looks borrowed from our neighbours' dog, his lips were licked and rubbed red and puffy. The poor little guy looked like he had a growth on his bottom lip and the constant licking and rubbing with his sleeve was making the irritation from the boogers worse.
We couldn’t stop the licking and the rubbing and we couldn’t put anything on his lips that wasn’t edible so I thought I’d try the Sola Bare Bum Balm. Since it was made for sensitive little bodies and safe enough to be edible if he licked off it would not harm him. It seemed a safe bet. Regular lip balm had not been successful.
I applied a small amount to his skin along the lower lips for about three days straight. The area under his lower lip completely mellowed out and we were able to return to lip balm on the lips and nothing else on the skin below after that. He seemed cured of it even though the cold continued for about a week longer.
Now I wish I had had this balm when my son was in diapers as a baby. The speed at which this balm healed tender sensitive skin was such a relief and it made me feel like a super mom. Even though I didn’t make the balm I accepted the “thanks mommy” for making him feel better anyway!
I am very busy. I have a full-time job, a five-year old, family and volunteer responsibilities, and numerous hobbies. I am like many mothers out there. My moments of peace and quiet are stolen from sleep by waking up before the sun rises in the morning and staying up at late night after the little guy is tucked into bed.
One of my favorite mama rituals has become my alone time with my Sola Soft Skin Balm. Now, before the readers jump to winking and air quoting the phrase “alone time”, I’ll tell you what I really mean! To establish better sleep hygiene I’ve begun a new bedtime ritual. I brew myself a hot cup of chamomile and lavender tea, prop myself up with a soft pillow in bed, turn the lights down low and put a book on my lap. Before I start reading and sipping my tea I take off my rings and open a tin of Sola Soft Skin Balm.
The soft and sweet aroma of the balm is already enough to make me feel post yoga class calm. The texture is like soft butter and goes on so smoothly. Usually healing balms go on super oily and then just stay on top of the skin which I find very annoying. The Sola Soft Skin Balm begins to absorb into the skin while still leaving a very light layer of protection on top so that it doesn’t need to be reapplied five minutes later like most hand creams do. Fifteen minutes later it absorbs in and there was no greasy residue. In place of this usual residue is a ridiculous softness.
Part of my ritual is to slowly massage the Sola Soft Skin Balm into my hands and wrists. As I rub it into my hands the light scent of shea butter, lavender, and beeswax rises up and calm my mind. The combination of the aromatherapy of the Balm, the instant relief it brings to my always dry skin, and the light massage my hands get while I apply it, has become a small moment of peace and pleasure in a day of stress and exhaustion.
The Sola Soft Skin Balm doesn’t just relieve dry skin and create baby bum soft hands. Which I can tell you it is very well suited for. It is also a salve for the mind and body. For me it forces an abrupt pause in the frenzy of modern life, a stopping of time, for a moment of mindfulness and self-care. For this reason the Sola Soft Skin Balm has a permanent home on my bedroom side table.
To see the entire Sola Body Collection, click here.