Meet Meg. She's 23 years old, lives in the Okanagan Valley, and she's going back to the University of British Columbia in the fall to pursue becoming a teacher. Read on for her thoughts on our Coconut Deodorant, Bare Bum Balm, Relief Balm & Rose Hydrosol.
After causing myself some major grief with a recurring cycle of contact dermatitis that I made worse by bombarding my skin with irritant laden products, I started the process of switching to natural, simple skincare products that I can trust. For me, trust means that I know not only exactly what is in the products, but also where they are being sourced and made, and by whom. Ideally, I would also like to use products that are made as close to home as possible. Sola Skincare fits the bill. I found Sola through Nikki at The Green Vanity in Kelowna, who introduced me to their Coconut Deodorant.
Almost a year later, I am just about ready to purchase my third tin. It works better than any natural or conventional deodorant I have ever tried. With the Coconut Deodorant, I basically smell like nothing no matter what I have done throughout the day! So when Christine offered to let me try some of her other products, I was confident I would like them. Spoiler: I was right.
Before I get in to the products themselves, I want to mention how impressed I am with Sola Skincare’s packaging. The more I think about what “green beauty” means, the more I realize that it has to be eco-friendly. Using metal tins and containers instead of plastic is a great place to start. In addition, there was a note in my package assuring me that the shipping materials had been reused to reduce waste. This is a clear sign that Sola’s values align with my own.
I opted for the Bare Bum Balm over the All Better Balm because I was convinced that I would share it with a friend and her baby boy. In retrospect, I should have scooped some out for them before trying it myself because I cannot part with it now. I have already made a huge dent in my tin because I have been putting this on every scrape, bump, and dry patch I can find. The Bare Bum Balm has quickly become a bedside table essential!
It was lucky that I received this just before the May Long Weekend because, while camping, I spent too long in the sun, burnt my finger roasting a marshmallow, and got a few bug bites. The perfect opportunity to put the Bare Bum Balm to the test! I have very fair skin that burns easily and normally takes awhile to heal. But since I applied this as soon as I realized I had gotten too much sun, my skin did not get as red or dry as it normally would. I was even more impressed that I did not end up with any breakouts from having put such a thick, oil-based balm on my face. This balm also took the sting out of my marshmallow burn overnight. It did not take the itch out of my bug bites, but I did not really expect it to because I react quite severely to mosquitos. However, the bites never got as swollen as they usually do, so I am not sure if that is due to this product or if I just scratched less. Either way, I will keep putting the Bare Bum Balm on bites just in case it does help them heal.
I am 6’ tall and my back gets pretty tight when I have to work at a desk, so I am always in need of some kind of muscle rub. I used to reach for Tiger Balm, but given that ingredient lists, sourcing information, etc. are not easy to find, I knew I needed to find an alternative I could 100% trust. The Relief Balm is not as potent as Tiger Balm, but that is not a bad thing. It helps my hands to glide over my skin and does not absorb too quickly, making massaging my sore muscles easy and enjoyable. It also adds a bit of warmth, which always feels nice. And it is almost scentless! This is a huge bonus because all of the various muscle rubs I used in the past were overwhelmingly and irritatingly scented. I found the Relief Balm to be a good, gentle alternative that I am sure even those with sensitive skin and noses could benefit from.
I have wanted to try a rose hydrosol for some time now, so I jumped at the opportunity to try Sola’s. I used to think that a toner was a pointless skincare step but, since incorporating one in my routine this past year, I have found that it noticeably amps up the moisture my skin receives. It also makes subsequently applying oils (my preferred type of moisturizer) more effective. I have been using the Rose Hydrosol morning and night, and as many other times throughout the day as I can! After washing my face, I liberally mist my skin with the Rose Hydrosol and apply an oil while my skin is still damp, making it much easier to spread the oil across my face and to rub it in. If I am feeling lazy and do not want to fully cleanse my face, I use the hydrosol alone on a reusable cotton round to wipe away the day’s grime (NOTE: I hardly ever wear makeup, but would never skip fully cleansing my face when I do). I also use the Rose Hydrosol as a sort of midday touch-up when I have been out and about and feel a bit sticky, or after a workout to make sure the detox benefit of sweating it out is not counteracted by letting sweat sit on my skin for too long. Essentially, this has quickly become my go-to skincare product. In just over three weeks I have almost used up an entire bottle! Normally I would feel like this means I am overusing and wasting the product, but Sola’s hydrosol is so affordable that I do not mind if I have to buy a new one each month, and I probably will!
You can follow Meg on Instagram @crueltyfreefirst