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Health and Home: Four local products you can find in your ‘hood

By Hollie James on April 24, 2015

Everyone has their weekly grocery store routine, and that’s exactly where I used to buy all of my health and home products, but then terra20 opened at the end of my street. Since their one purpose is to encourage a healthier, sustainable lifestyle, how could I not check it out? Ever since stepping in for the first time, I now make weekly trips here for various products.

Terra20 CEOs Steve Kaminski and Bill Stewart hit the nail on the head – they were on a mission to create an easier way to explore greener options. And so evolved this little gem. As an eco-beginner, I was thrilled when I noticed that terra20 was holding a community event, a little reprieve from winter with an evening of sampling Ontario fine wines while shopping. It was here that I discovered four different, brilliant products made locally. Here they are, so make sure to add them to your shopping list.

Purple Urchin Cocoa Butter Coffee Scrub

Photo from purple urchin website.

Photo from purple urchin website.

I’ve never been quite sure exactly how to use a scrub properly, so I’ve stayed as far away from them as I could. But since I’ve used hand soap from Purple Urchin in the past and loved it, I couldn’t turn away. And I quickly discovered it really is easy to use. You just apply it to your wet skin in the shower or the bath once a week and rinse off. It can also be used as a hand scrub in your bathroom sink. Apparently, the cocoa butter softens and nourishes the skin, while the coffee exfoliates, increases circulation, and redistributes fat cells, thus reducing the appearance of cellulite and varicose veins. Bonus: It has a warm caramel macchiato scent with a hint of cinnamon. If it brings the scent of Starbucks right into my bathroom, I’ll take it.

Argan Oil by Biosecrets

I’m a little bit happier every time I apply the 100% certified Organic Moroccan Argan Oil, mainly because of the backstory – the owner, Sihem Benali, immigrated to Canada years ago and started the company to foster sustainable development and empower Moroccan Berber women. Argan oil can be used on your face, hair, body, and nails as a moisturizing agent. It’s extremely rich in antioxidants and vitamin E, and it’s cold-pressed, with no additives or preservatives. At $35, it isn’t cheap, but you need to use so little that it’s sure to last you and give you your money’s worth.

Saaboon handmade vegan soap

Photo from Saaboon Handmade Soap Facebook page.

Photo from Saaboon Handmade Soap Facebook page.

Saaboon is an all-natural vegan soap boutique based in Ottawa. They create other products such as lip balm and face oil, with their soaps as their big draw. They’re made from scratch, using a cold-process method, and they’re created in small batches to ensure consistent quality. saaboon refrains from using artificial fragrance oils, artificial colour, and preservatives, using only the finest natural oils and butters. As a result, these soaps are gentle and suitable for all skin types. With soaps like “Wash & Glow” created with French green clay, and “Camp Fire” which yes, includes a camp fire smell thanks to the addition of Cade Oil,, these soaps are so unique, I think I might be over body wash.

Bare Love Body

This product, from the Bare Love Beauty line, is deemed a daily recovery treatment for all skin types. Akin to a moisturizer, you use it in the exact same way, applying all over after you’ve showered. What makes it unique is that it uses its own trademarked OlioLove Technology. With this process, their blend of oils are naturally micro-encapsulated, cradled and delivered to the skin in a controlled time-release manner. With no synthetic ingredients, chemicals, or fragrances, the Bare Love Body product is designed to improve skin elasticity and overall radiance.

As I mentioned, I’m an eco-beginner. I’ve become more conscious of recycling (and actually started using the green bin), I eat more locally grown food (thanks to Ottawa Organics), and so the obvious and logical next step for me was to buy more local, eco-friendly products. It’s only one of the many, many more changes that I want to make in order to leave our planet better off, and having terra20 stocked full of local products means it’s an added benefit that I end up feeling good when I leave since it’s lessening my own and my household’s carbon footprint.