Where to find organic skincare products in Toronto

I used to be one of those people with perfect skin, no matter how much I abused it. Then one day (cue the horror music), my skin broke out. I had to rethink my skincare regime, and started exploring Toronto’s scene for organic skincare products, free of harsh chemicals. Here are some of the city’s best local spots to get the goods – and trust me, your skin will thank you. [Photo courtesy of Pure + Simple]

WANT Apothecary

1
1070 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W 2L4

Shop for stylish clothes and smart skincare products alike at WANT Apothecary, a pharmacy for style and beauty. While it carries wardrobe essentials, it also stocks a superb collection of skincare must-haves. Shop for organic brands like the youth-prolonging Grown Alchemist and Susanne Kaufmann’s line of oh-so-healing holistic skin potions. WANT also carries Cosmetics 27 by M.E. Skin Lab, which uses the plant centella asiatica as the power ingredient for its dermo-cosmetic products. As for the fellas, they can find selections from Gentleman’s Brand Co., a line that takes a simple approach to men’s skincare regime.

Pure + Simple

2
2375 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P 2C8

Pure ingredients – it’s that simple. Pure + Simple carries its own brand of skincare products that use 100% natural ingredients, free of parabens, petrochemicals, silicones, phthalates, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances and dyes. Try their organic lavender hydrosol, a mist that tones and hydrates with just a spritz (you can literally smell the purity of its key lavender ingredient). This boutique also carries other organic brands and offers natural facials. Their Melissa cream by Martina Gebhardt is a godsend for healing breakouts.

Consonant Skincare

3
2479 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P 2H6

“What goes on your body, goes in your body.” The philosophy behind Consonant is every reason why organic skincare is BOSS. They use botanical ingredients, free of parabens, sulfates, petroleum and phthalates, designed to make your skin feel and look firmer, younger and overall healthier. Their ultra-moisturizing organic eye cream makes my concealer look flawless. And, if you’re looking for the perfect sunscreen (SPF 30), they have that too – no really, that’s what it’s called. Also visit Consonant’s Freeze Clinic at this location for a cold laser facial, popular among celebs like Christy Turlington.

Leaves of Trees

4
177 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M5A 1S2

Handmade, environmentally friendly, free of parabens, artificial musks, formaldehyde, silicones…the list is long, but you get the point – this skincare line gets an A+! Leaves of Trees’ recipes use natural ingredients and unrefined argan oil from Morocco to help moisturize and reduce skin damage, without that greasy feeling. Their most popular product is the lotion deodorant, which comes in two scents: eucalyptus mint and the one I use, lavender tangerine. Gain mental clarity with their headache balm, or try other products like hand and body lotions, soaps, butters, scrubs, and argan oil for the skin and hair.

Saje Natural Wellness

5
399 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2A5

When you walk into Saje, a sense of relaxation washes over you. Scents of the 100%-natural essential oils used in the products waft throughout the store. I’m obsessed with the nebulizers – heat-free essential oil diffusers that help detoxify your skin and purify the air around you. Choose from blends designed for different purposes like allergy relief or an energy boost. Their soap bars are certified organic, and the rest of the products (including skincare) are all-natural, and some are made with organic ingredients. Hot tip: if you struggle with eczema, Saje carries products especially designed for the condition.

Jacob & Sebastian

6
622 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1E4

With so many organic options to choose from, you’ll never need to go back to commercial brands, not when you have a sweet local beauty boutique like Jacob & Sebastian. They carry amazing local lines like the Toronto-based Wildcraft (who are devoted to using 100% natural, simple, easy-to-understand ingredients like honey, distilled flower waters and essential oils) as well as Leaves of Trees, purveyors of the city-famed lotion deodorant. They also stock many international labels, including sensitive-skin saviour Malin + Goetz, Queen of green Tata Harper (cruelty-free products) and London-based Pai, designed for sensitive, allergy-prone skin.

Province Apothecary

7
1518 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6K 1T5

Here’s a place your naturopath will approve of. Province Apothecary is a holistic skincare line that uses 100% active plant ingredients. Stock up on some face and body treatments like lip balms, toners, face and eye serums, body balms, and beard and aftershave oils – just to name a few. Best of all, they have a line of Toronto-bottled organic perfumes, free of alcohol, paraben, phthalate, GMO, and cruelty. Get their perfume sampler and try all six scents for just $5.

Gee Beauty

8
2 Roxborough St W, Toronto, ON M5R 1T8

Don’t just shop for skincare products, learn how to use them too. Gee Beauty is a makeup, brow and skincare studio, where the ladies are all about teaching you how to maintain a healthy beauty routine – and let’s face it, exterior beauty starts with your skin. They stock brands like the paraben-free, anti-aging specialist Caudalíe, leaf and plant extract rejuvenator Goldfaden MD, the 100% natural, non-toxic and environmentally sustainable Tata Harper, and Sunday Riley, which mixes biotechnology with botanicals to create gentle anti-aging formulas. Ask the Gee girls to help you find the right product for your skin.

Helen & Hidegard

9
1174 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1J5

Beautiful inside and out – a concept that Helen + Hidegard gets. They carry natural beauty brands to keep you lookin’ good and organic herbal teas to help you feelin’ good. Shop for handmade bar and liquid soap by Carriage 44, bee bar lotion, and product lines from Matter Company (think Mom & Baby organic body foam, nappy ointment, sun care, and belly jelly for stretch marks). Or, try my absolute favourite thing about this boutique: their workshops, where you can make your own lip balms, deodorants, soap, and other skincare products – it doesn’t get more natural than that!

Going back to school can be tough, especially when you still haven’t found the right books-worthy backpack or tote. For those looking for functionality without sacrificing style, here are some boutiques in Toronto that carry sleek bags – from designer handbags to leather backpacks to bags with the fur – that can take you from school to work to play all in one day. [Photo courtesy of Eleven Thirty]
Being pregnant doesn’t mean sacrificing your personal style. While there are a few stylish maternity stores in Toronto, you can still shop from trendy non-maternity stores, too. Show off that baby bump and look hella chic. Here’s where to shop for styles you can wear before, during and after pregnancy. [Image credit: iStock.com/Chet_W]
All-natural sunscreen options have reached Toronto, using minerals like titanium and zinc, which act as barriers against UVA and UVB rays. From Coola to Boo Bamboo to 100% Pure, here’s where you can find safe, all-natural sunscreen brands in the 6. [Feature image: Consonant Skincare]
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