Natural Winter Skincare

As a new chill to the air rolls in we are reminded of the joys of this new season like snug sweaters, warm drinks and the tender falling snowflakes that romanticize our evenings. At the same time, we can't help but also be reminded that living in the prairies of Canada means our skin suddenly becomes dry, itchy and unpredictable in the wintery months. As skin becomes extra sensitive with the changing of seasons, it is the perfect time to search for non-toxic, all natural products that will protect and nourish your skin. Check out our post on Conscious Cosmetics to learn more about why buying natural products is so important for you and for the planet.

Below, we've listed our top picks for natural winter skincare! 

Facial Exfoliant

My New Neighbour Favourite: Wildcraft Face and Body Scrub

Getting in the habit of exfoliating at least once a week has drastically improved the health of our skin by clearing out dead skin, keeping breakouts at bay and helping absorb the moisturizers and oils we apply after. This gentle scrub by Wildcraft has a minty-tingle that leaves us feeling ultra-refreshed.  

Facial Wash

Teagan's Pick: Rocky Mountain Soap Avocado Facial Soap Bar

Shelby's Pick: Lowen's Vegan Face & Body Cleanser

Rocky Mountain Soap and Lowen's are two 'made in Alberta' companies that we absolutely adore. Both prioritize soothing, natural ingredients with a passion for bringing holistic skincare to their community.  

Facial Moisturizer

Teagan's Pick: Neal's Yard Remedies DIY Facial Oil

Shelby's Pick: Eminence Organics Eight Greens Whip Moisturizer

Both Neal's Yard Remedies and Eminence products are all-natural, organic and have a luxurious feel when being applied. We have found that each product lasts many months and is well worth the price.

YYC Tip: If you're looking for Eminence Organics in Calgary, check out The Natural Art of Skincare or Leela Eco Spa

Facial Serum

My New Neighbour Favourite: Pure Creations Hyaluronic Serum  

Pure Creations is another locally-made gem that can be found at many health food stores. Their Hyaluronic Serum adds the perfect amount of moisture to extra dry skin when applied with a moisturizer. Check out their online skin care quiz to find out which products are right for your skin. 

Facial Mask

Teagan's Pick: Neal's Yard Remedies White Tea Facial Mask

Shelby's Pick: Rocky Mountain Soap Calming Face Mask

A post-exfoliation facial mask every other week is an affordable way to reap the benefits of a spa facial by providing extra nourishment for your skin and maybe even time to sit down and enjoy taking care of yourself. Stick with Neal's Yard or Rocky Mountain Soap to ensure you are getting high quality natural ingredients in your mask.  

Body Oil

Teagan's Pick: Apple Island Naturals (Purple Haze) Bath and Body Oil

Shelby's Pick: Ellie Bianca Body Oil 

Body oil is a new thing for us, but oh boy, we are believers! We came to realize that body lotion and body oil are pretty much the same thing, except that lotion often has added emulsifiers and fillers. Body oil products are often simply a mixture of oils. We've come to love the lavish yet wholesome feel of applying body oil. Apple Island and Ellie Bianca are two Canadian companies committed to creating completely pure skincare products, and their body oils are top notch. We've also enjoyed concocting our own body oils at home, using information found here.

Body Exfoliant

My New Neighbour Favourite: Om Organics Wild Plum Body Scrub

Om Organic's sugar scrub smells so good you literally gasp with satisfaction upon opening. This gentle, moisturizing and effective scrub keeps our skin bright through all seasons.  We're looking forward to giving Airdrie's Lamb Soapworks body scrub a try soon!

Lip Balm

Teagan's Pick: Moody Bee Vanilla Peppermint Lip Balm

Shelby's Pick: Lowen's Be Local Lip Balm

A fantastic lip balm = a fantastic day, right?! Moody Bee and Lowen's are Canadian-made lip balms with the perfect amount of local honey to add moisture and scent that is oh so yummy. 

Sun Protection

My New Neighbour Favourite: Rocky Mountain Soap Vanilla Coconut Sunscreen  

On the ski slopes, the snow shoeing trail or just a winter walk with your dog,it is still important to protect your skin in the winter sunlight. Rocky Mountain Soap's sunscreen is, hands down, our favourite natural sunscreen. It blends well, smells wonderful and has protected our skin from the sun all summer. We will continue to keep it on hand for our outdoor winter adventures!  

Do you have a favourite winter skincare product? Let us know!

P.S. - This post is not sponsored. All products have been included because of their high quality ingredients and proven efficacy. 


​Clothing Swaps: Community + Conscious Shopping

Gingerly, you slide each garment laden hanger along the clothing rack as the murmurs of other fashion savvy individuals hum in the background. Out of the corner of your eye you catch a glimpse of it. You briskly slide the hanger over to get a full view. You let the soft fabric fill your palm as you examine the cut and size of the piece. Your heart flutters. You have been looking for a dress like this for ages. You remove the hanger from the rack and glowingly stare at the piece, a smile of relief and triumph creeping across your mouth. You search the room, wondering what wild woman would release this dress to the world. You can't wait to take it home and treasure it, for free!

Stories of surprise, delight and budget-friendly wardrobe updates have us convinced clothing swaps need to be a part of everyone's yearly routine! After last year's clothing swap, we received a lot of wonderful feedback from our swap attendees that they are still thrilled with and constantly complimented on pieces they picked up at our swap. With that in mind it was an obvious decision to host another one this year.

We've included some swap-hosting tips throughout the post, and to show off some favourite swap pieces (and some favourite friends), we constructed a simple photo booth with paper flowers handmade by Prairie Love for our friends to display their swap finds. 

Here are a few things we learned from the swap..

Tip 1: Set up garment racks and lots of hangers. This makes it easy and enjoyable to look through the clothes.

If you have to pile the clothes, try neatly folding or spreading them out so the pile doesn't feel as much like 'dumpster diving'. Find inexpensive garment racks second hand on sites like Kijiji, or borrow from a friend. 

Tip 2: Set up as much as possible beforehand and designate racks/piles for certain items - dresses, dress shirts, t shirts, pants and skirts, active wear, etc. 

Request your guests to arrive a few minutes early or right on time so everyone's clothes can be in place before the 'swapping' begins. 

Tip 3: Set up a mirror or two for guests to easily try on their swap finds 

We set up a few mirrors and designated a couple private change spaces for our guests to try on their potential take-home treasures. 

Tip 4: Embrace teamwork!

Organizing a swap might seem daunting, but getting your friends involved can be a huge help! For this swap, we borrowed a garment rack and a mirror from friends and also asked a few people to bring a snack to share. We love how food makes for a comfortable and easy-to-mingle atmosphere. 

Tip 5: Get it into their calendars! 

Tell your friends at least a month in advance about your swap so they have time to go through their closets. (It doesn't hurt to remind me them the week before either!) We have found creating an event on Facebook to be a useful tool for sharing the event and getting our pals excited to swap. 

At the end of the swap, we sorted the leftover items into separate piles for consignment at The Clothing Bar and donation to Women in Need Society

We'd love to hear about your experience or questions about clothing swaps! 

If you're looking for more information..

Find out other ways we "survive" ethical fashion HERE.