I met the lovely Dominique, owner of Wildwood ( a local, all natural and handmade skincare brand) just a few months ago in a quaint area of Toronto called The Beaches. She had just opened her shop called Rowan Homespun , a beautiful lifestyle boutique that sells a curated collection of vintage homewares, and all natural skincare products including her own line WildWood. I tested out the line, that has over the years grown a very dedicated following, and absolutely loved it! As someone who has always had very sensitive skin, I loved how her products felt gentle and nourishing on the skin. Today on the blog, we get to know Dominique a little better, why she started Wildwood and we even get some skincare tips for the winter! Enjoy! Sarah xx
What inspired you to start Wildwood?
The journey started when I was quite young, my maternal grandmother who is a traditional healer, and yoga instructor would take me on adventures in the fecund forest behind our family farm in search of wild herbs, mushrooms and flowers which we would use to make infused oils, herbal salves and teas. I learned early on to deeply appreciate the power of herbalism and wildcrafting. When I moved to Toronto 7 years ago, I began keeping a small garden of herbs in my windowsill and would make small batches of tea and body care products for friends and family as gifts. I continued to study herbalism and holistic healing, taking a number of courses along the way as my passion for the subject grew. This eventually formed into a little side business, and when I wasn’t working as a corporate events and wedding coordinator, I was at the farmers market on weekends selling my potions. I loved working with like minded folks, and being intertwined in the farmers market circle. After lots of wonderful feedback from my customers, I decided to quit my job and work on Wildwood full time!
What do you love most about the process of making your products?
I love being a part of such an interactive and healing craft. The cyclical ritual of growing the herbs and flowers on my families property, tending to their care and eventually harvesting what we’ve sewn is tremendously gratifying and humbling. We work alongside many local growers and wild crafters as well, and often share our provisions. The community is wonderful and full of such incredible people. The act of transforming ingredients into healing products is the icing on the cake. There is nothing more peaceful then walking into my sunny little studio space in the early morning and readying my ingredients for a day of mixing and making.
What was the first product you ever made and why?
This is probably going back at least10 years, but I made a face scrub with cornmeal and crushed herbs. It smelled strange, but worked like a charm! Its successor is our Kindred Gentle Exfoliating Mask with Raw Honey and Rhassoul Clay. Every time I use it now, I fondly think back to the muddled yellow scrub that I made many moons ago and how it started the wildwood journey!
Why is using all natural ingredients in skincare important?
For us, it’s not about being on a soap box and preaching. We are just so passionate about sharing the botanical magic that the earth has to offer in its most natural form. I grew up on a farm where we grew all of our food, and made most of our household products from cleaning and herbal medicine to beauty remedies using simple and organically grown ingredients. Our skincare line is free of artificial preservatives and fragrances, fillers, emulsifiers, and sulphates. We use only pure oils, extracts, herbs, flowers and butters. Being cognizant of what our personal care products contain and where their ingredients originate from helps us to better understand what we are putting on and in our bodies.
With winter coming, what are your recommendations and/or tips to keep skin well hydrated?
As we know all too well, Canadian winters can be really harsh and taxing on our delicate skin. There are a few simple steps that you can follow to help keep your skin hydrated and glowing.
1) Stay Hydrated - It is just as important to hydrate your body on the inside, as it is to hydrate on the outside. Drink plenty of water and herbal teas throughout the day to keep skin supple.
2) Eat Whole Foods - A diet rich in nuts, seeds and foods like Avocado which are rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytonutrients will help your body to retain the vital nutrients it needs.
3) Exfoliate - Its so important to slough off dead skin cells so that regeneration of new cells can begin. A gentle exfoliation every 3-4 days will encourage your skin to maintain a soft, supple texture which can better absorb the nutrients in your moisturizer.
4) Layer Skincare - Using a nourishing facial serum like our IDUNN Regenerating Face Elixir, will help to infuse the skin with the proper nutrition it requires maintain a natural moisture barrier. Following with a rich balm or cream in areas which are prone to dryness will help to lock in hydration and keep chapped skin at bay.
5) Add Humidity - Using a mister or humidifier at night when your skin is focusing the most on regenerating will help to soothe irritation caused by dryness, and offer skin the hydration support it needs to rest and repair.
What was the best health/ beauty advice you ever got?
The women in my life always gave me such great skincare advice. The key points focused around moderation in life. Less is always more regarding sun exposure, consuming dehydrating alcoholic beverages, and wearing make up - most importantly, drink lots of water, eat whole foods and use good skincare products. I also learned from an early age that the best thing you can do for your body, is love yourself and know that you’re enough exactly as you are. Positivity and self-love are the best ingredients for happy, beautiful skin that ages with grace and joy.
Do you have a fun and simple DIY beauty recipe you could share with us that we could do at home ourselves?
I have always been in love with any recipe that includes Turmeric. This mask is one of my favourites as it combines the incredible anti-immflamatory and brightening powers of ground turmeric, with nourishing milk which acts as a gentle exfoliant, raw honey which is renowned for its healing, anti-microbial and hydrating properties, and coconut oil which soothes and deeply moisturizes.
1 tbsp ground organic turmeric
1 tbsp raw liquid honey
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tbsp whole milk
Mix all ingredients into a paste, and apply to moist, cleansed skin with fingertips and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and apply a hydrating mist and serum to finish. Any remaining mask can be kept in the refrigerator and used within 3 days. Fair skin may notice gentle but temporary colour deposited from the turmeric.
Check out our exclusive Wildwood collaboration " The Cedarwood + Rose Multi Purpose Oil with WildWood here .