What are your big three signs? Sun, Moon, Rising?
Aries / Capricorn / Sagittarius
Where did you grow up?
In the Cowichan Valley
What were you like as a kid?
Quiet, curious, always outside
What did you do before creating natural skin care products?
I worked in restaurants cooking and baking!
Honestly it just sort of...happened. I think I was looking for a way to fuse my passion for plants and desire to support others with my very analytical brain in a form that wouldn't easily get boring and would offer me the freedom to do everything from wild harvesting to making tinctures and extracts to learning the science behind formulating, and I found it in skin care. I have always been really good with flavours, and creating recipes, and botanical skin care formulation is actually very similar in a lot of ways. For whatever reason, everything I feel drawn to or passionate about seems to fit perfectly into the processes of crafting skin care products.
What's your favourite product?
What has been the biggest hurdle in running your own business?
The biggest hurdle for me of running my own business has been the business side of things. I have a wild and crazy mind that thrives on being creative, but when you are running your own business you also have to consider everything else that comes with it - accounting, record keeping, inventory, budgeting, social media, etc. - if you want to create a business that is sustainable and will continue to grow and evolve in a manageable way.
When you aren't crafting potions where can we find you?
In my garden, or in the bath.
What is on your nightstand?
A Himalayan salt lamp, a jar of Chamomile Balm, and a big glass of water.
Who/what are your favourite podcasts?
I love anything that forces me to think or expands my perspective. Anything that presents things from a variety of different perspectives and explores all the different reasons why something is the way it is. I tend to gravitate more towards certain people than specific podcasts, and right now my top two are Zach Bush and Beth McDougall.
Ok down to the nitty gritty.
I find during the summer my skin is either super oily or really dry. Do you recommend changing up your skincare routine for the different seasons? What type of a morning/night time routine should we be doing?
I've always felt that each one of us knows our skin (and ourselves) best. If you are noticing your skin getting a little oilier in the summer, or feeling like it needs more hydration, my best advice would be to honour that and pivot with your skin care. Just as we don't always have the same internal needs all year long, we also won't always have the same skin care needs, and it's totally OK to switch it up!
What are some products you would recommend for oily skin?
My top picks for oily skin would be Flower Child, Sunshine Serum, and the Flora+Fungi clay mask. Flower Child is deeply hydrating, and I've come to realize most (if not all) of us could use a little more hydration in our skin. Sometimes when we lack skin hydration, our body will respond by increasing sebum production to prevent skin based dehydration from getting worse. Sunshine Serum contains Niacinamide, which is great for regulating sebum production, as well as hyaluronic acid to offer added hydration. Flora+Fungi is a potent mask made with Comox glacial marine clay that works to draw impurities from the skin while absorbing excess oil.
How about dry skin?
Flower Child, Dream State, and Moon Water mask. All three of these offerings work to provide increased hydration to the skin, while also working to support healthy barrier function and bolster the skin microbiome. When your microbiome is healthy and functioning, your skin will retain moisture as it should while turning over dead cells at a rate which will alleviate dryness.
Also, what about body skincare? Are there summertime products you would recommend for that?
I think gentle, full body exfoliation is a must for summer! You can achieve this using a soft dry brushing body mitt, a sugar or salt scrub, or even just by taking a long mineral bath once a week to soften the skin and encourage dead cells to slough away. You can follow this up with a body cream like Sunshine Cream, which is made with a small amount of fruit based alpha hydroxy acids for added gentle exfoliation, as well as hyaluronic acid to introduce added hydration, and raw organic cacao butter to seal in moisture. My other big body based go to right now is lymphatic massage using a body sized gua sha and a herb infused oil, to support lymphatic drainage and bring blood flow to the surface of the skin. It also feels amazing!
We all know hydration is important, especially during hot weather but are there other herbal teas or tinctures you would recommend for hydrating from the inside out?
Lots of water is always my first suggestion! Beyond this, turning to things like fresh, vitamin C rich fruits and berries and incorporating an electrolyte into your routine can help prevent dehydration and reduce transdermal water loss while supporting collagen production.
We know you are a mad scientist and always coming up with new natural products, got anything planned for this summer?
I have a really cool mid-summer series of offerings planned with a focus on ingestible and topical options to support the heart space and encourage a deeper relationship with self. Plant friends like Nootka rose, Hibiscus, Ginger root, Elderflower, Strawberry, Wild Yarrow, and Coastal Mugwort will all make an appearance, and will be woven together in everything from elixirs and oxymels to anointing oils and body mists.
Ok, if there are only three tips you could give folks regarding summertime skin care what would they be?
My top three tips for summer skin care:
1. Find an SPF you love and use it every single day (don't forget to reapply)!
2. Drink more water than you think you should!
3. Gentle Exfoliation weekly and use something deeply hydrating (like Flower Child or Moon Water) every day.
Kristen is the owner of Forest Etiquette a natural and organic skincare company based locally here in Victoria, BC. Not only have we been stocking her beautiful products since we opened I have been personally using them for the last two years and my skin has never felt & looked better!
You can find an array of fan favourites at the shop www.creamlifeandstyle.ca