What is United and Free and what inspired you to start this company?
UNITED & FREE Skincare is a plant based hair and skincare company that is committed to providing men and women with quality beauty products. Our goal is to produce products that are beneficial to your health, your skin and the environment, all while inspiring others to live a life of freedom and intent.
My brother and I started to formulate the line in 2015 with the purpose of providing people with amazing natural products that benefit the hair and skin. Five years ago, after the birth of my daughter, Jade, I developed a number of skin and hair issues. I started to experience hair loss, I developed cystic acne and I became extremely sensitive to perfumes and fragrances. I was at a loss of what I could do to get my skin and my body back to normal. I decided I needed a change in routine and completely overhauled my beauty regiment and made the switch to use only natural skin safe products. I started to stockpile natural products and began filling my beauty cabinet with everything from facial serums and cleansers to shampoos and conditioners. I was spending a lot of money and not seeing the results I intended; none of those products worked for my skin or my hair. I spoke with my brother (a former natural food formulator) and after many conversations we decided to go ahead and create our own line of skin and hair care products that are both effective and natural.
What are your company's philosophies and why are they important to you?
There are a few philosophies which are near and dear to my heart. I hold the environment, ethics, product education and product quality to the highest standards. I grew up in a family business and learned the importance of these philosophies from my father who ran an organic ice cream shop in Nova Scotia. From an early age, he taught me that quality natural ingredients produce outstanding products.
When creating the UNITED & FREE Skincare line it was important that the products meet environmental/ethical standards such as being; vegan, cruelty free, biodegradable and that the ingredients are ethically sourced. Even our packaging is recyclable and comes from a carbon neutral facility in Australia.
I always try to educate people on the importance of choosing safe natural beauty products. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it is always safe. I think the more people are educated on the industry the more equipped they become to make the right buying choices.
What are your Summer skincare tips?
Summer can be a tough time for skin if you’re not prepared. These are some of my go-to tips to keep you and your skin flawless and healthy.
1. Staying hydrated – This seems like a no brainer, but our bodies tend to reflect everything that’s happening internally and externally. Staying hydrated not only helps with your joints and organs but it also helps with keeping fluid in your cells, removing waste from your body (sweating) and carrying nutrients around your body. Get your 8 glasses in!
2. Balanced diet – No matter what your dietary preferences are (vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, etc.) you should make sure you are consuming a balanced diet. Having a balanced diet helps to make sure your whole body is fueled and able to function as it is intended to. Eating lots of greens and veggies will help keep your internal water intake high, so be sure to load up foods like cucumber, celery, avocado, green peppers, spinach, cauliflower and watermelon.
3. Sleep – Often neglected, sleep is one of the most important things to try to fit into your night. It’s hard for me most nights to get enough sleep because of my business and daughter but I find a way to catch up on it when I can. Sleep allows your body to repair, digest and relax. It’s the reason we seem to have less puffy eyes after a full night’s rest or that our skin looks like its glowing.
4. Exercise and stress reduction - Running, yoga, meditation, hiking, the list goes on; choose your own adventure and stick to it! As I mentioned before, our body tends to take everything happening internally and externalize it. All the stress from catching up on the week can build up and really show in your face, eyes and skin. Taking some time each day for self development and stress relief is not only key to good skin, but key to good health.
5. A bomb ass moisturizer/SPF –When looking for a moisturizer/SPF I try to make sure it has some, if not all of the following: it’s a pH balanced product to work with your skin, it has the right oils to work with your skins natural barrier and help seal in moisture, it’s as natural as possible, and lastly it doesn’t contain perfumes (for obvious reasons). A good moisturizer/SPF should leave your skin feeling soft, smooth and plump. It will help to protect against dry skin and microtears.
What is plant based skin care? What are some of your favourite natural ingredients to use? Why?
Plant based skincare literally comes from plants. Our ingredients are derived from a vegetal plant source that make up a complete formulated product. We use high quality oils, butters, waxes and botanicals like Coconut for example: Coconut is such a versatile fruit/nut/seed that it can be applied in a multitude of products. Our Lo-Foam shampoo, Prime body wash and Balance facial cleanser use coconut alcohol and fats to make a nice gentle foaming cleanser, while we use coconut oil in our Hydrofy conditioner to smooth and instantly detangle.
With summer fast approaching these are a few of my favorite ingredients😊. I love red raspberry seed oil because it is high in natural SPF and concentrated amounts of omegas 3’s and 6’s. It acts as a powerful antioxidant, making it one of my favorite go-to ingredients. I like to use it in our formulations and on its own as a body oil.
I’m also a huge fan or shea butter! Shea butter is a whitish colored fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. It is an amazing butter that conditions and creates a protective layer on the skin. It’s great to have on hand all year round.
When I formulate products it is always important to think about how each ingredient works with the other to produce the benefit I’m trying to achieve.
Where can we find your product?
UNITED & FREE Skincare products are sold in various retailers throughout British Columbia, Yukon, Alberta and Toronto. We are looking to expand further east this Summer, so our product line will be coast to coast. We also retail through our “click and mortar” online store unitedandfree.com
We would like to offer your readers and customers a promo code which will be good for the next 30 days. If you purchase products from our website, please use code KARMAUNITED and you will receive 15% off of your purchase.