Last July, Lindsay and I hosted our annual Made in Canada Baby event, and natural skincare specialists Garden by the Sea joined us for the first time. What really stood out to me was the obvious care and attention this mother and daughter team from New Brunswick put into all their skincare products. They’re all handcrafted in small batches and 100% natural. You won’t find any parabens, dyes, sulfates, synthetic fragrances or other harmful ingredients. Instead, they use only pure essential oils, high grade carrier oils, natural fruit butters, and natural botanicals.
I was so impressed with their ingredient list (and more importantly what’s not in it), I wanted to try some for myself. So last month, Garden by the Sea kindly sent us a selection of their natural skin care products to try out and review for you.
Hand & Heel Balm and Lip Butter
I always have dry hands and rough, dry, and hard heels, so the first thing I wanted to try was Garden by the Sea’s Hand & Heel Balm ($16.95).
Hand and Heel Balm is made with rich hemp oil and antioxidant-rich mango fruit butter to help heal rough and dry skin anywhere (not just hands and heels!). It absorbs reasonably quickly without feeling greasy, and I like that the lid screws on instead of just sliding on like some other tins, so it’s completely secure to pop in my purse. With daily use, my hands don’t feel itchy anymore and my heels do feel softer. I know it says mango butter, but don’t expect it to smell fruity. The balm is scented with fresh and calming lavender and tea tree essential oils.
A girl can never have too many lip balms, so I was glad to receive this Sweet Orange Green Tea Lip Butter ($6.50). This lip butter combines ricebran oil, micro-powdered green tea, coconut butter, jojoba oil, and sweet orange essential oil for a super moisturizing lip balm that spreads smoothly and doesn’t feel sticky. Garden by the Sea uses micro-powdered green tea which means all those nutrients are preserved in the balm and ready to be absorbed. I love the sweet orange aroma – it smells so good and even tastes good too!
I’d really hoped to get through our testing period without getting sick, but with a 4-year-old and 6-year-old in school it turns out that hope was futile. I woke up last week with a sore throat and stuffed up nose. Ugh. But you and I both know that moms don’t get to take sick days. So I put one of these Breathe Easy & Go! Shower Fizzers ($6.95) on my shower floor while I took as hot a shower as I could stand.
The unique blend of peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus essential oils combined with the hot steam helped clear out my congestion and the fatigue fogginess of being sick. Each pack comes with 3 fizzers to get you through the worst of your cold and help you function even when all you want to do is curl up in bed.
And then there’s the bath bombs.
Bath bombs are… the bomb. (Sorry.) I tried two of Garden by the Sea’s most popular bath bombs: Earl Grey Cream and Citrus Explosion. Earl Grey Cream is one of my favourite teas, so I was really looking forward to trying this Earl Grey Cream Body Butter Bath Bomb ($5.95) blended with green tea body butter, bergamot, and vanilla. I added this and a good book to a hot soak after the kids were tucked into bed (yep, the things I do in the line of duty!), and it left my skin feeling so soft and smelling divine.
The Citrus Explosion Bath Bomb ($5.95) – featured in Chatelaine magazine! – blends sweet orange and lime essential oils together for a refreshing and energizing citrus hit. The edges of the bath bombs were a bit crumbly in the bag, but that didn’t make any difference in how they worked. I just dumped in all the crumbs with the bath bomb and enjoyed my well-deserved soak in the tub.
Seaweed Face Mask
Relaxing in the tub is the perfect time to do a Canadian Seaweed Face Mask ($24.50) made with organic seaweed powder, a rich source of organic proteins, minerals and vitamins.
Spread the mask on and leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing. Not only does the seaweed helps draw out toxins and impurities while adding beneficial nutrients, but it’s a good excuse to lie back and relax for half an hour! The lavender essential oil gives it a bit of a tingle as it promotes calm and relaxation. A little goes a long way too. One jar is good for up to 6 months of facial treatments!
I have a soft spot for handmade soaps. I just love pampering myself with handmade goodies like these soaps from Garden by the Sea!
Despite being old enough that acne really shouldn’t be an issue for me, it still is, particularly around that time of the month. “Clearly Beautiful” Facial Soap ($8.50) contains multani mitti clay (Fuller’s earth) to purify pores and control oil. It also has neem oil and tea tree oil, both with antibacterial properties. By itself, neem oil doesn’t smell that great, but the addition of white grapefruit, bergamot, and patchouli essential oils make the soap smell clean and fresh. I’m seeing a difference with regular use. My skin feels less oily and I’ve noticed fewer blackheads.
According to the description, the soothing essential oils of peppermint, lavender and white grapefruit in their “Chill Out” Olive Oil Soap ($5.50) will help reduce stress and tension. I don’t know exactly how much this soap will help me be less of a stress ball, but it certainly smells wonderful in the shower!
I picked a bar of Pink Lemonade Olive Oil Soap ($5.50) especially for my girls. Made with a blend of lemongrass, May Chang, lemon, lime and white grapefruit essential oils, it smells just like sweet pink lemonade! The kids love it, and I feel comfortable knowing there’s nothing in this soap that shouldn’t be there.
Finally, I got to try “Happiness is Hemp” Hemp Oil Soap and Shampoo Bar ($5.50). The hemp oil is super moisturizing, soothing, and makes an exceptionally rich and creamy lather. That’s why Garden by the Sea recommends this as a shampoo and/or shaving bar as well. It worked really well for shaving – no nicks or razor rash – and my skin felt so soft and hydrated afterward. I love the sweet and spicy smell from the essential oils of sweet orange, patchouli, and cassia, and so did hubby!
Garden by the Sea also sent some Pralines & Cream black tea ($4.00/50 grams) to round out my self-care regimen.
Sitting down with a mug of hot tea in the evening is my mini relaxation ritual. When my big box of goodies arrived in the mail, I was a little nervous that all those essential oils in the bathe and body products might flavour the tea. What smells divine in the tub is not the flavour you’d normally want in a cup of tea! But there was no need to worry. The tea was double bagged to keep it fresh, soap-free, and yummy!
Browse Garden by the Sea’s wide selection of bath and body products, aromatherapy, and ethical teas. Shipping is free on orders over $125 within Canada (use code FreeShip125). Connect with Garden by the Sea on Facebook and Instagram.
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Disclosure: I received sample items for review. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.