There are several factors when it comes to trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Paying attention to how and what we eat is by far one of the more common factors we consider. I could not be happier that we have finally evolved to a point where we make conscious decisions as to what we put in our bodies…however, rarely do we consider what we are putting on our bodies. As much as we try to avoid ingesting harsh chemicals hidden in foods, we really should be trying to avoid slathering, scrubbing, or caking them onto our bodies as well. Our skin is our personal protective layer. What is supposed to act as our first line of defense from harmful factors in the external world-is being compromised daily every time we use our skin care products and cosmetics. We immediately absorb 60% of what we put onto our precious skin. Keeping that in mind, let’s go forward.
This is not a blog post about everything you should avoid using because in all honesty-that's been done and I would much rather spend my time promoting and spreading love for all of the goodness out there in our big, bad world. With that being said-I do find it extremely important to educate and familiarize ourselves with what products (and foods) we should focus on replacing and why. If you would like more information on this, start with this helpful article by David Suzuki: "Dirty Dozen-Cosmetic Chemicals to Avoid." There is an abundance of chemicals, toxins, and additives that seem to be lurking everywhere around, and inside us. It can be quite overwhelming wanting to switch over to healthier options-just as it can be with food. In my personal journey-this has been the hardest health conscious category to tackle. I’m a woman. A woman who wears and enjoys wearing makeup. I have long hair that needs tending to and dry skin that needs moisture. Oh, and I sweat. To think of everything I go through in a day (toothpaste, deodorant, makeup, lotions, shampoo and conditioner, etc.) on top of what I put in my mouth-is a lot to keep track of. I have gotten better and have made some changes and I will continue to do so slowly because slow is how I roll. Nobody should be expected to ditch their entire hygiene routine overnight. Just as nobody should be expected to plant their own garden in a day. A garden that uses the leftover pulp from your green juices to provide nutrients to your organic wheatgrass...I hope you are catching my drift here! Slow and steady wins the race folks.
Now speaking of considering what we put on our bodies, Louise Vargas is a Winnipeg local who makes this a much easier and fun experience for all. Louise is the mastermind and creator of SoGa Artisan Soaperie. All of her unique products are gluten free, vegan and are even Leaping Bunny certified. She hand crafts gourmet soaps and body care products that are just almost too gorgeous to use. They are all made with organic, cruelty-free ingredients, sustainable essential and fragrant oils and minimal natural preservatives, if any.
When I personally met up with Louise I was flabbergasted to see everything this talented lady creates. Her stock is so impressive and stunning. I found myself a) hungry, and b) repeatedly asking "and this is all handmade!?" What motivated this artisan to start creating her own products in the 90’s were underlying issues she had with her own skin. She revealed that she was walking by a bookstore one day and this cover on how to make your own soap had caught her eye. And voila! The artist was born. The business was born once her friends noticed how her skin had healed and they wanted to try some of her creations for themselves. When a product works and works well-word of mouth travels quickly. At one point in our meet I remember asking Louise “so after all this time, are you still into it?” She replied with “Oh, I’m so into it. Once I get inspired by a new look or flavour, I know I have to create something.” Mrs. Vargas is also still working full time in the health care field. It is only her spare time that Louise has to offer to her SoGa Artisan Soaperie business. If that does not scream passion, I don’t know what would.
Here is a list of products Louise creates:
- Artisan Soap (15 different kinds)
- Gelato Bath Scoops
- Bath Bombs (or snowballs)
- Shaving Bars
- Therapeutic Bath Salts
- Candles and Tarts
- Lip Balm
- Gift Sets
- And more!
You can find SoGa Artisan Soaperie products at the following locations:
- As Time Goes By (442 Academy Rd.)
- The Exchange Uporium (70 Arthur St.)
- Flash Boutique (438 Graham Ave.)
- Metamorphosis Salon (in Killarney, Manitoba)
- Colors-Beauty and Wellness (1072 Pembina Hwy.)
- Float.Calm (337C Pembina Hwy)
And of course you can always shop online at:
- www.sogasoap.com where American costumers are also welcome!
Believe it or not, Winnipeg has many talented artisans that specialize in all natural goodies including body care. I myself will have some of my homemade creations to share soon (like a facial toner, deodorant, and super duper moisturizing body butter). Stay tuned for these goodies-they will be appearing in my D.I.Y category. As I mentioned above, we immediately absorb 60% of what we put onto our bodies so why not slowly replace our pantries full of harmful products for trustworthy items and support local artisans while we are at it?! Win win for Winnipeg ;)
For more on SoGa Artisan Soaperie, follow Louise:
On Facebook at: Soga Artisan Soaperie