Made in Canada Favourites

Anointment Skin Care Gift Set


Feeling all Canadian this weekend? Think about this: when we buy Made in Canada products from local stores, we are making sure that our money works harder for us. We are supporting local jobs in manufacturing and retail. We’re boosting local value for ourselves as well as for those who make and sell what we buy.

At we are careful about every product we stock. We always look close to home first, so we have found a lot of great parenting products Made in Canada. These are a few of our favourites that you might consider next time you are shopping.

Handmade Natural Skin Care

Anointment Natural Skin Care Baby Balm

Range: herbal soaps, new mom & baby, beard & skin care for men, lip balm
Home: Sackville, New Brunswick
Cool Fact: The owner lives in a 150-year old farmhouse, where she grows many of the herbs used in Anointment products.

Naked Tank
Nursing Tank that covers your mid-section

Naked Tank breastfeeding tank

Range: Cotton or Bamboo Nursing Tanks
Home: Guelph, Ontario
Cool Fact: One of the co-owners cut up her own tank top to find a comfortable solution that would work with any bra. When that top sagged, she asked her mother to help her make a shirt that worked. Now, that is the Naked Tank.

Co-operative Games
Family Pastimes makes 100+ games

Cooperative Games Yard Sale

Range: Games by age group, multi-age, and game books
Home: Perth, Ontario
Cool Fact: Founded in 1972 because the founder wanted games for his own children that reinforced sharing attitudes. They still use the shop they built for the business in 1984.

Colibri / Sling Sisters
Organic baby products

Colibri Organic Cotton Wrap

Range: Wrap-style baby carriers, wet bags, snack bags
Home: St Adolphe, Manitoba
Cool Fact: These sisters (actual sisters) design and make all of their products in their own facility in Manitoba.

See these and more Made in Canada products in the store in Orillia, Ontario. Until then, Happy Canada Day.


Dry Skin Getting You Down?

Woman in the snow


It’s the same story every winter. I am surprised to see that my skin is peeling. I see skin flakes all over my black socks. (Gross, I know.) Even my eyebrows start flaking, and I have to clean skin off my glasses. You get the sad picture. I look like a face-peeling zombie. I dry up in the winter.

If you are suffering dry winter skin like I am—or, I hope, not quite so much as I am—take a few steps to care for yourself to avoid the worst of it.

Why Is Your Skin Dry Now?

In the winter, the humidity is low outside and even lower inside, if you use dry heat. The normal moisture of your glowing summer skin is being sucked away.

Also, as you get older or as your hormones change, your skin can change. If you have noticed a difference lately, it’s possible this is your new normal.

This is part of the normal cycle of the year.

Steps to Keep Your Skin Moist in the Winter

Remove as little of your own natural skin moisture as possible.

  • Use a mild cleanser. You might want to switch to a milder soap just for winter, if you already have a cleanser that works well for you in the summer.
  • Pat your skin with a towel rather than rubbing.
  • Avoid long exposure to hot water. If you hands are all cracked and dry, use this as a good reason to have a family member help with the dishes.

Use natural moisturizers.

I’ve written before about the ingredients to look for and avoid in moisturizing cosmetics.

  • If the lotion you have been using feels waxy or greasy, switch. The same moisturizers that work for me might not work well for you if we have different type of skin and we’re dealing with different weather.
  • One of my favorite lotion tips: apply body lotion when your skin is still slightly damp.

Make it easy to remember.

When do you think about how dry your skin is? If just before you go to bed, put lotion on your nightstand. I think about it during homeschool, while my children are reading and my hands are idle. I look at them and feel how dry they are, so I reach for the lotion that I keep on the table next to where I sit. Wherever you are most likely to have the thought and the time, keep your lotion there.

Use heavy duty treatment when your daily routine isn’t enough.

Every few days, I just have to use oil on my face. I use mild facial cleanser then oil. I know it sounds counter-intuitive to cover one’s face with oil, but it is the only way I can keep my skin from peeling.

When I was growing up, at night my mother would cover my hands in lotion and put cotton socks over my hands to keep the lotion from rubbing off. It worked, but I have managed to avoid this by using lotion daily, morning and night.

How heavy your treatment needs to be depends on how bad your problem is.

Either avoid wind and water or create a barrier.

Wind won’t just kiss your face—it will bite your face and suck out the moisture. Hot water will remove natural oils and leave your skin tight and uncomfortable until it cracks or peels.

Sound bad? Just create a barrier. Wear a mask when you are out in the wind. Don’t use hot water to wash your face. So simple!

You won’t just avoid one winter of tight, dry skin. You will avoid premature aging caused by overexposure to the elements.

If you are more hearty than I am, I’m very happy for you. My very pale, very sensitive skin just can’t handle the outdoors in winter without a lot of help, so avoidance is my first line of defense.

What Moisturizers Do We Use?

Anointment petit fours soap

Our favorites are two made in Canada brands: Anointment and Cocoon Apothecary. staff members love Anointment skin care products like the handmade soap, lip balm, and ointment. If you haven’t tried it before, start with the gift set of mini soaps, Anointment Petit Fours, to find a scent that you will enjoy.

I am still in love with Cocoon Apothecary. I use Rosey Cheeks Facial Cream when I’m going out. It is thick and rich without being greasy or leaving any kind of film. It absorbs into my skin really well. When I’m staying in, I use Rosehip Oil Facial Serum, which is a golden oil that definitely does not work into the skin all of the way. I rub it in some then let it work its way in over the day. I also use Magic Bean Body Lotion (which smells like sweet cocoa) for my hands and body.

My husband uses a heavy duty hemp lotion on this hands in the winter because his normally soft skin just dries and cracks, leaving his knuckles looking like he’s just been punching trees for sport. I find the lotion too strong and too thick for me, but he is very happy with it. You might need more than one solution for your family.

When I was in bootmaking school, working hard with my hands all day, cutting myself accidentally and often, and washing my hands over and over, my teacher had all of the students rub tea tree oil on our hands at the end of each day. That was my introduction to tea tree oil. I was amazed how quickly my cuts healed. If your hands are so dry that they are cracked or bleeding, tea tree oil or a moisturizer with tea tree oil can help speed the healing process.

Bundle up out there so the wind can’t whip you around.

Image ©  |

3 Essentials of Belly Skin Care During Pregnancy

Child hugging mother's pregnant belly

The skin on your belly has to expand a lot to accommodate your baby during your pregnancy. That leaves your skin tight, dry, and itchy. The irritation of itchy skin isn’t a medical problem, but it is uncomfortable. You can relieve that discomfort naturally.

1. Don’t Scratch

Yes, if feels a lot better to scratch the itch, but the relief is temporary because this irritates your skin even more.

2. Moisturize

Your main defense against belly skin discomfort is moisturizing. At we carry several natural body butters and skin lotions that work wonderfully to soothe a pregnant belly.

Maintaining the elasticity of your skin can also lessen (or even, if you are lucky, prevent) stretch marks, those little silver lines that show up on belly, breasts, and bottom as they blossom faster than your skin can comfortably grow.

Shea Butter Pregnancy Belly Itch CreamAnointment Natural Skin Care, Shea Butter Cream includes shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil, lavender and other natural ingredients. Made in Canada

Anointment Natural Belly Butter for PregnancyAnointment Natural Skin Care, Cocoa Butter includes cocoa butter, grape seed oil, coconut oil, vitamin E, and other natural ingredients. Made in Canada.

Dimpleskins Sweet Cheeks Body BalmDimpleskins Sweet Cheeks Body Balm includes Coconut Oil, Apricot Oil, lavender, vanilla, and other natural ingredients. Made in Canada.

Earth Mama Mama to Be OilEarth Mama, Mama To Be Herbal Stretch Oil includes calendula, chamomile, and other natural ingredients. Made in USA.

Graydon natural body balmGraydon Natural Skin Soothing Balm includes avocado oil, grape seed oil, hemp seed oil, calendula, arnica, manuka honey, and other natural ingredients. Mindfully made in small batches in Canada.

miniOrganics Nourishing Body OilminiOrganics Nourishing Body Oil includes jojoba oil, avocado oil, patchouli, frankincense, and other natural ingredients. Made in Australia.

Motherlove Pregnant Belly SalveMotherlove Nurturing Life Gift Box contains a sample of Pregnant Belly Salve, which includes marshmallow root, rosehips, lavender, chamomile, calendula, and other natural ingredients. Made in USA.

3. Relieve the Itch

You probably already have the best natural solution to itchy belly in your kitchen cupboard: oatmeal. An oatmeal bath can help relieve the itchiness you feel from your stretching skin much the same way it relieves itchiness with sunburn, poison ivy, chicken pox, and other skin irritations.

For a soothing oatmeal bath, start with about 1/3 cup oatmeal. Grind either with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor. You can add herbs or non-irritating essential oils, but you might already be getting those in your moisturizers. You aren’t trying to create oat tea, so don’t put this in a bag. The goal is to create an oatmeal suspension in your bath with the powdered oatmeal evenly dispersed through the warm (not hot) water. Start to run your warm bath then add the powdered oatmeal under the faucet where it can get stirred into the water. Continue to mix the powder into your bath water until milky then get in. You probably will end up with a light layer of the powder on your skin, so just rinse lightly. Don’t scrub it off, since that soft, silky feel is exactly what you need from the oatmeal bath.

An itchy belly is one of those minor irritations during pregnancy that is easy to relieve with a little self care. Unless you have a problem more serious than expanding skin, natural oils, herbs, and grains can provide all of the skin care you need for your pregnant belly.

For a list of chemical ingredients to avoid during pregnancy, see “Safe Skin Care During Pregnancy” at BabyCenter.

Image © Marina Dyakonova |