organic skin care

My thoughts on Beauty Industry, ingredient sourcing and transparency.

I’m part of a professional group and there was an interesting discussion about transparency and ingredient sourcing in a skin care product formulating.  I would like to share some thoughts with you on this subject because I believe it is an important one.

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In general there are very few companies in the skin care industry that are truly honest about their ingredients. Period! First it was (and still is) game playing with the word ‘organic’. Many used one organic ingredient in their formula but made it sound as if their whole formula was such… Some did not use any organic ingredients and still managed to sneak the word ‘organic’ into their packaging and advertising.  Now I can smell the same thing happening in regards to ingredient sourcing…. So watch out! The industry is going to entertain you with words like ‘transparency’, ‘sourcing’ and such for the next little while.

To tell the truth, I don’t spend much time any more on trying to figure out who speaks the truth and who does not. I don’t even consider myself part of the industry to be honest. I do my small thing in my small way and I am content with it. My products are truly a micro-batch creation and when I call it ‘artisan’ and ‘handcrafted’ it is because these are proper and honest words to describe what I do. Tim Hortons has an ‘artisan’ sandwich and a ‘handcrafted’ latte on their menu now. You could think we work in similar ways lol. 

I feel like I am part of something much more beautiful than the INDUSTRY can ever be or offer. I am part of a still small, but very potent movement which is built around TRUST and RELATIONSHIPS and HONESTY and COMMUNITY and a simple belief in surrounding yourself with decent, solid human beings whose intentions and integrity you don’t have to question. 

I thought about my sourcing practices and I must say they are not very complicated at all. I happen to know the people who grow herbs for my product. One of them is a dear friend, the other came to me as a client a long time before I bought any herbs from her. We know and understand each other’s values and beliefs. That’s what keeps us together:)  They have my full confidence. I know how much love and care goes into their growing practices and I’d like to think that they trust I will put their hard work of growing herbs to good use. When I purchase other ingredients which come from far away places (which I had no chance to visit personally yet) I do so through people who have developed relationships with small producers around the world, similar to the one I have with the herb growers. TRUST is a common theme.

I understand, that the bigger the company the more tricky it gets to have this kind of connection. The beautiful values of HONESTY, TRUST, RELATIONSHIPS, COMMUNITY, which I cherish are lost and abandoned in mass-produced product and profit driven industry. Isn’t it ironic that we call it BEAUTY INDUSTRY. Where did the BEAUTY go?

Magdalena xo

Woman Divine online store is live!!!

It was one of my goals for 2016 to create the online store. I barely made it:) but it’s finally here:

www.womandivine.ca/shop

This is very exciting for me and I hope that it will make it easier for you to purchase Woman Divine handcrafted skin care products.

Working solo is a beautiful thing but I can appreciate that buying products from me until now might have seemed a little bit like buying illegal drugs…:) You leave your money in a special envelope, I leave your merchandise in a special place…:) Thank you for being so understanding and easy going about this! I truly appreciate it!

As you know, my company is small, very small:)  but I do want to make a difference. Making high quality organic skin care accessible to all women who want to live a healthy life with a healthy glow is my priority.

I make this happen by selling directly to you. There are no middlemen, and no need to inflate my prices. Woman Divine products are available only through my online shop and the studio.

I handcraft these organic plant based products to inspire you to take loving care of yourself and to bring more beauty and health into your life. I believe that using them should be your everyday practice, and not just a luxury.                                                                                                                  

With the new store come a few changes and I would like to tell you about them.

1) New labels, new look.                                                                                                                                 Woman Divine skin care products got a fresh, clean and modern look. I hope that you will like it. In the process some products got renamed. Here it goes:

Face Serum / restorative blend is now Face Serum rose + sandalwood

Regenerating Face Oil is now Face Oil frankincense + camellia

Rose Hydrosol changed to Rosewater Mist

2) We have a few new products:

Face Serum fennel + primrose / to keep our skin nice and tight and to give it some luster

Face Oil calendula + chamomile  / for sensitive and delicate skin / with our local organic herbs and sunflower oil as part of the blend

Body Oil jasmine + tuberose / a beautiful hydrating oil with a lovely sweet scent

Lip Balm argan + orange / my lip balms are really lovely:)

I am working on new products, which will be created, around our local organic herbs… good stuff coming in the future.                                                                               

3) Your Woman Divine products can always be purchased during your visits.

When purchasing online you have a choice to have products delivered to you or to pick them up at the studio. All the details about purchases, shipping and such can be found on the customer care page of my website: www.womandivine.ca/customer-care

 

 I would like to say thank you and acknowledge a few talented people who have helped me with this big project.

Karoly Molnar has put my website together and created the Woman Divine online store. Karoly is a very smart guy with great work ethics…. I am very lucky to have his support and I feel very grateful!

Anne-Marie Bouchard is an amazing photographer who transferred my vision into beautiful images and made my website and store oh so awesome and good looking! You can look at her work and book through her website: www.ambphoto.com

Graphic designer, Sylvain Cregheur is responsible for creating our new logo, Woman Divine printed material and of course giving my products new look.  I am so happy I found Sylvain. He is very talented and wonderful to work with.  And he did an amazing job! You can find him at:

www.empatiqdesign.com

Sascha Smith created lovely cotton and gauze draw string bags to hold the Woman Divine All You Need is Balm collection. Sascha creates lovely impeccable quality designs. You can find Sascha and her business at

www.hintoflime.ca

I highly recommend services of everyone mentioned above! If you ever need a job well done, these are your people to hire.

So, this is a new chapter for me and my business. Wish me good luck please:) I trust this is just the beginning...

 If you have any product or online store related questions or any other questions for that matter, you know where to find me:)

Thank you for being here with me,

Magdalena

Before the year ends...

Recently, I have discovered this delicious spiced tea by Numi Organic Tea ... In a pretty cup,  I make it as a latte with frothed almond milk and a good sprinkle of cinnamon. I feel like a little girl drinking it. Not sure why, it just makes me feel good inside. Sometimes when I sit down to have my cup of delight, I ponder a bit on the year almost gone by.

I am so very GRATEFUL for my work and people who 'put their beauty in my hands'. Some of the clients have been coming to see me for nearly 20 years. We share many laughs, a few tears and a passion for pure non-pretentious, relaxing beauty care with a soul. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your continuous support! I consider myself very lucky!

It is safe to say it was a busy, challenging year; Full of creative ideas few of which turned into reality and many more still waiting to be pursued.

  1. I was able to design a few new handcrafted skin care formulas and the following are the principal blends: Protective Face Balm, Cell Regenerating Face oil, Soothing Face Oil, a Lip Balm and the latest addition - the Cardamon Rose Body Balm. I am learning a lot as I go along and I am loving oils and herbs more and more. It is a complete pleasure to formulate products in small batches for women I know. I am still tweaking the labels and packaging but should have it sorted out soon. 
  2. I have finally found pure long strand Mulberry silk pillow cases!!! It took two years to find the real deal... I almost gave up  a few times in the process. I am very glad I did not and many clients say they will never sleep on anything else but their silk. Mission accomplished!!!
  3. We had some renos in the building and woman divine studio got a fresh coat of paint and a new lovely cabinet in the treatment room. I am still working on organizing the aromatic dispensary area in my little space... work in progress...
  4. I held a few workshops - Face Yoga and The Art of Oils. It has been a dream to share my knowledge in group settings. I have been putting it off simply from lack of confidence in my public speaking ability...I have done only a few here and there in the past. This year the desire was too strong to ignore. I am enjoying teaching very much and so far I have received lots of positive feedback and a full class for each workshop taught. Thank you to all who come and share in my passion for oils and for the Woman Divine Mindful Beauty Practice vision. More workshops are coming in the 2015.
  5. We (myself, woman divine and the oils) have made it into the Ottawa Citizen and the National Post. I am deeply thankful to Janet Wilson from the Ottawa Citizen for a great article and to all the women who found their way to woman divine and my aromatic skin care thanks to this very article. 
  6. Thanks to all of you and your generous support by promoting my services to your friends and family members, my practice is thriving! 

As this year ends I feel thankful. At the same time I look ahead to the new year and many ideas I wish to implement. But before I do anything else, I will be taking off to Poland for the Christmas Holidays to be with my family and to immerse myself into the relationships and the environment of my childhood. I am packing my balms and oils and the Winter Spice Numi Tea.  I am sure some serious pondering will happen over the cup while in my mom's flat in Warsaw. 

I wish you an amazing Holiday Season! Have lots of fun and keep safe wherever you go!
I hope the New Year will bring lots of love, peace and prosperity to all.

Magdalena

Woman Divine and my beloved oils featured in the Ottawa Citizen

Woman Divine's Magdalena Tomczak unveils the power of oil

JANET WILSON
More from Janet Wilson

Published on: November 5, 2014 / Last Updated: November 6, 2014 4:26 PM EST

Magdalena Tomczak, owner of Woman Divine, makes her own skincare line depending on the person's skin type.  Jean Levac / Ottawa Citizen

Magdalena Tomczak, owner of Woman Divine, makes her own skincare line depending on the person's skin type.

Jean Levac / Ottawa Citizen

Magdalena Tomczak looks intently at my face, scanning for blemishes while running her fingertips across my cheekbones and forehead. I nod when she asks whether I have a headache.

“I can see it on your face, the stress around your eyes,” says the holistic skin therapist and aromatherapist. “For each client, I make an individual blend from my staples based on what is appropriate, based on your skin on any given day.”

Tomczak plucks ingredients — her handmade concoctions in pretty glass bottles of varying sizes — from a nearby counter to use in my face massage. She is a master at judging skin types and curtailing the treatment to fix any issue.

“Vegetable oils and essential oils are very effective skin remedies and form the base of the majority of organic skincare products you find on the market today.

“They definitely are indispensable in my practice,” says Tomczak, whose welcoming Westboro spa is called Woman Divine (womandivine.ca)

As the cold weather sets in, I’m here to get a lesson on oils.

Growing up in Poland, Tomczak says it was not uncommon for her mother to get monthly half-hour face massages.

“Sadly, training in North America focuses more on product application than massage.”

“It is an old European remedy for aging skin and has played a prominent role in the Eastern practice of Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. Face massage is the No. 1 aging preventative technique,” she says.

Nutrient-rich oils provide a pleasing lubrication during a face massage and hydration for those with dry skin.

Tomczak says massage helps to carry the oils with all of their benefits deep into the skin. With so many skincare products to choose from, she recommends you keep it simple and purchase only quality products or even make your own.

“It is good to get creams from someone who knows what they are doing. Base oil on its own is a great way to start and has plenty to offer. If you want to make your own concoction for every teaspoon of vegetable oil, only add a few drops of essential oil.”

In recent years, argan oil has been hailed as liquid gold and a miracle cure for a host of skin conditions. It has also spelled big business for the beauty industry. Rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, pure argan oil (harvested from the nut of an argania spinosa tree) was used by Moroccan women to hydrate their skin and to fight the effects of the relentless desert sun. It is said to reduce inflammation, minimize wrinkles and treat acne.

Tomczak began practising holistic skincare in 1996 and opened her business in 2008, merging her background in massage therapy, aromatherapy, herbal medicine and nutrition.

For my treatment, she used a gentle blend of “solar-infused” chamomile flowers in jojoba oil with a touch of argan oil to treat my slightly sensitive skin.

She explained that her flower concoction was made over a period of eight weeks with exposure to the sun and moonlight and stirred daily.

“Chamomile is soothing for both the skin and the nervous system. Since you have mentioned you were stressed, I felt this would be a nice one to use. The chamomile flowers I used are from a local organic herb grower and a lovely lady — Judy of Judy’s Organic Herbs. Both the jojoba and argan oils are organic cold-pressed and unrefined, keeping things simple, effective and beautiful.

“A lot of love goes into making infusions like this one.”

Before purchasing essential oils, Tomczak recommends checking labels for the Latin name and meaning and choosing oils made from organic or wild-crafted plants.

“There are often many species of the same plant. Oils produced from each species are different in their biochemical composition, which determines the healing properties of each oil.”

One of her favourite ingredients is organic sunflower oil from Les Huiles d’Amérique, a farm outside of Montreal.

“I use this oil in my treatments and in few of my formulas. It is one of the ingredients in my face balm. I also use it in my kitchen. It is very tasty.”

Another item she says everyone should own is a silk pillow, which keeps the face fresh and aids in your sleep. “Cotton tugs and sucks the moisture from the delicate skin on your face and neck.

“When you think of the health of your skin, remember that your body has basic needs: good food, sleep, fresh air and exercise. We need to be kind to ourselves.”

THE ART OF OILS WORKSHOP

What: Magdalena Tomczak explores oils and shows how to select the ones that are right for you.
When & where: Dec. 1, 6 p.m. / Woman Divine, 351 Churchill Ave. N.
Price: $20

613-216-7676 or email info@womandivine.ca

Magdalena Tomczak offers custom-tailored essential and vegetable oil formulas designed for the face, body, hair, feet, hands or bath.  Jean Levac / Ottawa Citizen

Magdalena Tomczak offers custom-tailored essential and vegetable oil formulas designed for the face, body, hair, feet, hands or bath.

Jean Levac / Ottawa Citizen

Oils

1. Vegetable oil

Yes, you could cook with it. Oils pressed from unrefined and organic seeds and nuts, such as argan, sunflower and camellia, have been used on the skin around the world for centuries and have been picking up steam in North America over the past decade. “Oil is full of vitamins A, E, D and K as well as essential fatty acids.”

2. Essential oils

Known as the most concentrated form of herbal medicine, essential oils are produced by the process of distillation to get the essence of the plants. Essential oils offer impressive healing possibilities in skincare in balancing, regenerating, astringent, antiseptic and soothing action and protection of the skin, Tomczak says. “Some of the most lovely oils for the skin and for skin-cell regeneration are carrot oil and frankincense.”

Oils & skin types

DRY SKIN

Base oil: 
Rose hip, argan

Essential oil: 
Carrot seed, rosewood

COMBO SKIN (dry and oily)

Base oil: 
Sunflower, jojoba, camilla

Essential oil: 
Chamomile, ylang ylang

OILY SKIN

Base oil: 
Grape seed oil, jojoba

Essential oil: 
Lavender, rosemary

Will you make some products with me?

The season of Raw Vegan Facials, making herbal infusions, fresh herb picking and playing with food as skin care, is in full gear! This is my favourite time of the year to make skin care products simply because nature provides me with the most beautiful, fresh ingredients to create with. I have been seriously playing with product making for a few years now and it is the third season for Woman Divine to offer Raw Vegan Face Treatments to clients. I realize now that the need for creating remedies runs in my blood. When I was a little girl, I watched my mom lovingly prepare homemade remedies for my dad who was sick. We had an aloe plantation living on the window sills of our home and mom always had some interesting 'concoction' going.

Knock on wood, nobody is sick in my household. My passion is holistic skin care and I love preparing oils, masks, scrubs and other fresh, simple and elegant products to nurture your skin and mine too.

It is my intention to turn them into beautiful pure and loving rituals of self care.

This summer I want to share with women like you my favourite recipes and formulas! I have created a product making workshop and I hope you will join me. If you know anybody who might be interested please share this info. 

This particular workshop is a fundraiser for  blood cancer research. All proceeds will go to the Cure Blood Cancer/Ottawa, a foundation created by an amazing and inspiring client and dear friend Lesia Maruschak. You will have a chance to meet her as she has graciously offered to be my personal assistant during this workshop. 

Lesia and I will do our best to make it a wonderful experience. We will hang out together, formulating great product for our skin. I will share with you many useful skin care tips and we will raise some money to support a worthy cause. I hope you will be there :-)

Check below for the details and please let me know if you have any questions. 

organic product making workshop in Ottawa

organic product making workshop in Ottawa

Get inspired with our From Garden to Face Workshop and turn your kitchen into a natural beauty lab!

From face masks, herbal toners and scrubs to facial oils and lip balms, learn how to formulate your very own skin care products from the most pure and simple ingredients in your kitchen.

During this workshop we will be using seasonal produce from our local farmers' market along with many other botanical and organic raw materials. We will share with you many tricks of the trade and our favourite skin care tips. You will bring home a selection of wonderful freshly made skin care products: Face Balm, Lip Balm, Face Serum, Face Scrub and Healthy Gums Oil.

All proceeds from this workshop go to Blood Cancer Research Ottawa

When: 12July, 2014 10:00am to 1:00pm
Location: Maplesoft Centre 1500 Alta Vista Dr. Ottawa

Register online at womandivine.ca

Dark under eye circles and what you can do about them

Clients often ask me "what is the solution to dark under eye circles?". My answer is always the same: 'if there was a simple solution I would surely not have mine'. If you met me in person you've also met my circles; there's no way to hide them, not even under makeup. My family, on my dad's side has been (by nature or by whatever else) marked. When we are tired, the dark circles are very pronounced but even when we are rested they are there. So what is the cause? What do dark circles tell us? And what can we do to alleviate this undesirable symptom? 

The skin around the eyelids (periorbital skin) is the thinnest skin in the body. 

Blood vessels under the eyes can become dilated and engorged (for many reasons), which contribute to dark circles.

As we age the skin thins even more and the thinner the skin the more noticeable the blood vessels underneath it and the darker the circles.

There are many causes of this symptom from allergies, adrenal fatigue, lack of proper sleep, dietary insufficiencies, sinus infections, dehydration...

Eastern medicine points to an imbalance in kidney energy.

The eastern art of face reading tells us that the darkness around the eyes suggests a sensitive nature, someone who feels deeply... usually more than those around them.

dark under eye circle remedy/ womandivine.ca

dark under eye circle remedy/ womandivine.ca

There are a few simple (but not always easy to apply) things you can do to help alleviate dark circles however do not expect miracles. Be wary of skin care products which promise the cure... promises, promises. I am yet to find one which actually delivers.

Since dark circles are a symptom of a systemic situation in your body, external applications can only slightly alleviate the darkness. True change will come from within. 

  • Be sure to drink plenty of purified water.
  • Get sufficient rest.
  • Go easy on salt.

The best dark circle home remedies are: thin potato slices and black tea rich in tannins.         Apply thinly sliced potato or cotton soaked in black tea to your cleansed eyes and relax for 15 - 20 minutes. 

If you are serious about addressing this symptom, if your dark circles are pronounced, pay a visit to a Chinese or Ayurvedic doctor or visit your trusted naturopath. Chances are you will not figure it out on your own. 

It's hard to accept but most of our concerns in regards to the way we look need to be addressed from the inside. No shortcuts...sorry.

And please, if you ever find an instantaneous dark circle cure let me know :-)

Glow an urban retreat for women

It is coming up at the end of this month!

Join Donna DavisAlexa Spas and myself for this fun educational and inspirational Sunday afternoon retreat. We will eat good food, drink amazing freshly pressed juices, play with raw skin care and do some yoga.

Lots of good learning and great goodies to bring home :-)

REGISTER HERE

Need more info? Contact me at info@womandivine.ca or call at 613 2167676

REGISTRATION CLOSED. Thank you :-)

Tired of looking for a perfect skin care product? Make your own and have fun doing it!

Last Saturday I was in Almonte, hanging out with an amazing group of women from the Rising Sun Yoga Studio.  As Pure As It Can Be Workshop in action... we were playing in a lovely kitchen making our very own, all pure, healthy and natural beauty products.

It feels very good, getting together with a group of women sharing wisdom, interests and a good laugh.

We made some cool products to take home. Hopefully this is just the beginning and everyone is inspired to create more.

This is what some of the women said about their experience.

I really enjoyed your presentation and what you do is of great interest to me also. It’s funny, you reminded me of when I was a little girl and I used to go into the kitchen, the garden and my mother’s cosmetics and experiment with making my own lotions and potions...

I love all of the products we made.

I believe it is so important for women to share and support each other as you are with your business!
— Leigh
Amazing and simple.
— Angelina
Loved every minute!
— Jennifer
Everything was so well organized and presented beautifully.
— Mary

Thank you Almonte Rising Sun Yoga I had an amazing time with you!

Magdalena

If you are interested in hosting one of my workshops or would like to join the next available one or simply would like more info, contact me at info@womandivine.ca or by phone: 613 2167676