Indigenous owned skincare companies focus on respect for the land and its healing properties. Ingredients are ethically sourced and processed, often using traditional methods. Small batch runs ensure time for quality checks and mindful work. Customers are introduced to a variety of natural products along with information (on the product packaging or website) about the beneficial properties of the ingredients used. Local companies also tend to hire local employees, support other local businesses, and help to create stronger communities.
There are several Indigenous owned skincare companies in Alberta including:
- Mother Earth Essentials: This company was founded by Carrie Armstrong, who comes from a long line of Cree Medicine Women. Armstrong has also taught about traditional plants to students at the Amiskwaciy Academy, and has worked in the beauty industry as an esthetician and cosmetic sales rep. She is the author of Mother Earth Plants For Health & Beauty: Indigenous Plants, Traditions and Recipes.
- Kanatan Health Solutions Inc.: Family owned and operated, Kanatan was launched during the sanitizer shortage of 2020. Since it’s start, the product line has grown substantially, and now includes lotions, massage/lotion bars, healing lip balms, dry skin treatment products & kits, aromatherapy roll-ons and soothing bath soaks – with more products in development. All products are created with Indigenous people's unique culture and arts in mind.
Indigenous owned skincare companies do more than provide a healthy, local option. They fill market needs in other ways too. In the case of Kanatan Health Solutions, the company was formed around the issues created by COVID-19.
Tasha Power, Owner, notes, “Kanatan’s main focus is to encourage and support Indigenous peoples in the fight against COVID-19, even though we have expanded to include a variety of skincare products. Items like our masks and our line of Miyokasikan smudge scented hand sanitizers and foaming hand soap offer comfort and familiarity to the people looking for modern solutions that honour traditional ways. Our hand sanitizers are authorized by Health Canada and exceed WHO requirements.”
When looking to shop local, especially for skincare products, be sure to check out Indigenous owned companies like Mother Earth Essentials and Kanatan Health Solutions. There is a lot to be gained – and learned – by connecting with our local communities for the beneficial products we need.