Is your line organic?
- Whenever possible, we try to source organic -- and we also do our best to source super high quality ingredients from Canadian growers and manufacturers but we don't make a claim on our packaging that our line is organic as the certification process to register a product line as completely organic is both costly and complicated. Doing so would substantially drive up the cost of our line making our products unaffordable for most people.
Are all the ingredients you use in your products non toxic?
- Yes, we use authentically natural ingredients in all of our products. We do not use fillers, petrochemicals, toxic chemicals, phthalates, artificial fragrances or synthetic dyes.
Are your products anti-aging?
- Of course they are but we just don't overtly market them that way. Every single ingredient we use will help your skin to look its best but that doesn't mean we (or any product on the market!) can actually stop the aging process.
- On a separate note, I find the whole concept of anti-aging slightly offensive. No matter what you do, you will age but that does not mean you will stop looking beautiful! Short of having plastic surgery (which we do not recommend) the best way for you to look great is to make healthy lifestyle choices and to 'feed' you skin with nutrient rich products. And I must say, we do a heck of a good job in that department!
Is your line nut free?
- Though nuts have excellent nourishing qualities for the skin, we choose not use nut derived ingredients in our products due to the prevalence of nut related allergies. We do not formally make a 'nut free' claim on our labels as we do not (currently) use a certified nut free laboratory to produce our products… but we sincerely hope this is something we can work towards in the future!
Why do you believe it’s important to produce (and use) all-natural beauty products?
- The adage 'what goes on you goes in you' is not just a cliché to be taken lightly. The stuff we apply on our bodies gets quickly absorbed into our bloodstream and into organs so it just makes sense that what you put on ought to be good 'food for your skin'.
- Even though there are many "natural products" out there many of the conventional ones are partaking on greenwashing -- while many of the smaller ones are just not credible in terms of offering decent shelf stability.
- This disparity is what made me realize there was a hole in the market between conventional beauty and crunch granola skincare for me to offer a line that was the best of both worlds (efficacy, appeal and purity)
There are so many 'natural' lines on the market these days. What makes the Graydon line different?
- At Graydon, we aim to find the sweet spot between the efficacy and sexiness of conventional skincare and 'crunchy granola 'green' brands. With Graydon you get the best of both worlds -- clinically formulated efficacious products with sleek modern packaging combined with goodness of plant powered truly 'clean' ingredients lists... which even the pickiest ecoFashionista would have trouble not loving.
Why do natural products like yours tend to cost more than mainstream drug store brands?
Where do you source your ingredients?
- Staying connected to Canadian roots is of great importance to us. We are a strong believer of sourcing local and domestic ingredients whenever possible. Many of the ingredients found in our formulations are sourced from small growers around Canada.
What are your signature ingredients?
- Broccoli seed oil and berry seed oils are our star ingredients. These wonderful oils are grown in the Fraser Valley and cold pressed at a small manufacturer in Vancouver, Canada. Manuka honey with bee venom, known for its anti-inflammatory healing ability, is also one of our favorites.
If your products are 100% natural, how do I know your products won’t go bad without the use of chemical preservatives?
- Even though the line is still produced in 'homemade size' batches, we have it made at a laboratory just outside of Toronto, Canada. We use natural plant based preservatives which are quite effective such as sodium lactate (naturally derived from the fermentation of lactic acid), grapefruit seed extract and essential oil which have been shown to have anti-microbial properties. Unlike many other natural brands, our products are packaged in either airless pumps, PET or glass pump bottles. This helps our products to stay clean (meaning no more dipping dirty fingers to get to the product!) and unexposed to air (minimizing air maximizes all the great benefits of the ingredients that go into a product).
What sets Graydon apart from other natural skincare brands?
- We carefully curate our ingredients – and look for efficacious items that come from nutrient dense plant based sources - containing naturally occurring plant based chemicals such sulforphane from broccoli, ellagic acid from berries and rosmarinic acid from certain herbs. We work with our lab to small batch our products which is a much better choice than making them on our own. This means we can offer our customers a clean, safe, consistent product that would be much harder to produce if we still manufactured in our home office (which is where we started)
What are some of the company's production standards and values?
- We are lucky enough to have partnered with a small laboratory that has been making products (specializing in hair care) for many years who has a chemist on staff to help improve formulations and solve problems when need be.
Why don’t you have a baby line?
- All Graydon products are appropriate for both babies and adults. They are pure enough to use on very young children, particularly our unscented products. The classic minimalist design of our packaging is appropriate for the nursery yet they complement and are equally cool and stylish on any bathroom counter. The grey minimal packaging is also very man friendly.
- Our products are meant to be shared among family members and many of them have dual purposes, which ends up saving you money, time, and space!
- Obviously the formulations are pure and efficacious -- appropriate for use on all demographics.
As a 'curator of ingredients' what excites you Graydon?
- Graydon: 'I am always on the lookout for natural plant based ingredients that are equally effective as synthetic based chemicals found in most skincare products today. I also really love teaching people to make their own skin care products to out of ingredients often found in your kitchen. It is so empowering when you realize you don't always have to go to the store to buy your skincare products.'
Besides seeing the need for non toxic skincare, what are some factors in your personal life that inspired you to get into creating your own line?
- Since my early days of studying culinary arts and starting a macrobiotic home delivery business, I have always had the ability to make something healthy taste pretty delicious. Oddly enough, formulating skin products is not unlike cooking and recipe development. After cooking, doing yoga and doing an MFA while in California for 5 years in the 1990's, I moved back to Toronto to be with my family. In 1999, I became part of the Downward Dog's Yoga Studio first ever teacher training program which deepened my ongoing fascination with holistic health - especially ayurveda.
- As a newly certified yoga teacher (in 2000) I enjoyed making holistic products to use on my clients. My first product was a yoga mat spray (which is now my Germs Away Mist). Then I made a luxurious aromatic oil to use in a neck and temple massage (now my lavender chamomile sandalwood inspired Elixir Oil). My customers loved my products and with their encouragement and support I just started making even more products and the rest is history.
- I made everything in my kitchen until I grew large enough to find a lab to take over production. Making them was a lot like the process of making art when I did an MFA and also being a pastry chef. Oddly enough, making an old fashioned hand crafted face cream recipe reminded me of making an unctuous butter cream icing.
- I should also add that before getting into the yoga world, I spent a couple of years doing contract work in packaged good food service marketing for some large corporations which exposed me to the whole process of branding, advertising and spreadsheets. This was an invaluable lesson for me which has helped me develop my own brand.
What does your skincare routine look like Graydon?
- Besides using all my products on a regular basis, I love to mash up and slather super foods all over my face and body. Rolling up my sleeves and getting creative in the kitchen reminds me of my art making and chef days. Given that I often work from home, I have been known to answer the door with avocado cacao paste smeared on my cheeks which has startled delivery people and customers picking up their orders.
If you had to pick just one, what's your all-time favorite product or the product that you're proudest of from the line?
- I love all my products but I can’t live without my Cleanser. I use it all over my face and body. Its rich creamy (but not oily) texture leaves me my skin feeling super clean, soft and moisturized. It's also great for shaving.
- In terms of being proud, The Serum is hands down the most nutrient dense power packed product. Roughly 50 pounds of Canadian grown berries are packaged into its 1oz bottle. The oomph that these berry seed oils gives your skin is incredibly potent. I blend in a few drops to every product I use just to make sure my skin gets the nutrition it needs every day.
What tips would you offer to someone looking to make the switch from conventional skincare products?
- Make it easy for yourself by just replacing one item at a time. Don’t feel like you have to throw all your conventional products out at once. Get used to reading labels and making good (plant powered) choices for your skin just as you would with food products you choose to eat.
- And start thinking about your skin as an organ similar to your stomach -- as a vehicle to bring nourishment into your body. It becomes simple after a while, to choose skincare products that ‘feed’ your body vs ones that are made with synthetic, often toxic (junk food like) ingredients.
What have been some of the company's main milestones so far? Any plans for expansion?
- We're excited to be in Canada's first ecoDept store terra20 and other excellent stores with extremely good *gold star* standards such as The Big Carrot and Husk.
- We've recently started selling into the States so beginning to sell world wide is also on our radar
Do you offer samples?
- Absolutely. Our sample program is the best way to find out what a product will feel, smell and look like.
Please keep in mind that:
- Our samples jars and miniature bottles will provide enough for multiple uses -- depending of course on how much you use!
- If you are ordering samples alone, your order is subject to the same shipping charges as our full sized products.
- Samples cannot be returned and are non-refundable.
- Directions, ingredients and specifications which would be on a full size product label will not be on our sample packaging. Please refer to our website for this type of information. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.