Crawford Street Natural Skin Care is a local brand we have carried in the shop for almost 10 years. I remember the exact moment that I heard about Gaelyne and Crawford Street Natural Skin Care for the first time. I was talking to some people about having tried a slew of natural deodorants and still hadn't found one that worked for me and was on the hunt for one for me and for my brand new shop. A lovely young woman said, I know a brand that you should try, and proceeded to tell me about Crawford Street and Gaelyne. I contacted her the same day and I think Gaelyne even got back to me the same day, I got some samples and info very soon after this, tried her lovely products and have been using many of them ever since. And I am very proud to stock these lovely products at Logan & Finley and know many of you are very happy to use some of them daily as well. ( Thanks Sam!)
Cream Deodorant, This natural deodorant works and is one of our top sellers.
Meet Gaelyne Leslie, the founder of Crawford Street Skin Care - a Toronto based line of entirely natural skin care products. They produce their line in small batches in Toronto and are eco-conscious, chemical free and cruelty free and it's so local I generally pick up our orders on the way in to the shop. I hope you enjoy our Q&A with Gaelyne:
Q/ I know we met really early on at Logan & Finley, but I don't remember when you started Crawford Street Skin Care?
A/ I started Crawford Street in 2010 while I was working as a Television Producer at CBC Marketplace. I would work all day and then come home, put my kids to bed and start making deodorant! Eventually, in 2014, I left CBC to focus on Crawford Street full time.
Q/ Can you tell us a little bit about your inspiration to start a luxury natural skin care brand?
A/ About 12 years ago, I had a wake-up call on chemicals and cancer. As a journalist, I was interested in Environmental Health issues and I was doing a lot of research on chemicals in our everyday environments. These were seemingly innocuous chemicals that scientists and environmental awareness groups were revealing to have harmful side effects on human health. At the same time, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and, because there was no history of cancer in her family, I became more concerned with chemicals in our skincare and beauty products. This prompted me to look for a natural deodorant for myself only to find out none worked for me - I’d try each one at the beginning of the day and by noon I’d have to switch to my drug store brand. I kept thinking there must be a way to make a natural deodorant that works and also comes in beautiful and sustainable packaging. Even the natural brands like Tom’s came in plastic sticks. The deodorant was the first product I developed and started to sell - outside my family that is!
Q/ What excites you about developing products?
A/ From my years as an investigative journalist, I always loved the research processes. I like coming up with an idea for a product (usually based on a need that I have or my family has) and then looking at individual ingredients and their properties. I read a lot about how ingredients have been used in the past. I firmly believe that we don’t need to reinvent the wheel here. Our ancestors had a lot of wisdom to offer, we’ve just forgotten it along the way. Then I started trying them out. I usually do 4 or 5 tests of different ingredients and formulations to assess effectiveness, scent profile, texture, consistency, and colour. And then I ask my friends and family to try them out and give me their feedback. I basically crowd-source feedback from friends and family to pick the winning formula.
We asked Gaelyne about any of her favourites, so I thought I would share another one of my favourites. This is an old container I am re-using, but their new one is updated as part if their eco-responsible efforts, but this hand cream is part of my daily winding down ritual and I highly recommend it.
Q/ Do you have any favourite products?
A/ Right now I love the Clay Cleanser and the new Brightening Eye Cream. I was never a big user of eye creams but this one is really luxurious and gentle. The Beauty Balm I cannot live without. I use it for so many things! If I was asked to pick one product to take on a deserted island that would be the one.
Q/ What inspires you?
A/ Women! Women inspire me. My girlfriends, my mother, my cousins, the women I admire, their ideas, their needs, their wants. I am inspired by the ancient ways women have cared for their skin and their bodies throughout history and the wisdom they offer us.
Q/ We're excited about introducing the weekend getaway kit. What do you think our community might like to know about these products?
A/ The inspiration behind the Weekend Getaway Kit was what products are Must Haves in your travel bag for a weekend away. We also decided that we needed to add a travel size of the Outdoor Body Spray for summer (our version of bug spray). So the kit includes the essentials of what you might need for a cottage invitation or a summer road trip.
Q/ Do you think your skincare routine should change with the seasons?
A/ Absolutely! Summer skincare routines are generally about lightening up. Kind of like clothes, in the winter we need layers and protection from the elements, in the summer we can dispense with a layer or two and choose lighter options for moisturizing. One thing that is not seasonal, however, is sun protection. An SPF is needed year round, you just might need to apply more often in the summer.
Q/ Could you tell us more about Body Scrubs?
A/ A lot of people ask which of our scrubs they should use on their bodies. The Maris Sal Dead Sea salt scrub or the Coconut Sugar Polish. They are both great for sloughing off dead skin, and my skin gets just as dry from sun exposure as it does from the cold. There are a few differences though. The first is the main exfoliating ingredient. Sugar is more gentle on the skin and therefore best for people who have sensitive, or delicate skin. My cousin who has psoriasis says it's the only scrub she can use. Salt by its very nature is more exfoliating because the grains are larger than sugar, but that means it might be too harsh for some people. The second difference is the scent. The sugar scrub has a coconut and macadamia nut smell that reminds me of tropical vacations and pina coladas, the salt scrub had a more invigorating, eucalyptus scent that is reminiscent of Scandinavian spas. Both scrubs are very moisturizing so in the end it really just comes down to personal preference and skin type.
Q/ Do you have a favourite product from Logan & Finley?
A/ The summer before the pandemic I came into the store to buy a summer dress and I left with three. All linen and I still love them! I realized a few years ago that I’m not a shorts person and even trying to coordinate skirts and tops is too much thinking in the summer! I love a light, loose summer dress and sandals. It will take you from a baseball game to a patio! Logan and Finley always has a great selection of dresses in natural fabrics like linen and I really appreciate that. Check out some of this Summer's Natural Fibre Clothing