Do you use commercially prepared essential oils (EOs)?
No. I believe that the aroma and medicinal qualities of Wekusko Wild products should come from the local herbal materials themselves, and not be artifically 'boosted' with the use of commercial EOs. Also, my products are intended to be safe and gentle for all skin types, including very sensitive skins, and EOs are very concentrated and can be highly irritating or sensitizing for many people. Because it is difficult to know who may have physical or scent sensitivities, and also the uncertainty around quality of materials or extraction methods used, I intentionally leave these elements out of my formulations. When used inappropriately in skincare, EOs can be damaging not only to the skin but also the body if applied near the eyes, nose and mouth where they may be internally absorbed.
Do your products contain gluten?
My products do not contain gluten, however please understand that these small batches are created in a home kitchen that uses dairy, seeds and nuts and gluten products. All equipment and packaging used for skincare are sanitized and kept separate from home utensils but trace amounts may be present.
Do you use any GMOs?
The purchased ingredients in these products are carefully selected to be government-certified organic and not genetically modified. These premium products cost significantly more than low grade products, but this level of quality is a priority for Wekusko Wild.
Do you use any preservatives?
Balms and ointments which contain only oils and butters do not require a preservative since bacteria and mould cannot survive without water. However, oils and butter can go rancid over time so organic vitamin E oil is added as an antioxidant and stabilizer. For lotions and creams which contain water, a preservative must be used to create a stable and safe product free of bacteria, mould and yeast. Wekusko Wild uses only naturally-derived preservatives which are laboratory-tested and conform to international ECOCERT requirements (derived from renewable resources, manufactured using environmentally friendly processes). No synthetic or chemical preservatives are used.
Are your products tested?
As per Health Canada guidelines, independent or laboratory testing is not required for all-natural cosmetic-grade formulations unless they will be ingested and then considered a 'food & drug'. All Wekusko Wild products, including ingredients, have been screened against the Health Canada cosmetics database and filed with them prior to public sale and distribution. This is a Canadian requirement, and one you should watch for when purchasing any all-natural skincare products. It is, however, critical to me that I create safe and EFFECTIVE formulas, so I implement my own informal testing. I personally use all products myself, daily, for a minimum of 2 weeks prior to release. I have combination skin, and am prone to minor rashes or hives when exposed to something my skin doesn't like. I also enlist a few friends with varying skin types including oily/acne prone, dry, normal, very sensitive or allergic and eczema prone. Products that create issue for myself or any of these individuals are not released. Your skin is unique - so if you experience irritation, discontinue use and please let me know. As with any skincare product, these natural formulas are used at your own risk, and Wekusko Wild cannot take any responsibility for reactions that may occur.
Are your products vegan and safe for all skin types?
Wekusko Wild products are vegan-friendly and contain plant-based ingredients, however some do contain organic Canadian beeswax which is an animal product. Please check ingredients listed to determine what you are comfortable with. Yes, my formulas are intended to be safe for even the most sensitive skin. As with any new herbal skincare product, it is best to do a test on your forearm (a sensitive skin area) before use. If you ever experience a reaction to one of the products, please discontinue use immediately and contact me so I am aware. If you are new to herbal skincare, there is a small chance that some plant compounds may be reactive on your skin. If this ever occurs, it should be very mild and temporary as formulas are not concentrated to commercial levels. Ingredients are provided on this site and also product packaging labels, so please look for anything that may be a concern to you before using.
What steps do you take to make your ingredients 'safe'?
Plant materials are gathered in the wilds of the bush so do not require washing beyond cleaning of roots or other parts to eliminate soils. I do not collect from areas where pesticides or other substances may be used. They are then stored appropriately. Preparation, processing and packaging are done in my home in a designated space that is cleaned and sanitized regularly. All packaging is sterilized before filling, and containers are fitted with a tamper-evident safety seal so you know they have not been opened since packaging. As noted in the section about preservatives, balms and ointments are stabilized to increase shelf life, and all products containing any water are preserved to eliminate the growth of bacteria, mould or yeast, with an effective and ECOCERT approved all-natural preservative.
Tell me about your packaging?
Wekusko Wild utilizes recyclable and environmentally responsible packaging. Lip and other stick balms feature plastic-free paper tubes that are compostable and degradable. Balms and creams are packaged in metal tins or photo-protective tinted/opaque glass jars that are perfect for reuse as containers for small items or spices. Plastics are avoided.
Can men use these products?
YES! Wekusko Wild skincare is for anyone and everyone. Packaging and labels are intended to be gender-neutral.
How should I store my products?
To maximize the shelf life of your products, store them in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight, heat and excess moisture.
Are you licensed?
While no license or permit is required in my province to gather non-wood forestry products on crown land, I am educated and trained as a registered professional botanist and have been studying boreal plants most of my career. I maintain 2 jurisdictional business licenses, and as a federal government requirement all Wekusko Wild products, including ingredients, have been screened against the Health Canada cosmetics database and filed prior to public sale and distribution.