We had the chance to sit down with Joyce and Erica of Island Joy, just in time for the launch of their newest sugar scrub – the Cuban Lemon Lip Scrub. Keep reading for more on green beauty, the Toronto wellness scene and what’s up next for this dynamic duo…
Well TO Do: Please introduce yourselves and Island Joy to the WTD Readers.
Island Joy: Hello Well To Do readers. We’re Joyce and Erica, mother and daughter co-founders of Island Joy. Island Joy is a line of luxurious all-natural sugar scrubs influenced by life in the Caribbean, handcrafted right here in Toronto. We use only natural ingredients, sourced both locally and in the Caribbean to produce delicious smelling yet effective scrubs.
WTD: What inspired you to start Island Joy?
IJ: We come from science and law backgrounds, so it was actually by complete accident that Island Joy was started! I (Erica) was studying for a major exam a few years ago and on a break tossed together a bunch of ingredients, that we both have always liked to use on our skin. It ended up being what is now known as our Antiguan Honey sugar scrub. Eventually, the scrubs landed in the hands of friends and family and Island Joy morphed into what you see today! I (Erica) must say that all credit goes to my mum for encouraging science experiments around the house, which unsuspectingly led to the creation of Island Joy.
WTD: Why focus on body scrubs for your Island Joy product line?
IJ: I (Joyce) have always seen exfoliation as a crucial, yet indulgent, step in taking care of one’s skin and made sure to pass that on to Erica. Since we know about exfoliating pretty well, it made sense to focus our expertise on that area, as we noticed that it was sometimes an afterthought with skin care lines. Also, exfoliating has so many benefits including revealing fresh glowing skin, improved skin tone and helping to improve the performance of other skincare products. We want to encourage everyone to take some time for self care and incorporate body scrubs into their skin routine.
WTD: You are very transparent about the fact that your products do not contain any fillers, petrochemicals, toxic chemicals, phthalates, or dyes. Why is that so important to you?
IJ: Both of us have extremely sensitive skin and have had mishaps in the past when trying new products that were incorrectly labeled and caused unexpected reactions. I (Erica) also have a nut allergy, so it’s second nature that we read labels for everything constantly. As a result, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for others who may have allergies or skin sensitivities to use our products. Furthermore, in the Caribbean, a big part of skin and hair care involves coconut oil so we are generally inclined to use natural products and did not see any reason to deviate from that practice when crafting our scrubs.
WTD: We also love your focus on the actual production of your products – mindfully made in Canada, formulated with respect to the environment and through methods that are cruelty-free – why is a focus on production methods such an important part of the green beauty movement?
IJ: Reducing one’s carbon footprint is so important because even the smallest task when done repeatedly, over time, can negatively affect the environment. That awareness is, thankfully, vital in the green beauty movement. Myself (Joyce) coming from the Caribbean, I’ve already seen first-hand changes related to global warming and that stays at the forefront of my mind whenever we look to see where production can be improved.
WTD: There’s often a perception that natural skincare products don’t perform as well as conventional options – thoughts?
IJ: In the islands, it is instilled from an early age to use natural resources as much as possible because they have stood the test of time, are non-toxic and highly effective. So, we have always known that natural skin care products do not underperform and are glad that so many, including our sugar scrubs, have been able to increasingly convince skeptics otherwise.
WTD: What advice would you give to someone who is just getting into natural skincare?
IJ: Take your time and do some research. Don’t try to change everything you use overnight because it can be overwhelming with so many great products out there. Start with one thing that you use fairly often and find the green version of it, then go from there.
WTD: If you could give WTD readers one tip toward effective exfoliation, what would it be?
IJ: Be consistent with exfoliating if you want your skin glowing from head to toe.
WTD: What’s next for Island Joy?
IJ: We’ve just launched our new product the Cuban Lemon lip scrub, which we are very excited about as we’ve incorporated cupuaçu butter for the first time in the line. It comes from the highly prized cacao plant cultivated mainly in Cuba and Brazil, and is considered a premium butter due to how smooth it is and how unbelievably well it hydrates skin giving it a plump appearance. We are currently in the midst of research and development for another addition to the line, which will hopefully debut in 2018!
WTD: What’s exciting you most about the Canadian wellness and green beauty scene right now?
IJ: We are excited that consumers are increasingly mindful of what they putting into and on their bodies, as well as the environmental impact of products they support. We love the massive shift that is happening across the country with green beauty becoming more mainstream and less “alternative”. Also, having so many female entrepreneurs at the forefront of it is truly amazing to witness and be a part of.
To find out more about Island Joy and to shop the entire incredible collection of products, click here.
Photo Credit: Island Joy