I rest my face in between my hands and feel different textures as Mimi puts her baby son Kyo into a highchair. We get cozy at Heirloom Vegetarian while her entire collection sits on the spare chair at our table in a beautiful tan leather luggage bag, like that of some practical vintage doctor who makes house calls. Through the noisy chatter of restaurant lunchtime, I ponder on the condition of my own skin as I’m about to get down to the details with the mastermind behind Vancouver’s newest eco friendly skincare line. I scan bumps on my cheeks and an oily t-zone, under my eyes feel like sunken in couch cushions: I sit here and wonder for a moment what I’ve put my skin and body through in these younger years of being alive, probably one too many bottles of vodka and other substances that give me a Mary Kate Olsen 2006 vibe. Positive routine is something we all can wish was more complete in our lives in order to slow this maturing down, something that Mimi Young recognizes as a key to improving appearance, but more importantly to improve your health. When it comes to the daily ritual of our skin, Trimaran Botanicals has created many unique and profound recipes that offer such a remedy. Ranging from facial cleansers and moisturizers to serums and body elixirs, the product holds amazing quality, where aromatherapy transforms the physical healing of the skin but also for the benefit of your spirit, chakras, and meditation. “Trimaran” derived from a name at home — the road Mimi associates most with Steveston, Vancouver, and the root of the word proves a good fit for what she is trying to provide for her friends, family, and clientele: balance. Used as a lightweight floatation support for sailboats (also a very common thing to see along this South Arm of the Fraser River), a trimaran helps the boat retain stability to prevent from capsizing.
Mimi glows about the details; Trimaran Botanicals (TB) began as a little project to help out friends and family with creating a natural skincare routine. Our skin is constantly exposed to chemicals in products and to pollutants in the air, who would Mimi want to nourish more than her loved ones? After studying at the East West School of Herbal & Aromatic Studies, the strong graphic design background in the proud Mama of two realized she couldn’t just give the products to those close to her without the proper (carbon neutral) labeling of the ingredients, which in turn led to creating a logo and then a full blown, well executed brand, equipped with a digital platform which will be ready for shoppers in 2016 (it’s not too far away!).The product is potent and 100% natural—no fillers. After trying a few of the items for my normal-to-combination skin, a little goes a long way. After just a week’s use of the eye serum, I’ve noticed a difference in my skin’s texture, softness, and complexion. Under my eyes feels dewier than before and the coloration has improved, it feels so great that there isn’t a paraben stamp on my forehead.
Mimi has been very particular on what she has sourced out for her aromatic blends and other ingredients, and she is super hyped on it. Only using pure food-grade essential oils and hydrosols, these are some of the top finds in the Aroma world that Mimi can offer, which led us to discuss the cosmetic market. Through her studies and through research for her own brand, Mimi tells me about the corruption on the marketing of essential oils, ingredients, and the skincare product itself. In a world full of hip branding for instance, there are a lot of tricks on certain marketing vocabulary and labeling. Brands love to use words like ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ on their labels because this leads the consumer to believe that the product is 100% just that, even though there can be one drop of organic ingredients in a product full of crap. Brands also know that we love to see that there are particular ingredients in the product like Argan or tea tree oil, so they label it that way. This led me to uncover some shocking information: according to the David Suzuki Foundation, many chemical ingredients have simply never been tested for their effects on human and environmental health, and there are over 4000 chemicals that can pose these risks to humans and other forms of life. There also happens to be a massive lack of data on all of the products long term effects, not to mention it’s expensive to have products tested. Even if products are placed on the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist, it doesn’t restrict its use and could continue to be sold on behalf of certain retailers until legal action takes place, which can take years. David Suzuki’s 2010 survey on the “Dirty Dozen” (DD) cosmetic ingredients, discovered some alarming information: out of the 6200 individuals that participated in rating their range of 12,500 products, 80% of the products contained at least one of the DD, more than half of those products contained multiple ingredients of the DD, and over 1000 different products didn’t even have ingredient lists. I encourage you all to pick up a couple of your skincare products and just flip to the back, there’s a very good chance you’ve been “greenwashed” and your product falls into at least one of those categories. After reading on the subject, my advice is to be a proactive consumer and give feedback and leave comments for the skincare product wherever you can.
On to the aromatherapy battle: different essential oils will have different prices, depending on the supply and demand of that oil around the world. Some plants and flowers like Lavender are only found in one or two countries and the higher the quality the higher the price. There is also the grade of distillation and extraction to consider (some distillers will use the same plant matter in a second distillation that they used in the first, which dilutes the quality) and if there has been anything added to the oil like alcohols. Despite this range in quality the process is the same, thus meeting the standards of the Canadian cosmetic regulation. While you may be able to track down ‘organic’ Lavender essential oil for $10 an ounce, some of the top [food] grades can be $20 for just 10mL, really only a few drops. As we were literally breaking down Mimi’s ingredients, it became clear how skincare producers cut corners. It’s unclear how much truth has to be said for major cosmetic brands, but what Mimi is trying to accomplish truly demonstrates the pure honesty we aspire to put into our work and the purest benefits for our health.
TB provides the advanced care for a range of skin types, with different textures and aromas to suit the individual. Even if you don’t feel like you completely fit a certain product Mimi can provide a consultation to explore what is best for you, and even more she can guide you into certain oils and aromas that will nourish your unique spirit if you are seeking to tap into deeper yoga, meditation, or shamanist journeys. How this aspect in her product came about was due to a bump (literally) in Mimi’s road when she was unfortunately prescribed to bed rest for the majority of her second pregnancy, and had to find ways of keeping her creative soul busy. That’s when she tapped into meditation. Through these metaphysical journeys, Mimi was able to channel her spirit to the plants before her, talk to them and understand the interconnectedness with being alive. She began exploring Shamanic journeys with the guidance of a local visionary of Right Vibes, and now blesses all of her products with positive energy that we all can tap into. This is where the body elixirs come in, one of my favorite products from TB that I regret not buying straight away. These body oils can be applied to balance and expand our chakras while practicing yoga, meditating, or enduring energy work, whilst soothing the skin and smelling like perfectly aligned chakras. Mimi is giving us all the opportunity to connect with our highest self in spirit, mind, and body, and for that I am thankful for Trimaran. I truly believe that dodgy commercial cosmetic and skincare retailers will have to continue to downsize due to the quality and consumer awareness of their products. We the consumer are skeptical, yet we love to try new things because of the sheer range in options. We want results in the appearance. Hopefully you get the chance to try one of TB’s products to see the difference authentic nourishment can provide and tap into the best journeys that your life can offer. X
Check TB on instagram for product information: @trimaranbotanicals
Photo courtesy of Trimaran Botanicals