Self-care is more important than some people might give it credit for. It doesn’t really solve your problems or give you solutions to big life dilemmas. However, you might feel a bit better afterward. And this can only help you to better handle what life throws at you.
That’s a small victory in itself!
While a lot of big chains do carry a plethora of self-care products, they don’t necessarily have your best interest in mind. This is why we’re exploring how it’s often better for you to invest in local self-care businesses—and how you can go about doing that!
Self-care and mental health
Over the past few years, there has been a rise in conversations surrounding mental health and, as a result, self-care. Rates of depression and anxiety have sky-rocketed since the start of the pandemic. Two surveys conducted last year by the CAMH found that respondents reporting symptoms of anxiety increased by 6% from pre-pandemic rates. Depression and loneliness also experienced a four percent jump from their pre-pandemic rates. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, please click this link to connect with various Nova Scotia Mental Health support services.
All that to say, the importance of recognizing and treating mental health conditions is increasingly evident. And, while not all people may need therapy, we can all certainly benefit from taking small steps to ensure a better state of mind.
One of the smallest steps you can take is investing in quality self-care products. And, by investing in small local businesses that provide high-quality self-care products, you’re also helping to care for your community!
So, without further ado, let’s dive into more reasons to prioritize local self-care products. Plus check out some amazing Nova Scotia self-care providers, while we’re at it!
Big-chain self-care products can be harmful
As we mentioned before, a lot of the big box chains do sell self-care products, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually good for you.
For example, if you go to your local drugstore, you’ll see a lot of beauty products sold by Pantene, Herbal Essences, Head and Shoulders, and more. These are very affordable, and many people’s go-to. However, these big corporations are typically more concerned with higher output—which means they will put quality aside for quantity. They’ll also want to get the price as low as possible, so they will skimp on natural products and might resort to using harsh chemicals that, quite frankly, just aren’t good for you.
As an example, let’s take a look at some big shampoo brands. Many of these popular hair products have had mass lawsuits levied against them. Hair-care brands like OGX are owned by Johnson and Johnson. Pretty much every mass-market hair care brand you see is probably owned by Johnson and Johnson or another big brand. These class-action lawsuits against some of these brands found that many of these shampoo products have harmful chemicals—such as DMDM hydantoin that could cause hair loss and other health risks.
I don’t know about you, but adding an ingredient to a shampoo that can result in hair loss should be a non-starter. So how did that ingredient ever get past quality assessment?
But I digress. Let’s now take a look at the better option of small local self-care products.
Local self-care businesses usually have your best interests in mind
Relying on smaller or local businesses that provide hair care might be a better option for you than the shampoo brands discussed previously. It may cost a bit more, but, you’ll typically find you need less of these high-quality products than big brands, so will likely have to buy less often. And, in the long run, the higher quality local option will be a lot better for you.
This is because local self-care businesses will have a more targeted audience that they want to serve, whether it’d be more diverse communities, or health and eco-conscious individuals.
Local business owners tend to have a better snapshot of what their communities want and need. After all, these business owners are your local community members. They have roots in your community, whether that be through family or friends. And they want to help with the products they provide.
As someone who suffers from eczema and relies on natural and non-scented moisturizers, I usually purchase my skin care products from local self-care businesses. I find that organic ingredients don’t cause as many eczema flare-ups for me compared to larger self-care brands. I also find that these products smell nicer, and overall, just work better.
Just like the shampoo brands mentioned above, many of these bigger brand skin-care products will use harmful chemicals and ingredients. This is why you need to invest in products that won’t cause physical harm, especially when you use them often.
On that note, here are some natural Nova Scotia Local self-care providers you can check out—all with rave reviews from customers with sensitive skin.
- Simply Go Natural Cosmetics is a small business based in Halifax that specializes in selling skin and hair products all made of natural ingredients. Especially good for dry skin and textured hair.
- Maskwiomin provides traditional Mi’kmaq skincare products made from healing birch bark extract. They’re an indigenous-owned business based in Unama’ki (Cape Breton).
- Lodestone Soap Co makes rustic vegan & all-natural soaps hand-made in their downtown Halifax studio.
- Indigenous-owned Wildpier Beauty offers plant-based deep natural exfoliating. Better for you, your family, and the planet.
- And Momma Bears Boutique sources fair-trade eco-friendly self-care, giftable, and even refillable, green house-care products!
How you can go about supporting local self-care businesses
Just like any new habit, it can be a bit confusing when getting started in the local self-care community. However, there are lots of ways you can get involved, and here are some tips to help you get started.
Do your research
Get to know the areas around you. Halifax has some local business hotspots in and around downtown. Going out for a walk or a drive and taking note of the businesses around you can be a great step! Asking around can also be really helpful! You’d be surprised to see how much the people in your community know.
The internet is the quickest way to account for this information. You can also join Facebook groups or search through local tags on Instagram. This can get you connected with lots of local self-care businesses that you can start supporting.
Additionally, do your research on what type of products are best for you, whether it be ingredients, specializations, etc. Everyone comes in different bodies so using products that work for you specifically is the way to go. Once you know what’s best for you, you can then get laser-focused on researching small local options.
Get to know local self-care business owners
Sometimes we tend to think of business owners as an entity rather than real people who have had the same experiences as you. The beauty of small or local businesses is that the owners are accessible. You should reach out and ask questions about their businesses. It’ll help you gain an inventory of what kind of businesses are around you, who owns them, and what their unique values are.
You can also ask them about specific products or ingredients that they think might work best for you. These are people who are very knowledgeable about the products they are selling and the communities they are serving. So, they can give you valuable insight into what self-care products will work best for you.
You just can’t get this same kind of personalized service from the big chain producers. Not possible.
Self-care and Community-care
Ultimately, self-care isn’t too far off of community care. Investing in self-care not only benefits you, but also benefits the people around you. Because the money you spend on small local options is funneled back more into your community.
And in the spirit of community care, please feel free to share your favorite small business self-care providers in the comments. Whether in Nova Scotia or elsewhere, we’d love to hear all about ’em!