Beauty from the sea

Deana Stokes Sullivan
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Local company selling skin-care products containing seaweed, iceberg water

Newfoundland has always had a strong connection with the sea, from its historical dependence on the cod fishery to newer resource-based industries like iceberg water and vodka.

A company based out of Bay de Verde, Conception Bay, just recently began marketing more diverse products with ingredients from the ocean and already they're becoming a hit.

Ingredients from the sea, like seaweed and iceberg water, are used in the making of natural skin-care products being sold locally by Indigena, a company based out of Bay de Verde, Conception Bay. (Inset Photo) Lisa Walsh. - Submitted photo

Newfoundland has always had a strong connection with the sea, from its historical dependence on the cod fishery to newer resource-based industries like iceberg water and vodka.

A company based out of Bay de Verde, Conception Bay, just recently began marketing more diverse products with ingredients from the ocean and already they're becoming a hit.

Indigena produces natural beauty products, including spa treatments, made with iceberg water, seaweed and aloe.

Company co-owner Lisa Walsh said Monday she began doing research for the products in January and the business opened about a month ago.

"I launched the product at the (Lions Club) farmers' market actually last Saturday. I sold out in two brands, so I'm back there every Saturday until the end of November," Walsh said.

Her partner in the company is Mansour Almatarneh, who has a PhD in Chemistry.

Walsh, who has worked in the beauty industry since 1984, was an esthetics instructor for six years and hairstyling instructor for four years.

Almatarneh, who's originally from Jordan and now a Canadian citizen, completed his studies at Memorial University and previously worked with a local dermatologist.

Walsh said the company is capitalizing on a consumer trend of buying natural skin-care products. A return to simply natural formulations is the main objective of the company, which produces natural and organic products for the face and body from homemade-style recipes.

Consumers can purchase a "sea veggie home spa kit," including six body treatments and a how-to video for $90.

Walsh said the treatment uses ingredients from Newfoundland and Labrador, such as seaweed, iceberg water and berry products.

She also makes her own massage oils. "What we do is sell sea soap, a sea veggie face and body wrap. We have a cleanser, toner, moisturizer that are aloe based and they're all organic," she said.

Walsh said Almatarneh is more technical and involved in the chemistry of the products.

"My big thing is just that the economy is on a downturn, and I offer a home spa treatment with an educational video, show people how to do things at home with the same spa quality, probably even better, and with all the information that they need," she said.

The kit is also good for people who wouldn't feel comfortable going to a spa for treatments, Walsh said.

The products don't promise miracles, but Walsh said they remineralize the skin and can calm pain and firm up the epidermis.

"When you do a wrap and you put it on, the heat from the wrap causes you to sweat, so you do have a little bit of inch loss because of the water loss," she said.

"It takes all of the toxins and trapped water in each cell and it forces it into the lymphatic system and your body releases it. It's a cleansing process, so a lot of people use them for that reason. A lot of other people use them because their body needs a lot of trace minerals that are not in their food."

The company has a website, which is in the development stages, but Walsh said consumers can contact her through the site and will soon be able to buy the products online. The website is wwww.indigena.us.

dss@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Lions Club

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Bay de Verde, Conception Bay Jordan

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