A chunk of iceberg from Labrador was a cool attraction at a recent cosmetics convention in Florida.
Many of the delegates, hailing from the beachfronts of the Caribbean and the deserts of the United States, had never seen an iceberg up close.
It was an appropriate symbol for the Ossetra skin care line from Newfoundland's I.C. Spa Products, which was officially launched at the International Esthetics, Cosmetics and Spa Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Nov. 7-8.
The Ossetra skin care line is made with iceberg water from ice collected by Canada Ice Enterprises Inc. of St. Anthony - the same company that produces 80 Degrees North bottled water.
The ice water is not just a novelty, said I.C. Spa Products president, LeeAnn Fleming.
"The pH level (of iceberg water) is 5.0, which is really close to the pH of your skin - 4.5 to 5.5. So it's really hydrating on the skin and it neutralizes, because it's at the same pH as your skin. Most mineral waters have a pH of 7 and 8, so it's more dehydrating," she said.
In addition to iceberg water, the products use local ingredients, including berry extracts (Partridgeberry, blueberry and other fruit, dried and ground at the Rodrigues Winery), Conception Bay seaweed (five types tested and found to be the most effective for skin care, hand-harvested, dried and ground and whelk shell, cleaned and ground with the assistance of the Marine Institute).
With these materials, I.C. Spa Products went to Royal Labs Natural Cosmetics Inc. in Charleston, S.C., to mix the skin care line. The line includes an anti-oxidant cream, night cream and cleanser.
As well, accompanying exfoliating bars and seaweed bath "bursts" for the Ossetra line are mixed and packaged in-province by Newfoundland Naturals.
The cosmetics line has been in development since 2005 and is all-natural, emphasized Fleming, with no chemicals or preservatives.
It has drawn immediate attention from international spa and wellness centre owners, she added.
"We're the only FDA-approved natural skin care line in the world that uses iceberg water," she said. "The Hilton spa, which is near the convention centre (in Florida), contacted us by e-mail before we even got down there."
Since the launch, I.C. Spa Products has been asked to distribute its products in Europe, Cuba, Florida and the Caribbean.
Locally, the Ossetra line is expected to be available before Christmas.
In developing the line, I.C. Spa Products operations manager Darlene McCarthy said the company received assistance from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the National Research Council of Canada and the provincial Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development.