Province Apothecary: Review and DIY Facial Recipes

Way way back, my dear friend Leigh told me about this amazing smelling sleep aid (called Sleep Well) she was using from a then small Toronto based company called Province Apothecary. She had met Julie Clark at the Toronto Junction Flea. When Leigh likes something, I know it’s gotta be good. Well priced, organic products, smells awesome. And works. What else could you possibly want? The products even have simple, beautiful packaging. Julie has done it well. Extremely well.  Not only does she peddle lovely products, she is also a lovely person. Down to earth, knowledgeable, personable and just a salt of the earth kind of gal.


This was my second time visiting Julie for a treatment. I went in March as a birthday treat to myself and decided it was time to treat my face after completing another school year.

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I love the aesthetic of Julie’s studio – all white with hints of natural wood and of course, beautiful herbs throughout.

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The smells that ooze out of this environment are naturally soothing. It’s hard to not want to just slap hundreds of dollars worth of new products on your credit card. I picked up a large bottle of custom serum following my maintenance facial. Well worth every penny…. I got a small sample from my last facial and savored each drop. The smell of it was addictive and downright heavenly.

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Investing the money into quality, organic products is a good feeling. Since I first began purchasing PA products, Julie’s products have just exploded… Look at all this amazing press.  She is on fire and for good reason. My skin feels amazing and completely fresh after seeing Julie. It feels so amazing to ‘treat’ my skin with oils, fruits and vegetables and things like honey and clay. I had glacial clay from British Columbia on my face for god sakes. That is so cool. One of the nicest take-aways? Julie tells you what to do post facial. She also gave me great tips about adding avocado oil to my smoothies as it’s good for my skin! After my custom facial in March, I got a full email with tips and instructions for what to do with my sample products and how to take care of my face. I need tips. Julie also emailed me some information on food masks…. I hope she doesn’t mind, but I thought sharing them here would be cool (she has written about this elsewhere on the internets!):

Food masks (taken directly from a PA email):

Honey + Yogurt: Add 1 tsp of honey and a 1/4 tsp size of yogurt in your palm and mix. Apply to your neck + face and wait 10-20 minutes. Your skin will be so sticky— massage and play around with it- this will stimulate, tighten and tone your skin!

Oatmeal, Avocado, honey + yogurt: Mash avocado and add 1 tsp honey, yogurt + 1tsp exfoliator or oatmeal flour. Add more yogurt or water until the mask is a nice consistency.

Other foods to add to your masks: papaya (rich in alpha hydroxy acids), strawberries, banana, egg whites, oatmeal flour, chickpea flour, flax meal, dried flowers: calendula, rose, lavender.

I follow Province Apothecary on Twitter and find that she often tweets links to articles that share awesome tips and insights – find her account here. Also, her Instagram account? SWOON.

Feeling lazy? Here is a round up of some of my favourite articles about her work:

 The Style Line

Fieldguided 

Oceans and Potions (DIY papaya mask recipe)

MTV News for a cool video!

Chatelaine (another mask recipe)

And another fresh fruit mask recipe from Julie’s IG accountBreakfast/enzyme face mask. Mash up a small cube of papaya and pineapple and add some honey. Apply to face and feel the tingle. This mask will remove dead skin and leave your skin feeling soft and smooth.

Wondering exactly how much I love PA?

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The incense is the die for. It even makes Nan smell beautiful (embarrassingly, I don’t usually ‘bath’ Nan – but people always tell me how great she smells. It’s 100% thanks to the incense I burn)!

There. Done gushing like a school girl.

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  • Beautiful post! Julie’s facials (and products) are so amazing aren’t they? Thanks so much for the link! Just an update, Oceans & Potions is no longer in use and all of my content has been transferred to my new site, Elodie, and you can find the recipe here instead http://www.elodiebeauty.com/diy-brightening-papaya-face-mask/ Thanks!