Celebrate Natural Beauty this month! Meet our finalists and enjoy special offers online!

mobile_banner_10_ENMont Echo Naturels has launched our “Love Natural Beauty” campaign, which celebrates the true meaning of beauty throughout the month in honour of Valentine’s Day. The campaign features the faces of Mont Echo Natural Beauty Contest finalists selected from actual Mont Echo customers across southern Quebec with minimal makeup and no artificial styling or airbrushing.

The women will appear alongside their personal definitions of natural beauty, which are unique and powerful.

“Mont Echo is a company built on the belief that we don’t need to risk our skins for beauty,” states Creative Director Tamara Ensio. “This group of women spans an age range of over 30 years. Their backgrounds and careers are diverse; they are all at different stages of life. These are real women, real customers. We want to take the opportunity this Valentine’s Day to encourage women to embrace natural beauty and not the artificial, photoshopped version that is so prevalent in our society.”

Along with the banners and ads celebrating Mont Echo’s faces of natural beauty, the company will be making their popular Skin Care Kits available online in February and unveling new packaging for the Sea Buckthorn Cream Cleanser. Facebook fans will have a chance to win one of the Kits, and online shoppers can look forward to several specials on hair and skin care.

Mont Echo’s hair and skin care products are 100% natural and clinically-proven effective. All of their products are made in Quebec and feature 100% Canadian-grown Sea Buckthorn, one of nature’s most powerful anti-aging ingredients.

Visit http://www.mont-echo.com or http://www.facebook.com/montecho to view the campaign.

Reverse time with younger-looking hair… naturally!

bigstock-Healthy-long-Hair-26539205The latest and greatest trend in hair care is Anti-Aging. Yup, that’s right. The same ingredients that help keep your skin looking young can and are being used in shampoos and conditioners to reverse the damage that aging inflicts on your luxurious locks.

In a lot of ways, your hair suffers much more than your skin as you age. Harsh environmental factors, chemical colouring and styling tools inflict extensive damage, hastening the onset of dry, brittle and worn out strands. Harpers Bazaar recently cited a study that claimed thick, shiny hair makes women appear younger, while dull and lifeless hair adds years to your look.

Frankly this news doesn’t seem like news to us. As natural beauty proponents, we have always known that taking care of your body also includes your hair. Sea Buckthorn does, after all, mean “Shining Horse,” a reference to the radiant hair of the horses that ate it. Sea Buckthorn is one of nature’s greatest anti-aging products, and all types of hair benefit from the omegas, vitamins and minerals present in its oils.

Unfortunately, healthy NATURAL hair care is even harder to come by than healthy, natural skin care. Why? Well, there are a number of reasons. Natural ingredients just do not replicate the foaming and cleaning sensations of chemical ingredients. If your product creates a huge head of suds in seconds, the odds are pretty good there are a lot of chemicals in there.

A recent interview with well-known organic formulator Dr. Barbara Olioso highlighted these challenges in developing natural hair care:

I am facing two main challenges—a human one and a technical one. The human challenge is the client and consumer expectations for an instant sensorial gratification, which are unrealistic for a natural product. This is hardly a surprise given the way synthetics are marketed posing as naturals. For example, argan oil is often promoted as the miracle worker, but the silicones that produce the glossy sheen on hair in these products are often not mentioned.

The technical challenge I came across was to find natural conditioning actives that could compete with the mainstream actives. Ultimately, the product had to sell to an audience with these unrealistic expectations, so I had to use a raw material that was not completely natural but gave good conditioning on the hair and had good biodegradability.

At Mont Echo, it took us several years to put together the right ingredients for an all-natural hair care line that we felt was effective and safe. We tried to balance consumer expectations with our high standards for efficacy and natural ingredients. We hope you are as pleased with the results as we are!

And here are a couple of special tips right from us for getting the most out of your natural hair care products:

1)   Always shampoo twice. The old rinse and repeat mantra has never been so important. Without the strong chemicals found in standard shampoos, most hair types benefit from shampooing twice. Since the formulations are so much more gentle, it won’t dry your hair to use more product!

2)   Leave your conditioner in as long as you can. Let it really sink into your hair and scalp before rinsing. The length of time should be dictated by your hair type as well, with thinner or finer hair generally requiring less time to drink up the conditioning ingredients than thicker hair.

3)   Treatment serums like our Hair Serum are oil-based, so experiment with them to find the right amount of product and treatment time required. Those with thinner and finer hair will find that less is more, and a good rinse after treatment is essential. Those with drier hair will find that their hair appreciates a heavier dose and a longer treatment time. Some even find that they can leave a small amount on all day with no rinse for a shine boost.

So don’t be afraid to try natural anti-aging shampoos and conditioners! Your hair will thank you for it, and you’ll feel even better about looking 10 years younger.

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A good skin care routine is vital to maintain beautiful skin all year round!

SeaBuckthornSpaQuebec’s climate is one of the most difficult in which to maintain healthy and well-hydrated skin. Through harsh winters with brutal cold and electric heating and through hot and humid summers, we must work hard to preserve and maintain our skin so that it retains its suppleness and radiance.

The secret? Daily hydration –preferably twice a day – as well as a routine which includes a weekly exfoliation to remove dead skin and allow better absorption of products, and a facial cleansing in the evening to remove the collected dirt and makeup residue . Our recommended exfoliant, which is a mixture of our cream cleanser and powder mask, may be used as a scrub and provides instant radiance while cleaning the skin thoroughly. Used regularly, it helps fade the appearance of dark spots and leaves the skin fresh and healthy.

For delicate skin, our mist is excellent cleanser which can be used morning and evening. Its hydrosols of Frankincense and Immortelle rejuvenate aging skin and soothe sensitive skin. The Sea Buckthorn hydrosol excellent for improving the appearance of skin lesions and pimples and reducing the appearance of pores.

Sea Buckthorn oil has proven its ability to alleviate radiation burns, dermatitis, eczema and sunburn. Our serum is composed of both sea buckthorn fruit and seed oils, rosehip and rosemary antioxidants. Its composition is excellent for dry and aging skin, and skin damaged by UV rays. In addition, this certified organic serum is extremely healing.

Mont Echo’s anti-aging products offer unmatched quality at very affordable prices.

Try one our facial sample kits today to see what they can do for your skin type!

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Testing our hair care line on “Skindeep”

MontEcho_20130220_12_lowWe have just launched our new line of hair care. As we do not test on animals, we sent to products to our entire team at Mont Echo and their immediate families (parents, children, spouses, cousins, etc.) to try. Everyone was delighted with the results!

  • Men really like the shampoo and serum (occasionally), especially for dry and itchy scalps.
  • Mothers loved the shampoo and conditioner for children. While not tear-free formulas, both are gentle and work wonders on tangles.
  • All the women loved both the shampoo and conditioner, and many noted in particular the detangling and smoothing effects of the conditioner.
  • Serum use depended on the type of hair and hair health. For dry and brittle hair or hair damaged by chemicals or colours, users reported that it really nourishes and revitalizes. If you have fine hair, we find that you should leave in for less time and be sure to rinse well. Those with dry and course hair found that they did not need to rinse at all. After two or three treatments, the difference in hair smoothness and appearance was remarkable.

Testing for Safety

Skin Deep is a website that allows you to test cosmetics and their ingredients to know the potential dangers of use. I decided to do the test with our shampoo, our conditioner and our serum – and of course they all rated excellent! This is a great site to research your current and prospective care products’ ingredients. This is not a test for natural but rather a test of reported potential harmfulness. Natural ingredients can, of course, be dangerous and it is well worth considering this when shopping for products for you and your family.

The site: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep

This site rates on two factors: toxicity of ingredients (rated from 0 to 10, with 10 being toxic) and existing knowledge and research on each ingredient (color-coded)

Data: None

Data: Limited

Data: Fair

Data: Good

Data: Robust

All but 3 of our ingredients have a score of 0, which is the best and least dangerous. One received a score of 2 and two others received a score of 1. All scores are incredibly low on the scale and indicate no danger. All were green, with reliable data for confirmed their non-toxicity. This is an amazing achievement!

The only ingredient that is not rated on the site is “sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate”, which is a mild cleansing and foaming agent derived from coconut and corn. I wanted to be sure our customers get complete information, so here is an objective rating of the ingredient from another consumer guide called, “the Good Guide”:

Sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate raises no health concerns because:
  • It is not on any of GoodGuide’s lists of toxic chemicals which cause suspected or recognized health effects
  • It has not been detected in human tissue or urine
  • It is not a high production volume chemical that lacks safety data

So go ahead and indulge yourself with Mont Echo’s hair care and get healthier hair without risking your scalp!

We’re excited for great new things in 2013!

sea buckthorn

Mont Echo has recently moved into a new 5000 sq ft facility near our farms in the Eastern Townships of Québec.  While the trees continue to sleep, we’ve already begun to prepare for the fruit that they will produce.  This fruit, grown in the shadow of Mont Echo, will need to be transformed so we can collect and utilize these gifts from the trees.  Our multi-vessel Supercritical CO2 extraction system, the largest in Québec for the extraction of natural products, is now safely stored in its new home, and I am very excited to once again fill it with the seeds and fruit that give us the 2 very distinct and very concentrated oils that give Mont Echo products their clinically proven efficacy (click to view clinical study!).  With the ever increasing focus on source and traceability, Mont Echo continues to stand alone in North America by offering products made from 100% Canadian Grown Sea Buckthorn.  I cannot wait to see what 2013 has in store for our farms and our products.  Already, 2013 has seen the launch of our new haircare line (learn more!), and as our plants continue to sleep through our long Canadian winter, we are continually working to develop new products, always mindful of how it all ties together from plant to product.

Brad Johnson 
President & CEO of Mont Echo Naturels, Inc.

Tips for Using the Facial Mask!

Do you know how to use Mont Echo’s Sea Buckthorn Facial Mask?

The mask is part of the protocol of clinical study that yielded spectacular results last year. Composed of s100% natural ingredients, the mask acts as both an effective scrub and a skin-smoothing mask. Used regularly, it naturally brightens the complexion and gently removes spots. Its vitamins nourish and provide unparalleled antioxidant protection. It soothes and softens irritated skin, and moisturizes and soothes sensitive skin.

To use as an exfoliating scrub, combine the mask in equal portions with cleansing cream and apply to the face for ten minutes. The mixture absorbs oil and begins to dry and crumble. Roll the mixture off your skin with your fingers. Dead skin cells are removed from the surface of the skin and your bright new skin is revealed! This scrub can be used 2 times a week followed by a tonic spray mist.

To use as a mask, mix the powder 1:1 with Age-Defence Cream, 1 spritz of Toning Mist and a add few drops of Age-Defence Serum for dry or mature skin. Apply to the face in a thick layer and leave for 20 minutes. Roll off and rinse with warm water. Follow with application of mist, serum and moisturizer as needed. For a a truly refreshing experience, refrigerate your Mist prior to final application

Satisfaction Guaranteed!

 

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CHFA Quebec a Major Success for Mont Echo!

The CHFA (Canadian Health Food Association) tradeshow, held at Place Bonaventure February 1st and 2nd  of 2013, was a resounding success. The expo was only open to professionals in the health food and health products industries.

We presented our line of Age-Defence beauty products and our new line of hair care. We heard so many positive comments and so much enthusiasm from our visitors, it was very exciting!

We expected fewer attendants than the same show which was held in Toronto in September 2012, but were thrilled to find that there were actually far more visitors at our booth.

Different pharmacy chains have visited as well as the larger natural food chains and stores and, much to our surprise, a chain of supermarkets. There is a real demand for beauty products made ​​in Quebec with a proven efficacy AND 100% natural ingredients. Mont Echo, being “100% Naturally Effective,” is exactly what consumers want today!
Congratulations to the entire team of Mont Echo.

Traceability in skin care products

Canadian Sea Buckthorn

Traceability has long been an important topic in the food industry. In today’s global economy, your fruit likely originated in South America and your sausage may have been made with pork sourced from multiple countries. With such a lot of distance between the farm and your table, people are becoming increasingly concerned about what they are putting in their body… Where was it grown? What was it exposed to while growing and while being transported? How far was it transported? Who has handled it and how?

Consumers have also begun to advocate for greater traceability in the ingredients of products they put on their bodies. The skin absorbs large quantities of whatever it comes into contact with – nutrients, minerals, vitamins… and poisons. It is so important to treat the outside of your body with the same care with which you treat the inside.

How do you ensure that the products you are using are free of harmful chemicals and truly 100% natural? Trace the origin of the ingredients. If you can trace the ingredient to the source, you can be sure that it is natural or naturally derived. That way you can be certain it hasn’t absorbed harmful environmental pollutants, like heavy metals, during the growing process – and you can be certain that the ingredient IS what it claims to be. Countries in Europe have recently created new legislation to deal with traceability and to protect consumers after several frauds were uncovered. It was discovered in France, for example, that there was quite a lot more “Sea Buckthorn oil” being sold than could possibly have been produced worldwide. We found that a bit scary. What kind of oil, exactly, was being sold? What other countries may have been affected? The moral of the story: trace your ingredient to the source so you aren’t taken advantage of by companies looking to capitalize on a hot trend.

Here are five tips for choosing natural, traceable skincare products for yourself and your family:

  1. Take the time to read labels and minimize your exposure to harmful chemicals. Look for locally-grown, sustainably-grown and cleanly-grown ingredients.
  2. Consider both the environment of the ingredient source and the transport required to bring the ingredient to the final processor. Many organically grown teas in Asia, for example, are sprayed with pesticides on the dock before being loaded onto ships for transport to North America. Many ingredients in heavily polluted parts of the world absorb heavy metals and other toxins no matter how carefully they are grown.
  3. Ask for proof. Is the company willing to share information about the source of its ingredients? There are many ingredients – particularly spices and exotic oils – that can only be sourced non-locally. And many exact ingredient locations are closely guarded secrets. But that does not mean the ingredient can’t be grown and handled according to the highest standards, and it doesn’t mean the company cannot share with you general information about the source.
  4. When you have a choice, support your local growers. Local ingredients have a small environmental footprint, travel shorter distances, and are generally handled by fewer processors. Organic is great, but local is better.
  5. Remember that natural does not mean hypoallergenic or non-irritating. Always patch-test new products on your skin – non-synthetic ingredients are not engineered by man to be hypoallergenic!

If you have questions about our products or how to use them, take advantage of our in-house esthetician, who will be available every Wednesday to answer all your questions. 1-888-640-2014

Committed to Canadian-grown Sea Buckthorn: Why Do We Care?

Sea Buckthorn has suddenly become the darling of natural ingredients. Town & Country magazine featured the fruit in an article entitled “Sea Buckthorn – The Groves of Eternal Youth.” Whole Living listed Sea Buckthorn as one of the Hottest Ingredients of the year. Dr. Oz touted Sea Buckthorn’s weight loss and skin care properties on his show multiple times. Marie Claire, Oxygen, Shape, and Lucky have trumpeted its virtues.

The only thing that disappoints us about all this great buzz is that folks seem to feel that they need to travel the globe to bring home great Sea Buckthorn. Of course, China and the Himalayas are exotic and lovely – but did you know that there is a whole community of local growers who are cultivating this “miracle berry” right in your backyard?

Beyond Skin Deep

We’re biased of course. Our motto is “Beyond Skin Deep,” meaning that we believe that true beauty comes from knowing that you are making the best choices for your body, your environment and your community. That means we believe strongly in supporting local farmers and in minimizing our environmental footprint by sourcing our ingredients from places that don’t require excessive shipping and processing steps. So we thought we would take a moment here to explain exactly why we were so determined to found Mont Echo Naturels as a 100% Canadian-grown Sea Buckthorn company when everyone else said it was impossible.

The Farmers

Sea Buckthorn farming is a family business for the founders of Mont Echo Naturels

We began as Sea Buckthorn growers ourselves and we were endlessly frustrated by companies – even Canadian companies! – that continually chose to bring in foreign Sea Buckthorn when there were farmers across Canada desperate to sell fruit. In many cases, farmers were forced to let their fruit die on the plant because it just wasn’t possible to compete with the bargain-basement prices of the mass growers overseas. This is an incredible waste of precious fruit! In fact, when we first started going to international Sea Buckthorn conferences, our plans to create products using Canadian-grown Sea Buckthorn were laughed out of the room as “impossible.” And yet here we are, just a few years later, purchasing massive volumes of fruit from our own farmers and producing some of the finest products on the market with it. All we had to do was start small, support the industry, and put our commitment to local farmers ahead of concern for profit.

The Environment

A plant is only as good as the environment its grown in. Our company is named after the mountain next to which our Sea Buckthorn dreams were born. Our orchards sit at the base of lovely Mont Echo in southern Quebec, on property which backs up to thousands of acres of pristine Nature Conservancy land. Our fruit doesn’t fall off the trees when gently shaken, as fruit at high altitudes does. Our fruit clings strongly to the branches – even through winter if not picked. Like the land around it, our fruit is beautiful and bountiful and robust. And as our fruit requirements grew beyond what our farms could produce, we traveled across Quebec, the Maritimes and the Prairies to seek out similar sources of fruit. Why do we care so much? Because a plant cultivated organically in the rich lands of beautiful, natural Canada breathes clean air, drinks clean water and grows in clean soil. And it turns all these pure elements into clean, pure oils. And that’s the kind of oil we want in our products.

Knowing Your Source AND your Process

One of the other reasons we love to focus on Canadian fruit is that it gives us the opportunity to be innovators. Unlike other companies, we do all of our ingredient extraction ourselves, right here in Quebec. Sea Buckthorn oils are very difficult to extract and even small changes in temperature during the processing can have a large impact on the quality of nutrients in the oil. Because we know and control the source AND the process, we have the chance to make sure every drop of oil, floral water and powder we produce is as good and as pure as it can be. And we can experiment endlessly to produce new natural ingredients that utilize every part of the plant.

Spring is approaching here in southern Quebec and we’re looking forward to it after a long, icy winter. Our family farms are gearing up for another growing season and the company is also going to grow this year – new equipment, new products and new sales outlets are in the works to compliment our newly redesigned website! Come grow with us and take advantage of all the benefit that only Canadian-grown Sea Buckthorn can offer.

Personal Experiences with Mont Echo Skincare II

People of all ages and skin types have written to us to tell us about their experiences with Mont Echo Sea Buckthorn Skincare. A few weeks ago, we shared the story of a 30-something with problematic skin, and this week we’d like to share two more personal skincare stories. And if you’ve tried our products, we’d love to hear from you too! Just send us an email at argousier@mont-echo.com

Sex: Male

Age: 67

Skin type: Normal

Concerns: Grover’s Disease (transient acantholytic dermatosis)

I’ve never had any issues with my skin until the past year, when I suddenly started getting an itchy rash of red spots on my torso—mostly on my back. I had never experienced anything like it before, and I went to the dermatologist right away to have it checked out. He examined the rash, took a biopsy, and soon I had my diagnosis: Grover’s Disease, or transient acantholytic dermatosis. He told me it’s a condition most often found in older men, and is characterized by sudden outbreaks of itchy red spots. The cause is unknown. He prescribed me some topical cortisone creams to help control the outbreaks and relieve the itching.

Unfortunately, the cortisone creams didn’t do much. They’d help for a week or so, and then the rash would reappear just as bad or even worse than before. It was especially bad in the hot, sweaty summer months.

The Mont Echo Soothing Mist was recommended to me by a friend. I was told it was very soothing and anti-inflammatory, great for skin conditions, sunburn, and bug bites. I gave it a try and the results were almost immediate. I use the spray liberally morning and night on my face, body, and especially my back. It helps relieve the itching and clear the outbreak. I’ve found that it’s really the only thing that works on my Grover’s Disease. Thanks for your great products.

Sex: Female

Age: 58

Skin type: Dry, oily T-zone

Concerns: Wrinkles, redness, blotchiness, uneven skin tone

I love all the products.  My doctor actually noticed a big improvement with my skin tone after I started using them.  I use the cleanser, the soothing mist, the facial serum, and the moisturizer twice daily, morning and night.  And then the mask/ scrub once a week.  Also I rub the oil on my nails and the results are amazing to me.  It seems to make my nails stronger and also makes them grow faster.  I’ve actually never been able to grow my nails before.

DISCLAIMER The information offered by Mont Echo Naturels is not intended to replace, in any way, the medical advice that can be provided by a physician or other medical professional. Please consult your physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.