Walking into Pura Botanicals, you are surrounded by the natural light and fragrance. It’s floral and carries hints of something warm. When I ask, owner Lane Edwards tells me it’s all the flower arrangements and quite possibly vanilla. On the left is the actual laboratory where Edwards and her team of mad scientists create their products — or, as they call them, potions. There are vials filled with different coloured liquids and other ingredients along the walls.
On April 7, Pura Botanicals released its new moisturizer, an exotic blend that boasts to exfoliate, preserve and regenerate the skin. “It’s a hybrid, it’s like a one-and-done,” Edwards says. Perfect, she adds, for the modern woman.
Edwards collaborated with Lindsay Jang, Edmonton’s culinary queen of the Far East on the Azure Dream Cloud Multi-acid Recovery Fusion. The two first became friends in junior high and share interests in beauty and fashion. Because of Jang’s work, both entrepreneurs wanted to incorporate gourmet food ingredients like oil from the Japanese yuzu fruit. It’s a citrus fruit that looks like a lemon and smells like an orange.
“It’s a very hot ingredient in Hong Kong, and Lindsay uses it in her recipes,” Edwards says. “But it’s really rich in antioxidants and very decongesting because of the oil.”
The oil is also rich in fatty acids which helps repair the skin. The colour of the cream though, comes from Morocco’s Blue Tansy flower. Although the plant is known for its bright yellow flowers, the oil is actually a distinctive cerulean blue. “It’s like an antihistamine to the skin, so anti-inflammatory. It’s super antibacterial and just ultra calming and soothing.” The additional vitamin C and hyaluronic acid hold in hydration and help brighten the skin.
Edwards points to the polaroids on the table nearby — a blue cake, a satin dress, a blue door. They make up the mood board. “It’s more like that French province romance,” Edwards says. “Like that old world luxury.”
A far cry from some of the difficulties the company faced last year. The distribution came to a halt in Hong Kong amidst the political unrest, followed by the pandemic and the lockdowns. And, in Edmonton, things weren’t much better. Right now, the company has paused its endeavours to grow internationally, and is focusing on Edmonton. “It’s always been the heart of our business. We have a lot of amazing support and clientele here that sustain our company, and beyond in Canada.”
Originally, the product was designed for travelling and came in a jar. But during COVID-19, Pura Botanicals adapted and added the formula to a pump bottle instead. The whipped texture of the cream sits lightly on the skin and can be used for both day and night.
When asked how she would define Canadian skin care, Edwards laughed, saying it’s all dependent on the weather and how dry it is. “I feel like beauty is generational and it’s been passed down, especially in Edmonton.”
Edwards, who inherited her love of holistic beauty from her mother, began her company five years ago. “I feel better when I use natural ingredients,” she says. “There are so many beautiful, sustainable natural ingredients, I just feel like there’s a lot of unnecessary chemicals going into self-care products.”