What product is right for me?
Our products are made for all skin types, but every skin is so unique! We suggest trying our Skin Quiz,
reading the product descriptions/ videos (when available) and checking out the customer reviews for a deep dive into each product. You can also email our founder Jess anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org for her specific recommendations for you.
To us, sustainability and product performance are our top concerns.
But to answer the question, yes, and technically yes and yes! We're not huge fans of those terms/labels/marketing tactics, but we don't use any animal-derived ingredients, our products are cruelty-free, and we use plant-based, fair-trade, and organic ingredients that are considered sustainable and/or EcoCert approved.
Yes, we do not use any ingredient that is contra-indicated during pregnancy, but always check with your doctor about specifics, particularly concerning the use of essential oils.
Being a tiny company, we cannot offer free samples. For sustainability reasons, we are also not offering small sizes of our products at this time. However, we do take your satisfaction seriously so any concerns before or after purchasing, should be directed to email@example.com.
What ingredients does Stark use?
Stark intersects traditional herbalism, modern plant-based "green beauty" formulation and solid, scientifically-backed cosmetic chemistry plus a tiny pinch of aromatherapy!
We are very concerned about the impact the beauty industry has on the environment, and continually improve on our sourcing and ingredient selection, to maintain high-quality products with the smallest footprint we can. Which means not choosing rare/exotic/precious plant materials, rather opting for efficacious materials used in other industries that would otherwise become waste (lumber industry, sugarcane, organic soy, "lab-made" materials, etc.) We haven't quite perfected this yet, but are always doing our best! :)
The "bulk" of any Stark product is always a natural, high-quality ingredient (be it organic aloe, organic meadowfoam seed oil, organic fair-trade cocoa butter, etc.)
Stark's founder Jess studied traditional French herbalism in her 20s, in Vancouver, BC. She went on to study other topics at UBC, but always maintained a love of herbalism. She was eventually able to explore using herbs thoroughly when starting Stark at the age of 28.
Most of our products contain herbal preparations (extracts, decoctions, infusions, macerations), for example, using horsetail and nettle in City, calendula and yarrow in Midnight, etc.
The herbs are chosen for their supportive role in the product, used to "buttress" the effects, but not relying solely on them. We feel this creates a well-balanced, efficacious yet gentle product.
Some of our carefully selected ingredients aren't directly sourced from a plant, but rather are naturally derived ingredients modified in a lab. Such as antioxidant superstar Ferulic Acid, which comes from plant material such as rice bran, but has been isolated, extracted and made into a stable cosmetic ingredient. Other examples are sugarcane derived squalane, our ceramide complex, the vitamin C we use (tetrahexadecyl ascorbate), our vitamin E, the gentle surfactants and solubilizers, modifiers and thickeners we use. However, we still use "all-natural"/ Eco-Cert approved preservative systems.
These are important ingredients in our formulas as they make gentler, more efficacious and ultimately, more environmentally sustainable, products.
Stark's founder, Jess, is a certified aromatherapist. We use a very small amount of essential oils, expertly blended for maximum effect, with the smallest amount possible used.
The essential oil blends are chosen for how they make us feel, for the specific properties the oils impart both physiologically and psychologically.
Our %s are listed in product descriptions, but range from no essential oils (Everlasting) to 0.03% in Petrichor, to around 1% in Aurora.
Our products each have a distinct, beautiful aroma that matches the "personality" and function of the product. We believe scent is important to develop a relationship, and therefore a ritual, with your skincare which over time leads to more consistent use and better results.
Who makes Stark products?
Our founder Jess makes some of the products (the oils), "our" tiny 2-person lab makes some products (and stability testing is done by the cosmetic chemist) and an artisan creates our soaps/bars. It takes a tiny village to raise this baby. :)
Glad you asked! Our bottles and jars are either made of amber glass, an easy type of glass to recycle (the more common the glass colour, the easier it is to recycle), or from PET plastic, a universally easy-to-recycle, BPA-free plastic that is recyclable nearly indefinitely.
Simply clean out your jar/bottle before recycling.
We do not use outer packaging like product boxes, instead we wrap our products in biodegradable, recycled and recyclable 0% virgin-material Kraft paper and Kraft paper stickers (that come with a recycled sticker backing and cardboard tube, so we recycle that material in-house).
We use Kraft paper padding and recycled and recyclable boxes. We are proud of our delightfully "boring" unboxings!
Even though we are tiny, we ship daily, and we ship quickly! Shipping is free on orders over $125, flat rate regular shipping is available ($9 for Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Manitoba, and $14 rest of Canada), and Expresspost (calculated at checkout) is also available.
Tracking numbers (when available) are sent to you as soon as they are available.
Please choose a shipping option with tracking for security, and note that once the order leaves our warehouse, the package becomes Canada Post's liability.
We ship to and from Canada and USA. For international, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orders are processed every weekday and will ship same or next day. Orders sent by regular mail are normally around 7 weekdays, and express is around 2-4 days.
Because we are a tiny, indie business, and for health and safety reasons, we cannot accept returns. Should you have any questions or concerns before or after a purchase, do not hesitate to contact email@example.com and we're always happy to work something out.