Claudine Michaud’s path to create an extraordinary skin-care line, Bioéthique Certified Organic, began when she decided to take matters into her own hands. In 1995, her best friend was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma. Around the same time, her mother had given her a fancy fig bubble bath, but to Michaud’s dismay, she broke out in a rash after using it. Upon examining the ingredient list, she was perturbed to find that she didn’t understand any of the chemical names on the label. “But the thing that really jumped out was that there was no fig in it at all,” Michaud says. Her experience represents a growing awareness about what we put into our bodies and onto our skin, and a conscious initiative toward healthy living.
Michaud began to do her own research and started making her own products. Soon, she decided that she wanted to get serious; she wanted to become certified organic. “In cosmetics, organic is not a legal term,” she explains. “You can bring a product to market without it having been tested. No body—government agency or otherwise—is testing. When you consider the number of health-related conditions that are on the rise, it makes you stop and think about what you’re really putting on your skin, given that a minimum of 60 per cent is absorbed into your bloodstream.”
Michaud found a small lab in Provence, France, where she worked closely with a chemist. Four years later, she finally had the product line she had envisioned, verified by Nature et Progrès as wholly natural from beginning to end, and the only one in Vancouver to be third-party certified organic. They have a strict set of rules that goes beyond the purity of the ingredients themselves to consider farms, the lab, processing methods, and packaging. In addition to being a stringent certifying body, Nature et Progrès is also responsible for nurturing small operations and creating a network of sanctioned producers. “They are very famous in France for playing a crucial role in the protection of rural farming traditions from being overtaken by large corporate farms and farming methods,” Michaud explains.
The Bioéthique Spa focuses on aesthetician Jaana Kujala’s area of expertise: facials. The treatment menu is very simple and tailored to suit your needs. After the two-hour signature facial, which includes a full microdermabrasion and LED treatment, you’ll emerge feeling rejuvenated and looking radiant. All of Bioéthique’s oils—including borage, sea buckthorn, tamanu, and safflower, among many others—are organic, first cold-pressed extra virgin; all of their extracts—meilssa, cornflower, ginseng, and coltsfoot, to name but a few—are also raw, primary plant extracts.
Now, with her certified organic skincare line achieving success, Michaud is taking the next natural steps forward. This summer, she will be finishing her training as a holistic nutritionist. “It’s so important because if you have eczema, rosacea, or chronic acne, there’s a reason for that that’s not just external,” Michaud explains. “What you put on your skin is important, but many people go from product to product looking for something that’s going to cure them and it’s an internal issue.”
“It’s really about being able to guarantee purity for people, and safety,” she says. The skin-care line is vegan and certified organic, and the laundry detergent and cleaners used are free of synthetics, so naturally, at Bioéthique, there’s no need to compromise on your spa experience either.