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Holiday Gift Guide – Toronto Star

WILD WOOD: Modern Apothecary Goods

Druid Dry Shampoo
A light and refreshing herbal powder to gently cleanse and add volume in-between washes. On dry hair, directly sprinkle a small amount of powder throughout the crown or gentle apply with a dry and fluffy makeup brush - massage until evenly distributed. Contains Horsetail which is rich in silica and excellent for repairing and nurturing hair growth, preventing thinning and dandruff and increasing shine.
Amulet Muscle Balm

Throw that deep cold back in the medicine cabinet and give this a try! A gently warming, hydrating balm with locally harvested arnica flowers, botanical oil infusions, and essentials oils including cajeput, eucalyptus, camphor, clove, and chilli oil to naturally soothe sore muscles, arthritis, joint pain and stiffness. Excellent for menstrual cramps when applied to the lower abdomen. 

Arcana Pleasure Oil and Lubricant

A moisturizing, organic oil-based lubricant, free of synthetic fragrances, harsh alcohols, and preservatives. Generously apply to intimate areas, or use as a massage oil.

Wild Wood is a modern apothecary goods line created by Dominique Del Col. We interviewed her recently for our newsletter's Meet The Maker interview series, where we highlight local craftspeople and artists.

You’re an all natural apothecary line, where did your interest in all natural skincare and wellness product come from?

Dominique: The journey started when I was quite young, my maternal grandmother who is a traditional healer, and yoga instructor would take me on adventures in the fecund forest behind our family farm in search of wild herbs, mushrooms and flowers which we would use to make infused oils, herbal salves and teas. I learned early on to deeply appreciate the power of herbalism and wildcrafting. When I moved to Toronto nearly 8 years ago, I began keeping a small garden of herbs in my windowsill and would make small batches of tea and body care products for friends and family as gifts. I continued to study folk herbalism and holistic healing, taking a number of courses along the way as my passion for the subject grew. This eventually formed into a little side business, and when I wasn’t working as a corporate events and wedding coordinator, I was at the farmers market on weekends selling my potions. I loved working with like minded folks, and being intertwined in the farmers market circle. After lots of wonderful feedback from my customers, I decided to quit my job and work on Wildwood full time!

We love all your products, including the dry shampoo! How do you recommend using this product?

Dominique: I’m so pleased to hear this! Our dry shampoo has become a cult favourite amongst our customers, and was one of the first products we began selling at the farmers market before our brick and mortar shop came to be. The best way to use dry shampoo is on completely dry hair, applied sparingly and directly to the root. It helps to absorb odour, excess oils, and adds a wonderful boost of volume in between washes. Sprinkle a small amount of powder onto dry hair through the crown or hairline, and massage vigorously with your finger tips or a hair brush. Although the powder is white, the formula is suitable for all hair colours. For darker hair, it is best to use more sparingly, and massage thoroughly. A quick blast of a blowdryer directly to the areas applied can help to remove any remaining residue, but this step isn’t necessary - more of a personal preference. 
Our formula is free of talc, aluminum, artificial fragrance, preservatives, and corn starch  - all of which can cause blockages of the follicles, and irritation to the scalp over time. Many commercially made dry shampoos (or those which use a spray application) contain these harmful ingredients. The skin of our scalp should be treated like our facial skin, and must be cleansed gently and allowed to breath in order to ensure optimal hair growth and healthy follicles. We let our customers know that dry shampoo is not to be used as the sole method of cleansing, but in moderation in-between washes (2-3 times per week). Our formula is organic, plant-based, and uses cleansing and deodorizing ingredients like natural clays, and aluminum-free sodium bicarbonate, as well as dried sage, and Horsetail which is rich in silica. Its a wonderful and very safe, natural alternative to commercially-made versions :) 
What is your favourite product from your line? Which WildWood products do you personally use everyday?
Dominique: Thats a tough one. So many to choose from! I’m quite partial to our FAUNUS Nourishing Facial Toner with Marshmallow and Palo Santo. Its a wonderful option for my combination/dry skin. The base of Lemon Balm and Aloe Vera waters are incredibly soothing and cooling after sun, and the blue chamomile extract, marshmallow root and calendula oils help to keep my skin feeling hydrated and supple all year round. I pair the Faunus mist with our CELESTIAL Facial Serum for my daily moisturizer as the clove extract helps fight small blemishes, and the carrot seed oil offers a small amount of sun production. The IDUNN Serum is my night hydrator as the blue cypress helps to tighten and tone as I sleep, while frankincense and geranium even pigmentation and repair signs of sun damage. A couple of times a week I make a mask of Activated charcoal and Bentonite clay mixed with Turmeric and crushed rose petals, and give myself a little scrub with our AUSTHEA Bee Pollen Facial Polish. I also love our ELDER Mending Balm, which is a favourite for healing and protecting extra dry skin. Great for dry patches and cracked heals! 
Do you have any exciting things coming up in the future for Wildwood? Any collaborations?
Dominique: We are always whipping up new potions in the workshop! You can always find me in our studio with my apron covered in any number of oils, and my clogs dusty from crushing dried herbs and flowers. At the moment, we are formulating a new body oil, as well as a deodorant and scalp tonic which we hope will hit the shop before the holidays. 
What are your favourite Toronto spaces for relaxing? Or favourite nature hang outs in the city? City spaces that inspire you?
Dominique: I’ve been slowly migrating from West Queen West, to the east end, and now live in the Upper Beaches with my partner. Its been a wonderful journey over the last several years to be involved in so many vibrant and beautiful neighbourhoods across the city. I personally adore our old stomping ground in Cabbagetown. So much green space surrounded by historic homes and cottages. During the warmer weather, I love to run in the park with our dogs, or take a stroll through Riverdale Farm to visit the horses and little auburn piglets. It helps me feel connected to my country upbringing, and gives me the rare opportunity to tune out the city vibrations when I need a little break! 
 
What was the first product you created? 
 
Dominique: This is probably going back at least 10 years, but I made a face scrub with cornmeal and crushed herbs. It smelled strange, but worked like a charm! Its successor is our AUSTHEA Wild Bee Pollen and Raw Honey Facial Polish. Every time I use it now, I fondly think back to the muddled yellow scrub that I made many moons ago and how it started the wildwood journey!