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'This is my new passion, I think about it every second of the day': Rossway entrepreneur launches new skin care products

Eliza Desmarais makes her products in her new basement lab.
Eliza Desmarais makes her Sohma Natural products in her new basement lab. - Amanda Doucette

ROSSWAY, NS- Eliza Desmarais worked in the holistic health world for 17 years as a massage therapist, but she knew it was time for something new.

Four years ago, she began trying to make her own skin care products and now it’s a reality.

“I almost lost that passion for massage, it’s so tiring. Now this is my new passion, I think about it every second of the day,” she says.

Desmarais’ product brand is called Sohma Naturals. With so many skin care products out there, Desmarais knew she had to find a way to stand out from the rest.

Twelve years ago, she watched a documentary about the blue zones in the world. The blue zones are where people live the longest and healthiest, she says. That documentary is one of her inspirations for her products.

Eliza Desmarais from Rossway started her own skin care product line, Sohma Naturals
Eliza Desmarais from Rossway started her own skin care product line, Sohma Naturals

“They live such beautiful, inspiring lives and to be able to incorporate that into my own products is amazing.”

One of the blue zone locations is Ikaria, Greece. Ikaria is an Island famous for their honey because the bees pollinate from pine. Desmarais is using natural Ikaria honey in her products because it’s known to be pesticide free.

“Nobody else is using it in products right now, so it gives me that niche I was looking for to separate myself from all the others out there,” she says.

This isn’t just a side project for her, she now has a basement lab set up to do proper testing to make sure her products are safe.

“I take safety very seriously. I test all my products before even thinking about selling them.”
Desmarais sends all her product formulas to a science lab to verify her work is correct. This is not a necessity in her business, but she likes to double check her own work.

Some of the equipment used to make Sohma Natural products.
Some of the equipment used to make Sohma Natural products.

When buying her ingredients, she receives a certificate of analysis and material safety data sheet from all suppliers, to verify the products are safe for all skin types.

Anybody is able to make their own products in their home and testing isn’t required.

She does stability testing to make sure the products do not separate and turn watery. As well, tests for bacteria before selling anything.

Desmarais is registered with the cosmetic notification with Health Canada.

Her products use all natural and safe ingredients for sense sensitive skin type, based off of recommendations from ewg.org. It’s a world-wide known website, that verifies what certain ingredients can do to your body. They are 100% cruelty free and not tested on animals.

“A lot of people making do it yourself skin products aren’t doing these tests, but it’s important to me. Your skin is delicate, and tests need to be done to make sure what your selling is safe,” she says.

Desmarais did face some challenges along the way. 

“I have a young child and trying to balance taking nine courses to learn all this has been exhausting. As soon as she lays down to nap, I’m working on this.”

Through it all, Desmarais has been confident she would succeed and now she has. She gives credit to her mother, Nella Pidutti, for always helping her and pushing her in the right direction. Pidutti owns Solas Integrated Health in Digby.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do this without her. She knows exactly what to do. That woman can do the job of 10 people, and if I can be half of the woman she is, I’ll be proud,” Desmarais said.

Products:

  • Body butter
  • Anti-aging creams, serums and toners
  • Deodorant
  • Nature body mist
  • Men's products
  • Baby powder

Find out more about Sohma products, the ingredients and locations to buy on her website:

www.sohmanaturals.com

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