We look for brands that source local and sustainable, making sure that the raw ingredients are coming from plant, minerals and safe alternatives while supporting biodiversity. We only work with brand's whose formulations meet and exceed the labeling and product safety guidelines of health Canada and the FDA. 
From sourcing to production, distribution and retail we ensure fair wages and fair-trade is practiced, we create a safe, fair and clean working environment, and so do our brands. 

  1. Assessment - We listen to what our clients are requesting. It is always top of mind that our current offerings are meeting the needs of our customers and we continue to explore the best options available. 
  2. Ingredients - We review many products and brands every year. Screening ingredients, sourcing processes and seeking transparency from the makers to ensure the product meets all Portia-Ella guidelines. 
  3. Product Testing - We professionally test every product. Once we approve a products ingredients & sourcing process, we ensure it delivers results on a variety of skin types, ages, and people. Products are tested by various professionals using different application methods. 
  4. Impact- We consider the environmental impact and footprint of the product and the supplier by taking a deep dive into their processes and business choices. 
  5. Human Connection - There is a real person behind each brand and we make sure to get to know each woman on a personal level. For Portia-Ella to share all the benefits of a product with you, we need to get to the heart of the people we work with and support. 
  6. Product Integrity - First: Products must be crafted with beneficial ingredients, this is a top criteria when curating brands. Second: Work to incorporate environmentally friendly packaging and support low-waste brands. 

    Education and knowledge of ingredients is fundamental 

    We only source products rich with nourishing properties and always avoid ingredients that can be harmful to our health and environment, this includes industrial chemicals that are carcinogenic, pesticides, reproductive toxins, or hormone disruptors. 

    Just No... 

    Butylatedhydroxy Anisole-Butylated Hydroxytoluene 
    Often referred to as BHA and BHT. Synthetic antioxidants used to extend shelf life. They are likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors and may cause liver damage. Found in: lipsticks, moisturizers, diaper creams, and other cosmetics. 

    Coal Tar Dyes (C.I. followed by 5-digit number) 
    Coal Tar is a human carcinogen. The dye, produced from the coal tar (or synthetically) can potentially cause cancer. The colours may also be contaminated with low levels of heavy metals which are toxic to the brain. 

    Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA) 
    Surfactants and pH adjuster linked to allergies, skin toxicity, hormone disruption, and inhibited fetal brain development. Found in: hair dyes, mascara, foundation, fragrances, sunscreens, dry cleaning solvents, paint, pharmaceuticals. 

    Phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP and others) 
    A class of plasticizing chemicals used to make products more pliable or to make fragrances stick to skin. Phthalates disrupt the endocrine system and may cause birth defects. Found in: synthetic fragrance, nail polish, hairspray, and plastic materials. 

    Formaldehyde Releasing Preservatives 
    Used as a preservative in cosmetics. A known carcinogen that is also linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity. Present where quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol), and several other preservatives are listed. Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath. 

    Parabens (methyl-, isobutyl-, propyl- and others) 
    A class of preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Easily penetrate the skin, a Category 1 priority substance, that interferes with hormone function. Can mimic estrogen and is detected in human breast cancer tissues. May also interfere with male reproductive functions. Methylparaben applied to skin reacts with UVB and increases the rate of skin aging and DNA damage. 

    Synthetic flavor or fragrance 
    Complex mixture of dozens of chemicals (about 3000!). Most not tested for toxicity and many of these unlisted ingredients are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines, and asthma. Some of these ingredients, like DEP, are hormone disruptors or can cause liver and kidney failure in young kids if ingested in large amounts. 

    PEG Compounds (Polyethylene glyocols) 
    Petroleum-based compounds. May be contaminated with detectable amounts of ethylene oxide (EO) or 1,4-dioxane, with the former being a known carcinogen and the latter a possible carcinogen. EO can also harm the nervous system. Because purifying PEG Compounds of these two contaminants cannot be ensured, consumers are at risk of exposure to these substances. There is also evidence of PEG’s being able to cause DNA damage. 

    This petroleum product can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which, upon long term exposure, can cause cancer. 

    Siloxanes (silicone-based compounds, i.e. Dimethicone) 
    D4 and D5 siloxanes are toxic, persistent, and can bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms. D4 has also been show to interfere with human hormone function. High exposure to D5 has also been shown to cause uterine tumours and harm the reproductive system and immune system. 

    Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS and SLES) 
    SLS and SLES are surfactants that can cause skin irritation or trigger allergies. SLES is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of a petrochemical process called ethoxylation, which is used to process other chemicals in order to make them less harsh. Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath. 

    Triclosan and Triclocarban 
    Antimicrobial pesticides toxic to the aquatic environment; may also impact human reproductive systems. Found in: liquid soap, soap bars, toothpaste. 

    Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) 
    A chelating (binding) agent added to cosmetics to improve stability. May be toxic to organs. Found in: hair color, moisturizers.