Founded in 2017 by Laura Burget and Connie Lo, NIU BODY is an independent producer of personal care products. Based in Toronto, the company has focused on making high-quality natural skincare accessible and approachable. Healthy products can be prohibitively expensive –$120 for jar of face mask is not realistic for most people – so Laura and Connie have stripped back the formulas, packaging and branding to create a line of affordable yet effective solutions.
At present the range includes oil-based cleansers, toning mists, serums, face masks, lip polishes, and make-up remover pads. Every item is suitable for vegans, free from parabens, sodium laurel sulphate, alcohol, phthalates, chemicals, colourants, preservatives, fillers, mineral oils, petroleum, and packaged in body-safe, recyclable materials.
I spoke to Connie and Laura recently about inspiration, integrity, and what will come next.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START NIU BODY?
Laura: When I was a student I began using coconut oil as a natural make-up remover. I loved how effective it was, and that it didn’t sting my eyes, but I couldn’t stand how messy it was to use. And the packaging is unappealing to look at on the bathroom counter. I struggled to find a coconut oil-based make-up remover on the market and so I created my own. From this, NIU Body’s first line of cleansing oils was born.
WHY DO YOU FEEL IT’S IMPORTANT TO USE NATURAL INGREDIENTS?
Laura: So much of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. We need to be more aware of the chemicals that we expose ourselves to through the use of personal care products. There are also so many amazing benefits of botanical ingredients, all of which help to nourish and feed skin.
FROM WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR INGREDIENTS?
Laura: All of our ingredients are sourced from a supplier based here in Toronto. Whenever possible, we intentionally source locally (even if it’s more expensive) as it allows us to have more control over our supply chain and decrease our carbon footprint.
HOW DO YOU KEEP PRODUCTION PROCESSES ETHICAL AND SUSTAINABLE?
Laura: One of our core company values is integrity. We believe in doing the right thing even when no-one is looking; this applies to our manufacturing processes, too. All of our packaging is 100% recyclable and we minimise our use of plastic wherever possible. We also strive to reduce our waste by recycling and reusing materials used on-site.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR NIU BODY?
Laura: We’re excited to be launching a new aloe and amino acid gel cleanser in the next month. This is our most advanced formula to date and cleanses while replenishing your skin of natural lipids. We also have a few other products in development for next year.
THE SECRET TO RADIANT SKIN IS…
Connie: A combination of a healthy diet, quality sleep, plenty of water, and taking care of your skin every day. (This means removing your make-up before bed, no matter how tired you are…)
WHAT IS YOUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY?
Connie: Quality over quantity. I’ve been really focusing on a eating a wider ranger of whole, nutritious foods.
FAVOURITE PLACES TO EAT IN TORONTO:
Connie: Oh, there are so many! If I had to narrow it down, here a few of my favourites: SoSo Food Club (Taiwanese), La Carnita (Mexican), Pai (Thai), Mamakas Taverna (Greek), Enoteca Sociale (Italian), Shoushin (Japanese), Bar Isabel (Spanish).
For brunch: Portland Variety, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen and Bar Reyna.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO MAINTAIN YOUR HEALTH AND WELLBEING?
Connie: I really enjoy exercising to clear my mind and stay focused. I go to the gym 4–5 times a week, and I am currently obsessed with Barry’s Bootcamp and BodyLove Boxing. Spending quality time with friends and family is also extremely important for my well-being. Scheduling ‘me-time’ is crucial for my mental health – this includes pausing my email inbox and disconnecting from technology. Finally, something I’ve been working on is daily meditation. A friend commended the Calm app, and I love it.
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
Connie: Quality time with loved ones, exploring new places and immersing myself in new cultures, trying new restaurants and bars, and spending time in nature.