From the Archives: Health and Beauty at Karma

Introduction by Nathalie Remond

I first read this article back in 2017 when I had just moved from Montreal to Toronto. I had recently joined the co-op and wanted to learn as much as possible about it. The author is a former staff member named Sarit Cantor, who I never had a chance to meet. I could tell how dedicated they were from how they describe their experience at Karma as a health and beauty product purchaser. Their honest direct style of writing inspired me to have confidence in Karma.

I loved how Sarit took a step back from multiple interactions with members and clients in order to share their own views on healthy skin. Due to my extremely vulnerable skin, I do not consume beauty products. And yet, Sarit’s points have helped me to better understand the roots of my own skin vulnerability. Today, I feel grateful to Sarit and to the Chronicle team of 2012 for publishing this article and I would love it if Sarit’s testimony could be a building stone in other journeys like mine to better health. 

As a member of the Food Issues Committee, I am happy to promote this article which connects beauty to healthy food and shows how the health and beauty section of the coop is there to enhance the benefits of the healthy foods on the shelves of Karma. It would be great if you too could share your own reactions to this testimony, or to any other article from a past issue of the Chronicle which you have liked.

Health and beauty at Karma

By Sarit Cantor

I have received countless questions and calls for advice regarding all sorts of symptoms and conditions in my three months as the health and beauty products purchaser at Karma. By far, the most frequently discussed topic that people have approached me about is the skin. Which product will make my skin clear? Which one will make my wrinkles go away? What can I use to soothe dry skin? A brief glance at the health and beauty section of our store shows you that we have a large supply of various skin creams, lotions, oils, toners, cleansers, and sprays. There is usually a specific product I can recommend, but I always try to tell people that simply applying a cream is not a completely holistic treatment.

Water, chia seeds, dark leafy greens, and salmon oil all contribute to healthy skin

It is important to remember that at every moment, the body is doing its very best to heal. When we provide the means for the body to have all of the nutrients it needs, not only will we feel better, but we will look great.

Below is a brief breakdown of some of the key nutrients to help maintain stress-free skin:

The skin is the body’s largest organ of elimination.

When our bodies experience a lack of balance, more often than not, the skin will be a prominent means of purging what we no longer need. This can manifest in a variety of symptoms such as acne, body odour, dry skin, skin rashes, or eczema.

Simply put, acne is not a symptom of a tea tree oil deficiency; we do not get dry skin because we have not put on enough shea butter; and wrinkles certainly do not appear due to a lack of anti-wrinkle cream. Rather, all of these symptoms and conditions are signs that the body is experiencing an imbalance in some capacity, and is doing its very best to create a healthy and flourishing internal environment by choosing the skin as a pathway of release.


This is probably the most important factor in maintaining healthy skin. If the body is dehydrated, the first place it will show is in the skin. Dry lips and flaky skin are common, and if the dehydration continues, eventually you may notice skin rashes, achy joints, and digestive disturbances.

 Essential fatty acids. 

The lining of every single cell in our body is composed of essential fatty acids (EFAs). When we are deficient in EFAs, the cell wall becomes weak and shows up in our skin as acne, dry or flaky skin, eczema, and psoriasis. Examples of EFAs include oil from cold-water fish like salmon, and oil from hemp, flax, and walnuts.

Dark leafy greens.
Ensuring a high intake of nutrient-dense vegetables is one of the simplest

and most effective ways of creating healthy skin. When you include vegetables like kale, chard, collards, and spinach in your diet on a regular basis, you are saturating your body in

vitamins and minerals that help to nourish the entire body, including the skin cells.


Important for many reasons, soluble fibre, like ground flax or chia seeds, will bind to toxins in our body and help eliminate them through the bowels as opposed to the skin.

From p.11 of Spring 2011 Karma Chronicle available here.