"I’m Mikayla Raddysh (@_thenaturalblonde), and I am from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. And yes – our winters are COLD. But don’t let that deter you from visiting this charming little city, just aim to do so in the summer months! It is difficult to explain Regina to those who are not familiar with the city. I have always loved and appreciated the close-knit community, friendly faces and close access to the wide-open countryside in only a few short minutes, all while having a “city” feel. I was born and raised here, and obtained my Bachelors in Kinesiology & Health Studies at the University of Regina. But my appreciation grew even greater when I left the city to pursue further education.
I moved to Toronto in 2017 to enter the four-year, post-graduate program at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, to become a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine - which is where I am today. Don’t get me wrong, I love Toronto, but there’s just no place like home. Currently, in my fourth and final year, I am a student intern at the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic, where we work alongside licensed Naturopathic doctors to provide care to patients in Toronto and across the GTA. In just one short year, and 8 years of post-secondary education later, I will become a licensed ND – a career I have dreamed about achieving for many years.
Whether or not you are familiar with naturopathic medicine, many appreciate the principles that we hold. Do no harm, treat the whole person, identify and treat the root cause, to name a few. I was introduced to naturopathic medicine when struggling with my own health concerns as a young adult. After countless laboratory testing, procedures, and failed medications, I was recommended to a naturopathic doctor by a friend, and well, without getting into too much of the details, I guess you could say, the rest is history! Needless to say, I learned a lot, my health improved a lot, and I discovered my calling. ND’s are primary health care professionals, who provide care from lifestyle and nutritional counseling to ordering laboratory testing, even to administering your regular PAP smear examination. Our examinations and treatments aim to address the root cause of disease while administering the least invasive treatment as possible.
What was your perception of beauty growing up and what is it now?
My perception of beauty growing up is probably relatable to many who were born in the 90’s – influenced by magazine covers, TV and music videos. In my earlier years, the two most prominent icons were Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Blonde, thin, and sexualized.
Now, my perception of beauty has deepened. Character, kindness, strength, empathy, confidence, intelligence – these traits allow for a woman’s beauty to be highlighted to the nth degree. My closest friends are who they are to me because of the amazing people that they are, and push me to be.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability to me means doing what I can with what I have and making educated purchasing choices, which will then provide for the next generation.
When I moved out on my own, the purchasing power of the household fell into my hands – nerve-wracking but exciting all at once. The initiation of my transition into clean products began with my education surrounding the ingredients in many household and personal care products. This bled further into considerations such as production, sourcing, materials used, recycling/biodegradable materials – some companies, do not make much of this information readily available to the consumer. I began using tools like the Environmental Working Group’s “Healthy Living” App and the “ThinkDirty” app, to investigate the safety of my everyday products. This opened my eyes and motivated me to be better, and make wiser choices for myself and the environment.
I have struggled with acne on and off for many years, and it is something I have been open in sharing with the small following I have on my IG. This is where identifying the root cause component of naturopathic medicine comes in very conveniently, in my case it was hormonal related. While I believe healthy, glowing skin comes from the inside-out, what we put on our skin does get absorbed systemically into our bodies as well. This is why I only use clean beauty products.
I use Fitglow Beauty Vita Active Cleanser. If you haven’t heard of this company before, well buckle up. It’s hard not to fall in love with what this company stands for, and their product quality is exceptional. You’ll notice a repeated theme here, I use A LOT of their products.
I start each morning by washing my face with warm water, and a small amount of cleanser
Deciem – The Abnormal Beauty Company. Another great company focused on making high-quality products that are extremely affordable. All their products are delivered in recyclable materials, not and free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, oxybenzone.
After cleansing, I use a few drops of the Ordinary - Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, it is VERY hydrating to the skin (holds 1000x its weight in water). Hyaluronic acid, proper hydration in general, is crucial in anti-aging regimes – see why here. It is also great for reducing the appearance of acne scars, see why here!
Next, I add the oil – I love Rosehip oil because it isn’t a heavy oil, but provides just enough moisture. It is also great for acne scars. I use a few drops of Ordinary – 100% Organic Cold Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil, and rub into my face and neck gently
Lastly, before applying make-up, I always use Fitglow Beauty Vita Shield SPF 30. I was sent this along with one of my orders from the company. It is light-weight and works great. It isn’t available on their website quite yet, but keep your eyes peeled for it!
Every morning (yes, EVERY morning) after my skincare routine, I wear my cooling mask while I have my coffee. This is a game-changer. It takes down inflammation and depuffs my face significantly. Must be kept in the fridge and not the freezer!
Vita Active Cleanser
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
Fitglow Beauty Vita Active Cleanser
Ordinary - Retinol 1% Squalene – I use a dime-sized amount, and rub in gently avoiding eyes and mouth. Retinol is great for acne -prone skin, and it is a common treatment used conventionally, and naturopathically. Find out why here. Retinol can be irritating to the skin, and commonly causes dryness, redness and will aggravate breakouts for the first 2 weeks. You must start dosing low, and taper up slowly.
Hyaluronic Acid – to add back in hydration after cleansing, and help to prevent dryness from the Retinol.
Rosehip Oil – add in the moisture
Andalou Naturals – CannaCell D. Puff Eye Cream – I apply a bit of this under my eyes at nighttime. It is great for preventing inflammation and puffiness the next day
I also sleep on a silk pillowcase. This is great for both your skin and your hair, because when you sleep and switch positions, they will slide more easily, lessening the tension, stretching and pulling. It’s a small thing you can implement that will have long term benefits!
Vita Active Cleanser
Retinol 1% - let dry
D. Puff Eye Cream
My hair routine is pretty simple. I wash my hair every 2-3 days using either Honest Beauty Shampoo & Conditioner OR Carina Organics Shampoo & Conditioner. I have tried many natural hair care product’s and both are great. If I could pick an absolute fave it would be Honest Company’s. It leaves my hair feeling clean, and not oily.
After towel drying my hair, I use their Conditioning Detangler Spray. I have naturally curly hair, and using this allows for easy brushing with my wet brush, without pulling or breaking my hair.
I typically wash my hair at night, brush and loosely braid the end, then sleep like this to prevent pulling of the hair during the night. As mentioned earlier, silk pillowcase is key! If I need a little Dry Shampoo love, after a workout, or just on a lazy day, I use Kaia Naturals Blonde Dry Shampoo. The smell is amazing too!
Recently I have added a Santevia Shower filter to my shower, because I live in a condo (no water softener) and Toronto water + my hair do not mix. The filter alkalizes and adds minerals back into the water. I have found it helps make my hair a lot softer, which is an added bonus! Definitely worth the investment in my opinion.
Now onto my favourite of them all, makeup! I get so excited talking about this because it has taken me SO long to find all my favourites and still get a quality look.
After finishing my AM skincare routine, I wash my beauty blender and start with my Fitglow Beauty Conceal +, under my eyes. I am currently wearing C2.5, but probably could go up to C3 now that summer is really gearing up and I’m getting more sun!
Next I use Vita-Active Foundation, in shade VF3.5. It is full coverage, but doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. Give it a few minutes to settle into the skin and express its true colour. It blends nicely into the skin this way.
I wear individual false lashes, that I do myself, almost daily. To apply these, I use a non-toxic, vegan and cruelty free lash glue by True Glue. I use Burt’s Bees Nourishing Lengthening Mascara in Black Brown on top to blend the false lashes into my own. For contouring I use the Fitglow Beauty Cheek Palette.
For my brows, I keep it pretty simple. I use browluxe Precision Brown Pencil in Taupe, which I order from a local Toronto store BloomBeauty. If I need an all-day look then I will finish with Aloe Gel Lash & Brow Mascara to hold the hairs in place.
To finish I typically always wear some sort of lip. I like to switch it up, from light pink, to a deep red. I have Lip Colour Serum in a number of colours, which I love. I also have a few Lily Lolo lipsticks, which are great too! The colour of my lip really depends on the what I’m wearing and the mood of the day!
Although the transition to clean beauty & household products may seem overwhelming, the easiest way is when you run out of your current product – purchase a new, clean one! This is great because it also prevents waste from being accumulated."
-As told to LWB