DU NORD SKIN CARE is a synthesis of three elements: inspiration derived from northern landscapes and their flora; traditional knowledge and laboratory and clinical studies supporting skin benefits of northern plant-based ingredients; and joyful, creative play and experimentation. 


DU NORD SKIN CARE products are formulated to provide luxurious and penetrative delivery of bioactive ingredients to your skin and optimize skin health and vibrancy.

Each product in the line is inspired by a Canadian ecozone, or a Northern biome that spans many northern countries, or a particular northern plant habitat. Most of the plant species have an ancient as well as a contemporary history of medicinal use by Indigenous peoples of North America and Eurasia and by peoples from Northern European traditional cultures. 

In fact, many of the plant species used in DU NORD SKIN CARE grow natively in my biodiverse, greater “backyard” of Ketch Harbour, Nova Scotia. 

On each DU NORD SKIN CARE product page (that is, the page that comes up when you click on a product), you will find a tab with a list of all the northern botanicals included in the product as well as some of the key ingredients in the product. The full list of ingredients is listed on the following tab.


Ingredients derived from various parts of plants which grow in the given region a DU NORD SKIN CARE product is named after have known skin-beneficial properties based on their unique phytochemical constituents. The delicate, unique aroma of each product is created from pure essential and absolute oils and pure hydrosols derived from plants characteristic of the region.  

DU NORD SKIN CARE products are made in small batches with most ingredients derived from organically grown, wild-harvested and responsibly cultivated plants that have been grown and/or processed in Canada, Finland, Central and Northern Europe, and the northern United States. In addition, DU NORD SKIN CARE products contain innovative functional ingredients and extracts from Canada, France, Italy, Switzerland and Spain created using sustainable, green technologies. 

For example, MARITIME Cleanser, is a gentle exfoliating cleanser that feels and smells invigorating, deep cleans, delivers ingredients with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and helps to heal and soothe the skin. It contains ingredients derived from the Atlantic Maritime and Pacific Maritime ecozones, including black spruce from the Atlantic Maritime ecozone, marine glacial clay from the Pacific Maritime ecozone, and bearberry which grows along the shoreline in both ecozones. 

Black spruce is one of my beloved backyard trees. It grows wherever and however it can and has a rich history of traditional medicinal use as treatment for pain relief, burns, skin infections, ear infections, symptoms of respiratory infection, circulatory system disorders, diabetes, and even fainting and fits.

MARITIME Cleanser features black spruce hydrosol (a steam-distilled water extract of the needles and twigs), which is astringent and has a lovely forest-y aroma; black spruce bark, which serves as a physical exfoliant; and black spruce essential oil, which has an invigorating aroma and has antiseptic and pain-relieving properties.

Black spruce bark is one of the innovative raw materials for several ingredients found in DU NORD SKIN CARE. It is collected as a by-product from wood mills in Québec and turned into valuable products for skin care.  Boreal tree barks, including black spruce bark, are rich in skin-beneficial phytochemicals.  A remarkable laboratory in Québec dedicated to the development of products from forest biomass has developed the techniques for extracting and concentrating these phytochemicals into bioactive skin-care ingredients; their bioactivity has been demonstrated by in-vitro and in-vivo studies. This laboratory is also behind the wonderful and gentle spruce bark exfoliant in MARITIME Cleanser.  The bark is ground in a unique process to make fine, homogeneous and highly dispersible particles. It is completely natural, biodegradable and safe for the environment. 

The marine glacial clay found in MARITIME cleanser comes from Canada’s Pacific Maritime ecozone, specifically from a coastal region of British Columbia. Marine glacial clay is a silt that derives from glacial erosion carried to the coast by rivers and streams to the ocean where it settles and creates a deposit enriched with ocean phytoplankton. The clay in DU NORD SKIN CARE products is hand-harvested at low tides. It is a gentle exfoliant and used for its deep cleansing and detoxification properties. It has been found to help with acne and relieving symptoms of other inflammatory conditions (e.g., eczema and rosacea). It is also said to help improve circulation and reduce hyperpigmentation.  

Bearberry, another multifunctional ingredient, is found in a number of distinct northern habitatsfrom shorelines to subalpine regions. The leaf extract is astringent and is well-known as a source of arbutin, which may help to reduce hyperpigmentation. Traditionally, the leaves are used for their astringent, diuretic, and antiseptic properties and, in particular, for treatment of genitourinary disorders. The leaf is also used as ingredient in a mixture that is smoked. In vitro studies have shown bearberry leaf extract has significant antioxidant and antibacterial activity. 

A little about me

I have worked in the field of health and wellness for all of my professional life as a medical editor & writer, a yoga & physical fitness instructor and health & wellness counsellor. My educational background is in science: BSc physics (Dalhousie University); PhD molecular biology of photosynthesis and DNA/protein interactions (Brown University). 

DU NORD SKIN CARE is inspired by my deep attachment to the landscape and flora on a glorious, rugged bit of Atlantic coast where I live and work, years of laboratory experience and many years of working with people helping them to improve their physical and emotional health and sense of wellbeing. I wanted make something beautiful and useful that got at the idea of what it means to feel good in one's skin. I surprised myself.

I hope that you will find DU NORD SKIN CARE delightful to use and effective.


Ursula Snyder, PhD




Photo credits: Product photography by Steve Farmer ©2017  Steve Farmer/DU NORD SKIN CARE; photograph of Ursula by Alisa Snyder  ©2017 Alisa Snyder/DU NORD SKIN CARE. All other photographs on this page by Ursula Snyder  ©2017 Ursula Snyder/DU NORD SKIN CARE

Logo design: Yazmin Butcher

Packaging design: Yazmin Butcher and Ursula Snyder