"Every day, we see the devastating effects of climate change and water scarcity on our planet and in our Indigenous communities," share Nancy and Anthony Wingham. "And every day, we feel called to do something about it."
The husband and wife duo are the founders of Langley-based beauty company Nuez Acres which recently won awards for Beard Care and Mascara at the CertClean 7th annual Clean Beauty Awards.
More than 450 best-selling, clean beauty products were nominated and judged by an international panel of 146 beauty specialists with winners chosen in 24 product categories. The Clean Beauty Awards were created to reward personal care products formulated without harmful chemicals and recognize people at the forefront of this movement.
The Winghams make all of their products, including the two that won awards, with pecan oil harvested on Nancy's family's farm in Parral, a tiny town in the Chihuahua region of northern Mexico, one of the world's largest pecan-producing areas.
Nancy grew up with a knowledge of the potency and advantages of pecan oil but it wasn't until her husband, Anthony, who is Métis, visited the town that the concept of creating a beauty company with it was first mentioned.
The objective of Nuez Acres is to provide make products that have a "beneficial influence on the lives of people, from our farmers to our end consumers," they tell Vancouver Is Awesome over email. "Pecans are native to the desert and have been part of our Indigenous cultures throughout Turtle Island for millennia."
According to the Winghams, pecan oil contains vitamins, minerals, and acids that are beneficial for skin and hair. Vitamins A and E protect and nourish the skin, while vitamin D promotes cell turnover. Zinc soothes inflammation and magnesium can help to reduce stress levels. The oleic and linoleic acids in the oil also help lock in moisture, keeping skin and hair hydrated while amino acids help to repair damage and strengthen skin and hair.
When determining which skin and body care products to develop with the pecan oil the Winghams say they "started by breaking down pecan oil and identifying the nutrients it contains. We then paired those nutrients with specific essential oils that would enhance their benefits."
Business focuses on sustainability issues
The pair also feel strongly about emphasizing sustainability and water conservation in the beauty industry. "We are devoted to highlighting the significance of water conservation in the beauty business by providing a sustainable anhydrous beauty," they explain. "Nancy grew up in the desert, where water is scarce, and Anthony, who is Indigenous, is aware of the water disparities that Indigenous people face on a daily basis."
They add, "We believe that it is important to highlight Women and Indigenous successes and to use sustainable ingredients whenever possible. This award allows us to continue spreading that message and make a difference in the world. We are so grateful to have this platform to share our story and to continue to encourage consumers to reduce their beauty water consumption."
Nuez Acres is very aware that consumers are demanding accountability from companies and they want to encourage people to keep asking the hard questions of brands even those that say they are clean beauty. Questions like where do the ingredients come from, how are the products made, and how are companies ensuring sustainability?
This award designates Nuez Acres as a company at the forefront of clean beauty but they say they are also really proud of the beauty industry in B.C. "We believe that B.C. is leading the way when it comes to clean beauty, and we hope that other provinces and countries will follow our lead."