Frequently Asked Questions

  • About Pure + Simple

    Is Pure + Simple A Spa, A Store, Or A Community?

    All of the above, of course! Pure + simple’s eight locations offer a variety of spa services for pampering your skin, as well as selling our product line of natural skincare and mineral makeup, both designed in-house by our team of skincare experts. As a company, we strive to put our community and customers first, using our spas to host exciting events with knowledgeable speakers from throughout the skincare industry. Similarly, our belief in health and sustainability extends to all areas of our business, with initiatives such as our bottle return program and our ongoing commitment to using organic and sustainable ingredients whenever possible.

    What Is Ayurveda?

    Ayurveda is a holistic health way of life practiced 5,000 years ago in India. Ayurvedic Skincare, therefore, takes a holistic approach to health and beauty, giving us an important tool to better understand the underlying causes of our clients’ skin concerns. Focused on the philosophy that the healthiest life can be achieved through finding harmony with our individual constitutions rather than pursuing “one size fits all” goals for healthy living, we use the Ayurvedic model to ensure that our advice and care are tailored to each client’s unique needs.

    Who Created Pure + Simple?

    Pure + simple was founded by the mother-daughter team of Jean Eng and Kristen Ma – both passionate about creating a spa environment and product line which lived up to their exacting standards for skincare. Both suffered from acne before starting Pure + simple, which led them to research natural remedies for imbalanced skin. Pure + simple is born out of this research, and their desire to share it with clients who are unwilling to sacrifice their long-term health for quick-fix skincare. Kristen is always sharing her expertise as a Naturopath, Ayurvedic Practitioner and esthetician through her blog at, and can be found on twitter @holisticvanity or at her Youtube channel of the same name. Jean occasionally writes at our Pure + simple blog, and can always be found bringing her energy and knowledge to our spa locations and events. Click here to learn more about Jean

    Do You Offer Free Shipping?

    We are happy to offer free shipping within Canada for any orders over $60 dollars before tax, and within the United States for orders of over $200 before tax. For a more detailed breakdown of our shipping costs, please see our complete policy.

    Do You Have Gift Certificates?

    Absolutely! We offer both physical and digital gift certificates for use on any of our spa services or products. Gift certificates can only be used in-store. For more information or to purchase a certificate today, click here.

    About Locations

    Where Are The Pure + Simple Locations?

    Please see our Contact page for the street addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and hours of operation for each of our locations.

    What Are The Services Offered Each Of The At The Locations?

    All Locations:

    • Natural Skincare Products
    • Facials
    • IPL
    • Microneedling
    • Microdermabrasion
    • Aquabrasion

    Yorkville only:

    • Naturopathic Doctor

    Can I get a facial after I’ve had Injectables?

    Absolutely! However, we recommend waiting at least two weeks after receiving injectables (botox/filler) before scheduling a facial for your safety. This allows ample time for the injectables to settle + ensures the best possible outcome for your facial treatment.

    Treating Oily Skin 

    If I Have Oily Skin, I Don't Need A Moisturizer, Right?

    The fact is, more often than not, your skin is oily because it's dehydrated, so this way of thinking is completely backwards. When the skin is dry, the sebaceous glands work overtime in producing sebum (oil) to nourish itself. Unfortunately, when this happens, the glands take the moisture from the very skin they’re trying to nourish! As this vicious cycle continues, your face is left feeling tight and dry with an oily and uneven complexion. In addition to this, by overproducing oil and depriving the skin of hydration, the sebum gets trapped in the pores (along with dirt), hardens, and can result in blackheads and pimples. Now, you're not only dehydrated and oily, but breaking out too…all of which could have been avoided by using a good moisturizer and face oil.

    Will Using Oil On My Face Make Me Break Out?

    Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, Pure + simple is known for face oils and their calming and hydrating properties. The oils most people associate with breakouts are actually mineral oils, which are a by-product of petroleum. The molecular structure of these oils are simply too large for the pores to handle and cause congestion and breakouts. A natural face oil has absolutely no petroleum by-product and is easily absorbed into the skin without causing blockage or congestion. The oil helps to hydrate and soothe the skin and, in some cases, reduce inflammation. By choosing the appropriate face oil for your skin, you can treat a plethora of ailments, such as inflammation, rosacea, and acne -- all while preserving the integrity of the skin! 

    Should My Skin Feel 'Squeaky' Clean?

    No, no, no…absolutely no! Rather than thinking of that feeling as “squeaky clean” it would be more appropriate to refer to it as “stripped bare of all nourishment and moisture”. That tight feeling is, in actuality, extreme dryness and dehydration which results in a compromised skin barrier --overly oily skin, inflammation, increased sensitivity, and breakouts.

    Will Exfoliating Every Day Help My Skin Glow?

    Exfoliating the skin every day can lead to thinning skin, severe dehydration, and sensitivity. Our recommendation is to exfoliate once or twice a week maximum. Exfoliating everyday leaves the skin susceptible to damage and removes the protective barrier, exposing the skin to harmful environmental factors. It is also important to remember that once the top layer of dead skin has been removed with the initial exfoliation, repeating this process every day you are in effect scratching or burning fresh, healthy skin.

    Should I Exfoliate In The Morning For Smoother Looking Skin?

    Exfoliate at night before bed! This is when the skin begins its regenerative process and isn’t exposed to harmful environmental factors like sunlight, pollution, and dirt. If you exfoliate in the morning or during the day, your pores will be left exposed and open, attracting large amounts of dirt; the surface of your skin will be exposed to harmful UV, cold, and wind; and your face will be stripped of protective oils, leaving air-born chemicals free to penetrate the skin.

    Will Alcohol Clear My Acne?

    It’s a common misconception that alcohol (or products containing alcohol) will help clear your skin. In fact, products with alcohol will dry the skin which leads to further acne issues. By keeping the skin well hydrated, the pores retain the ability to open and close effectively, meaning they can clear out any dirt that collects within.

    Can Rosacea Really Be Treated?

    Rosacea can definitely be treated! Not only that, but we have a product line (Holistic Vanity’s Redness Relief Line) that is specifically designed to help soothe inflamed skin and reduce redness. We also have services to help calm irritated skin and treat broken capillaries.

    Can Products Shrink My Pores?

    Sorry to say this but your pore size is determined genetically. The pore may look larger if it's clogged or if they’re dilated because of dehydration, but that's about it when it comes to size.

    About Products

    How do Pure + Simple products compare to other natural beauty products?

    Pure+simple has become a formidable competitor in the natural skincare market, with rave reviews coming in from all over the world! We’re confident in our products’ ability to speak for themselves, which is why all of our stores allow you to “try before you buy,” with free samples of any of our products. We carry several other natural skincare lines in our stores as well, allowing us to mix and match to find the best fit for each individual client. Our range is wide enough to have something for everyone.

    What do I do with my empty product containers?

    All of our stores participate in a bottle return program, which encourages you to bring back your empty House Brand (Pure+simple and Holistic Vanity) bottles for $1 off your next purchase House Brand purchase – per bottle! We have customers who bring them in one by one, and also customers who save them up and come in with a box of 50 for $50 off! Whatever is most convenient for you. Alternatively, if you are unable to return your empty bottles to one of our store locations, please remember that all of our packaging is 100% recyclable.

    If mineral oil is bad, then is mineral make-up bad?

    Nope - different kind of mineral. As we mentioned earlier, mineral oil is a by-product of petroleum; mineral makeup is made up of ground, loose natural minerals (sometimes pressed) such as iron oxide, mica, titanium, and zinc that are naturally pigmented. The benefit of mineral makeup is not only the full and light coverage, but that it allows the skin to breathe, act as an anti-inflammatory, and also has a natural UV protection built into it.

    Should all my products be from the same line?

    Although it is best that you use all-natural skincare products throughout your routine, there is absolutely no reason you can`t mix and match products from different lines. Choose your products based on what each does for your skin and how they address your needs. Would you only wear clothes from one designer or eat one type of food for the rest of your life? Then why would it be any different for your skin?

    Can I use the same facial products year-round for the rest of my life?

    Being vigilant and dedicated is important and there is definitely something to be said for loyalty to your products, but it’s imperative that your skincare regime goes through some kind of change approximately every six months. Like a regular gym routine, if you don’t make regular changes the muscles adapt to the exercises and they’re no longer effective (this is called Muscle Adaptation). Well, your skin is the same. Every six months (usually around the change of a season) it’s best to switch your moisturizer or face oil to something that’s more season-appropriate or addresses your skin concerns in a different way. Get the most out of your skincare by keeping things interesting and adapting to your environment. Don’t be afraid to shake things up!

    If I use a toner, do I need a serum?

    While a toner is always great, it is simply not enough. A serum is a product that is much thicker, more nourishing, and holds far more restorative properties than a toner. Using a serum will also act as a hydration barrier, blocking moisturizer from escaping the pores while allowing the hydration from your moisturizer/face oil to penetrate. Also, the molecules from your serum will naturally bond to your own water molecules and act as a humectant, drawing more hydration in.

    Does toner clean dirt off my face?

    Toners/Hydrosols are a wonderful way to keep skin hydrated, soothed, and cool, but unfortunately they just aren’t effective in acting as a cleansing agent. Those with alcohol should be avoided.

    Do all heavy products congest pores?

    Heavy products can congest a small number of people, but the majority of the population actually need a heavier moisturizer, particularly in the evenings and day and night in winter. Our suggestion is to start off with a light to medium moisturizer and build up over time.

    Can I use my facial products around my eyes instead of an eye cream?

    Because the skin under the eyes is so much thinner than that of your face and far more sensitive, using a facial cream or lotion around the eyes is simply not a good idea (even lighter creams are a bad idea). An eye-cream is specifically formulated for the paper-thin skin in this area and can address issues such as puffiness or dark circles that a regular facial cream or lotion can’t without clogging pores and forming milia.

    Is it more effective to use more cleanser / serum / lotion?

    When it comes to facial products, there is such a thing as too much. For cleansers and serums we like to say that you only need about the size of a nickel. For moisturizer and lotions, even less. You should be using enough to apply a thin layer evenly, but avoid oversaturating. By putting on too much product you prevent the upper layers of your routine unable to penetrate the skin.

    About Facials

    What is a facial?

    A facial is one of the best ways to care for your skin, especially when it’s performed by an experienced esthetician who has your best interests at heart. It consists of several treatment steps, including a consultation, skin analysis, cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, nourishment, massage and repair, all working together to promote a healthier, more radiant complexion. Facials are most effective when they are done as part of an ongoing treatment plan, helping to maintain a youthful appearance by clearing the skin of congestion and maintaining hydration.

    When should I get a facial?

    This varies from person to person. It is generally considered most ideal to get a facial every 4-6 weeks, as this is about how long your skin’s regeneration process takes. Minimally, getting facials four times a year (once for each change of season) can help skin transition healthily and with minimal stress. More frequent facials may be required when you begin your skincare program, especially if you are treating a specific skin condition such as acne.

    Why choose a Pure + Simple facial?

    At Pure+Simple, our goal is to go deeper than skincare and to offer more than just a facial. We use only natural ingredients in all of our products, so you can feel comfortable knowing that everything we use is safe for the skin and for the body. Our passionate team is highly skilled and extremely knowledgeable in all things skin, which helps us promote a holistic view of skin health and wellness through education and understanding. Beauty truly comes from the inside out! We provide in-depth analysis and insight into the root of common skin conditions, tailored to the person experiencing them. We incorporate Ayurvedic and TCM principles that help us offer diet and lifestyle recommendations to help support your skin’s wellbeing. Lastly, we are a Canadian company that exists as a green business with a small carbon footprint, which is something we are truly proud of.

    How do I know which facial to book?

    Knowing which facial will suit your skin, your budget, and your schedule can be tricky to decide on your own – but that’s why we’re here to help! We have a wide range of natural and high-tech treatments that cover all skin types. Descriptions of our treatments can be found online or in any of our stores, and we are always available by phone or email if you need some help deciding. Furthermore, we offer 30-minute skin consultations at all of our locations at absolutely no charge, which is a great option for anyone with in-depth skin concerns that may require more time. That being said, a mini consultation is included at the beginning of all of our facial treatments in order to help your esthetician understand your skin and choose the best approach for you..

    Is it safe to have a facial when I’m pregnant?

    Absolutely! It’s not only safe to get a facial while pregnant, it can also be hugely beneficial in reducing the amount of stress and imbalance your skin may experience as a result of hormonal shifts and sensitivities. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you in choosing the perfect treatment for your skin during your pregnancy and will educate you on the possible contraindications to avoid, including products and services with potentially detrimental ingredients. Our treatment beds are adjustable to ensure comfort throughout your service and our staff will be more than happy to go above and beyond to make your experience enjoyable – foot massage, anyone?

    Should I get a facial every week if I want perfect skin?

    There IS such a thing as too much of a good thing! Facials are stimulating – it’s why they can be beneficial – but overstimulation from too-frequent treatments can cause the skin to become irritated and imbalanced. It is important to understand that skin needs time to regenerate, which is why 4-6 weeks is best. There are exceptions, such as problematic conditions like deep congestion or acne, which will require more frequent visits at the beginning of your program, but for most people a facial every week is simply too much. Instead of weekly facials, think monthly!

    Are extractions bad?

    When extractions are performed on well-prepared, healthy, hydrated skin, they can be an integral process in improving skin health. Skin needs to be able to 'breathe' and absorb and is unable to do so when pores become clogged with debris (dirt, oil, dead skin cells, makeup, impacted sebum, etc.). Extractions can improve the skin’s texture and refine the appearance of pores, giving a more evenly-toned complexion. At Pure+simple, we prep the skin for extraction by cleansing, exfoliating, steaming, and massaging with oil to loosen all of these impactions, making manual extraction much easier and more effective – as well as less painful!

    Can you extract every clogged pore?

    We do not force impactions from the skin if they are not ready to come out, as doing so can cause permanent damage to the skin. As such, it is important to understand that sometimes it is impossible to extract every single pore in one facial session. Sometimes the skin is too dehydrated to release debris, sometimes there are too many impactions and not enough time, sometimes too many extractions is just too stimulating for the skin, sometimes pores are clogged too deeply to safely access… Cystic and inflamed acne should not be extracted until the infection has diminished, but we will work to reduce inflammation and heal the skin so extraction may be possible at a later date. There are many factors taken into consideration when it comes to extractions, and all of our estheticians take them into consideration for each and every client.

    About Skin Peels

    What Is An AFA Peel?

    AFA Peeling utilizes amino acids ( Acid Filaggrin) to promote healthier + brighter skin. Using these proteins, which are also antioxidants, AFAs Peels offer the following benefits:

    • Greater moisture retention: Acidic amino acids are the primary moisture retention factor of the skin. In damaged skins, these amino acids are decreased.
    • Anti-aging: AFA gels are able to penetrate to the stratum granulosum. These antioxidants penetrate deeply, providing the skin with three times more anti-aging results than AHAs.
    • No sun sensitivity: AFA Peels are excellent for sun damage and pigmentation because it does not cause skin photosensitivity. This is very important as other peels can actually worsen sun damage as skin is made more vulnerable to UV rays. Acidic amino acids produce a bi-product of Urocanic Acid which is a recognized UV filter.
    • Lessening Hyper-Pigmentation: AFAs have been observed to be more effective than hydroquinone for pigmentation + are especially good for treating African, Asian or Indian skin types.
    • Deep exfoliation: The skin can take a much higher concentration of AFAs than glycolic acid + AHAs. This greatly aids clogged pores + acne as it decongests the skin more effectively.
    • Less irritation: There has been proven to be less irritation with AFA peeling. This benefits sensitive skin types as it is gentler than AHA Peeling. Also, the fact it does not make skin photosensitive is crucial when treating sensitive skin.

    What Is The AFA Clay Peel?

    The AFA Clay Peel is a two step process of AFA Clay Peeling with the regular AFA Peel. The AFA Clay Peel adds an even deeper peeling component as a pre AFA Peel treatment. The AFA Clay Peel helps close + tighten pores + enhance the AFA Peel’s potency.

    AFAs and Microdermabrasion

    AFA Peels can be used in conjunction with Microdermabrasion for an powerful treatment under the direction + guidance of a skincare professional. This pairing is an intensive anti-aging treatment for the skin which helps increase collagen production, promote elasticity + smooth fine lines.

    How Many Treatments Will I Need?

    You will see immediate results after your first treatment. For those treating an acute skin ailment (ie. scarring, acne), the number of treatments will be dependent on the severity of the ailment. AFA Peeling should have a minimum of two weeks between treatments + any at-home exfoliation should not be used the night before the treatment and for a few days following the treatment. An initial series of peels is highly recommended to address more serious skin issues. To maintain results, follow up treatments should be done every 4-6 weeks. Pairing this with a facial for a monthly pore-cleansing is ideal.

    What Should I Expect?

    The AFA Peel is extremely effective + the overall appearance of the skin will be improved. The first few days following the treatment, a rich moisturizer will need to be applied to protect + nourish the skin. The skin has been deeply exfoliated, so your skincare products will be absorbed more deeply. If a rich moisturizer is not used, the skin may flake + feel sensitive. For those who are concerned about sensitivity or are inquiring about a series, an AFA Preparatory Facial is beneficial as the esthetician can give you individualized insight to your skin + prescribe a specific regime/ process.

    AFA homecare and support care

    AFA home care peeling is also available for ongoing homecare maintenance. For sensitive skin types, pre-treatment home peeling will help prime the skin for the AFA Peel. Gel peels come in the form of Mild, Plus and Max which peels the skin to a lesser degree. The homecare also yields fantastic results, as well as it helps maintain the results achieved from the AFA Peel. Any peeling from products including AFA homecare must not be used the night before treatment.

    What is the cancellation policy? 

    We realize that at times unexpected circumstances may require schedule adjustments. We require a 24 hour notice (48 hour notice for our Yorkville location) if you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment.
    Cancellations that do not meet the requirement of 24 hours notice will result in a 50% charge of the scheduled service to the credit card on file.