Photography by Stephani Buchman

5 Unsung Products From The Detox Market, Chosen By The Founder Himself Romain Gaillard

Back in 2012, The Detox Market was originally supposed to be a temporary pop-up shop in Toronto. Founder Romain Gaillard had already opened his green beauty emporium in Los Angeles, but when a Toronto-based naturopath visited the West Hollywood store and suggested to him he do the same here, he thought it was a great excuse to return to a city he’d once lived in. The 4,000 square foot space on King St. West was so big that in addition to a small selection of products from RMS Beauty, Rahua and Ilia, it also had a juice bar and a yoga studio. What it didn’t have was customers. “People would come in and say ‘Oh, green beauty, interesting. It doesn’t work, but you’re doing the right thing. I’ll buy a lip balm,'” he recalls. Business finally picked up in 2014 with the introduction of e-commerce and by 2016, they’d moved across the street to a bigger spot. And just a few weeks ago, they re-located again to a brightly light space just below ground level at 116 Spadina Avenue.

Of course, now that the movement Gaillard supported so long ago has blown up, he and his team (made up of makeup artists, facialists, nutritionists and naturopaths) are constantly being approached by brands who also want to be part of the retailer’s offerings. While they obviously have an ingredient no-list that everyone must pass (shockingly two brands a day don’t), Gaillard and his team think it’s just as important to know what is in a brand’s products. “It’s great not to have parabens and phthalates and stuff like that, but if you’re just putting water and an emulsifier and a random hot pressed olive oil in, that’s not doing anything for you.” They also filter out a lot of companies who are just jumping in on the trend with no real point of difference (read: lots of Herbivore knockoffs) or created by former beauty marketing execs who seem to think theirs is the first clean but effective skincare in the world. *spit take*

The brands that Gaillard loves—and some have been with him since day one—are not only truly green but are led by passionate makers. “People who really live for their brand and for the formulations they’re doing,” he says, citing companies like MV Organics, Tata Harper, May Lindstrom and Pai. “That’s the big difference and that’s what we want to promote.” While in town for the opening of their new Canadian flagship store, we had Gaillard take us around and pick out some of his all-time favourite products that not enough people know about, but should.