Sḵwálwen (skwall – win) is an Indigenous business creating botanical skin care products. Honouring traditional Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) plant knowledge, we incorporate sustainably harvested plants and organic, high quality ingredients. Our wild plant ingredients are harvested in a respectful way and each product has a Squamish name to honour the place where this plant knowledge comes from.
Leigh Joseph’s ancestral name is Styawat and she is from the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) First Nation. As an ethnobotanist, researcher and community activist, Leigh’s aim is to contribute to cultural knowledge renewal in connection to Indigenous plant foods and medicines. Wherever possible she draws on teachings learned from family and community members that are connected to Indigenous plants and the land.
Creating Sḵwálwen products begins with time spent on the land — forests, estuaries, or subalpine meadows — to harvest plant foods and medicines. Using Squamish cultural teachings, Leigh approaches the natural world gently and respectfully, harvesting with techniques that are ethical and sustainable.
Once the plants are harvested it’s time to process them. This usually includes scraping bark, cleaning, hanging to dry, infusing in oil and more. After processing, it’s time to create! Leigh loves this part — developing each recipe, pairing particular plants based on their healing properties with the highest quality oils, clays and plant butters. (Her five-year-old daughter calls these her “potions”. Each batch of Sḵwálwen products is made with care and intention, bringing you luxurious skincare products free from harsh chemicals, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic colors and parabens.