To end Organic Beauty Week, I wanted to take a look at the single most important part of organic beauty which rarely gets a look in – the ingredients! The bottom line is there would be no organic beauty without organic ingredients.
Earlier in the summer I had the chance to spend time on Herb Farm, the five-acre organic farm and Herbfarmacy HQ tucked away in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside. This is where the award-winning, Soil Association certified, skincare brand grow many of the ingredients that go in to their products. Everything from planting, picking and processing the herbs to manufacturing and packaging the final product is done on the farm. It is one of the very few ‘farm to skin’ skincare lines in the UK.
DOWN ON HERB FARM
I’m a city gal through and through but there is something pretty magical, not to mention relaxing about being surrounded by clean air and stunning landscape. You get a real sense of the love and respect for the land. All this goodness and good vibes are going in to Herbfarmacy skincare.
I’ll confess that I had no idea what the plants with names I am familiar with such as St John’s Wort and Echinacea, actually look like so the visit was also very educational!
The Herbfarmacy workshop is literally a few steps from the fields of Herb Farm so I’m sure minimal transportation costs help explain why Herbfarmacy is so reasonably priced for the superb quality of the product. If you’ve ever eaten or cooked produce straight from the garden, it tastes so much better and I’m sure the same principle goes for skincare.
DR PAUL RICHARDS, FOUNDER, HERBFARMACY
Herbfarmacy founder, Dr Paul Richards, is a botanical expert and has been organic farming for over 30 years. He is passionate about plants with an encyclopaedic knowledge of traditional herbal remedies and their therapeutic uses.
Why is organic farming important to you?Paul Richards: “I grew up with a fascination for the countryside around where I lived and went on to study plant ecology and physiology in relation to the balance of natural systems. Organic growing and farming works as closely as possible with nature to maintain this balance.”
Why did you take the step from organic farming to organic beauty?Paul Richards: “It was more from herbal medicines to beauty and it was because we had explored the skin benefits of several healing herbs in our ointments (basically medicinal balms) and realised they had great potential in every-day skincare products with the herbs contributing in a conditioning and soothing as well as a healing role.”
What is the biggest challenge in formulating organic beauty products?Paul Richards: “Sourcing a supply of high-quality raw materials to maintain consistency which is more challenging with natural ingredients. We are fortunate on the herbal side because we grow our own and can control the quality of our extracts more precisely.”