We do our best to source good quality ingredients from happy companies, our garden and local farmers and beekeepers.
For our more exotic ingredients, we make choices based on Fair Trade, sustainability and effectiveness. From a fair trade and organic certified cooperative based in Ghana, we buy Grade A raw shea butter. The palm oil in our soaps is Prep™Palm who support the GreenPalm certification programme, an international scheme to promote production of sustainable palm oil worldwide.
We use rosemary from our own herb garden to make a stimulating infusion for our foot cream. The essential oil from Spain has a fresh head clearing aroma which works a treat in our scalp cream and is a joy to use. Here’s another attribute according to Blanckes’ Herbal 1525, “Make thee a box of the wood and smell to it and it shall preserve thy youthe.” If only! Rosemary is derived from the Latin ros marinus, meaning “sea dew.”
This wild perennial shrub grows abundantly in our garden and surrounding hills so there’s plenty to use for leaf extracts or infusions. Full of anti-oxidants, bilberry speedily aids skin health and maintenance.
“The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them.” – Saint Francis de Sales
We leave our bees with over half the honey they have worked hard to collect for their food stores which in turn leaves us enough for our body lotions to help give the skin a silky feel, and our morning toast. The beeswax for our luscious lip balms comes from local beekeeping enthusiasts.
Our goats are now retired and spend happy days out in their meadow or in their cosy stable so we buy our milk locally leaving someone else to get up at the crack of dawn to do the milking which is very nice!
According to old wives’ tales borage was sometimes smuggled into the drink of prospective husbands to give them courage to propose marriage. We use borage oil from UK grown flowers for its skin rejuvenating and anti-wrinkle properties. It’s also a fantastic forage crop for bees.
The Romans grew mint and peppermint as a ground cover, especially between stepping stone pathways. It would take over our herb garden if allowed so we don’t feel guilty about stealing its leaves to make infusions for our foot cream, and us. Our peppermint essential oil comes from India and is lovely and cooling for the skin.
Elderberries are not just used by the WI to make jam or cough syrup; elderberry oil has a rich silky feel and is readily absorbed into the skin to increase elasticity and smoothness.
Our rose water and oil is sourced from Bulgaria. Since the 17th century Rosa Damascena has so impacted the livelihood, culture, and traditions of Bulgarians living in the southern sub-mountain region of the Balkan Mountains that the valley is now known across the globe as The Valley of Roses. Its wonderful aroma is unforgettable and it’s the most extravagant ingredient we use.
Our fragrant lavender water is proudly distilled by Nancy and Bill of Welsh Lavender Ltd and our oil is from Provence, famous for its dusky blue fields of lavender and essential oil production.
Rosehips have been used for generations by Egyptians, Mayans and native Americans because of their healing properties. Rosehip oil comes from the “hips”, the small fruits found behind the flowers, which are left once the wild roses have bloomed and lost their petals. It is one of the most effective oils for skin care with vital nutrients to promote a radiant, healthy looking complexion.
Shea butter has been used for centuries in African beauty care to maintain soft glowing skin. It comes from the fruits of the karite trees that grow in the savannah region of west Africa. Our raw grade A supply comes from a soil association certified organic and fair-trade cooperative and is always a delight to use.
A cacao tree yields brown pods with up to fifty seeds each. The seeds are fermented to remove their bitterness, then cleaned, roasted and cracked to produce a cocoa liquor. This liquor is then pressed leaving a solid mass called cocoa press cake, the cocoa butter. Our organic cocoa butter from the Dominican Republic has excellent emollient properties and we use it as the perfect cohort to organic unrefined shea butter in many of our creams.
Macadamia is a fabulously rich and thick semi opaque oil pressed from the nuts of the macadamia trees of east Africa. We love to use it in our products for its capacity to moisturise and leave our skin feeling peachy smooth.
Some people believe that if you pick a flower from a baobab tree you will be eaten by a lion, but if you drink water in which baobab seeds have been soaked, you will be safe from a crocodile attack. We believe if you use the oil pressed from the seed of the baobab fruit you’ll have great looking healthy skin, so we’ve eagerly added it to our face cream formula.
Homer, the Greek poet, called olive oil ‘liquid gold’ and it was thought to represent wealth in ancient Minoan society. There is even a museum dedicated to the olive and to olive oil in Sparta, capital of Lakonia which is the heart of Greece’s olive oil growing region. We use cold pressed olive oil for its exceptional excellence in skin care just as the Greeks have always recommended.
“I am working with the enthusiasm of a man from Marseilles eating bouillabaisse, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to you because I am busy painting huge sunflowers.” ― Vincent van Gogh
Rich in linoleic acid and so light and easily absorbed, sunflower oil makes the perfect base oil for all our other favourites.
A brief history of lemons:
Lemons originate from Assam? China? Burma? Himalayan foothills?
A faraway place. (still being debated.)
Kings gave lemons as gifts.
Californian Gold Rush miners paid a fortune for a lemon to avoid scurvy.
Renaissance ladies used lemon juice to redden their lips.
Lemons were homed by wealthy Victorians as a sign of prestige.
And they are a British Navy staple for keeping our sailors in ship-shape.
Lemon oil became a valued ingredient of Laughing Bird Hand Cream.