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It’s always wonderful to receive positive feedback, and we’ve had two really lovely reviews in recent months that we thought we’d share with you.
The most recent review is from Verité (left) who publishes the ‘Cancer Survivorships’ blog and recently tried Botanicals Deep Peace Body Oil. Verité is an experienced skincare writer who writes about her experiences with cancer treatment – including the effects it can have on the skin.
She loved the fact that Deep Peace Body Oil is Soil Association certified – she had been looking for a lighter alternative to a traditional heavy body balm that would stop her skin from drying out. Verité says;
“With 100% certified organic oils and natural Vitamin E, this comforting, synergistic blend enriches the skin with essential nutrients to promote balance and aid relaxation. Organic Lavender, Geranium, Sweet Orange, Marjoram and Sandalwood essential oils also help lift the spirit, ease nervous tension and relieve negative emotions.
Verité has obviously been suffering from one of the curses of the modern age when she adds;
If only I could send it down the telephone line to ensure peace when trying to contact Call Centres!
Find out what else Verité says about our Deep Peace Body Oil by clicking here
A gorgeous smooth blend
We also loved the mention from Ana (left) at ‘Ana Goes Green’, who has been a fan of natural and organic skincare products since becoming pregnant with her son. She tried the Botanicals Wild Rose Body Balm and was instantly converted, saying;
“This is an amazing British brand, all the products are suitable for vegans, cruelty free and certified organic by the Soil Association. This body balm is a gorgeous smooth blend of Shea Butter, Sunflower, Apricot and Jojoba oils delicately scented with rose and rose geranium essential oils.
This body balm can be used anywhere you need a bit of extra nourishment, I find it works brilliantly on the tops of my arms which can be a little rough in this heat.”
We were absolutely delighted to read that Wild Rose Body Balm had become one of Ana’s all-time favourite body products, and that she thinks Botanicals is a wonderful brand!
You can read Ana’s full product review by clicking here
Organic Spa Rituals
For spa treatment lovers, we also picked up a glowing review in the July issue of Professional Beauty Magazine for our Organic Spa Rituals.
The magazine describes our Lemongrass and Anti-Ageing Rose Body Polishes as leaving skin smooth and soft, explaining that the treatments are ideal for holistic salons and spas, or anyone looking for a certified organic range to add to their menu.
We have spent the past year creating and perfecting a whole range of organic treatments for professional therapists who use our products. And we’re about to start a series of training sessions.
So if you know someone who might be interested in adding organic rituals to their range of treatments, please point them towards this section of our website.
Beauty blogger Kayleigh says that she loves anything beauty related and has enough products to fill the shelves at Boots!
Click here to view Kayleigh’s full review of our organic sanitiser.
It’s always rewarding to receive positive reviews of our products, so a recent blog post by Kayleigh at Hazelnut Musings was nice to see.
Kayleigh writes about cruelty-free products on her blog, and admits to being obsessed with beauty products. She’d been looking for a cruelty-free sanitiser to take with her on holiday later this year, and one that was also natural.
Kayleigh tried our Lavender and Tea Organic Sanitiser which completely fits the bill for a totally natural, cruelty-free product as it uses organic alcohol from sugar beet with organic lavender and tea tree essential oils.
It’s an effective sanitiser that provides anti-bacterial protection without any nasties, and protects hands from mineral depletion too.
Kayleigh’s verdict: “I was happy that this comes with a spray nozzle, as the one thing I hate about hand sanitisers is that awkward flip top cap that always dispenses too much product and then you have to sanitise your whole arm (and sometimes legs) too!
“The spray is great because you can just spray a couple of pumps and that’s enough to cover the front and back of your hands.”
We were happy to get top marks for convenience here as when you’re using any kind of hand sanitiser, it’s important that it’s easy to use on the go. Kayleigh went on to give us her view of the product itself:
“It’s really lovely. Other sanitisers always leave my hands feeling so dry and uncomfortable but this one makes my hands feel really moisturised, instead of stripped to within an inch of their lives – a first for me.
“The smell is a subtle one and it’s a gorgeous lavender scent with just a hint of tea tree – gorgeous! I find myself sniffing my hands all day when I use this as lavender is one of my all-time favourite smells.”
Did it do the job, though? Kayleigh reports: “It dries really quickly and I find that I have to work fast to rub it in before it dries, which means you can go on with your day as soon as you’ve spritzed.
“The bottle is plastic which is perfect for on the go as there is no fear of it smashing in your bag and it’s nice and light for your suitcase too. I also love the mint green label – the perfect pastel colour for summer, so you’ll be fashionable when using it!”
It’s a very positive review, and it was a bonus to get the thumbs-up for the pretty packaging too! Kayleigh will be taking hers away on holiday but also recommends it for other occasions:
“Apparently, it can also be used as a deodorant (although probably not for everyday use), so if you’re off to a festival this year you should definitely look into picking one of these up!”
If you’d like to discover more about the Organic Sanitiser, you can find full details here: www.botanicals.co.uk/organic-sanitisers.
Heidi explains why she started her blog: “Unfortunately, I had to give up working several years ago due to chronic pain illnesses of Fibromyalgia and Arthritis. I was finding it too painful and difficult to work but, I’ve always kept up to date with what’s happening within the industry as I’m a devotee.
“I’ve had a keen interest in beauty care plus body health since I was young and my interest and passion still burns. So, as I love writing along with that passion, I decided to combine the two and take the plunge in my late 40’s to create this blog.”
We recently received a nice review of our Botanicals revitalising hand balm. It’s always wonderful to receive feedback – especially when it’s so positive.
Heidi is an ex-beauty therapist who, in her own words, is “fighting at 50 with chronic pain illness”. Heidi publishes a popular blog where she reviews beauty products which catch her eye – particularly those suitable for holistic treatments. And at the end of last month she tried out our lemongrass hand balm. (Click here to read her review in full.)
Explaining how she used our hand balm, Heidi writes;
“I find this lovely to use for a manicure, prior to painting nails. I use about a pea size amount for each hand and work into the cuticles to soften, plus oils really feed the nail bed helping growth.
“As well as a really nourishing the skin, it’s also a bit of a aromatherapy experience, due to the uplifting citrus scents. A good one for a dull, cold winter days to raise the spirits.”
“It’s also a handy product to pop by the bed/take out in your bag on the go/keep sink-side – where it can be applied to hands after washing.
What with cold weather and central heating, cooking, typing, housework, and washing hands so many times, our busy mitts take a beating, so a good hand product is a must in winter.
Heidi also includes this handy tip;
By adding a balm under your hand cream, it will increase moisture and help feed skin cells. My other chosen time to do this, is when getting into bed.
Applying the balm and massaging the skin, then a good layer of a Shea-rich hand cream over the top, followed by a pair of cotton gloves. Wear for around 20 mins, or overnight, and wake up to super soft, well-nourished hands.
Do this on a regular basis (more often the better), and you should start noticing a difference in nail condition too!
Heidi ends with a hint for this time of year which we’d whole-heartedly agree with;
“A fab stocking filler to give whoever’s cooking the big dinner and doing the washing up this Christmas!”
Here’s another couple of reviews Heidi has written about Botanicals products: Revitalising face mask and Nourishing face balm & Muscle ease aromatic body oil.
Jessica in her new treatment room.
The Treatment Room is a home-based spa salon run by Jessica Godfrey in Bournemouth, Dorset. With its famous Jurassic coast line and miles of sandy beaches, the setting is truly breath-taking.
Jessica had a successful opening of her new therapy room last month. And Botanicals was delighted to help the launch go well by providing a range of samples for guests to take with them in a goody bag.
“All my clients love the Botanicals products, scents and textures and have noticed an improvement in their skin’s complexion,” said Jessica. The day obviously went well with Jessica adding; “The business has been going from strength to strength ever since.”
Jessica had been practising therapies for 16 years and holds qualifications NVQ 2 & 3 in Beauty Therapy, as well as Holistic Diploma with distinction. She specialises in Botanicals Facials, Botanicals Body Treatments, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Hopi Ear Candling, Hot Stones Massage & Aromatherapy.
“I believe in treating a person as a whole – the mind, body and soul – and working on all my clients’ senses during treatments”, said Jessica. “I’ve carried out therapies on a wide range of clients, from all walks of life and backgrounds.
Botanicals was the perfect choice
“What I love is that no one person is the same, which is why Botanicals was the perfect choice for me as it lets me tailor-make my treatments to the client’s individual needs, and keeps my job challenging and rewarding.”
Jessica gained work experience whilst training for four years at Bournemouth & Poole College. She then went onto manage ‘Oceanic’ for four years, a salon in the Canford Cliffs area of Poole. This lead to working at the prestigious Haven Spa at Sandbanks, Poole for eight years, leaving as Head Therapist at the end of September 2016 to set up her own business.
“Having trained in a wide range of products over the years, I really wanted a product range that was right for my business,” explained Jessica. “As I specialise in Holistic treatment, Botanicals works in perfect harmony with what I want to achieve on a professional level. I believe that what we put on our skin is so important and using 100% natural and organic ingredients is the future in skin care.”
Jessica says she is looking forward to the exciting year ahead, and to working closely with the Botanicals team. Which is wonderful to hear.
The Treatment Room, 56 Braidley Road,
Bournemouth, Dorset BH2 6JY
Tel: 01202 557292
Mobile: 07772 037994
Facebook link: facebook.com/thetreatmentroomdorset
This interview with Wendy appeared in the Autumn issue of the Federation of Holistic Therapists’ FHT magazine under the heading ‘Planting a seed’.
The FHT talks to Wendy Stirling of Botanicals about developing her own skincare business
Wendy Stirling is founder and managing director of Botanicals Natural Organic Skincare. Botanicals was founded in 2004 and was one of the first UK companies producing 100% natural and organic skincare products – all of which are certified by the Soil Association.
When do you recall first taking an interest in skincare products?
I’ve always loved the great outdoors, the beauty of the UK countryside and the wealth of nature that surrounds us. I’ve also been fascinated by nature’s larder and the wonderful natural remedies that can be used for our health and well-being.
But my interest in natural skincare products really began when I first saw through the illusion of advertising and branding in the cosmetics industry.
Thirteen years ago, my nine-year-old daughter Zoe (now 22), had an alarming reaction to a shampoo that claimed to be natural. Like most people, I trusted what was printed on the label.
The shampoo had ‘herbal’ in the name and clearly stated that it contained ‘herbal ingredients grown under organic conditions, with no petrochemicals’.
However, because of the severity of my daughter’s reaction, I tasked myself with finding out what she had reacted to and soon realised that, while the shampoo’s herbal ingredients may well have been grown under organic conditions, with no petrochemicals, the shampoo itself was full of them.
The more research I did, the more astonished I became at what brand owners can include on their packaging to make it appear natural and environmentally friendly.
By using clever wording, they can make blatantly misleading claims without falling foul of trading or advertising standards. We now call this ‘greenwashing’.*
My passion for this cause led me to research the market for authentic, natural and organic skincare brands, but there seemed to be very few available. I therefore decided to create my own range and Botanicals was born.
Tell us a little bit about Botanicals…
Based in rural Leicestershire, we research, formulate and hand-make a full range of products for face and body that use the pure power of plants to promote health, beauty and well-being, for both the consumer and the environment, and by using certified organic ingredients to do so.
All of the Botanicals range is developed using strict performance and ethical standards, offering ecological products derived solely from sustainable, natural resources, free from artificial colours, fragrances and petrochemicals, including parabens.
Botanicals products also smell divine, are aesthetically pleasing to use and produce clearly visible improvements in the look and feel of the skin.
I also believe there is a real need for artisan-produced skincare products, particularly for those with skin sensitivities. Botanicals products are made in a very different way to commercially produced skincare products and this is reflected in the results they achieve.
For instance, all Botanicals’ products are made fresh, in small batches, to preserve their active botanical properties. Our processing methods also ensure the vital life-force of the plant isn’t destroyed by heating or over-processing.
I’m also extremely proud that Botanicals has won many awards and industry accolades over the years and is one of only a handful of companies specialising in skincare products to have its entire range certified by the Soil Association.
What are the benefits of using natural and organic products?
Quite simply, natural and organic beauty products are better for our health as well as the beauty of our skin. Although everyone can benefit from using the pure power of organically-grown plants, it’s particularly beneficial for those with sensitive skin, as this is more susceptible to the effects of man-made chemicals, found in many conventional skincare brands.
Recent studies show we absorb as many toxins through our skin as through the foods we eat. Daily cleansing, moisturising and deodorising can mean a cocktail of hundreds of different chemicals being absorbed by the skin, directly into our bloodstream.
It makes as much sense to choose skincare products made with natural and organic ingredients, as it does when choosing food. But there’s a real difference between the regulations governing the labelling of food and those for personal body care products.
‘Natural’ and ‘organic’ are misused terms in skincare. Unlike food, there’s no legislation governing these terms. Products labelled ‘organic’ can contain as little as one per cent of ingredients derived from natural or organic origin.
Authentic organic beauty products benefit from being free from pesticides, genetic modification, hormone-disrupting chemicals and other toxic chemicals.
Additionally, the latest study by the Soil Association proves that organic crops, fruit and vegetables have up to 60% higher levels of anti-ageing antioxidants present than their non-organic counterparts.
The investigation, which looked at 343 studies, also found that organic crops contain significantly lower levels of toxic heavy metals.
Botanicals has a strict ethics policy based on personal and environmental health and well-being. How important is this to you?
Extremely important – it’s what we have built the Botanicals reputation on.
We chose to become a Soil Association licensee because we are not prepared to compromise, either the integrity of our brand or the ingredients we use.
We also believe Soil Association accreditation gives our customers the reassurance that Botanicals is not greenwashed and is serious about its natural credentials.
Tell us about how the Botanicals range is used in the therapy industry.
Botanicals products are used by holistic practitioners, aromatherapists, reflexologists and beauty therapists, and in a variety of treatments, including massage, facials, reflexology, natural face lift procedures, manicures and pedicures.
Our customers range from therapists working part time from home, to Claridge’s and Face Gym at Selfridges in London.
What ingredients are most important for Botanicals products?
Rose and camellia are at the heart of the Nourish face care range and mandarin and chamomile at the heart of the Gentle face care range.
Other key ingredients include rosehip, avocado, apricot kernel, coconut, sesame seed and evening primrose oils, as well as certain extracts and essential oils including lavender, lemongrass, chamomile, ginger, ylang ylang, tea tree, green tea, marigold and palmarosa, to name a few.
We’ve also recently extended the body care range to include three new products containing wild rose and rose geranium. We take great care to select ingredients that are rich in anti-ageing antioxidants as well as nourishing and nurturing benefits for skin.
Shea butter, cocoa butter and jojoba are also commonly used. In fact, shea butter is my favourite ingredient that we use, as it’s wonderfully healing and nourishing to the skin and also incredibly versatile.
I also love the fact that producing it provides much needed work for women in Africa, where it’s sourced. Shea butter finds its way into most of the products I formulate.
What do you think is key to running a successful business?
I believe it’s imperative to have a passion for the business you’re in. With passion comes the drive and belief to see your dream come to fruition and for me that’s seeing other people enjoy and benefit from using our natural organic skincare products.
Also to surround yourself with the right people; especially people who have strengths in areas you might be lacking.
Having a good, loyal team behind you is equally as important as having a passion for your business. It’s also important to have a good business model that works. At Botanicals, I feel we have all three of these factors.
It is our intention that Botanicals remains a niche brand, rather than having our sights set on becoming a mainstream brand. I strongly believe mass production would be detrimental to the quality of the product we offer, which people love and respect and which we have built our name and reputation on.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
I love everything about my job. I start planning my tasks from the minute I wake up in the morning and only stop when I go to bed at night. I don’t really see it as a job, more of an expression of who I am. But if I had to choose one part that I find particularly rewarding, it’s the creative side of formulating.
I love creating formulas that make people feel good and that make a difference. It’s incredibly rewarding to hear people’s stories about how my formulations have helped them feel better in some way.
What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
Juggling so many different tasks and making sure they are all done well. I have a fantastic team of people working with me, but I’m still ultimately responsible for everything, from making sure we are stocked with all our raw materials, bottles and jars, through to paying suppliers invoices, organising production and dealing with our PR and promotional activity.
As the entire Botanicals range is certified by the Soil Association, a great deal of my time is also spent dealing with regulatory compliance.
What’s next for Wendy?
I love my job! It’s so exciting owning a brand and very rewarding to see it become increasingly recognised and winning awards.
Botanicals is continuing to grow – we had our best year ever last year – so hopefully this will continue.
*Based on the term whitewashing, meaning to hide unpleasant facts, greenwashing is doing the same in an environmental context. Companies can spend more money on marketing themselves as environmentally friendly than they might on changing to more responsible business practices.
FaceGym styles itself as “the UK’s only gym studio for the face”. Located at the beauty workshop in Selfridges, one of the UK’s most famous and iconic stores, FaceGym trainers perform a range of lifting and sculpting workouts designed to train the 40+ muscles in the face. Results are amplified with high performance skincare products and non-invasive technology.
FaceGym recently approached leading brands from around the world to test and select the very best facial products for inclusion in the FaceGym workout programme and to retail in their store.
The FaceGym testing panel scrutinised everything about the short-listed products; from ingredients and packaging, to quality and efficacy. Most importantly they looked at results, and how the product performed on the skin.
The ‘very best cleansing balm’
Wendy Stirling, founder of Botanicals, says “We are delighted that Botanicals cleanse melts won the top spot of ‘Very Best Cleansing Balm’.
“They are uniquely formulated to penetrate the skin’s lower layers, dissolving make-up, removing dead skin cells and lifting impurities, but without stripping the skin of its natural oils.
“Our Cleanse Melts have won many industry awards over the years. And it’s so rewarding to see how well they tested against other products in this category – not only brands from UK but worldwide too.”
FaceGym congratulated Botanicals on an amazing brand, saying they were all in love with the cleanse melts. Praise indeed!
Click here to view both our cleansing melts on our website.
Our little trio of feet treats has been getting some wonderful reviews by online bloggers recently, and has also just won an award (details to follow). The most recent review is by the actor and presenter, Sunny Andrea. For those not up-to-speed on social trends, Sunny is sister of Peter Andre. And if you’re not sure who Peter Andre is, there’s just no hope for you!
Sunny reviewed our mint & tea tree footcare collection on her blog and said she fell in love with it. (Click here to read the review in full.)
Natural, organic, full of goodness and will have you feeling like you’re walking on clouds. I would highly recommend this for both men and women and the trio collection is perfectly affordable.
Click here to view the footcare trio on our online shop. It costs just £29.50 and includes smaller-size jars and bottles of three of Botanicals’ most popular footcare products;
- 75g jar of Himalayan crystal foot soak, infused with refreshing wild mint and anti-bacterial tea tree
- 40g jar of Revitalising foot scrub with refreshing lemongrass & anti-bacterial tea tree
- 25g jar of Foot softening balm
One of our New Year resolutions here at Botanicals is to do more with our blog in 2016. Things were very hectic running up to Christmas, and the blog did get a bit forgotten. So there’s a bit of catching up to do. Particularly with our blogger reviews. People do find them useful because they’re written by people who test and compare lots of different brands.
We also want to produce more profiles of people who use Botanicals professionally. Either as independent therapists, or as larger salons. The feedback they get from clients is really important to us. But to start 2016, here’s a few reviews published at the end of last year. More to follow!
Click the headings below to view products on our webshop, and the Blogger link to read the full review on their website…
Our Award winning botanical balm is perfect for nourishing and protecting dry skin in the winter:
“I have found since using Botanicals my skin has improved. I normally have dry patches on my cheeks and recently I haven’t been as dry. Especially in the winter I need a more moisturising face cream. The cold weather mixed with central heating can be devastating for my skin. I find that Botanicals nourishing face balm is exactly what my skin needs. It’s perfect for night time and I wake up with perfectly hydrated skin.” Sara from Sara Steele blog
This oil has a wonderful essential oil blend to soothe aching muscles:
“I’ve been using this for around three weeks on and off now, mainly across my shoulders and neck, plus, occasionally on my leg (with new hip). I’ve found, especially round my shoulders, it helps relieve tension and is slightly warming, but not that you feel specific heat when applied like some stronger blends.” Heidi from Chronic Beauty blog
Our exfoliating cleanser contains a blend of oats and rosehip seeds to exfoliate gently without any polluting microbeads:
“This product is such a treat – a weekly exfoliation truly makes me feel like I’m living a far more luxurious life than I really am. It helps that this smells divine too – the Mandarin scent is noticeable but not at all overpowering. It truly is a gentle exfoliator – the particles are far from abrasive! As with the Beauty Balm, a little of this product goes an awfully long way, and I know it will take me a while to finish tiny pot” Aimee from Tomorrow Living blog
Our popular moisturiser contains a blend of mandarin, lavender and chamomile:
“This Mandarin & Chamomile moisturiser is a light but hydrating cream which quickly soaks into your skin. There were a few extra cold days towards the end of the Berlin trip and this moisturiser did a wonderful job at keeping my skin hydrated and soft. It has a lovely subtle scent to it and is a pleasure to use every morning.” Daisy from Pretty Green Tea blog
A mix of himalayan and dead sea salts, full of therapeutic properties and minerals makes this the perfect treat for weary feet:
“This is the perfect product to look after your feet. With over 84 essential minerals it’s guaranteed to put a spring back in your step after you’ve slept of it’s power relaxation technique of course!” Eloise from Eloise loves nature
Our Orange blossom body balm is one of our ‘hero’ products and has been receiving some glowing reviews over recent weeks. With 100% natural and 89% organic ingredients, this is a concentrated balm that is perfect for taking care of dry skin all over the body.
With its blend of cold pressed shea butter, apricot and jojoba oils, it will help soften and smooth the skin. Scented with a beautiful mix of Neroli, patchouli, bergamot and sweet orange essentials oils, it can also be used as a decadent natural perfume balm, to add a touch of luxury to every day.
This luscious balm will melt in to a silky oil with the heat of your hands, so apply a little at a time to any areas in need to moisture. The texture makes it perfect for applying after a bath or a shower when the skin is still damp as this will help it to absorb easily.
A true Beauty blogger favourite, here are some of the fantastic reviews we have received lately: (As always, click on the product title to see its full details or make a purchase, and click on the blog names to see the full review).
“After brushing and washing, the next important step is to moisturize. The Botanicals Softening Body Balm is a luxuriously creamy balm which is delicately fragranced with neroli. bergamot and patchouli essential oils.
“The product has a thick yet lightweight texture – as if it was whipped. Once applied to the skin, it melts away and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth. Applied on tanned skin, it would add a beautiful, yet temporary, eye-catching sheen.” Jakhira from JakhiraBabe blog
“For my areas of dry skin, Botanicals balms have been a bit of a life saver. I’ve been using for a long time now (the longest out of all the products in this post) and not only do I really enjoy using them but I think that they’re incredibly effective.
I’m really happy to have discovered Botanicals organic skincare and it’s one of those brands that I know I want to explore more. If you’re looking for a gift for someone this Christmas then I think that these would make a wonderful choice!” Angelica from One Little Vice blog
“The product inside surprised me with its grainy soft like silk white consistency that quickly turns into an oily non sticky consistency when applied to the skin. It truly has become my favourite body product!
It moisturises the body beautifully and the moisture lasts all day. The scent is stunning filling the room with an Italian orangery and spa feeling, with the scent not leaving the skin for the rest of the day.” Alessia at Velvet Lashes blog
Many thanks to Beauty blogger, Besma, who featured our Radiance facial serum on her first ever YouTube review (click below to view the clip). We get lots of very positive comments about this serum. It was a Finalist in the 2013 Natural & Organic Awards, and Commended in the 2013 FreeFrom Skincare Awards. Besma says;
“Oh my gosh, my skin has never been better.
I genuinely LOVE this product.
It’s taken my skin from flakey and dry and made it soft and dewy.”
Besma has also posted a glowing review of the Radiance serum on her Curiously Conscious blog. Click here to read it. Here’s an excerpt;
So far, I’ve been using this serum for just under a month and it’s really made a huge difference to my dry cheeks and forehead. I apply a drop from the pipet (so cute) to each cheek, and one to my forehead after cleansing both day and night (I’m also thinking of integrating some natural toner in that routine at some point), and rub in upwards circles with my hands across my problem areas. When I sleep in it, I wake up with soft, plump skin, and it seems to have reduced my blemishes too.
Click here to view the serum on our webshop.