Traditionally the beauty category has been dominated by French brands : L’Oréal, Guerlain, Bourjois, Lancôme, La Roche-Posay, the list goes on and covers all aspects of beauty, from luxury fragrance to the famed pharmacy skincare. Then there was the discovery of South Korea’s skincare expertise which has afforded their beauty products some of the limelight in the last few years. But what we’re increasingly seeing, alongside the big names and heritage brands, are small natural British brands carving a space for themselves too. Mintel’s latest report on global beauty trends highlights consumers’ increasing demand for natural ingredients as well as leaning towards a more local approach, a movement we’ve seen grow in the food industry. Some of these small batch products are handmade, others are organic, but all are indigenous. Here is a selection of home grown emerging natural beauty brands that have recently caught my eye.
I discovered Freyaluna through natural skincare destination Rare Beauty. For those of you who have become regular readers (thank you!) by now you’ll be familiar with this e-store that focuses exclusively on niche British women-led and which I mention on a regular basis – I don’t own shares in the business I promise! Freyaluna was created by Sami Blackford after she struggled with acne throughout her teens and twenties. Certified in Aromatherapy and Herbal Medicine, Sami wants to encourage each of us to “take time for ourselves and turn a regular skincare routine into a daily skin ritual of self-love.” Freyaluna offers gentle yet effective natural skincare products that are handmade in Wales and based on traditional herbal remedies. The brand pays particular attention to sourcing their ingredients, using fair-trade shea butter and coconut oil, British beeswax and some homegrown herbs. Regain Your Balance Harmonising Facial Cleanser 50ml RRP £32.00
Another Rare Beauty discovery, Alexa Sky Botanicals is a natural skincare brand developed for those with sensitive skin and dry skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Founder Alexandra Paulino (you can read my #insiderQ&A with her here) started to blend oils and butters to create a salve when she was diagnosed with psoriasis in 2000. Three months after switching to natural beauty products her skin was healed, so she decided to share her knowledge by training as a Natural skincare Formulator and launching Alexa Sky Botanicals. The products are handmade in Surrey and packed with organic oils, aromatic waters and active botanical extracts. Where possible ingredients are sourced from organic farmers and family-run businesses. Packaging is 100% recyclable, featuring apothecary-style glass bottles that can be re-purposed as pen pots, vases or candle holders. Cactus Fruit Eye Serum 10ml RRP £23.00
Founded by accredited aromatherapist Marie Hall, Bloom Remedies was launched in 2012, a range of affordable skincare products enriched in essential oils and herbal extracts. Produced in small batches in West Cornwall, Bloom Remedies started trading at local farmers markets and is now stocked at online retailers such as Rare Beauty (yes again!), Sophia’s Choice and Green Tulip. Ingredients are cruelty-free, organic where possible, with the avoidance of over-harvested or environmentally damaging species (e.g sandalwood mysore, and palm oil). Ingredients lists are kept short, focusing on flower extracts, natural essential oils and not much else. The range has grown to include essentials for face and body care but also a dedicated men’s collection, a mother and baby range, and even products tailored to hotel bathrooms. Delicate Care Moisturiser 50ml RRP £14.50
When my toddler was into purees I thought it would be a great idea to buy a family size pot of organic apple puree from Planet Organic to feed him loads of healthy goodness. This was the exact time he chose to turn his nose up at all fruit purees and never let them touch his lips again. Whilst that trip to Planet Organic didn’t qualify as a success, the next one went markedly better as it led me to discover Evolve Organic Beauty, a natural face, body and hair care brand making small batches of apothecary style beauty products in Hertfordshire. Founder Laura Rudoe believes that natural and organic skincare, when formulated well, is just as effective as synthetic alternatives. As well as being stocked in Planet Organic, Evolve is available on natural beauty sites such as Content (I hadn’t come across this beauty and wellbeing platform before but will be browsing more in future), Only Naturals, Naturisimo and Ecco Verde. African Orange Aromatic Body Wash 50ml RRP £5.00
I came across Lucky Cloud whilst browsing The Green Parent magazine and was immediately attracted to its facial oils collection and delicate pop of colour on every product label. Hailing from Scotland (a workshop in Edinburgh to be precise), Lucky Cloud was founded in 2015 by Lucy Cardwell, whose own struggles with sensitive skin enticed her to launch a range of handmade, natural plant-based skincare products. And by handmade they mean blended, poured, labelled and packaged by hand. Offering moisture rich, nourishing and soothing formulas rich in vitamins, botanical extracts and plant oils, vegan friendly and cruelty-free Lucky Cloud is ideal for dry, damaged and sensitive skin. You’ll find them in independent gift shops and beauty salons as well as online retailers such as LoveLula and The Kind Store. Balancing Face Oil 30ml RRP £21.00
What are your recent British beauty discoveries? Have you tried any of these ? Please leave a comment below to let me know.
Features PR samples