Natural Beauty: a visit to Weleda at Ilkeston
PUBLISHED: 11:13 16 September 2013 | UPDATED: 11:13 16 September 2013
Weleda is at the forefront when it comes to providing the 'natural' and 'organic' qualities we increasingly seek in beauty products
Maintaining, supporting and restoring human health, whilst working in harmony with nature, is the ethos at Weleda. What started in 1921 as a pharmaceutical laboratory with its own medicinal plant garden, became the original green beauty pioneer and is now the world-leading manufacturer of holistic natural cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
Everything from the name − priestess of healing − and logo − human arms encompassing heaven and earth − to the ingredients, methods of formulation and recyclable packaging reflect its commitment to all things sustainable and eco-friendly.
Though founded in Switzerland by doctors Ita Wergman and Rudolph Steiner, Weleda’s UK headquarters have been based in Ilkeston since the 1970s and its 15 acre organic herb garden is tucked away in nearby Shipley.
Here, under the guidance of head gardener Claire Hattersley, the company grows over 300 species of plant using biodynamic methods. The combination of natural woodland, ponds, orchards and meadows, cultivated with advice from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, means that all plants are grown in a natural environment free from pesticides, herbicides and artificial fertilisers.
Items are manufactured using only the gentlest processes. Everything is free from synthetic fragrances, colours and preservatives. Then when it comes to making the products, a key part of Weleda’s holistic philosophy is the lead plant principle: a handful of plants selected for their special healing abilities that are used to form a whole range for a specific skin type.
Products range from baby care to natural medicines, toothpaste and deodorant, and this month Weleda launches a new hair care line. Look out for open days to tour the gardens or visit the shop on Heanor Road in Ilkeston. For more information, see www.weleda.co.uk.
Weleda products to try:
For a refreshing treat, try the Iris Facial Mask which uses cucumber, jojoba oil and witch hazel to balance hydration. The Iris range is specially formulated for combination skin - it balances oils and controls grease without being too drying - and is excellent at regulating moisture levels.
The perfect antidote to sluggish circulations, the Birch Cellulite Oil is proven to firm and tone when massaged into skin twice a day for four weeks. The natural ingredients - including silver birch extract - are renowned for their ability to flush toxins from the body.
Nourish hands, feet and elbows with Skin Food, a thick and deeply repairing balm that wins numerous awards each year. Victoria Beckham, Winona Ryder and Adele are fans, and the simple ingredients include organic sunflower seed oil, wild pansy, chamomile, calendula and rosemary extract.
Perfect for mature skin and for when the signs of ageing (fine lines, dryness and sun spots) begin to appear, the Wild Rose Pampering Body Lotion combines organic wild rose oil, jojoba oil and hamamelis to strengthen the skin’s elasticity, stimulate cell renewal and aid skin regeneration
Because of its mild nature, the Almond range suits even the most sensitive skin types and has a subtle aroma, so is ideal for those who dislike or are allergic to perfume. The Soothing Facial Oil contains a blend of gentle organic almond oil and plum kernel oil to strengthen the skin’s own natural barrier and soothe irritated skin.