Many moons ago, fresh and baby faced, I picked up a jar of Spiezia organic face cleanser in Harvey Nichols and so began my journey into natural skincare. Diving nose first into the super smelling, simple and unfussy pot I felt an unbounded joy at the pure and perfect fragrance of nature’s powerful ingredients, unhampered by sweet and sickly chemical fruit smells that claim to overhaul your face and only cost three pounds. A new door opened for me, that was full of discovery with gentle, natural and uplifting ingredients, and it is one I hope never to close. And now that I am starting to make my own skin food at home, which has its own challenges and demands, I thought who better to catch up with for inspiration and earthly wisdom than Spiezia’s glowing Cornwall-based director, Amanda Barlow.
She is a natural beauty powerhouse.
What is the ethos behind Spiezia?
Creating really authentic, effective organic skincare using wholesome, natural ingredients with minimal negative environmental impact and maximum positive effect on skin. Also to give something back: I established the Made for Life Foundation (registered charity 1138846) to support diagnosed with cancer and their carers and a percentage of our energy and efforts always go back into this.
Where is it all produced?
Everything is made on site here at the Health & Wellbeing Innovation Centre in Truro. We have great views and plenty of sunshine which helps our maceration process where we infuse beautiful organic herbs in oils. We source from three Soil Association approved British Companies, one of which is based in Somerset, where many of our herbs grow. We are hoping to start growing more of our own herbs and flowers in the next 2 years.
What star natural ingredients do you swear by?
That is a challenging question – I love all natural ingredients that we use – the scents from the Laboratory when the team are producing new products is wonderful and I love looking at the herbs and flowers infusing in the oils when the sun shines through the bottles. However, If I had to pick my personal favourites:
Calendula – Queen of flowers – whose bright orange petals have magic in them. Calendula is a really healing flower and is wonderful for soothing eczema and psoriasis plus any troubled skin. Our calendula ointment is one of our best selling products and has been short listed for a Free From skincare award;
Rose – really hydrating and soothing and the scent is wonderful so it works on two levels;
Jojoba oil – because its composition is the closest you can get to the sebum of the skin.
What lesson(s) has your journey so far with Spiezia taught you?
Love nature; take time to appreciate what we have and have utter belief and passion in what you do.
Also that many companies sell ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ skincare products which are a sham – current legislation states that a product can be called organic or natural even if it contains only 2% organic or natural ingredients. So if you find a cheap product just check the ingredients – if it’s incomprehensible, Google it! And ask yourself the question – would you eat it? If you wouldn’t then why would you apply to your skin?
What advice would you give to people wanting to try and whip up their own skincare at home?
Do it – it’s great to experiment! Start with some olive oil and dried rosemary and infuse for a month then strain it. It’s great for any aches and pains and as a massage oil, and great on food too. There are also lots of ingredients in our fridges and kitchen cupboards which are great for making masks, too. In fact, you might be surprised to find that chocolate is perhaps even better as a face mask than to eat…
How do you start your day?
With a smile. (Then a smoothie and a walk with my dogs and partner)
What is your mantra?
Breathe out into the world, that which you wish to breathe in. Choose your attitude carefully and understand that the world will reflect what you radiate and your cells in your body react to your thoughts – so choosing to be positive is always good.
Can I come and stay?
I think I will journey down to the coast and stay, as soon as I can, and probably won’t come back. Until then, time to infuse some oils and whip some live yoghurt into an ayurvedic treat for my tired London face.
Watch this space.