Not so many moons ago the only way to care for yourself was to use what the land gave you. To utilize what would grow where you lived, to plant the seeds, nourish them, harvest them and prepare them for their purpose. In a world where so many have lost touch with this natural order, HerbFarmacy has remembered and made it into a fine art of craftsmanship. The first time I used the Mallow Beauty Balm I was amazed. You can instantly feel the purity and the gentle scents of calendula, rosemary, and rose geranium calm your soul and entice the senses. Each formulation is so carefully thought out and so meticulously crafted. HerbFarmacy grows almost every ingredient that is used in their line, apart from a few that are sourced from amazing organic farms in England and Scotland. Paul, the creator of HerbFarmcy was kind enough to answer a couple questions and give us an inside look at this amazing company! I urge you all to breath deeply and take in the beauty of this incredible line! Enjoy!
What inspires you daily in the world? Are their certain ingredients and herbs that make your mind come alive with ideas?
I’m a country boy at heart so I guess it’s the scenery around me in the different light you get at different times of day and from day to day that I love. Then there’s the herbs – I am a great fan of Marshmallow which is such a good herb internally and on the skin. It is softens and soothes skin, attracting and holding moisture in the skin surface. We had been experimenting with it for a while in balms for eczema-prone skin and it was a major part of the inspiration behind the development of the Herbfarmacy skin care range.
I feel like concocting skincare is not so far from creating in the kitchen. What are your thoughts? Do you ever take herbs that you use cooking and apply them for use in your skincare?
It has many similarities and our process room is very like a big kitchen. I love rosemary – we already use it in a hand cream. It could well feature more in future plans as it is an excellent herb for hair care.
What does your creative process look like? Can you paint us a little picture of a typical day?
I wish every day could be creative as much time is absorbed in regulatory issues and the many things that crop up daily in a business. But we work in a beautiful place with our herbs around us so good things happen in many ways. As a team we are continually refining the way we make the products so it is more efficient whilst preserving that careful input that goes with any hand-made product. When we have a spare moment, we have been playing around in the production area with a new organic ingredient that has several uses. One that is absorbing me at the moment is a body butter using our herbs, and we will be trying out some combinations on friends very soon.
If you could visit any place in the world where would you go and why?
There is really one place that intrigues me right now, and that is Patagonia because folk from my home country of Wales settled there many years ago - and it looks stunningly beautiful.
Scent to me brings back memories. Are there any scents that bring you back to your childhood? Or any other special memory? Are any of them used in your line?
Lavender – my grandmother dried the flowers to put in muslin bags to keep the linen fresh. She tried to inspire me with my small veg patch and I remember her getting me to make yarrow tea to water into the compost heap. Years later I realised that this has some affinity with one of the biodynamic preparations.
What is green beauty to you?
Products that care about minimizing their impact on our environment and are kind to the skin and the being that lives within. We embrace Organic as it fulfills both these and to me is the only way.
Can you tell us a bit about your breathtaking farm in Herefordshire? Are all of the botanicals used in your line sourced from your farm?
We are on a gentle south-facing slope above the River Wye and with views for the Herefordshire hills and across to the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons in the distance. We grow all we can here – about 16 out of about 20 that we use. We buy in Arnica from a grower I have known for years in Scotland and we also use Ginkgo from one of the oldest trees in Britain at nearby Kinnersley Castle.
What is a favorite product in your line?
It’s got to be the Mallow Beauty Balm. Using soothing and moisturizing oil from our marshmallow roots, we have added Mullein Oil to soften fine lines and Calendula to calm. It is a product where everything came together so perfectly - including the luxurious fragrance – to create the ultimate facial balm.
Touch, smell, sight, hearing, taste, out of the five senses which would you say you adore most?
For me, it’s power of sight – we live in a beautiful area and I like to feast on this, walking in the hills whenever I get the time.
What’s next for HerbFarmacy? Any new projects on the horizon?
We are always exploring new ways of using our herbs (and new herbs to grow). In terms of new products, we like to develop these thoughtfully, harnessing the best herbs to provide the function needed. We are currently exploring hair products and this presents a major challenge for organic formulators. Many of the ingredients used for foaming are not appropriate for organic products, so we have to work as creatively as we can with what is available.
The sun is shining here as I write this on a fabulous spring day – the season is starting big-time and I am really excited about the year ahead when many new things will be happening at herbfarmacy. And this summer – after a break of a year – we will be welcoming people to the farm during our Open Weekend (July 18th/19th). Why not pencil it in and come and see the herbs and hear how they are grown, harvested and extracted for use in our organic skincare.