Farm to Face Beauty

In partnership with Neal's Yard Remedies

We are shining the spotlight on Neal’s Yard Remedies, the organic beauty brand looking to change the world- one blue bottle at a time.

Certified organic by the Soil Association and proudly British, Neal’s Yard Remedies is the natural homeopathic face and body brand that we all know and love.

‘Natural means ‘derived from nature’ but this doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the ingredients haven’t been grown using harmful pesticides, explains Neal’s Yard Remedies Sustainability Manager, Louise Green. ‘Choosing to use certified organic products means that the natural ingredients used are free from pesticide residue.’

So do you really know where Neal’s Yard Remedies organic ingredients come from? Unsurprisingly it’s not too far afield at their Eco Factory in Dorset.

Here, the Eco Factory Headquarters are surrounded by five acres of Soil Association accredited land, where the production team manufactures and fills 90% of the products that are sold in hundreds of stores across 23 different countries. 

The talented gardeners grow an array of fresh herbs and plants, that are tended too from seedling until they are bottled. These include; cleavers, meadowsweet, lemon balm, echinacea, plantain, rosa damascena and calendula- the brands main crop.

Originating from the Mediterranean, Calendula (also known as pot marigold) is a super plant. Naturally helping to support blemish prone skin, providing antioxidant protection and helping to soothe inflamed areas. (Those in need of a great hyperpigmentation treatment, rejoice.) ‘When I get the odd spot, I’ve always found that Calendula a the key ingredient to use, because it helps the natural repair of the skin’ says Neal’s Yard Remedies Brand Ambassador Tipper Lewis.

So where next?

When a healthy crop of plants or herbs are ready, they are taken to the eco factories tincture unit. A tincture is a super potent liquid extract from a plant or herb that is made by steeping it in a mixture of alcohol and water for a period of time before pressing. ‘This clean extraction technique captures the efficacious active ingredients without destroying the plant's natural state. Therefore when this powerful potion is added to skincare products, we are really absorbing all of the beneficial ingredients effectively’ explains Nicola Bradshaw, Neal’s Yard Remedies Tincture Unit and Herbal Advisor.

When harvesting Calendula, the farmers use the pot marigold flower heads from July until August as the petals are most sticky. ‘We make 1 tonne of this tincture per year for our products. Harvesting a herb at the right time means all the difference in making the best quality tincture possible.’ says Bradshaw.

This is just one way in which the brand’s framing celebrates biodiversity. ‘Organic farming is better for the environment as it avoids polluting chemicals that can affect the health of farm workers, local people and wildlife. Some toxins can contaminate soil and water for years, increasing the risk of exposure for generations to come says Green.

So we do mean farm to face quite literally! Once grown and processed on the Eco Farm, the products are packaged into glass bottles that are fully recyclable, blue plastic bottles (up to 300ml) are made from 100% recycled material and gift boxes and product cartons that are certified Carbon Balanced with the World Land Trust. 

From shelf to your bathroom cabinet, it is satisfying to use a brand that is truly traceable and transparent but that also makes skin happy.

Shop our top three Calendula must-haves from Neal’s Yard Remedies here...

Sarah Barnes

Sarah Barnes is Junior Beauty Writer and Production Assistant at Marie Claire UK.

After attending a military school growing up (we are talking camo print, crawling through the mud) Sarah craved a creative outlook with fashion and beauty always being a huge draw. With a degree in Fashion Journalism from The University For The Creative Arts, Sarah was introduced into the world of beauty, health and print after publishing her own university magazine, which was an investigative project into the world of Paleo and Primal Wellbeing. Her love for production came after moving to Vancouver Canada, working on the sets for Toyota commercials as a production assistant.

Four years later, she is now Marie Claire UK’s Junior Beauty Writer and Production Assistant. Combining both her love for writing and production, having worked her way up from intern. With each day being different Sarah can be found writing beauty features, reporting backstage at Fashion Week on the latest beauty trends and working on Marie Claire’s various beauty awards and video content. Always on her face beauty wise; Urban Decays 24/7 Eyeliner in Roach, Elemis Daily Defence Shield SPF 30 and Estee Lauders Radiant Double Wear Concealer.

Sarah’s job also allows her to travel the world for Marie Claire’s beauty shoots, working on the shoot production and assisting with booking the best models and photographers. Highlights include shooting at sunset in the Lanzarote desert, from a speedboat in Mauritius and along the wild beaches of Sri Lanka- maybe that army training was useful after all?