In an age where we view progress only as moving forward, let us take a moment to stop and pause, to look back to when the world truly took time to invent and create, and consider what made greatness.
The concept of natural beauty has been around since time immemorial from the rhassoul clays and milkhoney baths of Northern Africa, to the hammam and bathing rituals of the ancient Greeks and Turks, and the Ayurvedic principles of India, all of which remain popular treatments today. Caring for your skin by using natural products simply makes sense, particularly for those with sensitive skin conditions, as the cocktail effect of using a variety of chemical-based beauty brands can flare up even lowlying allergies.
With the onset of an emerging cosmetics industry, the idea of using nature for wellness in a more established environment such as London’s great department stores came into play. Some of the best natural products today were formulated by individuals who had noticed the delicate relationship between the earth and humankind, or had firsthand experience of hypersensitivity in these new conventional products.
Back in the early 1920s and inspired by the vision of Rudolf Steiner, the brand Weleda was born in Switzerland, and further established in London. Scientist, philosopher, educator and not least the founder of biodynamic farming that shaped today’s organic agriculture, Steiner also created the concept of anthroposophic medicine.
The world was to consider healthcare holistically, connecting the mind, body and spirit, and using nature as a healer.
Weleda created its Skin Food cream 90 years ago, and was formulated during an iconic year – at a time when Queen Elizabeth II, David Attenborough, the medium of television, and even AA Milne’s favourite bear, Winnie the Pooh, was born.
Yet its success lives on because of its loyalty to its original integrity and thoughtfulness, and has garnered an international – including celebrities – following. As Weleda UK’s Managing Director, Jayn Sterland says, ‘Sometimes the coolest trendsetting products are not the latest and newest fad, hip today and old news tomorrow. Sometimes old is the new new!’ Even in today’s accelerating world of lotions and potions, other items in the original Skin Food range that may seem archaic, such as hair tonic, continue to thrive.
When I first stumbled across Weleda over a decade ago, it was the Skin Food cream that grabbed my attention, because of its name. It was a novel but obvious idea to feed your skin as you should ideally feed your body: with consideration.
I remember noticing that the cream was actually rich and creamy, and might give value to my tired out shell. It did.
To this day, it is the sophisticated union of some wonderfully authentic and gentle ingredients, that make it one of my beauty essentials.
Organic almond oil and sunflower oil, and the pure hypoallergenic lanolin of organic beeswax are just some of the secrets of Skin Food. Then there are various plant extracts, including soothing antibacterial calendula flowers; antiinflammatory chamomile flowers; revitalizing rosemary leaf, and softening wild pansy. Together, these create a powerful potion for your skin, which is both gentle and protective. The pleasant fragrance naturally comes from sweet orange and lavandulae. No artificial preservatives or parabens are needed, which are usually added to conventional products to enhance their fragrance and longevity.
In the ten years that I’ve been using Skin Food, it has won over 25 awards from leading health and beauty magazines. Weleda themselves describe Skin Food as Truly Evergreen and I can’t help but agree. For Weleda to thrive in the fastpaced commercial world where new products are being launched everyday, there’s much to be said for this delightful vintage brand.
As Steiner once wrote, ‘That which secures life from exhaustion lies in the unseen world, deep at the roots of things.’