It’s fair to say that we could all use a few less chemicals and a little more nature in our skincare routines, and for that matter, our lives. As a London resident, there are occasions when I long to swap the grittiness of city life and escape to a verdant, pastoral lifestyle where flowers and fresh herbs readily invade kitchen and bathroom. The Lola behind luxurious natural bodycare brand Lola’s Apothecary evidently had the same dream – and lived it.
Frustrated by the lack of natural but effective products that worked on her sensitive skin, Lola left London behind to pursue her vision; aromatic, indulgent skincare with active, 100% natural ingredients. Appealingly, she actually makes each and every product by hand in her Devon farm kitchen. And Lola’s a one-woman show: she cooks up the blends, built the website, designed the elegant but simple glass packaging – the lot. You have to admire her drive.
The products themselves are a sensory treat; the body scrubs and bath salts feel expensive and artisan, and the body and bath oils look super pretty on the bathroom shelf, thanks mainly to the rose petals and lavender suspended inside. But they do more than just look good. Bottled up inside the jars is natural skincare alchemy; seriously potent ingredients such as argan oil, rosehip oil, Epsom salts and vitamin E – think super foods for the skin.
My hero product? The Lavender Bath Salt: combining aromatherapeutic lavender with detoxifying Dead Sea Salt and Epsom Salts, which relieve muscular aches and have been used through the ages for their healing properties. A small handful into a hot bath and I was floating, Ophelia-like (there are real lavender buds in the salts), remembering childhood memories of my Grandma’s garden lavender and deep-breathing away my stressful day. Or if you’re after a natural upper, go for the Lemon & Mint Sugar Scrub: a perfectly-balanced, buttery soufflé scrub with coconut oil, sweet almond oil, brown sugar and energising peppermint.
But it’s the bottled oils that are Lola’s true signature products, and bathroom theatre at its finest. The divinely scented Rose & Geranium Bath Oil has crimson rose petals floating inside, and the combination of sweet almond oil, peach kernel oil and the finest rose essential oil leaves the skin soft and with a subtle floral scent. You can also apply the body oils direct to wet skin; try the Lavender & Vanilla Body Oil before lights out, which hydrates while helping reduce stretch marks. Verdant, pastoral lifestyle? I think I’ll stick with Lola’s natural goodies for now…