Field Fresh Skincare Founder Laura Pardoe has been gathering, growing and learning about plants for over 20 years. Laura has an MA from the University of Cambridge, has trained in permaculture design and has a fascination in natural systems and how to work effectively with them. She has been using foraged ingredients to make natural skincare for over 10 years.
Laura trained in developing and formulating skincare products and is the Founder of award winning Field Fresh Skincare. She teaches, runs workshops, writes and blogs. Laura Pardoe is the Author of Vital Skincare, a book packed with over 100 Blend-It-Yourself skincare recipes using hedgerow herbs. We caught up with Laura to learn from her wealth of knowledge and wisdom…
- Tell us a bit about Field Fresh Skincare…
Field Fresh Skincare is about getting hands on with the real ingredients in your skincare. Better than reading the list of ingredients on the jar, we encourage you to know the ingredients by handling them, even gathering them yourself, if you have the time.
If you’re short on time, we provide all the ingredients you need pre-measured, ready to heat, stir and transfer into the pot provided. Field Fresh Skincare kits even have a label you can personalize with your name and the date you made the product.
Blend it Yourself skincare is fun and empowering. It means your product is absolutely fresh (as wonderful as freshly cooked food) and you know exactly what ingredients are going onto your skin.
The ingredients in Field Fresh Skincare products are sourced from plants that grow in a temperate climate – just like the climate we live in. We believe that growing in the same conditions as us means they have great affinity with our skin. There are so many wonderful ingredients growing on our doorstep. Blend it Yourself is a great way to connect with your local environment and reduce your beauty miles.
- What first inspired you to set up your natural skincare business?
It all began with my love of plants and hedgerows. I’m a forager and, having made preserves and hedgerow wines, I wanted to find more ways to use herbs and plants in everyday life. Natural skincare was my answer.
This led to discovering how different freshly made skincare is and the vitality plants can bring to your skin. I wanted everyone to be able to try it. I created the Field Fresh Skincare kits to make it easy for anyone to make their own fresh skincare, even if they only have a few minutes to spare.
Becoming an Author
- Could you tell us about your journey to becoming a natural skincare entrepreneur and author? What struggles have you faced?
Once you start investigating the different ingredients you can use in Blend it Yourself skincare (the many herbs, oils and waxes) and the variety of products you can make it’s easy to get that ‘kid in a sweet shop’ feeling. Suddenly everything seems possible, so much to try. One of the hardest things then is to focus.
My book Vital Skincare actually emerged from this. I needed to create a framework in my mind into which I could arrange my thoughts on the products and ingredients. This is what I’ve shared in the book, with encouragement to discover and become familiar with the ingredients that grow around us.
“There’s still an expectation for skincare products to provide quick fixes, when what we really need to do is slow down and listen to our own skin”-Vital Skincare Author Laura Pardoe
Every product I create has a story behind it, and every ingredient has been selected for a specific reason. In the harsh world of marketing it’s has been a struggle to convey the depth of thinking that goes into each product in the tiny copy space available in a social post or magazine listing. There’s still an expectation for skincare products to provide quick fixes, when what we really need to do is slow down and listen to our own skin.
Natural Beauty Essentials
- When it comes to natural skincare, what would be your number one go-to ingredient? Is there one ingredient you simply could not live without?
In my natural skincare I will always incorporate ingredients that come from plants that grow locally to me. It’s the herbs that are my must-have ingredients. Which ones I use will depend on the season, so I have favorites for different times of the year. Spring is a particularly special time as the new shoots of cleansing herbs like cleavers and dandelion appear. It always feels like nature’s providing just what we need, when we need it.
Many products, from cleansers to lotions, creams and balms, rely on plant seed oils. These are magical ingredients packed with vitality. I choose to use seed oils from plants that grow in a temperate climate and have some favorites among them. One really good all-rounder that I wouldn’t be without is camelina oil, from the wild flax. I’m also a big fan of super-smooth hazelnut oil.
- Do you have a favourite natural skincare recipe?
Marshmallow Dream Cream is one of my favorite recipes. It has a double-dose of marshmallow by combining an infusion of marshmallow leaf with an oil macerated with marshmallow root. In recipes I will often use the same herb in both the oil and water parts of a recipe to be able to benefit from both the plant’s oil-soluble and water-soluble properties. It feels like bringing the whole plant back together again within the product. Marshmallow Dream Cream won an award for ‘Best Facial Moisturiser’, I think it’s great that a product you can make yourself at home can out-perform products you buy off the shelf.
The Natural Beauty Movement
- How do you see the natural beauty movement changing in the next 5 years?
The natural beauty movement is moving so fast. I used to look to the food sector to spot trends that could transfer to beauty. That’s not so easy to do now as beauty has really caught up and, in some places, is leading the way.
Now we’ve got used to checking the label and knowing our ingredients I see people getting much more interested in where those ingredients have come from, and what the human and environmental cost is of sourcing them. There will be benefit in a minimal ingredients list and in minimizing beauty miles, all of which are easier to achieve with freshly made, locally sourced products.
Personalisation is already being seen as a key trend in beauty, with more understanding of our own individual microbiomes. I see people wanting to have their own skincare, blended for their skin. It will be important that products don’t come straight off the shelf but instead give customers the ability to adjust to suit their needs.
“Natural skincare can provide a means to connect with plants and bring their qualities into our lives”
As we recognize the benefits of being in nature I also see people taking more opportunities to integrate nature into their lives through daily routines. Natural skincare can provide a means to connect with plants and bring their qualities into our lives – much in the way we enjoy the therapeutic benefits of houseplants, we can bring them even closer to us through selecting the right plants for our skincare. These well-being elements of natural skincare will come to the fore as ingredients are better understood.
- Any pearls of wisdom for anyone thinking of starting their own natural beauty business?
Focus on ingredients that you have an affinity with, be happy to tell their story. Be guided by your knowledge of the ingredients, not by trying to copy something that already exists.
Pay attention to everything you do. Formal testing and sign off is a must, but your confidence in your products will come from knowing your ingredients and processes all the way from source to customer.
Thank you to Laura for sharing her story.