I’m very careful about what I put in my body. I always read food labels and am very conscientious about how and where my food has been produced. So it was a very natural progression to caring about I put on my body as well. After all, the skin is our largest organ!
Hedge Wych initially came about from the desire to know exactly what I put on my body, and to be absolutely sure that anything I used would have no long-lasting effects on the environment. I started making my own face oils for moisturising and balms for my hands and body, but my love for soap actually started in my quest to find a replacement for shower gel and shampoo…
You can buy organic or eco-friendly shampoo and soaps in many places, however if you look at the ingredients list, many still contain a wide range of chemicals including synthetic colours and fragrances. Those that don’t can cost a small fortune – unfortunately using ‘better’ ingredients doesn’t come cheap and I’ve found that the Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and synthetic fragrances tend to make my skin feel dry and itchy. When purchasing some ingredients for my moisturisers, I thought I’d have a go using some of the SLS-free, ‘melt and pour’ instant soap mixes and play around with essential oils to make a soap I could use at the gym. A couple of moulds and some Lemon Verbena later, I’d made a couple of passable bars that smelled quite nice but I thought I could do better and started to look up the more complicated traditional soapmaking methods. Cue a LOT of experimentation and soap EVERYWHERE around the house, and the Hedge Wych ‘signature’ formula was born. After being certified as safe by a cosmetic assessor, I bought in some proper moulds (they give a much more standardised product than the re-purposed cardboard boxes I’d been using whilst testing!) and got to making my first soaps for sale.
The next natural step was developing a range of lightweight, nourishing balms and the future holds the promise of lots more beautiful, natural products in store – by popular request, bath salts and body oils are next on the list for 2016.
I hope you enjoy them, as much as I enjoy making them!