Continuing my series on the best of British products. Today it’s the ultimate Great British boosters for body, hands and feet:
Award-winning company Liz Earle started when Liz Earle and friend Kim Buckland, decided there was a gap in the UK market for a trusted beauty specialist company. The business began in 1995 on the Isle of Wight and is now renowned for its expert service and pioneering products. This is one British brand to be proud of. The Cleanse and Polish cleanser is probably the best known of the vast stable of goodies, but our pick of the bunch is the Mineral Sun Care Cream SPF20 (lizearle.com). This high-performance protector contains plant-based antioxidants, such as green tea and pomegranate, and gives a super-sheer protection against harmful rays. As it is enriched with shea butter and is mineral-based, it is even suitable for toddlers and young skin.
If going out in the sun is not for you, then why not try the Express Liquid Tan (he-shi.eu) from new label He-Shi. The unisex self-tanning bronzer is easy to apply and gives a lovely bronze appearance.
Often ignored, but often the most revealing, are our hands. Champney’s, once only known for its British spas are now just as well-regarded for its luxury pampering products. The Softening Hand Scrub (boots.com) is brilliant for sloughing off dead skin and keeping nails conditioned. It rinses off to reveal satiny-soft skin.
Follow this with a treat from Crabtree and Evelyn. One of the UK’s most popular high street names, the company was founded 40 years ago, and in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee it has bought out the Union Flag Gift Set. A Union Jack embossed jute bag, it contains the India Hicks Island Living Hand Wash and Hand Therapy (crabtree-evelyn.co.uk). Just the thing for giving the royal wave this month.
Perfect for travelling is Yardley’s Nourishing Nail and Hand Cream (boots.com). It comes scented in the aromas of the English country garden Lily of the Valley, Lavender, Rose, Peony and Daisy. Containing shea butter, cocoa butter and grape seed oil – it is packed full of vitamins and easily absorbs to leave hands lovely and soft.
Ethical brand Organic Surge has a range of products will not only appeal to those who want to look good using natural ingredients, but also those with a conscience, as every product sold contributes towards helping children in Africa. The Tropical Bergamot Hand & Nail Cream (organicsurge.com) will also give you a helping hand.
Now that summer’s here, feet should not be overlooked. Once the flip flops are out, there’s nothing worse than seeing cracked heels and dry skin. One gem from everyone’s favourite chemist, Boots (incredibly, it was founded back in 1849 in Nottingham), is its Intensive Foot Softener (boots.com). It deeply moisturises to soften dry skin and cracked heels.
Crabtree & Evelyn’s Extreme Foot Therapy, meanwhile, is the ideal way to revive tired feet. It contains seaweed and emollient oils to nourish dry feet and leaves them refreshed (crabtree-evelyn.co.uk).
Also in celebratory mood, is REN. Known for its ‘clean’ products, which do not use any synthetic fragrances, parabens or synthetic colours, it has introduced a ‘Best of British’ special packaging – a modern take on the Union Jack – for its best-sellers, the Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash and Body Cream (Selfridges.com).
Natural Empathy, meanwhile, is proud to be beautifully British and says so on all its packaging. Its Hand and Body Lotion (nutribeautyproducts.com) comes adorned in a Union Jack bottle and has a nostalgic yet modern fragrance of cedarwood, English lavender and patchouli. Evocative of English drawing rooms and wild-flower meadows.
Yes to… products originally made their name by primarily using one ingredient –you got it – carrots. The Yes to Carrots range has now grown to incorporate Yes To Tomatoes, Yes to Blueberries and Yes to Cucumbers – the aim being you can mix and match to create your own ‘recipe’ of products. Affordably priced, free of parabens and petroleum with brightly coloured packaging, the no-fuss formulas will appeal to teens and young adults. New launches include the Yes to Tomatoes Exfoliating Cleanser, aimed at acne-prone skin; the Yes to Carrots Exfoliating Body Wash, to nourish dry skin; and the Yes to Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Body Lotion for sensitive bodies (yestocarrots.com).
We heart Lush. It’s youthful brand that comes up with some genius, fun products, which are hardworking and always smell amazing, too (anyone pass one of its high street store recently and had a whoosh of something delicious?). Founded in Poole in 1995, they have created some pioneering products over the years, such as the Bath Ballistic and Solid Shampoo. Placing an emphasis on fresh ingredients and having a strict policy against animal testing, the products are kind to the skin and a great ‘entry’ point for teens looking to start buying their own beauty treats. One of its signature products is Dream Cream (lush.co.uk), a soothing and cooling hand and body lotion that can even be used on sensitive skins.
When it comes to targeting lumps and bumps and things we’d rather ignore, then turn to Soap & Glory’s brand new Sit Tight Intense XS (boots.com). This super-strength body firming serum has a special rollerball massage applicator to target dimples and cellulite.
Set to be this summer’s sell-out is No 7’s Protect & Perfect Moisturising Body Serum. Promising to reveal firmer, more radiant skin in just four weeks, this body line follows the huge success of the label’s Protect & Perfect moisturisers and serums for the face. Fingers crossed then.
Fashion-conscious girls will love Ted Baker’s Butterfly Blossom toiletries. Scented with bergamot and red fruits, the Blossom Set (boots.com), containing a body spray, body lotion and wash, is ideal for holidays.
Lastly, the UK does nothing better than a fine soap. They are coming back into vogue, due to our love of all things vintage. Mitchell and Peach box of Soaps (mitchellandpeach.com) contains four hand-wrapped and triple milled soaps that produce a creamy lather. The family-run company offers a beautiful collection of goodies all sourced and made from Foxbury Farm in Kent and made with lavender, English honey, violet root and rose all sourced from the farm or local suppliers.