If food feeds the soul, then surely skincare feeds the skin. That's why what you put on your skin — the largest organ in your body — is so important. Apothecary brand Neal's Yard Remedies (NYR) is well known for its use of organic ingredients and lovingly crafted skincare. It's no wonder that they've chosen Ella Mills — owner of a deli and a cookbook author, but better known as food blogger, Deliciously Ella — for their latest collaboration.
Mills began blogging about healthy eating, when a rare illness caused her to overhaul her diet and give up meat, gluten, dairy, sugar and processed food. The diet change was not only successful in transforming her health, it translated to phenomenonal success on her website, with over 5 million vistors to her blog per month. Mills then began thinking about what she was applying on her face and whether it was safe and good for her. "As I became more conscious about what I was putting into my body, I started thinking more and more about what I was using on my skin. If my recipes contained only the best ingredients, why shouldn't my skincare? With this in mind, I wanted to create a line of natural skincare products that made looking and feeling your best as easy as possible. I've always loved Neal's Yard Remedies, so working together was the natural choice. I'm so excited to launch my new Rose, Lime & Cucumber Collection, a simple daily skincare routine which is packed with some of my favourite organic ingredients to help every skin type achieve a naturally radiant glow". Here Mills answers more questions on the collection.
Why the partnership with Neal's Yard Remedies?
When I changed the way I ate I started looking at the types of products I used on my skin and switched to natural and organic skincare, and immediately fell in love with NYR products. They've been my go to brand for years now. I worked with them to develop recipes for their superfoods and the more I worked with them the more I learnt and understood about the importance of choosing organic when it came to skincare — sustainability, impact on the world etc. Our values were so aligned, making them the natural choice. Then I visited their headquarters in Dorset which was so inspiring — I loved seeing organic ingredients being grown in their gardens which they use in their products. I spent time with formulators mixing up products and loved that it was like mixing products in a kitchen but on a bigger scale.
Why did you want to create a skincare range?
My readers are always asking me what I use on my skin. My skincare routine has always been really simple and I wanted to create something that I would genuinely use myself and that my readers could enjoy too. My followers already know that I love making products myself using ingredients in my kitchen like coconut oil and avocado, but it's not always convenient to do this when you're always on the go. So working with NYR, we created products that work, using ingredients that I love. They also smell amazing and the blue bottles look great on your shelf!
Why did you choose the ingredients that you did?
In our first meetings the NYR team asked me what I wanted from a skincare range. Radiance and a natural glow were key, but I wanted the products to smell beautiful and feel great on my skin as well. We worked on a 'shopping list' of ingredients and I chose the ones which resonated with me most. The ingredients I chose are all my favourite beauty foods — I use them in my cooking for their benefi ts internally, but they also have amazing benefi ts for the skin when used topically. I am also obsessed with the scent of rose, if you open my bathroom cabinet it's rose everything — I just find it the prettiest smell in the world. "As I became more conscious about what I was putting into my body, I started thinking more and more about what I was using on my skin. If my recipes contained only the best ingredients, why shouldn't my skincare? With this in mind, I wanted to create a line of natural skincare products that made looking and feeling your best as easy as possible. I've always loved Neal's Yard Remedies, so working together was the natural choice. I'm so excited to launch my new Rose, Lime & Cucumber Collection, a simple daily skincare routine which is packed with some of my favourite organic ingredients to help every skin type achieve a naturally radiant glow".
What is your current beauty regime?
I keep my routine pretty simple. I use the lovely facial moisturiser that I created with NYR in the morning and then the facial wash in the evenings. I love exfoliating, so a couple of times throughout the week I exfoliate with a homemade brown sugar scrub and apply a couple of drops of NYR Rehydrating Rose Facial Oil to the Rose Lime and Cucumber Moisturiser if I want boosted hydration. I try to use all natural products, so I use organic coconut oil as a make up remover (it's amazing for taking off mascara), as a hair mask (just putting a dollop on the ends once every few weeks and washing it out the following morning) and even as an after sun! For makeup I use a mix of NYR and a couple of other natural brands — it feels much lighter on my face.
How important do you think the relationship between food and beauty is?
Nature is amazing, and provides so much of what we need to nourish and look after our bodies. When you're not feeding your body with nutritious ingredients, it often shows on your skin so choosing foods that are packed with the vitamins and minerals your skin needs will nourish your skin. Smoothies and juices are an easy way to get lots of fresh produce into your body in a quick, simple manner — perfect if you're really busy! Looking after your skin from the outside is equally as important to keep it in optimum condition — particularly if you're living in the city. A simple daily routine of cleansing and moisturising will remove any impurities and keep your skin hydrated. I apply the same concept to choosing skincare as I do to choosing food — looking for the most natural, organic ingredients possible.
What did you enjoy most about the development process?
I loved going down to the NYR factory in Peacemarsh, it's really incredible to see how authentic the company is and how sustainable their ingredients are. The quality of what they produce is so high and I felt that their ethos really f tted with mine, so it's been an amazing collaborative process, and I've been able to get so involved in every decision from the fragrance to the ingredients right through to the packaging.
How involved were you in the actual formulation of the products?
I loved spending time with the formulations team and I've worked with the NYR team closely from concept through to final development for the past 18 months. The formulations team were able to bring my vision for the products to life from the smell, texture through to final design etc, I can't tell you how much love has gone into those blue bottles!
Who are you targeting?
Anyone that wants beautiful smelling, natural products, as well as all my lovely readers who have asked me what I use on my skin and have been looking for organic products themselves. The products are simple and easy to use as a first skincare regime, or equally can be used by people of any age who are looking for a radiance boost using organic products. Ultimately, I wanted to target people who care as much about what they put on their face, as what they put in their body.
Do you plan to build on the partnership?
Definitely and there are some really exciting products that we're talking about so stay tuned!
What message would you like to share with consumers looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle?
I think it's all about starting slowly, just making one small change a day is amazing — adding in one new serving of fruit or vegetables a day is fantastic, some sweet potato wedges or guacamole make an insanely delicious addition to any meal and they're such an easy place to start. Whizzing up a smoothie in the morning is incredible too as it always starts you off on the right track for a positive day, while giving you an abundance of goodness and energy.
$46-$62. At Neal's Yard Remedies, #01-75 Millenia Walk, 6337-2202