*This is not a sponsored post! We’re just super passionate about zero waste businesses, and wanted to share this one with you*
Anna managed to reach the grand old age of 25 without knowing what cleansing her face was… So our trip to Honest, the all natural, low waste skin care company, was educational in more ways than one.
It turns out, a fussy skincare routine isn’t needed (phew, Anna and I TOTALLY aren’t into all that, it's just not for us) but, having one, and sticking to it is a must for removing yuck and pollution from the pores.
Honest is based in Birmingham, and, correct me if I’m wrong, I’m pretty certain it's the only place like this around Birmingham.
Let me explain why…
Katie is the wonder woman behind Honest, while her sister Jess helps run the business too. We met the two of them and had a chat about their low waste cosmetics business, how natural and holistic treatments are very much at the core of what they do and how their business has grown in tandem with Katie’s daughter Ava, who was born at the same time Honest began.
Honest use very few ingredients
As we were having a little nosey around the shop, I noticed that I could pronounce every name on the ingredients list. I pretty much knew what all of the ingredients were, and I could tell myself if they were vegan and what the smell might be like.
That's pretty unusual when nowadays, our skin care, food and everything in-between seems to be pumped full of hard to pronounce chemicals. It bugs me that I literally have no idea if that weird chemical is going to do the best thing ever to my body, or give me side effects in the short or longer term.
Honest have a bottle return scheme
Yaaassss! ZERO WASTE ZERO WASTE!
ALL of their glass bottles can be retuned for a £1 discount on the next purchase. Katie has carefully selected the bottles her products are in to ensure that the products as long as possible. The amber glass stops sunlight from affecting the product and there's no plastic leaching into the product.
Whilst a few of their products do come in plastic, these are only the bath products, which need to be in plastic for fear of breaking and being a serious hazard. Trust me, I’ve been in that situation and it isn't a good one.
They switched up their cosmetic bottle pumps from black to white to ensure they could be recycled (black plastic is impossible to recycle worldwide as black plastic is made up of other non recyclable plastics) meaning that even if the bottles don’t get back to the store to be reused, they are still having a low impact on the planet.
They make everything on site
Katie started making her skin products at home and giving them to friends and family to test out to help her perfect her recipes. This is still very much the ethos of what Honest is all about. Everything is made in their kitchen and sold in either their Kings Heath or city centre branch, or they sell onto other lovely companies across the UK and Europe.
They care about their customers
Sounds cheesy. Bear with me here…
I’ve had eczema for my whole life. I thought I’d got rid of it as a teenager but as the trials and tribulations of modern-day life (sob sob) get in the way, my eczema creeps back. It's triggered by stress, chemicals, tiredness and has been a pretty key feature of my inner arms for the last three years.
Katie has eczema too. A WHOLE lot worse than mine, which is actually why she set up Honest.
She was sick and tired of companies claiming to be natural, hypoallergenic, blah blah blah, and being anything but. She worked for many years as a beauty therapist and was coming up in rashes and severe reactions from all these products which were meant to be au natural.
In fact, one reaction she had lasted so long and was so bad that she was in bandages for four years. Yep, FOUR YEARS. This was at the same time of setting up her business and having her daughter. What a woman.
I found that myself and Katie could relate a lot. She recommended some products for me to use, one of which I took away to try out.
They also care about the community around them
They know their regular customers well and support them as they discover to find out what products work best with their skin. They would also adapt to a customer's new needs – for instance, if they have a migraine, they would suggest a specific treatment or product. While they are not medically trained, so would never take the place of a doctor, it’s these natural products which can support a person to feel more like themselves again.
Everyone is welcome, and we really felt the same as we walked through the shop into the kitchen and treatment room – we felt more zen almost instantly.
Even for members of the community who don’t buy products or have a treatment, Katie says passers-by are welcome to come in for a free whiff (loved that expression) as simply inhaling the products will make people feel better.
We tried out some products because we thought it would be silly to blog about a skin care shop if we hadn’t actually applied anything to our skin.
I purchased the Avocado Sugar Scrub and the Calming Cleansing Cream, both of which were recommended to me, because of my dry flaky skin.
The Avocado Sugar Scrub is not an everyday wash, as it's an exfoliate, which is something I rarely use as this typically irritates my skin. It smelt delicious, and, a massive bonus in my eyes, I didn't need to moisturise after because of the Avocado Sugar Scrub. Lazy skin routines are the best!
Both Anna and I tried the Calming Cleansing Cream. Anna now has a skin care route – go Anna! We both agree that this product is well worth it for how much softer our skin feels. If you have oily skin, the Balancing range will be more suitable for you and if you’d prefer an anti ageing product, go for the Nourishing range.
Honest really does live up to its name. A skincare company with real ingredients making a positive impact on the community around them and the wider environment through their zero waste initiatives.