On Saturday I spent a lovely day in the Neal’s Yard Remedies School of Natural Health. I had been eyeing up the ‘Recipes for Natural Beauty’ course for a while, but finally decided to book onto it after my visit to the Weleda herb gardens where we had made a moisturising lotion.
We began the day with a brief background to Neal’s Yard Remedies, talking about their history, ethics and eco-factory in Dorset, which sounds like a wonderful place to work. Our tutors were Fran Johnson who is the NYR Formulator and Emma Wood, their Education Manager, both were really great. We discussed why we wanted to make our own, the general consensus was that we all wanted to know exactly what was going on ours and our family’s skin. We discussed what ingredients we didn’t want in our products which is always an interesting topic, and then went onto those we did. We learnt about 9 essential oils along with various carrier oils to blend them in with.
Then the fun part. The first thing we made was a facial oil. I went with the sensitive blend of rose and frankincense mixed in a base of sweet almond, apricot kernel and calendula macerate oil (calendula leaves steeped in sunflower oil). Next we were split into three groups and allocated a product to design, my group was given the after-sun balm. We had to decide the ingredients for the balm base and then the essential oil blend, giving justified reasons for our choices along with a price and product name. It was quite hard trying to balance the fragrance of the balm as well as making it soothe sun burnt skin. In the end we had 50% frankincense, 30% rose and 20% lavender. It was nice but I’m sure it needs a lot of development! The next thing was a lip balm, we didn’t make the base ourselves but were able to customise it with our choice of essential oil. We also made a soothing body scrub along with an invigorating scrub and were shown a quick and easy relaxing bath blend.
The day went so fast but it was so enjoyable and inspiring. We got a 20% discount in the shop for the day too, I invested in a few essential oils and some waxes to have a play. I feel a few christmas presents coming along….
The course is £110 for the day and I would highly recommend it. Whether you are a complete beginner or already have some knowledge in the area, you will learn a lot. You also get to take home all the lovely things you make which are all made using the NYR organic and natural ingredients.