WINTER SKIN: Top tips for the perfect relaxation, inspired by Ila!
I’ve just been to a fabulous event for organic skincare and spa brand Ila, at the stunning Duke’s Hotel just behind the Ritz.
I chatted to the wonderful founder Denise Leicester, who is a truly inspiring person, and she absolutely lives and breathes her brand values: seeking the highest level of purity in all her products.
Ila sources ingredients from all over the world and Denise says she is particularly inspired by India, where she spends around 3 months of the year. Every Ila ingredient comes from a plant or mineral, which stems from the brand’s faith in the ‘power of nature as the source of true well being’.
Denise has relationships with tribes all over the world world and they are constantly bringing new ingredients to her. For example, in Morocco Ila works directly with the ancient Berber as the tribe are “traditionally the keepers of the sacred Argan forests.” Denise says: “We work with Nadia, a Moroccan woman, dedicated to preserving her community and culture through sustainable business. She works with the Berber women who traditionally harvest the Argan nuts, but provides an infastructure that maintains the delicate balance of a thriving and healthy community based in family values and a successful business.”
In another example, Denise says: “With Ila’s new Rainforest range, we are working with the communities in the rainforest to suuport this. The ingredients are also extraordinary, having powerful cellular regenerative qualities. We believe much more will undfold as we develop our relationships witht the Kayapo tribe.”
What is perhaps even more suprising is that Ila manufactures all its products in-house, at a factory and company headquarters in the heart of the Cotswolds (not far from my hometown actually!). Denise says the reason behind this is to enable her to retain complete control over what goes into her products and the environment in which they are packaged.
Denise’s Top Tips for Winter Relaxation..
* Bath-time should be a ritual in Winter with soothing music, candles, incense and bath salts. Before heading up for the bath, Denise suggests making a fresh herbal tea to take with you. HOW TO: Peel and grill some fresh ginger (for about 10 minutes or until soft), mush down and mix it with fresh lime and honey to create the perfect, soothing drink.
* After the bath and to help rid the body of any ‘bad heat’ or toxins, Denise suggest placing a chilled cotton eye mask (just an ordinary one – so it’s worth putting in the fridge before you go up for the bath) over your eyes and a hotwater bottle on your feet. I haven’t tried this yet but the sensation of the heat and cold apparently has a serene, calming affect.
* Smell is very important for the Ila brand and Denise says the combination of rose and sandalwood is a winning formula (used in many Ila products). In Indian teaching, the rose is meant to tend to the heart and the sandalwood to the head. So breathing in the scent of the products before using them is a part of the ritual itself.
FashionBite’s Top Tip For Fresher Skin…
* To give your skin a winter pick-me-up; after cleansing and before going to bed apply a thick layer of your ordinary night moisturiser. Lie-up in bed and read for about 15 minutes or so whilst the moisturiser soaks in, you’ll be amazed how quickly it all disappears. It it doesn’t totally disappear just rub the final bits in. When you wake up the next day, your skin will be feeling so much fresher and brighter.