Handmade Artisan Product

Choosing the Right Handmade Products

There has been a growing trend over the last few years to purchase handmade skincare products. Whilst I am a firm believer in choosing handmade products over factory-made, you still need to be sure what you are buying is safe.


Safety versus Natural

At Simply Skin safety has always been my top priority. What this means is that it simply is not possible to always use 100% natural ingredients in my products. When water (aqua) is listed on an ingredients label, that product must also contain some kind of reliable preservative formulation in order to ensure the product remains safe to use for a period of time lasting up to12 months. So when new customers ask me “Are you 100% natural?” I respond honestly and say “I am as 100% natural as it is safe to be”.

When you consider that a preservative is used at less than 1% in a product, it can feel like the whole debate of preservatives versus 100% natural has gone dangerously out of control.


Safety Assessments

I have to be perfectly honest – I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about Safety Assessments. They are a legal requirement in the EU and the corresponding safety guidelines in Europe are really strict. In my eyes that is a very good thing.

However, by simply wandering around market stalls in the past and looking at product labels, with my knowledge and experience, I can usually quickly and easily tell if a brand’s products are covered by a valid Safety Assessment. And, sadly, there are quite a few artisans out there who choose not to invest in a Safety Assessment. So, if in doubt, ask the seller. If they look blankly at you, you know the answer. I sincerely hope that they will not answer you dishonestly.

Products that are covered by Safety Assessments are safe to use on your skin. It doesn’t mean to say that they are 100% natural but they should be 100% safe.

A Safety Assessment sets out safe guidelines to the Artisan. Guidelines such as the maximum amount of certain ingredients that may be allowed in a product. So an Artisan who carries Safety Assessments covering all their products is an Artisan who truly cares about you and the health of your skin.


Artisan Products Come From the Heart

You simply cannot deny that the amount of love that an artisan puts into creating their product. And usually you will find that the artisan decided to set forth on their entrepreneurial journey for very personal reasons, such as having sensitive skin.

My personal story is that I was forced to leave the high-pressured corporate finance world for health reasons. And I found that I would struggle to hold down any type of employment, no matter the degree of stress or lack thereof. The best place for me to be was home but I’m not one to sit idle so I started investing in courses from life coaching, aromatherapy, stress management, relaxation therapy… you name it I tried it. The primary thought behind each course was “I want to help others”.

Finally I came upon (I don’t know how) a bath bomb making set and I thought I’d give it a go. That bath bomb set spiked my interest so I started to delve deeper into the world of personal care and started attending a number of courses. I can remember, as if it was yesterday, joining a body butter making course and that was the turning point…. I was hooked! Making body butter feels very much like baking and I’ve always turned to baking for therapy and relaxation. I was on a roll, attending course after course after course, feeding my new-found desire to learn about skincare ingredients and how to make luxurious products that I could feel proud of.

I now create products I am genuinely proud of (and enjoy using myself). Simply Skin has grown from being a fledgling that was a bit rough around the edges to a sophisticated and luxurious brand which celebrates your femininity and sensuality…because, after all, we all deserve some pampering me-time.


Artisan Brands Positively Impact the Economy

Artisan brands tend to positively impact the economy by, for example, supporting other small- to medium-sized suppliers who offer lower minimum order quantities and with whom they can build a trusting relationship. All my suppliers are European-based as I try to keep my global footprint to a minimum.

In addition to myself, at Simply Skin there are three other ladies working feverishly in the background, two of whom are fellow-entrepreneurs. Joanne, a dear school friend, looks after my UK orders, Nikki, who has her own business, looks after my European orders, and Cathy, also with her own business, runs the Simply Pampered Parties in The Netherlands and researches new possibilities and markets for my products. Each lady works as an independent for Simply Skin.

Whilst my desire is to create luxurious skincare that celebrates your femininity and sensuality, I have another desire; to financially support the breeds of animals that have been so cruelly hurt and killed in animal testing – bunnies. From each product you buy I donate a percentage of the sale to the volunteer rescue centre from which my husband and I adopted one of our bunnies. The work the volunteers of that rescue centre do should be celebrated. Not only do they freely give up their time, home and even vacations to care for abandoned and rescued animals, they also ensure that animals, such as bunnies, are neutered before re-homed to avoid a growing problem. And they perform excellent background checks to ensure that the rescued animal being re-homed in their forever loving home will enjoy just that – life, health and happiness in a forever loving home.