Norfolk therapist launches skincare range that relies on the power of plants
A new locally made, 100 per cent organic skincare range that is said to live up to the promises it makes on the tin is ready to launch in Norwich, but has it got all the ingredients needed for it to take off in the beauty world? Emma Harrowing finds out.
After spending years dreaming about making her own 100pc organic skincare range, mum of two Christina Bunting excitedly picked up a bottle of the body lotion she had spent years making and watched in horror as the neat chocolate brown type on the label rubbed off on her fingers.
'I just could not believe it and after all that work,' says 46 year old Christina from Narford. 'I had made the labels myself, it was a sort of trial and error process as I had never used design software before and I was not technically minded, I could only just about send email! After a lot of time in front of the computer and the printer I thought that I had created the perfect branding for my products - obviously not!
'To make matters worse I had printed 500 labels that I couldn't use.'
From as early as Christina can remember she has been playing with products. Creating her own lotions and potions in the kitchen with her mum she developed a keen interest in the power of plants and how they can be beneficial to health. So much so that she became an alternative therapist.
'I firmly believe that beauty comes from within, good food, as much raw veg as possible, plenty of water and as few toxins as you can manage,' says Christina. 'As an aromatherapist, reflexologist and keen gardener I firmly believe in the power of plants and the fact that they can deliver as powerful a punch as the chemical ingredients found in many brands these days.'
With 25 years experience as a therapist behind her and owning her own therapy centre - Narford Therapy Centre - with her partner it was only a matter of time before Christina began using the formulas she has carried in her head for years to develop her own beauty range.
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'I love working with products that contain essential oils and natural ingredients such as Clarins and Decleor but I'm conscience that the price you pay has a lot to do with covering the costs of packaging and big brand advertising campaigns,' says Christina.
'When we set up the therapy business it cost a lot to stock these products as you have to buy in bulk, so it was this, combined with my love of organic skincare that propelled me to develop my own skincare brand and Ethica was born.'
With a limited budget and time - as well as running her own therapy centre Christina also tutors her 15 year old son at home as he has learning difficulties - Christina developed her first skincare range using plant based solutions.
'Looking back the first collection was not as good as I wanted it to be,' says Christina. 'I have, however, developed the second range the Groovy Mama collection of bath and skincare products aimed at pregnant women. The range includes a mix of essential oils that balances hormones, eases morning sickness and soothes and smoothes your bump. Unlike my first range this is made from 100pc certified organic ingredients.
'Many of my clients love the new range and many who have used it and love it are not even expecting a baby. That's the beauty of the brand as it can be used by anyone.'
When creating her new skincare brand Christina kept her clients in mind by developing products that are as beneficial to their skin and wellbeing as they can be while offering the best value for money.
'In the emulation process products can reach temperatures up to 70 degrees Celsius which means that many of the beneficial properties of essential oils are lost,' explains Christina. 'Therefore I add essential oils to my products after this process so that you get a product that really works and is worth the money.
'While I love making my own beauty products developing Ethica was a new challenge for me especially when it came to designing the labels and packages for the products! Now I want to get out there and sell my new beauty brand as I love the products and I hope others will too. I'm not a sales person at all and I never went into this thinking that I would make money from it. In fact I prefer to be locked in my lab at home squirrelling around in my own aromatherapy world. Selling to shops is yet another challenge.'
It's a challenge that Christina could easily achieve. Consumers are increasingly interested in buying locally made and organic products, and they are getting wise to the over use of packaging that adds more to the cost. Christina's Ethica brand ticks all these boxes and with a loyal following from those who have actually used and love her products that's another box ticked too.
For more information about the Ethica skin range including the new Groovy Mama collection visit www.ethicaskincare.com