Handmade Naturals is a family owned and run company. The passion and energy behind the brand is Rossi. It all began back in 2006 when an innocent research into the treatment of her daughter’s persistent cradle cap and nappy rash, revealed not only what goes into baby products, but also into the skin care brands used by millions of people every day.
After extensive research into natural oils & ingredients Rossi started making her own skin care products at home. Her first face cream – the Balancing Face Cream – quickly transformed her ‘problem’ skin into healthy, glowing complexion. This cream is still one of our best selling product today! Her daughter’s persistent cradle cap and nappy rash disappeared as soon as the chemical ladden products were replaced with 100% natural soap and the magically healing ‘Bottom Dream’ balm.
This is how the Handmade Naturals brand was born – out of a passion for healthy skin & body and a recognition that most high street brands contain chemicals and additives which can be potentially very harmful. The brand quickly established an online presence with a loyal customer base. It took a few years of hard work, listening to all customer feedback, suggestions and recommendations, to develop all the exciting products part of our range today enabling you to care for your skin & hair without using toxic chemicals!
We don’t support animal testing! We are a certified Cruelty Free Skin Care Range. Prior to being included in the range, every single product is tried & tested by us, family and friends. All ingredients are sourced to comply with our ‘natural only’ standards from suppliers who do not support animal testing and where possible the ingredients are organic or at least fairly traded. To meet with the current UK and EU Cosmetics Products Regulations, all Handmade Naturals products have passed a Safety Assessment by an independent laboratory.
Our first retail shop opened in December 2009. After almost 5 years we found ourselves a little too big for the small shop and relocated to much larger premises, to allowed us to expand our range. It’s cozy, inviting & smells delicious – here customers can try & purchase our own range and a selection of other skin friendly products.
If you live nearby, or are passing by (J16 on M6), do stop by – we love to meet all our Internet customers. The address is 66 Sandbach Road South, Alsager, South Cheshire. There is small free car parking behind our building, but just across the road there is a massive free public car park too. We are located right in the middle of our town.
We would be delighted to meet you.
Our products are handmade in our dedicated workshop – from weighing the ingredients to blending the product, filling the jars and labelling – and contains nothing but pure natural ingredients. We don’t assign production contracts to third party manufacturers. The risk of cross contamination is a major concern, since the production lines at such plants tend to process synthetic and chemical ingredients as well.
Having our products made for us would mean we have no guarantees regarding the purity or origin of the ingredients. Larger scale manufacturing usually requires the use of chemical preservatives with no known long term effects on our health. We would rather have our products as fresh as possible and made on demand in our workshop.
Every single ingredient that goes into our products is natural. The word ‘natural’ could be a little vague and what one person believes to be a natural ingredient, doesn’t necessarily match someone else’s criteria. Our view is that natural is everything that is not a man-made synthetic, is either found directly in nature or derived from nature’s herbs, fruits or vegetables and is of benefitial value to our body and skin. If we are to be truthful, every natural ingredient needs some sort of processing, so that it can be used.
Vegetable oils are pressed from the seeds or fruits of the plant. To produce shea butter, the nuts need to be collected, peeled and ground into a paste so that the oil can be pressed, filtered and then allowed to crystalise. Similarly, cocoa butter used in chocolate making or skin care doesn’t grow on the tree in convenient lumps which can simply be picked and used….What is important to us is that every ingredient – oil, butter, essential oil, extract or wax – has been derived from a plant and has had the least amount of processing and without the use of chemicals, solvents, toxins or synthetic preservatives.
We don’t lure customers giving the impression of being organic or natural only for you to discover later that your product is in fact a cocktail of chemicals with a small percentage of organic additives. We list all our ingredients, there are no blurbs to highlight the good stuff and small letters to tell you about the bad stuff. Finding truly natural & safe products can be a bit of mine field, requiring careful scanning of product labels. If you do need a helping hand, the Cosmetics Database is a fantastic resource of information, where anyone can check individual ingredients or popular brands and products, to find out just how natural & safe they really are.
We believe natural skin care should not be an occational luxury but an everyday benefit because your skin and your health are most important. Natural skincare shouldn’t be an exercise in expensive packaging. Our skin and hair care range is reasonably priced so that you can afford to look after your skin and yourself, naturally, every day.
We so often come across organic or natural skin care ranges that give the impression of being free of nasties and good for you, especially the organic ones. And that is … until we read their label. Most natural or organic brands still appear to contain harmful chemicals, synthetic additives, perfumes and preservatives.
The Organic Soil Association, as the main certification body in the UK, allows certain preservatives in organic products, one of them being phenoxyethanol. We even came across an organic brand of baby care products, favoured amongst celebrities according to a mum & baby magazine, that contained perfume – with an explanation added on the brand’s website, that small amounts were not harmful to babies! The fact that same perfume can contain ‘phtalates‘ appears to be swept under the … ‘label’.
When research has clearly linked such ingredients to numerous skin & respiratory complaints, hormonal disruptions and even cancer, we find it completely pointless producing an organic product and adding such things to it! Wouldn’t you agree?
Well, apart from the entire range being made by hand (from scratch!), every single ingredients is natural. The word ‘natural’ is rather vague, we are sure many would agree. And what one believes to be a natural ingredient, doesn’t necessarily match someone else’s criteria.
If we are being truthful every natural ingredient needs some sort of processing so that it can be used. Aloe vera juice needs to be pressed from the flesh of the aloe plant, filtered and then filled in bottles. The water used needs to be filtered to remove all bacteria and harmful toxins.
The oils need to be pressed from the seeds or fruits of the plant. To produce shea butter, the nuts need to be collected, peeled, ground into a paste so that the oil can be pressed, filtered and then let to crystalise. Similarly, cocoa butter used in chocolate making or skin care, doesn’t grow on the tree in convenient lumps which can simply be picked and used. To produce virgin coconut oil, the coconuts are first picked, cracked, grated, freeze dried and the oil is then pressed from the flesh.
For this reason, we always choose virgin butters and cold pressed & oils vs. their highly processed counterparts – you can usually spot them on labels under the name of caprylic tryglycerides, sometimes with a note that this ingredient is derived from coconut; however this particular oils has undergone such a heavy processing that in reality it has nothing in common with the original cold pressed oil that has such amazing properties for both skin and body.
We are one of the few truly natural brands available in the UK. You will not find any hidden synthetic ingredients or chemical preservatives in our own brand products. Our products are made in-house using carefully selected and purely plant derived ingredients using formulations that are great at self-preservation. By using a mixture of aspen bark extract and sodium levulinate/sodium anisate (and based on the stability testing our products go through prior to launch) we can offer you fresh products with approximately 12 months shelf life, which is pretty good considering their nature.
We often look in disbelief at the prices of some natural or organic products – GBP 50 for a jar of cream or GBP 20 for a body wash. We firmly believe that natural skin care should not be a luxurious once-every-so-often treat but an everyday luxury because your skin and you are most important. The Handmade Naturals skin care range is reasonably priced, so that you can afford to look after your skin, and yourself, naturally.
The issue of packaging is becoming more and more of a hot topic. More of us a becoming aware of empty bottles and jars and wrappers littering our beaches and seas and affecting the wild life. It is an easy position to take to object any form of plastic, it sounds like it fixes everything. However, plastic is extremely useful and can be beneficial to the environment as it reduces food waste and keeps produce fresher.
Transport costs are also substantially reduced if plastic as opposed to glass packaging is used because it is a lot lighter and requires less fuel to move around. The problem isn’t plastic, the problem is irresponsible disposal of plastic we’ve finished with. So we do need to take stock and be more responsible in how we dispose of the packaging of our every day items, as well as look into what packaging our products come packaged in.
When it comes to skin care there is a fine line between safety and being environmentally friendly. For example packaging shower gels in glass bottles is simply not safe. The ability to re-fill products in pre-used packaging is something many of our customers ask for, however the safety and practicality of it makes it very hard for us to implement.
Used packaging is often deformed (plastic bottles), has taken on the smell of the product that was packaged inside and it is very hard to sterilise so it can be used again (consider for a moment the dispenser and getting product out of there to clean it!). And even if you were happy to stick to your own used up bottle, due to the nature of our products we do have to package and seal as soon as they are made. Unfortunately we are not able to move our products from container to container as we are exposing them to germs and that ultimately will affect their shelf life.
We use fully recyclable plastic airless dispensers (with no metal parts inside) for our creams, HDPE bottles for our large size lotions & conditioners, shower gels and shampoos, PET bottles for the smaller size shampoos & conditioners, frosted & tinted glass jars for our body butters and are now in the process of migrating our facial toners and oils into glass bottles.
Nearly all of our packaging can be recycled and put into the recycling bin, but bear in mind that recycling is always a question of cost. When it comes to product closures like pumps, they can be quite complicated little things and although the components are individually mostly recyclable, it can be costly to separate metal springs from the plastic body of the closure. (Different authorities across different parts of the country have different policies regarding recycling.
As a country we are doing fairly well regarding recycling, not as well as Germany for example, but we are getting better as technology improves and environmental awareness increases.). You can help ensure the closures are also recycled by separating them into components and disposing of them accordingly. Keeping in mind that the wad on the inside of screw tops (both aluminium and plastic) and the flip caps/disc tops are items which cannot be recycled
It is a rather complex issue we are sure you will agree. To repeat, the main issue is not the packaging itself, it is how we dispose of it. Please be responsible and recycle our product packaging – the glass jars, hdpe / pet bottles are all recyclable. The airless pumps and aluminium tops (minus the plastic wad) are also recyclable.
Our postal packaging is mostly recyclable too. The loose fill polystyrene looking chips are made from cornstarch and are fully biodegradable, compostable or if you have young children, place them in your sink and have fun watching them melt away when wetted. Carton boxes can either be re-used or recycled. The padded kraft paper envelopes need to have the bubble wrap liner removed and separated – paper into recycling bin, liner into standard waste. The green bubble wrap we use to protect glass during transport is biodegradable too so don’t worry about throwing it into your standard waste bin.