Carly Hooper, founder of Beeutiful Skincare, takes us on her journey from forensic psychology to beekeeper and founder of beeswax-based skincare.
Here’s 5 minutes with Carly…
Tell us about your journey from forensic psychology to beekeeper and making your own products?
Having worked for the University as forensic psychologist, I decided to resign when I got pregnant, with the intention of going back to the academic side of forensic psychology once my eldest child got older. However, 11 months after my eldest was born, we found out that our child was/is disabled, and so I decided to stay home and take care of my child. During this time, I had my second child, which is when I came across an article about people keeping bees on their roof tops in London, which sparked an interest in me, as I believe in clean eating and living a green lifestyle. I got in touch with the Beekeepers Association and did their course in Spring 2012. After about a year of keeping bees, I decided to do more and started to play around by making basic beauty products with beeswax and honey to take care of difficult skin conditions. This is when I created the B Balm to treat extremely dry skin conditions like eczema.
What made you decide to take the plunge and launch your own natural skincare brand “Beeutiful”?
Upon using the B Balm to treat my son’s eczema flare-up, I saw great improvements in my son’s skin condition. Following this and on receiving positive feedback from relatives and friends, I decided to take the plunge and work on new formulations for other skin and body care products.
What’s the ethos behind the brand?
My belief is that natural skincare should be accessible to all, which is why I’ve made my products as affordable as possible. I only use the excess from the beehives and ensure that no bees are harmed in the process. I’m a believer in transparency; so all ingredients have been clearly listed on my packaging.
Do you think a “certification” is important and makes a brand more credible?
Having a certification immediately sets the price up. However, I do have concerns because you don’t have to be 100% natural in order to be certified by EcoCert. I believe that if you say a product is natural, it is totally natural. Having the symbol or logo of a certifying body on the packaging is misleading to the consumer; as it isn’t a guarantee for “natural” or “organic”.
Does Beeutiful’s skincare range target specific skin types or is it suitable for all?
Beeutiful’s range is suitable for all, but it is very good for those with sensitive and dry skin – because of the lack of water and the lack of preservatives in it, it’s highly moisturising. And, because it’s natural, it’s free from skin irritants like Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulphates (SLS).
What products from the range would you recommend to anyone new to natural skincare?
Try a lip balm first, and feel the difference that they feel on their lips compared to petroleum jelly based products they might be using. I would possibly also suggest to people to try my B Rose Facial Balm, because most people who look after their skin and would be looking to use natural products, would already be using a moisturiser of some sort; so something that’s already in their routine, to swap their normal moisturiser or cream that they use for my B Rose Facial Balm.
What tips would you give to our readers to make their gardens more bee-friendly?
The easiest thing to do is to plant wildflowers. People need to look out for flowers that have big, open heads allowing the bees to get in. If you go to a garden centre, look for the Royal Horticultural Society Logo, to ensure that the plants are bee friendly. Bees prefer if there were plants and flowers all year round, so to get flowers flowering especially in the June period would be great. And, it’s also good practice for people to not mow their lawns quite as vigorously. It would be great to leave your garden the way it is for at least another week or so before you decide to mow the lawn, as the bees love them. Beeutiful has now added wildflower seeds to their website: www.beeutiful.co.uk
Thank you Carly for taking the time out to talk to us and for such an insightful interview!