Edwina Ings-Chambers: Why I’m just wild about this bunch

All contain foraged plants that work wonders on stressed-out complexions.

foraged beauty products
Ben Reeves

Recently, in compliance with all the regulations, I visited Wales – the extraordinarily beautiful area of Snowdonia and the Rhug (pronounced Rhieg) estate which, since Lord Newborough took over its running in 1998, has become a leading organic farm. But I was there on matters of beauty – and foraging. That might sound odd but Rhug already supplies foraged ingredients to top restaurants and, two years ago, Lord Newborough wondered whether the same process could be put to good use in skincare. So he deployed the services of Richard Prideaux, forager extraordinaire. He was tasked with surveying sites on the estate to see what grew and what would be around at different times of year. None are planted specially – that would constitute farming – but grow naturally and in enough abundance to support a consistent supply. They found a UK manufacturer, discussed which varieties were most efficacious for skin, and Rhug Wild Beauty (rhugwildbeauty.com) was born.

All plants are foraged by Richard. He took me to see a hawthorn tree in the middle of a field – its flowers provide antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties for the Purifying Cleansing Lotion (£55) and other products – and meadowsweet (a natural salicylic acid for sloughing off dead skin, used in the cleansing lotion and more) growing by a river. And on hillsides we saw heather (also rich in anti-inflammatories and antioxidants to help protect skin), which is used in the cleansing lotion, Active Treatment Serum with Hyaluronic Acid (£120), Protecting Day Cream (£95) and more. Many plants, from nettle leaf to yarrow, are also used, and everything is meticulously recorded so Rhug knows where each plant was picked. The range – from face to bodycare and liquid soap – has been created with integrity and dedication and is Soil Association, Cosmos Organic and Leaping Bunny certified. It deserves great success.

Foraged skincare elements are popping up elsewhere, too. Codex Beauty (codexbeauty.com) is also committed to knowing exactly where its ingredients come from, and uses foraged seaweed, bog myrtle and elderflower in most products. I love the Facial Oil (£86) and Bia Exfoliating Wash (£14). Wild harvesting, or foraging, ‘allows us to select sturdy plants that are part of the environment and provide the most effective extracts,’ explains Tracey Ryan, master formulator for Codex.

And ADC (£55, adcbeauty.com), a great plumping moisturiser and primer created by make-up artist Adam de Cruz, which I’ve written about before, uses foraged Irish seaweed from West Cork.


Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson