Located in Dee Valley in North Wales, Rhug Estate dates back to the ninth century. Not only does the vast acre property have an organic farm, forests, meadows and a stately home, it also houses Rhug Wild Beauty, a brand that was launched in August of last year. The brand celebrates foraged ingredients and puts sustainable living at the core of its practises – the water comes from estate’s natural springs, the oat milk is made from local and organically harvested grains and the honey and beeswax come from Rhug hives. My two products and samples for testing arrived softly cocooned in the organic wool from Rhug estate’s sheep. Charming, thoughtful and fascinating were the three words that came to mind, as I opened the box and started discovering the brand and its story.
Founders of Rhug Wild Beauty Lord and Lady Newborough have been championing the highest standards of organic and sustainable farming for many years. Their sustainability, respect for the environment and animal welfare standards were rewarded in 2018 with a Royal warrant. Not surprisingly, when Lady Newborough dreamed up the beauty range, backed by her husband’s business acumen, she was determined to apply the same range of principles to the Rhug range of products for face and body. Suitable for anyone aged 20 and upwards, the range was developed and crafted in order to provide products for anyone depending on their skin type and concern.
“Rhug Wild Beauty was created for customers who want natural skincare for face and body without compromise on the efficacy of the products”Rhug Wild Beauty
Richard Prideaux is Rhug Estate’s Head Forager and he and his team wild forage for ingredients, choosing them especially for their effectiveness in skincare, while being patient and waiting for particular plants to flower and mature. Interestingly enough, the provenance of each foraged ingredient (how many beauty brands can boast doing exactly that with theirs?) can be pinpointed to an exact location on the Estate. Currently there are ten ingredients that are foraged by hand from Rhug, but where and when ingredients aren’t readily available at the estate, they are sourced sustainably from environmentally-friendly and Soil Association approved producers, ensuring a 100% traceability and the whole skincare range is produced in the UK.
While there are many brands that talk about sustainability, for Rhug sustainability is one of the main focal points on the estate. Each Wild Beauty product is bottled and packaged in recyclable materials and where plastic bottles have been used, they are made entirely from PCR (Post Consumer Recycled) plastic. All online orders are sent out in beautiful recycled cardboard boxes, printed with 100% vegetable inks and as I mentioned earlier, carefully cocooned and protected by the organic sheep’s wool. The estate also produces its own energy with hydro, geo-thermal, solar and wind projects and the riverside corridors that run alongside estate’s vast fields are part of the Welsh Government’s Tir Gofal and Glister agri-environmental schemes.
The estate is also leading the way by investing in measurement of its carbon credentials in order to establish its carbon footprint in everything that is done on its territory. Once that study is completed, a bespoke climate plan will be developed in order to mitigate and offset emissions across every estate business, including residential properties, farm lets and forestry, retail, wholesale and now skincare too. Already many miles of hedges have been planted, alongside thousands of trees, and improvements have been made to the soil.
Now that I painted a bit of a background for you, let’s get down to the beauty business, shall we? Rhug Wild Beauty collection currently features eight skincare products, five body products and a Wild Foraged Skincare Essential set. I was sent a charming sample set (the Purifying Cleansing Lotion with Dandelion is definitely worthy of attention, even based on a sample, from the texture, scent and compliance with the skin initial impression), but will spotlight two full-sized products for you in this post that were also enclosed. An Exfoliating Body Scrub with Rosemary and Rhug Honey that looks like sunshine captured in a glass jar and a Replenishing Face Mask with Rhug Honey that reminds me of wild lakes – thanks to those two products my skin and spirits were uplifted, as the weather continued its bizarre behaviour outside the window for weeks on end.
RHUG Wild Beauty Exfoliating Body Scrub With Rosemary and Rhug Honey, 200ml, £35
A gentle body scrub that is particularly well suited for dull or dry skin, it combines Organic Sugar to help exfoliate and smooth the skin, captured in a base of Rhug Honey and Organic Safflower Oil, known for its moisturising properties and enhancing the softness of the skin. Fragranced with a soothing blend of Organic Geranium and Rosemary essential oils, it’s delicate scent, like the nature itself on a mild and mellow day, certainly adds to the creation of an uplifting experience in the bathroom. I used the scrub both on dry skin and skin that has been moistened with water and in both instances thoroughly enjoyed the elongated bath experience. The way you choose to use it is really down to preference, as in either case you will get a thorough exfoliation, yet will come out of the shower with a well-nourished skin that is marvellously soft to the touch.
There are also the added benefits of the wild foraged ingredients. There is Heather, which is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, which work to counteract free-radical damage and negative impact of pollution on the skin. It is also a rich source of tannins, which add a layer of protection to the skin that we at times tend to neglect, especially in the colder months of the year when our body is hidden under multiple layers of clothing. Elderflower another star ingredient of this body scrub, is a powerful anti-inflammatory, which helps reduce the negative effect of external environmental aggressors and slows down the premature ageing of the skin.
Ingredients: Sucrose*, Brassica Campestris (Rape) Seed Oil*, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Cera Alba Wax (Beeswax)**, Caprylyl/ Capryl Glucoside, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil*, Glycerin***, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil*, Honey**, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil*, Benzyl Alcohol, Styrax Benzoin (Benzoin) Oil*, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Leaf Oil*, Salicylic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Extract*, Spiraea Ulmaria (Meadowsweet) Leaf Extract**, Crataegus Monogyna (Hawthorn) Flower Extract**, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf Extract**, Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Extract**, Sambucus Nigra (Elder) Flower Extract**, Calluna Vulgaris (Heather) Flower Extract**, Ulex Europaeus (Gorse) Flower Extract**. Citronellol, Geranioal, Limonene, Linalool, Citral. * Organically Grown Ingredients ** Rhug Estate Foraged Ingredients *** Mix of Organic and Non Organic Sources Naturally Occurring Fragrance Allergen
º Water or Mineral Ingredient
REPLENISHING MASK WITH RHUG HONEY, 50ml, £75
While a lot of brands (and customers) tend to favour powdered masks, I am more drawn to the “less messy” and “more indulgent” creamy masks. Not only do such face treatment masks offer an indulgent feel for the skin, you are also less likely to need to wash your bathroom sink after. This particular face mask, mineral-rich & purifying, offers a nourishing treat for the skin, targeting dull, dehydrated and congested skin and making it look and feel smoother, brighter and dare I say, somewhat healthier too, even after a single use.
Just putting honey (in this instance, organic) on the face is a true indulgence, after all it brings a multitude of benefits – from healing to moisturising, as well as promoting collagen production and protecting skin’s barrier. Honey is a natural humectant and is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Coupled with organic beeswax, which like honey, is a humectant as well, helps to form a protective barrier on skin’s surface. It is also rich in Vitamin A, which improves deeper hydration levels and cellular turnover. Nature’s gift to our skin in action. This mask also contains organic Hemp and Plum seed oils and Yarrow, a natural anti-inflammatory that soothes the skin and helps to reduce redness.
We so often read or hear about self-care and in theory understand its importance, yet women in particular too often and (to their detriment!) tend to forget to let go of the guilt when it comes to looking after themselves. We balance many things, we live at a 100 miles an hour, yet a simple thing like weekly masking, treating our skin and balancing out the senses is not really an indulgence, but part of looking after the wellbeing. There are weeks when we forget, but there are weeks when doing something as simple as that, slowing down, is something that will give not only the an outer and inner boost to the skin, but the mind and the emotions as well. And when I remove the face mask, with just warm water or with a muslin or cotton face cloth, I also picture the worries going down the drain and just that makes my shoulders feel less burdened and brings a lovely closure to a day. Life is complex, skincare routine truly doesn’t have to be!
Ingredients: Kaolin (White Clay)ª, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil*, Prunus Domestica (Plum) Seed Oil*, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil*, Honey**, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil***, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil*, Coco Glucoside, Benzyl Alcohol, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Citrus Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil*, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil*, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Oil*, Cananga Odorata(Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil*, Salvia Sclarea (Clary Sage) Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Petitgrain) Leaf Oil*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Oil*, Cedrus Atlantica (Cedarwood) Bark Oil*, Jasminum Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower Oil*, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Angelica Archangelica (Angelica) Root Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Neroli) Flower Oil*, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil*, Tanacetum Annuum (Blue Tansy) Flower Oil*, Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm) Leaf Extract**, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Leaf Extract**, Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow) Root*, Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Leaf Extract*, Arnica Montana (Arnica) Flower Extract*, Calluna Vulgaris (Heather) Flower Extract**, Geranium Robertianum (Herb Robert) Flower Extract**. Limonene, Linalool, Citronellol, Geraniol, Citral, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate * Organically Grown Ingredients ** Rhug Estate Foraged Ingredients *** Mix of Organic and Non Organic Sources
Naturally Occurring Fragrance Allergen º Water or Mineral Ingredient
Packaging Recycling Tip: As I mentioned all Rhug Wild Beauty orders are dispatched in recyclable boxes and carefully packaged in estate’s wool. Once you receive your products and recycle the paper box, there are several ways to re-use the wool – some people have put it into pillows, others have made dog beds with it. You can also do wool felting. In my case, I have used the box and the wool as the toy bed for my daughter’s assortment of small toys.
To learn more about Rhug Wild Beauty, please click here