At the time when the prices, as well as the number of ingredients going into beauty products seems to be climbing, some indie brands choose to stay accessible & make a positive impact via low numbers
Lately I have been having many conversations about skincare routines, in part, a consequence of a collaboration that I have been doing with Bio-Extracts. Or maybe it is the fact that festivities aren’t
Today I want to present to you Joanna White, founder of British skincare brand Mallow + White:
GAP: What is your professional background?
JW: My professional background has nothing to do with beauty and skincare. I worked at BBC Radio for many years, both on Radio 4 programmes, such as Women’s Hour and Desert Island Discs, and then in the news studios of BBC World Service.
My passion, however, has always deviated towards evocative scents, beautiful looking and feeling skincare. One of my first memories is of picking up handfuls of stunningly scented rose petals and stirring them vigorously in jam jars for homemade perfume.
For years I had shelves upon shelves of moisturisers, perfumes and hand creams. Unfortunately, my skin started reacting violently to the many highly fragrant products crammed onto my shelves. Doctors prescribed steroid creams, but I wasn’t too happy with that & instead started cutting down on what I was putting on my skin, and my skin calmed down. I realised that the simpler my skincare was, the better my skin looked and felt.
GAP: What inspired you to start Mallow and White?
JW: My Eureka moment happened eight years ago, whilst working at the BBC. I was reading a newspaper article about making soap from scratch with olive oil. I tried it, and it was a revelation! A simple olive oil recipe was so soothing and moisturising and so completely different from anything that could be found in the shops. For my sensitive skin, 100% natural and minimalist ingredients really worked, so an obsession was born !
Encouraged by a growing band of enthusiastic family and friends, I started selling in craft markets. All of my spare time was taken up by researching the properties of ingredients and designing recipes. My customers loved the effective simplicity of the ingredients in the increasing number of products. There is nothing so satisfying as hearing the delighted “oohs” and “aahs” of customers trying out the tester pots!
Mallow and White was launched after taking voluntary redundancy from the BBC. Without wanting to sound too morbid, I didn’t want to be lying on my deathbed and wondering what if I’d given it a go. I knew that my simply minimalist recipes were effective and my growing band of loyal customers loved the results on their skin. I just had to go for it. Mallow + White is the result of that big, scary and exciting leap.