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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[...]
Joanna White, Mallow & White founder, worked for BBC Radio for 20 years, studio producing for ‘live’ news programmes, as well as presenting. However her sensitive skin led her to experiment with natural ingredients in her free time, in order to find solution for itching and discomfort. As her experiments successfully evolved, she realised that simple recipes actually delivered effective results, so for seven years she continued to research, did courses and testing, before re-branding & launching her Mallow & White products ( she used to make soaps and sell them at craft fairs under the brand name White Wash Soaps ). For more insights from Joanna herself, click on her guest post for Curious Russian in London here
Herdfordshire-based, Mallow & White is a 100% natural capsule facial skincare range, harnessing the potent power of botanical ingredients that promise to pamper & nurture your skin, irrespective of age. The range itself consists of three face oils and three face mask powders. Each is tailored to the special needs of normal/dry (Restore, five ingredients), mature (Revitalise, six ingredients) or sensitive skin (Sooth, five & four ingredients). Products are not mass-produced but hand-crafted instead, with ‘best before’ dates & batch numbers written by hand. My mask also had a lovely ‘made with love’ message.
Mallow & White’s packaging deserves a special mention, if not column inches. It is not just the fact that Joanne consciously tries to use minimal packaging (don’t worry, everything is securely packaged and arrives intact), but using recycled or recyclable materials, such as class for the face oils and masks. My parcel arrived and when I opened it and found the products lovingly packaged in popcorn and petals, I whooped with delight, like a child. As Joanna explained to me, in reply to my gushing e-mail about her unique packaging concept, ‘it is also fully compostable and great bird food’.
In addition, 10% of profits is donated to KIVA, a charity that helps to elevate people from poverty. So by purchasing the products ( which are quite well priced: £36 for the 30 mls face oil and £20 for the 30 g face mask ), you will also contribute to changing the world, while enjoying effective, natural skincare.
Before Joanna has sent me her products to try, she asked me about my skin and suggested the products, but as I wanted to give you a little bit of a wider overview in terms of the skin type, I decided to trial RESTORE face Oil, which is suitable for normal & dry skin and SOOTH Face mask for sensitive skin.
Mallow & White RESTORE Facial Oil
The oil comes in a bottle with a handy pipette, so you can control dispensation of the product. Put two to three drops on top of your fingers,[...]
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.