Way way back, long ago (1921 to be precise), a Dutch doctor, an Austrian philosopher and a chemist from Munich wanted to create products that helped the body harness it’s natural healing powers. Their aim was to maintain, support and restore human health and now, Weleda is world-leading manufacturer of holistic natural cosmetics and pharmaceuticals for anthroposophical therapy (anthroposphical – a modern spiritual path that cherishes and respects the freedom of each individual). You can buy the products in over 50 countries (wowzers), uses 1000 natural ingredients, has Victoria Beckham as a fan and has over 300 plants in their gardens that they use in the Weleda products. Pretty impressive stats hey?! So I was super excited that I got to chat to one of their fabulous team members to see what she loved about the brand, what her natural beauty tips were and her favourite Weleda products. Introducing, the glow-gettingly gorgeous, Jayn Sterland.
What is Weleda and why was it set up?
Weleda is the largest manufacturer of natural and organic cosmetics and natural medicines globally. You can find us in over fifty countries and we employ nearly 2000 people. In Germany and Switzerland, where we are based, we are a household name. Weleda was founded in 1921 by the famous philosopher Rudolf Steiner, who worked with a wonderful Dutch doctor called Ita Wegman. Between them they developed a number of medicines and bodycare products that would work holistically and in harmony with the mind, body, soul and spirit. Steiner advocated totally natural ingredients and founded a particular method of growing plants he called Biodynamic Agriculture. This has lead into organic farming methods as we know them today, and Weleda has inspired many of the natural brands we have today including both Dr Hauschka and Jurlique.
Why should people choose natural/organic beauty products?
My view is that we should choose organic or natural skincare because whatever goes on our skin goes straight into our bloodstream without the protection of the filters of our digestive system, so it is imperative we know what’s going in us. I think many people simply don’t understand the dangers our everyday products may pose to our health. For example, things like deodorants and antiperspirants which we apply daily are absorbed into the pores of our underarms – that’s how they work. Why would you want to use chemicals such as aluminium salts, zirconium compounds or parabens when you don’t have to?
I think it’s important to make the point that natural doesn’t always mean gentle, and definitely not bland. Some of Weleda’s most popular products, such as Birch Cellulite Oil, are highly effective – in this case reducing the orange-peel appearance of cellulite and even reducing thigh circumference.
What advice would you give to people who are new to natural/organic beauty?
I would suggest they go gently at first. Start off with a ‘beauty detox’ swapping to natural alternatives such as our shower creams, shampoos, moisturisers and the fragrance-free Almond Facial Care range to allow the skin to recover and to find its own balance. Our shampoos for instance are 50% oil based and silicone free and free from drying detergents such as SLS and SLES. It can take up to a month for your hair and scalp to regain their natural balance and it can be quite a shock at first as the scalp has make quite a few adjustments. But the end result is really luscious locks.
Do you have a daily beauty & hair routine, and if so, could you share it with us?
I don’t really have a daily routine, I just do what feels natural. For instance I wash my hair when I feel it needs it. I follow the seasons, using Almond skincare when the seasons changeover as my skin often becomes more sensitive. I do exfoliate weekly and I cleanse and moisturise daily. My tip is to try and find an hour of ‘me time’ every weekend – not easy when you have a demanding family life of course but so lovely, and I am fortunate to have a bathroom full of Weleda goodies to choose from. It’s the best perk of my job.
What is the best piece of beauty advice you have ever been given?
Stop wearing daily foundation and let your skin breath. With the right skincare regime, great products and time, your skin clears up, evens out skin tone and revives itself. So simple, and saves so much time and money. It’s really interesting at Weleda hardly any of us wear foundation, we simply don’t need or want to.
What are your top 3 favourite beauty & hair products?
Weleda Skin Food of course, I use it all the time and have tubes all around the house which is a good thing as it is constantly getting used up by my family. My little treat when in meetings is to have one with me and to use it to literally freshen up and energise me. The scent is so uplifting.
I use the Weleda Creamy Body Washes every day, they are great for the shower or bath. My indulgence is to have one each of the eight fragrances on the bathroom shelf. Then I match them to my mood. In the mornings or a late night I choose Citrus (great for hangovers!); Wild Rose and Sea Buckthorn are my absolute favourites.
I have just discovered Weleda Birch Juice, which is made from organic birch juice and lemons. It sounds terrible but with sparkling water tastes amazing and sets me up for the day. So good for cleansing and detoxing the body.
Can you share some top tips on glowing from the inside (wellness) and out (skincare & cosmetics)?
After a trip to Marrakesh earlier in the year I discovered the joy of body brushing and vigorous exfoliation by having a hammam treatment where you are scrubbed until you glow. We now stock a wonderful body brush you can use to boost circulation before having a shower. It makes the skin so soft and helps lotions and oils really sink in. The Moroccans call it being reborn and it’s best not to look at what goes down the plughole. In fact I am going back to Morocco again this week to visit our argan oil project which is a woman’s co-operative based in Essaouira so I hope we have time to have a treatment too!
What is the most exciting beauty invention you have seen this year?
I was interested to see some new natural products launching, from more than one brand, using British or Irish seaweed. What a great idea, to use a sustainable ingredient that we have in such plenty, that’s packed with nutrients. That’s the kind of beauty trend I like to see.
What are your plans for Weleda in the future?
We have some amazing new products being developed, more than in our whole history, and whilst I cannot tell you much about them they are fantastic. We are relaunching some of our core lines in new packaging and our graphics are about to get a complete overhaul as is our website (www.weleda.co.uk). I guess the really big news for me is that my favourite Skin Food will be ninety years old next year and that’s a great reason to celebrate!
*RUNSTOSHOPTOBUYEVERYTHINGJAYNSAID* I just love this brand, what they believe and how amazing their products are. If you want to check out the Weleda website just click here. Also, stay tuned very soon as there will be an exciting post on my visit to Weleda head office and what I got up to! Do you love Weleda too? If so, I would love to know what your favourite products are, and what I should be trying! Just leave a comment below (it makes me super happy when I read them!) and let me know your favs.