The first thing that you notice upon meeting skincare guru Liz Earle is perhaps unsurprisingly, her skin. Rosy and dewy, it simply glows with health, but it wasn’t always this way. As a child, Earle suffered terrible eczema, and her father, who loved gardening, taught her the benefits of different plants he grew: lavender for calming, rosehip for moisturising, chamomile for soothing– it wasn’t long before she was realised what she learned about nature from her father’s hobby could help her skin condition.
The link between health and beauty is a strong one, according to the skincare guru, and she insists that it is absolutely correct that nowadays these two themes are treated as one area by most glossy magazines: ‘We ignore the connection between what we eat and how we live at our peril. The body needs vital oils both inside and outside. Fish oils, Omega 3. olive oil…without these, you can’t have good skin’. As for low fat diets, Earle says they can actually be ‘dangerous to good skin’.
But it’s not enough that we should eat good oils and use them on our skin. For Earle, these should also be organic, and sustainably grown. This is important to her because ‘we are heading for having nine billion people on this planet, and have already destroyed most of the Earth’s surface area. Sustainability is the only way forward, and we owe it to our children to leave the planet in a better condition than we found it in.’
Based on this philosophy, Liz’s eponymous skin care range was created with her partner, Kim Buckland, in 1995, and since then, it has grown into one of the world’s largest and most loved cosmetics brands. Using only naturally sourced ingredients, the concentrates, creams, toners, and masques produced by the company are gentle and effective for people of all ages, even babies, and all skin types.
Many of her product’s ingredients, such as neroli, are sourced from her own sustainable farms, but Earle also combs the globe for effective ingredients. For instance, when visiting one of her botanical plantations in Kenya, she learned about the use of the Kukuya nut. ‘I noticed the local women use the nut to make their hair shiny, so I added that to my own shampoo’, she says.
She also learned something from Malawian women on a trip there: a plant based extract is used there to tighten the skin on the bust, and now that secret ingredient is the base of her Superskin Bust Treatment and anti-ageing lifting creams. ‘I’m inspired by beautiful women from around the world,’ says Earle. ‘Even my most famous product, the Cleanse and Polish skincare routine is derived from the ancient make up removing rituals of Japanese Geisha girls’. After initially being tested by both Earle herself and her partner for several weeks, Cleanse and Polish, which is based in gentle and refreshing oils such as Shea butter and eucalyptus oil to deep clean and tone, soon became the company’s biggest seller: one is sold somewhere in the world every 60 seconds.
Despite such commercial success, Earle is deeply green: ‘we were green when it was just a colour,’ she chuckles, then grows more serious. ‘There are over 9 billion people on this planet. Sustainability is the only way forward.’ To save energy and resources, she has decided to sell her eco friendly goods not through shops, but via the international commercial television channel, QVC, as well as mail order and internet sales. ‘And now I’m proud to say that women on all five continents use our products,’ Earle says, beaming. You can be one of them if you visit www.lizearle.com