Life & Style

Au Naturelle

Mother Nature is the ultimate beauty guru and modern skincare practitioners are constantly discovering remarkable new powers within the simplest-seeming natural ingredients. Here, beauty journalist Lily Worcester shares the art of plant-based perfection…

A Note From Lily

Be it a dandelion plucked from the foothills of the Berwyn Mountains in Wales, or hand-harvested seaweed from Ireland’s rugged West Coast, I am endlessly gripped by the innovative ways that beauty and wellbeing experts transform such unassuming-looking plants into exceptional skincare. Who would have thought that a humble sprig of English rosemary could soothe itchy scalps and ease symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis or that fermented tomato would hold hairstyles in place, or that ferns were so extraordinary that their power has inspired an entire skincare line? Introducing my must-have skin-, body- and haircare edit; products bursting with ingredients from the great outdoors.

SEED TO SKIN The Night Force

Borgo Santo Pietro, a 13th-century Tuscan villa turned hotel, is one of my favourite places on Earth. Its old world grandeur is coupled with a whimsical, barefoot energy; you’ll find rolling vineyards, grazing alpaca and a maze of decorative gardens, while the sound of trickling water and crackling fires can be heard at every turn. Perched on the edge of the estate are the Seed to Skin labs. The Night Force is a powerful overnight mask that blends estate-grown botanicals (like calendula and olive leaves), bakuchiol (a plant-based alternative to retinol) and horse chestnut extract (an antioxidant) – together they combine to deliver the ultimate beauty sleep.

TATCHA The Kissu Lip Scrub

The cult Japanese skincare brand has added a scrub to its coveted collection of lip products. Konjac (an Asian root vegetable) and peach seeds gently buff away dead skin, while camellia oil nourishes and softens the lips.


In the days following an intense workout, there are few things I relish more than a steaming-hot bath filled with generous helpings of Susanne Kaufmann’s luxurious Hayflower Bath Oil – a formula crafted with hand-harvested hayflowers from mountain-top meadows in Bregenzerwald, Austria. Sink into a state deep relaxation while the muscle-soothing, circulation-boosting blend works its magic.

COMMUNE Seymour Hand Wash + Reusable Pump

Commune’s hand wash is the chicest possible sink companion. Its satisfyingly smooth, butter-coloured aluminium bottle and sculptural pump will instantly elevate any bathroom. Meanwhile, the product itself is brimming with nourishing ingredients (think olive oil and sea buckthorn) to ensure hands are kept in pristine condition. Its scent is herbaceous and woody, making it both brilliantly uplifting and deliciously grounding.

OSKIA Vitamin Eye Makeup Remover

No vigorous scrubbing is necessary with Oskia’s new makeup remover; a few gentle sweeps with a cotton pad across the lid will lift even the most hard-wearing mascara and liner. Best of all, the formula is enriched with a peptide derived from garden peas that works to stimulate hair growth while boosting keratin and collagen. So while makeup is being removed, lashes are being strengthened and lengthened.

BAMFORD Geranium diffuser

Carol Bamford is a geranium fanatic, and grows hundreds in her greenhouse. This scent is from the Pelargonium Graeveolens variety, which has a beautiful pink flower. The fragrant oil is steam-distilled from its leaves and branches, which give off a rose-like aroma. With the addition of peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender, it makes for a refreshing blend.

MANUCURIST Active Glow Raspberry

Part lacquer and part treatment, this varnish harnesses the power of raspberries to enhance nail health. Within the raspberry extract, vitamin C and biotin work to support nail growth and strength, vitamin E hydrates the nail and antioxidants protect it. Plus, nails are left with a sheer rosy gloss for that refined, “barely there” effect.

ROYAL FERN Purifying Mask

Renowned German dermatologist, Dr Timm Golueke, has created an entire brand around the Royal Fern plant, thanks to its ability to prevent the breakdown of collagen and to stimulate the production of new collagen, in addition to being antioxidative and anti-inflammatory. The brand’s latest addition is a blue jelly mask that cleanses pores, gently exfoliates and hydrates.

LARRY KING Spoilt for choice

For the past year, social media has been abuzz with the miraculous effects of rosemary oil on scalps and hair. I spoke to a trusted consultant dermatologist, Dr Mary Sommerlad, on the powers of this humble herb. It has “antifungal and anti- inflammatory properties” she explains, “and reduces scalp issues like anti-inflammatory dermatitis (dandruff).” Larry King’s Spoilt For Choice is my go-to treatment oil. In addition to soothing scalps, it works as a nourishing hair mask, combats split-ends and delivers an excellent finishing gloss.

IRENE FORTE Pistachio Face Oil

In the mood to lather your face in olive eye cream, lemon toner or prickly pear face cream? Then you need to get to know Irene Forte, a skincare line as elegant (and hardworking) as its eponymous founder. This new oil combines phytomelatonin (an anti-aging powerhouse ingredient extracted from Italian alpine plants) with all the omega and antioxidant rich properties of Sicilian pistachio oil. Use it as the last step in your skincare routine and reap the glow-inducing, rejuvenating rewards.

VOYA Indulgent Sea Marine Bath Salts

Seaweed bathing is a century-old ritual in Ireland, renowned for the moisturising and antioxidant effects of the algae. Personally, I’m not someone who would typically enjoy lying beside large swathes of seaweed. However, when it’s been dried, finely milled and combined with Epsom salts, I’m in heaven! Fragranced with lime and mandarin essential oils, this is my idea of a perfect soak.

ORIBE Hair Alchemy Heatless Styling Balm

This balm is specifically designed for heat-free styling. Apply to wet hair, then braid (or use rollers or silk curlers) and the resulting mermaid waves will last for days. This hold is thanks to a blend of fermented tomato extract and upcycled chickpea extract, which gives a soft-touch memory. Plus, its cocktail of watermelon, lychee and chia seeds, works to protect and strengthen the hair while adding a lick of shine.

JO MALONE LONDON Wild Berry and Bramble Scented Candle

This gargantuan candle is nothing short of magnificent. The vessel is made from textured bisque ceramic, weighs a hefty 3kg and burns for 215 hours. But the real beauty lies in its scent. Conjuring scenes of an overgrown walled garden, shrouded in brambles laden with tart berries, it is fresh but with a beautifully bitter edge.

RHUG WILD BEAUTY Purifying Cleansing Lotion with Dandelion

Nestled in the Dee Valley in North Wales is the 12,500-acre Rhug estate, home to Lord and Lady Newborough and their royal-warrant-holding organic farm and a skincare line, Wild Beauty. The brand truly maximises its surroundings. The honey used in its mask is collected from the estate’s hives, the oat milk in the serum is produced onsite using Rhug-grown crops, and even the water used in the products is collected from natural springs across the estate. The creamy cleanser, a favourite of mine, uses locally foraged dandelion as its hero ingredient – a typically overlooked weed that is packed with hydrating minerals and rich in antioxidants.