Alicia Sanctuary



Alicia is the head of distribution and marketing at InQuire. She is responsible for raising the profile of both the newspaper and the website, whilst managing the social media channels.

In a world growing more and more concerned with environmentalism and individual impact, we are increasingly starting to think about how we can reduce our use of plastic. The skincare industry needs to adapt to this ever-growing awareness. Neal’s Yard Remedies is a company with environmentally friendly standards, and produces sustainable products by avoiding plastic, and using organic ingredients to make their products.

Neal’s Yard Remedies proudly use the Soil Association mark on their skincare products as a symbol of their sustainability, and they also use cruelty free, fair trade, and fair wild production practices.

Microbeads are a material commonly used in skincare products, and according to Greenpeace they are ‘tiny pieces of plastic that are added to everyday cosmetic products face wash, toothpaste, abrasive cleaners and lots more. They are most frequently made of polyethylene but can be of other petrochemical plastics such as polypropylene and polystyrene.’ Microbeads have a serious negative impact on sea life as they often end up in the stomachs of fish and even birds. Eventually the cycle comes back to humans through the seafood industry

Neal’s Yard Remedies is one of the companies which refrain from using microbeads in their products. They have instead turned to natural and biodegradable ingredients: rosehip seeds, rice powder, seed oils from jojoba, hemp seed oil, and other plant seeds. The three microbead-free products I will be reviewing are the Honey and Orange Facial Scrub, Rehydrating Rose Facial Polish and the Pumice Foot Scrub.

The Honey and Orange Facial scrub is really great for those days you spend largely outside and your skin is exposed to the elements. For example, I used the scrub after a day out in London where I was surrounded by pollution and my face felt the effect of the questionable London air. This scrub uses rice powder flakes to lift the dirt out of your pores and is classed as ‘deeply cleansing’ as it tends to feel fairly rough on the skin – which is great if you’re looking for an intense clean, but should maybe be avoided by those with very sensitive skin. Remember to mix this scrub with water as the sweetness of the honey will bind itself together if not mixed.

The Rehydrating Rose Facial Polish is softer on the face, and is perfect for regular use (Neal’s Yard Recommend once or twice a week). The exfoliation coming from the rosehip seeds offers a gentle cleanse and produces a sweet aroma which leaves your face feeling refreshed. Water is not needed to mix with this polish, but the directions suggest that you have a damp face before applying as this will ensure you don’t cause any redness.

Finally, the Pumice Foot Scrub is for those nights you want to wear strappy shoes, but need to make your heels look like they haven’t been treading in snow boots for weeks. This foot scrub is amazing for exfoliating the tougher parts of your feet. Neal’s Yard use peach seeds combined with ginger, and mint, which left my feet feeling softer, cleaner, and refreshed. If you have a pumice stone (volcanic rock), this will enhance the effect of the scrub by buffing away hard skin and ingrained dirt.

So, if you are looking to be environmentally friendly whilst taking care of your skin, Neal’s Yard is the way to go. They have an expansive product range from cosmetics to aromatherapy, and even supplements. If you get the chance to visit one of the Neal’s Yard stores, speak to the staff about your preferences as they will often make up samples for you to try at home.