Delve deeper into Odylique's long and impressive history as a pioneering organic skincare brand with co-founder Abi Weeds
What’s your role at Odylique and how did you get started in the beauty industry?
I'm Co-founder and Managing Director. As I child I suffered from sensitive skin and eczema and my mother, Margaret Weeds, began creating natural products to help. As an adult I realised that these amazing natural and effective formulations could help others with sensitive skin too.
How long has Odylique been in business?
Margaret and I, together with my father, founded Essential Care in 2003 it was renamed Odylique in 2014.
Why was Odylique founded?
Since 1984 Margaret has been a pioneer in making skin care from natural ingredients. ‘Conventional’ cosmetics & remedies didn’t suit her skin or solve the family’s eczema, so armed with qualifications in herbal medicine and a passion for the genius of nature, she began creating truly effective, therapeutic formulations, using only organic and natural active ingredients. Several years and many formulation requests later, she shared her pharmacognosy-inspired products with the world.
What is the story behind Odylique's name?
“Odyl” broadly means “a force of, or the power of nature”. Odylique is thus a very fitting name for what we create: truly effective high-performance skin care that reflects the “genius of nature”.
What is Odylique's ethos?
Our philosophy is simple: All ingredients must have therapeutic value, and the product must be a joy to use.
We aim to make our extremely high value organic products affordable to all and also acknowledge the value of customer testimonials over high cost lavish advertising. Protecting our environment – we support organic farming methods, widely acknowledged to cause lower pollution, produce less carbon dioxide and dangerous wastes and benefit wildlife.
This means we use actives – herbs and essential oils - in therapeutic concentrations for optimum benefit.
What is your most popular product and why?
This 100% natural, certified organic, vegan shampoo was the first shampoo that ever achieved Soil Association approval. It is bursting with organic herbal ingredients and coconut oil to nourish the scalp. It is free from all sulphates (including SLS, ALS, sodium coco sulphate), silicone, salt, fragrance and artificial preservatives. A clarifying, pH neutral shampoo that is balancing and conditioning for all hair types, including dyed hair. It is ideal for problem skin and may be suitable for scalps prone to psoriasis, dermatitis or eczema. Handmade with the goodness of natural herbs and oils and without harsh detergent, after a week or so of regular use, many people find that they don't need a separate conditioner.
Which product did you launch the brand with?
A time-honoured favourite, originally created by Margaret as a moisturiser for me and my family’s eczema prone skin, and is now recommended by homeopathic doctors. Repair Lotion is a cream to calm distressed, dry and itchy skin on your face or body.
What’s the best product for dry skin?
This balm provides intense hydration for very dry skin and skin prone to eczema, Ultra Rich Balm supports the skin’s natural barrier function and helps protect it from the drying effects of heat, cold and wind, without blocking pores.
Avocado 24-Hour Replenishing Cream
This a sumptuous night moisturiser or rich day cream with nature's finest contribution to smoothing out lines. Select extracts of sea buckthorn and horsetail help promote skin regeneration while nourishing cold-pressed avocado and olive oils provide protein, minerals and anti-oxidant vitamins. This moisturiser is perfect for normal to dry skin or mature skin, and to protect from free radical generation.
What are the essential organic make up products from your range?
Mascara – this 100% natural mascara is extremely kind to eyes and conditioning to lashes and is available in black and brown.
Concealer – available in 3 shades this can help calm irritable skin.
Lipstick – The first lipsticks to be certified to Soil Association and Fairtrade standards they are moisturising and cruelty-free.
Which products would you recommend to someone who is trying Odylique for the first time?
Creamy Coconut Cleanser – for normal-dry, mature or rosacea-prone skin. Removes makeup and gently brings your skin into tip top condition.
Timeless Rose Moisturiser – ideal for normal, combination and mature skin. Excellent for sensitive skin and may be suitable for skin prone to rosacea. Its light texture means it is also suitable as an eye cream.
What hints/tips do you have for using your products?
Gentle Herb Shampoo should be left on for a few minutes to allow the herbs and coconut oil to absorb and condition before rinsing.
Concealer can be mixed in the palm of your hand with the Rose or Avocado moisturiser to create a healthy tinted moisturiser.
Ultra Rich Balm is also an excellent intensive treatment for dry hair ends and cracked heels.
What are your top 3 skincare and make up tips.
Concealers Colour match all areas of the skin the whole year round, have one shade the same or slightly lighter than your winter skin tone and one slightly darker for greater versatility.
Face Serums If using with a moisturiser, for optimal absorption of both products, apply the moisturiser (water-containing product) first.
Lipsticks and Lip Balms check what is in your lipsticks and lip balms – we swallow what goes on our lips – make it edible, tasty and organic!
Tell us about Odylique's award winning skincare
We were one of the pioneers of certified organic skincare, launching the world’s first certified organic shampoo back in 2004. We’ve also trailblazed Fairtrade certification in cosmetics – we still are the only company with makeup certified to both Fairtrade and organic standards.
We’ve won getting on for 100 awards in our company lifetime, but most recently:
Global Beauty Awards – Mascara - Silver
Cert Clean Beauty Awards - Mineral Lipstick, Peach Melba - Lipstick Finalist
Cert Clean Beauty Awards - Natural Sun Screen SPF 30 - Sun Care Finalist
Beauty Shortlist Awards - Ultra Rich Balm - Best Healing Balm Winner
Beauty Shortlist Awards - Repair Lotion - Editor's Choice
Global Makeup Awards - Silver - Mineral Eye & Lip Liner - Brown
The Veggie Awards - Cruelty-Free Hair Care Runner Up - Gentle Herb Shampoo
Natural Health International Beauty Awards - Highly Commended - Concealer. Highly Commended - Organic Range
PETA Travel Awards - Natural Sun Screen SPF 30 - Best Vegan Sun Screen
How is Odylique standing out from the crowd?
For over 30 years we have formulated with a strong therapeutic focus – drawing from traditional herbal medicine - to the needs of our customers with allergies or sensitive skin. In practice this means that every ingredient has a therapeutic as well as functional value. And as well as excluding all artificial ingredients we also avoid common allergen nut oils, dairy, soy and wheat. If any research casts doubt over the ingredient’s safety to humans or the environment, we will not use it. All our products are made by hand in small batches at our own factory in Suffolk which is powered by renewable energy.
How do you source your ingredients?
A lot of time goes into sourcing our ingredients to ensure that they are not only organic, but wherever possible they are Fairtrade too. We use virgin and cold-pressed plant oils that contain the maximum vitamins, antioxidants and other precious phytonutrients in a bio-available form for dynamic skin care and protection from premature ageing. We use therapeutic concentrations of herbs and essential oils for optimum benefit. Where available we use biodynamic herbs to optimise therapeutic benefit.
How are Odylique products made?
All our products are made by hand at our eco-unit in Mildenhall, Suffolk.
How long does it take you to develop new products?
This varies from product to product but generally after it has been decided to formulate a new product following customer requests it can take 12 months to perfect and receive certification.
How is Odylique tackling sustainability?
Minimising our impact on the environment is an intrinsic part of our ethics and hugely important to us. We tackle our ‘carbon footprint’ and reducing CO2 emissions via our support of organic agriculture, recycling and energy saving policies, and careful choices in the packaging we use.
Specifically, we have always striven to use locally made, recyclable and non-toxic packaging. All of our packaging is made in Europe and around half of our bottles and jars are made within our home county of Suffolk from recycled materials. As a small company we are able to react quickly to the introduction of innovative ‘earth-friendly’ materials which also meet our ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’ criteria and enable us to progress our goal quickly and effectively.
Our headquarters are 95% powered by renewable energy, both from solar panels on the roof and via our Ecotricity contract. We use Ecotricity’s ‘green gas’ which when it becomes 100% grass-driven, will make our energy 100% renewable.
What have been your biggest successes so far?
In all honesty what makes everything worthwhile for us is the often life-changing moments that our products have given our customers. Whether it’s helping overcome severe skin conditions like eczema, or an itchy scalp, or being able to wear makeup on otherwise reactive skin.