We discovered Lyonsleaf at the Free From Skincare Awards and immediately fell in love with their products designed to cater to problem skin like eczema, rosacea, dermatitis and acne. Here we get to know Vicky Lyons and learn how a love of herb farming led to the creation of their natural skincare brand.
Tell us about your role at Lyonsleaf and how the brand was started...
I'm the Co-Founder, Managing Director and Calendula obsessive! Before starting Lyonsleaf, I trained in Graphic Design and Communication but I always had an interest in growing food and herbs. I married Ben in 2011, we lived on a smallholding and started growing herbs then selling the plants to gardeners at local farmers markets. We were inspired to create Lyonsleaf from a love of plants and their healing abilities and a desire to diversify what we were producing on the family farm, it was a natural progression from being herb growers to using them to make products.
We started making the skincare products in 2012 when we made Calendula
Cream and started selling it at the Farmers markets around the Mendips in
Somerset. We started the Herb growing business when we bought all the plants
from a herb farm near Glastonbury on winter solstice 2010. They were all
covered with snow and mostly dormant and we had no idea what we were
buying. We had no idea then it would lead to this.
What is the story behind your brand name?
Lyons is the family name. We made the Lyons logo with the green man in mind.
We didn’t really know where we were going back then but we always knew we
wanted to be in tune with nature.
The mission behind Lyonsleaf is to further a Natural Skincare Revolution and create effective, eco friendly skincare at a price affordable to the masses.
What is your most popular product and why?
Beauty Balm – it is such a gorgeous product and suits nearly every skin type. It’s
a beauty product rather than a treatment balm, which is why it is our most
popular product. We do an unfragranced version too as we realised we have
become a go-to brand for those with sensitive skin. It is loved by people who
know the secret of oil cleansing and the impressive and often instant results
achieved when you stop stripping the skin's natural oils when cleansing. It’s also
a hit with clean beauty purists, but lots of people who normally buy mainstream brands are often taken with it once they get their hands on it. It gets so many 5*
reviews, and we often hear people say they won’t put anything else but Lyonsleaf
on their skin once they've tried it (which honestly blows us away as we never
imagined we would make such popular products when we started out 13 years
What’s the best product for dry skin?
Calendula and marshmallow balm, marshmallow is the queen of hydrating plants
for the skin and pairs perfectly with Calendula. Marshmallow is great for cracked,
chapped, rough or hard skin, however you could say that the beauty balm is also
important because you need to stop using damaging cleansers to really address
dry skin on your face.
What’s the best product for oily skin?
Zinc and calendula cream, the zinc oxide helps to calm and soothe all skin types
but is particularly good for oily skin as it can stop the skin producing excess
sebum. Again we recommend it for use after cleansing with Beauty Balm (for
facial use). Ditching the old fashioned cleansers that try to strip excess sebum
simply cause the skin to overcompensate by making more sebum often
exacerbating the problem. Many customers report oily shine and breakouts can
be settled just by switching to oil cleansing with Beauty Balm. We recommend
using the zinc and calendula afterwards if there is a need to calm any
inflammation. If not you can use the Beauty Balm as a moisturiser after cleansing
too, but that might not be necessary as the Beauty Balm replaces dirty sebum
with the same fatty acids found in sebum minus the dirt.
What’s the best product for sensitive skin?
Any of the unfragranced products as they contain no essential oils and are very
hypoallergenic. The Unfragranced Beauty Balm and the Pure Baby Balm are
great for the most sensitive skin types. If you need to calm inflammation go for
the Calendula and Marshmallow balm or the Zinc and Calendula Cream. All
these products are fragrance free and like all Lyonsleaf product - free from ALL
What's the first product to try from the Lyonsleaf range?
Beauty Balm is always a good starting point as it is such a great all rounder for
cleansing, priming and moisturising and it smells delicious (but don’t eat it!) We
all have Calendula and Marshmallow Balm in our handbags as it does so many
different jobs to soothe and hydrate the skin, this one is the go to for little
What tips do you have for using your products?
All our products are water-free therefore a little goes a long way, they are super
concentrated and last for ages. Don't use too much and if you do feel greasy use less next time.
Do you have any awards that our customers should be aware of?
We regularly get awards from Free from Skincare, Green Parent, as there is so much
competition out there in the Natural Skincare world now we are always delighted
to win awards and have our products recognised by experts and customers.
How are Lyonsleaf standing out from the crowd?
We don’t like to follow the crowd, we prefer to do our own thing, so much of our
custom comes from word of mouth and recommendation which gives us great
confidence in our products. We stay true to our ethos of being accessible to
everyone's pocket and ensure that we are not greenwashing our business, we
are proud that when we say natural we mean 100% natural! Something that is
sadly unusual in the skincare business.
How do you source your ingredients?
We use a very small number of trusted suppliers that we have a close
relationship with, we use mainly certified organic or wild harvested ingredients
from them and of course we grow our own Calendula and Comfrey.
How are your products made?
All our products are made by a small dedicated gang of wonderful women, we
make them in small batches and everything is poured by hand, we really pride
ourselves on ensuring that our products are made with love and reach our
customers in perfect condition.
How are you tackling sustainability?
Our ethos is to only use what we need to, hence our water free products and
potent concentrated formulations. Being water free means our products are much
smaller than those bulked out with water and other fillers the skin doesn't need,
so less resources are used to package and ship them. When we are making our
products we are mindful of the energy we use, at our last premises we had 22kw
of solar panels - we don't have that at the new premises yet, but we hope to
invest again as soon as possible. We avoid plastic as much as possible, we use
jars and metal lids, paper, card and even paper tape on our parcels. We are patrons of the Rain Forest Trust and our donations protected 625 acres of
Rainforest last year alone.
What’s next for the Lyonsleaf brand?
We have just moved the business to new premises so have been getting properly
set up in our new surroundings, when we have finally unpacked the last of the
boxes we have loads of new ideas for new products for next year.
What’s the best thing about having your own brand?
The joy of knowing that we make products that change peoples lives through
their skin, we live for our customer reviews and love to hear what they think
about our skincare.
What’s been your biggest learning?
My biggest learning has been the realisation that natural remedies and medicinal
herbs are often far superior to many pharmaceutical drugs or expensive creams
laced with toxic preservatives and other unsavoury ingredients. I admit as a
diversifying farmer, I started to experiment with herbal products I was surprised
and delighted by the amazing customer feedback I started to see. Now when me
or my family have any health issue I will always go to a natural remedy first. I
have also learned that the best results always come from using the best
ingredients and processing them with the utmost care to maximise the extraction
of beneficial compounds and preserve them into the final product.