Let’s be honest during the coming weeks, many of us will be trying to entertain ourselves indoors; trying new things, different looks, introducing new routines and a hot topic for many is to use this time to give yourself some much needed TLC, something that in ordinary life when the world is whizzing by at a million miles an hour and you quite literally run out of hours in the day to get everything done, for the vast majority of us, a solid skincare routine often falls below the mark.
During a time where businesses of all shapes and sizes are struggling and we’re finding ourselves sat indoors, with ample time on our hands, likely scrolling through social media or window-shopping; there is no better time to try out a new skincare routine whilst supporting a small, British business with roots deeply within the countryside and rural way of life than this.
With so many beauty products designed to cleanse and repair, it is striking that in terms of sustainability, the wider industry is often struggles to reflect this ethos of cleanliness and restoration. Hollie Ella caught up with Barker & Sloane founder Claire Barker to discover more about the homegrown foundations of a brand doing it very differently.
With some beauty brands choosing ingredients irresponsibly and continuing to produce unnecessary and non-recyclable packaging, the industry has a long way to go. Only the other day Mummy ITC ordered a single, small product that arrived in three different pink plastic packets, before revealing the smallest of pots – none of which could be recycled.
From sustainably sourced natural components, to re-usable or recyclable packaging, Britain’s skincare brands are doing their bit and one in particular which we are genuine fans of here at In The Country is Barker & Sloane: ‘Enjoying life outdoors doesn’t have to mean wearing a weathered look, sporting a ruddy complexion or suffering from bouts of dryness caused by the wind.’ States Founder Claire Barker.
Independently-owned and founded by Claire, an avid country lifestyle enthusiast and owner of two Spinoni gun dogs,
Claire is intrinsically connected to her target audience. Passionate about developing products for ‘real people in real life situations; for us that means being out in the field’, her revolutionary and forward-thinking approach to skincare is a breath of clean, fresh air.
Embarking on the journey to create your own skincare company is no mean feat. Having ditched the corporate life, Claire became a bee-farmer which allowed her to spend much of her time outdoors in nature. ‘Bees are a tough industry to generate a comfortable income in and so I re-trained on the side as a cosmetic formulator.’
Fast forward a few years and with plenty of experience and even more enthusiasm, Claire was determined to develop a brand new range of skincare which would suit the lifestyles that appealed to the so-called ‘outdoorsy folk’ and which celebrates Britain’s rural heritage.
Developing and manufacturing plant-based formulas using her own Advanced Phytotritional Technology, Claire blends British oils from British farmers which are gentle on even the most sensitive of skin types. I have incredibly sensitive skin, one wrong blob of product and I break out, so, admittedly, I was sceptical to try a new range but, can confidently say they now form part of my daily, albeit minimal, routine.
With just three signature products in its debut range Barker & Sloane is starting small, using only sustainably-sourced elements. Planning to expand the product range, Hollie-Ella is keen to see the introduction of a cleansing serum! Men’s moisturisers would be a great addition too, although I am sure Claire will tell us that her products can be used by both men and women.
The Daily Defender – a protecting moisturiser with white poppy, raspberry and marine algae extract along with botanical oils. Designed to hydrate and protect against the ageing effects of UVA & UVB rays in addition to environmental aggressors.
Overnight Recovery – (featured above) an award-winning powerful yet gentle, repairing night cream which was an absolute lifesaver for me whilst suffering from dry patches on my face due to harsh and unrelenting wind over the winter months. Again with natural ingredients such as blackcurrant seed oil and marshmallow root extract, you can rest comfortably knowing skin is being treated with non-harmful, natural products.
12 Bore Boost Mist – now this is something we are excited about! Designed by Claire as a rebalancing facial tonic, this mist offers instant relief for skin that has been exposed to the elements. A product which should be in everyone’s bag, ideal for a post-ride spritz, or rehydration after working on the farm, it’s a complete powerhouse of plant actives including peppermint, rose and cucumber, that works to restore and sooth irritated skin, whilst boosting hydration levels and reducing redness. It has also been dubbed as a fantastic make-up setting mist.
Business and skincare magic aside, I ask Claire where we would find her when she isn’t in the lab or running the business. ‘Well, if I’m not out doing bee-keeping jobs, I can be found loitering around my local clay ground outside of the game season, having fun with our gorgeous gun dogs or relaxing somewhere with a view, a well-earned glass and a hearty plate of food.’
A brand truly connected to its customers, with a great story that we’re delighted to share with you, Barker & Sloane really does stand out from the beauty industry crowd.
Claire has also created Discovery Sets made up of mini-travel sized products which are both great for travel but also for introducing people to the brand. At £35 it is a great way for you to try out Barker & Sloane’s products in your skin. Hollie-Ella openly talks about how she has incredibly sensitive skin when it comes to using products, with new products often resulting in a break out, but, by trialling the Overnight Cream in small applications, she has found this to be an incredibly nourishing and effective product. The 12 Bore Boost Mist is permanently kept in her handbag!