Q: Who are you?
A: I’m Ella, founder of Leafology and passionate about creativity, natural living and tea. You can read more about my story here, but in a nutshell: I’m a model and writer who started creating beautiful skincare products using powerful natural ingredients (and the tea plant) and accidentally (albeit with a lot of excitement and hard work) found myself creating a business. I’m proud to say that it’s growing and gaining a loyal and passionate customer base!
Q: Do you make the products yourself?
A: I do! Everything is made in small batches by my own hands – I experimented with the compositions and processes multiple times until I was happy with each recipe, and make them myself (you can sometimes see some ‘behind the scenes’ snapshots on my instagram account!). The website and labels and almost everything else is also done by me – perhaps I’m a control freak! That said, sometimes my wonderful Mum helps me with the practical side of concocting products, when I need the extra pair of hands in the studio!
Q: Is your background in chemistry/science?
A: Although the creation of these products involves the donning of pipettes, pH strips, double boilers and hair nets, my background is in modelling and creative arts rather than in chemistry. I came to the creation of natural skincare products in a way that I often liken very much to my experience and enjoyment of cooking good plant-based food; through my love of natural flavours, scents, quality and the joyful combination of individual ingredients to create something that is nourishing and beautiful to experience. The fact that the products actually work is due to mother nature providing all the tools we need, a lot of research and study on my part in learning about the benefits and uses of various plants in different cultures throughout history, plus some courses (not least in how to create and sell natural skincare products in adherence to local regulations and legalities).
Q: Do you have anything for rosacea?
A: Yes! The 2-in-1 Face Buff & Clay Mask (exfoliating grains that can also be left on to use as a mask) was made with rosacea heavily in mind (since a few people I knew are sufferers). I also happen to know that one customer who suffers from rosacea has found that the Good Face Day Serum and Overnight Face Food are a godsend in combination; in her own words, they ‘soothe, moisturise and calm’ her flare ups (which are more and more infrequent). Like others, she’s had compliments on her skin more than ever before.
Q: Do you have anything for eczema?
A: Yes! Please try the Naked Baby Balm, an unscented blend of organic coconut oil, tea seed, calendula, cottonseed and cocoa butter, which, although not a medicated formulation, apparently works miracles on eczema even for people who’ve tried everything else without success.
Q: I have dry/oily/combination/acne-prone/sensitive skin… What would you recommend?
A: Leafology products benefit a wide spectrum of skin types due to the fact that the ingredients are all gentle, natural and the overall compositions are generally very balancing. Sometimes (always?) what we need to do less of is using harsh, synthetic ingredients that overstrip, flood or otherwise disrupt our skin’s natural balance, and instead focus on being a bit more gentle so that our skin can find its own way. Our skin is a finely-tuned organ and built to heal itself; our job is to not get in its way. This is something that is nurtured and encouraged with good diet and lifestyle practices as well as using products which can give a helping hand in the right direction. I’ve found that people who would describe themselves as having dry, oily, sensitive or acne-prone skin have equally benefitted from switching to Leafology.
Q: How do you use the Yellow Gold Cleansing Balm? Does it wash off just with water or do I need something fancy?
A: Just a pea-sized amount of the Yellow Gold Cleansing Balm with Turmeric (yes, that’s why it’s yellow!), Green Tea, Tea Tree & Meadowfoam melts into the skin with your fingertips. At the end of the day, massage it in and it will join with your make up and natural sebum, picking up impurities and dirt and lifting them to be removed all as one (like attracts like!). There’s no emulsifier in it as it isn’t needed, and it’s particularly helpful for skin which is oily or acne-prone, with natural tea tree, non-pore-blocking oils and anti-inflammatory turmeric. Once it is well massaged-in, you can remove it to complete the cleansing process with a damp cotton pad, with a warm, dedicated face cloth (for a steamier, more spa-like affair; I recommend using one which you don’t mind turning yellow from the turmeric, though don’t worry, your skin won’t be stained at all!) or simply with water alone. It’s your choice! I personally recommend following with a toner, for the final finish and to check that it’s all fully removed, but it’s your skin, your rules!
N.B. All the above also applies for the utterly beautiful Precious Petals Flower Serum & Cleansing Balm, though that one isn’t coloured by turmeric, so it’s even easier! …Options, options!
Q: Do you offer refills for returned bottles/jars?
A: We love the idea of refills and have thought often of how it would be possible to do this – we hoped from the beginning that we could incorporate this into our plan – but unfortunately we can’t currently see a viable way of doing it for the following reasons:
Firstly, EU law requires products to be assessed before sale in their final container material, and if we were to release products in different containers, we’d need to get them re-tested for container/product compatibility. The glass and metal containers chosen for Leafology products are very carefully selected (e.g., they protect delicate and volatile essential oils from light, or in the case of lightweight metal bottles/jars, are coated to prevent leeching). We think it’s brilliant that some customers are willing to return their jars or bottles, but in reality (as far as we can see) this creates extra work for both us and the customer without the reward; we would need to remove/replace the labels and sanitise the container to a high level in order to be able to legally/willingly re-sell them, and this isn’t something we feel would work well, not least because the cost of returning a bottle or jar to us by post is more than the saving the customer would make on the new purchase (i.e. the new product cost minus their old container). It’s frustrating and we’d welcome suggestions and bright ideas on this, but in the meantime, read on…
We love the fact that Leafology’s containers are all recyclable and also urge customers to be creative in repurposing their jars or bottles after use. E.g. why not use them for food, oils, homemade candles or even flower displays?
Don’t forget: the serums/oils across the range come in glass bottles and are all available to purchase without a plastic pump lid, if that option in chosen at checkout, and many customers like to buy metal-lidded versions from their second purchase onward (if not from the very first purchase); this way you can see it as your own refill, simply transferring the old lid over to the new bottle (if you like), and repurposing or recycling the old bottle. See this page for more about the ‘One pump for life‘ scheme.
Q: How far up the ‘food chain’ is Leafology plastic-free?
A: An excellent question. The basic answer is that it’s not 100% plastic-free (this is unfortunately very difficult to achieve for now). BUT it is moving in the right direction, which is something to champion at this stage with all of our purchasing choices in general! Here is an encouraging reply from one of my favourite ingredient suppliers when I quizzed them about the packaging I’d received from them in past orders:
‘Do you realise the void fill is made of corn starch and is biodegradable? If you run them under the tap they turn to water. We are moving to more and more paper… however we have been trialling paper bags for the plastic bottles… and they haven’t been doing very well, they tear during transport and then mix with the shredded cardboard we are using. We have some biodegradable bags for the packaging on the way and we are hoping these will work as a compromise between the paper bags and the current bags we are using. Later on this year we will be launching plastic bottles made from vegetable oils, which will be compostable, although these will be comparatively expensive at the beginning, long term we hope to replace everything with these.’
– Don’t you just love companies that are transparent and on the right track?
Q: I’d like to stock your products in my shop / Have you thought about being stocked in this shop I know of? / My local shop would love you!
A: Well then, we’d love to hear from you, especially if you have similar values/aesthetics and feel we’d be a good match, so please email and introduce yourself and we can send you the wholesale catalogue and full info about how to collaborate with Leafology.
If you know of a shop local to you in which you can picture Leafology products thriving and delighting customers, you know what to do! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or go via the Contact Page.
Q: Are Leafology products organic?
A: Here’s a little secret: organic ingredients are sometimes used in Leafology products even when they are not stated as such on the labels (this is because individual ingredients being upgraded to organic sometimes occurs before a print run of labels is used up; this is currently true of several products in the range)! Meanwhile, many of the products use organic ingredients, often to a high degree within the overall composition, but you may notice that the finished products don’t have officially accredited ‘organic’ logos on them (this may be considered in the future). Of the long list of potent plant ingredients in Leafology products, many are strictly organic (like all the plant butters and coconut oil, some of the essential oils), while some are not classed as such, simply because they are currently difficult to obtain (any non-organic ingredients are beautifully cold-pressed and unrefined, however). We’ll keep working on this. Meanwhile, many of the natural ingredients such as salts and clays simply cannot be described as organic as there is no agricultural process involved!
Q: I’ve noticed that my balm has changed texture. What can I do?
A: The natural plant butters in certain products (such as the gorgeous Coconut, Rose & Walnut Butter & the dreamy Tea & Rice Bran Curl Butter) are sensitive to the environment, and strong changes in temperature may cause the formulations to melt and re-set. If this happens, you may find that the texture of the product changes and can result in some tiny crystals or grains appearing within the balm. This doesn’t affect the quality or efficacy of the product at all (and you may enjoy the extra exfoliation this can offer!), but if this happens and you find you’d prefer your balm to be smooth and grain-free, the best thing to do is:
1. Place your jar (with lid firmly closed so as not to allow water to enter the product) over a bowl of just-below simmering water until it fully melts. Be careful not to overheat or ‘boil’ the product; use a bain-marie method and go gently.
2. Once the product is fully liquid, place it immediately into a fridge (not freezer) for a few hours to re-set into a solid balm. You may like to leave it overnight, but no longer than that should be necessary. The trick to regaining a smooth texture is quick cooling, which is why a fridge is recommended rather than letting it re-set at room temperature more slowly.
Do you have a different question? I’m happy to answer and will be adding to this page so do get in touch with any ponderings/queries.