Natalie Balmond, founder of Purepotions, began her natural skincare brand in 2002 out of desperation to find a cure for her daughter Lula’s chronic eczema. Her products are free from preservatives, unnecessary fragrances and nasty ingredients. She tells us more about how she started and has since grown her business.
Can you introduce us to Purepotions – what inspired the brand and what makes you special?
Purepotions began when I was at my wits end trying to find a solution for my daughter, Lula. She had severely dry and itchy skin and, after months of using pharmaceutical emollients and steroid creams that seemed to simply make her skin worse, I decided to experiment with traditional remedies for moisturisers. I decided that whatever I made would need to be free of any unnecessary ingredients that might trigger a reaction so the decision was clear early on that it had to be as natural and kind as possible. This was for my daughter, so as a mother I only wanted the absolute best for her!
The rest, as they say, is history and the Skin Salvation Moisturising Ointment became my hero. Lula began to feel almost immediate relief when I applied the salve to her skin and, for the first time ever, she was able to have a good night of sleep. I think what makes us special is that we are still 100% natural and the product is lovingly handmade to this day to ensure the absolute integrity of the product and its ingredients. One of the biggest selling points is also that it does not sting on application, which for anyone with severely inflamed skin is an absolute must.
How do your products specifically target skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and other dry or itchy skin conditions?
The Skin Salvation range, and specifically the ointment, combat dry and itchy skin conditions by combining a family of ingredients that work on specific symptoms. Beeswax creates a temporary barrier, which is essential for protecting against irritants and increasing moisture retention. Calendula is anti-inflammatory and reduces redness whilst promoting wound healing. Hemp Seed Oil is rich in Omega 3 and 6, which are essential for the restoration of the skin’s barrier. Nettle reduces heat, Chickweed reduces itching and Chamomile soothes and softens. These ingredients work in synergy to create the best possible result for someone with dry and itchy skin.
One of the most common concerns that customers had was the purity and safety of the ingredients; through my personal research I was shocked to find out how many so-called eczema-friendly brands actually contained irritants!
You started off selling at local market stalls and are now stocked in hundreds of health food stores and pharmacies across the country. When you were first launching, what were the key questions and concerns you found yourself encountering through talking to your customers face-to-face on a regular basis?
The brand grew from strength to strength when family and friends were having such incredible results too! One of the most common concerns that customers had was the purity and safety of the ingredients; through my personal research I was shocked to find out how many so-called eczema-friendly brands actually contained irritants! Customers who had been on the same journey as me with my daughter realised that many prescribed products just simply weren’t working and in many cases, just made things worse. All they wanted was a natural and kind answer, and that’s what we gave them!
All of your products are made in your own UK workshop. Can you talk us through the production process?
The UK workshop is in Brighton and the products are created with the same love and care that they have always had. Attention to detail is paramount and we make to order, which means our products are always fresh and as perfect as they can be! There would be much easier ways of doing this but I made a promise early on that I would always oversee the production so that I could insist on perfection! Purepotions was made ultimately out of the desperation I felt for my daughter and I have never been willing to compromise our standards having been through such an emotional rollercoaster with her. Dry skin conditions can be debilitating and it was always my wish to make Purepotions accessible to all who needed it.
What advice would you have for other like-minded entrepreneurs looking to launch their own natural beauty brand?
Go for it! I think I am proof that anything is possible. I have been a single mother of three girls and there have been blood, sweat and tears but ultimately it has always been my passion that has seen me through! There is nothing more rewarding than making a difference to peoples lives with a product you have created. To this day I still feel emotional when a customer tells me of the impact our products have had on their lives. When we begin to feel happy again on the outside, we can begin to feel happy on the inside too.