I recently came across an independent skincare label called Myroo – a range of all-natural, luxury products for the face and body, which are hand-made by founder Rachael Dunseath right here in Harrogate. During the winter months my hands really suffer in the cold weather so I was keen to try out her popular Geranium Hand Treat, which is just what my chapped mitts needed at this time of year! Here’s the verdict:
I really like the simple, clean packaging of this range, which seems premium but not superfluous. The white paper box felt like I was opening a present to myself and as soon as I unscrewed the jar there was a nice, potent smell of geranium with a hint of rose oil. The hand treat is made using Shea (fruit butter) and a little goes a long way.
Unlike some sticky hand creams I’ve used, this has a really light yet rich feeling because it instantly melts into your skin and doesn’t leave it feeling greasy. I love the way that the heat from your hands releases the smell of the plant oils, which are fresh and botanical rather than artificial or ‘granny’ fragranced.
I’ve been using the hand treat for over a week now and my hands feel soft and nourished. I keep it by my bed and put it on before I go to sleep because I find the smell is really relaxing too. My mum suffers with chapped hands like me so I think I might buy her a pot or it could make a great Mother’s day present.
I caught up with Myroo’s founder Rachael Dunseath to find out more – here’s her story:
Myroo is a real labour of love for Rachael Dunseath, the Harrogate-based businesswoman and mum of two who launched her hand-made skincare range a year ago. She has just celebrated her first year in business and in profit to boot, proving Myroo is no handicraft hobby but a brand in the making.
“I’ve always loved making things,” says Rachael who laughs when she admits that she has probably tried every craft possible and is certainly no slouch with a sewing machine. Like many others though she fell into a corporate career, working in financial services in London. Ten years and a move to Harrogate later, she found herself facing redundancy and as a budgeting exercise one Christmas she considered what she could make as presents for friends and family.
“I found a recipe for old fashioned bath salts, which I made as gifts and everybody loved them,” explains Rachael. “It planted a seed of an idea and when I set up Myroo the first thing I made was a salt scrub and a bath soak.”
She took a stall at a craft fair to test her products on the market and received a great response, prompting her to take voluntary redundancy and invest the money in launching Myroo. As the saying goes, she hasn’t looked back since.
“When it comes to making skincare products, there’s a lot of legislation and paperwork involved,” she says “which was quite daunting but I saw it as an opportunity as well as a challenge. I love all the elements of this business from the making to the packaging, design and branding.”
Both Rachael’s skincare ranges Myroo and Milly & Flossy (her baby range, which she named after her two young daughters) are created from 100% natural ingredients, which she makes herself in her converted garage. While this hands-on approach is fundamental to the range’s USP, it in no way demeans its efficacy. All of her product formulations are approved by a cosmetic scientist and are safely tested on humans.
“There’s nothing artificial or synthetic in my products,” declares Rachael. “and because they are so pure and contain no water there’s no need to add preservative, yet they have a shelf life of 12 months. The ingredients I use, for example Shea which is packed full of vitamins and minerals, undergo minimum processing, and just like food, this means they retain all their goodness.”
And just because her products are hand-made this doesn’t mean that they should be presented as overly-worthy. In fact, Rachael describes Myroo as a ‘masstige’ product – a range with a luxurious feel aimed at the mass market.
“I think some hand-made cosmetics tend to have a sack cloth and ashes feel,” says Rachael, “packaged in brown paper and string but I wanted Myroo to feel more luxurious and premium.”
Aside from its completely natural and hand-made attributes, Myroo also boasts strong eco-credentials since all its packaging is recyclable. But essentially Rachael wishes the product to remain honest and effective as she explains.
“No matter how big it grows, I will always want Myroo to remain hand-made and will always keep it simple. All I need is a gas hob and a hand-mixer and I like the fact that every product I make doesn’t look completely uniform.”
Myroo and Milly & Flossy are sold through Rachael’s websites and at selected craft fairs. New products in the pipeline include foot care and facial products as well as a liquid soap.
Rachael is kindly offering a 10% discount for readers of this blog, using the code kat10 until the end of March 2010.