We believe strongly in beauty and skin care products made with natural ingredients. Lisa Johnson started her own business making beauty products from her home in Wilmslow, Cheshire so we wanted to share the story of her venture, LJ’s Natural Solutions.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m Lisa. I’m 40. I’ve got two kids, two dogs and a husband. I have severe eczema AND a passion for beauty products.
What made you decide to start making natural skin care products?
When my eczema meant I couldn’t use off the shelf beauty products any more, I went on a mission to create very natural and simple products that I could use, that would be gorgeous and that would make my eczema better. This turned into LJ’s Natural Solutions, my very own little natural skincare company.
Because your skin is your largest organ, it is true that 60% of what you put on your skin goes right into your bloodstream, so for me it is incredibly important to use as few chemicals as possible, as they are responsible for so many negative health problems.
Who can benefit from products made using natural ingredients?
Everyone should use as few chemicals on their skin as possible; it makes sense. But people with sensitive skin, children and people with other health issues in particular should use natural products. The chemicals are just not necessary – they are cheap and they make products last longer, which large retailers (such as supermarkets) require, but they are of absolutely no benefit to your skin or body.
Can people make their own skin products?
You can make simple things at home to just use yourself, like an avocado face mask, or an oat bath. People can’t make products at home to sell, like I do, unless they have been through rigorous cosmetic safety assessments and have product liability insurance. You need to know what you are doing.
Do natural skin care products have a shorter lifespan than products you might find on the supermarket shelf?
Yes, on the whole. Most of my products last approximately 6 months, but I sell them in small quantities that would normally last around 2 months if you are using them daily so you would not end up with unused and wasted products. Natural products should be stored with lids on in a cool dark place to keep them at their best.
Are natural products more expensive than mass produced skin care ranges?
It totally depends what company you are buying from. I know of a very expensive skincare range that sells cleansing balm from upwards of £70 per pot but the ingredients in it are basically glorified petroleum jelly, the cheapest and nastiest of ingredients you can get. Fancy packaging costs a lot too, but is of no benefit to your skin.
The only thing that actually matters is what you are rubbing onto your skin. If you are buying mainstream brands, the final price of a skincare product is normally made up of mostly advertising costs (flip through any magazine and see how many big flashy adverts you see; these are extremely expensive).
If you buy from small producers like me, the price is mostly just the excellent quality natural ingredients. Personally, I can keep my prices affordable because my overheads are very low. I have never advertised, so that costs me nothing! Every sale I make comes from happy customers spreading the word.
I have 4 basic ranges: the face range – face oils, serums, moistursier etc, the eczema range – my famous Organic Scratchy Balm and bath oil etc, the pregnancy range – 3 lovely pregnancy products, and the body range – body lotions, bath oils, bath melts etc. My prices range from £1.95 – £15.95.
What do you have planned for the future of LJ’s Natural Solutions?
Well, I’ve just re-launched my website. It looks amazing and is so simple to use. Within the next 12-18 months I’d like to open a small shop in my home town of Wilmslow, Cheshire. I’d also like to just continue encouraging people to use natural skincare products wherever possible, and helping those who need it to manage their eczema.