Saturday 27 June 2015

Weleda insight day

It will come as no surprise that I get quite excited about green beauty (otherwise what is the point of having this blog right?!), the highlight for me personally is when I get a chance to find out what goes into making the products . Weleda insight day took it a step further with the garden tour of where quite a few of their ingredients grow! I am rushing ahead of myself however, let us go back to the beginning.

                                                              Original garden

Arriving at Weleda HQ in Derbyshire first thought that enters my head is "look that building is pink", and the second is "wow what a lovely place to work". The garden room, where the meet and greet happens (and majority of the day is spent) has a lovely terrace in front and as the name suggests, views of the garden. This was the original Weleda garden, but as it is no longer big enough, it has now become a show garden for visitors. It is basically a small scale representation of what goes on in the Weleda garden that is used to grow herbs and flowers for the products. Next to some plants you can see pictures of the products that they are used in. Weleda is not simply a beauty product brand, it makes homeopathic medicines and tinctures. About 80% of the plants grown in the UK gardens are used in that respect.

                                                             Main garden

The main garden is shaped like a doughnut with the whole in the middle ( the middle is occupied by the retirement home that got encircled over time as Weleda kept expanding, it is a separate entity and that land does not belong to Weleda). Apparently it takes only about 15 minutes to make the full circle on foot, however, even after spending more than an hour walking through the field, it didn't feel like it was enough time. Parts of the garden are neatly organised, with rows dedicated to certain plants, sometimes having a whole row, sometimes having only about a square meter. There was even a patch of wild strawberries covered by a net to supposedly protect the berries from wild birds, but I strongly suspect it's more to prevent visitors from eating them all up. Other parts were more like wild fields of flowers, and we also walked through an area that resembled an enchanted forest (I suspect on a day with a very dark sky you would wish for a torchlight going through there).

After the garden walk we were treated to a field presentation of how a chamomile tincture is prepared. Of course normally it would not be done in a tent, but what is cool is that it would still be prepared on sight by the same people who grow the plants (just in a building with all the proper equipment and following procedures that would insure the same concentration and potency from each batch). The fact that Weleda grows the plants biodynamically means that not only do they follow organic standards but they also look after the whole ecosystem of the area where they grow things, which of course means it is much healthier for the wildlife and we did see a rabbit happily roaming around as we were leaving the field.

Back in the garden room after lunch is when we were given a sneak pick at new releases and upcoming launches. Due to climate and a smaller scale of UK operations (this garden is tiny in comparison to the one in Germany), not all plants are grown on site, especially when it comes to the ingredients for the beauty products. We had a presentation on some of their European suppliers. Arnica for example needs a mountain climate, which is not something you can achieve in Derbyshire. The products that have been manufactured in UK use a supplier in Scotland with some clever transportation to ensure freshness. 

What struck me most of all is Weleda's approach to new products. Let's face it no one likes when you find a perfect beauty staple and a month later it gets reformulated to make it "better", and it no longer works for you. The approach here is that it only gets launched once it is ready, once they are sure that it works only than it is launched, and the formulation will not be adjusted later as their is simply no need. Some products from the original concept to release took 8 years. They will not compromise on the quality of their ingredients and ethicasy of their suppliers, if they can't source an ingredient from a reputable source or grow their own than they would stop the production of a product until they can find one.

This brings me to the new  and upcoming launches that we got to try on the day. Evening primrose range is designed for women in their later stage in life, and while it is not for me just yet, I can still appreciate the quality of the products and the vastness of the range. The most popular product so far has proven to be the lip and eye treatment. Admittedly that was the product that also caught my eye. It is hard to judge products only by testing them purely on your arms, so with certainty I can say that the texture was really nice and they sunk in quickly without any unwanted residue being left behind. Evening primrose signature scent is really lovely, and while it is not a requirement for performance, it sure is nice to have something that works and smells appealing if you are putting it on your face every day.

For the very first time, this August, Weleda will be bringing out a shower gel (the other washes are shower creams). A pretty unusual one at that as its featured ingredient is Arnica, since it is a wash of f product they are not making any promises or claims in terms of how it will affect your muscles, instead it is meant to be refreshing shower gel that sort of perks you up in the mornings, and since it is a foaming product it is perfect after sports. If you like arnica scent than you will love this, I find myself intrigued by this one, even though I rarely get excited by shower gels.

Now the crown jewel is the Almond body range that will become available this September. It is basically the extension of their sensitive skincare range and it has no essential oils, the gorgeous bitter almond, marzipany scent is from the mix of ingredients. I don't want to give too much away until I am ready with a review, but this stuff is seriously good.

One of the last things that we did was some seemingly simple DIY soap making, trust me to mess it up (there is a reason why I only mix oils, face masks, and body scrubs). We were provided with soap flakes, containers of water and olive oil, lavender seeds, calendula flowers, and a choice of essential oils. The idea is that you put 5ml of water, 5ml of oil and start mushing the soap flakes together so they wills start to bind, then add some essential oil and petals if you wish, if things are not binding add a few more drops of water or oil, or both. Afterwards you pick it all up and shape the soap with your hands. When I attempted to roll mine into a ball, instead of becoming a coherent objec,t it all fell apart with soap flakes sticking to my hands but not to each other. Thankfully ladies at my table came to the rescue. Amber, Christina, Evelyn and Majka practically in unison told me to add a few more drops of oil, and guess what it worked. My DIY disaster was salvaged and I took the fruits of my labour with me, as well as very generous goodie bag.

I will be trying out the upcoming releases and will be posting reviews about them around the same time as they become available, so you guys can have something to help you decide whether or not these products are of interest. However, I will most likely pass on the evening primrose to someone else, as I wouldn't be able to truly assess it. I also vlogged on the day, I am hoping to upload it in the next few days, as I just didn't have time to edit the video yet. I feel like I have forgotten to include lots of important stuff, there was so much going on on the day, that it is simply impossible to include it all in one post, I could right a book about Weleda. Actually I think there should be a Weleda book, after all that's the fashion now isn't it?


  1. Sounds like a lovely day! I love the Almond face range, so very excited to see what's to come for the body :)

  2. Manchester Flik Chik28 June 2015 at 19:15

    I had no idea that Weleda was such a fantastic natural brand! What a great chance to learn all about them.

  3. This is so interesting, I'd love to see more photos of the gardens!

  4. It was seriously great! I think you will love the body range, I remember you like the almond from nourish, weleda lotion is just super ;)

  5. I admit I have been so used to weleda being there that I never looked into them as much as I do with newer brands. It was eye opening.

  6. Other girls that I mentioned in the post have their own blogs (I linked to them), they did their own write ups with different photos than mine. I will post a video on my YT this Tuesday as well :)

  7. Sounds like you had a great time. Like a mini relaxation crafts retreat haha. How did you find out about this as it's something I would love to attend. Thank you.

  8. Hi yes I guess it was! Especially if you lucked out on a nice sunny day! It was through Twitter last year. I joined in on the weleda conversation about it, but the event was finished at the time. And this year Susie from Weleda sent me an invite a month or so before it took place. I think she took my details down the previous year as someone who was interested in attending her Twitter handle is @susiefairgrieve.