While a lot of people like to give bath-and-body related gifts over Christmas, I’ve never really been a fan; choosing on behalf of someone else is always risky – will they like the smell? Will they use it? Are they a bath or a shower person? Will it bring them out in a hideous rash on Christmas morning? Lush is one safe bet – not only is everything natural and earth-friendly, but it’s great fun and the packaging is ace – and also my new favourite, Napiers the Herbalists.
I actually discovered Napiers quite by accident on Twitter one day; somebody I followed was having a conversation with them about creams, and I joined in and mentioned that I suffered with awfully dry, cracked and sore hands in winter. The kind folks advised me on what would work best (calendula, if you’re interested, because of its healing properties), and then generously sent me a tube of their Calendula Cream and Calendula and Marshmallow Salve in the post.
I’ve tried almost every cream know to man to help my sore hands in winter; off-the-shelf tubes full of chemicals and nasties (which, surprise, just burned when applied), E45 and Aqueous cream from the chemist (more burning) and more gentle ‘organic’ creams from places which did pretty much nothing, but did come in nice packaging that looked good on the bathroom shelf. The first thing I noticed about the Calendula cream was that when I rubbed it in, not only did it not burn, but it also soothed the stinging and itching – something that none of my other creams had ever managed. When I woke up the next morning, my hands were still dry and cracked but much less so; after a week of daily applications, they were almost back to normal, and I was overjoyed.
Napiers are different from other organic bath-and-body ranges simply because they come with over a hundred years of history; founded by Duncan Napier in 1860, the company began with a small herbal shop which provided cures for various ailments, and after a while was sold as far away as New York. Today, as well as stocking a variety of beautiful soaps, bath soaks, creams and balms, Napiers also supply tinctures, vitamins, aromatherapy oils and nursing teas, all of which are completely natural. The website itself is really informative as well; there’s a section on health information, and you can also read all about the man behind the brand on the history pages. I can’t recommend Napiers enough; all natural and herbal, the products contain no chemical nasties and have a minimal impact on the planet, and most importantly, they work. Which is what counts, after all!