Skincare without Compromise


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Glowing Skin and Vibrant Self

Sheila and I were off on holiday for a few days recently in the Lake District. The hotel was lovely. The food was great. The long walks around the lake superb. However in the evening just before we went to eat I had a shower. Now all credit to the hotel in that they provided, with the best of intentions I am sure – free shampoo and soap. The shampoo looked great. On the front of the bottle it said ‘100% natural extract’ and ‘infused with essential oils’ yet I wondered why as I washed my hair that my eyes were burning with the lather that ran down my face. It was some time before I was able to open my eyes after copious amounts of clean water had rinsed away whatever was causing the problem.

Once dried and refreshed, I had a look at the label. You can image that I was perturbed to find that the so-called infusion of essential oils was the last ingredient listed and thus it had a miniscule amount of precious oils in the mixture. However, what were more worrying were the ingredients that filled this bottle of so-called natural shampoo. The list was huge and in reality I simply don’t know why a manufacturer would want to put our bodies at risk by including such ingredients.

However to give a flavour of what it included I have listed just three of the components:

Sodium Laureth Sulphate: a known irritant to the eyes as is typical of surfactants (foaming agents). It may also be a skin irritant depending on individual sensitivity.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone: One of the most potent allergens on the consumer market and used as a preservative in a variety of products like glue, paints, fuels, soaps, chemical cleaners and detergents.

Butylphenyl Methylpropional: a synthetic fragrance that is used in a number of beauty products, it is considered safe only within recommended use of concentration. It’s also a skin irritant and there have been tests that found that skin applications of BM at high concentrations in animals caused sperm damage.

And so I have to ask – why do you wish to risk your health with these and other potentially harmful chemicals that are listed on the back of many of the products that women use every day and yet, with clever advertising the public are duped into buying them in their thousands.

What’s the alternative?

At Moss-Grove we are trying to become the safest natural skin-care company to be found. This is a huge mountain to climb and in doing so our quest to achieve this status has taken us to a number of Scottish Universities to carry out research into how to produce our products using as we do – plant based therapeutic essential oils – and other ingredients that you will find in your own kitchen cupboard. So our motto is – if you can eat it, then you can surely and safely put it on your skin!

We are working on a number of new products at the moment, such as a natural shampoo and a muscle- ease bath soak. However these won’t be ready till after the summer.

However there are things that you can do yourself and so this week we offer a recipe for Honey and Oat Soap.

Most soaps contain sodium hydroxide (that can actually burn the skin very badly) so these should be avoided. This alternative that we have found is as good as anything. It takes a wee bit of time to make, but we reckon that it is truly worth the effort.


  • 200g (7oz) plain vegetable soap (Olive oil soap that you can find in a health-food shop would be good).
  • 100ml (7 tablespoons) of water – or as we use – herbal tea.
  • 130g (1oz) oatmeal.
  • 1 tablespoon of runny honey.


  1. Grate your soap as finely as you can.
  2. Place it in a bowl with the water and set aside for a couple of hours, stirring now and again.
  3. Next place the soap mixture in the bowl on top of a pan of gently simmering hot water (much as you would do when melting chocolate to make a cake).
  4. Keep the heat as low as possible while the soap melts – add a little more water if necessary.
  5. Stir gently until it is a stringy and gloopy and then add the honey and the oatmeal.
  6. Stir it in reasonably quickly and then taking care with the hot bowl, pour it into some moulds.
  7. (We have found that the silicone cake moulds do a great job).
  8. Once set, tip out and allow drying on a wire cake rack.
  9. Turn over every couple of days.
  10. The soap should be ready for use in a couple of weeks.
  11. Use with water as you would do with every-day soap and remember to rinse well.

Of course if you have any questions, then get in touch by email or phone and we will be happy to help. Best wishes from the team at Moss-Grove.

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