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Interview with the Natural Spa Factory

From sustainable skincare to gender neutral ingredients, founder, Emma Webber talks about the brand, its ethos and where it's going next.

How did the Natural Spa Factory start?

Jeremy (my husband) owned a consultancy and I thought once the children had gone to school he would want me to ‘help’ him run his business. He declined! So I decided to go it alone and set up the product side of the business, seeing a small gap for non- prescriptive treatments that could work alongside the spas current offering. 14 years later we work happily (most of the time) side by side.

What makes the skincare products unique?

They're sensibly natural, gender neutral and sustainable spa products.

What are your favourite skincare ingredients and why?

For me, I love the Bakuchiol – it’s a natural retinol and I think it’s one of the best ingredients for mature skin as it stimulates collagen without the chemicals. I am also looking forward to some of the ingredients we are adding to our NPD, which remain currently a closely guarded secret but I know we have a lot to look forward to in the naturals arena.

How do you tackle sustainability as a spa brand?

Sustainability was something we just did when we first started. As a child of the '70s, I was brought up on frugality, hated waste, and couldn’t bear to introduce more than required into our wasteful society.

We rarely use outer cartons on our products preferring to spend money on product itself and its ingredients. In the early days I had sourced all the suppliers so we really honed in on provenance of ingredients. We still have a relationship with many of those early day suppliers many of whom were also aligned with the natural movement and taking care of nature.

Also, we were one of the first spa brands to avoid the single use plastic amenity bottles. They were ridiculously cheap to buy for spas but we believed refill options were more environmentally sound. It all seems so old hat now but we continue to stick to our sustainable core and have evolved by introducing biodegradable packaging and are planning to reinforce the sustainable message with BCorp accreditation later on in the year.

Read about sustainability and the spa industry|Find out more

How do you think the spa industry can support individual wellbeing meaningfully?

There is huge potential here and I know some of the spas are already making inroads in this area. However, there’s opportunity for the spa industry to remove some of the pressure on the overburdened NHS and private health care providers, by providing a range of services and experiences that promote relaxation, stress relief, physical rejuvenation, and mental health.

Spas already offer a variety of treatments that promote physical wellness, such as massage, hydrotherapy, and facial treatments which can help to relieve muscle tension, reduce inflammation, and improve circulation but they could also offer mental health services, such as meditation, mindfulness training, and counselling. These services can help individuals manage stress, improve their mood, and develop greater self-awareness.

Spa and salon therapists are already the beating heart of the industry and the unsung heroes. They already lend an ear, offer support, sign post to other practitioners and practice hands on therapy. I’m sure they would relish the opportunity to be recognised for this extra workload they already undertake with certification and accreditation can only benefit them and in turn the spa.  

Additionally, spas need to ensure they are a more inclusive and diverse environment that is welcoming to individuals of all backgrounds and abilities. This could involve offering specialised treatments and services for individuals with disabilities.

Do you think spas have an important role to play in the nation's wellness and why?

Of course, as mentioned above spas can have an important role to play in the nation's wellness, as they offer a range of services that can help promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Focusing potentially on the ‘prevention better than cure’ ideology.

Firstly, spas offer a variety of treatments that can help individuals manage stress and promote relaxation. These treatments, such as massages, sauna sessions, and yoga classes, can help to reduce anxiety and tension, improve sleep quality, and enhance overall feelings of well-being.

Secondly, many spas offer services focused on physical health and wellness, such as fitness classes, nutritional counselling, and body treatments. These services can help individuals to maintain a healthy lifestyle, manage chronic conditions, and prevent illnesses.

Finally, spas can also serve as a space for social connection and community building. Many spas offer group activities and events, which can help individuals to feel a sense of belonging and connection to others, which is important for mental and emotional well-being.

What's new with you this year?

We started the year with the launch of our fragrance free Ab:scent range, an allergen free product perfect for hyper sensitive skin in its current form. Later in the year we will be introducing the personalised boosters that can be added to the Ab:scent range for concentrated performance. In Q2, we will be launching our first Menopause range, Pause: Me and finally, in Q3 we will have a whole host of tea inspired exfoliators and some naturally inspired ingredients hitting the shelves. It’s a busy year.  

Discover Natural Spa Factory's Salt and Oil Body Scrub|Find out more

If someone is starting a new skincare and wellbeing routine this year what would be your top tips?

It can be overwhelming as there are many products on the market and sometimes it’s a bit trial error, which is frustrating, but ultimately it should be a pleasurable experience about taking care of yourself.

  • Remember to start small, be patient with the process, and focus on the basics. Over time, you can add new products and techniques as you become more comfortable and confident.
  • Don’t feel the need to jump on a trend, sure try it out; but think of it like sampling a new food – you may not like it.
  • A change can be as good as a rest!
  • Ensure you are still covering the essentials of wellness; sleep, balanced diet, hydration and SPF
  • Understand your skin type: Knowing your skin type is essential in determining which products to use.
  • Keep it simple: Don't overload your routine with too many products. Start with the basics such as cleanser & moisturiser. Then, add other products like serums or eye creams if needed.
  • Consistency is key - stick to your routine and give it time to work.
  • Consult with a professional: If you have any skin concerns or specific health issues or use our diagnostic tool HERE for personal product recommendations.

Treatments using Natural Spa Factory products are available at lots of spas across the UK including Lucknam Park.

Book a spa break at Lucknam Park

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