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Natural skincare for the soul by The Palm of Feronia

Founded by Sophia Harding, an independent skincare brand Palm of Feronia was born of out a passion for clean, organic and earth-derived ingredients that have proven history of benefits not only for the skin, but also emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. Here we chat to Sophia about the  amazing story of Palm of Feronia.

1. Can you tell us the backstory of the brand? How and why it was started?

I suffered with adult acne for over 10 years, starting in my early 20’s and tried all sorts – medication, lasers, going vegan, all sorts of recommended skincare – but sadly nothing worked. Eventually, I was moved onto a controversial medication – Roaccutane. This made my skin super-sensitive and even raw aloe vera would cause my face to burn. Early in 2019 I began experimenting with natural oils to see what was gentle enough to use and gradually began to make my own products for myself, then later family and friends. I’ve practised crystal healing and elements of aromatherapy for years and have used them to aid anxiety issues, so they naturally combined with products – it wasn’t even a conscious decision at the time but in hindsight, it really makes sense to me. I’ve always been a bit of a knowledge sponge so as soon as I started learning about all the ingredients, it just rolled on and on. I then studied organic skincare formulation and used this as a platform to launch what is now Palm of Feronia. 

2. What is unique about your products?

Whilst natural, organic, vegan skincare is very much the norm (and expectation) these days, one of the driving values of Palm of Feronia is holistic self-care. By incorporating herbal lore, crystal healing, and other ancient therapies such as Ayurveda, I want to create products and tools that will help to support you on all levels – emotionally, spiritually, and physically. 

I formulate around a “mood” so instead of just focusing on the physical effects I want a product to have, I work from colour, sound, emotions and feelings – creating a truly sensorial story behind every product. Great examples of this are the deep and earth-connecting Ritual Cleansing Oil with its green hue, herbal fragrance, and inclusion of bloodstone and green moss agate. Or the Deep Glow Facial Oil – a rich, sparkly orange from Rosehips and Sea Buckthorn, with beautiful florals and citrus and infused with confidence-boosting, joyful carnelian and sunstone. 

In today’s hectic world – where people might only have 5 minutes to themselves at the end of the day, where they maybe wash their face and apply some moisturiser – I want to make those simple everyday practices into grounding rituals that help to reset and recentre. Elevating them from something that HAS to be done and a little moment to pause. 

3. What are some of the ingredients and why did you choose them to use in your products?

I adore working with essential oils – in particular woody, grounding oils such as Vetiver, Blue Cypress, and Cedarwood. The mood and feeling they evoke feel so well-aligned to that comforting instant relaxation I want to recreate – the effect they can have on your mood is beautiful. Aside from essential oils, I love to work with very high-quality, potent botanical oils such as prickly pear seed, argan oil, and sea buckthorn oils. I’m a huge advocate for the power of vitamin-rich, colourful, natural ingredients. You’ll never get that instant result you might come to expect with synthetic ingredients, but natural oils can be better suited to a wider range of skin types and with prolonged use, I’ve found you can have incredible results too. Slow, sustainable and safe doesn’t need to mean ineffective! 

4. Your favourite product and why?

Right now, it’s the Hinoki Self-Massage Oil. It’s the latest launch, something I’ve personally been using for years, and is a staple in my evening rituals. I’m very cautious about ensuring things are rigorously tested before bringing them into the world – I never want to launch anything for the sake of it. 

It’s a 3-in-1 oil, for anointing and moisturising the skin, massage and can be used as a bath oil. It’s infused with adaptogenic ashwagandha to soothe, rutile quartz and a delicious blend of sensual essential oils. I also collaborated with an incredible female ceramicist – Argilo- to create limited edition vessels to store and pour the oil to really evoke that luxurious, indulgent goddess vibe. 

5. Any plans for this year? 

I always try to take the summer slower as it’s the perfect time to slow down a little and prepare for the busy few months ahead. Having said that, I’m working on a few very exciting products – a mossy, earthy bath soak, a light, and herbal facial oil, and a few additions to our herbal healing range which I’m working with in collaboration with an Ayurvedic practitioner and medicinal herbalist Emma Marigold of LADY Apothecary – watch this space! 

To see all products please visit website: palmofferonia.com

Photo credit: Nocera & Ferri

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