We explore the power of nature through Wildsmith’s botanical skincare range.
The new luxury skincare player Wildsmith has just made its debut in Hong Kong. Founded in 2018 in the idyllic countryside of Heckfield Place in Hampshire, UK, the brand has made quite a name for itself in just two years. Combining the nutrient-rich botanicals grown in the natural surrounds of Heckfield with a science-led skincare solution approach, Wildsmith has perpetuated the term “radical botany” and its lauded skincare collection reinforces the need for efficacious products that are concocted sustainably, respectfully and ethically.
The brand is named after William Walker Wildsmith, an 19th-century arborist who created an internationally renowned collection that’s now a large part of the Wildsmith heritage.
Set in the lush rurality of Heckfield, the estate has been lovingly restored from its classical origins, with its Georgian house transformed into a luxury hotel with an English boutique spa, The Bothy. The dramatic parkland on the property was also reimagined into a biodynamic farm and that’s where Wildsmith’s natural ingredients are grown.
Although intended originally strictly for the guests of the five-treatment-room spa, word spread about the healing properties of the Wildsmith brand. Soon the founders of Wildsmith took their products to market to realise the incredibly positive response. The team at Joyce Beauty recognised the potential success Wildsmith would have in Hong Kong and introduced it here.
“This is only the second retailer we’ve partnered with; the first being Harrod’s in London,” explains Katherine Pye, general manager of Wildsmith. “We see Hong Kong as a gateway to the Asia-Pacific and early indications show that the product formulations suit the climate and the clients.”
And so it seems, as the brand has garnered a pretty die-hard fan base in just over the month after its local launch. It sets itself apart from the uncountable alternative options there are on the shelves of department stores and beauty halls, based on “the fact that all the products have been put through rigorous clinical trials where the skin’s reaction to the highly potent plant-derived actives can be measured”.
Being green is part of the brand’s ethos and Wildsmith goes beyond the formulations to uphold its moral standards. Pye elaborates: “Sourcing packaging and the whole supply chain needs to be a key consideration for us all [including us at Wildsmith]. Our project to bring compostable mycelium packaging to the market is part of our ongoing commitment in this area.”
While the packaging underwent an eco-friendly makeover, maintaining the luxuriousness that comes with the brand still has to be considered. As all Wildsmith products are made in incredibly small batches in the countryside, the quantity of little botanical bottles is highy controlled. Often hand-filled, each bottle requires production partners to take on the role of trained chefs who treat botanical ingredients much as they would precious culinary ingredients: using extreme precision and caution to heat and cook the solutions to ensure optimal performance from the plants.
The results speak for themselves. If a private-label single original dedicated only for the use of an individual spa can raise international noise in the cruel and unforgiving beauty scene, it’s proof that it works. The efficacy of Wildsmith comes from the harnessing of the power of nature.
So far, Wildsmith’s modest collection consists of just seven products. One of the heroes is the Active Repair Nourishing Cleansing Balm – a blend of plant-based oils that break down natural and synthetic surface oils, pollutants and make-up. It combines rich butters to create an invisible protective layer of fatty acids to lock in moisture, and fused with a complex of Vitamins A, C and E for added antioxidant protection to prevent future cellular damage.
In Hong Kong, Wildsmith anticipates its Active Repair Platinum Booster for moisturising and repair will be a best-seller. A blend of physical exfoliants, including walnut-shell powder, helps to gently polish away dead skin, while rosehip and cranberry powders improve skin texture and tone – and also smells divine.
Pye recommends taking it slow when using Wildsmith. “Allow yourself enough time within your morning and evening routine to really experience the products fully by breathing deeply and experiencing them with all the senses.” The products come with small metal spoons to ensure just the perfect amount for ideal usage, and at the same time guards them from contamination.
Wildsmith may have started out small, but the initial impact has caused a widespread ripple effect that has crossed the oceans to this side of the world – a vision beyond the dreams and expectations of the founders. If there’s something that Wildsmith brought to us, it’s not only its miracle formulations but also the belief that it really is possible to achieve better results by going natural.