from a dream to reality...
From an early age I have been aware of the therapeutic power of botanically active ingredients and how the healing powers of plants have been used in medicine.
I read Molecular Biology at university and then worked in the City of London with pharmaceutical clients. I have also studied Cosmetic Formulation and Science in Skincare. My scientific background and training combined with my passion for natural beauty remedies led me to develop a skincare range which harnesses the healing power of plants, bringing together the best of science and nature.
You could say my skincare range was borne out of necessity. Like many of my customers, I have extremely sensitive skin, which is highly reactive. I was never prepared to leave it to chance to see how my skin fared with a new product or treatment and I decided that if I wanted to be sure of the quality of the ingredients that I was putting on my skin, I needed to formulate them myself.
I was born in Bangladesh and raised in England. Growing up, we visited Bangladesh regularly and I was charmed by so many aspects of the way of life there, particularly the humble lives of villagers. The beautiful thing is, I can now trace so much of what I want to achieve with Poppy’s Natural Skincare back to those early days of observing plant remedies seamlessly incorporated into people’s everyday medicinal and beauty routine. This practise of how the traditional culture of my heritage used plants is known as ethnobotany.
Psoralea corylifolia, commonly known as babchi, is a popular herb, which has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat various skin conditions. It is native to India and the sub-tropical regions and this plant has also pharmacologically been studied for its chemoprotective, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. I first came across it in Bangladesh being used to treat skin conditions but equally for beautification.
Babchi was used to topically treat vitiligo and eczema. Indeed, I remember that it was so popular that many of the women I met who didn’t have specific skin complaints were keen to use it and praise its wonders. With the resurgence of studies in natural remedies, we now know that bakuchiol which is derived from the babchi plant, acts in a similar way to retinol and has powerful anti-ageing properties.
I have been storing up all these anecdotal centuries old knowledge and my journey has come full circle, as Poppy’s Natural Skincare now uses this potent botanical extract in our Age-Defying Bakuchiol and Amla Face Oil.
When our son was born with eczema and didn’t respond to the conventional treatment of topical steroids, aside from my concerns about worrying side-effects, I was driven to find a natural remedy. With my background in Molecular Biology combined with my Cosmetic Formulation and Science in Skincare knowledge, I was able to combine the right botanical actives and formulate our Neem and Chamomile Balm. I remembered back to my childhood when I too suffered from bouts of eczema that would always be alleviated after an application of a paste of neem leaves. Of course, that was when in Bangladesh; whereas on return to England the flare-up would be almost immediate. Unfortunately, no one thought to plant a neem tree in our garden!
Fast forward to our son, the Neem and Chamomile Balm has over time, managed to almost eliminate the need to use a topical steroid cream. This did not happen overnight but involved slowly reducing use of the steroid whilst continuing to use our Neem and Chamomile Balm. But a word of advice for all my customers, topical steroids still have their place in the armoury of medicinal remedies and may need to be used occasionally when eczema is aggravated during particular conditions, such as radiator heating in winter.
The Poppy’s Natural Skincare range was developed by me, but the knowledge comes from our amazing, shared history of the botanical world and its healing powers.