Rachel Foy , the Smithills mum behind Alamay Natural Beauty Skincare
We meet the Smithills mum who launched her own range of natural beauty products thanks to inspiration from her son. Amanda Griffiths reports<br/>Photography by Kirsty Thompson
The print version of this article appeared in the July 2012 issue of Cheshire Life
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When Rachel Foy started ‘dabbling’ by mixing natural lotions and creams in her kitchen she never imagined that two years later she would be running a successful beauty business.
But that is exactly what happened, with the Smithills mum’s company, Alamay Natural Beauty Skincare, now offering 18 different ranges with more than 100 individual products from body lotions and butters to lip balms and face creams.
It all started simply because Rachel was looking for something that would help her little boy, Simeon, who suffered from terrible eczema from birth.‘He was under a dermatologist at the hospital,’ she says, ‘but everything they were prescribing for him was laden with chemical preservatives and agents. I knew they weren’t good for his skin.’
Whenever they were applied Simeon’s skin got very red and within minutes he was scratching. Rachel believed they were making him worse so she started mixing her own.
‘I did an aromatherapy diploma a few years ago, but I’d never done anything with it, and it started making a massive difference and his skin started to heal,’ she says. ‘I gave my sister some and then to a few friends and in the last two years it’s just snowballed.’
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Of the 18 ranges, the most expensive products are around �15 with the baby and the spa ranges proving to be most popular.
‘I think after seeing how nice they felt on their baby’s skin and how they left their hands feeling, mums have then been looking to see what else is on offer for them,’ says Rachel.
‘When this all started in my kitchen I would never have imagined it becoming what it has. It’s been a massive surprise and shock but also exciting because the feedback I’m getting is nothing but positive, so I think we must be on to something.
‘And to look at Simeon now you would never know he had eczema.’Alamay’s ethos is to offer products that are as natural as possible but also to make people aware of what they are putting on their skin.‘By educating them about the chemicals that some companies use they can make a more informed choice,’ she says.
The products are made using a mix of essential oil blends and Rachel says, 98 per cent of the range is vegan friendly as she won’t use animal products like beeswax or lanolin. The only exception is the fabulous smelling honey range for dry skin. None of the products contain harmful chemicals including parabens and SLS, and all ingredients are sourced in the UK.
Rachel is now working hard to gain vegan society and organic soil association accreditations.
‘There is a difference between organic and natural products – natural means it is developed from plant sources. A lot of companies say they are natural, but when you look on their list of ingredients you see they are using other chemicals.
Organic is something that has been grown or farmed without using any chemicals or pesticides – the fact that we don’t then add chemicals means the customer is getting a product as natural as possible.’