Myrtle & Soap- Natural Cosmetics with a pinch of magic!
Myrtle & Soap caught my attention when they sent in their entry for our ‘Maker of the Month’ competition, before they had even made it to the 3 finalists of the month, I had asked Ellie if she would be happy writing an article for us. I was so impressed with their collection of soap, the elegant design and it’s continuity throughout each product, & the stylised branding really shone out. So let’s hear from Ellie at Myrtle & Soap.
Myrtle & Soap started not long ago. Anastasia and I are second cousins and our family has always been very close. We are a small family business based in London, UK, and our goal is to make cosmetics, soaps and toiletries with natural, vegetable based ingredients, ethically and transparently.
But Myrtle & Soap isn’t just that. It is a medium for creativity, both in soapmaking and as a concept. We always believed that life is always better with a bit of magic, and that is shown in our creations.
Anastasia started making skin care products around 2012 while doing her PHD in Astronomy (after her Physics degree). She was doing research for her PHD at the time which means working almost the full day in front of a computer screen. She wanted to channel her creativity into something more hands on and started making skin care products as a hobby.
Anastasia’s first soap making experience was in 2015 with hot process soap.
“I have to be honest and say that even though I fell in love with the process, I did not love my first soap. It did not look pretty and it did not feel amazing but it was nevertheless a small success! It took another three years to make the next batches of hot process soap. After the first batch (so much better than my first soap) I was hooked.”
Even though Anastasia started with hot process soap making, she believes that cold process soaps are her favourite for both aesthetic and practical reasons. Hot process soaps have a nice rustic look but we both prefer the smooth feel and look of cold process soaps better and the fact that there is much more control over the final colour of the bar. We force gel most of our soaps to make the colours more intense but for soaps with milk (we use coconut milk) we’d rather not gel them to keep them creamy looking. The practical reason is that we find it is much more manageable to make large batches of cold process soap than hot process soap. Instead of waiting for them to “cook” and gel we just let them do that by themselves in their moulds.
Why we started:
After sampling Anastasia’s cosmetics, I had to be involved in helping her start the business. I loved using all the products and I wanted to use my MBA in business development to help out. We started making cosmetics solely for ourselves, making them exactly how we wanted, or because we couldn’t find what we were looking for, this then slowly spread to our family members and friends. People would ask for our creations so we thought it was a nice idea to get certified and try to share them with everyone else.
Products & stories:
We have a very unique relationship with our products. We are both dreamers and wanted that to be reflected to our brand. Myrtle & Soap radiates elegance, intimacy and enchantment. We are slowing building up the brand like a story.
In that fictional story, Anastasia and I are the Creators, descended from Alchemists, and we have made (among others) the Soaps, which are alive entities with personalities and traits. On our website’s blog there are a couple of stories about the adventures of ‘Honey Pot’, and ‘Daily Milk’ our other Soaps, ‘Deep Dusk’, ‘On the Line’, ‘Night & Day’ and ‘Piece of Cake’ will get their stories soon.
Anastasia’s favourite soap is ‘Piece of Cake’, with orange, chamomile and poppy seeds, because in our stories it is easy-going but bold and always there when you need it.
Me on the other hand, I can’t go anywhere without our trusted Facial oil, with jojoba, argan and a blend of other oils, as it is the perfect “potion” for a tired skin.
We want people that buy our products to experience the same awe and excitement we do when we use our creations. That is the magic that Myrtle & Soap is all about.
We get inspired by small things. It can be a book, a photograph, or even a cup of coffee. Other soap makers’ work is always a great way to get motivated and get ideas. We get excited about scents from how they make us feel and we find inspiration in the texture and sensation of each ingredient.
Anastasia’s favourite scent is Ylang Ylang essential oil which is dominant in our Body cream, and I love the freshness of lemongrass essential oil in our ‘On The Line’ soap.
When we pick our ingredients we first think about the aim/function of the product, then which natural ingredients we can use to cover the desired function. We always use natural ingredients that are sustainable, for example we never use palm oil.
We check the origin, composition and technical details about each ingredient before using it. This is one lesson we learnt early, pick high quality ingredients but only if they also have accompanying documentation.
As far as plastic is concerned, we avoid it and we use recyclable materials, like aluminium, glass and gift packaging that is plastic free. We also avoid having unnecessary containers so our packaging is more minimalist. Our soaps come in biodegradable paper bags. Our skincare products do not have secondary packaging, only the container they come in.
Our goal for the future is to have a natural product line consisting of all the essentials that we need in our everyday routine. We are planning to launch a natural shampoo we are currently testing and we will move on to formulating a natural deodorant and a few other exciting products.
It is important to remain honest to our goal and our values. Always natural, always handmade. This way we are better connected to nature, we appreciate and enjoy the process of creating something and have a bigger respect for our product.
Myrtle&Soap is an online shop for natural and handmade beauty products including: soaps, face creams, body lotions, scrubs, all from handpicked, great natural ingredients. The business is run by Anastasia & Ellie in London, UK.
For more information on their range of products check out their website- https://myrtleandsoap.co.uk/