Going down the natural route


NATURAL Lavender gathered and ready for processing at Woo in the Willows.


Maggie Gibbons

Today I’m going to introduce you to two lovely companies, which may or not be new to you. Both offer wonderful natural products that are free of synthetic preservatives, colourings or perfumes.

Local and lovely
When Wendy and Steve Sweet moved to Louisburgh in 2017 their original intention was to live as sustainably as possible, planting over 500 trees for firewood and shelter. Then along came lockdown, and in early 2021 Woo in the Willows was born.
Initially, they just produced bath salts and sold them in their community. This gradually grew, more products were introduced, and after a wonderful reception at the Louisburgh Christmas market in 2021 they pushed forward and formed the company.
Most of the ingredients are sourced from their own land, or suppliers who provide organically sourced ingredients. Would you believe, they grow 20 varieties of lavender on the land (I thought there were only two kinds)? They grow other herbs too, and all can be distilled for essential oils in both face and body products. All packaging is recyclable and compostable.
The prices are so affordable – an important consideration these days with the cost of living rising. The products make fabulous gifts – yourself or some other lucky person. “The Woo in the Willows” Moisturising Body Butters are €10; I’ve been using the lavender one and it feels great on the skin.
Soothing Daisy Balm (€10) is another favourite. Hydrosols cost €15 for 200ml and €10 for 100ml for rose, or €12 and €8 for the lavender. I’ve been spritzing some of their lavender on my pillow at night, as I have nights when my sleep quality is desperate (lavender being generally recommended as an aid to good sleep.) Foot soaks cost €12, and soaps are a steal at just €2.
They also produce herbal infused oils and vinegar. Definitely worth checking out. It’s fantastic to have such purity on our doorstep! Woo in the Willows will have a website in the autumn, but right now you can contact them on facebook at woointhewillows or email woointhewillows@gmail.com.

Irish and organic
InnerZen Organics is a female led company founded by Cork-based Fiona Long, who started her career as a holistic therapist. Through the practice she discovered the many benefits of natural oils on the skin. Thus began her journey of product formulation.
Initially, she tested the waters with her family and friends. She found that her products were showing great results, and it was then she realised her blends were making a huge difference. She had particular success with rosacea in a very short time, and soon younger people came for treatment for acne and breakouts.
Fiona’s range is free from toxins and chemicals. In 2022, InnerZen was voted winner at The Vegan Skincare Product Specialist category.
The Melting Cleansing Balm (€26) is a luxury cleanser that softens on contact with the skin. Your skin feels soft and radiant afterwards, as well as thoroughly cleansed. It contains cocoa butter, rosehip oil, vitamin E, and both neroli and ylang ylang essential oils.
The hero product is Overnight Elixir (€28.95), which I’m using – and loving. I found I need to put it on an hour or so before I go to bed, as it is quite oily and takes a while to dry in.
The Soothe and Hydrate Serum (€19.95) includes hyaluronic acid, chamomile and orange blossom, and it’s a perfect serum for hyperpigmentation, rosacea and eczema.
They also have an extensive range of body products. Check out the website innerzenorganics.ie – I find the site a great help, as they have a chat option there. I recently got some great help and advice from Fiona’s daughter Kayleigh, who proved to be a fount of knowledge regarding natural skincare.
These are just two Irish companies doing amazing work in their quest to bring us natural skincare. I wish both the very best of luck in the future!

Maggie Gibbons is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at living@mayonews.ie.