Therapi Natural Skincare
Bee the change you wish to see in the world. For Tanya Hawkes, the founder of the British skincare like Therapi, she is that change and is paving a new path in the world of organic skin care. She is one of the only individuals who actually produces the ingredients in her line, honey. She is a bee whisperer and steward of the earth, who is known to handle her bees without gloves.
What strikes me about Tanya is her commitment to quality and her relationship to the bees. There is no doubt that she has great and respect for these creatures. How many companies use honey and actually produce it themselves? She takes her relationship to both business and to the natural world to a whole new level. Plus, her line is extraordinary for the skin.
Q&A with Tanya Hawkes, Founder of Therapi
Q: How did you start Therapi?
A: Therapi was born out of my love for nature and natural plant-based skincare. I have spent a lifetime studying the ability of honeybees to transform floral nectar, botanical resins and plant essences into natural medicines and super-foods. As a passionate natural beauty advocate and beekeeper I wanted to combine my knowledge of the therapeutic and rejuvenating properties of honey and propolis to create a range of pure and gentle organic products suitable for all skin types.
Q: Why use honey as an ingredient source for your product?
A: Honey is such a pure and effective ingredient to use in skincare. It’s ability to attract and hold water makes it a perfect humectant - it naturally hydrates and plumps the skin. It is also anti-bacterial so works to purify the skin. Also, the vitamins, minerals and enzymes it contains work brilliantly to nourish and promote tissue regeneration. It is now routinely used in medical dressings to prevent infection and assist with tissue repair. We also use propolis in the range; this a rare compound produced by bees, which is packed with anti-oxidant flavonoids. Recent scientific research has shown that it assists with the synthesis of elastin and collagen, to promote vital younger-looking skin.
Q: What’s your experience like being both a beekeeper and a company owner? A: Sometimes a bit schizophrenic! At the moment it’s incredibly varied and I’m fortunate that my job involves doing lots of things that I love. In the Spring and Summer months I spend time with the bees in the apiaries, whilst in the winter I'm most happy locked in the lab with our chemist, mixing and blending different combinations of wonderful smells, colours and textures. I'm also constantly on the look out for amazing plant-derived raw materials and we go to incredible lengths to source the very best quality from specialist organic producers. Not surprisingly, I spend a lot of time talking to people about their skin, which I love – it’s fascinating and gives some amazing insights into the relationships people have with their bodies.
Q: How important are the bees to our survival as a species?
A: In the great web of life bees and pollinators are the unsung heroes. After 25 years as a beekeeper the intricate relationship between bee and flower continues to amaze me; it’s an evolutionary triumph that produces the extraordinary diversity of flowering plants and much of the delicious food we eat. We can’t ignore the crisis facing these essential little creatures, which is why bee conservation and supporting wildlife-friendly organic producers is central to what we do.
Q: Tell us about your line of products and how they came about?
A: It was really a mixture of passion, personal need and luck. I had been working on a honey skincare range for several years, but it wasn’t until I was in a position to collaborate with some very talented people that everything came together.
Q: Do you really work around bees with no gloves?
A: On a practical level it’s easier and it makes you more sensitive to what the bees are doing. I also love to feel the warmth of the bee colony on my skin and the tickling sensation as the bees walk over my hands! Working with bees can be a very sensory and almost meditative-like activity where time stands still and all the cares of the world drift away!
Q: What ingredients do you use in your products?
A: I am totally crazy about ingredients and could easily disappear down the ingredient rabbit hole! I’m also 100% committed to using organically grown ingredients, that way the skin benefits from the purest natural ingredients containing the highest levels of antioxidants and are grown without the use of toxic pesticides. I love to use ingredients that contain as much of the original plant material as possible – that are rich in colour, aroma and active nutrients. Our Soil Association certification guarantees that the ingredients are sustainable, biodegradable and contain no GMO’s or nano–particles.
Taking care of nature goes hand-in-hand with holistic wellbeing and organic beauty is better for everyone – including the bees!
Q: Are you connected to any farms in the area?
A: We work with three farms in the English Cotswolds – all of them are committed to protecting wildlife and improving biodiversity on the farm. Daylesford where I teach beekeeping courses is an organic farm and is a wonderful oasis for bees.
Q: Is there a food movement happening in England?
A: There is a wonderfully vibrant local, seasonal and artisanal food movement here in the UK. It’s inspiring to see so many young people challenging the old ways of mass production and industrialised farming. There are more and more farmers markets springing up and innovative routes to market, which reward the producers fairly and make it a financially viable option.
Q: What words do you live by?
A: Show praise, thanks, love and compassion every day!