Making your own Skincare

Sometimes you just need to get away from it all on your own or with a friend and do something, something just for you. You know the feeling - sitting at work and imagining a little bit of healthy indulgence!

When I started running workshops at Archeus about 18 months ago I just thought about the content: empowering people with knowledge so they could make their own natural skincare products, or taking them on an alchemical adventure in the world of natural perfume. I have to confess I hadn't really thought about workshops as therapy and retreat!

At the beginning of every workshop I get people to do a whip round the table telling us all a little about themselves and why they have come to the workshop. This also helps me of course as it gives me insights into what they are hoping for which enables me to tailor information for them. This has shown me just how important it is for people to have a chance to get away from their daily grind.

The following themes keep coming up - maybe they will ring a bell for you:

1. Many people come from out of town. They come to 'get away from it all' or do something for themselves. Many plan a weekend of it bringing partners, kids or friends and staying on in the Bay to take in sights and scenes. 

2. Quite a few people come to the workshop who are feeling the stress and toll from their jobs or daily life. They want to lose themselves in something that is good for them and also a bit luxurious.

3. People come to the skincare workshops because they are not happy to keep piling synthetic cosmetics on their skin and they want to know how to make beautifully pure and simple products for themselves or members of their family.

Families have come to workshops to reconnect and share activities together after separation due to work or illness. Mothers and daughters have bonded together over a gently bubbling bain marie with pots of goodies warming in them. Friends have catch ups over scales as they weigh their ingredients. Naturopaths, beauty therapists, cosmetic tattooers, writers, hospice carers, farmers, barristers, housewives, journalists, PR supremos, celebrity chefs..... you name it, they come.

At the 10am-3pm workshops we always stop for lunch. If the weather is good we can eat outside in the gardens. Inside we sit round a big table in the apothecary. This is a lovely time for sharing and for new friendships being formed. I love seeing how people who started out the day as complete strangers are growing together in friendship.

I was talking to someone on the phone and they said 'Archeus is about so much goodness'. I think that these workshops are part of that goodness. Yes they are about remaining true to the herbalist tradition of handing on knowledge. Yes they are about empowerment, but what I have come to realise is that they are also about the goodness of great people gathering in a beautiful space to make good things. Gotta love that.

So if you are coming from out of town maybe check out the HB Tourism website for other things you can do while you are here.

If you are thinking of coming along to a workshop on your own, maybe think about asking a friend if they want to come too.