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Happy new year, everyone and welcome to 2018! I hope you all had a splendid festive break with friends and family and are ready to give this year everything you’ve got. In the spirit of usual new year activity, it’s likely that a few of you are looking to make positive changes to your lifestyle and health, so January’s posts will be focussed on helping you do exactly that.

To kick off, I’d like to introduce you to h by Maia, a natural skincare brand that is being produced right here in Reading.

I have been lucky enough to meet Maia, the creator of this skincare range to understand a bit more about what inspired her to go natural and the benefits we can expect from following her lead.

Maia, tell us a little about where your interest in natural skincare came from…

“It started when I was a child. My mother brought us up on a healthy diet and always encouraged us to question the use of modern medication for ailments, and instead to look for more natural alternatives first. In 2008 my mother was sadly diagnosed with cancer and together we started changing our diet and lifestyle to lessen the toxic burden. It was at this point that I really started to learn about skincare and the potentially harmful impact of some of the ingredients in the products we use.”

So how did you get from that to producing your own skincare range?

Facial Oil
Facial Oil, Starting at £10

“I had always suffered from skin-related problems and tried various treatments, none of which really worked. Following all the research my mother and I did into living more naturally, I went on a course looking at the relationship between nutrition and the skin. I learned so much about the ingredients in mainstream products on the course that when I came back, I threw most of the products I had been using in the bin!

I then started experimenting with basic natural skincare, initially making masks with fruit and other things I had in my kitchen. Due to their short shelf-life however, I started looking for alternatives and spent several months researching and experimenting with carrier and essential oils, and butters such as shea butter. All the while, my skin kept getting better and better.

Eventually, I came up with some products that I really liked, and shared them with friends who thought they were great, so I decided to try selling them. I started with my facial oil and it went from there! The ‘h’ in my brand name is my Mum’s initial

What does the future hold for h by Maia?

“I get lots of feedback from clients telling me their skin is improving, so I have lots of ambitions to make products more widely available, including expanding my range to include products for men. One of my main aims continues to be building awareness and encouraging people to look at the ingredients in the products they are buying. Many mainstream creams, for example, are made-up mostly of water, which doesn’t always warrant the price-tag on them. We also know that some ingredients are linked to cancer and can interfere with the bodys endocrine system. I’d love to see a massive shift to make using clean, natural toxin-free products the norm.”

You can find Maia’s products at Epoch3 on Caversham Road or on her website: