Emma Connolly meets a Clonakilty woman who believes the products we use should work with our bodies, and not against them
A YOUNG Clonakilty woman is the driving force behind a nautral cosmetics line that wants women to work with their bodies and not against them.Â
RÃ©idÃn Beattie, from Ardfield, set up Warrior Botanicals and hand produces personal care products to promote wellness âinside, outside and all around.'
Her range includes a natural deodorant (that makes us smell sweeter the more we sweat) and talc-free powder shampoos.
They are free from aluminum sulphate, parabens and other harmful chemicals, as well as animal-derived ingredients, and they are all wrapped in recyclable
Â paper and glass jars.
RÃ©idÃn says she never imagined working in the cosmetics industry and it only came about when her own health lapsed as she rebelled against her âcountry roots.'
She moved to Edinburgh when she was 19 and studied History of Art and Textile History and spent time working for a contemporary textile artist collective and in various other areas.Â
âWhen I was younger I couldn't wait to see the back of the place and I left as soon as I turned 18. After graduating, I found myself living in a city with a hectic schedule, working with more of a 9-5 routine, either with contemporary textiles or in galleries. It was when my health began to suffer that I turned to food as medicine. It took me a while to realise my metropolitian lotions and specifically my deodorant were not doing me any favours. This is how Warrior Botanicals was born. I never planned to start a skincare business but when I learned how important what we put on our skin is for our health, I could not resist sharing what I knew.'
She feels very privileged to be able to live and run her own business from Clonakilty.
âIt feels very special to be part of such a strong community, part of the creativity of this place. My parents also run the health food store The Olive Branch in Clonakilty, and it's nice to be close to them again.These days you will find me in my studio creating the elements for a self-care ritual or a new product, or at the farmhouse where I live with two of my best friends, near the beautiful Red Strand beach.'
RÃ©idÃn is mostly self-taught and all her products are made by hand and in small batches in her studio.
âI make everything myself because, like cooking a good meal, I believe that positive energy and love is the central ingredient. What we apply to our bodies is just as important as what food we eat to nourish ourselves â in fact the skin absorbs things to a greater degree and is one of our most sensitive organs.'
Â Finding her niche in a busy market, she is focussing on effective products that are new to the Irish market and not already being produced by other brands.Â
She markets them through her smart and stylish website, warriorbotanicals.com.
âThe powder shampoo is the only talc-free and non-toxic version in Ireland. The cream deodorant was the first of its kind too.'Â
Â Reaction to her deodorant has been especially positive.
âThere seems to have been a major gap for a natural deodorant that is actually effective, which was something I personally struggled with finding too, before I formulated my own. I think the main problem is that a lot of them try to work against our bodies by covering our natural odour with other smells, but Warrior deodorant cream works with the body to soak up sweat as it is excreted, and to release natural fragrance as we sweat so that ultimately the more we sweat, the better we smell.
âOn the other side of that, I think there is still some level of stigma surrounding our underarms that I would really like to break through, especially amongst people who are using aluminum-based deodorants that block up pores and can actually cause a lot of damage to our health. It makes me feel really sad that we feel the need to hold a metal canister at a distance rather than using our own hands to touch ourselves, something (underarm and breast massage) which is actually considered to be hugely important in cancer prevention, according to many functional doctors and herbalists.'Â