In harmony with nature

With soaps, candles, body oils and more, HandMadeNatural is a cosmetics brand with a conscience

Imagine a cosmetics brand that ticks all the right boxes: organic, vegan, biodegradable, sustainable and biological. Well, herbalist Márcia Rodrigues has created just that, as she firmly believes in the motto, “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

“I grew up in the countryside, in contact with different plants and herbs, and I was taught from an early age how to plant what I pick. Living sustainably is something natural to me, not just a trend,” says Márcia Rodrigues, owner of HandMadeNatural.

With the slogan “Living in Balance with Nature”, the brand is a pure reflection of her mission to define her life by conscious daily choices. HandMadeNatural was created in December 2019, with a portfolio ranging from soaps and solid shampoos to hair and body oils, solid deodorant, and even natural makeup. Candles and natural incenses for self-soothing, anxiety release and relaxation are also available. “The candles are biodegradable, made with pure soy wax, and they only have the natural scent of the plants.”

Márcia took a lot of what she knows from her life in a natural environment to the creation of her cosmetics brand. “In addition to what I already had, I started studying phytotherapy in 2018, as well as aromatherapy and oil therapy. I always had the notion that all the shampoos and shower gels that we use are super damaging to the environment and so, questioning that from the beginning helped in the development of HandMadeNatural,” she explains.

Chamomile, rosemary, marigold, and thyme are four of the most important plants used to make these health and beauty products, and they can be beneficial for numerous reasons. The solid shampoo made of coffee, rosemary, and thyme is a bestseller for the brand, and it has many benefits. “Rosemary is ideal for overcoming hair loss, thyme is good for the uniformization of the hairs and coffee is the perfect scrub that renews the skin and removes dandruff,” says Márcia.

“The marigold soap is a very good natural antibiotic and it’s ideal for the treatment of eczema, and, in babies, it can be used both as soap and shampoo.”

All the products can be found online or at the local exhibitions in Lagos (Armazéns Regimentais de Lagos), and some aesthetic clinics have them available too as well as the Carrapateira Extreme shop.

“I have a solid shampoo that has orange, and the fruit goes all inside the soap. The same happens with the carrot shampoo and the mint one. I mix the fruit with the oils and the glycerine, and I throw it all into a disinfected and sterilised milk package to create the right shape. Then it takes one week to be ready to sell,” which is where the whole process takes place, but I pick the oranges and the carrots from my father’s side.”

Aside from making her natural products, Márcia also leads workshops on phytotherapy, bath salts and even on how to make chemical-free plasticine. “I created this brand thinking of the future, Mother Earth and our skin. Part of me is naturally present in the brand, as I am someone very natural, sustainable, worried about harvesting what I plant and making conscious daily choices,” she explains.

“None of my products have preservatives or added perfumes, which is the reason why my clients have to adapt to something different from what they are used to,” Márcia reveals. “My audience is very specific because they are not people who are just buying these natural products once. They are interested in transitioning into a different way of life, and it can take time for the skin and hair to adjust to that.”

Accustomed to doing all the process alone, Márcia’s wish is that she will continue to be the only artisan at HandMadeNatural. “It’s my energy, my story and I want to preserve that. It’s rare,” she tells us.

When asked about her plans for the brand, she told us that she is developing natural sunscreen and toothpaste, and something even more ambitious: “My idea is to publish a book about phytotherapy, where I will also share some natural recipes that everyone can make at home,” Márcia reveals.

Facebook: HandMadeNatural

By Margarida Pimenta