Re-Launch: Holland & Barrett, The Home of Natural Beauty

Think Holland & Barrett and if you’re anything like me, automatic mental images are of dried fruit and seeds, a place to get your protein bars, or somewhere that has pine nuts when the lad in the supermarket looks at you like you’re talking Swahili.

P-I-N – ah I give up.

It might not be where you think of to go for your beauty products. Certainly the one local to me is so small, and the tiny shelf with a small range of items on it would pass me by in the blink of an eye whilst looking for something totally unrelated.

But that’s where the More store on Market Street hopes to change your mind. On the first floor is a huge section totally dedicated to beauty. And their relaunch last week has opened my eyes a bit.

Why? Firstly because I didn’t expect there to be so much. I knew there were niches – I mean who hasn’t seen the Dr Organic Snail Gel and raised an eyebrow as they’ve walked past? (Yes really, snail gel, but it does actually work).  But there’s so much more. And secondly, everything they sell is free of parabens, SLS, and microplastics. Chemicals that are potentially bad for us, our skin, and certainly in the case of the latter, for our world.  

Does removing this stuff make it any less effective? 


I’ve actually long been a fan of Dead Sea Magik – the salts are perfect for a post run soak, and as someone with incredibly dry skin, it’s perfect for hydrating my skin too. They’ve now expanded their range to include a BB Cream – something I’m looking forward to trialling.

I’m especially in love with Beauty Kitchen. I was invited down to their launch in London, but unfortunately couldn’t make it. Seeing them in Manchester, means that I got to try their Create Your Own Body Scrub station – you can pick the exfoliator, scent and oil separately, in a jar ready to take home. Having selected the bitter orange (hmmm marmalade scented skin) and trialled it in the shower at the gym already, I’m slightly in love. And looking forward to trialling their facial oil.

I’m also hoping the invite to their space in Glasgow when it opens is still available, as I expect I’ll be on a train before they finish saying ‘yes’. 

I had to physically drag myself away from both the vegan nail varnishes (you’d be surprised what makes it into your beauty products, seriously – here’s an explanation about vegan nail polish), and the scent station. And though I demurred at a cycle with The Smoothie Bike Company (I had just completed a PT session), I did enjoy sampling the smoothies themselves. Thanks Martin. 

So, I admit, I’m still going to stick with some products I use – I’ve not been swayed by a foundation, or a mascara yet – but I might just rethink where I shop, and what I buy. 

And I think that’s a step in the right direction.


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With thanks to Holland & Barrett for the invitation. I think the new section in the store is a great concept, and I suspect I’m about to become a regular customer. 

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