Newby Hands talks to Margo Marrone,
co-founder of The Organic Pharmacy

What are your at-home health essentials?

Since I discovered homeopathy over 15 years ago my whole perception of what's essential has changed - here are my top four.

Antiseptic spray: There are two important herbs, Calendula (Marigold) and Hypericum (St Johns Wort) which have a whole host of incredible activity. Both are antiseptic, antibacterial and Hypericum is also antiviral so apart from having disinfecting activity they also promote healing and help any cut, sore or abrasion to heal faster and more efficiently. They come as a combination in a spray and I also add propolis which is a brilliant antiseptic and great healer that can be used on all parts of the body including the mouth and skin. I love these herbs so much that you will find Calendula and Hypericum in nearly every product I make because they are so good for the skin.

Arnica pills and Cream: For falls, injuries and bruising, nothing's better than Arnica. Not only does it take the shock away from an accident or fall (a bit like a sweet cup of tea) it also helps reduce bruising and aids healing without side effects so is safe for all the family, even babies.

Lavender Oil: A great first aid item to have around the house - blending lavender with peppermint and using it on the temples for headaches works really well, plus it is good for burns.


What about for children?

All the above work equally well for children because they have no side effects - with small children you probably just have to use them more often! To help calm them down and for sleeping a warm Lavender and Chamomile infused bath works wonderfully well on little ones.

Which product can't you live without?

The Carrot Butter Cleanser; when I run out I immediately notice the difference it makes to my skin. Although officially a cleanser it is not like normal cleansers as it is a balm without any soap or surfactants, and uses really beautiful oils and waxes that make the skin feel comfortable -it contains three of my first aid ingredients Calendula, St Johns Wort and Lavender oil, plus lots more. After a really busy day I use a little more than usual and leave it on for five minutes as a mask to heal and de-stress my skin before I take it off. If I was stuck on a desert island I could use it as a moisturiser on my hair, body, hands and face.

What is your ultimate skincare prescription?

I wasn't born with beautiful skin and always struggled with spots, even as an adult. It wasn't until I went organic that I really noticed the difference it made to both my skin and overall health. There are no short cuts, even for the most beautiful women in the world, and looking after our skin is the best investment we can make. Cleansing is key and lays the foundation for a good skin and this should always be followed by moisturising and special treatments (highly active treatments to protect); exfoliation is vital, once or twice a week depending on your skin type, plus a mask either once or twice a week.

For me the ultimate skin product is a face oil that is packed with plant antioxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids, like my favourite Antioxidant Face Firming Serum - when it first came out 10 years ago I had a call from a customer who had used it for two weeks and said her husband had accused her of having a face lift.


What do you always travel with?

Super Antioxidant Capsules and Rose Bath oil. Long flights take a lot out of the system, plus radiation exposure at altitude is greater so extra antioxidants are essential - taking an extra dose gives me more energy, plus I recover faster from jet lag. I always take my own bath oil as hotels often have beautiful bath rooms but such awful amenities so I really enjoy relaxing in a bath with my own bath oil and usually a face mask- bliss.


Best health and beauty tips?

For a good night's sleep... Take a warm bath infused with Jasmine Bath Oil. One of the active ingredients in jasmine is called Indole, a molecule that calms the mind and reduces stress and helps prepare the mind and body for sleep.

For travelling... The skin gets dehydrated during flights, even short ones, so switch to a rich moisturiser during flights, and for long haul apply a nourishing mask removing it before landing. The skin will remain supple and fresh.

To beat the bloat... Take a probiotic every day. If you are bloated take an intense probiotic (at least eight billion) to bring balance back to the good bacteria in the gut.

To boost energy... Take a Multi Antioxidant formula that contains CoQ10.