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Laterlife visits Martha Hill Skin Care

This month (march 2001) Maureen Green visits Martha Hill Skin Care for

Martha Hill Skin Care is an English family business started nearly sixty years ago by Martha Hill, and now run by two succeeding generations.    

The English Complexion

Soft and peachy - we have all been told that the English complexion is the envy of the world. It’s the damp, rainy weather that helped us before moisturisers in a pot were ever invented. But there are still hazards for our skin, not least a tendency to a delicate dryness. These are some of the problems that an English family business started nearly 60 years ago by Martha Hill, and now run by two succeeding generations, has chosen to focus on.


From their old vicarage home, in the tiny village of Laxton in Northamptonshire, their beauty products have been produced from simple natural ingredients, without any animal testing (if something needs testing they use people who volunteer). The only animal products used are beeswax and honey.

Products like their Honey Treatment Cream use beeswax, camellia oil and apricot oil (9.30 for 50 ml) or their light cleanser Camomile Cleansing Gel, includes camomile, cucumber and aloe vera which is washed off with water for a refreshing finish ( 5.50 for a 100 ml tube). Gardeners Cream, with seaweed extract rosewater, wheatgerm and sweet almond oil, with UVA/B sunscreen is a boon to women who spend a lot of time outdoors, at 7.30 for a 50 ml jar.

Their top seller, the Evening Primrose Skincare range is the Martha Hill line specially formulated in the 1980’s for dry, maturing skin. The oil from evening primrose, rich in essential fatty acid, helps to combat moisture loss, improve elasticity and, they assert,  “may even reduce the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight”. The range includes a moisturiser, (7.40 for 50 ml), a toning gel  for the same price, evening primrose cleansing (8.40 for a 150 bottle) and nourishing cream for use at night (9.30 for 50 ml).

The small family firm, now mainly run by the founders' grandsons, Julian and Damian Hill-Brookes, prides itself on the speed and informality of its customer services.  Since they took over the reins three years ago they have quadrupled turnover.

“We have put a lot of energy into it “, says Damian Hill-Brookes and points to their award-winning website where customers can order very easily from their on-line shop. 

Martha Hill skincare ranges are also sold by mail order and are packaged in simple white containers that can be returned for re-cycling.  Because of this slightly no-nonsense  strategy, the Martha Hill line can be sent out to the customer at very reasonable prices.



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