Brand story: Ila
What is it?
Ila, a new organic face and body care brand created by a British woman but with ingredients sourced from sustainable farming practices around the world. Founder Denise Leicester says Ila is the Sanskrit word for earth, and the name of the Hindu goddess associated with well-being.
What's their philosophy?
The synthetic chemical-free range is said by Leicester - in Hong Kong recently to promote her wares sold exclusively at the Four Seasons Spa - to contain a 'rare level' of organic purity. That's because they source ingredients directly from local producers in countries such as Nepal and Morocco that cultivate and harvest the raw ingredients in harmony with nature. Products are hand-blended in the heart of the English countryside. Leicester says she focuses on ensuring each product is created with the right 'energy', so they can contribute to well-being.
Tell us more about the founder
Leicester is a qualified nurse, aromatherapist and yoga teacher. She says she was interested in essential oils and aromatherapy long before it became mainstream, and has always looked for alternative health and wellness solutions. Leicester has studied eastern and South American healing traditions. She and her husband travel the world speaking with native people about their farming practices.
What about the ingredients?
One of the most sought-after ingredients in Ila's products is Himalayan salt (above right). Leicester says it's mined from under the Himalayan mountains and was formed 250 million years ago. 'They provide essential trace elements humans need for healthy living ... and they emit beneficial negative ions when warmed,' she says. It's found in their body scrubs, bath salts, energy spray and face mask. She also uses argan oil and rose otto oil for face products, body balms, cleansers and oils. The range is built on these three key ingredients.
How much do the products cost?
The Body Balm for Feeding Skin and Senses is HK$450, the Face Oil for Glowing Radiance is HK$640 and Bath Salts for Inner Peace are HK$490. They can be found at the Spa, Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance St, Central.