The Market Street flagship is the largest H&B store in Europe

SNAIL slime anti-ageing cream, charcoal face masks, vegan nail polish and seahorse plankton face oils – Manchester’s new ‘home for natural beauty’ is full of curious naturally-sourced wonders.

Holland & Barrett have recently expanded their existing Market Street store to become the largest such store in Europe and the world - a shining beacon for health and hemp.

In keeping with its wholesome reputation, not a paraben can be found in the health chain’s beauty catalogue, instead you'll find argon, coconut and hemp oils aplenty. 

Inside the new 'More Store', discerning ethical shoppers are even able to make their own natural body scrub from scratch using raw sugar or Himalayan salts to ensure everything in the pot is from a sound source. There’s also protein shake, cereal, nut and pick 'n' mix stations, an in-store skin and weight diagnostic centre and vegan nail bar.

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Ethical beauty brands such as Dr. Organic, Trilogy, Viviscal, Dr Organic, Faith in Nature and Beauty Kitchen are Holland & Barrett’s go to skincare brands at present. While many of the skincare and beauty brands are relatively unknown, H&B provides opportunity to discover alternatives to the bigger corporate brands.

As the demand for more ethical, organic and natural beauty products has grown in recent years (with veganism reaching an all-time high), the Holland & Barrett store is a one-stop-shop for those looking for a more conscious approach to health and beauty. It’s the first store to ban parabens, SLS and SLES from all beauty products and more recently it banned micro-plastics, the tiny pieces of plastic used by many successful beauty brands, as they present a danger to marine life.

“Beauty is the fastest growing category in Holland & Barrett,” explains Lucy Pottinger, Head of Beauty and Aromatherapy at Holland & Barrett, “10 years ago there were little over 100 products in total in the beauty category and on average just five shelves in store. Now the category lists over 2,500 products and not only spans traditional areas like bath, body and hair care, but also new areas such as sun care, travel, makeup and nail care.”

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Holland and Barrett Manchester

She adds: “I am so proud of what we have achieved in the last ten years and looking around the Manchester 'more store' I see just how far we’ve come. There is more to come because, as a business, we’re dedicated to understanding more about what our beauty customers really want. 

"The big trends we are focusing on at the moment are vegan beauty, DIY beauty and going back to basics to understand what’s really in our beauty products. We’re also rolling out an accredited beauty expert training module for our in-store staff, so that they can provide our customers with solutions that are as natural as they are effective.”

Find the new store on 105 Market Street, Manchester M1 1NN and online.

Here's our top natural beauty purchases:

Weleda – Skin Food - £2.25 - £10.95

Supermodels Suki Waterhouse, Behati Prinsloo, Doutzen Kroes, Jessica Stam, Dree Hemmingway and Lindsey Wixson are said to be loyal fans of this 100% natural moisturiser. Not to mention celebrity A-listers such as Victoria Beckham, Adele, Rhianna and Demi Moore have also shared their love for this wonder product. Skin Food is an incredibly nourishing moisturiser – we’ve tried it and now we’re similarly hooked. Your skin gets to feed on chamomile, calendula and wild pansy to soothe, plus rosemary to revitalise and nourishing plant oils. £10.95 for 75ml. 

                      

Weleda Skin Food

Yes To Tomatoes – Charcoal Face Mask - £3.49

It tingles. It tingles a lot. So much so you’re not sure if you should throw a bucket of ice water over your head. But the tingling means the paper mask is working. And it does. Charcoal sheet and mud masks have become a huge beauty trend of late for their detoxifying, deep pore cleansing properties. At £3.49 a pop, Holland and Barrett’s sheet masks should be popular with those in need of a pore clear out.

 96% natural and containing key skin-perfecting ingredients, including Aloe Vera, Ginger, Witch Hazel, Green Tea and lycopene-rich Tomatoes, this charcoal paper mask are ideal oily and combination skin. 

Charcoal Paper Mask

Dr. Organic Snail Gel – £9.99

‘Snail secretion filtrate’ is not the most appealing product ingredient we’ve heard (though not the strangest, believe it or not), but we’re not averse to trying snail gel if it can slow down the ageing process *wink*. Apparently, the ‘unique healing and repairing powers of the snail’s slime’ were discovered by Chilean snail farmers with rather soft hands. The range, which includes moisturisers, toners, masks and eye creams, is for the strong of stomach, sure, but brave beauty buffs may benefit from the silkiness (not slimy) of the snail gel line. Skin as smooth as snail slime is an unusual compliment but one we'll willingly accept. 



Dr Trilogy Organic Rosehip Oil - £19.99 - £34.50

Rosehip oil has been hailed as a revolutionary skincare ingredient of late. Slather Trilogy’s Rosehip oil on scars, stretch marks and wrinkles to allow essential fatty acids (omegas 6 and 9)and vitamins work to moisturise, soften and smooth and help to restore radiantly healthy skin.

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Rosehip Oil