With hindsight, setting up a new business just before an international pandemic might not have been the greatest timing. But for Bolton le Sands barber turned skincare entrepreneur Ben D’Alton, it’s been a real local success story across twelve months of hard work.
Inspired by wife Fiona’s reactive eczema, Ben started cooking up natural hair and skincare products in his home kitchen for her. After a few burnt-pan disasters, they came up with a range of skin-friendly, all-natural cleansing and moisturising bars.
When customers at the barbers started requesting more shampoo bars than haircuts, Ben realised there was a real demand for additive-free, natural products, sustainably sourced and in minimal packaging.
“I’ve always believed that quality, eco-friendly products should be a choice that everyone has, not just those that may have the means of being able to afford it” explains a clearly passionate Ben. “Local people should have access to quality, sustainable products that don’t cost the earth, either for their pocket, or their environment.”
Named ‘Shoreline Skincare’ to reflect their handmade Morecambe Bay ethos, Ben’s next surprise was reaching the finals of the prestigious Natural Health Beauty Awards, which will be judged early next year.
“During lockdown, closing the barbers was, of course, really scary. But I put my motivation into finding out what our customers needed in our skincare product range instead”
In a whirlwind twelve months, Ben has expanded the range from the original popular shampoo and bodywash bar to seven skin-kind products, created a no-waste, no-plastic glass bottle refill and return scheme for his household cleaning products and added a range of accessories, including bamboo earbuds and sustainable toothbrushes.
Still handmade, production has had to move from the family kitchen to a customised unit in Heysham, to the relief of Fiona! In second lockdown, Ben is again focussing on positive solutions for local people, trialling click and collect from the unit, and a doorstep delivery exchange system for their refillable glass bottles.
“It’s proven good hygiene and self-care promotes mental health and wellbeing, vital for us all during lockdown and coming out the other side. In an incredible year, I’ve loved the challenge of finding inventive ways to develop and deliver a little comfort and calm to local people. If that means becoming the skincare ‘milkman’ of Morecambe, bring it on!”