The Nature of Beauty

The Nature of Beauty is the first book from Imelda Burke, founder of London's foremost boutique skincare store and naturopathic clinic Content Beauty Wellbeing.

In recent years the market for natural beauty products has grown exponentially. Improved formulation, more rigorous regulation and a consumer desire for aesthetically pleasing, environmentally-friendly, body-safe brands has led to an overwhelming array of new options. But many still question the efficacy of organic ingredients and the ease with which they will be able to replace the products they know and love. The Nature of Beauty intends to serve as a guide.

While the author does not have the credentials of a cosmetic chemist or indeed any traditional beauty training, her auto-didacticism makes her writing feel somehow more relatable, more applicable. Throughout the book experts are invited to lend a clinical explanation for how and why certain ingredients or processes work but the text is never bogged down by science. It reads as a self-care manifesto written by a knowledgeable, trusted friend who is letting you in on her best-kept secrets.

A lot of diligent, meticulous research was clearly undertaken in order to create this book and that it is never conspicuous is a testament to the writer's style and tone. The list of subjects covered is exhaustive – everything from interpreting product labels and choosing the best moisturiser for your skin type to facial massage techniques and the correct way in which to take bath – but the content is tightly edited and always relevant.

At a time when beauty companies and their advertisers are targeting women more ruthlessly than ever, encouraging us to consume more (and, of course, spend more), Imelda implores us all to streamline our personal care routines, make effective proxies with items found in our kitchen cupboards, and embrace our natural beauty by forgoing make-up entirely. For a retailer of cosmetic products it is an admirable, utterly subversive move. And hopefully a sign of things to come.

320 pages | 180 mins |

Review copy kindly provided by Ebury Press.