Seven secrets of wellbeing: Olivia Thorpe

Olivia Thorpe - visual 1 landscape.jpeg

Olivia is a newcomer to the natural skincare industry, launching her first certified organic product Vanderohe No.1 Nourishing Face Serum in February 2017. An Oxford graduate and former investment banker, Olivia started her career in beauty with freelance journalism before she launched her own, passionately independent, beauty platform,

Serious skin sensitivity to every skincare product she tried led Olivia, now a mother of two, to take a diploma in organic skincare science and create bespoke products for herself and friends.

No.1 Nourishing Face Serum, which blends healing wild-crafted organic plant oils for a multi-correctional healing effect, is gaining a cult following and has already won four awards.

The synergistic effect helps the serum to be skin balancing and strengthening, and anti-inflammatory, as well as boosting moisture. It may also help reduce redness, scarring and pigmentation. The 30ml full size serum is £88, but you can try a 10ml (which should last for ages as you only need a few drops twice daily) for £33, from

1. Look after our planet. It is the only one we have, for ourselves, for our children and for future generations. Understand the cycle of things – for example, where your plastic bottle will end up. Act conscientiously and do something that gives back to the environment. Contribute to a tree-planting scheme, donate to Greenpeace, plant a packet of wildflower seeds in your garden to help the bees survive. Any small positive action towards conserving and protecting our environment is worth its weight in gold.

2. Let your children teach you well. My sons are only four years old and one but I’ve learned more from them than I could ever imagine. The way they look at ordinary things with extraordinary eyes and equally the way they study extraordinary things with ordinary eyes. We all go through a process of fairly strict schooling and learning how to understand things, how we should react to certain situations, how we should perceive objects. There is something so beautifully natural and organic about the way young children have none of that 'programming' – they are free to experience the world with open hearts and open minds and they cast a unique and untainted perspective on everything they see.

3. Laugh. It is food for the soul and brings sunshine to almost any situation.

4. Research, research, research. Question everything, do your research and carry out the task in hand as thoroughly as you can. It’s important to step back from any situation and gain perspective, but it’s just as important to step in: look a bit closer - it’s the only way you will see things properly and the only way you can create something truly great. If you’re wanting to follow a cleaner lifestyle, for example, don’t fall for greenwashing – look at where a product is grown, how it’s grown, what harmful chemicals might have been used on it, what damage they might cause to your body and health…is the product organic? And if so, is it really organic? Is it certified? By whom? How trustworthy is that certifying body? What are their principles? Who governs them? These are the kind of questions I ask when I choose anything from food to cleaning products to, of course, ingredients for my skincare.

5. Know it’s OK to change your mind. 'A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.’ I read this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson years ago and it has stuck with me ever since. There is so much importance laid upon understanding ourselves, being consistent, taking a position and growing into that particular person and what that position signifies. It’s OK to change course. It’s OK to change your mind. It’s ok to be someone different tomorrow to the person you are today.  You don’t always have to be understood; you are simply following your own path and you don’t always need to know where it’s leading.

6. Immerse yourself in culture. It’s all too easy to spend hours scrolling through Instagram, replying to emails or surfing the net. Be firm with yourself and switch off regularly. Take a walk outside, look up at the sky, listen to the birds, notice the seasons… Visit a museum or an art gallery. Start a really good book. Listen to music. Feed your soul with nature and creativity and you will find that it colours what you create.

7. Be gracious. My parents instilled in us that ‘manners maketh man’ and I’m so grateful they did. I always notice if someone addresses me politely in an email, responds in a timely manner, opens the door for a stranger, shows consideration and smiles. Never underestimate a smile. And always be kind: good karma catches up with you too!