Helen Morris is founder of Samsara Communications, a new breed of marketing agency for conscious and well-being brands, with clients in London and Ibiza. Also a yoga teacher, Helen teaches in companies and charities across London and also writes for publications including Mental Movement Magazine and The Numinous.
Kate Lee: Give us your vitals, the who, what, why, and where.
Helen Morris: I live in London and I founded Samsara Communications, a marketing agency for conscious and wellness brands at the beginning of the year. My clients include yoga studios, meditation hubs, holistic practitioners, and plant-based cafes. I’m also a yoga teacher and writer, with a special interest in mental health and spirituality. Having suffered from depression and anxiety for many years, I am now dedicated to being as healthy, happy, and balanced (the Libran in me) as possible and helping others through my work.
I try and travel as much as possible - this summer I’m off to Obonjan, a Croatian island festival! I’ve travelled to India, Jamaica, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Bali, Fiji, most of Europe, and lived in Spain.
KL: How would you describe your skincare regimen, and what are your favorite products or ingredients to use?
HM: I’m trying to switch to using as many chemical-free and cruelty-free products in place of regular ones as possible. Having spent so much time learning about nutrition and looking after my mind, I started becoming more and more conscious of what I was putting on my body as well as in it. I was in Australia at the beginning of the year and picked up lots of natural products there, where they are more readily available than in the UK. I stocked up on Goodness Every Evening Cream (I love everything about this brand), Rosehip Oil, Sukin Face Scrub, and Healthy Care Papaya Lip Balm.
On the regular, I use REN Glycol Lactic Peel once or twice a week, which really, really works and also a few drops of Sundown Vitamin E Oil at night. During the day I wear Boots Protect and Perfect Eye Cream and SPF 30 moisturiser. I take my makeup off using coconut oil which acts as a moisturiser as well. A fantastic body scrub is Other Stories Punk Bouquet, but I’m yet to find a good natural one (suggestions welcome).
KL: If you're traveling, what are the things you always take?
HM: Sunscreen minimum SPF30. Face Wipes. An eye mask for sleeping. Matcha Green Tea powder and cacao powder - I mix it with almond milk and hot water to make an energising morning drink. A good book.
KL: If you could cultivate an ideal skincare and self-care regimen for yourself, what would it be?HM: I’d love for all the products I use to be natural, but whilst the market is still in its nascence I’m not going to be too militant about it, and use non-natural products when I need to. Ideally I would have more facials and massages - Jade Jasmin is a holistic massage therapist I’ve recently discovered who gives incredible, intuitive massages. She also has a Jade Jasmin natural skincare range launching this summer - the face oil is a must. If I’m in Ibiza (where I try and go as often as possible) then I head to my friend Michelle, aka Shell Therapy, for out of this world massages and aromatherapy treatments.
I also love Reiki, sound baths and cacao ceremonies, I find them all deeply relaxing and it’s great to see more of them popping up.
KL: Are there any new skincare trends--either in technique or technology--that you've recently loved?
HM: Small-batch products that have an authentic, conscious philosophy and provide full transparency with their provenance. Skin and Tonic is an amazing brand, they are a small team who make all of their products by hand in East London. None of their products use more than seven ingredients and they source sustainably. I use their Calm Balm to help me sleep and to give my yoga students head massages in shavasana.
Another pioneer of small-batch wellness / beauty products is Mama Moon Candles. I burn mine every night (Love Manifestation and Infinite Gratitude are my favourites) and use the Abundance potion as a scent and Spiritual Bleach as a purifying room spray. All of the products are hand-poured, 100% vegan, paraben free and cruelty free. Their creator Semra Haksever is a true light in the world and leading the way in the natural candles market in the UK, France and US.
KL: Are there beauty/skincare needs that aren't being addressed by the current market? If so, what do you think our beauty industry needs?
HM: I was struggling to find reasonably priced, cruelty-free hair products in the UK before stumbling upon Kind Natured shampoo and conditioner which are brilliant and make my hair noticeably more shiny. I feel better knowing I’m not using lots of chemicals on my hair or fueling animal cruelty. More transparency is needed across the industry overall so that we as consumers can make more informed choices about what we are investing in when we purchase products.
KL: How would you describe your beauty philosophy?
HM: Less is more. I’ve never spent lots of money on expensive products and I don’t believe in overloading my skin with chemicals if there are equally effective natural alternatives that don't harm the environment.
KL: Who is your beauty muse and why?
HM: Zadie Smith - she is stunning, a real natural beauty and her work is incredible, I read White Teeth and NW again and again.
KL: If you could pass down some beauty and skincare wisdom, what would it be?
HM: All the sensible stuff - getting at least 8 hours’ sleep makes a huge difference, as your body rebalances when you’re sleeping sufficiently. My skin also dramatically improved as I cut out alcohol and reduced the amount of sugar I was eating. I use SPF every day (thanks for the tip Mum), even if it’s not sunny, as is often the case in London! I practice Vedic meditation twice a day which has also really helped and has been proven to slow down the ageing process.
KL: How would you describe your self-care journey?
HM: Self care for me really kicked in four years ago when I was going through mental health challenges. I had to change my lifestyle to prioritise my health. I started practicing yoga regularly and learnt Vedic meditation, started exploring nutrition and many areas of spirituality and personal development. Now it’s a huge part of my life, and became even more important to be as I became self-employed. If I don’t prioritise self care, I don’t feel good and I can’t run my business at my best so I really have to tune in to my energy levels and address any imbalances. It’s fun though - I am fully immersed in this world and I love it!