Last week I took a walk down Albert Road and ended up in the new Southsea Bathing Hut skincare apothecary, not far from the King’s Theatre; 2C Albert Road to be precise.
I’d seen SBH at a few local events and have tried their lavender and patchouli soap (my friend raves about the vanilla and lavender Salty Sea Scrub). Earlier this year at the Portsmouth Vegan Festival I managed to spend a bit of time chatting with founder Samantha Worsey about her products, asking all sorts of awkward questions about the ingredients and what made her cleanser foam etc… She answered them all with total confidence and complete knowledge – she makes everything herself in small batches in Portsmouth. The business originally started from her kitchen table, making soaps for friends and family before growing into a pop-up stall at events and then being stocked in a few local retailers. Back in 2014 she read about Portsmouth’s long-lost heritage as a soap making city and decided to embark on a mission to bring it back.
I had walked past Southsea Bathing Hut’s new store in the early stages – freshly painted exterior and a notice in the window still blocked out and waiting for the big reveal – and been super excited. Finally! This company I’d seen in various places was going to have its own dedicated shop! You can always order online from www.southseabathinghut.co.uk but I really like smelling, trying and chatting to someone knowledgeable when buying new skincare and body products. I’m a big fan of high quality, cruelty-free, natural skincare – moving three years ago to make my own cosmetics and skincare collection as cruelty-free as possible. I’ve also found that more natural products help my skin’s appearance way more than anything I can usually buy in a big retailer. Very often, those with sensitive and troubled skin will benefit from more natural skincare. So go in, explore and ask questions as Sam is very happy to talk to customers and help find what might suit your needs.
The skincare apothecary itself is small but perfectly formed with the same mint green colour from the exterior throughout, accented with natural wood and a few baskets containing bath bombs. Nods to the seaside are everywhere with shell lights, wooden furniture, towels and the MOST BEAUTIFUL giant shell sink I have ever seen. Honestly, this sink is everything! Sam laughed when I commented, saying it would be even better once it’s plumbed in. The full range of around 30 products is available including a few gift sets in very lovely and on-brand packaging, shaving items, bubble bath, colourful facial steams made of delicate flowers and one or two other products from carefully select companies who match SBH’s principles – Hurraw, Acorelle. I also spied a few beautiful Turkish towels that I might have to go back and admire again.
The only problem is, as a skincare aficionado I have quite a few things to get through before I can buy anything else. Sam agreed, saying her products are best when used as soon as possible because they’re handmade in small batches. The active ingredients will be far more effective when they are fresh.
Having an independent businesswoman making quality skincare and body products right on our doorstep is fantastic and I urge anyone and everyone to go in and try them. Especially if you’ve never tried natural skincare!
Photos courtesy of SBH