Mary O’Donnell: Organic Products Which Are Kind To The Skin

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rsz_mary_odonnell_xRECENTLY I was a judge for the Irish Spa awards and I had the pleasure to be introduced to Voya.

This company from Strandhill, County Sligo, is fast becoming an Irish success internationally.

Voya has adopted organic and sustainable ways of creating products. They use only sustainable harvesting practices to ensure that they don’t damage the delicate coastal environment that provides us with our certified organic seaweed.

They then combine this with the best organic ingredients from around the world to bring you a unique seaweed bath experience and a range of products that not only heal the body but leave the skin silky smooth.

The company owner Neil Walton started looking into the benefits of seaweed.

Neil was amazed at its effects. He noted the bath’s ability to remove toxins from his body and accelerate the healing process.

This prompted Neil to investigate the tradition of this therapy and the history of seaweed baths in Strandhill, an investigation which would eventually lead to the Waltons reopening the town’s first new seaweed baths in 100 years.

The therapeutic properties of wild seaweed have long been known along the Irish coast. At the beginning of the 20th century there were an estimated 300 seaweed bath houses in Ireland and nine in the small town of Strandhill alone.

The last of the original Strandhill bath houses, its foundations still visible on the coast, was destroyed in September 1961 by the worst hurricane to hit Ireland, Hurricane Debbie.

As the tradition had seen a significant decline due to a population shift away from the Atlantic coasts and the rise in popularity of un-organic treatments, they remained unopened for many years.

Voya 1Through VOYA, the Waltons have revived this Irish tradition of seaweed baths. Their reopened baths in Strandhill, Co. Sligo is now one of only a few in the country, Collins’ Seaweed Baths in Ballybunion being one in Kerry.

Since reopening, the seaweed baths in Strandhill have been enticing customers from all over the world. Attracting 40,000 visitors every year to the beautiful surroundings of Strandhill, they have become one of Sligo’s most popular landmarks.

As well as being a salon and spa brand, Voya have some cult products. ‘My Little Hero’ is one of my favourites.

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