Napiers and LG team up to launch skincare range

Dee Atkinson from Napiers
Dee Atkinson from Napiers
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One is an Edinburgh institution which has been producing herbal and plant remedies since 1860.

The other is a multinational company specialising in mobile phones and flat screen TVs.

Napiers the Herbalists and LG have teamed up to produce a range of skincare products which have taken South Korea by storm – based on formulas developed 150 years ago.

The hit range – called Belif – is on sale for the next month at luxury London department store Harrods.

The owner of Napiers, Dee Atkinson, was approached by a group of cosmetic scientists last year who wanted to develop a natural skin care brand using the traditional formula created by the company’s founder, Duncan Napier.

Dee, who bought Napiers in 1990, said: “The whole thing has completely taken me by surprise.

“The firm approached me completely out of the blue. They were looking for a herbal brand and they looked at Kew Gardens and other places right across Europe, but they just kept coming back to Napiers – I think the chairman had read a book on us.

“There is a long history of herbal medicine in Korea, so they were very familiar with natural ingredients.

“It’s just been incredible to have this multinational involved with little Edinburgh-based Napiers.

“In the middle of a recession, the economies which are doing well are the Asian economies. To have a brand that’s only a year old exceeding all expectations can only be a good thing for us.

“We have no idea in financial terms where the product is going to take us – LG want to establish Belif globally and introduce it to other countries.”

Napiers Basic formula contains oat seed, marigold flowers, raspberry leaf, wild indigo root, catnip flowering tops and chickweed herb.

The herbalist was opened in 1860 by Duncan Napier, a respected botanist and herbalist, who became interested in herbal medicine after buying a book on the subject from an Edinburgh market stall.

The Belif range is made up of 58 items, including anti-wrinkle products, moisturisers, face masks and a make up range.

The products are free from synthetic ingredients and preservatives and use natural herbal ingredients.

Customers have been snapping it up at Napiers, too.

Dee added: “We have had people travelling up from London because they have heard about the products when they were in Korea.

“Consumers in South Korea love the fact it’s from Scotland – we have such a strong association with medicine.

“We use the formulas in our own skin care products but we used them more as medicinal products – this has reformed them in to something that’s really more modern.”

dawn.morrison@edinburghnews.com