A family farm that developed a ‘field-to-face’ range of naturally rehydrating soaps and creams has seen a surge in online orders as people strive to follow government advice on slowing the spread of coronavirus while also protecting their skin.

Frequently washing your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with an antibacterial solution or soap and water is key to tackling COVID-19. It’s essential in the current crisis, but harsh chemical soaps and solutions strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving many people with chapped and painful hands.

‘All this hand-washing is making my hands so dry!’ is a common cry.

The Linseed Farm’s range of vegan soaps and creams was launched as an ethical and more environmentally friendly alternative to mass market cosmetic brands late last year. But many customers are finding the naturally soothing properties of Omega 3-rich linseed especially useful right now.

“I know a farm doesn’t spring to mind when looking to buy hand and face cream or your soap,” says Durwin Banks, who already runs a successful online business selling homegrown linseed for healthy diets with his sister, Wendy. “But linseed has long been grown for its dietary benefits and it’s those same anti-inflammatory properties that have a soothing effect when absorbed into our skin. Linseed soap doesn’t strip out the skin’s natural oils in the way that harsh commercial brands of soap and solutions do. Instead, it leaves hands feeling gently moisturised. The linseed cream is extremely light, but it helps the skin retain its natural moisture, making it better able to withstand the drying effects of modern work and home environments. During the current crisis, it’s helping to counter the side effects of constant handwashing, too.

“The range was only launched at the end of 2019 and this year we were looking forward to promoting it through shows and events, which, of course, have all been cancelled. So, the fact that people are seeking us out online has been really heart-warming and we’ll do our best to fulfil orders as quickly as possible.”

Sales of Omega 3-rich linseed liquid oil, oil capsules and ground linseed have also seen a dramatic increase – by as much as 100 per cent over some sales channels.

“I think what we are seeing is a combination of people being unable to go out to shop in their usual health food outlets, stocks being depleted when they get there, and an overall desire to stay healthy and fight this virus by eating the right foods – it would be good if that continued when we’re all out the other side,” says Durwin.

The ‘clean, green’ vegan skin care range includes a gently hydrating, unscented linseed soap bar and two intensively hydrating ‘skin food’ creams, which took two years to develop. All are made from linseed harvested in West Sussex and cold-pressed on the farm in small batches.

The range was launched in response to the growing desire among environmentally conscious, ethical consumers, to move away from man-made, highly processed and animal-based ingredients in their cosmetics and toiletries.