An ancient Sanskrit word for Mother Earth, ila is a beyond organic skin and heart care brand which aims to do something very simple, but also completely revolutionary.
Founder Denise Leicester's vision was to create a range of highly potent and sacred products, which channelled the raw remedial power of Nature, using her most ancient and purest sources of energy – plants, flowers, and herbs - and proving that results-driven products and spa treatments can go hand-in-hand with the highest standards of natural and ethical integrity.
It took two years to find the right type of Roses to use, sourced from India and wild harvested at dawn for the highest vibration by artisan producers; the petals of 38 flowers are used to produce just one drop of oil.
But what makes ila different is not just that the products are created in a meditative environment by hand in the Cotswolds using unsurpassed natural ingredients and minimal processing, nor that the company supports tribal communities, villages and farmers all over the world.
What makes ila different is that every product is imbued with a very strong intent, an intent to nurture way beyond the surface of the skin.
ila products and treatments are designed to promote palpable biological and emotional change in those that experience them – both through touch and smell. Because what we put on our skin directly nourishes and calms our heart - the centre of emotional wellbeing, energy and vitality, and an incredible 75% of our emotions are generated by what we smell.
Few other brands work with this profound understanding. Every cream, oil, scrub, mask, candle and fragrance designed by ila hopes to nourish and balance the deep and sacred essence of the individual, providing a path to peace and inner joy.
At ila we pride ourselves on being a skin and heart nurturing company that is actively ‘Redefining Beauty’ – supporting the age old adage that beauty is much more than just skin deep, it is a quality within. It is a feeling.
Whilst much of the beauty industry prides itself on constantly striving for polished perfection or hooking itself to the latest trend, at ila we walk a very different path.
We are not about critical self-improvement or the search for eternal youth. We don’t believe in living as extroverts, nor do we believe that women should hide in the shadows.
ila is about sharing, with women around the world, the ability to self-care, love and honour the individual essence within each one of us, loving who we are in all our completeness, so that each one of us can shine. What could be more beautiful than that? To be luminously ourselves. To enjoy a harmony between mind, body and spirit. To live in a state of grace.
At ila, we pledge to care sensitively for your energy levels and soul body, as well as for your skin.
We believe society needs to re-remember what ‘beauty’ truly means, and we hope our products provide a path for you to remember too.
A world visionary, Denise Leicester has spent a lifetime exploring the dynamics of natural healing. Her journey has seen her take on many roles – as a qualified nurse, aroma-therapist, yoga teacher, sound healer, holistic bodyworker and spiritual philosopher.
She is likely one of the only women alive to hold such an expansive knowledge of both Eastern and South American healing traditions, many of which might disappear without her.
Between 1983-1987, at the age of 27, Denise nursed one of the UAE’s rulers in Dubai after he became seriously ill.
"Ila certainly wouldn’t have existed without the sheikh. He was an amazing man, and those years nursing him opened my eyes to alternative medicine. I went from being a nurse used to strict, traditional protocols, a drug for this, a drug for that, to realising what incredible natural sources of help and healing the Earth gives us.
I began incorporating essential oils into the sheikh’s treatment plan – the results were incredible."
When she returned home to the UK, Denise enrolled at the Institute for Complementary Medicine in London. She also travelled extensively to India, qualifying as a yoga teacher, staying in ashrams and studying Ayruveda.
A then unsettling seven-year set back, suffering from chronic fatigue and being immobilised, turned out to be a blessing as Denise experimented with her own skin care range after mainstream cleansers and moisturisers started to leave blisters on her skin.
Starting from her kitchen table in the Cotswolds, Denise and her husband John began their business, researching and sourcing ingredients from remote parts of the world for nearly two years, and in 2007, ila was born: an absolutely pure product range created in complete harmony with nature and delivered with conscious, healing intent.
The brand was named after the Hindu Goddess of Truth and the Sanskrit word for Earth: ila.
An ardent fan club soon developed, including the likes of Natalie Portman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Donna Karan, and spas worldwide began to use Ila products and offer especially designed and beautifully executed ila treatments.
Despite the brands' growth, Denise’s vision has remain centred and her core values intact.
She has created an infrastructure that functions at the most sustainable and nourishing level possible, and set a new benchmark for business models: one founded on the self-worth and multi-level reconnection of every single member of the ila family.
ilā’s products are still hand-blended in their barns in the heart of the Cotswolds with care and skill, using Ayurvedic traditions of geometry.
The production team work listening to CDs of Denise’s blissful Indian ragas whilst they hand blend, measure and wrap, instilling every product with positive energy and good intent.
It is a rare working environment that manages to de-stress its workers, but the production team at ila say that within 20 minutes of arriving at work they feel calmer.
Denise owes particular thanks to her husband, John, and her mentor, Pawan Tandon.
Our Production Barns
There is a barn in the English countryside where ila products are made. From the barn you look out over the rolling Cotswold hills and green fields of Oxfordshire. Inside the barn, the scent of essential oils mingles with the gentle sound of Eastern chanting.
In this beautiful place of peace, ila products are blended - by hand, in small fresh batches, using simple techniques based on an intuitive and heartfelt approach. Our staff work without talking, relishing the meditative atmosphere.
By combining ancient traditions, ethical processes and untainted natural ingredients, we harness nature’s purest vibrancy in each and every product, many of which are also individually inscribed with a positive intention.
Our staff write into our creams, scrubs and masks words like ‘joy’, or ‘happiness’, sometimes they simply draw in a heart. We believe in positive energy. We are passionate about what we do. Creating our products takes time, care and commitment. Absolutely no short cuts are taken.
Everyone who works for ila is passionate about what they do. Our approach is grounded in a deep respect for humanity, for the earth and for nature at its purest. From this ila products are born, drawing on the earth’s oldest resources and traditions but directed at the needs of the modern world. A natural life force.
Origins & Ingredients
We seek the highest levels of natural and ethical purity, and work directly with growers and farmers to support local communities and promote ancient knowledge. Each ingredient is painstakingly sourced for its physical, emotional and spiritual benefits.