Jo Suddes, founder of Flourish Beauty, explains what motivated her to set up an organic green skincare and make-up brand

JO SUDDES was working as a hair and make-up artist in the TV and film business when, almost overnight, her health suddenly started to decline. She suffered severe reactions all over her body which caused her eyes and hands to swell and left her skin raw and inflamed. She developed an irregular heartbeat and was told by medics that her immune system was attacking itself.

Eighteen months and many hospital visits later, an allergy specialist solved the puzzle: Jo was allergic to several chemicals commonly found in conventional beauty products and constant exposure had severely weakened her immune system. "I immediately cleaned out my beauty cupboard and my health rapidly improved," she says. "Who knew a career in beauty could be so dangerous?"

After working in the beauty industry for more ten years, Jo had seen other people suffering from skin and health problems due to the use of conventional cosmetics. This, and her own severe allergies, led her to research everyday beauty products, and ultimately, to set up Flourish Beauty.

"The beauty industry is saturated with toxic beauty products made from synthetic chemicals, and I soon realised it was a growing problem which needed a solution," she says. "At Flourish, we do the research so that you can shop for beauty products safely and without confusion."

The average adult uses nine personal care products each and every day? This exposes them to about 168 chemicals, some of which are known to pose a risk to our health, adds Jo, who is based in Darlington. “Why sacrifice your health for beauty when we are on hand to help you upgrade your beauty routine to one that not only delivers results, but also contributes to your health and wellbeing?"

As well as being an environmentally friendly, organic shopping destination, Flourish Beauty has a team of natural beauty experts on hand to answer questions, about products, concerns about skin or to offer a "green" make-up lesson. "Flourish are here to help you upgrade your beauty routine to one that is kinder to your skin, your health and the environment," says Jo.

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Jo explains the benefits of some of the Flourish Beauty products

de Mamiel

Each product is created using the ancient principles of Chinese Medicine along with modern scientific research into how ingredients interact with our bodies. Hand-crafted, they contain natural and organic ingredients sourced for their unique potency.

Best Seller: Seasonal Facial Oils, £70

Seasonal Facial Oils offer a new take on ageing by treating skin holistically because what is happening inside and around reflects on our faces. The limited edition oils are made four times a year to address the changing effects of the climate on our skin.

Sister & Co.

Skin and body care products made up of pure, potent, raw superfoods. The base ingredient in each product is raw, cold-pressed, organic coconut oil that provides deep reaching, long lasting skin nutrition.

Best Seller: Raw Coconut & Matcha Green Tea Sugar Scrub, £24. Buff your way to beautiful glowing skin. Containing raw coconut sugar, pink Himalayan salt and loose leaf green tea in a base of cold pressed coconut oil and vitamin rich baobab, this decadent scrub will detoxify, soften and nourish to reveal smoother skin with a radiant glow.

Kure Bazaar

An eco friendly, non-toxic nail polish made up of 85 per cent natural ingredients including wood pulp, cotton and potatoes. Quick drying and available in a range of fashion forward colours. Free from Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate, Synthetic Camphor and Toluene.

Best Sellers: Nail Varnish and Nail Varnish Removers, £15

RMS Beauty

Formulated with raw, organic ingredients that support your natural beauty and long-term health. With a wealth of vital nutrients this skin-loving make-up promotes luminosity by reviving a youthful glow.

Best Seller: Luminizer X Quad, £46

Four high impact highlighters in one convenient palette, with iridescent, light-reflecting shimmer. Wear alone, or for super-luminosity, mix into your foundation, blusher or eyeshadow.

Evolve Organic Beauty

Artisanal beauty products made from the finest natural and organic ingredients and hand-crafted in small batches to ensure the highest level of quality and freshness.

Best Seller: Radiant Glow Mask, £20

An illuminating face mask to recharge a dull complexion. Rich in vitamin C and magnesium, the combination of raw cacao, coconut shell powder and sweet almond oil gently removes skin dulling debris while neutralising free-radical damage

Skin & Tonic

Organic, sustainable skincare that uses no more than seven ingredients in each product. Hand-made in small batches each product is packed with skin nourishing nutrients, antioxidants and omegas.

Best Seller: Steam Clean, £27

Melt away daily grime with this simple cleansing balm, made with thistle, aromatic eucalyptus and refreshing spearmint oils to lift dirt and rejuvenate a dull, tired skin.