Black grooming products are not the obvious choice in most bathrooms where white ceramic wares dominate – and nothing spells bad housekeeping like a bar of dark soap leaving a messy trail around the plughole.
Although their presence can create extra chores, some dusky products are worth it. Take SteinEY, a black powder facemask by Sóley Organics. Made from Icelandic birch and volcanic ash from Eyjafjallojokull (whose eruption in 2010 caused a global travel meltdown), it forms part of a range of creams, shampoos and balms made from wild herbs harvested from an organic-certified patch of wilderness in southern Iceland.
'Fersk' (meaning 'fresh' in Icelandic) foaming cleanser quickly removes impurities, dirt and excess oil from the skin. Its active ingredient, Icelandic yarrow, reduces the appearance of pores and blemishes and soothes puffiness and redness, leaving complexion looking polished and smooth
Founder Sóley Eliasdottir was a well-known actress in her homeland before turning to her ancestral roots (her great-great-grandmother was a healer) and creating Sóley Organics almost a decade ago. Her first product, GRÆÐIR, was cooked up on her hob and is a green balm made of herbs and beeswax which works wonders on puffy eyes, eczema and skin irritations. Her newest, Magaro, is a stomach-calming tea made with licorice, calendula, peppermint and fennel.
Sóley's only store is located in the tiny town of Hafnarfjordur, (which boasts a Viking Hotel and a lava hostel) but this autumn the range debuts in the UK at pharmacist John Bell & Croyden.