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Today let’s talk to…

Ila Spa

Founder: Denise Leicester

Location: Cotswolds, UK


Denise Leicester has spent a lifetime exploring the dynamics of natural healing. In 2005, following two decades investigating the subtlety of being in the medical, holistic and spiritual worlds, Denise developed a unique concept of well-being that addressed the inner essence through the skin: an absolutely pure product range created in complete harmony with nature and delivered with conscious, healing intent. She named the brand after the Hindu Goddess of Truth and the Sanskrit word for Earth: ila.


How did you come to set up ila Spa? What inspired you to create your brand?
When I first ventured into the field of ‘organic’ ingredients for the ila product range, it was primarily because I wanted to bring a contemporary product line to the market that truly reflected, and held, the ancient wisdom of purity of the earth.

My intention with ila was to create a range of products and treatments that touched not just women’s skin, but their heart and soul. To achieve this, the purity of the ingredients, the holistic manufacturing processes and depth of intention behind the creation are essential. I have always had a deep love of the earth and had a desire to create a sustainable and ethical business model that gave back to the earth, embodied service and would benefit the lives of many.

I have a deep desire to help people re-connect to their essence of peace, wellbeing and joy. I believe I have an unique background which means I can offer a depth of experience that is rare –my medical background means I always incorporate fundamental principles i.e. relaxing the nervous system with our nerve point therapy, benefits of lymphatic drainage etc combined with holistic principles of addressing mind body and soul wellness through incorporating ancient healing traditions found in yogic healing.

How would you describe your brand philosophy?
Ila’s philosophy is to bring purity, energy and balance into everyday life through the creation of luxury organic products that are as effective as they are ethical: no-compromise skin and body care with the ability to awaken, transform and heal.

Where do you source your ingredients from?
We work with indigenous communities and tribes who are truly the Guardians of our planet; they live in harmony with Mother Earth and have a relationship with her that most of us cannot access in our busy city-based lives – we need to invest in them and their work to support the balance and the health of the earth. They are ‘beyond organic’ in their reverence

Favourite thing about your job?
I love the infinite possibilities – of being able to discover more and more about nature’s healing energy and ingredients every day, of having the chance to observe and learn from some of the most inspirational communities and traditions, and of course the opportunity and ability to travel.  I meet incredible people from all walks of life and have established relationships that transcend a specific time or place.  I love that every journey is both physical and metaphysical – and reveals another path.

If you had to use only one product from your range, what would it be?
I adore all of our products, but if I had to pick one I would say our Face Oil for Glowing Radiance really is a little miracle, it nourishes and supports at the deepest level and works beautifully under make-up.

What is your most treasured wellness secret?
My fail safe way to completely switch off is with early morning Nordic Walking. It’s a totally different way of walking that helps us restore our own inner rhythm.  It’s a great way to clear your head, open your heart chakra and boost your senses and energy for the day – plus it’s twice as effective as ordinary walking at burning calories. You can do it anytime, but nothing beats early morning. The Yogis tell us that 4 am till 8 am is one of the purest times of day, when Nature is at its most vibrant

What is your approach to nutrition? How do you keep healthy?
I am a vegetarian and love to eat the food that is sourced locally to where I am travelling. It is always more difficult to try and stick to a healthy diet when you are flying and heading straight into business meetings but I do try to be as disciplined  as I can.

Fave kitchen staple:
Everything in my kitchen… I miss cooking in my kitchen hen I am travelling and there is nothing better than being snuggled up at my home in the Cotswolds with a wonderfully home cooked meal.

Can’t live without:                                                                                             

My husband John and our dogs

Your healthiest passion:

Healthy habits I practice are daily yoga and breathing techniques, raw food living and my daily joy list of all I am grateful for.

What do you do to relax?

To me relaxing is all about putting my feet up and reading, or going for early sunset walks with our dogs before curling up together in front of a blazing fire. I really look forward to doing this in a time of winding down.

Your current mantra?

Follow you heart.


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