You are no one if you are not sporting a beard these days, and taking advantage of the surge in sales in men’s cosmetics, a Skye seaweed cosmetics entrepreneur has expanded his range of skincare products with the launch of a new beard oil and wax.

Ben Oakes, a former student at Scotland’s Rural College, set up the Isle of Skye Seaweed Company two years ago to make natural skincare products using locally harvested seaweed and imported coconut oil.

Now he is adding to his range of lip, hand and body balms, with a black pepper and vanilla-scented beard oil and complementary wax called After the Storm.

“My seaweed infused oil and wax have been a long time coming and I am so happy with the results,” said Ben.

“The combination of the coconut and jojoba oils has created something that’s great for a beard and the skin underneath, together with a fantastic musk.”

With his passion for all things marine, launching a range of beard care products was a natural next step for the bearded Ben.

His appreciation of the natural environment – which originated from his upbringing on Skye – increased while studying for a degree in Sustainable Environmental Management at SRUC in Edinburgh.

Returning to his island home, he did an apprenticeship in sustainable scallop cultivation before coming up with the idea for his seaweed cosmetics company.

Two years later, having been granted a licence from Crown Estate Scotland proving his hand-cutting method is sustainable, he set to work creating his line of cosmetics.

“Working daily in the marine environment became a true passion of mine,” he said.

“Each day varies totally from one to the next. One day I’ll be at sea and the next I could be in the seaweed workshop or at my desk doing paperwork.

“You can also find me on the shore cutting seaweed or doing presentations at schools or with community groups. I take every chance I can to advocate sustainable fishing practices and educate on why it’s important to protect our seas.”