The brand born on an NHS nursing ward - Antonia Philp talks highs and lows since co-founding body and hand care brand Nursem

As we celebrate International Nurses Day this year, we caught up with Antonia Philpa paediatric nurse, mum of three and co-founder of hand and body care brand Nursem with her husband Jonny - whose Caring Hand Cream is featured in the limited edition Female Founders Edit (currently available for just £42.99, instead of £60 for a limited time only this International Nurses Day) - to find out more about the brand and the multi-tasking master behind it all…


What’s the story behind Nursem?

After qualifying as a children’s nurse I would come home from the hospital with sore, cracked and bleeding hands from the constant hand washing. Health care staff have to wash their hands on average 50-60 times a day, and so knowing this was a problem for a lot of nurses and never being able to find a good enough solution that actually treated the problem, I started work on a hand cream formula. It needed to be effective, natural and something nurses could use repeatedly throughout a busy shift to help to reverse those harsh side effects and replenished the natural oils that are stripped away during frequent hand washing.

It took us seven years to perfect and now we have our bestselling Caring Hand Cream and many other brilliant products at Nursem.

What three words would you use to describe your brand?

Caring, hardworking and honest.

Why did you choose this particular product to go into the box?

We are the heroes in hand care so we absolutely had to include our bestselling Caring Hand Cream – we want everyone to see how great it is! Customers love the award-winning formula as it’s fast-absorbing and uses naturally derived ingredients such as manuka honey, white willow and glycerin to soothe and protect dry and sore hands.

What top tip would you give to your younger self?

Be fearless! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d become the co-founder of a leading beauty brand, as my expertise and career had always been on an NHS ward. However here I am, juggling two careers and being a mum to three small children with my husband and co-founder Jonny. Seeing our brand in stores such as Space NK and Boots remains a ‘pinch me’ moment.

Tell us about The Nursem Promise…

The Nursem Promise means so much to me. For every product you buy, we give a month’s worth of free hand cream to an NHS nurse or midwife. We have delivered thousands upon thousands of Nursem Promises and continue to do so – it is the most rewarding part of the job.

And what’s been the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge was when my husband Jonny suffered (and thankfully recovered) from a brain tumour. It is a daily reminder that life is short and health has to come first.

What is the biggest compliment you’ve had about the brand?

I heard someone who I had never met before recommending it to another nurse. It’s just lovely to hear such positive words about the products that we have created.

What’s next for Nursem?

We have so much in the pipeline for Nursem – including a new lip product – later this year so watch this space!

Find the Nursem Caring Hand Cream – plus nine other brilliant products, worth over £270 in total – in the Female Founders Edit for £42.99 for a limited time only this International Nurses Day.