AN INVENTOR has come up with a beauty product that is giving a new face to the Cornish china clay industry.
Jim Campbell's eureka moment came while holding a piece of shale while walking on a beach with his partner Hana Suldovska near his Charlestown home.
It has led him to create a face mask good enough to eat.
"We obviously realised that china clay is used in cosmetics but there was no one in Cornwall actually making the product that is sourced and produced in Cornwall.
Jim thought it would be an even better idea to combine china clay with Colombia's cacao beans because of their health and beauty benefits.
He explained that while the Cornish china clay draws out the impurities, exfoliates and cleanses, the Criollo and Trinitario beans – known as the "Rolls-Royce" of the cacao beans – provide the flavonoids, antioxidants and cocoa butter for soft supple skin.
It began when his friend Simon Hasslacher, who lives in Bogota, discovered the chocolate.
During a visit Mr Campbell remembered trying the "very different hot chocolate".
It had such an impact on Jim he decided to team up with Simon to launch the drinking chocolate in the UK.
It was launched 12 months ago and they have since sold 25,000 bars to Marks and Spencer, and it is one of the Eden Project's top-selling chocolate products.
"We'd been looking at the wonderful health benefits of chocolate and antioxidant properties and we thought I wonder what else we could do with it," explained Mr Campbell.
Thus Cornwall meets Colombia was born, added the 41 year-old.
"China clay is an amazing substance. There are so many different grades of china clay and this one is the most expensive because it has to comply with British Pharmacopoeia Standards (cosmetic and pharmaceutical standards)."
"We were told by Goonvean when we went up there we are the first company locally in Cornwall to use it in a face mask, although they have supplied it to some larger concerns outside of Cornwall.
"I like chocolate in a wholesome way. I think the nice thing is it's real chocolate and it is made from these very special beans in Colombia that only represent 7 per cent of the world's total cocoa produced each year."
And he is pleased that china clay will be seen face on. The face mask is made by combining both ingredients in a saucepan on the hob.
He warned: "You can put it on your face and you can enjoy the aroma but if you do want to eat it remember there's no sugar in it."
His invention will be launched today at the Eden Project.