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|My collection of balms|
Let me tell you one thing, balms are the bomb, and if you haven’t experienced these little beauty miracle workers, you are seriously missing out! They should be your best friend if you are fellow dry and sensitive skin gal like moi, but all skin types can use them regardless. Skin acting up? Reach for a balm. Chapped lips? Had too much sun? Reach for a balm. Want to protect your skin against elements? Want to deeply soothe, hydrate and nourish your skin? Reach for a balm. You get the idea. I am obsessed with them since discovered them a few years ago, and it is something I always have on hand. You are guaranteed to find a jar or two at any given time in my house, and it is something I always travel with as well, because it is a multi use product, and it is just perfect too soothe and rehydrate cabin air parched skin. Heck, even when my face dermatitis was at it’s worst, Neals Yeard Remedies balm was one of the very few products my skin would tolerate, so I immediately purchased a full size of it once my sample ran out, and thanks goodness I did, it was one of the very few things that calmed the skin and reduced the insane itching. Those who have or had dermatitis or eczema, know perfectly well how uncomfortable and painful it is, and why not try all natural balm instead of those nasty steroid creams your doctor is prescribing you? Your skin will thank you.
Balms can be used on the face or just about anywhere you want to soothe, calm and deeply nourish the skin, it can be used on the lips, hands, dry elbows, or any dry patches on the skin, you can put them on the feet or all over the body if you wish. Well, that would be kind of expensive, but if that is what you want to do, go for it. It’s your call :) It can be used on the face (especially for dry skin people) and I often use one instead of the night cream, if I see that my skin needs it. The are specific balms for the face/body/lips or all over universal balms, so there’s something for everyone to choose from. You can also remove your make up with it, the same way as you would with oil cleanser, you would take a small amount of it, put it on the slightly dampened face, massage it into a skin for a few minutes and then remove it with a hot cloth. Face balms often come with organic cotton (or other fabric) cloths, so make sure to utilise those. You can use it on the chapped lips, to soothe the skin around the nose if you have a cold and constantly blow your nose, it can be used as a cuticle cream, hand cream, eye cream in a pinch, although I would advise to to use it at night, to avoid that oily feeling on your hands/skin. I also use it on the ends of the hair if I am out of the hair oil, but it is up to you if you want to do that or not. All I am saying that these wonderfully emollient skin loving beauties are a true multitaskers and can be used all over. The ingredients also range wildly, the base is often cheaper oil in a form of safflower, olive, coconut oil ( please check that it’s not mineral oil, more on it later) and then they have other active oils, botanical extracts or essential oils added. Plain balm will soothe, protect and nourish the skin (because that’s what they are made for) throughout day and night, but if you want let’s say antiinflammatory action from your balm too, then look for antiinflammatory properties containing balm.
This might be TMI for some of you, but I hope this will help some fellow mum with a newborn or a toddler out there, but I want to add that balm was exactly the thing that healed my daughter’s nappy rash when nothing was helping and we were in and out of the doctor’s office for two months, and all she was doing was prescribing stronger and stronger steroid creams to a few weeks old baby! I was at the end of my tether when I reached for my balm, and a miracle happened - overnight the rash was two times less red and angry and even shrank in size, and previously it was only getting bigger. It was sorted in less than a week, and I thanked God for this miracle product.
Oh, did I mention that it can be used as a mask too? Just keep it on your skin for about 30 mins and go relax in the meantime. Read a book or treat yourself to a lie in. You won't believe the change in your skin, and it will stay this way for a couple of days. You will also hardly need a foundation, as your skin will look so good without it. Speaking of foundation, one little tip, you can also mix balm with the mineral foundation if you want to, just think of it, you will get great coverage while your face will be protected and nourished by a balm. Try it and let me know how did you like it?
Are you addicted to chapstics? Well, chapped lips aren’t cute; neither is becoming a slave to applying a product that doesn’t do it’s job. Ditch the conventional chapstics that are all petroleum based and filled with hair raising chemical, and move onto a natural lip balm made with beeswax, natural oils and maybe some essential oils for added goodness and nice smell, these natural lip balms will offer you all-natural, deeply nourishing hydration that actually heals.
Balms are made out of oils and plant butters plus beeswax (or carnauba wax for vegans) to solidify them, although I must correct myself and say they aren’t rock solid, but rather pliable and easy to use. Thicker and more emolient, “balmy” in texture. The ingredients in them vary wildly, and my advice to you would be to always flip the box or a jar and look at the ingredients, always look for the most natural ingredients you can find, you literally should understand every single ingredient in them. The reason I am saying this is because some companies cheat and use mineral oil as a base, with only a small percentage of active ingredient and still charge a hefty price for it. My hair stood up when i was about to purchase one popular balm with fermented paw paw in it, thanks goodness I checked the ingredients first! Needless to say I skipped it and decided to take my money elsewhere. Sadly a lot of “greenwashing” is happening and I always advise people to be informed consumer and always always check the ingredients list. We won’t go into the law loopholes and loose definitions of “natural” and “organic” labels, allowing chemical laden products to be labeled as so, this is another post for another time, and in the meantime let’s get back to the balms. Where was I? Ah, the ingredients of the balms. Here’s the thing - balms are waterless, meaning they can last up to a year without the need for any preservatives (yay or what?) so you should only see some beautiful oils and waxes in the ingredient list, plus some essential oils or some “actives”, but that depends on the brand/balm. The simplest balm I have has six ingredients, and I love it! It is olive oil based with beeswax and some bee products, but as I just mentioned, this varies from brand to brand, so do your little research first to find the product perfect for you. Another balm I own is rosehip oil based, and although it is significantly more expensive, it is also worth every penny, because a little goes a long way with balms, a 50ml jar lasts me about a year with frequent use. Prices range from 3.99 to over a hundred, so there is something for everyone for sure. Go organic if your budget lets you, but then again, do your research first, organic does not always equals big bucks, I found organic balms for as little as 6.99 for 30ml jar. I am going to purchase one of them and see how do they compare to my beloved balm I currently own.
I almost forgot to mention that you can make your own balm too, and it is pretty easy. If you can make your own pancake batter, you can make a balm too. There are tons of recipes on the internet, including my blog, and you can use as little or as much nourishing ingredients as you like, because this is your balm and you make the rules! Just remember to pour it into totally dry sterilised jar to avoid mold and bacteria growth.
Keep this post in mind for the upcoming winter, balm is exactly the thing that will protect your skin against the cold. Apply it 10-20 minutes before you leave the house and you will be good to go. I only wish my mom would knew it, because we never used any, and let me tell you, frostbite is never cute or pleasant. Then again, in summer it is good post sun, so it is a fabulous all rounder and I don't know how I lived without it!
So there you go, my two cents on balms and it's uses. Have you tried balms and what are your favourites? Please share with me, I would love to know!
Lots of Love,
P.s. All products shown here were purchased with my own money or won in a giveaway. One is PR sample. This post was intended to go up as blog post on one US brand page, but not seeing it published there six months on, I take it back.