As the seasons turn and the world is gripped by Marie Kondo fever, should you spring clean your toiletries too?
That’s exactly what we asked three Balmonds customers to do.
They put away their scented moisturisers, high street shampoos and foaming cleansers, and instead used only a few basic natural products from our Skin Salvation range for a whole fortnight.
Today we discover the results of their natural skincare journey.
Meet Charlotte, Pauline and Emily, intrepid explorers in the land of non-synthetic toiletries. How did they - and more to the point, their sensitive skin - cope for two weeks without parabens, perfumes, synthetic emulsifiers, foamers or fillers?
Natural Hair Care
First up, how to care for your crowning glory without the synthetics.
Maybe using non SLS-shampoo is the biggest difference for most people used to highly foaming products, as it doesn’t bubble up so readily. However, even without the sodium lauryl sulfate, it turns out that natural shampoo can cleanse very effectively.
Pauline says: “The one change I am definitely making is to a natural shampoo. My itchy scalp is now history! I love the shampoo and whilst my hair doesn’t look as groomed, it is much healthier looking and has a bounce and shine now.”
Emily: “I wasn't too keen on the smell at first but it grew on me! From the first wash I noticed an increasing difference in how itchy my head was. My hair is clean and smells nice so it’s all good!”
Charlotte: “Shampoo was fab! It takes a bit of getting used to as it's not as foamy due to there being no sodium lauryl sulphate.”
She also explains how using our perfume- and SLS-free Natural Shampoo has had a positive effect on surrounding areas: “I had a bit of acne on the back of my neck and it's cleared up now! It must’ve been from product running down my neck.”
What about the Natural Conditioner? Well, that again felt different to those not used to natural hair care. Pauline found it not quite intensive enough, but for Charlotte it was “nice and silky!”
She goes on to say that at first “it looks like any other conditioner, but when I ran it through my hair it felt really lightweight. But trust me, when you rinse it out your hair is so smooth! My brush goes easily through my hair.”
Taking The Sting Out Of Body Wash
Because we don’t yet make a body wash, Emily found herself using the shampoo as a shower gel, and then smoothing on Bath & Body Oil afterwards to lock the moisture in. Charlotte too, used the shampoo as a body wash: “it was really creamy as a body wash. I didn't expect it to be so good, so that was a pleasant surprise!”
I think I would swap all of my skincare routine to natural without hesitation, as it has all made a difference for the better over the past two weeks!
The All Natural Starter Set contains one each of:
Intensive Moisturising Ointment 50ml
Daily Moisturising Cream 100ml
Bath & Body Oil 200ml
And a Free 50ml Scalp Oil
A saving of £19.98 when items bought separately.
Face Up To Nature!
Next up, a natural facial cleanser: our Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil is a lovely blend of nourishing oils, used in what’s known in beauty circles as ‘the oil cleansing method’. This way of cleaning your face uses oil to lift dirt and makeup instead of foaming cleansers or astringent liquids, and completely cuts out the perfumes, preservatives, colours and other synthetics that can trigger flare-ups. It sounds counterintuitive, especially if you have oily skin, but it does really work.
Obviously it’s a positive thing for those with sensitive skin to avoid soap and detergents, especially on the delicate skin of the face, but what would our guinea-pigs make of the slightly odd method of using oil instead of soap to clean their faces?!
Over to Charlotte:
“The cleanser feels so silky, it moves around the face easily so there’s no tugging and it removes eye makeup without stinging. I have to say that it does smell strange but that's because it's all natural, so no synthetic fragrance; trust me you get used to it!”
And Emily’s verdict?
“The facial cleansing oil even removes waterproof mascara with ease. Normally I'd have used a makeup wipe and that would leave my skin a bit dry and with some residual makeup, but the oil leaves my face really clean even round my eyes.”
But she cautions: The first time I didn't read the instructions and tried to wash it off with just water! Definitely read the instructions, it will work much better!”
And after cleansing, what about a few drops of an all-natural Intensive Facial Oil, made with rosehip, calendula, lavender, Roman Chamomile and palmarosa?
Pauline: “The facial oil is another keeper for me, it’s helped give my skin a boost and even though it is an oil, it doesn’t make my skin feel oily. It has also been a great cuticle and nail oil, in fact when I run my fingers over where I’ve used it I’ve noticed that the sore, cracked areas seem to heal quicker.”
Charlotte: “The face oil is divine; it makes my skin soft and supple and also used it over my eyes as eye serum. In fact my skin in general seems to have balanced out.”
My skin is feeling soft and cherished, your products are very calming to my skin. A small irritated area has now gone, which is great news for me.
Getting Your Daily Moisture
Another great product for keeping faces, hands and arms soft and hydrated is our unfragranced Daily Moisturising Cream, made with organic shea butter and herbal tinctures. Charlotte comments that “the daily moisturiser made my skin soft and supple all day. I also used it over my eyes as an eye cream and down my neck.”
She was a fan of the natural Intensive Hand Cream too: “The hand cream initially looks super thick on my hands, but it blew me away as when rubbed in. It isn’t greasy,but somehow it still hydrates. It just disappeared into my skin and I could carry on with life without everything slipping out of my hands… magic!”
Going Natural: The Conclusion
What was our testers conclusion, after two weeks of only using natural products for their sensitive skin?
“I think I would swap all of my skincare routine to natural without hesitation, as it has all made a difference for the better over the past two weeks! The oiliness has lessened on my T zone along with redness and acne; this is down to using all natural skincare religiously twice a day!”
“My skin is feeling soft and cherished, your products are very calming to my skin. A small irritated area has now gone, which is great news for me.”
“All in all I have loved all the products. I have an autoimmune disease which can make my skin dry and itchy, and I get a bubbly itchy rash at the top of my arms too which is annoying. After two weeks of natural products, the rash has gone and my skin feels much less dry.”
So there you have it: two weeks of only using a few natural products rather than dozens of high street toiletries has been a success for our testers. Not only was it possible to cut out the synthetics but it left their skin softer, soothed and in great condition. Now there’s a win!
The six core products our testers used for their daily skincare regime were:
- Natural Shampoo
- Natural Conditioner
- Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil
- Intensive Facial Oil
- Intensive Hand Cream
- Daily Moisturising Cream