Why Go Natural?
What’s in your face cream?
The sheer variety of skincare products on the market at the moment is staggering! We’re presented with a baffling choice of creams and lotions for different areas of the body, for different age groups and various complicated skin types. There are facial oils, ointments, creams, lotions and potions for body and legs and hands and feet, with an ever-increasing complexity of new and apparently magic ingredients.
How on earth do we chose the exact thing that our own unique skin needs to keep it supple, soft and healthy?
If you take a closer look at the ingredients list in most high street cosmetic skincare products then you’ll know how confusing it can be to work out exactly what it is you’re putting on your skin on a daily basis; there are Latin names, scientific-sounding additives, emulsifiers and preservatives and usually several incomprehensible tongue-twisters, substances whose function is almost entirely unfathomable.
Given that so much of what we put on externally is actually absorbed through the skin – as much as 60% according to some reports - as if we were eating it, it’s important to work out what all this gobbledegook actually means! If we wouldn’t knowingly consume a particular chemical maybe we should think twice about massaging it into our face, especially if we’re sensitive to harsh irritants and chemicals.
Benefits of Natural in Everyday Skincare Regimes
It makes sense to reduce the potential irritants we’re exposed to, given how many preservatives, artificial additives, pollutants and toxins most of us end up encountering on an average day! This applies many times over to those whose skin is prone to severe dryness, eczema, dermatitis and other sore skin conditions. Anything that those of us with extremely sensitive skin put on our face or body needs to be as gentle and pure as possible to reduce the risk of reactions and flare-ups; looking after sore and itchy skin can be an absolute nightmare when it seems that every face cream or body lotion available in the shops is jam-packed with dozens of obscure and potentially irritating artificial ingredients.
The Worst Synthetic Culprits
If something is widely available, it’s got to be safe, right? Well, not exactly. There are several well-known products that have recently been shown to be positively harmful, from talcum powder which is now known to be a carcinogen to the extremely widely prescribed aqueous cream which has been shown to be an irritant to skin and is no longer recommended for use as an emollient for children.
There have also been studies questioning the safety of common synthetic additives such as parabens, paraffin, PEGs (polyethylene glycol) etc., and although such substances have been licenced for use in both cosmetic and medical skincare, there is enough controversy around their safety that many people prefer to avoid them altogether.
Of course, it’s not just our own bodies that we need to take into consideration when deciding whether we want synthetic additives in our skincare products: there are the potentially polluting effects to think about as well. Whatever we buy and put on our skin - especially if produced on a mass scale - is likely to end up in our eco-system, particularly in water supplies where it can have a toxic effect on microorganisms and other life. Choosing products that avoid mass-produced synthetic ingredients and are eco-conscious about ingredients and packaging is fast becoming a must for ethical consumers.
Balmonds Does It A Bit Differently!
So what can we do to steer a safe and sensible course through the skincare ranges on offer? Well, here at Balmonds so many of our customers have sensitive, dry or damaged skin that we take the line that unless something is vital to the functioning of our creams and salves it just doesn’t go in! We are committed to clarity, simplicity and effectiveness with the ingredients we use to make our award-winning products.
- CLARITY: Our ingredient lists contain easily recognisable substances which have gone through minimal processing. Ingredients such as our natural beeswax collected directly from local beehives; beautiful bright orange calendula flowers which have been steeped in oil to preserve their goodness; carefully extracted fresh herb tinctures; the very best quality cold-pressed olive, hemp and safflower oils we can source. This ensures that when you look down our ingredient lists you can be confident you know exactly what’s in there and why.
- EFFECTIVENESS: We make products that work! The good, simple, natural ingredients we chose are there to nourish and moisturise skin of all types; we’re convinced that we have a winning formula! The ointments are top all-round troopers which work amazingly well to hydrate and protect even severely dry skin; the lotions and creams keep skin supple and soft; the oils lock in moisture and nourish skin with marvellous nutrients essential for the maintenance of happy healthy skin.
- SIMPLICITY: Our products contain absolutely no unnecessary or purely cosmetic substances. This means that we don’t add something just because it makes our creams look smoother or smell nicer or have an extra-long shelf life. We’d rather make our ointments available in smaller quantities (as well as producing larger sizes for those that need to use more!) than add preservatives so a pot will last longer. We’d rather you experience just the soft honeyed scent of beeswax and the grassy green smell of herbs and oils than something artificial and unnecessary. We’d rather say that an ointment might need gentle warming between your fingers on a cold day to warm it up than add man-made emulsifiers for softness. We’d rather go the extra mile and package our creams in airtight vacuum containers than use any more preservatives than necessary.
Feed Your Face!
What makes a good skincare product even better? Not just a cream that moisturises, protects and smooths but one that actually feeds skin with essential nutrients! The upside of that worrying statistic up there about 60% of what we put on our skin being absorbed into the body is that all the lovely natural stuff in our creams and salves can act as nutritional goodies as part of a regular skincare regime, working in the long-term to keep skin in great condition.
We’re talking wonder substances such as essential fatty acids (EFAs) which help maintain the skin’s protective outer layer; vitamins A, C and E which work to keep skin in good condition, as well as the various beneficial components of essential oils and herbal tinctures.