It took me a long time to realise that even blemish-prone skin is best treated with a ‘gently gently’ approach (and not with vigorously-applied, aggressive, stripping chemicals). It took me even longer to realise that excess oil is actually often a symptom of over-drying, which in turn is often a result of using such mainstream ‘solutions’ which do their very best to strip away all possible oils from the skin, even when those oils are in fact the healthy kind.
If you dry out your skin too much, your body cleverly compensates… by producing more oil, which freaks itself out (that’s the science part) and then may contribute to blocked pores and, you’ve guessed it, end up decorating your face with all manner of unsightly Jackson Pollock-style artwork.
Here’s a little secret, then. As all real scientists can tell you, ‘like attracts like’; therefore, using carefully-chosen plant oils in your skincare regime does not (shock horror) create an oil slick of your visage; instead, it’s a lovely little miracle: the oil you apply joins in with any excess oil going on there and collects it to be lifted away when you wash off this mighty fine plant-based cleanser. All without stripping away the natural oils which SHOULD be there. Your skin needs a delicate balance – obvious, really. It’s a bit like blue-tac; you know how applying blue-tac to blue-tac helps collect it off the walls, once you’ve taken down your posters of Peter Andre? It’s the same thing.
ANYWAY, mini-lecture aside, there is more to this divine cleansing balm than the above; namely, its exquisite composition of complementary plant-derived nutrients and clever extracts. I created it to be absolutely dense in exactly the kind of thing that turns mediocre skin into excellent skin, imparting some seriously impressive ingredients I may be slightly obsessed with (see the list below for why this stuff is amazing!). Seriously, I am revelling in this little sunshine-yellow pot of goodness every evening as I use it to cleanse my skin before bed. It’s completely non-irritating, non-drying, non-pore-blocking, refreshing, free of any unnecessary or questionable chemicals… and leaves my skin incredibly soft, the way I like it.
Why is it yellow?
An excellent question. The bright, sunny hue comes entirely from the natural turmeric root, which is packed full of the anti-inflammatory curcumin and which your skin will love (it’s soothing, anti-redness and antibacterial; excellent for blemished skin). Although gorgeously bright in the pot, the colour only shows as a slight tinge on your face, which you will of course wash off, and it doesn’t stain the skin at all used this way. I would advise setting aside a particular facecloth for use with this balm as the cloth itself might turn a bit yellow during use.
Uses & Directions:
Apply with fingertips to dry skin, massaging in circles. Wash off (see below) or choose to leave on for a few minutes (e.g. while brushing your teeth!) before doing so.
To wash off:
1. simply rinse with water OR
2. opt for a quick ‘n’ easy mini-pamper by placing a facecloth under the hot tap (so it’s hot, but not scorching hot!) and holding it to your face first for 10-30 seconds – this allows the steam to open up the pores. Then use the cloth to gently wipe away the cleansing balm.
(Option 2 is an incredibly soothing way to finish a day, and also really relaxing for your eyes!).
Grapeseed Oil: Non-comodogenic (doesn’t clog pores), this clever oil is light and dreamy, balances sebum, moisturises and is said to restore collagen in the skin. Its linoleic acid helps strengthen cell membranes. It’s also astringent, meaning it tightens pores. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory – meaning it works on problem areas as well as preventing future ones.
Tea Seed Oil: Calming, anti-inflammatory and a potent anti-oxident. The catechins in tea are antibacterial agents that help fight acne-causing bacteria. See this page for a more lengthy run-down on the magic of tea.
Turmeric: A true wonder-spice, turmeric’s curcumin makes it antibacterial and an effective anti-inflammatory, calming any pain, redness and swelling. Turmeric has been used across Asia for calming and smoothing complexions and powerfully clears skin. It’s the reason for the gorgeous natural yellow hue of the balm (but rest assured it’s well balanced against other ingredients, so you only get the clever nutrients, not a yellow-stained face!). I love this stuff.
Juniper berry: Antiseptic, stimulating and antibacterial. A naturally purifying acne-fighter, juniper has a long history of general and medicinal know-how. In medieval times, it was seen as an excellent defence against evil spirits, and The Old Testament includes several references to the ‘Broom Tree’ being used to cleanse, purify and eliminate that which is false and negative. If nothing else, it balances sebum levels.
Castor Oil: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, promotes supple, plumped skin, helps fade blemishes, moisturises and helps evens skin tone.
Shea Butter: Coming from the seeds of the karité nuts, shea butter penetrates the skin without blocking pores; allows the skin to breathe. Its unique fatty acid (vitamin F) profile makes it wonderful for rejuvenating even delicate skin types.
Meadowfoam Oil: Said to detox the skin and break down blackheads, meadowfoam (so named due to the appearance of the pretty flowers) is soothing, nourishing and moisturising.
Tea Tree: Well known for its anti-bacterial properties, its a high-performing skin aid, keeping things clean and clear. Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal, it’s also a soothing addition to the balm.
Lavender & Rosemary: calming, anti-microbial & toning, these two make a delicious pair, lightening up the scent while meaning business.
Ricinus communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea) Refined Butter, Vitis vinifera (Grapeseed) Seed Oil, Candelilla cera, Camellia kissi (Camellia) Seed Oil, Limnanthes alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Powder, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Leaf Oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Juniperus communis (Juniperberry) Fruit Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Limonene, Linalool.