You may have lotions, creams, sprays, whips and melts lined up on your dressing table waiting to soothe away your dry bits and inject a touch of moisture, but unless you’ve got a magic pot of multi-tasking balm you’re really falling short. Often misunderstood and misused, when integrated into a skincare regime properly balms can be an absolute skin savour; little pots of heavy and almost-solid greasy stuff may not be your ideal solution to dry or chapped skin, but these intense balms offer a hardworking and seriously effective result – so it’s no surprise they’re making a bit of a comeback this Autumn.
Balms have been used for centuries in hundreds of different formats, but in a nutshell they contain a potent set of ingredients within a nourishing base of wax or oil and are used to soothe ailments. Over the years these were replaced with the lightness of creams and lotions, but as we look for more intense solutions and new formats the beauty industry seems to be looking to the past for a touch of inspiration. I’ve been a fan of a multi-tasking balm for quite a few years, especially as I got to make my very own on the Herbfarmacy farm (their balms are incredible,) but just in time for Autumn 2018 there seems to be more than ever on offer – and I totally understand why.
Unlike the speediness of many quick-drying lotions and sprays, balms take everything back to basics and offer a ‘slow beauty’ alternative that can be thoroughly enjoyed. These beauty gems aren’t the kind of thing you’d apply in the morning when you’re in a rush, or even really have in your handbag for use on the go, but instead they’re pots you’ll leave on your dressing table or in the bathroom ready to solve pretty much every skin need or concern. By their very nature they melt onto the skin and deliver intense quantities of ingredients, so they’re a perfect overnight or intensive treatment for both face and body; if you suffer with a skin condition or excessive dryness, they can also help to deliver exactly what you need without any additional irritants (just check the ingredients!) My husband has been using them for years to soothe his eczema, and they work a treat.
Stripped back beauty brand REN have launched their Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm (£40.00) which contains a combination of Olive, Almond, Borage, Jojoba, Sunflower and Linseed oils to nourish and moisturise as you sleep. The lightweight balm claims to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier while alleviating irritation and dryness, leaving even broken or sensitive skin boosted from within. Although this is expensive and doesn’t have anything particularly revolutionary within the formula, it is refreshing to see balms taking centre stage in such a forward-thinking brand.
Similarly, Cowshed Kahai Multitasking Wonder Balm (£38.00 or £12.00 for 15ml) is a dream. Featuring the ‘wonder ingredient’ cold-pressed Kahai Oil, rich in Vitamins E and F as well as the powerful ‘anti-ageing’ Retinol, this packs some punch. Avocado Butter and antioxidant-rich Daikon Oil softens and improves skin texture, while Jasmine and Rose essential oils have balancing and calming properties, so the result is a hardworking skincare treat for all the senses. It’s unexpectedly light and feels almost whipped, so it’s a great one if you’re not too sure about the heaviness of balms; it melts beautifully into skin and soothes away dryness in an instant. The ultimate multi-tasking balm.
If you want to stick with a multi award winning industry favourite, then you really can’t go wrong with Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm (£40.00) either; it contains a combination of organic wild Rosehip, Geranium and Patchouli essential oils to deliver glowing and balanced skin alongside an incredible scent. If you want to keep it simple and more affordable then RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream (£15.00) is essentially pure and unrefined Coconut Oil, which helps to nourish skin and hair from top to toe; Balm Balm Rose Hand Balm (£8.95) on the other hand contains Shea Butter and Beeswax alongside Sunflower, Jojoba, Calendula & Rose Geranium essential oils for an intense treatment for more than just your digits.
What I love about this beauty gem is how a multi-tasking balm can deliver on so many levels: soothe away dry patches, use as an overnight skin treatment, add to split ends to restore hair lustre, pop on as a lip balm, create shine and a healthy glow on limbs… The choice is yours. One little pot goes a hugely long way and can be used for so many different things, so one investment will see you well for a long time. You don’t have to spend a fortune either, as there are tonnes of affordable options out there – just do your research and pick the one that’s right for you. But give balms a go regardless – I promise you won’t regret it.
Do you love a multi-tasking balm as much as me?
Do you have any other multi-tasking balm faves?
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