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Cleansing and moisturising your skin should be a truly enjoyable experience, not a chore or something which you rush through each evening with a flick of damp cloth. British brand Balmology ensures your skin is getting exactly what it needs with their range of luxurious balms which contain only the necessary organic and preservative free ingredients. Founder Catherine Lewis created the range after a long personal struggle with her skin and once she realised it was the cocktail of synthetic ingredients she was putting on her skin, the journey to create Balmology began. Catherine talks to us today about the simplicity of ingredients that are naturally effective and wonderful for your skin. Why did you decide to create Balmology? Having always struggled with my skin, I tried every ‘magic’ cream that came with the promise of perfection but without any success. I began to question certain ingredients and gradually moved over to more natural alternatives, eventually just using plant oils for cleansing and moisturising. When my skin became noticeably clearer within in a few weeks, I realised it was the cocktail of synthetic ingredients in my skincare that had been responsible for more problems than they were supposed to fix. Believing passionately that simplicity was the key to healthy skin, I wanted to create a range of completely natural, organic products. I discovered a water-free formula would eliminate the need for preservatives, emulsifiers and fillers. The ‘Balm’ formula allowed for the simplicity of ingredients ensuring less potential irritation, resulting in naturally radiant skin.
portrait_14Jul16_1 Balmology founder: Catherine Lewis
The heart of Balmology is the simplicity of ingredients, how did this become the main focus for you? “Simplicity of ingredients… feeding skin more of what it needs and nothing it doesn't” has been the mantra from the very beginning! The main focus was to create a range with an un-cluttered ingredient list – without synthetic chemicals, fillers or preservatives. However the most important aspect came next… Simplicity means less it more and certainly does not mean compromise. If you strip a product back the ingredients really need to shine – minimal ingredients for maximum effect. It was important that each ingredient was carefully selected for a specific purpose and the value it would bring to the formula. Similarly, only the essential oils highly prized for beautiful skin make it into our range. Oh and they smell amazing! You hand make all of your products. What is the most rewarding and most challenging aspect of this practise? The most rewarding side to manufacturing by hand in small batches is the guarantee of the freshest possible products. I take great pride that we never hold large stocks of products on shelves gradually losing their optimum efficacy. This method of production also minimises the amount of ingredient processing to ensure valuable nutrients and potency of active components are retained. Hand blending and packaging allows for attention to detail and exceptional quality control at every stage of the process. It is also however the most challenging aspect as it’s far more time consuming! Your Comfort Balm is award winning, congratulations! What do you think makes this product stand out? Thank you! The Calendula & Chamomile Comfort Balm was actually the very first product I developed, created for a little boy who was suffering very badly from eczema. His mother was keen to steer him away from steroid creams and he wanted something that smelt nicer! The balm is very potent, which makes it extremely effective – packed with plant oils renowned for their analgesic, anti-inflammatory and skin regeneration properties. It quickly calms irritation and itching, is extremely emollient and helps the skin to repair itself. Whereas this undoubtedly helps with the products popularity, sadly I think its success is due in part to the increase in skin complaints such as eczema and psoriasis, with more people seeking out natural alternatives.
banner_14Jul16_2 Award-winning Comfort Balm; ideal for sensitive and eczema prone skin
Do you have a favourite ingredient to work with? I feel a synergistic blend of complimentary plant oils proves far more effective than any individual ingredient. However... I do LOVE working with Neroli essential oil. This precious oil is renowned for stimulating cell regeneration and improving skin elasticity. But aside from these wonderful skin properties Neroli just smells incredible in the Neroli & Sweet Basil Cleansing Balm. The aroma makes me so happy and guarantees I’m smiling whilst making anything in which it’s included… I like to think this adds to the end product. If someone has oily skin, can they still use a plant oil-based range like yours? Absolutely! Although it may seem counter-intuitive, using oil-based products will not clog the pores or result in greasy blemished skin. Many plant oils closely resemble human sebum and this affinity means they are easily absorbed and can help to balance natural oil production. This is especially important during cleansing, when the use of harsh detergent based cleansers can strip natural oils, subsequently causing skin to overproduce oil to compensate. The beauty of plant oils is their ability to work in harmony with all skin types. Certain oils have drawing properties that help de-congest, many are highly anti-inflammatory and can calm outbreaks and almost all offer exceptional softening and moisturising properties. You have recently redesigned the look of Balmology - what inspired the change? Ah… that decision was out of my hands as our original jars were about to be discontinued. The challenge was not to stray too far from the existing brand identity. The new look was inspired by our core belief in ‘Simplicity’ and the subtle, yet beautiful colour spectrum of plant oils. The luxurious frosted glass jars and bottles are very tactile and allow the beauty of the product to shine. I think the little ‘facelift’ reflects our love of simplicity, quality and clean ingredients and I truly hope you think so too!
banner_14Jul16_1 The new look Balmology
All of your ingredients are organically grown and certified - where do you source your ingredients from? Yes all our ingredients are organically grown and certified, as I believe they are superior, gentle on our skin and kinder to the environment. Many of the oils are sourced from the nuts, seeds and fruit of exotic species from around the world. It has been quite challenging to find suppliers, as organic isn’t automatically a prerequisite for ‘ethical’ sourcing. I now have a small group of trusted suppliers for ingredients that I feel confident have solid ethical, environmental principles and strict policies against animal testing. What is next for Balmology? I’m delighted to be working alongside a professional facialist to create a BALMOLOGY® Organic Facial. The aromatic bespoke treatment combining the beauty of organic plant oils with a signature massage technique, will be launched later this year into independent salons and therapists. Minimise your ingredients and shop here for: Balmology


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