Why you should choose a balm over a lotion or cream
Posted on 13th August 2020 at 11:29
The benefits of fatty acids in natural skincare
Why balms are so beneficial to the skin
When choosing to use balms in your skincare routine it is important to understand how they differ from lotions, creams and serums.
Lotions and creams are water-based which means that they have to contain preservatives to stop the growth of unwanted bacteria and these preservatives often cause skin reactions in those who are sensitive. Lotions and creams are light and easy to apply but their benefits in terms of hydration are transient and superficial. To truly moisturise the skin an oil/serum or balm is required.
Serums are generally vegetable oils in their liquid form. I have sold these for years for all skin types including those affected by rosacea, acne, eczema and psoriasis. Despite being oils they are beneficial and balancing for the skin and do not exacerbate greasiness. More recently however I formulated Minimise balms as an alternative. Why? because balms can be sold in biodegradable paper packaging which has myriad advantages for the environment. Balms are a serum with a wax added to make them solid. The wax I choose to use is beeswax (see this blogpost for more information) because its manufacture requires minimal human intervention and in itself it has beneficial skin properties.
Every vegetable oil has its own unique fatty acid profile of which some may be omega and these are invaluable in the diet and as skincare ingredients. By choosing a balm or serum as a moisturiser over a lotion or cream (mainly water) you are getting a product in which every single ingredient counts.
Omega 3 and 6 are considered essential fatty acids and have to be derived from the diet or from topical application because the body cannot make them itself. These along with omega 9 which the body can make in very small amounts, are the most vital for good skin health. They serve as building blocks on the skin’s surface layers creating a smooth, even appearance and a healthy-looking complexion regardless of age or skin type.
Applying omega fatty acids topically literally reinforces the skin’s surface, increases hydration, reduces redness and sensitivity, sloughs off flakes and dry patches, protects against environmental stressors, provides a protective barrier against the entry of disease-causing bacteria and delivers antioxidants which have natural anti-aging effects.
Since experimenting with and comparing balms to serums I have found that balms are easier to use and the paper eco-jars stay looking fresher for longer than the glass bottles with their plastic lotion pumps. The products themselves are more economical in use – I will never be rich from them but the satisfaction of making a product which is as environmentally-friendly as possible does have its own rewards.
You can get 25% off one online order over the value of £30 using code 25min at checkout and follow the Minimise story on Instagram @minimiseskincare
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