Balmology founder Catherine Lewis began to realise it was the cocktail of synthetic ingredients in her skincare routine which had prolonged her poor skin far past the teenage years. After much experimentation, cosmetic courses and research, she began making her own skincare products and saw an almost immediate result. Catherine wanted to create a range of completely natural, organic products, free from preservatives or any other synthetic chemicals… and so Balmology was born. We caught up with Catherine to find out why her balms are so effective and get the inside scoop on her new product.
Why balms & how do they work on the skin?
The beauty of a balm is in its simplicity. While conventional creams and lotions can contain as much as 80% water, balms are completely water-free. This eliminates the need for preservatives, emulsifiers or fillers, all of which have the potential to cause irritation and can disrupt the skins natural ability to function. In contrast, balms are a mix of nutrient-rich plant oils, butters and waxes that work in harmony with our skin. They are also highly concentrated so a little goes a long way!
You run courses as part of your brand offer, what can customers learn in these sessions?
The courses are designed to learn about ingredients found in skincare and the practical skills needed to make your own creations. Students will discover the wonderful properties of plant-based oils, what makes each oil special and how these differences determine the effect on our skin. They will also learn to select and blend the most appropriate oils for their requirements and the techniques necessary to produce professional skincare. Naturally, this includes the ‘secrets’ to formulating the perfect balm! However, if creams and lotions are preferred they can learn the stages of emulsification using naturally derived alternatives to petroleum-based emulsifiers and preservatives approved by the Soil Association.
I know this is hard, but, what’s the one Balmology product you think everyone should have?
I think it must be the Neroli & Sweet Basil Cleansing Balm – described as a new ‘cult’ product in The Sunday Telegraph and featured in Vogue. Cleansing is essential for healthy radiant skin and should be the most important step in any beauty regime. Oil-based cleansers are the most effective yet gentle method of cleansing without stripping the skins natural oils, working on the chemistry that ‘like dissolves like’. The balm-to-oil formula is also the perfect texture for facial massage. Really take your time, inhaling the beautiful aromatic oils and enjoy the moment – I like to think that using this at the end of the day makes cleansing a luxurious treat rather than a chore.
Do you manage to stay ‘natural & organic’ throughout other aspects of your life?
Although not exclusively organic, I do adopt the principles of a natural and sustainable lifestyle. I avoid processed foods and happily cook meals from scratch. We grow a lot of our own veg and tend to eat seasonally. I try to purchase from local food producers as much as possible which not only avoids unnecessary food miles but means we can be confident of provenance. Living in a very rural area we rely on a composting septic tank, so are careful to use non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning and laundry products.
Are you planning to extend the range? If so, what products will come next?
Yes… very soon! I’m about to launch a treatment oil to the range. ‘Skin Remedy’ is a unique blend of seed oils exceptionally high in linoleic acid – an omega-6 essential fatty acid which is essential for healthy skin barrier function. When the barrier becomes impaired problematic skin conditions appear such as breakouts, acne, rosacea and dermatitis. The new treatment oil is formulated to repair and restore the barrier, bringing skin back to optimal health where it can heal more rapidly and retain moisture. Balmology Skin Remedy Treatment Oil is now available to shop on Naturisimo!