My Top Cleansing Balms

Greetings beauties!

This is my first skincare post of the year, so I thought I’d start with the first step of the skincare routine: cleansing.

Balms. I’m drawn to cleansing balms for their practical, multi-usage functions. They have become the next big thing ever since we rediscovered oil cleansing.  Balms benefit every skin type because they contain nourishing, moisturizing and repairing oils and ingredients.  For me, the best time to use a cleansing balm is during my night skincare routine; balms are more time-consuming than cleansing oils or liquid cleansers. I rarely use a balm  in the morning, especially if I’m in a hurry.  Cleansing balms require more pampering,  which is perfect right before bed.  Also, the winter is the ideal season to use a cleansing balm (although depending on the texture, I do use some cleansing balms all year-long).

In my arsenal, there are 4 cleansing balms I use depending on my needs (and moods)!

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Clockwise: Balms from Silkka, FarmToSkin, Camp Skincare and One Love Organics.

They are nourishing, cleansing, moisturizing and multi-purpose.  I sometimes use them as spot treatment on the occasional pimple, as base for cleansing grains, for masks, on cuts or bruises and in my hair (anti-frizz).

Here is how I normally use my cleansing balms:

  • As a rule of thumb, I use them on dry skin. I take  1/2 tsp of the product (or as needed).  I warm it in the palm of my hand and spread generously on face and neck.
  • I massage the product in face to make it melt, as much as possible.  That way, the nourighing ingredients sink into the pores, while the dirt, grime and makeup is being dissolved.  I sometimes put a warm cloth on my face to open up the pores, I let it sit for 5 minutes or more (don’t fall asleep like I do!).  Avoid the eye area because some balms might have some essential oils.
  • Then I remove the balm with the damp cloth, with gentle strokes, no rubbing! Rinse if necessary.
  • After that, I need very little moisturizing. I follow with a toner/mist and a night serum or more of the balm in question as a moisturizer.

If I want to take it up a notch, I repeat by adding cleansing grains for a gentle exfoliation.

 Here are my  Top Cleansing Balms…

 The Spa experience

Silkka Garden Apothecary:  Grapefruit+Mint Cleansing Balm

Silkka Garden Apothecary is a Canadian brand (yay!) founded by my dear friend Lisa Allen.  I’ve already told you this one was a favorite of mine, here. But I have to tell you why I love it so much. First, the smell is intoxicating: it’s fragrant, sweet and tangy, as if you’re peeling a fresh citrus fruit while the juices splash.  It has Camelia oil, high in Vitamis A and E and full of antioxidants.  Then, Shea and Mango butters soften the skin. What I love the most is the Grapefruit essential oil, good especially for oily and acneic skin, cleanse and decongests the skin. The combination of the Grapefruit essential oil with the mint makes using this balm an interesting multi-sensory experience.

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Silkka Garden Apothecary: Grapefruit+Mint Cleansing Balm

I wanted you to see the texture up-close because there are gritty pieces in this balm, which I absolutely love because it does for a good exfoliation.

Here’s what Lisa Allen, founder of Silkka Garden Apothecary has to say about the “gritty”

“Unrefined Shea butter is notorious for turning “gritty” in warmer climates, or depending on the season. These particles are not truly “gritty,” but more like exfoliating beads. If these beads bother you, warm the jar gently in a water bath until the product has softened, and place immediately in the fridge or freezer (no longer than 15 minutes).”

Ingredients:

Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil, Camellia sinensis (seed) oil, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter), Mango (Mangifera indica) butter, non-GMO Glycine (soy butter) soja, Cera alba (beeswax) and essential oils of Citrus paradisi (Grapefruit) and Mentha arvensis (Peppermint).

Price: 17$ for 50 ml (in amber glass) *Can you believe the price?!

Find more Silkka products on: http://www.silkka.ca

The Cult Favorite

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OneLoveOrganic: Skin Savior

One Love Organics: Skin Savior

OLO’s Skin Savior has been a favorite of mine since the very beginning! This is the balm that made me fall in love with all balms! It’s a classic, THE original.  It’s a must-have, it’s the ultimate multi-tasker. If you don’t know what to pick between a cleanser or a moisturizer, you buy this and you save! I use this for cleansing, but also for moisturizing my skin and scalp or to eliminate frizz hair. A little goes a long way.  The Skin Savior is great mixed with your mineral foundation (I use Alima Pure).  There isn’t much this balm can’t do.  It serves as a first aid kit in my bag!

Ingredients:

organic cocos nucifera (virgin coconut) oil, organic glycine soja (sweet soy) seed oil, organic beeswax, mangifera indica (mango) seed butter, salvia hispanica (chia) seed extract, avena sativa (oat) extract, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel wax, simmondsia chinesis (jojoba) seed oil, organic vanilla planifolia fruit extract, tocopherol (natural, non-gmo vitamin e).

Price: 39 $ for 39 ml/ 1.3 oz (trial size) OR 68$ for 105 ml/3.5 oz

Find more One Love Organics products on: http://www.OneLoveOrganics.com

The Wonder-ful!

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CampSkincare: Desert Island Wonder Balm

Camp Skincare:   Desert Island Wonder balm

Camp Skincare is also a Canadian brand.  I Insta met its founder, Lisa Inglis, a sweetheart, last year.  I love the clean, simple outlook of the packaging.  Camp Skincare is one of the brands who offer a “less is more” approach.  Lisa told me that the Wonder Balm is really a labour of love.  She hand-infuses the herbal oils (Calendula-infused Almond Oil and Sunflower Oil infused with Chamomile, Yarrow and Comfrey) before creating the balm. Comfrey leaves produce a deep green infusion and are responsible for the distinctive green colour of this balm .  The texture of the balm is a little more buttery and lighter than the previous two, which makes it sinks into the skin faster.  For that reason, I can use it all year long.  It doesn’t leave any greasy residue.  I really like to use it just before I go outside, it acts as a protectant from the harsh wind and weather elements. It’s also works as a great primer, under makeup.  It just gives me a great sheen and my skin feels so comfortable, nurtured and moist.  It’s a Wonder balm!

Ingredients: Cold-pressed Unrefined Sunflower Oil* infused with Chamomile*, Comfrey* and Yarrow*, Sweet Almond Oil infused with Calendula*, Local Beeswax, Lavender Essential Oil, Helichrysum Essential Oil, Rosemary Essential Oil, Chamomile Essential Oil, Lemon Essential Oil *Organic

Price: 35$ for 2 oz/60ml

Find more CampSkincare products on: http://www.CampSkincare.com

The Superfoodie

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BoardAndBatten FarmToSkin: Cleansing and Conditioning balm

Board-And-Batten *Farm To Skin*:  Cleansing and Conditioning Balm

Board and Batten is located in Lake County, Florida.  The brand offers gentle skincare that’s nourishing and balancing for skin.  I like the feel of this balm.  If you have sensitive or reactive skin, this is the one to go with. Like the other balms, it acts as both a cleanser and a moisturizer.  There’s chia seed extract (as there is in the OLO Skin Savior). This balm is also rich in fatty acids and has Vitamin A from Carrot seed oil.  Very rejuvenating and glow inducing!

Ingredients: XV coconut oil*, soybean oil*, jojoba oil*, beeswax*, raw shea butter*, XV carrot oil, orange wax, oat extract, olive squalane, chia seed extract, vitamin E.

Price: 60$ for 2 oz. (comes boxed with an Organic Facial Shammy)

Find more Farm to Skin products on: http://www.farmtoskin.com

 

Final thoughts…

If I can’t carry too much products at once, I take one of them or all! I’m hoping to discover more cleansing balms, I have a few on my radar, like the one from De Mamiel.  I’ve never met a balm I didn’t like!

How about you? How often do you use cleansing balms?  I’d like to know which are your favorites!

 

Take care!

Alex xo

 

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Highlights of 2014

Greetings !

First post of 2015! Happy New Year to all of you! Wishes of health and the rest will come along naturally!  I have extended my vacation Holidays to rest and take time away from the blogs, social media and internet.  It felt so good!

Time flies so fast.  It’s already been a year since I started blogging and I have received products from so many brands.  I couldn’t possibly name them all, but I wanted to mention my highlights.  I take testing really seriously because I believe you, founders, crafters, and artists, put your heart and soul in your creations, so I want to be as objective as possible.  And for the readers, I want to be as truthful as possible.  I started this blog solely to document my own passion and share my findings with you.  I chose to do so establishing my own rules, but abiding by one fundemental principle: integrity.  I would NOT recommend a product or a brand I would not purchase myself.  I am like you, an active woman trying to figure out what works and doesn’t for my skin and ultimately for my health.  I am NOT an expert on skincare, I simply know what works for my skin, and what works for me might not work for you.

This is not a review, but a listing of some of my favorite products for 2014.

 

SKINCARE

Cleanser

I have such dry skin, so I like to use the cleansing oil method or cleansing balms, especially in the winter. This balm is truly one of my favorites.  It’s also a multi-purpose balm, I use it as a spot treatment (I dab a little where I need and leave all night, when I wake up, pimple is almost invisible).

 

Toner/mist

Laurelskin.com

Credits: Laurelskin.com

This mist is UNREAL! Hydrates, nourishes and so soothing.  It was love at first spritz! When I use this elixir, I feel like every cell of my skin relaxes. A must-have for everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facial oil/serum ( I picked a face oil and a serum)

  • Organic Bath:  Enhance facial oil   I call this one my “glowing agent”.  I like to wear it under makeup and I promise, it’s a natural highlighter! Skin is moist, moisturized and glowing!

 

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Credits: Organicbath.com

 

 

odacité night serum

Credits: Odacite.com

Amazing.  Amazing. Amazing. I try to recommend affordable products, but this one is worth every penny (I don’t say this lightly!).  If your budget allows it and if you want a high quality results-oriented serum with fresh, pure and organic ingredients, this is the one to get.

 

 

 

 

 

Exfoliator    

Josh Rosebrook enzyme mask

Credits: Joshrosebrook.com

The enzymes from the herbs, plants and fruit work together to exfoliate and encourage cell turnover.  Go easy if you have very sensitive skin (the walnut shells may irritate), but every skin type can benefit from using this exfoliator.  My skin tone really really improved. You get radiant skin!

 

 

 

Mask

Golden path alchemy illuminate mask

Credits: Goldenpathalchemy.com

If you love “DIY-ing” with your skincare products, this is a great one! Pure clays draw impurities from your skin.  A real treat for your skin. There is so many ways to use this mask.  It repairs and helps with hyper-pigmentation. Indulge! (You will read more about my love of Golden Path Alchemy brand in 2015)

 

MAKEUP

nudus image

Credits: nudus.com.au

 I could not do an annual highlights blogpost and not mention this brand.  NUDUS takes the cake when it comes to highlights! Holy Grail lipstick brand! I’m not one for bold claims, but for NUDUS, I’m stealing Tina Turner’s lyrics and I say (in my humble opinion!): “You’re simply the BEST, better than all the rest…”  These lipsticks are everything lipsticks should be: pigmented, fun, vibrant, non-toxic, long-lasting, pigmented, pigmented and also pigmented.  Did I mention they are pigmented?  NUDUS is setting the bar really high for natural and mainstream brands everywhere! Stay tuned for more on my love for NUDUS, I will show you how I wear the different shades!  (Pigmented!)

Cheers to 2015!

There you have it, folks! The year 2014 was my first year of blogging and I discovered so many interesting brands. Now, after a year of intense testing, I can’t wait to share with you what I liked and didn’t like! I hope you’ll stick around and continue to read my posts.  Great things are happening!

Spot any favorites of yours? Leave your comments and questions!

Take care!

Alex xo