Calm Balm: Find A Soothing Balm For Every Need
5 minutes read
As humans, we’ve always loved having a rich, moisturising salve to reach for when our skin begins to act up. The ancient Egyptians used multi-purpose ointments to soften their skin, protect it from the elements and mask body odours. Medieval doctors prescribed salves not just for skin-related concerns, but also for illnesses, as they believed that these ointments would prevent heat and moisture loss from the affected part of the body.
While we may not be reaching inside our skincare cabinets to fix a tummy ache anymore, it’s fair to say that beauty balms seem to be the modern equivalent of the ancient cure-all. From chapped lips and dry elbows to windburn or post-sun sensitivity, there’s a soothing balm to fix most stressed skin needs — and they always feel comforting and luxuriously indulgent to apply.
The benefits of calming balms for stressed, sensitive skin
What is skin sensitivity?
With around 70% of people claiming to suffer from skin sensitivity, let’s first look at what it actually means. When the skin barrier is weakened, it becomes sensitive and reactive and can cause discomfort. Other signs of sensitivity include skin that feels tingly or hot to touch or a diffused redness on the surface of the skin.
Your genetics could be the cause for skin sensitivity, but external aggressors like pollution, stress and UV rays are also responsible. Note that this is different to an allergic reaction to a certain product or ingredient.
How healing balms work
Balms are typically made using a mixture of oils, waxes and butters, along with other healing ingredients. They typically contain less water than lighter creams. Their function is to soothe, heal and protect the skin by creating a moisture-retaining barrier, which is why they feel so soothing on the skin.
The soothing balms to try
Whatever degree of stress your skin is dealing with — a rough spot, dryness or even just a dull appearance — there’s a balm for you.
The Calm-Essentiel Repairing Soothing Balm
This fragrance-free balm is a medicine-cabinet essential that you can rely on to spot-treat and repair skin that’s not feeling its best — both on the face and body.
“Use it where you need it most,” explains Charlotte McHale, Clarins Training Manager. “If you’ve got rough elbows or knees, or if the palms of your hands get sore because of all the additional sanitising that we’re doing, this will help.”
If you’ve got rough elbows or knees, or if the palms of your hands get sore because of all the additional sanitising that we’re doing, this will help.
Apply a thick layer and gently press it into place without rubbing it in. “Think of it as a cream-based bandage,” says McHale.
“There are loads of great ingredients in it,” she elaborates. “It contains an ingredient from the plant clary sage, called Phytosphingosine, that works in harmony with vegetal squalane, to repair the skin’s barrier. The product’s main function is repairing and protecting, so the skin can heal.”
Pro tip: “Use it as an SOS treatment if you’ve got sudden sensitivity as a result of cold weather or if you’ve been on holiday and got a bit of windburn from the beach. For anything that has affected the skin’s barrier, this is going to work really well as an emergency patch” says McHale.
The Soothing After Sun Balm
When your skin is hot and tingly after hours spent under the sun, the Soothing After Sun Balm is the one to reach for. It’s got aloe vera and sunflower extract to soothe and cool the skin down. It also works as a protective shield against free radicals which continue to affect your skin after sun exposure.
In addition, the shea butter and watermelon extract in the formula moisturise and soften the skin. As a bonus, the balm also helps make your tan last longer.
The Extra-Firming Lip and Contour Balm
The skin on your lips doesn’t contain any oil glands which makes it more sensitive and susceptible to damage. Everything from cold or dry weather to sun exposure and dehydration could affect its texture.
The solution? Always have a lip balm handy. The Extra-Firming Lip and Contour Balm is packed with antioxidant-rich raspberry seed oil and shea butter that nourish the lips, replenish them and lock moisture in. Just massage a small amount on the lips and along its contours for plump, smooth lips.
The Tonic Moisturising Balm
If the skin on your arms and legs is feeling a bit dehydrated, reach for the Tonic Moisturising Balm. It’s got a blend of ginseng and apple seed oil — the former is an antioxidant-rich plant extract that has toning properties and the latter is a hydrating ingredient that leaves the skin soft and supple.
It doesn’t hurt that it smells like a spa, with an aromatic blend of geranium, rosewood, mint and rosemary scenting the formula.
The Beauty Flash Balm
Beauty Flash Balm is the ultimate balm to revitalise lacklustre skin. Makeup artist Cher Webb called it the “make-up artist in a tube.” during her masterclass at the Clarins Virtual Beauty Festival. She recommended wearing it on its own or under foundation “on those days when you’re feeling a bit tired or your skin’s just lacking that glow.”
It contains bisabolol, a soothing plant-derived ingredient, as well as olive and witch hazel extracts that help diffuse the appearance of fine lines.
Tip: Use it as a face mask once or twice a week to give your skin a radiance boost.