By November 20, 2014 Read More →

Unusual home working jobs – Balmology

Unusual home working jobs - Catherine Lewis, Balmology®I met our latest interviewee for this series while planning our new lifestyle blog All Things Bright & Good.

Catherine Lewis was recommended to design our beautiful logo, and told me how she scaled down her graphic design work as she built her skincare business Balmology.

I felt lots of home workers would benefit from knowing about her products.

Hi Catherine, tell us how Balmology came about.
Rather unexpectedly whilst suffering from very poor skin! Buying every lotion and potion with the promise of ‘perfect’ skin and willing to try anything, I stumbled upon the use of plant oils for cleansing and moisturising and didn’t think I had much to lose.

Within a few weeks my skin became less aggravated. As it continued to improve I made the connection that the cocktail of synthetic ingredients I had been using was actually making my skin worse.

I excitedly began researching the properties of different plant oils, and my curiosity took me to the kitchen where I experimented with how they could be blended for wonderful results.

Realising that ‘simplicity’ was the answer, I learnt to create my own skincare products, free from preservatives and synthetic chemicals. More of what your skin needs and none of what it doesn’t! I soon received requests from friends and family and started to wonder if I could take it further.

Finally in May 2011 I decided to leave my full time job as a graphic designer in order pursue BALMOLOGY. From my kitchen I created a small range of completely natural and organic balms. I’m delighted to have recently moved away from the kitchen, and now hand blend and package all my balms in a beautiful purpose-built workshop at the end of my garden!

Where do you source your ingredients?
Plant oils are predominately sourced from the nuts, seeds and fruit of exotic species from around the world. From Moroccan Argan and Chilean Rosehip to Shea Butter from a womens’ co-operative in Ghana.

It is essential that the ingredients are the very best quality, and for this reason I have chosen to use only those that are organically certified.

Organic plant oils are cultivated without chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilisers, and the organic process uses lower processing temperatures, ensuring maximum retention of nutrients and potency of active components. I believe organic plant oils are superior, gentle on our skin and kinder to the environment.

Unusual home working jobs - Catherine Lewis, Balmology® - oilsDescribe for us how you make your balms.
While traditional creams and lotions can contain as much as 80% water, BALMOLOGY Balms are completely water-free. I use only plant oils, vitamin E and beeswax, nothing else!

First the plant oils, butters and beeswax are gently heated to combine, and then cooled slightly before vitamin-rich and essential oils are added to preserve their nutrient content and potency.

As a water-free formula, there is no requirement for adding a preservative. However, a dash of vitamin E is finally added for its antioxidant properties.

What are your most popular lines?
The Neroli & Sweet Basil Cleansing Balm is most definitely the best seller. It’s been described as a new ‘cult’ product in The Sunday Telegraph and recently featured in Vogue!

Oil based cleansers are the most effective yet gentle method of cleansing without stripping the skin’s natural oils, working on the chemistry that ‘like dissolves like’. One of the biggest myths is that oil-based products clog the pores and result in greasy blemished skin.

Actually many plant oils are incredibly similar to the oil that our own skin produces (sebum) and as such are very easily absorbed, making our skin less likely to overproduce oil.

This is particularly important when cleansing as excessive oil production is often exasperated by use of harsh detergent based cleansers, which strip natural oils, causing it simply to produce more.

I like to think that using this aromatic cleanser at the end of the day makes taking off make-up a luxurious treat rather than a chore.

Unusual home working jobs - Catherine Lewis, Balmology® - balmHow have your balms helped people?
The Calendula & Chamomile Comfort Balm was originally developed for a little boy who was suffering very badly from eczema. His mother was keen to steer him away from the steroid creams he had been prescribed by the bucketload.

The Comfort Balm very quickly calmed the itchiness and helped to heal the extremely bad patches. He also loved having it applied because it didn’t sting like his other creams and smelt far nicer.

Generally it’s useful for quickly calming any skin irritations and is great on extremely chapped or dry areas of skin. I’ve even had feedback recently that it works wonders to calm chickenpox!

What’s next for Balmology®?
While all ingredients used in the range are certified organic, the brand itself is yet to be certified. Until now! The BALMOLOGY® range is being submitted for Soil Association Certification at the beginning of 2015. As an internationally recognised organic standard for high quality, I feel it is an important step to increasing brand awareness.

I also have plans to find retail outlets for the range during 2015, but meanwhile the full range is available online at www.balmology.co.uk.

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