I’m not one who is that interested in the ‘clean beauty’ phenomenon that’s appeared everywhere of late, as there is still a lot of debate about the term ‘clean beauty’. I’m not keen as it implies that all other products not tagged under this category are in some way ‘unclean’. They’re not. Typically a beauty brand is classed as being ‘clean beauty’ if their products contain no parabens, no glycols, no silicone, no mineral oil, no phthalates, no chemical sunscreen, no synthetic fragrance and no synthetic colours. Some brands even go as far as to name all other non-natural ingredients as ‘nasties’. There is no real scientific evidence that parabens are harmful or cause cancer, and silicone can be a very helpful ingredient to have in a product – particulary in shampoo for me as my hair is dry and tangles so easily. I think the term misleads greatly. Nevertheless, there is a lot of interest in ‘clean beauty’, so I wanted to put three ‘clean beauty’ cleansing balms to the test.Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm – £55 for 50ml, Omorovicza
Omorovicza is a Hungarian brand that focusses on the healing powers of Hungary’s thermal waters, due to the minerals from the earth that it contains. This is such a delight to use. It melts onto the skin, is great for a facial massage when cleansing and it leaves you skin feeling so clean, so plump and so soft. I also love the novelty of looking like a Mary Poppins chimney sweeper when I’ve got this on my face. The Hungarian Moor Mud that the balm contains is rich in minerals that cleanse and purify the skin (calcium, magnesium, humic acid and fulvic acid). There’s also skin-softening and replenishing Vitamin E from the balm’s Sweet Almond Oil. The scent of this is so nice too – the orange blossom is so mood-elevating. A real winner!S5 Skincare Nourish Cleanser – £32, S5 Skincare
S5 Skincare is a skincare brand from the UK. It aims to protect skin from the stress of modern living. They say their products are natural and organic and that they aim to make them as pure as possible – no chemicals, no allergens and Vegan. I love when I discover small independent brands like this – amazing products and beautiful, chic packaging design. This is a much more fluid and thicker balm cleanser. It doesn’t melt from a solid into an oil, but is rather more of a honey texture whilst still containing oils that beautifully break down makeup and cleanse the skin. These a host of other skin benefits that come with using this cleanser too. In it, there’s Sweet Almond Oil (rich in Vitamin E), Baobab Oil (moisturising and improves elasticity), Black Cumin Seed Oil (anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory), Pomegranate Seed Oil (healing, repairing and moisturising) and High-Altitude Rosehip Oil (a natural source of bio-retinol to improve skin texture, plus rich in fatty acids for antioxidant qualities). This cleanser also contains natural exfoliant Papaya Enzymes, plus elasticity-boosting Arctic Sea Buckthorn. The texture of this feels so luxurious.Ermana Skincare Cleanse Balm – £24, Ermana Skincare
The smallest of the featured brands in this post, Ermana products are all small-batch and made by hand. They are natural and organic, designed for sensitive skin and contain no additives, emulsifiers or preservatives. I wanted to love this, but the texture just isn’t pleasant or easy to use. I spoke to the brand about it and they have said that it is due to the fact that they don’t use emulsifiers in their products. Basically, this is a very gritty balm where the ingredients just don’t melt easily or mix together easily. It’s so hard to get this from being lumpy into a smooth oil that’s it’s just not worth the effort unless you are really into intensely policing all the ingredients in your products and as such would have a problem with emulsifiers. I don’t, so this just isn’t a product for me. It smells great (botanical) and it cleanses well when you finally get it to the texture you need; but it’s not for me. I think this is a case of a brand going so far down the natural, no additive route that it seriously damages product performance. It’s a blend of natural butters and plant oils, which are rich in fatty acids and conditioning minerals and vitamins. There’s Shea Butter (to moisturise and heal), Cocoa Butter (to hydrate and soften), Coconut Oil (to hydrate and soothe), Sweet Almond Oil (to help skin look more youthful in texture and plumpness) and Beeswax (to help the skin retain moisture).
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