In the past few years, there has been sustained interest in “cure-all”, “multi-purpose” healing balms. These little pots are designed to be used wherever you need a dose of moisture, healing or soothing, whether it be on a rash, cracking heels, dry cuticles or elbows, or an iron burn. Don’t get me wrong, I love these balms. It just seems like every single natural, or natural-ish, or pay-homage-to-the-word-natural brand has its own version.
So, wading into the balm territory can be a little confusing, especially when each one claims to be the fuhschnizz, and considering that they are all pretty similar, formula-wise. Almost always a collection of herbs and other botanical extracts in an oil and wax base, in the end it just comes down to which oils, and which extracts. And where on the grease spectrum the balms falls – slick city or nicely hydrating. It needs to be hydrating enough to really work, but not to make your elbows slip and slide all over the table.
This specimen, Móa The Green Balm, is a rather nice example, which refreshingly doesn’t cost the earth. Based in Coconut, Sweet Almond and Soybean Oils and Beeswax, it then just adds the astringent, anti-microbial Tea Tree Oil, and a major dose of Yarrow Extract, which has become increasingly trendy as a skincare ingredient in the last few years.
I maintain that all old-fashioned herbs that sound like something you heard of as a child are perennially popular, but Yarrow has the benefits to back it up. It balances skin functions with multiple components, such as isovaleric acid, salicylic acid, flavonoids, sterols, tannins, and coumarins, to act as an astringent, tonic, and anti-microbial, and to speed wound, rash, and abrasion healing. Yarrow Tea can be used to treat colds, and legend has it that Achilles carried it into battle to treat any wounds that might come up, hence the Latin name, Achillea Millefolium.
Solid in the pot but meltingly pleasing as soon as you touch it, you can apply Móa The Green Balm on shaving rash, around the eyes in the middle of winter, or to painfully chapped lips, and it will quickly deal with them. Put it on several times a day as a scratch or a burn heals, or after a cosmeceutical procedure (ahem) or retinol treatment. It can be used as a facial cleansing balm, to be washed off with a muslin cloth, and will even remove the most stubborn of eye makeups, or can be put as a hair mask through your tawny locks.
I’m not saying that this is the perfect balm, but the very simple formula appeals to me, with no fuss or nonsense, no preservatives, and Coconut Oil, which is a truly great hydrator. Plus, it costs almost nada – £4.99 for 15ml (from Cult Beauty or from Móa’s website here) which should last you for ages.
For American readers, you can buy The Green Balm from Amazon, and for Asian and Australian readers, Móa’s website or Cult Beauty will both ship directly to you.