Monday, 9 February 2015

Review : Neal's Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm

I recently went to Neal’s Yard to check out their selection of face oils and was very kindly given some samples of their multi-tasking Wild Rose Beauty Balm to try. (Hence the stock photo) Apparently, it can be used as a moisturising balm, an exfoliant, a mask or as a cleanser. I’m not a fan of “multipurpose” products but the combination of cleansing balm + roses had me sold.

Rosa canina (Wild rose) seed oil, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil, Cera alba (Beeswax), Butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter), Cannabis sativa (Hemp) seed oil, Borago officinalis (Starflower) seed oil, Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) flower oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) leaf oil, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil, Cymbopogon martini (Palmarosa) herb oil, Pogostemon cablin (Patchouli) leaf oil, Ascorbyl palmitate, Tocopherol, Citral, Citronellol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.

Rosa Canina = gives you Rose Hip oil which is high in anti-oxidants
Jojoba Seed Oil = repairs the skin’s barrier
Shea Butter = high in anti-oxidants
Hemp Seed Oil = moisturising, won’t get you high
Starflower Seed Oil = moisturising, contains fatty acids

There are a number of fragrant plant extracts after that: Geramium, Rosemary, Frankincense, Palmarosa and Patchouli - which people with sensitive skin, or people who really care about their skin might want to avoid.

As a Nourishing Balm
I’m trying to cut out products with beeswax and shea butter and unfortunately this contains both >.< In the name of experimentation I decided to leave a thin layer on overnight, massaging it into my skin. I didn’t wake up with a face full of spots as feared but I wouldn’t dare use it more frequently! It’s supposed to be suitable for all skintypes, but isn’t something I’d use if I had oily skin (which I don’t) because it's so thick and would feel too greasy. For normal or dry skin, it’s ok and left my skin feeling soft and plump. It’s a nice alternative to the much pricier Decleor balms - and has the benefit of being 99% organic if you appreciate that sort of thing :)
*btw, it goes without saying that this isn’t something you’d use in the daytime, unless you’re aiming to look slicked up like Kim Kardashian’s a$$.

As a Cleanser
I’m reluctant to call this a ‘multi-tasker’ after trying it as a cleanser. It’s quite heavy on the beeswax content and SUCH a pain to remove. My skin didn’t rinse clean of make-up, but with the sheer volume of water needed to remove the balm I’m pretty sure it came off eventually. I've since learnt that you’re supposed to do the first cleanse and then go in with the balm. Oopsie. Still, I don't think this Balm is suited as a cleanser - it's not gentle enough with all that facecloth action. I'd much rather use the Frankincense cleanser from Balm Balm (reviewed here) which is much cheaper and easier to rinse. 

As a Mask / Exfoliant
To use the balm as a mask, leave it on for ten minutes and then rinse off. I didn’t try this because it’s like telling you to wash off your moisturiser. The ‘exfoliant’ function is a bit of a misnomer because that’s just you using a flannel trying your damnedest to rinse it off.

A jar costs £37/50g. The most similar products that I've used are Decleor night balms, which in the equivalent size would cost upwards of £100 (!!!!) Bear in mind however that the Wild Rose Beauty Balm has a three month shelf life - which is a nuisance because it’d easily last you more than a year! I don't think it would sprout mould in all that time, but it's something to bear in mind if you're strict about use-by dates.

As a cleanser it’s quite pricey compared to other brands. For example, Emma Hardie's Moringa Balm is cheaper by a £ but is twice the size. (Though 1ml is not the same as 1g.)

I can't think of other multi-use products to compare, but I reckon you could make a cleanser out of Trilogy's Everything Balm (12.50/45ml). That contains Sweet Almond, Rose Hip and Jojoba Oil among others. (As well as my arch-nemesis: olive oil.)

The Verdict
Like a stock of plasters and cotton buds, this is something I’d like to have handy when my skin is feeling dry and needs some TLC. But I feel like it'd just be a waste of money with that short shelf life!