Botanicals Soothing Salve – Lavender and Chamomile Review
A huge part of my journey into natural skincare has been discovering that I’m not alone in wanting to use products that are made not only ethically but also in small batches using plant-based ingredients, ideally organic ones.
The ‘green beauty’ industry seems to be growing more and more, and it’s reassuring to see others, like me, being more interested in “green beauty” and questioning how everyday skincare products are made. Equally, it’s great to see more brands that cater to a more conscious consumer group. However, there’s still so much ‘greenwashing’ going on and sometimes it feels like such a minefield to know which ones are trying to confuse you with their marketing tricks. Which is why I always urge everyone to educate themselves about how to read labels and ingredient lists carefully before buying a skincare product, no matter how natural a skincare company claims they are. (You can check out my post My six golden rules for deciphering skincare ingredient lists to find out more.)
One of my recent brand discoveries has been a UK-based company, Botanicals. Founded in 2004 by Wendy Stirling, it’s grown from strength to strength, winning many accolades along the way (including Free From Skincare Awards and The Green Parent Natural Beauty Awards). Wendy decided to start making her own products after her nine-year old daughter suffered a severe allergic reaction to a high street shampoo that was meant to be “natural” and without any harsh chemicals.
Botanicals pride themselves on making their products in small batches rather than manufacturing them at a large scale, so as to preserve the uniqueness and effectiveness of the natural ingredients used. All of their ingredients are derived solely from natural, sustainable sources, and don’t contain any harmful preservatives, artificial colours or fragrances, plastics or microbeads. Not only that though – they also don’t use any genetically-modified or animal-derived ingredients, neither are their products tested on animals, therefore they’re suitable for vegans. On top of that – Botanicals products also boast the prestigious Soil Association logo meaning a high percentage of the ingredients are organically grown. This also means Botanicals has met Soil Association’s stringent set of criteria, including the use of safe ingredients and strict ethics, both from a human and environmental perspective. This includes the use of only environmentally-friendly packaging. Wherever possible, Botanicals use glass jars and bottles. The only exception are bath products (for safety reasons) where they only use PET (polyethylene terephthalate), which is a highly recyclable form of polyester. Similarly, when it comes to posting their products, Botanicals are committed to using eco-fill compostable loose fill packaging, paper tape and bubble wrap that’s made from recycled polythene and is fully recyclable after use.
“A nourishing natural salve to soothe, soften and protect the skin. Botanicals skin salve will soothe conditions such as eczema and chapped skin and is highly effective as an ‘after-sun’ moisturiser. Botanicals balms are made entirely with active plant derived ingredients, which support the skin’s natural ability to heal and regenerate new skin cells. Suitable for: All skin types – particularly dry skin. Hand made in rural England. 100% natural. 89% organic ingredients. Certified organic by the Soil Association.”
Size and price: 60g – £17.50; 150g – £32.00
- Helianthus annus (sunflower) seed oil* – high in unsaturated fatty acids, such as linoleic and oleic acid, it is full of skin caring properties.
- Butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter* – smoothing properties and preserves the moisture of the skin.
- Prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil* – improves the barrier function of the skin; it is ideal for sensitive and dry skin.
- Cetyl alcohol – a co-emulsifying agent and an emollient agent. It also improves consistency and has moisturising effects.
- Cetearyl alcohol – a co-emulsifying agent and an emollient agent. It also improves consistency and has moisturising effects.
- Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil* – acts as a humectant; similar to skin’s natural sebum (it moisturises without causing greasiness or breakouts); rich in vitamin E, zinc, iodine and other antioxidants.
- Calendula officinalis flower extract* – smoothing properties and supports the regeneration of the skin.
- Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower oil* – fragrance ingredient; effective for soothing minor cuts and grazes, as well as dry or sun-chapped skin; anti-fungal, combats blemishes.
- Anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower oil* – fragrance ingredient; has calming properties on the mind; when used on skin – it soothes irritated skin caused by exposure to the sun.
- Glycerine*** – moisturising agent; smoothes and protects the skin.
- Tocopherol – Vitamin E; used as an antioxidant (free radical scavenger).
- Zea mays seed flour* – used as an absorbent and bulking agent.
- Geraniol** – natural ingredient of various essential oils that are used to improve the odour of cosmetic products.
- Limonene** – natural ingredient of various essential oils that are used to improve the odour of cosmetic products.
- Linalool** – natural ingredient of various essential oils that are used to improve the odour of cosmetic products.
(*Certified organic. **Natural constituents of essential oils. ***Organic origin.) [/disclaim]
Ingredients: As explained above, you can see all of the ingredients have wonderful benefits to your skin. This is a really great blend and you really don’t need to be a skincare formulation expert to claim that. So what about the ingredients highlighted in amber? Well, as with all essential oils and natural fragrance derived from essential oils, we must remember that they could potentially cause a reaction to those with sensitive skin so that’s definitely something to bear in mind. However, as far as the ingredients credentials are concerned, all of these are as clean as they can get!
Use and benefits: This Soothing Salve has a very soft texture and smells simply divine! The aroma combo of chamomile and lavender is very subtle, not too overpowering and extremely soothing to your mind. I have to admit – when I’m in the bathroom I often open the jar just to inhale the smell, it really calms me down. That’s aromatherapy at its best! While the salve does look and feel quite balmy when you first touch it, it distributes really well and doesn’t leave any greasy residue. Quite the opposite – it feels silky soft and very luxurious on your skin, giving it a lovely sheen.
I’ve used this salve on both my hands and entire body, and my skin felt super soft and supple every time I used this product. My hands are particularly prone to eczema/ contact dermatitis and with the weather being quite harsh earlier in the month, this salve really helped to protect the skin on my hands. The only thing I would say is that in my opinion it works best as a preventative measure for milder types of contact dermatitis rather than a remedy for more serious eczema/ really broken skin. So I’m definitely going to use it on days when my contact dermatitis is ‘inactive’ but I’m inclined to use another product that’s free from essential oils on days when the flare ups are getting out of control because for my eczema – products free from essential oils work best.
Price: This isn’t the cheapest of products but have a look at the ingredient list again. It does contain a selection of organic oils so you do need to pay a bit more premium for these. Due to the balmy consistency though, you only need to apply a small amount so a little goes a long way, making this a really cost effective product. I use this salve on areas that are prone to dryness, especially in the winter, such as knees, elbows, cheeks, lips and hands. However, this product is also aimed for treating sunburnt skin so I’ll have to test it for that during the summer.
Packaging: As previously mentioned, Botanicals’ packaging is recyclable which is great. This salve comes in a glass jar (with a plastic lid) and I’ll be adding it, once the balm is gone, to my stash of glass containers for my DIY projects. It’s all about zero waste, people, zero waste!
This is a really lovely product, with a simple yet very effective formulation. It’s also reassuring to know it was made by an ethically-conscious brand so that’s a huge extra benefit. To see other body balms catered to different skin types, visit Botanicals website.
Disclaimer: This soothing salve was kindly sent to me by the lovely folks at Botanicals to test and review. Nevertheless, all views expressed in all of my posts are always 100% mine and honest.
***Key to ingredient lists:
- Ingredients known to have positive benefits to skin
- Ingredients that may cause irritation (especially to sensitive skin)
- Ingredients considered potentially harmful/ toxic