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Face Balm Masterclass: 3 Tips for Using Face Oils & Creams

Balms are green beauty’s waterless wonders—with richer ingredients like plant butters or waxes, they have slightly more heft and staying power than a face oil or cream. These concentrated formulas melt into the skin delivering unique benefits, and lock in moisture making them especially suited for dehydrated skin or those in harsher climates.


Many conventional balms and salves rely on petrolatum or mineral oils for their slip. They’re also typically laden with synthetic fragrance, colorants, and petroleum based waxes like paraffin. These formulas may be smooth and slippery, but they’re not actually doing much for your skin. Natural balms turn to nature with ingredients like cocoa butter, shea butter, and beeswax for their signature soothing texture and deeply nourishing properties.


Despite being decadent, balms are not just for the very dry. Balms vary in function and feel with something for nearly everyone. Like other skincare products, if you look at the first few ingredients on a label it will give you a cue about the way a balm will feel. Balms also offer benefits as diverse as oils or creams—so think about what your skincare needs and goals are and choose accordingly.


The main difference between a cream and a balm is that creams are emulsified with 60-80% water (or another fluid), and balms are made without. So when you use a balm, it’s important to apply on damp skin either after cleansing, or after several spritzes of your favorite mist. This allows your skin to really absorb the balm well without having a greasy finish. Also balms are very concentrated—start with less than you think, warm up between your fingertips or palms, and press into your skin. You can also spot treat with balms. If you find you are only really dry on your cheeks or around your eyes, for instance, use your oil or cream as usual, then add the balm on top where you need more moisture.


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May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon

The stress reliever of the skincare world—May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon has a drove of devotees who swear by the stuff. Starring a decadent dose of ultra-calming, rare blue tansy, the waxless balm melts at your touch to a fluid that moisturizes and calms your complexion.

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Maya Chia The Super Blend

This little jar of sunshine is powered by vitamin C, coenzyme Q10, the super antioxidant astaxanthin, and one of nature’s greatest superfoods—chia seed oil. The lush blend dives right in and supports luminosity and touchable softness.

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Laurel Facial Balm: Transform Daily

Maintain moisture all day long with a blend of whole-plant herbs like calendula, comfrey, and chamomile, plus free radical-fighting red raspberry seed oil. The salve plumps up dehydrated skin, yet it’s lightweight enough to wear under makeup sans shine.

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Lina Hanson Global Treasures

Invigorating matcha and coffee combine with precious pearl and 24K gold to transform dull skin in this silky skin treat. Pat onto skin anywhere it needs a boost of radiance including tired eyes, fine lines, the neck, and décolletage.

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Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm Cream

This unique balm contains aloe vera juice, giving it an almost fluffy texture perfect for first-time balm users, or those craving a creamier feel. Indian senna seed mimics hyaluronic acid to help skin hold hydration in this nourishing everyday essential.

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