The difference between a moisturiser and balm
What’s the difference between a moisturiser and balm? Let’s look at the benefits.
In recent years, great UK artisans have been designing beautiful and useful balms, lotions and moisturisers to help with massage, body moisturising and benefits for the skin.
Differences between moisturising creams, lotions, and balms
We really favour the balm at Juul at Home, but a moisturiser and lotion can also serve a great purpose too. So, what is the difference between these treatments? In a nutshell, it’s the formulation and consistency.
Lotions are typically the lightest and include water as one of the main ingredients. They also tend to have a low oil content and only moisturise for a short duration after application, soaking into the skin quite quickly, with little trace. Because of their fluidity, they tend to come in a bottle with a pump and may have alcohol or preservatives to prevent microbial growth.
Moisturising creams have a lower water content than lotions, replaced by oils instead. That makes the creams thicker and so they are often packaged in jars or lidded tubs. Most creams are formulated for the face and may contain anti-aging ingredients to plump and reduce lines and wrinkles.
Balms are normally plant oil and wax-based ointments packed with healing or soothing ingredients. They are much thicker than lotions and creams and don’t contain water. They can provide super protection and deeply nourish the skin, with waterproof qualities packed with butters from nuts and fruit.
Balms are great for moisturising
One of the main ingredients in balm is a wax – either vegan or beeswax. This wax forms a protective barrier on the skin that locks in moisture and can help to protect your skin from the harsh winter or coastal environment, whilst still allowing your skin to breathe. In addition, it is also relatively waterproof, so if you are surfing in the sea or walking in the wind and rain, it won’t completely wash off like a lotion.
Beloved of runners, cyclists and dog walkers alike, the Bathing Beauty Balaclava Face Salve is an essential for any outdoor enthusiast. Its super nourishing and calming and absolutely ideal for protecting your face from the cold wet windy weather. Made in Wales, it is registered with the Vegetarian Society and completely cruelty free. Known as ‘climate control’ for your face, it is 100% natural, palm oil free and comes in recyclable plastic-free packaging. It also soaks into the skin so beautifully it gives a great base for makeup without that oily feeling.
Go deep with skin conditioning balms
Because of their thicker more ‘Vaseline’ consistency, balms tend to be formulated with more potent ingredients, and can pack a heftier punch that a more fluid moisturiser. With antioxidants and vitamins to hydrate, lock-in moisture, balms can be more effective at restoring skin’s smoothness. Traditionally, you can use the balm all over the body, or more sparingly on dry patches, such as lips, nose, elbows, and knees. Here’s a quick tip: if you have dry feet, try popping on balm and cover with socks overnight, for some intense moisturising.
Bathing Beauty Sweet Feet Footcare Kit is a lovely little tin of foot reviving care. Super for runners, hikers, dancers, and diabetics, it is packed full of shea butter, peppermint and tea tree essential oils for your feet. Vegetarian-accredited, it contains Foot Pop peppermint tablets to soak your feet, and then fabulous Bathing Beauty Sock, a super foot salve for moisturising heels and nail beds. Just a pea-sized amount will make your feet feel amazing.
Balms last longer
In these tougher economic times, a little certainly needs to go a long way! Balms tend to have a lot less water or fillers in them than many moisturisers. Often, they are created with the purest ingredients and without preservatives, by artisans who value the all-natural, all vegan preparations. They can be suitable for those seeking a less toxic lifestyle. Plus, you only need a tiny bit at a time to effectively protect and nourish your skin. The team here at Juul at Home have tested various balms in our shop and we’d go so far as to say that balms last approximately 50% longer than lotions, primarily because you just don’t need so much with every application.
New brand and local-Ilfracombe brand, Dolly Lemon has just the versatile balm for face and body. Dolly Lemon Mirabilia is a multi-purpose face balm from their Ever-Young collection. Packed with super moisturising ingredients: mango butter, vegan squalene and hyaluronic acid, a fingertip scoop is more than enough for deeply conditioning and moisturising the skin.
Balms with healing and relaxing properties
Sore muscles, achy tired legs, joint pain, these are ailments we all tend to suffer from, time to time. One of the great attributes of balms is that they can be formulated to contain ingredients that can be used as a treatment. Bathing Beauty, Jones the Bones Balm has been created by founder and Osteopath, George Jones, to use during her Practise sessions. Containing St John’s Wort, Chamomile, Lavender and Rosemary, it is perfectly portable, Vegan-friendly and pocket sized and has won awards for helping people with their stiff joints and achy muscles.
Pack and travel lightly with little pots of balm
Unlike body and face lotions and creams, without the bulky fluid, balms are great for travel. Often in cute little lidded pots they can fit snug in a handbag or purse, and with a little going a long way, can easily last a week or two. Depending on their ingredients they can also be repurposed into an after-sun, lip balm, or even used to tame frizzy hair.
Dry hands on the go, Gauntlet is a lovely little nourishing barrier hand salve with shea butter, avocado oil, beeswax, and essential oils. Not only is it great for hands, its super on curly hair too.
Personal moisturising preference
While the choice between using lotions, creams and balms is a personal preference, our recommendation is a balm. Why? Because of their rich, soothing consistency, their versatility enables multi-purpose moisturising – for the face, hands, joint areas, heels and feet. Traditionally their consistency enables them to contain no preservatives and be packed full of all-natural and often, all-vegan ingredients. That said, the key to skin repair and maintenance is to find a product that works best for you.