We developed this recipe not only to be 100% natural but 100% effective.
ProBalm’s combination of oils, raw beeswax, herbs and essential oils is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most intense and effective skin repair balms that you will ever lay your hands on.
We asked Iain Stewart (BSc MNIMH), our chief Herbalist, who developed the ProBalm recipe to give us a look under the bonnet to see what’s inside the recipe.
Now there are as many different kinds of beeswax as there are days in the year. The wax that we use is straight from our colleague John (the bee man) in North Yorkshire. John has been keeping bees for decades, is a fully qualified Apitherapist (using bee stings to help cure conditions like arthritis!...but that’s a whole different story!) and is a government bee inspector (looking for signs of disease in hives and catching it before it spreads). You'll not find many people in the UK who know more about bees than John. He even has a hive in his front room in the summer time with a pipe that leads out through a hole in the window frame to the outside! He says he just finds that bees are good company and he likes having them round. Anyway John (the bee man) supplies us with all the unrefined wax that we need.
This wax is full of a substance called Propolis. Now...propolis is the substance that bees use to stop their hives from becoming infected with bacteria and viruses. Propolis is a complex substance that is made by the bee as it journeys around different plants and trees. There have been several research papers and books written on the beneficial health effects of propolis. You may have seen products such as propolis tooth paste and propolis sweets to such if you have a sore throat. Now without getting into too much detail...we believe propolis is a substance that can aid the healing and repair process in your skin. It also can reduce inflammation and help with the general condition of inflamed areas of skin. You can find out more about propolis by looking at wikipedia.org/wiki/Propolis.
So, in summary - the foundation stone of ProBalm is an unrefined beeswax containing high levels of Propolis.
Essential Oil of Patchouli is extracted by steam distillation of leaves of Patchouli plant. This component of ProBalm has two key actions. The first relates to how it interacts with our mind. The second relates to how the oils speed the rate of healing of damaged tissue. Patchouli’s effect on the mind is well documented in the Aromatherapy world. It has the ability to lift the mood and focus the mind – ideal when you’re in a psychologically demanding situation! The secondary physical effect is that it helps heal scrapes and wounds and also speed up the fading of their scars. It’s similar to the action of Comfrey in that it helps with the generation of new body cells. It has been seen to be helpful in regeneration of new skin cells, thus keeping the skin healthy and vibrant.
This oil is produced from the seeds of grapes normally after the grapes have been made into wine! It’s a much lighter and thinner oil than Jojoba still quite nourishing, however much less waxy in consistency. The grape seed oil balances the Jojoba oil well and lightens the final consistency of the balm.
Jojoba oil is actually not an oil, but a liquid wax. It is the only oil that closely resembles human sebum (an oily substance naturally produced by the oil glands below the skins surface).
The best thing about Jojoba oil on skin is that it's jam packed with almost all of the different elements needed for really healthy skin, namely, vitamin E, vitamin B-complex, copper, zinc, selenium, iodine, and chromium.
It also protects skin from some of the harmful effects of being in the sun for too long. It has a natural SPF of between 4 and 5.
So... you could see Jojoba as a bit of a superfood for your skin!
This oil is extracted from the tangerine peel by cold pressing of the peel. We use this oil partly because of its wonderful sweet smell and partly because it is also an oil that is often used to prevent stretch marks in pregnant ladies. It seems to have the ability to improve the circulation to the skin and improve the tone of the skin at the same time. It also has strong antiseptic properties making it the perfect very safe all-rounder essential oil.
This comfrey infused oil is another of the key ingredients within ProBalm. The old name for Comfrey is “knit-bone” or sometimes called “boneset”. In fact the Latin name for the plant is “Symphytum”. It comes from word “Symphus” – to join together. Comfrey in herbal medicine is known as a cell proliferant, i.e. it speeds up the natural replacement of cells in the body. The particular constituent believed to be responsible for this effect is called Allantoin. To make the oil - fresh comfrey leaf is infused in the almond oil for several weeks, allowing the constituents of the leaf to infuse into the oil (the almond oil turns dark green during the process). The mixture is then pressed and the oil filtered before being ready for use. The comfrey oil is one of the key ingredients that really makes ProBalm stand out from the crowd. The addition of infused Comfrey oil to our recipe makes our balm probably the most effective balm on the market today.
Comes from the same tree as Neroli oil (the citrus orange tree), however rather than use the flowers this oil is derived from the leaves and twigs. Petitgrain has two key qualities in this recipe. It is a powerfully anti-inflammatory whilst at the same time is seen as having an uplifting aroma. The anti-inflammatory properties are important as it’s inflammation that can cause pain after doing too much with your skin!
This oil is an incredibly powerful and uplifting essential oil. All you really need to know about it is that the Greek word “Sempervirens”, from which the botanical name is derived, means “lives forever”. Now I’m not saying that if you use ProBalm that you’ll live for ever, however you might just feel so good that you’ll feel like you want to live forever!
Natural vitamin E is known to be a powerful antioxidant and as such it protects skin cells from ultra violet light, pollution, and other elements that produce cell damaging free radicals. Vitamin E absorbs some of the sun’s ultra-violet rays which are responsible for the reddening of the skin and sunburn. Ultra-violet rays age the skin more quickly by reducing its elasticity and creating wrinkles. Vitamin E therefore works to prevent wrinkles, stimulates the blood circulation and regulates the skin's elasticity. Vitamin E also helps to heal cracks and sores in skin and will remove scars with regular use over longer periods of time.
This is a warm and spicy essential oil. It helps to increase warmth of both the body and mind. It relieves sore muscles and joints, boosts the immune and digestive systems, and disperses bruising by increasing circulation to the skin. This oil is extracted from the peppercorns by steam distillation.
Caution – It must be remembered that Black Pepper oil may cause irritation to areas of very sensitive skin, such as around the eyes and the genitals. The oil at the correct concentration is highly effective at relieving soreness and dispersing bruising...so I’ve had to draw a balance making sure there is enough in the formula to be really effective but not too much to cause sensitisation. The formula has been tested on a wide range of human volunteers, family and friends, however take care with those sensitive areas. If you do experience any irritation simply wash the area with warm water and soap.
This is a sweet tropical oil with warming effect. It comes from a tropical tree in Thailand and Indonesia – the resin is extracted by tapping the living tree. The oil is an excellent anti-inflammatory and is particularly associated with healing the skin. The aroma is a base note, meaning the almost vanilla like smell will linger for a long time.