Winter can be heck on skin! Which is why we’re loving these natural body balms for dry skin
By Lora O’Brien
We’re moving into the cooler months, and with the drop in temperature comes the inevitable dry skin! The central heating goes on and our skin starts to flake, taking with it the remnants of our summer tan, sob! But there are ways you can bring your skin back to life with the use of a body balm.
Commonly known as a salve or cream, a body balm is a thick, waterless cream that is designed to soothe, heal and protect the skin. Think of it as a security guard for the skin! Due to the waterless content of balms, they’re not loaded with preservatives and toxic ingredients, and are often a potent remedy for dry skin.
Body Balms vs. Butters
Anyone else think body balms and butter were the same thing? Nope! Though both products are packed full of super nourishing vitamins and minerals that your skin will drink up, texture and moisturisation abilities separates the butter from the balm.
Body butters usually contain lots of natural ingredients, especially cocoa and shea butter, and are super protective when it comes to skin. They offer intense moisture and can prevent even the worst of skin from drying out. A body butter can feel a bit oily. It works to create a barrier between your skin, preventing moisture loss. This is why they’re perfect for use during winter where everything seems to want to suck the life out of our skin!
On the other hand, body balms are thicker, and can often be a little harder to rub in. That’s because unlike body butters, they’ll contain a humectant.
A humectant is an ingredient that binds with water, thus keeping it from escaping from your skin. Butters, though nourishing, don’t often contain high levels of humectants – if any at all.
Types of humectants to look for
The most common (and natural) humectants to look for in natural body balms include the following:
Hyaluronic acid: This is a molecule found naturally in the body, although the body makes less of it as you age. That’s one of the factors that leads to dry, aging skin. Most hyaluronic acid for skincare is made in a lab.
Glycerin: Also called glycerine or glycerol, glycerin is a clear substance that occurs naturally in animal and plant tissue, including that of humans. A lot of the glycerin in skincare is made from soybean and sugarcane. Glycerin is one of the best humectants, and it also helps keep your skin barrier strong.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA): Alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid, lactic acid, and citric acid are naturally derived acids from fruit and milk sugars. Along with drawing in water, AHAs help the body get rid of dead skin cells.
- Sugar alcohols like xylitol and sorbitol
All of the above-mentioned humectants are vegan-friendly, but there’s one that isn’t: beeswax.
Beeswax creates a protective layer over your skin that can seal in moisture and prevent your skin from drying out. Plus, it can slough away dead skin cells, clearing the way for younger and healthier looking cells to take their place. Though it’s 100% natural, vegans and animal lovers will want to stay clear of this one, as it harms bees.
Benefits of natural body balms
It’s not just your body that can benefit from a balm. They can also be used for the following:
Moisturiser: Use natural body balms to prevent your skin from drying out. But remember: less is more with a balm, so use sparingly. It’s also great at soothing razor burn and other skin irritations. Simply apply to the area for instant relief.
Lips and nails: Who doesn’t love a holy grail beauty product that can be used in a multitude of ways? Dry lips is another side effect of the colder months, so use your body balm to soften and protect lips. You could even add a dap above lipstick to make your lips glossy! Alternatively, you can use it to soften and protect dry, brittle nails and flaky cuticles.
Keep pesky bugs at bay: Going somewhere tropical and warm this year? Don’t buy overpriced, often toxic bug repellent. Instead, choose a body balm with essentials oils such as lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus as they’re natural bug repellents!
Aches and pains: Some kinds of natural body balms can actually help to soothe muscle aches and pains.
The Best Natural Body Balms For Dry Skin
Dry skin can highlight the appearance of sun damage. So lucky that this potent blend will soothe the driest of skins, leaving it with a luminous glow. Not to mention the lemon, grapefruit seed, jasmine and coconut oils smell heavenly as you massage them in! This natural body balm smooths flakes, improves the texture of the skin, as well as tightening and toning its appearance.
Price: Around $75
Best for: Soothing skin and reversing ageing
Not everyone likes their body balm scented, so Balm Balm’s fragrance-free balm is perfect for anyone who dislikes fragrance or has sensitive skin. The ultra-gentle, multi-purpose balm is crafted from a blend of natural oils and waxes. It works to soothe, moisturise and condition the skin.
The multi-purpose abilities of this balm make it perfect to have on hand at all times. Use it on your hands, face, lips and elbows to care for your precious skin every day of the year.
Price: Around $25
Best for: Family life! This is gentle enough to be used on children, and even newborns!
If you’re experiencing muscle pain, bruises or insect bites on your skin, this SOS body balm is the perfect for you! It’s a healing balm made up of essential oils. For example, rose and blue chamomile work as anti-inflammatories, while arnica offers healing benefits to soothe bruises, sprains, aching muscles and any swelling.
Price: Around $50
Best for: Any skin injuries, or to use before and after any kind of surgery.
If you’re looking for a hero beauty product then this one is it! Worth its weight in gold, this is one of those natural body balms that really lives up to its name. Penetrating deep into the layers of skin through a unique proprietary process, it works to effectively ease any pain and soreness you may experience.
Made from a powerful, healing concoction, it includes anti-inflammatory botanicals including arnica, ginger, turmeric and Boswellia. It can be applied anywhere on the skin that feels an ache or pain. The cooling menthol and moisture-rich emollients such as jojoba oil and shea feeling therapeutic, invigorating and soothing.
Best for: Healing muscle aches and pains – in a super luxurious way.
Dreaming of silky smooth skin? Make those dreams a reality with Aesop’s Rind Concentrate Body Balm. This seriously nourishing moisturiser has a mid-weight creamy texture that provides exceptional hydration to the skin. Whether you’re a man or woman, this balm will leave your skin smooth and supple.
Zesty aromas of the citrus fruit rinds of orange, pink grapefruit and lemon offer a crisp scent. A blend of nurturing nut oils work to enrich the body with their skin-softening properties.
Price: Around $90
Best for: Invigorating dry skin. Tip: pop in the fridge during summer for a cooling, soothing cream
There is SO much to love about this balm by LOLI Beauty! Firstly, it’s organic, food-grade, nourishing and totally vegan. Secondly, it’s a multitasker. It removes makeup, smooths lips and moisturises the body from head to toe.
LOLI Beauty is on a mission to clean up the world of beauty, and they’re starting with their own ingredients. Only organic, upcycled superfoods are used in their products. None of these are ever diluted with water or polluted with toxic crap. You can be sure they’re pure, potent and powerful.
Best for: Everyone! This is one of those natural body balms that can be used on every member of the family. Even the dog!
This little tin may not look like much. But it contains an intensive face and body moisturiser that you’ll be thankful to own during winter! Eu’Genia designed this product to combine the beneficial qualities of raw shea butter to be easily used like conventional body creams.
Produced fresh from the wild from one family to you, the butter will melt in your fingertips so you can use it from head to toe. Simply apple to the parts of your body in need of some hydration, whether that’s your arms, body, feet or face. It can also be used to remove makeup, soothe skin post-shave and even as a conditioned hair mask!
Price: Around $20
Best for: Being a genius, multi-functional product.
This may look small and budget-friendly, but it’s one of the best natural body balms, ever! The Everything Balm is a hydrating elixir that can help save everything from dry skin to hair. And all while helping the planet to thrive!
This multi-use product can be used to soothe dry faces, massaged onto the body, used as a mask to de-frizz hair, and it’s even perfect to nourish cuticles!
Plus, not only is it vegan and cruelty-free, but the packaging is fully recyclable, too. Hurruh!
Price: Around $13
Best for: Being a multi-funcitonal product that’s great for those on a budget.
Skin not looking its best? The pineapple extract in this body balm contains a powerful enzyme that will exfoliate your skin, ridding it of any lingering dryness. Hemp oil helps to soothe any irritation, while 200mg of CBD has wonderful anti-inflammatory effects. If your skin is suffering due to stress and weather, this can really help reveal healthier skin.
Best for: Sensitive, dry skin in need of a boost.
Whether you’re a gym bunny or just someone who is super active, this body balm by Native Atlas will be your new best friend. Infused with soothing arnica, the balm penetrates deep into the skin, helping muscles to recover. Rejuvenating, potent eucalyptus lends the balm a cool feeling to give your mind and body a much-needed reset, bringing both the mind and body back into a state of harmony. Who doesn’t need that from time to time, right?
Price: Around $45
Best for: Really sore muscles that are in need of some intense relaxation. Perfect for massages!