Spring is nearly here! And now that we can’t hide behind woolly jumpers and fluffy scarves any longer, it’s time for that beauty regime spring clean. Out with the old and in with the new. Introducing Botanics 97% Organic Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm…

The Claims

A moisturising cleansing balm packed full of a myriad of nourishing butters and plant oils, such as rosehip and jojoba to remove any impurities, leaving skin clean, soft and supple. The product comes with a muslin cloth, used to buff and gently exfoliate the skin, promising to “reveal a radiant complexion”. But can this balm leave skin as glowing as it promises? 

The Science behind the Bottle

Olea Europaea Fruit Oil

More commonly known as olive oil (yes the same one we use for cooking!), this oil has numerous benefits when applied topically. Olive oil consists of fatty acids, which form the membrane of our cells, and its topical application can improve hydration and act to plump our skin! The primary fatty acid in olive oil is oleic acid and there is some evidence that it is able to penetrate the skin and increase its permeability, so any products applied after cleansing will be able to sink further into the skin maximizing their benefits!

The benefits don’t stop there either; olive oil is also a source of three antioxidants, vitamin E, polyphenols and phytosterols, which can protect the skin being damaged by free radicals when topically applied. These unruly free radicals can cause premature ageing by damaging components of the extracellular matrix in the skin, such as collagen, reducing its elasticity.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil also contains fatty acids and antioxidants, similar to in olive oil. Additionally, jojoba oil has a similar structure to sebum; the oil naturally proceeded by our skin. Therefore, topical application of it can be very beneficial, especially to those with oily skin as it can prevent excess sebum production by sneakily tricking the skin into thinking there is already enough oil. This similarity in structure to sebum allows jojoba oil to be readily absorbed by the skin, not just lazily sit on top clogging pores.

Beeswax

Beeswax is formed of esters of fatty acids, and is fab at delivering moisture to our skin. As well as adding moisture, it also acts as a humectant meaning it can trap moisture in by attracting water molecules and providing the skin with a protective barrier. Multitasking beeswax has some antibacterial and antiviral properties too, helping to remove all the dirt, grime and other nasties that build up on your skin, revealing the radiant complexion it promises.

Rosehip Oil

Rosa canina, also known as rosehip, oil, contains high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including oleic, linolenic and linoleic acids, which aid in increasing and retaining the moisture of the skin. Rosehip oil is also a source of phytonutrients, amazing molecules that protect plants, for example, from damaging UV rays. One of these phytonutrients, β-carotene, is a provitamin A carotenoid and is, yet again another anti oxidant!

One of these phytonutrients β-carotene is a provitamin A carotenoid, which is converted into retinol when applied to our skin. Retinol is one of the most potent anti ageing ingredients, and has been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines. However, retinol increases the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight and can cause the skin to appear flakey and dry, but application of provitamin A is thought to bypass these unwanted side effects. Although there sadly isn’t enough solid evidence for this just yet, and retinol in a cleanser really isn’t on your skin long enough to gain the maximum benefits, so we aren’t quite swayed by the benefits of this just yet.

Other Hydrating Ingredients

Shea butter, bergamot fruit oil and lemon peel oil all provide an added boost of hydration for our skin. If you have oily skin, it may seem counterproductive slathering an balm full with oils, on your skin, but oils in cleansers work on the principle of “like dissolving like”. All these oils work to remove the excess sebum and impurities, leaving your skin clean and soft, without being dehydrated.

Our Verdict

This cleansing balm is full of plant based oils and butters, so is able to really hydrate your skin and provide the perfect base for your serums and moisturisers. The antibacterial properties of some ingredients ensure that your skin is going to be thoroughly cleansed, without leaving it feeling all tight and as dry as a desert. Over the past few years, cleansing balms have earned their moment in the spotlight, with cult favourites by Emma Hardie and Eve Lom gaining many devoted fans and glowing reviews from everyone, such as Vogue, models and beauty editors alike. However, the exorbitant price of many of these balms are enough to make some people faint. At under a tenner a pop (and keep your eyes peeled because it’s very often on offer!), Boot’s provides a cheaper alternative, and full of such reliable plant based ingredients, you really can’t go wrong. For what you get for the price, this gets a massive thumbs up from us!

Click here to get your hands on Botanics 97% Organic Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm.

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