Hailed as a saviour for skin in crisis, May Lindstrom’s The Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm is getting rave reviews across the board. It has even made an impression on renowned skin care blogger Caroline Hirons as she heralded it a “gift from baby Jesus” on twitter! Marketed as a mix of skin care and aromatherapy, this product claims to ease emotional anxiety and calm irritated skin through the “mystical” ingredient of blue tansy. The beauty balm also has a warming effect when in contact with skin –“like a hug for your face”.

The Claims

The buzz surrounding this product and all of these evocative descriptions make it instantly grab our attention, and to top it all off….It’s blue!! Yet we at BBTG are not ones to be seduced by media hype, crazy colour gimmicks and word play! We are Beauty Geeks – savvy science is how we choose our skin care!

The Science behind the Bottle

Blue tansy
So to start lets de-mystify Blue Tansy. Tanacetum annuum (Blue Tansy) Oil is also known as Moroccan Chamomile. Chamomile species are well known natural ingredients in many cosmetic products due to their calming effects. Their anti-inflammatory healing properties are due to the chemical alpha-bisabolol. However, Moroccan chamomile does not contain bisabolol, but instead has an alternative anti-inflammatory compound that is linked with its dramatic blue colour. This Blue Cocoon may have even more depth than we first thought!

The distinctive blue colour of the Blue Tansy flower is generated by high levels of the volatile aromatic compound Chamazulene. This chemical has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties in vivo (in living model systems). This action comes from chamazulene’s ability to inhibit the production of ‘leukotriene B4’, a signal molecule that recruits white blood cells to the sight of inflammation. These cells are involved in initiating and maintaining the inflammatory response, and so no leukotriene B4 equals less inflammation. Simple!

Along with the presence of Chamazulene, Blue Tansy contains Camphor and Terpene. Both compounds hold anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It is thought that camphor increases sensitivity to thermal sensation, which The Geeks have a suspicion underlies this product’s warming effects. This is due to small channels in the nerves which detect heat. These channels open and close in response to heat, but also respond in a similar way to compounds such as Camphor and Eucalyptus. Camphor also harbours antimicrobial and a slight local analgesic action. Handy for angry itchy skin!

A sensitive product
This product is designed for sensitive problematic, inflamed skin and some of the positive user reviews come from people suffering from Rosacea, a skin disorder that results in a red, flushed complexion, burning stinging sensation and blood vessels in the surface of the skin becoming visible.

Looking at the ingredients, Blue Cocoon aims to tackle the symptoms of Rosacea and sensitive skin from several different angles using its title ingredient, Blue Tansy. The camphor would give an immediate cooling effect to prevent itchiness and the Chamazulene would directly oppose the inflammation of the skin. The general aromatherapy produced by the balm could also reduce stress, which is one of the triggers of Rosacea.

Easing emotions
The classical ingredient of Lavender oil widely used in aromatherapy for its relaxing effects. Cult Beauty claim that this balm calms emotional anxiety and from our research, this may not be unfounded. One study showed that, in an oral preparation, Lavender oil can be as effective as a low-dose of lorazepam at combating anxiety. So it looks like Blue cocoon really might chill out our mind as well as our skin! Don’t be sold too easily though – ingredients’ effects can vary greatly between oral use and topical application!

A wealth of other oils are present with some pretty useful properties. Known for their moisturising properties and notable anti-oxidant activity, beginning the ingredients list are; Camellia oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, Butyrospermun parkii (Shea) Butter. Even Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense) Oil and Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Oil are present for their anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-septic action. Maybe it is a gift from Baby Jesus as Caroline Hirons suggested!

Helichrysum italicum (Immortelle) Oil, Ravensara aromatica Oil are also antiseptic and Sclerocarya Birrea (Virgin Marula) Oil contains large amounts of Vitamin C which is beneficial for repairing photodamage, inflammation and promoting collagen synthesis. All of these oils are working towards calming, repairing and improving the appearance of irritated skin.

The organic way
Nearly all of the ingredients in this product are listed as certified organic, wild harvested or fair trade, raw and unrefined. May Lindstrom prides herself on her use of organic products in her “skin care alchemy” and she’ll be happy to hear that Cult Beauty have dubbed this product guilt-free due to these “organic, biodynamic, wild-crafted and vegan ingredients, sustainably sourced and mindfully harvested”.

The fact that nearly all ingredients in Blue Cocoon are organically source is a bonus, particularly as it is designed for sensitive skin which may be allergy-prone (organically sourced ingredients can be less prone to setting off allergic reactions). The fact that some ingredient are fair trade is excellent from an ethical perspective! Blue Cocoon might be laying on the mystical “wild crafted” vibe on a little thick, but the results of our investigation certainly look promising! We tore away the shroud of marketing mystery surrounding the ingredients to unveil some pretty promising scientific evidence regarding Blue Tansy.

The verdict
At £125 for 50ml, this product could either be an investment or a major rip off. Splashing the cash on luxury prods is always a bit of a gamble, but the science and glowing reviews are on Blue Cocoon’s side! If it won’t break your heart if it doesn’t work miracles then go ahead. For us here at Beauty by the Geeks, we’ll be keeping a close eye out for other Blue Tansy-containing products as well (our student days aren’t all behind us, and we might just get ourselves a beauty bargain somewhere! We feel a blue tamsy-containing DIY recipe coming along…).

Click HERE to treat yourself to Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm!

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* Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, *** Butyrospermun Parkii (Shea) Butter, *** Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, *** Sclerocarya Birrea (Virgin Marula) Oil, Calodendrum Capense (Yangu) Oil, * Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Oil, * Tanacetum Annuum (Blue Tansy) Oil, **Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Oil, * Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, ** Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense) Oil, * Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Rose) Oil, * Vanilla Planifolia CO2 Total Essential Oil, Schisandra Sphenanthera CO2 Fruit Extract, * Helichrysum Italicum (Immortelle) Oil, Ravensara Aromatica Oil.