Darphin Purifying Balm - Spa In A Jar

Friday, 27 April 2012

Having a history of acne and reactive skin I have never believed, even from the mouths of 'industry insiders', that oil formulations and oily skin could co-exist in anything other than a squelchy, hellish union. It was very much a case of tra-la-la experts, talk to the hand 'cos this face ain't listening. To my grease-phobic mind the thought seemed ridiculously counterproductive

However, and it pains me to say it as I hate being wrong, having trialled Darphin Purifying Balm (a press sample) over the past six months I'm seeing method in the madness.


A match made in skincare heaven? Well, oil be damned (couldn't resist)

Since kicking my spot-prone complexion into touch with Alpha-H skin care, I've found I'm able to use richer, treatment products - on occasion - without ill effect. Result. I can't go bonkers and baste my face in oil every night ( now that would just be asking for trouble) but I can enjoy the pampering benefits that balms and the like offer.

You'd be hard pressed nowadays to find a skincare range without a balm of some form in their line, but not all are born equal or have the same uses. For example, many cleansing balms at both the high and low-end of the market contain ingredients likely to unbalance the skin such as petroleum and mineral oils. I try and avoid both of these where possible after having once been told by a dermatologist that they act as 'shrink-wrap,' creating a seal that prevents moisture from entering the epidermis and toxins from exiting = a dry, slick, congested skin. 

But it's not just chemical synthetics that can irritate. Some natural oils such as coconut and wheatgerm also have a high propensity to clog pores. As an aside, did you know that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (derived from coconut oil and used in cosmetics as a cleansing, lathering agent) is highly comedogenic? Food for thought if you use SLS shampoos and get breakouts around the hairline or forehead. I discovered this fact via an enlightening article on Viva Woman. Read the full article here

Anyway, I'm digressing as Darphin Purifying Balm isn't a cleanser and doesn't contain any of the above which translates in the texture; a silky, extremely fine and supple balm that melts as soon as you rub it between your fingertips. This is a luxurious product saturated with skin-conditioning oils in the base - apricot kernal oil, sunflower seed oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil and beeswax - and additional decongestant, purifying and calming oils such as tea tree, sage, thyme, lavender, ylang ylang, balsam copaiba (an anti-inflammatory), geranium and chamomile. 

Six months of once/twice weekly use and
there's still a smidgen left

Unlike a cleansing balm designed to be removed, this balm is applied to the skin at night as a treatment. I use it once or twice a week when my skin's looking dull, peaky or it's a Friday evening and I'm on wine glass number 3 and counting... The smell is aromatherapy spa divine and I 'cup and sniff' - somehow that sounds gross but is in fact gorgeous - every time I melt it in my hands. 

Don't panic if your skin feels really rather oily on application because by morning there will be little, if any, trace. Results-wise how does a smoother, brighter, more balanced complexion with a reduction in open pores grab you? Hell yeah, it grabs me too. 

The only downside to all this marvellousness is, of course, the price. At around £37 for 15ml (I've got bigger lip balms!) it's a lot of dosh for a teeny pot but I would still highly recommend it for any skin type, not just oil-phobics, as you need only use a small amount. Mine has lasted for a good six months. 

Have you used Darphin skincare? I'd love to hear your thoughts. And could you would you mix oily skin with oil?

* Darphin Purifying Balm is available nationwide (check out the store locator here) and at online beauty outlets. 

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