Creams vs. Balms

Green beauty maven Sarita Coren pitted balms vs. creams and asked the experts to weigh in on when to use which and why. Katharine spoke about Kahina Night Cream, FEZ Hand & Body Balm, and (surprise!) our newest launch, which will be a Lip & Face Balm, out in mid-January.

Photo Credit Sarita Coren Photo by Sarita Coren

What advantages are there to using a cream vs. a balm?
Our skin is made up mostly of water. As oil and water don’t mix, the liquids, whether water, or in the case of our Night Cream, aloe vera juice, glycerin and grape juice extract, in a cream create an emulsion with the oil allowing the active ingredients to penetrate more deeply into the lower layers of the skin. For the same reason, we recommend applying a hydrosol, such as our Toning Mist before applying oils. Because fluids aid in oil absorption. The liquid ingredients in our Night Cream are also working to hydrate and calm skin and to deliver powerful antioxidants.

It’s important for skin to be hydrated and moisturized. Emollients like oils or butters accomplish moisturization but hydration comes from water. Think about “dry skin” vs. “dehydrated skin.” You can have oily, dehydrated skin. What is your skin lacking in that case? Water. All the oil/butters in the world are not going to help you if your skin is dehydrated.

Why did you choose a cream base and not a balm? Was a balm a consideration?
There is a place for both in our skincare line. The Night Cream was developed for nightly use (although many people love it during the day) as a deep moisturizer with serious anti-aging properties that will allow skin to breathe during its restoration cycle while you sleep. Balms are wonderful for protecting and healing surface layers of skin. We have a Hand and Body Balm that is great for moisturizing and healing extremely dry hands, feet and elbows, and we will soon be introducing our Kahina Lip and Face Balm, which will be wonderful to protect skin during the cold NYC winter.

How have you handled the issue of preservatives, emulsifiers, additives that are necessary when water is an ingredient?
The primary preservative we use in our formulations is p-anisic acid, derived from anise, and rosemary extract. Our formulations undergo extensive challenge testing to ensure stability and shelf life of at least two years.

You include many outstanding ingredients in the formula. Can you tell me about absorption of nutrients?
As I mentioned earlier, the aloe vera juice, glycerin, and grape juice extract, create an emulsion to assist with absorption of the resveratrol and the oils and plant extracts in the Night Cream.

Read the full article here, with insights from brands like Osmia and Cecilia Wong.

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