The Purepotions story about a mother’s search to find an effective natural moisturiser for her daughter’s eczema prone sensitive skin.
I make no secret of the fact that I have sensitive skin and am prone to eczema which makes working in aesthetics very tricky. Treatments and skincare that work perfectly well on people without sensitive skin and especially chemical peels has my skin screaming and running for the hills.
In the Winter months especially I suffer really badly and it was last year whilst living in Brighton that a friend recommended Purepotions to me. I am now an addict and use one of their products if not 2 or 3 everyday.
I began to dig a bit deeper into the story behind the brand and knew I had to share with not only the ‘sensitive’ adult among us but also to parents with children who suffer too.
IN THE BEGINNING
When Natalie Balmond’s daughter Lula was just under a year old, she started developing patches of sore dry skin on her body. Alarmed but undaunted, Natalie used the moisturisers and emollients she found in high street chemists in an attempt to hydrate Lula’s dry, red skin, which obviously needed intensive moisturising throughout the day.
However, nothing she bought really helped and in fact several of the creams she tried even seemed to make things worse, stinging and inflaming the patches of dry skin so that Lula was crying every time she needed to have the creams reapplied. It was a distressing situation for the whole family.
The problem seemed to be that Lula’s sensitive skin was reacting to the preservatives, perfumes and other additives in the creams and lotions that Natalie was using, so that instead of moisturising they were irritating her. Natalie got into the habit of checking the ingredients of the creams she found on the shelves and was astonished to find that all of them seemed to contain irritants such as parabens, perfume, alcohols and so on. What she needed was a product free from any potentially harsh chemicals so that she could moisturise without making things worse for Lula.
When she discovered a recipe for a traditional ointment in an old book she decided to give making it a go; the ingredients were simple, natural and easy to get hold of. Natalie cooked up a batch of beeswax and oil and decanted the ointment into glass jars. To her surprise, the resulting salve went on without stinging and seemed to moisturise the dryness instantly. It was the first thing she’d put on Lula’s skin that didn’t result in upset and tears. Maybe they had finally found something that could work to moisturise without the soreness of irritation?
From then on Natalie spent as much time as she could reading, learning and researching the properties of natural oils and herbs. She experimented with various combinations to make the perfect ointment to care for sensitive skin.
She picked EFA-rich, organic, cold-pressed oils to boost cell regeneration; hemp in particular seemed to have some remarkably beneficial effects on dry and sensitive skin, supplying all kinds of wonderful nutrients to the skin to keep it supple, soft and hydrated.
She chose herbs used in traditional medicine for their anti-inflammatory effects: nettle, chickweed, calendula and chamomile, all excellent in helping the natural cycle of repair and regeneration and great for smoothing bumpy, dry or reddened patches. She found out that cold-pressed olive oil is known for its antimicrobial properties: particularly useful for keeping skin clean and conditioned.
Crucially, she could make a properly effective emollient salve without adding any potentially irritating perfumes or preservatives: something that just did not seem to be available on the high street despite it being so very needed.
Eventually she settled on the formula that became Purepotions’ Skin Salvation Intensive Moisturising Ointment. Rich, thick and soothing, the beeswax-based salve forms a protective semi-occlusive barrier, which allows fragile skin to repair and works to prevent external irritants such as pollen or cat hair from causing yet more inflammation Because it is formulated with oils rather than water or alcohol it is soothing to sensitive skin rather than likely to sting.
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Longer term, the ointment feeds thirsty skin with really useful nutrients: specifically, the vitamins and essential fatty acids it needs to continue its process of constant regeneration of cells. This means that the ointment works to combat severely dry skin on several levels at once, giving both immediate relief and long-term care.
This hero product is 100% natural and unfragranced: it just has the gentle herbal scent of honey and botanicals.
PRESENT DAY SUCCESS
Because the cream worked so well to moisturise Lula’s skin, Natalie started offering pots to friends and neighbours. She sold it at local craft fairs and markets; when it proved popular she decided to go into production and formed the company Purepotions. Articles in the press and eventually even a slot on the infamous Dragon’s Den meant that the company went from strength to strength, gathering a loyal base of customers who loved the way it kept their skin in such beautifully well-moisturised, supple condition.
Today, Purepotions makes a range of dry skin products which are sold across the world, as well as being stocked in British high street shops such as Boots, Waitrose and Holland & Barrett. There are creams made with shea butter for daily use, as well as 100% natural blends of oils for all-over skin care.
They continue to make all the products by hand in a workshop in Brighton, although these days, instead of Natalie at her kitchen table, the company employs 14 full-time staff to meet demand and is forecast to hit a million pounds in annual turnover in the next year.
In 2017 Purepotions launched a natural Hair & Scalp Range, which is totally free from sodium laurel sulfates and other irritants but full of nutritous botanicals.
Our best-selling Skin Salvation Range for Dry Skin recently won an award from Natural Health Beauty International for Best Eczema Range 2017, while our original flagship product, Skin Salvation Intensive Moisturising Ointment with hemp and calendula, has just won Green Parent Magazine’s coveted Gold Award for best Body Cream, 2017.
Find out more about their products and where to buy here at www.purepotions.co.uk