It horrifies me to admit that I remember when Neal’s Yard first produced their line of natural skincare. In the eighties Neal’s Yard Remedies were more than just beauty products, they were lifestyle accessories. I used the striking cobalt blue bottles to adorn my bathroom like some kind of DIY Yves Klein installation. The use of cobalt glass dates back to Victorian apothecaries – blue bottles contained medicines but also household cleaners and poisons.
They lost their way a bit in the nineties, replacing blue glass bottles with blue plastic and adding more and more product lines with ingredients of variable quality. In recent years though, Neal’s Yard Remedies has rebuilt its reputation as a leading natural, ethical mid-market brand and has gone so far as to produce some thoroughly outstanding products. Which brings me to…
Wild Rose Beauty Balm is marketed as a cleanser and comes complete with the ubiquitous muslin cloth (organic). And that raises the burning question of the moment – what does a committed beauty junkie do with her collection of seven thousand muslin face cloths? Recycle them as… car polishers… potpourri bags… sew them together to make a grungy bedspread?
In colour and texture the balm is not dissimilar to another celebrated cleanser that comes in a white jar. But in terms of ingredients the NYRWRBB is in a different class (honestly, how many times do you expect me to type out Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm?). The first two ingredients are rose hip seed oil and jojoba oil. If you have been paying attention at all you will know that these are two substances that your skin just drinks up for breakfast. Rose hip seed oil is highly antioxidant. Jojoba oil is balancing and helps to clear blocked pores. Protective and conditioning beeswax gives the balm its thick, balm-y texture. Anti-inflammatory shea butter is also moisturising whilst borage seed oil, rich in Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), is deeply soothing and restorative to dry, irritated skin.
So, you can see, NYRWRBB does a lot more than remove make-up. This is a truly multi-purpose product, it’s great for rubbing on patches of flaky skin, or using as a nourishing night treatment. My favourite use of all is though is as a stress reliever, thus: the tiniest amount softens the skin on my hands and adds lustre to my nails. After rubbing it in, I cup my hands over my face and inhale as mingled scents of rosemary, geranium, frankincense, palmarosa and patchouli transport me momentarily to a better place.
They don’t do a handbaggable pot so I decant a couple of spatulas-full into a mini glass jar and carry that around with me (Note to Neal’s Yard Remedies: if you do start selling a mini size I shall be expecting a royalty).
A beauty product has to work hard to earn its place on the Good Glamour Bathroom Shelf of Fabulous, and this one truly does.
Ingredients: Rosa canina (Wild rose) seed oil*, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil*, Cera alba (Beeswax)*, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter)*, Cannabis sativa (Hemp) seed oil*, Borago officinalis (Starflower) seed oil*, Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) flower oil*, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) leaf oil*, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil, Cymbopogon martini (Palmarosa) herb oil*, Pogostemon cablin (Patchouli) leaf oil*, Ascorbyl palmitate, Tocopherol, Citral, Citronellol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool. *Organically produced ingredient. Natural constituent of essential oils listed. Made with 99% organic ingredients.