BLÜH Alchemy

When writing about skincare the term ‘skin deep’ is often used as a way of describing efficacy. But it’s the story behind the brand or life’s journey of the founder that gives you a much better understanding of what you can expect to find behind beautiful packaging, pumps and lids. My own journey of discovering an American green beauty brand BLÜH Alchemy started with the delivery of my Beauty Heroes subscribtion box in March. But it’s my conversations with Becky Blüh, brand’s founder and fellow mother, that made me appreciate the brand on a much deeper level.

Becky Blüh, founder of BLÜH Alchemy

The Story Behind The Brand

At the heart of BLÜH Alchemy there are several important elements. A chance to bloom, thrive and flourish. The power of alchemy of nature. The advantages that can be derived from bio-active solutions. But most important element is love and care. It is essential for Becky to craft and release into the world beauty products that deliver a dose of happiness and improve the state and appearance of the skin. Crafting skincare products that will help you look and feel good, while nurturing you. There are no gimmicks, nor promises of miracles. In part because Becky has faced her worse nightmare and managed to keep her head above the water, with kindness, determination and innate grace.

“Redefining what can be achieved with natural ingredients”

In 2011 Becky’s daughter was diagnosed with a rare & life-threatening disease. Time was of essence and treatment was rapid and aggressive – several rounds of chemo aren’t easy on a grown-up body, let alone on a child’s. One of the consequences of the treatment was that Becky daughter’s skin became very dry and sensitive to the touch. So Becky, whose father was a naturalist, went back to her roots in order to help her daughter’s recovery alongside the medical team. Choosing ethically sourced, natural ingredients that “are good for us, as well as the Earth”, Becky also chose organic, wild-harvested plants , making sure that the products that she was blending were nutrient dense, bio-active & correctly concentrated. She experimented and changed formulas until they were right. Initially she used them on her daughter.

“Those kinds of challenges give us a newfound, deep appreciation for our health & life”

Becky Blüh, founder of BLÜH Alchemy

A few years into her daughter’s recovery, Becky braved the beauty marketplace and launched BLÜH Alchemy into the world. And I can tell you that when I tried the first duo of BLÜH Alchemy products – Toning Elixir and Multi C Serum I was charmed. After a couple of weeks of using them as part of my simple skincare routine (cleanser, toner, serum plus SPF) my skin expressed its appreciation. Through a healthy glow and improvement in my skin’s plumpness.

Tender Beauty

There is something about Becky Blüh

And that’s where another important trait of Becky’s personality & business attitude revealed itself. I kept both products by the sink and not in my bathroom cabinet. Their presteen whiteness met my eyes in the morning, coupled with beautiful navy calligraphy and delicate flower drawing on the side of the bottles. The calm, uncluttered aesthetic coupled Scandinavian simplicity. And then I noticed that some of the lettering on the glass bottles started smudging. I observed this for a few days and then contacted Becky.

Something for the future post .)

Now, I know a few brand founders, who in similar circumstances simply ignored my feedback or became hostile in their righteous indignation, implying it was my fault, not theirs. Not so with Becky – she was genuinely mortified and told me she would be happy to replace the products. Knowing that she was a fairly new brand and imagining the cost of the replacement and postage, I expressed my appreciation of her response, but declined her kind offer. Why? This issue in no way affected the efficacy of the products that the bottles contained. Becky’s sincere mortification that this might give a potentially wrong impression about what the brand stood for is still vivid in my mind. As Becky put it at the time “for me, the thought of having one person with this bottle is very distressing”.

“This whole debacle was definitely challenging, but there were some silver linings for sure, experiencing the level of kindness from the people who experienced this issue was huge”

Becky Blüh

Truth be told, this is not uncommon and generally the issues lies with the printer. Becky was determined to resolve the issue as soon as possible, so she actually cut her losses and changed the printing company. New bottles of products don’t have this problem. In fact, according to Becky “as it turned out, it created an opportunity to connect with people in a way that probably wouldn’t have happened initially”. A state of mind that is cup half full, not cup half empty.

BLÜH Alchemy Products

Currently there are six products in BLÜH Alchemy family: Cleansing Oil, Exfoliating Cleanser, Multi C Serum, Antioxidant Face Oil, Toning Elixir and Eye Oil serum. Luckily for me, I have already gotten to know some of the products really well, while others I am getting to know better. Each product has a unique identity and sense of purpose.

“Inspiring you to take a moment each day to elevate your self-care ritual with an indulgence of our luxurious treatments, packed with nutrient dense organic oils and wild-harvested bio-actives, lovingly crafted to uplift your spirit and leave your skin fully replenished, radiant and youthful”.

Cleansing Oil (Nourish + Balance), 100ml, US$48

Clear skin, clear mind

A daily cleanser created with all of skin types in mind. The formula was crafted with a combination of nourishing blend of organic oils and active botanicals. This oil cleanser will clear away even the heaviest make-up after the party, as well as daily environmental pollutants that land on our faces.

It is a gentle oil that has the perfect ‘slip’ for those who tend to favour massaging in their cleansers, thus boosting the circulation before applying face serum, moisturiser, balm or oil. Deeply clarifying actives will decongest the pores, while restoring skin’s natural balance. With regular use you can expect to notice improvement in your skin – a clearer skin with a more noticeable glow.

Beauty Heroes order

Key Bio-actives

  • Black Cumin: rich in Vitamin B & essential fatty acids, which help retain moisture, clarify pores and sooth inflammation.
  • Pumpkin: rich in nourishing vitamins, minerals and enzymes, it will assist improvement in cell turnover, fight acne & boost hydration.
  • Elderberry: a potent super fruit that contains powerful phytonutrients, including Anthocyanin, Vitamin A, Ferulic & Chlorogenic Acids. Its astringent properties help minimise pore size & tone the skin.

Other important note is that this facial cleansing oil is both anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, making it worthy of consideration by those of you who have acne-prone skin or skin that is sensitive. It’s super refreshing, but not overpowering scent is a delight as well – for me combination of Rosemary and Lemon is a definite winner. A subtle aroma lingers for a little while, after you remove the cleanser from the skin. I find it enticingly grounding at the end of the day. Irrespective of whether my day finishes with a meditation or reading a book.

Becky uses this cleansing oil year round. I have been putting it through the paces for about three months now. Having used it during the warm summer months, removing salt, sand and sun protection was a doodle. Now that the temperatures outside have dipped and autumn’s cooling breath is mixed with radiator heat, this Cleansing Oil performs as well and feels just as enjoyable.

Walk this way…

One more important issue – application. According to the instructions, dispense one or two pumps (the dosing pump is perfect in terms of the volume of the oil that comes out) and massage in circular motion onto dry skin. Then follow it up with a warm, wet washcloth to remove the oil and the dirt from your face. Sometimes I just massage the oil in and remove it by adding the water to my face, thoroughly washing it off without the washcloth. When I asked Becky for her application tips, she said “I just use a warm washcloth to gently ‘steam’ my face and remove the cleansing oil. Then I follow it up with the Toning Elixir & one of my serums or both, depending on the weather”. However you chose to use it, you can expect clean, soft skin that doesn’t feel tight. A beautiful Cleansing Oil all year round!

Exfoliating Cleanser (Detox & Renew), 113g, US$65

Weekly treat for the skin

Exfoliating cleansers make me raise my eyebrows a little, because many of them feel abrasive on the skin. Still considered a sign of a good scrub by many – let me correct this notion right here and now. Scrubs shouldn’t rub your skin red or raw. They should help shift dead skin cells more effectively, not give you a feeling of “face-off”. I quizzed Becky about this scrub and after being reassured that it is gently effective and shouldn’t be used daily, I placed an order and waited for it to arrive.

This cleanser is formulated with potent antioxidants (neem helps calm the skin, elderberry helps tonify the skin) & regenerative bioactive. There are also essential fatty acids that help speed up the process of sluggish cellular renewal and detoxification. Sugar based AHA is gentle, yet thorough in getting rid of dead skin cells. With regular use expect to see improvement in your skin tone, brightness, smoothness and suppleness of your complexion.

Casual beauty

Key Bioactives

  • French Green Clay: promotes detoxification by absorbing excess oil and bacteria
  • Kakadu Plum: reduces hyper pigmentation, increases skin’s metabolic function and cell regeneration
  • Moringa Leaf: rich in potent antioxidants. Contains over 90 powerful nutrients, including chlorophyll, carotenoids and amino acids, which help to fortify the skin and protect it from oxidative stress

I use this product once a week, generally on Sundays, when I try to dedicate a bit more time to myself, before the beginning of another busy week. The texture of the product is grainy, like thick coffee mixed with sugar grains, molasses & oil. Take a small amount into the palm of the hand, add a little bit of water to activate foaming and gently spread it all over the face. Make sure you avoid the eye area, while massaging it in. Be gentle, not forceful and pay attention to your forehead, nose, jawline and neck. If you want a deeper exfoliating cleanse, leave it on the skin for a few minutes and then rinse thoroughly with warm water. Then examine your complexion for the ‘after’ effect.

Sun, wind & other elements

Time is precious and women often tend to forgo things that genuinely matter to them, while looking after the others. Becky’s products make sure you want to take the time out of a busy day to enjoy a few moments of peace, while indulging your skin and the senses. This has less to do with vanity and more to do with your wellbeing. By making sure you look after yourself, before sharing your energy with those you love, care for or work with, you make sure you can run the distance with a lesser chance of injury. Looking after yourself with the right skincare will make sure you feel better. When you feel and look better, you will have more to give to those that need it – be it family, friends or colleagues.

Toning Elixir (Deep Hydration), 100ml, US$54

Dreamy Beauty

This was one of the first BLÜH Alchemy products that I have tried and I am now on bottle No.2, quenching and reviving my skin, as colder weather takes hold and I work at a desk close to the radiator. Warmth and dryness hand-in-hand, like mischievous twins.

This mist is a perfect primer before putting a moisturiser or serum on to the skin after cleansing. It also is a perfect side-kick to Multi C Serum (more about it below, my veritable “beauty hero” product) or a beauty friend to turn to when your skin feels “thirsty”.

Key Bioactives

  • Finger Lime Caviar: enhances skin’s absorption of the nutrient-rich actives. Rich in collagen boosting Vitamin C
  • Hyaluronic Acid: a powerful humectant, which helps plump up the skin and helps improve elasticity, decreasing the appearance of fine lines
  • Snowflower: rich in catechins and Gallic Acid, with powerful UV absorbing properties that help reduce appearance of hyper pigmentation.

It is intriguing to see so many fairly rare botanicals come together in one bottle. In addition to key ingredients mentioned above, you will also find Mountain Pepper Leaf that helps strengthen capillaries, something that those of you with easily irritated skin will particularly appreciate. There are also the power players that are Yerba Mate and Ginseng that hep increase the circulation -tap the skin gentle after misting it and you might need to ease on the use of blusher.

I also place it on my work desk sometimes and use it over make-up, at the time when my brain gets stuck or I need a little lift to the spirits. Skin drinks it in, gratefully. The texture of it isn’t too fine or too large, so it won’t feel like torrential rain on your face. An opportunity to lengthen the breath and be grateful for the good things and people we all have in our life, while quenching skin’s first, as well as enhancing skin’s external appearance.

Multi C Serum, Brightening Boost, 30ml, US$155

Plump & Protect the skin you are in

I have used many face serums in my lifetime, but the effect this one had one my skin within a week was something that not only did I notice. The compliments just kept on coming and judging from the customer & bloggers feedback, I am not alone in my awed sentiments.

This serum harnesses the power of age defying peptides and stabilised Vitamin C derived from multiple sources. There is wild-harvested Kakadu Plum cellular extract (more antioxidant potency than in your regular juice orange), Astaxanthin and full-spectrum photoactive Vitamin C. This innovative extraction & synergestic process must be one of the reasons that the serum manages to deliver a high source of brightening Vitamin C.

Add to that the luxurious creamy-gel consistency and the colour of bright liquid sunshine that you dispense into the palm of your hand or the tips of the fingers. Each time I pump it out, I smile in wonder at the beauty of nature and the pleasure that can be derived from a beauty product. Slowing down the time for a few seconds to appreciate the texture and the uplifting, joy-inducing smell of the product. As well as the process of applying it to the skin, tapping or massaging it gently into the face elevates a simple beauty routine to the level of a mini-facial.

My personal beauty hero product

Key Bioactives

  • Kakadu Plum: brightens, activates collagen production & brightens the skin. Quite noticeably in my case .)
  • Kangaroo Paw Flowers: has powerful humectant properties. Rich in ferric acid, a potent antioxidant that enhances Vitamin C. Protects from UV damage & oxidative stress.
  • Quandong: strengthens capillaries. Has potent antioxidant properties that help counteract free radicals damage. Helps reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Throughout the summer I found that using this serum after cleansing and misting my face in the morning was more than enough to keep my skin happy. In the evening I sometimes applied a few drops of face oil after the serum, on the days that were particularly hot. Now that the weather has changed, I use serum and moisturiser to keep my skin adequately hydrated and nurtured.

One of my own inner inspirations throughout writing this post was Becky herself. Our private conversations made me feel both emotional and grateful, because Becky has this quite rare capacity to just live her life, while inspiring others without necessarily intending to. Lessons of friendship, cooking, past experiences and resilience that she shared fell on fertile soil. Using her unique products was an added bonus.

A few weeks ago a Fedex delivery guy arrived on my doorstep with the box of BLÜH Alchemy products. He had kind eyes and was armed with a wide, sincere smile – I think it was brought on in part thanks to the positivity that Becky infuses her products with. And her good vibes vibrate around them, spreading into our universe, elevating the doom and gloom in its own way. After all, beauty is truly skin deep and positivity is what each one of us innately craves & needs, in order to play it forward.

To learn more about BLÜH Alchemy please click here

P.s do keep an eye on the upcoming posts, I have a BLÜH ALCHEMY surprise or two in the works

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