Marie Hall, founder of Bloom Remedies, was one of the first people to approach me about sending me some products for the Teen Skin Series and via our e-mail exchanges it became apparent quite quickly that we share a common view that teenagers don’t need grown up skincare. Simple, natural products will work effectively, without disrupting their skin balance or flooding their bodies with unnecessary or harmful ingredients.
Bloom Remedies is a niche, family-run natural skincare company that draws on Marie’s knowledge and qualifications as an aromatherapist and creates products for babies, men, women and young adults. Marie lives and works in West Cornwall, which allows her to not just appreciate nature but draw on its secrets in order to create skincare that will benefit the skin & work with it, rather than against it. Marie’s products are made in small batches, using certified organic ingredients where possible, as well as herbal extracts, floral waters and essential oils, including unusual ones like Palmarosa & Plai.
As well as running a business, Marie is a mother of three daughters on the cusp of teenage years, so research on this subject is quite close to the heart, thus I am incredibly grateful for her generosity in sharing her knowledge on the subject.
Marie Hall, founder of Bloom Remedies on Teen Skin
”Skin can be a tricky customer at the best of times: it is the largest organ in our body; it reflects our inner emotions (we can physically look grey when we are in shock or feeling low or sad); it helps cleanse our body, expel toxins and also reflects whether our inner workings are in harmony, in particular in relation to diet and our hormones. How many of us have suffered from a breakout or have had a repeated sore or dry area that is linked to the time of the month or hormonal upheaval? How many of us have looked pallid and grey after a bout of unhealthy eating?
Hormones and diet affect our skin. Fact! And during the teenage years the link between hormone regulation and skin appearance and goes into overdrive, as the body strives to level itself out and deal with the enormous changes that are taking place within. Over-active sebaceous glands will cause problems for the majority of teens at one point of another, and for many the level of anxiety induced by even a minor breakout will be huge. This is a time of life when the focus is on ‘self’ and the need to seek approval and ‘look like everyone else’ can be enormous. In the age of Instagram, Selfies and the need for perfection, appearance, sadly, rule.
Advertisers know only too well the stress and fear that goes hand in hand with spots, the need for ‘perfect’ body image and the teenage market. There are a multitude of products specifically targeting teens, and playing on this fear with the images of happy smiling, spot-free girls with perfect friends and a perfect fresh-faced boy on their arm.
What the adverts don’t tell you is that the vast majority of these products don’t take into account the sensitivity of the skin as a living and breathing organ. The products are often harsh and sebum stripping or in the case of exfoliating products, packed full of plastic micro-beads that damage our skin protective barriers, as well as disrupt water and eco systems. The harsh, oil-stripping ingredients found in many lotions and washes ironically cause the sebaceous glands to produce more, rather than less, and many teens get caught in a helpless cycle, using facial cleansers and creams more and more, finding themselves left with more oil, spots and damaged dry patches as a result.
There is so much that nature can provide for skin that is struggling to cope with excess oiliness, break-outs & hormonal issues. The body strives for balance, as does nature, and the products that we can harness from nature work WITH the skin, rather than against it. Witch Hazel is one of natures’ great astringents that helps to minimise excess oiliness by constricting cell walls and therefore minimising excretions. Essential oils in facial blends can also help with excess oiliness by suppressing, rather than stripping away. Think Citrus blends, Cypress, Cedarwood, Juniper, Palma rosa, Pettigrain. In addition to reducing the level of excretions, essential oils can also work on cleansing the skin, so that open pores do not become infected and turn into break-outs. Palma rosa, Tea Tree, Lavender and Rosemary are some of my favourite oils for this pre-symptom treatment and have anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. What’s more, they are not drying for the skin. In another twist of irony, over-active sebaceous glands can actually be balanced by applying oil to the skin. Massaging in a facial oil will signal to the skin that it needs to stop producing sebum. The oiliness of the skin can then be managed by applying particular blends that contain anti-bacterial and balancing essential oils, such as Geranium and Ho Leaf. Dealing with hormonal, over-active skin can be tricky, but the best approach is to go gently and apply products that are laden with natural ingredients. These can help balance and cleanse and in the long-term will offer a far more effective solution than reaching for a harsh soap and alcohol laden product, which will only exacerbate the problem further.”
My lovely tester Jessica, who is 14, got to ‘test’ Bloom Remedies Daily Detox Cream, which according to Marie is ‘ a perfect natural antidote for oily skin or skin prone to breakouts. It contains a wealth of ingredients that will gently nourish the skin’. This cream has gentle astringents, like Witch hazel & Lavender waters, as well as Juniper and citrus essential oils that encourage the skin to produce less sebum. Add to that essential oils of Ho Leaf, Tea Tree, Rosemary, Thyme ( naturally anti-bacterial and cleansing ) and Geranium, which was included by Marie because of its balancing qualities. There is also the added benefit of Chamomile Flower water which helps to ease inflammation and redness. Marie stands firm that ”in reality problem skin is often sensitive skin in disguise and needs to be treated ‘firmly but gently’.
Jessica’s views: I enjoyed using this light-weight cream on my face, morning and evening. It has a pleasant, herbal smell and sunk into the skin quickly. Sometimes I get dry patches on my cheeks, chin and forehead and I noticed that they became less noticeable after I have been using this cream for two weeks or so. Normally I use a scrub on the dry patches, so I was surprised when this cream helped, instead of a scrub. I also sometimes get oiliness & blackheads around my nose and with regular use my nose became less oily. I have enjoyed using this cream and would consider using it again. It costs £13 and lasted well, so my mum said she won’t object about purchasing it in the future, especially as it contains natural ingredients.”
To end this post I would like to put something forward for your contemplation, that Marie asked aloud and I strongly agree with: ” There are NO natural & affordable make-up ranges targeting younger females”. We want young women to enjoy this transitional period in their lives but also remember how important the skincare foundations that they are laying down now are. we can’t foresee the future but we can certainly help shape it!
For more information about Bloom Remedies and their products, please click here