Ingredients A - Z
What sets our products apart and makes them perfect for sensitive skin? It's our obsession with quality ingredients! We try to use as many NATURAL ingredients as possible, carefully combined with the greatest care and experience to offer gentle balance and effective application for even the most needy of skin types. All this is done with no nasties like PARABENS or SULFATES!
So, to make sure you don't have any sensitivities to anything we use, here is an alphabetical list and brief introduction to each of the wonderful ingredients that make up our comprehensive range.
Alcohol - Cetearyl & Lanolin
Do not be alarmed! Unlike most liquid Alcohols that are produced through fermentation, these two WILL NOT DRY OR IRRITATE THE SKIN! They are only classed as an 'ALCOHOL' due to their Carbon & Oxygen based molecular structure...(quiet at the back of the class)
So, how are they made, what is their purpose and why do we use them?
They are solid, waxy flakes created through a process of hydrogenising the NATURAL fatty acids produced when a fat or oil is exposed to hydrolysis, in turn producing fatty alcohols. In the case of these two compounds, VEGETABLE and LANOLIN fats are the basis (see below for further information on these two)
The main attribute of these alcohols is to act as a brilliant emulsifier between the NATURAL OILS and any WATER based ingredient in our formulations; it is this careful balance that gives our range it's luxuriant yet highly efficient and effective applications.
Without these Alcohols or infact with too much of them, our products just wouldn't work! Without, the beneficial and fragrant oils wouldn't hug the moisture giving water base, so producing no product at all; yet with too much use, the products would not break down on the skin to let each importanly considered component do its wonderful work!
We mostly use LESS THAN 1% in each product and are confident that NO negative effect to sensitive skin will occur!
Almond Oil, Sweet - ( Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis)
Sweet Almond Oil is used Worldwide as a wonderful treatment to soothe, firm and moisturise even the driest of skin. Often applied during massages or emulsified (we do that) to create a smoothe, readily absorbed lotion, this really is a natural wonder product!
It is rich in Vitamins D & E to nourish, contains Oleic Acid to rapidly bring moisture to the epidermis and is crammed full of Kerotins that encourage the rapid re-production of Collagen; fundamental for skin re-growth, this attribute makes Almond Oil a top choice in reducing wrinkles and boosting the anti-aging process!
We source our Almond oil from top European producers, usually in Spain; but please rest assured we would buy British, if only the sun would come out often enough to support the healthy growth of Almond planatations on our fair isle; we can only dream!
Beeswax, untreated (Cera Alba)
Another one of natures true wonders, one with so many beneficial properties it was the catayst in the 40 years of experimentaion and formulation that lead to Blossom & May's wonderful range and our obsession with the humble yet inspiring Honey Bee!
Produced by the female Honey Bee, on production pure Beeswax is white in colour but as it is secreted in the hive it combines with the honey, pollen and magical propolis. The result is a warm yellow wax with the heady scent of honey and flora, full of beneficial properties to treat allergy, moisturise and soothe the skin. Some commercial manufacture uses nasties such as hydrogen peroxide to bleach the wax before use, this removes all the deeply fascinating NATURAL goodness that gives the wax it's scent and clolour, rest assured WE DO NOT DO THIS!
Beeswax has been used for centuries as a treatment on the skin, whether to moisturise, soften or protect, it has always been and always will be the wonderous brother to natures finest source of natural sugar; HONEY! Beeswax is a keen barrier, sustaining a gaurd against the elements, it is shown to be anti inflamatory and can help promote cell regrowth; why else we would have it as a basis for Blossom & May's concise range! Try our favourite Skin Balm for a tatser of this goodness!
The Beeswax used in manufacturing our products is entirely local to our base in West Sussex; being dedicated bee keepers and members of local society the WGBKA, we pool our own wax with the product from our fellow members. In providing them with an extra income from their hives we are contributing to local trade and supporting this most ancient and significant of arts in the South of England, as a bonus also ensuring the finest quality of ingredients for our customers!
Calendula Officianalis Flower Extract
The Calendula or Marigold flower has been used for centuries as a natural treatment for many skin or digestive complaints, we use a top quality essential oil extract in our Honey & Calendula Moisturiser to give added care for those with irritated skin.
Calendula is most revered for it's anti-inflamatory and anti-bacterial properties, benefitting an array of conditions such as eczema, burns, insect bites or any weather weary skin.
As a very gentle product, Calendula can be safey used on the entire face, it is said to tighten and plump skin so is a true friend to wrinkles or creases around the eyes.
Often considered the Western equivalent of Ginseng, Chamomile has been used as far back as ancient Egypt to treat anything from nausea and anxiety to irritated or inflamed skin conditions.
We use an essential oil extract in our Honey & Chamomile Soap, a combination with a barrage of benifts! Honey to soften and moisturise and the wonderful Chamomile to work it's magic as an anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and known reliever of anxiety. WOW!
Citronellol is a nataurally occouring, colourless liquid with a light yet sweet, rose-like fragrance, it is constituent derivitive of the essential oils of popular fragrances such as Citronella, Geranium, Neroli & Lavender.
It is naturally occuring oil that features widely in our range as we are very keen on the aromatherapeutic as well as the physical benefits of the oils we chose to inspire our formulations. A dedication to treating the mind as well as the body.
Like Citronellol, Geraniol has a sweet, rose-like fragrance and occurs naturally as a constituent derivative of a number of popular essential oils. It appears throughout our range in this form, contributing to the well balanced and highly revered fragrances used to benefit the body and the mind.
Glycerin or Glycerol is a liquid compound that can be synthesized or in the case of our products, made from a natural oil such as VEGETABLE and SUNFLOWER.
A highly efficient emollient and humectant ( moisture provider), it has many medically significant applications and benefits to the skin. Most notably is its ability to encourage skin cells to mature fully. A common attribute of dry skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, is that skin cells do not finish growing as they should, effectively dying early, causing itchy, dry skin; Glycerin is said to interrupt this process so letting cells mature as to thier natural cycle. This effect may also help to speed the healing of wounds.
Another benefit of these emollient and humectant properties is to give more supple, healthier and plumper looking skin. Another prime example of Blossom & May going the extra mile to chose ingredients that repair and soothe but also give you that naturally beautiful glow!
Hamemelis Virginiana Water (Witch Hazel)
Extracted from the leaves and bark of the North American, Hamemelis Virginiana tree, Witch hazel has long been used to treat an array of complaints from skin conditions to colds and fevers. Whether used alone or combined with other other benficial ingredients, such as in our Skin Tonic, Witch Hazel atcs as an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, treating and soothing damaged or tired skin. An effective astringent, Witch Hazel also tightens the skin surface, tanins in the exctract form a layer of proteins under which skin can naturally repair itself. These qualities are why we chose to use it in our Skin Tonic; what could be better than gently cleansing away make up and daily grime with our Deep Cleanser then naturally tightening and calming the skin from the irritation so often experienced at the end of a busy working day.
Lanolin Wax or Wool wax, as it is often known, is a yellow waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of our humble farmyard friend, the sheep. It serves to protect them from the harsh elements experienced by dwelling in a field!, this gives a clue to how it is a blessing when used on our skin. A 'barrier' product, Lanolin is readily absorbed by the skin, working to trap moisture and protect sensitive skin from further iriitation or drying out. The Lanolin we use is extracted by a lengthy manual process and is a true wonder product. Combined with raw Beeswax in our Skin Balm and Deep Cleanser, this creates a seriously effective and luxuriant treatment for all those problem areas.
Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Essential Oil
A real favourite at Blossom & May HQ, the wonerfully heady Lavender oil was the fragrance base for founder Janet Carter's first pot of 'Balm' some forty years ago; it is still used today in our Skin Balm, English Lavender Soap and Lavender Bath Oil .
Used by ancient civilisations and beyond, Lavender has many beneficial properties for both the body and the mind. An anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, it works to dissinfect and repair damaged skin; eczema, burns, rashes, acne and stings will all benefit! When skin is calmed and rid of bad bacteria it repairs itself more efficiently and swiftly, regaining a natural look and feel, this is why it one of our 'go to' botanicals in any emergency! In addition to these invaluable properties, Lavender also effectively relaxes muscles and calms the mind; try our Lavender Bath Oil at the end of a hard day to really melt those stresses away!
Limonene & Linalool
As with Gernaiol and Citronellol ( listed above), Limonene and Linalool are naturally occuring constituent derivatives of a number of essential oils such as Rose, Chamomile and Lavender. In our products they occour natuarlly by this form. We are obliged to declare them separately as a rare few people have sensitvities to their use. Limonene is a clear or pale yellow liqiud with a zesty, citrus like fragrance and Linalool has a floral fragrance. It is key to note that these attributes are only seen when the products are extracted from their 'parent' essentail oils, something we do not do!
In our humble opinion, Honey is one of natures finest products, used across our comprehensive range, this nectar is so much more than just a delightful topping for your morning toast! Produced by the enterprising Honey Bee; your tastebuds, skin and smile will all benefit from a little daily Honey!
It has been used for millenia to treat the skin, most notbaly, Cleopatra of Egypt was documented to bathe in a mixture of Asses milk and Honey; the secrect to her well scribed ethereal beauty? we like to think so! Such is our love affair with this product and it's brother Beeswax, we even use the Honey Bee as the face of our logo and keep our own hives here at Blossom and May HQ! Try our Honey & Calendula Moisturiser to find out why!
Honey is a highly effective humectant, bonding with and trapping moisture close to the skin. With anti-scepetic properties it will aid respite and repair from iritated areas; be it dry skin, eczema or needy skin, Honey is your friend! It will leave skin feeling softer, smoother and more elastic; the pre-requisites of a natural, healthy look, this is reason enough to embrace the true amber nectar. As with our Beeswax, all of our Honey is soucred from local West Sussex Bee Keepers.
Orange Peel Oil ( Citrus Aurantium Dulcis)
Oange Peel Oil is extracted from the skin of the fruit born by the common orange tree, Citrus Sinensis. Used as a skin treatment it assists in detoxifying congested pores. helping to mildy disinfect any nasties. It is great for more mature skin, or those dealing with dermatitis or acne; soothing and cleaning dry, irritated areas. This action seems to stem from the effect it has in supporting collagen formation which is required for healthy, young-looking skin. It tightens, treats and boosts repair, making it the perfect ingredient for use in our Skin Tonic.
Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil)
An ingredient used with total saftey in skin and body care products all over the world, Mineral oil is the basis of classic salves such as Vaseline and Baby Oil. There is sometimes a little speculation about it's use due to being sourced as a by-product of the Oil industry. At Blossom & May we are first and foremost scientists, with a 40year passion for curative ingredients and formulations, we have tested and researched this product and truly understand it's nature and how it is produced; we are 100% happy that it is completely safe and very beneficial in the treatment of skin conditions. It is even proven to speed the healing process of particuarly nasty burn wounds. At Blossom & May we use small quantities as a 'layer' ingredient to our formulations, an extra barrier to help all skin types look and feel healthy, moist and beautiful.
It is an extremely inert, unreactive and frankly boring compound of Hydrogen and Carbon, serving the purpose of a barrier and emollient to trap moisture close to the skin, aiding and promoting any problem areas to heal. It is the main constituent of baby oil, proving it's vastly tested safety and is approved as a high grade cosmetic ingredient with no restriction at all by the EU. There will always speculation that any product associated with the oil industry is going to be bad for you as it's brother derivitives are so bad for our planet when used without care; it is prudent of those with green credentials to ponder these issues, we salute you but do often wonder how many of said speculators also drive petrol powered vehicles and consume food from plastic containers!
One last thing to remember is that Mineral Oil is not synthetic but in fact a product of the Earths natural processes, the result of millions of years and millions of tons of pressure upon deposits of organic remains. Consider then, that as well as to create beauty with, we also burn wood, one of, if not THE finest natural material on the planet and it swiftly becomes clear to us that it is not what we discover to our beneift on the Earth, instead, how we chose to use it that will ultimately decide the future of our world! The choice is yours!
In the bid to remove all parabens from our range, we use phenoxyethanol in minute quantites of less than 1% as a much needed anti-bacterial agent; abiding EU law, extending shelf life and preventing the formation of any dangerous bacterial developments in our products. It is an organic chemical compound taking the form of a glycol ether. Although shown to iriitate the skin in very high pure dosages, we are happy that it is totally safe in the amount we use and will not effect the application and intended treatment abilitiy of our predominantly natural formulations. We know our chemistry, love natural alternatives and are perfectly happy for it to be used in the very small quatities found in our range.
Rose Water (Rosa Damascena Flower Extract)
We love the heady fragrance of rose water, evocative of those somewhat rare, balmy English summers! As well as smelling of wonderful roses, it also acts as a keen anti-inflammatory, soothing and calming any irritated skin area. Some say roses as a rich source of antioxidants, which can help strengthen skin cells and regenerate skin tissue, we are scientists here and are still waiting on 'evidence' regarding the real benefit of anti oxidants but appreciate the potential. Rose water will also help to close pores and give a more even skin tone, this is why it is used in our super Skin Tonic.
A naturally occuring salt, Sodium borate or Borax as it is often know, has reportedly been 'harvested' for over 4000years. Found in the naturally dried out beds of lakes and mineral rich desert areas. It has a number of common household applications and is used in a much more concentrated form to help clean oily hands in industrial soap products. At Blossom & May we use it in very small quantities as a crucial emulsifier for the beneficial oils in some of our creams. With such a variety of oils in our products it is sometimes a struggle to get them to bond succesfully whilst still creating a product that is a pleasure to use; easily applied, readily absorbed and with a luxurious feel found in the most prestigious of brands; all at a very affordable price! We are happy that it's use does not have an adverse effect on consumers in these minute quantities and know our much revered creams wouldn't be half as wonderful to use without it!