BB: Beauty is such a big subject. As far as seeking personal beauty I think it is important to take a creative and uplifting approach. One can choose or aspire to be either pretty—pretty face, pretty hair, body, etc.–or a force of nature. Everyone is a force of nature, but when we really claim this as something to align with, then everything follows—pretty included.Then beauty is expansive, limitless. If I see a man or woman who is not typically, classically pretty, but has an amazing presence, self-knowledge, an interest in self-care, and a great spirit, he or she adds to my sense of beauty, regardless of age, convention, etc.If someone is conventionally pretty, but there’s experience or dynamism lacking—I can’t help thinking, give this person time, but I don’t necessarily feel that exhilaration of beauty as such. Fretting about flaws or ageing tends to diminish the beauty experience, I think. It isn’t interesting.
OO: In an industry that is growing for each day, how do you stand apart with Balbec? What can a consumer find with Balbec that is different from other skincare brands?
BB: Twenty years ago, I was in the cosmetic lounge at Bergdorf’s and someone asked me what I did for my skin, because it was in such great shape. At that point I was just using my drippy yogurt and turmeric concoction. I remember describing the mix and telling this person what to do, saying: it’s so fresh you can’t buy it. The woman was clearly disappointed because it involved a bit of DIY, with a caution not to stain herself and her countertops with turmeric. I get it. I used this a lot when I was in graduate school, but when I started working and had a family, I ended up buying high end department and health food store brands that were “plant based” out of convenience.When I returned to the basic recipe several years later to heal my skin, and then improved upon it, the results were so fantastic I thought: it figures—it’s so fresh you can’t even buy it – and a light went on.
So there is the obvious thing that we provide skincare that is fresh, probiotic and prebiotic with gentle effective botanicals that is suitable for sensitive skin. All of our essential oils must be safe, non-phototoxic and gentle enough to use over time. Cleansers and hydrosols require refrigeration because it is skin food and perishable, and we only use ingredients that benefit the skin. This combined with our very specific goal of promoting a healthy acid mantle is our very specific mission.
BALBEC - FRESHLY MADE, NUTRIENT-DENSE, RAW SKINCARE
The Knack, January 2017
Is your current skincare helping you deepen your breath and calm your mind? Didn't think so. Think about the creams and oils presently lining your bathroom counter. How long have were they sitting on store shelves? How many chemicals, stabilizers and preservatives did that require? How is that effecting your skin and body?
You've become more conscious about your food choices - I see you at the juice bar, and choosing a raw salad over the mac and cheese your really want. So why not follow the same doctrine when it come to slathering your largest organ with products?
Maneesha Patelhas created a thoughtful probiotic skincare line built with integrity and made by hand with fresh ingredients. Guaranteed shelf life for facial oils is three months after opening, two months or longer for hydrasols and six weeks or longer for cleansers. In addition to stocking your icebox with kimchi and purple cabbage, you ought to be stashing Balbec in there too, so shop now.
Balbec: Natural Beauty, Natural Scent and the Green Future
by John Biebel
J: As I applied some of the cleanser, oils and hydrosols, I was surprised by their beautiful fragrances. This is of particular interest to me, as a Fragrantica writer, since we deal a lot with fragrances. First I'd like to ask, what do you think about fragrance as it relates to health? As a follow up, do you think there is a connection between scent and wellness?
M: Fragrance does affect health, and this is probably one of the reasons humans started making perfume in the first place. Fragrance is processed by the olfactory bulb in the limbic region of the brain, which has to do with emotional life and long-term memory. The limbic system also influences endocrine function.
Psychological stress is disruptive to skin barrier homeostasis, as it delays repair of the skin barrier. However some essential oils with sedative properties such as frankincense (which has long been used as an aid in meditation) are able to override this signal, which has wonderful implications for everyday skincare. If you perceive a fragrance as uplifting, relaxing, or comforting, that contributes to emotional wellbeing by diminishing stress, which is an important factor in disease and aging.
Having said that, a scent that is pleasing and has a positive effect on the body when taken in through the olfactory nerve is not necessarily beneficial when it is applied to the skin or ingested. Plant essential oils and ingredients used widely in perfumery all have distinct properties which carry benefits and risks depending how they are used and dosed.
Bergamot and cinnamon are examples of this. I find bergamot uplifting and drink Earl Grey tea because it energizes me and gives me a sense of well being. In its natural form, I would never use it in skincare because it is phototoxic. There is a bergaptene-free version of bergamot, but I prefer not to use it. When I smell cinnamon I feel warm and cared for. I use a bit in my cooking and hot drinks for flavor and to stabilize blood sugar, but it is highly irritating when applied on the skin and must be used with caution. So while I adore the fragrance of countless essential oils, I only use a very short list for Balbec.
When your cleanser comes refrigerated with an expiration date, you know it’s got to be fresh. This new line of cleansers by Balbec use organic yogurt, clay, and aromatherapeutic essential oils, all of which contain seven ingredients or less. They also need to be refrigerated (start washing your face in the kitchen?). The clay pulls grime out of the skin, while the yogurt’s lactic acid refines and smoothes it (and the violet glass packaging doesn’t hurt the products’ appeal either.)