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This review is a love story. I first discovered Nucifera as a college student in the midst of a harsh New Hampshire winter. I’ve always had dry skin, but January in New England – in all of its snowy, windy power – took my skin irritation to new extremes. Worse, the transition between the outdoor negative temperatures and over-heated indoor spaces continued to dry out and dull my skin. Even on the West Coast, where I’m originally from, I had never happily committed to a moisturizer. Most lotions, with their artificial scents and chemical ingredients, left a filmy residue and failed to actually nourish my skin.
I needed a product that could not only protect my skin from Mother Nature’s capricious wrath, but that could also shine in all temperatures, seasons, and spaces -- I needed something that I didn’t think existed.
Ask And You Shall Receive
Of course, I turned to the women in my life for help. One friend, who had lived both in New York and California, recommended Nucifera’s The Balm as her all-time (and all-place) skin staple. It felt like a fantastic secret -- one of those natural beauty products that finds its way to you by furtive word-of-mouth just before it gains a true cult following.
Admittedly, I went a few months without The Balm after leaving New Hampshire and moving back to Los Angeles. I was distracted by beauty products convincing me of my absolute need for a ten-step routine, or for “effective” ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. After some time back with Nucifera’s The Balm, I’m happy to say that what we have is a forever thing.
It’s Always Been You: Simple Ingredients That Work
My favorite thing about The Balm (both then and now) is how simple, natural, and multi-purpose it is; it’s a total desert island, holy grail product. When this friend first told me about Nucifera’s balm -- and emphasized its simple but powerful functionality -- I was skeptical. Sure, maybe a minimalist and natural product could work for someone with a low-maintenance skin situation. But I, having been blessed with genetically dry and rosy skin, am used to requiring a little extra TLC.
With one look at The Balm’s simple and clean ingredients, I was head over heels (it was love at literal first sight). It begins with a base of “cocos nucifera,” also known as coconut oil -- an ingredient so crucial it inspired the brand’s name! Following the coconut oil base are a few more
moisture-infusing components, like avocado oil, kokum butter, mango seed butter, and moringa oil. Nucifera’s uber-cool founder Meredith Baird often explains the beauty and health properties of each ingredient on the Nucifera instagram feed. In addition to this fundamentally nourishing blend, The Balm incorporates a series of essential oils that are anti-inflammatory, skin-soothing superheroes. Lavender, peppermint, and grapefruit not only function as astringents and help to bring balance to dry, oily, and combination skin, but also -- with a hint of sandalwood -- generate a subtle but grounding scent.
When I first tried The Balm, I felt like I had been transported to a spa. The scent of the essential oils is like aromatherapy -- and it lasts beyond the initial application. The oil gradually absorbs into my skin throughout the day, and the spa-like scent stays with me. As someone hyper-sensitive to scent, I’m typically averse to lotions or moisturizers that carry an overpowering, often artificial smell. The Balm is NOT this. It’s a natural earthy scent, and one that feels like a personal treat -- as if I dabbed just a bit of essential oil on my pulse points. In effect, it is supremely soothing. I keep the jar on my bedside table. When I apply it throughout the day -- or, my favorite, when I really layer it on in the evenings -- it feels like a therapeutic ritual.
Never Need Another: The Balm That Does It All
When I used The Balm during my time on the East Coast, it fully replaced the litany of (ineffective) lotions I had been using previously. It’s the only product I’ve found that actually combats dryness by effectively nourishing the skin instead of just sitting on its surface. I first began applying it as I would a typical body oil -- all over my arms, legs, and a little extra on dry spots throughout. My arms are stubbornly dry and red year-round, and are often hopeless even with the help of the most moisturizing body butters, lotions, and exfoliators. But they are no match for The Balm. I slather on a generous amount at night, and wake up with smooth (and even-toned) arms. After a week incorporating it into my facial skincare, I’ve seen similar effects -- overall moisture and a reduction of redness.
Here’s where The Balm really begins to blow my mind: it’s completely multi-purpose. Aside from moisturizing the body and face, it also can nourish the hair and scalp as a mask or leave-in treatment, makes a gentle exfoliant when mixed with a little sugar or salt, and transforms into a deodorant with the addition of baking soda. I even mix it with a little bentonite clay and make my own face mask -- one that detoxifies but doesn’t dry out my skin. It really is beauty in its most simple, easy, and natural form.
5 More Reasons To Love Nucifera:
- It’s sustainable -- not just in its lifespan for your beauty routine, but also in its packaging. The Balm’s jar and lid are 100% curbside recyclable, and the labels are biodegradable.
- The Balm is 100% natural, made of certified organic ingredients, and dermatologist tested.
- All of Nucifera's products -- The Balm included -- are vegan and Leaping Bunny certified, so you can feel good about your purchase.
- The Balm is not only multi-purpose, but it’s also unisex, making it a perfect purchase for the whole family.
- With its endless list of possible use cases -- from soothing eczema and dry patches to removing makeup -- The Balm is a beauty cabinet essential in any season or climate.