The weather is chilly and the wind even chillier, but I suspect you’ve noticed?
In weather like this my skin goes through extremes of temperatures many times a day: freezing outside, yet tropical beach temperature in stores and restaurants.
Obviously, wrapping up warmly helps. I am surprised how many people I see walking about without gloves on!
Recently, the backs of my hands were rough and red, even though my gloves are wooly and warm, and I don’t use harsh soaps.
In the last cold snap, despite my arsenal of edible skin care products on hand, I was struggling to find something that would sufficiently nourish my hands, was in a pot small enough to carry around and didn’t contain toxic chemicals.
Fortunately, just before Christmas, after a book event I was presenting in Vancouver, I nipped into an organic food shop to see a product demonstration with Works Wonders. I met owner Barbara Ballantyne (www.WorksWonders.ca) who makes organic, moisturizing salves and balms from organic beeswax blended with organic olive oil, organic calendula and lavender flower extracts and organic vitamin E.
I told her about my sore hands and she said to try some of the Works Wonders Lanolin Balm with calendula and lavender. I did and within a few days my hands were smooth and happy again.
The Works Wonders Moisturizing Salve can be used on the body, lips, hands, cheeks (in bitterly cold weather) and provides “breathable protection” on the skin.
Why use olive oil and calendula flowers? Olive oil is rich in vitamins A and E, both beneficial for aging skin and nourishing the skin. Calendula is rich in vitamin A, as are many high-end pricey creams. The calendula and lavender for the salves is grown in Ballantyne's organic garden.
The Moisturizing Salve, says Ballantyne, can be used for general dryness, eczema and psoriasis, diaper rash and cradle cape, redness from exposure to the elements and cracked cuticles and fingertips.
I’d forgotten about lanolin since childhood — many creams used to contain lanolin — and I recall the smell vividly. I like it, mainly because my 91-year-old grandmother keeps sheep and lanolin comes from the oil in their fleece. It is a simple moisturizer.
The Works Wonders Lanolin Balm is, according to Ballantyne, a multi-use, rehydrating balm, rich with emollient oils (almond and vitamin E), anti-oxidants and lavender essential oil. It is renowned for restoring skin to a beautiful smoothness and as protection from moisture loss in drying conditions.
The balms contain beeswax from Gold Strike Honey Bee Co. whose bees forage organically near Lillooet.
The lip balm sticks are made from the moisturizing balm and packaged in a handy lip balm tube. The lip balms come in four varieties: unflavored, peppermint, mandarin and honey. The honey lip balm contains honey from Ballantyne’s own beehives in Vancouver.
Works Wonders is a family company, which began in 1998 when Ballantyne made a balm to deal with her son’s diaper rash. She had experience making creams and thought up a natural solution to a common childhood skin issue. The result? Works Wonders balms, which, today, are sold throughout the Lower Mainland and fortunately at Quantum Vitamins in town.
The balms are a good price and I like knowing they are made of non-toxic ingredients to nourish my skin.
When I am out skiing, walking or skating in the bitter weather this winter the balm is something I'm using.
I’m off skating on the lake and yes I have a honey lip balm in my pocket!
Joanna writes for www.ActualOrganics.com and her book The Radiant Woman’s Handbook is available at Armchair Books.