To the rescue: The Best Natural Balms and Ointments
Arnica Bumps and Bruises Skin Salve, £6.75 (25 g)
www.weleda.co.uk; tel: 0115 944 8200
Arnica montana, the star ingredient in this cream, has a long history of use for bruises, sprains and other minor injuries. It may even be a valid alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for some conditions, thanks to its ability to reduce pain and swelling.1 Keep this great-value tube handy for muscle aches, pain, stiffness, sprains and bruises.
Pot of gold
Back to Nature Skincare
Miracle Healing First Aid Balm, £7.95 (15 g)
This soothing balm is a mix of beeswax, honey, plant oils like jojoba, and essential oils of lavender, tea tree and myrrh. Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil is an especially useful ingredient; it's a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory with reported wound-healing properties.2 Use the balm for cuts, scrapes, insect bites and stings.
The Green Balm, £12.50 (50 mL)
www.moa.london; tel: 01753 759 720
This multipurpose balm can be used for just about any skin problem—from rashes and itchy skin to minor burns, bites and bruises. It can even work as a face cleanser and moisturizer. Hero ingredients include antibacterial tea tree oil, soothing sweet almond oil and calming extract of yarrow (Achillea millefolium)—a herb well known for its skin-healing properties.
A cut above
Medihoney Antibacterial Wound Gel, £16.99 (50 g)
www.comvita.co.uk; tel: 01628 779 460
This innovative formula is an easy-to-apply combination of 80 per cent medical-grade antibacterial Manuka honey—scientifically shown to support wound-healing3—and natural waxes and oils. The triple-action gel cleans, protects and heals, and is great for burns, cuts, grazes and the broken skin associated with eczema.
The bee's knees
Sore Skin Relief Balm (Propolis Ointment), £21.95 (50mL)
www.spieziaorganics.com; tel: 01326 221 777
Propolis—the key ingredient in this 100 per cent organic ointment—is another bee product (besides honey) that's great for healing sore skin and wounds. A sticky substance collected by bees from plants and used to repair and protect their hives, propolis has similar healing, protective, antimicrobial properties when it comes to skin.4 The balm also contains Calendula extract, renowned for its anti-inflammatory action, and thyme leaf extract, a natural bacteria-fighter.5