Saturday, 26 November 2011

Hall of Fame - Darphin Purifying Balm

If there was such a thing as a 'Church of Beauty' - I would surely worship at the altar of this product.

I first used this when I worked in SpaceNK in the 90's. I took a sample home (technically not allowed but we'll brush over that) when my skin had a couple of breakouts and was so impressed by the overnight results that I started selling it like hot cakes. Customers had similar reactions to the product and it has been a staple in my routine ever since.

What's in it?

A mini rant. Apologies about the quality of the above picture but I searched far and wide online to find the ingredients (for ease) and couldn't find them - anywhere. I was so annoyed I dug out my spare pot from the back of the cupboard and quickly fired this off.
Online retailers need to seriously up their game when it comes to ingredient listing - some do, most don't. I went to every single retailer of Darphin. No full inci. Infuriating. And what's even more annoying? The paid-for ads on google - that say 'Darphin Purifying Balm' - and then you click through to find they don't even SELL it. Sod off and stop wasting my time.

I've been inspired by this little episode to always show the inci listing on the product I am posting about - because clearly - there is a need. This is something that is regularly done by London Makeup Girl - the most ethical blogger out there. So Grace, *tips hat* - I'm joining you.

Right - now that's sorted - these are the key ingredients - to my mind..
Apricot Kernel Oil
Sunflower Seed Oil
Vegetable Oil
The above 4 form the base. Good, non-clogging oils - note the lack of mineral oil!

Sage Oil
Nutmeg Kernel Oil
Tea Tree Oil
Thyme Oil
Grapefruit Oil
Rosewood Oil
Balsam Oil
The above are just a few of the oils included and are by turn, decongesting and anti-bacterial.

What's good about it?
It does what it says on the box - The leaflet included in the product says 'ideal for combination to oily skin, prone to imperfections, with a dull, unhealthy appearance.' Personally I would argue with that. It may have been designed with that skin type in mind, but I find this works really well on all skin types. Sensitive, ageing, dry - it ticks every box.
It's not full of 'filler' ingredients - its fairly pure.
Smells beautiful - not vital, but important to me.
It lasts AGES - a little goes a long, long way.

Its worth mentioning two further things. Darphin do have another balm - Aromatic Renewing - I suspect this was released to cater for the older, dryer market in response to the popularity of the original Purifying. It's good, but I MUCH prefer Purifying Balm.
And - huge credit to Darphin here - since I first bought this product in the 90's they have made it completely organic. It's EcoCert certified and is now called Organic Aromatic Purifying Balm.

If your skin is dull, needs a little glow, is prone to impurities, oily, sensitive, dry - whatever: this product works. Highly - and always - recommended.

Darphin Organic Aromatic Purifying Balm is around £40.00 and is available at pretty much every major online retailer. ALL of whom need to start listing ingredients. On everything. I'll link to the ones that DO in future.


  1. I've used Decleor's version of this for a couple days a month when my skin gets congested - it's good, but this sounds better, so I'm going to need to try it!

    The Blossom Shed Beauty Blog

    1. Hi, I was wondering if you noticed a difference between the Darphin and Decleor products?

  2. *wells up a little bit* That's a lovely thing to write, thank you. I started doing this because I was annoyed myself trying to find ingredients list and not being able to. Can't understand retailers who don't list - it's always what I look at first. I don't care if it's made in Tibet my magical pandas or 87% of women who've only ever used soap and water before think that your cream made their skin a bit softer - I want to know what's IN the stuff!

    Rant over, this sounds v good.

  3. I've just ordered the Darphin Balm, hoping it will help with my sore blemish prone skin. Thank you for the post! x

  4. The Blossom Shed - Decleor's Ylang Ylang is lovely - I've posted about it before.

    Grace - you are very welcome - maybe with enough pressure the brands will insist the ingredients are listed.

    Katy - let me know how you get on!

  5. Hi, please could you explain how this balm should be used - I've tried looking on various retailers' websites but can't find any information of use. Is it to be used instead of moisturiser at night, or to supplement moisturiser?


  6. Small amount at night in place of moisturiser. Warm it in hands and apply all over and massage in!

  7. Hi Caroline! Do you think this or the Neal's Yard WRBB is better as a night treatment? I have dehydrated but combo skin with mild rosacea (nice!). Thanks, Vicky

  8. Too bad there is beeswax in it :( I use vegan stuff, else it would be perfect.

  9. Hi Caroline, I've started following your blog *religiously* since you were on the body talk. Since then my skin has already gotten so much better THANK YOU! Now little question, what do you think about Weleda products (apart from the fact that some of them smell ... interesting)? I am right from where they are produced so I thought why not make a environment-friendly choice and go for that. BUT I need clearance from my skin-goddess *you* :)
    Thanks in advance and enjoy Paris (or, I hope you enjoyed Paris ... how not)!

  10. Hi Caroline,
    I started following your blog (*religiously*) ever since you were on the body talk and my skin has gotten much better already! THANK YOU! I even remember my first visits to the doctor, as a little kid, being about my bad skin. Not acne or anything, but pretty much sandpaper. Score ... NOT.

    Anywho, I was wondering what your thoughts are about Weleda products, I come from exactly the place where they are from so I thought, why not ... but I need clearance from my skin-goddess *you* (this is as close as I get to a yes/no question ... sorry).

    Thanks in advance and have fun in Paris (or I hope you had fun ... how not)!

  11. I was wondering what are your top 5 cleansing balms in order??

  12. Hi Caroline,

    I am from The Netherlands, so I can't get this in a store (thank the gods for feelunique). I know this is an old post, but I found the Darphin Aromatic Purifying Balm for €57,20 for just 15 ml of product... I'm a student, so unfortunately that is nog going tot happen... However, their Intral Cleansing Milk and their Refreshing Cleansing Milk are much more affordable. Would you recommend these? My skin is normal tot combination and prone to breakouts every time I finish my 3 weeks of anticonception pills... Thanks for your great advice, I try to follow it up where I can. My skin has thanked me for it already, so that was not a lie! I know Caroline is very busy, so if you read this and you have any experience with these milks, please let me know. Thanks in advance!