The Name: XO Balm was named after exo = outside of the body, XOXO = hugs and kisses, as well as Roman numerals X(10)0 = 100 uses.
The Logo: XO Balm wanted to be cute as a button, literally.
The Philosophy: XO Balm does not sacrifice product efficacy for texture, feel or fragrance. The scent is only of the natural beeswax and oils to avoid stressing the skin. The formula is concentrated on active ingredients, no filler, so a little goes a long way! If it is a little cold, the balm may firm up, use the spatula provided to remove the amount you need and it will warm up in the hand.
Consideration of the three pillars for sustainability; environmental, social and economic, is built into the XO Balm business plan. These sustainability practices are an important part of the XO Balm business, to help people, protect resources and prepare for the future.
XO Balm has supported local UK businesses, with packaging components, ingredients, testing and manufacturing all sourced from smaller UK suppliers. We are also an ongoing supporter of the Oxfordshire charity Give Bees a Chance, who’s work allows healthy bee populations to live and grow.
The Packaging: It was important XO Balm had functional and attractive packaging. The mirror in the lid is perfect for an on-the-go bag solution, while the tin is hardwearing, the colours unisex, and the logo not overly branded. The dimensions of the tin were designed specifically to fit through a postbox, enabling us to offer free shipping in the UK and no missed delivery cards!
The shipping box of XO Balm aims to be as environmentally-friendly as possible; the cardboard is completely recyclable, the packing material is simply shredded waste paper, all transactional information is sent online to avoid unnecessary printing, and the aluminium tins are designed to be reused.
Protecting the environment is important to XO Balm. We aim to reduce, reuse and recycle:
Reduce: Instead of buying packing materials, we use shredded paper and newspapers
Reuse: The tin; once your product is finished the tin can be reused to hold small items
Recycle: We invite you to put your outer cardboard packaging in the recycling
The Story: Eczema prone hands, irritated skin, flaky lips and dry hair have been a lifelong struggle.
Working in the beauty industry, I tried a lot of products but found regular hand creams and lip balms could easily irritate my skin and make the problem worse, while prescription emollients were greasy and a hassle.
After moving house, my boyfriend deciding to grow a beard, and a particularly cold winter, my dry skin issues reached a low point and drove me to try and find a solution. One weekend I started experimenting with homemade remedies, researching ingredients and using my knowledge of cosmetics to create balms.
I learnt beeswax was a beauty staple of ancient Egyptians, and it became a key element of XO Balm Its protecting properties and staying power meant the balm would stay on my skin for longer, allowing the nutrients and moisturising properties of the oil blend to work their magic on my skin. I researched the chemical structure of many oils, and selected three with strong moisturising and soothing powers.
After a couple of weeks I had seen a real improvement in my skin and started to use my balm as a go-to beauty staple. I found it worked great as a natural primer as makeup clings to the beeswax, and my hairdresser said it would be great protecting my dry hair to prevent split ends.
Around the same time, a friend in need called wanting to me to share some balm with her; she had just had a baby and was looking for a natural product which would restore her skin after countless hand washing and sterilising. I sent her some to try and three days later she sent me a picture of her dry, red and irritated skin completely healed.
During an annual holiday with my sisters and our other halves, an after dinner conversation led to the idea I should start a company, selling my balm to anyone suffering with eczema, as well as girlfriends of men with beards and mothers of newborns. In one evening, my “business development team” helped me come up with a name and packaging design.
Refusing to be deterred by the fact I had no idea how to run a business, I armed myself with a small business start-up book and gratefully accepted a lot of offers of help from friends with varying career experience. A year later, XO Balm went on sale. But the journey doesn’t end there and I’m constantly learning new things about the world being being a beauty CEO. I love to hear thoughts and feedback so please get in touch via our social channels or firstname.lastname@example.org.