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 Philosophy: XO Balm does not sacrifice product efficacy for texture, feel or fragrance. So the balm comes with a scoop to help get some out if it is too hard, and the scent is only of the natural beeswax and oils. A little goes a long way!

 

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 hardware, the colours unisex, and the logo not overly branded.

 

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 overstressed my skin and further irritated the problem, 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 were not looking great. 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 my product. 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 powers.

After a couple of weeks I had seen a real improvement in my eczema 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 the ends of my dry hair to prevent split ends.

Around the same time a friend in need called me one day wanting to me to share some 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, 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, my first products are finally ready!