Have you noticed the abundance of balms popping up on beauty shelves, blogs and editor buy lists? It seems that oils are out, lotions are no longer, and it’s all about the balm. These days if I’m not swirling my fingertips around a pot of Jones Road Miracle Balm, or checking out MV Skin Therapy’s new Multibalm, you can find me squeezing the little nude tube of Macabalm.
For those outside the land of Oz – a surprising chunk of readers of this site are UK, US and Europe based – Macabalm is the debut creation from model, actress and entrepreneur Pia Loyola. Sidenote: I am here for the era of having multiple titles and claims to fame. Goodbye to the days of being pigeon-holed or typecast as a single occupation and hello to pursuing all our passions, talents and skills. While some may recognise Pia from the small screen (ie the beaches of Summer Bay) or Paspaley’s glossy campaigns draped in strings of pearls, or perhaps even a few Dolly covers if you’re more of my time, you’ll no doubt also have noticed her enviable skin and incredible style. But don’t let the glitter of celebrity hasten your judgement of Macabalm – this isn’t simply a celebrity line with all that that suggests.
A self-funded passion project reportedly four years in the making, Macabalm is personal. There’s not an overload of claims or marketing spin. In fact, the hype feels almost subdued as though they’re letting the product introduce itself. Quietly, cautiously and without pretension, they’re allowing the ingredients – and their effect – to speak for themselves.
Macabalm is an all-purpose skincare salve made up of luscious natural ingredients. Think organic macadamia from Byron Bay (known for their antioxidant properties), native Kakadu Plum and a minimal list of uncomplicated goodies included for their gentle healing and nourishing properties like organic Rosehip and Jojoba oils.
Macabalm, as a brand, are incredibly transparent about the contents and you won’t find any hidden fillers here – the ingredient list speaks for itself. It’s also refreshingly short. I once heard a well known chef say that if you don’t recognise – or can’t even pronounce – an ingredient on a jar or packet of food at the supermarket, you shouldn’t be putting it in your mouth. Imagine if we applied that same logic to what we’re putting on our skin and allowing to sink into our bodies. It certainly feels like a lot of brands, and consumers, are moving in that direction.
But what’s it for? Dry patches, cuticles, irritated skin, chapped lips, rough heels – this is the kind of multipurpose product you will find yourself constantly reaching for.
When Pia spoke with Vogue recently she mentioned yet another use for the colourless balm; using Macabalm as an illuminator on cheekbones and the bridge of the nose. Say hello to dewy, I’m-a-natural-beauty skin vibes. If you find your makeup looking dry or cakey, try warming a little balm between your fingertips and pressing onto the face for immediate moisturising relief.
Personally, I find myself reaching for this most as an extra nourishing lip balm. I squeeze a generous amount onto the back of my hand, smoosh it around to warm the product and transport it from solid balm to oil. I swipe a little across my lips and rub the remainder into the back of my hands. The hands are such a forgotten area of our skin that need extra care especially in the post-Covid world of regular sanitising with alcohol based solutions. This simultaneous lip and hand treatment has become a regular morning and nightly ritual.
On evenings when my skin is feeling particularly parched with dehydration, I’ll dab a little Macabalm around my temples and the outside of my eyes. It soothes any feeling of tightness and I wake up with plump, nourished skin.
You can’t talk about a new product without mentioning the packaging. The nude-y brown Macabalm tube somehow fuses minimalism and luxury together perfectly. It’s unfussy – no gold lids or heavy pots – just a simple squeezy tube that is somehow right on trend.
The release of Macabalm in three sizes is a luxury that I initially thought superfluous. But I now find myself with a Medium on my desk, a Mini in my handbag acting as lip balm, and I have my eye on the Mega for my bedside table since becoming accustomed to slathering it on the backs of my hands come evening. The packaging is also recyclable and biodegradable – tick, and tick.
Launching with just one hero product is a rarity but I am here for the do one thing well mindset. And where Macabalm may have set the ball rolling, I’m sure more will follow. Cleansing balm, anyone? Just an idea.
Find exclusively at macabalm.com
Read more about the skincare I’m loving here.
Get the low-down on my favourite self tan here.
The cleansing balm I can’t get enough of? Find it here.