Reviewed by Nina

Natalie Balmond created Purepotions Skin Salvation Moisturising Ointment to relieve her daughter’s “severely dry and allergy-prone skin,” which, like many dermatitis cases, did not respond to standard treatment. She recommends her cream for psoriasis, eczema and generally dry and reactive skin, and indeed it has proved an excellent answer to my flaky, cracked and sometimes weepy (disgusting, I know, I’m sorry) skin.

Skin Salvation is a greasy, olive-colored salve that forms a “semi-occlusive barrier” to protect skin and promote healing. It’s made from 100% natural ingredients and, with the exception of the beeswax and alcohol “from tinctures,” the formulation is also organic. Skin Salvation has all the right stuff, including my personal never-fail favorite, hemp seed oil; beeswax, which creates the emollient barrier; and Calendula officinalis flower extract, which promotes tissue regeneration. Skin Salvation also contains ingredients new to me, such as chickweed and nettle extracts. Chickweed is packed with vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, beta-carotene, niacin, thiamin, calcium, magnesium, potassium and selenium. It promotes healing by stimulating microcirculation in the skin, and reduces inflammation and encourages tissue repair. Better yet, for those who bear the squiggly red scars of too much steroid cream, chickweed is said to be effective in diminishing the appearance of small veins on the surface of the skin!

Nettle extract offers up amino acids, lecithin, carotenoids, flavonoids and palmitic and pantothenic acids. It’s rich in vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, manganese and calcium, and has quercetin, a free-radical scavenger that’s being studied for its anti-cancer properties, and that stabilizes histamine-releasing cells (the chemical your body produces during an allergic reaction). Skin issues are often an allergic response, so this au naturel Benadryl may be a big part of the cream’s success. Nettle is anti-inflammatory, has pain relieving properties and boosts your immune system.

While I’ve outgrown chronic eczema, I do suffer spells of cracked, icky atopic dermatitis (and I still can’t stop myself from scratching!). It strikes in the usual zones: my hands, behind my knees, at the bend of my elbows and around my eyes and mouth. For the sake of truly testing Skin Salvation, I decided to exacerbate a budding outbreak, first with perfumed lotion and then, the ultimate sacrifice: Saturday afternoon in a hot tub drinking beer. I got it bad at the elbows, the crease beneath my eye split open (that sucked) and my upper-lip became raised, red and irresistibly itchy. I used the cream at night and by the next morning the crack was knitting back together and my skin was calming; within three days, the eczema was gone. Readers with kids, Skin Salvation did not sting one bit, so those heartbreaking tears may be over!

Curative though it is, I do not recommend Skin Salvation for cosmetic use. As a night cream, it’s zit fertilizer; that protective barrier that’s so great for wounded skin will otherwise suffocate your face and my skin wasn’t firmer or glowing for using it. It’s too greasy to wear by day and powder and foundation do not disguise it well (again, it’s a barrier – this stuff does not absorb). But that’s okay, Skin Salvation doesn’t advertise beauty benefits; it only promises to relieve dry, inflamed skin, which it does quickly and completely.

Except for steroid creams, there’s little to relieve dermatitis and psoriasis, and the consequences of steroids include broken capillaries, thinned skin and increased susceptibility to sun damage. Non-steroidal Tacrolimus and Elidel have been linked to cancer and immune suppression. So for many people, eczema is something you live with and work around. Skin Salvation makes this a lot easier, and is so effective that doctors in England are beginning to prescribe it. It’s available at for 18.99 GBP for 120ml or 4oz (which as of the date of this post is US$ 29.77).

Ingredients: Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Aqua (Water), Alcohol (from tinctures), Calendula Officinalis (pot marigold) Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Stellaria Media (Chickweed) Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract