As the most cautious user of skincare I know, I am forever jealous of those who can simply grab a product, not fretting about what's in it or who it's by, and slather it on from head to toe without a moment's thought. From friends who need a hand cream and without hesitation borrow whatever someone has in their tote to an old colleague of mine who thought nothing of snatching up the nearest cream and rubbing it liberally all over her face to see what it might do, I have serious whimsical skincare envy.
With sensitive skin, it's not often you find one moisturiser that can perform a multitude of tasks and that you can just pick up and use anywhere without consideration; you have to select your skincare carefully, product by product, and create a regime that is fairly strict to minimise risk. I was therefore delighted when Get The Gloss co-founder Sarah Vine planted a pretty round tin on my desk and enthused that I would love the all-purpose wonder: STEAMCREAM.
So great that they feel the need to SHOUT it slightly, STEAMCREAM, at first look, is a very simple moisturiser in a tin. At first sniff, in fact, I had instant flashbacks to using Sudocrem and wasn't sure it'd be up to much; but behind that baby-soft smell is a more fragrant scent. It's gentle, but fresh, lightly floral and very feminine - and it's all down to the essential oils.
This was the point at which I started to back away slowly. Essential oils and I have not had the best relationship in the past and in general are something to be wary of if you're sensitive. In some cases, they work wonders; in others, they create the worst reactions imaginable. However, a closer look at the carefully chosen ingredients was reassuring - and better yet, I've been plastering it all over my arms, hands and legs since I popped open the lid and have had nothing but silky hydrated skin as a result.
It's a little too fragrant to use on my face for my liking (I'm so used to scent-free creams) but it is, first and foremost, a facial moisturiser; it just so happens that it's brilliantly versatile too. Leading makeup artists are fans of its lightweight formula when prepping skin for shoots and events, not to mention the beautiful designs which have included collaborations with Swarovski and Ruby Hammer .
I asked Victoria Tydeman, Director and Co-Founder of STEAMCREAM, what made the formula so unique - and so gentle, that they even recommend it for babies. "The base of our cream is oatmilk - which as you know is very calming and anti-inflammatory in itself," explains Victoria. "With our blend of real essential oils, each is sourced from high quality ethical producers whose quality we often find matches, or can exceed, certified organic. Each real essential oil has been selected for its unique benefit to the skin and their ability to complement and work alongside each other as a blend."
It's the process as well as the pick of ingredients that makes the cream extra special. STEAMCREAM steals its name from the way that it is made; a shot of hot steam is used to fuse the ingredients together so that they are in a loose emulsion. Once applied to the skin, the naturally moisturising ingredients are released to work their magic, a process Victoria says is a little like baking. "We very much believe that what you put on your skin is as important as what you eat as it goes directly into your bloodstream - so our cream has a very fresh and handmade approach - a bit like baking a cake."
It's not just me who has fallen in love with the little tins of TLC, either. "STEAMCREAM is suitable for use on babies (we recommend from one years old) and we get a great deal of feedback from both eczema and psoriasis sufferers, as well as those undergoing chemotherapy and other very sensitive skin disorders," Victoria tells me. "All rave about about the healing, soothing and calming effects STEAMCREAM has had on their skin."
With an oatmeal base to soothe as well as healing ingredients such as almond oil, chamomile blue essential oil, orange blossom, orange flower water, cocoa butter, organic jojoba oil, lavender essential oil and rose absolute, the whipped cream formula is infused with nature's finest to calm and nourish the skin. It also contains no synthetic fragrances - the uplifting scent is all from the beautiful blend of oils.
It's light yet somehow rich; gentle yet rapidly absorbed; and best of all it can be used in countless ways. Smooth it on a freshly cleansed face in the morning for long-lasting hydration, or use it as a foot rub, a shaving balm, a face mask or even to calm heat rash - there's nothing this little pot won't come in handy for.
STEAMCREAM is £13 per tin and available here on ASOS.com