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What Do We Make Your Skin Care With?

We use Natural Oils and Waxes. We're not a fan of mineral oil, petrolatum (petroleum jelly) and synthetic waxes. They may serve many uses, but not for us when we formulate and create your skin care. Our Natural based Bath & Body product uses several different combinations of natural oils and waxes. Natural oils work in several ways, such as helping to carry herbal extracts into the skin's layers, relieve and soothe dry skin, improving skin’s texture, nourishing and replenishing skin’s lost natural oils as well as helping to restore the radiance of the skin. Knowing that there are so many different skin needs, we use a blend of several types of oils and waxes to formulate our Handmade Soaps, Bath & Body products. Our natural oil blends have allowed us to create products that are able to be used by most skin types.

Here’s a brief rundown on many of the oils and waxes we use in our products. I list the common name first, then the formal Latin name used in the required standard cosmetic labeling format known as INCI (International Nomenclature for Cosmetic Ingredients). It’s my aim for this to help you to know what's in the products you’re using and also what to look for in your skin care needs.

1. Shea Butter and Shea Oil (Butyrospermum Parkii)

Fotolia; shea nuts and shea butter

Derived from the fruit kernels of the shea nut tree, it has remarkable healing and softening abilities. Studies show that shea butter shows some anti inflammatory effects on the skin, so it may help increase wound healing and improve scar appearance. From its physical make up of vitamin E, vitamin A, and cinnamic acid as well as a unique fatty acid profile, this butter can moisturize and help give serious relief to dry skin. Shea can also come in an oil: It’s the liquid fraction that’s created when the shea nut is pressed for the butter. It’s lighter than the butter, but still a very emollient oil and is used almost as extensively as the butter. We use Shea Oil in our Aloe Vera Whipped Lotions and Footsy’s Farmacy Foot Balm so we can use beneficial amounts without making them too heavy, greasy or occlusive.

2. High Oleic Safflower Oil (Carthamus Tinctorius )

An almost imperceptible scent. It’s rich in vitamins E, oleic and linoleic acids, these help aid in restoring skin moisture, skin's natural oils and helps renew itself. High in anti-inflammatory and Vitamin A, it encourages collagen production. Best for normal skin or dry, mature or over exposed skin or a skin that’s a combinations of these traits. We use this wonderful oil to make our oil based herbal extracts, and in our Aloe Vera Whipped Lotions, Whipped Sugar Body Polish, Footsy’s Farmacy Foot Balm, and in several of our Herbal Clay Face Masque Powders.

3. Jojoba Wax (Simmondsia Chinensis)

seeds on female jojoba bush. creative commons

Yes, that’s right, Jojoba is actually a wax. From the seeds of a desert plant, it’s chemical composition is very similar to human sebum, with a light, golden color and an almost imperceptible scent. When used alone, it’s light and easily penetrates into the skin and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. Jojoba is a very universal skin care ingredient. It's a wonderful carrier oil for topical herbal extracts. We'll be using Jojoba Oil in our new Scentless Planet soothing Gel Balms, to be released mid-Summer 2016. Dry, mature, over exposed skin is helped by nourishing, moisturizing and softening. Sensitive and easily irritated skin usually responds well to Jojoba also since it’s chemical similarity to human sebum means it has very few irritation factors. Oily and breakout prone skin also really responds well to jojoba as it is able to penetrate into the pore and help loosen and aid in the dislodging of dead skin matter, bacteria and oil plugs and the comedomes (acne) that may follow. It also helps to moisturize oily skin to help counteract the potential over drying that can occur with most acne preparations. Jojoba Wax is also the workhorse of hair care oils. It easily penetrates the hair shaft and helps to condition it and the scalp without adding weight or oiliness. All hair types respond well to Jojoba and chemically treated hair especially gets a noticeable boost in shine and manageability from just a dime size portion applied once a day.

4. Olive Oil (Olea Europaea)

Fotolia; bottle of olive oil; olive cluster

The very same oil you cook with! One of the oldest used oils in recorded history. Comes from the olive flesh itself, not the seed. Very rich in chlorophyll, vitamins and antioxidants, Olive Oil, while light for food use, is a somewhat occlusive oil on skin. It has a scent that, depending on the region grown, the pressing or blend, can vary from being almost imperceptible, to sharp and “green”, to a very deep and earthy muskiness. For those same reasons, it’s color can also range from a very pale golden greenish to a very deep or dark green. An excellent and indispensable workhorse in handmade soaps, it’s use in other body care is limited because of the aforementioned scents, color issues and skin feel. When used in non-soap products, it’s usually not in amounts greater than 20%, unless the formulator actually wants Olive Oil’s more occlusive nature in the product. It can also be a bit comedogenic to those prone to acne. We use Olive Oil in our Handmade Soaps and also Footsy’s Farmacy Foot Balm.

5. Rice Bran Oil (Oriza Sativa)

Fotolia; basket of brown rice

Rice Bran oil is from the bran, the outer covering of the rice between the hull and white kernel. (When sold intact, it’s brown rice). The bran, which is obtained in the milling process is the part of the rice that is richest in fat. This natural oil, which is expeller pressed, has the presence of natural antioxidants which makes it an excellent ingredient for food grade products. Beside the oil, there is also wax fraction, which is sometimes removed to get cosmetic grade Rice Bran Wax. Rice Bran Oil had the antioxidant Vitamin E (highest of all the liquid vegetable oils), plus linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid and oryzanol. It also contains ferulic and phytic acids, which helps to give skin a bit of a gentle exfoliation and also helps to balance melanin production. In cosmetics the oil acts as both a carrier and emollient and the wax is used as a substitute for beeswax in many vegetarian and vegan cosmetics. A wonderful addition to skin care, it has a long, stable shelf life. Best for dry hair and scalps, normal skin or dry, mature or over exposed skin or a skin that’s a combinations of these traits. It can be a bit problematic for skin prone to breakouts, but the de-waxed or winterized Rice Bran Oil has a much lower comedogenic factor. In making lotions, serums, balms and herbal infusions, many Cosmetic Formulators use de-waxed Rice Bran Oil in place of Olive Oil to lessen the comedogenic factor. We use Rice Bran Oil in all our Handmade Soaps and use double the amount in our Genmaicha Soap, plus our Genmaicha Lotion and Genmaicha Whipped Body Polish.

6. Beeswax (Cera Alba)

Fotolia; honeycomb, beeswax

Beeswax is the natural secretion of female honeybees. It is one of the oldest known natural waxes and has been used since antiquity. When taken from the hive, it’s color will vary from a warm, golden yellow all the way to a brown color and will retain the strong, sweet scent (and taste) of honey. The color and scent can remain with gentle cleaning and processing, but most cosmetic beeswax is even further processed so that it’s bleached white and deodorized, retaining none of the natural goodness it started out with. A wonderful main component of lip balms, lip glosses and lipsticks, it adds emolliency, conditioning and body firmness those products. It adds a deeper conditioning and heavier moisturizing factor to creams and body butters, scrubs, balms and even soap. This can be a very good thing during the drier skin season of winter, but with the exception of lip care, beeswax can be a bit too heavy for general skincare needs during warmer weather. We use only gently cleaned, locally sourced beeswax in our Honeycomb Soap and minimally processed yellow beeswax in our Lip Ransom Lip Balms.

7. Fractionated Coconut Oil, aka Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides

An odorless, very light, non-greasy and non-staining "oil" that's actually not an oil, though it is derived from coconut oil. It is the medium-chain triglycerides from regular coconut oil and is a good choice for facial care and also body care that needs a lighter "oil". Fractionated Coconut Oil is what many handmade and main stream cosmetic manufacturers use when making natural based “oil free” cosmetics. Sensitive skin rarely has issues with this light and therapeutic coconut oil derivative. Dry and mature skin thrives with it without having to deal with heavier oils “weighed down feeling” issues. It’s also wonderful in products for oily and breakout prone skin as it has a low comedogenic factor. Fractionated Coconut Oil has a very stable and long shelf life. There are some large chain “natural” retailers and "natural" product certifying organizations who frown at or don't allow it in cosmetic brands they carry. They do not consider Fractionated Coconut Oil to be natural enough or that it’s too far removed to be considered naturally derived. It’s produced by the hydrolysis of coconut oil. It is fractionated by steam distillation to isolate the triglycerides. My personal and professional opinion is that if they accept True Soaps -because of the way True Soaps are made- they should also accept Fractionated Coconut Oil. We use Fractionated Coconut Oil in our Aloe Vera Whipped Lotions and Whipped Sugar Body Polish

I hope this primer on skin care oils gives you insight on many of the the quality raw materials we use to make your skin care products. An informed and knowledgeable customer is a Happy Customer.


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