Why Oils? It is important to feed skin, especially aging skin (from your early 20s onwards) with substances that resemble the skin’s own oils. A lot of our skincare products are based on oils and butters which resemble the skin’s own oils and are readily absorbed and accepted by the skin (to reduce sensitivity issues). We also use more than one oil in our products, apart from the pure Argan Oil, for maximum benefit. We try to incorporate light, medium and heavy weight oils in every face product to ensure optimal absorption and protection. The light-weight oils will be absorbed by the skin quickly and get to work along with the essential oils straight away. The medium weight oil will be absorbed over the course of the day to ensure the products keeps working for many hours after application and the heavy weight oil, which takes hours to be completely absorbed, will leave a thin layer on the skin to protect the skin from environmental stresses such as free-radicals from the sunlight, car exhaust fumes, toxins from industry, acid rain and much more.
Another reason we use oils is many of them have a natural SPF (sun protection factor) which helps to protect the skin from sun and free-radical damage and this natural SPF is completely different from the SPF found in many of today’s cosmetic creams which produce the SPF using ingredients which we should avoid, e.g. coconut oil is considered to have a natural SPF of 5-6, while shea butter has a natural SPF of 6 and cocoa butter an SPF of 5-6.
WHAT ELSE DO WE USE?
Manuka Honey – Raw, unpasteurised and active, Manuka honey is a natural antioxidant and supplies cells with a wide range of vitamins, amino acids, and minerals. It has excellent anti-bacterial properties. Healing Manuka Honey helps improve cellular regeneration thereby improving skin texture and skin smoothness. It also helps to promote collagen production. Honey is a natural emollient, drawing water to itself, helping to increase moisture in the skin.
Olive Oil – Organic, extra virgin, unrefined olive contains anti-aging polyphenols which are absorbed directly into the skin. It helps to prevent free-radical damage, helps cell regeneration and minimizes appearance of lines, wrinkles and other signs of premature skin aging. Brightens skin and makes skin tone more even.
Black Seed Oil – Organic, unrefined black seed oil is an excellent anti-inflammatory and it also has skin softening and anti aging benefits. Black Seed Oil is an excellent healer and is beneficial to irritated skin. It conditions and softens the skin and hair. It also has anti-oxidant and anti-fungal properties.
Argan Oil – Organic, unrefined, first cold-pressed Argan Oil is rich in vitamin E, and thus has potent anti-oxidant properties and several compounds which help protect against environmental damage and UV damage. It contains natural squalene, which is similar to the skin’s sebum and promotes cell regeneration, as well as essential fatty acids, which help prevent moisture loss and protects the skin against harsh weather conditions.
This oil is harvested from the Argan Tree native to Morocco by local women’s co-operative groups.
Coconut Oil/Butter – Organic, raw, virgin Coconut Oil contains a unique natural blend of fatty acids making it one of the best pure skin moisturizers available. It is also known to help some skin and scalp conditions and is superb for use in baby products.
Coconut oil is an excellent skin conditioner containing medium-chain triglycerides, naturally occurring fats which deeply penetrate, moisturize and acts as a protective barrier against environmental and free radical damage. The oil also provides sun protection by screening 20 percent of ultraviolet exposure.
Coconut oil is rich in anti-oxidants and bursting with the natural microbial and antibacterial agents caphrylic and capric acids. Its ability to smooth the skin while infusing with anti-oxidants makes it a perfect anti-aging moisturizer. Moreover, it contains vitamin E, another antioxidant popular for hastening the recovery of skin abrasions, burns and other trauma.
Rosehip Seed Oil– Organic Rosehip Seed Oil is the only vegetable Oil which contains natural Retinoic acid (Vitamin A acid), which aids cell regeneration. This makes it valuable in helping soothe skin irritations and damaged or scarred skin. It is also rich in other compounds which help reduce pore size, make it very emollient and increase moisture content of the skin.
The first major validation of the healing and regenerative effects of Rosehip seed oil was in 1983, when the University of Santiago conducted studies on 180 people. These study participants all suffered with extensive facial scarring, acne scarring, deep wrinkles, UV damage, radiation damage, burn scars, surgical scars, premature aging, dermatitis, and/or other skin related problems. The results were extremely positive and demonstrated Rosehip seed oil’s ability to regenerate the skin, reduce scars and wrinkles, prevent the advancement of wrinkles and aging, and help skin to regain its natural colour and tone.
Another highly regarded study was conducted in 1988 on twenty women between the ages of 25 and 35 that spend the 3 months of summer in resorts by the sea or visit the beach on a daily basis. Each of these twenty women had extensive premature aging to their skin including wrinkles and sun spots from overexposure to the sun. After four months of applying rosehip seed oil daily, their wrinkles and sun spots had almost completely disappeared, and the skin had a fresher and healthier look.( http://www.examiner.com/article/rosehip-seed-oil-mother-nature-s-anti-aging-secret)
Goat’s Milk - rich in beta-casein and vitamins A, B6, B12 and E, which are easily absorbed and help nourish and hydrate the skin. It also contains high quantities of compounds which balance the skins’ natural pH level and act as natural AHAs.
The benefits of milk are mentioned in the ahadeeth of our Prophet (SAW) due to the cows/goats/sheep consuming a wide range of grasses and herbs and the benefits of these passing into the milk (only refers to organic, preferably raw milks)
Herbs – Various organic, non-irradiated herbs are infused into our products including:
Calendula and Chamomile which are used for most minor skin problems including cuts, scrapes, inflamed skin, sunburn, acne, rashes, and fungal conditions as well as for nappy rash and they have excellent tissue regenerating properties for all skin types and conditions, including sensitive skin and for babies in skin, hair and body care products.
Comfrey - Comfrey Leaves have a high carbohydrate content and considered to rejuvenate the skin and to have healing, soothing and moisture retaining properties. They are good for rough, damaged skin and can, with time, alleviate wrinkling and enable skin tissue to regain its youthful elasticity. Allantoin promotes skin cell regeneration, stimulates the growth of new cells and helps sensitive skin to become more resilient, counteracting dryness and cracking
Echinacea - Considered to regulate and soothe the skin and to enhance overall immunity
Lavender - Lavender has many beneficial compounds that can penetrate the skin. Good for normal and dry skin, Lavender is used as a tonic for all types of skin.
Plantain - is an effective topical treatment for a number of conditions, namely: Wounds of all kinds - particularly effective at removing the itch from bites and the sting from cuts and grazes (Poultice, Ointment); Good for minor burns including mild sunburn
Rose - Infusions made from Rose Petals are used in Skin Care products for tender, dry, sensitive skin and have a cleansing, astringent, toning, moisture retaining, stimulating and soothing effect. When Rose is included in a Cream or Lotion, it stimulates and protects the skin, while moisturising and hydrating it. It gives a boost to all skin types, and is particularly beneficial to dry, mature and sensitive skin.
Rosemary - An infusion can also be used as an invigorating toner and astringent. Rosemary added to a bath strengthens and refreshes, especially when used following an illness. Considered to stimulate blood circulation and to restore elasticity to the skin, Rosemary is also effective for lifeless and oily skin, for blackheads and spots (antibacterial).
Yarrow - Yarrow Flowers are used for their astringent, healing and soothing effects on the skin and hair. Strengthens skin tone. Can be used for problem, oily skin, large pores and wrinkles.
Essential Oils – Pure, organic essential oils including lavender, tea tree, lemon, lime, ylang, ylang, rose, juniper, geranium and peppermint all have excellent properties which are utilized in our products including anti-bacterial, anti-biotic, skin rejuvenating, moisturizing and skin refining properties.
INGREDIENTS TO AVOID
Skin eats! There we said it! Despite many sources saying our skin is almost water-tight, it is in fact a powerful absorption organ (the biggest organ in the human body) and a lot of what we put on our skin is absorbed by it. In fact up to 60% of what we put onto our skin is absorbed by it and may penetrate deeply enough to enter our bloodstream and circulate throughout our bodies. Thinking about what is in most modern skincare products would you be happy to eat them and have them absorbed into our bodies? Urgh! Not likely!
As well as beneficial water, vitamins, minerals and oxygen, our skin will also soak up toxic, harmful and potentially carcinogenic ingredients which can accumulate in our bodies over time. To make matters worse, many skincare products contain chemicals (penetration enhancers – including alcohols) which cause the active ingredients to penetrate even further into the skin, increasing the chances of the toxins entering blood vessels and lymph ducts located in the deeper skin layers. Some of these may be filtered out of our bloodstream by our liver and kidneys but some remain inside our body accumulating over many years.
Most skincare products on the market contain dozens of synthetic additives whose safety has only ever been tested on animals, not humans and usually only for very short periods of time, not for the decades that some of us may have been using skincare products for. Sadly as there is unlikely to ever be human volunteers to try out huge doses of potentially cancer-causing ingredients, animal testing remains the only unreliable, unethical option.
Our rule: Only put on your skin what you would be happy (and safe!) to eat. Whilst we don’t advise it, all our products are made from better than food grade ingredients and there is nothing in them that you couldn’t eat.
For those of you with a particular interest we have included a list below of some of the more common ingredients that are best avoided in skincare products. There are dozens more and you can find information about them just by looking up the name on the internet.
Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40): A drying and irritating solvent that strips the moisture and natural protective barrier from the skin. It is made from propylene, a petroleum derivative and is found in skin and hair products, perfumes, foaming products such as handwash and scarily it is also found in anti freeze! It is also used as a carrier to increase the penetration of other harmful chemicals deeper into the skin.
Aluminium salts such as Aluminium hydroxychloride, Aluminium chlorohydrate Aluminium sulphate, etc. They block pores and are linked to Alzheimer's disease. They are used in most antiperspirant deodorants and acts as a sweat inhibitor, blocking the pores so that you are unable to sweat.
Aqueous cream is made of paraffin and water and is based on mineral oils from the petrochemical industry, often waste or by-products.
Artificial Fragrances -A single artificial fragrance may contain hundreds of synthetic chemicals often made from petroleum and coal. Skincare and fragrance manufacturers are not required to tell you what these chemicals are. They are so widely used because they are cheaper than essential oils and natural fragrances. These are considered to be one of the top 5 known allergens and can cause asthma and are a major concern for hormone and reproductive dysfunction, cancer, headaches, dizziness and other allergies.
Borax as Sodium borate, a strong irritant which may be carcinogenic. Recent research in Denmark and Sweden has shown this to substance to be carcinogenic and a cause of anaemia in children.
Capric/Caprylic triglycerides are refined, very stable fatty acids produced from coconut oil so often is seen as a ‘natural’ ingredient. However it Collagen – need we say more? Often taken from young animals or aborted fetuses. Do you really want to have this in your skincare?
Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives - May be called DMDM Hydantoin, Diaxolidinyl urea, Imidazolidinyl, methenamine or Quarternium-15. These are often found in hair products and skin moisturisers. Formaldehyde is classified as a probable human carcinogen and studies have shown that formaldehyde causes nasopharyngeal cancer in humans as well as allergic reactions, contact dermatitis, headaches, irritant to nasal passage and eyes and immune dysfunction.
Kathon - Methyl chloroisothiazolinone and Methyl isothiazolinone is used as a preservative in cosmetics and also used in anti-freeze and wood preservative as a fungicide. Suspected to be one of the most common causes of allergic reactions to cosmetics.
Lanolin from wool can be contaminated with pesticides from sheep dip e.g. DDT.
Mineral oil is petroleum based, blocks pores, acts as a barrier and suppresses normal skin functions.
ParabenMethylparaben, butylparaben and propylparaben and several other parabens are found in deodorants, moisturisers and other cosmetics and has been shown to mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen and it has recently been suggested it may increase the growth of breast tumors. Many recent studies have found that breast tumors commonly contain parabens and there is also some evidence that parabens may increase the damaging effects of UV radiation.
Paraffin/Petroleum products found in lots of skincare products and also used in lubrication oil in sewing machines and floor wax. Prevents absorption of vitamins, clogs pores and may be carcinogenic. (Petroleum Jelly)
Propylene Glycol and Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) - Made from the same chemical that is used to create anti-freeze, this chemical easily penetrates the skin, there is no difference between the PG used in industry and the PG used in skin care products. Found in make-up, hair products, creams and lotions, after-shaves, deodorants, mouthwashes and toothpastes and is linked to damage of the liver, kidneys and brain.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (also called SLS) Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulphate. A detergent which is very aggressive on the skin. It has been associated with hair loss, dermatitis, eczema, dry scaly skin and eye irritation in some animals and humans during studies. Some products containing SLES also contain traces of 1,4-dioxane which is a probable human carcinogen.
Spermataceti cetaceum is obtained from the head of the sperm whale. Need we go on . . . .
Silk Amino Acid is derived from dead silk worms. Ditto the above comment!
Tallow is fat derived commonly sheep and cows. It is then refined through a process of melting and filtering.
Toluene - Made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances, nail polish and hair dye. Long term exposure has been linked to anemia, liver and kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus.
Triclosan - has a chemical structure similar to Agent Orange (!) and is used mainly in antibacterial liquid soaps, cleansers, deodorants, detergents, toothpastes, mouthwashes, antiperspirants, cleansers and hand sanitizers. It is classified as a pesticide and of risk to both human health and the environment. Triclosan can easily penetrate skin and is suspected of interfering with hormone function in humans.
Triethanolamine is petroleum-based, very irritating and can be carcinogenic. Used as emulsifiers by many high street brands.