Choosing skincare products can be a challenge, especially if you have skin allergies and sensitivities.
You know to look for products that say they are hypoallergenic. However, many commercial soaps, creams, and balms are so loaded with ingredients that not only sound like they are full of chemicals; they are full of chemicals! It can make you long for ingredient lists that are clear, uncomplicated, and familiar. More than 30 years ago, Gary and Karen Austin faced a similar dilemma. Their baby son Aaron had an alarming skin rash that doctors diagnosed as eczema. By a process of elimination, they found that it was the mass-produced, detergent-heavy soap they were buying in the grocery store that was the source of the problem. It set them on a journey to create a better soap that everyone could benefit from.
To create a bar of soap, there were specific ground rules Gary Austin set himself:
- It needed to do its job of cleaning without causing an allergic response.
- It should not dissolve quickly as many home-made soaps tended to do.
- It should be made of sustainable ingredients that were safe and, even, edible.
What’s the best oil to use for skincare products? It’s olive oil, hands down. Here’s why:
Gary Austin, originally a chef, knew that olive oil was a terrific ingredient for food. His research identified it as a pure resource for soapmaking, in the form of Castile soap, which was a hard, olive-oil based soap that has been valued since the ancient Greeks. Following the Crusades, this soap was made all over the Mediterranean, not just in the Castile region of Spain.
Why choose olive oil? For a host of reasons.
- Hypoallergenic. In addition to its excellent moisturizing qualities, olive oil causes no allergies or adverse responses in even the most sensitive skin.
- Absorbent. Olive oil is a mild, easily-absorbed oil that is rich in fatty acids and adds moisture to the skin rather than takes away natural oils. Olive oil also works as a barrier to dryness, helping skin to contain its natural moisture.
- It is truly moisturizing. Olive oil nourishes the skin so it can retain moisture and keeps your skin delightfully soft.
- It plays well with other ingredients. Olive oil is also an amazing carrier oil for the pure essential oils, clays and natural herbs used to make SallyeAnder soaps and balms.
- It makes hard, long-lasting soap bars. That’s why our soaps last up to two months in the shower (even longer when just used as a hand soap!) and don’t end up in a puddle in your soap dish.
We use olive oil from Portugal, from a family-owned and operated business – just like us.
It is vital to us that we create our products with integrity. So we sought out a wonderful olive oil producing company that cares about the things that we care about:
- Exceptional quality
- Sustainable farming practices
- Providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees
Why we don’t use coconut oil
In our experience, coconut oil causes a significant number of people to have allergic reactions. That made us determined that all SallyeAnder soaps should be hypoallergenic. Another reason for us to avoid using coconut oil was that, while it may initially feel moisturizing, it is also astringent and drying. The unsatisfactory result is a cycle of coconut oil causing the problem that it is meant to correct.
Why we don’t use palm oil: It’s harmful to the environment
When you look at “natural” skincare products, some of them contain palm oil. On the face of it, palm oil may sound okay, but the truth is, while it is a natural resource, the agricultural practices around it have an extremely harmful impact on the planet:
- Palm oil is collected from the fruit of palm trees which can live an average of 28 to 30 years. But once the trees grow too high, it makes it hard to reach the fruit. So they are cut down to make room for new trees – leading to deforestation of the rainforest.
- Because there’s a huge demand for palm oil, which is cheap to produce, acres of rainforest are being cut down destroying the habitat of endangered species.
- For example, in the last 16 years, the quest for palm oil has led to the death of an estimated 100,000 orangutans, according to recent research
- Elephants, rhinos and tigers are also at risk
- Converting rainforest to palm oil plantations also contributes to climate change by releasing large amounts of carbon emissions into the air, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (formerly the World Wildlife Fund)
We chose olive oil decades ago, and we stand by our decision.
By choosing excellent olive oil, farmed in ways that we support, we are providing our customers with truly hypoallergenic products and we are living up to our commitment to you: clean ingredients, clear conscience.
Thanks for reading, and caring about SallyeAnder.