Our soap is an unique recipe, developed over years of careful research and experimentation. The main oil that we use is extra virgin olive oil that makes small, conditioning and moisturising bubbles when saponified (turned into soap with an alkali). The major fatty acids in olive oil triacylglycerols are: Oleic Acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid, it makes up approx 55% to 83% of olive oil. Linoleic Acid, a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid that makes up about 3.5% to 21% of olive oil. Palmitic Acid, a saturated fatty acid that makes up 7.5% to 20% of olive oil. Stearic Acid, a saturated fatty acid that makes up 0.5% to 5% of olive oil. Linolenic Acid (C18:3) a polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid that makes up 0 to 1.5% of olive oil.The second oil that we use is coconut (Lauric 48% and Myristic 19% fatty acids), that produces generous, large, open, fluffy bubbles that cleanse the skin. We then add raw, organic, unrefined, fair traded shea butter (please see below) and finally sunflower oil which provides a balance and lightness with its high percentage of linoleic fatty acid (70%). This way, we utilise the full spectrum of natural fatty acids available to us - oleic, linoleic, lauric, myristic, linolenic, stearic, palmitic (the last two make the soap hard).
We manufacture in a cold process method, this is very important as our soap is not heated or "cooked". We use the old, traditional method of soapmaking, this way ensuring that all the precious ingredients and their beneficial moisturising qualities are protected.
We have a strict policy of NO PALM OIL, you can read more about this on our ethics page.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
All our handmade soaps contain a minimum of 60%-80% extra virgin food grade olive oil that comes from the best olive groves of Spain. Spain is the world’s leading olive and olive oil producer and exporter, with more than 300 million olive trees growing on 5 million acres of groves. The annual oil production amounts to around 1,000,000 metric tones and approximately 80% is grown in Andalucía.
There are many different types of olive but the main cultivated strains from Seville province, where we buy our oil, are Arbequina, Picual, Hojiblanco and Manzanillas. The harvest season for oil production is between November and February when the fruit is dark and ripe. Extra virgin olive oil is the oil obtained from the first pressing of the fruit. After the fruit is washed with water, the fruit and stone are crushed and the resulting paste is then transferred to a hydraulic press.
Each olive produces around 2-3 drops of oil and around 11 kilos of fruit are needed to produce 1 kilo of oil. Olives must be processed as soon as possible after harvesting to ensure an acidity of less than 1%. The acidity refers to the content of free fatty acids with 1 degree equal to 1 gram of Oleic Acid per 100 gram of oil. It is this first pressing of extra virgin oil that we use in the manufacture of our products – unfiltered with the suspension of fruit particles remaining after pressing.
For soap making, the acidity is not important (it is just for the taste) and a higher acidity means more Oleic Fatty Acid (60%-80%) and natural antioxidants. Olive oil also contains Squalane which has the ability to help the skin to retain moisture while nourishing and providing protection for all skin types, especially dry and sensitive. It is non-greasy and non-comedogenic (does not clog the pores). It has also been proven to accelerate the healing process due to its Vitamin E content. Our skin also contains Squalane and the composition is very similar to the Olive fruit Squalane, which is why the oil penetrates and feeds the skin so effectively. This is the most superior oil to manufacture a mild, gentle, cleansing soap that is moisturising and conditioning for the skin and full of natural vitamins.
SHEA BUTTER ~ KARITE
The second important ingredient is raw, unrefined organic Shea butter. All the soaps (except four) contain a generous percentage of this wonderful natural material. There are so many reasons to use Shea Butter that it is almost impossible to list them all. This wonderful butter has incredible moisturising and healing capabilities and the Vitamins A, E and F in the butter are important to improve the following conditions: dry skin and rashes, blemishes, wrinkles, sunburn, itching skin, superfluous wounds and cracked skin, stretch marks, skin allergies, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, its properties are endless.
It is an incredible feat of nature that the moisturisers in Shea Butter are the same moisturisers produced by the sebaceous glands in our skin. Shea butter contains natural UV sun protection and daily use on the face and body drastically reduces sun exposure, which in turn slows down the rate of aging due to external factors.
Shea also acts as a natural invisible barrier against elements of cigarette smoke and chemical pollutants in the atmosphere. Our Shea butter, also called Karité, is the premier quality, raw, unrefined, organic butter that is far superior to the white, refined Shea often used in soaps and cosmetics.
Shea nut is highly rich in oil, traditionally extracted by African Women who collect the nuts, dry them and crack them to obtain the kernels, grill them and pound them. They are then boiled in water until the butter rises to the surface. It is then scooped into barrels and left to cool and set.
We buy the absolutely best quality, unrefined and organic butter from a fair trade women's co-operative in Ghana.