About Our Ingredients
All of our hydrosols are distilled in our on-farm distillery using Certified Organic herbs and flowers that we grow from seeds and cuttings. We never use any herbicides, pesticides, or synthetic fertilizers in our gardens. We take great care in growing these herbs to a high quality before harvesting them at their peak, aromatic potential. Each distillation teaches us more and more about the plants and the essences they release and we are always striving to perfectly capture that essence. Each crop and each distillation is a different experience, let us know if you want to sample our current offerings.
We focus the scent of our products on essential oils that are produced on our farm. Many of them are by-products of the hydrosols we produce, allowing us to share rare smells like Tulsi and Rose Geranium, but we also distill some herbs just for the unique essential oil that can capture. For example, our Spearmint essential oil is distilled from the spearmint flowers after they have been left for the bees to enjoy. The plants become tough, rugged, drought and sometimes pest affected, but the flowers emit a sweet, floral and honey essence that captures the senses and isn't available from the commonly available spearmint essential oils. It's a treasure to experience and turns a shower in an aromatic delight.
We sometime choose to capture a plant's essence through a solar oil infusion. Calendula and St. John's Wort are two favorites that we feature in our Salves and Body Butters. Herbs are harvested at their peak and allowed to dry in the shade to remove the water from the flowers and concentrate the plants resins and oils. Dried herbs are placed in glass vessels, covered in olive oil, and allowed to sit in the sun where the solar heat gently warms the oils and allows the resins seep out of the plant and into the oil. We then strain this oil and repeat this process with a second batch of dried flowers, further concentrating the plant essences and providing for a rich, powerful oil that brings relief and healing to distressed skin.
SHEA BUTTER & COCOA BUTTER
We purchase our butter from Baraka and love their support for Ghanian women. Their quality is top notch, and it brings a beautiful softening and smoothing quality to many of our hair and skin care products.
We purchase beeswax from US apiaries that has been minimally filtered. It has a rich, honey scent and is full of goodness from the pollen and propolis naturally found in a hive.
HAIR CARE INGREDIENTS
We get that some of the ingredients in our shampoo bars look like harsh, chemical cleansers and have scientific name. These are generally plant based cleansers that are derived from coconut and other plants, often as a byproduct of other industries. They are gentle to the skin, pH balanced, and appropriate for all skin types. I love soap (and soap making!) but it is not appropriate for areas such as your hair and face where the alkaline pH of 9-10 can cause dryness, itching, and disruption to the layer of sebum that protects our face and scalp from free radicals, microbes, and pollution.
Our shampoo bars are formulated for your hair, but make a great all-in-one shampoo and body wash. If you experience tight, dry, or itchy skin after using regular soap, consider our shampoo bars for sole cleanser. Our normal/fine bar for normal to oily skin, and our dry/damaged bar for dry skin or just added boost of skin softening and moisturizing.
Sodium cocoyl isethionate (SCI) - Provides skin and hair care benefits and serves as a fantastic alternative to harsher, drying cleansers (like sulfates). It is slightly acidic at a pH of 4.5-6.5 and is derived from coconut and sometimes palm, it is biodegradable and considered natural. SCI brings a rich, foamy lather to our shampoo bars and soon to be released shaving bars and face cleansing bars. It gently cleanses with minimal disruption to skin and scalp's natural protective barriers.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSa) - Another coconut derived cleanser that meets ECOCERT standards. It is not the same thing as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)—it is a much gentler surfactant. This cleanser works in conjunction with SCI to produce a long-lasting lather with lots of bubbles. It provides for a thorough cleansing the first time, eliminating the need for multiple washes (my personal "pet peeve" with many natural shampoos).
Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Capb) - A liquid cleanser derived from coconuts that is extremely gentle on the skin and provides added smoothing and softening to our hair care products. Combined with our other surfactants, we get a very gentle and thorough cleanser that is concentrated and appropriate for all skin types, from head to toe.
Behentrimonium methosulfate (BTMS 50) - This conditioning agent is derived from the rapeseed plant (also known as Canola or Colza). It gives our products the most luxurious, wonderful skin feel and leaves hair feeling stunning, silky, and easy to comb. BTMS is the main ingredient in our conditioner bar and provides a concentrated form of conditioner. Rinse off for a light conditioning and detangling or apply as a leave-in condition to shape and define curls. A small amount goes a long way. We also love this as a super softening aftershave for making those legs/faces/whatever super silky and smooth.
Cetyl Alcohol - Provides some conditioning and emollience to our conditioner bars but largely is used to provide a hard, long last bar that will allow you to use just what you need with over applying. Remember our products are concentrated and you don't need very much for them to be effective.
The above ingredients make up the bases for our cleansing and conditioning bars. From there we incorporate various additives to bring out the health and vitality of your hair. These include...
Coconut & Jojoba Oil - Sooth, moisturize, and protect your hair. Jojoba oil is actually a liquid wax that structurally and chemically very similar to the human sebum produced by the skin's sebaceous glands. It is non-toxic, non-comedogenic and non-allergenic with a non-greasy feel.
Hydrolyzed Rice Protein - Rice is one of mankind's most ancient and valued sources of nutrients! This protein is rich in amino acids beneficial to hair and skin. It has been shown to significantly increase total hair volume by up to 32%. It also adds natural shine and highlights to the hair. By increasing the ability of the hair and skin to bind moisture, it leads to increased flexibility and tensile strength. On the skin, the increased moisture retention creates a more hydrated and elastic surface. We love this ingredient in our shampoo and conditioning formulations for normal/fine hair. It boosts volume and shine while helping your hair to grow thicker and more voluminous.
Honeyquat - A naturally derived conditioning agent made from honey with excellent moisture binding capabilities. It is able to penetrate hair to provide its moisturizing benefits over time while providing shine and luster while reducing static in dried hair. We love this ingredient in our shampoo and conditioning formulations for dry, damaged, or curly hair. I originally formulated this for my own teen 'Curly Girl' and I love how soft it makes her curls.
Panthenol (V-B5) - Panthenol is absorbed in the skin and hair becomes Vitamin B5. It improves the health, elasticity, and moisture retention of hair and skin.
Phenoxyethanol & Caprylyl Glycol - These are the active ingredients of the preservative we add to our shampoo and conditioner bars. A preservative is necessary to ensure the stability of our formulations and ensure there are no fungal or bacterial growths.