These are a Few of My Favourite Things - My Fave Ingredients!

Making skincare products that work is all about the quality of the ingredients. There's so many personal faves I have found, but I thought I'd talk about two today - Organic Hemp Virgin Oil and Organic Shea Butter.  And I'm gonna do it while singing 'these are a few of my favourite things.' 

Why Hemp Oil?

It probs appeals to the rebel in me, but I do lurrrrrrrrrrvvvvvvv the feel of hempseed oil in soap, it's creamy and adds a total luxury factor.  All of my facial soaps contain organic hemp oil because of it's Comdogenic Rating of zero (that means there's a zippo, nada chance of causing you to break out after using). It's in our lotions, our sugar scrubs, and even our insane body butter!!  I was wondering why I was getting thank you messages for the face scrubs, but then yes I read the label and it did say "you will be sending me thank you messages" - BUT I really believe its the fantastic ingredients that we put in them that make the difference.

The Comdogenic Rating Scale teaches you about oils and their potential for clogging your pores.  An oil with a zero Comdogenic rating (like hemp) will not clog your pores! Not only is it rich in vitamins A and E, it also contains trace amounts of important minerals like potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium and phosphorus. It is also high in antioxidants, which are elements that prevent or slow cell damage.

Hemp seed oil contains about 60% linoleic acid, a special nutrient that helps regulate sebum production as well as it's quality. Sebum is supposed to lubricate the skin without clogging pores, but when our diets lack enough linoleic acid it can become sticky and easily hardens in the pores. This hardened sebum then becomes a blackhead, whitehead, or acne lesion.  Did you know that you can ingest hemp oil, putting it on your salads and adding it to smoothies in addition to using it topically? I haven't tried that yet.  Have you? 

As an added benefit, hemp seed oil also happens to be one of the best moisturisers out there because it is able to penetrate skin cells and lubricate them. Since it doesn’t clog your pores, it is safe to use daily and will keep your skin radiant and silky smooth.

Topical application (which is why we put it in our soaps, sugar scrubs, lotions and potions) will help you relieve:

• Redness
• Itchiness
• Dry patches
• Blotchy skin
• Skin tone
• Inflammation

It really is an amazeballs (to use one of my daughter's words) oil! I source only organic hemp oil, because of it's purity, and because it's organic it's skin lov'n awesomeness remains unaltered.

Ingredient Number 2!

Shea Butter and why do we choose organic?

Shea butter is a yellowish or ivory-coloured edible natural fat extracted from the almond like fruits of the shea tree. The shea butter comes from the Shea Nut Tree which grows along the West African Savannah region. There are many names to describe it but in Ghana it’s called Nkuto. It's botanical name is Vitellaria paradoxa (previously known as Butyrospermum parkii).

The Shea Butter that I use at JOURNEY is from Gumo – Kumbungu district in Tamale located in the Northern part of Ghana. Our shea butter is sourced directly from women’s co-operatives that operate within the region. It's well known that Ghana has the best shea butter in the world because the nuts have the most desirable chemical balance, and the traditional processing methods create a very clean butter.

I've learned that the Shea Nut Tree pollinates during the harmattan period and cares for itself till after 4 years when it starts to produce fruits. Harvesting of the shea fruit is done between mid May through to end of July, whereas the butter processing usually takes place from June through to August.

Traditionally it has been the women who go and pluck or gather the shea nuts. The women sometimes have to travel as far as 17 kilometres on foot and carry bags in excess of 40kgs on the heads whilst carrying their children on their backs. Working within the shea trade in many cases is the only form and sole source of income for these women and their families.

The chemicals used in the refining process include hexane.  Refining is when they break open the seeds and speed the process of separating the fat, or butter, from the whole of the nut. They also remove any odor and make it smooth. The beneficial properties of the butter change during processing, and perfumes and preservatives are often added. 

Organic shea butter has a nutty aroma, and a dark yellow colour, compared to refined which is odourless and white.

Shea Butter's strengths are it's anti-inflammatory abilities, combined with it's ability to protect your skin against moisture loss.  As we age our skin loses some of it's moisture and I know that I wanna keep as much as I can.  The nurse in me knows that dry skin tears much easier than hydrated, healthy skin. 

Adding chemical during the refining process may compromise these beneficial properties, and increase the chance of allergies or irritation.  There's also the chance that commercially refined shea butter may also contain fillers, such as other inferior oils.

I hope that you fall in love with our soap half as much as I did when making them!!! There's something totally different about handmade soap.  It's the same with lotions and potions though - creating a product that has pronouncable, ethically sourced ingredients is more fun than you would think!  

I've learned to not underestimate the positive impact on someone's life that treating chronic skin conditions will bring..  .. It's absolutely the best thing in the world to see someone smiling from ear to ear !! Their acne is no longer actively red and inflammation is totally gone!!! It's beautiful to see radiant skin.  Skin that you can really feel the difference. 

Good luck everyone and don't forget to shine bright! Thank you for reading about my favourite things. It means a lot. 

Pauline xoxo

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