When Martha first started training me on OHA products, I had to stop her at the part where she said that almost every organic skin care line (besides OHA, of course) refines, bleaches and/or deodorizes their essential oils (or buys pre-processed oils). Other companies can pass as organic and natural when they’re actually using adulterated oils. This matters. Here’s why:
Bleaching removes all natural color, but also removes any life force that an essential oil may have had. Think about when you use bleach. When I think of bleach, I think of the time my summer camp got flooded and we had to bleach every surface to kill the bacteria that may have washed into the cabins and dining hall. You might think of sterile kitchens, or removing stains from your load of laundry. This is all because bleach kills. In some situations, bleach may be helpful, but in the world of nutritious oils it renders the oils lifeless and colorless. It’s due to bleaching that most skin care products on the market are white. The only truly white product in the OHA line is the Cleansing Milk, but that’s due to the mass amounts of Coconut Milk, not some crazy bleaching process.
In attempts to stabilize oils, most essential oil suppliers will add hydrogen, phosphoric acid or sodium hydroxide. The purpose of all of this is to kill fatty acids, thereby giving the product a much longer shelf life. Trouble is that fatty acids are AWESOME for your skin. They replenish moisture and have fantastic restorative properties. Why would you want to prolong the shelf life of an essential oil if it isn’t going to be nutritious or beneficial? It seems downright wasteful to me.
What about boiling? Heating oils at high temperatures steams off all the nutrients that that oil once contained. Think of it this way: have you ever overcooked a head of broccoli? It comes out a sad, brown, wilty pile with almost no flavor. It’s also lost the vast majority of its nutrient content and aroma. The same thing happens to essential oils. I could go on a tangent about the Raw Food Movement, but I’ll try to stay on track, here…
You might be wondering why skin care formulators would even touch refined, bleached and/or deodorized oil, seeing as how it’s basically lifeless once it’s been processed. It just so happens that using refined oils is a lot simpler and cheaper because the smells are easier to control, the colors are more what the consumer expects, and the oils aren’t as expensive for formulators to purchase when they have a longer shelf life. The key difference between OHA and those other companies is that OHA is made with uncompromisingly pure oils, never refined, bleached, or deodorized, because those oils are what are most nutritious for your skin.
Kind of comforting, right?
Until Next Time,
PS: We love your comments and questions. Ask away!