We are extremely demanding regarding the quality of our ingredients. We firmly believe that the cornerstone of a good skin care product is irreproachable raw materials. From the outset, oOlution made the choice to use only organic or sustainably produced ingredients. Not only does this allow us to offer the best possible cosmetics, but protects the planet and the health of farmers.
100% high-quality ingredients with a purpose
In cosmetics, the concept of ingredient quality is virtually absent. A few ‘showcase’ active ingredients are promoted, even when these represent a very low percentage of the product’s composition. The components found in the largest quantity in most cosmetic products have no other purpose than to facilitate their formulation and have – at best – no beneficial effect on the skin. At oOlution, we have always asked ourselves why, when we are well aware that making good food relies on the quality of the ingredients we use, we don’t have the same concerns when it comes to our skin?
To increase our cosmetics’ quality and effectiveness, oO refuses to use esterified or hydrogenated mineral oils as the basis of our formulations. Rather, we are enthusiasts of natural vegetable oils, which have many beneficial properties thanks to their multiple active substances (vitamins, antioxidants, etc.). In our view, products full of mineral oils (petroleum-derived products) or ingredients that have been esterified or hydrogenated are low quality and unworthy of your skin!
Why doesn’t oOlution use esterified oils?
- What are esterified oils?
These are vegetable oils that have been broken down and joined with other molecules. The resulting esterified oils have lost the beneficial properties of the original pure plant-based oils and so no longer have any particular effectiveness for the skin. Esterified oils often feature at the top of the list of ingredients in cosmetics, meaning that they exist in the formulation in the highest proportions. This at the expense of pure plant-based oils, which are of much higher quality. The vastly lower cost of esterified oils is due to the fact that most often they are industrially produced from palm oil, which is very inexpensive.
- Why doesn’t oOlution use them?
Esterified oils are mainly used in cosmetics as cheap filler ingredients, allowing the product’s sales price to be lowered. Largely stripped of the active substances that give pure plant-based oils their beneficial properties, they serve little purpose for the skin. Furthermore, almost all of them are derived from palm oil, plantations of which are the cause of mass deforestation in Southeast Asia and Africa.
- How can you tell if a product contains esterified oils?
In the list of ingredients, the most common esterified oils appear as:
- Caprylic/capric triglyceride
- Decyl oleate
- Dicaprylyl ether
- Isopropyl palmitate
- Oleyl erucate
- Oleyl linoleate
Often, esterified oils are one of the first ingredients listed, which means they are found in the highest quantity.
- Are esterified oils essential for improving the texture of an organic skin care cream?
In the cosmetics industry, it is considered that the ‘tactility’ of esterified oils is superior to that of natural vegetable oils, giving a cream a more pleasant texture. In this way they are compared to silicones, petroleum-derived ingredients that give non-organic products a smooth and agreeable texture. oO set itself the objective of proving that it is possible to create products with a soft, delicate, light texture without silicone, without esterified oils and without the slightest drop of palm oil. Given our high standards for our products’ texture, this was very tricky to achieve, but we never gave up! Today, we are extremely proud to have been able to reconcile an ethical, organic product with exceptional sensory appeal.
- Can esterified ingredients ever have another purpose rather than simply as a filler?
In certain rare cases they can. For example, we use an ingredient (glyceryl caprylate) that is produced through the esterification of coconut oil and improves the stability and conservation of our formulations. Present in low amounts in our products, it shares nothing in common with a filler ingredient used only to reduce the sales cost ... this may go without saying, but it’s better to say it!
Organic or sustainably harvested active substances
100% organic plant-based active substances
As our watchword is ‘all natural’, insisting on organic raw materials is logical. We believe it is the only way to ensure products that contain the purest and healthiest ingredients possible. This is why 100% of our plant-based active ingredients are organic or from sustainably harvested wild plants. The raw materials used to formulate our skin care products have never been in contact with synthetic pesticides, so there is no risk to your skin of pesticide residues.
By choosing plants that are cultivated organically, we also have the health of the farmer who grows and harvests them in mind, as well as the health of the soil that nourishes them, and the groundwater that sustains them. Organic methods also better promote biodiversity; in particular, they protect honeybees, whose population is decreasing due to insecticide use.
Lastly, by choosing organic products (food, cosmetic or other) when it’is possible, we can make a real difference and have a positive impact on the living world! Nearly all our ingredients are organic certified. However, certification is a process hardly accessible for small producers because of significant costs and administratively complicated. In order to avoid excluding small producers who work according to traditional agriculture (that we call “organic”), we have made some exceptions.
Virtually all the cultivated ingredients we use have been certified organic by an accredited agency. However, the certification process is less accessible to small producers because it is very expensive and complicated from an administrative point of view. To avoid excluding small producers who practice traditional methods of agriculture (which are in fact organic), we’ve made a few exceptions. For example, our seaweed extracts come from seaweed harvested wild from the sea or cultivated using neither pesticides nor chemical fertilizers.
We work on the basis of trust with small producers who share our convictions and refuse to use chemical products in their farming. Although organic certification would be more practical for us, we believe a supportive, human approach is also important.
Organic farming or wild harvesting?
Both! Some of the plants we use are not farmed at all, but rather grow wild, such as the shea tree, whose nuts are gathered to make shea butter. As with our products from organic farming, the wild plants we use grow in areas that have never been in contact with pesticides or chemical fertilizers. This is why we regard them as organic as well.
We verify that the harvesting of any of the plants we use is sustainable, meaning that it is not too intensive and doesn’t compromise the existence of the plant in the territory where it is harvested. For example, in the product Whole Again we use a natural bisabolol extract from the Candéia tree in Brazil. To ensure the continued existence of this tree in the region, we launched a Candéia tree-planting programme with the NGO Amanhágua.
Is oO truly organic?
Our company is obsessed by ingredients. We are also committed to transforming our intentions into acts. The result: oOlution exceeds the standards of all existing labels. We have created our own mission statement, which is as transparent as it is inflexible:
100% of the ingredients in all of our products are of natural origin (vs a minimum 95% for other labels), which means there is not even a trace of any synthetic or questionable ingredient or filler. No need to check the list of things our products are free of (though it’s here if you want to) – it’s too long!
100% of our plant-based active substances are organic or have been sustainably harvested from wild plants (vs a minimum of 95% for other labels).
0% mineral oils, esterified oils or hydrogenated oils (most labels never mention these).
0% products derived from palm oil (most labels never mention these).
Given the jungle of complicated labels, all of whose requirements we exceed, we’ve chosen not to adhere to any one of them specifically, but instead to create our own exacting mission statement that allows us to follow through on all our convictions!