FAQs about Oola

Oils have their own unique characteristics. Some excel in moisturizing, while others grant a silky lather. Softer soaps (like pure Olive oil soap) are highly nourishing to the skin but won’t have a very long shelf life, as the soft oil will dissolve swiftly.

Also, while Olive oil is lovely on the skin, it is not a great cleanser, which is why Oola adds other oils and butters such as Coconut oil, which a wonderful cleanser as well as a moisturizer. Here is a list of oils and butters you will find in Oola products and their benefits. Olive oil does play a major roll in Oola soap bars as it is gloriously moisturizing and packed with skin-loving properties, antioxidants, vitamins and is exceptionally gentle on the skin.


Oola incorporates harder oils and butters (like coconut oil and shea butter ) to expand  skin loving properties while at the same time producing a harder bar of soap that will have an elongated life span.   Precise measurements are paramount to attain perfect saponification (chemical reactions.)

Oil of Olive – Contains three major antioxidants: vitamin E, polyphenol and phytosterois. These aid in protection of ultraviolet light and helps prevent free radical skin damage. This oil does not clog pores but enhances exfoliation and leaves the skin silky smooth. What does the term free radicals mean? Free radicals are oxygen molecules that lose an electron, which makes them unstable in the body. These unstable molecules interact with cells in the body in a way that can cause damage  which play a large part in the aging process. Fighting free radicals is a great way to retain elasticity in the skin.

Oil of Coconut – An excellent moisturizer as it penetrates easily, creating softer skin. It has been praised through the ages for it’s anti-aging properties. Part of it’s magic is the fact that it is very high in proteins which are natural cell rejuvenators and it is a mighty cleanser. It does not become rancid either, which allows a long shelf life.

Oil of Sustainable Palm – Oola skin care uses only certified sustainable palm oil. (See my FAQ facts about this ingredient with info from the WWFWorld Wildlife Federation.) Palm oil contains the hard to find toctrienols,which are members of the vitamin E family. The common form of vitamin E, tocopherol, has long been used to treat many skin ailments and is found in many anti-aging products. Palm produces much higher amounts of  antioxidants than common vitamin E  (tocopherols.) It penetrates deep into the skin’s layers to enable healing and protection from the base up. Because it provides deep moisturizing properties it promotes soft and supple skin.

Oil of Sunflower – Rich in vitamin E and specifically related to improving skin health and regenerating cells.

Oil of Jojoba – Rich in important vitamins and minerals, including vitamins E and B-complex, zinc, copper, selenium, chromium, and iodine. And guess what? It suits all skin types. It is light, non-sticky, odour less, and has a long shelf life.

Oil of Rice Bran – May  boost the protective quality of skin cells, keeping foreign toxins and pathogens from entering through the skin.

Oil of Vitamin E – Blocks free radicals from skin and is a great moisturizer. 
What does the term free radicals mean? Free radicals are oxygen molecules that lose an electron, which makes them unstable in the body. These unstable molecules interact with cells in the body in a way that can cause damage  which play a large part in the aging process. Fighting free radicals is a great way to retain elasticity in the skin.

Shea Butter – Due to its cinnamic acid and other natural properties, Shea butter is an anti-inflammatory. It is a collagen booster and aides in the repair skin from sun and weather damage.

Oil of Castor – Castor oil has long been used to fight acne. It penetrates deep into the skin, fighting bacteria that can clog pores, while at the same time softening and hydrating irritated skin. Castor is the catalyst for foamy soap bubbles!

Cocoa Butter – Another skin moisturizer that melts at room temperature, which makes it ideal for your skin. This is a super healthy fat, that naturally hydrates and is a lovely ingredient for people with sensitive skin.

OTHER oils/ingredients Oola uses in products such as body lotion.

Oil of Avocado – Avocado is a dynamo in terms of skin health. Effective in boosting collagen production and in treating age spots, avocado oil softens the skin. This oil is high in lecithin, a lipid that helps deliver nutrients directly to the bloodstream and deeper layers of the skin.

OIl of Sweet Almond – This is a heavenly oil known for treating signs of aging, treating wrinkles and fine lines, reducing dry skin and overall creating joy on a cellular level.

Oil of Grapeseed –  absorbs quickly to improve skin’s moisture, softness, and ability to bounce back. Helps the vitamin E and vitamin C in your skin to be more efficient and effective at preserving your skin.

Glycerin – Glycerin works by drawing water molecules and sealing them in to the skin. It removes impurities without negating the good natural oils our skin thrives on. It does not leave an oily feel either which many lotions have a tendency to do. Known to work really well on reducing stretch marks too.

Distilled Water – Distilled water offers the elimination of water borne contaminants. Distilled water has no toxic metal or industrial pollutants.

Green Tea Extract – This signature Oola preparation is a powerful cellular defender. When methodically amalgamated with the rest of the carefully chosen ingredients, the result is a soothing lotion that penetrates deep within the skin.

Emulsifying wax – This wax works a treat when combining oils and water into a stable emulsion.

Stearic Acid – Don’t let the name fool you. It is a naturally occurring fatty acid and is used in very small amounts to help reduce the surface tension of  liquid in which it is dissolved. It aides in the emulsification process to make the lotion a wee bit thicker, creating lotion that will last a long time.

*As with all body products you purchase (wherever that may be)  it is advisable to test a small amount on a patch of skin to be sure there are no reactions. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional skin care provider for serious skin issues.*

Do you use lye (sodium hydroxide) in your soaps and if so, why?

The next two sentences are fascinating.

One must use lye (aka sodium hydroxide) in order to make soap. No ifs, ands or buts.

There is no lye in soap.

How is this possible you ask?

Once again, science proves itself to be a magician. You see, once sodium hydroxide (lye) is combined with water, and subsequently mixed with oils/butters etc., it goes through a process known as saponification.

In cold process soap making, once the ‘batter’ has been saponified and has had a month to cure, what is left is pure soap and the sodium hydroxide has chemically transformed into an inert ingredient and is literally no longer in the product. 
I like to say, ‘transformation in the form of chemical reaction.’

Sodium hydroxide on its own is not to be trifled with and one must be exceedingly careful with it, avoiding contact with skin, eyes, surrounding work spaces, etc. Animals and small children should not be in the vicinity of it either. Goggles, gloves, long sleeves and covered legs are a must.  When working with sodium hydroxide, there is no wiggle room for error, therefore one should be well versed in the handling of it. Vinegar should also be on hand, for if, by some chance a drop does touch the skin, the vinegar will calm the area by neutralizing the lye.

So, do I use lye in soap making?  Yes

Is there lye in my finished soap bars? No.

Amazing facts in relation to lye and its ability to chemically transform from a caustic to a neutral, and its uses in food, some of which you have surely eaten.

What gives pretzels and some bagels that zingy top flavour and glossy finish? A lye bath. Of course lye is extremely caustic,so typically the pretzels/bagels are given a brief bath in boiling water after a quick dip in a lye solution. The subsequent boil or bake neutralizes the alkali, making it safe to eat.

Did you know that Norway, Sweden and Finland have a traditional Christmas white fish dish that uses lye in the recipe? The fish is soaked in cold water for several days,then in a cold lye water solution for several more, then back to cold water baths for another few days, and then steamed or baked.

Chemical reactions are completely intriguing when one begins to research. I will leave you with one particular chemical reaction of an every day product that most everyone uses (not lye related – but equally fascinating.)

It is the combining of sodium (Na),which explodes when it touches water combined with chlorine (Cl), which is a toxic gas.

When combined however, the chemical reaction creates table salt, which is perfectly safe to ingest.

Talk about a transformation in the form of chemical reaction!

My point here is that science, and in these cases, chemistry, is astounding.

Sustainable Palm Oil vs Non-Sustainable – there is a difference.

This is quite the debate these days. However, after sustained and in-depth research I have concluded that I am in agreement with the World Wildlife Federation, which both encourages and supports the development and usage of sustainable palm oil.Why?

Well, let’s take a closer look at the facts.

I am taking a sideways step for a moment with an excellent analogy – Fair Trade/Direct trade Coffee. One reason I use this analogy is that coffee is the second biggest liquid consumed in the world, save for water. Bear with me and you will see why I am making this analogy.

The URL below will give you info on coffee and deforestation/erosion etc. I highly encourage you to read it. https://ohiostate.pressbooks.pub/sciencebites/chapter/a-bitter-brew-coffee-production-deforestation-soil-erosion-and-water-contamination/

Here is a quick quote from the above URL.   “For every cup of coffee consumed, it is almost certain that one square inch of rain forest was destroyed.  Chemical buildup in soils and loss of forest shade are consequences of mass coffee production. This leads to chemical runoff polluting rivers, land and aquatic wildlife dying, soil eroding, and land degradation.Once lush rain forests are twisted into barren landscapes, which forever alters the ecological balance of this ecosystem.   Exploitative coffee production leads to massive deforestation.”

Fair Trade/Direct Trade coffee (aka Sustainable coffee.)Here is a URL about Fair Trade and why it is so important in relation to the above statement.    https://groundsforchange.com/blogs/learn/fair-trade-coffee

And a quick quote from the above URL.

“Fair trade (sustainable) certified coffee directly supports a better life for farming families in the developing world through fair prices,community development and environmental stewardship.”

 Fair trade coffee plantations must meet standards for the environment and the people working on it, including fair wages, good working conditions and social/cultural fabric of the land and its people. Look for Fair Trade or Direct Trade labels.

So why this analogy? Coffee is omni-present, as is Palm oil.

Important Fact:  Perhaps even the most important fact in this debate.

For argument sake, let’s say all palm oil production was to halt this very minute. As quoted from the Palm Investigations web site https://www.palmoilinvestigations.org/is-boycott-the-answer.html   “Oil palm is a highly productive crop yielding more oil from less land than any other vegetable oil. If we were to switch to another oil seed crop, more land would be required to produce the same amount of oil.” Plus this tree produces two kinds of oil, both palm (from the pulp of the fruit) and palm kernel (from the seeds.)

Consumers need to understand that not all palm oil is bad. Not all palm oil is wiping out habitat and killing species. It can be farmed and produced in a responsible and ethical manner. Palm oil production has become an important source of income and a major part of the economy in the regions where it is grown, providing livelihoods for local communities and helping to lift people out of poverty. Support the brands that are sourcing responsibly and avoid those that are not. Look for sustainablepalm oil on ingredient lists.

If your ingredient list says ‘vegetable oil or fats’, it is most likely palm oil. That is why the term ‘vegetable oil’ is misleading. If you are using vegetable oil, you are using palm oil. Palm oil is part of the vegetable oil family. If a product has any saturated fats, it is most likely palm oil.

 Like coffee, palm oil is not going anywhere. It is omni-present in fact. Palm oil goes by approx. 250 other names so if you think you can quickly scan a product for it, you would be sorely mistaken. You will have to look for 250 other possible names. I will list them at the bottom of this page.

Like Fair Trade/Direct Trade coffee, Sustainable Palm oil plantations must follow strict guidelines for not only land usage (including not encroaching on or cutting down existing forests)  but for working conditions, fair wages and prices and development for the mostly small farm owners and their communities.

Palm oil is found in well over 50 percent of food  items in stores and also in a plethora of other products including house paints, artist paints, oil pastilles, yeast for bread, ice cream, cleaning products, wax, candles,pet and animal food, lubricants,candles, pizza dough, crayons, detergent, diesel, biofuel and yes, vegetable oil. The list is endless and might be listed under ‘palm’ or perhaps under one of the other 250 names.

I see quite the equal sign between both these debates in that neither of them are going away but both can be maintained.

By the way,  from what I have researched thus far, soy beans may very well be the biggest culprit in causing deforestation and species annihilation at this time. Soy milk, tofu, soybean oil, salad dressings, many packaged food items including crackers etc., animal food, particleboard, laminated plywood,
flooring, carpets, counter tops, soy crayons etc.etc. etc., all use soy-based adhesives.

In closing, since palm oil is so omni-present, I would rather support sustainable palm oil farmers then not.  Unfortunately, with both palm oil and coffee alike, one has to trust and do research on their suppliers. It will never be perfect but if you find trusted sources and read your labels, you can, in both cases, make a difference.

Here are the other 250  names that palm oil falls under.

​A- Z alternate names for palm oil.
Acetic and fatty acid esters of glycerol
Acetylated Monoglycerides
Alkylamidopropyl betaine​
Alkyl alcohol
Alkyl betaine
Alkyl ether sulfate ​ 
Alkyl Polyglucoside
Aluminum Myristates/Palmitates
Aluminium stearate
Aluminium, calcium, sodium, magnesium salts of fatty acids
Amidopropyl betaine
Ammonium laureth sulphate
Ammonium lauryl sulphate
Amphoteric surfactant
Anionic surfactant ​
Arachamide mea
Ascorbyl palmitate (304)
Ascorbyl stearate
Azelaic acid
​Beta Carotene
Behentrimonium Methosulfate
Butyl Myristate
Butyl stearate
Calcium lactylate
Calcium Myristate
Calcium oleyl lactylate
Calcium stearate
Calcium stearoyl lactylate
Capric triglyceride
Caprylic acid
Caprylic / Capric Glycerides
Caprylic triglyceride
Caprylic/capric triglyceride
Caprylic/capric/stearic triglyceride
Capryloyl glycine
Caprylyl glycol
Carboxylic acid soap
Carotene (Sometimes made from palm)
Castile soap (often from palm)
Ceteareth (2-100)
Ceteareth mbsfl laurethulanate ​
Ceteareth mbhe laurethulanate​
Cetearyl alcohol
Cetearyl ethylhexanote
Cetearyl glucoside
Cetearyl isononanoate
Cetearyl and Sorbitan Olivate 
Cetostearyl Alcohol
Cetrimonium Bromide
Cetremonium Chloride 
Cetyl acetate
Cetyl alcohol
Cetyl ethylhexanoate
Cetyl hydroxyethylcellulose
Cetyl lactate
Cetyl Myristate
Cetyl octanoate
Cetyl palmitate
Cetyl ricinoleate
​Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide 
Cetyltrimethylammonium chloride
Citric and fatty acid esters of glycerol
Cocoa butter equivalent (CBE)
Cocoa butter substitute (CBS)
Cocamide DEA
Cocamide MEA
Cocamidopropyl betaine
​Coco Polyglucose
Cocoyl Sarcosine 
Conditioning emulsifier
Decyl Glucoside
Decyl Myristate
Decyl oleate
Diacetyltartaric acid esters of monoglycerides 
Diacetyltartaric and fatty acid esters of glycerol
Dicaprylyl ether​ 
Dicocoylethyl Hydroxyethylmonium Methosulfate
Dihydroxystearic acid​ 
Dilinoleic acid
Dipalmitoylethyl hydroxyethylmonium methosulfate​
Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate
Disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate
Distilled Monoglyceride Palm
Elaeis guineensis
Emulsifiers: E304, E422, E430, E431, E432, E433, E434, E435, E436, E470, E470a, E470b, E471, E472, E472a, E472b, E472c, E472e, E472f, E473, E474, E475, E476, E477, E478, E479, E480, E481, E482, E483, E493, E494, E495
Emulsifying wax
Epoxidized palm oil (uv cured coatings)
Esters of Myristic Acid
​Ethoxylated Lauryl Alcohol 
Ethoxylated Monoglycerides
Ethoxylated SMS
Ethoxylated SMO
Ethoxylated STS
Ethyl lauroyl arginate (243)
Ethyl myristate
Ethyl palmitate
Ethylene glycol diesters
Ethylene glycol monoesters
Ethylene glycol monostearate
Ethyl hexyl Esters-2
Ethylhexyl hydroxystearate
Ethylhexyl Isononanoate​
Ethylhexyl Myristate
Ethylhexyl Palminate
Ethylhexyl palmitate
Ethylhexyl stearate
Etyl Palmitate
Fatty acids
Fatty acid methyl esters​ (FAME)
Fatty alcohol alkoxylate
Fatty alcohol sulphates
Fatty amines
Fatty isethionate
FP(K)O – Fractionated Palm Oil​
Fractionated Palm Oil​
Glycerin or glycerol (442)
Glycerol esters
Glyceryl cocoate
Glyceryl Dimyristate
Glyceryl distearate
Glyceryl laurate
Glyceryl Linoleate​
Glyceryl monostearate
Glyceryl myristate
Glyceryl oleate
Glyceryl polymethacrylate
Glyceryl Rosinate
Glyceryl stearate
Glyceryl stearate SE
Glycol distearate
Glycol stearate
Guineesis (palm)
Hexadecanoic acid​
Hexyl laurate
Humectant 422
Humectant glycerol
Hydrated palm glycerides
Hydrogenated palm glycerides
Isoamyl Laurate​ 
Isobutyl Myristate
Isocetyl alcohol
Isocetyl Myristate
Isocetyl stearate
Isodecyl Myristate
Isodecyl oleate​
Isononyl Isononanoate 
Isopropyl esters
Isopropyl isostearate 
Isopropyl Myristate
Isopropyl palmitate
Isopropyl titanium triisostearate
Isostearamide DEA
Isostearate DEA
Isostearic acid
Isostearyl alcohol
Isostearyl isostearate​
Isostearyl Myristate
Isostearyl neopentanoate
Isotridecyl Myristate
Lactic and fatty acid easters of glycerol
Lactylated Monoglycerides
Lauramide DEA
Lauramide MEA
Lauramine oxide
Laureth (Laureth-1, Laureth-2, Laureth-3, Laureth-5, Laureth-6, Laureth-7, Laureth-8, Laureth-9, Laureth-10, Laureth-11, Laureth-12, Laureth-13, Laureth-14, Laureth-15, Laureth-16, Laureth-20, Laureth-21, Laureth-25, Laureth-30, Laureth-38, Laureth-40, Laureth-50) source
Lauric acid
Lauroyl sarcosine
​Lauryl Alcohol
Lauryl Alcohol Ethoxylates
Lauryl betaine
Lauryl dimonium hydrolysed collagen​
Lauryl lactate
Lauryl glucoside (from palm)
Lauryl Myristate
Lauryl pyrrolidone
Lauryl Sarcosine 
Lecithin Isopropyl Palm Oil
Levulinic Acid
Linoleic acid
Magnesium myristate
Magnesium stearate
Metallic salts of lactylic esters of fatty acids
Methyl Myristate
Mixed tartaric, acetic and fatty acid esters of glycerol
Mono and di-glycerides of fatty acids
Mono glycerides of fatty acids
Monoglyceride citrate 
Myreth 3 Myrisrate​
Myristic acid
Myristic Cetrimonium Chloride Acid
Myristyl myristate
Myristoyl Sarcosine
Myristoyl Sarcosinate
Myristyl alcohol
Myristyl myristate
N-Butyl Esters
Nonionic surfactant
Octadecanoic acid​
Octyl palmitate
Octyl stearate
Octyldodecyl myristate
Octydodecyl stearate
Octyldodecyl stearoyl stearate
Oleamide MIPA
Oleic acid
Oleyl betaine
Oleyl Myristate
Oleoyl Sarcosine
​Olivem 1000
Oliv-wax LQC
OPKO – Organic Palm Kernel Oil
Palm fruit oil
Palmitoleic acid​
Palm kernel amidopropyl amine oixde
Palm kernel amidopropyl betaine​
Palm kernel cake
Palm Kernel Diethanolamide​ ​ 
Palm kernel oil
Palm Kernel Olein
Palm Kernel Stearin
Palm oil
Palm olein oil
Palm stearine
Palmitamidopropyl betaine​
Palmitamidopropyltrimonium chloride
​Palmitic acid 
Palmitoyl acid
Palmitoyl alcohol
Palmitoyl myristyl serinate
Palm oleic acid
Palmitoyl oligopeptide
Palmitoyl oxostearamide
Palmitoyl tetrapeptide 
Palmitoleic acid
Palm Methyl Ester 
PBS Base
Partially hydrogenated Palm Oil
​PEG-150 Distearate
Pentaerythritol tetra caprai caprylate
Pentaerythrityl tetracaprylate/tetracaprate
Pentaerythrityl tetraisostearate
Peptide complex
PG dicaprylate/caprate 
PHPKO – Partially hydrogenated Palm Oil
PKO – Palm Kernel Oil
PKO fractionations: Palm Kernel Stearin (PKs); Palm Kernel Olein  
PK oleic acid
Planta cleanse
Polyethylene (40) stearate (431)
Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids
Polyglycerol esters of interesterified ricinoleic acid
Polyglycerol-2 oleyl ether
Polyglyceryl-3 dilisostearate
Polyglyceryl-3 Palmitate​ 
Polyglyceryl-4 isostearate
Polyglyceryl-4 laurate
Polyglyceryl-4 oleyl ether
Polysorbate 60 or polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monostearate
Polysorbate 65 or polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan tristearate
Polysorbate 80 or polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monoolate
Potassium Cetyl Phosphate​
Potassium Myristate
Potassium stearate
​Propanediol dicaprylate
Propylene Glycol Alginate​ 
Propylene glycol esters of fatty acids
Propylene glycol laurate
Propylene glycol monoester
Propylene Glycol Myristate
Propylene glycol stearate
Retinyl palmitate
Saponified elaeis guineensis
Saturated Fatty acid 
sodium alkyl sulfate 
Sodium cetearyl sulphate
sodium cocoyl glycinate 
​Sodium cocoyl isethionate 
Sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate
Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (SDS or NaDS)
Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylaye
Sodium lactylate; sodium oleyl lactylate; sodium stearoyl lactylate
Sodium laurate
Sodium laurel
Sodium laureth sulfate
Sodium laureth sulphate
Sodium laureth – 1 sulphate
Sodium laureth – 2 sulphate
​Sodium laureth – 3 sulphate
Sodium laureth-13 carboxylate
Sodium lauroyl lactylate
Sodium lauryl
Sodium lauryl ether sulphate
Sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate
Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate 
Sodium lauryl sulfate
Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate
Sodium lauryl sulphate
Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate
Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate
Sodium Myristate
Sodium palm kernelate
Sodium palm kerneloyl isethionate
Sodium palmate
Sodium palmitate
Sodium polyarylsulfonate​ 
Sodium stearate
Sodium stearoyl Fumarate
Sodium stearoyl glutamate
Sodium stearoyl lactylate
Sodium Trideceth sulphate 
Solubiliser PS20
Sorbitan Caprylate
Sorbitan Cocoate
Sorbitan Diisostearate 
Sorbitan Distearate​ 
​Sorbitan ester
Sorbitan isotearate
Sorbitan laurate
Sorbitan monoglyceride
Sorbitan monolaurate
Sorbitan monopalmitate
Sorbitan monostearate (491)
Sorbitan oleate
​Sorbitan olivate
Sorbitan palmitate
Sorbitan sesquioleate
Sorbitan trioleate
Sorbitan tristearate
Sorbitan tristearate (492)
Sorbitan triglyceride
Stearalkonium chloride
Stearalkonium hectorite
Stearamide MEA
Stearamidopropyl dimethylamine
Stearic acid 
Stearic acid or fatty acid (570)
Stearoyl sarcosine
Stearyl alcohol
Stearyl dimethicone
Stearyl heptanoate
Stearyl Stearoyl Stearate​ 
Stearyl tartarate 
Stearyltrimethylammonium Chloride​​
Stearoyl lactic acid
Stearoyl Sarcosine 
Steartrimonium chloride
Succinylated monoglycerides
Sucrose esters of fatty acids
Sucrose stearate
Sucroseesters of fatty acids
Sulphonated Methyl Esters​
Surfactant CCG
TEA-lauryl sulphate
Tetradecyloctadecyl Myristate
TMP esters
Tocotrienols (Vitamin E) 
Tocopherols (Vitamin E)
​Tocopheryl linoleate 
Triacetin (1518)
Tricaprylyl Citrate​ 
Tridecyl Myristate
Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2  
Vegetable emulsifier
Vegetable glycerin
Vegetable Oil
Vitamin A palmitate
Yeast with 491
Zinc Myristate
Zinc stearate


Preservatives in lotion made with WATER.

Preservatives are vast and variable.There are too many to list here so I will share some key points and add a few links of resources should you like to do a little research on your own.  I hope this information will help you understand why Oola Body Care must use a small percentage
(approx. one percent) of a preservative in our lotions (which are formulated with distilled water) for both health and legal reasons. 

Are they necessary?

Of course the answer we would all hope for is …no. But, the truth is that when water is involved, they are very necessary in order to protect you and the ones you love from horrid things like staph infections and ill health. Lotion products one buys from stores are so thoroughly preserved that they basically own an infinite shelf life. Oola has researched the most effective all ranging preservatives, come to conclusions and calculated the dosage to keep lotions safe for use while not overdosing the product.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad information out in the big world reguarding preservatives.


Water = preservative

No water =  no preservative

Water. When crafting skin care products with water (or when products come in contact with water) one should always use a preservative.This is not true when using say, a bath bomb, or an individual sugar scrub, as that would be considered a single use product. You add it to your bath water and it melts/dissipates and is gone. You do not need a preservative when making oil based lip balms as there is no water used in its formulation.

Think of food poisoning. If you have ever had it you must remember that you had no inkling when you were eating the infected food that there was anything wrong with it. Bacteria can be minuscule. You can place a half million bacteria on a teaspoon of food and it will look and smell completely normal.

WATER. Water is a hotbed for microbes, mold and bacteria!

‘All Natural.’ Saying a product is all natural and therefore does not need a preservative is the exact opposite of being true. Think about items in your fridge that are ‘all natural’ like cheese, yoghurt, milk and meat. Think about their life in a fridge. These have expiry dates (short life expiry dates) and their life is contingent on you keeping those products in the fridge.  Part of what makes them ‘natural’ is the fact that they are made up of things that microbes etc. want and love to eat. Even if kept in the fridge, we all know fuzzy things will begin to grow quite quickly on them.  Many nasty infiltrators are not even visible to the naked eye. Oola lotion uses 99 percent natural ingredients such as avocado oil, grapeseed oil, etc. and also about one percent of a preservative. But,this less than one percent is keeping you and the ones you love safe from a possible unwanted visit to the hospital.

IF you are making your own lotions and think, “I am only making/giving this for me or to friends and family, am not selling it, and therefore don’t need a preservative,” think again. Why would someone put the people closest to them at risk of a staph infection? Sure, they might be less likely to sue you, but if you love them (and yourself) I would assume you want to keep them (and you) safe. One would not serve a smelly piece of chicken to a family member and say “Don’t worry, it’s all natural.” We love them too much to make them sick or put them at risk.

If water based lotion was going to be left in the fridge for three days and is completely used up in that time then perhaps a preservative could be eliminated. However, it is highly unlikely a person would use an 8oz./ 4oz.  bottle of lotion in that time and really, who wants to apply fridge cold lotion? My point here is that if you ever make your own lotion and keep it in the fridge for an extremely short time frame then perhaps you could get away with no preservative, but I would not recommend it.

 ‘Allergic to preservatives.’ The percentage of people who are truly allergic to all preservatives is less than two percent. If you think you are in this category then all lotions on all shelves will not meet your requirements and I would stick with making your own, keeping it in the fridge and using it within two to three days. I think it is wiser to have a minimum preservative then a nasty staph infection or many of the other fast growing bacteria that congregate in a very short amount of time and can cause horrific results. OR, use only things that have NO waterincluded. It is that simple.

‘Vitamin E is a preservative.’Absolutely not true. It is an antioxidant (a substance that has been said to prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules produced by the body as a reaction to the environment and other pressures.) Vitamin E will do absolutely nothing to prevent a microbial gathering in a product containing water. This is also true for things like rosemary seed extract, grapeseed extract and sodium lactate.

Just because something has anti-microbial, anti-viral properties, such as tea tree oil or other essential oils, this does not mean preservation by any means. These have no bearing on the shelf life of a product containing water.

Even with a broad spectrum preservative one should be careful with their products. Don’t leave it in the direct sun, try not to have it come into contact with your (or someone else’s) open hands as that invites outside germs and bacteria into the lime light. This is why a pump bottle is much more effective in keeping your product safer then say an open jar.

Things like milk, clay, and botanicals are harder to preserve. So adding goat milk to a lotion will make it much harder to preserve. Preservatives do their best to fight bacteria but are not eternal super heroes.

Things like floral water, aloe vera juice, and tea are no different than simple water. Aloe juice for example is ninety-nine percent water. Using botanicals would be more likely to spoil faster than if one used simple water. So in these cases, a preservative is even more essential.

Here are a few URL’s. Being informed helps us all make good decisions. FYI, after much deliberation and research,Oola Body Care decided on Optiphen/Optiphen Plus and Liquid Germall Plus and use these at the lowest effective requirements.   http://makingskincare.com/preservatives/



What are they? How do they differ?

Let’s delve into this interesting ocean of liquid facts.

One important fact is that whether you are talking essentials or aromas, they are all made of chemicals. I hear this sentence a lot, ‘I won’t buy anything made with chemicals.’ I understand, the word chemical connotes fear in some hearts and minds but the world is made of chemicals and essentials are part of this equation.

Lets look at the wonderful orange as an example.
 Oranges contain diverse phytochemicals, including carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein and beta-cryptoxanthin), flavonoids (e.g. naringenin) and numerous volatile organic compounds producing orange aroma, including aldehydes, esters, terpenes, alcohols, and ketones.

I will get to specifics later, but for now, just let the scientific fact that the word chemical does not mean doom and gloom and that the overriding makeup of the world is chemically driven.

Oola uses both essentials and aromas and also some blends of the two. There are reasons to use either or both, depending on the product, the cost and  consumer desires.

With ALL body care products, made with aroma OR essentials, it is a good rule of thumb to test a small amount on your skin.

Essential oils:

FYI: Essential oils (called essentials from here on out) are not actually oils as they do not own lipids in their chemical make-up. Lipids are a varied group of molecules-most of which are insoluble in water. Olive oil, coconut oil etc. are true oils as they contain lipids.

Essentials are highly aromatic soluble liquids that are derived from plant based material. They can be pressed/distilled or extracted.  This material ranges greatly in price depending on how oily this material is. For example, Rose essential is one of the most costly essentials to produce as it requires a massive amount of material to generate an end product. Rose petals are not very oily. It takes approximately half a million rose petals to produce 15 ml of rose essential (approx. one-half ounce.)

It takes about three pounds of lavender flowers to make the same amount of lavender essential  (15ml/ approx. one-half ounce.)

On the other hand, lemon/orange/grapefruit  essentials are  less costly to produce  as the skins of citrus are essential heavy.

While essentials are plentiful, they only go so far, since one needs to rely on the plant material for the scent. In products like lotions,essentials will remain true and will be long lasting. If making soap however, most will fade ( especially any citrus essentials)  very quickly.

Many essentials are known to be healthful to mind, body and spirit with their aroma therapy benefits. Lavender for instance, is often used to instill a feeling of calm. Tea tree holds anti-septic and healing benefits (Note: tea tree oil is NOT a preservative. See my FAQ on preservatives.)  Chamomile is known for soothing the skin and Peppermint is commonly used to uplift, etc.

*Pesticides. It is important to note that if you are purchasing essentials, you may want to research where the company you are buying from sources their materials. Pesticides are extremely common in orange and lemon groves, for preserving roses, lavender etc. Crop growers want to acquire the highest yield from their crops. Just because it says essential oil it does not automatically make it pure and pesticide free.*

Aroma Oils

FYI: Aroma oils (called aromas from here on out) are not actually oils as they do not own lipids in their chemical make-up. Lipids are a varied group of molecules most of which are insoluble in water. Olive oil,coconut oil etc. are true oils as they contain lipids.

Aromas are assembled from a wide variety of highly aromatic chemicals in labs. These can be naturally occurring or synthesized versions of naturally occurring aroma chemicals. 

One strong suit of aromas is that they can literally smell like anything you can dream of. Apples, pears, mangos, grapes, butterscotch and whisky just  to name a few. They don’t require the massive amounts of plant matter that essentials do, so are also much less expensive to make, which keeps the cost of production down as well as end consumer cost down. Aromas can have the same chemicals that essentials have, but have additional synthesized chemicals to create the vast array of aroma choices.  One can also combine essentials and aromas to create unique personal blends, which Oola does frequently. Aromas will also be long lasting in your product.

*Criteria for Skin. There is a big difference between soap and other products when it comes to essentials vs aromas and the health criteria there-in. A lotion gets applied and is left on the skin to absorb.This is why an essential might be preferred to an aroma. On the other hand, with soap, it is administered to the skin and is washed off within a few seconds, which is why an aroma is more than fine. One can use aromas in lotions of course. It is done all the time, but it is just something to bear in mind.*

Aromas do not have the healing benefits of essentials. Though, I have found the smell of lavender, whether essential or aroma, gives me a peaceful feeling. Placebo effect for sure, but if it works psychologically then it too is doing its job on some level I think.


*Less than two percent of people have true fragrant allergies, in both/or either essentials and/or aromas. If you happen to fall in this category your best bet is to buy scentless everything. For those who don’t enjoy certain essentials or aromas, then seek products that are scent free or only lightly scented. One does not have to have an actual allergy to find scents disturbing. By all means buy products that cause pleasure and not annoyance.*

Essentials and aromas are both created from highly fragrant chemicals.

Neither are chemical free.

 You can download certificates of analysis from reputable companies to see this for yourself.(New Directions is great for this by the way.)

This analysis will break down all the chemicals/compounds in your essentials/aromas.

Here is a list of  26 highly fragrant chemicals that overlap in both essentials and aromas (as composed by the EU) that are most likely to cause allergies. I will make bold the ones that overlap in both essentials and aromas and occur naturally in essentials. 

Amyl cinnamal                                   Anise alcohol

Benzyl alcohol                                    Benzyl cinnamate

Cinnamyl alcohol                   Faresol

Citral                                       Butylphenyl

Eugenol                                  Methylpropional

Hydroxycitronellal                 Linalool

Isoeugenol                              Benzyl benzoate

Amyl cinnamyl alcohol           Citronellol Hexyl cinnamal

Benzyl salicylare                     Limonene (d-limonene)

Cinnamal                                Methyl 2-octnoate

Coumarin                               Alpha-Isomethyl ionene

Geraniol                                  Evernia prunastri

Hydoxyisohexy                        Evernia furfuracea

3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde

So if you are sensitive to say Citral, you will have a reaction whether you are using an essential or an aroma.

Once again, as in my other FAQ documents, know your sources. Trust your sources. I am not a chemist and unless you are one, charts and analysis will look like a foreign language …because they are.  One just has to stay as informed  and move forward from there.

You can also look up the IFRA , International Fragrance Association to read about every ingredient that might be used. They check of course for things like carcinogens. One must ask the question, ‘Can they be trusted to evaluate correctly with this science?’ I tend to think yes, in that they certainly don’t want lawsuits because of their approved products, but each person has to come their own conclusions.

I would say to think for yourself, do research and don’t assume anything just because you have read an opinion on the internet or have had a friend tell you their opinion. As with many things, there is a lot of hype on both sides of every equation.

You might feel aromas are just not for you. You might find essentials are not for you. You need to decide what makes you comfortable.  There are no blanket statements when it comes to essentials vs aromas. Be informed and rest easy with whatever decision you end up making.

“There are over 3500 materials (aroma chemicals and essential chemicals)   that are approved for use in the fragrance world. Each individual ingredient is tested for things such as irritation, solvency,absorption, to physical characteristics like flash points, specific gravity and flammability as well as more serious things such as carcinogenic indicators etc. Once an ingredient is fully tested, the results are published in a peer-reviewed journal. A group called RIFM (Research institute for Fragrance Materials) performs all the tests.

The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) is an international organization that represents fragrance manufacturers. IFRA takes the data and reports from RIFM, evaluates it and publishes guidelines for usage. IFRA will make recommendations for which raw materials are safe to use. Often, what is safe for potpourri may not be safe for skin.


What do you colour your soaps with?

The cosmetic  micas used by Oola Body Care (with occasional oxides) are considered nature identical and is the industry standard (since the 1960’s) with approval by CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency), The Department of Health Canada  and the the FDA (Food and Drug Administration, America). Mica is the name given to a group of silicate minerals which can be ground down to a powder. Micas are most often a powder which usually contain a slight shimmer . They are extremely fine which makes for easy mixing with soap batter. They can be bought as liquid, but that is simply pre-mixed powder in glycerin. Cosmetic micas are used in cosmetics from lipstick to eye shadow, blush and or other makeups.

True micas are natural organic deposits  in the earth itself, but mining them has major issues, including lack of child labour laws and creating both poor processing and social conditions. As far as mining mica goes, there has been no sustainable solution as of yet; therefore, it is better to use a natural identical product. Like essentials and aromas, the regulations are clear, and given that soap remains on the skin for such a short period of time, they are safe to use. Mining true mica is extremely expensive.

More on nature identical Mica powder.

It can be opalescent, sparkling or matte. It is available in a myriad of colours that can be used on their own or blended with other micas to create deeper or lighter colours.


‘All Natural’ oxides are strong pigments but are processed and refined and are often combined with toxic metals like lead, arsenic and mercury, to name a few. Regulations for lab based oxides, are as above for micas and used in the cosmetic industry. They are produced in labs to prevent any chance of bacteria or other harmful compounds from contaminating the mix and must follow extremely strict guidelines.

Titanium Dioxide

Titanium Dioxide is a pigment powder that is both bright and refractive and is soothing to the skin. It can be used to brighten colours, especially when using some essential or aroma oils in a mix. Some additions, take orange essential oil x10 for example,will cause a soap batter to turn dark. Using titanium dioxide will lighten the batter to keep it white. Titanium dioxide can be used to brighten any colour really. Blue too dark? Add a wee amount of titanium dioxide and it will turn a lighter shade.

All of the above are used proportionally within the required guidelines of the above mentioned administrations. Meaning, there are formulas on how much of one mica or oxide to add to a specific quantity of soap batter.

Other natural colour additions

Yes, absolutely one can add things such a chlorophyll, annatto seeds (need to be processed), paprika and turmeric to name a few. One must keep in mind that some ‘natural’ ingredients/colours can be super irritating to many skin types and that the colour will fade very quickly. Adding petals to soap is beautiful, at first, but the petals will turn brown rather quickly. Oola has experimented with some of these lovely ideas but find they do not fill the needs of customers. Just because something is ‘natural’ does not make it better. Arsenic is natural but i would not put it on my skin or ingest it!

Infusing flower petals in oil is another way to create colour but one needs to understand that the infusion takes a few weeks to achieve and it will fade in the end product.



Saponified oils of coconut, olive, sunflower, castor, grapeseed, jojoba, cocoa and shea butter, Vitamin B-5 (DL Panthenol), silk powder, citric acid sodium lactate and essentials. These bars are infused with calendula, lavender, comfrey, chamomile and burdock roots from the Oola gardens. Some contain locally sourced – organic goat milk and some contain sourced coconut milk.

One of the ‘secrets’ to the silky Oola Body Care Shampoo Bars comes directly from our garden. There are certain flower petals/buds  that lend themselves to hair care. These beautiful flowers not only aid in the care of the scalp but the hair shafts themselves. Among these are calendula, chamomile, comfrey and lavender. Oola shampoo bar oils are infused with these petals/buds, which are collected and dried right from our garden, over a very low heat for several hours. The result is a shampoo bar infused with goodness. Another additional root that is fabulous for the scalp is burdock root. Oola only uses the finest quality root. The oils and their individual percentages are mightily important due to the fact that all oils have different absorption rates and some are more or less likely to leave residue.

Thus far, everyone who has given Oola Body Care feedback, has specifically mentioned how easily the shampoo rinses off with no need for any kind of vinegar rinse. It has taken many batches to find the perfect formula of oils, butters, special ingredients and their quantities of petal/buds/root to create our signature recipe but we are very well pleased with the results.

Either goat or coconut milk are also added to batches for added nourishment. You can go to the Shampoo Bar page for all ingredients and their properties.

You can go here (Shampoo Bar) for more info.

And to answer one persons’s question. Yes, these bars are incredibly time consuming to create!

*As with all body products you purchase (wherever that may be)  it is advisable to test a small amount on a patch of skin to be sure there are no reactions. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional skin care provider for serious skin issues.*



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