In our skincare products, we use locally sourced ingredients where possible. All our fixed oils come from England: camelina and borage oil from Essex, poppy seed oil from Lincolnshire and hemp seed oil from Oxfordshire.
We use also locally-grown and distilled essential oils: blue chamomile, Roman chamomile, lavender, peppermint and rosemary.
Read to find out more our ingredients…
1. Fixed oils or vegetable oils
Fixed oils are oils usually obtained from plant seeds, and are made by cold-pressing, hot-pressing or extraction with solvents. All our fixed oils are cold-pressed, which keeps the maximum of vitamins and avoids the use of solvents like hexane.
These oils are rich in triglycerides, which are molecules formed of one glycerol and three fatty acids. Triglycerides are found in the human body, such as in fat cells, where their main function is the storage of energy. They can be also found in the skin where they contribute to normal skin functions such as the barrier function and the maintenance of healthy skin.
The fatty acids contained in the triglycerides are different depending on the type of fixed oil. Other compounds can also be present in lower quantities including phospholipids, sterols and tocopherols (including vitamin E), depending on the type of oil.
Because they are so similar to human triglycerides, fixed oils are very well tolerated by human skin and can be used at very high concentrations or even pure on the skin. As with any natural product, an allergic reaction cannot be ruled out but it is unlikely.
Please find below the description of the English fixed oils that we use in our products.
Camelina sativa is a flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae and is usually known in English as camelina, gold-of-pleasure or false flax. Camelina oil has been harvested in Europe for 3,000 years.
Over 50% of the fatty acids in cold-pressed camelina oil are polyunsaturated. It contains around 35% alpha-linolenic acid (omega 3), which can help improve the skin barrier, and 20% linoleic acid (omega 6), both of which are essential fatty acids. That means that they can’t be produced by the human body and needs to be absorbed through food, a bit like vitamins.
Camelina oil is also very rich in natural antioxidants, such as tocopherols, making this highly-stable oil very resistant to oxidation and rancidity.
Poppy is a well-known flowering plant growing naturally in England. Our oil is obtained from white poppies grown in Lincolnshire.
Premium-quality seeds are used to obtain the oil by careful cold pressing and light refining, creating an oil of extremely high quality, freshness and stability in which essential nutrients such as Vitamin E are preserved.
Poppy seed oil is very rich in linoleic acid (around 70% is omega 6) and is fast-absorbing which makes it ideal for acne-prone and oily skin. It has been shown that acne patients have low levels of linoleic acid in their skin surface lipids and that linoleic acid applied topically can decrease the size of microcomedones – the blocked pores that may lead to acne.
Poppy seed oil can be found in our English face and body oils.
Borage, also called starflower, is a beautiful purple flower. Borage is a bee friendly crop as it helps sustain a healthy bee population while also benefitting from a higher yield following pollination.
Our oil is obtained by pressing seeds from the Colchester area in Essex. The oil is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and particularly in gamma-linolenic fatty acid, an omega 6 fatty acid that seems to have anti-inflammatory effects and is used to treat skin disorders including eczema (atopic dermatitis) and red, itchy rash on the scalp (seborrheic dermatitis). Some studies have shown it can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes.
Borage seed oil can be found in our Omega Balance Face Oil.
Our hemp seed oil is made from local hemp grown by a non-profit co-operative in Oxfordshire, whose proceeds will be put towards developing sustainable and ethical enterprises such as ecological hemp housing.
Hemp plants grow vigorously and can capture more carbon-rich biomass during a season than any other plant in a temperate climate. All parts of the plants can be used to make oil, food and supplements or even paper, textiles or building materials.
The oil is a well-balanced source of unsaturated fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid (18%, omega 3), linoleic acid (52%, omega 6), and oleic acid (9%, omega 9) and is rich in vitamin E. It does not contain THC (the hallucinogenic compound found in marijuana). Thanks to its high amount of linoleic acid, hemp seed oil can be used to moisturise acne-prone skins and can help balance your skin.
Note: Please note that as demand exceeds production, at some time during the year the organic hemp seed oil might not be available from Oxfordshire. In this instance, we will use a hemp seed oil that’s made from seeds coming from Devon or Europe and that’s cold-pressed in Devon.
2. Essential oils
Essential oils are obtained by pressing, distilling or extracting parts of plants such as flowers, leaves and roots. They are responsible for the smell or taste of the plant and so are often used in perfumery. Some also have some therapeutic properties.
Our essential oils come mainly from Norfolk or Suffolk – blue chamomile, Roman chamomile, lavender, peppermint and rosemary.
We use also blood orange essential oil from Sicily. Most orange essential oil comes from Brazil, so this source is much closer to the UK.
Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region.
The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the flowering tops and leaves. Rosemary essential oil is well known for its antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Research has also shown that it has some effect on musculoskeletal pain. Rosemary is also used as a stimulant for the scalp, encouraging hair growth and providing treatment for dandruff and greasy hair.
Some studies have shown that rosemary essential oil has antibacterial properties, particularly against Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), which is the bacteria found in acne.
Blue chamomile essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the dried flower heads of blue chamomile, also called German chamomile or Matricaria recutita.
It is a deep blue oil and has a sweet herbaceous smell with a slightly fruity undertone. Its blue colour is due to the presence of a compound called chamazulene, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, which has a long history of being used to treat skin problems. Blue chamomile also contains a second anti-inflammatory compound called alpha-bisabolol.
Blue chamomile has antibacterial properties and is renowned for its soothing properties. It is especially useful for dry, problem and irritated skin. Blue chamomile essential oil is also very effective for everyday aches and pains.
This essential oil is extensively used in cosmetics and shouldn’t be confused with Roman
chamomile, which is similar but has slightly different properties.
Blue chamomile essential oil can be found in our Revive Body Oil.
Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile or Anthemis nobilis) is commonly known as English chamomile or garden chamomile. Its essential oil is colourless to pale blue, turning yellow with storage.
It’s used in cosmetics and aromatherapy for its anxiolytic properties – relieving stress and depression. It’s extensively used in aromatherapy to ease headaches and insomnia and to relieve pain from menstrual cramps, as well as decreasing pain from arthritis, sprains and stings. Psoriasis, eczema, boils, sunburn and cold sores can also be treated with Roman chamomile.
Roman chamomile can be found in our Soothe & Relax Body Oil.
Peppermint is a herb commonly used in cookery or to flavour drinks. We use the variety called Mentha piperita.
The benefits of peppermint essential oil are mainly due to menthol, which is usually present at a level of 44%. Applied on the skin, it has a cooling effect and may have some analgesic (against pain) properties to relieve pain spasms and arthritic problems. It is also noted for its anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious and fungicidal effects – studies have shown an in-vitro activity against 22 species of bacteria, as well as against the virus responsible for cold sores. It can be used by inhalation as a decongestant. Peppermint essential oil is found in the following products: Revive Body Oil and Peppermint Feet Butter.
Lavender oil is probably one of the most-used essential oils. There are many varieties of lavender, but we use English lavender or lavendula angustifolia, grown and distilled in East Anglia.
English lavender contains linalool and linalyl acetate, which can be absorbed through the skin during massage and are thought to have a relaxing effect. Lavender is often used in pillows for people with anxiety and sleeping problems.
Some studies have also shown some antibacterial and antifungal properties against many species of bacteria. Lavender may help with painful muscles, and it is also used for healing and skin problems, even though there isn’t strong evidence of this effect.
 Keshavarzian S. and Shahgholian N.: Comparison of the Effect of Topical Application of Rosemary and Menthol for Musculoskeletal Pain in Hemodialysis Patients. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2017 Nov-Dec; 22(6): 436–441.