An integral element in the Mediterranean diet is the crux of a new local beauty brand, writes Syahirah Mokhtazar
OLIVE oil is an incredibly healthy oil, full of good fats and antioxidants. This dietary staple in the Mediterranean region has lots of culinary benefits.
But olive oil also has a long history in beauty care too, making it a great kitchen ingredient that can be used as skincare. Cleopatra was said to have applied olive oil to her skin in ancient times.
Realising the great benefits the oil has on overall beauty and skincare, Law Hong Mei decided to establish her own natural skincare brand, The Olive Tree, which harnesses the full potential and goodness of olive oil. It all began when her sister gave her a plant-based soap to try on her children who suffered from eczema.
When she noticed how much their skin had improved, she was inspired to formulate and create her own products to benefit others. The brand has a wide range of products using olive oil as the key ingredient.
At its flagship store in 1Utama shopping mall, Selangor, the friendly Law is waiting for me. The small, earth-themed shop has wood furnishings and a raw, natural feel, creating a soothing ambience.
On the racks are a wide range of body and hair care products, handcrafted soaps. Law says the products do not contain harmful chemicals and preservatives such as paraben, phthalates and sulphates, petroleum, synthetic colours and fragrance.
“We do not use animal by-products and we are strictly against animal testing,” she says.
MADE IN AUSTRALIA
Although The Olive Tree is a local brand, the products are made in Australia, using only high-quality, plant-based ingredients. This, says Law, is because the health standards there are better and the natural ingredients are of higher quality.
It simply goes to show how she values good quality products for her customers.
The Olive Tree was established last year but despite being a newcomer in the beauty and skincare industry, she is confident it has a bright future as the products are well received by the public.
“Within months of operations, we have sold our products online, set up two pop-up stores and now, our very first store in the country,” she says.
“When we started, we had only two products in each category of hair care, body care and soaps. Our best-seller is the pure olive oil bar soap.”
This olive oil soap is now available in liquid form and is said to be suitable for everyone, including babies and young children.
The Olive Tree offers handcrafted bar soaps in two natural scents: Charcoal Cedarwood and Rose Geranium. While the first provides deep cleansing to help improve concentration and anxiety, the latter helps to balance the secretion of sebum.
A range of body scrubs are available too with choices like Rose Geranium or Lavender Bergamot. Lee says some of the natural ingredients used in the body scrubs are Epsom salt, raw organic sugar and bamboo powder.
She says: “When blended with lye to make soaps, olive oil ensures the skin does not end up flaky. Instead it allows the skin to sweat and shed cells naturally, unlike commercial soaps with synthetic cleaners that block pores and cause irritation.”
Olive oil adds a pleasant smell, as opposed to those overtly perfume scents that may sometimes irritate the nose.
“Not only do our products cleanse and nourish but they also retain the skin’s essential oils, leaving it healthy, smooth and moisturised.”
The products are available at The Olive Tree in 1Utama shopping mall or online at www.theolivetree-organic.com.