What the ingredients in our creams and salves do for your body:
Oils and butter:
Cocoa butter is highly protective, staying on the surface of the skin, helping to prevent dehydration. It is somewhat water repellent, making it especially useful in our Sunbutter Cream.
Coconut oil softens skin and has long been used in the tropics for its unbeatable reparative qualities for skin and hair care. (In soaps, however, coconut oil is harsh and drying, one very good reason why we only use it in moisturizing creams.)
Jojoba oil, taken from a plant grown in our southwestern deserts, is a liquid wax ester that closely resembles human sebum, a natural coating that keeps skin supple. Jojoba can act as a second skin, providing protection while allowing the skin to breathe. It adds natural SPF to any product that includes it.
Extra-Virgin Olive oil is made up of many beneficial ingredients that nourish the skin. It is an excellent base for herbal infused blends.
Shea Butter from West and Central Africa is extremely therapeutic, especially for cracked, wrinkled or damaged skin. It contains an SPF of about 6 and ingredients that help reduce bruising and soreness.
Wheat Germ oil contributes large amounts of vitamin E in an extremely concentrated form to our Extracare Cream.
Other Natural Ingredients:
Beeswax is our primary emulsifier (it makes the oils and liquids stay blended). We get our product from a local beekeeper so it is minimally processed, keeping its healthful properties and delightful sweet aroma.
Glycerin moisturizes and soothes dry skin by drawing moisture to itself and whatever it is applied to.
Grapefruit Seed Extract is used as a preservative and for its safe and powerful anti-microbial actions. (For example, 1 drop added to 16 oz. of water purifies water similar to chlorination). I abbreviate this ingredient on some labels as GSE.
Lecithin can come from eggs, soybeans, or corn. Ours is from soybeans. It is an excellent emulsifier and adds valuable proteins to skin. It is soothing and softening. It gives Sunbutter and Extracare Creams their golden color.
PABA is a member of the Vitamin B family. Those who are allergic to chemically derived PABA often find that naturally occurring PABA (which we use) does not cause the same problems. It is the primary sunscreen agent in our products, augmented by shea butter and jojoba oil.
Vinegar has astringent, antifungal and deodorizing properties. Topical application can reduce the pain of a sunburn. And, of course, it’s great on salads . . .
Arnica Flowers, an important ingredient in Sore Muscle Salve, soaks into the skin and reduces inflammation from the inside. Arnica is most often used for trauma, arthritic joints, and strained muscles.
Calendula blossoms have healing antimicrobial, antifungal properties. We grow our own for use in Extracare Cream.
Comfrey, featured in our Comfrey Salve, contains allantoin, a chemical that promotes cellular regrowth. This homegrown plant can prevent scarring and speed healing. It also softens and soothes extremely dry skin.
Goldenseal, a strong antimicrobial, is used in Antifungal Salve. It is an endangered wildflower and Sugarhill uses only farm cultivated as opposed to wildcrafted plants.
Myrrh is the resin of a tree that grows in Africa and Southwest Asia. It lends its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties and an exotic scent to our Antifungal Salve.
Cedarwood is slightly astringent and has a calming effect on irritated skin. It’s also known for its bug repellent properties.
Geranium Egypt is used with cedarwood and lavender in our creams for its reparative properties. It is often used to treat seriously inflamed skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Lavender is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that fights bacterial infections, eases pain, and soothes skin irritations. It is also useful to induce sleep and has a calming effect.
Lemongrass is antiseptic, deodorizing, and calming, a great combination for soap. You can also find lemongrass essential oil in our Uplifting Aromatherapy blend.
Peppermint is stimulating and refreshing. It promotes alertness and focus. It is also helpful in counteracting fatigue and muscle aches.
Rosemary is stimulating, astringent, and antiseptic. The fragrance has an uplifting effect.
Sandalwood has an exotic aroma and equals lavender in its anti-inflammatory abilities.
Tea Tree oil is a potent antifungal and antiseptic from Australia. Find it in our Antifungal Salve.
Reference: Falconi, Dina: Earthly Bodies & Heavenly Hair, Ceres Press, Woodstock, New York, 1998