The range of plant and vegetable oils available in skincare these days seems endless. Olive, rosehip, coconut, soybean, palm etc; there seem to be as many oils as there are products! But what about the quality of the oils used? Beyond the marketed beneficial properties of the oils used, one question that should be asked is how was that oil processed?
From when that olive, rosehip, coconut or soybean is picked and gathered, there are a variety of ways in which oils are derived from the fruit or nut - and it’s a process much more involved and complex than most realise. Many commercial oils - produced for both food and skincare - are extracted using a combination of high heat, centrifuges and a mixture of chemical solvents. The oils are then refined using different chemical filters and additives. This helps to extend the oil’s shelf life and also to make its fragrance and colour milder, and often more palatable to a wider range of people. Unfortunately, this over-processing destroys most of the fruit or nut’s nourishing properties and benefits.
At the other end of the spectrum are the traditional ways of processing, which are much less popular now as they’re slower and more expensive to run. All Four Cow Farm’s oils are derived using a traditional cold-pressing method, which is exactly what it is - the fruit is mashed, then slowly pressed in a machine in order to make sure additional heat isn’t created in the fruit mixture being pressed. That ensures the oil retains as much of the original benefits of the fruit or nut it came from!
The difference between an extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil and a run-of-the-mill olive oil is pretty stark - the first difference you’ll notice is colour. Extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil retains that lovely green colour of the olives it came from, whereas run-of-the-mill olive oil has turned a very distinct yellow. Second is the smell, extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil still retains the slightly sharp fragrance of fresh olives, whilst run-of-the-mill olive oil has virtually none of that smell.
Unfortunately, most of the oils used in commercial skincare are similarly ‘degraded’ as the best extra virgin organic oils are sold to the food industry - which is why we only use food-grade extra virgin cold-pressed oils sourced from the best growers in Australia. And, we ensure to keep to the purity of that oil by never adding additives or fragrances which mask the authentic nature of the natural ingredients we use. So when you next see those amazing oil’s marketed by commercial skincare and cosmetics - make sure to check the quality of the oils used. If they are extra virgin cold-pressed they will be clearly labeled as such - if they aren’t, well, the benefits might be minimal.