About the time Michele Gilfoil determined to start out an organization making plant-based mostly skin care merchandise, she and her sister heard a few ladies’s group that made shea butter in Ghana. They flew to West Africa to test it out.
There, they discovered a gaggle of girls who harvest the pit of the shea fruit, then undergo a two-day course of that’s been handed down from era to era to make shea butter.
“A lot of the women are subsistence farmers,” Gilfoil stated, “so they do this collection (of the pits) as an extra income for their families.”
Gilfoil makes use of the African shea butter in her merchandise for Planet Botanicals, her firm based mostly within the historic Presumpscot mill constructing in Westbrook. She has just lately added it to her new line of merchandise, which include one other sustainable ingredient: Maine seaweed.
“One of the things I really wanted to do with this company is almost every ingredient, the key ingredients, we go directly to the source,” Gilfoil stated. “We know the growers and how it’s harvested. So we work not only with the women’s shea butter but other companies that produce baobab oil. We work with a family farm in South Africa for essential oils, and then we work with the seaweed harvesters in Maine. We really wanted to know our source of production and know how it’s grown, and make sure it’s harvested in a sustainable way.”
Maine seaweed, Gilfoil says, incorporates greater than 50 nutritional vitamins and minerals, in addition to highly effective antioxidants.
“It has an anti-inflammatory effect for the skin,” she stated. “If your skin is prone to breakout, it has a very soothing effect on the skin.”
Gilfoil makes use of a mix of of bladderwrack, Irish moss, sea kelp, rockweed and sea lettuce. The “Maine Seaweed Dream Cream,” $21 for 6.75 ounces, is a bestseller, and seaweed can also be used within the bar cleaning soap ($6.50) and Maine Seaweed Body Wash ($16); the Maine Seaweed Voyager Gift Bag ($18) consists of all three.
Planet Botanicals merchandise are solely out there on its web site, planetbotanical.com, and thru Amazon.com.