Botanical Facts | Skin-friendly "Silicones" from Olive Oil?

Olive Oil is a popular ingredient in skin and haircare for several reasons. In soap-making, Olive Oil is prized for the mild "Castille" type soap that it creates, and the polyphenols that the oil contains also make it popular for other oil-based products like hair treatments or oil serums.

At Peregrine, we also make use of a slightly more processed, but naturally-derived product made from Olive Oil that closely mimics the performance of synthetic silicones. Let's break down what the product is, and how it lends a premium feel to our products that can be hard to reproduce otherwise.

What are we talking about here?

Vegetable fats contain several types of complex compounds, including fatty acids, polyphenols, vitamins and more. Our Natural Silicone is a blend of "esters" and "unsaponifiables", both derived from Olive Oil.

What is an ester?

Esters are common compounds in organic chemistry, and are created when a fatty acid interacts with a fatty alcohol. They are volatile compounds, and offer a lightness to the final product

What is an unsaponifiable?

The Saponification reaction is the process by which traditional soaps are produced. Fatty Acids in the form of fats from animal or vegetable sources are combined with water and Sodium Hydroxide (also known simply as Lye).

The acids in the fats interact with the basic Lye solution, and soap is made. However, most fats contain compounds that will not participate in the saponification reaction, and thus remain relatively unchanged. Generally only around 2% of an oil's volume will be unsaponifiables.

For our Natural Silicone blend, these unsaponifiables are extracted from the Olive Oil and refined for consistency.

Finally, the 2 phases of the blend are combined, and the result is a product that closely mimics the sensory feel of synthetic silicones.

Why go through the trouble?

Silicones offer some great benefits for hair and skincare products alike. However, synthetic silicones are not produced from renewable sources, and, as a petrochemical, also contribute to polluting industries like oil & gas refinement.

At Peregrine, we are committed to sustainability, and these efforts are guided by our own Guardian Model. One of the core tenets of the Guardian Model is the sustainability of the ingredients and processes that we use. Synthetic silicones simply don't meet this criteria, due to the process involved in making them.

On the other hand, our Natural Silicone blend offers many of the benefits of synthetic silicones, while being produced from sustainable and renewable sources (Olives!)

What are the benefits of natural silicones?

We use our Natural Silicone (NS) blend at Peregrine in several products, including our Pre-Shave Oil and Shaving Cream, as well as our Haircare collection.

In Shaving, the NS blend offers us the ability to build great lubrication into the products, that is also slightly water resistant and does not contribute to any heaviness in the product. The NS blend is also comedogenic, meaning that it will not cog pores.

After you have finished shaving, the NS blend will also contribute to a soft and supple feeling on the skin as well!

In our haircare, the Natural Silicones contribute a pleasant smoothness to hair that also helps to reduce frizz and tangling. The blend is also light enough to avoid weighing hair down.

Thanks for reading!

-Tyler at Peregrine

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