The song of the seas fills the air from the distance and the shade of the olive is welcome in the dense heat. The sky is high and cloudless blue. Under the pergola, a single white jasmine star lets go and spirals to the ground. I pick up the creamy white blossom, hold it to my nose and breathe deeply. Ahhh … summer in Greece.
It might have been such a summer day thirty years ago, when Athanasia “Sue” Kanaras travelled from her home in Montreal, Canada to Sparta, Greece and by serendipity met her future husband and made Greece her home.
Shared Family Vision
Together, they would share a vision and cultivate the family legacy of prize winning organic olive oils and table olives that spans three generations. This dedication has garnered the Sakellaropoulos Family Organic Farms the rare distinction of the most awards from international competitions of any single producer with 203 awards for excellence and innovation!
These awards cover a range of products from award winning, traditionally cured table olives high in phenolic compounds to multiple awards for their growing Olive Oil Jewels line of innovatively flavoured organic olive oils.
Greece has an amazing number of plant species and botanicals — over 6,600. Is it any wonder in this abundant environment and the family reverence for nature and aptitude for innovation that Sue was inspired to solve her own skin care problem in her kitchen, garden and olive grove?
“What we were sure of from the beginning was that we wanted to create something innovative and fresh; a coherent revision of the traditional natural handmade cosmetics, setting the bar very high in quality. This was a big challenge for us, but at the same time a clear goal.”
Sue studied cosmetology in Montreal and spent her career in the beauty industry as a hair stylist. When she encountered a skin allergy personally, she knew the answer was to go all natural. Sue made a wax cream of St. John’s Wort oil, beeswax, organic olive oil and experimented with pure essential oils. Once she found the creams effective for herself, Sue shared them with friends and family to get a broader response. The feedback was terrific. She had a hit. Now what?
The challenge with any natural skincare product is preserving its effectiveness, ingredient freshness, and viability. Many products on the market labelled natural still have some kind of chemical preservative. They must in order to curtail the degeneration of ingredients and inevitable bacterial growth — also natural — unless refrigerated and even then, like food, have a limited shelf life.
As it happens, the very ingredients of this wonderful and innovative line of night treatment wax creams are preservatives themselves and, in combination, offer a truly natural product line with all the industry standards and testing for natural, organic skincare products.
The cold extracted organic olive oil used is rich in phenolic compounds like oleocanthal, an anti-inflammatory, and antioxidants such as oleacein as well as vitamins A and E. Olive oil is known through history for its moisturizing properties that offer radiant and youthful appearance.
St. John’s Wort oil is made from cold extracted organic olive oil and the naturally grown plant that has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties as well as being known as uplifting. Beeswax is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin E with antioxidant properties that protect and nurture the skin.
“Our passion for quality production enabled us to create 100% Greek natural cosmetics, with organic olive oil from the Sakellaropoulos organic olive groves, combined with natural St. John’s oil. They all have the European certificates of legal circulation and are free of known chemicals and preservatives such as parabens, gluten and much more.”
The products have undergone complete dermatological tests and were never tested on animals — only tested on willing humans.
Eleven Sensuous Natural Wax Creams
Now to the most sensuous part of this discussion — at least for me — is the glorious choice of 11 St. John’s Wort Oil Wax Creams in extracts of lavender, jasmine, rose, apple, orange, honey, lemon, pomegranate, olive leaf and walnut leaves. All with vitamin E to meet anyone’s skin care objective.
Each wax cream has specific benefits and may be used as a night cream or body cream.
Imagine the scent and sensation of these…
· Rose for deep nourishment and hydration, with regenerative properties;
· Jasmine for mature, dry and sensitive skin;
· Lavender for radiance and rich hydration, with antiseptic and regenerative properties;
· Pomegranate for regeneration and deep nourishment, enhancing the skin’s elasticity;
· Lemon for rejuvenation and hydration, with antioxidant and astringent properties;
· Orange for regeneration and deep hydration, enhancing skin elasticity;
· Apple for elasticity and nourishment, enhancing the production of skin collagen;
· Honey extract for deep hydration and rejuvenation, that nourishes;
· Walnut Leaves for rich nourishment and regeneration, improving elasticity;
· Olive Leaf removes the dullness of the skin, providing radiance, softness, deep hydration and stimulates the natural healing process;
· Vitamin E, solo, with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that offer deep hydration, is soothing and helps with mild skin conditions, minor burns and insect bites.
Each of these wax creams has a corresponding olive oil soap in lavish colours and natural scents.
If, like me, you can’t decide which your favourite might be or suit your skin best— Sue solves that dilemma with an offering of “selections”.
Anyone who works this closely with flowers and nature has the soul of a poet and a lover of holistic beauty that feeds body, mind and spirit. The selections are named after goddesses with a mythical interpretation.
Here’s one example:
“Iris” the golden-haired goddess who, according to mythology, helped in the beautification or anointed with myrrh the goddess Hera.
“Iris” beauty and care selection is a selection that contains a wonderful package of natural cosmetics, made with pure ingredients and care by Esthique Natural Cosmetics.
It includes three St. John’s wort oil wax creams with organic olive oil, natural beeswax and a combination of precious oils and extracts of rose, orange and lemon.
For a complete treatment, the beauty package “Iris” is accompanied by two wonderful handmade natural soaps with organic olive oil, precious oils and extracts of orange and lemon.
“Iris” as a deity of Olympus according to Greek mythology, could not fail to include in the care of her selection, the well-known St. John’s Wort oil, the beneficial remedy of the ancient Spartans.
“Iris” offers a real sense of rejuvenation and well-being through a golden journey into the world of the senses that harmonizes body, soul and mind. It gives the skin a silky texture, radiance and pleasant aroma.
I loved reading the selections descriptions as I would a poem. They send my senses dreaming of loveliness, beauty, wisdom and agelessness.
What About Day Creams?
When I asked Sue when we can expect a day cream. I got a somewhat disappointing answer. It’s not what you think!
There are day creams in gestation. Sue is experimenting with them and very likely, so are her most fortunate friends as well. Sue described an amazing combination of extremely effective but delicate oils that truly must be refrigerated to preserve them and even then their refrigerator life is under six months.
Purist that I am, I would gladly run to the fridge every morning, but most people want a quick product that does the job and is in reach in the bathroom cabinet. For this, Sue needs to do more research and, if the goddesses are smiling, she will get the funding that will put her immaculate product on the discerning woman’s — or man’s — skincare shelf sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, you can reach Sue through her website and discover where you might buy her exclusive line of products … I dare you to read Selections and not want to at least try one. Esthique Natural Cosmetics will not be found on just any retail shelf, they will be where the discerning shop.
“The philosophy of Esthique Natural Cosmetics combines luxury and finesse, being a true ally of everyday life, for the face and body, in timeless natural notes of care and beauty with modern scientific care.”
As an end note, I want to share my philosophy of life and lifestyle. Every choice we make, whether it is the art on our walls, the friends we share our dreams with, the food we eat and the products we buy add to the richness of our lives on every level.
My experience just sampling these soaps and wax creams in the midst of my nightly regime is to stop and breathe. When I smooth this sensuous cream over my skin and feel it penetrate. I breathe in. Deeply. Ahhhh …summer in Greece in a jar.
To health, happiness and inner and outer beauty!