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  • Writer's pictureSol Nicolajsen

Slow skincare in a nutshell

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

There’s much talk about slow fashion and slow food at the moment. To embrace quality, sustainability and craftsmanship.


I agree 100%. A win-win situation.


I would much rather save and pay 3,4 or 5 times more for a product sure in the knowledge that a fair price has been paid for fair work for a product that’s going to last and some poor soul somewhere hasn’t worked his/her fingers to the bone to provide me with a cheap item (that said, I’m not perfect and I fall in sometimes and buy the cheap item!!) BUT by and large I go for quality.

I’d like to expand the concept to include ‘slow skincare’. Just like good food, good skincare products cannot be hurried.

Founding principles in my skincare concept are quality, sustainability and sound ethics combined with loving attention to the creative journey from raw ingredient to finished product - It is ‘slow skincare’ in a nutshell…literally!!

And I’d like to introduce one of my beautiful (slow) raw ingredients: Illipe butter. Not a stand alone product as such, because it is so hard and brittle, but brilliant in formulations as it has got a relative high melting point and adds smoothness and texture to the formulation plus it has got some pretty awesome properties. (See below).

Every step from tree to treat have involved the work of many hands and much time following the rhythm of natures seasonal changes.

From harvesting of the Illipe nuts off the forest floor to filling the jars with creamy skin loving goodness in my workshop, skilled strong hands have worked at every step.

Illipe butter is made from the nuts of the endangered Shorea Stenoptera tree, which only grows in the forests of Borneo.

Local farmer collecting Illipe nuts (also called tengkawang) in Borneo (photo: @thewildbunch

When ripe the large nuts fall to the forest floor, where they are harvested by hand* before being boiled to soften the hard shell.

Once opened and sterilised the seeds are sun dried for several days before being processed through simple oil presses and vacuum filtered to obtain a pure, raw rainforest product.

The manufacture and sale of Illipe butter contributes directly to the livelihood and welfare of the original inhabitants, the Dayak people who depend deeply on these virgin rainforests, which are disappearing at an unprecedented rate to the detriment of many of our fellow species.

It took me a looong time to source this outstanding quality Illipe butter.

It is produced with the help of a lovely company based in the indonesian part of Borneo. They value ethics, sustainability and quality and offer guaranteed fixed prices throughout the season, in order to increase the value of the forest, so the Dayak people can continue to live in and protect their forests.

Benefits of Illipe Butter in skincare

- Great for making soap, face masks, body lotions, lip and body balms, lipstick, ntural sunscreen - Deeply moisturising and soothing - Helps to reduce degeneration of skin cells and restores skin flexibility and elasticity - Illipe butter has a slightly higher melting point compared to the chemically similar cocoa or shea butter - Its long-lasting skin softening and moisturising properties help repair chronically dry/cracked skin - Helps to protects against damaging UV-A and UV-B rays, - Helps to heal sores and mouth ulcers

- Restores elasticity to dry and damaged hair

Have a great ‘slow’ weekend! ☀️🍂☀️

*Wild harvesting draws on centuries of local knowledge and skills on forest management, sustainable harvesting, seed saving, herbology, biodiversity maintenance and processing of raw ingredients.A knowledge and a way-of-life that is continuously threatened by the powerful and aggressive monocropping agro-industry and its use of poisonous petrochemicals.


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