Our artisan skincare products are all-natural, plant-based, made with the highest quality ingredients, and without harmful chemicals. We create all of our unique luxurious body creams, soaps and scrubs in our workshop in Westbrook Maine, in a historic mill building on the Presumpscott River.
We buy our ingredients fairly and ethically from growers around the world like family farms and women’s shea butter cooperatives in Africa as well as seaweed harvesters right here in Maine. Our skincare products provide an effective blend of botanical ingredients for healing and nourishing and that promote healthy, radiant and beautiful skin.
We carefully research and select our fruit oils, butters, seaweed and essential oil to make you look and feel your best. As the skin can absorb about 60% of what we put on it, we are committed to creating healthy products for your skin.
We hope you will be delighted as much as we are in creating these products for you! Visit our workshop on your next trip to Maine. We'd love to meet you.
In 2004, my sister Kara and I heard about the a women's group that made amazing shea butter in Tamale, northern Ghana. We were intrigued and booked a flight to meet the women and see for ourselves firsthand how shea butter was made. After a long flight, we arrived in Tamale.
Tamale is an interesting desert town. Dry, hot and dusty, the town had an inexplicable positive vibe. I think it was the people we met and the warmth we felt with almost everyone we met.
Driving to the women's village, we stopped along the way and bought a case of oranges -- a gift for the women who would spend the next two days making shea butter. We arrived at the village and the women were already hard at work selecting and preparing the shea nuts. Madam Martha, who led the association, explained the production process to us and introduced us to the women who were making the shea.
The Suhuyini Women's Cooperative is an association go about 350 women who formed a cooperative to produce shea butter using traditional methods. The production shea butter is a complex and multistep process. This traditional knowledge is passed from mother to daughter.
Shea is a fruit that falls from the shea tree when it is ripe. The women pick the fruit and extract the pit. The pit dries in the sun and then the women select the best ones for shea butter (above). Below is a photo of the shea fruit still on the shea tree:
It takes two days to for the women to make the shea butter - the first day to grind, boil and knead the shea butter. And the second day to carefully stir the shea until it reached a smooth butter consistency. The women knead the shea for several hours to get the fat out of the fruit pit. A lot of hard work!
The shea butter is stirred to perfection to create the perfect creamy consistency as you can see below.
The women are very proud of their work. In the local villages, shea butter is stored in large calabashes and used for cooking, skincare, antiseptic, and other medicinal purposes.
My sister and I were very grateful to the women who took the time to show us how shea butter was made using their traditional know-how. To show our appreciation, Planet Botanicals donated $500 of funds to the women's group in 2004 for start up capital for shea production and to build a health clinic and a preschool for their community.
Today, Planet Botanicals works directly with local farms and producers throughout Africa and Maine to source our oils like marula and our essential oils. In our home state of Maine, we work directly with a sustainable seaweed harvester who harvested seaweed from the pristine waters of Maine.
I hope you enjoy using our natural products and feel good about supporting the efforts of our harvesters and producers of our ingredients.