Saaf - Only natural ingredients
The natural world is a pharmacopeia of incredibly potent, skin-supporting ingredients and many of Saaf’s active ingredients, such as Rosehip, Black Seed, Safflower and Neem Oils have been used for centuries in different cultures across the world.
This ancient learning, coupled with an advanced understanding of modern-day pharmacology, makes Saaf products beautiful.
From cold pressed botanicals to steam distilled essential oils, the ingredients are chosen for their therapeutic effects and the blends are scientifically formulated by our founder, Dr Mah, and her team of experts.
You can read more about the wonderful benefits of many of our ingredients here, in our A-Z of goodness!
Bay Leaf (Laurus Nobilis)
From the leaves of the Mediterranean bay laurel tree, this essential oil has a long and distinguished beauty history. It’s often used as a spice or fragrance and also acts as a scalp clarifier and tonic.
Find it in our Enriching Hair Oil
Beeswax (Cera Alba)
Beeswax is a natural substance obtained from melting honeycomb in boiling water. Highly skin compatible, it works well in cosmetic products because of compounds called wax esters that exist in both beeswax and human skin. Beeswax is therefore a brilliant hydrating ingredient that increases skin's essential moisture and forms a breathable shield to protect the skin from moisture loss. It also has powerful anti-microbial properties and helps soften and soothe dry irritated skin, without clogging pores.
Black Seed Oil (Nigella Sativa)
Skin research confirms that Nigella Sativa helps skin resist the ageing process because it contains a remarkable water-retentive protein. It can help reverse the effect of sun damage on delicate skin and rejuvenate tired looking, older skin.
It contains 58% essential fatty acids, including Omega 6 and Omega 3, as well as healing oils including nigellone and thymochinone, which have an anti-histamine, anti-oxidant, and anti-infective effect. Over 100 valuable components include protein, carbohydrates, vitamins A, B, B1, B2, C and niacin, as well as minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc. It’s also a source of sodium and potassium, which act as essential cofactors in various enzyme pathways.
This much prized oil was found in Tutankhamen's tomb and is known to have been used by Cleopatra for its health and beauty giving qualities.
Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis)
Chamomile has a long tradition of being used for inflammatory skin conditions due to its renowned soothing properties. It’s good for sensitive skin, and helpful for cases of dermatitis.
Clove Flower Oil (Eugenia Caryophyllus)
This oil has a warming effect on the skin and helps stimulate circulation.
Find it in Super Hydrating Body Balm
Cocoa Butter (Theobroma Cacao)
Cocoa Butter has a well-earned reputation as a skin enhancer. Obtained from cocoa beans, it’s used extensively by African women to keep their skin healthy and smooth, and is particularly good for protecting against extreme, skin-damaging weather conditions. It has anti-oxidant properties and is high in natural tocopherols, which mop up and neutralise harmful substances in the body, as well as certain polyphenols which suppress active oxygen, a factor in cancer. Cocoa has been shown to contain more than twice the phenolic compounds as in red wine and three times the amount in green tea.
It has excellent skin softening properties and anti-oxidant characteristics, making it an excellent choice for nourishing, soothing and protecting dry skin and rejuvenating 'skin on the mend' such as stretch marks and new scar tissue.
Find it in Foot Softening Balm
Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA)
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs are called ‘essential’ as our bodies cannot make them so we need external sources), in particular Gamma-linolenic Acids (GLA), are vital to healthy cell functioning. They are also potent free radical scavengers, protecting skin from pollution, sun damage and other environmental stressors. EFA rich oils, including Safflower Oil, Black Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil and Rosehip Oil, help skin cells to regenerate, so these are ideal ingredients in products for dry, damaged or ageing skin.
Geranium (Pelargonium Graveolens)
Geranium’s ability as a grand revitaliser gives skin a radiant glow – whatever the complexion or skin type. Its cleansing and balancing effect on the production of sebum is also beneficial to numerous skin disorders. It is also believed to slow the ageing process!
Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis)
This is a positively purifying and detoxifying oil, highly effective, particularly in aiding congested skin. Grapefruit increases the circulation, helps stimulate lymphatic drainage and has toning and astringent effects.
Find it in Pure Face Cleanser
Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia Chinensis)
This oil is extracted from the bean-like seeds of a desert shrub and is used as a skin lubricant as it comes closest to the skin's actual sebum. In harmony with your skin, it is easily absorbed and imparts a soft, velvety quality. It is also protective, helping the skin retain its moisture.
Juniper Berry (Juniperus Communis Fruit)
Through the ages, Greek, Roman and Arabian medics have valued Juniper Berry highly for its antiseptic properties. Well known for its skin detoxifying and purifying effects, it’s a marvellous aid in balancing oily complexions, helpful for soothing acne, and acts as a fine skin toner.
Find it in Complexion Boosting Face Serum
Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)
Often referred to as the herb of beautiful balance, Lavender is calming, soothing, normalising and renowned for restoring unbalanced skin states. This oil promotes the growth of new cells, encouraging the development of new skin tissue, and balances sebum, so every skin can benefit from a rejuvenating treatment with lavender oil. Its very special properties make it particularly useful for a variety of skin irritations and disorders, including dryness, acne and eczema.
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Schoenanthus)
Used in traditional Indian medicine for acne and for shrinking open pores, its antimicrobial, antiseptic and astringent properties make it an ideal oil for use in oily skin preparations and for skin prone to break outs.
Find it in Complexion Boosting Face Serum
Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia Citriodora)
This highly effective essential oil is obtained from a flowering plant native to the semi-temperate rainforests of eastern Australia. Scientific tests show it to be a potent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral, more powerful than tea tree oil.
Find it in Foot Softening Balm
Mandarin (Citrus Reticulata)
Because of its harmonising compatibility with even the youngest, most delicate skin, Mandarin is commonly known as the children's essential oil - non-toxic, non-irritant and with non-sensitising properties. In skincare, it’s useful for scars, spots and stretch marks. The essential oil is extracted from the outer peel by cold expression.
Mustard Seed Oil (Brassica Nigra)
Romans and Greeks have been using this beneficial oil for centuries, and it’s used in Northern India to promote healthy hair growth and stimulate the scalp as it’s an excellent hair tonic. Mustard seed oil contains high levels of selenium and zinc (deficiencies are linked to hair loss). It’s rich in beta-carotene, which stimulates the production of vitamin A, and is also a very good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, as well as iron, calcium, zinc, manganese and niacin. It contains high levels of magnesium, which has many beneficial properties, including restoring normal sleep patterns in women having difficulty with the symptoms of menopause, and migraine attacks.
Find it in Enriching Hair Oil
Neem Oil (Azadirachta Indica)
Neem is an esteemed oil because its active constituents have been seen to play a vital part in so many areas of beauty. Popularly known in India as the "village dispensary" and well documented in Ayurvedic texts, Neem is well known for its beneficial effects on the skin and in scalp disorders. It has excellent moisturising, regenerative and restructuring properties. It’s also antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and fungicidal, making it perfect for itchy, dry hair and scalp conditions. It helps restore body and shine to dry, damaged and delicate hair and helps mend the appearance of split ends. The concentrated essential fatty acids help to restore moisture and elasticity to the skin.
Olive Oil (Olea Europaea)
Olive oil has regenerating power on the skin tissue and has the ability to regulate the natural moisturising system of the skin. It smoothes and softens and is great for stimulating, healing, toning and firming the skin. The high concentration of anti-oxidants - including chlorophyll, and carotenoids - have free radical scavenging abilities, helping to promote and preserve younger-looking skin. Olive oil is rich in polyphenols, known to have anti-inflammatory (similar to Ibuprofen), anti-oxidant and anti-coagulant actions.
Patchouli (Pogostemon Cablin)
Particularly useful and nurturing in skincare due to its regenerative effects, patchouli helps heal and diminish many skin complaints including oiliness, acne, eczema, and wrinkles. It also helps dry, ageing skin to rejuvenate.
Find it in Super Hydrating Body Balm
Pomegranate Seed Oil (Punica Granatum)
Cold pressed Pomegranate Seed Oil helps boost skin restoration, improve elasticity of the skin, and promote the production of collagen to help reverse the damage caused by sun exposure. Pomegranate seed polyphenols have potent anti-oxidant and most likely cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory effects as well. In fact, pomegranate contains the highest known levels of gamma-tocopherol and polyphenols. Research at the University of California indicates that the total anti-oxidant capacity of 100 ml of pomegranate juice is two to three times that of 100 ml of green tea. Scientific research also shows that pomegranate juice is high in natural oestrogen too, which is known to help protect postmenopausal women against heart disease and osteoporosis.
Find it in Ultimate Moisture Face Serum
Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis)
One of the earliest plants to be used for food and medicine, Rosemary oil is perfect in hair preparations for dandruff, dermatitis, eczema and greasy hair as it promotes hair growth and stimulates the scalp. It also has anti-fungal properties and helps with both circulation and varicose veins.
Rosehip Seed Oil (Rosa Canina)
Rosehip Oil is traditionally an absolute beauty essential. Harvested from the seed of a native wild rose grown in southern Chile, it has been used for centuries in South America for its remarkable healing, moisturising and rejuvenating qualities. It has been shown to aid cell regeneration, boosting levels of collagen and elastin to create smoother, firmer skin. It also helps to reduce pigmentation problems and raised scar tissue by promoting healthy skin renewal. It’s effective even on old scars and helps to prevent and fade stretch marks. It is also a powerful anti-oxidant. When applied to the skin daily it protects from free radical damage associated with the sun, weather and ageing.
Rosehip Seed Oil consists of three-quarters essential fatty acids: oleic, linoleic, and linolenic, which help maintain healthy skin. It is an excellent source of trans-retinoic acid (a natural precursor of vitamin A). The synthesised version of retinoic acid called Retinol, is well known for treating a variety of skin disorders and used to delay the effects of skin ageing.
It was first studied in 1983 by a team of researchers from the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacology at the University of Concepcion in Chile, to evaluate the oil's effect in the skin regeneration process. During the two-year study, the oil was applied to 180 patients with surgical scars, injury scars and post-burn scars, as well as to a group suffering from premature aging. It was found that Rosehip Seed Oil produced an effective regenerative action on the skin, helping to attenuate scars and wrinkles, preventing advancement of premature ageing, and regaining lost colour and tone.
Sesame Seed Oil (Sesamum Indicum)
Sesame Oil is highly recommended within Ayurvedic medicine as a massage oil, as its chemical structure gives it a unique ability to penetrate the skin easily, nourishing and detoxifying even the deepest tissue layers. It has exceptional moisturising properties, probably due to its high Vitamin E content (25mg per 100gms) and is ideal for treating eczema, psoriasis and mature skin. In folk medicine it has also been used to help fade blemishes.
Sesame Oil also contains iron and phosphorus and is believed to be effective in delaying greying of the hair. Not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper (copper plays an important role in the activity of lysyl oxidase, an enzyme needed for the cross-linking of collagen and elastin), they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, Vitamin B1, and zinc.
Apparently the women of ancient Babylon would eat halva, a mixture of honey and sesame seeds, to prolong their youth and beauty. The Merck Manual lists it as an oil with exceptional antiseptic properties, which makes it effective in treating sensitive skin conditions such as atopic eczema and psoriasis.
Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii)
Shea butter has been used for centuries in Africa for its skin healing and moisturising capabilities. It's superior moisturising ability, anti-ageing, anti-wrinkle and cell regeneration properties help to fade scars and stretch marks and it’s also known to improve the skin's elasticity.
Safflower Oil (Carthamus Tinctorius)
Safflower Oil is mentioned in ancient Egyptian texts and was used to heal old wounds. It has superior skin compatibility and is easily absorbed by the skin due to its high linoleic acid content (80%). It soothes skin irritations or itchiness and increases the moisture content of the skin (skin hydration is proportional to the level of linoleic acid in the skin) so it’s particularly good for sensitive skin. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid which plays a vital role in the health of the body, and is used to produce prostaglandins. Prostaglandins strengthen cell membranes and, when not enough is produced, it can cause skin to become dry and wrinkled.
Vitamin E (Natural D-Mixed Tocopherol)
Vitamin E acts as a free radical scavenger, by hindering the oxidizing process in the skin. It promotes soft and supple skin, helps in reducing old scars and promotes healing. Used as a 'preservative' in our oil formulations, d-Mixed Tocopherol is a natural form of Vitamin E obtained from non GMO soya beans. Our Vitamin E is a 100% natural product, containing a mixture of alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherols (containing a minimum of 70% mixed tocopherols with alpha tocopherol at a maximum of 14% and beta, gamma and delta tocopherols at a minimum of 56%).
Natural Vitamin E has twice the bio-availability of its synthetic versions.
Ylang Ylang (Cananga Odorata)
The Ylang Ylang tree is native to Indonesia and the Philippines, and the oil is known to regulate and stimulate the circulation. It has a balancing effect on sebum and is hydrating and beneficial for mature, dry and oily skin types. In Victorian times, the oil was used in the popular hair treatment Macassar oil, due to its stimulating effect on the scalp, encouraging hair growth.