The sun shone brightly as birds sang songs of the delicious olives they devoured off the trees. A light breeze shook the branches and the juicy fruits fell to the ground in quiet Queen Creek.
Locals and tourists alike flock to Queen Creek Olive Mill to stock up on the extra virgin olive oil produced on the property. The mill is family owned and operated by the Rea’s.
They moved to Arizona and planted 1,000 olive trees around 1998, according to the company website. They have been producing olive oil ever since.
Soon after, co-founder of the mill, Brenda Rea, discovered the beauty uses of olive oil. She started using it to soften her skin as well as her children’s skin, which began the journey to the creation of Olivespa.
Olivespa is a skincare company within Queen Creek Olive Mill that bases all the products on their extra virgin olive oil.
Rea started her skincare operations in her kitchen with the help of her three daughters. One of her daughters who is now the manager of Olivespa, Joey, said, “It was kinda like our high school job.”
Olivespa started with the production of lip balms, hand sabs, foot balms and body oils. They grew to include many other products including, but not limited to, hand sanitizers, salt scrubs and beard conditioning oil.
“My mom has a very creative mind and she comes up with a lot of fun products,” Rea said.
Although olive oil is able to produce many beauty products, other professional skincare manufacturers might disagree with the use of it as a base.
Neal Hutchinson, director of product technologies and regulatory at YG Laboratories, a California- based skin and body care manufacturing lab, said, “I’m not sure, from a skin health standpoint, it would be my oil of choice.”
Hutchinson explained more nutritious oils in the manufacturing world of skincare would be safflower oil, sunflower oil or avocado oil to name a few.
Despite this expert opinion, skin health is Olivespa’s number one priority, and they embrace the clean beauty movement with their olive oil.
They only use high polyphenol extra virgin olive oil which means that it is very high in antioxidants. This reduces pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles when the oil is absorbed into the skin.
Any other ingredients added to Olivespa’s products are all natural, organic and the most refined versions of the ingredients which include shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax and essential oils.
“There is so much potential, you can’t really limit it honestly when it comes to natural beauty,” Rea said. “That can include an entire realm of all-natural wellness.”
She prefers Olivespa products to others she has used because all the ingredients are natural and listed on the label.
“I would rather live a toxin-free life. It just so happens that the products work really well too, so that’s a plus,” Rea said.
Rebecca Gadberry, senior instructor of cosmetic sciences at the University of California Los Angeles, explained that the use of olive oil for softening the skin has probably been around just as long as it has been used for cooking.
Olivespa utilizes the tradition of olive oil but focuses on growing as a company with the clean beauty movement in mind.
Rea said, “I would love to see Olivespa as a leader in clean beauty. I would really love to see us being able to support all women, any age with any type of skin issue in whatever way that would happen.”
She wants nothing more than to help people’s skin health thrive.
Rea explained her goals to get people “headed in the right direction to have beautiful clean skin so they can feel good in their bodies.”