I'm proud to debut one of our newest cleansers, SAVANT, to you all. After some time of thinking and hearing you out about creating a cleanser for a full routine, I finally did it, but it took me a while because I wanted it to be perfect and how I envisioned it.
I look at creating formulas like a work of art because it is essentially, a work of art. When you're dreaming up a product, you think of how you want the texture to be. You think of the perfect color (without additives). You dream of how it will feel on your skin and what you want to avoid. And with SAVANT, all of my dreams came true.
When I thought about creating the perfect cream cleanser, I immediately thought of a custard. I wanted it to have the stiffness of a custard, but melted onto your skin effortlessly like a custard would melt into your mouth. Started to play with different ingredients that could give that affect and create a sort of "break" onto the skin without feeling too heavy. One of the contenders was the use of stearic acid. I realized that stearic acid created a very waxy and heavy feeling on the skin and made the product a little too thick. I thought about the use of butters, but initially I was against butters due to some being too think and majority comedogenic. So, for the first couple of tries, I stayed away from something that would inevitably crawl its way back into my formulation at the right "aha" moment.
Next, the challenge came when I tested cera bellina in the formulation and that definitely made the overall formula waxy. It didn't perform the way that I expected and I began to grow frustrated because all I wanted was a custard-like formula! Back to the drawing board and even at this time, SAVANT wasn't the name that I landed on initially either. The name SAVANT really didn't hit me until I took a step back to really evaluate everything and also, evaluate myself. I asked myself, "What is a word or thing that could translate into me understanding and knowing myself?"
SAVANT, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary means:
1: a person of learning especially : one with detailed knowledge in some specialized field (as of science or literature)
I thought that this was a cunning word because as I began to look more in depth to understand its meaning, the Merriam-Webster site stated the most perfect insight as to what would become the most fitting name for this cleanser and fit in with the Ode to Self brand:
Savant comes from Latin sapere ("to be wise") by way of Middle French, where "savant" is the present participle of savoir, meaning "to know." "Savant" shares roots with the English words "sapient" ("possessing great wisdom") and "sage" ("having or showing wisdom through reflection and experience"). The term is sometimes used in common parlance to refer to a person who demonstrates extraordinary knowledge in a particular subject, or an extraordinary ability to perform a particular task (such as complex arithmetic), but who has much more limited capacities in other areas.
This couldn't have been the most perfect word that I stumbled across and to look at its root meaning made perfect sense. Ode to Self is rooted in getting to know yourself and understand yourself. And once you understand who you are, you've learned yourself in and out and you're wiser, smarter, about your wants and needs and what you require to stay whole and grounded. Once you know yourself, you're able to help guide others and share your experience to help them get to know theirselves as well. And no one else can tell you about yourself or who you are because only YOU (and God) possess knowledge about yourself and you are steadfast in the makings of you.
This was indeed a fitting, yet rich, name and that's how SAVANT came to be. And that's how I managed to take a step back and slow down to find what I was missing from the formula to truly bring my vision to life.
Somehow, I can't remember, I stumbled upon Kokum Butter. It's almost as though it really feel into my lap, but I started studying it and found that it's non-comedogenic (big win) and possessed so many nurturing properties with one of them helping to restore skin's elasticity. Bonkers. I had to have it and try it.
I ended up switching out the type of surfactant that I initially used as well, and decided upon Decyl Glucoside, which is a mild surfactant and lathers gently and doesn't strip the skin. Perfect. It's as almost I found all of the right pieces of the puzzle and it ended up coming together harmoniously––almost.
The first test batch using the new ingredients and revised formulation, it ended up crummy. I almost gave up and just went to bed afterwards to be completely honest. I really thought that I had it. Buuuut, after being a drama queen for a couple of days, I tried again. Tweaked some things here and there. Heated both phases and took my time and really did it with love this time.
And this time, it formed the most smooth, structured, buttery, pillowy, and softest product that I ever made...with the likeness of a "custard" that I wanted. The orange-sorbet color comes from the Guava oil as there are zero color additives in this formula and the hint of cocoa intertwined with fresh Neroli comes from the Kokum butter with Neroli Hydrosol in this beautiful formula.
I'm so happy to introduce this lovely product to you all and so far using it has been wonderful. I absolutely look forward to washing my face daily with this cleanser as it doesn't leave the skin dry or stripped. Instead, it leaves the skin soft and smoother than before, with gentle exfoliation thanks to the 5% Lactic Acid that's in the formula. I hope you get to experience SAVANT for yourself and fall in love with it the way that I did, while falling into a deeper understanding of yourself as well.