The following is a transcript of an interview with Entiere, a manufacturer of massage creams and oils. Although they no longer make these products, we felt the interview had some good information in it and decided to keep it.
In honor of this all-new line of cremes, oils, and lotions, Massage King interviewed the lead biochemist and creator of Entiere.
Entiere's Professional Massage products are a new line on the market. Is there really a need for a new line?
There is always a need structurally (or chemically) for a new product. You have to look at a product not only for its ability to function well on somebody's skin (its intrinsic properties as a liquid), but also for the way that it is presented to the consumer. And what I mean by presentation is the package itself. We have introduced this line with a somewhat unique packaging device, specifically the KangaPak bottle design. The idea behind it was to make the therapists' day a bit easier, and for things to be a little bit more structured and in place. Our container is a gallon with pump top that has a cubby or a crevice for a smaller 8 oz container. By using the gallon reservoir as a holding container for our 8oz dispenser bottle, we've created a useful new presentation, and packaged it with some products that we feel are an improvement over the competition. In terms of the products' functionality, we look at the way the product goes on the skin, the glide, the grip, how the product spreads on the skin, whether it gets absorbed or sits on the skin, whether it evaporates, whether it leaves an oily, sticky or silky feel behind, those would be the intrinsic properties of these liquids. We will certainly discuss later how the line between lotions and oils has been blurred. With that said, we have a lotion designed specifically to glide well, and a creme designed with more grip. So, we are dealing with the needs of massage therapists directly, instead of creating one formula and not giving them a choice. From that standpoint, we are fulfilling a need in the market. The entire package then becomes something the industry could certainly use.
What separates your product?
When we started creating this line, we looked at what was missing from current products. We looked at the intrinsic properties we just discussed. Specifically, we looked at how the products are absorbed and their textures. Starting off with the oil, we developed something that would be absorbed into the skin quickly. Basically we wanted something that would coalesce with the chemistry of the skin much better than that, which was available. We then looked at cremes and lotions. Essentially, cremes and lotions have historically been produced in two opposite ways. A creme was traditionally solid at room temperature and formulated with a glossier external oil phase. A lotion, on the other hand, was typically pourable and produced with an external water phase. When processing with oil as an external phase, the water is suspended in the oil. If you were to look at a tiny droplet under a microscope, your droplets would be covered on the outside with oil, with water being suspended on the inside. The oil is going to hit the skin first. The water is going to ride on top of it and be, for the most part, evaporated off the skin. This leaves an oilier residue on the skin. Opposingly, if you make the water the external phase, then the oil is suspended inside the water. The oil, as it is laid down on the skin, does not typically leave as oily a feel on the skin as that found with an external oil phase. So, you get a less oily feeling with a lotion than you would with a creme. That's the traditional way of blending those items - the way it has been done since the ancients began producing these things. There have been breakthroughs in polymer chemistry, as well as changes in packaging and dispensing over the last 30 years, which have changed the ways products are made thicker or thinner, oily or not oily, so calling something a creme versus a lotion has become less relevant recently. As an example, Entiere's massage creme is a pumpable semi-solid. Although that line between cremes and lotions has been blurred, external oil versus water phase is still an important part of what we do. However, because today's auxiliary ingredients tend to negate some of the phase-effects, the importance associated with the phase-chemistry is smaller. Basically we have formulated both the creme and lotion with an external water phase. That, in combination with quality ingredients like Kukui oil, allows us to achieve the aesthetics of a creme with an external water phase, or the spreadability of a lotion with a little more thickness like a traditional creme. Beyond the action or functionality of the products, we wanted something that contained primarily natural ingredients. We knew that was important to many Massage Therapists. In going that direction, we landed on Kukui oil, extracted from the Kukui tree. Kukui actually has a chemical makeup or carbon structure that is very similar to the carbon structure in the lipophilic areas of our skin. So, it readily coalesces with that nature of the skin, which aids in its ability to be absorbed into the skin. In addition to Kukui's favorable chemical nature, it has some good history in Hawaii. According to legend, it was used by early Hawaiians to take away the effects of sunburn, and so there was a little bit of history there with the oil being used to heal skin. In addition to that, we've added ingredients like Almond oil, canola oil, olive oil and these are all natural ingredients. They don't have quite the height of benefit that Kukui oil has, but they still have benefits.
What led you to create hand soap? This isn't something that we see offered very often by long-standing manufacturers of oils and cremes.
After a massage, certainly a therapist's hands are going to be oily. For hygienic and other reasons, therapists, just like everyone in a clinical environment, need to wash their hands after every session with an anti-bacterial soap. We developed our hand soap for that purpose. One of the problems associated with many anti-bacterial soaps it that they are fairly drying. We came up with something that specifically combats that problem. By carefully controlling the cleansing ingredients in our soap, we were able to essentially reverse this effect, and make our product moisturizing, to a limited extent.
Many customers like to add fragrances and essential oils to their oils.
There are definitely some problems associated with blending fragrances into processed creams and lotions. Entiere's Fragrance Free Professional Massage Cream and Lotion have been carefully created to allow therapists to add their own fragrances without destabilizing the emulsion and creating separation. We have accomplished this through the addition of auxiliary ingredients, which strengthen the emulsion's HLB (hydrophilic / lipophilic balance). The HLB is what chemically / electrically bonds an emulsion together.
Some customers are looking for 'all natural' products. Obviously, you can't just go out there and squeeze something out of a flower and sell it on the market. What do you do to keep the nature of your
Although I've told you that we try to produce things as naturally as possible, the word natural is a bit of a bug-a-boo to me. If you look at the proteins and acids in our body, they are nothing more than polymers. Looking at the polymers we produce in the lab, they are similar to the proteins found in your body. They aren't naturally derived, but by using the same building blocks, they work just as well. Looking at all natural ingredients, you often find many contaminants and things in a natural ingredient that perhaps you don't want but, because the product is all-natural, you can't really get out. These include spectator ions and things that may have detrimental effects. The therapist or the patient can be affected. When you look at our massage oil, the entire chemistry is simply a blending of oils in the proper proportions to achieve the desired intrinsic properties, in terms of glide, grip, whatever. It's a mixture of oils, plus one emulsifier. But as for the ingredients, you could cook or even eat them with no problem. The only questionable item would be our oleth-3, an ester, which makes the system a little water-soluble. I wouldn't describe that as perfectly natural, but it's close.
We have had many customers ask us if oils, cremes, etc., will wash out of their sheets. Can you tell me how water solubility affects that, and how your products will come out?
Oils are going to tend to stay on sheets. That is their nature. As for our product, you can get it mostly out. There is going to be a residue - you wouldn't notice it at first but, eventually, it will stain the sheets. In a straight oil system, the only way around it is to increase the amount of emulsifier in the mixture. In doing that you are going to disturb the way it glides, grips, and the way it smells. We have to create a marketable balance - something that can be washed-out, but something that won't make it displeasing in terms of appearance, smell, etc. With regard to cremes, lotions, etc., that's a different story. Because of the careful chemical balance we discussed earlier, our product will wash completely out of linens.
Some customers are concerned, for themselves and their patients, about allergies. How hypoallergenic is your product?
I think you have to break the system down into its components. You have to break the system down into its ingredients, and see how many irritating or sensitizing ingredients are present, and how many desensitizing ingredients are present. First, we try to keep our ingredient list small in all of our products to inhibit the possibility of a reaction. It is the best thing you can do to prevent reactions. Many chemicals will react negatively on skin and so if you limit the number of chemicals in your system, natural or not, you are better off. After limiting the number of raw materials, we look for ingredients that are less sensitizing. Here we get back to the misconception that 'all natural' products are better. There are many chemicals, natural and unnatural, that are very irritating. Basically we look for the ones that are not. Desensitizing ingredients frequently include polymers and silicones.
You talked about the Kukui oil healing the skin from sunburn. How does your product affect people with skin problems like psoriasis and eczema?
I don't have any clinical data to address this issue, so I can only speak about these items based on my knowledge of their ingredients, not what will actually happen. Kukui oil has been touted by the ancients and modern-day chemists as being a treatment for all kinds of dermatitis. Is there enough Kukui in this product to treat dermatitis or sunburn? Again, it hasn't been clinically tested. But certainly Kukui oil has been known to help. And Kukui is in there. Anyone with dermatitis will tell you that it can be flared up by things that are drying or irritating, Since we have stayed away from anything that is drying or irritating, and one of the few lipophilic ingredients present is something that cured dermatitis (again, this is not clinically proven) I think we probably have a system that would work quite well with various skin sensitivities
You seem to have a wealth of understanding about this kind of product. What is your
My company [World Club Supply] has produced health and beauty products for the Health and Fitness industry since 1981. We were the pioneer's of Locker-room Amenities to the Fitness Industry. We opened the market. We started off with liquid soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, lotions, cremes and such. Our product line quickly grew from four products to fifteen and included proprietary inventions like our Pilfer-Proof Extend-A-Spray system. Later we began producing private label products for the retail market and expanded our proprietary line to 24-items. This included labels for companies here in the US and abroad. We found that foreign companies were eager to label their products `Made in America`. We have continued our push in the fitness industry and have now included the resort industry. I am a chemical engineer with a specialization in Bio-Chemical engineering. Bio-Chemical engineering contains elements of physiology, biochemistry, general chemistry and chemical engineering. My academic background was fueled by a fascination with our body's physiology , in terms of chemistry and longevity. Since 1981 I have personally spent a minimum of 1,000-hours per year in the lab. It is this combination that has led me to where I am today.
Thank you very much for your time!
No sir, thank you!