Products and Ingredients
Are your products natural?
Products and Ingredients
Yes, our products are effective, safe, and natural for the specific needs of hair, face, body and children’s care. Our methods and ideals are
rooted in ancient African traditions that we're proud to share with the global market. Uncompromising and proud, we radiate a spirit of joy,
and evoke the iconic beauty of African people, landscapes and art. We use indigenous ingredients – local resources and traditional
handcrafting – unrefined "raw" shea butter, African black soap and coconut oil, among others.
How can I find out what ingredients are in an Alaffia product?
Each product label contains a complete ingredient listing according to INCI (International Nomenclature for Cosmetics Ingredients). INCI
uses scientific names and individual components of an ingredient or extract that might be blended. INCI allows the ingredients to be
consistent across the globe for transparency and clarity. Our website also includes a complete ingredient listing for each individual
Do your products contain sulfates or parabens?
Alaffia products don’t contain sulfates or parabens. Our products are also free of phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, silicones, artificial
fragrance or synthetic coloring.
Are your products vegan?
Some of our products contain animal-derived ingredients, such as honey and goat's milk. These are included on the ingredient listing on
the label and on our website for each product. If you have a specific product question, please email us at email@example.com, and we
would be happy to assist you.
Are your products gluten-free?
Please carefully review the ingredient list of any product prior to use, particularly because the listed ingredients for a product may change.
If you have a known allergy to gluten, you should always consult with your physician if you have questions regarding whether it is safe for
you to use a particular product.
Are your products cruelty-free?
Yes, we're proudly cruelty-free and do not test on animals.
Are your products Fair Trade?
Alaffia is a For Life certified operation by ECOCERT for demonstrated corporate responsibility. Several of our products, including those
with a primary base of shea or coconut, are also certified Fair for Life – ECOCERT’s fair trade product certification.
What is Alaffia’s Leaping Bunny Certification?
Leaping Bunny is a cruelty-free certification that verifies that Alaffia does not test their products on animals. To get a leaping bunny
certification, companies must pledge to end animal testing at all stages of product development. Additionally, they are required to
re-commit to the program annually and allow third party audits to ensure all requirements are continually upheld.
What type of fragrances do you use in your products?
Alaffia uses essential oils and a concentrated "hydrophobic" liquid containing aromatic compounds from plants, which are steam-distilled
and CO2 extracted. We also use aromatic extracts that are physically extracted from plant materials, and blends of these extracts are
used to create more complex fragrances. Lastly, we use natural fragrance oils, including blends of pure essential oils, distillates, natural
materials, and plant source materials – without synthetics.
Do you offer unscented products?
Yes, we offer a wide variety of unscented products from washes to lotions to balms to hair care.
How do you source your palm oil?
At Alaffia, we use both red palm oil and palm kernel oil in several of our products. While red palm oil comes from palm fruit, the palm
kernel oil is extracted from the palm seed. Both these products contain saturated fatty acids that are critical to our skin's structure and
elasticity. Rest assured that Alaffia does not use palm oil that comes from these plantations. Our natural West African palm oil is grown
and harvested by small-scale farmers in the Maritime region of Togo, from the town of Tsevie to Kpalime. The oil is extracted by our Fair
Trade cooperative in Sokodé using traditional methods. When palm oil is grown as an industrial plantation crop, such as in Indonesia and Malaysia on newly cleared rainforests or peat-swamp forests rather than on already degraded land or disused agricultural land, it can
contribute to the endangerment of animals such as the Orangutans. However, this is not the case with the small farms that we receive our
palm oil from in Africa. Oil palms are native to West Africa and have been grown as part of multi-cropped sustainable small farms for
centuries. It's also important to point out that Orangutans do not exist in Africa.
How is Alaffia's Authentic African Black Soap made?
Alaffia's Authentic African collection is likened to the home remedies of Togolese mamans. Our Authentic African Black Soap is made from
a centuries-old recipe of handcrafted shea butter and Orangutan-safe West African palm oil. Saponification is reached by adding potash to
the hot oils, then cooking it for six hours. The last step is curing the soap in the sun for three weeks, resulting in a natural and highly
effective soap for all skin types.
How are Alaffia's EveryDay Shea Body Wash and Hand Soap and EveryDay Coconut
Body Wash made?
Shea butter and coconut oil are mixed together and heated. A natural saponifier made from ashes of plantain leaves and tree barks is added,
then the mixture is cooked over heat, stirring constantly for 30- 60 minutes until the hot saponification process is completed. The hot soap is scooped into a large metal bowl, where the soap expands up into a palm-frond basket and cools. Cooled soap is placed onto palm frond
mats to dry in the sun. This truly natural liquid hand and body soap is ultra-moisturizing and gentle for all skin types and ages.
What is Whipped Shea Butter & Coconut Oil and how can it be used?
Our Whipped Shea & Coconut Oil, made with a high percentage of fair trade unrefined "raw" shea butter and coconut oil, provides intense,
all-natural hydration. It has a whipped texture and is highly effective for dry elbows, feet, hands and other areas that defy moisturization and softness. Whipped Shea & Coconut Oils also help to alleviate symptoms related to conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, and aid
pregnant women in keeping skin pliable and elastic. The butters also work beautifully as a gentle, natural baby cream. Available in a
variety of natural scents and unscented.
The Unrefined Shea Butter is hard. How do I use it?
Our Pure Unrefined Shea Butter is raw shea that hasn’t been chemically processed to retain its natural vitamin content. You may stir with a spatula to soften the butter and warm it between your hands for an easier application.
Why do I detect a faint aroma in your Pure Unrefined Shea Butter or Unscented
We use natural butters, oils and botanical extracts that may have a slight natural aroma. We don’t use deodorized butters and oils to avoid unnecessary chemical processing, so you may detect a hint of a raw material's natural scent. This doesn't affect the product's efficacy or performance in any way.
Beautiful Curls is formulated for what type of hair?
Products with shea butter or coconut oil may soften or slightly liquefy due to exposure during shipping in hot weather, after being left in a
warm car or when used at the beach. Place the product in the refrigerator and it will solidify again. This doesn't affect the efficacy or
performance of the product.
Magnesium sulfate is listed in several Beautiful Curls products. Is this bad for my hair?
Our Beautiful Curls collection is formulated for and works well for all types of waves, curls, coils and kinks from type 2 hair to 4c hair.
What is phenoxyethanol and why do you use it?
Magnesium sulfate, otherwise known as "Epsom salts", is a naturally occurring mineral and helps to naturally activate curls. It is not
related to the surfactants also ending in the word "sulfate" and does not function as a surfactant.
Why does my product look or feel slightly different than it did before?
Phenoxyethanol is a preservative. We have chosen to use phenoxyethanol as it is generally considered to be a safe alternative to other
common preservation agents like parabens. At this time, phenoxyethanol has been found to be a more effective alternative to other
available preservatives that would either compromise the shelf life of our products or potentially release harmful chemicals, such as
What is Good Soap?
Our use of natural, unrefined ingredients may produce slight variations in fragrance, color and texture, depending upon climate, season
of harvest and individualized traditional processing methods. If you are concerned that there may be another issue, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the 8 digit lot# printed on the packaging.
My skin is sensitive. May I use Alaffia products?
Alaffia's Good Soap bars are triple-milled, gluten-free and zero waste. Soaps are made with moisturizing and protective ingredients like
fair trade unrefined, "raw" shea butter, coconut oil, African black soap and goat’s milk. Vegan soaps are noted in the individual soap
descriptions. Available in a variety of natural fragrances, Good Soap is available exclusively at Whole Foods stores in the U.S. and
Canada. 100% of proceeds go to helping communities and families around the world. 10% of proceeds are donated to the Whole Planet Foundation with 1% of retail sales donated (up to $25k annually) to use for its mission of alleviating poverty through microfinance
lending around the world. Alaffia dedicates proceeds from sales of Good Soap to our Education Empowerment Project to fund the
construction of one kindergarten a year in Togo. Since 2014, we have built six kindergartens.
I may have had a reaction to one of your products. What should I do?
Our products were formulated for and tested on all skin types, including sensitive, however we recommend doing a patch test on the
inside of your wrist or side of the neck and wait for 24 hours to ensure there’s no reaction.
Why does my product color look different from what I purchased previously?
If your experience involves a potential adverse reaction involving one of our products, please email us at email@example.com, as
well as discontinue use immediately.