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Interview with Giorgiomaria Del Papa

Your company Umbria Olii has been working in the processing and packaging of olive oils for over 60 years: Giorgio, how did you think to come up with an olive oil cosmetic line?
Forgive me for correcting you, but Olivella, that's how we decided to name the line, is not made by products "with some olive oil percentage" but entirely and exclusively with it. Apparently the difference is minimal, but the result is completely different; Olivella products are 100% virgin olive oil based. To say only 'with olive oil' is undervaluing the real essence of these products, because the percentage could even be 1% for instance. Many companies advertise items as products with olive oil, when in reality, after briefly checking the ingredients, it clearly emerges that the olive oil is only a minimal part, added to chemical substances and to animal fats or oils of any kind.

Correcting myself, how was the idea Olivella born?
Over the years our company has been providing to many cosmetic factories fat acids and products derived from olive oil, therefore we decided that it was time to start with our own line since we had plenty of raw material. (lol) At the beginning the first thing that came to our minds, after years of research and analysis, was of course a solid soap, followed by the liquid one and then a whole line including body cream, face and hand creams and the oil essence; we have in program many products...I don't lack in ideas, but it's harder than I thought since we have to face the obstacle of producing cosmetics exclusively with olive oil. Anyway, I am really focusing on this because it is something I believe in, as well as all the people that have been helping me daily and supporting this adventurous project.

Could you explain to us, in a simple way, what's the difference between Olivella and the rest of similar products in the market right now?
As I mentioned before, Olivella is a real olive oil based line and this means that it is produced without animal fats, such as lard and tallow, or vegetal fats such as coconut, palm, or soy oil. As you probably already know, olive oil is in a dermatological way, more suitable to the lipidic layer of our skin and this means that it is less aggressive compared to others; therefore by using these products skin will be less dry and more smooth. To compare products of other brands in which there is also olive oil, we simply read the ingredients and in the Olivella ones we see that there is only: Sodium Olivate, Aqua, Parfum. To illustrate the difference we can take as example the food system, for instance the difference between an organic fruit and a non-organic one: the latter might be nicer and round shaped, spotless, lucid and more sparkling, but it will always be a non-organic product therefore only partially natural. The organic one even if presenting some aesthetic flaws is certainly natural and with "no additional chemicals". I've tried your products and I have to admit that I am quite satisfied, but I have to address to you a consideration, if you allow me, regarding the solid soap; it seems to melt faster than a normal soap. You've found the defect....(lol) This issue has been the object of many meetings for us, but at the end, always to pursue the idea of a natural soap we decided not to add chemical or animal solutions that would have jeopardized the quality of the final product. The more solid effect that you find in other soap derives in fact from these added elements.

Finally, which benefits does the skin receive from The Olivella products?
The Olivella line is composed by natural elements that don't contain any coloring or synthetic essences; the green color in fact, is not artificial but it derives essentially from the olive oil. The soaps, creams and moisturizers have emollient and softening properties, which prevent the skin from aging and protect it from the free radicals negative action. Olivella is suitable for dry or oily skins, and I believe it could be defined as the “natural Mediterranean diet for our skins”...we Italians know something about food culture, don't we? (laughs) 

Thanks a lot for your time