We are a husband and wife team specializing in making natural soap using all-natural ingredients. My husband, Issa, is originally from the famous soap making city of Nablus in Palestine. I’m Nawal from Malaysia, the tropical paradise of South East Asia. Here is how our soap business was born:
In Malaysia, I worked as a university lecturer. I had a busy life and was stressed with all the work. I had oily skin and would occasionally have acne flare ups. Meanwhile, my husband Issa, who was completing his PhD in Malaysia, had always used traditional natural soaps which were made of olive oil since his childhood, because of its benefits for the skin.
Issa’s hometown, the city of Nablus, is famous for “Nabulsi soap” a type of soap bar made of olive oil from the extra harvest of the surrounding olive farms. Olive oil was considered a staple in each family and was dubbed “The Blessed Oil” for its nourishing and healing properties. In the old days, olive oil was used for almost everything; as a skin moisturizer, hair oil and even as ointment for insect bites and injuries!
Noticing my skin condition, Issa made a small batch of Nabulsi soap for me using olive oil we have at home. It turned out to be the best soap for my skin after a week of using it. My acne completely cleared up and my skin was no longer oily. This motivated Issa to make more soap and learn from other soap makers from his hometown. We shared this soap with my sister who had the same skin problems and it reduced her acne significantly, while her husband found his dandruff and itchy scalp disappeared.
In 2017, we decided it was time to show others the benefits of these traditional soaps. We made more than 20 recipes, not only from olive oil, but also from other nourishing oils, such as coconut oil, avocado oil and castor oil.
We researched other natural beauty secrets from traditions from around the world and discovered the use of turmeric, rice, neem, dead sea mud and many others. We added these beauty secrets to our recipes catering to various skin types. We began by selling the bars to friends, family and office colleagues and discovered the niche market of natural soap bars in Malaysia. And so our soap business blossomed~
In 2019, we arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia to discover there is a growing market for natural soaps. So we re-launched our soaps under the brand name ‘Olivicana’. Olivicana is a combination between ‘olive oil’ which is our main ingredient and ‘cana’ from Canada. Together, the name invokes a natural approach to skincare which is proudly made in Canada.
Made with love and care, using all-natural ingredients. Olivicana Soap: Nature Approved Skincare.