The village of Tavronitis in the province of Kissamos in Chania, Crete is home to F. Sika & Sia O.E. - distinct title “FISIKA” – a sustainable workshop of natural products from certified organic Cretan Olive oil. FISIKA is named after its three founding members, the women of the Sika family: Filio Sika, Voula Sika and Maria Tzanavari-Sika.
Nature, in its infinite wisdom, provides all the necessary elements and mechanisms to sustain life so that it can grow and thrive. Since the birth of man and before the industrial revolution’s hold on humanity, people entrusted nature, observed its ways and used all available resources with respect towards their surrounding environment. In our era, this harmonious relationship with nature has sadly become a thing of the past. This detrimental fact motivated our FISIKA family towards the conscious decision to rediscover our true heritage, adopt a holistic approach to life and reacquaint ourselves with nature’s ways.
We realised how ‘city life’ actually limited our options and instead of offering us the choice to use products that were to our benefit diverted our focus towards the single purpose of perpetuating commerce. We left all that behind and gradually reminded ourselves to appreciate and revere our true home. We re-discovered flavours, scents, and all that nature can only supply. We started using products of organic origin, tried our hand at producing our own, and in 1990 started making creams and ointments for our own personal use. In 2003, we made our first olive-oil based soaps. Even in their then raw form, our soaps sparked the interest of our family, friends and social circle. All the positive feedback encouraged us to venture further; we expanded our knowledge, scope and production methods, and enhanced our recipes. The addition of essential oils enriched our soaps thanks to their inherently beneficial properties.
We produce our soaps using the cold-press method, which does not compromise the natural wholeness of the precious components of olive oil or any other ingredients used. Our soaps cleanse and protect, eliminating the risk of coming in contact with the any unnecessary and potentially harmful chemical substances or dubiously sourced ingredients, which quite often turn out to be allergenic.
We do not condone testing on animals nor do we perform any. Our own family is our test ground and we are guided by thousands of years of expertise passed on by generations of Cretans who used these very products without overbearing the environment.
Since FISIKA was established, our sole concern was to operate a business with the least possible impact on the environment. We are committed to the specifications of the current ‘green’ economy, with regards to energy performance, water usage, carbon footprint and packaging material.
In complying with the above, we were particularly mindful in the selection of our facilities and equipment. Thus, our activities are powered by using only a total of 8kW - the optimum ratio of minimum energy input/maximum performance.
In addition, our production process results in no refuse material and no resources are wasted. Water used for equipment-cleaning is then reused along with soap scraps to produce soap for domestic cleaning purposes.
We use recyclable or reusable packaging, as was widely practiced in the times prior to the intrusion of non-biodegradable material into our everyday lives and consumer habits. Our cotton pouches encase our soaps and considerably reduce our carbon footprint, contributing towards a healthier economy.
All of the above effectively assist FISIKA in showcasing our dedication to the benefits of a natural skincare regime.
We are looking forward to our products leading you to a discovery of your own: the natural gift of pure, luxurious skincare.
The chemistry of good soap
Soap is a mixture of the salts of potassium or sodium that is contained in caustic soda along with greasy acids.
In other words:
greasy acids + NaOH = salt (soap) + glycerin [C3H5(OH)3] acid + base = salt
Its properties depend on the type and quality of oil used, as different oils have different acids in different proportions. For example, soap made exclusively of coconut oil may have excellent foaming and cleansing properties even when using it with salt water, but it is harsh and irritates skin, while olive oil soap may produce less foam but is soft and suitable for skin. Olive oil soap cleanses softly and hydrates the skin, without blocking its pores, which even makes it suitable for baby skin.
Olive oil soap comes in various shades, depending on acidity. Its colours can range from grey-white, to cream, to yellow-green or green. However, its colour is not an indicator of its quality. Its quality is determined during the production process.
Soap is prepared by using two methods: hot or cold.
With the hot method, soapmass is formed by boiling grease together with the soda. Then salt is added, to extract glycerine along with any impurities from the mix. Finally, it is cut and sits to dry for a few days.
Since the invention of soap, the hot method has been the one most widely used, because it allows all parts of oil and grease to be reused in the production of soap – even by-products such as frying oil and oil sediments (mourga). Any grease components that cannot result into soap are rejected by way of boiling. It is this very process of boiling though that strips oil of its unique properties.
The cold method is a much slower soap-making process that employs low temperatures. Soda and oil are mixed and stirred to form a soapmass. This does not compromise any properties within the oil, and has no by-products. After the soap is solid enough to be cut, it is left to sit for approximately another 4 weeks until the solidifying process neutralises any remaining traces of soda. The end result is a natural, pure soap.
On one hand, the cold method is a gradual soap-making process. It requires more time and top quality oil. On the other hand, the most obvious advantage of this method and the main reason why we selected to employ it is that all properties of olive oil and any other ingredients used remain intact, since there is no boiling involved. This translates into higher quality soap, an affordable luxury to indulge in for the benefit of our skin, which houses and protects our physical wellbeing.