[Exclusive Look Inside]: AHAVA's Chief Scientist Dishes On The Elements Of Beauty
Meet the Doctor of Dead Sea Cosmetics
Dr. Ze’evi Maor, AHAVA’s Head of research and Development, has always had a knack for science – and for unleashing the secrets of nature.
With over 27 years of experience at AHAVA, Dr. Maor has dedicated most of his life to understanding the properties and active elements of the Dead Sea, to formulate AHAVA’s patented, science-backed, vegan beauty solutions.
To uncover Dr. Maor’s story and the inspiration behind the products, Aha! Magazine sat down with him for an inside look into AHAVA’s R&D department, and to open a window into a world where science beautifully meets nature..
What would you say specifically differentiates AHAVA from other Dead Sea brands?
From the very beginning, AHAVA was a real story. We have a real passion for what we do and we are actually trying to understand the effects of the minerals on the skin and to uncover the best way to formulate Dead Sea actives. This is what we have been doing for the last 27 years. We are the only Dead Sea Minerals company that is actually located here on the shores of the Dead Sea. We are the real Dead Sea “fishermen,” obliged to protect it for generations to come.
What inspires you professionally?
The dream to see AHAVA Dead Sea products, developed with love in the lowest point on Earth, marketed on significant shelves worldwide, inspires and energizes me to always try harder.
What is your favorite AHAVA product and why?
The latest product developed is always the closest to my heart. Right now that would be the Crystal Osmoter™, with its exceptional texture and patented technology.
What do you think consumers appreciate the most about the AHAVA Extreme skincare range?
I think it’s really effective. It takes both the benefits of the minerals from the Dead Sea, and specific botanical actives. What is so special is that these actives are survivors, coming from the most extreme points on earth. Evolution created very powerful activity. For example, NASA is also researching actives from these points on Earth, looking for plants that are able to survive in harsh conditions.
How would you say that the Dead Sea’s geographic location is important for beauty?
First of all it’s 100% natural. There are a lot of synthetic ingredients on the market today, but the Dead Sea contains active ingredients that have been around for thousands of years. There is even documentation of Cleopatra using the Dead Sea as a personal spa.
The benefits of the Dead Sea is well-established and there have been no reports of bad, harmful effects. The natural elements from this specific area are very helpful for skin problems and arthritis.
But what is the real effect? First, Weanalyzed the so called “fairytales” of the Dead Sea - people were telling me that they had instantly smooth and energized skin after they bathed in the Sea. So at our labs, we analyzed these different claims. Although how it works is still an enigma, we have some clues about scientifically proven activities here. We understand that the minerals act as an osmotic pump for our skin, protecting and nourishing the layers throughout.
What we have found is that by putting a high concentration of minerals on the skin, especially magnesium and calcium, the osmotic pump becomes very strong throughout.
How can you explain what is happening with the Osmotic pump?
The epidermis is the outermost part of our body; therefore it suffers from exposure of outside elements as well as poor nutrition, circulation, etc. What we have found is that putting high concentration of minerals on skin, really creates an osmotic pump on top of the skin’s surface.
If you put minerals on top of a semi-penetrated barrier, you will see that the water will move toward the minerals because the minerals attract the water. The skin’s dermis must nourish the epidermis because there are no blood vessels here, so when you put minerals on top of the skin, the dermis pushes water towards the surface of the epidermis, moisturizing the skin. .
Mud is hugely popular now. Can you talk about how AHAVA started using Dead Sea mud and its benefits for consumers?
The first idea came many years ago, when EinGedi inhabitants noticed that the tourists were all taking mud home with them. We then said okay, maybe this means something. We then went to a chemist and asked him to make a hand cream with water from the Dead Sea. We eventually moved to other things as well.
By the way- when the company first started, its name was Dead Sea Health Company. We didn’t know that we would become a skincare company. My first research was on disease, and we created a mud to treat arthritis. But at the time we didn’t realize all the huge benefits of the mud.
Consumers love the mud for the skin because it’s something real and scientifically active. The quality of our mud is exceptional, and AHAVA is the only company that has the rights to mine mud from the Dead Sea. We are not trying to be monopolistic though, we help anyone else that wants to try to research the mud. The only difference is that we are the skin and mud experts.