We sat down with Kim Walls, Co-Founder & CEO of Furtuna Skin, to learn more about the innovative Soundbath™ method.
FS: What were the problems that drove you to find an alternative extraction method?
Kim: My foremost goal was to extract the highest level of nutrients from our botanicals. Our wild Estate botanicals are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that I wanted to capture at full potency. I knew there had to be something better than methods out there that relied on high heat, lengthy processing times and harsh solvents. I pursued a different path than other brands because their methods took too long to process. From my chemistry and nutritional science background, I knew that over-processing and high heat exposure leads to oxidation of the ingredients, increased handling and inconsistent outcomes. These factors can damage, and even destroy the whole plant medicinal benefits and nutrients of the ingredients. In keeping with Furtuna Skin’s philosophy to keep ingredients as untouched and unprocessed as possible, I sought to find a safer natural alternative. An eco-friendly method that didn’t use solvents, chemicals or high heat, that worked fast to avoid over-processing and delivered consistent results.
FS: Sounds like a lot of problems to solve. Where did you look for answers?
Kim: Over the course of a few years, I spoke to many, many different professionals. I started with the labs I knew in Italy, asking the biochemists and technicians to recommend the best method to extract the natural ingredients from our Estate without over-processing them. I kept getting the same old answers so I reached out to other industry experts for their suggestions. Countless meetings later, I finally came across someone with a solution. He had done work in the pharmaceutical industry and told me about a pioneering technology from this world that met my criteria for high potency, reliable extractions performed without high heat or solvents. It uses gentle sound waves to quickly extract the natural ingredients. I began to research it and the more I learned, the more interested I became. It seemed like the perfect fit for skincare so I had to try it out.
FS: Once you decided to try out the sound wave technology, what did you do next? How did you confirm that it was a good fit for the skin care industry?
Kim: I searched for experts who had the latest sound wave equipment and the know-how to do it. Finding the right lab to work with was on par with finding a needle in a haystack. I asked Universities, professors, anyone at the forefront of science and particularly those on the cutting edge of the medical cannabis industry because I had heard that this emerging field was driving advances in extraction. I finally located a lab in Italy that specializes in this type of sonic processing. We worked with them to customize the process for our skincare needs and named it the Soundbath™ method, because it bathes the raw plant materials in sound waves. It’s a gentle extraction process that utilizes the power of sound to extricate the bioactives and nutrients at full potency. Because of its speedy extraction time, it doesn’t overprocess the plant materials. It doesn’t use high heat which can damage the ingredients. And it’s a green technology that results in a healthier, purer extraction and a cleaner product since no harsh solvents are used.
FS: What made you decide to use olive oil as the base for the Soundbath™?
Kim: Olive oil is the perfect delivery system for our botanicals because it’s packed with nutrition and boosts the antioxidant and vitamin levels of the finished formula. From the moment we started Furtuna Skin, we knew that olive oil was always going to be the base of our formulas so we looked for extraction methods that would work beautifully with olive oil.
FS: The power of sound is a fascinating idea. Tell us about the role sound plays in your life and in the world at large.
Kim: You may not be able to touch it but sound has a physical presence. It’s waves of air pulsating all around us. It has immense power and affects our body, mind and emotions. Sound has the ability to transform everything around them. Sound can heal, calm, inspire, and enlighten. It has always had a profound emotional effect on me. My dad played the violin so I grew up loving music and the way it would make me feel. I live in a place where I can hear the music from a theater miles away. I can sit in my patio listening to an incredible performance with the sound waves rolling over the hills up to my house. When I do yoga, I look forward to the sound bath meditation at the end of class. The live sounds of the singing bowls and gongs induce bliss. The experience is gentle yet powerfully transformative, kind of like our Soundbath™ Method.
FS: What were the results of the tests performed on blends extracted via sound waves?
Kim: We partnered with a top lab in Princeton to perform skin-specific antioxidant tests that measured intracellular antioxidant capacity. Tests proved that our wild botanical blends, extracted through the Soundbath™ method, demonstrated antioxidant activity that was through the roof: Porte Per La Vitalita Face & Eye Serum blocks free radical damage by 100%; our proprietary Splendore Anchusa Complex inhibits free radical formation by 100%; and our exclusive olive leaf water is a powerful antioxidant that protects against free radical damage by 100%. We also had tests done on our exclusive olive leaf water, which was made from leaves from our Sicilian Estate and extracted two different ways: through a traditional time-based infusion method versus sound waves. The sound wave olive leaf extraction yielded much higher levels of the potent antioxidants Hydroxytorosol and oleuropein than the time-based method.
In addition to the testing we did ourselves, we supported our research with existing data showing that the sound wave method delivers more complete extractions from the plants and creates less oxidation in the olive oil thanks to shorter extraction times.
FS: Amazing! Where do you see Furtuna Skin taking the Soundbath™ method in the future?
Kim: We plan to use the Soundbath™ extraction method with new wildly potent ingredients that we discover around the world. It’s a highly effective technology that can be used with many different types of oils. Olive oil is just the beginning. We’re excited to find new botanicals and oils to use it with.
Learn more about Kim and follow her journey with Furtuna Skin @kimwallsla