A purist by nature, Reem Al Khalifa always sought to use only the finest and natural botanical products. Whether it is oils for the hair and body, or balms for those with sensitive skin, through her company, Green Bar Inc, Reem Al Khalifa has redefined natural beauty care. With a carefully curated selection by Reem herself, Green Bar Inc caters to all aspects of beauty and holistic care and rejuvenate the body from within to reveal a healthy and nourished glow.
With a background in Art History and Graphic Design, Reem’s interest always lied within finding out the truth behind why things were the way they were, and how everything connected with each other. Her keen interest in learning and sharing knowledge, especially that of ancient eastern medicine combined with her passion for yoga lead to her extensively studying and applying the elements of ayurvedic, Chinese and Taoist practices to her own life to maintain balance. “The whole Yin and Yang; Pitta, Vata, Kapha and those energies are very interesting to me”, Reem explains of the different allegory within the beliefs, “that symbolism and how they can bring order and balance was something that really fascinated me and it made me feel empowered to be able to create shifts and subtle enhancements in myself, in my life.” In the quest to look after herself using these methods and incorporating non-synthetic ingredients, Reem says that this is what lead to her attachment to ayurvedic methods, such as using oils, to provide help and, thus, eventually launching Green Bar Inc in 2006.
Starting with simpler ingredients such as rosewater and almond oil, Reem worked tirelessly to source only the best products from around the world to incorporate into her own in-house recipes, and overtime travelling to the source of these ingredients, to places like Morocco, Oman, Spain, Turkey, Australia, and of course, Bahrain. “My intention was to bring you the oasis and the kind of treasures, ingredients that are really unadulterated and connect you to nature and bring some form of context to the product and where it comes from”, Reem says. Personally choosing the ingredients herself, she adds that they are 100% medicinal and have healing properties, providing the feel of medicine through beauty. Ensuring there are no additives in any of the products, there are no perfumes used in any of the oils or balms as the ingredients themselves are naturally scented.
Placing great emphasis on the method of extraction, the oils all have to be cold pressed, as Reem states that using heat while extracting oil can ruin the fat chemistry and in order to benefit from the oil it is important to maintain that. The ingredients come from raw materials such as fruits, flowers, resins, leaves and roots, which are then either distilled to get a plant water, or pulverised, or they can be pressed into an essential oil, or distilled to get an oil. The method is kept primitive and with low-heat necessarily in order to maintain the nutritional value of the ingredients. The wide range of products include thick balms, oils light on the skin, distilled waters for toners and a clay mask that can also be used as a cleanser.
“I am very interested in ingredients, how they perform, and what their personalities are”, Reem says, adding that everything she uses has been present before they were a part of the industrial commercial world. Taking inspiration from the likes of famous philosopher, Ibn Sina, who was also regarded as the ‘father of medicine’, Reem says she works with oils and plant waters. The natural ingredients contain no additives and she ensures that there is nothing synthetic mixed in her recipes so the customers can nourish their skin, hair and body with pure products. The self-taught beauty specialist says that though she took some courses at a perfumery to see how different scents work together, most of her learning has been from her hands-on experience while working with the materials. “I’ve been reading about these ingredients for over 10 years and I have been doing this for 5 years now. I believe in really getting your hands dirty and experiencing everything”, she says. Their best selling product, Reem says, is the Face Elixir, which though she had initially made for herself, soon became a client-favourite. Aptly titled Basmati – a pun on the Arabic word for ‘smile’ – the face elixir is a rice bran oil full of B Vitamin and Vitamin E that works on the skin in a holistic way by aiding with cell turnover, brightening the skin, and reducing the appearance of scars.
Attending exhibitions and speaking at various health and beauty events, Reem says she is glad that people have responded positively to her concept of selling oils rather than creams. She says though creams are readily available in the market as mixed ingredients with emulsifiers, oils can prove to be much more nourishing without the unnecessary additives. “As a purist, I think that you don’t need all that waste, I am not interested in that. I just suggest putting oil on wet skin and that way the body has less waste to manage”.
Taking a keen interest in her clients and their needs, Reem says their blog, Instagram, and web-shop has plenty of information and education for those looking to invest in oils. Keeping the virtual community dynamic, Reem says they work seasonally and introduce a new collection for their customers and wants her customers to become a part of the online community for Green Bar Inc to understand more about how each of the products target and benefit different aspects of health and beauty.
Redefining the traditional beauty rituals of the Middle East, Reem has taken the purist approach to provide her customers with the best natural treatments to ensure a long lasting healthy, nourished, and refreshing feeling.
For more information:
Timings: Sunday-Thursday 9am-5pm (Friday – online shop only)
Shop 32, Riyadat Mall, Building 231, Road 3206, Bahrain
(00973) 1700 1026
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