Frequently Asked Questions

SECTION 1: Hair Care

1. Why does your shampoo not lather as much?

Our shampoo does not lather as much because it is made from all natural ingredients and we do not use sulphates, a harsh foaming agent which strips the hair and scalp of essential natural oils.


2. What can I expect when I switch from conventional to natural hair care?

When switching to natural hair care, during the initial stages, your hair may feel stiff, sticky or dry as natural hair care products detox your hair from petrochemical polymer which acts as a coating agent. All these transitional inconveniences will gradually disappear and it can take up to a month for your hair and scalp to adjust to the change. However, once your hair and scalp have adjusted to the natural hair care regime, it is worth it as your hair will regain its natural healthy and beautiful state.


3. Why does your product smell slightly different from the previous purchase? 

Natural ingredients are not standardized and uniformly mass-produced like synthetic ones. As such, the variation in terms of smell is probably due to the seasonal variation of the yield of natural ingredients harvested at different times. Variations in temperature during shipping may alter the texture causing the products to become thicker or thinner as well as affecting colour and scent. However, be rest assured that this does not reduce the effectiveness of our products.


4. Are your products safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women?

We recommend consulting your general practitioner on the ingredients list of our product prior to use. The natural essential oils we use are of high quality.



SECTION 2: Handmade Soaps

1. What makes The Olive Tree soaps different from other handmade soaps?

Our soap uses Olive Oil and is made in Australia with the highest quality ingredients. No animal by-products, animal testing, palm oil, harsh chemicals, EDTA were used in our products. Our soaps are vegan, biodegradable, natural and cruelty free.


2. Why are your products SLS, SLES, parabens and EDTA free?

These chemicals are widely used in many conventional shampoo and personal care products.

  • SLS which is Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is a surfactant and foaming agent. When combined with water, it dissolves grease and oil. However, the drawback is that it strips off the body's natural oil too which can cause the skin to be dry, flaky and irritable. SLS is commonly found in common household products like shampoo, body & hand wash, detergents and dish washing liquids.
  • SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulphate) is a close relative of SLS boosts the product's cleaning power and gives the foamy appearance which consumers perceive to be effective in cleaning. Unfortunately, it is frequently contaminated by a carcinogen called 1,4 dioxane, which is commonly created as a manufacturing process by-product to reduce harshness of SLS.
  • Parabens is a man-made preservative widely present in personal care products as it is cost effective in prolonging the product shelf life by killing microbes, fungus and bacteria. Parabens are endocrine disruptors stored in the body tissue that interfere with glandular activity and hormone production. There are findings that show that parabens act like estrogen, which may increase the risk of women developing estrogen-positive breast cancer. Also, several studies have reported low sperm counts as well as decreased levels of testosterone in men through absorption of paragons in commercial products.
  • EDTA (ethylenediamine tetra acetic acid) and its salts are prevalent in commercial products especially commercial soaps to bind metal ions which inactivates them and is a form of preservative. This binding of metal ions helps maintain clarity, prevent rancidity and protect fragrance compounds in personal care products. There are findings that show that EDTA is known to cause skin and eye irritation, contact dermatitis and is a penetration enhancer which breaks the skin's protective barrier and goes right down into your bloodstream. 


3. How are your soaps made?

Our soaps are made using only natural plant oils and lye, which is an age old soap making method (i.e. cold process method). The chemical reaction between these two ingredients is known as saponification, which results in soap at the end. The lye is mostly eaten up during the saponification process. We do not use chemicals such as sodium laureth sulfate, artificial frothing agents, palm oil, tallow or lard. Our products do not have artificial fragrances and dyes.


4. Why are your handmade soaps better than industrial soap?

Handmade cold process soap is better than commercial soap because its glycerine is generally left intact in the soap. Glycerine, a byproduct from saponification is prized for its moisturizing qualities and this precious item is usually extracted from industrial soap to be sold separately.


5. Can I use your soap if I have sensitive skin?

All our soaps use only natural plant oils which are generally gentler on the skin. We have a soap which has been specifically designed for people with sensitive skin. This sensitive skin soap (Pure Olive) has no fragrance and contains no essential oils.

We recommend that when using our soap for the first time, please test the product on a small part of your skin.


6. Can your soaps be used on children?

Since our soaps use only natural plant oils which are generally more gentle on the skin, they are suitable for children.

We recommend that when using our soap for the first time, please test the product on a small part of your child’s skin.


7. Can your soaps be used on the face?

Yes as our soaps are generally gentler on the skin as they are produced from natural plant oils. However, as everyone’s skin type is unique, please test the soap on a small part of your skin.


8. Does your soap lather well?

Due to the high content of olive oil in our soap, it lathers minimally. Olive oil soap cleans your skin without stripping away the natural oils – reducing the occurrence of dry and flaky skin. Glycerin which is highly moisturising is retained in most natural olive oil soaps.


9. How long does your soap lasts?

Our soaps generally last for two to six weeks but this of course is dependent on how many people are using, how often they are used and how it is stored.

As for best before dates, please try to use them within the specified time frame, or else the precious oils may go rancid.


10. How do I prolong the usage of the soap?

The key to prolonging the life span of natural soaps is to make sure they do not sit in water when they are not being used. It is best to rest your soaps on well-drained soap dishes. You may also use a soap bag to scrub your body, rinse and finally hang the bag with the soap in it to dry.

If you see a layer of gel appearing on our soap, please don’t scrub it off. That is the precious glycerin which moisturises your skin, so just continue to use your soap like normal.


11. How do I store unopened soap bars?

Please keep your unopened bar of soap in a cool, dark and dry place.


12. What is the gooey transparent layer on your handmade soap?

The gooey transparent layer on your soap is actually the highly prized glycerine which is extremely moisturizing for your skin. Glycerine is the by-product of the soap making process. It is a humectant which helps to moisturize your skin as it draws moisture from the air. In commercial soaps, this glycerine is removed and added to other products like body lotion unlike handmade soaps where this glycerine remains intact.

Our handmade olive oil based soap does have that visible layer of glycerine when it sits in standing water because olive oil by nature is a very soft oil and tends to melt faster. Other hard plant oils like coconut oil and palm oil can be added to olive oil to make the bar soap harder, lather more and last longer.

The key to prolonging the use of olive oil based handmade soaps is to keep it dry between use. 


13. Why does your soap seem to sweat?

You may find the soap a little wet at times. A quality bar of handmade soap will tend to "sweat" in humid weather due to the high content of natural humectants. A humectant is a substance that absorbs moisture from its surroundings but not from the soap itself. The soap "sweating" does not affect any of the soap's abilities. Soap "sweating" demonstrates that the humectant agents in the soap are just merely doing their job of accumulating moisture from the air, leaving your skin moisturized.


14. Does your soap contain palm oil?

No, our products are palm oil free. The palm oil industry has caused extensive damage to the environment through large scale forest conversion and loss of critical natural habitat for endangered animals such as orang utans and Sumatran Tigers. It is also the main cause of the health threatening haze which affects Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia due to the excessive slash and burn technique used in Indonesia to clear land for oil palm plantations. As such, we wanted to use alternatives to palm oil.


15. Why does your soap sting the eyes?

Soap is an alkaline substance and when it enters the eyes, our eyes’ reflex is to tear so the foreign substance can be washed out. Tearing is a natural defense mechanism against foreign materials. No pH balancing biochemical was used to balance the pH level as we believe in keeping the soap as pure and natural as possible. 


16. Why does my soap seem to differ from the previous soap I purchased from The Olive Tree before?

Since our soap are handmade in small batches and we do not use any preservatives or synthetic fragrances, each soap is unique and may vary slightly in shape, scent and texture. Besides that, the variation could also be due to the different yields harvested from the natural raw ingredients used from different batches. However, this will not affect the efficacy of the soap.  


17. Why does your soap under the "Soap Specials" bundle look slightly different from your other soaps?

These handmade soaps are either aesthetically different in terms of color, texture or are off cuts. The aesthetic variation of these soaps is mostly due to change in humidity but it does not in any way affect the soap's effectiveness and quality. Although these soaps may look slightly different on the exterior but be rest assured that they are still the same good old soaps packed with the same moisturizing and cleansing properties that we pride ourselves with. 


SECTION 3: Essential Oil & Carrier Oil

1. Why do the essential oil prices vary so much?

It takes 20,000 roses to make 10ml bottles Rose Otto Essential Oil, or 60 roses to create a single drop of Rose Otto oil – RM 1,000 a bottle. On the other hand, it takes only 30 lemons to make a bottle of Lemon essential oil.


2. How do I know whether the essential oil is pure?

Pure essential oils will not leave a greasy residue when applied to paper or a cotton pad. If it does, it means that the essential oil has been cut or diluted with something else.


3. Is tea tree essential oil drying?

A pure tea tree essential oil will not be drying. In fact, it is great for dry to normal skin types. Please dilute it with carrier oils such as olive oil or jojoba oil prior to applying it on the skin. 


4. Can I order essential oils?

We are unable to ship Tea Tree, Eucalyptus and Sweet Orange essential oils out of Peninsular Malaysia as these are flammable items. However, we are able to ship the rest of the essential oils in our current range (i.e. French Lavender, Lemongrass and Peppermint) out of Peninsular Malaysia as these are not flammable items.  


5.  What are the benefits of carrier oils?

  • Oils lock in moisture and help protect the skin against environmental effects.
  • Oils deliver a potent dose of nutrients. 
  • Because your face is well moisturized, it will stop the overproduction of its own oil, and you will be able to avoid that shiny t-zone look.
  • Oils can be all natural, need no preservatives, and have a shelf life of about two years.
  • Most natural oils are easily absorbed & won’t clog pores.
  • Oils are typically ultra-healing, and great for repairing skin.


6. How do I choose a good carrier oil?

Do not purchase oils extracted with heat or harsh chemicals as these will cause the oils to break down, and diminish their quality. Look for labels that say cold-pressed or CO2 extracted.


7. What does extra virgin olive oil mean?

Extra virgin olive oil is pure without any added chemicals or temperature treatments. It is extracted from fruits of olive trees, which are free from diseases, harvested at the right time and processed immediately. 


SECTION 4: Diffuser

1. What is your warranty period on your diffuser?

The diffuser comes with a one year manufacturer warranty. The diffuser is made in China. To receive the warranty service, the product has to be delivered, by hand or sent by prepaid delivery service, to our store in Malaysia, at your own risk and expense. The repaired product may be returned by post (air/surface) upon your request and at your own risk and expense. 

For cleaning and maintenance guide of the diffuser, you can read it here. In the event you need to troubleshoot your diffuser, you can read the troubleshooting guide here


SECTION 5: Others

1. What is your exchange policy?

Given the nature of our products, we will not be able to accept returns. To provide all our customers with peace of mind, in the event that you are dissatisfied with our products, please do email us at or use the contact form under the “Contact Us” page for an exchange within one month upon goods received date. This is because we strongly believe in the quality and integrity of our products and want you to have the same reassurance too.


2. What is your refund policy?

We have a no refund policy unless stated otherwise.


3. Do you ship internationally?

No, we only ship within Singapore.