Hello, my name is Eli Arlen. I am the owner of Safar Bodycare, and the sole producer of Safar’s 100% organic massage and body cremes. All of Safar’s cremes are made by hand at my office in downtown Brunswick, Maine. These cremes are made with love and attention to detail, ensuring a unique and high quality product. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about why I started this business and why I think Safar Bodycare products are so special.
I first heard the word safar when I travelled in India at the age of 19. In Hindi, safar means trip or journey. It is a word that has stayed very close to my heart as I have lived in a number of different countries and travelled to several different continents since then. In coming up with a name for my business, I chose safar for several reasons. On one hand, I feel that it both embodies my journey leading up to founding this business, and the continuing journey of Safar itself. At the same time, it is my hope that these products will be part of a healing journey of those who use them.
One of the unifying factors in all of my various wanderings over the years has been my continued interest in agriculture and alternative medicine. When in Nepal, I worked on a permaculture farm. While at university in London, I studied small-scale agricultural development in Asia and Africa. Since the age of 17, I have been working on organic farms in Maine. After university, I worked for one season as a gardener at an herbal apothecary in Maine, and since then I have been growing my own vegetables and herbs. At the same time, I have also been studying and practicing alternative therapies. In London, I trained with an aromatherapist. Back in Maine I went to massage school and studied Zen Shiatsu and Thai massage. I also have kept up with my own research into herbal medicine and aromatherapy.
In 2002, I began to develop eczema (a form of very dry skin that becomes an itchy rash). I tried everything to get rid of it… I went to a naturopath, I bought special eczema creams. Finally, I had to resort to using cortisone cream. Then I had an appointment with my doctor, and she told me to just use the simplest, most natural body cremes that I could find… something without any chemicals, alcohol, perfumes etc. When I read the labels on the eczema cremes that I had been using, I found that they contained all of these things. I then went to health food stores, looking for suitable cremes. But there too I found that they all contained chemicals, and/or alcohol and/or perfumes.
This is what prompted me to start making my own cremes. Using only simple ingredients, oil and beeswax and water, I started to test out different recipes. My skin loved these homemade cremes, and I did too. They were better than anything I had ever bought in the store. Soon I was making them for friends and family. I began using the cremes for my massage sessions in 2006. I was working at the Aon Center in Falmouth, Maine and my boss at the time found out about my cremes and asked if I could supply the massage cremes for all of the therapists there. I still supply the cremes for Aon as well as a number of other spas and individual therapists in Maine.
An extensive range of 100% organic massage and body cremes are the foundation of the Safar Bodycare line. I am dedicated to sourcing the highest quality ingredients possible. My basic range are all made out of extra-virgin organic olive oil, unrefined beeswax from Maine, organic unrefined coconut oil, and a unique blend of organic essential oils specifically geared toward different client and skin types. They are all gentle enough to be used by pretty much everyone, with several that are specifically suited to very sensitive skin. All of the cremes are made in small batches, with essential oils mixed in by hand. All of my equipment is BPA free and I use glass jars to avoid all the possible contaminants from plastic.
As of 2012, after working as a massage therapist for 11 years, I decided to focus solely on making massage cremes for other therapists. Since then I have worked on tweaking my cremes so that they are perfectly suited to the massage setting. I now offer my signature range of massage cremes, as well as a line of seasonal blends and another line of Ayurvedic massage cremes. I am very interested in expanding my offerings. I love to work with individual clients to create new blends geared toward specific kinds of massage, clients, or to be used as signature blends.