Noveya’s soaps are made on a ranch outside of the southern city of Beersheva but its ingredients come from all over the country.If you were perusing the aisles of your local drug store and needed some soap, what are the odds that you’d reach for a body cleansing product with ingredients such as pentasodium pentetate, sodium cocoyl isethionate and trisodium etidronate? Not likely? Well, how about vanilla, pomegranate, sweet almond oil and carob? Sounds more appealing doesn’t it? Edible even, no?
Well they “almost are,” says David Zimand, founder and CEO of Noveya, a Jerusalem-based company producing and marketing all-natural health and body care products whose ingredients, literally, come from the land of Israel. And they’re all available and sent immediately to North American destinations from the company’s website.
Zimand and his partner, Adi Friedman, founded Noveya a year ago; the name is derived from the Hebrew word for ‘flowing.’ “We were looking for a name that is connected to Israel and its heritage but would also sound international enough that there wouldn’t be a specific connection,” Zimand told ISRAEL21c.
“There are a lot of great cosmetics and health products coming out of Israel. But no one is really focusing on all-natural products except for some under-the-radar products that are coming from obscure and unusual places. So we decided to try to fill that void because we saw that there is a surging interest in products that are all-natural, and a growing awareness of why all-natural products are so important. The products that are full of chemicals, preservatives and artificial colors are not good for you – and they are the majority of the products on the market, especially in Israel.”
Zimand and Friedman spent months researching the market in Israel and internationally and developing their products. They began producing and selling their soaps nearly eight months ago. The mainstay of the company’s sales has been through word of mouth viral marketing, Jerusalem hotel gift shops and international sales from their website.
Noveya promotes a line of its products entitled ‘Tevatherapy’. ‘Teva’ is the Hebrew word for nature. Tevatherapy categorizes Noveya’s line of products that use natural botanicals and extracts for therapeutic purposes.
Zimand hopes Noveya will catch a piece of the growing world-wide Cosmeceuticals industry. Cosmeceuticals can best be defined as products that have both cosmetic and pharmaceutical properties but are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. According to market research firm The Freedonia Group, US Cosmeceuticals sales are expect to climb 11 percent per year to $7 billion in 2008.
Noveya’s soaps are made on a ranch outside of the southern city of Beersheva but its ingredients come from all over the country.
“The organic goat’s milk that we use in our soaps comes from free range goats raised in the Galilee who aren’t fed antibiotics or hormones. This greatly affects the quality of the milk. We are very meticulous about our ingredients,” says Zimand. “Even the herbs we use are picked at different times of the day when their beneficial properties are at their greatest,” he adds. It’s the attention to details like this that makes Zimand believe so wholeheartedly in Noveya’s products.
Noveya uses the laborious ‘cold process’ of soap making, adding the natural ingredients right before the soap completely hardens rather than adding them while the soap is boiling hot which, Zimand says, can neutralize and diminish their benefits. Comparably, soaps created using the ‘hot process’ can be ready for use in a day or two while soaps from ‘cold process’ can take a month on average to cure.
One of Noveya’s most popular lines are its soaps based on the seven species of the Old Testament. The seven species appear in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy where the land of Israel is described as a “land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs and pomegranates, and land of olives for oil and honey (from dates).”
Noveya’s pomegranate soap with organic goat’s milk and honey is among its best selling soaps. Pomegranate has recently been touted for its anti-oxidant benefits and over the last several years, scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology have discovered pomegranate’s potential for lowering cholesterol and fighting breast cancer cells as well.
One of Noveya’s most unique products is its etrog soap. The etrog is a citrus fruit used in Jewish religious ceremonies during the holiday of Sukkot. Its botanical name is ‘Citrus Medica’ which, Zimand believes, is related to the etrog’s medicinal value. The etrog has been used for centuries for its healing properties and is presently an ingredient in European cosmetics and perfumes but under different names. The etrog itself is never marketed or featured as an important ingredient on its own and as far as Zimand knows, his etrog soap is the only one of its kind in the world.
“The idea is that the skin is the largest organ of the body and the skin needs to be healthy just like the rest of the body does. You need to feed it the nutrients that it needs as an organ. By using products that are rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids, enzymes and so forth, help feed the skin and make it healthy just like eating healthy foods makes you healthy. As a result, there is what I call a ‘residual effect.’ The more you use our products, the healthier you’ll see your skin becoming.”
Zimand insists that its products were not intended for the highly competitive market of soaps that are merely “fun,” “bright colors” or “smell good.” Noveya’s advisory board consists of doctors, herbalists, naturopaths and botanists who carefully ensure that its products are effective, all-natural and healthy for the body.
“Our biggest problem is that people who buy our products often don’t end up using them because they smell so nice and look so beautiful,” Zimand said. “But I urge them to, because they’ll undoubtedly feel the difference.”