Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil, whose health and skincare benefits are widely acknowledged, is extracted for use in Isle of Dogs products by a natural, non-chemical process which preserves it in its purest form.

Image Image ImageEvening Primrose Oil (EPO) is based on the extraction of oil from the Evening Primrose plant seed. The origins of the plant are in North America, from where it came to the UK by accident when cargo ships bringing over tobacco dumped the soil brought back as ballast, and seeds began to grow.

The plant was officially introduced in 1614 into Europe, during the reign of King James I, and rapidly became known as “King'sCure-All” because of its medicinal properties. EPO was not examined closely, however, until 1919, when its gamma linolenic acid (GLA) content was reported in Germany, and consequently its effects on cell generation and cholesterol reduction were monitored.

Today, EPO’s health and skincare benefits are widely acknowledged. Pure cold-pressed EPO comes from the Evening Primrose Plant (Oenothera biennis). It takes two years for one flower to produce 5,000 tiny red-brown seeds, which is just enough to make 500 mg of oil. EPO is rich in the fatty acid GLA, which is an important intermediary in the metabolic conversion of linolenic acid (LA) into Prostaglandin E1 (PGE1). PGE1 is one of many prostaglandins which are interconvertible, and which modulate the action of many hormones (see Lucy's Story). ImageEPO's high levels of LA (70%) and GLA (10%)are superior to the use of LA alone or saturated oil containing no GLA/LA.

Isle of Dogs manufactures two variations of EPO levels: the Veterinary Grade shampoo has 3% where the regular grade has 1%. It is important to note the distinction between extract and pure cold-pressed EPO. There are two basic methods for the extraction of oil from the Evening Primrose seed: solvent extraction and cold-pressed. The former involves washing the seed with a solvent; which calls for dissolving the oil and the solvent into a mixture and requires later decanting and heating to boil the solvent off. The latter, used by Isle of Dogs, is performed in specialized machines that apply great pressure to the Evening Primrose seed and literally squeeze pure Evening Primrose Oil out naturally. Though more costly, this method is preferred as cold-pressing avoids the use of chemicals. This helps EPO retain the quality of essential nutrients and avoids the use of chemicals. Most other available products on the market today use EPO extract, which is inferior in terms of efficacy.

Royal Jelly


Royal Jelly is a milk-like secretion made by worker bees in the beehive, so named because it serves as the sole food for the queen bee. It supplies all the B vitamins, vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, more than a dozen key minerals, eighteen amino acids, and other important constituents, including nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). It is one of the purest forms of protein available in nature. Research has shown that feeding the hair follicle this protein will encourage hair regeneration.

Some commonly associated benefits of Royal Jelly include increased energy, healthier skin and hair, and a more youthful appearance. It is also believed to strengthen the immune system, building resilience to colds, the flu, and other illnesses.

Hibiscus Sabdariffa


Hibiscus sabdariffa extract is a member of the family Malvaceae and is believed to have originated in West Africa. The Hibiscus sabdariffa variety is grown mainly on the sand dunes of Western Sudan under the colloquial name karkade.

In India, hibiscus infusions are traditionally used as rinsing agents to improve hair sheen. The best hibiscus flowers are picked using only the beige- colored petals gathered during winter ensuring the best quality and highest organic acid content. The pyruvic acid present in the extract has more beneficial properties than those of the alpha hydroxy acids or fruit acids.

Thanks to the high proportion of mucilage, the extract is free of irritant reaction. Acids from the extract activate cellular renewal of the scalp by improving hydration and contributing to the nourishment of dermal papilla. The main benefit of the extract is the improvement of luster. This is a result of a smoothing effect achieved by the action of organic acids on the keratin chains. 

You will find Hibiscus sabdariffa in our No. 32 Gloss Shampoo.