Swishable hair and soft skin might come easily with Big shampoo and Ocean Salt face and body scrub, but a lot happens before they get to your bathroom. The sea salt story starts in Castro Marim, on the south coast of Portugal.
António José doesn’t look 65, and we like to think his skin has been softened and preserved by the sea salt he harvests by hand. It’s high tide on a summer’s day - the perfect conditions for harvesting sea salt. First of all, nature works its magic and sends seawater into the wash of the Guadiana River, flooding the marshland of the reserve. Enter António, who guides the water through connecting channels into salt pans, creating shallow pools. The heat of the sun evaporates water from the pools and salt crystals begin to form. Dense, heavy crystals drop to the bottom, ready to discover their destiny as Big shampoo, while finer salt is sieved off the top and eventually makes its way to Ocean Salt scrub.
António drags the salt to create pyramids next to the pools, and while it dries in the midday heat he gets himself out the sun for a while. When it’s ready, he bags it all up and loads it for delivery, running up the bank carrying a 25kg sack of salt on his head. António usually does all this work by himself and he looks after 270 crystallisers over a five hectare area. It’s little wonder he’s so well respected by the local community.