As Thais, we sure know a little something about botanicals and essential oils. For years we’ve been using their health properties to cure everything from hair loss to indigestion. But when it came to our facial skincare, we sort of hit the pause button. In came the sulfates and the chemical whitening lotions, and we were told to steer our faces well away from anything remotely oily.
Yet now, Thai beauty experts are claiming back the original Thai skincare values. Swapping out the Snail White for organic face oils, our local dermatology gurus are passionately endorsing natural botanical extracts — yes, in oil form — for a glowing, blemish-free face.
So, why this seismic shift towards face oils? We heard from the beauty and skincare experts at Harnn, one of Thailand’s oldest leading organic beauty brands, and discovered why we really should all be swapping out creams for face oils.
[All images courtesy of Harnn.]
There’s no way of talking about organic Thai beauty products without mentioning Harnn. Having just celebrated their 20th anniversary, the brand is one of Thailand’s most iconic organic beauty brands that focuses on natural, botanical-based skincare products. Their latest anniversary collection, ‘The Legend of Organic’, is definitive of their own identity in the Thai and global beauty market. Most notably, the collection includes three new face oils — made from all-organic ingredients, naturally.
If you’re skeptical about having oil anywhere near you face in such a hot and humid city, you’re not alone. Many Bangkokians feel like oil should be the last thing our skin needs. However, a skin specialist at Harnn explained to us why and how we should be featuring face oils in our skincare routine, even when living in a city like Bangkok.
She says: “In Thailand, we’re blessed with an abundance of florals and herbs that are good for us both on the inside and the out. By taking the essential oils of these botanicals, we’re extracting a concentrated version of all that’s good for you in those plants”.
In contrast, facials creams are loaded with unnecessary emulsifiers that leave less room for the ingredients that are actually beneficial. Harnn’s face oils are concentrated with Virgin Sunflower Oil and Rice Bran Oil. Both of these are powerful anti-oxidants.
But not all oils are created equal. “There is some truth in the belief that we should keep our face away from some oils. But what we shouldn’t do is generalise oils. Some oils are more ideal for our faces than others.” When it comes to choosing the right face oils, it’s definitely worth choosing a high-quality, trusted brand.
“When it comes to facial oils, what you’re looking for are small-molecule oils. These are more easily absorbed into your skin and are too small to block up your pores. The reason some oils are associated with spots and excessive oiliness is because they’re lower-grade larger molecule oils. These often tend to be cheaper because they didn’t go through the process of being broken down properly.”
Of course, all of Harnn’s face oils are top-grade small-molecule oils. You don’t even need to be told this to be convinced of it. Just testing out a few drops on your skin and you can feel it being absorbed almost immediately without any sticky residue. Your skin feels softer and more hydrated from within, rather just from the surface. Better quality oils turn out to be far more absorbent than any cream-based products.
A spa therapist at Harnn Heritage Spa also adds, “No matter your skin type, face oils are for you. Even if you have oily skin, that’s actually more reason to use face oils. One primary reason for excessively oily skin is because your body is trying to make up for a lack of moisture! By feeding it with high-grade, anti-oxidant rich oils, you can balance your skin’s natural moisture.”
Part of the reason why Harnn’s face oils are ideal for balancing your skin is because of their emphasis on being organic. All of Harnn’s products are certified organic by Bioagricert in Italy and confirmed for safety and effectiveness on Asian skin by Dermscan Asia. Their new collection, ‘The Legend of Organic’, offers three oils for different concerns. Opt for their Perfect Clarifying Face Oil for brighter skin and dialling down hyper-pigmentation, or their Deep Hydrating Face Oil if you suffer from chronic dry skin. The Ultimate Revitalising Face Oil battles all signs of premature ageing, and even features therapeutic anti-depression aromas.
Harnn skincare and spa products are available to purchase online or in store. Locations: 3/F Central World, Rama I Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-10pm). 1/F Siam Center, Rama I Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-10pm). G/F Siam Paragon, Rama I Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-10pm).
Make a visit to Harnn Heritage Spa at The Emporium, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110 (10am-10pm).