Did you know that according to a cosmetics study conducted by the National University of Singapore 87 carcinogenic chemicals are used in skincare products in Singapore market?

Co-founder of homegrown organic brand Restoration Essence, Sara Davina Soong, grew up in a household that believes in natural and wholesome remedies. Ms Soong has been battling acne since she was 12 years old.

Speaking at the launch of Restoration Essence, she shared that she was unable to find an effective product that was additive and preservative free. So she created her own.

Restoration Essence contains pandan as a key ingredient. Pandan said to be anti-carcinogenic, detoxifies and whitens skin, lowers blood pressure, and helps overcome weak nerves, dandruff, and rheumatism.

Ms Soong started formulating her products in 2014 and already has 35 skincare items under the brand. Signature products are the Pandan Leaves Scrub ($31.50), Hydroboost Serum ($40.90), and the Ice Balm ($24.90).

I tested out the three signature products, and my favourite is the Pandan Leaves Scrub. Pandan leaves are processed to remove impurities so that the leaves are not too rough on the skin. As someone with sensitive skin, it was soft enough on my skin and did not cause irritation. Thanks to the essential oils, it left my skin feeling moisturised after use, unlike most exfoliators where my skin feels taut. After a couple of times, my skin did look brighter.

I realised that using the scrub in small amounts at a time is the best as it prevents the pandan leaves from clumping together. Use it in the bathroom as the pandan leaves bits fall as you rub them on.

I normally do not use serums on my skin as I don’t like the feeling of something rich on my face, but the Hydroboost Serum is truly lightweight and absorbs quickly. It has a light pandan smell and the liquid is completely clear.

Although it feels like light on my skin, it left my face feeling moisturised without feeling tight.

The Ice Balm can be applied onto your lips and body. It has a subtle pandan smell and it has no colour when applied. It has a cooling sensation and I could even taste the peppermint oil on my lips. It leaves a gloss but not a thick, waxy coating.

I felt refreshed when I applied it on my temples. Using this in conjunction with the scrub creates the perfect pair for relaxation. As many of their products contain essential oils, I would also recommend doing a patch test first.

Foodies, do not worry. There are Pandan Balls ($8.90) which are energy balls, and Pandan Wellness Tea ($21).

Excluding the food and creams which are preservative free, all other products have a shelf life of between six and 12 months. Therefore, the co-founder of Restoration Essence, Ms Soong, suggests leaving them in the fridge to extend the shelf life.

For those who do not like pandan, stay tuned as she is currently experimenting with Orchids and Guava leaves.

Restoration Essence is having a 20% storewide online promotion. Key ‘BDAY20NOW‘ at check out.

Restoration Essence products can be bought at Restoration Essence’s website or at their showrooms at Serangoon MRT and Fernvale LRT.

Photos and video by Carissa Wong.