Au Naturel

28 Aug

Discover the nourishing traditions of our country with locally made organic beauty products.

            I have always been a big fan of products that were lovingly made at home. Whenever I would visit weekend markets, I’m always drawn to goods that are all natural, unique and locally made. Although, I admit I still enjoy shopping in department stores for beauty products. But I will always have a special place in my heart for homemade and local discoveries.

           One of my favorite all-natural beauty products is called The Heart Shrine Oils. I discovered this at The Yogi Fair. This body oil is based on premium organic virgin coconut oil, infused with camia, sampaguita and ylang ylang. The creator, Chaya Go, says that all ingredients are sourced locally and every bottle is mixed by hand and in small batches at home. “It really is a kind of cottage industry. We do not rush to create large batches but instead we take time to create things by hand, allowing the flowers to steep in the oils. It’s a slow craft and to make the oils in itself a therapeutic practice,” shares Chaya who is also a yoga teacher. The Heart Shrine Oils are best enjoyed as an after-bath moisturizer. I also use it on my face every night and my hair to keep it shiny and less frizzy. I noticed my skin glowed every morning and my breakouts lessened noticeably. (

          Another local brand I was so glad to discover is called “Simoy ng Haraya”, which means whiff of imagination. Lala De Leon, the owner of Simoy ng Haraya, was looking for something to focus on outside her stressful job. She was fascinated with natural ingredients and essential oils and this pushed her to study aromatherapy. In fact, she is currently working on her clinical aromatherapist certification. Simoy specializes in perfumes, soaps, reed diffusers, yoga mat sprays and balms. She uses local ingredients such as sugarcane alcohol, citronella and lemongrass in some of her products. However, Lala says, it’s inevitable to get some ingredients from other countries. I also love how she named her products using Filipino terms like “Alaala”, “Unang Halik” and “Tiwala”. My favorite Simoy ng Haraya product is their 4-in-1 nail care fix that’s made for dry, brittle and discolored nails. It’s a strengthener, whitener, conditioner and anti-fungal oil with vitamin E, lemon, tea tree, lavender and rosemary essential oils. It really does strengthen my weak nails. (

          My love for homemade products is probably because of the influence of my childhood friend, Isabel De Dios, the creator of Sparrow Fresh, a new line of skin care products that are chemical and preservative-free. These are only available upon order to ensure freshness. She wanted to shift to a more organic lifestyle. She would make body scrubs and moisturizing massage salves at home and I would gladly try them.   “They are skin food sans the carbs”, Isabel says. She uses ground organic rice, sea kelp, wasabi powder and sesame oil to use as an exfoliant, which she calls her sushi body scrubs. Her creamy cocoa massage salve is made with natural beeswax, cocoa butter and olive oil, which may be used as a body moisturizer or for massage.   I use her sushi body scrubs twice a week on my face and body and I noticed a smoother and brighter complexion after every use. (Instagram: @sparrowph,

          It is just so amazing what wonderful things you can make from a simple flower or plant. And I will never forget what Chaya told me, “Our islands have long held healing and nourishing traditions using what the flowers, fruits and trees provide us. It seems but natural to love once again what is abundant all around us.”

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1. Simoy ng Haraya 4-in-1 Nail Care 2. Sparrow Fresh Body Scrubs 3. Simoy ng Haraya Foaming Hand Wash 4. Heart Shrine Body Oil 5. Simoy ng Haraya Ginhawa Natural Foot Mist

Photography by: Nico Nuyda


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