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Tue, Aug 03, 2010
The Business Times
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Elemental Herbology at Sccube the Apothecary
by Corinne Kerk

IT HAS only been in existence since April 2008, but UK brand Elemental Herbology is growing fast. The skincare brand, which claims to restore equilibrium when environmental, lifestyle and hormonal fluctuations put the skin off balance, uses natural ingredients and has its philosophical roots in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

Founder Kristy Goodger is an Australian law graduate who trained as an acupuncture and massage therapist, before moving to Japan to learn from an acupuncture and shiatsu master. She later settled in the UK, and experimented with combining Oriental techniques with traditional botanical remedies and advanced sports medicine.

By applying what she learnt from TCM, and how the human body is always striving to achieve a state of equilibrium, Elemental Herbology was born. Its skin and body products are 95 per cent natural, containing botanical, mineral and marine ingredients, and fall into three categories - Summer Daily Essentials, Winter Daily Essentials and Essential Skin Therapy.

According to Yap Eng Kian, owner of Sccube the Apothecary, Ms Goodger tries to incorporate the philosophies of traditional healing practices into the products via aromatherapy - in the scents chosen to help stimulate the senses and the yin and yang; the choice of ingredients, such as calendula, angelica and green tea, which can be used in both medicine and skincare products; and the different product categories, which respond to the skin's changing needs and restore equilibrium.

'For example, the Winter range helps restore lost moisture and protection for frequent travellers and those with mature skin, the Summer range protects against the sun's free radicals, and the Essential Skin Therapy range restores skin health,' he explains.

It doesn't hurt that the products smell and feel good. Its bestselling Cell Food protection and repair facial serum ($105, 30ml), for instance, contains pomegranate, green tea and Vitamins A, C and E. It claims to boost, protect and repair undernourished skin, and just one drop goes a long way - the white-coloured serum feels rich and leaves a perky scent of pomegranate, long after it is applied.

The Skin Drink summer body hydrator is also a pleasure to use. The light texture spreads easily and carries a refreshing scent of grapefruit and watermelon. So if the TCM philosophy includes soothing the senses, then Elemental Herbology has at least succeeded in that department.

The brand, now sold in 17 countries, experienced an 80 per cent year-on-year jump in retail sales to reach over £1.3 million last year. Globally, a sales growth of between 50 and 80 per cent is expected in 2010.

Prices range from $46 for a wind and cold therapy cream to $123 for a DIY facial ritual set.

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