Something rings honest about Pharmabelle products. It could be the pure and simple packaging. It’s more likely the pure and simple offerings inside each of the bottles. The Australian natural skincare brand offers a pared-down list comprising body washes and oils, floral washes and hand creams.
Gone are long lists of superlatives describing each product. In fact more notable is what’s missing: namely parabens, sulphates and unwanted chemicals. What remains are pure, natural ingredients, like marine-algae, lemon myrtle, juniper and rose. There are no hyper-targeted treatments with flashy promises. Instead, products appear trustworthy, straightforward and accessible.
And isn’t that a what you want from a natural skincare brand?
Those winning qualities are certainly what convinced tough-guy sailors to slather on the brand’s richly formulated hand creams at Hong Kong’s Royal Yacht Club, where the products are stocked. And it’s also what attracted Pharmabelle’s Director Andrew Leung from the heady world of international luxury brands. Here, AsiaSpa chats with him about why he made the move and why he’s so besotted with natural beauty in these gender-fluid times.
WHAT DOES BEAUTY MEAN TO YOU?
Healthy skin, from the inside out.
PREVIOUSLY YOU WORKED FOR CARTIER GREATER CHINA. WHAT TEMPTED YOU TO MOVE INTO SKINCARE?
Pharmabelle’s background. Its founder is a pharmacist and also the ex-CEO of a world-renowned skincare house who then began producing natural skincare in Australia.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST BENEFITS OF USING SKINCARE NATURALLY DERIVED FROM PLANTS, LIKE PHARMABELLE?
These products easily penetrate the skin and feed the epidermis with nutrients, keeping it radiant and healthy.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR SIGNATURE PRODUCTS AND WHY THEY DO SO WELL
A bestseller is our Aloe Vera-based body wash, which cleanses and hydrates at the same time. The glycerin in them helps soothe skin. Another popular product is our Papaya Body Scrub. It brightens and nourishes the skin without scratching, while the natural papaya enzymes softens the cuticles. We use pecan shell powder to gently cleanse debris from the pores, and apricot kernel oil gives a really luxurious creamy feel when it’s massaged in. The scrub leaves the skin silky smooth.
ASIA HAS A FAMOUSLY HOT AND HUMID CLIMATE. WHICH PRODUCTS WORK BEST WITH THOSE CONDITIONS?
Pharmabelle products are good for Asian skin and this climate. The body oils penetrate best on damp skins, and the aloe vera-based body washes cleanse and hydrate without stripping the skin of its natural oils.
WHAT PRODUCT COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT?
Our aloe vera-based body washes and natural plant body oils. If you want to reduce stretch marks or nourish dry skin, try our Rose Geranium Tonic Body Oil, which has a hazelnut-base and is blended with other plant oils. It’s good for treating eczema too.
DOES THE BRAND HAVE FANS WHO HAVE SURPRISED YOU?
Yes! Lots. A client used the Body Tonic Oil initially for toning and nourishing, but in the end it helped cure the eczema on her hands which she’d suffered with for 10 years. My other favourite was the first time I saw gentlemen going crazy for our hand cream at the Ship Shop in the The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club last year. Turns out it’s good for soothing weather-beaten hands!
WHAT SETS PHARMABELLE APART FROM OTHER BEAUTY BRANDS?
Its position as a gender-free skincare at a friendly price. Products should be categorised by a person’s skin type, not their gender!