Japanese spa and wellness veteran to launch DIY skin care brand

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Japanese spa and wellness veteran to launch DIY skin care brand
Tomoka Y. Nguyen wants to bring a focus to ingredients and a holistic approach to beauty with her new brand of homemade skin care, JOJOMOKA.

Taking homemade to a whole new level, JOJOMOKA will provide “hand-picked potent natural ingredients” ​and reusable containers, and require consumers customise and formulate their own products.

“Our focus is the ingredients, just as chefs focus on ingredients, rather than packaging,” ​said Nguyen, who has managed the operations of over 30 award-winning spas across Asia and in the US and has more than 20 years’ experience.

The DIY beauty brand is scheduled to for launch in the third quarter of next year, around the Southeast Asian region, mainly Singapore and Indonesia.

Safety first

The former director of Spa at ESPA, Resorts World Sentosa and The Peninsula Bangkok, is also the author of Beauty Confidential, a beauty “cookbook” filled with recipes, techniques and a helpful guide to ingredients from apples to alpha-hydroxy acids.

The response she received from Beauty Confidential inspired her to develop a skin care line that resonated with her approach to beauty.

Nguyen said, “Because I wrote a book, I learnt that many people wanted to convert to homemade skincare but did not know where to source potent ingredients so I decided to develop a skincare line.”

Rather than selling products, JOJOMOKA offers various DIY skin care kits to consumers, which Nguyen assured will require almost no equipment as each of component will be pre-weighed and will just need to be mixed into containers directly.

Not only will this minimise the hassle, but also ensure safety and hygiene, said Nguyen. “We are designing the kit mostly with oil base or dry forms so that the users will not face challenges of having to create a dedicated space to blend the products and sanitise the area. We also address the frequency of blending and formulating this way, so once you blend the products it should last several months.”

Safety and hygiene issues, Nguyen added, are extremely important to her and the brand. “Absolutely, safety and hygiene will be a part of the educational efforts. As I highlighted, natural does not mean it is completely safe… safety guidance applies just as much as ready-made cosmetics.”

Homemade philosophy

With a background in aromatherapy, anatomy and physiology, spa cuisine, perfumery, and cosmetic formulation, Nguyen began making her own personal care products in 2010.

To the beauty veteran, JOJOMOKA is not just about selling products, but introducing consumers to rituals that she herself learnt since she started blending herbs and spices by hand in Bali more than decade ago.

“I have learnt through years working with global skincare companies, spa operators and wellness professionals that no matter how advanced and effective a skincare product is, products alone will not offer a long-term solution because the skin is a part of our being and can’t be isolated,” ​said Nguyen.

“I believe skincare is deeply linked to the well-being of a person – physically, emotionally and spiritually. JOJOMOKA Homemade Skincare will share the knowledge of holistic beauty through home spa rituals and healthier and happier living,” ​she added.

Nguyen acknowledges that JOJOMOKA’s concept will not be for everyone and the perceived time and effort needed may put more than a few consumers off.

“While I do not see homemade is for everyone, there is a growing segment who would rather take the time than the risk, especially if they know how little time is invested [with the help of the kit],” ​she said.

Besides beauty and wellness, Nguyen pours her passion for sustainability into JOJOMOKA. The brand only uses biodegradable ingredients and reusable packaging while Nguyen insists that the brand produces as little carbon footprint as possible.

“We consume so much personal care products but there is little awareness on the true safety of products on our long-term health and environment, so one big goal is to create the awareness and get people to buy in the idea that you can create your own products and a simple regimen is effective,” ​she said. “I definitely see the bigger part of the project to be educating consumers on the benefits and philosophy of the homemade skincare.”

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