A natural wellness route for the family

Candice Lopez-quimpo
Rappler reviews a natural-based Filipino personal care brand

AU NATUREL. Zenutrients offers a whole range of wellness products that do the job, from skin saving, to mosquito repelling, to stress busting. All photos by Candice Lopez-Quimpo

MANILA, Philippines – Nowadays, what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it. 

This is what I had in mind when I reached out to Angela Reyes Dinglasan, the general manager of Zenutrients, a local brand of beauty, bath, spa and wellness products.

Is it feasible, I asked, to integrate more natural options for my family’s use?

The beautiful business of wellness

Zenutrients has been around since 2007, under the brand name Zen. They offered a line of products that used virgin coconut oil (VCO).

VCO saw a rise in popularity during that time, when the terms “organic” and “yoga” also became more mainstream. According to Angela, VCO contains lactic acid, a chemical compound that has the same nourishing properties as breastmilk.

In October 2011, the company changed management and the brand name was changed to Zenutrients. This also brought about changes in the product line under Angela’s watchful eye, although most of their products are still VCO-based. 

By joining bazaars and eventually through more mainstream methods, the company’s customer base grew — one that appreciated their range of effective and local wellness and beauty products.

A visit to their new headquarters in Kapitolyo, Pasig gave this writer added insight about what went into every product. Angela explained that while they can’t claim to be purely natural or organic for all products, there is a conscious decision to choose only the safest ingredients and alternatives.

Let your family benefit

If you take care of your family’s personal care needs, you may have realized that everyone has different preferences, too. At the same time, you have one overarching objective: to give them the best options that cost them little or no harm.

Upon Angela’s recommendations, I took home several items to test and realized that the choices for mom, dad and kid may not always intersect — but when they do, it’s quite awesome.

Here are my recommendations:

1. For mom: Pampering products that help her make the most of me-time

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS: Body scrubs, like one made from ground barako coffee (it has antioxidants!) or goat’s milk and oatmeal (luxurious and vitamin-laden)

2. For the preggy mom: Relief for her dry, expanding tummy skin

Recommended: Moisturizing cream

Yes, you can choose the ever-reliable cocoa butter, but try something new: Skin Saver Cream, made with aloe vera and calendula.

Calendula is a flower whose oil is known for therapeutic skin benefits. It is rich and gentle, and extremely effective as a moisturizer; best applied (and enjoyed) at bedtime.

3. For dad: No-fuss products that work

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS: Shampoo and conditioner with effective natural ingredients and formulation, like gugo and aloe vera

Zenutrients’ Gugo Shampoo and Conditioner have a cult following because of their hair-thickening “powers.” The Aloe Vera line has the essential oils of sampaguita and rosemary, making it delightful and effective.

Plus points for safety and a great scent. Kids can use it, too.

4. For the kid: Gentle and skin-saving choices

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS: The calendula-based Baby Love line

This line has a soap, shampoo and lotion. It is safe for sensitive skin, and is soothing, effective and smells delicious!

5. Pest-fighting products

Recommended: Citronella, a favorite natural option, is a must-have have in your parental arsenal.

Zenutrients has an Organic Citronella Mosquito Repellent which is a mix of citronella oil, eucalyptus, VCO and beeswax. They also have a lavender and citronella based Anti-Mosquito Sleeping Cream, which can help children calm down for bedtime.

6. Multi-tasking must-haves

Recommended: The All-Around Sanitizer is made with lavender, tea tree oil and peppermint in a handy spray, which means you can clean anything from dirty hands to toilet seats to public tables.

The most curious discovery, I admit, is the small tub of Soild VCO. It is for everything VCO is supposed to be able to do: moisturize dry skin, treat diaper rash, heal cracked skin and even tame the ends of frizzy hair. 

7. Stress-busters

Recommended: A little bottle of massage oil, aptly called All Is Well, banks on the soothing properties of the essences of peppermint, eucalyptus, white tea, lemongrass, pineapple and vetiver, plus extracts of tea tree oil and ginger.

It’s a magical mix that you roll on while you count down to relaxation.

All natural, all good? Not always

If you are choosing to go on the all-natural route, it pays to know where your products’ ingredients come from. Many herbs and essential oils are not regulated by health boards.

If you’re pregnant or have a small child, the most prudent thing to do is to consult with your doctor about any doubt you may have.

Still, the relief of finding a trusted brand can’t be discounted. I asked Angela pointblank about concerns and she revealed that Zenutrients works with a research and development consultant to ensure that all product and storage testing are within quality standards. 

She did warn that natural doesn’t mean hypoallergenic, so stay safe! Know your family’s needs and choose accordingly. – Rappler.com

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