An introduction to Filipino luxury skincare products that show just how much of ourselves we should be proud of.
When you scan beauty store shelves to find items for your skincare routine, most of what you will likely see hails from foreign shores. That itself isn’t unusual, considering that, for example, Korean skincare brands have achieved world renown.
Look closer, though, and you will see something surprising: first-class skincare brands that are homegrown. Having discovered our country’s potential gifts, Filipino entrepreneurs have begun brands every bit as good as those from other countries. Here, we present an assemblage of luxury skincare products that are, proudly, our own.
True Story.’s All-Nighter Face and Eye Reviving Cream
Founded by Mutya Laxa Buensuceso, the 1990 winner of Mutya ng Pilipinas, True Story. (officially spelled with a period) counters our fixation on skin lightening and stamping out so-called blemishes like freckles. Instead, it espouses appreciating what your skin is really like with products that are gentle on it—and, of course, products that cater to problems you can do away with, whether they be hyperpigmentation or acne.
True Story.’s bestselling item is the All-Nighter Face and Eye Reviving Cream. It contains plankton extracts, which prevent dryness and keep the skin hydrated. In addition, its inclusion of madecassoside and 10% niacinamide gives your skin a healthy, rejuvenated glow.
Pure Culture’s Bulgarian Rose Glam Gold Satin Crème
Pure Culture was started by friends Karina dela Calzada, Kim Reyes-Palanca, and Alex Gentry because they saw a need for a Philippine beauty brand that uses advanced biotechnology and respects the environment and your skin’s microbiome.
With Pure Culture, they aim to return the skin to its original condition by restoring its microbiome. And by creating gentle and safe-to-use products, they keep one eye on the needs of women with sensitive skin.
The other eye they keep on the environment by sourcing their ingredients in an environmentally healthy manner. The demands they have put on themselves have yielded results, as Pure Culture has been verified by Safe Cosmetics Australia.
Among their selections is the Bulgarian Rose Glam Gold Satin Crème, which won the 2022 Organic Beauty Award. It keeps your skin bright and firm besides restoring and hydrating it, which holds premature aging at bay.
VMV Hypoallergenics’ ID Monolaurin Gel
VMV Hypoallergenics has been around for decades. Over the time it’s been in operation, it has garnered the world’s love and respect. Like its name, it ensures its products are practically without allergens—to the point that it conducts clinical studies that have appeared in medical journals and acknowledged at medical conferences.
One well-loved item is the ID Monolaurin Gel, which gets rid of sweat-induced face and body acne. It’s made from monolaurin, an ingredient obtained from coconut that brightens, smoothens, and reinvigorates your skin.
Prim Botanicals’ Spoil Yourself Silly Grapefruit and Rose Body Scrub
In 2015, Philippines-born Fil-Am Stefanie Walmsley found herself in a career that proved detrimental to her skin.
To tend to it, she thought about where she was born—where, for instance, she applied fresh aloe vera on her skin. She then got the idea to establish a clean beauty brand to provide people with skincare products that they and their skin would love. And, yes, “share happiness.”
One of Prim’s showpieces is the Spoil Yourself Silly Grapefruit and Rose Body Scrub, which was made to give you the pampering you need in the shower. It contains pracaxi and andiroba to keep your skin moisturized and radiant, and eliminate problems such as eczema.
Habitude’s Hardworking Miracle Water
Public relations consultant Romina Nañagas discovered from her sister Noelle Hui that Lucas Papaw Ointment, a papaya-derived Australian product, had found success outside its home country. Inspiration then struck.
Together with Hui, the sisters’ writer friend Nikki Santiago-Rivera, and their aunt Edna Dolores, the founder of Vista Pharma, they created a beauty brand that formulates its products using Filipino ingredients. They aim for Habitude to cater to everyone, from the overly busy woman who only has time for a bare minimum skincare routine to the beauty fanatic who can commit to the 10-step Korean skincare routine every day.
The Philippine Star and Business Mirror suggest Habitude’s Hardworking Miracle Water. While working as a toner, also takes off makeup and moisturizes your skin. It contains plant-derived ingredients that combat skin aging and, because it contains rice ferment filtrate and galactomyces, it makes your skin plump, healthy, and glowing.
If there’s a lesson you can learn here, it’s that you don’t need to look far to find premium-quality items. With creativity, vision, and hard work, our homegrown brands have proven that we can create luxury skincare products on par with the best—and, as well, make us realize that we’ve always had what we sought out elsewhere all along.
Banner photo by Cottonbro Studio via Pexels.