Thursday January 17, 2013
Good skin is sexy
By PATSY KAM
How much more basic can you get than a British skincare brand that touts to offer a ‘clean’ difference?
WHAT’S new at Ren? Well, apart from the fact that the British skincare brand has come up with a new Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate this month, it’s also under a different distributor now, Ken’s Apothecary.
In case you didn’t already know, Ren uses the latest hi-tech bio actives that are 100% plant and mineral-derived, and is claimed to be free from skin-unfriendly ingredients and “gorgeously pleasurable to use”.
The advertising spiel that was first revealed had London-based founders Robert Calcraft and Antony Buck in a photograph, with Buck pouring a giant canister of skincare product over Calcraft’s head to show how skin-friendly it was.
Successful brand consultants to companies like Peugeot, Smirnoff, Yellow Pages and Pizza Hut, the duo started on Ren when Buck’s wife developed adverse reactions to almost every skincare product she used during her first pregnancy. Together with expertise of French cosmetic pharmacologist Dr Colette Haydon, Ren, which means “clean” in Swedish, made its debut in September 2000.
Rui Branco, director of education based in London, was in Kuala Lumpur recently to introduce the new products. The amicable and bubbly Branco is the perfect ambassador for the brand as “Ren is all about having an attitude”, he said.
Rather than merely selling the face of a celebrity, Ren banks on its “clean” tagline which Branco explained further: “It’s a real brand for real people. It’s all about your state of mind and being realistic, for people who are intelligent and serious about ingredients. On average, a woman probably uses about 200 different ingredients on her face and it all builds up.”
He suggested that people take on a new perspective on skincare. And he’s compelled to show the “clean” difference about the brand that touts to boost the skin’s natural ability to protect, repair and renew itself, leaving it healthy, fit and radiant.
“Ren would be skincare as it should be,” he said, adding “Good skin is sexy!”
Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Branco moved to London in 2002 after graduating and landed at the Aveda Concept store. His interest in skincare and natural ingredients were first sparked through his work there and he later joined Ales Groupe in Britain, where he further developed his knowledge within the pharmacy and medi-spa market. Today, he plays a critical role in the development and expansion of Ren in over 50 countries internationally.
“We chose ‘clean’ rather than ‘natural’ or ‘organic’, because it was an unpolluted term, not confused by industry smoke and mirrors. It was also distinctive and ground-breaking as a concept. Besides, those terms don’t capture the advanced nature of the actives we use that are increasingly drawn from the more advanced world of bio-technology and bio-science. ‘Natural’ and ‘organic’ for many consumers these days increasingly mean basic and lacking effectiveness,” he said.
Ren doesn’t contain petrochemicals, as they block the skin’s pores; sulfates which strip the skin and create a feeling of tightness; parabens, synthetic fragrance and synthetic colour as they are a common cause of sensitivity and allergic reactions. The formulas also avoid TEA (Triethanolamine), DEA (Diethanolamine), glycols, silicones and PEG (Polyethylene Glycol).
Instead of artificial preservatives, Ren seals its products in airless packaging to preserve the integrity of the contents. The brand follows clean practices by minimising the use of the world’s limited natural resources and donating a minimum of 2.5% of its profits to campaigns that promote a better environment and life for the less fortunate.
It adopts five key principles which can be summarised as: right ingredients, right science, right product experience, right environmental impact and right attitude. Fans of Ren include Alanis Morrisette, the late Alexander McQueen, Carolina Herrera, Jade Jagger, Jude Law, Kate Moss and LeAnne Rimes, just to name a few.
“Ren is a performance brand and addresses different concerns, and is for both men and women, at any age, regardless of physical or skin age. Of course, it also helps that one eats sensibly and follow a healthy lifestyle.”
If you don’t know where to start, Branco recommends six key products that would be especially helpful in our tropical weather.
To start off, there’s the Hydra-Calm Cleansing Gel touted to leave sensitive skin cleansed, refreshed and soothed without irritation, tightness or discomfort; followed by the Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream for the day and the Omega 3 Night Repair Serum to replenish skin lipids at night.
The Keep Young And Beautiful SH2C Serum offers an advanced bio active serum formulated to keep skin looking younger and more radiant. For that additional step, use F10 Smooth and Renew Mask, a gentle fruit acid based mask to help exfoliate without irritation. There’s also the Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask, designed to renew complexion and reduce the appearance of fine lines.
The latest addition to the fold is the Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate, said to be a synergistic complex of potent 100% nature derived vitamin A, pro vitamin A and Retinoid Analogue that combats the appearance of wrinkles, imperfections and age spots, without the irritating effects of synthetic retinol. Skin looks firmer, plumper, healthier and younger. Price: RM279.
> Ren is available at all Ken’s Apothecary outlets.