Watsons’s 7 Natural Wonders

In Photo: Naturals Rice Bran; Naturals Marula; Naturals Paw Paw; and Naturals Argan Oil

HAVING had no technology to formulate scientifically advanced products to defy the ravages of time, weather and life experiences, Filipinos of previous generations relied on good old-fashioned home remedies.  Inventive, imaginative and intuitive, most of the beauty hacks can be found in the backyard, the garden or the farm. Coconut oil or aloe vera were—and still are—used to salvage damaged hair, papaya extracts for a fairer complexion and bath stones to clean the skin of dirt.

But these are postmodern times. Watsons, Asia’s leading health and beauty retailer, has improved on our age-old, time-tested beauty rituals and bottled them beautifully to be easier and less messier to use with its Naturals by Watsons line.

“Natural products started with our lola, like aloe vera. Filipinos are not strangers to natural products. But it just so happens that a lot of the quality of the natural products that we get in the market aren’t so good. So what we’re saying is you can actually get very good ingredients manufactured properly, and the price isn’t so prohibitive,” explained Jared de Guzman, Watsons Group category manager, at a roundtable discussion after the launch at Le Petit Souffle at Century City Mall in Makati City.

The Naturals by Watsons range is inspired by seven wonderful ingredients that are certified organic: olive, argan, marula, aloe vera, pawpaw, rice bran and macadamia.

“Naturals has been in the market since 2014,  but this year we added more ingredients,” added Krisel Macatangay, Watsons marketing manager.

“We had a repackaging and [changed] the formulation. We doubled the dose of the ingredients,” de Guzman said. “We added pawpaw from Australia [which doubles the repairing action for a healthy-looking, smoother skin], and rice bran from Japan for brightening the skin,” Macatangay said.

Are there any ingredients from the Philippines that can qualify, like virgin coconut oil, our own aloe vera or moringa?

“None yet, but we are working with our special team that does product development,” de Guzman replied. They said the top ingredients are olive (a go-to ingredient from Italy that provides deep moisturizing great for getting rid of hair’s dryness and for achieving that cleansed, hydrated skin) and argan oil (sourced from Morrocco which works best with extremely dry and damaged hair and skin with its double-powered revitalizing and moisturizing).

There’s macadamia, which is from Australia and doubles the rejuvenating effects that get rid of dull, fine hair by rebalancing hair moisture for a revitalized hair and scalp. The aloe vera comes from the  US and the UK, and doubles the soothing benefits of organic aloe vera and extract for dry and irritated skin, while strengthening the hair from roots to tips for dandruff-prone, oily scalp.

But marula from Africa is the rising star in the beauty industry.

“Marula is a nut in a fruit. When the animals digest it, the funny thing is they get inebriated. Basically it’s a very powerful antioxidant, five times more potent than argan. If you’re looking for a repairing or protecting ingredient, then you have marula,” de Guzman explained,

“For marula, the products that we brought in are for hair,” Macatangay added. “We will be introducing more in the coming months. For next year, we have coffee in the pipeline. For hair, skin-care, facial-care products. Tea Tree oil is coming in. We will also have baby calendula. So, it’s really a growing brand.”

Naturals by Watsons is priced from P99 to P259, and is exclusively available at Watsons and The SM Store Beauty Section. If you are a SM Advantage Card member, you can get 25-percent off on your favorite products from now until November 22.

“Right now, the brand is available in about 180 stores across the country. It is safe for babies and lactating moms. It doesn’t have all the bad stuff like the parabens,” Watsons Group marketing manager Karen Fabres said.

“I would say Naturals is between 30 percent and 50 percent more affordable in the market for natural products. It’s been a question asked of us often: ‘How can you offer it so cheap?’ It’s always been because we have the power of the Watsons brand behind the product.”

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This writer is a beauty, celebrity and fashion columnist for BusinessMirror, and did fashion editorials and celebrity profiles for D+, its monthly supplement. As much as possible the column, called Tota Pulchra, only deals with the good, the great and the glamorous.