As you may or may not know. I have a slight obsession with body scrubs. I’m not sure if it is because of some deeply hidden childhood trauma or the fact that I get a lot of ingrown hairs and suffer from Keratosis Pilaris (KP), or that I love indulging myself with a neat little spa goodie from time to time. Either way, my obsession is your gain as YOU get to read all about the ones I tried and make your own decision on which to buy.
I recently had an opportunity to try 2 scrubs and a face mask from Ramuan Spa Products. A part of Biotropics, Ramuan Spa allows one to enjoy the pampering experience of Malaysia’s legendary spas. I tried the following:
Coconut Body Polish
Relaxing Face Mask
Here is what the website says about each of these products:
“Coconut Body Polish - BODY POLISHING with natural herbs and conditioners is a Malaysian ritual to reveal skin of eminently touchable refinement. Coconut and rice exfoliants combine with refreshing Pandanus leaf extract, stimulating circulation for a soft freshness and lasting glow. Smoothes with gentle exfoliants combined with comforting conditioners. Leaves skin at its silky finest.”
“Coffee Scrub - A GENTLE SCRUB reveals enhanced freshness, gently exfoliating and stimulating circulation. Coffee beans and native rice combine with soothing herbal conditioners derived from Pandanus & Cinnamon. Skin at its liveliest delivers a most radiant glow. Helps smooth rough skin. Tones & exfoliates. Conditions and revitalizes, to leave skin soft and silky.”
“Relaxing Face Mask - TONGKAT ALI is prized for its legendary revitalizing effects. In this relaxing face mask, it is blended with select fruit and seed extracts, along with herbal moisturizers and soothing agents. Use it for a gently uplifting freshness with glowing radiance. A nourishing and revitalizing treatment to soften & condition skin.”
Having never been to Malaysia nor know anything about its “spas” I decided to contact my buddy Paris B from My Women Stuff Blog. Since Paris is one of the TOP Malay beauty bloggers out there I asked her for some insight. This is what she told me.
Ramuan in Malay basically means “Ingredients” OK. I can dig that. They are using ingredients sourced from Malaysia but it looks like their products are not available in Malaysia. They are available for purchase on the website and through GNC. Yes. You got it. GNC. Apparently the company believes that “outer beauty emanates from inner health” and therefore sells supplements for men and women based on this premise. They also sell a book “Health and Beauty from the Rainforest: Malaysian Traditions of Ramuan” I’m not a nutritionist nor do I want to even get into condoning taking supplements for “beauty” purposes on this blog. So please explore the other options that Ramuan has on their website under the guidance of your Physician. I do not endorse or sponsor anything in that arena.
OK. So let’s start with the face mask. This is a sheet mask. (As you can see from the scary picture.)
he Relaxing Face Mask with Tongkat Ali is a one time use mask. It retails for $3.37. There’s a funny thing about Tongkat Ali. According to Paris B, “It is a root that is traditionally boiled into a drink to stimulate the blood and in many instances, taken by men for um... a cheap viagra substitute without the instant effects of Viagra. It is quite commonly found mixed into coffee or tea locally if requested but I've never really heard of it being used in skincare or in spa therapy. I'm uncertain if using it topically on the skin can boost skin's circulation the way it can if ingested.” Thanks Paris. Yes. I’m not sure how external application will produce any benefits at all. My nose didn’t seem to grow bigger nor did it seem more …erect! Seriously, my face was incredibly red after use. I will warn you that my face gets red easily and the redness I experienced from using the mask was not unusual nor do I believe more extreme than usual. I didn’t notice any short term or long term benefit from using this mask. No increase in moisture, not smoothness nothing. I suppose if I had several weeks worth of the mask to use I might see a long term benefit, but even as sheet masks go this was nothing special. I have about a kazillion sheet masks at home and this was priced in the mid to low end, but for those westerners that are not used to sheet masks they may balk at the $3.37 per use price tag.
On to the coconut and coffee body scrubs. First of all let me warn you that this is not a ready to use item. It must be mixed with water. Yes. That’s right. It comes in a powder form. You have to mix it with water, form a paste then use it. If you are like me, the typical American is going to HATE this. First of all, you have to find a container to mix it in, then you have to make sure you are putting the right amount of water in, too much and your “paste” turns into soup, too little and the “paste” is still dust. I will say that the packets are large enough to get at least 3 uses for full body scrubs, but honestly that’s the only good thing I can say about them.
The coconut one smelled the best. It smelled like raw coconut, not that synthetic sweet kind. I made a paste and rubbed it all over my body. It seemed OK but nothing special. It scrubbed decently enough, but certainly didn’t provide any moisturizing properties, and since the scrub itself was rather large grained I wondered if it really did any good for me. My skin was smooth after using it, so I guess it did OK, but I wasn’t wowed by the results. The mere fact that I had to mix the product turns me off.
The coffee scrub was OK, but again, you had to mix it. It looks terrible in the bowl. I’m not gonna say what it looks like, you can draw your own conclusions. It smelled more like cinnamon than coffee….well. it smelled like cinnamon coffee. I detest coffee so I let Mr. Sith take a whiff. After he snarked about looking like I was involved in scat play in the shower he said it smelled “great!” He likes coffee very much and said the cinnamon was a really nice touch…however he didn’t want to put it on his body. Men! The coffee scrub was a finer grain than the coconut and did seem to do a better job at exfoliating, but again, it was a pain to mix and apply while in the shower. Not to mention that my shower looked like a freakin crime scene after The Gingerbread Man went missing.
Do you need these products? No. Honestly I don’t like having to mix my own products in the shower. I don’t like having to mix my own products out of the shower. I don’t like to mix my own products period. The prices for the coconut and coffee scrub were not on the website and honestly I have no idea if they are a good value. Granted you can get more than one use out of the packets but honestly, storage and mixing are too much of a hassle to make it worth it. The sheet mask, well…it’s a sheet mask. It doesn’t seem to do anything for me, but as I said I only used one and I can’t say if there is any long term benefit for use. The whole Tongkat Ali being used as an herbal Viagra turns me off completely.
If I’m ever in Malaysia I plan to visit with Paris B and have her take me to a few authentic Malay spas. Lord knows I need the relaxation.