Cover Chiew Yee Sian

Root Remedies is on a mission to make a positive impact in the beauty industry with its sustainable approach

Strong and independent Chiew Yee Sian is the founder of Root Remedies, a homegrown skincare brand established in 2015. Focused on natural skincare, Root Remedies also believes in taking good care of our planet. 

"Mother Earth provides us with all we need. Therefore, we need to protect her. And we don't need toxic ingredients for our skin," declares Chiew, 26. 

Unsure about her path after leaving school, the fashion marketing graduate started making her own skincare products that eventually became a viable business.

Related: 6 Sustainable Malaysian Beauty Brands To Support

How did you begin your journey with Root Remedies? 

I've always been passionate about skincare and make-up, but most of the commercial brands out there weren't good for my skin. Then I stumbled upon plant oils and their power-packed benefits. I instantly saw positive results on my skin. I wanted to share it with the world. I wanted to create a way for everyone to find a natural solution to loving your skin and keeping it in good condition.

So, at the age of 21, I started my own business with no experience, connection and funding. Since I was young, people doubted me a lot but I knew I just had to work extra hard to prove myself. I learnt a lot along the way.

What is the philosophy of Root Remedies?

Root Remedies is a natural skincare brand for everyone, regardless of gender and age. We keep the number of ingredients to a minimum without compromising on their efficacy. We believe that your skin doesn't need a long list of ingredients whose names you can barely pronounce. For instance, our bestseller product, Gromwell Squalane Gentle Restoring Face Oil, consists of only three ingredients including tocopherol (vitamin E).

I put my soul and heart into my brand and that helps me to engage with my audience. When you’re sincere, your audience will feel it. There is no secret, aside from an open mind, hard work, and maybe a little creativity.

What is clean beauty?

Clean beauty means different things to different people. Some brands try to hide cheap synthetic ingredients by mixing formulas with a little bit of natural ingredients and heavily market the product as “natural”, which ultimately isn't natural or clean beauty.

For us, it means high quality, naturally-derived ingredients that are produced sustainably and designed for effectiveness and experience. It sounds very simple but natural ingredients are expensive, hard to source, and easily adulterated, but we do our best to keep up with our philosophy. 

See also: 6 Organic Beauty Brands We Love

How did you discover clean beauty?

My first venture into natural skincare was discovering high quality Argan oil. It was amazing for my skin and better than many commercial products that cost way more. 

Have you always been an advocate of clean beauty?

Yes, ever since I discovered and understood the concept of clean beauty. 

How did you start creating your own clean beauty products?

I started by learning from the internet; I also went to a soap-making class. I even tried extracting my own coconut oil. I knew that it was important to gain first hand experience and get my hands dirty in order to develop my own brand.

Why is there such a surge of interest in clean beauty?

I think there are several reasons. First, consumers are gaining more awareness about the issue of sustainability thus they naturally seek out cleaner products. Second, people are realising that clean beauty works.

What should we know about clean beauty products?

Read the labels for the ingredients before buying. Choose products that are free from harmful ingredients such as sulfates, parabens, formaldehydes, phthalates, mineral oil, fragrance and colorants. Pick products with minimal packaging or environment-friendly packaging.

How do clean beauty products affect your skin compared to the alternatives?

Clean beauty products often have gentler ingredients. This means less chance of triggering irritation or sensitivity.

What makes Root Remedies stand out from the rest? 

We work strictly with suppliers that offer high quality natural ingredients. We take extra care where we purchase our ingredients from and who we collaborate with. For example, the olive oil we use is certified extra virgin from Australia.

Is this the future of the beauty industry?

I do think that natural skincare and clean beauty will have a major impact in the beauty industry. As environmental issues get more and more pressing, more and more people will be educated about ingredients and will opt for products with less synthetic chemicals.

What’s a good place to start if we're new to Root Remedies?

If you’re new to facial oil, our new Gromwell Squalane Gentle Restoring Face Oil is a great option. It’s almost weightless and easily absorbed by the skin. It leaves no oily residue and keeps skin hydrated—perfect for those who have been sceptical about using oils. 

For convenience, our remedy series is complete skincare set that comprises Pure Castile Face Wash, Face Mist, Face Oil and a serum for extra treatment. We believe skincare shouldn’t be complicated; it only requires four simple steps—cleansing, toning, moisturising and treatment.

See also: Sustainable Beauty And The Brands That Advocate This Trend

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