Shifting to Clean and Green Skincare: 8 Promising Brands that Deliver Results – Part 2

HAVING been trying to avoid and minimize use of plastics for years already, I am aware that my beauty products are the bane in this cause. As we all know, plastics pollute our planet, from those brought to landfills to those that end up in our seas, and there to stay for eternity.

Plastics do degrade but for a very long time, and often, they just turn in microplastics that seep into the earth, or worse, fill the stomachs of the fish we eat.

During the pandemic, I found myself the opportunity to finally shift to clean and green skincare products to better take care not only of myself, but also of the environment.

I began looking for brands that are mindful of their impacts and constantly trying to reduce them with reusing and recycling packaging; and lastly, brands that are centered on plant-based ingredients and safe yet simple formulations.

On Part 1, I shared four Korean skincare brands that got me started on this journey. On this Part 2, I share brands from the other side of the planet, and one our very own.

Continue reading “Shifting to Clean and Green Skincare: 8 Promising Brands that Deliver Results – Part 2”

Sustainable and Beautiful: What You Need to Know about L’Oreal’s Roadmap to 2030

Press Release

MOST of us have read, heard or watched it. L’Oreal announced that it will drop the word whitening, along with others such as white, fair, fairness, light and lightening, in its products.

This is just the beginning as the entire L’Oreal Group aims to be sustainable for the planet and inclusive for all by 2030. It announced recently L’Oreal for the Future, a roadmap for a truly radical transformation.

As one of the biggest beauty businesses in the world this matters. Here’s everything you need to know:

Continue reading “Sustainable and Beautiful: What You Need to Know about L’Oreal’s Roadmap to 2030”

Shifting to Clean and Green Skincare: 8 Promising Brands that Deliver Results – Part 1

WHEN this pandemic struck so unexpectedly and unprecedentedly, all of us had to set our priorities straight. For many, skincare took the back seat and was deemed unessential. That’s totally OK. For others, skincare became an important part of a holistic self-care. This too can’t be discounted.

Admittedly, I felt lucky to be one of those who could afford the latter. It also became an opportunity for me to finally shift to clean and green skincare products to better take care not only of myself, but also of the environment.

Having been trying to avoid and minimize use of plastics for years already, I am aware that my beauty products are the bane in this cause. As we all know, plastics pollute our planet, from those brought to landfills to those that end up in our seas, and there to stay for eternity. (Plastics do degrade but for a very long time, and often, they just turn in microplastics that seep into the earth, or worse, fill the stomach of the fish we eat.)

Unfortunately, some of the world’s biggest plastic waste contributors are brands that we have on our bathroom shelves and racks. And this isn’t the only impact that they leave. Natural resources are being consumed, products are being tested cruelly on animals, communities are being ripped off, among others.

But while the beauty industry is among the most unsustainable, it doesn’t mean we can’t. We simply need to start somewhere, somehow. Yes, we can’t become zero-waste overnight but we can lessen our personal footprint.

We also need to be aware that there are already beauty brands that are revolutionizing the industry in ethical and eco-friendly ways. Best of all, their products also deliver the results we desire for our skin.

So began my journey in finding these brands—in a bit of a rush because I was already experiencing the dreaded maskne. If you haven’t heard of this yet, it is simply an acne breakout as a result of extended wearing of face masks. It sucks but we have to uphold this safety protocol.

Thanks to recommendations from my friend Coleen and countless YouTube reviews by Hyram, I started building a fortified skincare routine that makes me feel good inside and out.

Here are the brands that I started the shift with, plus the products I am already using:

1. Cosrx

K-beauty has already made waves in many parts of the world and Korean skincare is quickly catching up due to its plant-based ingredients and effective formulations, but with competitive price points vs. Western counterparts.

Coxrx, in particular, is one. I have already heard about this brand from my officemates since last year but it’s only now that I actually considered it.

Providing skin solutions globally only since 2015, Cosrx combines the concept of cosmetics + RX (prescription). It uses skin-friendly ingredients to alleviate various skin concerns, according to its website. On the clean beauty front, it has blacklisted all possible harmful ingredients, has promised to be against animal testing, and is hypoallergenic and tested in Korea.

I am now using the Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser and the AHA/BHA Clarifying Toner to wash away all the sebum and impurities on my skin derived from our humid weather and also, the extended wearing of mask. Salicylic acid also targets acne and I love how my face feels so clean after every wash.

2. Some By Mi

A pretty new kid in the K-skincare block, Some By Mi has gained traction already and is being reviewed all over YouTube by beauty vloggers, Hyram included. It’s most known for its AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle line, which from its name alone, promises to clear breakouts in 30 days. In fact, Some By Mi means Something By Miracle. And so far, it’s doing quite a good job in soothing my acne.

Aside from the AHA BHA PHA components (watch Hyram explain these ingredients here), the line also has the raved about Centella Asiatica, a medicinal herb that has wonderful benefits for skin, especially Asian skin.

I got the sample / travel kit with toner, the serum and the moisturizer (though I haven’t used the toner yet) for just P700. Its regular sizes is priced similar to Cosrx products.

3. Purito

Still on Korean wonders, another skincare brand that is getting a cult following for its sunscreen is Purito. Its Centella Green Level Safe Sun is all goodness in one: a refreshing and soft product that leaves no slimy feeling and no white cast by a combination over 70% of water base and three essential ingredients, Centella Asiatica extract, Hyaluronic Acid and Tocopherol. This makes it 100% vegan, aside from being cruelty-free, artificial-fragrance-free, compatible for combination skin, with UVA-UVB protection, at pH 6.5, and good for everyday use.

Purito applies this clean formulation on all its products. According to its website, Purito is derived from the words “purify,” meaning purifying natural ingredients to create safe and clean products, and “To,” a Chinese character symbolizing going back to basics to strengthen and repair collapsed skin barriers.

So the Centella Green Level sunscreen was one of the first products I knew I needed for my improved skincare routine because I also started drinking collagen supplement.

While I love how simple yet effective these three Korean skincare brands are, their products mostly still come in plastic packaging. A down side to competitively priced products.

4. KraveBeauty

The Korean skincare fascination is not yet over. Already on the way for delivery is my Krave Kale-Lalu-yAHA (read has hallelujah) Resurfacing AHA exfoliator.

Now Krave is one promising brand, currently with just five products on its arsenal meant to cleanse, moisturize and protect. It is founded by beauty vlogger Lia Yooh with the philosophy “press reset.” Its brand story from the website reads: “Skincare should be easy, a stress-free zone, a supplement to our lifestyle. And most of all, skincare basics should be, basic.

“And that’s what we, KraveBeauty, believe in. We believe in the power of simplicity by urging every women and men to step back, press reset, and listen to your skin’s true needs. And we’re born in this industry to offer truly Krave-able skincare essentials that respect the skin and restore it to health.”

What I even love all the more from this brand is its sustainability efforts on recycling and packaging, which you can read all about here.

Those are my recommended Korean skincare brands to look out for if you are also wanting to start a cleaner and greener skincare journey.

On Part 2, brands from the other side of the planet and one, our very own.

Read Part 2 here.

Philippines’ Live Music Scene Perseveres Through a Pandemic

Metro Manila has officially transitioned to a modified enhanced community quarantine allowing us residents to regain parts of our normal lives, while still being mindful of physical distancing, proper handwashing at all times, and following strict community rules like curfew and limited movement.

We are seeing malls, commercial centers and restaurants reopening once again, as well as some offices and businesses as long as these observe MECQ guidelines.

The live music scene, however, is yet to recover since non-essential mass gatherings cannot be allowed still, and for all the good reasons. This entails countless job loss not just for the musical artists but also for managers, roadies, assistants and employees who all work for live gigs and venues.

Continue reading “Philippines’ Live Music Scene Perseveres Through a Pandemic”

Step Up for Healing in the Mountains


ALMOST four years since Duterte administration’s bloody war on drugs took the lives of thousands, this fact remains: Families are left dealing with losses of their loved ones. Wives without husbands. Children without fathers. Parents without children.

Justice is far off, not within reach nor within sight.

Healing, on the other hand, may be a step closer to some of these family members. They are taking the steps forward, upward and downward along the trails of mountains.

Continue reading “Step Up for Healing in the Mountains”

Reaching Out, Breaking Grounds: A Christmas Celebration for Aetas of Limay


“Takot kami dati sa mga Unat.”

This was an overheard statement from an Aeta from an upland community in Limay, Bataan during a group’s Christmas outreach. The elderly woman was referring to lowlanders or Filipinos outside their tribe. Unat is a Filipino word that means someone with straight hair, that differentiate them from Aetas who have curly hair. 

We can’t blame the Aetas, or any other indigenous tribes in the country, for harboring fear toward their fellow Filipinos who have periodically abused and displaced them in the past and even to this day.

Continue reading “Reaching Out, Breaking Grounds: A Christmas Celebration for Aetas of Limay”

Walk, Run, Cycle – UNHCR Calls Filipinos to Move in Solidarity with Refugees

(United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees)

ALIN NISA was among the 720,000 Rohingya who fled persecution and violence in Myanmar last year. When her village was attacked, she and her family was forced to escape in the dead of the night at 3 a.m.

They had nothing but the clothes on their back. With her husband, mother-in-law and two young children, she crossed mountains and rivers. Along the journey, they walked across water-logged paddy fields, in torrential rain, sometimes through the night. After a perilous journey of 10 days and 102 kilometers, they arrived at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh. 

Now safe in Bangladesh, the family has built a shelter, using plastic sheeting and bamboo – all provided by  the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). They also received a cooking kit, mats and blankets.

Continue reading “Walk, Run, Cycle – UNHCR Calls Filipinos to Move in Solidarity with Refugees”

Goodness Continues at Human Nature with these Healthy, Mindful Picks

(Text from Human Heart Nature; Photos by Euden Valdez)

HUMAN NATURE, the country’s largest social enterprise, now also serves as a distribution hub for fellow homegrown social enterprises that share its gold standards: sustainably-made items, locally-sourced raw materials, and ethical business practices.

These social enterprises also go beyond uplifting partner communities by producing world-class products that showcase the best of the Philippines.

“Everyone will enjoy the items from our partner social enterprises! Each delicious snack and refreshing drink encapsulates the best of the Philippines. It will give you the warmth of Filipino hospitality, like getting a taste of home wherever you are. Even when you’re stuck in your office or just cozying up at home.” Coco Castro-Cruz, Human Nature’s Category Manager for Social Enterprise Development shared.

Continue reading “Goodness Continues at Human Nature with these Healthy, Mindful Picks”

#CONNECT2EARTH: It’s a Homecoming for Earth Hour PH

(From the Cultural Center of the Philippines)

AS a leading national establishment, the Cultural Center of the Philippines has the responsibility to raise awareness and educate its audiences about issues happening in the Philippines and in the world, which include ecological challenges.

Through arts, people can explore the relations between nature and humankind and understand the importance of biodiversity in their lives.

On March 24, the CCP welcomes the return of Earth Hour after 10 years since it held its first-ever switch-off event in the Philippines in 2008. It will lead a myriad of activities until the 60-minute switch-off at 8:30 p.m.

Continue reading “#CONNECT2EARTH: It’s a Homecoming for Earth Hour PH”

Two Filipinas Are Spearheading Environmental Conservation in Palawan

(Text by Euden Valdez; Photos by Alex Delos Santos)

“WE like to consider ourselves as strong, empowered women,” said Jessa Belle Garibay of herself and Karina May Reyes-Antonio.

No doubt they are!

As co-founders of Centre for Sustainability PH Inc. (CS), both women led the establishment of Cleopatra’s Needle Forest Reserve as a critical habitat. Located in Puerto Princesa City, this 41,000 hectare, bio-diverse forest is home to some of Palawan’s endemic species, as well as the last remaining members of the indigenous Batak tribe.

Continue reading “Two Filipinas Are Spearheading Environmental Conservation in Palawan”