I CAME across Daya Botanica while browsing at a Christmas bazaar at The Row in Kuala Lumpur last year. It was only a small booth but I was attracted by the product’s packaging, and I found the scent from its sugar scrubs and moisturisers fresh and appealing.
According to founders Phebe Kok and Joanne Khoo, they started the brand last year with the aim of providing “luxurious yet affordable natural plant-based skincare products for the Malaysian market”.
They add: “We believe in selling only quality products that we would ourselves use. Our products are manufactured in Malaysia to high standards and contain no harsh chemicals, parabens or SLS.”
(SLS stands for sodium lauryl sulfate, which is used to create lather in products and remove things like dirt and grease more effectively. But it also causes skin irritation such as redness and dryness, as it's believed to disrupt the natural oils in our skin.)
At the moment, Daya Botanica only has four products – two sugar body scrubs and two body moisturisers that come in two scents.
The Citrus scent is made up of sweet orange, lavender, lemongrass and vanilla while the Jasmine range has jasmine, ylang ylang and sweet orange.
FRESH AS A DAISY
I was given the Citrus range to review, both the scrub and moisturiser. The scrub is made of organic brown sugar cane mixed with an assortment of oils.
In addition to sweet orange, lavender, lemongrass and vanilla oils, it also has grape seed, sunflower, wheat germ, jojoba and sunflower oils.
The scrub comes in a sealed packet inside the plastic container. Because of the sugar, the scrub will dilute when it comes into contact with water so I guess having it in a separate package rather than the container itself helps to slow down the process.
I’ve used the scrub every day for several weeks now without any adverse effect.
My only complaint is that it leaves my skin greasy, which is to be expected after all the oils that were in the product. But it washes away well, so I don’t mind it so much.
The sugar granules were quite coarse and work well as a scrub. It dilutes as you use it and flows down the floor drain without leaving any residue. That said, there is a build-up of sticky syrup on top of the packet. But no, I’ve not seen any ants in my bathroom.
Meanwhile, the body moisturiser is light and non-greasy. It is absorbed by the skin easily and lasts long enough without any harmful effects. Like the scrub, it has a wonderful, clean scent that isn’t cloying or overpowering.
Daya Botanica products are available at M+ Natural Remedies (Bangsar Village I), M+ Pharmacy (Atria Shopping Centre and Da:Men USJ), ChinaHouse at the Old CourtHouse, Kuching and dayabotanica.com.
The scrub retails for RM49 and moisturiser RM51. A percentage of the profits will go to the Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre, a local NGO dedicated to reforestation and conservation of local endangered trees.