She used to suffer from dust allergies and oily skin. But it was this struggle she had with her skin that propelled international skin care trainer Jennifer Leng, to found her skincare brand Jyunka. And it has since opened its first brick-and-mortar store at Pacific Plaza.
Having built a reputation for itself over the last 10 years, the brand’s latest home in Singapore’s popular Orchard Road shopping belt will be a retail centre that also offers facial treatments. The space includes 3 facial rooms and carries its full range of skincare products.
The success of Jyunka has been credited to its star product serum, the M+ Fluid. This “miracle serum” contains pure grade of L-Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C) with the patented QuSome technology, to stimulate collagen, elastin and skill cell production. It was due to Leng’s long-standing friendship with a Japanese scientist (who is now in his 70s) that resulted in this development, which more than 10 years. First manufactured in Japan before its production was shifted to France in 2014, the M+ Fluid retailed first in Singapore when Leng was 52-years young. And it was because of the success of this serum that Jyunka was founded and went on to formulate a comprehensive range of 19 products.
Another successful product is the Ageless Eye cream that helps alleviate tiny wrinkles around the eyes. Use once in the morning and evening to smooth out those ageing lines for a more youthful, radiant look.
A veteran of the skincare and beauty industry, Leng has trained in London, Paris and Germany, with professional qualifications from CIBTAC and CIDESCO. Through the years, she has also expanded her working knowledge and experience in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and Spain. Over the years in Singapore and Malaysia, Leng has provided training for international professional brands, including Guinot, Mary Cohr, Maria Galland, Filorga, Comfort Zone, Institut Esthederm, Cellcosmet, Green Peel, CD2 and Elemis.
She shares about her quest for beauty and what is in store for the brand.
How young are you?
I am 63 years young.
When did all of this begin?
At age 25, I embarked on this journey of discovery and knowledge that started from a very personal need. I suffered from dust allergies and oily skin, and was in need of solutions to help manage my skin condition and address the problems. I visited doctors, professional aestheticians, cosmetics brands and eventually found the answer in professional skin care. In the course of my work, I befriended several doctors in pharmacology. With my personal relationship with them over the years, I requested for them to find a method to encapsulate vitamin C, to enable it to better penetrate into the skin. Through my dialogue with the doctors, my own personal studies, research and discussions with professionals, I developed an understanding of the importance of vitamin C for the skin. Since vitamin C is water soluble and our skin is waterproof, the product has to enable better penetration into skin hence this was a difficult challenge to overcome, which we eventually did. I tried the sample and my skin changed visibly. My skin continued to improve after using the product and today I am a testimony to this product, M+ Fluid.
What were you doing before you went into the beauty industry?
Prior to all this skincare and beauty stuff, I worked for an embassy for a short while. I guess my skin problems and trying to find solutions for them propelled me to head to Europe to try and work for skincare product manufacturers and to understand how the companies and formulas work. I was visiting friends in Europe and spent some time working in Scandinavia. The connections made in Europe were very important for me as it was through the doctors in pharmacology that I learnt more about my own skin condition. I discovered that I did not have an acne problem, but rather, an allergy to dust that needed to be treated very differently.
After 3 years in Europe, I returned to Singapore with the CIBTEC and CIDESCO diplomas, as well as a wealth of experience in the area of skin and its disorders. The natural direction was to start my own business to distribute professional skin care products.
What was your first company called?
I started my own company, Laponie (S) Pte Ltd at the age of 27. I was the technical and training director. At that point, I felt strongly that I should also learn about skincare professionally from an institute of higher learning. So I went back to Europe, this time to London and enrolled in the most renowned beauty school in London – the London Institute for Beauty Therapy, and graduated with a diploma from the Confederation of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (CIBTEC from England) and a Diploma International CIDESCO Zurich.
My course topics span the anatomy and physiology of the whole face and body, including the circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems. I also had to study on skin diseases and disorders, as well as cosmetic sciences. Then there was electrolysis and the structure of hair, both on how to promote good hair growth as well as to remove unwanted hair permanently. Today, I am proud to state Laponie is one of the leading distributors of professional skin care products in Singapore.
What are you concentrating on now?
Now, I am a partner at Laponie. My passion for education has not decreased but it has actually intensified through time. So I am still responsible for the educational and training aspects of both Laponie and Jyunka. I am using my wealth of experience to support my son, Keefe, who is heading Jyunka, on the development of the brand. Since graduation, I still find time to return to Europe every year to attend educational courses in France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.
I enjoy reading and taking long walks to reflect.
I am most proud of the fact that Jyunka, which is now sold in over 10 countries (Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam), is proudly listed on Singapore Airlines’ Krisshop catalogue.