Powered by a legacy of homegrown wisdom, several Thai brands are fuelling the growth in the Kingdom’s wellness industry.
Historically, Thailand has always been ahead of the curve in the wellness quotient, but somehow this concept — echoed in the traditional Thai way of life — had begun to fade into the background. That is, until the world discovered the secrets of the Thai spa. With this “discovery”, the domestic market reacted, looking at wellness with new eyes. This return to a health-conscious mindset has fuelled a growing demand for products that enhance wellness — be they beauty focused, or spa oriented.
The response from the Thai wellness industry was not slow in coming. Soon herbal teas, supplements, skin care products, and essential oils made their appearance. Today, Thailand has a long roster of companies banking on traditional Thai skincare and wellness practices coupled with cutting edge advances providing for the growing wellness market domestically and abroad. Here, we focus on four recommended brands.
A leading player in Thai skincare is Panpuri, founded by CEO Vorravit Siripark in 2003. In 2006, the brand turned organic with certified organic ingredients. Today, it is one of Thailand’s top brands, with a presence in over 40 countries. Their product line incorporates beauty and skincare, haircare, bath and body, and spa products. Everything revolves around the dictates of its own, very demanding, ‘ZeroList’. Harmful or questionable ingredients are prohibited in all Panpuri formulations, and their no-use list features 2,300 ingredients (by comparison South Korea lists 1,880 and Europe 1,584, while the USA lags behind at 12).
In addition, this award-winning brand has set other eco conscious goals for itself, and hopes to reach Net Zero Emission through reforestation to balance out the carbon emissions from their production. All retail outlets also have the #NoBagThursday campaign, and by 2021 expect to see their CLEAN Pop-up Store and Refill Stations.
Entrepreneur Tamar LeClue is the creative force behind Siam Botanicals. The company believes in the healing power of nature, which in turn is reflected in its typically Asian ingredients, such as rice bran oil, guava oil and moringa oil, and botanicals like lemongrass, ginger, rose, jasmine, plai root and more. Their product range includes serums and facial oils, masks, cleansers, toners, mists, lotions, and bath and spa products. The face care, skincare and aromatherapy ranges are 100 percent natural – completely free from synthetic chemicals, colours and fragrances. Several of their products carry the COSMOS-standard (to receive the COSMOS Organic label, at least 95 percent of the agro-ingredients must be organic).
Founded by Natthorn Rakchana, Karmakamet is a brand whose history dates back in time to the 1930s. As a Chinese immigrant, Natthorn drew on the wisdom of his ancestral heritage, which was steeped in Chinese medicine and traditional incense making know-how. Building on the family legacy, the first Karmakamet store opened, followed by a hotel in Samui and later by restaurants. Today, the brand finds itself in most major malls, with essential oils as their mainstay and a philosophy that focuses on being “mindful and able to see the beauty of the life within”. Karmakamet believes that the sense of smell is closely linked to memory, adhering to the philosophy that “through scent we can connect to the past and our feelings”. The philosophy is reflected in their aromatic body lotions, essential oils, hair care products, bath oils, home fragrance oils, soaps, bath gels, and more.
Sririta Jensen Narongdej’s Organika brand, established a mere six years ago, focuses on organic ingredients with a product line that ranges from bath salts to body oils, and from hand creams to lotions and body wash. Strongly believing in the power of aromatherapy, Organika is all about the scent, or rather “journeys through the world of scents”. Essential oils, diffusers and candles make the cut as well, but the brand portfolio also encompasses an organic café, and spas including the Organika Spa at Vie Hotel Bangkok. Underlining the brand’s organic credentials, the founder and managing director states: “I believe that nature is fundamentally linked to our human spirituality. And it’s important to remember that nature has the power to heal mankind. That’s why all products and services under the Organika brand are natural and organic.”