Pattamon “Namwan” Kerdlappol is the biochemist and beauty entrepreneur behind PregSkin, a safe innovative, eco-minded pregnancy skincare brand with a vision for a “Zero Waste Thailand”.
Bringing new life into the world can be beautiful, but there is no denying the myriad of physical discomforts that come with pregnancy. Side effects like nausea, cramps, heartburn, sleep loss and backaches are often accompanied by a variety of pregnancy-specific skin issues. While products made to keep stretch marks at bay exist in abundance, the same cannot be said about those for pregnancy-specific skin conditions such as hormonal acne or melasma. It is also important to note that the majority of everyday skincare commodities contain a significant amount of ingredients that are harmful for pregnant women and the fetus – such as retinoids, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
Choosing a jar of skincare has become a never-ending challenge for pregnant women, which is why we have seen a gradual increase in skincare products specifically made for prenatal care. Among them is “PregSkin”, a unique skincare brand specifically tailored to safely meet the needs of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Relatively new to the market, the Thai brand has already garnered a loyal following as its popularity continues to grow.
Backed by extensive research and dermatologically tested on sensitive skin in the United States, PregSkin boasts a line of topical solutions scientifically proven to be both highly effective in treating acne, dark spots and stretch marks while completely safe for moms and their babies.
To understand the brand is to understand its vision and notably that of its founder, Pattamon “Namwan” Kerdlappol, the biochemist and brain behind it all. As a student who excelled at mathematics and the sciences, particularly biology and chemistry, Pattamon also had a keen interest in health and beauty. Understanding the importance of knowledge in disciplines like biochemistry or pharmaceutical sciences if one were to pursue a career in the beauty industry, Pattamon eventually earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She later obtained an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston.
Although Pattamon did not immediately start her own business, having spent a few years honing her skills and gaining work experience in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical sector (including a two-year stint at renowned Eli Lilly’s accelerated leadership program), it was a research project at MIT back in 2013 that was to later lay the foundation for PregSkin. “My teammate at university uttered the word ‘pregnant’ in passing,” she recalls. “And a light bulb went on in my head. I began researching and uncovering everything I could find on skincare for pregnant women.” Upon learning about the harmful effects of cosmetics and
skincare products on pregnant women and finding out that a lot of women, as a result, opted to abandon all forms of skincare, Pattamon and her MIT team embarked on a project that elaborated a business plan to create a hypothetical skincare brand specifically for the benefit of pregnant women.
Despite her scientific prowess, the undertaking was far from being a walk in the park. Her perseverance and eye-on-the-target attitude saw her buried in the laboratory for a year before she was the least bit satisfied with her formulations. “I’m not a mum but I wanted to be someone who could emphathise and understand their problems. As such, I utilise my skills in the best way possible to craft the finest products for them,” she says. “It is a very complex process – even more so when you’re aiming for something effective and completely safe.” Pattamon also managed everything herself, from R&D to the procurement of raw materials, branding and marketing until, finally, PregSkin and its line of three topical solutions was launched in 2018.
In line with its commitment to create quality solutions that place the baby’s safety as the number one priority while helping moms stay beautiful, PregSkin prides itself in the fact that it does not contain any harmful ingredients. Emphasising natural active ingredients, a key component spanning all its products is herbaceous plant, Bidens pilosa, which serves as a safe alternative to vitamin A / retinoids.
An example of PregSkin’s popular products is the best-selling PregSkin Blemish Control Skin- Clearing Serum. This is a lightweight serum targeting sensitive acne-prone skin which, over time, promotes a flawless and radiant complexion. “Pregnancy glow is almost a myth. Pregnancy acne is very common yet most conventional acne products are not safe for pregnant and breastfeeding moms,” Pattamon emphasises.
To be paired with this serum or used independently, the PregSkin Brightening Age-Defying Moisturizing Facial Cream – enriched with blackcurrant seed oil, sunflower oil concentrate and balloon vine extract and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, among other things – tackles uneven skin tone and signs of aging.
And lastly, combatting those persistent stretchmarks is the rich yet fast-absorbing PregSkin Intensive Hydrating Stretch Mark Butter which simultaneously firms and boosts collagen production and ensures deep hydration to alleviate any accompanying itchiness.
“We are extremely mother-focused,” she says. “Of course, the safety of the baby is crucial but a lot of brands are fixated on the babies as if the mother has to compromise her own beauty and wellbeing. We strongly believe pregnant women can be just as active and radiant as before their pregnancy without foregoing the wellbeing of their child.”
Since being established, the brand has become an indispensable part of numerous women’s daily skincare regimen. “What makes me proud is receiving all the positive feedback from our clients and seeing the increasing number of return customers who even after their pregnancies continue to use PregSkin,” says Pattamon. “These feedbacks speak for themselves and make everything so worthwhile.”
Currently, PregSkin can be purchased through brand’s own channels (pregskin.com, Facebook, Instagram, LINE) and e-commerce platforms (such as Lazada and Shopee), as well as from offline stores, including All About You across Bangkok and other major cities.
On a personal level, the assiduous biochemist is also an eco-warrior at heart. This is why, in an effort to raise awareness among her clientele on issues of waste, she is collaborating with Bangkok environmental activist artist Wishulada Panthanuvong on a special environmental campaign emphasising the use of recycled fabrics and materials.
Looking ahead, she hopes to integrate environmental sustainability into her business strategy. She describes the challenges of this endeavour as embedded with a balanced consciousness. “It is impossible for us to go all green as a company,” she says. “However, we want to be one of the first-movers in the beauty industry in Thailand to raise awareness of environmental concerns among our customers. We are currently investigating our logistics to see where we can steer towards a more eco-conscious direction. This said, everything we do must not compromise the quality of our products, nor downgrade consumer experience. I see it as a ‘sustainability triangle’ where there is a balance between environment, consumer experience and cost.” Her profound concern for the impact of waste on the environment has also driven her to recently take over and push forward “Zero Waste Thailand”, an online community platform promoting a zero waste philosophy through social media, workshops, events, community campaigns and sales of eco- friendly products. “Change takes time and a lot of people pay little attention to issues of waste because you can’t see quick results, yet it is so important to foster a change in mindset. I hope to create a community of people who share the same values and help raise awareness of this serious issue. We all must rethink and be more conscious of our everyday small actions and choices.”
In her downtime, Pattamon is committed to her spiritual journey as she finds peace in meditation and volunteer work for Buddhist activities. She enjoys an active yet mindful lifestyle and is currently training to become a classical Pilates instructor on top of being a fasting enthusiast.
Her definition of success? “Being able to answer the ‘why’ behind everything I do in life,” she says. “Every time I do something, I ask if it would make the world better. I used to think I had to be decades into my career and extremely successful first before giving back, but I’ve come to realise we can give now since our time is so limited yet our capacity to give is actually limitless.”