Beautiful and fragrant as they may be, flowers are more than just pleasing to the eyes and nose. Their extracts have long been used as a way to treat beauty ailments that are common among us. The simplistic healing and restorative powers of flowers remain unrivaled even in today’s complex and scientifically advanced world.
Inspired by the beauty and power that flowers possess, South Korean beauty group AmorePacific created Mamonde, a cosmetic brand that offers a range of make-up, skincare, and bodycare products.
With its flower science technology, Mamonde claims to be the first in the cosmetics market to use only flowers as its key ingredient in the formulation of all its products.
Among its star products are the First Energy Essence/Serum, Moisture Ceramide Cream, Floral Hydro Cream, Lotus Micro Cleansing Foam, Age Control Power Serum, and Cover Powder Cushion.
Mamonde – which means “my world” in French – has its own garden located in Seoul, South Korea. This is where its R&D team discovers the potential of flowers for skincare products. They study the optimum natural conditions for flowers to bloom, and observe the peculiar phenomena found while growing flowers to learn about the skincare efficacies hidden in flowers.
On a recent media trip to Seoul, we had a chance to visit the garden. It wasn’t something I pictured Seoul to have – a treasure quietly nestled within the bustling city. Even with the summer heat scarcely felt, walking through the garden reminded me of a beautiful spring day, of crisp green grass and the buzzing of bees.
Although not all the flowers were in full bloom, you can catch different whiffs of sweet scents in the air, and the flower beds offered a splash of colour to the fresh green lawns.
The Mamonde Garden houses more than a thousand variety of flowers that are used to make Mamonde products, including hibiscus, rose, honeysuckle, and many more.
According to Mamonde brand science manager Shin Bo Hyun, once a flower is proven to have beneficial properties, they start sourcing for supply from farms in South Korea. “Various parts of the flowers are cultivated for research and later used for development of products,” she says.
Mamonde utilises five key flowers in the formulation of its products. They are camellia for anti-ageing, hibiscus for moisturising, narcissus bulbs for hydrating, honeysuckle for boosting and firming, and lotus for cleansing.
Vitalising and anti-ageing
Camellia is a resilient plant that thrives in many weather conditions, even through winter. Shin says that this inspired the R&D team to study its properties and it was discovered that the flower contains a very high amount of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has powerful antioxidant effects against free radicals.
Camellia’s EGCG is used in Mamonde’s Age Control Serum, an anti-ageing product that protects the skin from external aggressors while maintaining its elasticity. In an experiment conducted at the R&D centre located next to the Mamonde Garden, Shin demonstrates the efficacy of the EGCG in camellia by adding the serum to a test tube filled with free radicals.
Within seconds, the free radicals appear to have been dissolved by the serum, thereby removing free radicals. Meanwhile, honeysuckles have amazing vitalising properties that help maintain healthy skin. Shin says that the plant possesses the ability to absorb nutrition from barren soil and deliver them quickly to its vital parts.
Similarly for the skin, honeysuckles help speed up the absorption of nutrients from skincare products.
According to Shin, while other floral-based brands only extract the honeysuckle substance, Mamonde also ferments it for one year to create the Flower Vinegar used in formulating the product. It is used in the formulation of Mamonde’s best selling product, the First Energy Essence/Serum. “It is rich in antioxidants and none of our competitors are able to do this as we have registered this technology as a patent.”
Cleansing and hydrating
With its ability to live in muddy and mossy conditions, the lotus flower is the main ingredient used in Mamonde’s Lotus Micro range. Shin said, “The flower is rich in antioxidants and possesses the ability to cleanse, purify, and intensely hydrate parched and mature skin.”
With lotus complex derived from the purification effect of the lotus leaf, the Mamonde Lotus Micro Cleansing Foam, cleanses away dirt and tiny particles, while retaining skin’s moisturising factors to minimise the loss of moisture after cleansing.
“It contains natural alpha-hydroxy acids that help exfoliate the outer layer of the skin, allowing younger cells to rise to the surface of the skin to restore a youthful look.”
Hibiscus and narcissus bulb, meanwhile, are among the flowers Mamonde uses in its hydrating and moisturising range. Studies done by Mamonde reveal that the flowers contain natural hydrators that offer flawless hydration, helping skin stay soft and supple.
“We combine the hydrators found in hibiscus and narcissus with ceramide, an element very similar to human skin components to create products that offer 24 hour moisturising benefits,” explains Shin.
Mamonde products are available at Aeon, 1Utama Shopping Centre in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Here are some choice products:
Mamonde First Energy Essence, RM119
This is a water-based booster touted as a double functional product for firming and brightening effects. Composed of 81.31% naturally-fermented Flower Vinegar obtained from honeysuckle through AmorePacific’s Floral Biotics technology, it is rich in antioxidants to keep skin healthy and supple. After cleansing, this essence is the first product to be applied on your skin before other skincare. It works as a booster that helps quicken the absorption of other products, doubling their effectiveness.
Mamonde Cover Powder Cushion, RM129
Inspired by the beauty of a peach blossom, Mamonde’s Cover Powder Cushion contains peach flower powder that controls excess sebum and mimics the micro projections similar to the surface of peach petals under the sun, giving your skin the radiant glow of reflective light. without darkening it.
It also contains concealer and primer for flawless coverage and matte finish, and peach flower water that moisturises. The ultra-thin film coating helps makeup remain thin and light on the skin while controlling excessive shine. Shaped like the petal of the Pink Blossom, the cushion is available in three shades.
Mamonde Easy Drawing Gel Eyeliner, RM49
This eyeliner is a smooth, long-lasting, water-proof gel eyeliner with a creamy jelly texture that allows for smooth application. It contains long-lasting powder and dual-proof polymer characteristics that enable it to resist against water and sebum. Available in black and brown these colours adhere to the skin with a single swipe.
Mamonde Highlight Lip Tint, RM50
Formulated with oils extracted from flowers, these are a long-lasting lip tint that’s smudge-free. The formula glides on like a gloss, but dries to a smooth, matte finish without leaving your lips feeling dry. The Highlight Lip Tint comes in six shades, including South Korean actress Park Shin-Hye’s daily choice, Pin Spot.
The other shades are Tonic Coral, Orange Basket, Main Title, Red Intermission and Midnight Singer.