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Interview With: Helen Lien, Pure Tincture

Last week, in midst of my busy schedule, I managed to find a day of serenity and peace in a simple homey organic beauty boutique located at The Adelphi, called Pure Tincture. Run by a group of empowered ladies, all of the products used in Pure Tincture are scanned and used by these ladies first, before they are used on their customers. Pure Tincture is not new to the block, and has won quite a few facial awards from various magazines with the latest clinch on Harper Bazaar Feb 2015 issue.

To find out more about Pure Tincture, the products used and the concepts of Organic Beauty, I sat down and spoke to Pure Tincture's Co-Founder, Helen Lien.

Hi Helen, thank you for inviting me down to Pure Tincture today! To start off this interview, could you please share with me 3 Interesting facts about Pure Tincture.

Firstly, it might be interesting for you to know that 80% of our clients have sensitive skin of varying degrees. We are known as the place to go if you have sensitive skin. 

Secondly, all products are tried and tested on sensitive skins to assess its suitability for our clients so we know exactly the products that will go well with the different skin conditions. 

And thirdly, as we deal with sensitive skin, we ensure that all of our therapists are experienced in the field and have been professionally trained with the different brands by their in-house trainers on facial massage technique and product knowledge to ensure that we understand the products or treatments, and are able to advise and provide recommendation to our clients accordingly. We also build long relationships with the brands that we carry, understand their concepts and philosophy and make a point to visit its factory to see how their products are made and to hear from the maker.

Wow, sounds very comprehensive and assuring~ Haha! Now, talking about sensitive skins, would you then recommend everyone to use natural and organic products instead? If yes, why should they and how does using natural and organic products make a difference?

Yes, most definitely. You see, the skin is our body’s largest organ. It is alive and it has the wonderful ability to mature and develop. Regardless of your skin type, generally, organic and natural products are made with less chemical or harmful ingredients and we believe that these products can help our skin to gain strength and resilience to protect and recover on its own. 

Over time, the skin stays stronger and regains its innate strength without being over reliance on external skincare products to stay clear and radiant. Additionally, organic natural skincare are sustainable and contributes the health of our earth.

That makes lots of sense... In my own blog, I share with my readers with posts on some of the ingredients in our daily products to avoid. In your opinion, what are the top 5 ingredients in skincare products that we should avoid, and why?

Personally, I try to avoid these top 5 ingredients because they can irritate the skins or cause allergic reactions. My top 5 that I avoid are: parabens, propelene glycol, bismuth oxychloride, and the laureth family which are ingredients with laureth, laurate or lauryl extensions, as well as any ingredients that contains these words “myristate or Myristyl”.

That being said, I also avoid using products using any of these ingredients and Pure Tincture definitely does not bring in products with these ingredients. For the specific skin issues that each of these are associated with, I always advise my clients to read up about these on their own.

Since we are touching on something personal and reflective in the way you operate Pure Tincture, may I know what's your philosophy in skincare, and how does Pure Tincture reflect it?

I firmly believe that we must love ourslves and take time to care for ourselves daily, and I use organic skincare for home care and, if needed, employ the benefit of advanced technology such as machines to rejuvenate or firm the skin.

At Pure Tincture, we have created a beauty space – there’s a lounge, open display of the full range of products for clients to sample or test and a make-up area for them to put on make-up after facial treatments. More importantly, we have private rooms for facial treatments, some of which are at least 90mins long. We believe in using hands, not just machines, for facial massages and these sessions are all part of the “Me Time” for clients to pamper themselves.

I always advise our clients to listen to their bodies as their skins need time to adjust to external environment and stress. Pure Tincture’s therapists make recommendation not just based on the skin's condition but also the lifestyle (active or sedentary ; in aircon or under hot sun, etc) and personal preference (if you prefer products with nice scent etc) so that optimum benefits are received from the recommendation.

I know that Pure Tincture offers both services and products. For those who haven't been to Pure Tincture before, what are the Must-Try service and product you would recommend?

If you’re looking at a one-size-fits-all type of treatment or product, it’s difficult to pick just one. The reason is that people who come to Pure Tincture already have particular skin issues and that they choose not to continue with their present aestheticians or therapists for various personal reasons.

In any case, when a new client with hyper-sensitive skin (eczema-prone; red, blotchy or highly irritated) comes to us, our first order of the day is to help deliver a calm skin. We have a number of clients who found our PAI Organic face Treatments and facial products very effective in helping to calm their skin. For at-home maintenance, they can use PAI cleanser, instant calm toner, rosehip regenerative oil and instant calm day moisturiser daily.

For acne prone and very oily skin, we tend to recommend suki’s range of facial treatments and skincare, in particular, the suki balancing oil is a must-try product. Yes, oil for oily skin! Our clients love this because it is specially formulated to be a light, breathable solution yet provide light moisture and calm for oily skins.

As with any natural or organic skin care products, it does take time – weeks, not minutes – for our bodies to adjust to the products and treatments, and usually, after a period of one to four weeks, clients enjoy the benefits of calmer skin.