How a Health Alarm Helped Create an Organic Australian Skincare Brand for Asian Skin
BE.ST Organic Beauty Sensation aims to sense the best of self – inside and outside. And for Anna Tai, BE.ST Organic’s founder, the story began with a scare.
An Australian immigrant, Anna’s stressful working life as a professional accountant caused her to develop an extreme fever. When she returned to her native Hong Kong, doctors finally diagnosed the condition: thyroiditis. A five-month course of steroids was the only choice. Anna was advised to quit her job to recover.
During her recovery, Anna encountered a new problem – her skin was having a reaction to the medication. Itching, rashes, a dull complexion and serious acne over her face and body. With all confidence and motivation completely gone, Anna then realised the importance of health – both for body and mind.
It was the start of a new lifestyle – and the beginning of the Beauty Sensation journey.
“After the diagnosis I was searching for healthy food and skincare products. One day I tried organic Argan oil on my face. The results were amazing – and I was obsessed,” recalls Anna.
“I started to learn more about the organic ingredients. The deeper I went, the harder it was to find ‘true’ organic products out there. And it was even harder to find products which could improve sensitive Asian skin.
“Even in Hong Kong, most of the natural skincare brands are based on western formulations – meaning they’re developed for western skins living in dry weather. Asian skins are more likely to be thin and sensitive, and the weather is humid – so heavy formulations can seriously block our pores and infect our skin.”
Anna eventually came to the conclusion that if you want a job done right, you have to do it yourself. She set up BE.ST Organic in Australia to create a skincare brand that catered for skin like hers.
The secrets behind BE.ST Organic’s unique formulation
Anna gathered some of Australia’s foremost skincare professionals and experts, harnessing more than 20 years’ experience in organic formulations. The mission was very clear: to develop a truly organic formulation for Asian skins with safe and effective results – not just on the surface, but throughout the skin’s inner layers.
The product also had to pass Anna’s strict 10-principle test – it had to be free from:
- Harmful synthetic ingredients,
- Anything toxic,
- Mineral oils,
- Harsh chemical ingredients,
- Mineral preservatives,
- Synthetic fragrances & artificial colours,
- And animal testing.
The challenges of ‘keeping it organic’ for Asian skin
There’s a reason no other Australian brand has tried to create skincare in this manner: it’s extremely difficult.
“It takes plenty of understanding and knowledge of the different skin types in Asia, and the different climates as well,” said Anna.
To keep it certified organic with a 100% natural base was even tougher.
“Our formulation experts faced high costs and scarcity of organic raw materials. Natural preservative choices and natural surface-active agents were extremely limited. Some natural plants gave off unpleasant scents or oily textures, and it was hard to get the shelf life where we needed it to be,” explains Anna.
But the team didn’t give up – in fact, Anna believes the most important ingredient in BE.ST Organic Beauty Sensation is self-belief.
“We were so confident that true organic skincare is what people really needed. We knew we could turn those weaknesses into strengths.
“The only reason we were still fighting was to show people that there are plenty of nutrients – Vitamin A, B, C, E and unsaturated fatty acids – contained in plants and fruits. You don’t need to mix harmful synthetic ingredients with pure plants to break the nutrients.”
After more than a year of trying, Anna’s chief chemist eventually gave her the good news: they’d produced three new organic products. 100% natural, over 95% certified organic ingredients, no blending with purified aqua, no any synthetic chemical or petroleum elements and no synthetic preservatives. The formulations fulfilled the requirements for Australian Certified Organic (ACO) and Australian Made certifications, which are widely recognised as some of the most important certifications available in Australia and internationally.
“And they smell like you’re in a flower heaven,” adds Anna.
“As I always insist – we’re completely cruelty free, so NO animal tests. We did human tests on ourselves, families and friends. It took us another year to completely pass all the compulsory and optional tests, and the results were unbelievable.”
Anna conducted tests on people from Asia, Europe and Australia – all with different skin issues.
“99.99% of people who took the tests agreed there were significant skin health improvements after using the formulations for approximately two weeks. They found their skin immune systems were much stronger, healthier than before. Across the board their skin was more brightened, supple and elastic. The percentage of getting allergy during seasonal changes was dramatically decreased. And they loved the natural aroma from the essential oils!”
Apart from the marvellous skin results, Anna said the test subjects even felt more connected to nature.
“The aroma went straight to their minds – giving a feeling of peace, relaxation, pleasure and encouragement. The energy from nature was so powerful that it could heal our body and mind.”
It was the proof Anna needed to know that the benefits weren’t just limited to Asian skin.
Expanding BE.ST to all skin types
After extensive testing, BE.ST Organic’s signature organic ranges were launched to the Hong Kong market. Three years later, and after adding to the “True organic” collection, Anna’s retailers and partnerships were desperate for more – so the brand expanded from Hong Kong to Macau, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.
And as well as expanding regionally, nowadays BE.ST Organic’s customers aren’t limited to people with Asian skin. Because the formulations provide organic nutrients to the skin’s inner layer, the products maintain the healthy skin immune system and build up cell repairing. This theory doesn’t only apply to Asian skin – but for all skin types!
The more your skin absorbs the natural nutrients from the plants, the healthier your skin. Just like a healthy plant-filled diet, where the nutrients from the vegetables are enough to keep you healthier and stronger.
Treat your skin better, treat yourself better
Skin is one of the most important organs of the body – and it should be looked after.
“Never feed your skin with toxic ingredients,” insists Anna.
“We don’t need instant results, we only need what our skin asks for. We don’t need synthetic patent ingredients or secret formulations – nature has provided us enough nutrients to keep us healthy. We don’t need additives – nature has the power to heal our body and mind. We don’t need to hide our ingredient lists, as they are all extracted from flowers, roots, leaves, fruits and nuts. You need to know what your skin is absorbing.”
Anna hopes her organic skincare range will help inspire customers to find their best selves.
“BE.ST helped me find the best of myself. That’s the idea behind Beauty Sensation. We want to inspire the same in our customers too.”
BE.ST Organic Australia will be exhibiting at Naturally Good this year. Visit the team and find out about their product range at Stand C09.