Herbal Delight – With a Twist

Monday’s edition of the major Malaysian newspaper New Straits Times had an interesting article under the headline Beauty: Herbal delight.

It is written by Syida Lizta Amirul Ihsan and caused Paul Penders to write a response to her.

Here follows the article from New Straits Times by Syida Lizta Amirul Ihsan, followed by Paul Penders‘ response:

Beauty: Herbal delight
In Asia, pegaga or pennywort has long been known for its medicinal properties. Now Western skincare companies are jumping on the bandwagon and adding it into their products, writes SYIDA LIZTA AMIRUL IHSAN.

Make your own pegaga juiceThe Malays are fond of pegaga, which is either served raw as ulam or salad (and eaten with sambal belacan) or mixed with coconut and crushed fresh chillies as kerabu (salad).

The plant that grows in our garden is said to have medicinal properties and many Malays drink its juice daily for better health.

Water and sugar are added to the juice to offset the slightly bitter taste.

In fact, pegaga (scientific name Centella Asiatica) is an Ayurvedic herb and is also used in Chinese traditional medicine.

In Vietnam and Thailand, the leaves are also eaten raw as either a salad or in spring rolls.

Now, the beauty industry has also discovered its benefit, something that our ancestors have known for ages.

More and more skincare brands are incorporating Centella Asiatica extract into their products, especially in their anti-ageing range.

This ingredient is found in Chanel’s high-end anti-ageing line, Sublimage, where the plant extract is said to help “boost the production of collagen and help in firming.”

In Clarins Younger Longer Balm, the last product created by founder Jacques Courtin-Clarins before his passing, Centella Asiatica extract is used to repair and protect facial skin’s nerve-ends and capillaries.

Clinique’s Repairwear Contour Firming Formula uses it to “boost natural collagen and elastin production” to make skin firm, resilient and bouncy.

Some brands use it for its healing properties.

Kiehl’s, for example, reformulated its Dermatologist Solutions with Centella Skin-Calming Facial Cleanser and Skin Salve, last year.

Both are specifically formulated for sensitive skin and the skin salve, is used to soothe and condition sensitive and temporarily irritated skin, especially after micro-dermabrasion when skin becomes red and tender.

According to Kiehl’s, the plant is also referred to as tiger herb or tiger’s grass because legend has it that when a Bengal tiger is wounded, the animal would rub its wounds on the leaves of the plant so they heal faster.


Response from Paul Penders:

New Straits Times
Att. Syida Lizta Amirul Ihsan

I refer to your article “Beauty: Herbal Delight” published on Monday, 20 July 2009.

While it is encouraging to note that big multinational cosmetic companies are now using pegaga, I would like to let you know that we at Paul Penders right here in Malaysia have been using this tropical herb for the past 10 years! We even have the image of the pegaga on the packaging of all our products.

Paul Penders

Paul Penders

As CEO and founder of an international cosmetic skincare company based in Langkawi Geopark, I am surprised that your newspaper is not giving credit to a Malaysian based company, to its Malaysian distributor, as well as not letting the public in Malaysia know that this is NOT something new into cosmetic skin care.

Besides using and promoting pegaga in our natural skincare products, we have recently acquired a land plot next to our corporate building, where organic pegaga will be grown.



While mentioning well known brands to attract attention, I have a request – why not let Malaysians know how pegaga already is being used and promoted?

Ironically, well known brands are getting all the credit when we at Paul Penders were the first cosmetic company to use and promote the benefits of pegaga.

It is impossible for me not to ask the question: “Why not give the good and professional local cosmetics companies some credit and give them the media focus they deserve?”

I am asking to tell the true story of how pegaga has been used in our skin care products for a decade, and that it is NOT something new, at least not to us here at Paul Penders.

I invite you to find out more what we stand for as well as how we use pegaga in our products at test.paulpenders.com.

Warm regards
Paul Penders
CEO & Founder
Paul Penders International

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