Oh no! You’ve been out in the sun all day and you forgot the sunscreen! You were gardening and somehow the odours that smelled so good outdoors are just too aromatic once you get inside. You just checked the mirror and that pimple is now twice the size it was last night. You just came out of the pool and your hair has turned green. What’s a girl or guy to do? Tomatoes to the rescue!
Yes, that’s right. The lowly tomato, that extra bit of color in salads and soups, is your friend for a surprising number of life’s minor emergencies. Grab a tomato to:

  • alleviate the sting of sunburn
  • shrink pimples
  • restore normal hair color
  • mask odors, and more!

Although not considered nutritionally essential, the American Cancer Society notes there may be real benefits to eating tomatoes as a cancer preventative. Tomatoes have the highest concentration of the anti-oxidant lycopene of any vegetable.
Tomato home remedies? To cool a sunburn, mix and mash with buttermilk, yogurt, or mayonnaise, then apply. You may be amazed to find how quickly skin returns to normal.
Your hair or skin smells awful? You’ve just chopped onions and the guests will be arriving in half-an-hour. Quick! To get rid of the onion smell, rub tomato paste through your hair, then head for a fast shower and shampoo. You just spent the evening with friends who are among the last of the heavy smokers and your clothes reek. Give them a soak in tomato juice before tossing them in the washing machine.
Or worst case scenario: (this really happened to me and a boyfriend), you were taking a leisurely walk through the woods (preferably with someone who loves you) and you got skunked. I’m here to tell you that the “old saw” does work: really bad smells can be masked, if not eliminated, by a bath in tomato juice.
Chlorine-green hair? Mash up some tomatoes or open a can of tomato paste and give yourself a 10-minute treatment. The weak acid in the tomato can counteract the alkalinity from the pool water to restore a proper pH balance. Rinse it off and you’ll probably see the “green” go down the drain and your hair color return to normal. Follow up with a good shampoo and conditioning afterwards.1
While the idea of applying a tomato mask to your face may seem a bit strange, many people swear by it. For those with oily skin, tomatoes will absorb surplus oil and may help to get rid of pimples and clear away blackheads. If your skin is dry, you can add some day-old curd, mayo, or yogurt to the tomato paste.
A few words of caution: Before applying tomatoes to your skin – as with any mask or lotion, always try it out first on a small patch of skin to check that you are not allergic or reactive. Do be extra careful with tomatoes – they are a member of the nightshade plant family and some people may have strong allergic reactions.
As far as anti-aging products go, tomatoes rank high on the list.
Rich in anti-oxidants, high in Vitamin C, and high in water content, tomatoes have been shown to reduce the number of free radicals in your body. The lycopene in tomatoes is one of the most powerful carotenoids / anti-oxidants — as well as what gives tomatoes their red color. Unlike the beta-carotene in carrots, lycopene does not convert to Vitamin A in the body.
Interestingly, scientists have found that the cooking process increases the availability of lycopene to the body as long as it’s served with a bit of oil or fat – so enjoy your spaghetti sauce and shake on the kétchup!
Feeling pale and washed out? Eating tomatoes regularly is said to give you a pink and glowing complexion, so enjoy a tomato today! Tomatoes to the rescue!

1 Many of the ideas for this article were adapted from by Veronica Davis, accessed on 4/25/2012.
Image: photostock /
By Teviot Fairservis.



Few Unique Benefits Making Botanical Cosmetics More Effective.

LevensESSENTIE Gold ® is the beauty secret to every Paul Penders product. It’s a concentrated extract of 22 certified organic herbs, of which was the start was pioneered by Paul’s grandmother some 100 years ago in Holland.
The today’s version of this unique, concentrated, organic herbal extract is made from a mixture of eastern and western herbs from USA, China, Europe and Malaysia. LevensESSENTIE Gold ® has been proven to provide a healthy complexion.
Its extraordinary anti-aging ingredients, such as vitamins A, B, C & E, enzymes and phyto-tocotrienols counteract the early signs of aging and sustain a healthy skin.
Pegaga is a characteristic rainforest herb with anti-bacterial and healing properties.

Pegaga is native to Langkawi Geopark and an essential part of the LevensESSENTIE Gold ® herbal extract that is used in all Paul Penders products. Pegaga is known as ‘miracle hero’ of the rainforest because it helps to heal the body in many wondrous ways.
It is a traditional medicine used to alleviate fatigue and depression, but also known as a ‘beauty herb’ because it clarifies skin for greater radiance and glorious fresh looks.
Pegaga has been used since ancient times, especially in the ayurvedic medical system of India and in Chinese traditional medicine. Pegaga is even recommended by the World Health Organization as one of most important medical plant species to be conserved and cultivated.
Coconut water

Coconut water has been used for medicinal and cosmetic properties in Southeast Asia for thousands of years because it is rich in lipids, lauric acid and glucids as well as vitamins, nutrients and minerals. For generations, Asian women have used fresh coconut water to cleanse the face, and coconut fruit in moisturizers that keep the face and body young. Coconut water regenerates, revitalizes, moisturizes and softens the skin. All Paul Penders products (excluding lipsticks and powder products) include coconut water.
Loaded with anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, enzymes are catalysts for cell renewal. By capturing free-radicals and thus preventing damage caused by pollution, bacteria and sun, enzymes are capable of effecting changes such as wrinkle reduction and a healthier glow. Together with liposomes, the enzymes in Paul Penders skincare products can open blocked skin pores to prevent whiteheads and blackheads; hydrolyze oils for smoother skin finish and remove dead skin cells.
Enzymes create finer skin texture and reduce pore size when used over time. Papaya (papain) and pineapple (bromelain) enzymes are strongly beneficial to beautiful and a fresher looking skin.
Paul Penders cosmetics stop the decline of natural ceramide levels of our skin by using a liposome-based delivery system. A decline in the skin’s natural ceramide levels, over time, results in the familiar signs of aging, however skincare products with added ceramides increase the skin’s total moisture content.
Utilizing a liposome-based delivery system, ceramides and other anti-aging ingredients can readily target skin locations most in need of protection.
No Heat during Processing
The effectiveness of our skincare products, containing many fragile bio-active ingredients, would be minimized, or even destroyed, with the typical hot manufacturing process. Paul Penders uses a cold blending technology where products made in small batches are not heated above 35°C.

Paul Penders herbal skincare containing LevensESSENTIE Gold ® herbal extract with added ceramides, liposomes and coconut water, as well as various vitamins offer effective and powerful results. The “cold-blended” manufacturing system ensures that all bio-active ingredients remain at full strength making our products most effective as possible.


The Essence

By Kamila Delart.
When I walk through the tropical garden towards the Sun Spa, following a path framed with oblong ponds mirroring the tropical palms and the frangipani trees growing above, I’m really excited! Three hours of indulgence! What a treat Especially as the package includes a professional cosmetology treatment my face seems to be in dear need of.

While I enjoy the refreshing chilled lime juice, and soak my feet in a rustic wooden barrel with orchids and frangipani flowers floating on the water surface, Jason, the Spa Receptionist, presents me with a lovely tray containing samples of body scrubs and massage oil blends to select from.
With a small amount applied on the back of my hand, I feel the texture and smell the fragrance, very much inclined to choose the Sea Salt Body Scrub infused with the delicious essence of Lemon Grass. But noticing my slightly sunburned skin, Jason thoughtfully advises that I opt for the coconut-rice exfoliant instead as it will be much gentler to my delicate skin.
As for the massage oil, my immediate winner is the Tamarind blend. Anti-inflammatory, and an excellent source of anti-oxidants and vitamins, it promises to sooth my irritated skin, while the divine aroma is hard to resist.

Escorted by my therapist, Minah, to the ‘treatment room’, my initial enthusiasm temporarily wavers. Usually frequenting five star resort spas, finding myself in a small cabin shielded from the next treatment bed only by a curtain drape, and realizing that I will have to move to another room dedicated to wet-therapies to enjoy my body treatment, does not necessarily match my expectations. But I reckon it’s too late to change my mind, so I dutifully fold my clothes into a small basket, and lay down on the massage bed. Looking back – a brilliant decision!
It’s hard to comment on my massage as Minah’s gentle caring touch managed to lull me to sleep after only a few minutes. The ‘feared’ transition to another room is surprisingly smooth. Located just opposite my current room, I pretty much sleepwalk the few steps, and before I know it, Minah begins to apply a smooth and luscious coconut-rice body polish, repeatedly reassuring herself, that the pressure is light enough on my slightly sunburned skin.
A cooling body wrap with banana leaves completes the body treatment experience. Letting a stream of warm water reveal the silky skin of a newborn, I spontaneously decide to wash my hair. Although a multipurpose body & hair product is available, Minah rushes out to bring me a cherry shampoo, insisting that it is much more suitable for my fine European hair.
And then comes the highlight!

The eagerly anticipated facial.
While I do like the natural facial pampering with cucumber and yogurt, the daily sun exposure and high moisture climate left their marks over the last few months. So I really need a professional cosmetology care, helping me with congested pores and slight pigmentation resulting from being careless when it comes to diligent sun screen application.
Although my skin tends to be rather oily, my cheeks are for some reason very sensitive, reacting to most of the product I ever tried. So as usual, I advise my therapist to leave this area out. (A recommendation, most of the aestheticians in the past followed).
But Minah is determined to provide me with a complete experience, insisting that she will personalize my treatment, applying on my cheeks a product specially developed for sensitive skin, a whitening serum on my forehead to alleviate any discoloration, and deeply purifying products on the rest of my face, while employing the vacuum machine to thoroughly cleanse my pores. And it works!

Resting upon the mask application, I close my eyes, just to be surprised by an unexpected sound. Although my hair is meanwhile half dry, Minah made the effort to organize a blow-dryer, and is now gently caressing my scalp, and running her fingers through my hair to smooth it out.
Half an hour later, as I wait in a neighbouring restaurant for my dinner to arrive, James Kok, the owner of Sun Spa, approaches me, asking about my experience, and handing me a little bag, mentioning that I seem to have forgotten my jewellery. Too relaxed to remember, I look inside to find my nose ring, artfully draped on a tiny cardboard with the Sun Spa’s Logo. Too overwhelmed to speak

Able to collect my thoughts only once I am in my car on the way home, I am reflecting upon this unusual Spa visit that forces me as a Spa Professional to question the general concept of an outstanding Spa experience which is increasingly associated with the provision of extensive wellness facilities and breath-taking interior design.
Don’t get me wrong. I do love to indulge in exclusive treatments provided in a lavish five star environment. But although thrilled by sensory ambiance, and impressed by extensive treatment offerings provided by internationally trained therapists, everything really comes down to the essence, doesn’t it?
We may be too self-conscious to articulate our deepest desires. But if we did not censor ourselves, would we not book a spa appointment saying: ‘Please, make me feel special! Let the world revolve around me and my needs. Just for these few hours
As published in Langkawi-gazette


Why cacao bean is a Superfood?

Superfood is a term used to describe food that contains high phytonutrient content that may confer health benefits as a result.

When cacao bean is mentioned, are you thinking about including dark chocolate? If you have heard about health benefits that are related with consuming dark chocolate, but you wonder how “candy” can be beneficial for you, a closer look at cacao beans can clarify things.

What are cacao beans?
Cacao beans are the seed of a fruit that grows on the cacao tree. Cacao trees originated in the Amazon basin, and they will only grow in a very warm, moist, shady environment. Cacao beans were so highly valued by ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations, they were used as money. Cacao beans are naturally sugar free and taste somewhat bitter in their raw form.

In their natural state, cacao beans are a super food. They contain many nutrients that are beneficial to our health in a variety of ways. Not only are they absolutely amazingly fantastic for our body, but they contain an unbelievable amount of:

  • Anti-oxidants – Research indicates that cacao beans are one of the richest natural food sources of antioxidant flavonols available. They play an important role in protecting against cell damage and may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, and promoting healthy cholesterol levels in the body.
  • Polyphenols – Studies indicate the polyphenols contained in cacao beans may improve insulin sensitivity, which may help to lose weight.
  • Serotonin, dopamine and phenylethylamine – these three neurotransmitters that are associated with promoting a healthy mood and positive mental state.