Langkawi Regatta: A ‘Mini-Vacation’

You’ve got to envy Paul Penders’ own staff chemist, Yvonne Nobel! She joined a sailing crew for 5 days at the races. If you are shivering away in winter snow or holed up in an air-conditioned office at a computer or just dreaming of a day at the beach, take a ‘mini-vacation’ and enjoy her pictures of sailing on the Andaman Sea at the border between Malaysia and Thailand.

Looking out in front of the Paul Penders offices to beautiful Kuah harbor, we could see 40 boats from 12 countries gathered for the annual Royal Langkawi International Regatta. With days with light breezes, gentle waves, and lots of sunshine, Yvonne and others got some great pictures – including several of a near collision with another yacht!

Yvonne reports:

    I had five wonderful days on the water. The wind was a bit too low for our sailboat. The boat is big so we went slowly and we managed to reach the finish line only 3 times (hahaha).

    The last day was great because the wind was better and we managed to start with the two other boats in our group. For a while we did great but then the wind went down and we lost speed and arrived again last at the finish.

    The committee boat had to wait for us every day because everybody was already home and we were still struggling to finish. But the spirit was good on board and we did not give up.

    I had a great time, learned a lot about sailing, and will join again next year.

Luring sailors from across Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand, and as far afield as Japan, Great Britain, Germany, Denmark and Norway, this small regatta brings important income to the remote north Malaysian island chain in the Andaman Sea.

One of the (many) reasons, Paul Penders chose to base the company and his home on the tropical island of Langkawi in Malaysia is that he loves the sea. A former boat owner himself, he still dreams of sailing the world’s oceans. Too busy with the company to sail much, instead he and his family maintain their interest in the regattas and events that bring people from around the world to Langkawi.

    As a community-minded company, we see the value of attracting people to the island who will care about its unique qualities and provide new sources of income to its residents.

Awarded a UNESCO ‘Geopark’ status, the 99 islands are renowned for their unique geology and tropical flora and fauna. For centuries, sailors have anchored their boats here, sailing in from the famed (and infamous) Malacca Straits. There are even stories of pirates leaving buried treasures in island caves!

Our own Katja Penders presents a prize package of PP products to the
skipper of the yacht “Fantasia” at the Langkawi Regatta in January.

After the first day’s sailing, our own Katja Penders was invited to be a presenter to give prizes to the winning crews. She brought along ‘pamper packs’ of Paul Penders products – and sailors told us they were delighted to have moisturizers, sun protection, shampoo and other products to help combat the effects of sun, wind and salt spray at sea!

Take a mini-vacation. Enjoy this video slideshow with scenes from the regatta!

By Teviot Fairservis.


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How Paul Penders Products Are Created

    In The Netherlands Febe smells flowers
    to see whether the fragrance would be good!

A few days ago we discussed about the many tasks involved when it comes to new product development.
Based on yesterday’s post, why does Paul Penders Co still go to enormous lengths to create new products?
New products guarantee a future and livelihood for any cosmetic company in the world. New products are important because conditions in our lives change, so do new consumer trends.
New raw materials becoming available is also a reason to create new products that give better results.
At Paul Penders Co, we receive ongoing input from various consumer groups, or from our distributors; tips from people working with us, and even my own family members are actively involved!

    Ayana in California shows me herbs
    that she thinks are good as a skin clarifier!

To focus on the process, starting with a creative idea until a finished new product is born is serious business. And we must be sure  at the end of all that is involved ,that  the creative idea is still there.
Lastly, new product research involves women!
And we know, cosmetic products are very important to women and often emotional issues are involved.
My daughters and even granddaughters are always on the lookout for new ideas for all kind of cosmetic products!
They come up with ingredient ideas, product designs and marketing ideas, and sometimes friendly competitive tempers may flare!

    Maureen and Xandra, Paul’s daughters

New product development is always an interesting process and if we were not seriously doing this, we would not be seen as the pioneering natural cosmetics company that we are today in several countries around the world!
And of course, new product ideas from you are always welcome as well!
Give us your suggestions and who knows, you may one day see your idea made into a Paul Penders product!

From a Creative Idea to a Natural Cosmetic Product

A few times per year new products are presented to answer the demands of consumers worldwide. But before an idea becomes a reality in an all-round finished product there are many, many complicated areas involved and to be concerned with, such as:

  • Comparing the skin types of people living in different countries. Climates are important to consider because Northern Europe, China, Korea, and North America have vastly different climates therefore  skin needs are different, for example, than for people living in Southeast Asian countries.
  • Religious considerations.  Our products must be kosher and halal formulated. (Paul Penders Co is certified for halal products)
  • Requirements for vegetarians where ingredients cannot contain animal or animal by-products
  • We use certified organic herbs and more organic ingredients.
  • Paul Penders cosmetics contain certified organic colors.
  • Our products have always be for 100% free of animal testing.
  • We use natural and organic essential oils as fragrances.

Many mainstream ingredients at hand we will not use. After the above battle has been won, our professional trained in-house R&D can start doing their part of the work.

Then as soon as the lab tests are finished we have a range of test people who try out the new formulations in order to give their independent feedback.
Even when we have created that new product, the work is not finished! Now we must get a license for the new product, products that will be scrutinized by each government to make sure the product applies to their particular health regulations. Regulations, which can differ in Australia, Europe, Japan, Korea, and other countries.
Not only the formulations must be given to them but also authorized, independent labs must perform product testing. Only when the product license is obtained is the product ready to be imported and sold!
Meanwhile we need to make certain, as well that the name of the new product does not conflict with an already existing name in use by another company in another country. That is why our trademark lawyers do their research.
When one considers all the above challenges and limitations, it must be understood that the development of any new cosmetic product is a serious challenge!

Finally…Video day!!

Today we produced several wonderful short product videos with our lovely model, Paul’s daughter, Katja. A fantastic team of professionals did the shooting. Our new makeup artiste Pei Ling created perfect makeovers. All team at Paul Penders Headquarters in Langkawi UNESCO Geopark were prepared to make this for the most successful video production possible…. we all were fully prepared and anxious to start.
The purpose was to make various video presentations about specific functions, and, how to use best the Paul Penders natural herbal cosmetics. Each video segment will be placed in our new Paul Penders International website coming out soon!
The video shooting we start out was with ICT (Intensive Clarifying Therapy). Other skincare products followed. Soon we will present the results on this blog, but we can already let you know that the results were extremely pleasing, also to the professional team as well.

We were little nervous during the preparations and needed to overcome several challenges making things rather complicated at times. However, when the videographer team came out with all those weird & high technology equipment, it amazed me to see how professional they were and how smoothly all went.

Throughout the day we learned a great deal of video shooting! It was a great experience. We are going to develop more of such great short videos in the future, and thus, we continuously to learn new knowledge as well 🙂
Here are a few of the pictures taken…
Let’s enjoy together…


Paul Penders new makeup artist, Pei Ling

Katja with Paul’s natural herbal skin care products

A Chance Meeting

By Paul Penders

Paul PendersWhen Katja was getting her makeup done during the Paul Penders photo shoot last week at Penang’s beautiful Tropical Spice Garden, I got talking with the makeup artist. Keith did an excellent job with our makeup products and I wanted to know more about him. We had a very interesting conversation which led to another very, long and interesting conversation which I’ll try to condense!

Keith Khoo and Katja Penders
Keith Khoo and Katja Penders

First of all, Keith wasn’t your typical makeup artist and I hope that this does not come across as derogatory or offensive – I have nothing but RESPECT for make-up artists….trust me, I used to be a hair stylist! What I mean to say is that in addition to being a top-notch makeup artist, Keith also had some pretty impressive cosmetic credentials. He told me that in fact he had two degrees from the State University of Kansas, US – one in chemistry and another in biology. He completed these in five years time and then went on to hold a number of R&D positions within the cosmetics industry, including some time at Estee Lauder’s R&D facilities in the US.

We started a discussion about the cosmetic industry in general and why he didn’t become a plastic surgeon which was his dream in the first place. Then duty called and Keith had to dash off to touch-up Katja’s makeup and hair (it gets very hot during a photo shoot in the afternoon!). I felt that there was so much more we needed to discuss that I asked him to come out to Langkawi so we could continue the conversation.

‘When?’ Keith asked.

Wrong question Keith…

‘Tomorrow!’ I said and with that he changed his agenda for the next day to spend a full day at Paul Penders HQ at Langkawi UNESCO Geopark!

100% certified organic cosmetic products – what’s the point?

Keith and I had a great lunch at The Westin here on the island and we spoke for two hours about both our passions, natural cosmetics! Keith’s perspective was as a scientist-formulator and mine was as a dreamer-formulator, yet both of us had the same platform of interest. I also then learned that he formulates products for several dermatologists. The conversation became more interesting each hour and I started to feel that maybe one day would not be enough!

Yvonne, Keith and Dr. Gatot
Yvonne, Keith and Dr. Gatot

After lunch we went to Paul Penders R&D and we had a long conversation with Dr. Gatot and Yvonne Nobel – his assistant (Gatot and Yvonne never fail to impress me with their knowledge and their quest to find new local ingredients to incorporate into PP products). We discussed various technical matters and as the afternoon flew by, I became more and more intrigued by the kindness of my new friend and his simple approach to his work. I could instinctively tell from my 40-years of experience in the natural cosmetics business that Keith really knew his stuff. Dr. Gatot and Keith sometimes ventured into chemical areas that I (not being a chemist myself) could not follow, however I would like share some observations I made.

Keith has considerable experience as a ‘pure science person’, having worked at one of the best cosmetics labs in the world in the US, and now he produces his own line of nature-based skincare products for dermatologists. I just had to ask him, ‘Keith in your opinion do you think that skincare products made from only organic ingredients will produce the best results?’ He looked at me for few seconds then told me that such in his opinion this would be impossible!

Penang Tropical Spice Garden
Penang Tropical Spice Garden

This was the point where we became even better friends because I share the same opinion. I think it is great when we can all eat organic food, but for the skin, why do we need all-natural ingredients to suddenly be certified as organic as well? Has non-organic skincare been bad for us? Are the “certified organic” skincare products which were only created in the last few years the most effective products? Of course not! As Keith pointed out, women want good natural products, and if possible with certified ingredients, but in the first place they are interested in the best skincare products that produce results. ‘As a scientist I know that combining the best of 2 worlds – all-natural ingredients and certified organic ingredients – produces the results that women want,’ Keith elaborated.

I should point out that it is impossible for manufacturers to claim that they use 100% certified organic ingredients; technically speaking this is impossible. This is another myth perpetuated by the industry in order to confuse the consumers and enrich manufacturers. I am personally very against this certification because I do not believe that it offers consumers any tangible benefits.

DoubtsIt is interesting to know that certified organic materials are not always natural, in fact there are synthetic materials used for skincare which are certified as organic yet are NOT natural. Funny isn’t it? I believe that most certified organic stuff is marketing and hype and has nothing to do with producing the best skincare products. I could have hugged Keith for his thoughts because he too stands for what the Paul Penders Company preaches, common-sense and creating the very best natural products for our customers.

Common-sense is sadly lacking in our modern world and people are becoming greedier and greedier. Just over a week ago the Vegan Society in the UK threatened to sue me because I didn’t want a percentage of my sales revenue to be passed to them (I wanted to contribute to another cause instead). It made me very sad…

Still, having been in the business for over 40 years I’m determined to continue what my parents and grandparents have taught me about natural skincare and also the wisdom and knowledge passed on to me by my two mentors, Dr. Herma Eefting and Dr. Ab Steyn. To have Keith, a well-trained and experienced professional who has worked in one of the world’s largest skincare labs telling me he shared my opinion on natural cosmetics made me feel vindicated and very happy.

Paul Penders Head Quarters
Paul Penders Head Quarters

At Paul Penders we make our cosmetic products with natural products and some certified organic ingredients which we chose for FUNCTIONALITY and RESULTS rather than some empty claims and marketing spin. The 100% organic certified label is not a guarantee of quality or effectiveness. This organic certification stands for everything the Paul Penders Company is against – over-commercialization and misinformation! As a small company that prides itself on our ‘soul’ we will not be pressured into conforming to a meaningless label…definitely not at the expense of our loyal customers.

So I say, ‘Thank you Mr. Keith Khoo, we had a wonderful time and we look forward to seeing you at PP HQ in Langkawi UNESCO Geopark again!’

Paul Penders

(The story was told by Paul Penders to Roz Chua)