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 paulpenders.com.

Warm regards
Paul Penders
CEO & Founder
Paul Penders International

Dear Melissa,

Finalizing and get printed ! The first issue of RAW Magazine must have been like the birth of a child! To me, the result really pays off in my humble opinion. A new-born magazine that looks FRESH in design and FRESH in the variety of articles without hype and no political pressure and seems far away from the ever commercial pushing of things and values. Therefore, to me a refreshing approach that shows it is still possible to come up with new ideas, invent new ways and styles in this huge world of printed publications.
I wish you every success and, although a huge recession going on right now for all of us, I feel also confident that the hard work of all of you will pay off in finding a niche in the market place, where education combined with sensible entertainment is a requirement. 
For people wanting to feel good and be proud about themselves, here is now RAW Magazine that reflects a pragmatic ‘tool’ for pure education and enjoyment while reminding us about the good things in life that still exist.
Lastly, thanks to Robbie for the designs of our Ad and the article; to Alison for the writing of a 3-page wonderful story about this beautiful Langkawi Geopark and the work of Paul Penders Company that connects this fantastic rainforest island to the people of America.
    Live link to premier issue of RAW: 

Contributed by Paul, CEO & Founder of Paul Penders Company

6-Hour Photo Marathon for RAW

Remember our upcoming 6-page spread in the inaugural issue of R.A.W. magazine? As the US magazine needed good quality photos, we got busy two days ago with a photo shoot at our office here in Langkawi.

Our regular photographer was on holiday so we asked our friends at Langkawi Link – the community newspaper here on Langkawi Geopark – to help out and they responded right away. Both Patrick and Aini (the publishers of Langkawi Link) came and offered their help with a professional camera that could shoot photos following the technical requirements of the US magazine. 

We had a good idea of what photos we wanted such as the entire R&D team (Dr Ghani, Dr Gatot and Iriena), our pegaga herb, our laboratory, our conference room and our ocean front building. We even bought fresh coconuts for this shoot! (Pure coconut water will be included in our products soon… so look out for these soon). 

Dr Ghani and Dr Gatot started with the extraction process with fresh pegaga and these pictures came out very nicely!  Too bad Dr Gatot’s hair net moved backwards and nobody noticed this until much later. 


We had a meeting next (this was also photographed) where we talked about the new herb, Vitex Negundo, which Dr Ghani himself collected the evening before at 6:30pm at the Padang Matsirat beach here on Langkawi and extracted them at 11pm on 1 January 2009. Strict timing is essential as herbs have their best peak times for harvest.

Patrick also snapped photos of our brand new four-storey Paul Penders building located down by the ocean front with breath-taking views. I don’t know why our meetings always take longer in this new building. Maybe the views are just too inviting and no one wants the meetings to end! The conference room faces the ocean and this is one of the advantages of living on a small and beautiful island of Langkawi Geopark. 

In the end, our photo session took up 6 hours! It took some planning but in the end, we got the photos we needed, just in time to meet the publication deadline of the magazine. Thanks to Patrick and Aini for your help and effort!

Next week, we are planning some fun video-taping sessions. It’s a secret for now. 

Come back soon and I’ll tell you more how my little madcap idea will become a video which I hope will be informative and entertaining at the same time!


Contributed by Paul, Founder & CEO of Paul Penders Company