I was sent some sample products by a small local company called Z.E.N. Natural+Organic. It is being run by Angela Reyes Dinglasan who believed in the company and products so much she quit her 14 year corporate career and left the expat life (She and husband Robbie had lived in Shanghai for 3 years and Bangkok for 4 years). The previous owner of Z.E.N. was asked by his church group to find a way to help young, underprivileged women, primarily from the provinces. The overall idea was to create jobs – a livelihood program – that would teach women a craft. Most of the women were young and from desperately poor families. Angela continues to run the company with this social responsibility guiding her.
The shampoo with Lemongrass and Bamboo and Honey & Coconut Conditioner are so good. The conditioner leaves your hair soft and shiny (sounds like a line from a TV commercial, but it really does). It was a big surprise. I’ve tried other organic shampoos and most of them leave a film or thick build-up. This one doesn’t. I haven’t tried the massage oil yet because I’m not really a home massage person – it smells real yummy and clean though.
Z.E.N. was born from the principles of using Virgin Coconut Oil and its healing properties. Studies show that VCO can alleviate and even cure various skin ailments. The first range of products really began from VCO-based massage oils, which quickly expanded into VCO-based soaps, body lotions, moisturizing butters, followed by shampoos, conditioners, repellants, scrubs, even herbal balms & rubs.
I’ve stopped using commercial/chemical-based insect repellants two years ago. My kids have to be protected from mosquitoes everyday, so I figured the less intrusive/chemical, the better — even if it means I have to deal with the smell of citronella. I’m glad this one smells like lavender.
From the top – Ginger Minty Rub for headaches, cough and cold, Blush Crystals foot soak, Lavender-Citronella Anti-Mosquito sleeping cream, Eucalyptus & Peppermint body scrub, Olive Cream face and body moisturizer.
Meet Angela Dinglasan, Z.E.N.’s new general manager. “Late last year the company ownership has changed, which is really when I came in. The previous owner wanted to see Z.E.N. taken to another level, and the new management definitely has big plans. I packed up the house and husband and came home to Manila for this because I strongly believe in the products, the brand, the company…and I really want to make a difference here. Its important and wonderful to me that I can use all my previous learning & experience to really make this grow and create jobs & skills. In the end I hope for this to be seen as a world class organic beauty brand, I am thrilled to be creating jobs & a better future for these women.”
For more info check out Z.E.N. Natural+Organic on Facebook. You can find Z.E.N. at weekend markets in Mercato in the Fort and Soderno in Alabang. Z.E.N. is retailed by all Sesou & Echostore branches, and a store in Boracay Station 1 Urban Nature. They are currently working on their website and mall kiosks.
Good news, we’ll be giving away some Z.E.N. products this week. Stay tuned for that raffle.