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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Malaysian skincare brand - Reiko Soo's VL Skincare Boutique

When Reiko Soo turned 18, her mother’s friend trained her to become a beautician. But she was afraid that people would think she was a high school dropout so she chose to do a secretarial course instead.

Later, Soo met her boyfriend (now husband), who convinced her to work in his father’s factory. Her father-in-law was a famous chemist and contract manufacturer for numerous skincare brands in the market other than Eng Kah and Hi-City Bioscience . She watched as her father-in-law mixed creams and potions in his laboratory.

While in the factory, Soo learnt about extraction, skin problems and what went into skincare formulations.

Eventually, she gathered the courage to ask her father-in-law to create a special formulation for her. One that would allow her to have skin so luminous, she no longer had to use powder, foundations or scrubs. The first time she tried the product, it didn’t have much effect so she asked for a different formulation.

The second time, the product worked. But when she asked her father-in-law for the second formula, he told her it had been the same one all along! All it needed was a little time to work. Soon, word of the effectiveness of the new beauty formulation spread and it sparked a demand for the yet-to-be-named product.

In 2001, Soo opened her own salon VL Skincare Boutique to provide clients that personal touch. When she tried supplying her brand - VL (Valiant Lady) – to other salons, she found that they promoted European brands and only sold hers when the customer couldn’t afford other brands.

When it comes to skincare solutions, locals find it hard to part with money for anything that bears the 'Made in Malaysia' trademark. Despite our enthusiastic declarations of “Malaysia Boleh”, when it comes to the crunch, there’s no pride in local formulae, only suspicion and doubt. But who else would understand our skin better than women who were born, bred and have spent a good part of their lives enduring the hot and humid Malaysian weather?

She says, “Made in Malaysia products are not easy to sell. Once, a customer walked away after hearing that my product was manufactured locally.” But Soo plodded on, using stories of her father-in-law and pictures of herself before and after her transformation to sway customers to her side.

“Unlike other brands which also advertise beautiful spokespeople, I was proof in the flesh. They could check my skin, touch it, feel it and be convinced because I was a walking advertisement for the brand.” These days, the brand is so established that Soo no longer has to repeat stories about her father-in-law or her previous acne problems.

Soo says, “It’s not just about doing business but caring about your customer’s skin too. There’s no use creating products with cheap ingredients if it doesn’t work. All our products are water based with plant extracts because oily products don’t suit our tropical weather.”

Water-based skincare products are more suitable than oil-based ones for maintaining good skin complexion in a tropical climate.

She claimed this was because it was difficult to maintain ideal skin moisture content in a tropical climate.

“In tropical climates, dehydration causes skin to lose moisture and thus appears pale and dry,” she said.

“In a cold climate, skin dries up easily because of dry winds, and thus, oil-based skincare products are more suitable as they help seal moisture in skin,” she said.

Soo added that water-based skincare products had a lighter feel on the skin and were easier to apply than oil-based products, and were particularly suitable for those with sensitive skin.

VL Skincare Boutique managing director Frederick Lam, who said the company’s water-based skincare products were formulated and manufactured locally, using materials which were imported from the United States and Europe.

“The active ingredients are mainly natural plant extracts,” he said.

Also available at VL Skincare Boutique are machine-based skincare solutions such as Sono Peel that, according to Soo, is excellent for treating acne and oily skin.

There is also Dermalift, a non-surgical facial lifting process using micro-current therapy, that Soo claimed would result in a more youthful appearance.

As for the E-Life lifting treatment, Soo said it helped tone and tighten facial muscles as well as reduce laughter lines.

Despite her brand’s success, Soo still attends beauty courses from time to time. She says, “You need to update yourself on what’s happening and learn how to serve and advice your customers better. I’m a person who likes to observe, explore, experiment and come up with my own solutions to a skin problem.”

Reiko Soo and VL Skincare Boutique also win The 2nd. Asia Pacific/ Malaysia e-Entrepreneur Excellence Award in 2003.

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andygen said...

With over 15 years of experience in the skincare and beauty industry, VL Skincare Principal and Brand ambassador Reiko Soo has always maintained a vision of good customer service and high quality care.

Detail at:

Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

Good sharing, VL Skincare’s Principal and Brand ambassador Reiko Soo has always maintained a vision of good customer service and high quality care. For detail review visit:

Jyoti Sood said...

Hello sir i am running my own salon in Punjab india. I want to buy ur product pl give me ur contact number in india

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