Go East For A Feast For The Skin

Beauty | Jyunka, Singapore’s premier skincare brand, launches its third concept centre in Bedok

 

Jyunka @ Bedok Point P1B

Singapore skincare label Jyunka has always been somewhat of a secret among those who use their products. Their efficacy—underscored by their marketing tag “we can change your skin”—is something users understandably want to keep to themselves. But despite their relatively off-the-radar standing, Jyunka is picking up a following large and fast enough that the brand has recently opened their third concept centre in a year. This pace is not inconsistent with market trends. Figures on the Singapore market at the time of this post isn’t immediately available (although analysts suggested at least 5% growth through 2025), but published reports suggests that the global beauty and anti-ageing segment of the wellness industry presently exceeds USD1 trillion.

Jyunka’s trio of centres (quartet, if you consider one in Bangkok that opened a couple of months back) is indication that beauty services that reply on effective therapies and, crucially, no sign-ups are scoring with customers. Their latest is a boon to those who live in the east. Although housed away from the obvious choice of Bedok Mall, Jyunka’s siting in the less buzzy, 8-year-old Bedok Point suits the quiet environs that such a face spa needs. Its neighbours are eateries, but you don’t sense that this is a foodie haven where makan (or unwelcome smells) will somehow stand in the way of treatment that enhances beauty.

The rather compact size of 494-square-foot (or 46m²), with three treatment cabins, belies the thoroughness and luxury of its new signature therapy, the Jyunka V Ageless Treatment. Jyunka has always taken pride of place in the skincare business with their strength of product offerings, but in their own therapy centres, their conceived-in-house, anti-aging and skin-rejuvenation treatments have won them not only accolades among Industry watchers, but also die-hard fans.

Jyunka mottoThe Jyunka motto, seen on the side wall of the concept centre

The Jyunka V Ageless Treatment is a facial that is built on the brand’s Five-Step Treatment. Interestingly, the ‘V’ does not stand for V-shape, as one may be tempted to assume, but the roman numeral five, alluding to their signature facial of five separate components involving hands and machine. Jyunka’s menu of treatments basically comprises Expert (those that are offered using only the facialist’s hands) and Technology (those that are administered by using advanced tools imported from Korea). The V Ageless Treatment involves both, and comes with an extra constituent part: a Stimulation Massage, which is described as “quick pinching motions to physically engage muscle movement”. All in all, its like a string quintet with an added piano!

In many salon treatments, facial muscles are often neglected, according to Jennifer Leng, Jyunka’s founder and the brand’s technical director. “It’s like an old person,” Ms Leng explained further. “When he doesn’t exercise, his muscle slacks. When he does, he gets his muscles back.” There is a misconception among both customers and facialists that working on facial muscles means tugging at the skin. “It doesn’t involve any stretching of the skin if you do it correctly,” assured Ms Leng. “The firmness of the skin is also depended on the quality of your facial muscle. Lifting—real lifting—requires physical work, not just the products.”

The thing about multi-step facial treatment is that experiencing it is more pleasurable than reading about it. Without going into details may, in fact, arouse your curiosity. From deep cleansing to the massage, the Jyunka V Ageless Treatment’s use of both the fingers and tools are calming and bliss-inducing, with the result palpable and visible. The skin is refreshed, rejuvenated, and re-energised.


Two facial junkies share their experience of trying the Jyunka V Ageless Treatment

Perhaps, only one question matters: Was it good?

Lauren Ng

“Frankly, I fell asleep the minute the facialist started cleansing my face. I have to say she is skilled and has talented fingers, if I can describe her digits as such. When I woke up, it was to her telling me she was going to apply the mask—a thick gooey paste that I can’t see, but can feel: senses-awakening cold. It was as if she was applying some precious volcanic clay on my face. It felt good. The rest of the treatment passed too quickly. I like it that she asked me if I needed a sunblock before the session ended. Thoughtful, I thought.”

Immediate result: “The result, I have to say, was very noticeable. I thought it was someone else when I looked into the mirror. No kidding! Before the treatment, my skin looked kind of grey-ish, as though my face was shrouded in a permanent shadow. After the 2-hour session (can be longer!!!), I was convinced my complexion looked brighter and my pores seemed to have looked less visible. This was the face I want to bring along when I meet my Tinder date!”

A week later: “You wouldn’t think it’d last beyond three days, but even 10 days after, I felt my skin remained clear, so much so that my boss asked me if I had secretly gone to to Seoul over the weekend!”

❝ You wouldn’t think it’d last beyond three days, but even 10 days after, I felt my skin remained clear, so much so that my boss asked me if I had secretly gone to Seoul over the weekend! ❞

 

Ray Zhang

“It’s what I like in a facial: thorough and methodical. It was also a good mix of hand and machine work, much like the best cakes. It got to a good start with the cleansing and scrubbing, which I later learned is what they call ‘deep cleansing’. The metal-plate ‘scrubber’ they used in the two-part cleanse was surprisingly gentle, not the stuff used for scrapping bumps off walls to prep them for paint work. In fact, I really like the hi-tech aspect of the treatment, which included a warm radio-frequency wand that is supposed to tighten facial contours and the cryotherapy, which consists of a cold tool that help deliver the active ingredients of the cream mask used into the skin. Very shiok!”

Immediate result: “I didn’t think the result would be so noticeable, but it was. Before I looked into the mirror, I thought my skin felt different. Maybe it was a clean that I had not experienced before. When I did get to see my reflection, I saw not only a clean, but really fresh face. It was as if I had slept uninterrupted for days and woke up to new skin.”

A week later: “My skin definitely looked good for the next three days. Beyond that, I think I would need the home care products that the therapist recommended, but I was too cheap to invest.”


The Ageless Series

Jyunka Ageless Emulsion and Eyes P2

Part of the expanding ‘Ageless’ range. the Ageless Emulsion and Ageless Eye

Now in its 10th year, Jyunka has recently added a new product to the slowly expanding Ageless line, part of a 25-product collection that includes the in-demand M+ Fluid (often sold out as only 5,000 bottles are yielded in each production in France). The Ageless Emulsion joins Ageless Eye to offer a pair of preparations that will be easily enjoyed by those who like their skincare routine simple. Simplicity is augmented by the ease of use and the highly spreadable consistency of the two products.

The new Ageless Emulsion, with its gel-cream texture, truly stands out for its viscosity: it flows easily and spreads just as easily too, which means absorption is immediate. What goes into the skin are two proprietary formulas: Senestem and Neroguard. Together, they deliver a cocktail of active ingredients that reduce melanin synthesis (for fairer skin), as well as increase collagen synthesis (for reduced wrinkles). To this, centella asiatica (a culinary and medical herb that’s also known as Asian pennywort or gotu kola) extract is added to improve the overall appearance of the skin. As Jyunka’s business development manager Nora Tien said, “You’ll see the difference.”

Jyunka V Ageless Facial Treatment, SGD380 for 2 hours, is available exclusively at Jyunka Concept Store, Bedok Point. For appointment, call 6214 3025. Ageless Emulsion, SGD298, and Ageless Eye, SGD142, are available at all Jyunka outlets. Photos: Galerie Gombak

They Say M Is Marvelous

Skincare | What has been touted as the first “true anti-ageing serum” by a Singapore-grown beauty brand isn’t mere talk. There’s magic in the M+

 

Jyunka M+ Fluid

If you are a regular duty-free shopper up in the sky with Singapore Airlines, and the KrisShop magazine is your preferred source of reading material and retail therapy, you may remember seeing in the Beauty Hall pages a Japanese-sounding name that offers a potion simply called Jyunka M+ Fluid. In the accompanying caption, KrisShop raved that “many call this the Rolls-Royce of vitamin C treatments”. A possibly Nippon-born name with suggestion of English automobile engineering is intriguing enough until you learn that Jyunka, although a Japanese word (純華or kanji for ‘pure essence’), is, in fact, a Singaporean brand.

What’s also remarkable is that Jyunka products sell in the region of three figures, and sits mere pages away from skincare heavyweights such as Estée Lauder’s Night Repair and SKII’s Facial Treatment Essence. Yet, Jyunka M+ Fluid is able to hold its own, seemingly unperturbed by the presence of the prominent; its handsome little bottle hinting at efficacy and radiating luxury.

The M+ Fluid is Jyunka’s star product and the first in a line of science-based skincare that parent company Laponie, distributor of European heritage and salon brands such as Maria Galland and Filorga, has been developing in the past ten years. M+ Fluid’s debut back in 2007, while relatively quiet, left a deep impression in the business of beauty simply because no one had thought it was possible to capture what it did in a bottle. The selling, too, of the formula under a local brand name by a company—36 years old to date—mainly known as a distributor of skincare brands was considered chancy.

Jennifer LengFounder of Jyunka Jennifer Leng

Unlike discoveries of miracle liquids in Japan involving accidental findings in paddy fields, the story of the 10-year-old M+ Fluid and the founding of Jyunka are a lot more prosaic. As the corporate telling goes, founder Jennifer Leng has been on a quest for the ultimate skin-soothing and strengthening formula for her hyper-sensitive and oily skin. Ms Leng’s work brings her into contact with scientists working on the most cutting-edge of research, and one of them is a Japanese individual who had been developing a stable form of vitamin C that, when applied, can reach the basal layers of the skin via an advanced delivery system.

Scientists and dermatologists know that vitamin C is beneficial to the skin, but it is notoriously difficult to stabilise and transport into the deeper layers below the dermis where it can do its regenerative and anti-aging work. Getting deep enough is like going to the centre of the earth: it’s simply hard to make the trek. The Japanese scientist, who is presumably a trade secret and hence remains unnamed, was able to encapsulate l-ascorbic acid, considered to be a superior form of vitamin C, using QuSomes, trade name for a form of liposome that are like a spherical layered cake (kueh lapis?), consisting concentric films of the lipophilic (oil-soluble) and the hydrophilic (water-soluble) active ingredients.  Without getting more scientific, this means nano-sized particles that are supposed to be able to reach further and faster down the skin to make a visible difference on the surface.

The ability to send l-ascorbic acid unadulterated to where it is needed most in the skin led to the formulation of the precursor of M+ Fluid, the Multi-Action Miracle Fluid. So thrilled was Ms Leng with her new product and so unwavering in her trust in its efficacy that she had a small batch produced in Japan—enough to yield 300 7-milliltre bottles. Although commercial packaging was not ready, Ms leng was not willing to hold back the Multi-Action Miracle Fluid and, according to her son Keefe Chie, who joined the family business to expand Jyunka’s reach, availed it in small tinted pharmaceutical bottles, all affixed, by hand, with a hastily printed label. This was sold at S$80 a pop, and it would not be unreasonable to compare the sell-out to hot cakes. “My mom started in this business because she has sensitive skin,” Mr Chie said. “She’s allergic to dust and so she’s always looking for only the best products to use and sell. Junkya is a commitment to that.”

Jyunka M+ Fluid 1st Gen to presentEvolution of Jyunka M+ Fluid

Ten years, three packaging revisions, and one name change later, the formula that Ms Leng brought back from Japan in 2007 to launch Jyunka has not received upgrades that characterise, for example, the tech world: M+ Fluid remains exactly the same colourless and odourless potion that first appeared in those tiny, brown, black-screw-capped bottles. Now a ‘secret’ of aficionados and a fave of (gasp) beauty-bloggers, M+ Fluid is hailed as a Singaporean beauty breakthrough, even if it was conceived in Japan and is now produced in France (Japan became less ideal after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of 2011). Jyunka remains on the firmament of premium skincare lines despite the entrance of newer-comers such as Skin Inc and Dr GL.

What works in M+ Fluid’s favour is its total ease of use. If the texture of any skin treatment determines how it can convince adopters that there is indeed pleasure of use, M+ Fluid wins hands-down with its easy-to-like viscosity and lightness. Once the recommended five to six drops of the clear fluid touch the palm, they feel like oil, but when spread over the face, it has the weightlessness and the lack-of tackiness of water. The absorption of M+ Fluid into the skin is rapid and, surprisingly perhaps, the skin is matte. When a moisturizer is layered over it, the skin remains shine-free. The discernible result, even from first use, is truly rather remarkable, if not describable. After two weeks, the skin appears finer and brighter.

Ms Leng said, via a media release, that “ageing skin is a key concern that everyone faces, and our products are designed to not just heal and restore, but also to prevent and protect from deep within the skin.” While that may be read as PR persuasion, a visit to the newly opened Jyunka Concept Centre—retail space and face spa—in Pacific Plaza could illustrate that Ms Leng wasn’t merely talking. Former model Nora Tien and now Jyunka’s Business Development Manager, who was there when we visited, showed us two photographs on her smartphone. One was of her before she joined the brand and the other a couple of months after she accepted the post. “This is real,” she emphasised, “The ‘after’ is really what I look like now. I never thought this could be possible: believe it.”

Jyunka M+ Fluid, SGD344, is available at Jyunka Concept Centre, Pacific Plaza. Photos (main): Jim Sim; (others): Jyunka