When Kokkoya Organic’s co-founder Sophia Aye asked me in May if Nourish wanted to be a vendor at the launch of their Yangon Farmer’s market, I dismissively replied “starting up in monsoon season is a terrible idea, no one is going to come.” As it turns out, no amount of torrential rain will deter Yangonites from an opportunity to get their hands on locally grown, chemical-free produce. Last week, I was advised to arrive by 10am or expect to go home empty handed. Add in the flurry of pop-up dinners hosted at Kokkoya’s farm and other restaurants like Sharky’s, Union Bar and The Strand, it’s safe to say that the farm-to-table movement is gathering steam locally.
The basic principle of Farm to Table is simple: by sourcing from locally grown small-batch farmers, we get environmentally sustainable, fresher and higher-quality produce. This same principle is being applied to the world of beauty products in a new trend dubbed farm-to-face: products made with fresh, natural, and source-traceable ingredients that are manufactured with sustainability and transparency in mind.
Last month I covered the environmental damage and personal health risks of mass-produced beauty products laden with chemicals and packaged in heaps of plastic. But there’s good news: farm-to-face is available in Yangon with The Skin District 9—a line of super fresh, small batch, 100 percent chemical free beauty products.
“I was inspired by Lush – I wanted to create products to deliver freshness to the skin using what is possible from our country. A lot of chemicals can cause irritation, while natural ingredients contain enzymes and antioxidants in pure form and are safest for the skin,” says founder May Moe Moe Aung, an aesthetic doctor trained in Thailand with, as you might expect, flawless skin. “We use locally produced ingredients like charcoal, coffee, spirulina and brown rice flour which have antiaging, whitening and hydrating effects and are completely safe.”
A personal favorite is the oatmeal mask which has anti-inflammatory properties and a deeply soothing effect. It also smells good enough to eat! Products range from face soap bars (no plastic!), fruit and sugar scrubs and masks, all reasonably priced from 6,000 to 30,000 kyats. Because shelf-life on the products are shorter to ensure freshness, The Skin District 9 mainly sells at markets around town, but starting this month you can sample their range of products with the new EDIBLE FACIAL at Bliss Beauty Bar.
For more about The Skin District 9, visit: facebook.com/theskindistrict9/
For more information or to book the Edible Facial at Bliss Beauty Bar, visit yangonyogahouse.com/bliss-bar
Jojo Yang is the co-founder of MYANMORE Green Award winner Nourish Café and Yangon Yoga House, where she is also the main yoga instructor.
Address: 36/38 Alan Pya Pagoda Road (Down a small spooky alley, opposite Park Royal Hotel) , Dagon Township
Phone: 09 973 802714
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs (10am-9pm), Fri-Sat (10am-3pm), Sun (10am-7pm)