Skin Junkie: The Local and All Natural Body Care

Remember when Lush sadly departed Indonesian soil some years ago? We haven’t seen it since, and when we do, it’s because a PO order or friend flew it in from Singapore, Australia, or the US. The UK cosmetics company specializes in bath and body products that are made from fresh natural ingredients, to become as close to vegan-friendly as possible. In addition to vegans, this concept is also appealing to people who want to avoid ingredients that have been vilified (parabens, sulfates, fragrances, etc), and to people with sensitive skin and allergies to laboratory-synthesized ingredients. But let’s face it, most of us flock to lush because it just smells amazing.

I was glad when I found out that an Indonesian company was stepping up to fill the “all-natural personal care” vacuum. Say hello to Skin Junkie, established in 2012 by a small team of entrepreneurial bath and body fanatics. Their motto, “What’s Good Enough to Eat is Good Enough for Your Skin,” was put to the test when I popped by their booth at the Whimsical Wonderland Bazaar at Lippo Mall Kemang. There among their display of bar soaps, body lotions, and shower gels, was a table full of perishables that would look more at home in my kitchen. For IDR 50,000, they will whip up a body scrub in front of your eyes, made with nothing but fresh ingredients you would think to put in your parfait before your skin.

Up on offer were four different types of scrubs (including lemon and strawberry-based ones) that serve the skin different purposes. After a brief consulting session, I decided to go for an oatmeal-based and coffee-based scrub — for hydration and luminosity, respectively. Off they went, throwing ingredients into a mixing bowl. I  quickly started getting hungry just looking at the items that went into the bowl, and was torn between slathering the final product on my skin or eating it. Here’s what I came home with:

Oatmeal Body Scrub and Caffeine Addict Body Scrub

The scrubs come in simple plastic tubs with labels that feature witty names and pictures of smiling pin-up girls, quite evocative of the retro pop art packaging you’d see on Benefit or The Balm. The labels have also made room for an expiry date to maintain freshness, because the scrub ingredients contain perishable food items and absolutely no preservatives. I was even encouraged — nay, commanded! — to store them in the fridge for maximum freshness. Here are the ingredients that made up each scrub:

Oatmeal Body Scrub: oats, brown sugar, almonds, jojoba, olive oil, processed milk, vitamin E, “pure love.” Oatmeal can also be used as face cleanser. We’ve given the step by step guide in this article.

Caffeine Addict Body Scrub: freshly grounded coffee beans, sugar, olive oil, milk, vitamin E, “love,” “happiness.”

First impression: AMAZING smells. I wasn’t surprised that the coffee was aromatic and crisp, but the oatmeal scrub certainly held its own in the scent department too. It smelled rich, sweet, and creamy — something I did not expect from a product with a short, simple list of ingredients. The smell stayed on for hours after application and rinsing too, so that’s another plus point.

As far as efficacy goes: they products certainly did what they promised to do, but not to a degree lesser or greater than their laboratory-made counterparts. It’s still a good deal for IDR 50,000 (considering the cost of raw materials if you were to make it yourself), and the novelty of having it made in front of your eyes is almost priceless. In other words, a great purchase if you’re into “all-natural” body care products that smell amazing. Skin Junkie’s repertoire is moderately slim, but we’re certainly keeping a close eye out on everything they bring out.