What Is The Ancient Himalayan Botanical ‘Shilajit’? | Clozette

While not necessarily new to the medical industry as a supplement, Shilajit is still quite unknown to most consumers. It is a sticky, tar-like brown resin that comes from the gradual decomposition of Himalayan rocks that happened over thousands of years. With Taiwanese brand Dakini Déesse introducing Shilajit to the Asian beauty industry, let’s delve into the main ingredient of this unique material.

It can only be found in Asia


Shilajit, also called mumijo, is primarily found in the Tibet and Bhutan areas of the Himalayan mountain range, but can also be found in areas of Mongolia, Russia, China, India, and Pakistan. It is said to be found oozing from the cracks of the earth’s surface during warmer seasons.

It’s been used in Ayurvedic practices

Shilajit has been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Used primarily for anti-ageing and rejuvenation, this ingredient contains over 80 types of minerals that all serve multiple purposes. It acts as an antioxidant, an anti-inflammatory, and a mood booster. It is also used to enhance the effects of other herbs, so it's used in ancient practice by including it in tonics.

Great for anti-ageing

Shilajit is rich in fulvic acid, a rare and strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory electrolyte. Fulvic acid contains an assortment of fatty acids, hormones, vitamins, minerals, ketones, and flavonoids, which are nutrients needed for healthy cell and body development. When used in skincare, it protects your skin from free radicals and cellular damage.

It’s a superfood

Spices on Spoons

Because of its mineral-rich properties, people use shilajit to detoxify, rejuvenate, and strengthen their bodies. It contains amino acids, vitamins, and trace elements. Ancient Ayurvedic texts consider it as a “cure-all” for a lot of diseases known at that time.

What’s the catch?

Since the process for naturally occurring shilajit takes thousands of years, Bhutan considers shilajit as a national treasure. The harvesting and exporting of Shilajit are strictly monitored by the country of Bhutan, and the area where it is harvested is not accessible for the considerable majority. Because of its therapeutic properties, its natural reserves continue to be depleted as time goes on. While scientists are trying to replicate Shilajit production in labs by producing the numerous minerals present in it, it still takes a few years to make and is incomparable to the real thing. Dakini Déese uses Shilajit collected through proper processes, carried out by licensed collectors only under forest police’s supervision.

For other anti-ageing options, try these instead.



If we look back on skincare in just the past decade alone, we would see a lot of major changes. Back then, skincare was pretty limited to beauty soaps and foaming cleansers, a variety of moisturisers with an easy to pronounce ingredient list, and maybe a few more high-end options. Now, almost every skincare brand has a long list of products, which have, in turn, also changed our routines. And of course, once in a while, an eccentric star ingredient would pop up. In this case, we're putting the spotlight on cork — yes, the same material used on your dream boards and your wine bottles. 

From footwear to face care

If that got your brows raising, known footwear brand Birkenstock is the one to direct your attention to. After 240 years of championing corks as the base of their orthopaedic footwear range, they are now making their venture into beauty by introducing the material to a wider audience. Initially launching in select stores in the U.S. and some parts of Europe between August 2018 and spring of 2019, Birkenstocks are introducing their six-range Natural Skincare products in other parts of America (and maybe the larger global market) later this year with cork oak as its star ingredient. 

From lines focusing on moisture, anti-ageing, and even products made for men, Birks' beauty arm is said to follow the same philosophy of health and wellness as their renowned shoes. According to their website, the recent scientific discovery on the amazing skincare properties of cork oak made this venture possible. But what exactly are these benefits? 

The beauty of cork within and outside our vanities

As explained on Birkenstock's website, cork oak is a great source for suberin, a cellular material that's often present in tree barks. It is said to be able to protect and allow plants to adapt to external harmful factors. As a skincare ingredient, it helps in skin elasticity, collagen production, and is effective against free radicals. It also helps reduce skin redness and other signs of irritation, as well as helps maintain moisture on the skin, similar to its ecological function. Aside from these, what Birks prides itself is its unique take one of today's most popular beauty buzzword: sustainability. 

Cork For Skincare: Would You Try It?  - Sustainable Skincare

According to their studies, cork oak has existed for over 60 million years and has a very unique cultivation cycle. We won't get into the math of it all, but in simpler terms, harvesting cork oak for cosmetic use — or any other use for that matter — only requires the bark, therefore, allowing trees to continue to live and grow. Plus, the older the tree bark, the more nutrition it carries. That means premature harvesting is not something they consider. 

Cork oak forests, which are rich in the Mediterranean, also play a huge role in healthy ecosystem maintenance. They are habitats for many animals, and they offer a massive contribution in turning over carbon dioxide. With this, Birkenstocks have also pledged to help initiatives to maintain these forests and, in their move to expand their skincare line, make its importance known to many to inspire others to follow suit. 

Should you try it? 

Cork For Skincare: Would You Try It?  - Conclusion

Birks have established a solid fanbase for their footwear due to their unparalleled comfort. But while the success and proven quality of a fashion brand do not speak for the same experience when crossing over the beauty front, it seems like Birkenstock knows where they're getting at with their cork oak skincare line. There are definitely existing studies on cork oak and suberin that back up their claims and it seems like this is something truly worth trying. The sustainability aspect of it, too, outside of just the usual humdrum to "fit in the demand" seems to be really well thought out, making this eccentric yet interesting skincare range truly worth a shot.

From one quirky skincare ingredient to the next, here's the tea on Bakuchiol.



When it comes to style, we often look for the right pair — from shoes to earrings to a combo of top and trousers. But did you know that you should do the same for your hair? Finding the perfect pair of shampoo and conditioner can make a world of difference on your tresses. But the hunt for them doesn’t really have to be gruelling. We say set your sights on products made with botanical ingredients that are not only effective but also incredibly mild. But don’t settle for just any product. Ahead, your hair’s new perfect pairings from Herbal Essences, which are made with real botanicals endorsed by Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, a botanical research and education institution in the United Kingdom.

Herbal Essences new range in Singapore

For refreshing limp hair

Feeling like your hair needs a bit more oomph? Try the reviving combination of Micellar Water and Blue Ginger in the Herbal Essences Refresh Micellar Water & Blue Ginger Shampoo and Conditioner. Made with Ecklonia Radiata Extract, Alpinia Galanga Rhizome Extract, Histidine, Citric Acid, Betula Alba Bark Extract, and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, it’s a silicone-free shampoo that gives the hair a gorgeous lift. It’s also colour-safe and pH-balanced, making sure your hair is as fresh as ever. Plus, it has notes of ginger, floral bouquets and clean musk that leaves your hair smelling just as fresh as it looks.

For rejuvenating dull hair

If you feel like your hair’s not looking its best lately, it’s time to rejuvenate it. Treat it to the pairing of Bourbon and Manuka Honey in the Herbal Essences Bourbon and Manuka Honey Shampoo and Conditioner. It has Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Bourbon Extract, Honey Extract, Citric Acid, Ecklonia Radiata Extract, Safflower Seed Oil and Histidine that moisturises and protects your hair from damage. It also cleanses and strengthens your tresses while giving you an olfactory experience with honeyed plum, white florals and precious woods.

Herbal Essences Vitamin E and Cocoa Butter Shampoo and Conditioner

For strengthening damaged hair

Think damaged hair can’t be salvaged? The pairing of Vitamin E and Cocoa Butter in the Herbal Essences Vitamin E and Cocoa Butter Shampoo and Conditioner ask you to think again. It’s got Cocoa Seed Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Ecklonia Radiata Extract, Histidine and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice that not only help repair damaged hair in just 21 days but also helps strengthen it from future breakage. Indulge in its extra care and invigorating scents of black cherry, smooth almond cream, and spicy amber.

Get your favourite hair care pair at Guardian or Watson's.