FULL OF energy
Wei Young Brian has always been a fan of Chinese herbal medicine. As a child, she was a tomboy fascinated by the wonders of plants.
'When I was eight or nine, I always feigned sickness to go to the Chinese clinic so that I could understand herbal medicine better. After I overheard the remedies, I would try to cook them in my mother's kitchen and apply them on my face. I thought I could fool the Chinese herbal doctors, but they knew I wasn't ill and gave me candies instead of medicine,' she recalls.
The little girl has blossomed into the 48-year-old founder of the Wei Beauty line. She launched her first skincare brand, Wei East, in 2001. Wei Beauty, established last year, mixes her passion for Chinese herbal medicine with Western technology. Chinese herbal medicine is based on the body's energy flow, which provides the key to health. Drawing inspiration from this, Wei Beauty aims to improve the skin's appearance by focusing on the energy flow in its microcirculation. The line comprises four product categories - Purify-Chi, Energize-Yang, Replenish-Yin and Correct-Zen - and includes corrective treatments, cleansers, moisturisers and serums. It aims to treat the root of the problem and bring balance to the skin.
'The world looks to Europe and the United States for good beauty products, but China has much to offer, too. I want to put Chinese beauty products on the map,' Wei says. That meant reviving centuries-old ingredients such as rose petals, goji berries and chrysanthemum into modern formulations.
Finding her calling was not easy. Wei graduated from Wuhan University with a computer engineering degree in 1985, when she left China for the US to continue her studies. Upon finishing her master's degree, she realised that computer engineering wasn't her passion.
Recalling her interest in Chinese herbal medicine, Wei returned in 1993 to launch her own beauty business, inspired by the Avon and Mary Kay business models in the US.
In 1998, Wei's son was born and was soon diagnosed with autism. She returned to the US to take care of him. After two years, his condition improved, while she felt as though she had retired prematurely aged 33. A friend told her she was still full of energy and needed to channel it, suggesting Wei take Chinese herbal skincare to the West.
Wei says: 'I tried many Western ways such as stem cell treatment to cure my son's autism, but it failed. So I tried Chinese medicine instead and it worked. He is a different kid now. He is healthy.
'My son's transformation made me believe even more in balance as the key to everything. When the yin and yang of your skin are balanced, you have good skin. The line is like yoga for skin.'
Wei Beauty is available at Joyce Beauty.