ZENUTRIENTS: Manila's Secret Garden

by Vanessa Santos October 26, 2013

ZENUTRIENTS was one of the first brands I chose to include in our beauty category.  I fell in love with the brand after trying their products because they are of excellent quality and are priced so reasonably. They also have a beautiful ECO-SHOWROOM (the first in the Philippines), located at #57 East Capitol Drive, Barangay Kapitolyo.  It is worth a visit as you can also get the chance to peek into the laboratory where the products are made and experience the magic of the brand firsthand.

I had the chance to sit down with Angela Reyes-Dinglasan, General Manager of ZENUTRIENTS, and learned a little bit more about the brand and the “organic beauty” industry in the Philippines. She has years of marketing experience working for UNILEVER before getting into this niche industry. Here is their story:

Tell us about the story of ZENUTRIENTS? How did it start? Why the name?

The brand began as Z.E.N. (Zestful Energetic Natural) in bazaars like Legaspi market, maybe about 7 years ago. When we took over late 2011, we wanted to stay true to the brand but also show how we are moving forward, and we thought Zenutrients best described that; that we remain true to the brand's organic core, but we are taking it forward to bigger & better quality.

How did you come about getting involved in the brand?

It's an interesting story, one of the partners is an ex-colleague and friend, I was living in Bangkok working for Reckitt Benckiser; she called to ask me if I had any leads on who would fill the role of this new company, I immediately offered myself! I don't know why I did, but it felt right to do so, my family and friends thought I was crazy to give up my expat career for this startup! 

How has working for ZENUTRIENTS changed your personal life?

Gosh. Haha I am so much happier, is that okay to say? I truly appreciate my corporate experience, it was invaluable, but I really do feel so much more fulfilled doing this. I can see the effect firsthand when we gain a new store and we hire people, I have more time for myself and my family because I spend less time at the office making presentations and more time doing the actual work, and I feel healthier overall because leading an organic brand has also changed not only my skincare habits but food habits as well!

Any funny experience / anecdote from working for a big multi-national to a homegrown organic brand?

Oh wow so many, but anyway here was my first: I didn't realize how spoiled I was working for a big company; things like having an airconditioner in the office I assume just happen, in my first week, I realized the office didn't have an aircon, and well living away so long I didn't realize you don't just buy the machine but you need to have the space surveyed, then fixed by an electrician, then have the quote signed, then deposit to install...all in all, it took  me 4 weeks, 2 electricians and 2 suppliers to get that aircon in! I had to laugh at myself for being so unable to perform that simple task when I have been asked to launch brands across countries in that same amount of time!

What is your take on the current "natural skincare" market in the Philippines?

I am thrilled that it is being revived...I say revive because I feel we are predisposed to natural remedies, its simply something we forgot! As Asians, its part of our DNA...who doesn't remember being visited by a manghihilot for a sprain, or seeing your lola use Gugo to clean hair? I hope for natural to not be seen as an "alternative" solution in the future but as part of the mainstream thinking.

What are your top 3 favorite products and why?

Okay that's like asking pick your favorite child! If pressed....

All is Well anything (balm or oil)...it's good for colds, for dizziness, for insect bites, muscle aches, headaches, great for massages...who wouldn't want a multi-use product right? 

Gugo Shampoo & Conditioner: it smells great, my husband loves it, my hair is super healthy and really does have less hair fall! 

Baby Love soap & lotion: because this product range is my baby! We worked super hard to make sure it's as pure as possible, it smells wonderful, is gentle enough for people like me who experience mild psoriasis, safe for children.

Any "secret tips" for our seekers?

First, you can ask any of our sales girls for the larger version of your favorite product so that you save on packaging and keep stock at home of your favorite stuff! (so if you like the massage oil, instead of 250ml, you can get it done in 1L!). Second, if you want the most complete product range, it's best to visit our showroom. Third, most, if not all, our products, are safe for kids!

*We have just launched the new PURE LIGHT Brightening range (soap & body lotion) and their amazing EPSOM SALTS on the site this week.  I hope you fall in love with them as much as I have.


Yours in Beauty,


Vanessa (aka #THEVAINMAMA)

Vanessa Santos
Vanessa Santos


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