I named my brand after the skin care plant extract ingredient that really changed my skin completely (centella plant), while changing the C to Z from my first name, forming "ZEN" - representing calm, which is what my products do for the skin.
Centella products helped me soothe all my redness, inflammation, and cystic acne that no other product was able to fix. It helped with the irritation caused by trying out different treatments from the dermatologists and repaired my damaged skin barrier as well.
This key ingredient that was awarded one of the best ingredient in Korea changed the game for me, and at the time, it wasn't really popular in the western market (USA).
I wanted to create products with this amazing ingredient with the help of Korean chemists and manufacturers, to bring it over to the western market and spread the benefits it has given me!
Hello my loves!♡
Thank you for being interested in my crazy little journey! I hope this turns out to be well worth reading~
Hi there! :) My name is Zarina. I grew up in the Philippines and moved to the US for school, and tried out different routes in college that I was passionate about. Juggling both college and working food/restaurant jobs led to a burn out and I realized that I couldn’t give my 100% to both routes I was trying to achieve. I was constantly dreaming of how much I wanted to travel, to find myself and what I truly wanted to do during this time.
I decided to drop out of college to double my work hours and save more money to pursue my travel goals. I really loved exploring and hoped to experience what this world has to offer before I settle putting my 100% into a career.
I finally went on to traveling and even solo traveling on some trips. During my journey I met so many awesome people along the way doing their own soul searching, and met women that were empowered and traveling with their own businesses. This was so inspiring to see at the time when I was only 20. I still wanted to keep traveling but I also wanted to wake up everyday with a purpose, and to help people along the way.
This burst of inspiration led me to look at what’s right in-front of me: my 10+ year long battle of acne, lack of confidence in my own skin, and the solutions that have helped me win that battle. I never thought I could create a career out of something that I’m not in college for. But this is something I have been studying pretty much my whole life and was a passion that was right in-front of me all along!
That’s when I decided to start Zentella. Years long worth of extensive research that I took to incredible chemists in Korea that helped bring my vision to life!
A little more background on why I felt like being in skin care was fitting for me:
I grew up with terrible acne in the Philippines and all the way until I moved here in the US! I tested so many products on the market from dermatologist's prescriptions, to OTC treatments, and even natural/holistic treatments (all of them failing me, sadly). For years, I had to learn what ingredients triggered my breakouts and reactions using trial and error. After lots of research, I came across Korean skin care and decided to try it…
It was the best decisions I could have ever made for my skin!
For those who have had severe acne, you understand how it can destroy self esteem and make you never want to go outside again. Finding out about Korean skin care was light at the end of the tunnel for me! I thought to myself, wow! There's hope!
I was able to learn a great deal of tips and tricks from skin care forums I participated in, and eventually found a temporary routine to fix my combo skin. It wasn't perfect, but it helped me so much! I felt more confident and was able to go outside without covering my face with concealer. I wanted more progress, but it was hard to find products with the exact ingredients I needed AND ingredients I didn't want. Finally in 2018, I decided to reach out and work with a Kbeauty manufacturer to help create my very first product containing ingredients that worked for my sensitive skin, while taking out ingredients that caused triggers for myself and others. I wanted my vision to come to life!
I not only took information and research from my own skin, but listened to both friends and others' shared experiences online. I figured it would be more personal this way, unlike big companies that just push out anything that will sell.
I took notes on what people look for in a product and what ingredients don't work for their skin/ingredients they try to avoid (yes, even in those highly rated Kbeauty skin care trends at the time).
I wanted to speak to those with really sensitive skin that want to try these amazing products, but can't because of certain ingredients that cause reactions! I also listened to how much people wanted sustainable skin care and whether people prefer sticky serums or watery serums. I did SO many Q&A’s! I started doing comparisons and curated routines for my friends to see what products worked for their different skin types.
This all helped me learn so much and I was able to dig deeper into the world of Korean skin care while many were seeing big results as it became more popular through the years!
I worked with the manufacturers and edited my product's formula many many times until I got as close to what I wanted as possible. I was SUCH an annoying client! I kept asking them to revise and take off unnecessary fillers/ingredients. I had SO many requests and emphasized more potency and many others. I didn't give up until I truly felt like it was a formula I can trust to give to those with really sensitive skin!
This whole process took about 2 years, but it is finally here and I am so excited for you to try!
-I chose a biodegradable bamboo sheet as the sheet mask's material! You can throw it in a compost bin and it will break down in about 10 days.
-The packaging and shipment boxes for the bundles are also recyclable!
-The packing peanuts (if yours comes with it) are biodegradable, plant based and can be dissolved in water!
I am working on slowly finding ways to be more sustainable especially with new products I am developing, so I am very excited for the future of Zentella to contribute in helping cut the industry's waste problem.
All products are 100% vegan and cruelty-free, always :)
WHY START WITH A SHEET MASK?
I noticed that when all else failed, sheet masks were my go-to for saving my skin overnight and for emergencies! It always saved me when I pick at a pimple or dry my skin out from over-exfoliation/drying acne products. Sheet masks are also mine and many others' go-to for a boost of moisture, balancing oily/combo skin, or helping with redness and inflammation.
It was a perfect “first product” for me because it isn't a high-commitment product. Everyone can try it once and not have to spend 30 dollars on something that might not even work for them!
Sheet masks are known to have immediate/overnight results, but based on experience, using them frequently can also give long term results! It is a win-win for everyone, and a good introduction into Korean skin care! I hope you love it!
Since the sheet mask formula was so loved, we finally decided to create a serum and moisturizer cream for daily use!
Check out the new and improved formulas:
The Herbalist Line
IG- @alanisave is behind the plant drawings on my sheet mask packaging!
I grew up with her in the Philippines and she’s one of the best artists I’ve ever met!
IG- @ayebombay is the one behind the logo! I gave him what I wanted, and he did it exactly the way I asked! He’s one of the most genuine people ever (and he’s super cool, hehe
IG- @growthubnet is behind the full website redesign!
Please feel free to show your support! :)