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You too will be grinning from ear to ear if you knew flawless skin came so easily!

Meet Sha-ji, the “new” old skincare superhero you’ve probably never heard of.

Sha-what? That’ll be Hippophae rhamnoides (for the botanists) and seabuckthorn for the rest of us.

Now, if you have snarky “senior” folks in your social circle, they might, like my Mum, smugly inform you that seabuckthorn has always been a pivotal part of the traditional Chinese medicinal repertoire.

This TCM treasure – mosey around any heartland store and chances are you’ll spot the blackened berry being sun-dried in open baskets – is a “warm” food traditionally used to treat all manner of maladies, from bloated belly pain to burns, boils and open wounds, where it’s usually pounded to a pulp and applied as a paste onto the skin.

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#BeautySecret in a bowl! All images: Dermagold

Here’s how seabuckthorn works on the beauty front. The berries and their oils boast an astonishing amount of skin-friendly stuff – at least 12 times the vitamin C of your familiar orange – as well as everything from Omega-7 fatty acids and immunity-boosting flavonoids to phenols and a plethora of fat-soluble vitamins.

Most intriguingly, seabuckthorn creams have been shown to soothe itchy skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema; the latter being an issue close to my heart. Then there’s how the ingredient seems to be able to cut through grease and gunk, with studies suggesting it may alleviate acne and slash sebum overproduction.

Pretty impressive, yes? Now for the million-dollar beauty question: Where to buy? For starters, try sussing out the sleek suite of cosmeceutical products from Singapore skincare entrepreneurs Grace Ling and Lim Luping, where seabuckthorn is front and centre of their star serums.

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Perfectly posh packaging. I approve!

Look for it in Dermagold’s Skin Resurrector and Skin Elixir, the latter being a sensationally silky multi-tasker that throws in hydrating hyaluronic acid and soothing seaweed extracts for good measure. Pair your “face food” with Grandma’s home-brewed Sha-ji tea and you’re just about good to go.

As it stands, seabuckthorn is still something of an exotic novelty that’s hard to find in the form of a face cream, so if it blows up as the next big beauty thing in the coming year or two, you can say you heard it on herworldPLUS first!

Dermagold Skin Elixir, $128 for 30 ml, and Skin Resurrector, $168 for 30ml, are available at the Hadara Aesthetics boutique at 23 Lorong Telok, S049035. For more information, visit and follow Dermagold Singapore on Facebook and Instagram.