Your guide to natural beauty: 3 Malaysian wellness experts spill their secrets

National Treasures


By Renyi Lim

Your guide to natural beauty: 3 Malaysian wellness experts spill their secrets

Indra Balaratnam

As a consultant dietician with over 18 years’ experience, Indra knows exactly what we need to shine bright – in essence, there’s just no faking it. “While your genes ultimately determine the overall type and texture of our skin, there’s no denying that good nutrition and lifestyle practices play a very important role in unlocking your complexion’s full potential to look healthy, clear, youthful and glowing,” she smiles.

1. Eating a variety of clean, wholesome foods on a daily basis is the key to unleashing your beauty health potential. A variety of good foods trumps one superfood alone, because they’ll give you the important nutrients you need for your body to glow.

  • 2. Wholegrain carbohydrates are high in fiber that help with cleansing and bowel regularity; fruit and vegetables are high in antioxidants to strengthen your immune system against inflammation; proteins and healthy fat provide the building blocks for healthy cell regeneration and function.
  • 3. Foods that are rich in protein give you zinc, calcium, biotin and iron – all of which promote healthy hair and nails. Include 2 to 3 palm-sized servings of red meat, eggs or seafood, and 2 servings of dairy (1 serving is a cup of milk or a slice of cheese) into your daily diet.
  • 4. Being dehydrated can cause you to be lacklustre – certainly not a trait to promote glowing vibrancy! Aim to drink 10 cups of water a day. If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or very active, drink more. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and drinks with caffeine like coffee, tea, and sodas, which rob your body of water.
  • I know people often say you get wrinkles and crow’s feet from smiling too much – then so be it. I’ll keep smiling because that really is the best ever ‘makeup’ for a beautiful face.

Jojo Struys

With a busy career as a model, actress, TV host and emcee, Jojo knows exactly how important it is to take time out – which is why she wrote her MPH Masterclass series book, Jojo Struys’s Guide To Wellness. She’s a huge advocate of breathing and visualisation exercises to combat stress, and if you have the time and patience to try them out, you’ll discover why Jojo’s so fond of them.

1. It’s vital for women to treat themselves to some ‘me’ time. I even encourage you to make an appointment with yourself to do something that makes you feel inspired, happy and relaxed on a particular day of your choice, every week. Make it a habit to treat yourself, because when you give to yourself, you return with even more energy, recharged and able to give to others.

  • 2. Always clean off all your make up, no matter how tired you are – it’s important to let your skin breathe overnight. Also, never go to bed angry, because it affects the quality of your sleep. Get into the right space before bedtime: it’s not an ideal time to be checking work emails. That will stimulate the mind when you are trying to clear it for a good night’s rest.
  • Breathing exercises are absolutely amazing. 
  • 3. It has been said that a good fifteen-minute breathing exercise is the equivalent of 2 hours of sleep. It’s also anti-aging because you’re oxygenating all your cells. Breathing helps to anchor yourself in the present moment, and it’s a great way to start the day. It’s very calming and it helps me focus.
  • I do a variety of different breathing exercises depending on how I’m feeling. If you’re feeling stressed, try Googling the ‘alternative nostril breathing technique’ – it can bring you a feeling of relaxation and balance after just a few cycles.

Low Wai Fun

Rest assured that Wai Fun will whip you into shape when you need it – as the founder and owner of Urban Spring Pilates, she was Malaysia’s first Bikram yoga instructor and lives by the motto ‘Strive for progress, not perfection’. Having recently introduced Hot Pilates and XTend Barre classes to her boutique fitness studio, she’ll make you sweat at 40 degrees Celsius or pump up the volume to get your calories burning.

1. Sweating is one of the best things you can do for your skin and body – or rather, sweating it out through exercise by attending a Hot Pilates class. Aim to practise it at least 3 times a week to detox properly: you’ll sweat buckets, and in the process, the sequence of Pilates exercises will build muscle tone, improve the lymphatic system, and flush out toxins.

  • 2. Equipment-based Pilates offers an individually tailored workout that can deliver a fantastic set of benefits, including a stronger back and better posture, a flatter stomach and a more toned body, and increased fitness levels.

  • 3. If you want to make regular exercise part of your beauty regime, the first thing you should do is to determine your fitness goals. Whether you want to lose weight through Hot Pilates, get a total body workout from Xtend Barre, or improve your body alignment by going for a private or group Pilates Equipment Class, there’s a form of exercise to benefit every individual.
  • If you’ve been exercising regularly since young, you may not need to adjust your exercise regime, but as you age, you might want to take into consideration that certain exercises may be too strenuous for your body. If this happens, a lower impact exercise may be more appropriate, like Mat Pilates. It’s a system of exercises that uses only the mat and your body, without any props. You’ll be primarily focusing on your core, although your arms and legs will definitely get a workout too – but really, the attention is all on your abs!
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