Browsing Category Asian

COVID-19 Impetus for New D2C Biotech-Based Skincare Solution That Rivals Injectables

Traditional practices unite with modern technology to unlock the mystery of seemingly ageless skin.

Dermafirm’s mission is not only to educate, but to empower today’s consumers to learn about the impact of nature’s ingredients. Now you don’t have to choose between clean and effective. Through our initiatives, Dermafirm is supporting a movement that is helping to change the way the world feelsabout skin care. 

Dermafirm USA, Inc. announced the U.S. launch of BIOTOC, a new prestige K-beauty skincare line that is a less invasive alternative to injectables. Originally slated for B2B, the company pivoted to D2C due to COVID-19 stay-at-home behaviors. BIOTOC™ is a professional grade, anti-aging facial treatment that’s been reshaped to cater to consumers embracing the self-care trend. The line first launched in June in Korea to rave reviews and is officially fulfilling online orders in the U.S. market starting at August 5th.

“BIOTOC offers visible results, as a topical alternative to injectables that can be applied at home. Given the business reality of increased consumer demand for safe, natural and effective DIY products, and the unknown of when businesses would re-open, we switched gears. We repositioned our new prestige skincare line’s direction from B2B to D2C and haven’t looked back,” says Paula Park, CEO and Founder, Dermafirm USA.

The new line is by Dermafirm, the South Korean cosmeceutical company, known for innovative R&D behind its naturally clean products. The company designated the U.S. as the first international market for this luxury line launch, following its home launch on Korea’s GS SHOP, the HSN equivalent, where BIOTOC sold out in an hour.

Its revolutionary professional grade 3X ampoule is more concentrated than a serum, and has been receiving positive feedback from U.S. dermatologists, estheticians and influencers alike during pre-launch sampling. Results were shared at a private pre-launch sampling event in July (see some quotes here).

BIOTOC exemplifies the movement towards clean and healthy skin care that gets results. The line has been proven in clinical studies to increase the skin’s energy production, improve the appearance of wrinkles, as well as brighten and restore skin’s elasticity.

The user-activated BIOTOC 3X deploys Astaxanthin, an ingredient rarely found in skincare products, and mixes it with professional grade Cross-linked Hyaluronic Acid, 3 Peptides, Collagen Hydrolysates and Ceramide. Astaxanthin, known as the most robust antioxidant available, is proven to be 6,000 times more powerful than Vitamin C, 800 times stronger than CoQ10, 550 times stronger than Vitamin E, 75 times stronger than Alpha Lipoic Acid and 40 times stronger than beta-carotene.

“All Dermafirm products are well thought of in formulations and are free from harmful ingredients. They are very effective, yet mild and non-irritating. I personally witnessed over the years the effectiveness and benefits my extended family and friends have enjoyed while using Dermafirm products,”               shares Paula. (PAULA PARK, FOUNDER & CEO)

As a woman-led, science and technology based company, Dermafirm USA is drawn to the advancement of women in science and technology disciplines. “At Dermafirm USA, beauty is more than just skin deep. We are celebrating the beautiful minds of our women in STEM for the beauty they bring to the world through their discoveries,” says Kim Park, VP Customer and Community Advocacy.


Boston area based Dermafirm USA Inc. is the North American arm of Dermafirm, Inc., South Korean cosmeceutical company, known for its comprehensive research and development, as well as, the technology-driven, proprietary formulations behind their award-winning products. Dermafirm, headquartered in Korea, was established in 2002 to make advanced cosmetics using the highest quality ingredients such as peptides and amino acids through their own formulation research lab and material development institute. The company now has three product lines spanning from medical grade to at-home use products extensively used throughout Korea by dermatologists and plastic surgeons in 3,000 clinics and hospitals and increasingly by consumers. With rapid sales growth year over year and expanding global market penetration, their products are now available in over 20 countries and growing.


Virtual China Fashion Gala honoring Estée Lauder, Wendy Yu, Phillip Lim & Lucy Liu raises $600,000

China Institute and Yue-Sai Kan China Beauty Charity Fund (CBCF) co-presented the China Fashion Gala 2020 virtually on Thursday, July 23, 2020. The annual celebration of Chinese design serves as a platform for Chinese talent emerging onto the international stage, as well as a forum for recognizing individuals whose contributions have helped position China at the forefront of global fashion and beauty.

Hosted by Yue-Sai Kan, co-chair of China Institute and founder and chairwoman of CBCF, this year’s gala honored Estée Lauder with the Beauty Award. This inaugural award was accepted by Group President, The Estée Lauder Companies, and Global Brand President, Estée Lauder Stephane de La Faverie, presented by Yang Mi. Chinese investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist Wendy Yu was honored with the Millennial Leadership Award, presented by Jason Wu. Chinese American designer Phillip Lim was honored with the Leadership Award, presented by Lisa Ling. Actress, director, artist and activist Lucy Liu was honored with the Icon Award, presented by Yue-Sai Kan. Each award was donated by Baccarat. Co-chairs were Elizabeth Segerstrom, co-managing partner and co-owner of South Coast Plaza; Mariko Miura, CEO of Meihodo New York; Julian Rizzuto, founder of Dreamlink Foundation; Mark Gong, emerging Chinese designer; and Jeannette Chang, former SVP of Hearst Magazines International.

Highlights from the evening included a private 40-minute live cocktail party via Zoom with honorees immediately preceding the gala, a globe-spanning opening performance by Quincy Jones Productions; a special dance of the Thousand Hand Bodhisattva performed by members of the Chinese People’s Art Troupe of People with Disabilities; and a fashion presentation by Chinese couture designer Xiong Ying, who showcased her creations under the Heaven Gaia label.

Prominent guests included: Christian Louboutin, Guo Pei, Grace Chen, Angelica Cheung, Bette Midler, Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, Xiaowen Ju, Karolina Kurkova, Maggie Q, Jordan Connor, Lang Lang, Anna Hu, Rain, Chen Man, Simon Collins, Didi Pei, Ban Ki-moon, Kenny G and Cai Guo-Qiang.

To date, China Fashion Gala 2020 has raised $600,000. An online silent auction on will be open until July 30. Proceeds benefit the many diverse programs of China Institute, the oldest independent, non-profit organization in America to focus exclusively on China.

About Estée Lauder

Estée Lauder is the flagship brand of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. Founded by Estée Lauder, one of the world’s first female entrepreneurs, the brand today continues her legacy of creating innovative, sophisticated, high-performance skincare and makeup products and iconic fragrances – all infused with a deep understanding of women’s needs and desires. Today, Estée Lauder engages with women in over 150 countries and territories around the world and at dozens of touch points – from in-store to digital. And each of these relationships consistently reflects Estée’s powerful and authentic woman-to-woman point of view.

About Wendy Yu

Wendy Yu is one of the world’s most influential millennial investors, entrepreneurs and philanthropists to be shaping the creative and cultural landscape. Based in Shanghai, she is the Founder and CEO if Yu Holdings, the first China-centric group of its kind combining dedicated entities for strategic investment, business and brand creation and creative-cultural exchange. Yu was recently appointed an international ambassador for the French Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode. She has been recognized as a pioneering industry “30 under 30” leader by Forbes China and patron of fashion by Vogue International.

About Phillip Lim

As Creative Director and Co-Founder of his eponymous label, Phillip Lim sits at the helm of his now 14-year-old pioneering modern luxury brand. Lim is recognized as one of the most talented and successful young American designers and is the recipient of several prestigious industry honors including the Fashion Group International’s Women’s Designer ‘Rising Star’ Award, the CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear, the CFDA Swarovski Award for Menswear and the CFDA Award for Accessories Designer of the Year.

About Lucy Liu

Lucy Liu is an award-winning actress who has appeared in both studio and independent films, on television and Broadway. She is also a director and an artist and continues to be a UNICEF Ambassador, advocating for children’s health and protection since 2004.

About China Institute

China Institute advances a deeper understanding of China through programs in education, culture, art and business. China Institute is the go-to resource on China – from ancient art to today’s business landscape and its rapidly shifting culture. Its programs, school and gallery exhibitions bring to life the depth, complexity and dynamism of China. Founded in 1926 by Chinese reformers Hu Shi and K.P. Wen and educators Paul Monroe and John Dewey, China Institute is the oldest independent, non-profit organization in America to focus exclusively on China.

About Yue-Sai Kan Beauty Charity Fund

Yue-Sai Kan China Beauty Charity Fund (“CBCF”) was established in 2011 in honor of Yue-Sai Kan by the Shanghai Soong Ching Ling Foundation, one of the most important and trusted charitable foundations in China. The word “beauty” in Chinese embodies caring, giving, honesty, and beautification of the human spirit. True to this spirit, CBCF is dedicated to the betterment and advancement of women and children through education, health and cultural programs worldwide. Since its establishment, CBCF has raised a total of 3 million USD to fund cleft lip and palate surgeries, provide free medical supplies to underserved regions in China, and provide scholarships for Chinese students through the CBCF Scholarship Program at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Peking University and a number of other prestigious universities.


Maple Leaf Farms Brings Peking Duck Directly to Your Home

Here’s some great news: you don’t have to sacrifice flavor to make a healthy choice! And did you know that duck fat has similar health benefits to olive oil and other unsaturated fats?

Duck fat is only skin deep. Despite its rich, succulent taste, a skinless duck breast has fewer calories and less fat than a similar portion of chicken, beef or pork. Surprised? Just compare it to other types of meat and see the difference!

Although duck is popular among America’s finest chefs, you don’t need culinary training to prepare it. Duck is easy to prepare for everyday meals and is perfect for special occasions, and can be incorporated into a wide range of flavor profiles and cuisines by culinary adventurers everywhere.

What does duck taste like? Maple Leaf Farms farm-raised White Pekin duck has a delicious, red meat flavor that’s more similar to steak than to chicken or turkey, and substitutes equally well for both in recipes. Plus, duck is surprisingly healthy! By properly cooking duck, you can eliminate 70% of the fat, and duck is leaner and has less saturated fats than other meats.

For me, I am a hundred percent duck lover. I lived in Beijing for 8 years, and one thing I miss so much about my life there is Peking Duck. Luckily, I found out Maple Leaf Farms, who produced very high quality duck products. I can get a whole duck from there to eat Peking Duck at home. I feel so spoiled, but more, I feel so happy.

Whole Duck with Orange Sauce

USDA Grade A whole duck comes with a convenient orange sauce packet. Lightly marinated to ensure the best cooking experience. Raised and cared for according to the strictest well-being guidelines.

  • Whole duck with giblets and a neck stuffed inside
  • Seasoned with up to 12% of a solution of water, salt and sodium phosphate
  • Gluten free (duck only)
  • Ready to cook
  • Frozen

Cooking Instructions

  1. Thaw out duck in refrigerator.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Strip bag off duck. Remove neck, giblets, and orange sauce packet from body cavity.
  4. Rinse duck under cool water. Season to taste.
  5. Roast uncovered, breast up, on rack in roasting pan. Cook 22 minutes per pound.
  6. Remove from oven when internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F (82 degrees C), measured at the thigh joint. The legs move freely and juices run clear when duck is done.
  7. One duck serves 2 to 4 people.

Product Information:

Weight of Portions:  Approximately 5lb oz.

Total Weight of Item:  Approximately 5lb

Case Weight:  Approximately 30 lbs

Ingredients:  Duck, water, salt, sodium phosphate.  Orange Sauce Ingredients: Orange juice from concentrate, water, sugar, modified corn starch, dextrose, citric acid, salt, natural flavor, torula yeast, xanthan gum, sodium benzoate added to retard spoilage, caramel color, spice, extractives of paprika, onion powder.

Shelf Life:  2 Year Frozen

About Maple Leaf Farms:

Maple Leaf Farms, Inc. is America’s leading producer of quality duck products, supplying retail and foodservice markets throughout the world with innovative, value-added foods. Founded in 1958, Maple Leaf Farms is a fourth generation, family-owned company. For more information, contact Maple Leaf Farms at 1-800-348-2812 or


Fuji Pigment Co., Ltd. Accelerates the Red Azo Organic Pigment and Color Inks Sale to Outside of Japan

Fuji Pigment Co., Ltd has been the major red azo organic pigment manufacturing company in Japan for over 80 years.  They have been manufacturing organic mono azo red pigment such as Pigment Red C. I. No. (3,5, 7, 12, 17, 23, 31, 48:1-4, 49:2, 53:1, 57:1, 58,63, 112, 146, 150, 170, 238, orange 38 etc. and many others; the company can be contacted for more information).

Organic Azo Red Pigment


Organic Azo Red Pigment Color Testing Sheet

Compared to other pigments, there are various types of red azo pigment; it is more complicated than other color pigments.  Therefore, the manufacturing company needs to modify the color hue and particle size to each customer request, and the quantity of each manufacturing lot is not large.  Additionally, pigment strength and its resistance against light, water, organic solvent, chemical reagent, etc. also needs to be suitably modified to each customer’s request.  Lastly, red azo organic pigment needs to be carefully chosen for individual usage such as for paint, printing inks, toner and inkjet ink, and so on. Pigment needs to be finely tuned for high quality, especially for inkjet ink and toner.

Fuji Pigment has been meticulously making effort in this regard, and that is the major reason why they have been active in high-level research and manufacturing of red azo organic pigment over 80 years.  Fuji Pigment also has extensive knowledge in the manufacturing technology of color ink products such as ink for stationery, stamp and inkjet ink etc.

perovskite quantum dots under UV light (PRNewsfoto/Fuji Pigment Co., Ltd.)

With their pigment and color ink knowledge, they are now ready to accelerate the red azo organic pigment and color inks sale to outside of Japan.  Fuji Pigment is also planning to build a foreign branch office and manufacturing facility, pending increased demand for pigment and color ink.


Shisiedo Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+ Sunscreen

SynchroShield™ Technology


  • WetForce: Negative ions in the formula combine with positive ions in perspiration and water to create an additional layer of invisible sun protection. As you continue to sweat and get wet, the product becomes more effective.


  • HeatForce: A heat-sensing essence in the formula becomes activated by external heat, forming a stronger barrier. Provides elevated sun protection when it in the presence of heat or warm temperatures.




  • Oxybenzone and octinoxate-free
  • Complies with Hawaii’s sunscreen regulations.


The SHISEIDO BLUE PROJECT has partnered with WSL PURE, the nonprofit arm of the World Surf League, and Kanoa Igarashi, one of the world’s top professional surfers, to promote respect for our oceans. This global initiative includes conducting beach cleanup efforts, planting sand dunes to safeguard shorelines from erosion, and promoting ocean- and sun-safe habits. 

It is actually a big, exciting year for Shiseido Sun. We are introducing NEW formulations of Sunscreen – The NEW Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+. It is powered by Shiseido’s popular WetForce Technology (in our current Sunscreen), with the new addition of HeatForce. Together they create a protective veil that becomes more effective in heat, water and sweat. ALSO in other exciting news – the new formula is Ocean-friendly, free of oxybenzone and octinoxate, Hawaii-Compliant and goes on clear on all skintones. It is currently available online.

Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+

       Ultimate Sun Protector Cream SPF 50+

      Peak Protection. Peak Performance.

For use on all skin types.

Dermatologist-tested. Opthalmologist-tested. Non-comedogenic.

Water-Resistant 80 minutes

Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+

$49 for 150mL

Ultimate Sun Protector Cream SPF 50+

$40 for 50 mL

Available at


Chef Reina challenges popular meat-based Filipino foods in her new cookbook ‘Plant Based Filipino Comfort Foods’.

Chef Reina, a Filipino chef, recipe creator, and ‘restauranteur’, has released a one-of-a-kind cookbook titled Plant Based Filipino Comfort Foods. Her recipes are a perfect blend of tradition that celebrates the Philippines, combined with contemporary vegan ingredients. Her recipes have even received the “Cultural Trailblazer” award from PETA for revolutionizing a meat-centered culture, transforming traditional Filipino dishes into amazing delicious vegan variations. Personal touches throughout the cookbook make readers feel as though they are in her family’s kitchen, including Chef Reina’s heartwarming dedication to her ‘Lola’.

The self-taught chef was born and raised in Dumaguete City on the Philippine island of Negros, which is where the cultural inspiration of her recipes comes from. Reina Montenegro then moved to the Bay Area in 1997.

Chef Reina’s career in the food industry began after she left ten years of the corporate world behind and decided to follow her passion for cooking in 2012. She began as a personal chef and caterer and then opened her first restaurant in 2016. Chef Reina and her business partner realized that the business was failing, so she changed the restaurant’s theme to include plant-based ingredients and a cruelty-free lifestyle. Her business increased from sales around $50.00 per day to over $2,000.00 per day and was even featured in Forbes. Today, she is the co-owner and chef of two successful Filipino vegan restaurants in the Bay Area, Nick’s On Grand and Nick’s On Mission.

Montenegro’s passions go beyond a love for food and health. She strives for culinary activism to convince hardcore meat eaters to try her vegan recipes. The response she gets is consistently positive; her customers cannot believe the plant-based meals are as flavorful as real meat. Shockingly, 60 percent of her customers are not even vegan.

Now, Chef Reina’s book will carry on her purpose to show the world that it is not difficult to eat a plant-based diet. Through her recipes, Chef Reina is able to teach families and everyday cooks in their own homes how easy cooking can be with the abundance and accessibility to vegan products today. She is very optimistic that this will only improve. Plant Based Filipino Comfort Classics will reach even more people beyond her restaurants, bringing vegan recipes to kitchens around the world.

Chef Reina says, “I am passionate about food, but I also care deeply about our world that is dying, the animals that we are hurting, and the loved ones we’ve lost due to health problems.” She adds, “I believe that all this can be changed drastically if everyone jumps into the bandwagon of giving up what is harmful to all these things. My goal is to create amazing comfort food for everyone and reach people this way, and to teach them quick and easy ways to do it, so there’s absolutely no excuse. I am here to save lives, one dish at a time.”

Reina Montenegro

Reina Montenegro was born and raised in Dumaguete City on the Philippine island of Negros, and moved to the Bay Area in 1997. Montenegro prides herself as being self-taught in the kitchen, and started her restaurant career as a personal chef and caterer in 2012 when she decided, after 10 years at a corporate job, to follow her passion for food and cooking.

Montenegro has created dishes for Mayors Jean Quan of Oakland, Tom Bates of Berkeley, and the late Ed Lee of San Francisco. She also catered events for Apple, NASA, UBER, Twitter, Goldman Sachs, BlackRock Investments, and more.

In 2016, her catering business eventually led to opening a restaurant, ‘Nick’ Kitchen’ in Daly City. A year later her and her partner realized it was not going to survive, so Montenegro changed the concept to be aligned with her plant-based diet and cruelty-free lifestyle; as the first Filipino Vegan restaurant in the Peninsula.

Now Montenegro owns two popular Filipino vegan restaurants in the Bay Area; ‘Nick’s On Grand’ (opened 2018 in South San Francisco), and ‘Nick’s On Mission’ (opened 2019 in San Francisco), the original Nick’s is no longer in operation. If Reina is not in the kitchen creating new dishes, she is spending time with her children or learning another passion, dance.