Jennifer Uy, Founder of Happy Natural Products

Date

Spring 2024

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The Happy Natural Products company started just before the COVID-19 pandemic. Owner Jennifer Uy found it strange when a friend couldn’t find good quality Chinese tools to use at her salon. Although these tools have been around for centuries, everything in the market was of inferior quality and falling apart. Uy then started on a journey to find the right suppliers to make quality facial rollers and gua sha tools available to honour the beauty of her heritage.

What is the goal of Happy Natural Products?

We noticed that there was a lack of acknowledgement of where a lot of innovations in the health and wellness world originated from. We used ourselves as a vehicle to open it up for conversation, to also give legitimacy and acknowledgement for where things come from. Most people thought gua sha was an invention by modern day skincare companies, but it’s not. My family has been using these traditional Chinese modalities for generations, including my great grandfather, who was a doctor of Chinese medicine. 

At the same time, when originating from China, it is often marketed as ancient. Chinese people are still around; we’re living, we’re breathing. We have our own [modern] way of living, so I thought, “Why don’t I introduce who we are today?” So, we came out with our boba (bubble tea) bubble bath and body wash, and then we also came out with an ube scent, which is based on purple yam, popular to my native Philippines.

We want to see people using our products and realizing that wherever they come from, they belong. I think that’s what we want to bring with Happy. We’re hoping that it opens up the conversation by incorporating the traditional and the modern everyday lifestyle.

What are some of some of the essentials in your line?

We’re well known for gua sha tools and our facial rollers. With [facial rollers], we have the rare textured head and smooth head combination. We really pride ourselves in that we’re one of the few brands that carry jade, first and foremost. We have rose quartz and other colors, but jade has always been synonymous with Chinese health and healing, so that was really important for us. Then of course, our gua sha oil, which has Filipino moringa, a healing ingredient; as well as yuzu, which is a Chinese/Japanese citrus; and ginger. We also have hand sanitizers and our masks.

What do facial rollers do? Is there a difference depending on the stone or material they’re made of?

Facial rollers are something that you would use every day. It tones and tightens, and it helps with the meridian channels that are inherently connected through your face and every other part of your body. It’s the energy — which is qi (chi) — which is part of Chinese medicine. It’s a very passive way of hitting the acupuncture points. With gua sha, it wasn’t invented to be a facial tool. It was invented to scrape the back of your neck, scrape your back for colds, coughs, flu, and any other body aches that you may be experiencing.

The gua sha tool is more targeted. It really gets in there. It tones more, it li s more, it sculpts more. It helps brighten the eyes, and it introduces more elasticity onto your face and whatever points you hit. The point is to move the energy channels, encourage blood circulation, increase the tone, and increase good nutrients to flow through your body. In turn, you get beautiful skin.

The difference [between stones] is mostly metaphysical. I look at it more in terms of texture. With rose quartz, it’s smoother and has more of a glassy appearance, so it glides a different way than if you had jade, which has a little bit more resistance to it. They all function the same. However, somebody who believes in metaphysical qualities will say the rose quartz is for feelings of love. The obsidian, which is black, is a shield against negativity. With the jade, it’s protection, healing, and wealth.

Do you have an everyday routine using these tools?

I do, and it’s really helped me reduce the amount of actual skincare products I use because I don’t rely on them so much. As a singer, being on stage or being in photos, you worry about things like eye bags, dark circles, and such. I use the gua sha tool for my eyes and then the roller for everyday maintenance on my skin.

I don’t follow a 10-step principle or anything like that. I just do serum, moisturizer, our gua sha facial oil, and that’s it. And of course, cleanser. I think it simplifies it. I find that the textured part [of the facial roller] acts a little bit like my exfoliator too. I find it’s just so effective that I’m not relying on external elements, like a $300 eye cream. In this journey, I’ve found that the foundation for looking and feeling good about yourself lies within. And hopefully with our tools and messaging, it resonates with those looking to find belonging in a chaotic world

Helen Jacob | Staff Writer

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