Let’s admit it. Although just about every Chinese person this side of the world will have had birds’ nest double-boiled and fed to them at some point of their growing-up years, the whole premise of this food thing is very odd isn’t it?
Who is it, really, who thought one day, “Yeah, I think I’ll climb up, steal that bird’s nest, scrape off the twigs, extract the bird’s saliva and eat it?”
(actually, there’s a true historical story to that. Buzz me on another day for deets).
Fast forward many years on after whatever-ever Chinese emperor it is who decided that he would eat and promote the goodness of a bird’s saliva. A whole lotta new research, new technology and new-age vanity later, there’s a wonderful little company, RBN Global, who is now creating skin care produces infused with all the goodness of bird’s nest. (let’s not go into the technicalities right now. Yes, I know – I’ve freaked out way too many times over the last few weeks about the thought of having saliva on my face – non-human, no less, and nothing to do with anything remotely sexy or kinky).
I wasn’t keen on the idea. I’m such a die-hard Shu Uemura fan that trying anything else feels like treason of the highest degree. But I went with a friend who wanted to try it out and so then, because I’m a (traitorous) sucker, I also decided to try it out and before I knew it, I found myself going home with a giant bag of stuff.
Still not entirely convinced, I thought I’d try it out for a few weeks first before deciding if it’s really good or not. I put my Shu bottles aside for awhile and replaced my bathroom counter with these – the EBN skincare range from RBN Global.
I was very diligent about doing everything properly for a whole week, including their Amazing Mask (which really IS amazing), every other day.
Because bird’s nest is known for being full of proteins for growth and replumping of skin cells, the products promise regeneration, rejuvenation and repair. This means smaller pores, firmer skin, less lines and wrinklies. That sounds like a big promise though, doesn’t it?
I’d long given up hope on anything being able to sort out those damn pores on my cheeks. They’re as big as craters – entire families of small insects could settle in and live in just one of them. So please trust me when I say that I approached this new line of products with a whole lot of skepticism.
But whatdd’ya know? I was very pleasantly surprised to find out that this product does in fact do all the goody goody things that it promises. My pores, while still there, have visibly shrunken (so now only one family of insects can live it in, not an entire village), my skin tone looks bright and balanced and my skin feels wonderfully smooth, a nice change from the usual slight graininess it leaves on your fingertips.
The stuff works instantly. The Whitening Essence, something like a serum is especially effective for going under the skin and fixing all your problem areas – the pores, the uneven skin tone, wrinkles, acne. I say it works instantly because you feel it working when you’ve got it on – there’s a tingling, a warmness or itchiness which, according to the beautician who’s been involved in developing these products, is a good sign of healthy and efficient blood circulation.
The Amazing Mask, as I’ve said before, really is amazing. Developed as a thin liquid, it doesn’t create the whole usual goopy mess of many other masks. A little goes a long way to making you zing like a glow worm! The mask thin and transparent enough for you to leave on overnight or even to keep it on underneath your makeup if you’re heading for a night out. I would usually slap some of the goodness on in the evening, potter around for about half an hour before rinsing it off. Follow and finish the Toner, Facelifter (a serum), Whitening Essence and Moisturiser which can be used day and night.
I’m well won over as a convert. Not quite enough to give up my Shu Uemura collection just yet, but enough for me to keep using their stuff, especially the mask. To go from something so unassuming and bland-looking (not a fan of the packaging) to producing such quick and visible results is an all-over-win for me.
Bonus: All products use natural extracts – birds’ nest and fruit essences – are paraben free and not tested on animals.
Still don’t believe me? Take me out for tea and watch me light up a room – my face really is glowing that much these days!
My first question had been if they treat the birds well in their harvesting of these (saliva-constructed) nests. This is the best part: It is commonly known that many bird’s nest ‘farmers’ use abandoned shop houses or buildings to ‘house’ the birds; these are usually run-down, unhygienic and rarely conducive or comfortable for the birds.
RBN Global is a far cry from this. Their mother company, Swiftlet Eco Park, custom builds special ‘homes’ for the birds, which are used only and expressly with the purpose of providing them a safe place for nesting. Each of the building’s interiors are controlled for temperature and humidity, there are sound systems to play bird music (!) for the birds, and even CCTV cameras and on-site guards to ensure the safety of the birds. Nests are not harvested or removed until they are abandoned, when eggs have hatched and baby birds have left.
So there we go – happy birds and happy humans.
Yes, I’m still trying hard not to think too much about how I’m slathering saliva on my face daily, but you know what? Humans have used and consumed far worse things over history – the sheep placentas of botox, the unsavoury cow-beef-chicken-pig-geese products of torturous slaughterhouses and (I swear to god I read this in Maureen Dowd book), the use of cells from young boys’ penises to plump up women’s lips. I think a little saliva ain’t such a bad thing.
RBN is now available at the newly opened RBN Aesthetic Wellness Center in Publika. Check out their website for more info about the skincare range. Or click here for RBN’s other bird’s nest products (including yummies like coffee and soy milk).
RBN Aesthetic Wellness Centre
G4-D3-6, Solaris Dutamas (Publika)
Jalan Dutamas 1,
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 6205 3063