Thann: The natural spa and beauty brand from Thailand shaking up the skincare and wellness industry
Call of nature
At the risk of sounding like our mothers, we'll admit to succumbing to every excuse under the sun when it comes to justifying a beauty purchase, from fun packaging, limited edition status, pay day (lol), and as of late, the ingredients. Or, more specifically, a comprehensible ingredients list. We are no longer comfortable slathering foreign chemicals wrapped in complex science talk and tongue-twisters on our moneymakers. Instead, clear-cut, recognisable ingredients reign supreme, most of which derive from familar places — such as the kitchen.
It is a sentiment Thann founder, Tony Suppatranont, enbodies. "I was in the food business for over 10 years in both Thailand and Australia, so I noticed early on how lots of ingredients that go into natural beauty products came straight from the kitchen," he recalls. "Europeans use their olive oil, and lavender, and lemon... but what about Asia?" This line of questioning is what led to the birth of the brand, one which prides itself as a purveyor of natural skincare and aromatherapy. The end result: simple, efficacious products that still feel distinctly decadent to use, evoking a spa-like experience to delight all senses. But how does Thann manage to be both accessible yet luxurious, effortless and yet pampering? That's what we went to his motherland to find out.
First things first — what does the word, Thann, mean?
It's the Thai word for botanicals, actually, but it could also mean grain or rice. There are many meanings behind it!
Why was it the first word that came to mind when developing your own brand?
I knew from the start that I wanted to create something botanical and sustainable, but I also wanted it to be fun. I wanted to create something for the senses, that was good on the skin, but looked and smelled good, too. I was fascinated by the art of blending, of combining different scents, essentials oils... And at that point, the very first range I came up with featured rice bran oil with thyme and vitamin E, so it seemed fitting.
Is natural, sustainable skincare something you've always used, even as a child?
Yes. I've always thought of nature as something good — not just for your skin, but for your body and health too. I grew up watching masseuses coming to my house and giving my grandparents traditional three-hour Thai massages, and the room would smell wonderfully of lemongrass and herbs. I loved everything about the experience, and it's what I strive to re-create with our wellness destinations.
How do Thann's products and wellness destinations work hand-in-hand with one another?
Every Thann product we've created is used in our facial and massage treatments. There are a few products designed exclusively for the hotels and airlines that we supply for, such as our Eau De Toilette, for instance, but other than that, you can get all the products you received in your treatment from stores. And honestly, when you ask our consumers why they became fans of our brand, they talk about the packaging and aroma, but also about the spa treatment, too — it's very complementary in the way that is paired that makes us stand out in the market.
What about your wellness destinations?
Our wellness destinations are unique because they go beyond a spa experience. For the past 13 years, we've been receiving good reviews from our products and spas around the world... but it was such a challenge, because customers would go for a two-hour treatment, and then go back to their really stressful routines sitting in front of the computer and not exercising. [Laughs] So, I came up with the idea to create a real wellness destination; a place you can get a massage, then go for a spa, and a relaxing meal after, and it's just a way for us to give back to our beloved customers in a more long-term way.
Are there any plans to open a Thann Wellness Destination in Singapore?
Not right now. We've recently had someone from Japan contact us, though, so that's something to look forward to! [Laughs]
How can Singaporeans recreate the Thann experience at home?
It's all about lighting, temperature, and using the right aromatic products. For instance, you can pick your favourite essential oil blend, use an aroma filter, and spray the scent on your pillows and sheets to get some quality sleep.
And what treatments would you recommend Singaporeans who are heading down to Thann's Wellness Destination?
I think our signature massage is really good. It's a combination between a traditional Thai massage and relaxing aromatherapy. It's great for relaxing and undoing any stiffiness in muscles you get from working in front of a computer. I'd also recommend our facials, because we have a wide range of products and services available that is sure to suit a wide variety of skin types.
If there's a single Thann product you would recommend to Singaporeans, what would it be?
Our Oil Free Facial Sunscreen. This product is so popular; we have to limit sales in China to three per person. [Laughs] I think it's important to use sunscreen even if you're not outdoors. Ours come formulated with shiso extract — it's a great antioxidant that doesn't just protect, but improves skin texture.