Beauty in Circularity: AROMATICA Leans into Its Sustainable Edge

AROMATICA founder and CEO, Jerry Kim, introduces us to the cutting-edge Korean brand.
aromatica, sustainable beauty brand,

It’s true that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. However, for AROMATICA, essential oils will always be the first choice when it comes to formulating for the scalp and skin. With over 6,000 years of history backing the benefits of aromatherapy, Jerry Kim leans into its proven track record to concoct what now is AROMATICA, a Korean brand that has an established cult following. 

As a first-generation aromatherapist, his mission goes beyond educating consumers on the merits of aromatherapy—he’s also on a journey to implement sustainability into the manufacturing process. Many of the main ingredients are extracts from plants, so it’s only practical to look into the well-being of the world to ensure the best harvests. 

To assuage your worries about greenwashing, the brand has taken the extra step—getting COSMOS certified. By adhering to international standards, AROMATICA promises to deliver effective skin and body care products without polluting the Earth. 

AROMATICA has long been on our radar. Can you tell us why you strive to create a sustainable beauty brand?

I grew up in Australia, and I had the opportunity to experience the culture there. They use natural organic herbal and aromatherapeutic products. They have tea tree oil in every home and use it for wounds, insect bites, and itches. It was a cultural shock for me, but then I was fascinated and decided that someday I would introduce this lifestyle in Korea. 

Join the Circle by AROMATICA proposes a circular life—can you expand on this?

Our slogan is “Save the Skin, Save the Planet”. In Korea, not everything is recycled the way we imagine. As part of this movement, we collect empty bottles and transparent PET packaging by setting up collection bases in Seoul, and we pick them up with our very own electric-powered trucks. 

Are there any misconceptions about sustainable beauty you want to debunk?

I hope that consumers do not fall prey to labels such as “vegan” or “sustainable”. A company can simply outsource production and claim to be a vegan brand, but it’s hard to verify whether or not their ingredients have been tested on animals. 

We operate our own factory—although it’s not a norm for a cosmetic company. We can ensure our ingredients are GMO-free, vegan, plant-derived, and rigorously manage the quality, and ultimately provide consumers with the best products. 

How is the acceptance for aromatherapy skincare now, compared to when you first started in 2004? 

Back in those days, customers were accustomed to synthetic fragrances. Most people found it difficult to adopt essential oils in their lives. But, to give them a taste of what aromatherapy can do, I went to department stores to promote the product, and I stood in front of escalators, applied the product to customers, and gave them a massage along the lymph nodes. 

Things started looking up in 2013, and now, we have a brand fandom, and people start to say phrases like “just trust and use AROMATICA.” 

What are the three items from the line you’d recommend for us?

Considering Malaysia’s hot and humid weather, the Rosemary Scalp Scaling Shampoo, Rosemary Root Enhancer, and Rosemary Scalp Scrub would be most suitable to refresh and invigorate the scalp. Rosemary is known for its energising properties that improve blood circulation. It’s also known for its antimicrobial, migraine relief, and hair growth-promoting effects. 

Where do you see AROMATICA in five years?

Since 2020, we’ve been recognised for having the best practice in resource circulation by recycling our cosmetic packaging. In five years’ time, when people think of sustainable beauty and lifestyle brands, we hope that AROMATICA is the first brand that comes to mind. 

AROMATICA is available at Sephora Malaysia.