Mula's first-ever beauty editorial features your local Kedai Runcit, AKA the convenience store, and the multitudinous range of skincare products it provides.
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Photos by Amin Idris
Skin assist by Afie Rohim
Models: Charmaine and Sara

When I was younger, I used to go to a nearby kedai runcit with my mother to buy groceries. Therefore, as a kid, my mind was quite fixated on the snacks more than anything else, but in the corner of my eye I still noticed a little shelf that sold beauty and skincare products and always wondered “How do you use them and what were they mostly for?”

As I grew older, I visited the same kedai runcit and the items would still be there. Only this time, my thoughts were different. I now knew what they were for and how those products are used, but what I still didn’t know was if they were good enough to be applied to the skin. Considering how there were so many famous commercial skincare brands in the market nowadays,  I used to dive straight into the pool without any research on these products until I tested them out and finally realized that just as how Rome was not built in a day, I guess you could say the same with the evolution of skincare products. That is why MULA’s first-ever beauty segment titled “Runcit Dengan Skin” unravels the beauty and wonders of skincare products used by the folks of Malaysia in the yesteryears that should not be forgotten and still can be used in this day and age.

Bedak Sejuk 

Bedak Sejuk, also known as Cold Talcum, is an underrated skincare product that carries a profusion of benefits for the skin. It is made out of rice that’s been soaked for at least 44 days. During my younger days, I always thought it was weird that one of the kids’ that I played with had a full face with white powder on it. “Why would you do that?” I wonder. She said, “Untuk menyejukkan.” and here I am, writing this article with a full face Bedak Sejuk for cooling purposes.  However, other than the advantages of cooling, Bedak Sejuk helps shrink the size of your pimples and clears dried dead cells. Thank you modern technology, you can even get it on Amazon now under “Fermented Rice Face Masker” for only RM 10. 


It is without a doubt that this is the most familiar one of all. Air Mawar, as we call it is generally flavoured water made by soaking rose petals. Although it can be used as a fragrance and was dubbed the “Early Perfume” of past times, it comes with many perks and is mostly suitable for every type of skin. That being said, rosewater helps with maintaining the skin’s PH Value along with controlling the skin’s excess oil, too. However, the best part of all, rosewater actively acts as a natural facial toner in between. The toner is an important part of skincare as it removes extra oil and dirt from the face.  There’s no contradicting that the demand of rosewater has been very high in the market lately with many high commissioned skincare companies rebranding them and adding chemicals that defeat the purpose of it being a natural toner. Other than being in the kedai runcit for only RM 5, my grandmother would often make one on her own and it works just the same. 

Tea Bags

Ever wondered why people don’t throw their tea bags right after the tea is brewed? They’re actually the best product to relieve eye bags under your eyes and it truly is simple too. This is a great hack that my mother told me as another alternative for an eye cream. Teabags of any can be found in your nearby runcit. Don’t forget to soak it dry first. To apply:

  • Take out 2 unwanted teabags and cut the strings out of them 
  • Soak them in hot water for about for about 5 minutes.
  • Take the teabags out and put them in a dry plate or container of your choice and leave them in a fridge for about half an hour
  • Take the teabags out of the fridge and gently lay them on your eyes 
  • The bitch is sleeping.


A tomato isn’t a fruit, neither is it a vegetable. Instead, its an all organic dark spot remover and it makes your skin glow too. Glow, is the word that makes me weak. My grandmother once again is the mastermind behind this very idea of using tomatoes on my skin. As a uni student, this is also another hack and alternative I’d recommend everyone to use. 

#Method 1: For Glowing Skin

  1. Cut a tomato in half using a knife 
  2. Take one part of the half-cut tomato and use a grinder to grind it inside a small bowl 
  3. Once ground, gently rub the ground tomatoes on your cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead in a circular 
  4. Feel the cooling sensation of the tomato on your skin and chill je.

#Method 2: To Remove Dark Spots

  1. Cut a tomato in half or in ¾ using a knife 
  2. Gently apply the tomato piece on your face and focus on the areas that has dark blemishes or spots.


So here’s the thing about Ghee that not many people are familiar with: Ghee is a form of highly clarified butter that’s mostly used for cooking and is often used in Eastern and Indian Cuisine. However, we tried Ghee as a form of lip balm because it acts as a great hydrator. Before commercialized lip balms were made, Ghee was used as a natural lip balm alternative and lip gloss. 

How to Apply Ghee

  1. Take about 4-6 spoons of Ghee and heat up 
  2. Once it is cooled, pour it into a small container 
  3. Dip your finger in the ghee, and gently apply it to your lips 
  4. Repeat this daily before you go to sleep to get fresh and hydrated lips.

999 Chlorophyll Soap

When we first posted this picture as a teaser on Instagram, it surprised me how many people are still using this soap daily. It truly is a miracle how this soap is still on the shelves of the store, seeing that many modern soap and shampoos carry the same benefit with more updated packaging. I got to know about the existence of this soap because of my late grandfather. I remember a funny-looking green bar soap in the toilet that looked odd but smelled super amazing. 

After finally using it myself, I finally understood why my grandfather used it religiously. It was part of a routine and it made you feel cleaner leaving a shower fresh smell. It is smooth and every swipe of the soap had a melting like sensation and lathered quickly on your body. Not forgetting, this soap is also user friendly and works wonders with people with sensitive skin and has mild eczema as it is known beneficially to clear up quickly after the skin adjusts to the soap. 

Papaya Soap

For many years, Papayas were used to make soap due to the many nutrients inside it. Of course, you know that, already. That being said, the same amount of nutrients in the soap is just the same as the actual fruit itself which contains 1) Enzymes and 2) Vitamins A, C, and E. 

Just like the fruit, the soap smells exactly like your papaya juice. The packaging itself is pleasing to look at, too. Although the soap might be labeled as a “whitening” soap (Which we would want to avoid that at all costs!), do take note that the soap doesn’t make your skin fairer but instead it boosts your skin. To get optimal results with this soap, make sure to at least use it twice ok? Twice!!