WHO: Ikeda Spa founder Eric Tan, 44, started Singapore’s first Japanese-inspired spa in 2008. He branched out to skincare in 2019 and launched Iren Skin, a Japanese clean skincare brand known for its serums incorporating onsen water from Hokkaido. It was rebranded as Iren Shizen in 2022. After launching new facial oils for Iren Shizen this July, he is working on his next project – writing and publishing a skincare book. The Singaporean beauty entrepreneur, who is also a certified skincare chemist, has a five-year-old son, Eren. His wife Irene, in her 40s, is the general manager of Ikeda Spa.
“After a hectic week, my Friday evenings are sacred family time. I will leave work early at 5pm to pick my son up from pre-school. We often have a meal together at a new restaurant.
Last Friday, we checked out a new keto restaurant in Jalan Besar, Kelo Cafe + Gastrobar, which serves excellent skewers and keto beers. This is my chance to spend quality time with him and, afterwards, I will read him a book and put him to bed.
After he goes to sleep, my wife and I will watch movies at home together. It’s these simple moments that ground me.
I am a Soka Buddhist practitioner. I start my Saturdays early with a meditation session, followed by chanting. It sets a serene tone for the day.
Then I take a walk with my son at the park in Sunset Way near our house, to teach him the importance of nature.
I have been dedicating a couple of hours to my skincare book each weekend. It is a passion project for me to share the knowledge and philosophy behind clean beauty with a broader audience. It is a work in progress with no launch date yet.
In the evening, I will take my son to his swimming class at the Kent Ridge Guild House managed by the National University of Singapore Society.
We often dine there at The Scholar Chinese Restaurant. Our favourite is its stir-fried beef tenderloin cubes with black pepper – the portion is super generous and the dish is really delicious.
Another favourite restaurant is Ku-Kai Izakaya at the SAF Yacht Club in Admiralty. There is a lovely sea view outdoors, and two must-try items are the chicken-heart skewers and Japanese whiskey highball.
Sunday is a family affair, often with our extended family. It is important for me to spend quality time with my parents and I will take my son to their place.
My mum will often cook her grandson’s favourite dishes, such as a simple fried rice, but with vegetables sneakily hidden inside without him noticing.
Then it is time to retreat to my study to read my Buddhist books. It is a space for reflection, learning and connecting with fellow practitioners.
Late evening is reserved for personal rejuvenation.
My wife and I indulge in a weekend skincare routine – using Iren Shizen products, of course – often accompanied by meditation music. It is a ritual that prepares me for the week ahead.
As the day winds down, I will take a long bath using my favourite onsen bath salts I bought from Japan – to welcome the promise of a new week.”
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