There’s plenty going on in the global beauty world, what with emerging digital brands disrupting the traditional retail scene and Japanese skincare sharing the spotlight once more with its Korean counterpart.
Joining the fight now is the Singapore beauty brand. Long eclipsed by bigger international names, the local makeup and skin scene has heated up, with a handful earning worldwide fame, and others incorporating headline-grabbing technology. Ahead, we pick Singapore beauty brands you need on your radar.
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Allies of Skin
Allies of Skin is a point of pride for Singapore’s beauty scene — it was the first local brand to be stocked at Net-A-Porter and Mr Porter. Made for the “multi-hyphenate”, the products are made for the smart consumer. You won’t find recommendations for 12-step routines — the website’s regimen recommender will suggest a maximum of four steps — and formulas are kept clean, concentrated and supercharged with potent actives. Must-haves for your skincare wardrobe include the world’s first leave-on day treatment mask (the pioneering 1A All Day Pollution Repair Mask) and the Molecular Saviour Probiotics Mist which refines pores and fights signs of fatigue.
In March this year, the brand launched Purposeful Skincare by Allies (PSA), a skincare line for Generation Z. It has since kicked off with five products, including a rinse-off mask; a brightening treatment toner with six per cent mandelic and lactic acid; a hydrating hyaluronic serum; a night repair serum with multi-acids; and a face oil with two per cent retinoid. Shop the limited edition Get Set Glow Kit with the entire lineup in a PSA pouch.
Facial recognition technology isn’t a new thing for many industries, but it is in the world of beauty. Local brand Alcheme paves the way with its digital skincare consultation. Buyers are recommended to upload a selfie, before they answer a series of questions on their lifestyle and skin type. Alcheme will then create your bespoke formulation based on the uploaded information. Complementing your experience is the brand’s approach to education. To further help you understand your skin needs, you’ll be sent curated articles on the right skin treatment based on your lifestyle and complexion. Alcheme is also conscious of its carbon footprint, and its formulas are housed in eco-friendly and 100 per cent recyclable glass and wood packaging.
Skin Inc continues to make waves among international media and shoppers for one specific reason: Bespoke skincare. The brand offers the perfect serum cocktail that can be entirely created and customised by you. Using the brand’s extensive self-diagnostic tool to assesses your skin’s specific needs, you’re recommended three types of serums best suited to your skin. To keep the results going, Skin Inc even offers three-, six- and 12-month subscription plans to deliver beauty to your doorstep. All of its serums are made with a Japanese patented encapsulation technology from Japan which contain caviar-inspired capsules to protect active ingredients from exposure to light and oxidation, keeping them fresh until application.
Sigi Skin was founded by Xenia Wong at the ripe age of 25 years old, making her one of Singapore’s youngest beauty entrepreneurs. The brand believes that skincare should be “effective, fun, and simple”. Created in Korea, the clean formulas are made without a long list of skin-harming ingredients like parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and mineral oil. The Dream Capsule pictured is a must-have overnight mask, that contains bakuchiol (a plant-derived form of retinol), cell-strengthening purslane, and squalane in a thick, silky formulation that can be applied alone. If you’re new to the brand and want to give the products a try without committing to full sizes, try the new Minis set which contains the mini Sigi Skin Kaleanser Face Wash, mini Sigi Skin Morning Glow Physical Sunscreen, and mini Sigi Skin Dream Capsule.
We’ve waxed lyrical about Re:Erth again and again. First, there’s its dedication to sustainability. And there’s its ethos. It’s guided by a ‘mindful beauty’ philosophy where routines are purposefully pared-down and minimalist approach but with its potent, proprietary ingredients like Japanese white turmeric for natural hyaluronic acid protection and Japanese spring turmeric for skin clarity and lightening of dark spots. Its recent launch is the Illuminating Concentrate which tackles hyperpigmentation in a syringe-like air-tight cylindrical pump. It’s made with lightening and brightening ingredients of Artonox (Monkey Jack Heartwood Extract), Oxyresveratrol and the brand’s signature Japanese spring turmeric leaf extract to lighten existing dark spots and brighten up dull complexions.
We’ve met founder Lily Kew twice now, and we’re always taken aback by her flawless complexion and toned physique that shaves off more than a decade off her 49 years. Lily’s adolescence and adulthood was fettered by acne problems, that were only resolved when she made her own natural beauty products. Today, Kew Organics has far expanded and has a devoted clientele to its comprehensive and targeted menu of organic and result-driven skincare products. Make no mistake: These organic formulations are still efficacious and contain the necessary actives to target skin issues like acne.
Bare for Bare
New body and haircare brand Bare for Bare is all about championing self-care. The cruelty-free brand takes a timeless approach to healing remedies by using quality natural botanical ingredients derived from plants and herbs. Products center around stress relief rituals. Body care products, made up of lotions and body wash, come in scents like energising rosemary, invigorating lemongrass and mood-enhancing bergamot. Likewise, shampoos contain essential oils to deep cleanse scalps, strengthen hair follicles and recover shine.
Here’s a little backstory on skincare brand DrGL: Celebrity doctor Dr Georgia Lee created it when she made her own remedy after experiencing blisters and persistent hyper-pigmentation from a serious allergic reaction. Made for Asian skin, the products incorporate only top tier ingredients and science to delivery maximum efficacy with minimum fuss. The range includes skin-soothing toners, moisturisers and collagen essences.
The Skin Pharmacy
It’s not a just name; The Skin Pharmacy is as legitimate as it gets as it was founded by — you guessed it — pharmacists. Created with the belief that no two skin types are the same, the products cater to all sorts of complexions and can be layered to suit multiple skin concerns. All of the products are created by the founders, and are free of alcohol, parabens, artificial colouring or preservatives. The range is massive, and includes everything from anti-acne and anti-aging lines, to serums and face masks.
If your nails are permanently painted, you might want to cut out the chemicals in your lacquer. Studies are divided on the effect of toxic nail lacquers on your skin but one thing is for sure: The skin around your nails is sensitive and prone to inflammation. To cater to this, a new breed of non-toxic nail polish brands have cropped up, including homegrown Coat Colours. Toxin-free, its products come in a range of statement-making colours and are 8-free; they don’t contain formaldehyde resin, formaldehyde, toluene, camphor, DBP, TPHP, paraben and xylen. Shades range from nude to glittery gold, and boast a quick drying, chip-resistant formula.
Created by local entrepreneur Claire Au, Auolive is an award-winning skincare brand that aims to streamline trims the user’s daily beauty routine. Its star product, the Day Glower, is a multi-use day cream that moisturises and protects the skin against UV damage, while doubling as a make-up primer. Exclusively available in Singapore via SocietyA Beauty.
BSKIN is founded by Singaporean Su-Mae Chia, who was inspired by her personal struggle with acne to create a range of bee-derived and propolis-based skincare. The clinically-tested range is infused with powerful antioxidants and is tailored for Asian skin and safe for all skin types. Its award-winning Vita Advanced Intense PAF Concentrate serum is packed with vitamin C with a high concentration of stabilised L-Ascorbic Acid to stimulate collagen production and cell repair.
Crystal Tomato is known for its beauty supplements that lightens hyperpigmentation, but its Beyond Sun Protection is also worth a mention. With a SPF 75+ and PPD 17+ (PA++++), it offers over 50% protection against blue light – the highest protection that’s available currently. The non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic formula also provides hydration and high doses of antioxidants to further protect skin. Only available from authorised medical and aesthetic clinics, and selected premium spas.
Made for Singapore’s tropical climate and common skin issues such as dullness, dehydration, open pores, excess sebum production and inflammation, homegrown skincare label Glowfully consists of ultra-hydrating and uplifting skincare that are suited for all ages and skin conditions. The range boasts clean formulations free of potentially harmful or toxic chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, sulfates and formaldehyde. Its Healing Elixir can be used as a moisturiser or a mask. With ingredients that are derived from nature, such as aloe vera, amino acids, tomato extract, chamomile and red algae, and it can be used on sensitive skin.
Homegrown brand IDS Skincare‘s Moisturizing Sanitizer (MS) is a 4-in-1 hand sanitiser that also boasts moisturising, antiseptic and insect-repellent benefits. Formulated with 70% alcohol, it also contains tea tree oil and insect repelling ingredents. There is glycerin to prevent over-drying of skin on your hands, even after repeated use or washing.
IllumiaSkin by Kim Lim Baby Drops Mask is the first product from Illumia Therapeutics’ anti-aging range. This bio-cellulose face mask contains natural coconut extracts and stem cell culture to improve skin elasticity and strengthen skin cells, leaving your face moisturised and baby soft. The mask is dermatologist-tested and suitable for all skin types.
Hot on the heels of its best-selling M+ Fluid and Ageless Eye comes the new Sleep Repair cream. It is infused with truffle extract, pearl powder, caviar extract, Jyunka’s proprietary SMART Active complex and further enriched with hyaluronic acid and Swiss glacier water. With regular use, it can help brighten, reduce discolouration, tighten, firm, and provides key nutrients for the regeneration of your skin.