When it comes to homegrown beauty brands, Sigi Skin is a power player.
Its products are made up of superfood-rich yet minimal formulations with sensorial textures and fun packaging. Founded by Singaporean Xenia Wong, the brand isn’t just a purveyor of clean and green beauty products. Sigi Skin is a proudly sustainable and ethical brand that consistently puts in the work to give back to society.
We speak to Xenia about the background of Sigi Skin, and the meaningful causes she champions through it.
What inspired you to start Sigi Skin?
It all started when I was in Seoul pursuing a beauty course with Jung Saem Mool. I realised that the beautiful, glowing skin that I was used to seeing on the screens was not achievable from makeup alone. I set out to achieve the Korean glass skin look with makeup but soon realised, beautiful skin starts with skincare.
Most beauty companies plan multiple launches a year to keep things fresh and maintain hype and momentum for the brand. However, we only want to release products that are game changers and different from the market. On average we take about two years to launch a single product, which is why we have a total of 8 products as of now. We’d rather get things right than just getting things done.
For example, one of our best sellers is Dream Capsule, an overnight sleeping mask. It was launched in March 2020. We went to great lengths to source the ingredients, especially bakuchiol and purslane.
Bakuchiol is a 100 per cent plant derivative of retinol, hence it is suitable for pregnant ladies and people who have sensitive skin. It has all the benefits of retinol without the harsh effects.
Purslane is usually found in luxury, premium brands. It is high in omega-3 fatty acids and beta carotene that help to boost collagen production and calm down skin inflammation. These ingredients are hard to come by and we are glad to be able to combine such ingredients in an overnight sleeping mask with a silky texture that is able to sink in and be absorbed into the skin instantly.
The hard work for the countless lab samples and to ensure the packaging is both pretty and hygienic is totally worth it. Customers love it as they are able to see the difference when applying it before they sleep. They wake up with plumped and hydrated skin, smaller pores and lightened scars as well as hyperpigmentation over time.
How has the brand evolved over the years?
In the beginning, finding a R&D lab that actually sits down to listen to you and tries their best to formulate the actual product is tough. I spoke to more than 20 labs, and most of them tried to give me ready-made formulas that they were already producing for bigger established brands.
We wanted to be better and different! Thankfully there were a few labs that were able to align with Sigi Skin’s brand vision, creating products that would actually benefit your skin’s health.
For example, with Morning Glow, we went through about 30 lab samples over two years to finally perfect the formula and texture of the product. Sunscreen is very difficult to formulate, especially a 100 per cent physical sunscreen that is not greasy and has no white-cast. Most labs kept on telling me that it is impossible as it takes too much R&D. I managed to find a lab that was able to work with me to create the perfect sunscreen.
Now we have a great lab eco-system for R&D and innovating new products, which is able to source any kind of ingredients that we can dream of and incorporating into products that we think are lacking in the market.
What are the gaps in the market it fulfils?
Sigi Skin is all about making beauty fun and approachable. We make products that are effortless, easy and a joy to use in your everyday life. Most skincare brands are too clean and cold in order to portray a certain clinical image which might appear unapproachable to consumers.
We believe that skincare should be fun and easy to approach hence our slogan “Your Skin’s Happy Place” We want to make every touchpoint happy and fun, and of course formulation and packaging convenience is key for us. We made sure all aspects of the brand are fun to use, fun to look at, even textures and efficacy all have to work together to truly bring your skin to its happy place.
Tell us about the causes Sigi skin supports.
We have always been a brand that gives back to our society. Even when we were not making a profit we still did charity fund-raising such as curating a special set and donating 10 per cent of our proceeds to the Breast Cancer Fund every October.
Previously for Australia’s wildfire relief, we also donated 10 per cent of our proceeds to them.
We are also donating 5 per cent of our proceeds of every bottle of Idyllic Fields sold to an animal shelter all year long – this year’s partner will be SOSD.
Name a few women who inspire you and how you choose to honour them.
Not any one single person, but I am inspired by kind acts around me that make me want to do better as a whole.
What sustainability initiatives does Sigi Skin take part in?
We have been working hard to increase our sustainability initiatives. Out of the eight products, we have two completely waterless products – Dew Potion and Idyllic Fields. Dew Potion, an essence mist is made up of 55 per cent chamomile extracts, 37 per cent aqua 3G and 3 per cent maqui berry. Idyllic Fields a day-time moisturiser is made up of 71.9 per cent oats. Water shortage is a very real problem and will become more apparent in the years to come. As a brand, we want to be mindful of our water consumption and wastage during the production process.
We are also exploring more refillable options in our packaging – currently we have a refillable packaging for Garden Party, a deep cleansing clay mask that helps to minimise the appearance of pores. We are also using D2W, a biodegradable plastic in our packaging as much as we can.
How can beauty brands help disempowered women?
As a women-led brand, helping other women is important to us. For our first International’s Women’s Day initiative, we donated 10 per cent of our proceeds for the entire month of March to HSCA Dayspring Residential Treatment Centre. The centre helps young teenage girls who have suffered from abuse to successfully reintegrate into their families and schools by providing them with a safe and caring environment where they can heal.
For the past 2 IWD’s and this upcoming IWD we are partnering with Daughters of Tomorrow and will be donating 10% of our proceeds to them.
We also hope to bring some spotlight to such organisations so that they can receive more help and be part of the workforce in the future.
What is the legacy that Sigi Skin wants to leave behind?
We still have a long way to go but we want to be known as the go-to brand that produces quality products and supporting causes that makes a difference.
What is next for Sigi Skin?
For us, it’s about intentional growth. We still want to be a direct-to-consumer brand and focus on creating products that are missing in the current market. For the next few years, it’ll be bringing Sigi Skin overseas.
All images are courtesy of Sigi Skin