FOR THE MULTITUDE OF DIFFERENCES THAT WE OUGHT TO RECOGNISE AND EMBRACE, THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT ASIAN WOMEN IN GENERAL SHARE IN COMMON WHEN IT COMES TO DISCUSSING MATTERS OF THE SKIN. FOR EXAMPLE, SCIENTIFIC STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT THE ALL-PROTECTIVE, OUTERMOST LAYER OF THE COMPLEXI0N KNOWN AS THE STRATUM CORNEUM IN ASIAN WOMEN IS THIN. WE ALSO ARE MORE PRONE TO PIGMENTATION BECAUSE OF HIGHER LEVELS OF MELANOCYTE ACTIVITY. AT THE SAME TIME, THE REGION’S HUMIDITY MEANS THAT OUR SEBACEOUS GLANDS – WHICH ASIANS TEND TO HAVE MORE OF – CAN OVERREACT (HANDS UP IF OILY SKIN BOTHERS YOU) WHILE UV RAYS AND POLLUTION LEVELS HAVE MADE SENSITISED SKIN A GROWING CONDITION HERE. ALL LAUNCHED THIS YEAR, THE PRODUCTS ON THE NEXT TWO PAGES DON’T CLAIM TO COVER THE SKINCARE CONCERNS OF ALL ASIAN WOMEN, BUT THEY DO HELP TACKLE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON. AND – IN THE SPIRIT OF THIS EDITION’S THEME – THEY’RE ALL CREATED BY BRANDS WITH ROOTS IN ASIA. SOFIA KIM REPORTS.
An idyllic image of a Singapore beach taken pre-Covid – or more specifically in 1962 – by the critically acclaimed Italian photojournalist Mario De Biasi, best known for his stylish and dramatic, black-and-and-white shots of city life all around the globe
FOR OILY SKIN BEIGIC CORRECTING EXFOLIATOR
It’s crucial to remove dead skin cells and excess oils from the overproduction of sebum to prevent acne and clogged pores. This exfoliator by K-beauty brand Beigic does exactly that and even contains coffee bean powder that aids in getting rid of spots and marks caused by acne and sun damage while encouraging skin’s natural renewal process.
MELLOW NATURALS CLARIFYING FACE SERUM
Mellow Naturals is a non-toxic brand from Thailand and this weightless, fast-absorbing serum is made with an oil-rebalancing blend of extracts including that of willow bark and sophora root to remove acne-causing bacteria, minimise breakout tendencies and encourage cell renewal for a balanced complexion.
THANN ASTRINGENT TONER
Apart from removing excess sebum and dirt, this solution by the popular Thai label also helps to refine enlarged pores and tackle unevenly textured skin caused by the overproduction of oil and sebum. Antioxidant and vitamin-rich platinum colloid shiso extract protects and revives dull, tired-looking complexions.
SULWHASOO HERBAL CLAY PURIFYING MASK
Muan clay – known to deeply penetrate pores to draw out impurities – works with a blend of herbs with natural microbial and antibacterial properties to prevent unwanted breakouts and treat clogged pores. Also in this formula by the South Korean beauty giant: a cocktail of gentle acids that removes dead skin cells for greater clarity and radiance.
FOR ENHANCED PROTECTION AUOLIVE DAY GLOWER
This lightweight day moisturiser by Singapore brand Auolive protects skin from premature ageing and damage against UV rays and environmental pollutants. In its formula: antioxidant-rich ginkgo biloba leaf extract, sodium hyaluronate and ascorbyl palmitate that work jointly to protect and strengthen skin’s barrier while brightening. PS. It can double as a primer.
EVERYDAY HUMANS RESTING BEACH FACE SUNSCREEN SERUM SPF30, $39
A lightweight, fast-absorbing sunscreen that doubles as a serum? Consider us intrigued. Anyone living in an urban jungle such as Singapore would agree that sun protection is something we need daily, what with the constant exposure to UV rays and other harmful environmental aggressors. This multi-use product by the cult label started by Hong Kong-born Charlotte C Pienaar is saturated with spinach and antioxidant-rich green tea to neutralise free radicals and protect skin. Hyaluronic acid is included to deliver optimum hydration and we heart how it doesn’t feel sticky or greasy post-application.
FOR HYPERPIGMENTATION, DARK SPOTS & DULL SKIN
ALBION EXCIA SECRET FORMULA PHYTO BRIGHTENING OIL
This brightening oil by the popular Japanese beauty brand is fortified with 10 plant extracts to even out skin tone, control the overproduction of melanin, neutralise free radicals, and soothe inflammation and irritation. Bonus: Its lightweight texture –the result of a combination of oil-soluble plant-based extracts – makes it ideal for use even in hot and humid climates.
CELLOOM RISE AND SHINE AMPOULE
This K-beauty newcomer visibly improves sun damage-induced pigmentation with a generous dose of vitamins C, B and E. Moreover it contains sea buckthorn extract, which has cell regeneration properties to encourage skin cell renewal for a healthier, more luminous complexion.
DERMA LAB HYDRACEUTIC DOUBLE POWER VITAMIN CONCENTRATE
Hailing from Taiwan, Derma Lab is known for its hypoallergenic formulas targeted at sensitive Asian skin (read: sensitised, oily and acne-prone complexions). This serum is fortified with vitamins B5 and B3 to reduce pigmentation, protect skin against external aggressors and retain moisture for plump, smooth skin. If that’s not impressive enough, this also reportedly strengthens and repairs skin that has been damaged by harsh, humid climates.
FOR SENSITISED SKIN
EST SERUM ONE
A premium beauty line from the Japan-based Kao Corporation, Est has come up with this emulsion that supposedly initiates skin recovery by boosting cell renewal as well as combat signs of ageing with technology it dubs GP Cycle Complex. The carbonated serum (explains the foam-like texture) instantly penetrates the deeper layers of skin to enhance blood circulation and deliver optimum moisture without feeling greasy or tacky on skin.
DR.JART+ CRYO RUBBER SO COOL DUO
Prolonged sun exposure can make skin swell and redden. To decrease skin’s temperature and in turn encourage blood circulation for deeper absorption of skincare ingredients, the well-loved Korean label has turned to cryotherapy to create this rubber sheet mask. Made of naturally derived algae and clay, it claims to cool skin and accelerate the delivery of active ingredients. Accompanying it: a highly concentrated ampoule packed with active ingredients and a prebiotic complex to instantly hydrate and soothe.
GLOWFULLY HYDRATING MIST TONER
The home-grown beauty brand is known for products that are specifically designed to treat common skin concerns such as inflammation, dullness and dehydration affected by tropical climates. This easy-to-use toner mist not only boosts hydration levels, but is also packed with soothing ingredients to calm irritation while strengthening antioxidant defences to reduce free radical damage.
EST.LAB VITALIFT A+ BRILLAGE FACE MASK
This reformulated sheet mask by the well-loved Singapore beauty brand is powered by three key actives that soothe sensitivities, rejuvenate lacklustre complexions and treat visible signs of ageing. A combination of plant extracts calm while the Wrinkle-Filler and Sustained Moisturisation Technology allows time-controlled hyaluronic acid to reach the lower epidermis for round-the-clock hydration.
ILLUSTRATIVE PHOTO MONDADORI PORTFOLIO/CONTRIBUTOR, GETTY IMAGES