GLOBAL TEMPERATURES ARE SET TO BE AT A NEARRECORD HIGH, WITH SINGAPORE SUPPOSEDLY HEATING UP TWICE AS FAST AS THE REST OF THE WORLD, WHILE OUR STIFLING HUMIDITY REMAINS UNABATED. POLLUTION LEVELS AND TOXICITY ARE RISING (BE OKAY, BANGKOK!), WHILE UV RADIATION CONTINUES TO BE ON THE EXTREME. NOPE, THINGS ARE NOT LOOKING TOO PRETTY FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT, WHICH ALSO MEANS THE SAME FOR OUR SKIN. TO HELP FIGHT THE EFFECTS OF THIS GRAVE NEW WORLD, SOFIA KIM ASSEMBLES THE LATEST AND MOST THOROUGH FACIAL CLEANSERS, LIGHTWEIGHT SUNSCREENS, SWEAT- AND SMUDGEPROOF MAKEUP, AND MORE THAT YOU SHOULD ADD TO YOUR BEAUTY ARSENAL.
The product: Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Aqua Gel, $56
What it is: A gel-type sunscreen equipped with pollution- and UV-protection
Why it works here: Besides its weightless, gel-based formula that is ideal for those living in humid climates, this is made with a Pollution-Protecting Technology that forms a protective barrier on skin to prevent oxidative stress (which may lead to inﬂ ammation, unwanted breakouts and accelerated skin ageing) caused by environmental factors, prominent in any urban jungle. Vitamin E is also infused to neutralise skin-damaging free radicals, offer antioxidant protection and hydrate.
The product: Laneige Air Light Sun Stick, price unavailable
What it is: An easy-to-use, portable stick sunscreen that gives a matte ﬁnish
Why it works here: Thanks to a selective oil-balancing powder, this keeps skin matte without an oily or shiny ﬁnish. It also has xylitol extract and rose hip oil to protect the skin barrier that is prone to damage from harmful UV rays, while imparting a host of vitamins and moisture to plump up and revitalise tired looking skin that has been affected by environmental aggressors. Its diagonal shape allows for easy, effortless application.
The product: Dior Forever Fluid Foundation, $85
What it is: A long-lasting foundation that gives a soft matte ﬁnish
What else: This is formulated with two new structuring agents that help the product stay on skin while preventing it from becoming destabilised by heat or humidity. It also has absorbent beads to neutralise shine and create a velvet, natural-looking matte ﬁnish. A trio of powders (blurring, mattifying and hemispheric) work together to absorb excess sebum all day long, smooth out irregularities, and adhere to skin to perfectly reﬂect light for a fresh-looking complexion.
The product: Shiseido Makeup Controlled Chaos Mascara Ink, $50
What it is: A water-, smudge- and ﬂake-resistant mascara that does not transfer to the lower lids even when you perspire
Why it works here: Due to the heat and humidity, many of us tend to have oilier complexions, including oily lids. Thus, it is important to choose eye makeup products that are budge-proof, so you don’t end up with smudged makeup at the end of the day. This not only comes in four fun colours, but also has ﬁlm formers and polymers that set and seal the formula for a reported 24 hours. Its innovative brush design features two concave sides to boost the volume of lashes (Asian lashes, rejoice), while the two ﬂat sides help lengthen.
The product: Beneﬁt Dr. Feelgood Silky Mattifying Powder, $56
What it is: A loose powder that minimises shine, sets makeup and controls excess surface oil for a reported 10 hours
Why it works here: Setting your makeup is crucial, especially in hotter, more humid countries, as a combination of perspiration and an oilier complexion means that makeup is more prone to slip and slide. This feels weightless on skin, does not clog pores and yet still manages to control excess shine – thanks to a special blend of soft-focus, oil-absorbing powders, which ensures that skin stays matte.
The product: Urban Decay Brow Blade, $40
What it is: An eyebrow pencil that comes with an ink stain on one end and a pencil on the other – both waterproof
Why it works here: The ink portion stains your eyebrows directly, and its waterproof formula means you don’t have to worry about any smudging taking place, especially when perspiring. It also has a brush-tipped brow pen applicator for you to draw in soft, hair-like strokes, while the pencil is meant to ﬁll in any sparse areas. Who needs eyebrow embroidery?
The product: Clinique ID, $75
What it is: A custom-blend DIY hydration system that ﬁrst allows you to pick one out of three of the brand’s iconic moisturisers, before choosing one of the ﬁve Active Cartridge Concentrates (a potent blend of active ingredients meant to treat a main concern) to hydrate and treat at the same time
Why it works here: A lightweight, gel-based moisturiser is always ideal for those experiencing congestion and excess sebum production. The brand’s Hydrating Jelly makes the cut as it (besides its weightless texture) contains Skin-Shield Technology to protect skin from environmental aggressors (prominent in city states) and help repair skin’s functional barrier. When it comes to choosing a concentrate, we recommend either the “Pores and Uneven Texture” or “Fatigue” options to treat enlarged pores and dull, tired-looking skin, which are pretty common due to all the external stressors and pollution prevalent in the city.
The product: Shu Uemura Blanc: Chroma Cleansing Oil, $125
What it is: A skin-brightening oil cleanser that thoroughly removes dirt, grime and pore-clogging impurities to prevent break outs and congestions
Why it works here: Most of us living in the big, bad city are prone to congestion, clogged pores and a dull complexion, which is why cleansing – and exfoliating – is of utmost importance to remove all the dirt for brighter, clearer skin. This does just that, but in one simple step.
How it supposedly works: Japanese charcoal (the new key ingredient) acts as a “super magnet” to absorb micro-impurities stuck within pores for a deep cleansing and purifying action. Bilberries then exfoliate and accelerate cellular renewal for a more radiant and translucent complexion, while tea ferment prevents the production of yellowish proteins for a more even skin tone.
The product: Dior Capture Youth Age-Delay Resurfacing Water, $100
What it is: A fast-absorbing water-based lotion that gently removes the build up of dead skin cells, while treating the deeper layers of skin to ensure that it works optimally.
Why it works here: With its lightweight texture and water-based formula, this absorbs quickly and prevents clogged pores, making it a perfect solution for those living in warmer climates. Papaya enzymes and antioxidant-rich iris ﬂorentina work together to slough away the layer of dead cells accumulated on skin’s surface due to pollution and dirt in the city air. The duo of ingredients are also said to stimulate cell renewal and production of glyoxalase (a set of enzymes that carry out a detoxiﬁcation process) for brighter, clearer and more resilient skin.