Tweak Your Skincare Every Day

This is the art of listening to your skin and the science of choosing the right skincare.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Samson & Charlie Famous 24K Glow Facial Oil, A$89.95 (S$83.42).

Lightweight but intensely moisturising, with antioxidant-rich fruit seed oils, omega oils and vitamins.

Miley Cyrus had it right when she sang “No one stays the same… change is a thing you can count on”. Well, that applies to your skin and its needs too.

Just as your body requires different  nourishment at different times – extra vitamin C when there’s a flu bug going around, or a double-shot latte after pulling an all-nighter – your skin can’t always cruise by with the same products. There will be days when its not bringing its A-game and needs an extra boost to get back on track.

Actress Oon Shu An, for one, pays close attention to her skin. Every day, she takes note of how it looks and feels, then tweaks or swops out her skincare accordingly – even if it goes against her usual routine or skin type. It’s the way to maintain good skin, she says. We agree.

It’s not about carrying out major shake-ups all the time. Stick to your basic routine, then add what’s needed or switch one product for another that better addresses your skin condition at the time.

Here, we list the common symptoms you’re likely to experience at some point or another – and what to do about them.
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Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate, $85.
This watery gel-serum promises to up skin’s moisture reserves and deliver 24-hour hydration.


Everyone, even those with oily skin, can be hit by dehydration. Too much time in air-conditioning, lack of sleep, changing hormones, too much alcohol or caffeine – these are just a few factors that can result in dry, flaky skin that feels tight and itchy.

WHAT TO ADD: A nourishing oil, which has the immediate effect of sealing in moisture. Facial oils also repair a weak barrier function, and are full of ingredients needed for healthy skin like antioxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids. For even better effects, include a hydrating serum that has hyaluronic acid or other humectants.
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Kiehl’s Calendula HerbalExtract Toner, $59
Alcohol-free and packed with calendula petals, which is known for having antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.
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Origins Clear Improvement Pore Clearing Moisturizer with Bamboo Charcoal, $58

Provides oil-free hydration and has salicylic acid to exfoliate skin and cleanse pores.


Blemishes boil down to excess sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria becoming stuck in pores. This spike in oil may be due to hormonal changes, pollution, unsuitable products or overzealous cleansing that dries skin out, causing it to over-compensate by producing more oil.

WHAT TO ADD: A product with antibacterial properties but isn’t astringent – you don’t want to cause further dryness. Also, a moisturiser that tops up skin’s moisture, not oil.
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Shiseido White Lucent Overnight Cream & Mask, $120
Its rich, comforting formula locks in moisture, while a brightening complex targets dark spots and uneven skin tone.
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Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel, $27-$135

Suitable for sensitive skin and chemical peel noobs, this two-step DIY peel exfoliates with gentle acids and nourishes with antiageing actives like retinol and vitamin E.


Pollutants, dehydration, sleep deprivation, stress, diet – there’s a host of factors that can lead to sluggish blood circulation and skin turnover, making you look less than brilliant.

WHAT TO ADD: First up, a chemical exfoliant to get rid of dead skin that’s making your complexion dull, rough and uneven – they penetrate deeper than facial scrubs and bring about more even exfoliation. Follow with a product that offers loads of skinplumping moisture and brightening ingredients.
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Fresh Umbrian Clay OilFree Lotion, $65.
A lightweight moisturiser with mineral-rich clay to absorb impurities that may lead to clogged pores, it also helps to curb oil and shine.
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Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-Tox Bouncy Hydrating Gel, $90

Refreshing and soothing, this oil-free moisturiser with a matte finish has antioxidant vitamins and hyaluronic acid to prevent moisture loss.


Just returned from a sun-drenched holiday or recovering from a recent breakout? Maybe you’ve been slack with moisturising, or makeup is clogging your skin. If your natural skin type isn’t oily or combination, the visible pores and coarse skin could be due to UV damage, drynessinduced sagging or heavy makeup.

WHAT TO ADD: Smooth skin with a scrub or peel first, then work in a hydrating and balancing moisturiser – preferably with mattifying properties as well – to plump skin and restore its natural oil-water balance. And make sure your foundation is noncomedogenic.
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Lancome Advanced Genifique Sensitive Dual Concentrate, $120
Combines ferulic acid, vitamin E and centella asiatica – three highly effective antioxidants and skin-healers – to strengthen skin and protect against future discomfort.
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Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules, $200

This concentrate supports skin’s natural recovery processes and reduces visible signs of irritation overnight.


Unless you have an allergy or skin condition like eczema and rosacea, skin sensitivity is most oft often the result of environmental factors like wind, dust and yoyo-ing temperatures, or lifestyle ones like stress, dehydration and lack of sleep.

WHAT TO ADD: A product with soothing, hydrating and repairing benefits that will help strengthen skin’s barrier function. Avoid thick, occlusive formulas as they can be too heavy for fragile skin and are likely to contain cosmetic emulsifiers and fillers.