The Real Limited Editions

These Singapore beauty brands specialise in selling just a handful of products. They do it for passion, practicality and personalisation.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

These Singapore beauty brands specialise in selling just a handful of products. They do it for passion, practicality and personalisation.

Saltwater Atelier: Handmade bar soaps

The year-old brand started as founder Miya Chong’s pet project. The 27-yearold had made some soap and posted pictures of it on social media. After getting requests to sell the products, she began making it in small batches of 12-24 bars at a time.

The soaps are made with coconut oil and glycerine, and are 100 per cent vegan. They’re free of sodium lauryl sulphate, parabens and phthalates. Expect scents like sweet kaffir lime and rosewood, as well as ingredients such as activated charcoal, French rose clay, apricot kernel and mango butter. Making them in small quantities keeps things fresh.

The selection of products is not fixed. “Depending on their popularity, some designs may be discontinued, and new ones may be introduced,” says Chong.

$5.80-$12 a bar. Website:; Instagram: @saltwateratelier 
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The Moisturizers Co.: Just one essential

Christine Chen launched The Moisturizers Co. in 2016 with just four moisturisers. “Feedback from women of different ages led us to believe that moisturising is the most essential step in skincare,” says the 34-year-old.

Chen worked with chemists who had been in the skincare industry for more than a decade to develop moisturisers that target pigmentation problems, sensitive skin, blemishes, enlarged pores, and premature signs of ageing. Their textures range from gel to cream.

In September, she added a lightweight serum to the collection. Its blend of clinicalgrade active ingredients is a booster for skincare applied after.

$78-$98. Website:; Instagram: @themoisturizersco 
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Alcheme: Intentional skincare

Alcheme, founded by two former Clarins staff members, sells just two products: an emulsion and a serum, both personalised. Customers first go through a hightech selfie analysis online, which uses an algorithm developed by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher. The founders then go through each photo to double-check the results.

Formulations for both products are tailored from a list of 24 tried-and-tested active ingredients, like vitamin B3 and ginseng root extract, to target concerns like hyperpigmentation and sagging skin.

Constance Mandefield, 37, and Tuyen Lamy, 40, hope to educate consumers to be more aware of what they put on their skin, and this should lead to “smarter and more sustainable decisions”.

$95-$105. Website:; Instagram: @alchemeskincare 
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Mandy T: Handmade bath and body care

Mandy Leena Tan started this in 2013 with bath salts, body scrubs and body moisturisers. Mandy T has since added candles and aromatherapy.

The 42-year-old Tan keeps things inhouse. Products are handcrafted in small batches as orders come in, for quality and freshness. The latest scrub, Rose + Geranium + Orange Body Scrub, has crushed rose petals in organic rose, geranium and orange blossom essential oils, raw honey and vitamin E.

$35.90-$55.90. Website:; Instagram: @mandyt_skincare