Occupational therapist Sophia Chan, 31 (pictured right), first tried this aromatherapy brand last year, when she was prepping for her wedding. A friend who worked at Canvas gave her the Rose Otto range as a pre-wedding present. “Throughout my teenage years and into early adulthood, I was always plagued by acne,” says Chan. “But the products kept me pimple-free despite the added stress from the wedding preparations.”
Then she started a company, Maiko, to get the exclusive distribution for Canvas here. “I’m not just convinced by the effectiveness of its products because of what they did for me, but also because of my background in rehabilitating stroke patients, I believe in the healing power of aromatherapy,” says Chan. “The fragrances in Canvas’ products are well balanced – uplifting, yet not overpowering. They help improve my mood and relax me. And with stroke patients, we use scents to improve their spatial awareness too.”
She adds: “Its textures are light and easily absorbed, which is great for Singapore’s humid environment.”
Maiko carries the complete Canvas range, from skincare to body products, essential oils and even carrier oils that you can use to dilute the essential oils for a massage oil, or to customise your skincare or lotions. From $37.10 for a lip balm to $151.50 for an anti-ageing serum. At www.canvasbeauty.com.sg.– KT
1 Absolute Age Recovery Skin Renewal Refiner is a gentle exfoliant for sensitive skin, yet it soothes redness and irritation. $151.50
2 Special Care Sun Protect Gel SPF30 is a physical and chemical sunscreen that provides protection without leaving a whitish finish. $65.30
3 Chan says moisture is the best “treatment” for pimples. She uses Rose Otto Overnight Intense Moisture Mask for five nights straight to reduce zits. $112.90-$170.80
Why a Lotion Essence Makes Sense
To appreciate its goodness, you first have to know what it is. A lotion essence is an in-between skin-boosting product. It’s not a toner, but you use it like one (pat it on with your hands or a cotton pad). It’s like a watery serum filled with antioxidants and hydrating ingredients, and you use it before your regular serum. And it has become a skin protector and soother for busy/lazy/budget-conscious women who prefer to use fewer products while getting almost the same kinds of benefits they would from a serum. – SW
Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence has antioxidants and probiotics from fermented black tea extract. $108
Bio-essence Bio-gold Gold Water has herbal extracts and peptides to boost collagen production. $36
111skin Daily Orbit Energising Essence boasts antioxidants previously made for astronauts to stimulate the skin’s natural repair system. $120
Clinique Moisture Surge 72-hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, $75 What it is: The latest from the US brand’s Moisture Surge range is this gel-cream that promises to moisturise skin for 72 hours – even if you’ve used it just once, and after you’ve washed it off.
How is that possible? It claims to help retrain skin to hold on to moisture and produce more of its own “with aloe water and caffeine”.
Its other uses: Like a lot of moisturisers now, it’s a multitasker – 5min mask (use a thicker layer); cuticle treatment; frizz tamer; and dewy highlighter.
We will say this: It’s hard to road-test its 72-hour efficacy without doing something that we can’t imagine doing – not moisturising for three days. Especially if our tester has combination skin that is constantly flushed, prone to eczema at the chin, and can’t do without any moisturiser.
So she did the next best thing: She used the product on just the left side of her face on Friday night and skipped moisturiser on that part until Monday night – so she could do a real comparison.
Verdict: The left half of her face isn’t dry, but neither does it feel as hydrated as the right half that was moisturised twice daily. The dealsealer: The skin around her eczema-prone chin does not feel dry, or flake at all. – SW