The Natural Skincare Brand That Won’t Break The Bank

Meet May Yip, former magazine editor and co-founder of the home-grown natural skincare line, The Skin Firm.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

There’s a new home-grown beauty brand in town. The Skin Firm is a five-product range with clean formulas in minimalist packaging, cofounded by May Yip, a former newspaper fashion and beauty journalist-turned-PR director.

Yip never considered starting a beauty brand of her own. The Singapore market was too small and saturated, she thought. But that was two years ago, before she tried the initial prototypes that became part of her product menu at The Skin Firm.

The products came from a family friend who ran a business formulating and manufacturing skincare for other beauty brands. This friend was thinking about creating her own skincare label and, given Yip’s beautyjourno background, asked for her opinions on the products.

Testing them – particularly the micellar water and mineral sunscreen – was a turning point for Yip. Both were so gentle yet incredibly effective on her sensitive skin. And the sunscreen made her complexion look smoother and more even.

When she found out that the active ingredients in the products were completely naturally derived, she was blown away. She asked for the opportunity to play a bigger part in the formulations and became the brand’s co-founder.

Yip says that with her 12 years as a journalist testing countless products, she knew what she wanted The Skin Firm to stand for – luxurious textures, high efficacy and visible skin results. She also wanted the products to have natural ingredients and clean formulations, and to avoid fancy packaging, marketing campaigns and celebrity endorsements. They also had to be affordable.

She managed it. No product costs more than $35; the light, non-greasy textures work in Singapore’s hot, humid climate; and they aren’t laden with chemicals.

The current five products will soon become six when Yip launches her new product in the last quarter of 2019. “It will be the first affordable formulation to help pollution-proof your skin.” She lets on that the gelcream will protect the skin against particulate matter from air pollution, blue light from e-devices and UV stress that can contribute to pigmentation problems and photoageing. We’re eagerly waiting.

For more information, visit The Skin Firm at
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1 Micellar Water, $22.90
Coconut-infused and almost 100 per cent naturally derived, it effectively removes makeup and hydrates the skin.
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2 Youth Therapy Concentrated Essence, $29.90
More than 90 per cent of the lightweight essence consists of galactomyces ferment filtrate, which the brand says is a byproduct of sake brewing that is said to keep skin radiant and youthful-looking.
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3 Long Wear Daily Sunscreen SPF40/PA+++, $15.90

The actives in the mineral sunscreen are in very small particles that spread better over the skin and provide more even coverage.