From the wacky to the wonderful, here are the latest wellness trends everyone is obsessing over.
A IS FOR APP WE LOVE
Don’t get us wrong, meditation apps are great. But if you’re still struggling with living in the moment, maybe it’s time you download WeCroak, an app that sends you regular, terse alerts that you’re going to die one day. In Bhutan, they say contemplating death five times a day brings happiness— and it is reportedly one of the happiest countries in the world. An effective way to remind you to stop and smell the roses.
B IS FOR BAKUCHIOL
Bakuchiol is the star of Retin-Alts, a new wave of plant-based retinols that deliver similar results as retinoids. Think wrinkle-busting and radiance-boosting, but gentler. This antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory ingredient can be found in Ren’s Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Cream and Omorovicza’s Miracle Facial Oil, as well as Allies of Skin’s new Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum. “I consider bakuchiol as an active with Swiss Army knife utility. It works on all skin types and provides all the benefits of retinol without any of the irritation,” says Nicolas Travis, founder of Allies of Skin.
C IS FOR CELERY
Celery may be the unsexiest “green” superfood going, but if you want to detox and improve digestion at the same time, health experts are saying this is the stuff to blitz and down first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Not only is it a nifty blood purifier—the coumarins in celery enhance white blood cell activity—it’s also rich in vitamin A and magnesium, and acts like a natural diuretic. Bye bye bloat!
D IS FOR DNA CODE
It’s easy to jump onto fitness fads and trending diets, but if you want to know what works best for you and your unique genetic makeup, then DNA Code might just be the answer. Asia’s leading genetic test provider can provide you with an affordable, personalised insight into your health through a detailed report that breaks down your weight loss ability, food, nutrients and responses to exercise. Get the Fitness & Nutrition kit at any Guardian store or online at fitlion.com, do the swab at home, send it out and get the results back in four to six weeks.
E IS EAT O’CLOCK
When it comes to diet and nutrition, it turns out that when you eat is just as important as what and how much you eat. Long backed by traditional Chinese and Indian medicine and healing practices, chrono-nutrition encourages us to live in sync with the natural circadian rhythm of our bodies. For example, some nutritionists suggest that you should eat breakfast in the morning, lunch ﬁve hours after that, enjoy a small snack in between lunch and dinner, and then have dinner ﬁve hours after lunch. It’s a simple schedule that can go a long way in preventing obesity, and even help to regulate hormone production in our bodies.
Sneaker, Alexander McQueen
F IS FOR FUGLY SNEAKER
These have been statement shoes for a couple of fashion seasons now, although technically speaking, you wouldn’t wear them on the gym floor. But that doesn’t mean these chunky trainers won’t come in handy elsewhere—leave your high heels at home and head out on the town with extra cushiony support that will keep you comfortable all night long, even on the dance floor.
Supergreens Powder, $20.51, Amazing Grass
G IS FOR GREENS
Green powders have superceded the humble daily multivitamin for those of us not getting enough fruit and vegetables. It claims to keep the body optimally alkaline and energised while providing key nutrients such as folate, magnesium and choline to help support healthy cell, gut and liver function. However, not all green powders are equal. “Many may use cheap extraction methods, which compromise the nutrient value of the ingredients and can often be contaminated with heavy metals,” warns nutritionist Fiona Tuck. Choose a blend that includes ingredients such as broccoli, kale, barley grass, chlorella and spirulina to maximise nutrient intake. Sprouted ingredient blends also tend to be more nutrient bioavailable and easier to digest.
H IS FOR HOME GYM
Today, companies are combining equipment with virtual classes, leading to more people working out at home. Billion-pound ﬁtness company Peloton recently launched at-home spinning bikes with touchscreens that allow you to access live and on-demand classes, while ClassPass Live lets you stream and join a live class with fellow online users. Then there’s Mirror, currently only available in the US. It looks like a full-length mirror when off, but switch it on and it transports you to a class where you see yourself, instructor and classmates in a virtual ﬁtness studio.
Impossible Flatbread, Bread Street Kitchen
I IS FOR IMPOSSIBLE FOODS
Silicon Valley start-up Impossible Foods disrupted the F&B industry with plant-based meat that looks, tastes and feels just like meat. Its Impossible 2.0 gluten-free patties made with wheat, potato protein and soy protein can be found in Singapore restaurants—like Bread Street Kitchen’s Impossible Flatbread, Empress’ Sichuan Mapo Tofu with Impossible Meat, and CUT by Wolfgang Puck’s The Impossible Slider. CUT’s Executive Chef Joshua Brown says: “The Impossible Slider is an extension of our diverse offerings, providing a great alternative for meat-lovers looking to offset their meat intake, while still enjoying the flavours of beef.”
J IS FOR JAMU
Fans of this wonder health tonic, which originated in Java, liken it to drinking liquid sunshine—the prescription being a shot (50-80ml) taken either upon rising or before bed. A brew of turmeric, ginger, filtered water, pepper, honey and lime, it’s touted as a liver detoxifier, kidney cleanser and mood-booster, and is said to be good for muscle recovery and joint pain. Don’t DIY, get it delivered by Jawda Herbs, which bottles homemade blends for him and her. Visit jawdaherbs.sg
Yaukuve Spa, Kokomo Island Fiji
K IS FOR KOKOMO
The opening of Kokomo Island Fiji’s long-awaited Yaukuve Spa Sanctuary is big news. Boasting nine treatment rooms, it’s mega by Fiji standards, yet you won’t see a soul. With wet and dry hammam body treatments and rooms, it offers a range of rejuvenating facials and massages with a traditional local flavour (think the Fijian Bombo technique and warm seashells). There’s also waxing, tinting and spray tanning, plus yoga, meditation and Pilates classes. Visit kokomoislandfiji.com
L IS FOR LASH LIFTS
We’ve all seen dramatic lash lift before and after pictures that look way too good to be true. Longer, darker lashes that are also dramatically curled? Turns out, there’s a way to achieve all of that without copious amounts of mascara, or those pesky, high-maintenance eyelash extensions. Best described as a perm for your eyelashes, lash lifts temporarily curl and lengthen your lashes, much like a mechanical eyelash curler would. The crucial difference? Lash lifts last for up to eight to 12 weeks, so you can say goodbye to droopy eyelids by mid-day.
M IS FOR MEDICINAL MUSHROOM
“Functional” fungi was nominated by Whole Foods Market as one of its key trends last year, with “mushis” such as areishi, shiitake and chaga moving off the dinner plate and into tea, coffee and smoothies. From growth through to processing, care is taken to preserve bioavailability, before a water extraction process is used to turn them into a potent powder that you mix to make a tonic.
From top: Goddess bath bomb, $18, Lush; Melusine bath bomb, $12, Lush
N IF FOR NO PLASTIC
The environmentally-friendly movement is taking the beauty world by storm as more brands shift their focus towards non-plastic, sustainable packaging that can be recycled. From refillable palettes to aluminium compacts to glass bottles, packaging is becoming not only more green, but also more interesting to look at. OG sustainable bath brand, Lush, has championed eco- and “naked” packaging since the very beginning, but now, more brands are making the choice to break up with single-use plastics.
O IS FOR OAT MILK
Touted as the rising dairy-alternative, oat milk is loved by everyone from vegans and environmentalists to even coffee aﬁcionados, and it’s not hard to see why. This “milk” is much more sustainable compared to alternatives like almond milk, and also needs fewer potentially-carcinogenic herbicides than other crops, which is great news for the environment and our bodies. With a consistency similar to cow’s milk, you can now sip frothy cappuccinos or creamy lattes with a clearer conscience.
P IS FOR POST-WORKOUT SKINCARE
If you’ve had a major sweat session, a deep cleanse afterwards is essential to avoid clogged pores. We suggest a gentle salicylic acid cleanser, which acts as a liquid magnet that draws debris, sweat, sebum and impurities out of the skin, like SkinCeuticals’ Clarifying Exfoliating Cleanser or Avène’s Cleansing Foam. Or simply soak a cotton pad with Bioderma’s Sensibio H2O Micellar Water and sweep over skin.
Tea pot, TWG Tea
Q IS FOR QUENCH
If you love to quaff gallons of water on the go but are bored with the taste, or are looking to wean yourself off caffeine, try some quality herbal tea instead. TWG Tea’s loose leaf Mate tea is a grassy herbal infusion that’s packed with antioxidants and vitamins, while Eu Yan Sang’s Eight Treasures Herbal Tea Collection comprises Lily, Longjing, Oolong and Rose blends. Added bonus? Sipping rose tea can help you achieve a glowing complexion.
R IS FOR RECOVERY MODE
Magnesium can work miracles for sore muscles, energy production and stress relief, but if you’ve taken it in capsule form and it hasn’t worked, it might be the absorption method that’s to blame. “It depends on the form of magnesium used—organic versus inorganic forms,” nutritionist and naturopath Erika Morvay explains. “An organic form such as magnesium glycinate has shown an improved absorption and gastrointestinal tolerance compared with an inorganic form such as magnesium oxide.” We love powder forms such as Fusion Magnesium Advanced Muscle Recovery Powder with Coconut water. Visit fusionhealth.com.au
S IS FOR SKIP-CARE
For busy girls who can’t commit a half hour to skincare every day, streamline your routine by choosing fewer, more effective products that are suited to your speciﬁc needs. This means opting for multi-functional products with the right active ingredients: A moisturiser that hydrates and brightens with vitamin C; or a nourishing facial oil that doubles up as an anti-ageing treat, like Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Night Oil. In the long run, this may beneﬁt your skin health by reducing clogged pores from using far too many products.
Soleil Glow Drops in Liquid Sky, $112, Tom Ford
T IS FOR TANNING DROPS
Sunkissed skin looks healthy, but we all know how damaging sun rays can be. For a faux healthy glow that appears realistic, add a few tan drops—like Tan-Luxe’s The Body Illuminating Self-Tan Drops—to your foundation, or just smooth on Tom Ford’s Soleil Glow Drops for a beautifully diffused veil of gold on skin.
U IS FOR UFC
You don’t need to be a fighter to love UFC, or Ultimate Fighting Championship, but you can be one at the UFC Gym, which has 150 outlets worldwide. From fitness addicts to adrenaline junkies, mixed martial arts enthusiasts will be happy to know Singapore’s first UFC Gym has finally arrived, and its elite fitness training programmes span Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Zumba and gymnastics-inspired calisthenics. It’s time to train with (and like) a champion.
V IS FOR VEGANISM
Keen to inject a bit of vegan into your life but feel limited by your options? We’re loving thevegancompany.love, which covers everything from where to source the best cruelty-free cosmetics and vegan fashion to finding plant-based inspiration so you’ll never think about meat again. Cauliflower steak, anyone?
Alto audio sunglasses, about $270, Bose
W IS FOR WEARABLE TECH
The line between fashion and tech continues to blur as designers like Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquière explore their fascination with the future. As technology continues to evolve, wearable tech is no longer conﬁned to watches. Now, there’s a “smart” something for nearly every part of your body. Frames by Bose are audio sunglasses which produce great sound while shielding you from UV rays. Google’s Jacquard technology can give clothes the abilities of a phone—like calling or navigating with your jacket. It’s not as impossible as it sounds. After all, the future is now.
X IS FOR X-TRAORDINARY THINGS
Leg-wise, we all get a little lazy... but there’s nothing a little extra TLC can’t fix—think thorough exfoliation and lavish moisturising. We love Clarins’ Fit Anti-Cellulite Contouring Expert, and This Works’ Perfect Legs 100% Natural Scrub.
Y IS FOR YOGA WHEEL
Consider this the yogi’s version of the foam roller—a thin ring that can help you get a grip on new yoga poses, plus stretch more effectively as it opens up your back, chest and hip muscles.
Z IS FOR ZUMBA
Zumba isn’t just a major fitness trend that has survived over the years, it has evolved with 10 versions for different ages and intensities. If you are a gym snob and think dancercise isn’t exactly a workout, Strong by Zumba might change your mind. More boot camp than booty shake, this rhythmic high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class fires up your core, muscles and calories, all while you have fun with bass-heavy tracks that make squats, lunges and burpees feel just a little bit easier.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING: CHANDREYEE RAY; JASMINE CHUA; RACHEL HO