For sensitive hands: The Gentle Label
Who’s behind it: Former art director Genevieve Tan who created her own range of effective, everyday products.
Why know it: The streamlined collection – a multi-purpose balm and three household cleaning liquids – are a salve for dry, chapped hands. Every product (made with natural ingredients) is certified by the UK’s Soil Association, and contains a minimum of 70 per cent organic ingredients. The Organic Healing Balm ($22), packs a healing calendula and pawpaw punch and is made with beeswax instead of the sometimes controversial ingredient, petroleum.
Farm-to-vanity-table oil serum: Vanderohe
Who’s behind it: Expat ex-investment banker Olivia Thorpe, who created a pure plant oil serum suitable for her sensitive skin.
Why know it: All 11 wild harvested and cold-pressed botanical oils (including Pakistani apricot kernel oil and Bulgarian rose otto essential oil) used in the brand’s only product, the No. 1 Nourishing Face Serum ($170), are of such high quality, they are classified as “food grade”. The divinely scented serum absorbs quickly without a sticky residue and imparts an instant glow. More products will be launched soon.
Small batch African beauty products: Ania
Who’s behind it: Ex-beauty industry insiders, Mehdi Elaichouni and Fern Lee, who wanted to create a skincare brand that’s an antithesis to commercial ones.
Why know it: These time-tested multi-tasking traditional formulations from sustainable African sources work surprisingly well in Asia’s climate. Argan Oil Light ($39), which can be applied to skin, nails and hair, doesn’t feel greasy even in the humidity, while the aromatic Moroccan Orange Blossom Water ($36) can be used to set makeup, as a toner, or as a pillow mist.
Made-to-order organic beauty: Katfood
Who’s behind it: Lawyer turned entrepreneur Kendra Liew started Katfood to offer Singaporeans a selection of affordable organic beauty products.
Why know it: There are no chemical additives in the concoctions, which are freshly whipped up as orders are received. For instance, the clay-based Matte About You blotting powder ($28.90) can be used to soak up excess shine on both the face and tresses.