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The Non-Sticky Serums Perfect For Singapore’s Heat And Humidity

Powerful, yet weightless serums that promise maximum benefits with minimum residue.

As much as many of us are determined to stick to a rigorous 7- or even 10-step Korean skincare routine, more often than not, our hot and humid climate makes it hard to commit. The truth is, when the temperature hangs out at an average of almost 30 degrees Celsius and humidity tips an average of 80 per cent, it can be hard to layer skincare products at all without the least bit of ickiness. Although the high humidity level means our skin tends not to become dry as easily as in colder and more arid climates, it does make us more susceptible to over-active sebum glands.

And the last thing anyone with a shine-prone complexion wants is multiple layer of rich and sticky skincare products. Which is why many people with oily skin avoid moisturisers or anything that feels rich altogether, only to make matters worse because your skin reacts by overcompensating and producing too much sebum to keep it hydrated on the surface. The solution? Opting for lightweight, non-sticky products that not only deliver all the skin-loving benefits of active ingredients it contains without the greasiness and stickiness associated with rich-textured products. Whether your main skincare concern is fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, loss of elasticity or sensitivity, here are the best non-sticky serums that are absorbed quickly into the skin, making them excellent choices for those with oily skin or anyone who prefer something lightweight:

Sulwhasoo Bloomstay Vitalizing Serum, $188
This is powered by the brand’s Green Plum Blossom extract, which is an antioxidant-rich compound to neutralise free radical damage and prevent cellular energy from depleting. Moreover, this nutrient-rich serum also contains the extract of five germinated fruits and seeds to prevent the stiffening and degradation of collagen fibres so skin remains firm and radiant. Skin Inc My Daily Dose of Uplift Serum, $98
This is meant to address and treat skin that has been affected by the prevalence of daily stress and fatigue caused by digital screens and other lifestyle factors such as lack of sleep and exposure to pollution. It is formulated with three key ingredients, which are all encapsulated to ensure the ingredients are freshly delivered upon usage. Collagen supports elasticity, suppleness, and firmness for a youthful look while coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant found naturally in one’s body, energises tired skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Lastly, hyaluronic acid, one of the most superior ingredients for hydration, helps to attract and hold moisture for suppler, plumper skin. 111Skin Y Theorem Repair Light Serum NAC Y2, $380 for 30ml, at Robinsons Heeren
Introduced as a lighter version of the iconic original, this serum is ideal for those living in humid climates or have oily skin as it features a silky texture that penetrates skin rapidly with no residue. And just like the original formula, it is packed with NASA-approved technology to support cellular repair for accelerated skin healing. Arbutin helps target pigmentation while amino acids stimulate collagen production for brighter, smoother and plumper skin. Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules Line Erasing Night Serum
Forget irritation that’s often associated with using retinol for the first time. Supplemented with skin-strengthening ceramides and formulated without preservatives and fragrances, this gentle yet potent formula ensures maximum wrinkles-fighting efficacy while minimising negative reactions like itching, stinging or redness. Available in individual capsules, they contain the perfect dose for a single application. Plus, the retinol content is shielded from sunlight and air so your skin receives active ingredients as they are freshly released from the capsules just before application. Laneige Fresh Calming Balancing Serum, $48 for 80ml
Harnessing the benefits of Deep Sea Water, which is rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium, this soothing serum supports skin’s ability to retain moisture and balances skin’s oil-moisture balance. It also contains lychee extract, which provides skin with antioxidants to strengthen it against free radical damage. That’s not all, the range has recently been upgraded and now boasts a 5-free formula that is free from oil, animal-based ingredients, artificial colourings, triethanolamine and synthetic fragrances — ingredients that can cause irritation to those with sensitive skin. The ultra-thin serum has a texture that’s similar to a gel-lotion and disappears into skin upon application, making it ideal for those who prefer products that don’t leave a film over the skin. Canvas Rose Otto Concentrated Hydration Serum, $54.50 for 15ml
Made with 99 per cent natural ingredients, this mild formula features a time-release technology to gradually release moisture into skin in order to maintain an optimum level of hydration throughout the day. Infused with essential oils derived from rose otto, bergamot, geranium and patchouli, it targets fine lines, helps repair broken capillaries, promotes cell regeneration and stimulates lymphatic drainage for healthy skin that glows. It is also delicately scented to relax your mind, making your skincare ritual an enjoyable one. Lancer Lift Serum Intense, $439 for 30ml
Formulated to give skin a lifting effect instantly and over time, this rapidly-absorbed serum is packed with potent anti-ageing actives and high-tech ingredients. Its exclusive Stem Cell Complex is derived from marine plants and grape stem cells and offers tightens skin surface once applied. Meanwhile, cassava root extract accelerates cellular regeneration at deeper layers of the skin for an inside-out firming action. 24-karat gold also keeps free radicals out and helps maintain skin’s electromagnetic field for optimal cell metabolism. Jurlique Herbal Recovery Signature Serum, $130 for 30ml
Formulated with plants that are grown, harvested and extracted at Jurlique’s biodynamic farms in Adelaide, this serum is packed with pure and potent ingredients. For example, extracts of Red Clover Flower, Viola Tricolor, Yarrow, Japanese Cedar Bud and Beech Tree Bud are combined to infuse skin with antioxidants and support healthy cell activity to reduce the appearance of fine lines and unevenness. Both Meadowfoam Seed Oil and Marshmallow Root extract help to firm skin while the brand’s Advanced Gel Technology aids skin in retaining moisture for a plumped and smoothed complexion instantly. Antipodes Worship Skin Defence Antioxidant Serum, $54.68 for 30ml, at selected Guardian stores
As its name suggests, this serum serves as an antioxidant boost, infusing skin with a potent dose that eliminates free radicals to protect it from environmental aggressors. Made with New Zealand-grown superfruits that contain some of Mother Nature’s highest concentrations of antioxidants, it boasts the synergistic benefits of boysenberry, blackcurrent, kiwi and Vinanza Grape. With a lightweight fluid texture, it penetrates skin quickly and doesn’t leave any greasy residue, making it perfect for those with oily skin. Fans of clean beauty will also be happy to know that this serum has been certified organic and vegan so you can use it with a peace of mind. Guerlain Abeille Royale Double R Renew & Repair Serum, $223 for 30ml
Taking on a two-pronged approach to anti-ageing, this two-in-one serum is the answer to a comprehensive skincare routine with minimum effort. With each pump, two serums are dispensed—one renews skin with a blend of AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) like lactic, citric and glycolic acid to speed up cellular turnover and refine skin texture, while the other stimulates the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid for plump and supple skin. Sabon Anti-Pollution Moisturizing Facial Toning Serum, $107 for 30ml
The name says it all: this serum defends skin against pollution, delivers hydration and tones the complexion for healthy, glowing skin. Formulated with omega 3, 6, 8 fatty acids, vitamins C and E, and seaweed extract, this serum is designed to guard against all sources of urban pollution, including particulate matter, heavy metals, infra-red radiation and even blue light radiation. Rich in antioxidants, it forms a protective barrier to keep cellular inflammation in check, thereby reducing the occurrence of redness, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, congested pores and even eczema. Thanks to its lightweight formula, you can also layer it under other serums and creams to target multiple skincare concerns without having to deal with stickiness or greasiness.