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5 Homegrown Skincare Brands That Beauty Editors Swear By

These homegrown beauty brands are set for a global takeover.

Sometimes it can be hard to believe that our little red dot is responsible for some of the best beauty products a beauty editor has tried in her career, especially since they’re pitting against big international players in the beauty industry.

However, we believe that it takes a Singaporean to understand the needs of a fellow Singaporean when it comes to skin concerns and these under-the-radar Singaporean skincare brands should definitely be added to your skincare regimen.

Above, we share our faves.

Photos Courtesy

This article first appeared in Harper’s Bazaar Singapore.


alche{me} Skincare
With more than a decade of experience in the beauty industry, Tuyen Lamy and Constance Mandefield left the corporate world and co-founded  alche{me} Skincare care in 2017. The pair met while working at Clarins and they noticed that women have their own unique sets of skin concerns — be it acne, pigmentation or wrinkles. Which is why they decided on building customised skincare solutions for people who need it.   alche{me} Skincare uses intelligent facial detection technology, along with surveys to assess your skin and determine the skincare ingredients that will go into your personalised products. In case you’re wondering where’s the personal touch when it comes to “personalised skincare”, there will actually be a skincare expert who will be in contact to ensure its accuracy as a final step in the analysis.   The formulas are conceived by an expert in France, also formerly from Clarins, while the products are made in Singapore by a GMP-certified laboratory. The packaging has seen several iterations since its launch, and most recently, the brand decided to switch most of its products to recyclable glass and wood packaging. What we love most about alche{me} Skincare is the texture of their products, which have been perfected to suit Singapore’s humid weather. Allies Of Skin
Although it’s a bit of a stretch to claim Allies Of Skin as “under the radar” since it’s globally acclaimed and sold through international retailers like Space.NK, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Sephora we believe that not enough Singaporeans are raving about this brand.   Created by Nicolas Travis, who has a background in biomedical science and pharmaceutical science, the brand works with labs in the US and Korea to perfect the formulas, packing in ingredients with high-efficacy that are safe on skin as well.   It’s honestly difficult to pick out a favourite product, but if Travis’s skin (acne-prone when he was younger) is anything to go by, the Promise Keeper Blemish Sleeping Facial is touted to combat pimple breakouts, acne and strengthen skin’s barrier while you snooze. est.lab
This may come as a surprise to some, but est.lab is actually a skincare line created by Estetica Beauty, a prominent aesthetics chain in Singapore. They pride themselves on using innovative beauty technologies within their formulas and have worked with A*STAR since 2010, and later developed a joint laboratory with them.   est.lab’s R&D dept is headed by Dr. Gladys Teo who focuses on formulating efficacious products. She also answers queries relating to skincare on their #AskOurScientist series on their Instagram account.   If we had to pick our favourites from the brand, it’ll be the OptimaLift A+ Intelligent Eye Revitaliser Tri-Action Massager and Eye Repair Capsules, a power couple that targets skin concerns like fine lines, dark circles, and eye bags. The massager uses LED, heat, and sonic vibrations to help the product penetrate better while promoting circulation and relieving signs of fatigue. RE:ERTH
RE:ERTH was founded on the belief that healthy skin is beautiful skin, with an emphasis on achieving mochi skin, essentially complexion that is plump and soft like mochi. Co-founders Shinji Yamasaki and Toh Ziling not only emphasise on creating efficacious products, they also believe they have a part to play in sustainability and protecting the environment.   The star ingredients, Japanese White Turmeric and Japanese Spring Turmeric, are cultivated in the Kyushu region of Japan, and are also exclusive to RE:ERTH. The Japanese White Turmeric Leaf & Root Extract slows down the degradation of hyaluronic acid in the skin and stimulates cell regeneration for firmer and hydrated skin. The Japanese Spring Turmeric, on the other hand, suppresses Tyrosinase activity, an enzyme that signals skin cells to produce melanin.   If you’re new to the brand, we highly recommend the Multi-Targeted Elixir, a lightweight serum that contains the two ingredients listed above. The serum is lightweight and absorbs quickly without leaving any residue. It has also been clinically tested to lighten pigmentation, reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, and promote a healthy skin barrier. Sigi Skin
Sigi Skin launched with just three products and the whole ethos is about giving your skin what it needs without an elaborate 10-step skincare regimen. Its skincare collection is also formulated without parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), DMDM Hydantoin, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, triclocarben and polyunsaturated oils (PUFA), essentially all the nasties that have the potential to wreck your skin.   Founder Xenia Wong started the brand when she was just 23 years old, and insisted on creating exclusive formulas for the brand despite the fact that she will higher costs. In fact, she was turned down by at least five laboratories when she requested for a physical sunscreen that was hydrating and had a high SPF rating that protects against both UVA and UVB. Her perseverance came through though. The end-product — the Morning Glow Sunscreen — is a hydrating physical sunscreen that is packed with nourishing ingredients and doesn’t leave any white cast behind.