Like any beauty junkie, you probably have your favourite beauty brands. You’ve tried and tested their products and they work wonders for your skin. But there are a whole host of under-the-radar beauty brands out there that might be as good as, if not better, than your current favourites. From all-natural brands that use only ethically sourced botanical oils to supercharged formulas backed by experienced doctors, here are 10 under-the-radar skincare brands you need to know about in 2019.
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Text: Joyce Cheo
It took founder Olivia Thorpe, over a year to sample botanical oils from suppliers all over the world before she arrived at a trusted list of sources that could guarantee the finest quality of oils using sustainable farming methods. So you can be sure that your skin is getting the very best from all four products in her tightly edited line. Beyond top-grade botanical oils that are rich in fatty acids and vitamins to restore skin to its optimum state, all products (except its No. 1 Exfoliating Powder) are also enriched with essential oils for a therapeutic effect on your mind. Get your hands on the No. 1 Nourishing Face Serum, $170 for 30ml, which packs apricot kernel oil, grapeseed oil, rosehip oil and vitamin E to hydrate, strengthen and protect skin. Or try the new No. 1 Purifying Cleansing Oil, $132 for 100ml, which melts away makeup, conditions skin with safflower and sweet almond oils, as well as uplifts your mind with its carefully blended scent. Available Maisonne, 25 Yong Siak Street, Tel: 8506 3665 and www.vanderohe.com
Specially formulated to be gentle enough for face and body, all of Esker Beauty products are suitable for all skin types and are vegan. With a sensorial range of body oils and body washes, those with dry and scaly patches will love the lavish Restorative Oil, about $96 for 120ml. A nourishing and antioxidant-rich blend of squalane, primrose and jojoba oils, it hydrates, softens and protects skin against free radicals and loss of moisture. Plus, it features a divine scent that delights your senses, thanks to its combination of rosemary, ylang ylang, bergamot and frankincense essential oils. Available at Net-A-Porter
Developed to withstand the harsh conditions in Sweden, La Bruket is a non-toxic brand which harnesses the restorative properties of natural ingredients to keep skin healthy. Try the 063 Seasalt Scrub Sage/Rosemary/Lavender, $66 for 420g, which gently polishes away dead skin cells with its fine salt granules while its combination of almond, rapeseed and safflower seed replenishes parched skin with essential nutrients for soft and supple skin. Naturally scented with rosemary, lavender and sage essential oils, it makes for the perfect DIY spa session in the comfort of your own home. Available at Escentials stores and e-store
Founded by archaeologist-turned-holistic healer, Jenefer Palmer, OSEA Malibu combines mineral-rich seaweed with organic essential oils to rejuvenate and rebalance all skin types. Responsibly sourced from the pristine waters of Patagonia, OSEA Malibu’s seaweed extract is bio-available, which means that it is readily absorbed into skin for optimum results. Plus, the brand has been an active advocate of plant-based, vegan skincare for more than 20 years ago, and that passion continues till today. Fan favourites include OSEA Malibu’s Ocean Cleansing Milk, $75 for 150ml, which gently removes makeup and dirt, calms redness, and softens the appearance of fine lines; and Ocean Lotion, $58 for 180ml, which nourishes dry, flaky patches and improves skin elasticity. Or try the latest Vitamin C Probiotic Face Polish, $175 for 56.7g, which contains Fermented Pomegranate enzymes and bamboo and rice powders to buff away dead skin cells while vitamin C and probiotics reduce the appearance of pigmentation for clearer, brighter skin. Available at Pure Tincture stores and e-store
As the latest local skincare brand to hit the scene, all eyes are on Sigi Skin, and its pared-down approach to skincare. Placing an emphasis on giving your skin exactly what it needs (nothing more, nothing less), all Sigi Skin products are vegan, cruelty-free and made in Korea to feature cutting-edge technology with high-performance ingredients. Our top pick is its Pink Nectar, $62 for 30ml. Made with five molecular sizes of hyaluronic acid, peach extract, propolis, vitamin E and niacinamide, it has a lightweight texture that melts into skin upon application to smooth, firm, brighten and depuff the under eye area. Available at www.sigiskin.com
Founded by Beverley Hills-based dermatologist to the stars, Dr Harold Lancer, who created the famed “The Lancer Method”, a three-step routine which includes exfoliating, cleansing and nourishing to maintain skin’s healthy glow. If trying the entire three-step routine is too much of a commitment for you, at least experience its first step, The Method: Polish, $120 for 125ml. Guaranteed to make you rethink exfoliation, this face scrub uses finely grounded pure quartz crystals to lift dead skin cells, salicylic acid to dissolve stubborn oil plugs while Zeolite provides a pleasant warming sensation. Simultaneously, a host of algae and fruit extracts infuse skin with vitamins and minerals to improve oxygenation of skin cells for improved vitality. Available at Escentials stores and e-store
As the latest K-beauty brand to arrive on our shores, Huxley’s reputation precedes it. Known for its use of Prickly Pear Seed Oil in its products, this botanical oil contains exceptionally high levels of vitamin E, which replenishes skin with moisture, keeps bacteria at bay and protects against free radical damage – no wonder its fans are loving it. Try its Oil & Extract Mask, $35 for a box of three, which is soaked in a synergistic combination of Prickly Pear Seed Oil and Cactus Extract for powerful antioxidants and skin-plumping benefits. The sheet mask is also made of ultra-soft microfiber, which adheres closely to skin for optimal absorption. Dull and dry skin gives way to a plump and radiant complexion in just one use. Available at M Beauty at Metro Centrepoint and www.huxley.sg
Founded by cosmetic surgeon Dr Yannis Alexandrides, 111Skin features the proprietary compound, NAC Y2 (which was developed in collaboration with NASA) in all its products. It works by triggering glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that is naturally found in skin cells to neutralise free radical damage for healthier, younger-looking skin. Since its arrival in Singapore earlier this year, the brand has won over discerning fans. Get your hands on its latest innovation, the Black Diamond Lifting and Firming Mask, $280 for a box of four. Each part of the three-piece masks contain a unique formula to specifically target the respective signs of ageing. For example, the upper mask contains glycopeptides to relax frown lines and wrinkles; the lower mask stimulates collagen production to redensify ageing skin while the neck mask uses Progeline, a biomimetic peptide to firm and smooth the décolletage. Available at Robinsons The Heeren and online
Combining nutrients-rich pure, organic ingredients with scientifically proven anti-ageing results, the New Zealand-based brand proves that you don’t have to choose between nature and science. Opting for organic raw materials wherever possible, Antipodes believes that skincare made from these pure sources not only benefits the skin but also the earth as it minimises chemical pollution. Try the Divine Face Oil, $38.65 for 30ml, which contains avocado, rosehip and macadamia nut oils to hydrate, rebuild skin barrier, stimulate collagen and accelerate cellular regeneration for improved elasticity and resilience. Available at selected Guardian stores and online.
Dr Dennis Gross Skincare
The brainchild of Manhattan-based dermatologist, Dr Dennis Gross, the eponymous line of skincare features medical-grade formulations with advanced combinations of potent ingredients, and are designed to help women improve their skin conditions without visiting the doctor’s office everyday. As one of the pioneers of at-home face peels, one of the brand’s must-haves is definitely the Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel, about $120 for 30 treatments, which renews skin and refines pores gradually and gently. Or try the Net-A-Porter exclusive BioC Brightening Treatment Mask, about $165 for a box of eight, which delivers a potent dose of vitamin C to instantly brighten the complexion. Available at Net-A-Porter.