Are you into clean beauty? Harmful chemicals and additives are often included in beauty products, so it’s important to read the label and skincare ingredients before buying. Whether you’re on the hunt for natural beauty products or organic skincare in Singapore, here are some of our top picks!
The Castile Soap Shop
The name of this ancient soap derives from the Castile region of Spain, where it’s been manufactured perhaps from as early as the 11th century. This natural beauty product is traditionally made with olive oil, these days the soap is also made with coconut, castor or hemp oils; sometimes it’s made with avocado, walnut and almond oils as well. These oils help to give the soap its lathering, moisturising and cleansing properties.
The Castile Soap Shop is the exclusive distributor of biodegradable natural USDA-certified organic soaps from American brand Vermont Soap. Available in a liquid form, it’s an all-purpose concentrate that can be diluted for different cleaning solutions. It’s naturally anti-bacterial and ideal for personal or household use.
This natural skincare is mild for babies, wonderful for sensitive skin, and yet strong enough to clean grease and dirt – good for pets too!
A word from the team
The Castile Soap Shop runs through some of its key sustainability action points:
- We use plastics that are recyclable.
- We encourage the reduction of plastic use by refusing one-use plastic containers.
- We encourage the reuse of our bottles by providing refill options.
- We offer bulk purchases and mobile refills to reduce our dependence on purchasing often and to repurpose plastic containers for our liquid soaps.
- We support Vermont Soap in its effort to produce products that are organic, natural and sustainable, free of animal fats and synthetic ingredients, and biodegradable.
On their website, you can discover a huge list of 26 suggested uses for Castile soap – everything from cleaning wounds to shaving to rinsing fruit and vegetables and more.
The Castile Soap Shop is at #06-32 Oxley Bizhub, 69 Ubi Road 1, or you can shop online at thecastilesoapshop.com.
Unique to La Source is that it has its own spa as well as an organic skincare and natural beauty products. Named INNI, it uses only the finest plant-based ingredients.
The entire clean beauty range is based on the revitalising, purifying and soothing properties of Austrian Heilmoor clay. This healing clay boasts an array of herbal properties, trace elements, biologically active matter and organic substances that are easily absorbed into the skin. It’s an all-rounded product that caters to every skin concern across different ranges – from the Whitening Range to the Body Range, and even an Age-defying Range.
You’ll also be glad to know that INNI is vegan, crueltyfree and palm oil-free. Try the products while enjoying a hair, beauty or wellness treatment at La Source Spa.
#02-17/18 Voco Orchard Singapore, 581 Orchard Road
6732 1318 | lasource.com.sg
Organic vs Natural Skincare
In the clean beauty revolution of recent years, consumers have become increasingly aware of what they’re putting on their skin. More of us favour skincare labelled with buzzwords like “natural” and “organic” – but are these products truly free from synthetic ingredients? And what makes a product organic?
According to UK-based organic certification body Soil Association, organic cosmetic products use organically farmed ingredients grown without genetically modified organisms, herbicides or synthetic fertilisers. In essence, the product should contain only naturally occurring or plant-derived ingredients, and be free from toxic elements like phthalates and formaldehyde.
Just because a product has the word “organic” on its packaging does not mean that it contains only organic ingredients. To be sure, look for a seal of approval from a big certifying body like USDA Organic or Ecocert. By default, organic products are considered to be “natural”, too.
As for the term natural, it’s often interpreted differently across brands and consumers. Some would classify all plant, mineral and animal-based ingredients as natural. To others, a natural product should contain only ingredients derived from natural botanicals that have undergone little or no processing.
So, which is better?
Unlike vague terms such as “natural” and “clean”, products described as organic are strictly regulated. They require official certification, which can be difficult and expensive to obtain – especially for small, independent brands.
Here are a few more natural skincare products we’ve reviewed.
Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion, $26.90
“I suffer from psoriasis and have used countless different skin lotions to keep my skin smooth, itch-free and flake-free. I’m amazed how well this Aveeno skin relief moisturising lotion works. Now my skin doesn’t flake, and I have very smooth skin on my elbows!
It’s not a miracle cure, but I will definitely use this lotion as a solid foundation for my psoriasis care routine.”
– Eva-Lotta Göthe
The Honey Collection Active Clear Acne Cream, $32.50
I’ve been searching for an effective yet affordable acne cream that doesn’t dry out my sensitive skin, and I think I’ve found a keeper. This natural skincare product contains botanical extracts like manuka honey and chamomile for anti-inflammatory and healing benefits. Made in New Zealand, this cruelty-free cream is certified 100 percent natural by BioGro.
The first few times I used this, I was impressed by its immediate effects. My active breakouts looked much calmer within a week, and even my husband noticed a difference in his complexion after applying the cream on his “maskne” spots. Sadly, I’m still not spared from my hormonal acne, but I’m happy with what this clean beauty product has done so far. The skincare ingredient list, while clean, includes a small amount of salicylic acid (great for acne-prone skin), which I know some are sensitive to – take note!
– Anthia Chng
Mira Wild Rose Body Soap, $13.50
Handmade with a blend of organic shea butter, unrefined coco butter and sweet almond oil, this soap bar is much firmer than most others I’ve tried, which tend to go soggy and begin to dissolve after a wash or two. The first time use took a bit of lathering to get some foam, but subsequent washes were lovely. This soap has a slight exfoliating texture with a subtle rose geranium scent.
My skin is soft and I can feel the protective barrier of the oils on my skin afterwards – not oily, just a squeaky-clean finish. I love knowing that there are no nasties in there, and apparently a bar should last for a month of regular use.
– Danielle Rossetti
Lilaroze Organic Orange Blossom Body Scrub, $48
If you’re looking for a gentle body scrub with a light and pleasant scent that doesn’t overpower, this French-made product is worth a try. Formulated with 94 percent natural skincare ingredients like sugar, sunflower seed oil and sweet almond oil, the body scrub doesn’t contain nasties like parabens or sulphates.
Since sugar is used instead of salt, the grains are rather fine and melt easily with water. Personally, I prefer a rougher blend for a more intense scrubbing session, but I also like how this texture doesn’t over exfoliate my skin. After each use, I feel much cleaner and fresher from top to toe. I’ve been incorporating it into my shower regime twice a week and I’ve noticed that my parched skin is now looking more hydrated than before. For more organic skincare in Singapore, check out Beauty Closet’s website!
– Anthia Chng
Neal’s Yard Remedies Wild Rose collection, price varies
To enjoy this Wild Rose series, you do have to really love the rose scent! It’s fairly strong and I wouldn’t want to use it every day. I love the texture of the Shower Oil ($48), which contains organic wild rosehip seed oil and sweet almond oil. This is a good alternative to soap that can dry out skin when you’re having a couple of showers a day. I felt that the Body Polish ($46) was very oily and not abrasive enough for me. My favourite out of the collection is the Body Lotion ($52), which is certified organic. It has a nice texture and a deep, almost musky scent.
Neal’s Yard Remedies ’ organic skincare and natural body care collections are available at online retailer Simple Wellness.
– Rebecca Bisset
Zuii Certified Organic Lux Finishing Powder, $49
I love putting on a full face of makeup for a night out, but my skin tends to feel extra oily and congested afterwards. On top of that, many off-the-shelf makeup brands are known to sneak in harmful additives that can trigger my acne!
On the contrary, this silky-soft powder contains organic ingredients like rosa damascena flower (rose), witch hazel extract and camellia seed oil to nourish the skin while setting makeup and controlling shine. On first use, I noticed that the powder has a strong floral scent, which isn’t what I’m used to. Thankfully, it dissipates within seconds of applying. You only need a small amount to set your makeup; anything more and you can look “cakey”. It does a fine job in keeping my face matte, and I love how it adds a bit of coverage by evening out my skin tone. I think I’ve found a new favourite, as it doesn’t break me out either! The Min List stocks a wide range of natural and organic skincare in Singapore; check out their website for more!
– Anthia Chng
Luxe Botanics Kigelia Corrective Moisturiser, $115
“Given that the heat and humidity in Singapore have really picked up lately, I’ve had to make slight adjustments to my day-to-day regimes to stay comfortable and hydrated. Just like I tweak my wardrobe for toastier days, I also opt for more breathable moisturisers that don’t suffocate my skin. For my body, that means trading in thick body butters and balms for light and fast-absorbing alternatives. Likewise, for my face, I try to stick to non-greasy, natural serums and gels.
This moisturiser by luxury skincare brand Luxe Botanics is an ideal choice for the heat! The skincare ingredients are packed with the vitamins and antioxidants of Kigelia africana (a fruit native to tropical African regions, traditionally used to heal and soothe skin concerns). This natural beauty product is a lightweight gel that aims to calm and renew skin with anti-inflammatory properties and natural peptides that encourage cellular regeneration.”
– Leanda Rathmell
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