Singapore’s tropical climate can exacerbate acne-related issues, including the dreaded “maskne” – acne from extended periods of mask wearing. We review four skincare products, including serums for acne and oily skin, that can help!
Kigella Corrective Serum by Luxe Botanics, $147
Stress manifests itself physically in different forms for people; I often find it affects my sleep patterns and my skin condition. When work is at its peak, I tend to get rough skin and acne in unusual areas such as my cheeks and neck.
Recently, I’ve turned to Luxe Botanics to help tackle the flare-ups – and it’s proving successful! Enriched with Vitamin C, niacinamide and sodium hyaluronate, the lightweight serum calms and soothes distressed skin, whilst the key ingredient, Kigelia fruit extract, is a potent yet gentle skin purifying botanical that supports cell regeneration. It requires only one to two drops in the morning, and three days of use is often more than enough to get my skin back to normal.
– Leanda Rathmell
Skinlycious Clear Skin Potent Kit, $106
Founded by former acne sufferer Jasmine Kang, who has a biomedical and pharmaceutical background, this local skincare line specifically targets acne-prone, sensitive skin.
The kit consists of a calming cleanser, glow exfoliant and hydrating serum. These products have become a staple in my skincare regime, especially on my bad skin days. Out of the trio, the serum is my favourite. A lightweight blend of hyaluronic acid and amino acids, this oil-free serum hydrates without worsening acne or clogging the pores. It absorbs so well into my combination-type skin that I’m happy to use it on warmer days. I really enjoyed using the cleanser, too. It doesn’t lather or take off my makeup, but it keeps my skin balanced without feeling overly dry. The glow exfoliant is also great as a spot treatment for pimples; I’ve used it a couple of times on my spots and they appeared less red and bumpy overnight!
– Anthia Chng
Iren Skin Clear Up Discovery Trio, $39
This vegan, cruelty-free, made-in-Japan line combines traditional Japanese skincare rituals with clean science and customisable solutions that are free of nasties like parabens, artificial fragrances and drying alcohols. The Clear Up kit consists of three popular serums: Anti-Blemish contains anti-inflammatory extracts like niacinamide and mangosteen; Keep Calm incorporates avocado and cucumber to soothe irritated skin; and Glow-Getter is a brightening formula of glycolic acid and Japanese pumpkin seed extract.
A key feature is the patented Ziplock Encapsulation technology, which compacts and preserves each active ingredient as nanometric particles that absorb better into the skin. The bottles have an ergonomic twist cap and handy press dispenser, which means I can easily customise my serum mix by dropping each formula onto my palm. I’ve really enjoyed using the serums as their non-sticky texture works well in this unpredictable weather. My skin feels well hydrated and I do notice less sensitivity, too! I can see see how these lightweight formulas would work well for those with acne or oily skin.
– Anthia Chng
Dermedics MESO ACNE Acne Symptoms Solution, $299
I really enjoyed trialling Dermedics’ acne range over the past couple of weeks. Used by aesthetic clinics like NOVU Aesthetics and top Japanese spa Ikeda Spa, the Meso serum cocktails cater to targeted skin concerns like acne, wrinkles, dullness and broken capillaries. Each box comes with 10 glass ampoules, which can be used twice daily as your serum. The price seems steep at first, but you get 10 vials and each one can last up around three to four days. I think it’s a good idea to save it for days when you need a “boost”!
Formulated with key ingredients like oleanolic acid and Fleischer’s Willowherb, the paraben-, fragrance-, and alcohol-free serum feels lightweight and absorbs into the skin well without leaving any tacky residue. Unlike many other acne treatments I’ve tried, this range doesn’t dry out my acne-prone, sensitive skin. In fact, my complexion looks visibly clearer and brighter the next day, and I think consistently using the serum has helped to tame some of my breakouts, too. Another product from the range I’ve tried and loved is the Youth Expert Micellar Gel ($78), a purifying and clarifying face wash for acne-prone, combination-type skin. It’s gentle yet effective; my skin does not feel stripped after using it, but it definitely helps to soothe my existing flareups with salicylic acid and tea tree oil (love!).
– Anthia Chng
This article first appeared in the January 2021 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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