Care for your skin and help save the environment with these proudly Singaporean beauty brands that use all-natural ingredients minus the nasties.
Former fashion designer Cissy Chen created her 100% organic line after struggling to find over-the-counter solutions for her sensitive skin. She developed her own face oil which helped to improve her skin condition. In 2015, she launched Frank Skincare carrying small batches of freshly-made nourishing face oils, hydrating mists and luxe cleansers, all using only 100% certified organic ingredients.
You won’t find lotions, cream, gels or any water-based products here as those require chemicals and preservatives to be stabilised. The product range caters to women, men and babies, and is safe for expecting mums, too.
Those new to the brand should start off with the universal Juicier Luxury Face Oil, packed with organic botanicals to improve your skin’s moisture balance, provide anti-inflammatory relief, protect against free radicals, and give you a radiant, stunning glow.
To boost circulation and promote natural healing of the skin, Frank Skincare also retails a selection of rose quartz tools.
A family history of cancer, plus severe acne as a teenager, was the push for 36-year-old Charlene Sim to launch her own skincare brand in 2018, where she alone controls the ingredients that go into each product.
With 11 years of pharmaceutical distribution know-how under her belt and a personal goal to create clean beauty alternatives, her Glowfully’s gentle yet effective skincare solutions are made for the Southeast Asian climate and formulated without parabens, phthalates, sulfates and formaldehydes. The first product to launch was the Charcoal Beads Gel Cleanser, created to gently slough away dead skin cells.
Today, Glowfully carries half a dozen products to treat common skin issues such as dullness, dehydration, open pores, excess sebum production and inflammation. Its latest product is the Advanced Healing Elixir Night Gel Cream, an intensive bedtime moisturiser-cum-mask that complements the Healing Elixir Day Gel Cream. In addition to niacinamide, amino acids, aloe, and pre- and probiotics found in the day cream, the night version is supercharged with antarticine to boost collagen, salicylic acid to gently exfoliate, and vitamin C to protect the skin from free radical damage.
Former banker-turned-beauty maestro, Lynsey Lim, 32, is the founder of Handmade Heroes, an all-natural, vegan skin, hair and body care range made with botanical oils and extracts. Her knowledge of organic skincare goes all the way back to her younger days when she was making own mineral makeup and balms as a teen.
The brand believes in making skincare that’s 100% natural — each item with 10 or fewer ingredients minus synthetic chemicals, preservatives, animal by-products, or water. You’ll find her liquid-based products enriched with self-preserving natural ingredients like oils and vitamin E.
Of the wide array of products available, there are scrubs, masks and balms for the face, body and lips, plus a dry shampoo made of bamboo charcoal. Top-sellers include the Cocolicious Lip Scrub, designed to gently exfoliate and rehydrate with virgin coconut oil; and the French Green Clay Mask which gently purges out toxins and dirt.
Created by beautician Lily Kew, Kew Organics is Singapore’s first water-based organic skincare label that uses only vegan non-GMO and certified organic ingredients to address a variety of skin issues such as clogged pores, pigmentation and dehydration.
The brand carries dozens of skincare products for the face and body, many of which are award-winning. Free from chemicals, parabens, and preservatives, Kew’s dedication to quality goes even as far as the type of glass vials used to store the active ingredients — European Miron violet glass allows certain spectral colours of light to pass through so that ingredients stay activated.
Kew also owns Sugar K Organic Peel Bar, a chain of dedicated salons catered to time-strapped urbanites who require a quickie decongesting facial.
Financial planner by day and makeup junkie by night, Nerissa Low is the founder of all-natural makeup label Liht Organics (pronounced light), which boasts ingredients so natural and organic that they are almost safe enough to eat. For example, the mascara is made with coffee and rice powder, while the lipsticks contain carrot powder and coconut oil.
Liht (Living In Her Time) products are formulated with up to 90% organic ingredients and 100% natural content, and does not contain synthetics, parabens or nano-particles. It is also cruelty-free, gluten-free and committed to sustainability with refillable options for its lipstick cases.
A must-have is the cupcake-smelling Youth Elixir Liquid Foundation, rich in aloe and rosemary to heal the skin, which has a lasting demi-matte texture and buildable coverage. Joining its growing collection are the Flawless Face Concealer, which heals skin while it conceals with a nourishing blend of organic ingredients and natural oils; and the Sheer Radiance Blush, a multi-purpose compact face colour for the cheeks, eyes and lips.
Founded by dadpreneur Daryl Chew, Nail Deck has been around for close to a decade as a distributor of 15 nail polish brands imported from the UK, US, Australia and Japan.
In 2015, Chew noticed a shift in consumers’ demands for non-toxic, vegan and cruelty-free formulations. Rather than source for a brand to import, he decided to create his own, and so Nail Deck 2.0 was born in 2017 offering highly-pigmented long-lasting nail colours that are environmentally sustainable, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.
Part of the attraction of Nail Deck is its customisation service where you can create your very own colour done through the brand’s mobile app or flagship store.
Founded by 28-year-old Hayley Teo, Rooki Beauty features skincare that’s big on antioxidant-rich superfoods minus all the nasties like parabens, mineral oils and sulphates. Described as skincare so simple that even a beauty rookie can use it, the brand carries about 10 products comprising a cleanser, mask, sunscreen, plus various targeted serums and moisturisers.
The brand’s standout product is the Green Pulp Paste Masque, a warming gel mask that contains a smoothie-for-the-skin medley of carrots, tomatoes, matcha, kale and soybeans to instantly supercharge lacklustre skin.
When 26-year-old Xenia Wong attended a beauty course in Seoul by Korean makeup artist Jung Saem-mool, she was inspired by the “glass-skin” effect seen on well-groomed Korean faces. That led her to research advanced Korean skincare technology and the benefits of natural superfoods for the skin.
Sigi Skin was born in 2018 boasting minimalist multitasking products made from 100% vegan superfoods such as avocado and acai extracts with niacinamide to moisturise, brighten and strengthen. Its popular products include the Kaleanser, which doubles up as a makeup remover and face wash; and Dew Potion, a waterless moisturiser; and the Morning Glow sunscreen-cum-moisturiser.
Founded by May Yip, former fashion and beauty journalist and founder of communications agency Bolt Communications, The Skin Firm is a clean beauty brand developed by skincare chemists that uses only 100% organic or naturally-derived active ingredients. More importantly, everything is packed in recyclable packaging and nothing is over $35.
The plant-powered range currently offers five products — micellar water cleanser, gel cleanser, essence, serum and physical sunscreen — formulated for combination to oily skin types.
What started as a typical millennial discussion about the planet, and the struggle to find affordable cosmetics that’s vegan, sustainable and cruelty-free whilst being high-performing, eventually became a personal mission for Devonne Niam and her partner to create a brand that upheld their values.
Combining their expertise in marketing and ecommerce, the girls worked closely with R&D partners and launched Solos Cosmetics in 2017 offering an eclectic mix of lippies from $12 and water-resistant liquid eyeliners from $8 — all vegan, chemical-free and suited for the tropical heat.
Beauty industry veteran and Estée Lauder Singapore alum Jo Yong and her daughter Ashley are the team behind Two Halves, a vegan skincare label that focuses on bringing balance to stressed-out skin.
Mindfully formulated in Japan with proven, plant-based skincare actives, Two Halves excludes ingredients and substances that may be detrimental to your skin or the environment and are not tested on animals. The fragrance-free products are suitable for sensitive and sensitised skin.
Its debut product is the Better Balance Soothing Hydration Essence, a light watery gel packed with anti-inflammatory, anti-photoageing and antioxidant ingredients like prickly pear, cherry blossom, geranium and licorice root to calm redness and inflammation, and boost hydration.
When Winona Tan left the IT industry to follow her boyfriend to live in Hong Kong, she decided to deep-dive into the world of beauty and develop an ethical and socially-conscious skincare brand that sources sustainable and organic, fair-trade ingredients from communities in Bali and Africa.
W.ANT Skincare was launched in 2016 offering multi-tasking handmade products that are all-natural, water-free and void of any chemicals or synthetic ingredients. And in line with its beauty-with-a-conscience ethos, a portion of sales goes towards Baliwise, a foundation dedicated to empowering marginalised women in Indonesia.
Bottled in minimalist spa-like packaging, W.ANT currently offers everything for the face, body and hair. Tan recommends two of her fave items: The Facial Spritzer, a mist to quench overheated faces and refresh makeup; and Face Oil, made up of pure botanical oils to regenerate the skin and prevent free-radical damage.