In celebration of National Day, we've rounded up the best homegrown beauty brands that's making us proud locally and internationally
Additional reporting by Andrea Saadan.
Australia may be known for its organic beauty brands and Korea for its seven-step regime to glass skin, but did you know that Singapore also boasts its own list of incredible beauty labels? From clean beauty to clinically-formulated products, these are the brands that are spearheading the beauty scene in Singapore.
1. Allies of Skin
Launched in 2016 with just one product—the 1A All-Day Mask—this homegrown brand has achieved a lot in merely three years. Today, Allies of Skin boasts an extensive range of “clinically supercharged formulations” that help to balance and improve problematic skin of all types, including newest launch Molecular Silk Amino Hydrating Cleanser—a pH-balanced, sulfate-free cleanser that is suitable for all.
All the products are dermatologist-tested, non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic, and the brand is also certified to be cruelty-free by PETA.
Founded by ex-Clarins staff Constance Mandefield and Tuyen Lamy in 2017, Alcheme is a custom-order skincare brand that is based and manufactured in Singapore. The brand's collection of custom-made products include a serum and eye serum for men and women, personalised from a list of 24 ingredients that target specific concerns such as ageing or dull skin. This is done through an online consultation, or video consultation.
Other products include cleansing gels, toners, serums and masks formulated to address common skin concerns. Alcheme's ethos is conscious skincare, which is why all ingredients are completely plant-derived and with traceable origins. The brand is also cruelty-free.
Created by sisters and Tatler Singapore friends Cheryl and Rachel Wee, together with Cheryl’s husband Roy and their cousins Ashley and Alexis, Bae is a homegrown brand that uses natural, vegan-friendly ingredients. With the Wee family’s background in the beauty industry—Cheryl’s wellness business, Rachel is a beauty influencer and mama Jean Yip is a beauty mogul—Bae naturally exploded on social media.
Bae’s debut line is focussed on skincare—named Skin Bae—and it is about creating an easy yet efficient skincare routine for glowy, bouncy skin. Everything is handmade in Australia. The Acne Eraser Spot Treatment, Glow Gorgeous Vitamin C Serum and Holy Grail Gelly Cleanser sold out in two weeks upon the launch, and most of the skincare products are on pre-order right now.
The first range of products targeted oily and acne-prone skin, while the upcoming drop will be focussed on sensitive skin. Cheryl reveals to Tatler Singapore that they also have a range of haircare in the pipeline.
Honey is beloved for its anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties—perfect for reducing blemishes and soothing eczema outbreaks. But did you know that there are many more bee-derived products that can improve your skin’s health? Born out of founder Chia Su-Mae’s personal struggle with acne growing up, Bskin is a skincare label that harnesses apitherapy, otherwise known as bee therapy.
Leveraging on Su-Mae’s family business, HDI, which produces bee-based food products, extracts of honey, royal jelly, propolis and pollen, are combined with pure Jeju spring water to create B-Complex water—the brand’s exclusive proprietary ingredient.
(Related: The Rising Beauty Startups To Watch In Asia)
5. Crystal Tomato
Best known for its all-natural daily supplements that offer UV protection, Crystal Tomato's products are clinically proven and tested to improve skin tone and clarity.
The homegrown brand's most recent product is Beyond Sun Protection—a sunscreen five years in the making—which moisturises, brightens, and protects the face from UV rays, blue light, infrared, and pollution.
Created by Singaporean aesthetic doctor Georgia Lee—who is also known for her incredible sense of fashion in social circles—DrGL is the skincare branch of A DrBrand, which also comprises DrHair hair products and the DrSpa chain.
Less is more with Dr Georgia Lee's skincare range, which promises maximum efficacy with minimum fuss for busy city-dwellers. The clinically-approved products work to bring balance to all skin types, and its sensitive skin range is especially gentle, formulated without soap, fragrance and alcohol.
7. DRx Clinic
Part of The DRx Group’s umbrella of medical aesthetic services that also include The DRx Medispa, DRx Trichology Centre and its in-house range of skincare and haircare products from Derma-Rx, DRx Clinic’s programs are highly personalised based on detailed assessments of your skin and shape. Coupled with access to up-to-date equipment and proprietary chemical solutions, the clinic offers results-driven treatments, which include Essential Facial Rejuvenation (EFR), Ultherapy, as well as Thermage FLX.
The EFR, especially, is a hallmark of the clinic—such that DRx has created an EFR@home Kit so consumers can bring its rejuvenating effects home. The at-home facial kit adapts DRx Clinic’s clinical protocol into six simple steps that give your skin an urban detox from dirt, grime and other environmental pollutants.
8. Frank Skincare
It was Frank Skincare founder Cissy Chen’s sensitive skin that started her on a journey to create organic beauty solutions that would also work well Singapore’s weather.
Formulated and hand made in Singapore, with carefully-sourced natural ingredients that have been certified by ACO (Australian Certified Organic), the indie brand’s face oils are one of its most highly-raved products, and there are even face oils created specifically for men and pregnant women.
9. IDS Skincare
Designed and formulated by Dr SK Tan, medical director of IDS Clinic, IDS (Innovative Dermatological Solutions) Skincare is all about empowering women to feel comfortable in their skin, even without makeup. Drawing on Dr Tan's rich experience in the aesthetics industry, the skincare brand boasts an extensive range of high-efficacy products targeting common problems from acne to ageing skin.
The latest product from the homegrown brand is the Moisturising Sanitizer, an innovative hand sanitiser formulated with 70 per cent alcohol which also includes ingredients with mosquito repellent and moisturising properties.
10. Jung Beauty
Korean mumpreneur Jungmin Lee moved to Singapore in 2015 when her husband had to relocate here for work. With her love for Korean independent brands, she created an e-commerce platform Ksisters (named after her two daughters) that featured her curated list of Korean fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands.
This year, she launches her very own beauty label, Jung Beauty. Debuting with Two Step Steaming Hair Spa, which includes a steaming hair mask and a leave-in keratin treatment to smoothen out locks, it’s perfect for a stay-home spa session.
11. Kew Organics
Back before organic skincare became a buzzword, Lily Kew made it her goal to make clean, organic skincare accessible to Singaporeans. This led the certified beauty therapist to launch the Kew Organics Facial Bar in 2014, offering bespoke organic facials specially formulated for Asian skin in Singapore’s climate. Then naturally came Kew Organics, Lily’s organic, eco-friendly skincare line that complements the treatments at the facial bar and back at home.
The water-based products, some of which are vegan, help to gently improve skin issues, including blemishes and acne scars—problems Lily have personally faced through her adolescence. Upcoming plans for Lily include expanding Kew Organics into a multi-chain facial bar, and the development of her own organic skincare line, in collaboration with pharmacists.
12. Liht Organics
Singapore's first premium organic makeup brand, Liht Organic proves that you don't have to compromise on your skin's health for vibrant colours and high coverage.
The homegrown beauty brand is infused with up to 90 per cent certified organic ingredients and contains no nano-particles, parabens or synthetic chemicals, making it safe for multi-functional use. Liht's star product is the Youth Elixir Liquid Foundation, a non-comedogenic formula enriched with aloe vera, rosemary extract, and packed with antioxidants.
The newly-launched sister brand of cult skincare label Allies of Skin, PSA is the abbreviation of Purposeful Skincare by Allies. A fun and youthful skincare line for the Gen Z, PSA is on a mission to offer clean and effective skincare, with no harmful or potentially irritating additives—such as silicones, sulfates, drying alcohol—and clinically proven actives in optimal concentrations.
You won’t have to be a guru to navigate its colourful products, which are effortless and uncomplicated. PSA is also cruelty-free and PETA-certified, helping you to achieve your glow goals guilt-free.
Based in Singapore and made in Japan, Re:erth's skincare range is as straightforward as it gets. There's no need to juggle between different products or follow an intensive regime for your skin concerns—Re:erth narrows it down to basics with the Clarifying Cleanser, Calming Toner, Hydrating Gel Moisturizer, and the best-selling Multi-Targeted Elixir, which promises mochi-like skin in a single step.
And if you need some extra help, the brand also offers targetted treatments like the Blemish Control treatment, the new Illuminating Concentrate, as well as PhytoBright, a natural supplement formulated with golden yellow tomato and Japanese spring turmeric root extract for UV protection and brightening. Light-weight and suitable for all skin types, the minimalist regime is effective and time-saving for the busy Singaporean, with ‘mindful beauty’ at its heart.
15. Rooki Beauty
Inspired by nature, Rooki Beauty harnesses the power of superfoods for glowing, healthy skin. From Chinese skullcap to kale, the skincare line draws upon the benefits and nutrients of these potent ingredients, combining them with actives such as hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides to create safe and high-performing products.
Rooki Beauty plays off the word ‘rookie’, exemplifying the brand’s desire to make good skincare accessible and understandable to even beauty rookies. Rooki Beauty offers a full range of products that include favourites like the Honey Matcha Cleansing Drops, Circadian Fixer Hydro Drops, as well as starter packs and kits to simplify skincare.
16. Sigi Skin
Despite being a very young brand, it's not hard to see why Sigi Skin rose so quickly in prominence, as more millennials become conscious about the ingredients that go onto their face. After all, Sigi Skin's products are basically superfood for your skin—think kale, avocado, and açaí.
With just five products in its arsenal, the brand's lineup includes the Kaleanser face wash, Pink Nectar eye cream, Dew Potion hydration essence, Dream Capsule overnight mask, as well as the Morning Glow physical sunscreen, which Sigi Skin says is so hydrating you can skip your moisturiser altogether.
17. Skin Inc
One of the pioneers in customised skincare, Skin Inc has won over 100 beauty awards worldwide with its My Daily Dose Custom Blended Serum, which is a cocktail of serums personalised for your skin.
The process is simple—all you have to do is take an online quiz, which suggests the best serums for you based on your skin concerns, lifestyle and environment. Otherwise, head to the Skin Inc Institute at Scotts Square, Ion Orchard, or Vivocity for a consultation in person.
A skincare brand created for battling acne specifically, by Jasmine Kang—who herself suffered from different types of acne problems for 14 years. Backed by her personal experience and research as well as her biomedical science background, Skinlycious was born in 2013 with a five-figure capital investment. This year, it also became the first Singaporean brand to be part of Sephora Accelerate 2020, a mentorship programme for female-led beauty entrepreneurs.
Skinlycious addresses a range of acne problems for tweens and teens to over 40s, with an easy online quiz that makes picking the right skin solutions a breeze.
19. Two Halves
Singapore beauty industry veteran, Jo Yong, and her daughter Ashley have created Two Halves—a skincare brand that we can all get behind: a mantra to create products with potent, effective and safe formulations using vegan-friendly ingredients, avoiding any animal-derived ingredients and are not tested on animals.
Its debut product is the Better Balance Soothing Hydration Essence, a light watery gel packed with anti-inflammatory, anti-photoaging and antioxidant properties, to increase the hydration efficacy from subsequent masks and moisturisers.
20. Handmade Heroes
This local skincare brand is all about natural and vegan skincare and body care products that are made with botanical oils and extracts. Their range of products include products for the lips, hair, face and body. In fact, the homegrown brand even has a dedicated section just for mothers and babies featuring items such as dry shampoo, diaper balm and nursing balm.