As a new mother, Yong admits that she does not have time to do a multi-step skincare routine every night. Find out how she ensures her skin stays healthy and naturally glowing

‘Skinmalism’ has become all the rage within the beauty industry of late. This new skincare term can be defined as scaling back on your beauty routines and embracing your natural skin. 

The ‘Skinmalism’ movement has inspired many to rethink their self-care rituals and simplify their skincare regimes. And one brand that is focused on encouraging minimalist skincare for better skin is Two Halves—a proudly Singaporean, vegan skincare label founded by mother-daughter duo Ashley and Jo Yong.

Formulated in Japan-based laboratories, Two Halves strives to bring balance to frazzled, confused and stressed-out skin with mindfully formulated products that contain plant-based skincare actives and high-quality ingredients that are infused into sensorial, easily absorbed textures.  

Ashley wanted to use her own life experiences of being a young and busy working mother who is also a beauty junkie to create an effective skincare label that works in sync with the skin. 

"As a new mum, I don't always have the time to do a multi-step skincare routine every night. Hence, I wanted to create a skincare line that is suited to our lifestyle and to our local climate," Ashley explained.

She used to spend her school holidays and term breaks working at Estee Lauder Companies, where her mother also worked from 2001 to 2015 and played a pivotal role in the launch of Tom Ford Beauty in 2012 in Singapore. After graduating from university, she worked in banking for a year before she decided to join forces with her mother to create their vegan-friendly skincare brand. 

See also: Inspirational Quotes on Working With Mum

We speak to the young entrepreneur to find out more about her skincare routine and how she incorporates ‘Skinmalism’ into her lifestyle. 

How long do you typically spend on your skincare routine?

I spend about 10 minutes in the morning prepping my skin for the day ahead. I usually take about 20 to 30 minutes on my night skincare routine depending on my energy levels for that day, and what other treatments I may be trying out as well.

What is your skincare routine like for the day?

I always start off by cleansing my face with warm water, and only use face wash in the morning if I used an overnight mask the day before. If I applied an overnight mask, I start off my day with the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. Then, I use Two Halves’ Better Balance Soothing Hydration Essence and the Nutrients Networking Water Cream before applying sunscreen. I find that when I use a combination of Two Halves’ essence and water cream, it not only helps lock in moisture and hydration but controls oil build-up throughout the day. The last step, but super important step, is always sunscreen!

See also: 10 Best Non-Greasy Sunscreens For Everyday Use—Especially in Singapore's Weather

What is your skincare routine for the night?

I always ensure that I double cleanse if I’m wearing makeup. Otherwise, I start with the Bioderma Sensibio H2O and then followed by my facial wash. I currently use either Neutrogena Salicylic Acid Cleanser or when I’m wearing makeup, the Estee Lauder Nutritious Cleansing Foam. After cleansing, I apply the same Better Balance Soothing Hydration Essence before using my Curicare LED face mask. I love that it gets everything done in eight minutes. I then complete my routine with either the Better Balance Nutrients Networking Water Cream or Lancome’s Visionnaire Correcting Polishing Cream. I love taking my time with my skincare routine at night as it helps me wind down and get prepped for a good night’s rest. It’s helpful in recharging my skin and prepping it for the next day.

See also: Double Cleansing: Why it’s an Important Skincare Step and the Best Ways to Do it

What was the last skincare product that you bought?

Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir. I love both the benefits and the application method. It’s everything a face mist should be. It’s a fine-mist spray that doesn’t apply the product too aggressively.

Are there any new skincare trends that you’re excited to try?

Definitely edible beauty!

When did you start paying extra attention to your skin?

When I started my first full-time job at 25. The lack of sleep coupled with bad dietary habits threw my skin off balance. It was a vicious cycle of over-applying products because I then wore more make-up to cover the imperfections, which led to clogged pores and dehydrated skin. I made the conscious effort to stick to a disciplined skincare and sleeping routine. This sometimes meant I had to turn down my social activities. I practised mindfulness and made decisions for myself, my body and my wellbeing. Not only did my skin clear up, but I also felt better emotionally!

See also: Skincare Secrets: Jade Rasif Swears By This Skin Superfood

What’s one skincare must-have you’ve “influenced” others to purchase?

Two Halves Better Balance Nutrients Networking Water Cream! With our humid climate and current mask-wearing regulations, it wasn’t difficult to convince people to try out a nourishing moisturiser that is both lightweight yet hydrating to keep the skin looking its best without causing irritation!

What’s a skincare product you can’t live without?

Sunscreen! I use it diligently every day as the final step of my day skincare routine, regardless of whether I leave the house or not.

What’s the most important skincare step to you?

Night-time cleansing.

Where and what is your go-to facial?

I don’t go for facials! I have quite a busy schedule and having to go for monthly sessions is something I find hard to commit to.

See also: Skincare Secrets: Clarence Lee Shares Why He’s Been Visiting the Same Facialist for 10 Years

Is skincare the new self-care? What are your thoughts on this?

I definitely think that they go hand in hand. These are also the fundamentals of what Two Halves is built on, with the belief that good skin is a result of the balance between skincare and self-care. Stress is the cause of numerous health issues and premature skin ageing, therefore having good skin really goes beyond the skincare products we apply. Looking good starts from feeling good. My morning and night skincare routines serve as my daily self-care rituals which help me set the tone for the day and wind down for the night.

See also: 7 Self-Care Tips For Your Beauty Routine at Home

What is one piece of skincare advice that you live by?

Never go to bed without removing makeup and cleansing your skin.

Have you tried out aesthetic treatments? Why or why not? 

Yes, I have, I find them particularly useful when I have a big event or photoshoot to attend. I believe in treatments like HIFU and Thermage for skin maintenance and only use injectables when necessary. I believe that, like all things, balance and moderation is key. While consistency in skincare remains the foundation and basis of good skin, I also feel that aesthetics treatments can be beneficial to one’s self-care routine and help to boost our confidence to age gracefully.

What’s one beauty treatment you tried overseas that left a lasting impression?

I was in Korea just before my wedding so I took the chance to try their Shurink treatment and I really liked how fuss-free and painless it was. My wedding was three weeks later, so it really helped tighten and lift my skin to be photo-ready for my big day. It’s the only treatment I’ve tried overseas so far. I think after-care is important and it can be hard to verify the legitimacy of such treatments overseas so I prefer to stick to our local ones just for my own peace of mind.

What’s your beauty tool of choice?

The Tripollar Stop VX. I’ve been into beauty gadgets recently and I love incorporating them into my self-care ritual at night.

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