Dealing with Singapore’s humid climate is something that most of us have grown accustomed to, especially if we grew up here. But the tropical weather has always been a boon and bane—especially when our skin's condition is directly affected by it.
With that in mind, many of us have had to source for our own solutions to cure some of the most common skin problems, from eczema to acne.
And homegrown entrepreneur Quinn Chen is one of them. She used to have acne-prone and sensitive skin that struggled in Singapore’s humid climate, but these problems cleared up after applying products by Ice’s Secret, a local beauty brand that was—luckily for her—founded by her mother, IceMichelle, back in 2012.
“Taking care of one’s appearance is very important in our society. Everyone has something about themselves they’d rather hide. Because acne usually appears on your face, acne has a greater impact,” says Chen, who is now the director of Ice’s Secret.
Following significant improvements in her skin, Quinn challenged herself to find a way to share Ice’s Secret’s solutions with others suffering from acne, inflammation, bacterial infections, excessive oiliness, and other skin concerns caused or aggravated by humidity.
Although her background was not focused on beauty (she has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Media Analytics as well as jewellery designing experience), Chen managed to transform Ice’s Secret from a professional use-only brand in her family’s boutique spas into an e-commerce company that launched in April 2020 with the aim of helping people achieve a radiant and healthy skin.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic last year, Ice’s Secret successfully penetrated the skincare market with its strong digital presence, including a livestreaming platform hosted by Chen—attracting new and younger customers through its unique approach to skincare.
We speak to Chen to find out more about her journey towards achieving glowing skin and her best beauty product recommendations.
How long do you typically spend on your skincare routine?
Quinn Chen (QC): It takes about five minutes twice a day. My routine consists of a simple cleanse, tone, and serum. Singapore is too humid for moisturisers or face oils.
What is your skincare routine like for the day?
QC: It is so simple and enjoyable that I look forward to it every single day! I begin with Oligopeptide Milk Cleanser, which always makes my skin feel soft and supple. Then I tone with Oligopeptide Activating Essence and finish with my favourite Brighten & Repair Oligopeptide Complex Serum.
Under my eyes and on my eyelids, I apply Oligopeptide Dark Circle Complex Serum gently upwards. On days when I want to give my skin an extra boost, I apply Miracle Secret Serum. Otherwise, my skincare regimen is just four steps.
Before I head out, I need to apply Everyday Moisturising Sunspray (SPF 30). Sunblock is essential because those sun rays can penetrate windows, whether you are in a car or building. Also, SPF 30 is perfect for Singapore.
What is your skincare routine for the night?
QC: Despite this pandemic, I have been very busy at work and sometimes have to leave the house. Now, whether I’m going out or staying in, I always double cleanse with the same milk cleanser: first to remove makeup, then thoroughly clean my skin. Then, I apply Brighten & Repair Oligopeptide Complex Serum and a skincare mask.
I use a mask almost every day, whether it’s an eye mask or a face mask. My absolute favourites are Miracle Secret Mask, which works wonders for dryness or sensitivity, especially now that we always wear surgical masks; Acne & Purifying Mask, which minimises acne and soothes inflammation immediately; and Super Mask.
Working late almost every night usually reflects in my skin. I use Super Mask to refresh my tired and dull skin by pumping up its hydration levels, blurring signs of tiredness, lightening pigmentation and brightening my complexion.
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What was the last skincare product that you bought?
QC: As co-founder of Ice’s Secret e-commerce platform, I feel blessed. Finding the right products is no longer an agonising trial and error process. Developed for the humid climate of Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia, Ice’s Secret cares for your skin no matter the weather.
The humidity, of course, is the most challenging aspect of skincare. It wreaks havoc on most skin types, especially oily, combination, and sensitive skin, causing inflammation, aggravating acne, and increasing sensitivity.