After more than a year into daily mask-wearing, maybe we ought to take a second to chart how far we’ve come. If there’s one thing we can be grateful for, the pandemic has, in more ways than one, for better or worse, taught us to adapt to its unyielding demands. When looking at just our beauty habits, we’re now better at dealing with maskne, blemish-prone skin, and oily complexions thanks to the humid conditions under our mask — even changed up our makeup routines to cope with this new normal.
Still, the occasional zit does pop up now and then, which is why constant vigilance is required — or we could do with a little help from these new skincare lines, targeted at maskne, as well as acne-prone and sensitive skin.
Now, of course, the causes for acne-prone and sensitive skin are entirely different, though what’s common is that they both can benefit from soothing, nourishing skincare ingredients. Furthermore, mask-wearing can lead to sensitised skin too, which is characterised by a weakened skin barrier, probably due to the constant rubbing of the mask fabric against our skin, or environmental stressors such as pollution, a modern woe. You might experience redness right after stepping out of shower, or tightness due to fluctuating hot and cold weather; these are all signs that our skin is getting more reactive than before.
In order to counter the universal inflammation and discomfort experienced by those with sensitised, sensitive, and acne-prone skin, the skincare ranges we singled out here often contain minimal ingredients, only the essentials, as well as carefully hand-picked ones that have been tested to calm and soothe the skin. They also help balance specific skin functions — whether that’s our skin’s pH, sebum production, moisture level, or the amount of healthy bacteria in its microbiome — to alleviate the common symptoms of redness, itchiness, and dryness that often leads to undesirable blemishes. Read on to see which ones might be the most suitable for you.
1. CLARINS CALM-ESSENTIEL
GOOD FOR YOU: Clary Sage Extract.
The new Calm-Essentiel line by the skincare experts at Clarins is catered for those with sensitive, weakened skin — hence, the use of 95% naturally-sourced ingredients chosen to calm skin and help with our skin’s ability to defend itself. In particular, Sclareolide, a purified molecule derived from the Clary Sage plant works in harmony with the skin by soothing and protecting it, while the herb has long been considered a natural remedy for alleviating skin irritation.
The dual purpose here is important; also, you’ll want something that works together with, not against, your skin in order to alleviate the discomfort and irritation that usually comes with sensitive skin. In a Soothing Emulsion, Redness Corrective Gel, and Restoring Treatment Oil, the range also features a musky floral fragrance specially developed for sensitive skin, for the most sensorial experience.
The Clarins Calm Essentiel line, available at all Clarins boutiques, counters, and clarins.com.sg.
2. LA ROCHE-POSAY EFFACLAR
GOOD FOR YOU: LHA, Salicylic Acid, and Glycolic Acid.
As one of the more prominent dermatologist-recommended skincare brands, you’d have heard of La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar line for its effective, targeted approach when it comes to acne-prone skin. The Effaclar Duo (+), in particular, is a skincare essential for many, while all their products are allergy-tested and tested on the most reactive, hyper-sensitive skin.
The latest product in the series happens to be the Effaclar Ultra Concentrated Serum, suitable for those with acne-prone skin, especially those looking to see progress on stubborn clogged pores, spots, acne marks, whiteheads, blackheads, and scars, all for the goal of clear skin. The trio of peeling acids here gently exfoliates the skin and encourages skin renewal, while there’s also Niacinamide for a strong skin barrier, so you’ll see much improved skin even after a week. Read our review for how this product fared on our skin.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Ultra Concentrated Serum, $54.90 for 30ml. Available at Watsons, Guardian, Lazada and Shopee.
3. CETAPHIL® PRO ECZEMA PRONE SKIN
GOOD FOR YOU: dihydroavenanthramide D, a synthesised Oat Extract.
Cetaphil® is another drugstore, dermatologist-approved favourite that known for soothing products suitable for all skin types, so a new range that’s targeted at atopic eczema would certainly be welcome by fans of the brand. The products in their latest PRO Eczema Prone Skin series have been dermatologically tested, and are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, while designed to specifically halt the intense, often incessant, itchiness and inflamed skin that accompany those with eczema.
A Face Cleansing Foam, Face Moisturizing Cream, and Body Moisturizing Foam all contain dihydroavenanthramide D, an ingredient that mimics the calming effect of oats to reduce itchiness and irritation, along with hydrating ingredients that prevent further dehydration.
Cetaphil® PRO Eczema Prone Skin, exclusively available at clinics, hospital and polyclinic retail pharmacies.
4. DR.JART+ CTRL-A TEATREATMENT™
GOOD FOR YOU: Tea Tree Leaf Extract.
Just in time to treat maskne and unwanted blemishes, Dr.Jart+ presents an entire range infused with with their Teatreement™ solution, which consists of Tea Tree Leaf Extract from Australia, Tea Tree Leaf Oil, and calming ingredients such as aloe vera and chamomile for balanced skin that’s neither too oily nor too dry.
The first two key ingredients in this proprietary complex of theirs are famous for controlling sebum, rebalancing the skin’s pH, and reducing the appearance of blemishes, so we’re pretty sure that this one’s an effective line for those with acne-prone skin. The range here includes a Cleansing Foam, which contains salicylic acid to further help with breakouts, as well as a Toner, and Moisturizer, which you can pair with their popular Soothing Hydra Solution mask for clear, refreshed skin.
The Dr.Jart+ Ctrl-A Teatreement™, available at Sephora stores and SEPHORA.SG.
5. AVEENO® SKIN RELIEF
GOOD FOR YOU: Prebiotic oats.
It’s all about the oats for Aveeno® in their Skin Relief line, which uses the finest oats that are sourced from nature, then optimised via science in order to nourish and soothe dry and sensitive skin. The dermatologist-trusted brand has done thorough research on prebiotic oats as well, which they say help to “improve the skin microbial balance and strengthen the skin barrier function”.
Basically, a balanced dose of healthy bacteria is necessary in our skin so that it’s stronger and healthier, and better able to hold moisture. The brand’s prebiotic triple oat complex — of colloidal oatmeal, oat extract and oat oil — not only helps to moisturise skin, but further relieves dry, irritated skin and restores the function of our skin barrier, so we’ll see the effects of healthy, thriving skin over time.
AVEENO® Skin Relief includes a Body Wash, Moisturizing Lotion, and Hand Cream, available at retailers including Guardian, Watsons, Lazada, FairPrice and Shopee.
6. MT METATRON SENSITIVE CARE
GOOD FOR YOU: Ceramide, Panthenol, & more.
The luxury Japanese skincare brand is a formidable one that earns the label of being the No. 1 professional skincare brand in Japan, and it trusted by more than 5,000 doctors and beauty experts across Asia. With their expertise, they’ve also recently come up with a Sensitive Care Line that’s recommended for people whose skin easily reacts to external aggressions.
Whether it’s a lotion or serum, the entire regime is specially formulated to help calm skin irritation and sufficiently hydrate the skin while restoring the skin barrier function. When that is restored, the skin’s ability to retain moisture is much improved, which also brings about even softer and hydrated skin.
The MT First Step Lotion, for instance, gently preserves the skin’s moisture levels with both moisturising and skin toning ingredients, while the MT Contour Serum, MT Contour B Cream and MT Contour Mask all contain natural Ceramides and Panthenol, where the latter is essential in improving cell renewal. All the products are gentle enough to be used on the delicate eye area as well.
The MT Metatron Sensitive care Line is available exclusively at ISETAN SCOTTS.
NEW SKINCARE ITEMS
1. SKINCEUTICALS SILYMARIN CF
Skinceuticals’ C E Ferulic is no stranger to beauty fiends, and while that beloved formula is more suited for dry-normal skin types, even those with sensitised skin, they’ve just launched a new Vitamin C serum for oily and blemish-prone skin. The Silymarin CF is an oil-free formula that contains 0.5% ferulic acid for that certified Vitamin C goodness, and its effects of clear skin and radiance of course, while with other key ingredients that help balance the skin and refine its texture. These would be silymarin (milk thistle extract), l-ascorbic acid, and salicylic acid, which combine to help prevent oil oxidation, which is often the cause of breakouts and visible signs of ageing. You’ll be able to keep breakouts at bay, and see a more balanced, clear complexion while at it. See our review here.
Skinceuticals Silymarin CF, available at skinceuticals stores and counters, and the SkinCeuticals official store on Lazada.
2. ÉST. LAB ACTIVCALM ANTI-STRESS HYDRA CREAM
If you’ve got hyper-sensitive skin, you might already find relief in ést.lab’s popular ActivCalm Anti-Stress Hydra Cream, but there’s now a more enhanced formula that does more than soothe dry, stressed-out skin. This upgraded moisturiser now deals with the pollution that our skin is subjected to every day, where external stressors such as dust, soot, and other impurities often lead to even more sensitised and prematurely-aged skin too. Here, it acts as a protective shield from ultra-fine airborne pollutants (PM2.5), while helping to neutralise the toxins in heavy chemicals. With regular use, you’ll notice soothed, repaired skin, and on top of that, skin that’s far less irritated and inflamed.
ést.lab ActivCalm Anti-Stress Hydra Cream is available online at ESTLAB.SHOP and at all Estetica Beauty Studios.