With new skincare products launching every week, it can feel like a case of too much skincare, too little time — and not much real estate to try them out as well. So what’s absolutely worth it? These. An eye serum from Aesop, calming masks and soothing moisturisers from Fresh and Laneige that are especially welcome given our current soaring heat and humidity, an antioxidant-packed night serum from trusted local brand Sigi Skin, and more.
1. Fresh Floral Recovery Calming Mask
WHAT TO KNOW: Fresh Beauty’s masks are certainly well-loved — check out their famed Rose Face Mask for instance — so of course we’re rejoicing now that there’s a new skincare mask in town. The Floral Recovery Calming Mask focuses on calming signs of sensitivity, specifically redness, uneven skin tone and rough texture, and aims to reverse these effects by way of a botanically-powered formula. It uses four key floral extracts — passionflower, cornflower, cherry blossom, and peony — to soothe and calm visible redness, while Vitamin C and Squalene ingredients are added to further brighten and smoothen skin.
WHAT WE LOVE: Instant results! Fresh wasn’t kidding when they called this an overnight mask, since the results are certainly that fast. You may not feel like you have sensitive skin, but more and more people are experiencing the effects of sensitised skin, which can be due to circumstances such as sun damage and not applying sunscreen in the day, frequent switching of skincare products or too-reactive ones, or perhaps a weak skin barrier. I had used the mask after a day out in the sun too, which, despite my best attempts at sunscreen, still left my skin looking slightly red and dry.
While applying the calming mask, I noticed that the soft, balm-like cream had a slightly cooling effect and helped cocoon my skin in all its richness. I applied a thick layer and let that sit on my face for a bit before patting it in the excess. The next morning, my skin was completely free of redness and irritation, that is, way more soothed, and in fact, was bouncy, soft, and deeply hydrated. Skincare emergency or not, I’ll be adding this to my regular masking routine.
$105 (100ml). available at Fresh stores and sephora.
2. Aesop Exalted Eye Serum
WHAT TO KNOW: Aesop’s latest Exalted Eye Serum supplies the delicate skin around your eyes with vitamins and nutrients, thanks to this lightweight but potent eye serum. It’s formulated to provide targeted and sustained vitamin-enhanced hydration, especially after noting how often the skin around the eyes is dehydrated, dull and patchy. The formula addresses this with a concentrated blend of Vitamins B3, B5, C and E to nourish the skin and even its appearance; high-performing humectants including Panthenol and Sodium Carrageenan are present too for targeted and sustained hydration, while there are soothing essential oils as well.
WHAT WE LOVE: The first thing I noticed, and loved, was the texture of the serum. Similar to facial oils, Aesop’s eye serum was a honey-coloured, viscous liquid that looks thick when out of the dropper, but actually felt lightweight and absorbed into the skin after a few light taps on the delicate eye area. I didn’t feel it on my skin, yet I knew that it was there — which helped reassure me that the rich oils and vitamin-enriched formula were slowly working their magic. After consistent use, I noticed that it helped firm some of the small fine lines under my eye, while giving me more hydrated and refreshed skin as well. For those who dislike heavy serums or creams that tend to sit around the eye area, or are just starting out in their eye cream journey, this one’s a worthy investment.
$145 (15ml). Available at Aesop stores and aesop.com/sg.
3. Sigi Youth Beam
WHAT TO KNOW: Homegrown brand Sigi Skin just launched a powerful anti-ageing night serum, Youth Beam, and it’s the first night serum to feature a unique blend of all three biotics — prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics — to help with healthy, balanced skin and a self-resilient microbiome. Antioxidant-rich superfood ingredients are within the formula as well, including reishi mushroom, ginger root, and pine bark extracts to address various skin concerns such as reducing redness, slow down collagen breakdown, and improve skin elasticity, leaving us with skin that’s calmer and more plump.
WHAT WE LOVE: I’m already a fan of the brand, mostly because they get their skincare formulations and textures just right, everything from the retinol-alternative Dream Capsule overnight mask, to the refreshing post-cleanse feel that I love after using their Kaleanser Face Wash. If you can’t already tell, the brand’s big on naturally-derived, superfood-infused ingredients, and this Youth Beam night serum is no different.
First, the texture spreads out easily and gets quickly absorbed such that is disappears right into the skin, which is great since it doesn’t leave my skin tacky before applying moisturiser. It’s, admittedly, hard to review a serum without consistent use, but I’ve tried this every day for over a week and a half, and can vouch for how it made my skin calmer, and more supple and plump. Paired with the Dream Capsule, which I do notice instant results from, I get to wake up with awesome skin!
$99 (30ml). Available at sigiskin.com.
4. Laneige Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Cream
WHAT TO KNOW: Laneige’s bestselling Water Bank range has undergone a major revamp, both in looks with a seamless cuboid design, and in formula. The new Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic, in its 7th generation, boasts even better hydration and the ability to protect skin against modern external aggressors such as skin fatigue and digital dehydration, no thanks to our constant exposure to blue screens. The regime — including a serum, essence, and two kinds of moisturisers —is made to strengthen and repair the skin barrier, which keeps skin protected, while the Blue Hyaluronic Acid molecules are 2,000 times smaller than the ones previously used by the k-beauty brand. This allows for both faster absorption and better hydration within the deeper layers of our skin, ensuring that it can retain moisture much longer.
WHAT WE LOVE: You know how the weather’s been absolutely scorching lately? That’s where Laneige’s Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Cream comes in handy. Suitable for those with combination to oily skin, it’s of a gel texture that feels highly refreshing when applied onto my skin, and a welcome relief in our current weather. I apply this in the day, and am pleased to know that while it is a lightweight gel, it doesn’t easily evaporate and still stays on my skin to supply it with constant moisture — the texture and ingredients also help soothe and relieve signs of redness. I absolutely love its texture and ability to retain moisture, and how my skin always feels instantly plump minutes after.
$60 (50ml). available at laneige boutiques and counters, sephora, and THE LANEIGE FLAGSHIP STORE ON LAZADA AND SHOPEE.
5. Caudalie Beauty Elixir
WHAT TO KNOW: The Caudalie Beauty Elixir is a holy grail product for a reason — the all-in-one facial mist does it all, from prepping skin to setting makeup, and now boasts a new ombré packaging. Its beloved original formula stays the same, with 100% natural ingredients including rose, rosemary, lemon balm, peppermint, and grape extract, all of which help to soothe the skin and tighten pores. Misting it before makeup helps our base last even longer, while a spritz at the end of your makeup routine sets the look, as it’s packed with antioxidants to prevent makeup from oxidising as well.
WHAT WE LOVE: I can’t believe I haven’t tried this Caudalie product before, and it certainly did not disappoint. The mist does it all, as it’s a skincare product that tones skin before the other steps of your regime, can be sprayed on generously throughout the day to top up on hydration, and is a trusted aide when it comes to priming and setting makeup too. First impressions: I loved how fine the mist was, which was a big plus for me as this elevated misting to a luxurious experience; the presence of all those plant-based ingredients also meant that it smelled fresh and almost pleasantly herby, probably from the rosemary and mint. To be fair, some people might be turned off by that, or those with sensitive skin might have concerns, but it worked well for me. I’ve used it in all the scenarios I’ve described, and liked that it helped tighten pores when used on my bare skin. Over makeup, it was so light there was never any uncomfortable wetness, and offered a subtle glow while refreshing the look of my base.
$70 (100ml), $24 (30ml). Available at SEPHORA.
6. d program Allerdefense Essence SPF 50+ PA+++
WHAT TO KNOW: d program’s upgraded Allerdefense sunscreen range is now even better as it protects skin beyond just UV rays — we’ll be safe against external aggressors such as dust, fine particles and pollutants too. Each of these sunscreens boast antioxidants within their formulas, along with friction resistance for a durable shield that lasts. There’s also an anti-static electricity function to stop skin from attracting airborne particles, while any absorbed ones will be neutralised and made harmless to the skin. The Allerdefense Essence absorbs easily and is suitable for sensitive and normal skin; it’s also water- and sweat-resistant.
WHAT WE LOVE: The sunscreen already sounds good on paper, what with its all-rounded protection from both UV rays and pollution, as well as an interesting anti-static technology. I had witnessed its effects first-hand at an simple experiment that was conducted during the launch event, where they had spread dark particles over the sunscreen product; these were brushed off easily without at all sticking to the skin. Knowing that this technology would work on my skin was comforting, since I’ve been looking out for sunscreens that go beyond UV protection as well. d program’s Allerdefense Essence is a great find as it’s very lightweight and absorbs into skin without leaving a white cast, with a slightly glowy finish that’s all for dewy skin. These certainly made sunscreen application feel less like a chore.
$40.90 (40ml). Available at Watson, Shopee, Lazada and Welcia-BHG.