cult beauty brands

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When it comes to investing in skincare, we can be wary over which products or brands are truly worth spending money on. After all, we wouldn’t want to waste our money over something that simply doesn’t work. 

However, these brands are considered cult classics for a reason – skincare aficionados swear by them and most of their products have achieved stellar reviews. Check out these brands that are worth giving a try.


Mario Badescu

An esthetician known for his facials in his New York spa, which still sits at the same address when it first opened in 1967, Mario Badescu has since evolved into a botanical skincare brand that counts many acne-plagued teenagers and adults alike as fans, including Bella Hadid and Kylie Jenner. Its affordable price points are also winners with its loyal customers.

Mario Badescu

Star product: Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater ($17, 118ml) is the go-to for many beauty editors and makeup artists as a pick-me-up spritz and/or finishing makeup touch. Its spray nozzle is also one of the best we’ve tried, evenly releasing tiny droplets over a wide area that covers the forehead to the chest. 




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Founded in 1994 by Dr Sheldon Pinnell based on his extensive research in topical antioxidants and photoageing, SkinCeuticals is often recommended by dermatologists, plastic surgeons and medi-spas for daily use and/or post-procedures recovery. It focuses on three main pillars of skincare—prevent, protect and correct and is known for their highly concentrated formulas packed with clinically proven active ingredients.


Star product: Even though Skinceuticals’ 2017 launch Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier ($159, 30ml) quickly became a bestseller and this year’s Discoloration Defense $159, 30ml) has just been released, the brand’s hero products remain its antioxidant serums C E Ferulic (with an impressive 15% pure vitamin C, $248 for 30ml) and Phloretin CF (10% pure vitamin C, $268 for 30ml). The former is more suitable for drier skins or climates while the latter is suitable even for sensitive skins. They help to reduce fine lines, improve skin discoloration and enhance radiance for a more even skin tone.




Dr. Barbara Sturm


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Heard of the Vampire Facial treatment? That was Dusseldorf-based Dr. Barbara Sturm’s creation (a scientific discovery where a patient’s personal blood cells are used to produce proteins to expedite the healing process). Then in 2014, her non-toxic Molecular Cosmetics skincare range was launched to rave reviews by celebrities, beauty editors and influencers.

Dr Barbara

Star product: The inspiration for Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Mask (about $190, 50ml) was literally struck while she was hanging out with Cher in the latter’s kitchen when they would mix fresh aloe vera masks. This deeply hydrating mask is rich, creamy and contains key active antioxidant ingredient Purslane and nourishing aloe vera, vitamin E and camomile—so soothing we could almost hear our skin heave a sign of relief on immediate application.


Kate Somerville

Before esthetician Kate Somerville founded her eponymous skincare line in Los Angeles in 2006, she was the facialist to some of Hollywood’s biggest names such as Jessica Alba and Demi Moore and has been in business of making Hollywood’s A-listers glow since 1990.

Kate Somerville

Star product: ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ($129, 60ml) contains lactic acid, a natural AHA skin exfoliator and papaya, pineapple and pumpkin enzymes that naturally exfoliate without stripping it of moisture. At $129, it might come across as pretty pricey for a 60ml tube but since it should only be used just one or two usage a week, and taking into consideration it actually works (Hello, soft and radiant skin!), it’s a small price to pay.




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Greek-born plastic surgeon Dr. Yannis Alexandrides named 111Skin after his private practice’s address at 111 Harley Street in London. His two-year-old brand was born after some astronauts from the Soviet space programme contacted him to come up with something for them as the lack of gravity or atmosphere in space meant accelerated skin ageing.


Star product: After partnering with two cryobiologists, Dr Alexandrides came up with the Y Theorem Repair Light Serum ($380, 30ml, available exclusively at Robinsons Heeren), which contains NAC Y2, a powerful and patented combination of active ingredients, for smoother, brighter and firmer skin.