For the longest time, we swore by foam cleansers. But we now know that suds aren’t always necessary for a good cleanse – other formulas can do the job just as well.
Micellar water and cleansing oils are currently two of the most popular and easiest ways to remove everything from your face.
For more on Her World Beauty Awards, click here.
Editors’ Choice & Readers’ Choice – Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil, $65-$165
Reformulated five years after its launch, this now has a more nourishing, faster-working formula. Its rich texture is great for massaging with, and skin feels soft, supple and smooth after with no oily residue.
Editors’ Choice & Readers’ Choice – La Roche-Posay Micellar Water Ultra – Reactive Skin, $32.90
Made for tetchy, sensitive skin, this has thermal spring water and 5 per cent glycerine to soothe redness and itching. One cotton pad (with both sides used) is enough to remove light to medium makeup, and skin remains moisturised with no taut feeling.
Bloggers’ Choice – L’Oreal Paris Bi-Phase Micellar Water, $22.90
There are two parts to its formula: micellar water to capture makeup and impurities, and a layer of oil-free solvent to lift them off, and also hydrate skin. One swipe fully removes waterproof eyeliner, and you won’t feel the need to double cleanse.
East Asian skin easily gets hyperpigmented – direct and indirect sun exposure, unsuitable skincare, stress, even mosquito bites and heat from our favourite steamboat can give us dark spots.
Not keen on diving into a full brightening range? Try adding one of the serums to your routine or using a mask every other week.
Editors’ Choice & Readers’ Choice – Sulwhasoo Snowise Brightening Water, $80
Just a tad more viscous than water, it’s hydrating and softening, whether you pat it into skin or use a cotton pad. We had fairer-looking skin in just a week
Editors’ Choice – Orbis Advancing Essence Gel Oil Cut, $52
Get past the fact that the gel-like serum is a little sticky, and you will see brighter and less-spotty skin after just one week of using it.
Readers’ Choice – Laneige White Dew Original Ampoule Essence, $80
This is slightly runny, so it takes time to work it in. It’s worth it as it hydrates very well, and skin has a healthy-looking radiance after a week.
Editors’ Choice – Cle de Peau Beaute Concentrated Brightening Serum, $260
The luxurious milky texture is made for facial massage. After two weeks, skin feels noticeably softer, and dark spots are less obvious.
Readers’ Choice – La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Pearl Infusion, $850
On top of gold caviar and antioxidants, this has stabilised vitamin C in its “pearls”, so even skin with eczema can use it.
Editors’ Choice & Readers’ Choice – Sulwhasoo Snowise Brightening Emulsion, $88
Use two pumps of this super lightweight moisturiser on your face and neck every day, twice a day, and you’ll get fresher, more plumped-up skin after a week.
Editors’ Choice – Fresh Vitamin Nectar Moisture Glow Face Cream, $77
It’s hard to find a moisturiser that suits all. This hydrates without feeling tacky on oily complexions,and is non-irritating on sensitive skin.
Readers’ Choice – Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Clearly Corrective Brightening and Smoothing Moisture Treatment, $80
Glycolic acid kick-starts skin renewal while vitamin C evens skin tone and lightens acne marks.
Editors’ Choice – Vichy Double Glow Peel Mask, $39
It has AHA (do expect a certain amount of tingling) to remove dead skin and refresh a tired-looking complexion. It also lessens the greasies for oilier skin.
Readers’ Choice – Hada Labo Arbutin Whitening Mask, $16.90 for four sheets
Each sheet has arbutin, a natural skin lightener. It also has alcohol, which is not ideal for sensitive skin.
Editors’ Choice – Belif The White Decoction – Ultimate Brightening Bubble Mask, $53
This sticky gel tingles as it foams and deep-cleans. Skin looks brighter, pores look more refined, and makeup goes on better. If you have dry skin, use it just once a week.
Readers’ Choice – Estee Lauder Crescent White Full Cycle Brightening Cooling Sorbet Pack, $136 for a box of eight pods
Heaven on a hot or stressful day: Its brightening and soothing benefits are even better when the pods are chilled.
Editors’ Choice & Readers’ Choice – Lancome Blanc Expert Melanolyser [AI] Intense Whitening Spot Eraser, $165
Dark spots are less glaring after two weeks.