We’ve all read that many spots on the planet are currently experiencing record temperatures in recent weeks. While temperatures are not quite as extreme here in Singapore, it’s been undoubtedly muggier lately, with even night fall providing little relief from the heat.
Sun protection is always unnegotiable but the rest of your skincare routine can be adjusted to reflect the extra-humid conditions – simplify your routine and go for more lightweight products that either help to control sebum production, disappear effortlessly into the skin or otherwise provide a refreshing boost of hydration. Here are our recommendations.
One of Dr Dennis Gross’ most popular ranges is its Alpha Beta family of products, the star of which is the brand’s proprietary blend of Alpha and Beta acids (in other words, glycolic and salicylic acid). With the addition of these exfoliating ingredients, this gel cleanser is great for those looking to decongest the skin in a gentle manner.
Mists are always a great (and portable) way of delivering some flash hydration to the skin but Chanel’s latest takes things one step further. This unique serum-in-mist product from the Nº1 de Chanel line, its newest skincare range is formulated with the same concentration of red camellia extract found in the range’s signature serum, but designed as a bi-phase formula (basically a formula which contains two distinct textures, such as water and oil).
A bi-phase product is usually said to offer the convenience and benefits of multiple products in one (think a facial oil and a water-based moisturiser combined). As a further benefit, the oil found in this mist (from the red camellia flower) means the hydration it provides will be locked into your skin.
Dior’s limited edition Eye Reviver Patches eye masks might be a good option if you need a boost on the go for tired eyes. Each box comes with two pairs of single-use eyepatches and a miniature vial of Dior’s Capture Totale Super Potent Eye Serum to go with it. Dab on the latter and then put on the eye mask for 10 minutes for a quick refresh.
Is there anything niacinamide can’t do? Over the past two years or so, this powerhouse ingredient has deservedly blown up everywhere after people got educated on its many studied benefits (read: it’s not another one of those trendy ingredients).
For one, it’s a powerful all-rounder: niacinamide is known to be a supportive agent in fighting acne, fading discoloration, boosting your skin barrier and reducing water loss. But for the purpose of this story, niacinamide is also a helpful player in reducing the appearance of enlarged pores and is thought to help in reducing sebum production.
Local skincare giant Allies of Skin’s booster includes 10 per cent niacinamide (a potent concentration), as well as a cocktail of other ingredients (centella asiatica, goji berry, licorice root, pomegranate extract, coenzyme Q10 and more) for a well-rounded formula.
As we tend to sweat more in summer, our pores are more prone to being clogged, which is why you might feel the need to exfoliate more regularly compared to other seasons. For folks with oily and acne-prone skin, one of the very best ingredients for not just exfoliating but fighting acne, in general, is salicylic acid (aka Beta Hydroxy Acid or BHA).
Salicylic acid is always recommended in this arena because of its ability to enter deep into our pores and dissolve the type of skin debris that clogs pores and causes acne – which is why it’s an ingredient that tends to be popular with oily skin types. Our go-to is an evergreen staple: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, the product that first launched the brand to stardom in the ’90s.
P.S. Just remember not to overdo exfoliation because you’ll end up with a damaged skin barrier – once or twice a week is a reasonable starting point.
While toners aren’t really necessary, this lightweight one by French pharmacy favourite Bioderma is a popular one with the oily skin kids – it’s effective at mattifying without being harsh. It does so through a combination of ingredients known for their mattifying abilities such as zinc and capryloyl glycine.
All skin types still need some form of moisturiser – yes even folks with super oily skin. Opt for light, gel-type moisturisers or emulsions. The latter is widely used particularly in Korean and Japanese skincare routines and they’re basically very lightweight moisturisers that are known to sink into the skin quickly; perfect for summer or hot-weather conditions.
This one from Avene’s Tolerance line is a great option if you want to try out emulsions but tend to be acne-prone; it has a minimalist ingredient list (only six) and is targeted at people with ultra-sensitive skin.
Hot weather doesn’t just mean more sweating; you’re more likely to experience increased water loss from the body, leading to dehydration. In other words, your skin can become dry, irritated and red or even experience flare-ups if you’re suffering from chronic conditions like eczema.
A sheet mask can be a convenient way to cool things down (especially if you’ve stored them in a fridge). A useful option might be Dr Jart’s Cicapair mask, which focuses on using an array of calming and soothing powerhouses like niacinamide, allantonin and centella asiatica to help reduce stress on the skin.
You might not be familiar with Ultra Violette (yet) but the Aussie label has been making waves in its native country with its stylish “skinscreen” line-up (the brand’s term for sunscreens packed with skin-boosting ingredients).
For the uninitiated, Australia has some of the strictest requirements of sunscreens in the world (the country takes sun protection seriously, given their high rates of skin cancer). Think of Ultra Violette as Australia’s answer to Supergoop (read: slick, cosmetically elegant formulas) and now the brand has just become available in Singapore.
Its ‘Clean Screen’ (pictured) is a super lightweight gel formula developed specifically for people with fussy, easily-irritated and sensitive complexions in mind – perfect for sunscreen newbies or beginners.
If it’s hardcore sun protection you’re after however, they don’t come much better than La Roche-Posay’s new UVmune 400 Fluid. Boasting a thin, milky texture that’s perfect for local weather, the French pharmacy giant has actually invented a new UV (ultraviolet) filter from scratch (that’s some major research money there), named Mexoryl 400 that is said to be the first in the market that can protect against the longest UV rays.
Clay masks are fantastic when you want a deep detoxification of congested skin (a common occurrence especially in summer) but the drawback is that they tend to be quite drying.
Fenty Skin’s version comes in a light, whipped texture that promises to draw out all the unwanted impurities without leaving your skin a desiccated husk – according to the brand, it’s reportedly suitable even for those with dry skin. Bonus: it’s fragrance-free too.
This article was first published on Female.