My skin gets bored easily, and it shows. One day, it responds glowingly—I mean it literally—to my Missha The First Treatment Essence Intensive Moist. The next, my skin refuses to light up from the niacinamide, and instead craves for new products to try.
Sucks for my pocket, but great for beauty brands. That means more innovation is coming through to address fickle skins and recurring skin problems, and to appease the most adventurous tastes.
We’ve got our fair share of novel options in the Asian beauty department. Have you tried them?
Huxley, from Aldous Huxley of the dystopian novel “Brave New World,” takes after its namesake’s deviant attitude by utilizing a less-popular but scientifically proven hydrating ingredient: cactus oils.
Originating from the desert, this wonder moisturizer contains larger doses of vitamins and antioxidants than one can find in argan oil. Large amounts of linoleic acid and vitamin E are also present, making it good for calming inflammation.
Unlike Sunday Riley and La Bella Figura products that come with cactus oils and hefty prices, Huxley is an effective, mid-range Korean label that offers similar promises sans the huge costs. Try its Secret of Sahara Oil Essence, a viscous cross between facial oils and the runny essence, for an easy glow.
This must be Thailand’s answer to The Body Shop. Incorporating natural herbs and plant extracts from Asia, Gla Skincare offers a range of unique botanical concoctions for hair and skin problems.
I appreciate Gla for its straightforward approach to key ingredients—the use of shea butter and ylang ylang in its Nourishing Liquid Body Cleanser appeals to familiarity, while a mix of lemongrass and willow bark in its Rejuvenating Body Scrub is exciting.
In Her Element
Project Vanity’s Liz Lanuzo is one of the few legit local beauty writers I trust. And with In Her Element, her skincare brand released early this year, she channels her inner Emily Weiss by combining her beauty know-how and entrepreneurial flair.
The label prioritizes simplicity and effectiveness, two qualities that appeal to busy Filipinos. Packaged in alluring millennial pink, the products use safe, naturally derived botanical ingredients sans fillers.
Frequent visitors of r/AsianBeauty and r/beautytalkph on Reddit will be pleased to know that this brand understands our need to know the pH (acidity) of our cleansers and avoid fragrance in our moisturizers.
Inspired by jamu, the herbal healing tradition of Indonesia, Juara combines ancient beauty rituals and herbal medicinal practices with modern science to craft a luxurious range of problem-specific products.
Skincare hipsters will enjoy the brand’s use of kombucha, clove, tamarind, candlenut oil, and other time-honored ingredients and recipes.
My tea-loving self is leaning toward its line of Sweet Black Tea products, but the Java Plum Avocado Nourishing Mask with mango and banana sounds like it can be a universal favorite.
Shophouse Sixtyfive has made Singapore portable (and inexpensive). This artisanal brand offers small batches of hand-poured nostalgic skin treats that capture the country’s distinct smells, tastes and cultural landscapes.
You can choose to wear the vibrant spirit of Kampong Glam on your cheeks with the Kampong Girl Lady Lip & Cheek Tint. Or you can swipe on the beeswax-based Sentosa Island lip balm that reminds you of your quick getaway from years past. Personally, I pick the Coffeeshop Kopi-O Lip Balm just because I trust exciting cosmetics more to wake me up. —CONTRIBUTED