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Design for everyone, for everyday.

Beyond Skin Deep - Interview With Beauty Makers

Jul 26 2016

Beauty is skin deep, as per what the eyes can see. But to us, beauty is more than meets the eyes - it's seeing these people who love skincare, so much so that they bring their passion to another level, by creating skincare products. 

We spoke to a few of our homegrown skincare brand owners and find out how they stumble into what the skincare business. Also, learn more about their skincare secrets that you can use too!

 

Dawn & Keith, Alexiares & Ani

What were you doing before you venture into the skincare business?

We were an architect and a chef, and later we had our own interior design firm. We're naturally curious!

 

Were you a strong believer of skincare before this? Why?

Well, we didn't know what to believe. I think that's a pretty common feeling. We didn't want to take someone's word for it, so we started to read actual skincare research.

The ten second breakdown is this: your natural barrier protects you from most skin issues, so take care of it! There are many, many botanical and mineral extracts (things like antioxidant green tea) that have a long history of benefits to skin. There are a few, very specific compounds (like vitamins) that can really boost beneficial activity in your skin by stimulating natural restorative processes. And regular exfoliation naturally encourages skin renewal, ensuring that your skin is as fresh as can be.

 

When did you realise you need to pursue this skincare career?

When we realised that we could help people just like us understand more about their own skin, it became clear that we should put all that research to good use. We've made a lot of skincare mistakes in the past and we hope to help others avoid that.

 

What's your daily skincare regime?

Our daily regimen is pretty extensive, but once you get used to it, it doesn't take long at all. We have 2 different cleansers, but we both generally use the hydrating, gel cleanser for normal to oily skin. We exfoliate with the Rascal scrub at least twice a week. That's always followed by 10 minutes of our Luminary clay masque. We use either the Archangel antioxidant serum or the Twins vitamin C & E serum during the day and our retinol serum every night. In Singapore, we both prefer a lighter moisturiser, but that changes when travelling. And we use sunscreen every day, even if we're going to be indoors. 

 

Share with us some skincare tips!

Okay here's three! As you know collagen is your skin's source of smoothness and firmness. That naturally declines with time. But there are three things that can help boost natural collagen production:

1, Your body can't produce collagen without vitamin C, so eat your fruits and vegetables, but also apply a vitamin C serum (like our Twins) to your skin daily,

2. Encourage cellular renewal with a gentle retinol (vitamin A) serum (like our Advocate) every night,

3, Your skin's fibroblasts respond to signals delivered by specific peptides (tiny pieces of amino acids) by increasing natural collagen production in your skin. (We include collagen-boosting peptides in our Advocate.)

 

If you were only allowed to bring one skincare essential with you for the next 6 months, what would that be and why?

Without a doubt it would be sunscreen. The sun is your skin's number 1 enemy. A scientific study established that up to 85% of premature aging is from UV exposure, so we always tell people, "If you're too lazy to do all the steps, apply sunscreen, it'll make the biggest difference!"

 

In your free time, what are you up to usually?

I think the most accurate description we ever got was "obsessed with how things are made”. And learning about our skin's health made us more conscious of what we eat. We've become a bit obsessed with making food from scratch because it's so much more healthy. We do this in our free time as we find it very relaxing. Currently we're into making artisan bread and home made ice-cream.

 

What's your word of advice for budding makers who would like to venture into skincare?

We don't make our skincare products in our kitchen, it's actually a very complicated science. You wouldn't want your products to introduce a mould or bacteria to your face, so we work with specialist formulators in California and Australia. Having said that, there are a lot of oils and waxes that can be blended to produce soothing balms without much scientific knowledge. If you're really interested do some research, but get experienced professionals to formulate, test and package your products.

 

Nicolas, Allies of Skin

What were you doing before you venture into the skincare business?

I was at Social@Ogilvy (Ogilvy & Mather) creating and managing social media strategy and accounts for clients like Nestle, Guinness, Singapore Red Cross and the Chengdu government (panda conservation). 

 

Were you a strong believer of skincare before this? Why?

Yes, I’ve always been a big proponent of skincare. I had terrible acne as a teenager and it took years of diligently sticking to a regimen and being disciplined to clear up. 

 

When did you realise you need to pursue this skincare career?

Having a skincare line has always been my dream. When I was suffering from acne, I found the process of shopping for products very daunting. There is so much noise and empty promises in the marketplace. There’s also a lot of fear-based directive in the industry - you’re guilted into feeling worse about yourself so that they can sell more products. I believe it’s time for products to empower and that time is now.

We, unfortunately, still live in a time where men get to roll out of bed and just show up while women have this pressure to look a certain way because god forbids if she decides to roll out of bed and show up too. The ability to leave the house as you are is powerful. So is not feeling like you need to use makeup to hide or conceal anything. It all starts with good skin.

You’ll never see us use the term ‘anti-aging’ for example. We’re opposed to that term because that somehow connotes that there’s something wrong with aging. The truth is, we get older every single day and there’s nothing we can do to stop the process. However, what we can do is be the best versions of ourselves at every age and again, it all starts with good skin.

I founded Allies of Skin because I believe I can make a difference. Taking care of your skin doesn’t have to feel like a chore. It should be effortless. The 3 products I have right now were designed to effortlessly complement all aspects of a demanding lifestyle.

The 1A All-Day Mask is the first leave-on mask designed to be worn daily under makeup and sunblock. It erases fatigue and helps you attain the effects of a good night’s sleep. It’s great for reducing puffiness as well as irritation from shaving for example. We have customers that tell us that it’s really improved their eczema. You can use this on your eyes, lips and cuticles too. Through our blind clinical study, it’s been shown to reduce acne by 36% in 28 days.

The Molecular Saviour Toner Mist is an anti-evaporation liquid booster that hydrates thirsty skin, refine pores and reduces irritation and redness. It provides a nutrient reservoir that boosts the effects of all the other products used after it. Through our blind clinical study, it’s been shown to reduce acne by 42.7% in 28 days.

The 1A Overnight Mask combines two treatments (Retinol + Brightening Mask) in one effortless product. It has a special form of time-released Retinol that gives all the benefits (treats acne, wrinkles and dark spots) without any irritation. It protects the skin from dehydrating conditions like cabin air and air conditioning so it’s great for long flights and after nights of too much alcohol. Through our blind clinical study, it’s been shown to reduce acne by 67.2% in 28 days.

 

What's your daily skincare regime?

I wash my face with a gentle cleanser (QV Gentle Wash) then use a homemade toner with rosewater and organic apple cider vinegar. That helps to refine pores. Next, I spritz my Molecular Saviour Toner Mist and then apply an antioxidant booster (a new product that we’re launching at the end of the year) then follow up with the 1A All-Day Mask and sunblock. I’m still looking for the perfect mattifying sunblock, so if you know of a good one, let me know please!

At night, I do the same except that I use a peel pad once a week and use the 1A Overnight Mask instead of the 1A All-Day Mask. Dr Dennis Gross makes good ones. I prefer chemical exfoliation to manual exfoliation. Always treat freshly exfoliated skin with lots of moisture.  

 

Share with us some skincare tips!

Press your toner into your skin: Instead of swiping your toner, press it into your skin instead to increase product penetration.

Daily Clay Mask: If you’re breaking out, using a clay mask daily will help unclog pores. The trick is to leave it on for only a few minutes as opposed to a full 20 minutes. Always follow up with a non-comedogenic moisturiser or leave-on mask.

 

If you were only allowed to bring one skincare essential with you for the next 6 months, what would that be and why?

The 1A All-Day Mask. It can be used day and night, and is a true multi-tasker. It’s great for stressed and tired skin.

 

In your free time, what are you up to usually?

I’m usually catching up on TV with a bottle of wine. Or having weekend dinner parties where there’s always a lot of wine and laughter.

 

What's your word of advice for budding makers who would like to venture into skincare?

Make sure you have a good product and never give up. Develop a thick skin. Believe in yourself and what you have to offer. I had to learn everything when I started and I found mentors who took me under their wing and helped me connect the dots. So don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice.

 

Lynsey, Handmade Heroes

What were you doing before you venture into the skincare business? 

I was working in a private bank prior to starting Handmade Heroes.

 

Were you a strong believer of skincare before this? Why?

I was never really one to indulge in my skincare routine. I have always been a firm believer of simplicity and being as natural as possible. A large part of my skincare routine was making DIY face masks using fresh ingredients found in my kitchen.

 

When did you realise you need to pursue this skincare career?

A few years back, my sister got married and asked me to create a bridesmaid gift set for her girlfriends. I took my good old trusty recipes, fine tuned them and designed a chic packaging for her. After the wedding, they were so well received by her bridesmaids that they wanted to buy more as gifts for them friends! And that was the very start of Handmade Heroes. (p.s. the packaging you see today is still pretty much the same as the original design at the wedding!)

 

What's your daily skincare regime?

It is quite simple really - at the end of every day, I use my natural oil-based make up remover to clean my make up off. It both cleanses and nourishes my skin. And that is it and I am done.

Every twice a week or so, I use our Beauty Warrior face mask to detoxify, the clays in the mask really help to draw out any impurities and clogged dirt in the skin. I alternate between the three masks, depending on how my skin is (although French Green Clay is my favourite!).

 

Share with us some skincare tips!

I love sprucing up my face masks with organic herbal teas! The next time you boil a pot of tea, try switching it up by adding some to a dry clay mask to give it an added boost. Organic lavender and chamomile helps to soothe and calm, while peppermint tea helps to freshen and perk up the skin. Another tip would be to add some mashed bananas to a face mask (or even by itself!) - the bananas leave your skin smooth and baby soft every time!

 

If you were only allowed to bring one skincare essential with you for the next 6 months, what would that be and why?

I would bring my Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo without a second thought! I carry it everywhere with me and use it all the time. It freshens up my hair and leaves it looking just as good, even after a long haul flight (and sometimes when I skip a hair wash! Yikes!)

 

In your free time, what are you up to usually?

If I am not at the office, you are most likely to catch me at home; I pride myself as a homebody. I am also always starting on some kind of new DIY craft (and always never completing them)!

 

What's your word of advice for budding makers who would like to venture into skincare?

I say, go for it! You would never know what you are truly capable of until you really do it. 

 

Kendra, Katfood

What were you doing before you venture into the skincare business? 

I was a lawyer in litigation practice for close to three years before I quit to start Katfood.

 

Were you a strong believer of skincare before this? Why?

I have always been a strong believer in only putting on your skin what you would feel safe putting in your mouth.

 

When did you realise you need to pursue this skincare career?

I started Katfood because I noticed a lack of natural skincare options in the Singapore market. I wanted to share my passion for natural skincare with as many people as possible.

 

What's your daily skincare regime?

Nothing too fancy! I scrub my skin with lemon peel in the morning and rinse with water. At night, I use Katfood's #nofilter Makeup Remover followed by the All About That Face Foaming Facial Wash, and tone and moisturise after.

 

Share with us some skincare tips!

I love what a simple lemon can do for your skin. You can gently exfoliate with the peel, and use the juice to dry up and lighten acne and its scars. Of course, drinking the juice also helps improve your skin from the inside out.

 

If you were only allowed to bring one skincare essential with you for the next 6 months, what would that be and why?

The All About That Face Foaming Facial Wash. It is important to keep the skin clean to prevent clogged pores and pimples!

 

In your free time, what are you up to usually?

Either jamming on my DJ console or playing football!

 

What's your word of advice for budding makers who would like to venture into skincare?

Don't be afraid to try and fail. Creating skincare is a long process of trial and error. Do not be easily discouraged by setbacks!

 

 

 

  

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- Not applicable with other on-going promotions.
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- Only applicable for products in the "Beauty & Grooming" Collection.
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