When you look at the beauty products that you have on your vanity, chances are you’ll notice most of them are from South Korea, Japan, Europe, or the USA. But did you know that Singapore is also home to many great beauty products that are designed specifically to resolve the problems that we tend to face because of our (Southeast Asian) genetics and climate in Singapore?
However, unlike international brands, we hear less about local brands so it’s unsurprising that we are don’t usually add them to our stash.
To find out if there are any potential holy grails among Singaporean beauty products, we picked out a few bestsellers from local brands that have a cult following, try them for a few days, and share our genuine opinion as to whether they match up to products from international brands.
1. Sigi Skin Pink Nectar
About the product: This eye cream is formulated with natural ingredients such as peach and propolis and is packed with powerful ingredients like vitamin E, niacinamide, and five – yes, five! – different types of hyaluronic acid. The product is fast-absorbing, highly hydrating, and can help reduce the appearance of dark eye circles, puffiness, and prevent the forming of fine lines in the long run. This product can also double up as a lip mask!
Reviewer: Tesia Tan, 23
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“I’ve only been using this product for a week, and my dark eye circles are already visibly lighter and my eye bags aren’t as bad! Fantastic lightweight texture as well that is easily absorbed into the skin. The best part is it comes at a cost that doesn’t break the bank, unlike many other eye creams on the market.” – Kim
I like the consistency of this product because it was creamy, and not too thick or runny. It was also not as oily as I feared it would be. I was glad to see that it helped to reduce the puffiness and dark rings beneath my eyes. The pleasant scent of the product – which comes from natural ingredients – is definitely a nice bonus to have.
Verdict on Singaporean brands: I’ve always felt that Singaporean brands may not be as effective as international brands because they may not have the financial capacity to invest in the same amount of research and tests. But I see that this product from Sigi Skin has a consistency that’s suitable for Singaporean skin types and it actually works. My impression of Singaporean brands has been changed and I look forward to trying more products from local brands in the future.
Availability: Sigi Skin Pink Nectar retails at SGD64 and is available at NomadX.
2. Singapore Memories Peranakan Oud EDP
About the product: This fragrance has a scent that pays homage to the Singaporean Peranakan culture. It has long-lasting notes and is great for those who are looking for a signature scent that is unique.
Reviewer: Melissa, 24
I like the packaging because it has prints of famous Singaporean icons like the Merlion, Marina Bay Sands, and Singapore Flyer. This will make for a great gift for tourists who are looking to bring home a memorable token to remember their trip by.
In terms of the scent, I find that it suits both men and women since it’s not too musky or floral/fruity. I like that the scent stays on for the whole day even in Singapore’s hot and humid weather.
Seeing how all the fragrances in Singapore Memories are so unique and that the one I’ve tried is so long-lasting, I would certainly recommend the brand to my friends and family.
Verdict on Singaporean brands: I’ve tried products from Singaporean beauty brands before this and I find that they’re generally effective and deliver what they promise to. The only problem is that they tend to be a little inaccessible, so it can be hard to get your hands on them. Thankfully, brands like Singapore Memories (and many other local brands) are stocked at NomadX, which is located at Plaza Singapura and also has an online store. This helps consumers like me who are looking out for local brands to discover them more easily.
Availability: Singapore Memories Peranakan Oud EDP (18ml) retails at SGD38 and is available at NomadX. You can also check out an EDT of the same scent, if you prefer something lighter.
3. Oasis:Skin Brighten Clay Mask
About the product: This is a three-in-one cleanser, toner, and skin brightener that helps to work instantly to deliver radiance to skin. The product helps stimulate collagen production and tissue regeneration so that acne, blemishes, scars, pigmentation can be lightened.
Reviewer: Wan Kee, 27
The packaging is interesting, and has a modern packaging and minimalist concept that doesn’t look inferior to international brands’ products.
Unlike other clay mask, I like that it is easy to wash off, is formulated with organic ingredients, and has multiple properties. While it is slightly cumbersome to mix the powder with water before application, I like that it makes my skin look brighter after application.
On top of all these, Oasis:Skin believes in loving the environment and makes sure that it has a sustainable packaging.
Verdict on Singaporean brands: I have always had a positive impression of Singaporean brands and have been open to trying them out. Now that I had the chance to do so, I’m glad to see that the quality is comparable to international brands. I enjoyed the product and would recommend it to my friends and family. In fact, if this were a blind test, I wouldn’t have been able to tell whether it’s from a local brand or international brand.
Availability: Oasis:Skin Brighten Clay Mask retails at SGD25 and is available at NomadX
4. 24 Saturn 1% Hyaluronic Acid MISS ALOHA Serum
About the product: This oil-free serum delivers full day hydration and is suitable for those with oily and acne prone skin. It absorbs into skin and attracts moisture to skin cells to intensely hydrate it. Its light formulation helps to moisturise skin without its users feeling any heaviness. 100% made and formulated in Singapore, the vegan product contains no parabens or mineral oil.
Reviewer: Pei Ying, 23
The product is quite hydrating and I like that its texture makes it glide on easily. It has a rose scent that is quite strong, which users may like or dislike, depending on their preference – so that’s something you need to take note of. While the formula is great, I find that its unassuming packaging can be a disadvantage to it, because it lowers the chances of users picking it up among other beauty products with eye-catching packaging in the huge beauty market. This is definitely something the brand can look into!
Verdict on Singaporean brands: I haven’t tried any local brands because I typically won’t try new beauty brands unless I see them around or being talked about prominently. This is why I’m glad that retailers like NomadX brought in unique brands that I wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to learn about.
Availability: 24 Saturn 1% Hyaluronic Acid MISS ALOHA Serum retails at SGD70 and is available at NomadX.
5. Basic Theory The Basic Body Polish
About the product: Featuring a blend of ethical and organically sourced Earl Grey tea leaves, an infusion of various types of nourishing oils, and organically sourced brown sugar, this body polish has a unique and natural scent. The tea leaves and sugar also act as a gentle exfoliator to get rid of dead skin cells. You’ll find that the body polish is hydrating and delivers antioxidant benefits to care for your body skin.
Reviewer: Aimee, 27
This body polish comes in a beautiful, minimalist packaging that caught my eyes immediately. After using it, I find that the scent really helped to relax me; I like that it’s pleasant yet very subtle. My skin felt soft and smooth right after using the product. This definitely made my shower more enjoyable than before and I would keep using it!
Verdict on Singaporean brands: I had always preferred Korean brands because I think they’re more up-to-date. However, having tried this body polish from Basic Theory, I have a better impression of Singaporean brand and will definitely be more opened about trying them in the future.
Availability: Basic Theory The Basic Body Polish retails at SGD46 and is available at NomadX.
Conclusion: Is Singaporean brands just as good as international brands?
Although most of the reviewers had never tried products from Singaporean brands before this, they all had a better impression of them after trying out the products for themselves.
While one of the reviewers has some concerns about the aesthetic appeal of the packaging of the product, all of them attested to the great formulation of the products and found that the products delivered the benefits that were promised. Many of these brands are also committed to producing scientifically backed products that are made with sustainable packaging and natural ingredients; it’s nice to know that Singaporean brands care so much for the environment!
If you haven’t tried products from local brands, perhaps it’s time to give them a chance! The brands that we’ve tried all have a following of loyal users, which tells us that they must be doing something right!
Discover more Singaporean beauty brands at NomadX
A retailer that curates lifestyle and beauty products, NomadX is home to several unique brands, including many Singaporean beauty brands like the ones we’ve tried and more.
You can either pop by its two-level store at #01-67 & #03-65 to 69, Plaza Singapura to explore and experience the products or enjoy the convenience of online shopping from their e-store.