We use skincare products every day (if you don’t, you should start soon!), and most of the time, we take them for what they are. What gives skincare products the ability to work wonders on our skin? Well, most of that magic boils down to the ingredients in the products.

Skincare products

While it is common to see a bunch of chemical names in the ingredient list, we do see ingredients like “pomegranate extract” popping up.

Wait, what?

Yes, it’s the same pomegranate that makes up the pomegranate juice you drink during breakfast. So what’s it doing in your skincare product? What is great for your body is often good for your skin too – after all, your skin is the biggest organ of your body. Take a look at some common (or not so common) ingredients that you can find in skincare products that you can also find on your dining table. Click on to see the first ingredient.

1. Seaweed

We see them in our soup, eat them as a snack, but why is it in our skincare products? For one, these slimy and clumpy algae are rich in vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory components. Seaweeds have been a hero in the beauty industry for the longest of time due to its efficacy in moisturising and even soothing acne-plagued skin. The natural fatty acids aid in moisturising the skin and smoothing fine lines, while its anti-inflammatory properties soothe the skin, a heaven-send for people with “explosive” acne.

For the brave, you can apply it directly to the skin as a strengthening agent and an exfoliant. Maybe that’s why Ariel from the The Little Mermaid has such wonderful skin, huh!

Find seaweed in: Crystal Moist Hydra Ion+ Moisturising Face Gel (SGD22.90)

crystal mosit

Endorsed by Joo Eun-Young from K-pop band Two X, Crystal Moist is formulated in Korea and is designed specially for Asian skin. The Moisturising Face Gel is a must-have for the busy K-Pop idol as its high-hydration performance, thanks to the seaweed extract in its formula, keeps her looking camera-ready, something this rising star needs all the time. Crystal Moist products are exclusively available at Guardian stores and their online store.

2. Quinoa

Quinoa, a food product that benefits your skin no matter what you do with it. It controls sebum production (over-production causes acne) and reduces the signs of ageing (it is packed with a lot collagen!) when eaten, acts as a gentle scrub when used as it is, it’s extract acts as a powerful exfoliant that accelerates the skin’s renewal process etc. What’s more, it’s prowess is not limited to just your skin! It’s a all rounded goodie bag that aids in healthy hair growth and in general, your good health as well!

Find quinoa in: Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate (SGD99)


This leave-on serum helps to refine the texture of skin as it accelerates the cell’s turnover process, leaving the skin looking refreshed and radiant. Using quinoa’s husk as the main ingredient, the Kiehl’s Nightly refining Micro-Peel Concentrate is gentle on the skin and delivers the goodness of quinoa so skin can appear smoother and younger-looking. It is said to achieve the same effectiveness as a chemical peel you go for at the clinic, but with the convenience of an at-home treatment. This is available from July at all Kiehl’s stores.

3. Papaya

Did you know that this fruit originated from the South and Central of America? While they are delicious, sweet, and juicy when they are ripe, the raw and unripe papaya contains much goodness that is “yummy” for the skin. Raw papaya contains Papain, a protease (the enzyme which breaks down proteins) that is used in the kitchen –  to tenderise meat! How papain works to tenderise meat is because of its ability to sever protein chains that make meat fibrous and difficult to cut. When used on our skin, it removes “protein stains” on the skin caused by excessive protein accumulation by degrading the proteins. Hence, it works as a gentle yet natural exfoliant that you can use daily!

Find papaya in: Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi+ Pollutant & Dullness Clarifying Cleansing Oil (SGD125 for 450ml)


Shu Uemura is known for its amazing range of cleansing oil, and the latest upgrade to the range is in the newly-reformulated Anti/Oxi+ cleansing oil. Having added papaya extract, moringa and green tea extract in the new formula, this cleansing oil is able to target at the harmful PM2.5, a pollutant that is responsible for premature ageing. This enhanced cleansing oil not only removes impurities and stubborn makeup, it also helps restore radiance to skin. This is available at all Shu Uemura stores and you can collect free samples here.

4. Soybean

There is an old wives’ tale saying that soybean milk can increase the size of your chest. Well, that’s because of “isoflavones”, a compound similar to estrogen, the female hormone that makes your womanly assets more prominent.

That being said, are other properties of this bean beneficial to woman as well? The answer is yes! As a skin care ingredient, soybeans can help reduce fine lines, reverse sun damage, and even tighten skin. Skincare with soybean extract may benefit combination skin types more due to its ability to moisturise areas that are dry and decrease the oiliness of the other areas at the same time. It even helps to soften and smooth out our skin tone as well! For oily skin, you can use it to remove excess oil from your skin. Talk about being a multi-tasker!

Find soybean in: Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence (SGD54.80).

The essence contains 91% fermented Jeju soybean that helps to build a tighter and denser skin barrier. This helps to energise the skin and at the same time, making it more resilient against environmental damages. This essence is also great for removing impurities so skin looks smoother and brighter. The Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence is available at all Innisfree stores.

5. Chia Seed

Chia seeds, the recent food fad that everyone has been talking about. Not only are they wonderful for the body, they work wonders for our skin too! Rich in anti-oxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, protein, and minerals, skin products with chia seed extract helps to soothe the skin and reduce redness, hence it is great for improving acne problems. It is also said to restore moisture and reduce signs of ageing.

Find chia seeds in: One Love Organics Oh Mega Calming Chia Oil (SGD70)

calming chia oil

True to its name, the Calming Chia Oil contains a blend of organic chia seeds, shea, aloe vera, and lavender, which helps to soothe skin. Not only that, it also has a high level of omega-3s, anti-oxidants, and a plant-based probiotic complex for the ultimate nourishment – especially pampering for those with dry or sensitive skin! One Love Organics products can be found in their online store using ezbuy.

6. Rice

Rice, or more specifically, rice water (the murky water you get when washing white rice), has been used in eastern countries to keep skin looking youthful and emit that highly sought after healthy glow since ancient times. These are all possible due to it being rich in vitamin B and minerals. Who knew moisturising and brightening potion can be made in your own kitchen! If you are running low on facial toner, you can try this natural solution that works almost as well as your manufactured toners! Soft, firm, and radiant skin, coming right up!

Find rice water in: The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Massage Cream (SGD20.90)

Using Asia’s best kept skincare secret, The Face Shop has harnessed the benefits of rice water, which is rich in minerals and vitamins, to create this massage cream. The cream’s moisturising and brightening effects leave the skin looking more dewy and luminous. What’s more, it also contains adenosine, a compound known to reduce the look of fine lines. This is available at all The Face Shop stores.

7. Snails

Well, not exactly snails, but their secretion! Why is this cringe-worthy ingredient so good? This goo contains nutrients like hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes, antimicrobial peptides, and proteoglycans (stuff that plumps your skin!) The listed “ingredients” in this goo goodness hydrates, increases suppleness, and improves hyper-pigmentation. What’s more, even with so many benefits, the formula is usually lightweight, which acts as a good base for your makeup and keeps acne at bay!

Find snail mucus in: Snail White Facial Cream (SGD58)


Highly raved about by bloggers, this gooey goodness promises to make your skin look brighter, firmer, and even reduces the appearance of acne scars! Also formulated with ingredients like ginseng and ginger extract, this product is also loved by this writer who tried it and say it works! More reasons we love it: despite its gooey texture, it actually absorbs pretty quickly, and is works well as a makeup base. It is available online at Kissg.

8. Pomegranate

Pomegranate is a superfruit thanks to its superior anti-oxidant abilities. What’s so important about anti-oxidants? They protect your cells against free radicals which is a large factor of pre-mature ageing. Other benefits of this superfruit includes the prevention of hyper-pigmentation and age spots. For those with scars, using products with pomegranate extract helps in the regeneration of cells in the epidermal (outermost layer) and dermal (layer of skin under the epidermis) layers, hence reducing the appearance of scars.

Find pomegranate in: Auolive Radiance Revealer (SGD58)


The product uses the extract of the superfruit to gently exfoliate and encourage the skin’s renewal process. After exfoliation, what is revealed is “new” skin that is radiant, soft, and hydrated – a “Radiant Revealer” indeed! Use at least twice a week for the best results. This is available at the Auolive online store.