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If you’ve been using beauty products for at least 10 years now, you may have noticed that how well your products work or how good they feel on your skin have improved since the first bottle or jar you’ve used.

This isn’t surprising because more new technologies and ingredients that work better than their predecessors are being discovered, and incorporated in the products that you use today. Some of these technologies may have been used in either medical science or in-clinic treatments, but scientists have also found ways to formulate similar treatments for you to use as home care products.

1. Retinol

You probably know retinoic acid as a prescriptive ingredient that fights signs of ageing. It works by stimulating cell turnover, break down collagen, and encouraging skin to naturally build new cells and form more collagen.

However, this effective ingredient can be irritating on skin, so you’ll usually see retinol (a derivative of vitamin A) in off-the-shelf solutions. The great thing about retinol is that it’s much gentler than retinoic acid, and works in the exact same way. The only difference it will take you longer to see results with retinol, compared to retinoic acid – but at least you know you’ll get there!

Try: Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Multi-Rejuvenating Retinol + Superfood Oil Pads (SGD109). Like all retinoid products, this is to be used at night. The entire kit comes with two products: a bottle of retinol and a jar of pads. Pour the retinol into the jar to soak pads completely. Then, apply pads onto skin.

The Ultimate Miracle Worker is designed to combat key signs of ageing, including lines, wrinkles, discolouration, enlarged pores, roughness, lack of firmness and radiance.

2. Stem cell technology

When we talk about stem cell technology in beauty, it can be referring to two different things. The first refers to products that can target at your skin’s stem cells, improving them to produce better skin cells so your skin look better. The second talks about using plant stem cells as ingredients in the products used.

The first concept is easy to understand: imagine that the way your cells multiply is the same as how you photocopy documents. If the original document is flawed, the copies that you make aren’t going to be perfect too. Repairing your skin’s stem cells is like amending the original document so that subsequent copies made will look better.

As for the second concept, it is believed that stem cells from selected plants have a regenerative effect on skin. As such, beauty brands have been studying heavily into tapping onto the goodness of plant stem cells and how they can be incorporated into skin care.

Try: Astalift In-Focus Cellactive Serum (SGD222). Two proprietary ingredients are used in the formula: Nano Astaxanthin CP+ and Nano Boswellin Acid. Don’t be intimidating by their long names, think of the former as a protector of stem cells to prevent the effects of ageing from damaging them, and the latter as batteries that can activate them.

This may not be a product to go for if you expect instant results, but over time, stem cells that are rejuvenated will be able to repair cells and tissues, allowing your skin to restore its ability to absorb nourishment and send signals to your body to slow down signs of ageing. This is certainly a long-term solution you may want to invest in.

Astalift is located at #01-70 NEX, #03-30 Wisma Atria, and #01-20 JEM.

Try: The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate (30ml for SGD59.90 or SGD79.90 for 50ml). One bottle of this star product from the Drops of Youth range is sold every 23 seconds worldwide. Infused with a blend of stem cells from three resilient plants, including the Edelweiss plant, the Drops of Youth Concentrate helps skin look plumper, bouncier, and smoother.

This product is available at all The Body Shop stores, as well as their newly opened e-boutique on Lazada.

3. Argan oil

Native to Morocco, argan oil has been used for centuries for its moisturising and anti-ageing benefits locally, but its goodness has only been embraced internationally more recently. This ingredient has been making headlines because of its high antioxidant content, and how it can be used not just on the face and body, but also on the hair.

Try: Crabtree & Evelyn Pomegranate & Argan Oil Nutri-Oil (SGD53). This nourishing multi-tasker can be used on body, nails, face, and hair as a restorative treatment. Argan oil is coupled with pomegranate, a known superfruit, to nourish skin, nails, and hair. The lightweight product is also pleasantly scented, making it a treat to use.

This product is available at all Crabtree & Evelyn boutiques.

4. Green tea

Several studies have been done on green tea and have concluded that your favourite beverage also carries anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory benefits. Thanks to its strong anti-oxidant properties, it is able to delay signs of ageing caused by sun damage and pollution. And did you know that green tea also has the ability to improve your metabolism rate, which doesn’t just help with your skin’s turnover, but also assists in weight management.

Try: Innisfree The Green Tea Seed Serum (SGD36). One of the best-selling products in Innisfree, this serum is made with 100% freshly squeezed organic green tea derived from the pristine Jeju island. Recommended for use right after cleansing, this serum can help skin stay plumped and hydrated.

This product is available at all Innisfree stores.

Try: Fancl Block & Burn Duo (SGD68 for each box with 30 sachets). Made up of the Calorie Cut and Fat Burner supplements, this duo is designed to first “block” the absorption of carbohydrates, fats, and sugars before the body process it as fats, and then “burn” the calories by helping the body enhance its fat-burning ability. The Fat Burner supplement is enriched with Green Tea Extract.

Made with no preservatives and natural active ingredients, the duo can be considered for supplementing your weight management plans, together with a balanced diet and comprehensive fitness plan.

These two products are available at all Fancl stores and counters.

5. Ginseng

Ginseng has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries to help boost overall health and vitality. Seen as an anti-ageing treatment, scientists have also found that it contains nutrients that can improve metabolism and neutralise free radicals.

Try: Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Creamy Mask (SGD148 for a box of five sheets). You’ve probably already know about the brand’s famous Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream. This set of facial mask is soaked in this iconic product so that your skin can be nourished with ginseng goodness. The innovative Double Wrapping Sheet technology also helps your skin absorb the product more deeply.

The Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Creamy Mask is available at all Sulwhasoo stores and counters, as well as on Zalora.

Try: Creme Simon Dynamisant | Feel (SGD42). Creme Simon has recently launched a series of multivitamins, and one of them is the Dynamisant | Feel supplement. This daily multivitamin contains 12 essential vitamins and seven minerals to boost mental alertness, energy, and has anti-ageing benefits. One of the key ingredients is Ginseng Root, which helps you maximise cognitive memory and overall physical and mental capacities.

Creme Simon is located at #01-05 OUE Downtown 1. You can also find this product at their e-shop.

6. Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance is our body. Besides lubricating our joints it is also found in our skin tissues, providing it with the plump and supple look. This is why some people opt for hyaluronic acid jabs to fill in the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

This ingredient quickly become a big trend in topical skincare; modifications is done to include hyaluronic acid into topical formulas, to help provide a film on surface of skin, and as a result create the look of smoother skin.

Try: Caudalie VINE[ACTIV] Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum (SGD65). Part of the full range of VINE[ACTIV] products, this serum contains the highest level of concentration of active ingredients. Besides visibly correcting wrinkles, it also helps defend skin against environmental aggressions.

This product is available at Sephora.

7. Glycolic acid

Many skincare experts swear by the benefits of glycolic acid, believing that it forms the basics to a good anti-ageing regime. This ingredient is a great exfoliant that can help smooth the appearance of skin, as well as visibly eliminate fine lines and wrinkles.

Try: First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (SGD27). This is a treatment pad that’s safe enough for sensitive skin and daily use. It contains a combination of lactic and glycolic acid to exfoliate, tone, and brighten skin. The product is available at Sephora.


Try: Pixi Glow Tonic (SGD45). This cult-favourite toner has an exfoliating effect to help skin look brighter and clearer. While refining your skin, it also contains aloe vera and ginseng to soothe skin. The product is available at Sephora.