Dermalogica Age Smart Daily Superfoliant is the best for older acne-prone skin as it is both gentle and deeply clarifying. Bichotan charcoal pulls pollution and grime from the pores while AHAs help cell-turnover rate for smoother skin. It is effective yet gentle enough to be used daily (though I tend to use it on alternate days).
A gentle cleanser is essential in the mornings and for people who use a lot of acne treatments. It helps protect the skin's natural barrier and balance the skin as well. The Herb Farm Softening Rose Cream Cleanser is not only perfect for sensitive skins, it's the only cream cleanser that doesn't break me out. It is light, nourishing and most importantly, rinses completely clean, leaving soft and supple skin.
The Sulwhasoo Essential Balancing Emulsion EX is just that - balancing. Its light texture sinks right in, perfect for quick morning routines. Yet Sulwhasoo's signature hanyul touch of complex herbal extracts keeps my skin moisturised all day, without ever feeling heavy. Great for Singapore weather and sits perfectly under makeup.
For break outs that tend to pop up once in a while, especially during that time of the month, this affordable gem is my secret weapon. Etude House AC Clean Up Pink Powder Mask is godsend for spotty days thanks to its zit-busting combination of sulphur, salicylic acid and tea tree oil. These active ingredients are combined with calamine that help soothe the spots while combating it. It doesn't suck the life out of my skin but instead, leaves it calmer and decongested.
DHC's Spot Therapy is something I cannot live without. Not only is it effective, it is very gentle on the skin. Instead of drying the life out of pesky spots (which can potentially aggravate the skin more), this spot treatment speeds up the healing process of the blemish using 3% sulfur and a hodgepodge of antioxidants, including royal jelly extract.
The hero ingredient that I swear by is retinol. Skin Ceutical Retinol 1.0 Refining Night Cream is my secret to clear skin as retinol doesn't just combat fine lines and wrinkles, it also combats blemishes by rapidly boosting the skin's turnover rate. Thus, making sure that the skin is always renewing itself. This Skin Ceuticals version is particularly potent with a 1% retinol concentration and can be used alone for a fuss-free night routine. Just make sure you use sunscreen the next day!
Cream gels are the best for Singapore's humid weather and oily, dehydrated skins. Sometimes the reason why we produce more oil is because our skin is lacking in moisture. Hence it is important to quench the skin with drink of SU:M 37 Water-Full Timeless Moisturising Cream. Don't be fooled by its light texture because this cream packs a punch with fermented snow lotus (Saussurea) extract and a medley of others. The magnetic top is a nice touch, so that you'll never lose the spatula!
Using retinols and acne treatments can tend to dry the skin out, making it more sensitized and fragile. On nights after a retinol treatment, a nourishing night oil is just what the doctor ordered to repair and give a solid boost of hydration. Estelle & Thild Super Bioactive Repairing Oil Complex is the ultimate night oil to help balance and heal the skin. It's rich in microalgae extract which is proven to be 550 times more effective than vitamin E. The oil itself smells delicious and is super lightweight so it never feels overbearing even on oily skin.
No primer holds a candle to the Make Up For Ever STEP 1 Skin Equalizer Mattifying Primer when it comes to keeping the oils at bay. This stuff is no joke! Apply it only at the oiliest parts of your face and it stays matte all day. Oils will not be able to push through and break down your makeup. For the days I want to look flawless, this is my secret weapon. Just a little bit goes a long way, so do not over apply.
Oily skin means oily eyelids too! Which is a nightmare for eyeshadows because they will end up a greasy, creasy mess by the end of the day. Not all primers are created equal! The Nars Pro-Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base is the best for sucking up excess oil and making sure that eyeshadows show up true to colour and last all day. Not a single crease in sight with this one!
HEAVY DUTY CONCEALER
Bad skin days happen, just like life. A good concealer that you can fall back on to cover all your imperfections is a must! Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer is pure pigment in a pot. A makeup artist favourite, this super pigmented cream can be mixed with moisturizers or used alone as a concealer. It can cover anything, from zits to tattoos. Plus the pot is huge and you need literally a dot for your whole face. So worth it!
RMK UV Liquid Foundation is made for hot, humid weather. Its barely-there texture feels like nothing on the skin, whilst still imparting medium coverage to even out the skintone. Never cakey and dries to a velvety finish, it's great on all skin types, particularly oily ones. It also has SPF 50 to protect you from the damaging rays of the sun. What more can you ask for?
Oil blotters are my safety blanket. They have to be with me AT ALL TIMES, non-negotiable. People with oily skin can definitely relate! The best kind of oil blotter that doesn't strip the skin and actually help adequately soak up excess oil are the ones made of Japanese rice paper. The Tatcha Aburatorigami Blotting Sheets are extra special because they are made with 100% abaca leaf that have twice the blotting power but never disturbs makeup. No matter what always go with the paper blotters, preferably without powder, for ultra balanced skin.