L to R: Absorbent Mask, IOMA; Zero Sebum White Sebum Clear, $19.90 for 15ml, Etude House; S3.6 Skin Superfood Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel, $69.55 for 50g, Sloane Inc; Supermud Clearing Treatment, $92 for 50g, GlamGlow; Osmoclean Gentle Deep Pore Cleanser, Institut Esthederml; Pure Revival Peel, $110 for 100ml, Skin Inc

Absorbent Mask, $95, IOMA

I’ve always had to deal with oily skin. Throughout my teens and early adulthood, I relied on heavy-duty clarifying clay masks but in recent years, I’ve noticed that my skin becomes more prone to getting dried out. But since I tried this over a year ago, I’ve been sticking to it almost every fortnightly. Thanks to its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties, this soaks up excess shine while shrinking the appearance of pores without causing any unpleasant tightness. Bonus? I love to dot it on angry zits and leave on overnight for an SOS blemish treatment.

Zero Sebum White Sebum Clear, $19.90 for 15ml, Etude House

Thanks to this little tube, I’m finally able to force myself to stop performing DIY extractions of my blackheads and whiteheads (I apologise for any graphic images I’ve put in your head). Its blend of ingredients gently sloughs away dead skin cells and melts away stubborn comedones while locking in moisture so my skin feels silky smooth in an instant. And in a long run, helps keep those nasty blackheads in check.

S3.6 Skin Superfood Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel, $69.55 for 50g, Sloane Inc

When I’m too lazy to go through a full-on DIY facial, this is what I reach for. Packed with plant-based enzymes that break up stubborn dead skin cells, it’s also rich in sugars that help replenish skin with lost moisture. On top of that, it provides tired skin with an antioxidant boost, instantly revving up sluggish skin.

Supermud Clearing Treatment, $92 for 50g, GlamGlow

Whenever I’ve been delinquent with my skincare routine, my skin protests and in turn, I suffer. Which is when I break out (no pun intended) GlamGlow’s Supermud Clearing Treatment. It uses a blend of six gentle but incredibly powerful acids to rid skin of dead skin cells while a unique charcoal-like ingredient sucks out impurities and toxins, leaving my skin balanced, softer and brighter.

Osmoclean Gentle Deep Pore Cleanser, Institut Esthederm

When I want to replicate that squeaky clean, post-facial effect, I apply a dollop of this all over my face, focusing on the T-zone. And as I massage it, the unique cream-like texture thickens and clings onto my skin, “sucking” out impurities and excess sebum from deep within pores without any harsh exfoliation granules. Skin instantly feels softer and smoother while its texture looks more refined.

Pure Revival Peel, $110 for 100ml, Skin Inc

Face scrubs can be great but they are not necessarily for everyone because the mechanical action of exfoliating granules can cause surface wear and tear to your skin. And if you happen to have sensitive skin, it might cause redness and discomfort. Which is why I always bring this super gentle yet powerful face peel when I travel. Admittedly it takes a bit of effort to use this: you have to cleanse your skin first, then pat dry, apply a thin layer of this, leave it on for a couple of minutes before massaging it. But as the soft granules start to appear, dead skin cells are removed as they get stuck on these soft granules. Trust me, you’ll think it’s worth it to spend that extra effort once you feel so soft and smooth your skin is.

By Joyce Cheo