Xenia Wong On Starting Sigi Skin At 23 And Her Take On The Green Beauty Hype - Xenia Wong

It’s been two years since the launch of Sigi Skin. What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned during this time?

One of the biggest lessons I have learned over the two years is to be flexible and adaptable. Especially so during this pandemic as we had to rethink the whole year’s road map and how we usually do our product launches. 

We made a tough call to postpone the launch of our Dream Capsule overnight sleeping mask that was slated for January to March in 2020 as the pandemic situation developed. Also, for our latest launch of Tea-Tox — a 20 percent probiotics sheet — we did a virtual media launch instead of the usual physical launch. Flexibility is something I’ve learned over this period of  time. 

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What’s the most difficult thing about starting a business at such a young age?

One of the most apparent challenges was that the people I had worked with felt that I wasn’t serious, and that Sigi Skin was just a pet project for me. There was a small group of people that took a chance on me and my vision, and together we were able to bring Sigi Skin to life.

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You went to Korea to study under celebrity makeup artist Jung Saem Mool. What was your biggest takeaway from that?

My experience with Jung Saem Mool actually shaped the core of the brand and what motivated me to start the brand. I learned that beautiful skin starts with skincare.  

The very first lesson surprisingly enough was not about makeup, but about skincare. We had to bring our skincare products and learn how to apply them properly, how to prep your skin before makeup, so we could use lesser makeup but still make our skin look good.

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What’s your take on green beauty?

When people refer to “green beauty” products, they are usually referring to those that are 100 percent natural with no preservatives. People tend to equate natural as safe and beneficial, but some natural ingredients are harmful to us as well.

As I had envisioned Sigi Skin as a clean and vegan-friendly beauty brand, we believe in the best of both worlds. We use natural, botanical ingredients such as chamomile, avocado and purslane extracts; but also proven scientific ingredients as well such as niacinamide and squalane. This allows customers to get the best version of the product — effective, results-driven and with a longer shelf life.

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What are some things that consumers should look out for in a “green beauty” brand?

Clients should look through the ingredients list to ensure each ingredient is certified organic (if that is what the brand claims) and do research on the company to see if they’re transparent about the ingredients sourcing process.

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Why the emphasis on superfood ingredients? Was there anything that triggered your love for it?

Superfoods are very high in multivitamins and antioxidants. The best part of superfood ingredients is that they are relatively gentle. They are less harsh than other actives such as AHAs, or BHAs or retinoids, which makes it suitable for all skin types, especially those with sensitive skin.

At Sigi Skin, we cold-press all our superfood extracts. For example, Yuzu which is found in Tea-Tox , is high in Vitamin C and when applied topically, helps to visibly brighten your skin and decrease the appearance of wrinkles. It also inhibits the glycation process, which is the process of ageing due to intake of excess sugars.

Superfoods help to address a wide range of skin issues, from skin inflammation and weakened skin barrier to skin ageing concerns and “maskne”, which almost everyone in Singapore is suffering from right now.

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In your opinion, what’s the biggest misconception that Singaporean women have about skincare?

One of the biggest misconceptions here is that, if it is overcast outside or if I am indoors, that I need not apply sunscreen. However, UV rays are ever still present, as they’re able to penetrate through the windows. Applying sunscreen on a daily basis is super important in transporting your skin to its happy place.

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Of the products that are in your current lineup, which is your favourite and why?

Haha, this is such a tough choice! If I had to pick one it will be Morning Glow and Dream Capsule!

Dream Capsule is an overnight sleeping mask that was launched in March last year. We went to great lengths to source the ingredients, especially bakuchiol and purslane.

Bakuchiol is a 100 percent plant derivative of retinol, hence it is suitable for pregnant ladies and people who have sensitive skin. It has all the benefits of retinol without the harsh effects.

Purslane is usually found in luxury, premium brands are high in omega-3 fatty acids and beta carotene that helps to boost collagen production and calms down skin inflammation. 

These ingredients are hard to come by and we are glad to be able to combine such ingredients in an overnight sleeping mask with a silky texture that is able to sink and absorb into the skin instantly.

It has quickly become one of our best sellers as customers are able to see the difference when applying it before they sleep. They wake up with plumped and hydrated skin, smaller pores and lightened their scars as well as hyperpigmentation over time.

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What can we expect from SIGI Skin in 2021?

We are looking forward to launching a long-awaited product, which some of our sharp-eyed clients had discovered a hint of on the back of Tea-Tox box. The launch of this product has been pushed back as it’s hard to get hold of the active ingredient that we wanted due to the pandemic situation. We are very excited to be launching it in 2021, so watch this space!