We no longer buy beauty products based on hope and dreams – which, frankly, a lot of us probably used to be guilty of. The products would feel comforting and luxurious, and would smell divine. The jars would be fancy, and the advertisements, fronted by 20-year-old models, would use words like ‘perfecting’ and hope that we never really questioned what that meant. These days, however, we’re looking for results, whether it’s a reduction in fine lines, a lifting effect, or an overall glow.
With an infinite sea of information available on the internet, and a millennial generation that knows how to research everything and demands authenticity from its brands and bloggers, influencers and journalists like Caroline Hirons, The Beauty Brains and Sali Hughes garnered huge followings because of their honest reviews of products, and their deep dives into the ingredients that work – and the ones that don’t.
Now, the trend is to be a skintellectual – a person who knows her emollients from her humectants, the difference between dry and dehydrated, how to layer and combine products, and most importantly, exactly what her own skin needs at any given time. This information comes from the dozens of blogs she reads every day, and the dermatologists she regularly sees, and she can parse an ingredients list or scientific study like a professor with a PhD. If she doesn’t know something, she’s not afraid to ask, reaching out to influencers, friends in skincare forums, and messaging directly with brands.
So how does a skintellectual shop for skincare? First, she analyses her skin and checks what it needs. Next, she matches those needs with skincare ingredients that can best address them – hyaluronic acid for dryness, alpha hydroxy acid for roughness and zits, retinol for anti-ageing, sunscreen, always. As time goes on, she’ll be regularly tweaking and adjusting her regimen because her skin has reacted to an ingredient, a change in weather or a stressful period, or because something just isn’t working.
Luckily for the skintellectuals among us, there’s now a wealth of results-driven dermatologist-approved products to choose from brands like Uriage, La Roche-Posay and Bioderma. These may not always have the prettiest packaging, but they have the data to back up their claims, and they’re transparent about the ingredients they’re using. They also tend to be targeted at specific skin conditions, and they never over-promise.
Best of all, the ones recommended here are tested not only by scientists and doctors, but also everyday women you can trust. The Guardian Healthy Beauty Awards 2019 have been picked by Her World’s beauty experts, Shape Singapore’s editor, as well as new-to-the-panel influencer judges Sahur Saleim and Soh Peishi. The Experts’ Picks Doctor-approved category has all the products a skintellectual might need, from cleansers to oils, and you can take our video quiz to put what you know about them to the test. See all the award winners, or scroll through the gallery below.
Styling AMANDA TAN
Hair ASH LOI
Makeup KAT ZHANG
On Penelope DRESS, DIANE VON FURSTENBERG. BOHIEM EARRINGS & DARSALA RING, WHAT WOMEN WANT.
On Melissa DRESS, MISS SELFRIDGE. BOHIEM EARRINGS, WHAT WOMEN WANT. NECKLACE, ALDO.
On Mary-Ann SLIP TOP, TROUSERS & COAT, MANGO.