1.5 weeks into staying at home full-time has definitely dampened my productivity. It’s been hard staying motivated to keep up with any kind of schedule, including my skincare routine (coming from my skincare-loving self…bummer). Going to bed later (“because I don’t have to get ready for work tomorrow”) and waking up just in time for work has pretty much killed the routine in my skincare…or skin care altogether.

For years now, my primary skin foe has been fungal acne. It’s seen me through some of my most stressful life experiences (*cough* my thesis *cough*), rearing its ugly head from time to time — mostly when I get lazy with my skincare routine. Which I guess, explains my recent fungal acne woes. But on second thought, it seems odd that I’m ditching my skincare routine now, of all times. If anything, staying-in is practically the perfect opportunity to start, review and maintain a skincare routine. Why?  

1. You’ve Got Time

Self-explanatory! Working from home full time has made more time for everything else — think the surge in TikTok content, Dalgona coffee attempts and banana bakes. This also means time to get into the nitty gritties of our skincare routines, or time to finally start putting one together. Case in point: instead of slapping on a sleeping mask that’ll condense my routine into one step because I really need to sleep, I probably have time for a multi-step ritual now.

2. You’ve Almost Got The Perfect Recipe

Less urban pollution + less makeup + less eating out + less partying +  more working out (if you’ve caught on the staying-in fitness hype) + more sleep = a pretty good mix for better skin. Now imagine if we also put in a consistent, efficacious skincare routine. Viola.   

3. Most Importantly, You Still Need It

While staying in has reduced a ton of daily skin stressors, particularly environmental ones, our skin is still taking the hit in other ways. Working permanently from our screens (increasing blue light exposure), potential irritation from wearing a mask, an out of sync body clock, possible increased levels of anxiety/stress from self-isolation etc. are all potential pitfalls for your skin.  

So, I guess the short conclusion is: there’s no better time than now to commit to a skincare routine. 

The long conclusion is: here’s how! Whether you’re looking to begin a multi-step skincare routine or looking to switch up your old one, here is a basic 5-step routine for getting started.  

Step 1: Cleanse

The quintessential step to remove oil, dirt and impurities. 

Try: Sigi Skin Kaleanser Face Wash, S$38 

This vegan facial cleanser aims to provide a gentle but effective cleanse, without over-stripping your skin. The formula rebalances your skin’s pH levels and protects your natural skin barrier; kale extracts detoxify, while soy extracts soothe and moisturise. A good match for all skin-types, also a safe bet for sensitive, dermatitis-prone and acne-prone skin!


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Try: Jurlique Clarifying Deep Cleansing Gel, S$63

A refreshing cleansing gel enhanced with natural botanical microspheres of Jojoba esters that gently exfoliate your skin as you cleanse. The purifying cleanser is boosted by super botanicals including Yarrow, Witch Hazel and Lemon Balm to tone, smooth and remove excess oil. A good match for oily skin types, or if you love an exfoliating cleanser (and your skin can tolerate it). 


Step 2: Tone

Toners are secretly wonders — they help to rebalance the skin after cleansing and prep it for the rest of your routine. 

Try: Orbis U Lotion, S$45

The lotion’s unique gel to liquid texture absorbs quickly, while boosting and protecting skin’s moisture levels with its key ingredient, the Key Porin Booster (a blend of Eelgrass Extract, Peach Leaf Extract and Cornflower Extract). The clean formula is also oil-free, alcohol-free, fragrance free, artificial colouring free and allergy tested. A good pick for normal to dry and sensitive skin types. 


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Try: BY ECOM Heartleaf Poreless Water, S$45

Powered by Houttuynia Cordata extracts, this lightweight formula smooths out pores and removes excess oil to maintain fresh, but adequately moisturised skin. A good pick for sensitive, combination to oily skin types.


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Step 3: Treat

Serums are more concentrated solutions packed with skin-loving actives, that aim to address specific concerns e.g. aging, dehydration, pigmentation with laser-like focus. 

Try: Whal Myung Minimal Eucalming Water Serum, S$47

This watery and weightless serum contains Guaiazulene as its key ingredient, that calms, restores and protects skin. Enriched with a five herb complex, the formula also boasts anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties to alleviate blemish concerns. A good pick for normal to dry and sensitive skin types. 


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Try: RE:ERTH Blemish Control, S$80

This revolutionary blemish treatment aims to kill acne-producing bacteria beneath the skin’s surface, while treating existing blemishes and preventing new ones. The non-comedogenic and non-drying formula can be used all over the face and is boosted with water soluble Vitamin A that smooths, as well as restores skin elasticity. A good pick for blemish-prone skin. 


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Try: Olay Regenerist24 Night Serum, $54.90 

Designed to penetrate deep into the skin’s surface layers, this Vitamin B3 + Retinoid complex alleviates signs of aging (fine lines, wrinkles, dullness) for more youthful, radiant skin. While the Olay Regenerist24 Night Serum has been formulated with Retinyl Propionate — a form of Vitamin A proven to be less irritating (but as effective) — first-time retinol users/more sensitive skin types might still experience some burning or peeling at the start. We recommend introducing the serum slowly into your skincare routine: using it once or twice in the first 2 weeks and building up the frequency of use after. A good pick for those with skin aging concerns. (Psst! Staying in is a good time to start on products that require an adjustment period, because you have all the time you need.) 


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Step 4: Moisturise 

Try: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Nourishing Gel, S$27.00

This refreshing gel-cream moisturiser absorbs quickly to immediately relieve dehydrated skin and repair the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Powered by Hyaluronic Acid, the non-comedogenic formula is nutrient-rich, as well as fragrance and dye-free. A good pick for all skin types, particularly if you’re looking for an affordable moisturiser. 


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Try: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair BarriAir Cream, S$36

Fortify and maintain your skin barrier with this ultra lightweight but potent moisturiser, boosted by Triple-Weight Hyaluronic Acid, Colloidal Oatmeal and Vitamin E. The complex rehydrates, calm and restores optimal skin health. Good for all skin-types, particularly sensitive skin. 


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Try: Caudalie Vinoperfect Dark Spot Correcting Moisturiser, S$72 

A day moisturiser boosted with Viniferine, Niacinamide and White Peony Extract to correct dark spots and deliver an instant radiance boost. The high-performing formula is lightweight, oil-free and suitable for both sensitive skin, as well as pregnant women. A good pick for pigmentation concerns.   


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Step 5: Suncare

Being out of direct sunlight doesn’t mean SPF isn’t necessary! Not only can UVA rays penetrate glass (especially if you sit by a window), your LED screen is also a major source of blue light that can be as harmful as UVA/UVB rays.  

Try: Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF40, S$55

Supergoop!’s new Glowscreen is an all-in-one hydrator, glowy primer and broad spectrum SPF 40 sunscreen. The clean chemical formula wears beautifully under makeup (with a healthy luminescence), while shielding you from UVA, UVB and blue light rays. A good multi-tasking primer + SPF hybrid, particularly for sensitive skin. *Find the Supergoop! Glowscreen online at sephora.sg from 23 April 2020. 


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Try: Decorte Multi-Protection Sun Shelter SPF50 PA++++ , S$58

This sheer sunscreen milk guards against broad spectrum UV rays (UVA, UVB) and air pollution particles including nitrogen oxides, as well as PM2.5. A good pick for dry to normal skin types, particularly those with skin aging concerns. 


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And there you have it.
Besides, a good old, classic skincare routine also feels like a wonderful way to get prepped and wind down. Why not make it part of your self-care ritual while staying-in? On that note, we hope you’ve been staying in, staying safe and doing well. Sending glowy vibes!

Take care,



Melisa Goh

Melisa Goh

up up and away


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