Having only one season to contend with here in Singapore, we should all have our grooming needs sorted by now. But the temperatures in mid-2023 are hitting unprecedented highs, ostensibly because of climate change, and it feels as if we are wilting in the cloying heat and humidity. Even some of our trusty products that have kept us in top form before seem to fall flat, which probably means it’s time to take our grooming game to task if we want to look fresh and feel clean through any single day. To that end, we leapt ahead and tried out some new skin and body care upgrades that we think would help you ride the heat wave.
Designed to filter out skin damaging UV rays, sunscreen remains the one product that dermatologists insist we do not ignore. Since no one said there should only be one product on our bathroom shelf, we're happy to go beyond the basic defensive action. Besides, according to a 2017 report by The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Study, SPF is “only partially effective in blocking free radicals produced by UV exposure.” Enter vitamin C serums.
The same study found that topical vitamin C provides support in protecting the skin against environmental aggressors, thanks to its antioxidant properties. Not only that, vitamin C in skincare also helps stimulate collagen production and disperse melanin clusters. It seems introducing vitamin C into your skincare regime could help your complexion regain a healthy glow over time.
Some of our favourite products include Allies of Skin’s 20% VitaminC Brighten + Firm Serum, a waterless formula infused with a potent form of vitamin C known as 20% ethylated L-ascorbic acid , which does all the heavy-duty work in reversing and preventing the signs of ageing. Dr Barbara Sturm’s The Good C Vitamin C Serum is ideal for those who want to reap all the benefits of vitamin C minus the risk of irritation, as it is supported by soothing ingredients such as glycerin, sodium hyaluronate as well as aloe and olive leaf extracts. To instantly breathe new life to dull and tired skin, Fields of Yarrow’s Super C Drops Revitalising Serum does the trick with its botanically charged formulation.
If there is one bathroom product that we men don’t pay enough attention to, it would be detoxifying shampoos. Dermatologists and trichologists have long emphasised that the scalp is an extension of facial skin, and warrants as much attention—especially as the temperature and humidity levels soar this summer season. A combined build-up of dead skin cells, hair product and grime on the scalp over the years is the most probable reason behind scalp irritation and hair loss. This build-up also provides a food source to malassezia, an organism present on the scalp that is responsible for oxidative damage (impacting hair growth as a result), according to a 2018 study by the International Journal of Trichology.
While the shampoo you are currently using is probably all well and good, perhaps it’s time to take scalp care to the next level with a deep-cleansing step every two weeks using one of these powerful purifying formulas. Ingredients such as salicylic acid, charcoal and micellar technologies do wonders in restoring a healthy shine to your tresses while allowing the scalp to finally get that breath of fresh air it desperately needs once it is free of follicle-blocking impurities.
We recommend K18’s Prep Detox Shampoo because it effectively exfoliates and detoxifies the hair and scalp with a blend of salicylic acid and charcoal. The best part is that it leaves your hair feeling bouncy and light even in the heat and humidity.
Another product to consider is Kevin. Murphy’s Scalp.Spa Wash. Aside from removing build-up, celery extract in the formula soothes any form of inflammation and restores the balance of healthy microflora on the scalp. Aesop’s Equalising Shampoo is a treat for the senses, thanks to the blend of aromatic essential oils in its mix. But ingredients such as fennel fruit, mistletoe leaf and eucalyptus are the true MVPs of this formula, as they help with introducing freshness and controlling excess sebum production with continued use.
In anticipation of the inter-monsoon season and an El Niño event, we should consider ditching our trousers and full sleeves. Breezy summer shorts and polo tees will certainly help us to embrace the season in comfort and style. But don’t go exposing any dull and ashy skin. Remember to use a quality body scrub to maintain a healthy full-body glow that you'll be proud to show off. Additionally, sloughing off dead skin cells off your body regularly also helps to reduce the risk of developing body acne and stave off heat rash significantly.
Drunk Elephant’s Sugared Koffie Almond Milk Body Scrub is a great pick-me-up with its hydrating almond milk and coffee-infused formula. Not only do the sugar granules promote a healthy sheen to the skin, caffeine in the mix encourages lymphatic drainage to allow your skin to look more taut and toned with every use.
If you’re yearning for a quick escape to a tropical island but haven’t had the time to, Fenty Skin’s Buff Ryder will help put your mind in holiday mode, thanks to its tropical fruit-scented formula. It also leaves your skin feeling so soft, your partner won’t be able to resist touching.
For a relaxing spa-like experience, Trilogy’s ultra-luxe Exfoliating Body Balm is one to consider as it effectively exfoliates, nourishes and provides aromatherapeutic benefits, thanks to a blend of almond and rosehipoils, as well as calming essential oils.
Perspiration, sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria are the culprits behind body odour, and they can get to devastating levels in the summer heats. Give yourself a pat on the back if you’ve already made antiperspirants and regular showers a part of your daily care routine. Now it’s time to include a unique and timeless summer scent to keep you smelling fresh all day. Penhaligon’s latest addition Solaris EDP smells like a day out sunbathing in Mykonos. Its creamy vanilla note is balanced with the bright and radiant bouquet of white florals and ylang ylang, bringing to mind an image of the sun, sand and sea, with a good slathering of a luxurious sun lotion.
If you prefer a unique marine fragrance that blends well with your natural body scent, Goldfield and Banks’ Pacific Rock Moss is one to consider. The blend of Italian lemon, sage, moss and geranium blends beautifully into something that smells like you, but better. Ilio EDP by Diptyque is a clean, juicy fragrance that uses notes of prickly pear and bergamot to bring about the relaxing image of a slow Sunday afternoon. The radiant touch of iris and jasmine brightens the mood with uplifting qualities.
Photography: Jaya Khidir
Styling: Joan Tai
Photography Assistant: : Danial Mirza