Before I took the plunge on this skincare adventure, I’d describe myself at best, as a ground zero when it came to organic and natural skincare. At worst? Probably borderline skeptic. Organic skincare was to me like the organic section in supermarkets: fancy, often overpriced and I guess, with debatable benefits. I even low-key bought the stereotype of natural skincare being less research-intensive, possibly wildly dubious and something you’d need to be converted into. Yes, like a cult. Then in the process of curating our Local Beauty Edit, I realised — to my genuine surprise — the sheer number of homegrown brands committed to pursuing organic and natural skincare because it was simply, the better way to go.
My curiosity was piqued…on nuclear proportions.
(Radically) Overhauling My Skincare Routine
The stars seemed to align. On the side, I had also been easing into a meatless, vegetarian lifestyle and it seemed like the perfect time to try making similar changes in my skin’s diet. So I embarked on a 3 week project: replace my existing skincare routine with only strictly organic, 100% natural products to see how far they could revolutionise my skin (if at all).
My criteria was straightforward, the products had to be:
- Made from a significant percentage of certified organic ingredients and/or natural ingredients
- 100% cruelty free
- Bonus if it’s vegan-friendly
To be honest, I had little expectations and a truckload of doubt. At the time, my skin had (finally) improved considerably from some fungal acne episode. Unfortunately, nothing in my existing regime made the cut for this new venture. Still, I decided it was worth a shot.
Spoiler: I Was Right.
I have been thoroughly enlightened.
The outcome exceeded my expectations…by miles. At the end of 3 weeks I can safely say there is no question about it — this works. In fact, this organic and natural skincare overhaul takes the cake, unquestionably, for the most impressive skincare experiment I’ve undertaken so far.
In summary, it was like punching a reset + regenerate button. Not only did I not break out from this routine, it actually seemed to keep blemishes at bay. Case in point: I usually use the appearance of hormonal zits to track my period, but pretty much missed that (or at least at the same ‘intensity’ I was familiar with) while I was adopting this skincare routine. The biggest difference I noticed was in texture and tone; my skin felt noticeably softer, smoother and just looked all-round healthier, as well as more even.
**Disclaimer on my skin type: I have normal, but sensitive and eczema-prone skin. Generally clear, with the occasional hormonal breakout.
The Routine That Changed Everything
Post 3 weeks, some of these steps have become main-stayers in my refreshed skincare routine. I present you an honest take on everything I used, how they genuinely fared and whether or not I think they’re keepers.
1. Kew Organics Sensitive Skin Rescue Cleanser, from $48
Organic and natural. Non-GMO ingredients. 100% cruelty-free and vegan.
The good stuff: An ultra-mild cleansing lotion suitable for very sensitive and reactive skin, including those facing redness, dryness, eczema, rosacea and acne. It effectively but gently rids impurities, while restoring and nourishing the skin barrier. Key ingredients include Pumpkin and Carrot (rich in antioxidants) as well as cooling Cucumber Extract (healthy circulation, soothing).
How it fared:
This is a completely non-foaming cleanser. It both dispenses and applies like a lotion, which I wasn’t used to at first. Without any foam, I couldn’t be sure if the cleanser was even there, or if it had simply disappeared into my skin. But you’ll get the idea once you wash it all off. The Rescue Cleanser is the most non-stripping facial wash I have used thus far. In fact, it seemed to leave a soft film over my skin. Not to be confused with residue or greasiness, but more like a protective equilibrium had been restored. I wouldn’t rely on this to remove makeup, but I think it makes an excellent morning cleanser that will remove debris while retaining (even enhancing) the goodness of your previous night’s skincare routine.
Is it a keeper?
Honestly, I wasn’t too sure about this at first because at S$160 (albeit for a highly generous size of 200ml), this happens to be one of the most expensive cleansers I’ve tried! But the good news is, I found out from the team at Kew Organics that the cleanser is priced at S$48 for its 50ml version. So I’ll say yes, the Sensitive Skin Rescue Cleanser is going to be a (very) promising shot if your skin needs an ultra-gentle formula. I can imagine this superlatively mild formula being one of the few options compatible with highly sensitive skin (I know my skin will probably appreciate this the next time my eczema flares up). If you struggle with extremely delicate skin, you’ll know that when you find something that works you never let it go! So the 200ml version of this cleanser will come in extra handy should you be ready to invest in a long-term solution.
I Am A Forever-Changed Skincare Junkie
Evidently, I had been missing out on a great deal by meandering around the organic and natural skincare revolution.
As part of our #LocalBeautyEdit, we also had the opportunity to speak with many of the passionate founders behind these game-changing brands. Coupled with detailed product stories and ingredient labels, it became clear that genuinely organic and natural skincare demands uncompromising standards, as well as extensive research. No gimmicks, no jargon, no nasties, only unmatched quality and purpose. Despite all of that, you might have realised that most of the aforementioned products are actually really affordable (contrary to the common belief that organic skincare is expensive and inaccessible).
While I didn’t completely switch out my original skincare routine after this 3 week experiment, I was eager to refresh it by incorporating everything great here (Yes, it’s still going fantastic!). And…I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of taking on a fully organic skin diet in the coming future.
But for now, this little skincare adventure has been an extraordinary lesson that I’ll sail on, for a long time to come.
As part of our first ever #LocalBeautyEdit, we’re spotlighting all things local beauty because there’s just so much to get excited about. Be sure to read our most comprehensive guide to local beauty brands yet here (A-M) and here (N-Z).