If you’re a millennial it’s likely you’ve heard your fair share of stories blaming you for the ubiquity of avocado toast and for “destroying” the economy by not buying enough diamonds or fabric softener. It’s also likely that skincare may not be at the top of your list of concerns right now — either because it’s simply too expensive or because you feel you don’t need it just yet. If you’ve been hitting the drugstore for your foaming cleansers, no-brand moisturisers and pocket-friendly sunscreens, we understand, as we were once in the same position.
But beauty brands are here to tell you that you’re not too young or too poor to start on next level skincare, with a burgeoning of younger lines that aim to appeal to millennial consumers. How? By focussing on modern, appealing packaging (they’re assuming you like pink and bright colours a lot), light-textured but effective formulas, and wallet-friendly price points. Here’s a list of five ranges and brands worth knowing about.
The newest range from Clarins, called My Clarins, focusses on helping you attain radiant, glow-y, hydrated, plump and smooth skin. The range comes in simple white packaging replete with coloured caps and cartoon symbols that would appeal to teenaged girls. Product-wise you can expect cleansing gels, moisturisers in several textures, a pore-blurring stick and a blemish gel. The range is all about getting healthy skin at a very reasonable price, and not about targeting particular, anti-ageing concerns.
Price range: From S$28 for a blemish gel to S$46 for a sleeping mask.
We say: A good introduction to the French brand and its botanical properties which is has many cult favourites among its users. My Clarins contains a plant based ingredient blend consisting of coconut water and alpenrose that helps to encourage nutrients in the cell while “depolluting” it. This is a great “investment” if you’re looking to make the leap from drugstore products.
Local brand Sigi Skin focusses on the adage that healthy skin is happy skin. The minimalist line of clean skincare has just three products — a Kaleanser Face Cleanser (S$38), a Morning Glow Sunscreen (S$58, that can double up as a moisturiser) and a Pink Nectar eye mask (S$62). It’s an interesting and curated selection, as it cuts down to just three, key items. You’ll probably need to add on products from other brands if you need a moisturiser or want to use a sleeping mask, although some will find the promise of a lean regimen to be a major plus. The brand uses superfood ingredients (and millennial favourites) like kale, açai and avocado to supercharge its products while eschewing nasties like parabens, dyes and SLS.
We say: Again, the packaging is clean and white, with brightly coloured caps to denote a certain youthful optimism. Extra points go to the fact that the airless pump packaging makes this range hygienic and easy to tote around. Expect light textures and a sunscreen that doesn’t leave a greasy feel on the skin.
The first thing you’ll notice about Saturday Skin is the millennial pink packaging. Despite its weekend-referencing name, the brand is meant to be used all-week round to achieve effortlessly gorgeous skin. The key technology of Saturday Skin is the Cha-7 es Complex, which is a peptide-packed formula that helps skin to regenerate. Call it youthfulness in a bottle (or jar). One of the brand’s best known products, its Waterfall Glacial Water Cream (S$49), has a gel texture that will endear itself to those with oily or combination skin types. The range, which also includes sheet masks and face mists, is meant to be fuss- and fragrance free.
We say: Surprisingly, this is quite pricey for starter skincare that has a low key hipster vibe. Still the photogenic packaging — it will look great in shelfies and flatlays — and light textures will likely appeal to those who are just beginning to dip their toes into skincare or are curious about how a cult brand will have an impact on their skin. Saturday Skin is also a good introduction to certain trending ingredients like probiotics — there’s a mask and serum — and ginkgo biloba.
Korean skincare brand Sulwhasoo is known for its ginseng-rich formulas and anti-ageing products, but it’s likely that you’ll associate it with distinctive, ginseng scents and older users who are closer to your mother’s age. Its new Bloomstay range is a bit of a departure as it all about energising the skin to keep it smooth, soft and supple, using plum blossom as a star ingredient. Expect a lighter take on traditional Sulwhasoo from all angles — the fragrances are a lot subtler, the textures sink effortlessly into skin and the gradients of blush pink on the bottles and jars are a lot trendier. In keeping with the minimalist angle, there are only three products: a Vitalizing Water, Serum, and Cream that you can add on to your existing cleanser.
We say: Call it luxury for beginners. This range would probably be a splurge for most millennials but, again it’s a great introduction to the Sulwhasoo brand. We personally like the scents and the textures, and the fact that it’s starting on anti-ageing — by combating the effects of skin exhaustion and improving its elasticity and vitality. A good option for those who firmly believe that prevention is better than a cure, and who adore a dose of luxury in their lives and their skincare rituals.
One of the first brands to jump on the millennial bandwagon was Shiseido with its Waso range. The mouthwatering ingredients used in the products — carrots, white jelly mushroom and tofu yuzu — might seem more culinary than curative. There’s also a lot of emphasis on the sensorial, with interesting textures that suit younger skin to a T. Some of the most innovative products include the limited edition Silky Smooth Mochi Mask (S$15), that has to be mixed on the spot and has the texture of the Japanese dessert and the Fresh Jelly Lotion (S$45) — a gel to liquid softening lotion.
We say: We love the Japanese sensibility when it comes to the aesthetics of the brand. This has really cool, refined packaging in an appealing palette of colours that range from muted greys to bright greens. The textures also bring something fresh to the table, as they’re designed to really work with younger complexions without feeling sticky or heavy.