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The Best New Lightweight Skin Hydrators

By Renée Batchelor

Photograph by Aman John. Styled by Michelle Kok.Clockwise from top: Diptyque Infused Face Serum, $111; Comfort Zone Hydramemory Serum, $115; Tata Harper Water-Lock Moisturiser, $104; Chanel Hydra Beauty Camellia Repair Mask; $110.

The conundrum of oily skin — especially in our Singapore climate — is that it still needs moisture in order to stay healthy and balanced. If the skin is not getting enough hydration, the skin cells send a message to the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, thus resulting in a never-ending cycle of excessive oiliness. Similarly, over-washing the skin produces the same effect because it strips the skin of moisture. The solution then is to wash judiciously and to pick moisturisers and serums that feel lightweight on the skin, but still offer ample hydration. For drier skin types, hydrating is the first step in an anti-ageing routine, as dehydrated skin will show lines and wrinkles much faster. The tricky thing is that it is not about how rich or nutritive a product feels, but how well the hydration reaches the layers of the skin and how long it lasts, that really determines the effectiveness of a moisturiser.

Skincare brand Tata Harper is one of the pioneers of conscious beauty. The brand only uses quality ingredients, produces in small batches and uses recyclable green-hued glass for all its products, instead of plastic. The Water-Lock Moisturiser is a lightweight cream that uses a water- locking technology to deliver sustained hydration. The product is silicone-free, but utilises ingredients like orange peptides and pomegranate spheres to form a breathable barrier so that it also smooths the skin. This allows the product to double up as a priming base, so users can slather it on and then apply their makeup immediately after. Best of all, it comes with a hygienic dispenser, which means the product is never exposed to the air and that the appropriate dose of moisturiser is always doled out with a single pump.

Italian skincare brand Comfort Zone is a conscious and clean beauty brand that is vegan and paraben-free. The brand believes not just in efficacy but also in the sensorial aspects of beauty, which is why you can expect light, unobtrusive fragrances and delightful textures. The Hydramemory Serum uses not one but two kinds of hyaluronic acid — biomimetic fragments and macro hyaluronic acid. 

This light and fast-absorbing serum has texture and gives skin a fresh and luminous finish while a sorbet-like protecting its natural barrier. If a lightweight cream texture is not for you, you can experiment with different textures like balms and even waxes. Diptyque’s Infused Face Serum comes in a stick form — which makes it great for touch-ups. A solid serum, this is infused with floracera — an active, antioxidant ingredient sourced from jasmine —as well as a jojoba wax. Cooling on the skin when applied, this plumps and protects the complexion and helps give it a radiant effect. To use, simply massage on to the whole face with circular movements, working outwards. Focus on the jawline and forehead, but don’t neglect the neck as well.

Finally, a sleep mask is a great way to repair the skin and restore any lost moisture. The Chanel Hydra Beauty Camellia Repair Mask is a leave-on formula that uses white camellia wax combined with a hyaluronic acid derivative to lock in moisture and plump up the skin. A rich, creamy balm that envelops the skin, it can be used as either a 10-minute treatment, a targetted treatment on dry spots, or left on the entire face overnight. The mask also gives an almost instant plumping effect the following morning

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