Hand-made natural beauty products to pamper your skin

Hand-made natural beauty products to pamper your skin

First came home-made cupcakes, followed by spreads, granolas and nougats. The next trending products concocted in the kitchens of homegrown entrepreneurs? Scrubs, balms and lotions that sound good enough to eat.

Natural beauty products free from cringe-worthy chemicals and preservatives have been on the radars of eco warriors and beauty junkies for some time.

Now, local skincare producers are eschewing the route of slapping their names on private label cosmetics, and formulating wholesome beautifying potions on their own; even as they face plenty of competition from cult brands imported from around the globe - many of which boast plenty of eco and socially responsible cred.

"I think Singaporean consumers, especially the younger ones, are beginning to want items that they can relate to and understand - and this is why locally made products are no longer perceived as inferior to ones produced by a large conglomerate in a factory overseas," says Kendra Liew, who launched Katfood, a line of handmade beauty products free from preservatives.

"A product is no longer just an item that serves a specific function. What people buy now is a reflection of who they are and commercial, mass-produced products just don't tell a compelling story."

In fact, Cynthia Chua, the founder of Singapore-based beauty and F&B group Spa Esprit, is planning the launch of a farm-to-beauty skincare range.

The entrepreneur behind international brands such as hair removal specialist Strip and Browhaus, a brow salon, is leading the movement to build urban gardens that will provide inspiration and ingredients for a new line of skincare products.

The healthful, pure ingredient movement originating from food is now progressing to the beauty industry, with plenty of new age apothecaries creating mouth-watering blends such as the Sweet Pea and Wild Honey body scrub by another homegrown brand, Mandy T.

As Mandy Leena Tan, founder of the plant-based cosmetics brand explains: "Living in the hustle and bustle of a city like Singapore, I find it even more important to use and consume natural ingredients which offer the ultimate in natural personal care, free from the myriad of harsh chemicals used in many mass commercial products on the market today."

Safe enough to eat



Forformer lawyer Kendra Liew, "putting your money where your mouth is" might just be an idiom that spurred her start-up. Last year, the National University of Singapore graduate invested time and effort into the launch of beauty products that are safe enough to eat.

Boasting catchy names such as #nofilter Makeup Remover and John Lemon Lip Balm, and prices that are easy on the wallet, her range of 10 products has gained some newfound fans - including a couple who ordered her lip balms as favours for their wedding.

"I started Katfood because I have always wanted to run my own business, and I noticed that unlike more sophisticated skincare markets like the US, there was a lack of affordable natural skincare options here," says Ms Liew, who makes her products by hand in a home office.

"I also felt that many existing products contained too many chemicals and too little quality ingredients, which is misaligned with the wants of today's sophisticated, discerning consumers."

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