Mine certainly does!
Many people in Singapore suffer from excessively oily skins. The heat, the sun, the dust, and most recently the haze, all lead to many of us sporting an unattractive glaze over our faces. For women, our makeup tends to melt into a muddy sludge by lunchtime. For men, they often have to tackle skin roughness along with oiliness. This tropical heat is indeed our complexion’s worst enemy.
Instinctively, many of us reach out for purifying, anti-shine, oil-absorbing skincare. But it could be that we are heading in the wrong direction.
My first encounter with the idea of using hydration to combat excess shine happened about five years ago. Then I was suffering from insanely oily skin and acne. I was experimenting with all sorts of anti-shine products in the bid to keep the oil under control. That event changed everything I thought I knew about skincare.
What do we usually do when our skin gets too shiny? We either blot it or we wash it. Apparently, that only serves to aggravate the problem. Think of our skin as an “ecosystem”. As with any living environment, balance is key. When the surrounding gets too cold, your body actually revs up its internal temperature in an effort to keep you warm. Similarly, if your skin gets too dry, your sebaceous glands (they produce sebum) go into overdrive producing oil to keep your skin from drying out. Why?
Dry skin is more easily damaged than moisturized skin. It is also more prone to infection and inflammation.
It’s this same reason why dry, scaly feet are more prone to fungi infection. Our skin has a natural moisturizing factor (NMF) that possesses a “barrier” function, keeping out bacteria and other harmful stuff like dust and pollutants. So, when it gets too dry, it produces OIL to keep the surface of the skin moisturized. There’s just one teeny problem: acne-causing bacteria feeds on sebum. Sebum is therefore a double-edged sword – it moisturizes but
it also nourishes bacteria. For those suffering from acne, excess sebum can be a nightmare.
If you want your skin to produce less oil, the key does not lie in oil-absorbing products. The secret is actually hydration.
Laneige Water Bank series of products featuring packaging designed by Lotta Nieminen
Out of the many hydration skincare out in the market, one of the most highly lauded brands is Laneige. The brand has a 19-year history of researching moisture balance inside a skin cell. This year, it has created the Optimal Mineral Water and put it into its Water Bank series.
5 Benefits of Optimal Mineral Water
1. Protects skin against dehydration
2. Detoxifies skin
3. Soothes stressed and tired skin
4. Enhances skin’s ability to repair itself
5. Maintains moisture balance inside skin for up to 24 hours
My thoughts on the Water Bank series
My high-stressed lifestyle is catching up on me. Along with the fact that I’m almost in my mid-30s, my complexion is severely dehydrated and tends to get very oily. I tried the Water Bank Essence ($48), the Water Bank Gel Cream ($52), and the Water Sleeping Pack EX ($45) for two weeks.
Laneige Water Bank Essence
The Essence has a light, gel-like texture, and is absorbed easily into the skin. You can massage it in but what I like to do is spread it thinly on just cleansed skin and give it 30 seconds to be completely absorbed. The Gel Cream is the next step. If your skin is dry to normal, you might like the Water Bank Cream (also $52) better. Again, the moisturizer sinks into the skin. I like how soft my skin actually feels after.
The cap of the Water Bank Gel Cream and Water Bank Cream
At night, after the Gel Cream, you can layer the Water Sleeping Mask EX over it. This step deeply hydrates your skin while you’re sleeping and enhances its ability to repair itself. If you are iffy about going to bed with a layer of product over your face, you can sit around, watch some TV and, after about 30 minutes or so, the product should have sunk in, leaving just a barely discernible sheen over your face.
When the haze hit Singapore, I was reviewing these products. I’m glad to report that I did not suffer from any irritation or breakouts. Just before a six-hour flight recently, I applied a thin layer of the Sleeping Mask on my skin before leaving for the airport. Usually, my skin would be flaky and oily upon arrival. This time around, I managed to look quite fresh-faced for once.
Help Change The World
Starting from July 5 2013, you can buy products from the Water Bank series sporting a limited edition packaging designed by Finnish artist Lotta Nieminen. Proceeds from this collaboration will go towards the UNICEF WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) project, which aims to provide fresh, clean water to poor, underprivileged communities in Asia by building proper water pump facilities.
The limited edition Water Bank series will be available from July 5, 2013, at all Laneige counters and boutiques.
Material World worked with Laneige to review the Water Bank series to help raise awareness for the Waterful Sharing Campaign. All opinions are the author’s own and were not vetted by the client. You may read our advertising policy here.
About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and strongly believes that we can all do our part to make the world a better place … Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.
WE HAVE A TOTAL OF 5 LANEIGE WATER SLEEPING PACK EX TO GIVE AWAY!
These will feature the limited edition packaging designed by Lotta Nieminen.
To win one, simply follow the steps below:
1. In the Comment section, answer this question: “List 3 benefits of the Optimal Mineral Water.”
2. Share this review on Facebook with your friends. Remember to tag Material World’s Facebook on your post.
3. Remember to Like our Facebook Page. Only Material World’s followers qualify for this contest.
4. Private message us your details – name, age, gender, NRIC, and email address.
Contest ends July 8, Monday, 2013.