Skincare Archives - Skinlycious
4 reasons to ditch the toner and double cleanse instead

4 reasons to ditch the toner and double cleanse instead

This writeup is more applicable for acne / acne-prone / oily / sensitive skin.

The main 2 reasons why we are encouraged to tone are that toners serve to :
1) remove the impurities that can still be lingering after washing with a cleanser,
2) balance the skin pH.

Below, I’m listing some of the reasons why I ditched the toner and double cleanse instead.

1. Less is more.

The lesser ingredients you put on your skin, the lower the chances your skin will react negatively.

I’ve never knew that using the wrong ingredients would lead to oily skin until I was testing different formulations. Even subtle change of preservatives and surfactants (cleansing agents) could lead to change in skin oiliness. All these information are not found in textbooks and were only discovered when I was trying different formulations.

Many years back before I started Skinlycious, I used to use a toner from my aesthetic clinic. I realised that I had increased sensitivity and redness from the toner. And that was after I have finished two bottles. After I stopped toning, my skin was better. Ever since, I’ve not used a toner.

2. Toners do not contain surfactants.

Surfactants are cleansing agents that dislodges oil and dirt, allowing them to be washed away. But not all surfactants are created the same. Some causes increase sensitivity while some can cause the skin to oil up. Toners do not contain surfactants. They do not cleanse as well compared to cleansers. It’s probably more the wiping down with cotton pad that helps to dislodge the stubborn impurities.

3. You would be wiping away beneficial ingredients.

This is applicable for those who are using Skinlycious Anti-acne Wash. In our wash, we have lactoserum (a milk protein) and lactic acid (naturally produced within our skin).These two ingredients stays on your skin even after you rinse with water. They are essential to balance your skin pH, preventing acne. When we have skin problems like acne, our skin is alkaline. By using our wash, it helps to balance the skin pH while cleansing gently. Thus, if you use our Anti-acne wash, there’s no extra need for an extra step to tone to balance pH.

4. Double cleanse for thorough removal of impurities. 

Cleansers have surfactants. They work better as a cleansing step than toners. The usual double cleanse products are either oil-based, milk-based or water-based. For acne and acne-prone skin, it’s best to use micellar cleansing water as it’s water-based. Choosing the right cleansing water is important too. Some cleansing water makes acne-prone skin more oily.

From my personal experience, after incorporating one extra step of using Skinlycious micellar cleansing water in the evening, I had less clogs. Below is my current skin care regimen. On no makeup days, 2 pumps on one cotton pad, swiping front and back, would do the job. With makeup, I usually need 4 pieces of cotton pad to remove my makeup (inclusive of eye makeup) thoroughly.


Try using a cleansing water to double cleanse and see if you achieve smoother and clearer complexion. Of course, I would highly recommend Skinlycious Micellar Cleansing water as it has been tested on acne and acne-prone skin.

Honestly, the money you spent buying toner could be better spent on anti-aging products or even double dosing on your serums. That would achieve better results. The percentage of active ingredients in toners are usually much lesser than that dosed in serums.



About the Author : Jasmine Kang

Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.


How to choose the best hyaluronic acid serum

How to choose the best hyaluronic acid serum

What’s the hype with Hyaluronic Acid Serum?

Hyaluronic acid is THE skincare ingredient that keeps your skin hydrated and supple. Hyaluronic acid is found
naturally in the body. It is a critical component of skin that helps retain moisture, keeps the skin firm, and aids in tissue repair. In the presence of hyaluronic acid, collagen production is also increased.

Hyaluronic acid holds moisture very well; holding up to 1000 times its weight in water. As we age, natural production of hyaluronic acid diminishes and our skin is no longer as supple and youthful-looking. Replacing hyaluronic acid is an effective way to make the skin look younger.

There’s plenty of hyaluronic acid/sodium hyaluronate serum in the market. Their price ranges from the mass market 20+ to 100+ or more.So, how do you choose the best hyaluronic acid serum for yourself?

3 ways to identify the hyaluronic acid serum that’s worth your money.

Look at the labels, especially the ingredients.

1) Check if hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate is in the ingredient list.

Sodium hyaluronate is the salt of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is bigger in molecular size than sodium hyaluronate, thus it is less effective in penetrating the skin. Assuming the same concentration, a sodium hyaluronate serum would be much better than a hyaluronic acid serum, because more would be absorbed.

2) Look at the order of the listed ingredients.

It is mandatory to list ingredients according to the percentage present. The first ingredient listed would have the highest concentration. We are using the label on our hydrating serum (active ingredient-sodium hyaluronate) as an example. First ingredient is aqua, which means water is found in the highest concentration.

You might be thinking why should I pay so much for a broth of water. Water is necessary because hyaluronic acid absorbs and retains water. If the serum does not contain water, when hyaluronic acid is being absorbed into the skin, hyaluronic acid will take water from your skin. Therefore, too high a concentration of hyaluronic acid is not good as well as it might devoid your skin of hydration. Again, the key is optimal concentration. No, there’s no such thing as 100% hyaluronic acid serum, etc. If it’s 100% hyaluronic acid, it exists as a solid form.

3) Try it! Feel the difference. Be your own judge. 

Other than looking at the label of the listing of ingredients, you would have to try it to feel the difference. This is because there are different grades and molecular size of sodium hyaluronate / hyaluronic acid. The smaller the size, the deeper the penetration into the skin. Also, the actual concentration of sodium hyaluronate / hyaluronic acid being used matter as well. These are information that you will not be able to find out from the labels. Each brand is different. At Skinlycious, we guard these information to keep our formulation proprietary. Our formulation is non-sticky, non-greasy and absorbs quickly into the skin. You have to try it to feel the difference.

See below two examples of real users comparing Skinlycious hydrating serum/hydrator to other brands. Rebecca is a dear friend, who used to get her hyaluronic acid serum from the same GP as me. The other photo, with blurred out name and photo, was a conversation between a beauty blogger and I.


What about packaging of hyaluronic acid serums used?

Most hyaluronic acid serums come in dropper bottles because they look more expensive. However, note that every time you open your dropper bottle, the whole bottle of serum is exposed to air and possible bacteria contamination.

Skinlycious hyaluronic acid serum a.k.a hydrating serum is packed in pumped bottles. Pump bottles ensure that contamination is reduced to the minimum and the product is kept fresher for a longer period.

My love affair with hyaluronic acid serum

My love affair with hyaluronic acid serums started more than a decade ago. Because I had acne and I didn’t use any moisturisers, I had a deep wrinkle on my forehead at the age of 24. When I started working as a pharmaceutical sales representative, I met my aesthetic doctor. He introduced hyaluronic acid serum to me. For many years, I have been paying more than SGD$100 for a bottle of 30ml of hyaluronic acid serum. Although I felt heartache every time I use this serum, I continued for many years because I saw my wrinkle disappear and my skin firmer and hydrated. As I have oily and acne-prone skin, hyaluronic acid serum serves as my only moisturiser. This also demystifies that using a skin care for too long will lose its effectiveness.

After I founded Skinlycious, I decided to make a power hyaluronic acid serum at an affordable price. My chemist was saying I was pricing too low, given that I am putting in maximum concentration of hyaluronic acid. But because I want to use it, it has to be the best. Maximum concentration for maximum efficacy. I also want to price it such that people won’t feel the burn when they use it. 

Men can use it too! My hubby uses Skinlycious hydrating serum as his moisturiser too. Just recently, a caucasian friend was telling me how her
hubby wasn’t able to find use any moisturiser as he has very problematic skin (acne, psoriasis, rosacea). After her hubby tried Skinlycious hydrating serum for two weeks, his skin condition improved so much that they would like to bring Skinlycious into Australia.

Here’s some other reviews of Skinlycious hydrating serum by a few of our other customers.

P.S. I use it as a hand cream too as it’s non-sticky and non-oily. I dont’t really like the oily feel of the usual hand creams leaving a film on my hands and fingerprints on my handphone. Furthermore, our hands are one of the body parts that ages more quickly, so replenishing hyaluronic acid makes sense as well.



About the Author : Jasmine Kang

Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.

Pores – Why they get bigger and how you can minimise them

Pores – Why they get bigger and how you can minimise them

Why do we hardly see the pores on babies but our pores seem to get more visible as we age? Although some of us have been genetically engineered with bigger pores, there are 2 main reasons why our pores enlarge over time. Read on to find out how to minimise pores.

The 2 main reasons why our pores enlarge

1) Clogged Pores

Dirt, sebum, dead skin cells get trapped in our pores and temporarily stretches them, making them more visible. For those of us who unfortunately have acne, especially cystic acne, when the pores become permanently enlarged, it becomes a scar.

2) Aging and sun damage

As we age, our skin around the pores loses collagen and its firmness. With the lack of support from the surrounding tissues, pores become dilated and bigger. This aging / pore enlarging process can begin as early as our twenties. Gasp! Sun(UV rays) damages our skin and accelerates aging and pore enlargement process. Essentially, the firmer the skin, the less visible the pores.

5 permanent ways to minimise pores

1) Use Exfoliants. 

Look out for ingredients ending with acids, such as salicylic acid, lactic acid, etc. Salicylic acid (BHA), is oil-soluble, and is able to penetrate into the pores and clear them from the inside. Lactic acid (AHA), naturally found on our skin, helps in gentle exfoliation. Personally, I prefer chemical exfoliants(acids) to physical exfoliants(scrubs). As we age, our skin renewal cycle slows down, thus with gentle exfoliation, it helps to give your skin a healthy glow and minimise pores. Be careful not to over-exfoliate as that will cause more problems like sensitive and dry skin. You need your natural protection layer on your skin. Over-exfoliating destroys your skin’s protective layer. Skinlycious Anti-Acne Wash and Anti-Acne Solution contain acids to help in exfoliation and dissolving the clogs in pores. These two products are more suited for acne, acne-prone and oily skin though.

2) Use Anti-aging serums ; Retinoids. 

To address enlarged pores due to aging, use anti-aging products that increase collagen in your skin. With increased collagen in your skin, there will be less sagging and your pores will minimize.

However, don’t bother applying collagen directly on your skin. Collagen molecules are too big to penetrate into the skin, the dermis to be exact. You can read more about my opinions of collagen creams and drinks here. Here’s a scientifically proven option for you : Skinlycious Firm & Lift serum uses Genistein, a potent soy isoflavone, proven to stimulate collagen from within and at the same time slowing down the breakdown of existing collagen. As shown on the right, using a human skin model, there was a 53% increase production of new collagen.

As I have been using this product consistently every day, I can’t see any obvious difference. But, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw my hubby’s pores shrunk visibly after using Skinlycious Firm & Lift Serum. His complexion became brighter as well. Highly recommended for all skin types. A potent anti-aging serum as I want the best for myself.

Another favourite anti-aging and anti-acne product of mine is retinoids. There are many types of retinoids though. Retinoic acid (Tretinoin), available only via prescription, is the one I like. It’s non-expensive and has been extensively studied and proven efficacious for its anti-aging and anti-acne properties. Retinols, used by many skin care companies are the weaker “cousins” of retinoic acid, and often much pricier. I have used both brands Stieva-A and Retin-A at different concentrations, prescribed by different doctors. My dermatologist and I find that 0.025% is the best concentration. The higher concentrations caused me to develop photo-sensitivity and sensitive skin. 0.025% retinoid acid combined with Skinlycious products helped solve my long standing acne woes. With it’s anti-aging benefits, retinoic acid helps to minimise pores too.

*Important note : Retinoic acid can only be used at night. Those who are planning to conceive or pregnant must not use this product.

3) Use broad spectrum sunscreen or makeup.

Choose broad spectrum sunscreen or makeup with SPF above 30 and PA protection. You can read more about sunscreens in this post. Sun protection is a must to prevent pigmentation, acceleration of the skin aging process, and skin cancer. It does not minimise pores directly, but it certainly helps to slow down the rate of your pores becoming larger. Prevention is always much cheaper and efficient than trying to rectify skin problem. Even if you have clogged pores and acne, it’s important to use sun protection.

4) Use Skinlycious 7 in 1 Pore Refining Hydrator Serum.

Mastic, the key active ingredient in Skinlycious Pore Refining Hydrator Serum, has been scientifically tested and proven to refine, reduce and minimise pores. Below, you can see my one-month-apart before and after picture. See how much less oily my skin became and how my pores became more refined. Testing and be convinced of my products’ effectiveness is an essential process before I launch any products into Skinlycious. Actually, I was taken aback by how much my pores have minimised. Try it and take your own high resolution before and after photos to see the difference. This product is recommended more for oily, acne-prone skin, as it helps to control sebum production and reduces shine.

5) Aesthetic procedures for treatment of large pores

Examples of aesthetic procedures are microdermabrasion, diamond peel, and lasers, etc are available to minimise pores. However, those with active, inflamed acne should avoid microdermabrasion/diamond peel, as that will probably make your acne condition worse. I had first hand experience where microdermabrasion made my breakout worse. Use Skinlycious anti-acne products to clear your active acne first before you start on procedures. My favourite is still microdermabrasion as it doesn’t have down time. I also take pleasure knowing that it vacuums out the strands of gunk from my pores. Say goodbye to painful extractions. Furthermore, extractions may cause scarring and more acne if not done by a skilled professional. Do these procedures only with certified aesthetic doctors or dermatologists. Consult an aesthetic doctor.

The 2 temporary / fake ways of vanishing your pores

1) By using photo apps and filters to edit your photos, you can have flawless complexion. Hey, I did say fake, right. : P

2) MakeupDermacos Camouflage Cream. This is a cream base foundation that fills into your pores, acne scars even, to give you a flawless complexion. It also
covers redness very well. My bellydance teacher, Joey, recommended this foundation for our stage makeup. With her professional makeup artist background, she also taught us stage makeup skills.

When I first used it, I was amazed by how poreless my complexion is. Even after perspiring from all the dancing on stage, this foundation covers and stays. After trying so many foundations, none can achieve such flawless complexion like this cream foundation. Because it’s coverage is so good, I don’t think using this everyday is a good idea. Make sure that you cleanse thoroughly after using this foundation. Use Skinlycious Micellar Cleansing Water – specially formulated for acne and acne-prone skin. 9 months of formulating and testing to come up with a makeup remover that doesn’t make my acne-prone skin oily.

I no longer use this foundation as I do not perform anymore. I don’t have the ingredient list for this foundation but if you manage to get the ingredient list, you can check it against here to see if there’s any comedogenic ingredients.

If you have any other foundations that you have tried / using that gives good coverage, share in the comments below.



About the author : Jasmine Kang

Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.

Double Cleansing + 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine : Real Benefits or hype

Double Cleansing + 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine : Real Benefits or hype

When I came across the 10 step korean skin care routine, I balked at it. Double cleansing was advocated. Honestly, for acne, acne-prone and sensitive skin, I always believe less is more. The more products we put on our face, the higher the risk that it might trigger sensitivity, oily skin and acne. I have had experience where milder surfactants made my skin oily when I was working on the anti-acne wash and cleansing water formulations. Just recently, I was testing different preservatives on my skin and found that some preservatives actually caused me to have more oily skin. This result was surprising to my formulator and I as it has not been documented in books or taught.

The 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine

Step 1 : Oil based cleanser
Step 2 : Water based cleanser
Step 3 : Exfoliation (Up to twice a week)
Step 4 : Toners (To help balance your skin’s pH as well as prepping your skin for better absorption of products thereafter)
Step 5 : Essence (A kind of toner and serum hybrid)
Step 6 : Serums, Boosters and Ampoules (Concentrated essence)
Step 7 : Sheet Masks (Once or twice a week)
Step 8 : Eye Cream
Step 9 : Moisturiser
Step 10 : Sun Protection (Morning) or Sleeping Pack a.k.a Rich Night Cream (Night)

Let’s get down to double cleansing! Micellar Cleansing Water


It’s the first two of the ten steps that is advocated by the 10 steps korean skin care regime. When we put on makeup, we
will definitely double cleanse with a makeup remover, followed by a cleanser. How about days that we don’t put on makeup? Do you double cleanse? I didn’t until I tried it for two weeks and was convinced by the results. Previously, before coming up with Skinlycious Micellar Cleansing Water, I had a difficult time looking for a suitable makeup remover. I went through many rounds of testing before I finally found a formula that didn’t oil up my skin.

Two weeks of consistent double cleansing, here’s what I observed

As I work from home, I don’t usually wear makeup. Even on weekends, I can get a little lazy. After all, having struggled with bad skin for half of my life, I really appreciate the days I can step out of the house confidently without makeup. Thus, being consistent in double cleansing is a new routine for me. But because I had to test a new formula (just a minor tweak on the preservatives used) for the makeup remover/cleansing water, I started using the cleansing water consistently every evening. After using the cleansing water, I used the Anti-Acne Wash.

To my pleasant surprise, I realized that I had very much less clogs/whiteheads. I am very prone to skin colored bumps. These bumps usually dissolve after I put Anti-Acne Solution but as the day progresses, little bumps start appearing again when the dust/dirt starts clogging my pores. And then the cycle repeats everyday. But after consistently double cleansing in the evening, there were very much less bumps.

The routine we recommend for acne-prone skin


How do our recommended regimen measure up to the 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine?

Steps 1 and 2 : Essentially, the 10 steps are more functional. I’m sold on double cleansing even when we don’t apply makeup as I have experienced real improvements on my skin. However, oil cleansers are totally not for me. Water based cleansers only.

Step 3 : As for exfoliation, when we have acne, avoid physical exfoliators, like scrubs, as that will irritate our skin further. Use chemical exfoliators instead. Chemical exfoliators are found in Skinlycious Anti-Acne Wash(lactic acid) and Anti-Acne Solution(salicylic acid). Thus, you don’t need an extra product for exfoliation. For acne and acne-prone skin, exfoliation is important to clear up the clog pores.

Step 4 : What about toners? I don’t believe in them. To balance skin pH, a good cleanser will be doing that. Our Anti-Acne Wash has lactic acid and lactoserum to help balance skin pH. When we have acne, our skin tends to be more alkaline. However, healthy skin pH is actually slightly acidic. Bacteria thrives more in alkaline skin too. Shifting our skin back to acidic pH is also a key component to help clear acne and maintain acne free skin.

So, if the cleanser is able to balance skin pH, there’s really no need for a toner. That’s why I don’t offer toners in my brand. You can read more here about my views on toners. And the part where they claim it’s to prep the skin for the next step by adding hydration. I would think just use your serum twice would yield even better results. Save your money on toners.

Step 5 : Essence. Again, an unnecessary product. Double dosing on your serums would probably give yield better results.

Step 6 : Serums/Boosters/Ampoules. This is important. For acne, acne-prone, oily skin, our skin is often oily but dehydrated. By replenishing water back into our skin, our skin feels hydrated and will in turn produce less sebum/oil. It’s good to start anti-aging skin care early. I always believe prevention is better than cure. A good start is mid to late twenties. Build up our collagen bank as collagen depletes when we age, leading to saggy skin, wrinkles and bigger pores.

Step 7 : Sheet Masks.You can add in masks occasionally if you want. However, be very careful with what you use. When I was younger, those sheet masks that I bought from Korea made me to breakout. Currently, I don’t add any masks to my regimen other than the occasional masks that are done in my aesthetic doctor’s clinic. I have been with him for many years, so the nurses understand my skin pretty well and know what to use. An example is clay masks are supposedly good for oily skin but I developed sensitivity to clay after I used Dermalogica’s clay cleanser for period of time. Even after more than a decade of stopping clay cleanser, my skin is still sensitive to clay.

Step 8 : Eye Creams. I just use Skinlycious hydrating serum and firm & lift serum around my eyes. On the whole face including neck. There’s no need for a separate cream for the eye. Those serums are already very potent but as they are not rich and thick, the likelihood of causing milia seeds is very very low.

Step 9 : Moisturiser. Generally, for acne, acne-prone and oily skin, we are lacking of hydration. With the hydrating serum, there should be enough hydration. However, if you are more mature and struggling with acne, hydrating serum might not be enough for you. Or in countries with winter, it might be necessary to add on a moisturiser after the serums to lock the moisture in. Again, do not use thick moisturisers as that might worsen your acne.

Step 10 : Sun Protection (Morning) or Sleeping Pack (Night)
Sun protection is an absolute must even when we have acne. Our 8 in 1 Whitening Sunscreen is packed with natural antioxidants to help lighten those hyper-pigmentation brown/purple/red “scars” left when the acne is healing. Extra benefits while protecting your skin against the harmful UV rays.

Sleeping pack at night?? Erm. It would probably be too rich and cause outbreaks.

Last Words

Actually, as a beauty brand owner, it’s better for consumers to use more products on their face, so that they can buy more products from beauty companies. Ker-ching! But hey, that’s not what Skinlycious and I stand for. Our goal is to create essential products that help to clear acne and maintain acne-free skin. I offer my customers what I want to use and is using daily. I want the best for myself, so you get the best from us too!

With the full range of Skinlycious products, we have gotten you covered for proper cleansing, clearing acne, hydration, anti-aging, firming, lifting, lightening “scars”/pigmentations, whitening, brightening.



About the Author : Jasmine Kang

Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.


Are Skinlycious products Halal or Haraam?

Are Skinlycious products Halal or Haraam?

Being in a multi-cultural country, I have been asked by our Muslim friends if our products are Halal. Like many cosmetics products, we are not a full Halal brand. We might consider applying when we grow bigger. I did a little research on the internet and would like to present a summarised version of my findings. Please look at the source and make you own judgement. Even different muslim scholars have different views, so be your own judge.

First and foremost, we do not use any animal-derived ingredients, except for Anti-Acne Wash, which has a protein derived from cow milk. Our products are essentially vegetarian. Our Muslim friends also do not need to worry about any traces of pork or non-halal traces of animal derived ingredients.

What about ingredients, like alcohol, present in Anti-Acne Solution?

You might ask isn’t alcohol, specifically ethanol, haraam? Yes, it is haraam. However, in Skinlycious 

Anti-Acne Solution, we use denatured ethanol/alcohol. As quoted from ummahnews – “Denatured alcohol is an industrial methylated spirit or surgical spirit (contains natural or synthesised ethanol and denaturing agent such as methanol or methylisobutyl ketone). We regard it as permissible for external use.”
In the reference video below, Dr. Muhammad Salah, talks about alcohol in perfume. Our alcohol is the same kind of alcohol used in perfume, which is denatured alcohol. He says it’s not a problem to use such alcohol in perfumes and whatsoever.

Alcohol is a necessary ingredient needed for Anti-Acne Solution to work well. It kills bacteria, helps salicylic acid penetrate into the skin better as well as help to break down hard skin. I’ve written a long blogpost on alcohol in skin care. No, alcohol in skin care will not cause cancer nor does it harm you. But yes, it can dry your skin. That can easily be countered by using hydrating serums. And we use denatured alcohol in Anti-Acne Solution, so that’s not a problem.

All our other products, except Anti-Acne Solution and 7 in 1 Pore Refining Hydrator Serum, do not contain alcohol. For 7 in 1 Pore Refining Hydrator Serum, alcohol is needed to dissolve mastic, an ingredient to shrink pores and for oil control. We are working on another formulation without alcohol for our 7 in 1 Pore Refining Hydrator Serum. For 7 in 1 Pore Refining Hydrator Serum, the alcohol used is not denatured alcohol. Therefore, it might possibly be Haraam.

What about other possible haraam ingredients?

Below, I copied and pasted out the other common ingredients that are listed in Ummahnews and are also found in our products . I have singled out the ingredients that are found in our products in orange.

Phenoxyethanol – Halal

Not ethyl based, therefore Halal.

Dimethicone and Methicone – Halal
Both Silicone based polymers, are also considered halal, and used as antifoaming agents or skin conditioning agents.

Butylene Glycol – Halal
No halal concerns.

Glycerin – Mushbooh dependent on source
Glycerin, also referred as to as Glycerol, is a component of all animal and vegetable fats and oils. It can also be synthesized from carbohydrate materials or from substances such as petroleum. Vegetable derived glycerin and synthetic glycerin are considered Halal. Animal derived glycerin may not be. Not knowing the source makes it doubtful.
We use plant-based glycerin, therefore ours is Halal.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate – Mushbooh dependent on source
It’s stated in Ummahnews that Sodium Laureate Sulfate is Mushbooh (doubtful). We use Sodium Laureth Sulfate in our Anti-Acne Wash. It’s one of the better surfactant that can cleanse properly without disturbing my skin balance. A disturbance in skin balance can cause increase oiliness. Quoted from reference 3 : “Sodium laureth sulfate, or sodium lauryl ethyl sulfate (SLES) and its derivatives, are found in many personal care products and are made by mixing sulphuric acid, monododecyl ester, and sodium salt.  Monododecyl ester may be from coconut oil, palm oil or from an animal source. Because of this, it is considered doubtful or Mushbooh.”

If that’s the case, since our ingredients are plant-based, the sodium laureth sulfate we use is not a problem.


Although we are not Halal certified, based on the ingredients we used, I would like to possibly conclude :
Only 7 in 1 Pore Refining Hydrator Serum is possibly Haraam because of the alcohol present. All other Skinlycious products are most probably Halal because the ingredients listed are Halal. However, having said that, I would like to add that my knowledge for Islam is limited. I am presenting the information I gathered on the internet for your reference. Be your own judge.


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About the Author : Jasmine Kang

Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.

Behind the scenes of formulating Skinlycious Micellar Cleansing Water – Trials on real people with acne-prone skin

Behind the scenes of formulating Skinlycious Micellar Cleansing Water – Trials on real people with acne-prone skin

If you’ve not read about my previous post on how another brand of micellar cleansing water made my skin more oily, you can read it here. It’s also the reason why I wanted to come up with my own micellar solution/make-up remover.

Round 1 – Testing on my own skin

Working with my chemist, we had to try a few versions before we came up with a formulation that doesn’t make my skin oily after use. This took a very long process as every time when I tried something that causes me to oil up, I had to stop, go back to my old routine, and allow my skin at least two weeks to tune back before I try another formulation. This process took me 4 months to find a formulation that I am fully satisfied with and importantly, it doesn’t oil me up. It’s alcohol free, parabens free, oil free and soap free. Let’s call this Version 1.

Round 2 – Getting some friends and top customers to try 

We contacted a few selected customers, who have been consistently using Skinlycious products for quite a while. These are customers, who have had their acne cleared from using our products. I also asked a few close friends, who have normal skin and have been using my serums and sunscreen (suitable for all skin types), to try. I made a batch of 20 samples of Version 1 and sent it out to them.

The feedback that came back was that it cleanses well. A few feedback that smell was ok but many feedback that they didn’t like the smell. My bestie called me up and told me that she didn’t like the smell. When asked if they preferred citrus or flowery smell, most feedback that citrus refreshing smell would be nice. So, we tried an improved version with citrus smell.

Honestly, I am very bad with smell. I think my nose is kinda spoilt. Sometimes, I can’t even smell my baby’s poop. The original version’s smell was acceptable to me. Nevertheless, I was glad that I didn’t launch the original version and gathered some feedback before I launch. More importantly, I wanted to make sure that Skinlycious micellar cleansing water doesn’t cause our skin to be more oily, which would possibly lead to acne.


Round 3 – Improving the formula, adding citrus essential oil, getting feedback from close friends  

We also gathered that waterproof eye makeup was not that easy to remove with Version 1. So, my chemist and I worked on it and did an improved version and changed it to citrus smell. Let’s call this Version 2. It did cleanse better than Version 1, especially so on removing waterproof eye makeup. I only made 3 samples of Version 2. One for me and two for my close friends. One was ok with the citrus smell but the other felt that it reminded her of detergent. So, I decided not to use citrus smell. Also, dosing in natural citrus essential oil might cause photosensitivity, so I decided against that. So, not all natural stuff are good. It depends on the dosage and where you use them on.


Round 4 – Letting the customers decide, launching what the majority prefer. 

I decided to change and dose two different fragrances in very small quantity to Version Two. 

We came up with two versions of Version Two – GT1 or IV1. Thereafter, we sent out a set of GT1 and IV1 to customers and friends who gave feedback in our first trial.

Surprisingly, majority said they preferred IV1. 18 out of 20 preferred IV1. Many also feedback that it cleanses better than the earlier version. Some of you might ask, why not do away with fragrances totally? I did think of that. But I prefer to have a pleasant smell when I cleanse my face. It’s dosed in such a small quantity that it will most probably not cause problem for sensitive skin. However, for Skinlycious serums, they are all fragrance free. I prefer to have fragrance free serums as they are left on the face.


Round 5 – Preparing for launch

The first trial of testing on myself started in December last year. I had wanted to launch this earlier but I am doing this almost on my own. In between, I had to deal with a heartbreaking loss of a mid-term miscarriage and a hospitalisation episode for pain in the abdomen. I am just so glad that Skinlycious micellar cleansing water is going to be launched soon.

While I was finalising the formula for Skinlycious micellar cleansing water, I had to decide on the packaging. Finding a bottle was difficult too. I really like a pump bottle rather than flip cap bottle as it’s so much more convenient. However, there weren’t nice pump bottles that I liked with local Singapore suppliers. I had to order in bulk (thousands) from an overseas factory directly.

We discovered that the labels don’t stick that well on the bottle because it’s not round. All my previous bottles were round, so I didn’t have such issues. Now, we are still trying to solve this labelling issue.

Once that is solved, professional photo shoot and marketing materials to be done. Then, we will be ready to launch our micellar cleansing water. Targeting to launch on 2nd September. Look out for our 20% off launch offer! Full size of 150ml will be retailing at S$33. Samples of 30ml will be retailing at S$9.


Lastly, I would like to dedicate this to my bestie. Thank you, Qin Ai De!

Bestie called me and told me she likes IV1. She also noticed that after switching to SkinLYcious micellar cleansing water, her face was less oily. Usually, her face will become oily around 2pm but at 5pm, her face is still not oily. And the sweetest thing is that she pre-ordered two bottles from me. She has been a great supporter of my products since SkinLYcious was launched. I have helped her and myself save a lot of money too, since both of us were using our hyaluronic acid serum from my aesthetic doctor, which cost 3 times that of Skinlycious hydrating serum (hyaluronic acid serum). Her sister and mum are also using my products. The initial phase before gaining traction was the most difficult and she has been there supporting me all these while. Thank you, 亲爱的!

P.S. All screenshots above have been reproduced with consent by the relevant parties.



About the Author : Jasmine Kang

Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.