Best Beauty Buys is The Singapore Women’s Weekly’s annual awards to discover the most effective and game-changing skincare, haircare and makeup products for busy women and their families. The products were road-tested by a group of mums, and these are their picks.

Confession time: there’s nothing more satisfying than scoring products that work so darn well, but don’t cost an arm and a leg. 

Taking care of your skin does not have to be exorbitant, as these amazing products will attest to. Some of them are pretty close contenders for their luxury counterparts, a fact which pleases us to no end. It’s like an insider’s secret, almost.

Bookmark this list for when you’ve got specific skin concerns to treat on a budget. These affordable beauty buys are delightfully effective. Don’t believe us? Try them for yourself and don’t forget to thank us when you’re repurchasing your next bottle.

1. Best Time-Saving Cleanser: One by Kose Double Black Washer

Best Time-Saving Cleanser: One by Kose Double Black Washer

Stock this at home for both the mister and yourself; it’s a real steal and here’s why. With a deep purifying charcoal formula that includes three types of sebum-reducing clay, as well as glycerin and lactic acid to moisturise and protect the skin, this Kose facial wash is a great deep-cleaning cleanser AND a leave-on mask. Use it daily as a cleanser to wash off the oil and grime from your face, and weekly as a mask to keep sebum production in close check.

$26 for 140g

Shop at Lazada | OG | BHG

2. Best Value-For-Money Sunscreen: Allie Chrono Beauty Gel UV EX SPF50+ PA++++

Best Value-For-Money Sunscreen: Allie Chrono Beauty Gel UV EX SPF50+ PA++++

We know that sometimes, we can’t have it all when we have a budget to stick to. Thankfully, there are times we can, like with this high SPF protection sunscreen gel. It goes on oh-so-smoothly, is water-resistant, contains hydrating ingredients, and prevents small particles from sticking – all at a very pocket-friendly price point. Psst, get the bigger tube for even more cost savings!

$30.50 for 108g

Shop at Watsons (via Amazon Fresh)

3. Best Refreshing Cleanser: Bifesta Micellar Cleansing Water Perfect Glow

Best Refreshing Cleanser Bifesta Micellar Cleansing Water Perfect Glow

If micellar water feels like a beauty splurge, we recommend this inexpensive yet lovely Bifesta vitamin C-infused micellar water. It not only removes makeup with a smooth glide, it also brightens, tones, and soothes your skin after a long day at work. 

$18.20 for 400ml

Shop at Watsons (via Amazon Fresh) | Guardian | Lazada

4. Best Value-For-Money Toner: Bio Essence Bio-Gold 24K Gold Water

Best Value-For-Money Toner  Bio Essence Bio-Gold 24K Gold Water

An embodiment of luxury in a bottle? This 24K Gold Water has to be it. This gorgeous essence has actual gold flakes as an active ingredient to rejuvenate the skin and protect it from free radical damage. Go for the gold and add this opulent ingredient into your routine, without draining your beauty budget for the year.

$39.70 for 100ml

Shop at Watsons (via Amazon Fresh) | Guardian | Lazada

5. Best Exfoliating Mask: Pestlo Spicule Reborn Peeling Mask

Best Exfoliating Mask Pestlo Spicule Reborn Peeling Mask

Offering the benefits of microneedling at a fraction of the cost, this mask is definitely a keeper. Tiny spicules from marine sponges penetrate the skin’s surface to exfoliate dead skin cells, stimulate cell turnover, and improve delivery of active ingredients, much like how microneedling works. The mask also contains sebum-controlling and soothing active ingredients, green tea and mugwort extracts, which are aided in their efficacy thanks to the spicules.

$48 for 120g

Shop at Asian Beauty X

6. Best Value-For-Money Gel Cleanser: Grown Alchemist Gentle Gel Facial Cleanser

Best Value-For-Money Gel Cleanser: Grown Alchemist Gentle Gel Facial Cleanser

Clean beauty often comes at a premium, so spotting this amazing gel cleanser by Grown Alchemist is a big, beautiful win to us. Formulated with aloe to soothe, as well as a delightful blend of geranium leaf, bergamot, and rosebud to eliminate bacteria and refresh the skin; this gentle gel cleanser is a joy to use, tenderly cleansing impurities and oil off your face with none of the harsh stuff.

$59 for 200ml

Shop at Sephora | StrawberryNet

7. Best Gentle Cleanser For Sensitive Skin: Freeplus Mild Soap A

Best Gentle Cleanser For Sensitive Skin Freeplus Mild Soap A

Treating sensitive skin can be costly, so we’re stoked to discover this very affordable cleanser with kind-to-skin ingredients that goes beyond just not irritating the skin; it also strengthens skin. Amino acids, niacinamide, licorice leaf extract, and other plant extracts come together in this lightweight, watery foaming wash to nourish the skin while sloughing off oil and other impurities.

$27 for 100g

Shop at Watson (via Amazon Fresh) | Lazada

8. Best Face And Body Wash For Sensitive Skin: SunoHada Gentle Smooth Wash

Best Face And Body Wash For Sensitive Skin SunoHada Gentle Smooth Wash

Not needing to buy separate body foams for everyone in the family is, to us, great value for money. This gentle face and body wash, developed in collaboration with a Japanese dermatologist, is that one product everyone in the family can use, regardless of skin type. Whether it’s dry, sensitive, oily, or normal skin – this alcohol- and paraben-free wash embraces it all like a champ.

$20.30 for 500ml

Shop at Amazon | Guardian (via Lazada)

9. Best Moisturising Cream For Sensitive Skin: Curel Intensive Moisture Care Moisture Facial Cream

Best Moisturising Cream For Sensitive Skin Curel Intensive Moisture Care Moisture Facial Cream

For a fuss-free, moisture-rich and affordable cream for the most sensitive of skins, this tub of Curel cream is it. Skin-loving ceramide forms the basis of its efficacy, penetrating deeply into the skin to provide loads of moisture at the cellular level as well as repairing the skin’s moisture barrier to improve its ability to retain water. Eucalyptus extract reduces inflammation and boosts blood circulation in the skin, helping to keep flare-ups well under control.

$30.45 for 40g

Shop at Lazada | Watsons | Amazon

10. Best Gentle Face And Body Wash For Family: Illiyoon Ceramide Ato 6.0 Top to Toe Wash

Best Gentle Face And Body Wash For Family Illiyoon Ceramide Ato 6.0 Top to Toe Wash

Grab a bottle of this ceramide-based body wash that the entire family can use. It’s gentle enough for baby’s skin yet effective enough to cleanse an entire day’s worth of oil, grime, dirt, and impurities away for the adults and teens at home, thanks to its hypoallergenic, low-pH formula. Using this regularly also helps strengthen the skin’s natural barrier, for healthier skin in the long haul.

$20.50 for 500ml

Shop at Shopee | Guardian

11. Best Soothing Moisturiser For Sensitive Skin: SunoHada Soothing Lotion

Best Soothing Moisturiser For Sensitive Skin SunoHada Soothing Lotion

For those sudden flare-ups of itchy or inflamed skin, you’ll want to have a trusty bottle of lotion at hand. Sunohada’s soothing lotion is clinically proven to reduce redness and itchiness using only naturally-derived moisturising ingredients, completely without steroids – so you can slather this on with zero worries.

$25.40 for 270ml

Shop at Amazon | Guardian (via Lazada)

12. Best Non-Sticky Face And Body Moisturiser: Embryolisse Lait Creme Fluid

Best Non-Sticky Face And Body Moisturiser: Embryolisse Lait Creme Fluid

What makes a product truly value-for-money is its multifunctionality. This milky cream fluid is a rock star in that aspect: use it as a body moisturiser, face cleanser, makeup remover, aftershave cream, and after sun cream. Its lightweight formulation belies a nourishing blend of ingredients meant to moisturise and protect, including shea butter, beeswax, aloe vera, and soy proteins. 

$49.90 for 500ml

Shop at Amazon | Shopee

Prices are accurate at time of publication.

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