The global beauty industry is often referred to as "recession-proof", given man's never-ending yearning to unlock the fountain of youth.
But in Singapore, it also happens to be an industry that is competitive, dominated by international skincare and cosmetic juggernauts including Clinique from the United States, Japan's SK-II and Laneige from South Korea.
Despite the cut-throat environment, in the past four years, the local market has seen a gradual but definitive new wave of smaller home-grown entrants, all of whom are hoping to score in the big leagues like their uber-successful local predecessors - Skin Inc and Strip.
Local entrepreneur Sabrina Tan's Skin Inc became the first local skincare label to be stocked internationally at Sephora in 2013.
Home-grown waxing services brand Strip, which was started in 2002 and is under the Spa Esprit Group, today has a presence in 10 major capitals including London, New York and Beijing.
At least 15 local beauty and skincare brands have jumped into the fray in the past four years to varying levels of success. The appeal of starting their own label despite Singapore's competitive beauty scene stems from the industry being an untapped market for local beauty brands, the brands' founders say.
"It's undoubtedly an area that still has potential - especially for products that are being created to target Asian skin and our unique climate," says Mr Keith Codling, who is in his 40s and the co-founder of Alexiares & Ani, a botanical skincare label he launched with his wife Dawn in 2013. "We started our brand because we wanted to create products suited for the tropics which don't really exist despite there being so many brands on the market."
Source : Straits Times