Alcheme Skincare: Singapore's Very Own Customised Beauty Brand

Author's Note: Before you read this review, you should know that I am not paid to write this nor does the brand know about the development of this article. I am doing it because I truly love Alcheme A LOT and have been using their products since their start about 2 years ago. Thank you Tuyen & Constance for sharing the wonders of Alcheme with me!

About 8 years back, I grumbled about the lack of an affordable customised skincare brand in Singapore – heck, we barely even had any local skincare brands! I couldn't help thinking, wouldn't it be great to have skincare products that required no experimentation and I know would definitely work for me? The bespoke skincare brands that I had seen online were all based in the States and a hefty price tag came with all of them.

Fast-forward to the present moment, I am proud to say that the beauty scene in Singapore has evolved greatly and today I will be sharing one of my favourites with you, Alcheme Skincare.

I started using Alcheme 3 years ago in 2018. They had only 2 products then, a serum and an emulsion. Today the company has evolved their product range and now has toners, cleansers, makeup removers, eye creams, sleeping masks... and I am pretty sure they have more tricks up their sleeves, waiting to be unveiled!

I love that the company never settles. They are constantly improving. It almost seems like they don't ever take a break – which trust me, is a compliment! They are always either finding ways to improve their formula, looking for a better ingredient, coming up with new products, working on the texture of their existing products, figuring out how to make their packaging more user-friendly & eco-friendly, etc etc. Ths team of busy women never stop and they are truly amazing!

Alcheme's 1st Gen Packaging
My first two bottles of Alcheme Skincare in their old packaging

Now onto the actual product itself and how I fell in love with it. I had my doubts when I started using Alcheme. The formula back then was a lot thicker and my skin was a lot oilier. I was worried that their products would cause my skin to break out and held back from using it as frequently as I should.

Then July came along... the month of the Hungry Ghost Festival. A lot of paper and joss-stick burning. It didn't help that in the same year, in the same month, haze hit Singapore. My skin went crazy! I was going through weeks of annoying acne and inflamed skin, my face was like crap.

Alcheme dropped me a text to ask how I was doing, how was the serum that they had sent me and I was honest with them. I hadn't dare to use their products because of the effed-up state of my skin. I was worried that the heavy texture and its customised skincare benefits - I had ask for more hydration because I wanted the "Korean Glow" - would do more harm than good to my skin.

Now you gotta understand that I had been fighting with my crazy face situation for days now, throwing all sorts of acne cleansers and pimple creams but nothing worked! I went through 3 range of products and the state of my skin was like a roller coaster, except that the ride never came down, it just went up, HIGHER up, down a little bit but never hitting the ground. I was incredibly sad and desperately wanted back my smooth canvas.

The team at Alcheme are my skincare guardian angels. They could have left me to figure out my skin alone and waited till it calmed down – which to be honest I had no idea how long it would take and back then, it seemed like I was doomed to live with acne for the rest of my life. Instead of all that, the team said that they would get her chemist to quickly put together a serum to combat acne/pollution issues and have the serum sent to me! THAT SERUM WAS DA BOMB!

Within 3 days, the serum cleared away all the acne that I had been fighting for weeks. My smooth canvas returned. Alcheme gained a new loyal fan. If you are wondering, that wasn't the only occasion where I used the serum. I kept and continued using the serum for months to come, especially during the week of my menstrual period when I know that my skin is more likely to break out. The serum helped to keep my acne in check and curtail the break-out.

Alcheme's Eye Serum and Mask (2nd Gen Packaging)
In 2019, they created a Personalised Eye Serum and their own Cream Mask

Alcheme also has these pre-concocted serums for those who aren’t keen in personalised ones. I was given a bottle of this pre-concocted serum at a separate event (it was in the event’s goodie bag) and because I already had my personalised serum, I decided to share the pre-concocted one with my mom.

Now here’s what you need to know about my mom. Before I became a beauty guru and forced a skincare routine upon my mom, she had no skincare routine at all. She was too lazy to do anything to her face and her “skincare routine” comprised of a facial cleanser just to wash her face... and that’s it! 😱

She had no idea of what to put on her face (she still doesn’t 😂 and so I’ll routinely check on her facial condition, prescribe her a bunch of products and she diligently follows thru with my instructions) and before my intervention amongst my mom and her seven sisters, she didn’t have the worst complexion but it wasn’t the best either. I am proud to say that my mama now has THE BEST complexion – her sisters envy her good skin and I take full credit for it! Woohoo!

Back to my story on the pre-concocted serum, so I gave my mom a bottle that was meant to combat anti-aging issues with instructions to apply every morning. One month later, her skin was glowing! The skin dullness was gone, we noticed that the fine lines were gone, and the wrinkles had faded by a little. And this is the story of how I converted my mom to become a loyal fan of Alcheme as well!

To use Alcheme, you have to be very patient. They are unlike the typical big brand products where the results appear instantaneously. Their products take a couple of days and depending on your formula and benefits, it can sometimes take up to 28 days. Alcheme uses all-natural ingredients, nothing too harsh nor too potent and that is why, the results take time to happen.

Current Alcheme Products That I'm Using

I am currently using their Gentle Cleansing Gel, Rejuvenate Me Toner, Personalised Serum and Personalised Moisturiser. I have also tried a sample size of their Exfoliating Cleansing Gel.

My top favourites are their Personalised Serum, Exfoliating Cleansing Gel and toner.
I find Alcheme's serums to be incredibly effective on my skin and as mentioned in my raves above, their Personalised Serum is my go-to when my skin breaks out!

As for the Exfoliating Cleansing Gel, I would highly recommend everyone to try this. Tuyen shared with me on the story behind this creation and it is a very interesting one! We all know that typically exfoliation is an extra step in our skincare routine and this step occurs only every once a week (because our skin is delicate and we should not exfoliate on a daily basis). It is easily forgotten, especially when our week becomes crazy and we lose track of 'extra steps/things' in life during those times.

Tuyen said that she often forgets to do her once-a-week exfoliation and finally one day, she had had enough of this problem and thus turned to their in-house chemist to see if she could develop a solution to this problem! And that is how the Exfoliating Cleansing Gel came about! This baby is a facial cleansing gel with added AHA natural fruit extract to help cleanse and exfoliate the skin. It was made to be gentle enough for daily usage! This is the perfect night-time facial cleanser to use every day.

Now as for their toner, I love the texture of their toners – the one that I am using now is Rejuvenate Me Toner. Their toners are a tad more viscous than water (really just a slighttttt bit! it is barely noticeable) but still lightweight and fast to absorb into the skin. The toner is alcohol-free and makes a good first step in any skincare routine!

After reading this lengthy review, I hope it has given you more insight into Alcheme and its products.

Once again let me re-emphasise that I am not paid to write this review. I have worked with the brand on numerous collaborations and have truly enjoyed their products and felt that they deserve more recognition and good word on the internet. Because the prices of their personalised products are a tad steep, ease away your pre-commitment hesitation by trying out a sample of your personalised blend for just $10. Only if it works, then get the full-size bottle! Here is a promo code [ SOPH20 ] for 20% off with min spend $120. 

I hope you'll fall in love with Alcheme as like how I did! (Srsly, best skincare brand ever!)

MONTHLY BLOG: February and March, two months in one

Family photoshoot with Depth of Tales
Photoshoot with Depth Of Tales in February

I am really really trying to blog more, write more. I was appalled at myself when I realised that I had only published 8 blog posts last year. Well done me, shame on me.

I am seriously hoping that this writing habit would kick in again and stay. I do miss those days when I poured out my mind and well... leave to regret later on when I am 5 or 10 years older, reading back on my old blog posts. Technically I never do, because I know that I'll cringe. What usually happens is that a follower would drop me a DM and say "oh hey I read your blog post... from like 8 years ago!"

Me when I read that line:


Date of writing: 7 February 2020

Life has been a whirlwind for me. I have been sick half of January and the illness has now followed me thru to February. I honestly hope that I do get better soon. Ethan has skipped school for close to a week now, what started as a fever that lasted for 3 days became mouth ulcers... I seriously hope that it doesn't develop into HFMD. Keeping my fingers crossed.

My new maid should be arriving in about 2 weeks time. I told the husband that I want to go to a temple before she arrives to pray for luck because my luck has seriously been crap for the past two maids. Ok to be fair, the second one was not as terrible, she was pretty okay but I had to release her due to her hearing issues. Whereas the third one... as y'all know from my previous post, she really is shit.

Before his morning school bus!
Ethan started taking the school bus (to school) during the first week of February!

Date of writing: 11 February 2020

Good news! My new helper will be arriving in 2 weeks time. I am refraining from talking much about her, for fear of jinxing myself (AGAIN!)

Calista and I were saying about how whenever we talk about our helpers online and express our gratitude for their presence... shit happens. Shit always happens. So the best thing is to just not talk about our helper, have little to no hope/expectation – or rather we have but we just don't talk about it online – and maybe then perhaps... the helper would work out. What do y'all think about this? Rational or just superstitious?

Date of writing: 15 February 2020

Keys to our Bidadari BTO

Collected our BTO keys in end January, and nearly after half a month... we finally went to open the doors! We did the usual superstition stuff... roll pineapple (read: in our instance, it was THROW pineapple), sprinkle salt and rice, also did a check around our 3-room apartment at Bidadari. For its size... really very ex lor. $350k 🤯

Don’t even have space to put a regular fridge in the kitchen, I’m thinking that we either put the fridge outside of the kitchen or we’ll have to get those super slim fridges made for tiny new HDB apartments 🤭

The estate is incredibly dusty and messy. They are still doing finishing touches around our area and the construction for the other estates are still ongoing. We took a walk on our floor and there were so many families who have either just started renovation or if not haven’t even open doors — we can tell they haven’t opened their doors yet from the flyers that are still littering their door and doorway. I guess maybe some might have opened but never pick up? 🤷🏻‍♀️

Date of writing: 30 March 2020

Ethan's First Day Riding The School Bus Home
He started taking the school bus back home in the first week of March. Because Ethan was crying so hard on the first day, the bus uncle told me to get on the bus and ride home with Ethan, LOL. #freeridehome

It's been more than a month since my last update. Life got the better of me (again) - oops! I talked about it on IG story, but I'll share briefly about it on here again. I failed to get my new helper in the end and am currently still stuck in a "maid-less" situation.

My 3rd helper arrived in the third week of February and we were psyched. A night before the scheduled pick-up date, my agent dropped me a text to inform me that she was caught by MOM and we were not to go pick her up at the agency the next day. My heart sank. More problems? Sianz.

Till today, I don't know the reason of why she was caught and detained. She went through 3 rounds of interview (including a lie detector test) and was made to stay overnight at MOM's lodgings for over a week. The entire interview process took close to a month before the final verdict came out – she was to be repatriated back to her hometown. Victor and I don't think that it is a simple matter of being underage... we say so because, where got just because underage need to do lie detector test, get detained by MOM to stay at their lodging, and after they issued their conclusion they didn't release her immediately to send her home either. They continued to keep her at their lodging for almost a week more. Everything was just... so strange.

I have selected my 4th maid but because #covid19, Indonesia is under lockdown, their embassy isn't working, all paperwork has halted and my maid is stuck in Indonesia. I have no estimated deadline on when my new helper is able to arrive.

The daily cost to house in a suitable accommodation for her to serve her stay-home-notice is exorbitant... $84/day. Which amounts up to over $1000+ for 14 days. And we don't qualify for the subsidy because albeit I chose my 4th helper super early, the agency had to wait till my 3rd helper was sent home before they could send in the application for my 4th helper and Indonesia's side was taking their own sweet time to send my agent details of the maid for the application.

Thankfully our previous home hasn't been sold yet (property market in that estate isn't doing well ☹️) and so we've seeked permission from MOM to use it as a location for our 4th helper to serve her stay-home notice. Okay la, at least a bigger space for her so she will feel less confined and I'll stock up the place with sufficient Indomie, Indonesian sambal and Keropok for her to snack on 😂

I'll also be video-calling her everyday to check up on her and because she will have access to a smartphone, she can watch youtube videos all day long. So shiok hor, come Singapore to work but the first 14 days is almost (note: I used the word 'almost') like a vacation.

WEEKLY BLOG: First Month of 2020 & Life Without A Helper

We are just past the first month of the new year. Just so you know, I did make attempts on keeping up with my weekly blog — but they all ended up being half-written posts rotting away in my draft box (oops?). I should be getting rid of them soon, I will get rid of them soon. Anyhoo, let’s dive straight into today’s topic.

Date of writing: 1st January 2020

After a very long while, here I am, back again for another update. We have fast-forward to the first day of a brand new year. It's been two decades since the turn of the millennium. Tomorrow my "new" maid (let's call her 'maid #2') will be returning to the agency and be transferred to her new employer, and as my NEW helper (maid #3) has yet to arrive from Indonesia... I'll be left to look after my kiddo ALONE.

The next two weeks will be incredibly challenging because Victor will be going to the States on a work trip... a period when I have NO HELPER at home and to top things off, Ethan will be starting school in a brand new environment. Seriously, good luck to me.

Chinese New Year is in 3 weeks and my husband will be returning just slightly in time to make it for family reunion dinner, and hopefully have his jet lag adjusted back.


Date of writing: 29th January 2020

So I started the year with a maid (let’s just skip the whole “we can’t call them maids or helpers and should appropriately address them as foreign domestic workers” sort of crap — I respect my helpers and have the utmost love for them because they have been a great help to my life, but it is the truth that they came to Singapore seeking employment as a maid) for 2 days before she transferred to her new employer* - I miss you Ah Tun! - and was left to look after Ethan alone for over a week before my new (3rd) helper arrived. Mind you, in that week of looking after Ethan alone, I was TRULY alone. My husband had left for a work trip in USA and so it was just me, Ethan and my in-law’s.

*Ah Tun was the second helper that I hired but had to transfer her due to language problems 😢 With the help of my maid agent, I managed to find her a new employer whose household speaks Malay. The last I communicated with her (which was 3 days ago), she is nicely settled in and happy with her new employment!

My 3rd helper... *groans* Three days into working at my house, she voiced out that she wanted a transfer. Reasons? I was too fierce. I scold her too much. She didn’t know why she had to be scolded.

I’ll admit. I’m fierce and yes, I did scold her. I know I know, big red flags... shouldn’t scold, should talk, they are human beings too... I tried okay. I really tried. Out of all my helpers, I was the NICEST to her and fine, since she didn’t like being scolded, no matter how freaking irritated I was by her, I didn’t scold. I swallowed my anger down. Even when she...

  • Left my son ALONE in a closed-door room (who does that?!?!?!!!)
  • Fucked up my son’s meal when I told her 3 times within 30 minutes that we are cooking noodles for him today and she doesn’t need to cook porridge (she still cooked porridge for him in the end 🤦🏻‍♀️)
  • Didn’t finish cooking his lunch when my ONLY instructions to her before I left house to pick my son from school was to put the damn meat & vegetables into the porridge at 12pm & she failed to do it BECAUSE.
  • Gave me attitude when she didn’t manage to talk to her husband on the phone for 2 days... I permitted her to bring her handphone from Indonesia but her trainer wouldn’t her bring it. I did let her call home using MY PHONE and I’m paying for her damn IDD calls. I let her try several times but her husband just didn’t pick up. What you want me to do? 🙄 I even asked my father in law to lend me his old phone to let her use, and gave WiFi access to that phone. But then she complained, no SIM card... Haven’t get work permit yet, how to apply for SIM card?!
  • Complained to my husband “I scared, I very scared, I never pack room because I scared mam scold” when she failed to do her daily duty of packing our bedroom and I noticed that and GENTLY reminded (I swear, it was damn gentle and I spoke super nicely) her to go do it. I didn’t even say shit and she went to complain to him. Wtf.
  • Lied to me during the video interview that she knows how to take care of kids because she took care of her own daughter in Indonesia. But in actual fact she has never taken care of her daughter before and the caretaking duty is done by her mother-in-law.

So many other crap that I’ve gotten from her, I’m lazy to list them all down. And this all happened within the 11 days that she worked for me... ELEVEN, just 11.

Right before CNY, before the agency closed for a week for CNY break, I decided to send her back. I didn’t want to risk tolerating her nonsense and be left without help from my agent for over a week. I would rather be exhausted than to lose sleep and go mental over my FDW.

She expressed initial shock but got over it quickly and didn’t show any signs of disappointment/upset. In fact she seemed happy to be back at the agency. So okay, it’s a win-win situation... although technically it’s considered a loss for me because I paid $800 to bring a maid that was useless to me, all the way from Indonesia. Waste of my money 🤬 Someone should do something about this, protect the employers more. There are so many groups and communities that protect the FDW but none for the employers. It is so unfair and the injustice is silently killing me and probably a ton of other employers too.

And here we are at where I am today. Back at the state of having no helper, and it’s been like this for a week now. There is no foresight as to when my next helper will be coming because I haven’t even choose yet. Husband and I decided not to rush the selection process because we don’t want another helper with a half-hearted heart and us having to waste more money on our end.

I’m currently getting help from my father in law and my mom to ferry Ethan to and from school, and that is a big help because it is nearly impossible to control my active son on a public bus and my arms are terribly sore from carrying him to the bus stop, on the bus, to school, and the cycle repeats for the journey home.

Also, with the current outbreak of Wuhan Virus / Novel Coronavirus, I find it safer to just keep him away from mass public transport if possible. The incubation period is way too long and an ill person can infect others while being in the incubation phase without displaying any symptoms – I'm still debating with my husband on this as it says that the source of this statement is unreliable, however I begged to differ as the sources are from well-established news websites. We'll wait and see how this all goes.