“Investing in my skin and skincare was a way to show myself love. It helped me realise that I have control over who I want to be, and that’s gotten me through life’s hurdles.”
My top concerns in my early twenties included getting good grades on my assignments in university, and what I should grab for lunch with my friends. But 23-year-old Nazeer has much bigger fish to fry. The up-and-coming entrepreneur may be young, but he’s on the cusp of launching Newdtral, his very own skincare brand in Singapore. Naz is ready to prove that local skincare products can be affordable, accessible and just as effective as those of international brands. We talk about his journey, Newdtral’s debut brightening serum, and the latest skincare trends you should be looking out for.
The battle against severe cystic acne
Most of us are familiar with acne breakouts. Puberty likely pushed our sebum production into overdrive. Coupled with Singapore’s hot and humid climate, it’s no surprise we had more than a few spots and blemishes in our younger years. Naz, however, experienced the worst of it at 16 when he broke out in severe cystic acne. It’s a form of inflamed cyst-like acne that forms deep beneath the skin.
“It definitely wasn’t the typical sort of breakout you’d get from stress (y’know, coming home to kids after a long day of work type of stress). It was painful, cystic acne that pulsated with every slight motion,” Naz describes. As an already shy and reserved individual, this impacted his self-esteem and further pushed him into his own shell.
Looking back, he realises these negative feelings seeped into other areas of his life, and affected him in more ways than one. “My performance in school dropped, I felt down all the time, I didn’t eat much and rarely went out for fear of being judged,” Naz says. “I also missed out on family events, friends’ birthday parties and social gatherings because of my skin. It made me feel less for years.”
However, Naz didn’t stay down for long. He began doing research on skin and the different forms of skincare available to help him heal. This eventually led him to start his skincare brand, Newdtral.
The journey to perfect skin
“During the time I was alone in my room, I started looking into the science behind skincare. I wanted to know what was making my skin break out, and even kept a journal recording my routine every day,” Naz shares. “Investing in my skin and skincare was a way to show myself love. It helped me realise that I have control over who I want to be, and that’s gotten me through life’s hurdles.”
But progress didn’t come easily; not everything worked. “I tried everything from home remedies and drinking plenty of water to acne pills and DIY skincare products (that I still regret till this day), and nothing worked effectively.”
With every failure, he became determined to learn more, uncovering the structure of the skin and various ingredients to help with skin conditions. Eventually, he set up a skincare account on Instagram to document his journey and the products that worked for him.
“The love and warmth from the community I found online was unimaginable,” he says. “I’ve never felt a more raw and humbling connection with strangers from around the world who shared the same experience as me.”
Naz now sports clear and glowy skin on Instagram, and occasionally shares skincare tips and reviews. His up-and-coming skincare brand, Newdtral, is now three years in the works and ready for launch in April.
“We’ve formulated a product that infuses ingredients you normally wouldn’t see together but provides various benefits, and it’s perfect for our humid weather,” he says. “Our debut product, Siriusly Bright, is a brightening serum made with powerhouse ingredients like niacinamide, vitamin C, Stellight, and bacillus ferment.”
With Newdtral, he hopes to change the perception that skincare has to be expensive and made by famous international brands to work. “[I want] Singaporeans to recognise that skincare can be affordable, accessible and effective. I also hope this can shed light on other local skincare brands in Singapore, because there are so many good ones!”
Skincare trends to keep tabs on
Naz declares he’s only a fan of skincare trends that are properly backed by studies, so he shares a few he believes hold some weight.
1. Enzymes in skincare for glowy skin
“Some brands have already incorporated enzymes in their products, but I feel we’ll see more of it soon! Enzymes make a great mild exfoliant in comparison to the usual options on the market, and help to gently slough away dead skin cells to reveal healthy and rejuvenated skin.”
2. Powder cleansers may take off
“You get the best of both worlds with powder cleansers. They’re so fine that you don’t have to worry about them causing irritation. Plus, they double up as an exfoliator while you cleanse (depending on how much water you use).”
3. More attention to the “real skin” movement
“I believe those in the skincare industry, myself included, have come to acknowledge the power that consumers hold. The idea of more inclusivity and range to cater to every skin type (other than the perfect, filtered skin) is something that’s raised often. I think we’ll see more skincare brands coming up with products that cater to real skin and widespread conditions like acne, eczema or psoriasis.”
4. Crazy over lip care
“More people are looking for optimal care for their lips, and this extends beyond lip balms and lip glosses that make your lips shiny. I believe more lip care products will tackle dry, chapped lips, issues like hyperpigmentation, and contain more effective ingredients.”
We don’t know about you, but we’re excited for the launch of Newdtral! If you need more recommendations for local skincare brands that work, don’t forget to check out our favourites.