We’re all too familiar by now with the gut-wrenching malodour of stale smoke that has invaded our premises as we open our windows with hopes of being greeted by fresh air. Our immediate response is to gently recoil, occasionally fanning the toxic smog with our hands before getting on with our day. A convenient attempt at keeping the smog from entering our system is by plastering an N95 mask across our faces (courtesy of the company’s welfare). But if you think about it, there is an organ that also suffers from the pollution apart from the lungs. That’s right, it’s our skin.

“Haze clogs the skin and also causes it to be more sensitive than usual,” informs Dr Low Chai Ling, Medical Director of The Sloane Clinic (Singapore). Male patients who walk through the doors of the clinic come with complaints about their skin feeling bumpy, congested and irritated, not realising that it is a result of long hours they spend outdoors. Playing outdoor sports and taking our thicker skin (biologically speaking) for granted exposes our skin to the hazy atmosphere that’s heavily laced with pollutants and free radicals. This obviously has its repercussions – the skin can only take that many beatings before it starts to react unfavourably. But before you fork out the extra dough for quick results, Dr Low shares some measures you could do at home to keep your skin calm in the face of the haze.


“Men typically have larger pores and oilier skin than women, so keeping grime off the face with a regular cleansing regime is key,” Dr Low points out. To the regular soap-and-water guys out there, she stresses on the importance of proper cleansing. “A good cleanser is a must,” she implores.

August Man Picks

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Aesop’s Balancing Cleanser, $41 (100ml) or $65 (200ml): Rids the skin of grime while balancing the skin with botanical ingredients

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Lab Series’ Power Wash, $49 (250ml): Relies on enzymatic power to break down grime and pollution for a more thorough cleanse


If you’re wondering why your skin is feeling a little like the surface of a road, that’s because the skin is severely congested with haze particles that get stuck on the skin. As a desperate plea for help, it flares up in angry red bumps. “Exfoliation helps decongest the skin, keeping the complexion clear as a result,” advises Dr Low.

August Man Picks

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Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub, $51 (100ml): Sloughs off dead skin cells and pollutants with crushed apricot kernels, and infused with energising caffeine and citrus oils for a brighter complexion

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Origins’ Modern Friction, $56 (75ml): Gently sloughs off daily grime with rice starch for fresher skin

Antioxidant Rich Moisturiser

Along with unsightly bumps, pollutants also cause the skin to get red and itchy as a result of irritation caused by free radicals that’s abundant in the haze-heavy air. “Antioxidants fight free radicals found in haze, and hydration keeps the skin barrier healthy,” explains Dr Low. The solution? “An antioxidant enriched moisturiser,” she answers.

August Man Picks

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Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Hydrator, $85 (60ml): Lightweight moisturiser packed with extracts of antioxidant powerhouses – parsley seed, white tea, and willowherb – to combat free radical damage.

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Lab Series’ Daily Moisture Defense Lotion SPF 15, $65 (50ml): Non-greasy antioxidant sunscreen that could could also double as a moisturiser. Infused with SPF15 to kill many birds with one stone.


The haze may cloud our vision but as long as the sun hovers above our heads, harmful UV rays are most definitely present to wreak havoc on the skin. On the topic of sun protection, Dr Low puts it succinctly, “Sun protection is still important.”

August Man Picks

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Daylong Broad Spectrum SPF50 by Cetaphil, $32.90 (50ml): Shields the face from the sun with its lightweight gel formula infused with SPF 50 and broad spectrum protection

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Biotherm Homme UV Defense, $68 (30ml): Protects the face from harmful sun rays with its ultra-lightweight sun-shielding formula


Biologically, a man’s skin is thicker and tougher. But it gets tired too, so it’s only right give it a pat on the back after all the haze-related tribulations it has battled through the day. Clay masks are great for clearing the pores, and if you want to restore good health to lacklustre skin, Dr Low suggests an antioxidant-infused mask. Your skin will thank you for it, guys.

August Man Picks

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Clay Mask – Origins’ Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask, $50 (100ml): Decongests haze-clogged pores with its gunk-absorbing ingredients

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Antioxidant Mask – Sloane’s Glow Therapy Mask, $21.40 (1 sheet) or $107 (box of 6): Boosts skin health with antioxidants like Vitamin C, and astaxanthin (a red algae derivative)


If redness and irritation persist despite the measures taken above, Dr Low suggests heading down to the Sloane Clinic and give the Vbeam Treatment a shot.

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Full-face Vbeam Treatment, $642: The laser treatment claims to soothe inflamed skin with zero downtime. Perfect if you’re looking for a quick fix for guys who are always on the go

For more information on The Sloane Clinic and the treatments they offer, visit https://www.sloaneclinic.com

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