Interview: Lawrence Wong on creating his own skincare brand ‘Grail’ and the importance of keeping skin hydrated

Saving face (literally) takes time. So, you’re better off protecting it from harsh environmental elements, synthetic influences and even stress. But not all skin attributes are equal, some being more sensitive or tougher than others. Malaysia-born Singaporean actor Lawrence Wong agrees that being time-strapped is commonplace in society today and has discovered such effects when experimenting with available products on the market.

“My skin is actually pretty problematic and allergic to many [skincare] products. Sometimes, when my make-up artists or I use the wrong products, I would experience redness and itching. Thus, I’ve become more aware of the various ingredients in skincare—knowing which ingredients may be safer and better, for which type of skin,” Wong reveals. With this intention, the Story of Yanxi Palace star started his own skincare brand, Grail.

“I chose the name Grail because I was inspired by the concept of the holy grail. I wanted to have a range of essential products to improve everyday life. That is the philosophy behind the brand—introducing items that will become ‘holy grails’ in your life,” he explains. “Everybody thinks that I have naturally good skin, when that’s not the case. Thus, it’ll be cool to have a range of skincare essentials that I could share with everyone, to help others on their skincare journey and save them from having the same bad experiences that I’ve had.”

Unveiling together with Grail’s launch is its first product, the Do-it-all face mask. This multitasking nourishing sheet incorporates the world’s only Japan patented moisture-locking technology and is made from premium cellulosic filament non-woven material from Asahi Kasei. Named Bemliese 384, these Japan-manufactured 100 percent biodegradable cupro filaments are eco-certified and also used in medical and industrial fields, demonstrating its high purity standards.

Serving as a foundation for the Grail’s Do-it-all face mask, it is light and thin with a high absorbency rate while providing moisture lockage of 13 times its own weight. And only 20 minutes is needed for the skin to absorb the mask’s serum fully. It is also hypoallergenic and gentle on the face, making it suitable even for the most sensitive skin.

“I have a few products in the pipeline, but I chose to launch Grail’s Do-it-all mask first for a reason. The mask really is a do-it-all! You can choose to use it however many times you wish [every day, twice weekly or even three times a week]. It is a product that anyone can easily incorporate into their lifestyle and skincare routine,” says Wong.

Grail Do-it-all face mask contains skin-benefiting ingredients such as African aloe vera, Icelandic mayweed and Taiwanese sea grape.

All of that is nothing without integrating effective ingredients too. Thanks to the mask’s organic and eco-certified botanical properties, the skin can reap benefits such as deep moisturisation and rejuvenation, encouraging skin repair and recovery, enhanced radiance, firm skin and slowing down of the ageing process.

Three unique core ingredients contribute greatly to the mask’s formulation too. First up is the African aloe vera. A natural moisturiser for the skin, it stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin fibres in the dermal layers to keep skin hydrated, firm and supple. In addition, the presence of Icelandic mayweed reduces inflammation and redness, soothes and restores collagen to revitalise the skin. Sea grape, another nature’s gift, improves skin elasticity and produces collagen and antioxidants for the skin that aids in slowing down ageing.

“There are so many great properties with Do-it-all. For example, the organic aloe vera is sourced from Africa, organic chamomile from Iceland, banana flowers from France, sea grape from Taiwan, and the list goes on. And because I’ve used mainly botanical and eco-certified ingredients, chances of having an allergic reaction are extremely low,” exclaims Wong.

Hydration is another factor that he has his attention on. Wong says, “Hydration is so important to skin, no matter what skin type—oily, dry, combination, mature or young. It is a top priority for me, more so than anti-ageing or pore-refining, and that is what Do-it-all does.

“Other than hydration, the mask also repairs, rejuvenates, firms and brightens your skin.”

In addition to locking in moisture with the Do-it-all mask, further prevention has to be taken from the sun too. “Sun is the worst enemy for your skin, since it can accelerate ageing. When you’re young, you might not feel the immediate effects, but it will show once you’ve passed 30. So, sunblock is also essential and extremely important. Always use sunblock, even in winter climates. Even though there’s no sun, you will still get a tan from UV rays without realising it.”

Grail's 'Do-it-All' retails at $42 for a box of 5 sheets, Grail and is now available for purchase on the Grail webpage.

Derrick Tan

The bespectacled writer of Esquire Singapore upholds the motto: 'Manners maketh man'. Has a thing for alliteration and scoffs at tragic tackiness.

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