Meet Act+Acre, A New Clean Haircare Brand In Town | Clozette


It's no secret that clean beauty is taking over skincare and makeup isles. But did you know that it's also making its way into haircare territory? And the good news is that one of the leading hair-focused clean beauty brands, Act+Acre, just launched in Singapore via Sephora.



Last week, we had the pleasure of trying out their products at Kemistry Salon. The brand offers three main products: Cold Processed® Scalp DetoxCold Processed® Hair Cleanse and Cold Processed® Hair Conditioner. Called "The Essential Trio", these items contain powerful botanicals, vitamins, antioxidants and fatty acids for optimal scalp health and a healthy, strong and luscious mane. According to Act+Acre, it doesn't matter what your hair type is, you can surely benefit from using these items. Naturally, we were excited to give these promising products a whirl.


Act Acre Singapore Launch

(Left - Sabrina from #TeamClozette with Act+Acre founder Helen Reavey; Right - Act+Acre The Essential Trio)


First, we were treated to a pre-cleanse using Cold Processed® Scalp Detox. With anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, this will help remove build-up, nourish, detox and balance the scalp. It was massaged onto the scalp and left for 15-20 min. Next, our hair was rinsed off using Cold Processed® Hair Cleanse and nourished with Cold Processed® Hair Conditioner, which helps lock in moisture. These products, which can also be used for an intensive detox, are recommended to be used weekly for best results. After completing the three-step process, we felt like our scalp was instantly refreshed and — wait for it — not dry at all despite having to do a double-cleanse. What could be their secret ingredient?


It turns out that, while all ingredients used are of premium quality, thus, making them essential to the formulation, the secret lies in the way they are processed. Founder Helen Reavey (who is also the hairstylist of Alicia Key and Harry Styles), explains more about the Cold Processed®, saying, "It’s the process of using cold water and high pressure to blend essential oil and other ingredients. This ensures that the active ingredients remain fresh and highly potent — just as nature intended."


Awesome, right? If you're interested in knowing more about the brand, you may check out their website here. But if you're looking to buy already, you can purchase online or visit Sephora ION Singapore.


(Cover photo from: @actandacre)


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Contrary to popular belief, even if it looks like acne, it may not be necessarily acne. Here’s what we mean: regular facial acne is caused by bacteria that would produce the zits we know — and love to pop but resist to do so. Fungal acne, on the other hand, is caused by excess yeast growth in the hair follicles found on your chest, back, and shoulders. To be more accurate, it shouldn’t even be called fungal acne. Its dermatological term is pityrosporum folliculitis or Malassezia folliculitis.


So what is it, really?


Malassezia folliculitis happens when there is a growth of excess yeast within the hair follicles, causing an imbalance in the bacteria-to-fungus ratio in our skin. The yeast, known as Malassezia, is a kind of fungi that are naturally found on our skin. This causes acne-like bumps to appear on the areas we’ve mentioned. "High yeast levels promote inflammation, which, in turn, manifest on the skin as pus bumps," according to Allure. Because it’s yeast-caused, tropical weather like that in Southeast Asia is the perfect environment for yeast growth. Since it’s also a fungus, it can be contagious.


Woman's Back in Bathtub


It differs from bacterial acne in that fungal acne is an inflammation of the hair follicle. Its placement on parts of the upper body and a noticeable intense itching in those areas also differentiate it from regular zits. Fungal acne is most often caused by wearing tight and restrictive clothing or sweating in your clothes and not showering right away, like after a workout, for example.

What does it look like?


The difficulty here is that it really does look like a regular pimple breakout. Look for clusters of small whiteheads, so small they can be a millimetre in size. As mentioned, they would primarily appear on your chest, back, and upper arms.


How do you treat it?


It’s always best to consult a dermatologist. They may prescribe something as simple as a body wash to oral medication depending on how bad your case is. If it doesn’t clear up after several weeks, you may be prescribed with anti-fungal medication.


How do you prevent it?


Woman Exercising in Gym


You can prevent fungal acne by cleansing your skin immediately and thoroughly after a sweat sesh, especially after workouts or scuba diving where you wear tight clothing. Change into clean and loose clothes, so your skin can breathe. Using a salicylic acid cleanser while showering can help remove excess oil and dirt from the skin — two things that promote yeast growth. If you don’t have time for a full shower, keep some cleansing towelettes with an exfoliating ingredient inside your bag for a quick wipedown.


Read about the weirdest actions women have done to cure acne.

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For beauty addicts and enthusiasts, trimming down our makeup and skincare arsenal can be quite the challenge. After all, it's evolved from things we use daily to a collection that we love to sift through from time to time. However, with the rise of awareness towards sustainable beauty, the need to support this advocacy while feeding our continuous quest to finding holy grails seem to be contradictory. In fact, it's like the antithesis of each other. And even when you cut back on purchasing and promise never to buy a new product before hitting pan on powders or finishing a tube of lipstick, expiration dates are the next enemy. So it really is a dilemma. 


But, of course, as people who share the same sentiments, we're here to propose a solution: travel-sized products. Yup, you read that right. We're here to see if minis are the answer to our question. People often prefer full-sized bottles over travel sizes for various reasons, with two prominent factors being volume and value for money. But are we really getting more from full-sized variants? Let's investigate. 


On quality and potency


Should You Switch To Travel-Sized Products? - on potency


One of the biggest misconceptions about travel-sized beauty products is that they're not as potent as full-sized picks. However, this is not necessarily the case. Brands know that consumers tend to sample products — especially when the prices of full sizes are quite indulgent — that on the first buy, getting the smaller versions is the practical option. Given this, travel-sized products need to have a very convincing quality that would make buyers want to get a fuller-sized version. We're not saying that brands tend to cheat or downplay on full-sizes, but rather illustrating why minis tend to have the same, if not better, quality. 

On saving some bucks


Next up is practicality on a financial level. One of the biggest reasons why people tend to buy full-sized products off the bat is the idea that smaller versions tend to cost more in the long run. However, there are many circumstances that can prove this notion wrong. As mentioned in our previous point, when trying out a product that's new, travel-sized products are more practical as they give allowance whether or not the product is the right match for you. Less waste, too, if you didn't like it as much. 


Should You Switch To Travel-Sized Products? - on saving money


Next, when you feel like the product really works and find that you're reaching for it often, then it's time to really go for a bigger bottle. Still, this is taking into account how big the next available size actually is and whether or not your usual consumption can meet its expiry date. Lastly, your product rotation matters. If you have a minimal routine and only have one product per step in your regimen, then you can definitely save up more in getting fuller sizes as you'll tend to really use them to the last drop. But if you find yourself switching between one or two products (or more) at various steps of your routine, minis tend to be a better option because not only do they save space, but they also allow you to get around all your products without being wasteful (or forgotten at the back of your vanity).



On saving the planet


The beauty industry is one of the biggest plastic waste contributors with billion tons accumulated through packaging alone every year. Not only are these from product empties, but they also include those still half-filled with your already expired vanity favourites. And if you're thinking that you can always recycle canisters, the truth is it's not that easy.


Should You Switch To Travel-Sized Products? - on sustainable beauty


Plastic and even paper waste from beauty products (similar to the food industry), which tend to be wet or contaminated containers, must be separated manually from a 'clean' bunch before they can be processed. This is to ensure that they won't mess with the recycling process and its finished product. We won't get to the chemistry of it all, but sometimes, depending on the level of product retained or has seeped through the material, these containers cannot even be recycled at all. Given this, using up all your favourite products before tossing the containers to be reprocessed and reused is a simple yet important contribution you can do as a consumer. 



Besides this, many brands have come out with eco-friendlier packaging for their travel-sized products. They're also easier to use up, and therefore, clean before disposing of. Brands like Lush with their naked packaging, Bybi Beauty with their plastic-free containers, Herbivore with their solid eco-friendly beauty bars, and Dr. Bronner's with their mandate on social responsibility, are just some of the ones to check out.



Should you make the switch? 


Should You Switch To Travel-Sized Products? - on making the choice


We can't recommend an absolute conclusion as to whether or not you should really swap your full-sizes for smaller variants. However, with the reasons we have shared earlier, we hope that it gives a clearer picture of what size you should reach for depending on your needs, your routine, and of course, your perspective on saving the planet. Travel-sized beauty products show a lot of positives not just when it comes to money and space-saving, but also proves that size, in certain cases, certainly do not matter. 


Since we're on a travel-related topic, why not check out our top picks for year-round outerwear, too?


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