By Bryan Goh

Dr Maryam Zamani Wants You to Shorten Your Skincare Routine

"Sometimes too many steps are too much and the skin needs time to replenish itself."
Photo Credit: MZ Skin

Simple. This is what Dr. Maryam Zamani wants you to do with your skincare routine in the interest of its health. Not complicated, lest you cause sensitisation and neither overtly rich because of our weather. To be precise, Zamani thinks it should involve just three non-negotiables—”regular cleansing, sun protection, and adequate hydration”—and ideally, using products from her brand MZ Skin which was recently made available for purchase in Singapore.

The idea that a truly simple skincare routine is ironic, given that for years the number of steps preached by experts and influencers usually hover between seven to 10. It suggests that one is taking the time to indulge in the luxury that is self-care but increasingly, multi-tasking products are becoming the ultimate commodification of luxury. One product could have multiple benefits be it in terms of results produced by its actives or its performance as a something-something-something and Zamani has prioritised both with MZ Skin.

Here, she takes us through the perfect skincare routine for Singapore’s climate, her holy grail for undereye darkness, and how we’re going to completely transform our skincare routine thanks to future technology.

With your experience in skin rejuvenation, how truly effective is skincare when it comes to optimising its health?
Our skin reflects our physical and emotional health and is greatly influenced by lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, stress management and sleep. A rule I live by is ‘Live well, feel well, look well’. This means spending more time with family and friends, less on electronics and taking care of your mental wellness as a priority. Exercising regularly works wonders not only for your physical well-being and your mental well-being but also for the skin. 

Our diet should be filled with vegetables, fruits and proteins that provide nutrients to help support cell production. And make sure you get enough sleep! I don’t think people realise how sleep can influence the skin and body sometimes. Without regular quality sleep, you get puffy eyes, and reduced elasticity in the skin and your skin doesn’t get to do its nightly rejuvenation. You always feel and look better when you have had a good night’s sleep. 

A universal rule should be living a lifestyle that makes your skin and body feel good. 

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Photo Credit: MZ Skin

What has the customer response to MZ Skin been like in Asia? What are the most popular products and why do you think so?
The customer response has been incredible. In terms of products, we have found that products that focus on hyperpigmentation such as Brighten and Perfect 10% Vitamin C Serum Corrective Serum ($560) and Soothe and Smooth Hyaluronic Brightening Eye Cream ($215) have been a favourite. 

Photo Credit: MZ Skin

There is an increased propensity for darker skin around the eyes for this customer due to genetics. The albizia bark extract in Soothe and Smooth will certainly help detoxify and strengthen capillaries, helping reduce dark circles.

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What kind of science does MZ Skin use in its formulations that rival other brands?
We are a concise, precise skincare range with potent actives and intelligent formulations to reveal, enhance and protect the skin while also providing a beautiful sensory experience.  We are free from parabens, artificial fragrances and silicone and are also one of a handful of medically endorsed and scientifically proven skincare brands created by a woman for women.  

With my professional background, the need for synergist ingredients was as essential as the experience of using the product.  The range is formulated to be efficacious and free from ingredients that have no benefit to the skin and need to work in clinical trials. That is the gold standard on how to see, with evidence, whether a product works or not. 

Also, as a committed citizen of the world, the line needed to be environmentally and ethically produced. In terms of quality, our INCI is packed with known powerhouse ingredients like antioxidants, retinol, ceramides, and peptides but also incorporates innovative ingredients like stem cells. 

Most of MZ Skin’s products like the Cleanse & Clarify or Tint & Product are multitasking ones but are such products usually better than ones that have a singular focus?
It is not necessary to have a 10-step skincare routine to see results. Sometimes too many steps are too much and the skin needs time to replenish itself. The skin cycle becomes longer as we age so results can take longer to see.

Photo credit: MZ Skin

Skincare has become intelligently formulated so you can layer individual products, or you can use products that are multifunctional. The best benefit to your skin is if you build a routine and stick to it.  My three-step philosophy is to Reveal, Enhance & Protect the skin. You should first start with cleansing the skin, to ‘reveal’ new skin and remove anything that artificially sits on top (i.e. dead skin cells and pollutants) and of course allow topical active ingredients to penetrate better. I believe an exfoliating acid cleanser can be used all year round responsibly.

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Photo credit: MZ skin

Secondly, ‘enhancing’ the skin specific to skin concerns and nourishing it with antioxidants, retinol and other key ingredients. Ingredients like Vitamin C help to fight free radicals, protect skin from UV damage, promote collagen synthesis and help reverse signs of ageing like pigmentation. Hydrators are also excellent to plump and moisten skin for a natural glow—think Hyaluronic Acid. Stem Cells whether plant or animal can also help boost collagen and elastin production while improving skin hydration. 

And lastly, ‘protecting’ your skin is essential. An SPF of 30 and above should be worn all year round and to take it up a notch when in the sun or in high altitudes. I would recommend reapplying every couple of hours, especially when sweating, exercising, or swimming.  

Photo credit: MZ Skin

In summary, you should adapt this routine to your skin type and concerns, focusing on lightweight and hydrating products that address the unique challenges posed by Singapore’s climate. Regular cleansing, sun protection, and adequate hydration will help you maintain healthy and radiant skin despite environmental factors.

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Photo credit: MZ Skin

What is next for the brand?
I would recommend our new Reviving Antioxidant Facial Oil (US$240, about SGD$321) which can be used pre or post-moisturisation to help strengthen the skin barrier and restore radiance, especially if you’re regularly subjected to airconditioning. We also have some exciting developments and are the first to market innovations just around the corner focusing on at-home devices.

Beloved by celebrities like Serena Williams, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Princess Charlene of Monaco is the Lightmax Supercharged LED Mask 2.0 ($1,225) which adheres snugly to the face. Photo credit: MZ skin

I can’t give too much away just yet but with my speciality in eye care and rejuvenation and passion for LED technology, watch this space for something truly revolutionary.  

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What trends do you think will come about next year and how do you see MZ Skin playing a part in it?
The at-home tech space is undergoing a dynamic evolution, driven by technological advances, changing consumer habits, and the post-pandemic landscape. Consumers are increasingly seeking convenient and personalised solutions for health, wellness, and beauty. This has led to a proliferation of innovative devices that offer clinical experiences at home, from advanced skincare tools to virtual fitness platforms.

The integration of Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and data analytics is enhancing device capabilities and user experiences. However, regulatory scrutiny and the need for reliable efficacy remain important considerations as the at-home tech sector continues to reshape self-care routines and redefine traditional industries.

Shop MZ Skin online or at its Takashimaya Department Store counter.