Everyone is well aware that the element of scarcity creates hype. And once the hype is created, the spike in demand naturally follows suit.

This has been the go-to sales and marketing strategy brands like Supreme and Off-White for years, and the main reason for their rising brand value.

Limited drops of their product can happen at any given time, and in extremely controlled quantities, in selected regions. You snooze, you lose.


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Standing Out From the Masses

The beauty and wellness market is a fiercely competitive one, with no lack of skincare brands coming out of the woodwork to cash in on consumer splurging for vanity’s sake.

These products are mass-produced to cope with demand, and housed in personal care and pharmacies and beauty chains like Sephora, scattered worldwide.

As I sieved through the scores of beauty brands with their flashy celebrity ambassadors and campaigns, one brand stood out, rather ironically.

No presence of their products in pharmacies, beauty chains, or any shopping mall. They have an online presence, but it lacks all of the hard-sell, usual-price-promo-price gimmicks most brands apply to get attention.


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Bucking the Trend

I first found out about SW1’s skincare range through a Facebook ad that was on my feed (great targeting, guys!)

The ad was just accompanied by a cryptic tagline of a product, along with a picture of it. Refreshingly minimalist and devoid of ‘promo deal’ or ‘usual price…now only’ buzzwords as clickbait, I’ve never wanted to click on a Facebook ad more.

An online search only made me realize how ‘covert’ this range of skincare products are. Other than their online store, the only other physical locations to purchase this range are at SW1’s clinics in Paragon and OUE Downtown gallery.

Journalistic curiosity piqued, I decided to make my way down to Paragon to get what I wanted, and maybe find out a little more about this brand as well.


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Hold Out, Sold Out

I was greeted at SW1’s sprawling facility in Paragon with a couple of nurses… no wait, beauty sages. Brilliant touch that adds to the opulent brand identity of SW1.

I showed the very friendly beauty sages the screengrab of the product that I saw on Facebook, one named Age Defy, declaring my interest in wanting to purchase it.

I was promptly briefed on the contents of the product, and how to use it. Before making my purchase, I enquired about their range of skincare products, and it seems like they have got all the bases covered… quite literally.

Their latest range of ‘Bloom’ products is specially made for the maintenance of the intimate area. One of the products, Bloom and Brighten sold out within the first 3 days of launch.

This just showed me one thing: people who know about SW1 almost always come back for more.


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If You Didn’t Know, Now You Do

I managed to grab hold of Dr. Low Chai Ling, founder, and medical director of SW1 Clinic and she graciously answered my burning question (amongst a couple more): why isn’t the SW1 skincare range being stocked in Sephora or any other beauty chain?

“Our skincare range is pretty much made-to-order. All products are formulated specifically for Asians living in tropical climates and customized to adapt and cater to the local skin type.            

I feel that beauty and wellness is a very intimate affair, and I do not want to dilute the quality of my products by mass-producing them. A personal beauty regime deserves nothing less than a personal touch. That is why all of SW1 and chaí products are produced in very limited quantities.”

It all made sense to me now. By dedicating the time in formulating every single product, SW1 has managed to produce a batch of skincare products that are limited in quantity, but pristine in quality.

That also means I won’t be finding SW1’s extensive skincare range in Guardian or Sephora anytime soon… but I’m not worried at all.

I know where to look now.


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