by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

Laranya Kumar: The Natural Skincare Routine for Acne

Singaporean model and first runner-up at Miss Universe Singapore 2019, Laranya Kumar, shares her natural skincare routine for acne-prone skin.

Finding a skincare routine that works is tough, especially for acne-prone skin. With the sheer amount of products on the market touting anti-acne benefits, you might be hard-pressed to know which products work and which definitely don’t.

We chat with Singaporean model and first runner-up at Miss Universe Singapore 2019, Laranya Kumar, about body image, self-love and self-acceptance, and her all-natural, anti-acne skincare routine.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a medical student, studying at St. George’s University in the Caribbean—we’re taking online lessons now—and I’m also a model. I’m currently based in Singapore.

What inspired you to join the Miss Universe Singapore pageant?

It was about having a platform to talk about what I believed in—female empowerment. It’s sad to say but without a platform to speak on, your initiatives are not recognized or supported as much. I think that was something that struck me; in order for change to be made about the issues I care about, it was important to put myself out there so that I can speak and gain support. Another reason was so that I could push my own boundaries. I was very insecure about the way I looked—it probably had something to do with growing up as a brown girl.

How do you deal with negativity online? What advice would you give women who are insecure about the way they look?

I’m fortunate to have never actually received hate online. I think it’s important to start from ‘me’, to understand that acceptance is beauty. We are all flawed, but the key to beauty is to be content and confident in our own bodies, starting with accepting ourselves the way we are.

How do you take care of your mental well-being? What are some ways do you think people can mindfully practise self-acceptance and self-love?

I still struggle with this today but for me, it’s constantly reminding myself of all the things I’ve faced before, how I’ve gotten through them and how much I’ve achieved. It puts into perspective how much better I’m doing now and that I am capable of achieving the goals I put my mind to. I learn to appreciate what I can do, what my body can do, what I’m capable of physically, mentally, emotionally and that makes me feel a lot stronger because I’m secure in myself.

“The strongest form of love in the world is the self-love you give to yourself, and that starts with yourself, within your mind and body.”

What’s your approach when it comes to beauty and wellness?

I used to have terrible acne, and I would go crazy trying every product that promises to clear it up. It left me with dry skin, pigmentation and even worse acne. I realise now that less is more, and I try to stick to natural skincare as I feel it is better for the skin.

Talk us through your skincare routine and your holy-grail beauty products.

My skincare is pretty straightforward in the morning; I just use a primer and SPF combination before I apply my makeup. And I know I should be investing in sunscreen (laughs)!

At night, I start by removing my makeup with coconut oil. This step is very important to me as I feel like it’s the only way I can completely remove makeup on my face and it leaves my skin super soft. I put about a spoonful in my hand and rub it into my face, then I wash it off with a cleanser.

For toner, I use this traditional Indian concoction that my mom makes — it’s a combination of fresh neem leaves and aloe vera that she grows in her garden. I think she blends them all together with a little turmeric in it. I swipe my face with a cotton pad soaked in the liquid and it has helped so much with my acne and scarring

Another method I find super effective for acne is to make a turmeric paste; a fellow Indian model and friend told me about it. You just make a little turmeric paste (turmeric powder and water) and you heat it gently. Apply the paste to any breakouts. When you wake up the next day, they’re either gone or the inflammation has gone down.

After toning, I apply The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG for my eyebags. I’ll apply organic rosemary oil for the rest of my face.

What is your favourite beauty activity to indulge yourself in?

I love going for facials at Indian salons; I think its the best feeling in the world! Plus it leaves my face feeling amazing. It’s probably the only time I ever apply face scrubs and masks—clay masks are too drying for me and I don’t really enjoy sheet masks! I like the ones at these traditional salons as they’re mostly made of natural ingredients and very moisturizing for the skin.

Laranya’s Beauty Picks

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG, SGD11.50
Bobbi Brown Crushed Liquid Lip, SGD30
NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink Liner, SGD16.50
Sunnies Face Airblush, SGD19.99