When it comes to health and beauty products, Singaporeans usually turn to imported goods from South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. There are, however, several national brands that cater to the medical and cosmetic needs of locals. These homegrown brands produce items that are as high quality as their foreign counterparts, and are readily available online or at pharmacies islandwide.
The brand is known for its green-coloured medicated oil, which was originally formulated with chlorophyll by German chemist Wilhelm Hauffmann for a trading house in Singapore during the early 1900’s. The trading house was owned by Tan Jim Lay, a local merchant and philanthropist, who later grew the brand under Borden Company. Since the post-war period in the 1960s, the brand has flourished and became known for its soothing oil-based products.
Walk into any Watsons or Guardian pharmacy and chances are you may spot ICM Pharma products. The local pharmaceutical company specializes in producing skincare products, minor ailment remedies, herbal supplements, and topical creams. Both the Acne Clear Cream and Growell Shampoo are products that have made the brand popular. The company started manufacturing its products in 1970 and has since exported them to several countries such as Hong Kong, the Philippines, Brunei, Bangladesh, and Papua New Guinea.
Generations after generations, the camphor-based medical ointment has become a household name for locals experiencing specific muscular pains and discomfort. The children of late Chinese herbalist Aw Chu Kin grew the business from his small medicine shop in Singapore before expanding to Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Batavia and China. The brand has grown from local to global since its birth in the late 1870s, with the century-old formula selling about 50 million globally each year and being constantly marketed as a local souvenir for tourists.
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