Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula #3: How to Prevent and Treat Hyperpigmentation

ADVERTORIAL

Hello everyone!

Many people who have experienced the four seasons their whole lives yearn for the day when they could immigrate to a place with just the sun and rain all year round because – as the saying goes – the grass is always greener on the other side. But living in a tropical country like Singapore does have its disadvantages too. Apart from having to deal with creepy crawly critters that thrive in warm environments (like ants and cockroaches, the bane of all mankind) as well as mould creeping up on our walls, we also have to be concerned with the health risks and skin problems associated with sun exposure. And they are no laughing matter.

Freckles

Freckles

According to the statistics shown in the 2013 and 2014 corporate review of the National Skin Centre, pigmentation disorders remain as one of the top five skin diseases in Singapore since 2011 (and I suspect this figure was understated because not many people would bother to spend so much money to get them treated), most of which are known to be brought about or made worse by sun exposure. Some of these include melasma (a common pigmentary problem affecting Asian skin, especially the females), freckles, age spots (also known as liver spots which appear as one ages) and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark patches or scars left behind by injuries such as popped pimples). Unless you’re extremely diligent about sunscreen application, you’re bound to suffer from at least one of the aforementioned conditions. Hence, those who partake in outdoor sports activities in the day are often victims of pigmentation disorders. As for myself, my face is scarred from acne because I’ve got hands that wouldn’t stop picking at those zits during my adolescence (and even now actually ^^’ ).

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Although – true – skin pigmentation disorders are more common than you think in Singapore, they are, in fact, not permanent! Yes, they may take ages to fade but the use of good skincare products like those of Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula (TDF) that I’m about to introduce would definitely speed up the repigmentation process of your skin 🙂

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen & C-Scape Serum

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen & C-Scape Serum

Being a specialist in treating problematic skin, TDF not only deals with oily and acne-prone skin but also hyperpigmentation, and dry and dehydrated skin. In this review, I will be discussing two of the four products that are listed under their recommended skincare regimen for hyperpigmentation.

1. Control

Hyperpigmentation is usually caused by the excessive production of a pigment in the skin known as melanin and it is stimulated by sun exposure. Although virtually harmless (after all, melanin shields the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays and thereby preventing skin cancer), hyperpigmentation can be a nuisance to those who have it because it apparently makes one look older (that’s why fair skin is always associated with beauty and youth). If premature ageing of the skin is what has been affecting your self-esteem, great news! You can now take a few years off your appearance with C-Scape Serum! 😉

TDF C-Scape Serum (1 fl oz/30ml)

TDF C-Scape Serum (1 fl oz/30ml)

TDF C-Scape Serum (1 fl oz/30ml)

TDF C-Scape Serum (1 fl oz/30ml)

"Keep Refrigerated" label to remind you that this product has to be stored in a cool place

“Keep Refrigerated” label to remind you that this product has to be stored in a cool place

The C-Scape Serum is an antioxidant-rich and ultra-concentrated treatment containing (10%) vitamin C, the holy grail of all skincare ingredients. It helps repair damaged skin and combat harmful free radicals. On top of these, it also boosts collagen production to aid in the growth of cells and blood vessels which are crucial in restoring the firmness and strength of your skin. This serum effectively diminishes/lightens existing fine lines, age spots and freckles as well as inhibits pigmentation formation to give an overall fairer skin complexion.

Unboxed

Unboxed

Filled in a glass-like bottle with the pump sealed in a separate plastic bag, the C-Scape Serum has a very conscientious packaging. It is also the only product on the catalogue that requires refrigeration to ensure maximum freshness.

Without the cover

Without the cover

TDF C-Scape Serum (1 fl oz/30ml)

TDF C-Scape Serum (1 fl oz/30ml)

TDF C-Scape Serum (1 fl oz/30ml)

TDF C-Scape Serum (1 fl oz/30ml)

TDF C-Scape Serum (1 fl oz/30ml)

TDF C-Scape Serum (1 fl oz/30ml)

TDF C-Scape Serum (1 fl oz/30ml)

TDF C-Scape Serum (1 fl oz/30ml)

TDF C-Scape Serum (1 fl oz/30ml)

TDF C-Scape Serum (1 fl oz/30ml)

TDF C-Scape Serum (1 fl oz/30ml)

TDF C-Scape Serum (1 fl oz/30ml)

The pale-orange serum bears a citrusy scent and has a runny texture (like that of water) which absorbs into the skin rapidly. It is to be applied sparingly to the face and neck in the morning and night after cleansing and toning, and may also be used immediately after chemical peel, non-ablative laser, IPL or facial procedures.

I would spritz the product into my palm before massaging it to my face but if you’re venturesome and quick enough, you may spritz it directly on to your face. I wouldn’t advise using it with cotton pads (at least try not to) because you will essentially be wasting a lot of the product. The serum, if applied religiously, would make the skin appear plump, even-toned, soft and radiant, as I had noticed on mine. For better results, do use this together with the TDF Age Defense System that is featured next!

2. Sun Protection

It is common knowledge that too much sun is bad for the skin but obviously some people who are desperate to get a tan couldn’t give two hoots about it. thenwhyareyoucomplainingaboutyourskin *coughs* Overexposure to the sun not only dehydrates your skin, but also leaves it vulnerable to sunburns, wrinkles, freckles, age spots and many other forms of damage (including the dreaded “C” word in the most serious case), which I don’t think you’d sacrifice your gorgeous skin for.

But I know, some priorities in life are more important than the other. If you really can’t live without the sun shining down on your face, one way to enjoy the rays while still looking your best is to create a layer of protection on your skin. And to do that, you’d need none other than a reliable tube of sunscreen!

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen (1.75 oz/50g)

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen (1.75 oz/50g)

A high performance sunscreen that provides maximum blockage against age-inducing UVA and harmful UVB rays with PA+++/SPF 50+ rating and ultra microfine zinc oxide, it is clinically proven to protect your skin from sunburns, skin darkening and future photo (sun) damage.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION

UVA & UVB

UVA rays, or Ultraviolet A rays, are long waves that are less intense than UVB rays, but more prevalent and can penetrate through clouds and glass. These rays reach the deeper dermal layers of skin and and can damage your skin’s collagen and elastin causing premature aging, & wrinkling.

UVB rays are Ultraviolet B rays and are often called the burning rays because it is the most associated with sunburns.  These rays tend to damage the more superficial layers of the skin and are what most sunscreens historically claimed protection from.

Can’t remember the details? Just think of the “A” in UVA as “Ageing” and the “B” in UVB as “Burning”. Tadah!

Ratings

PA stands for “Protection Grade of UV-A” and it is a Japanese/Korean rating system. It is accompanied by plus sign(s), like PA+, PA++ or PA+++. The more plus signs it has, the higher the level of UVA protection it offers.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and it demonstrates the effectiveness of protection against UV-B, as well as the degree of protection against UV-B when nothing is applied on skin. The recommended SPF rating is at least a 15 for everyday skincare products, or a 30 if you’re going to be in prolonged sun exposure.

Sunblock vs. Sunscreen

Sunblock prevents UV rays entirely from reaching your skin, therefore keeping you from getting a tan. It leaves a visibly thick and white texture when applied.

Sunscreen, on the contrary, penetrates the skin and absorbs UV radiation while reducing the amount that reaches your skin, so it enables you to have a bit of a tan. It tends to be transparent and invisible when applied, therefore making it a more popular choice than sunblock.

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4]

Enriced with Coenzyme Q10 (a.k.a. CoQ10, an antioxidant that is needed for basic cell function), this silky and lightweight cream improves the overall skin texture for a healthier and more radiant complexion. It is fragrance-free, non-whitening and non-oily and is perfectly suitable for all skin types.

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen (1.75 oz/50g)

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen (1.75 oz/50g)

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen (1.75 oz/50g)

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen (1.75 oz/50g)

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen (1.75 oz/50g)

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen (1.75 oz/50g)

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen (1.75 oz/50g)

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen (1.75 oz/50g)

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen (1.75 oz/50g)

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen (1.75 oz/50g)

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen (1.75 oz/50g)

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen (1.75 oz/50g)

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen (1.75 oz/50g)

TDF Age Defense PA+++ UVA/UVB SPF 50+ Sunscreen (1.75 oz/50g)

The sunscreen appears to be thick but it doesn’t leave an obvious white residue (it still does to a certain extent, but not visible from afar and because it’s mostly transparent, it may well be mistaken as your natural skin tone) when smoothed evenly on my skin.

Apply generously to dry skin about 30 minutes before you step out of your house to allow sufficient time for it to fully bind to the skin. Although it doesn’t state anywhere on the catalogue if it can be applied anywhere else besides the face, I am pretty certain you can. If you’re going to be outdoors for a prolonged period of time, do reapply every 2 hours (or every hour if you’re heading for a swim or any activity that would lead to excessive perspiration) as the effects of sunscreen don’t usually last beyond that.

I am now ready for the sun!

I am now ready for the sun!

As a regular jogger, these definitely make great additions to my sun protection routine because much as I love to run to keep trim, I hate to be tan. There is no way I can avoid the sun because I usually do my jogs in the day along a natural trail. But now that worry is a thing of a past! Furthermore, both products above are suitable for combination (oily and dry) skin like mine so breakouts and whatnot are unlikely to occur!

The other two products not mentioned in this range are the AHA Revitalizing Lotion 10 (a mild exfoliating lotion) and the LMB Pigment Lightening Cream (a corrective formula to lighten pigmentation). I feel that these products are rather similar to the ones featured here, so I reckon you can do without them (unless specifically advised by your doctor).

And that’s all for this review! What do you think of this range? Do chime in with your thoughts in the comments below 🙂 I’ll catch you guys next time.

Thanks for reading!

ALL TDF PRODUCTS ARE EXCLUSIVELY SOLD AT ALL CLINICS, NATIONAL HEALTHCARE GROUP POLYCLINICS, SINGHEALTH POLYCLINICS, HOSPITALS AND PUBLIC/RESTRUCTURED SPECIALIST CENTRES. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PRODUCT AVAILABILITY, CLICK HERE.

Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula (TDF)

Website | Facebook | Instagram

REVIEW: OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Miami Fever

Hello everyone!

Thank God for the internet. Not only does it enable consumers living outside of the United States to have access to brands not found in their country, but also introduces them to new or indie brands that would otherwise be confined within their own retail walls. One brand I had discovered of late is OFRA, an up-and-coming cosmetic brand that has got every makeup enthusiast talkin’ about their liquid lipsticks.

ofra-logo

Founded in the late nineties by Ofra Gaito – a therapist and make-up artist from South Africa – along with her husband David, OFRA has over 20 years of experience in the beauty industry so they are definitely worth a look. For a start, OFRA is among the few brands to have an in-house laboratory, thus allowing them to formulate and produce their own professional skincare and makeup products and oversee the entire manufacturing process.

Since breaking into the American market, they have partnered with numerous high-profile personalities and franchises including Miss Universe. Most recently, they also seemed to have taken a leaf out of ColourPop’s book and worked with social media influencers. This shift in marketing direction proved to be highly fruitful as their latest collaboration with famous beauty vlogger Kathleen Lights had attracted lots of buzz on Instagram (and maybe YouTube), so much so that even a social media dweeb like myself had taken notice of it. Although not as dirt cheap as ColourPop, their products are considerably more affordable than MAC and the likes (with discounts), but even so they boast of equally great quality. Therefore, unsurprisingly, many were very eager to lay their hands on the first liquid lipstick born out of this partnership (though I believe the choice of colour played a huge role in the hype as well). Within days of its launch, it was completely sold out, thereby prompting OFRA to do a restock that was never (based on their Instagram update 14 weeks ago) in the plan!

Being totally new to the brand, I wasn’t really keen on adding it to my stash at first but after seeing how popular Miami Fever was, I knew I had to! (Yes, yes, say all you want about me being a bandwagon jumper :mrgreen: )

OFRA Miami Fever

OFRA Miami Fever (US$19.90)

OFRA Miami Fever

OFRA Miami Fever

My first venture into OFRA started off well as there was a discount code (which has already expired) for 40% off the entire website. Thus, instead of paying the full price of US$19.90+, I only had to fork out US$16.89 (inclusive of shipping fee). My order was processed and shipped out by the end of the following day but it took close to 7 days to arrive at my U.S. address. I wasn’t in a hurry to try it so I didn’t really mind the wait.

The lipstick is packed rather tightly in a slim paper box, but it could be easily removed by sliding it upwards along the rectangular cutout at the front. Don’t bother taking it out from the opening at the top because the box will tear if you do so.

OFRA Miami Fever

OFRA Miami Fever

Packaged in a relatively tiny bottle about twice the length of my pinky, it comes with an applicator which felt sturdier and slightly more slender than that of other liquid lipsticks I own. It was the perfect size because it allowed for a more precise and manageable application. Therefore, no lip liner is necessary.

OFRA Miami Fever

OFRA Miami Fever

OFRA Miami Fever

OFRA Miami Fever

OFRA Miami Fever

OFRA Miami Fever

OFRA Miami Fever

OFRA Miami Fever

When putting the applicator to my lips, a pronounced scent of vanilla (or something close, like a chocolate blend) unexpectedly hit my nose. It is a lot more potent than that of MAC lipsticks, so I would advise you to stay clear if you have a very sensitive nose. But apart from the smell, there’s truly nothing to dislike about this lipstick. Besides, it even contains antioxidants and Vitamin E for added benefit!

The liquid lipstick glides on smoothly and evenly in an opaque coat of vivid burnt orange with blue undertones in just one swipe. This shade is one of a kind; I don’t remember having anything similar. Contrary to the description on the website, it dries down almost instantly, leaving little to zero chance of smudging and feathering. It felt lightweight, therefore reducing any sign of flaking. It does not settle much into the lip lines (of course, exfoliating the lips prior to application would give better results but as usual, I’m lazy) and the flawless matte effect it provides reflects light to add a glow to your smile. Most importantly, it’s extremely long-wearing because it lasted almost 6 hours on me (with minimal drinking and eating)!

I can go on gushing about this product but you probably already get the gist. In short, this liquid lipstick is uh-mazing, right down to the finish. For this reason, I will certainly be looking forward to my next purchase with OFRA!

OFRA Miami Fever swatch comparison

OFRA Miami Fever swatch comparison

Compared with the liquid lipsticks from ColourPop, Miami Fever definitely looks more pigmented and hard-wearing. The subtle glaze over it also made it look less flat. You’re clearly paying for the quality here.

That’s all from me! What do you think of OFRA products? Do share with me your thoughts in the comments below!

Thanks for reading ❤

OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Miami Fever is now available on OFRACosmetics.com while stocks last.

REVIEW: MAC Magic of the Night Lipstick in Evening Rendezvous

Hello everyone!

How has your wallet held up to the festive season? Despite not feeling the Christmas spirit, the last holiday had almost depleted my bank account! I blame it on MAC and its colossal of a holiday collection. Alongside the Magic of the Night collection launched about three months ago (or last year, if I were to exaggerate) were oodles of holiday gift sets in three categories namely Irresistibly Charming, Enchanted Eve and Viva Glamorous which of course, were beyond my budget. As if these were not enough to bankrupt beauty addicts like myself (and I still had to fund my trip to Japan 😥 ), there were celebrity collaborations including Mariah Carey, Dita Von Teese and Ellie Goulding – all released in the month of December!

HELP! I CAN’T KEEP UP!

I have a pile of lipsticks in my room waiting to be reviewed but first, let’s talk about the Magic of the Night collection – a moderately big one with 4 lipsticks (in Please Me, All Fired Up, Evening Rendezvous & Dark Side), 2 lip pencils (in Redd & Nightmoth), 5 Colourdrenched Pigments (in Ascent of Glamour, Moon is Blue, Tonight’s the Night!, No Taboos & Night Thrill), 2 Pearlglide Intense Eye Liners (in Petrol Blue & Black Swan) and 1 In Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Shaft of Gold.  Fortunately, the lipsticks were mostly repeats of shades that were already permanent. so I didn’t have to dig deep into my pocket this time around. Furthermore, with just a single new shade in this collection, it didn’t take me long to decide what to get.

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

Festive colours were aptly chosen for this theme as the lip products were all decked out fully in luxurious purple reflective casing, thereby shying away from the standard sombre black packaging. The eye and face products, on the other hand, were adorned in a darker shade of aquatic blue. In view of the efforts made to pimp up the packaging, naturally the products would cost a little more. But thankfully, they were still on the affordable side.

Evening Rendezvous is a deep reddish purple with Matte finish (US$18)

Evening Rendezvous is a deep reddish purple with Matte finish (US$18)

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

After a series of disappointing  and subpar lipsticks (especially those annoying lustres) released throughout the year, there’s finally one I can rave about. Evening Rendezvous boasts intense colour payoff in just one swipe and flaunts an emollient and slightly lustrous texture even though it is technically a matte. It is neither drying nor overtly balmy, which I felt was the perfect finish. On top of that, it has mostly opaque coverage with a great lasting effect because it only started wearing off after 4 hours. This is a gorgeous universal shade of purple which complements all skin tones. I have seen similar colours on dark skin tones (on Indians, to be precise) and thought that they pulled it off really well!

Strangely, being the only new lipstick shade in this lineup, it would have been expected to be among the first to sell out but instead, it was Dark Side that got greyed out on the website. There must be some kind of magic in this limited edition packaging because people actually didn’t mind paying more for a permanent shade! Unbelievable. Based on the reviews I’ve read so far, the general consensus I got was that it’s a high-performing lipstick, so I don’t understand how it’s not snapped up yet.

MAC Evening Rendezvous swatch comparison

MAC Evening Rendezvous swatch comparison

Pure Heroine is pretty close, so if you’ve missed out on the Lorde collection about 2 years ago, you should consider getting Evening Rendezvous!

And that’s about it! Do stay tuned for more beauty updates coming your way! 🙂

Also, my sincere apologies if you have been waiting for my lipstick reviews (the last time I did one was more than a month ago, shame on me!). Final year project has been a total bitch lately although it is technically the school holidays but I will still try to find time to bring you the latest beauty reviews even if it means having to sacrifice a few hours of my sleep time!

Thanks for reading and have a blessed week ahead! 🙂

MAC Magic of the Night collection is now available on MACCosmetics.com as well as in stores (may be pulled off the shelves by now, so please call to check before heading down).