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.
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 ).
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 🙂
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.
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! 😉
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!