Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula #2: How to Treat Oily Skin & Acne

ADVERTORIAL

Hey everyone!

Despite taking special care of my complexion, my skin is bound to have a major breakout at least once every month due to hormonal shifts (ladies should know what I mean). These are unlike my usual zits as they are typically cystic which mainly occur around my cheeks, chin, jawline and hairline/scalp (mainly at places which are out of sight). They are headless bumps that hurt to the touch and because popping them is close to impossible, they take weeks to heal! They can’t be concealed with makeup entirely too since the bumps would still be very obvious especially from the side. Furthermore, they often leave awful hyperpigmentation when they subside to remind me of the painful experience. Gosh, why is it so hard being a woman?! :\

Another issue I have during my menstrual cycle is the sudden influx of oil on the skin (also the cause of my breakout mentioned earlier). My face becomes a virtual oil slick and it melts down my makeup even when I stay indoors the whole day. I don’t have the habit of carrying oil blotting sheets with me as I had read that they would only lead to more oil production. Therefore I would try to avoid being photographed although sometimes it can’t be helped.

But the condition seems to have improved quite a bit ever since I started using Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula (TDF) products for oil control and acne care last month. From the the same range as the ones I had featured previously, I feel that these products serve as a corrective to oily and acne-prone skin rather than a preventive – very suitable for people who are already battling oily skin and acne. So if you’re looking for ways to deal with the shine and the unsightly pustules (or even cysts like mine), look no further!

(from left) Acne E-Rase, AHA Oily & Acne Solution & Clay Mint Mask from Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula

(from left) Acne E-Rase, AHA Oily & Acne Solution & Clay Mint Mask from Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula

Do note that these products work best as supplements to the 3-step beauty regimen (cleanse, tone, moisturise) I wrote about in the first TDF feature and should only be used when necessary or (as advised by an aesthetician) daily until the skin gets better otherwise you may risk having your skin dried up.

1. Control

For those with severe acne, normal cleansing alone won’t be enough to rid them. Therefore you’d need this to be part of your routine:

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

Immediately after cleansing and drying my skin thoroughly with the Deep Acne Facial Wash (a stronger cleanser for my menstrual acne, brief review on Facebook), I applied the AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 liberally on my face twice daily, morning and night. This formula helps to control breakouts and clear up complexion and prevent blemishes from forming by clearing clogged pores, correcting enlarged pores and removing excess oil or other lipids present on acne-prone skin. When used regularly, the skin becomes smoother and shine is kept under control.

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

The solution is a colourless lightweight and runny liquid (like water) that rapidly absorbs into the skin with just a few gentle pats on the face. The excess evaporates like water and does not leave a tacky feeling on the skin.

Recommended sequence:

Cleanse* (AHA Facial Wash/Deep Acne Facial Wash) → Control (AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8) → Tone* (Mild Astringent) → Moisturise* (Ultra Light Hydrator)

*Compulsory

2. Correct

Pimple treatment gel/cream is one of my must-haves for bad skin days because it dries out and flattens specific pimples fast enough before an important event. They are my emergency breakout fix. But from my years of using various acne gel, most of them work better on regular pus-filled pimples and not the cystic ones. They also generally do little to stop the development of zits that have not surfaced. Isn’t it frustrating to be able to feel an oncoming pimple and yet feel helpless about it? Well, now you can!

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

The Acne E-Rase is a blend of advanced deep exfoliating ingredients (Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid) that control the most common concerns associated with acne by regulating the sebum production.

The exfoliant helps to slough off dead skin cells that clog pores which can then cause a breakout. Salicylic Acid, for instance, is both an exfoliant and an anti-inflammatory which effectively reduces inflammation and relieves pain. It’s a lot less irritating like Benzoyl Peroxide (my nemesis – gave me a terribly swollen and crusty face on both occasions that I used it) so allergy level to this product should be relatively lower for those with sensitive skin.

Therefore, besides treating existing blemishes, breakouts and blackheads, this acne treatment gel is capable of addressing future blemishes before they even appear as well without over drying the skin.

Acne E-Rase

Acne E-Rase

Acne E-Rase

Acne E-Rase

A pale-yellow light and pellucid gel, the product flows out of the tube uncontrollably when I first removed the cover so do make sure you open it with the tip faced upwards. The Acne E-Rase is to be used after cleansing and drying the skin thoroughly and should be applied on the affected acne spot twice a day (once a few minutes before makeup to allow sufficient time for it to dry, and another before bedtime for me) until they are visibly reduced.

However, because acne treatment gel tends to be drying on the skin, you have to use a moisturiser (the Ultra Light Hydrator makes a great choice!) on top of it to prevent your skin from flaking. Basically, the general skincare rule is to apply the thinner product first so that the thicker one above can “lock in” the one below. Of course, the sequence varies according to different skin types and conditions. When in doubt, consult your dermatologist!

My pimple had clearly shrunk and dried out after application!

My pimple had clearly shrunk and dried out after application! (obviously I didn’t put on any moisturizer because I was too lazy)

I was way past my menstrual period when I took these pictures so I didn’t have any cystic acne (not like I wished there were!) to demonstrate the product on, but I did have some stubborn pustules. The result was quite amazing as I could actually feel that my zit had subsided and the small oncoming ones around it had also dried out completely. They could all be concealed entirely with tinted foundation by the following day.

Recommended sequence:

Cleanse* (AHA Facial Wash/Deep Acne Facial Wash) → Control (AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8) → Tone* (Mild Astringent) → Correct (Acne E-Rase) → Moisturise* (Ultra Light Hydrator)

*COMPULSORY

3. Mask

Facial sessions are the perfect excuse for you to relax on your couch/bed and do nothing (though I still use my phone sometimes hehe eh, don’t act like you don’t) so I am always looking forward to them. Not only are face masks easy and hilariously fun to use (who hasn’t scared anybody with their face mask before?!), it also delivers noticeable results after a single use.

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay masks are normally recommended for oily skin because of the drying and tightening nature of their natural clay substances. The Clay Mint Mask combines natural earth clays – kaolin and bentonite – for intensive pore-purging and elimination of impurities. It decongests clogged pores by drawing out dirt, excess sebum and other cellular debris. Weekly use of this mask detoxifies the skin to unveil a clearer and more refined complexion.

Clay Mint Mask

Clay Mint Mask

Clay Mint Mask

Clay Mint Mask

The greyish-green product comes out of the tube like a toothpaste but it’s rather structured in a way that it does not break off easily from it so it won’t cause as much of a mess as the AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 or the Acne E-Rase.

After cleansing

After cleansing

The picture above was taken at night, hours after applying the AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 and Acne E-Rase illustrated above! Can you tell that the pimples (on the forehead especially) had reduced quite substantially? Their redness were now a light-pinkish.

With Clay Mint Mask

With Clay Mint Mask

Close up

Close up

To use, apply desired amount (the thicker the better but I’m prudent when it comes to using beauty products) of mask to cleansed face and neck (skipped this area because I didn’t want to wet my body) with finger tips or brush. The mask spreads evenly and hardens completely within 2-3 minutes. Leave on for 15-20 minutes and then, rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat the skin dry with a soft towel. As the name describes, the mask gives the skin a very therapeutic minty sensation (even more shiok in an air-conditioned room!).

Prior to this, I used mainly peel-off masks because it’s less time-consuming. But subsequently I realised that they are not as absorbent as clay masks and certainly a lot messier. Some experts have advised against applying mask after shower as they feel it would be too drying for many skin types yadda yadda (well, there’s always the other side of the coin ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) but I prefer to apply nighttime beauty products on a squeaky clean face and then conveniently head to bed thereafter. Furthermore, the facial pores would also be enlarged after a hot shower so the mask would definitely be absorbed into the skin more rapidly!

Recommended sequence:

Cleanse* (AHA Facial Wash/Deep Acne Facial Wash) → Mask (Clay Mint Mask) → Control (AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8) → Tone* (Mild Astringent) → Correct (Acne E-Rase) → Moisturise* (Ultra Light Hydrator)

*COMPULSORY

Now that I have managed to keep my pimples under control, the next step is to treat the hyperpigmentation left behind by my past acne! If you are trying to get rid of your stubborn hyperpigmentation as well, stay tuned for the next installment of my TDF skincare series! I have more tips and product recommendations in store for you 🙂

Hope this guide has been useful to you and many thanks for reading! 🙂

To find out more about my beauty regimen for oily and acne-prone skin, click here for Part 1!

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)

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REVIEW: NEXGEN Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum & Phantom Mask

ADVERTORIAL

Hey everyone!

It has been drilled into our heads since we were little children that preserved food is detrimental to our health. But do you know that preservatives are also existent in beauty products? Like food preservatives, they allow extend the shelf life of the products by allowing them to remain fresh during the long span between the time of manufacture and the time the customer finishes using it. Similarly, they are often unhealthy as they may pose long-term health risks. However, preservatives form an integral part of the cosmetics ingredients. Without them, you’d most likely be tossing out your barely-used lipstick and facial cream every other few weeks.

Furthermore, it’s perfectly legal to use these toxic materials despite the fact that they may cause adverse effects to the health. Therefore, don’t be alarmed to see them on the list of ingredients of your everyday beauty products. They are everywhere.

Ingredients of a very popular body lotion sold in Singapore

Ingredients of a very popular body lotion sold in Singapore

Methylchloroisothiazolinone is an allergen and can cause severe skin reactions in some people.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone is an allergen and can cause severe skin reactions in some people.

Ingredients of a branded lipstick I own

Ingredients of a branded lipstick I own

Phenoxyethanol is believed to cause damage to the brain cells and the central nervous system when used in large quantities

Phenoxyethanol is believed to cause damage to the brain cells and the central nervous system when used in large quantities.

On the other hand, there are still cosmetics brands around that tout to be completely free of preservatives and specially formulated to be self-preserving. But the problem lies with the fact that they are often reusable. Reusable cosmetics products which are free of preservatives usually can’t withstand the test of time (hence the shorter expiry dates) because they get contaminated very easily with repeated contact with the skin. That’s why most of such products are sold in small packaging, but at premium prices. With that said, are you getting more bang for your bucks, or not?

But not all hope is lost! With the advancement of technology today, nothing is impossible. In the case of NEXGEN, instead of using preservatives, their products are packed separately before undergoing a sterilizing process, all while ensuring that the composition and functions of the products are not altered.

skinthenext

Established in 1999 in South Korea, NEXGEN is a biotechnology company specialising in second generation (hence the name) plant biotechnology which does not involve the use of herbicide, pesticides and genetically modified plants. Diversifying from the medical, agricultural and industrial business, NEXGEN started venturing into the cosmetics industry in 2011 under the subsidiary name of SKIN THE NEXT.

What sets SKIN THE NEXT/NEXGEN apart from other cosmetics brands is that it makes beauty products that are perfectly sterile and as mentioned earlier, preservative-free because of the individual and disposable packaging. On top of that, it also bans the use of plant extracts.

“Wait, aren’t plant extracts supposed to be good?”

Not many people know this (neither did I!) but besides the active ingredients in plants which are highly effective and pure with high biological value [1], they also contain synthetic substances which can be really harmful to humans. In order to extract the beneficial ingredients, companies have to pay a truckload of money and go through a dreadful process. Realistically speaking, not many commercial enterprises would do it.

Therefore, instead of using these unknown substances, SKIN THE NEXT incorporates Growth Factor Protein (a protein almost identical to human DNA and found in vegetables and fruits) into their products to help stimulate human tissues to repair themselves. Another active ingredient is the Cellular Vital Complex which contains 21 essential amino acids and 14 minerals in an optimum proportion to nourish your skin.

Here are 2 beauty products recently launched by SKIN THE NEXT/NEXGEN.

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Die hard® is a moisturizing repair serum that doubles as a wrinkle treatment. It is composed with genetically engineered growth factor protein named Spider Silk Protein, which is 18 times stronger than steel that replaces collagen and elastin to improve skin elasticity and triggers cell  division.

As a moisturizing and anti-aging product, it contains vital complex (21 kinds of essential amino acids, and 11 kinds of minerals), sH-Oligopeptide-1 (EGF) 10ppm and Spider Silk Protein. There are 60 sachets in each box.

There is a perforated line on the individual packaging to facilitate the opening. 

There is a perforated line on the individual packaging to facilitate the opening.

Easy to tear

Easy to tear

Extract all the serum from the pouch

Extract all the serum from the pouch

Colourless serum

Colourless serum

You just need one sachet for every application. Apply the serum evenly onto the face and smooth it gently until it is completely absorbed into the skin. I use this only at night before heading to bed because it does leave a mildly sticky residue on my skin. The amount of serum in the pouch may look insufficient but trust me, it’s more than enough to cover the entire face because it has a flowy consistency. It’s colourless and formulated without fragrance but it doesn’t have a pungent chemical smell.

Effectiveness-wise, my skin did feel a lot more moisturised, supple and revitalised the following day. Most importantly, it didn’t break my skin out one bit. In fact, I’m not sure if it’s pure coincidence but I noticed some of my acne scars lightened up a little. Nevertheless, the product worked well enough for me to continue using it.

I also love the travel-friendly size of the individual packaging and how two sachets are adhered together to save even more space. It will definitely come in handy for me when I go abroad at the end of the year!

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Like the hydrating serum, one of the key ingredients of the Phantom Mask is spider silk protein. Phantom Mask is suitable for sensitive skin and it helps to replenish moisture and add glow to the skin. It is separated into 3 sections for the upper and lower half of the face as well as the neck area. There are 8 sheets in each box.

3 sections of Phantom Mask folded into one so be careful when you open it up!

3 sections of Phantom Mask folded into one so be careful when you open it up!

Mask application

Mask application. Leave mask on your face for about 30 minutes (minimum 20 minutes)

Moisturizing my eyelids with the flaps. Time to doze off!

Moisturizing my eyelids with the flaps. Time to doze off!

Neck area

Neck area

If you like truffle oil, you’d love this mask because it smells almost like it. But if you don’t, you’d probably find the smell unpleasant. It didn’t quite bother me because I fell asleep soon after I went to bed with it. This mask gave me a sense of luxury, the feeling I had when I was in the esthetician room a few weeks back. The moisture of the mask on my face coupled with the cool breeze from my air conditioner just spelled bliss. Plus, I had actually refrigerated my mask before application. It felt so, so good and relaxing! My worn out face looked evidently lifted, tighter and calmer (inflammation of pimples greatly reduced) when I peeled off the mask and I also realised my skin tone becoming a teeny weeny bit more even.

And the best part? The aftermath feeling wasn’t as tacky as I thought. Just smack on some sunblock and you’re ready to leave the house! (No I’m not kidding because I really did go to Orchard after one of the sessions).

The mask is made of great quality cotton sheet to prevent clumsy people like me from tearing it accidentally while trying to separate the sections. There would also be plenty of remaining essence left in the packaging which you can massage onto other areas of the neck, or wherever you deem fit. This is what I call “stretching your dollar” 😀

What do you think of these products? Would you be more wary when purchasing your beauty products now? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

NEXGEN BIOTECHNOLOGIES

NEXGEN: Website (English) | Website (Korean)
SKIN THE NEXT: Website (English) | Facebook | TwitterNaver (Korean)
To order, please visit SKINTHENEXT.COM or email to lei@nexgenbiolab.com