AGNES at The Clifford Clinic: Avada Kedavra, Recurrent Acne!

Hello everyone!

There are plenty of myths and old wives’ tales surrounding our skin that I can turn a blind eye to. But what really grinds my gears is the false notion that people suffering from acne will eventually grow out of the condition. While it may be so for some lucky souls, this belief usually does not hold true for the more severe cases. A good case in point would be yours truly, who even at the ripe age of 29, is still battling with cystic and nodular acne, sometimes worse than what I had in my adolescent years.

I know, I know… This is the umpteenth post about my acne and you’re probably sick of reading about my acne encounters already. Plus, haven’t I already found the cure to my skin woes? Don’t get me wrong – the oral prescription and Q-switch treatment worked like a charm and helped my skin revert to the flawless state in my prepubescent days. No kidding, my confidence peaked and I was able to go anywhere without putting on any makeup and still looked great. However, with it comes an undesirable price that no one would be willing to pay – extreme brittleness and dryness in hair (caused by the medication), leading to thinning and baldness.

Nice skin but hair was so dry!

Nice skin but hair was so dry!

At first, I didn’t think much of it because bruh, what’s a little hair loss compared to years of terrible skin, right? That was, until I realised that my part had become way wider than normal and I was also leaving traces of my hair everywhere I went (think strands of hair strewn all over the canteen table, work desk, shared spaces, etc – how embarrassing 馃槥). I was convinced that I was going to be prematurely bald at that rate so I stopped taking the oral medication completely. Within two weeks of the cessation, BAM! The zits came back, this time populating a more extensive area of my face 馃槶

Bumpy face 2 weeks after stopping oral medication

Bumpy face 2 weeks after stopping oral medication

Bumpy forehead (and my thinning hair)

Bumpy forehead (and my thinning hair)

Dr Ee was naturally shocked to see the state of my face when I turned up for my appointment. He brought up the suggestion of undergoing AGNES but I was hesitant because I remembered stumbling upon an online article (he totally knew which) that refuted the efficacy of the treatment (especially the claim that it would make the skin permanently dry – which I honestly would very much prefer to having unrelenting breakouts). Dr Gerard Ee was quick to denounce the credibility of such sources with solid medical facts (that only very few oil glands are destroyed in proportion to the millions of oil glands located throughout the entire face) and make me feel that I was in good hands. So, I agreed to undergo AGNES right there and then 馃檴

Zee AGNES equipment

Zee AGNES equipment

But due to the rigorous nature of the treatment, I was advised to embark on it during the school holiday so that I wouldn’t have to deal with rude stares and comments from people I met. I was so glad I heeded his advice because I wasn’t expecting the treatment to be so potent聽馃槺

Cleansing the face again

Cleansing the face again

Topical anaesthetic cream was administered to my face about 20 minutes prior to the treatment. After the slight numbing took effect, I was led into the treatment room where an aesthetician would cleanse and scale my skin. This step involved full-face drainage with the much-dreaded extraction which – I swear to God – wasn’t as excruciating as what I had experienced before (though it still hurt despite the anaesthetic cream). This could possibly also be due to the fact that most of my zits were “ripe” and hence didn’t require the extractor to go too deep into the skin.

Extract those gunk!

Extract those gunk!

 

Once those nasty gunk were out of the way, the same aesthetician applied a clear, light-blue, semi-cooling gel (or electrode gel) on my face before sticking an adhesive rubber pad (called聽ground plate or neutral electrode) on my back to enable monopolar radio-frequency current to penetrate the tissue through a tiny microscopic needle that would later be inserted into my skin follicle and sebaceous glands. The needle insertion was performed solely by Dr Ee under microscopic guidance to allow highly accurate targeting of overzealous glands without thermal injury to the skin. Upon each insertion, he would step on a foot switch to emit a pulse of electric current to destroy the identified problematic sebaceous glands.

All ready to be AGNES'd!

All ready to be AGNES’d!

Some discomfort was definitely felt with each zap (it intensified on the not-so-fleshy parts like the forehead) and I was pretty sure that if I were any less tolerant to pain, I would have been reduced to tears at the end of the treatment. Throughout the whole process, Dr Ee and his assistant (the aesthetician) tried to keep me calm by making small talks, and it also helped that familiar instrumental music was playing in the background to distract myself in between conversations.

Ahhhh ouch!

Ahhhh ouch!

The sacrifices I make for clear skin...

The sacrifices I make for clear skin…

My face was noticeably much redder and bumpier than before at the end of the treatment. The little dried blot clots all over my acne-prone areas caused by the continual poking had undoubtedly left me feeling so self-conscious that I wouldn’t go anywhere outside my house without a surgical mask for the next few days.

Immediately after the first session of AGNES

Immediately after the first session of AGNES

Day 2 (before the follow-up appointment) - affected areas had dried up quite a bit. I did not put on any face cream here

Day 2 (before the follow-up appointment)Day 2 (before the follow-up appointment) – affected areas had dried up quite a bit. I did not put on any face cream here

(Day 2, pre-appointment condition) The other side

(Day 2, pre-appointment condition) The other side

The hair follicles would be filled with exudate and debris after the treatment so it was imperative for me to return to the clinic the following day to remove them lest they become a source of infection. The post-care treatment includes melting the treated areas (using a bipolar device to deliver a suitable amount of heat to the skin) to facilitate the extraction of sebum and debris. At the same time, it would also prevent scar formation. The follow-up treatment was wholly administered by the aesthetician since it was minimally invasive (save for the extraction process) and it lasted no more than 15 minutes.

Applying electrode gel

Applying electrode gel

With electrode gel on

With electrode gel on

Melting treated area for easier extraction

Melting treated area for easier extraction

Merry-go-round on the face

Merry-go-round on the face

Cleaning up the gel

Cleaning up the gel

Face became slightly redder

Face became slightly redder

Extraction

Extraction

Thankfully, those concerned spots (which were now scabs) gradually diminished in size and became less conspicuous over time before finally disappearing without a trace after close to two weeks. During this recovery period (which may vary from one individual to another), I had to stay away from the sun and make-up – something which everyone knew I could never imagine being without.

Day 3. Zits turning into scabs!

Day 3. Zits turning into scabs!

Day 3. YES I could totally feel them healing

Day 3. YES I could totally feel them healing

AGNES certainly brought some inconveniences (imagine having to deal with curious glances and explain repeatedly that you are not ill to those who think otherwise just because you’re wearing a face mask), so much so that it had made me wonder for a split second if I had made a mistake in agreeing to go ahead with the treatment. But seeing how my face has cleared up and remained largely spotless until now (with most of my hair still intact), I think the trouble I had gone through was worthwhile.

Day 5. SO MUCH BETTER!

Day 5. SO MUCH BETTER!

(Sorry for the blur quality) Almost entirely gone on Day 8!

(Sorry for the blur quality) Almost entirely gone on Day 8!

Could already put on some light makeup by Day 11!

Could already put on some light makeup by Day 11!

Of course, it is still too early to tell if this treatment is a hundred percent effective (but I must say progress has been rather promising so far). I’ll continue to monitor my condition and keep you guys posted if anything crops up.

Would you consider AGNES for your persistent acne after reading this review? Share your thoughts or experience with me (if you have undergone this treatment) in the comments below! 馃槉 If you are not ready for AGNES yet, be sure to check out the other acne treatments offered by The Clifford Clinic here as well !

Thanks for reading!

The Clifford Clinic 路 24 Raffles Place #01-03 Clifford Centre Singapore 048621 (Exit A from Raffles Place MRT) 路 Tel: 6532 2400 / 8318 6332 (WhatsApp) 路 For more information about AGNES, do visit Their聽website or Like them on Facebook and Instagram.

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Addressing Your Mane Concerns: Signature Herbal Scalp Treatment at Luxe Scalp Specialist

Hello everyone!

READ TILL THE END FOR A SPECIAL OFFER!

Far from being my crowning glory, my hair had been the bane of my existence – it was visibly thin, frizzy and brittle (hence, much to my dismay, most hair tutorials don’t work for me). Sadly, these problems seemed to have gotten worse with age, to the extent that I could never run my fingers through my hair without losing gobs of them (which was why I had stopped brushing and combing my hair as often to prevent more breakage). Every look in the mirror gnawed away at my self-esteem as I noticed my ever-widening bald spot creeping forward from the crown of my head. At the rate my hair was disappearing, it wouldn’t be long before the聽bald patches could peek through whichever parting I would be wearing. Soon, my search history once filled with queries on acne was now permeated by worrying questions about premature baldness.

In a stroke of luck, an invitation from Luxe ScalpSpecialist to try their scalp treatment showed up in my inbox (do I have guardian angels watching over me?!) and boy, never was I so quick in agreeing to a collaboration. Thank you for coming to my rescue 馃槶

Luxe Scalp Specialistwho?

Founded in 2012, Luxe Scalp Specialist provides top-notch yet budget-friendly personalised scalp care treatments using聽modernised herbal formulation and trichological techniques while observing and practising high standard of professional conduct and ethical behaviour (no hard sell!). Their herbal treatment is 100% pure, contains no parabens and preservatives, and is validated by Mr Riff Lim, a trichologist certified by the聽International Association of Trichologists (IAT).

Luxe Scalp Specialist (Tampines 1)

Luxe Scalp Specialist (Tampines 1)

Luxe Scalp Specialist (Tampines 1)

Luxe Scalp Specialist (Tampines 1)

The company follows the L.U.X.E. principle, where services are luxurious and of optimal quality;聽unique with the use of a one-of-a-kind blend of the finest Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs (they are the only company that uses this formulation!) to combat hair problems such as oily scalp, thinning hair, dandruff and greying hair; experiential as every treatment includes their聽signature acupressure scalp massage that aids in blood circulation, and a reliever neck massage that is meant to relax the neck鈥檚 muscle; and effective, as vouched by their customers聽who had seen improvements in their conditions after just three treatments.

The Treatment: Signature Herbal Mask with Collagen Deep Moisturising Mask

My visit at their Tampines 1 outlet commenced with a scalp analysis for the specialist (quite frankly, she probably didn’t need it to know that my scalp was in a terrible shape) to better understand my scalp condition. The close-up scan revealed that, despite the dry texture of my hair, my scalp was actually oily and weak to boot, which explained the excessive hair fall I had been experiencing. This was further aggravated by the length of my hair which had kinda been adding to the pressure on my already vulnerable-scalp. With scalp as feeble as mine, the solution wouldn’t be as simple as just chopping off my hair – regaining its health would require professional help which Luxe Scalp is certainly equipped to give.

Those white stuff are oil scales, which were literally ALL OVER my scalp 馃槶

Those white stuff are oil scales, which were literally ALL OVER my scalp 馃槶

My poor scalp trying to keep my hair intact :(

My poor scalp trying to keep my hair intact 馃槮

More grease on my scalp

More grease on my scalp

Once the analysis was completed, the specialist ushered me to my seat where I would receive the Signature Herbal Mask treatment. This 2-hour herbal treatment is specially concocted with premium herbs handpicked from the Himalayan hills and then carefully brewed to allow thorough extraction of their essence and nutrients. It aims to聽reduce hair loss and dandruff, stimulate hair growth, boost blood circulation, prevent premature greying of hair, control oil production and soothe redness and scalp irritation.

My specialist began with a duo comb massage to improve blood circulation to my scalp. The whole brushing process was smooth and painless despite her swift movements – amazingly, the combs never once got stuck on any tangle!

Tea and caramelised biscuits (my favourite munchie!) were already served when I went to my seat

Tea and caramelised biscuits (my favourite munchie!) were already served when I went to my seat

Duo comb massage

Duo comb massage

She then proceeded to spritz some ginger-infused tonic on my scalp to stimulate the pores, and applied herbal mask (which had an awakening scent of Ginseng which lingered on my hair for the next two days) all over the top of my head before covering it with cling wrap. This was followed by a 30-minute micro-steaming session to allow for greater absorption of the herbal essences into the scalp.

GInger-infused tonic application

GInger-infused tonic application

Herbal mask application

Herbal mask application

Herbal mask application

Herbal mask application

Cling-wrapping

Cling-wrapping

30-minute micro-steaming session

30-minute micro-steaming session

After the beeper sounded for the therapist to move the steamer away, I was led to the washing basin for a deep-cleanse hair bath which lasted for no more than 10 minutes. Being the meticulous person she was, the therapist repeatedly ensured that I was comfortable with the water temperature (I could choose between cold or warm) before rinsing my hair. With her trained dainty fingers easing and relaxing every part of my scalp during the wash, I couldn’t help but drift off into a nap!

Rinse away!

Rinse away!

Deep-cleanse hair bath

Deep-cleanse hair bath

Back at my seat with my hair still wet from the wash, the therapist聽applied the Luxe Scalp Tonic on my scalp to intensify hair growth. My treatment in particular also came with collagen deep moisturising mask (which is actually ideal for dry and aging scalp) to help strengthen and repair my hair structure, moisturise the scalp and relieve itch, improve hair density and vitality, as well as form a protective barrier against external pollution. To ensure freshness and avoid contamination, the treatment masks are packed in individual sachets and they will be further heated up upon customers’ arrival to facilitate the penetration of the herbal essence into the scalp and help stimulate healthier hair roots.

Collagen deep moisturising mask

Collagen deep moisturising mask

Collagen deep moisturising mask application

Collagen deep moisturising mask application

Collagen deep moisturising mask application

Collagen deep moisturising mask application

The treatment at last concluded (*gasp* it’s been two hours already?!) with an invigorating聽scalp and shoulder acupressure massage that focused on boosting blood circulation for hair growth.

Sifting my hair through my fingers, what felt like dry rough hay-like strands were now noticeably softer and more manageable. Of course, no miracles were achieved in that one session, and my bald spot was still largely visible. But fast forward about a month, those once-barren patches are starting to show signs of growth!聽WOOHOO!聽The future of my hair is finally looking optimistic聽馃槶

Adding the finishing touches. Frizz, be gone!

Adding the finishing touches. Frizz, be gone!

Have you tried the treatments offered by Luxe Scalp Specialist? If not, would you entrust your scalp to them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

S P E C I A L L Y聽 F O R聽 M Y聽 R E A D E R S
Quote “FionaXLuxeScalp” to enjoy Signature Herbal Mask with Collagen Deep Moisturising Mask (worth S$326) at only聽S$25!

Thanks for reading!

Luxe Scalp Specialist (Tampines Outlet) 路 Tampines 1, 10 Tampines Central 1 #04-29 Singapore 529536聽路聽Tel: 65551065
Luxe Scalp Specialist (Novena Outlet) 路 Square 2, Sinaran Dr #02-61 Singapore 307506 路 Tel: 67020777
For more information, please visit their website, Facebook page or on Instagram
Treatment was complimentary in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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CashBack Buddy – Earn Cashback Whenever You Are Shopping Online!

Hello everyone!

The appeal of online shopping has undoubtedly redefined how people fill their closets and cupboard. With more companies cashing in on the “discount mentality” of online shoppers (hey, we all want things cheap and easy!), the list of participating merchants on cashback websites like ShopBack only keeps getting longer and sometimes, it can be a pain to navigate through the different categories of stores when all you ever want do is buy the latest Anastasia Beverly Hills (AWW YISSZZ) palette from Sephora聽馃槳

But life’s about to get even easier for the compulsive online shopping crowd (in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and Australia at least): ShopBack has introduced CashBack Buddy, a browser extension for Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari that notifies you whenever you are visiting an online store that is eligible for cashback from ShopBack.

Install ShopBack Cashback Buddy on ShopBack!

Install ShopBack Cashback Buddy on ShopBack!

Before I continue talking about how awesome this plug-in is, let me just say that growing up with computers that were constantly attacked by Trojan malware has made me very wary about installing or downloading聽any聽software –聽especially browser extensions – from the internet on my computer. But for the sake of putting together a comprehensive walk-through of CashBack Buddy, I took the plunge and installed it with the thinking that I could remove it after this article is published.

Click "Add to Chrome"

Click “Add to Chrome”

You will be prompted once more to confirm that you want to install the browser attention

You will be prompted once more to confirm that you want to install the browser attention

Don't forget to log in to your ShopBack account before you start shopping!

Don’t forget to log in to your ShopBack account before you start shopping!

You can also view some of the participating merchants on the pop-up notification

You can also view some of the participating merchants on the pop-up notification

Once installed (which was a breeze for me, by the way), a little red square icon聽will appear so inconspicuously next to the address bar that you won’t even notice its existence until it starts blinking for your attention when you land on a website that has partnership ties with ShopBack.

And here comes the revolution: instead of having to sift through the catalogue of merchants on ShopBack for a particular one (I am not saying that it is user-unfriendly, but the faster processors and immediate search results that the digital era have attuned us to have certainly turned us into some impatient consumers that can’t sit through anything which requires anything beyond a one-step process), CashBack Buddy helps you discover the availability of cashback from stores you never knew you could earn rebates from through ShopBack! In fact, you won’t even need to enter the website to know if it is eligible for cashback – a mere Google search would be able to show you, at a glance, those that qualify on the results page as seen in the screen recording below:

So helpful, CashBaby Buddy!

So helpful, CashBaby Buddy!

Apart from that, CashBack Buddy serves as a notification in the event that you have forgotten to access the merchant’s website through ShopBack (this happens too often to be taken lightly) because you will be notified to activate the cashback button via a pop-up message on the top-right corner of the page. Simply click on it and聽voil脿! You are on your way to earn cashback from your purchase! But this button is only the beginning of more exciting features that will be rolled out in the future to help you make smarter shopping decisions, and the fastest way to find out when these updates would be made available is to install CashBack Buddy, obviously.

A pop-up message will prompt you to activate cashback (red button)

A pop-up message will prompt you to activate cashback (red button)

Once cashback is activated, the button turns green

Once cashback is activated, the button turns green

With the tremendous amount of convenience CashBack Buddy has brought to me, I guess it is safe to say that I won’t uninstalling this plug-in any time soon. Besides, no abnormalities have been observed on my browser since having this addition so it should be fine, right?聽聽馃槣

Thanks for reading!

the ShopBack browser extension is available for Google Chrome, FireFox and Safari, laptops and desktops only.
This article was written in collaboration with ShopBack.

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