[GIVEAWAY] Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula #4: 5 Essential Products for Dry & Dehydrated Skin

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Hey everyone!

After addressing the issues of acne, oily skin and hyperpigmentation in my first three installments of this beauty series, the only common skin conditions left to talk about is dry and dehydrated skin.

Contrary to popular beliefs, the terms “dry” and “dehydrated” cannot be used interchangeably, at least not in the dermatology world, because they refer to a different kind of deficiency of the skin. According to The International Dermal Institute, dry skin is generally known to be lacking in oil whereas dehydrated skin is characterised by lack of moisture in the outermost layer of the skin. Even so, both skin types often share the same symptoms (hence the confusion) such as irritation, roughness and the development of fine lines. Therefore, skincare companies hardly draw a clear distinction between products for dry skin and those for dehydrated skin because most products these days – like those by Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula (TDF) – are capable of relieving both problems.

In this final installment of my 4-part skin care feature, I will be taking you through the products that are essential for dry and dehydrated skin, courtesy of TDF, before ending the post with my suggested product sequence for day and night.

Overview of products to be introduced in this post (with an exception of Age Defense PA+++ Sunscreen which was already covered in part 3)

Overview of products to be introduced in this post (with an exception of Age Defense PA+++ Sunscreen which was already covered in part 3)

Pre-wash-up face

Pre-wash-up face

1. Cleanser

Cleansers are the most important element of maintaining healthy skin but it can also cause serious damage to your skin if the wrong one is used instead. As dryness and dehydration are precursors to sensitised skin, it is essential to pick a cleanser that is not overly harsh on the skin lest it aggravate the condition further by rubbing off its natural protective layer. As a rule of thumb, people with dry and dehydrated skin should stay away from foaming cleansers and those that contain alcohol. If your current cleanser makes your skin feel tight after every wash, it’s time to toss it.

TDF Non-Drying Cleansing Lotion (100ml)

TDF Non-Drying Cleansing Lotion (100ml)

TDF Non-Drying Cleansing Lotion (100ml)

TDF Non-Drying Cleansing Lotion (100ml)

Specially formulated for delicate sensitive skin, the Non-Drying Cleansing Lotion provides a gentle but thorough cleanse without irritating the skin and at the same time ensures that it is not stripped further of its moisture by protecting its natural moisture barrier. When massaged into the face, it helps to soften and remove dirt and other impurities. Humectant, being one of its functional ingredients, hydrates the skin by locking in moisture while acting like a magnet to attract water.

TDF Non-Drying Cleansing Lotion (100ml)

TDF Non-Drying Cleansing Lotion (100ml)

TDF Non-Drying Cleansing Lotion (100ml)

TDF Non-Drying Cleansing Lotion (100ml)

What set this cleansing lotion apart from regular cleansers are the absence of scent as well as its inability to lather when massaged all over the face (due to the same reason stated above). Although admittedly the lack of foam makes the face-washing process a lot less enjoyable (and it doesn’t really provide that squeaky clean feeling after wash), it is a necessary measure because the lather actually does more harm than good to the skin. Little known to many, sodium lauryl sulfate – a common ingredient added to face and hair wash to make them foam – robs the skin of natural oils that are essential in keeping it moisturised.

Since the texture of the cleansing lotion isn’t creamy enough to be lathered across the face, I had to apply a liberal amount to ensure that all areas of the skin surface are covered. It leaves a subtle layer of oil (but doesn’t appear greasy under strong lighting) after the product is rinsed off the skin.

2. Toner

As mentioned in my first installment of this beauty series, tones are available in several kinds to cater to different skin types. Skin refreshers are more hydrating and hence are typically used for dry skin types.

Skin Freshener (100ml)

Skin Freshener (100ml)

Skin Freshener (100ml)

Skin Freshener (100ml)

Understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to combating skin woes, TDF has come up with a toner catered for dry and dehydrated skin. Named the Skin Freshener, it contains a soothing formula that double-cleanses and conditions the skin in preparation for proper moisture absorption. Its other functions include adjusting the skin to its balanced pH level, minimising visible pores and removing excess debris or oil. This toner is also ideal for those who are allergic to acetone or alcohol.

Skin Freshener (100ml)

Skin Freshener (100ml)

Skin Freshener (100ml)

Skin Freshener (100ml)

Skin Freshener (100ml)

Skin Freshener (100ml)

Skin Freshener (100ml)

Skin Freshener (100ml)

Adding to the sensory experience of using the toner, Skin Freshener has a sweet citrus fragrance that is pleasant to the nose. To use, I soaked my cotton pad with a few drops of the toner and applied it to my blemishes and areas with obvious signs of flaking. I have been using Skin Freshener in my beauty regimen (for oily skin) ever since I emptied Mild Astringent many weeks back and it seems to complement very well with my combination skin because the results have so far been fantastic!

3. Moisturizer

Moisturisers are as important as cleansers because it helps to bring the moisture from the inner layer of the skin to the outer, and then seal it in.  They should also be emollient enough to soften the skin.

Light Textured Moisturizer (50g)

Light Textured Moisturizer (50g)

Light Textured Moisturizer (50g)

Light Textured Moisturizer (50g)

This fragrance-free moisturiser provides immediate and long-lasting hydration by locking in moisture and preventing further moisture loss, thereby improving skin texture and overall clarity. It is not only suitable for dry skin types, but also for normal. What’s more, it also makes an excellent makeup base due to its sheer and lightweight texture!

Light Textured Moisturizer (50g)

Light Textured Moisturizer (50g)

Light Textured Moisturizer (50g)

Light Textured Moisturizer (50g)

It is instructed on the packaging that this moisturiser should be applied on damp skin after thorough cleansing but I prefer to use it after toning my skin, as per my usual beauty regimen. It creates a veil of moisture upon application (just a small amount would do the trick) and, as a result, makes the skin appears dewier and more radiant than before. When used regularly, the protective barrier of the dry stressed skin is repaired and strengthened, leaving the skin incomparably soft.

4. Night Treatment

Often, creams that are supposed to be used only in the day are formulated solely to protect the skin against the sun, hence most of the time it does not have the necessary nourishing ingredients that aid in the repairing process of the skin. For this reason, night creams are definitely needed in the beauty regimen.

RSE Cream (50g)

RSE Cream (50g)

The RSE Cream derives its name from its three main active ingredients namely Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Squalane (a natural emollient that facilitates absorption of vitamins) and Vitamin E (Topopheryl Acetate) which are added to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier, prevent free radical damage and calm irritated skin. Suitable for sensitive skin, this ultra-hydrating, antioxidant-rich moisturiser fights chronically dry and prematurely ageing skin conditions. Even though this cream is recommended to be used as a night treatment, it can, in fact, be used in the day too.

RSE Cream (50g)

RSE Cream (50g)

RSE Cream (50g)

RSE Cream (50g)

RSE Cream (50g)

RSE Cream (50g)

Squeezing a tiny amount onto the finger, I dotted some of the cream on my nose, cheeks, forehead and chin and gently massaged the product all over the face. The cream was thin and smooth enough to spread across the face evenly and it took merely seconds to absorb into the skin without leaving an unsightly and tacky white film. For maximum absorption, apply the cream twice a day (morning and night) about 5 minutes (or 10, if you can afford to wait) before moisturising your face. It works better at night as it helps to regenerate, repair and replenish skin for firmer, smoother, younger-looking skin when you sleep.

5. Mask

Give your skin its much needed pampering by adding a facial mask to your weekly beauty regimen. The mask should similarly be able to add moisture and plump up the skin, giving it a more supple appearance.

Hydrating Treatment Mask (60g)

Hydrating Treatment Mask (60g)

Hydrating Treatment Mask (60g)

Hydrating Treatment Mask (60g)

Loaded with calming botanicals and antioxidant vitamins to replenish moisture at the critical dehydrated areas and reduce skin irritation, the Hydrating Treatment Mask aids the skin in recovering from damage and promotes healthy tissue regeneration. It contains natural earth clays kaolin (the gentlest of clay available which is not only commended for its excellent absorbent qualities, but also for its ability to gently exfoliate the skin as you rinse it off with warm water) and bentonite (another form of clay that draws out toxins and prevents breakouts among many benefits) to give the face a clearer and more refined complexion.

Hydrating Treatment Mask (60g)

Hydrating Treatment Mask (60g)

Hydrating Treatment Mask (60g)

Hydrating Treatment Mask (60g)

Hydrating Treatment Mask (60g)

Hydrating Treatment Mask (60g)

Hydrating Treatment Mask (60g)

Hydrating Treatment Mask (60g)

I’ve got to admit, though, that the strange chemical smell of the mask put me off initially (I don’t know if the clays are supposed to smell like that) but fortunately it wore off mostly about 5 minutes into wear. It does not dry down completely to the extent that it becomes an entirely matte layer nor does it crack or crumble with any slight movement as there moisture is still present in the clay mask. It has such perfect consistency between solid and liquid that it stays in place wherever you position it on your face and neck, so you can practically apply the mask whilst lying on your bed with a mirror in one hand without worrying that it will cause a mess!

The mask should be left on for 15 to 20 minutes and rinsed off with lukewarm water. It removes rather effortlessly with no stubborn white specks left behind on the face. I usually mask once a week (because lazy).

The recommended order of use
for dry and dehydrated skin

Day¹: Cleanse → Tone → Moisturise
Day²: Cleanse → Tone → Sun Protection (Age Defense PA+++ Sunscreen) → Moisturise

Night¹: Cleanse → Tone → Night Treatment → Moisturise
Night²: Cleanse → Mask → Tone → Moisturise

TDF is undoubtedly a very reputable and well-respected brand not just to professional dermatologists, but also patients with skin conditions like acne and dry skin because if used diligently and correctly, it does show some degree of results (especially with the right diet and sleeping habits – I can bet my bottom dollar that it will improve your complexion tremendously). I have been using what TDF sent me faithfully and am intending to make a trip down to the nearest polyclinic to purchase backups some time this month because I am very satisfied with the products in their Oily & Acne-Prone range. (And you can be assured that I’m not saying this just because this post is sponsored. I’m not, and I wouldn’t risk tarnishing my credibility by making such a deceitful statement!)

However, I must say that the prices are definitely not cheap as some of their products can go into the nineties, or even hundreds. But thankfully, the products in the acne range are still quite affordable to me as they are mostly below S$30. While I cannot reveal the exact price for every product here, a simple Google search should be able to give you a rough estimate. If you cannot afford them, you may want to consider joining my giveaway to stand a chance to win a TDF 3-Step Skincare Trial Kit (for acne) worth S$158, courtesy of TDF! You can read my in-depth (as always!) here.

To join this giveaway:

  1. Share this post (or Facebook update) on Facebook and tag #tdfskincare. Your privacy settings must be set to “public”
  2. Like my Facebook page and follow me on Instagram
  3. Comment here (or on my Facebook update) with your e-mail address that is linked to your Facebook account as well as your Instagram handle

The contest is open to all Singapore residents. Contest ends 7 March 2016 and the winner will be notified via e-mail by 13 March 2016.

Thanks for reading the final installment of this beauty series and best of luck to you!

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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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)

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

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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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Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula #1: The Ultimate Beauty Regimen for Acne-Prone Skin

ADVERTORIAL

Hello everyone!

Being a long-time acne sufferer myself, I can fully relate to the inconvenience this common skin condition poses. As envious as I am of friends who are able to live by the simplest beauty routine (like, using just water to cleanse their faces) and yet still have perfect complexion, I know it is virtually impossible for me to do likewise and get similar results. But due to sheer laziness and the fact that I didn’t like the feeling of a pile of skincare products weighing down on my face every night, I had been depending on a single facial cleanser for years solely to keep dirt and oil from clogging my pores.

But with my recent breakouts (no thanks to the prolonged haze), I’ve come to realise that I needed to step up my game if I wanted to clear up my face. And to achieve that, I’d have to incorporate toning and moisturising into my daily beauty regimen. However, finding the right skincare products for my routine can be no easy feat, especially when I have oily skin that breaks out even with the slightest change in my regimen.

Luckily for me, I didn’t have to search high and low for a suitable product because help eventually came knocking on my door!

Thank you, Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula!

For oily and acne-prone skin

For oily and acne-prone skin

In case you haven’t heard of Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula (or TDF for short), it was first established in the USA and later Singapore in 1994. A pioneer in alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) glycolic acid formulations, TDF’s areas of expertise include management of acne, pigmentation disorders, photo-ageing and ageing skin conditions. It is a respected name in the field of aesthetic dermatology and also a well-recognised prescriptive skincare brand among medical and aesthetic professionals.

As the saying goes, the best things in life are meant to be shared. Hence, in this first installment of a four-part skin care series, I will be sharing with you guys my day-to-day beauty regimen using TDF products. Have oily and acne-prone skin like me? This should definitely be interest to you so read on! 🙂

Let's begin by wetting our faces! (I wasn't kidding when I said I had breakouts, right?)

Let’s begin by wetting our faces! (I wasn’t kidding when I said I had breakouts, right?)

1. Cleanse

Regardless of gender, face washing is no doubt the most fundamental step in any skincare regimen, especially for night time. No matter how tired or sick I am, I would muster up my last bit of energy just to wash my face and get that squeaky clean feeling. Besides, the last thing I’d want to get during my sleep are more pimples from my contaminated pillow!

This beauty rule doesn’t just apply to people who wear makeup often as research has shown that cleansing is key to maintaining youthful looks. It does a lot more than rinsing the face with water which only removes about 65% of oil and debris from the surface. As a resident in one of the most humid cities in the world, it is also important to note that cleansing helps to unclog pores, dissolve dirt and makeup as well as to remove excess oils and prevent excess oil production in the day.

TDF AHA Facial Wash & Deep Acne Facial Wash

TDF AHA Facial Wash & Deep Acne Facial Wash

TDF has recommended 4 types of cleansers for their Oily and Acne-Prone regimen. Here, I’ve shortlisted two – the AHA Facial Wash and AHA Deep Acne Facial Wash. They are primarily catered for the same skin type, just that the former is suitable for oily and acne-prone skin (preventive) while the other is ideal for comedogenic and acne-ridden (corrective) skin. For clearer illustration, I will only be using the AHA Facial Wash in this quick guide!

TDF AHA Facial Wash

TDF AHA Facial Wash

TDF AHA Facial Wash

TDF AHA Facial Wash

The AHA Facial Wash is a 2-in-1 gel cleanser and exfoliator that combines with an acne-fighting alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and soothing botanical and marine extracts as well as antiseptic agents to help prevent flare-ups.

TDF AHA Facial Wash

TDF AHA Facial Wash

TDF AHA Facial Wash

TDF AHA Facial Wash

TDF AHA Facial Wash

TDF AHA Facial Wash

TDF AHA Facial Wash

TDF AHA Facial Wash

TDF AHA Facial Wash

TDF AHA Facial Wash

A pellucid pale green liquid at first, it gradually works into a lather upon contact with wet skin. It gently deep-cleanses pores, removes excess oil without over-drying and clears surface impurities. After cleansing, my skin felt very refreshed and supple!

Do wash with lukewarm water as too hot a water temperature can strip your skin of essential natural moisture and healthy oils. Try not to wash your face in the shower as the high water pressure can also break capillaries and in turn aggravate your skin condition. Besides, your skin will also become dry if it stays in water for too long!

2. Tone

After cleansing comes toning, which is absolutely necessary for people with oily skin. While toners are usually optional for people with normal skin type, they actually provide the extra kick needed by oily skin to remove any little traces of makeup that the cleanser is unable to reach.

Skin toners are available in several kinds – skin fresheners (the mildest form), tonics (slightly stronger) and astringents (strongest form). Astringents are normally recommended for oily skin as they tend to be drying. However, when the skin loses oil, it goes into an overdrive to produce more to keep its moisture balance in check. In view of this fact, TDF has come up with a milder and gentler version of astringent (hence, you probably can call this a tonic instead) so that your skin remains smooth and clean after use!

TDF Mild Astringent

TDF Mild Astringent

TDF Mild Astringent

TDF Mild Astringent

Similar to what I’ve explained earlier, the Mild Astringent is a clarifying toner that removes traces of cleanser and impurities. It maintains your skin at a healthy balanced pH level (which was distorted by the cleanser earlier on) and aids in the application of serum and moisturiser products thereafter. It helps to tighten and shrink pores, making it more difficult for debris and dirt to penetrate your skin. As a result, it also controls acne and prevents blackheads.

TDF Mild Astringent

TDF Mild Astringent

TDF Mild Astringent

TDF Mild Astringent

TDF Mild Astringent

TDF Mild Astringent

TDF Mild Astringent

TDF Mild Astringent

TDF Mild Astringent

TDF Mild Astringent

You can use own fingers for this step but I personally like using cotton pads to prevent wastage (and I don’t really trust that my fingers would be entirely clean too). Unlike the cleanser, you’d only need to apply the astringent to problem areas of the skin, such as the pimples themselves to prevent dehydration on unaffected parts.

Do prevent rubbing the cotton pad back and forth or it may cause irritation to your skin. In addition, toners are meant to be dried off naturally or absorbed into the skin so there is no need for you to rinse it away after that!

3. Moisturise

Finally, moisturise your skin after the toner has dried as a wrap-up to the regimen. The moisturiser helps to retain and restore the moisture (duh!) that was robbed in the process of toning. Nevertheless, this is a step that’s often skipped by those with oily skin due to the common misconception that moisturisers would cause the skin to appear “oilier”. In fact, it’s the complete opposite! Without moisturisers to increase water content of the skin, it would actually produce excess sebum to make up for lack of hydration and then defeat the purpose of this entire routine!

To tackle the problem of having an even greasier complexion after wearing a moisturiser, you can try a light one with mattifying properties like the Ultra Light Hydrator I’m about to introduce to you!

TDF Ultra Light Hydrator

TDF Ultra Light Hydrator

TDF Ultra Light Hydrator

TDF Ultra Light Hydrator

The Ultra Light Hydrator is a must-have mattifying moisturiser for oily and combination skin types. This sheer lightweight formula hydrates the skin to restore moisture balance and regulates sebum production, keeping blackhead-bearing oil at bay. Regular use enhances your skin’s texture, firmness and clarity. Oil-free and with a non-greasy finish, it is also excellent as a makeup base.

TDF Ultra Light Hydrator

TDF Ultra Light Hydrator

TDF Ultra Light Hydrator

TDF Ultra Light Hydrator

TDF Ultra Light Hydrator

TDF Ultra Light Hydrator

TDF Ultra Light Hydrator

TDF Ultra Light Hydrator

TDF Ultra Light Hydrator

TDF Ultra Light Hydrator

TDF Ultra Light Hydrator

TDF Ultra Light Hydrator (oops, a little too much here, but this picture is for illustration purpose only!)

With just a tiny amount, massage it into your skin in an upward motion (to prevent premature sagging) and be more gentle on delicate areas around the eyes.

Once you’ve completed the above, you’re done! It’s that simple 🙂

Here’s the result after going through the 3-step beauty regimen!

After

After (you can compare this with my Moisturise selfies)

Notice the natural glow around my face? I definitely felt a lot cleaner and more refreshed after using the recommended TDF products!

Do you have similar experience with TDF? Chime in below!

Thanks for reading and do stay tuned for the next installment 🙂

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