Before you get sold by the amazing skin transformation of Kali Kushner from victim of severe recalcitrant acne to clearer skin and start bugging your dermatologist for Accutane to treat several zits (not happening), first find out more about this drug and alternative ways to treat acne. Even for Kali, she’d exhausted other options before starting on this potent pill which comes packaged with some potentially nasty side effects.

What is Accutane?

Accutane (Isotretinoin) is a form of vitamin A that can be a life-changing medication for people who suffer from severe acne. According to Dr Low Chai Ling, Founder of The SW1 Clinic, the drug works its magic by shrinking oil glands which reduces the acne bacteria (Propionibacterium Acnes). It also slows down skin cell production, reducing clogged pores and inflammation. Despite the wondrous result, potentially major side effects – including dryness and cracking of the skin; blurred vision; and mental and emotional side effects – deter patients who seek treatment for problematic skin.

Lifestyle Changes

For mild to moderate acne sufferers, perhaps lifestyle choices have worsened acne. Primarily caused by hormonal imbalances, acne can be aggravated by stress, lack of sleep, certain foods and poor lifestyle habits including smoking and drinking. Solution? Kali suggests you listen to what your body is telling you it needs, whether that be a rigorous workout, meditation, or hopping into a bubble bath to relax.

We say, get your beauty sleep, start exercising and eating well (not delicacies and definitely not processed foods but foods rich in antioxidants like leafy greens, whole grains and nuts) and track skin improvement! If the bacteria colonisation persists, build up skin’s amo and…

Feed Skin Vitamins

Give skin the boost it needs to destroy bacteria by simply spritzing a skin tonic like SW1 Aloe Cucumber Rebalancing Facial Toner. Formulated with beneficial antioxidants and botanicals derived from aloe vera and cucumber, this bottle is a skin-saver; clarifying and soothing skin so breakouts make a quick exit. Creams containing active ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide will be a double whammy for acne. SW1 Purity Soothing & Purifying Gel contains active ingredients metronidazole and brimonidine to detoxify troubled skin and heal acne blemishes.

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Show Skin the Light

If several, possibly huge and unsightly (think pus-oozing) pimples and blemishes make a surprise visit at the most inopportune time, do not, we repeat, do not attempt to pick them yourself. “These rupturing acne cysts can often result in scarring so your best bet is to ask your doctor for injections of a diluted corticosteroid to lower the inflammation and speed up healing reducing the risks of scars,” explains Dr Low. SW1 Spa offers Pimple ER as an add-on treatment – one such jab complemented with a skin patch laced with dermal healing topicals and active ingredients under treatment to instantly fix annoying and hideous zits.

Keep skin healthy and happy with regular facials. Exploit the advantages of rainbow lights to treat different skin conditions – studies have shown, for instance, that blue light is effective in treating acne, red promotes rejuvenation and yellow targets healing. Try I-Clear, a painless treatment that utilizes innovative Photo Dynamic Therapy technology to deliver blue light onto skin. “This creates a highly toxic environment for the targeted P acnes bacteria, resulting in bacterial death and clearing the skin from acne,” says Dr Toby Hui, Aesthetic Consultant. I-Clear is incorporated into the gunk-eliminating Clear Blue Facial at SW1 Spa, a trademark 5-step cell-calming process to refresh and restore a flawless complexion. It is also part of Clarity Program to offer an escape from bad flareups with maintenance.

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Hi Doc

When it’s been 3 to 6 months (or seemingly forever) since your skin was a healthy and clear canvas, and it seems no amount of creams or facials are gonna cut it, head to your dermatologist. “Combination therapy works better in the long term for treating acne,” says Dr Toby. As such, skin doctors often suggest a holistic treatment approach – a customised combination of oral and/or topical medications with light therapy – as remedy to troubled skin.

SW1 Clinic’s Purity Program is designed around the Vbeam Perfecta laser, one of the most effective FDA-approved laser for acne treatment. By targeting the root cause of acne – overactive oil-producing sebaceous glands – this laser achieves a better effect when complemented with ultrasound to regulate oil production and purge both white and blackheads for a long-lasting refined complexion.

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