Gone are the days of ‘Cleanse, tone and moisturize’. As skincare becomes more sophisticated, aesthetic standards of what constitutes a flawless complexion have also risen.
We spoke to doctors and other skincare experts to uncover some of the industry’s best hidden secrets to attaining an enviable complexion pronto.
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The old adage about exfoliation is true. Removal of dead cells and built-up skin debris is key to a clear complexion. Topicals penetrate better when your skin is not laden down with extra layers of dead skin cells. Comedones, precursors to dastardly pimple are also kept at bay by this simple spring cleaning exercise.
How: Try a finely granulated scrub like Crystal Healing. You can also opt for a DIY face peel system like Philosophy’s Microdelivery triple acid peel.
Caveat: Do not be overzealous when it comes to scrubbing. If your skin is red and raw after, then you are overdoing it. Treat your skin like a piece of precious silk, not the bathroom floor.
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Chase dull visages away by erasing unwanted discolourations such as age spots and sun spots. A repertoire of complexion-brightening procedures are at hand to help you achieve your goal.
How: Try Forever Young BBL, which balances out skin discolourations while tightening skin with minimal downtime. “For all over skin brightening, consider an oral supplement such as Crystal Tomato, rich in lycopene to give your skin the radiance from within” suggests Dr Low Chai Ling, founder of SW1 Clinic. “A combination of the two gives quickest skin brightening effects n my experience”.
Caveat: Do not undergo lasers when your skin is suntanned as there is a risk of hyperpigmentation.
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If craters are obstructing your skin’s path to absolute smoothness, then pave the way for a better future with a skin resurfacing laser. These lasers stimulate skin renewal so that your complexion looks smoother sans unwanted depressions.
How: Fraxel Dual is a skin resurfacing laser that utilizes a specialized fractionated technology to ensure that downtime is kept to a minimum of 5 days. “Fraxel Restore is the weapon of choice for acne scars” says Dr Kenneth Lee, medical director of SW1 Clinic, whose weapon of choice is Fraxel Dual for patients who desire flawless skin.
Caveat: If you are taking oral medications such as isotretinoin or using topical retinoids, stop them before embarking on such lasers.
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I have been saving for Fraxel procedure. I talked to my surgeon about it, when I was getting my botox a couple of months ago. He said you will love it, that the people that’s had it done, don’t have to wear base makeup anymore. I have wore foundation since I was a teenager. My skin has improved since I have been using skin medical products. But I would love a even skin tone and wrinkles around my eyes when I smile to be less noticeable . It looks like if you have a great surgeon the results are better . So I am really excited about it.
I got my fraxel scheduled I will have 4 treatments , I will have my first one in tomorrow. So I’m excited to improve my skin tone, and texture.
I’m 50, female, history of oily skin and pimples, not cystic acne. Still have active T-zone: oily, occasional whiteheads, milia, seb. hyperplasia, large pores, mild scarring. Worst area is chin and below mouth corners: bumpy, crepey, lots of tiny wrinkles, scars, large pores, thin skin, easily irritated. Also frown lines on forehead even after Botox. These are areas we targeted.
So, the Fraxel laser was set fairly high, several passes mostly on T-zone area, also lots around perimeter of face. Took about 20 minutes. Needed 1 and 1/2 hour numbing beforehand second time, as 1 hour wasn’t quite enough first time. Feels like lots of tiny needles, you really feel it by third or fourth time over an area.
Side effects last about four days, mostly in T-zone area and where she did multiple passes: red, puffy, inflamed, irritated areas, sandpapery, active breakouts, whiteheads, coarse looking, red/brown dots, mild flaking.
Needed antibiotics for an infection first time. Prevented infection second time by using topical antibiotic around nostrils for two days before, and then after. Edema in morning, worst around eyes, you look like Michelin Tire guy. Solved that second time by sleeping with head and shoulders elevated.
Used lots of Cetaphil, mild cleanser, aloe gel and ice packs first day, SinEcch for swelling, ate pineapples to reduce swelling.
Was told would see no change after first treatment, and I didn’t, although was told skin looked a bit “fresher.” Chin area looks the same (day four after second treatment.)
I tried Fraxel Restore laser last year. after the first session, i didnt really see much but was persuaded by my derm to keep trying. after 7 sessions, I must say i noticed a dramatic improvement in my skin. Most of my scars save for one or two deep ones were actually gone. but what i was really surprised about was the improvement in skin texture and skin toning effect. I would recommend this for those who don’t mind looking a little sunburnt-like for 3-5 days post treatment. Definitely needs a coupe of sessions for best effect, so could be hard for the wallet for the budget conscious.
i am 47 and thankfully, my skin still looks relatively lineless. Fr me, regular exfoliation seems to woe, though recently i have switched from a scrub to a monthly peel at my doctor’s office. I am quite conservative when it comes to my skin and have not done lasers. but regular face peels seem to have done the job for me.
i am a big fan of oral supplements. I am on my third month of Crystal tomato and I do feel my skin is brighter. not just on my face but my body as well. I still use a SPF 30, but i do find my skin doesn’t tan quite as fast when i combine my SPF with oral Crystal Tomato supplements. i still see my doc at sloane clinic for them. he says its ok for me to take it long term.