Skincare Tip – Daily Skin Care Essentials (Part I)

Hello lovelies, I am going to share with you my personal list of skincare essentials that I must have these days. I will break the post into a few parts so that its not too long to read. The weather in Singapore has been hot and humid, as well as rather unpredictable these couple of weeks with heavy rain in one moment, and scorching heat the next. Methinks the temperature can go as high at 34 or 35 degrees celsius? Anyway, not the best time to bathe in the sun these days.

My Essentials – Cleansing

Everyone who wants to have good skin knows that cleansing our facial skin is very important step of our daily skincare regime.  If I am wearing makeup, I will first use a mild makeup remover to remove the cosmetics (ie Sephora’s Triple Action Cleansing Water or Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water). The makeup remover will take away the facial oils that has surfaced as well as the compounds of our foundation etc that is left after a long day.  Once that is done, I will wash my face with my favourite amino acid based cleanser, Shiseido’s Senka Perfect Whip Foam which foams up into such fine bubbles that could clean the pores more effectively, together with my trusty Clarisonic. Rinse off after 1 min on Clarisonic, and you’ll have that smooth skin that feels so clean!

About Amino Acid

Those who have been following my blog for a while will know that I have problem skin. I have chosen amino acid based cleansers because they work best with problem skin and causes less irritation. From Love to Know,”Amino acids, at their essence, are peptides. These are proteins, which can have a positive effect upon cells. They can help improve skin that has been scarred or has stretch marks. When used correctly, amino acids seem to be more powerful than an alpha-hydroxy system of skin care in terms of filling lines, smoothing skin and improving tone and color. Even better, they can achieve this with less irritation and photosensitivity.”  From Ping of Health, “Amino acids are today recognized by the skin-care fraternity as the cleansing agent that boasts a pH value that is closest to that of the human skin. Amino acids behave very much like our skin cells; they get a “fever” if temperature exceeds 37 degree Celsius and they will “shrink” if the temperature drops. The enzymes in our epidermis or outer skin thrives best in a mildly acidic environment, as this enables normal metabolism of the horny layer. Such an environment causes only minimal agitation to the keratin protein in the skin, hence will not trigger any concern of skin allergy. It also discourages the production of acne.

Some may find such cleansers to be drying but for combination skin (normal to oily), it worked wonderfully and I have been using it for the last 3 years!

What about your cleansing routine? Did it help you address your skincare concerns?

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Skincare Tip – Daily Skincare Essentials (Part II)

Cleansing is important, so is exfoliation to remove older or dead skin cells on the surface of our skin. Both the process of removing and the removal of the dead skin cells are beneficial to our skin and health because the former helps to improve circulation (its like massaging your skin and relevant acupuncture points along with it); while the latter improves the absorption of skincare products and enables the skin to breathe more easily.

My Essentials – Exfoliation

Exfoliation is important. It supports the renewal cycle of our skin as the renewal process becomes sluggish as we age. Removing the old skin helps to maintain that renewal process, brightens our skin and enables the skin to perform at its best. You can find out more about exfoliation here.  Most skincare experts and aestheticians will tell you that exfoliations should not be carried out too frequently. Depending on what you use, ranging from acids, to scrubs to dermabrasions, exfoliations can be as infrequent as once every month or twice a week. Exfoliation may be more frequent if very diluted compound is included in your facial wash – hence its important that you read the labels and monitor your skin condition closely before and after each exfoliation.

I know I’ve blogged about Abidis Peeling A recently. It has helped to smoothen my skin and allows me to use it in the day time like a normal cleanser.  However, considering the price, I still prefer to use Dr. Wu Special Treatment Intensive Skin Renewal Serum with Mandelic Acid or Cure from Japan. These two products are mild and they only remove the dead skin cells. I will post a review of Cure soon, but this has been a trusted product that I use when I find my skin to be rough or dry. I do not need to worry about it over exfoliating my skin because the product (which is water based) only reacts when it comes into contact with dead skin cells. I can use this product twice in a day without causing irritation to my already sensitive problem skin.

There are many reasons for my skin outbreak, and I did notice that my skin renewal is not as efficient after I turn 30 and many times the acne will come out red and painful. I counteracted the problem with Clarisonic which provides some form of exfoliation whenever I use it. I also make it a point not to use Clarisonic when I have used or plan to use Cure to help remove the dead skin cells – to ensure I am not over exfoliating due to Clarisonic’s more abrasive tendencies depending on the amount of pressure exerted on the equipment. I will, however, use Dr Wu’s Treatment Intensive Skin Renewal Serum if I find that my skin is still rough after using Clarisonic, to enhance the exfoliation.

As for frequency of exfoliation, I only do it when my skin feels rough despite the use of Clarisonic. However, I will not use the products every day or every alternate day because I do not believe in regular exfoliation even when the skin is in good condition. A bit of an overkill, don’t you think?

In any case, I do not use Mandelic Acid products in the day, but more at night. The next day, my skin will look brighter than before and smoother too. Nope, I do not have pieces of skin falling off like some AHA or BHA peels. :p

About Mandelic Acid (杏仁酸)

In an article published by Mark B. Taylor M.D in 1999 issue of Cosmetic Dermatology, mandelic acid is “an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) named after the German mandel (almond) and derived from the hydrolysis of an extract of bitter almonds has been studied extensively for its possible uses in treating common skin problems such as photoaging, irregular pigmentation, and acne.”  In an open trial investigation, it was “shown that mandelic acid is useful in suppressing pigmentation, treating inflammatory noncystic acne, and rejuvenating photoaged skin. Moreover it has proven useful in preparing the skin for laser peeling and in helping the skin heal after laser surgery.”  I would recommend that you read this article for more information on Mandelic Acid before you go grab a bottle to try.

What about your exfoliation routine? Did it help you address your skincare concerns?