Credits: Newscrab

The mid-day sheen on my face was the bane of my existence, before I joined the Porcelain team. The oil made me look that much more unprofessional before the final interview, less attractive before the important date, less… me. That said, I’ve since learnt to be more confident in my own skin (literally and figuratively), and I’ve also learnt why my forehead’s constantly shiny when my skin’s supposedly dehydrated (not dry)!

I’ve also learnt that my guilty pleasure of washing my face to get rid of the oil and gunk in the middle of the day is completely okay – amongst other things. So here’s answering a question we got on our latest #DearPauline column with MTV VJ Hanli Hoefer:

 


Would you recommend a mid-day facial cleanse for a person whose job requires extended physical activity throughout the day?

– @gadfitsgp


 

The answer is yes – just do it the right way.

 

TIP 1. MID-DAY CLEANSING:
THE ONE THAT MOST THINK MIGHT BE WRONG, BUT IS ALRIGHT

It’s not really a matter of when, but how you wash your face. Use a hydrating, sulphate-free cleanser that doesn’t strip your skin of its natural moisture. This helps refresh your skin while replenishing it with moisture, so it’s less likely to think it’s too dehydrated and produce oil as a result. Go on with that mid-day cleanse, now!

TIP 2. TONING & MOISTURISING RIGHT AFTER:
THE ONE THAT MOST MISS OUT, BUT SHOULDN’T:

After the mid-day wash, remember to reapply your moisturiser and sunscreen afterwards. You’d done it once in the morning, so there’s no reason to skip it now. You’d washed off not just the oil, but the moisturizer and sun protection you previously had on as well. It’s not okay to miss out on this step.

Opt for an alcohol-free, moisturizing emollient that contains natural oils like jojoba or rose. Alcohol dries the skin – and we know what happens then…

TIP 3. BLOTTING:
THE ONE THING MOST PEOPLE DO, BUT ISN’T OKAY

Credits: Into the Gloss

We’re all guilty of this one. Blotters look really gross after they’ve been on our faces, but the more saturated they are with oil, the deeper the pleasure it secretly gives us. But that’s just one more thing I’ve learned. Blotters take away the oil but to compensate for that, your skin starts pumping out more. Often, this leads to clogged pores and acne – the very things we were trying to avoid. Powdered blotters are even more criminal because the powder not only clogs pores, but pushes the dirt and excess oil deeper in.

Blotters are marketed as a quick-fix, and while they’ll give you 5 minutes of gratification, they don’t help to fix the real root of the issue. What you need is to regulate your sebum and pH levels, which are processes that happen beneath the skin’s surface.

Instead, help yourself to that mid-day cleanse. Just remember Tips 1 & 2 to make sure you’re helping, rather than harming, your skin!

Stay True,

 

 

 

 


 

WAIT, WHAT’S #DEARPAULINE?

Think “Aunt Agony”, the advice column for personal problems, except “#DearPauline” is our version of a personal BEAUTY advice column! We will have it up on WearOhWhere for just 3 months and the first is up here! Like our #BareWithMe campaign and in collaboration with the amazing Wear Oh Where, we collaborate with different women from all walks of life and our first installment of #DearPauline (with Hanli Hoefer) is up now.

Hanli Hoefer

Image credits: Wear Oh Where

Woman with Acne

 

We’re back with a new #DearPauline post to address your skin concerns, particularly acne this week!

In our last post, we covered some concerns that tackled dull and sensitive skin. This week, however, we go head on and address a very common skin concern which you may have or are currently experiencing: the (very much-dreaded) acne.

But first, an introduction to acne and its causes

Acne is a skin problem that affects almost all teenagers. The condition results from the action of hormones on the skin’s oil glands (sebaceous glands). The sebaceous glands make an oily substance called sebum that empties onto the skin surface through the hair follicle opening (pore). The mixture of oil and cells allows bacteria that normally live on the skin to grow in the follicle openings. When this happens, pores become clogged and pimples develop.

While there is a multitude of causes that contribute to the appearance of it such as lifestyle and hereditary factors, to name a few, the more common causes are:

  • Excess oil production
  • Hair follicles clogged by sebum (or oil) and dead skin cells
  • Bacteria (e.g P.acnes bacteria)
  • Hormonal imbalance

 

Toy with freckles

Here’s a question from Sunita Pong (@sunitapong):

 


“I’ve been battling hormonal adult cystic acne for half my life, and have tried just about everything and anything under the sun to counter the breakouts.  I haven’t tried targeted facials as I worry they might exacerbate my current skin condition. Are there any solutions to this?

– @sunitapong


 

…and here’s our answer:

Thanks for the question, Sunita!

Battling hormonal cystic acne is painful, both physically and emotionally, and we understand. Acne treatment is our forte and we have dealt with many cases like yours. This requires professional care. Dermatologists typically prescribe topical steroids, retinol (oral or topical), antibiotics, lasers and chemical peels. But we have many clients who want more natural alternatives with less potential side-effects.

Facials can work, but as your skin is extremely delicate, we need to go through a very long process (6 months to 1 year) to help reduce bacterial infections, balance your skin’s pH and improve its resilience. Although it is a long process, we are treating the root of the issue, and this will help significantly reduce acne in the long run. To do this, we use a combination of treatments (with customised frequencies) with a prescribed series for homecare, and we require the client to work really closely with us.

 


 

Here are some acne-related posts we’ve done previously which will aid you in your battle:

Acne Busters

Understanding Acne – Why Some People Get It And Others Don’t

Best Acne-Fighting Ingredients

 


 

WAIT, WHAT’S #DEARPAULINE?

Think “Aunt Agony”, the advice column for personal problems, except “#DearPauline” is our version of a personal BEAUTY advice column! We will have it up on WearOhWhere for just 3 months and the first is up here! Like our #BareWithMe campaign and in collaboration with the amazing Wear Oh Where, we collaborate with different women from all walks of life and our first installment of #DearPauline (with Hanli Hoefer) is up now.

Hanli Hoefer

Image credits: Wear Oh Where

When we began our #BareWithMe and #DearPauline journey with WearOhWhere, we were sure we might encounter roadblocks along the way. After all, vulnerability and baring it all aren’t concepts many would be comfortable with – and on social media at that. Through having honest conversations with women who are influential in their own ways, we hoped to inspire the average, everyday lady to similarly gain the courage and open up to share their own stories. To reveal the most real you and to find beauty in that — and in others’ truest selves. And today? We’re 3 stories in: Botanical artist Lucinda Law, MTV VJ Hanli Hoefer, and now, co-founder of Love, Bonito, Viola Tan — who really hits the nail on the head. She sums up a large part of our purpose in rolling this project out:

“When we are willing to show that we are human and stop trying to appear “perfect”, when we open up about our struggles, we might just be helping someone else find strength in their vulnerability.”

Credits: Wear Oh Where

Opening up with us, Viola shares insight after powerful insight. A personal favourite?

“If you tie your happiness to another person’s appraisal of you, you’ll never be happy.”

She also divulges her idea of a safe space, what introversion means to her, and an assortment of quotes that lent her strength in times when all seemed lost. She even shares her quick tip for jetlag and a hangover – something we can’t say we condone, but we’ve all had those!

When we started this campaign, we weren’t too sure how it would pan out. But we’ve experienced nothing less than extremely genuine, personal stories and candid moments of laughter. Behind the powerful, public personas that most see, our 3 women really are more human than we might have thought. It was a humbling experience to read their stories where they bared what they could in the short time we had with them. And we invite you to do the same.

If you’d like to be a part of our #BareWithMe campaign, simply hop on our bandwagon and share one thing which you feel grateful for today, and why, here. To thank you for sharing, we have a little something special for you — one 60-minute OxyReviveTM facial treatment with us (worth S$212.93) + our absolute favourite Soothe — Deep Hydrating Lotion (120ml, worth S$69) — to give away at the end of the month.

Oh, and Viola’s word for 2018?

Courage.

Read our latest #BareWithMe episode here.

Other Related Reads:

Catch up with our previous #BareWithMe and #DearPauline interviews with Lucinda Law and Hanli Hoefer too.

#INSIDERNEWS – #BareWithMe Campaign 2018

#DearPauline: Our Very Own Beauty Column!

#BareWithMe – Guilty Pleasures Are Okay. Really.

 

Stay True and Bare with Me,

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve kicked off our first #DearPauline beauty column with some really good questions. For those of you who don’t yet know, we’re working together with WearOhWhere for this column from now till June, in a very genuine effort to help those of you with skincare woes. We’d covered these concerns on Porcelain Exposé before, so here are a few questions we’d garnered that we can quickly share additional tips for!

My skin has been looking dull and tired lately. What’s the best way to get a glow and rejuvenate my skin? I’d love to know some handy tips and tricks!

This is a question we regularly get! We’d just finished a series of #GetYourGlowOn stories in time for Christmas last year, but there’s no reason you can’t apply these tips all year long. Read these handy entries to find out how easy it is to get fresh, radiant skin.

#GetYourGlowOn: 5 Skin Tips to Revive Dull-Looking Skin In Time For X’mas

#GetYourGlowOn: Rescue & Restore: 4 Steps to Restore Glow to Post-Holiday Skin

Credits: Babe & Beauty

Recently, my skin has gotten very easily irritated and reddish. Is there a way I can make them disappear as quickly as possible?

Two common skin concerns Asians face with our tropical climates are redness and sensitivity. There could be many contributing factors like hormones, a change in climate, excessive laser / chemical peels, etc., but how do we fix it? Aloe Vera is an excellent option but be sure to find stabilised Aloe Vera in high concentrations for maximum benefits. You might also need to update your home-care regime — to eliminate products that may contain Retinol (Retin-A), Glycolic Acid, and Sulphates. Last but not least, it’s best to hydrate skin with a good, non-comedogenic moisturizer.

The fastest fix would be to go for a facial!

Read more about sensitive skin here, and how our signature Sun Rescue treatment could be a godsend for such cases. Another option would be Red LED with Oxygen Spray with a Hydrating Concoction – consider our award-winning OxyRevive treatment.

Credits: Kale and Caramel

Is it wise to make those “well known” DIY face masks? Can such masks make any difference at all to our faces?

That’s a really relevant question which MTV VJ Hanli brought up as well in our February column!

Using natural ingredients requires proper preparation. There’s a risk of bacterial infection and, in worst-case scenarios, allergies. Professionally-prepared products have the hard work done for you – for example, 60 roses are needed to derive just one drop of rose oil. These then go through various processes to be “transformed” into molecules that the skin can readily absorb. We have treated a case of skin-burn caused by direct application of lemon juice, so we are extremely careful about doling out DIY advice. We reckon finding a skincare specialist whose advice you can trust might be a much better alternative!

We’ve gathered a few more questions than these and will be posting a few more dedicated entries for these over the next week or two. Stay tuned and in the meantime, keep the questions coming and you might walk away with an OxyReviveTM treatment (U.P. $212.93) and our Soothe – Deep Hydrating Lotion (U.P. $69)!

 

 

 

 


 

WAIT, WHAT’S #DEARPAULINE?

Think “Aunt Agony”, the advice column for personal problems, except “#DearPauline” is our version of a personal BEAUTY advice column! We will have it up on WearOhWhere for just 3 months and the first is up here! Like our #BareWithMe campaign and in collaboration with the amazing Wear Oh Where, we collaborate with different women from all walks of life and our first installment of #DearPauline (with Hanli Hoefer) is up now.

Hanli Hoefer

Image credits: Wear Oh Where

 

droplet of water

Credits: Eric Didier

If you’ve experienced acne, you’ve most probably come across the word from reading acne-related content. Although we know too much of it causes acne, what exactly is sebum?

 

WHAT ARE YOU, SEBUM?

Sebum, Latin for “fat”, is secreted via sebaceous glands which can be found virtually everywhere on our skin (even in the ear canals!). The only exceptions are our palms and soles (thankfully).

Sebum can be a tricky thing to handle. When you have just the right amount of this filmy, sticky substance, it helps protect your skin. Too much — you’ll probably be combating acne.  Too little? You could end up with dry, cracked skin.

 

SAY HELLO TO YOUR “FRIENEMY”

male toy with freckles

Credits: Scott Webb

Sure, sebum can make your skin appear shinier or oilier, but it can actually be good for it! It keeps your skin healthy and prevents it from losing moisture. Working as a waterproof shield, it not only prevents moisture from going out but also prevents too much of it from getting in.

We’ve mentioned previously that achieving equilibrium is key to naturally smooth and glowing skin. When your skin is out of balance, sebaceous glands tend to overproduce sebum, which clogs up your skin pores and disrupts said flow. Dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, combined with excess sebum from beneath, meet in the pores. This results in clogging and the proliferation of P.acnes bacteria inside. As a result, acne lesions, blackheads, and whiteheads will begin to form on your skin.

 

WHAT CAUSES SEBUM OVERPRODUCTION?

You may be thinking, “I’ll simply wash off the excess oil to prevent breakouts”.

Well, don’t!

Washing your face excessively to remove sebum will only temporarily improve the appearance of the skin. This is due to the production of sebum occurring underneath the skin’s surface, and washing does little or nothing to affect the production of sebum. Even worse, it might stimulate sebum production into overdrive with every wash, as your skin thinks it’s too dry!

“So, how do I control sebum production?”

We hear ye! How much sebum your skin produces is largely dependent on your hormonal production, due to a particular hormone named dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is why people tend to have more acne problems during puberty. Also, contrary to popular belief, sebum production (or overproduction) has no direct correlation with what you eat. The fats and oils in our diet are broken down in the digestive system, and there isn’t a pathway to your skin.


All hope is not lost. Keep a lookout for our next article for a proper method for washing your face to help control sebum production. In the meantime, keep your pores clean to prevent pesky acne from forming!

‘Til next time!