At the risk of jinxing myself, I decided to write this post to share some
weird things I do to cope with acne. The occasional zits make their appearance, but when it comes to my skin, I have been conditioned to be easily contented. Don’t expect to see flawless, baby smooth skin on my face. I don’t ask for much, as long as there are no flaring red pimples or super clogged pores, I’m a happy girl. ^_^*
I feel like I can never tire of writing skin or skincare-related posts. My skin condition is always changing, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. For now, I am very happy with the state of things and I want to document for myself and share with you guys what I experimented with.
#1: Smile for your skin
Okie, let me get the silliest one out of the way first HAHA
If you are a fellow sufferer regular of acne outbreaks, long-term acne, psoriasis, eczema or any kind of skin condition, confidence can be in short supply. 🙁 Smiling is a positive reaction caused by a physical or psychological stimulant, but you can also fake a smile first to trick your brain into thinking you're happy. Joy begets joy.
Without fail every morning, the first thing I do is look at my skin in the mirror. It's a habit cultivated from when the trauma happened and I scrutinized my skin every 15 minutes to see if new pustules emerged. Now, even when my skin is going through rough times, I still try to smile. I always remind myself that 'IT COULD BE WORSE'. So when it's bad, I smile; when it's good, I smile more! ^_^
I know it sounds silly, but smiling at yourself first thing in the morning can lift your spirits and have a distinctive positive affect on other aspects of your life. I know it's hard - I really do - but give it a try!
#2: Use potable water
Myth: Hot water opens pores and cold water closes them.
Fact: Pores do not have muscles to open or close. Rinsing your face with cold water will not tighten your pores and using hot water can dehydrate skin.
I use slightly cool tap water, but what’s more important is that I only use water that is safe for drinking. Tap water in Singapore is safe for drinking so that's alright for my skin, but when I travel to other countries, I use only bottled water for my face. It might sound a little excessive, but one too many skin outbreaks from using dirty or hard water has taught me to be cautious. When I was in Phuket for a holiday, tap water came out brown. @_@" There are so many things that can trigger sensitive skin and dirty water is high on my list of triggers.
#3: Skin Devices
This is a matter of preference. Some people swear by cleansing only with fingers, but I have come to love using the Philips Visapure, which I started using a couple of years ago and am still a great fan of. When I use my fingers, I tend to be lazy and cut short the length of time necessary for a complete cleanse. The Visapure forces me to commit a whole minute to the act until it stops automatically, and helps me do the dirty work, literally. All I do is hold the device and roll it across my skin. I use the sensitive brush head and have repurchased it several times.
Tip #4: Aesthetic Treatments
Home-care is important, but without the help of professional treatment, I don't think my skin can look as good as it does now.
(Update 2020: I no longer go for facials nor aesthetic treatments, instead I have established my own skincare routine through years of trial and error. More skincare posts here.)
I started my first aesthetic treatment at Astique Clinic in August 2016. Having experienced a variety of skin treatments to find the most suitable one, we concluded that my sensitive and acne-prone skin responds the best to Radiance EX. There are four steps to the treatment after the skin is thoroughly cleansed.
Step 1: Nd:YAG Laser
Step 2: PPx IPL
Step 3: Cool Touch Laser
Step 4: Chemical Peel or Microdermabrasion
Laser to dry up active pustules and encourage skin renewal
My skin GLOWS after the treatment and while I do still continue to get the occasional pimple or two at the chin area due to hormonal issues, the general skin texture is smooth and plump. The number of clogged pores have reduced tremendously, and it's such a joy to be able to touch my skin and not feel like I'm touching the road. Lol.
Dead skin seems to surface more obviously making it easy to gently 'scrape' them off. I asked Dr Ng whether it's the effect of the treatments, and he said no. But whatever, as long as I can remove them dead skin! 😀
People with clearer skin generally prefer Dual Yellow for brightening and maintenance, and those with acne skin tend to respond better with Radiance EX. I tried both, and the latter really worked better for my troubled skin.
Dual Yellow Treatment @ Astique
Besides lasers and chemical peels, I've also got nose fillers and jaw Botox. Dr Ng uses a cannula insertion technique that requires only one needle insertion point. I was scared the first time I did it coz I didn't know what to expect; it was easier the second time round. I realized just a small quantity at the bridge of the nose makes a nice difference!
#5: Reduce Irritation From Chemicals
I wash my hair every night. After blow-drying my hair, I clip my bangs up and keep the rest of it away with a claw clip. Try as much as possible to keep hair off your face because oils, conditioners, pomades, even some hairsprays can make you break out. When I go out, the bangs come down so I guess if a product doesn’t sit well with my skin, my forehead with a bush of hair down its front will be the first to suffer. So far, fortunately, I haven’t experienced acne caused by hair products. **touch wood!**
It’s hard to pinpoint which product or ingredient irritates the skin, but if you do experience skin irritation or acne on the hairline or forehead, you might want to switch out the product. What could cause problems for one could be totally fine for someone else, so it’s really trial and error. To help reduce any chance of product contact with the skin, tilt your head as far back as possible when you shampoo, condition, and rinse.
I am an advocate of daily washing. In the heat and humidity of Singapore, and with such thick hair, going to bed without washing my hair makes me feel so uncomfortable I’ll get out of bed at 3am just to wash it. Just imagine the compounded oil and dirt on the scalp, then imagine all that grossness caressing your skin. Ew!
In case you're interested, I am on my third repurchase of Tresemme hair products >> Read the review here
#6: Sweat It
Working out may not rank high (or at all) on the list of our to-dos, but the glow on my skin after a workout and days after that is proof that exercising works wonders for the skin! Sweating is the body’s way of detoxing the body, it purges toxins that can clog pores and plague skin with pimples.
Before a workout, I make sure to remove all traces of makeup and rinse oil and dirt off my skin. I Dayre-ed about my envy of women who can afford to work out with full makeup on. I’d love to look great too, but if being bare-faced is what is necessary to prevent impurities from entering my skin, and is what it takes to achieve better skin out of the gym, then bare-faced it shall be. While working out, I always have a towel or tissue to wipe off dripping sweat. After working out, I wait till my skin has slightly cooled and there is no more sweat, then rinse again with water.
Ever since I upped my game in the workout department, I’ve seen improvements in my skin so if working out helps keep the blood circulation going and toxins at bay, then I will continue to workout, at least three times a week, if not for health, then for vanity! 😛
#7: Find The Right Products
Finding the right products takes a lot of time. A lot of trial and plenty of error go into attaining the right mix. I do switch up my skincare products once in a while, but I introduce them into the routine one at a time and always perform a patch test on my neck. If you have sensitive skin, avoid heavily perfumed products.
Here are my current daily skincare products:
- Makeup Remover - Eucerin Micellar Cleansing Fluid
- Cleanser –Tatcha Powder Enzyme (review), Skintech MD Rho Cleanser
- Eye Cream - Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum
- Moisturizer – Physiogel Calming Relief Face Cream
- Acne treatment – Differin
Yup, very simple and basic.
Through the years I've written several posts on the skincare products I use at the moment, you might find them useful!
Acne and Health: What Your Body Is Trying To Tell You With Pimples!
Skin & Life After Facial Incident: What You’ve Always Wanted To Know – Part 1
Skin & Life After Facial Incident: What You’ve Always Wanted To Know – Part 2
Your Questions Answered: My Skincare Regime
Here’s How My Skincare Routine Has Changed After 2 Years
For more skincare-related posts, check out the Skincare category. Thanks for reading! 😀