Who wouldn’t want a complexion that’s clear, radiant and smooth? Instead of hiding behind a mask of makeup, why not treat the problem at its root and deal with all your skincare concerns? From dullness and enlarged pores to fine lines, we have all the expert tips and tricks that you need to achieve foundation-free perfection.
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Hydration, Hydration, Hydration
If you have dry skin, you should focus on skincare products that contain hyaluronic acid and niacinamide (also known as vitamin B3), says Shane Tan, Brand Manager of MediBeaute. “Hyaluronic acid’s main function is to retain water as it has the ability to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water,” explains Tan. According to him, “it is also good to look for niacinamide, a water soluble ingredient that has the ability to restore our skin’s lipid barrier so that it is able to retain moisture better.”
Whether you’re out living your best life or working overtime to meet an important deadline, late nights and lack of sleep can result in a duller-looking complexion. As a long-time champion for makeup-free skin, Lily Kew, founder of Kew Organics Facial Bar, advises that regular exfoliation can help speed up cell renewal for a more radiant complexion. Try the Kew Organics Divinely Gentle Micro-Exfoliant, $61.60 which gently buffs away dead skin cells and infuses skin with soothing botanicals all at once. Moreover, it also enhances your skin’s ability to absorb other skincare products that you may apply after.
Commit To DIY Facial Massage
Another tip that Kew has to revive sallow-looking skin is to make sure you take a few minutes to give yourself a DIY facial massage. “A simple facial massage increases the blood flow to your skin, which means more oxygen and nutrients are delivered and this in turn results in a healthy and rosy complexion,” she explains. She recommends doing so with a face oil since face oils take longer to fully absorb so you have ample time to “wake” your skin up.
Load Up On Antioxidants
Sometimes, environmental factors can also play a part in how our skin looks. For example, if you’re constantly exposed to UV rays or pollution particles, they can unleash free radicals to wreak havoc on your skin, causing your complexion to look dull and lacklustre. To combat this, make sure you apply sunscreen every morning before stepping out of the house. On top of that, be sure to incorporate antioxidants into your daily routine. According to Chow Yee May, Thann Brand Director, the products under the Shiso collection have powerful antioxidant benefits. Fortified with skin-loving ingredients like vitamins C and E, linoleic acid and glycoproteins, the range protects skin against environmental aggressors. At the same time, botanical extracts like mulberry root, grapefruit and white tea also help to inhibit excessive melanin production to even out skin tone and improve radiance.
Meanwhile, if you’re most concerned with enlarged pores, it is important to understand the underlying factors that are causing them. For example, your pores can look increasingly visible as a result of congestion or a loss in elasticity, or both. To decongest and refine pores, look for ingredients like AHA and BHA (also known as alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid). According to Dr. Toby Hui, Senior Aesthetics Doctor, Freia Medical, “AHA and BHA are classes of organic acids that act as useful exfoliants. They loosen the bonds between dead skin cells that accumulate over time so they can be eliminated, leading to a more refined skin texture and a more even skin tone.” At the same time, Dr. Hui also recommends incorporating retinoids into your routine. “As you age, your skin loses collagen and elastin, which leads to sagging. This also explains why your pores can appear droopy.” Ingredients like retinoids strengthen and firm pore walls, enabling them to appear smaller. Try the SkinBetter AlphaRet Overnight Cream, a two-in-one product which combines the benefits of AHA and retinoid with little-to-no irritation.
Try A Gentle Laser Peel
If you prefer to leave it to the hands of pros, try a Carbon Laser Peel. According to Dr. Hui, it is “the ideal way to slough off dead skin cells and shrink down pores. It uses gentle yet deep-penetrating laser energy to eliminate the rough outer layer of dead skin cells to reveal younger, softer and brighter skin while refining skin texture and regulating sebum production at the same time.
Get Regular IPL Treatments
If you are concerned with enlarged pores, another treatment worth considering is IPL. According to Manon Allano, Managing Director at Estheclinic, “regular IPL treatments can be effective in treating large pores and you will see a long-term improvement in the appearance of your skin”. While a single session mainly gets rid of dead skin cells on the surface, a continued treatment course can also “rejuvenate the skin, stimulate collagen production in the deeper layers of your skin for an inside-out tightening effect”, says Allano.
Don’t Pick At Your Zits
According to Porcelain’s Senior Trainer, Rachel Lin, those experiencing oily and acne-prone skin should never pick at their pimples as that can cause the spread of acne-causing bacteria and cause scarring. “You should also avoid the use of cleansing tools as they may irritate the skin if used incorrectly,” adds Lin. She recommends “consulting with a skincare professional because safe extraction requires skilled aestheticians to apply the right technique and pressure to thoroughly remove clogged impurities without scarring”. Perfect for those with congested skin, Porcelain’s Quintessential™, $425.85 for 120mins, involves an extremely meticulous and thorough extraction session using specially devised techniques. Your therapist will also recommend an after-care routine to help with skin recovery.
Never Skip Moisturiser
“People with oily skin often have the misconception that they do not need to moisturise their skin,” says Lin. “However, most people with oily skin tend to have high sebum levels but low hydration levels. This means that you should still moisturise your skin using an oil-free moisturiser like one that’s gel-based,” advises Lin. Try Porcelain’s Balance Hydraclear Gel, $128 for 50ml, a lightweight gel moisturiser which replenishes hydration, balances skin pH, reduces inflammation and regulates sebum production.
Text: Bernadette Bong-Chan