The journey to embracing one’s imperfections is very personal – some find their way by prioritising their self-care, others through friends and family, while some find their way by breaking through personal boundaries and comfort zones.   

Welcome to #MyimPerfection – a collection of real stories, graciously shared by individuals on their path to embracing their true selves, unabashed and unmasked.    

This month, we were blessed with the opportunity to listen to a story from a different perspective – one of liberty found beyond boundaries.   

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Despite the early morning rain, the mood at the seemingly serene Porcelain Face Spa was bright and teeming, eager to meet our guest for this instalment of the #MyimPerfection series. – Derrick. Much like the spa itself, Derrick’s initial calm and composed energy soon melted away for unbeatable confidence and infectious laughter that made the conversation lively.

What is your imperfection? 

“It was acne problems for me. I started dealing with it in my teenage days and it was terrible.”  

Seeking solutions to manage his acne by himself, Derrick turned to beauty forums. Not armed with sufficient knowledge at the time, he started to follow the forum’s DIY solutions – from mixing apple cider vinegar with rose water to only sticking to 3 skincare steps to minimise pore congestion. Derrick dabbled in various remedies and skincare products, believing they would help his skin. However, these homemade concoctions never gave him the skin of his dreams. Instead, it caused his oily-combination skin to turn sensitive.   

As Derrick progressed to university, his self-esteem and confidence took a hit.   

“I was pursuing a business degree, which entailed a lot of presentations. Standing and presenting next to friends who had flawless skin and looked good eventually caused me to lose my sense of confidence.”  

Throughout his schooling experience, he braved through comments made about his skin – from those suggesting he needed to do something about his skin to statements that played to negative university faculty stereotypes.   

“I couldn’t lift my head up when I was out, which meant that I stayed home a lot, just to avoid having people look at my skin. There was even an instance where I heard a child ask their mum what happened to my face. It was awful.” 

At the time, Derrick was still relying upon the advice of forums and testing various products in hopes of finding the right solution. Surprisingly, Derrick shared that he did not consider facials as he was held back by traditional views about the service.   

“I never believed in facials as I adopted the traditional mindset that in society, only women and effeminate men were allowed to experience facials.”  

However, this view was soon about to change.   

A moment of liberty beyond boundaries… 

After entering the workforce, Derrick felt that his career was being held back by his skin and decided to search for long-term skincare solutions – even prepared to consider the once-taboo option of facials.  

“It was a rather vain decision but it occurred to me while I was reading a magazine. All the successful people you see were all well-groomed. For me, to advance my career, it was important to have good skin as it shows others you can take care of yourself and by extension, a team.”  

That was ultimately the turning point for Derrick – leading him to take up his friend’s recommendation at a local facial spa known as Porcelain.   

Believing in the recommendation, Derrick gave Porcelain a try in 2020 and had not turned back since.   

“When I caught up with university friends, they noticed my skin improved. I felt more confident in my presentations and I even realised that my bosses were fielding me for more senior management discussions.” 

Since then, Derrick’s relationship with his skin grew beyond the occasional facial. This included a robust skincare routine that he never lives without (even when travelling pre-COVID), investing in his skin through his lifestyle habits and diet.   

“I’m more careful with my diet – making sure to reduce oily foods, dairy and caffeine. I also make sure I get my 7 hours of sleep as much as I can.” 

A piece of advice for my younger self: 

“It’s important to research but not overdo it, to find a reputable company you can trust and avoid DIY as you may not know what product works best for your skin. Most importantly, never be afraid to try something.” 

And a piece of advice for those experiencing similar imperfections: 

“If I can overcome my skin imperfection, so can you.” 

Derrick’s Favourites: 

Though he first started his Porcelain skin journey with OxyRevive and saw his skin improve drastically with the Quintessential, Derrick’s favourite was Cryotherapy.   

For products, Derrick admitted that it was hard to pick his favourite.  Eventually, he concluded that the HA+ Hydrating Serum was his must-have. “It helped me a lot. Before using it, my skin was dry and sensitive but after introducing it into my routine, I swear by it.”

The Porcelain Difference: 

“I love the homely feeling at Porcelain, especially Porcelain Face Spa. It gives me a sense of comfort and that I’m being well taken care of.”  

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We would like to thank Derrick for sharing his journey and providing a perspective we rarely get to see. We hope it sheds a comforting light on your journey to embracing your own imperfections. Know that your beauty is more than meets the eye and is a result of your unique experiences. We will always be here to journey with you as you embrace them.    

Love, Porcelain. 

“Freckles are a symbol of freedom,” said Ross Burton. Freedom from makeup and cover-ups. What was once covered is becoming an openly embraced beauty trend. All around the world, individuals are donning faux freckles. The trend has gotten so popular that pens specially made for that very purpose now exist too!  

Despite the trend and sky-rocketing popularity, not everyone shares the appreciations for them. In fact, some might feel uncomfortable with their pigmentation spots. If you’re one of those looking to feel more comfortable in their skin, this is just the article for you!

pigmentation

Credit: Tommy van Kessel

Pigmentation Vs Hyperpigmentation- What’s The Difference?

We know you might be wondering – there’s a difference?

While the terms are often used interchangeably, they mean very different things.

Pigmentation gives us our skin tone. It is a result of the pigment melanin, which is made by cells known as melanocytes. Hyperpigmentation, on the other hand, is the result of an overproduction of melanin. These hyperpigmentation spots can be caused by a variety of reasons (which we cover later on). When treatments state that they can remove pigmentation, they actually lighten hyperpigmentation instead.

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is caused when excess melanin is produced. But what causes this over-production? While there are many causes – each different for every person – here are the 3 common types of hyperpigmentation and their causes: 

1. Sunspots

Sunspots, sometimes known as liver spots or age spots, can be caused by sun exposure and ultraviolet (UV) light exposure such as tanning beds. As such, sunspots are usually found on parts exposed to the sun, such as the face and arms. These spots form because the body’s melanocyte cells react to the UV rays. This causes an increase in melanin production, which is the skin’s natural protection against UV damage. Sunspots are commonly found in people with fairer skin tones.

2. Hormonal fluctuations

Usually known as Melasma or Chloasma, the ‘Mask of Pregnancy’ mostly occurs in pregnant women. Hormone fluctuations of oestrogen & progesterone cause over 90% of pregnant women to experience this condition. These dark patches are similarly caused by an overproduction of melanin, in response to the hormones produced by the body.

3. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)

PIH spots are usually found where previous injury or inflammation occurred. These are common in people with acne and are more likely to affect individuals of darker skin tones. A common misconception is that PIH and acne scars are the same. Though both may initially start as a darker patch of skin, PIH typically fades after some time while scars remain on the skin for longer periods. Plus, acne scars, take either of 2 forms: a loss of tissue – pitted or depressed scars, or an overgrowth of tissue – raised scars. For more information on acne scars, check out this article!

hyperpigmentation skin

Credit: Melanie Kreutz

Now let’s get down to business! IPL is quickly becoming the most popular method of hyperpigmentation removal in Singapore, but what is it all about?

How Does IPL Treatment Work?

IPL or Intense Pulse Light is a treatment that emits a broad spectrum of light wavelengths in brief pulses to heat and breaks down hyperpigmentation in the skin. After the treatment, the broken down hyperpigmentation either manifests on the skin’s surface as scabs, shedding away in about a week, or gets removed by the body’s lymphatic system. 

What Should I Do Before My IPL Facial?

Ensure any products containing retinoids or vitamin A ingredient have been stopped for a week before going for the treatment.

Take note that IPL is not for everyone, and the facial is unsuitable for the following individuals:

  1. Pregnant women
  2. Individuals with skin tones darker than 5 on the Fitzpatrick scale
  3. Individuals with photosensitive skin, a tendency to develop keloids, active eczema, thyroid disorder or Active Herpes Simplex
  4. Individuals with sunburns, broken or extremely dry skin, sensitised skin or skin cancer
pigmentation treatment at porcelain skin

How Is The IPL Facial Process Like?

Now that you’re all set for your IPL facial, here’s what you can expect in the treatment:

A highly trained therapist will prep your skin by double cleansing and exfoliating. Products to conduct these steps are selected based on your skin type and needs. Once your skin is ready, a medical-grade IPL device is used to deliver the treatment. During the procedure, you may feel a snapping sensation paired with bright flashes of light. This has been described as something similar to having an elastic band being ‘snapped’ on the skin.

While this may sound daunting, you need not worry as the snapping sensations only last for 1 –2 minutes!

At Porcelain, out ZapBright™ facial for removing hyperpigmentation utilises IPL yellow light to zap excess melanin, lightening these dark spots. The yellow light also reaches deep into the skin to encourage skin rejuvenation and fibroblast repair, give you brighter, tighter and more youthful-looking skin!

Is There An Aftercare Routine?

After your IPL hyperpigmentation removal facial, follow these steps to reap all the benefits of the treatment:

  1. Stay out of direct sun exposure for the next 14 days
  2. Apply SPF to protect your skin from (further) sun damage.
  3. Lather up on HA+ Hydrating Serum over the next week.
  4. Hydrate your skin Bio-Cellulose mask over the following 3 days for optimal results.
porcelain facial treatment

Alternatives To IPL Pigmentation Removal

For those who have lower pain tolerance or are unsuited for IPL hyperpigmentation removal, don’t panic! Your hyperpigmentation issues can still be helped with these alternatives:

Cryotherapy™ uses Korean medi-technology to chill the skin’s surface up to -10°C. This stimulates microcirculation and restores radiance to dull skin. The CryoStamp reduces redness and inflammation while increasing the absorption of our in-house products. The CryoProbe increases circulation to illuminate skin and lighten scars.

Illuminate™ unites oxygen therapy, microdermabrasion and Vino Therapy. The Italian-made 2 in 1 diamond microdermabrasion involves gentle skin resurfacing and oxygen infusion to brighten skin. Vino Therapy uses a grape wine peel to lighten sunspots. The customised cocktail of products is infused in the skin by Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, increase cellular regeneration and promote healing, reviving your skin’s glow.

Looking for help for other skincare concerns? Check out the articles below to learn more!

“Joy is a decision, a really brave one, about how you are going to respond to life.” 

Wess Stafford.   

There is plenty of joy to be found in the journey to embracing one’s imperfections though few often see it: accepting our bumpy roads and missteps as invaluable learning experiences that pave the way for future greatness.     

Welcome to #MyimPerfection – a collection of real stories graciously shared by individuals on their path to embracing their true selves, unabashed and unmasked. 

This month, we listened in to what seemed like a familiar story – a battle with acne- but what lay underneath was a story of perseverance littered with the rare choice of joy. 

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The gloomy weather that afternoon had set the mood for a calm, mild and cosy conversation. This was quickly turned on its head when Esther arrived at Porcelain Origins. As she greeted the team around her, her beaming smile and chirpy tone instantly lifted the mood and put everyone at ease. Melodic laughter and lively conversation filled the spa as Esther got ready with our makeup artist. Her warm aura and infallible smile made it impossible to detect the true nature of her journey to embracing her imperfections. 

What is your imperfection? 

“I’ve been battling acne for a very long time and it really affected me. Subconsciously, when you have acne, you just don’t feel as comfortable. You wonder what others think of you: if they’re judging you or staring at your acne.”  

At the beginning of her skin journey, Esther’s skin knowledge was limited much like everyone else. This led her to rely heavily on the recommendations of her family and friends.  

“When I was younger, my friends would always point out what products had worked for them and seeing their flawless skin convinced me to try them out.”  

While trying and testing the wide variety of suggested solutions, Esther went for facials which begun to stabilise her condition. When her skin had finally gotten better, her acne reared its head again when she left for university overseas. The sudden reappearance had left Esther confused as she attempted to decipher the causes of this outbreak.   

“I wasn’t sure what the reason was and it came to a point where I decided to go to a doctor to get help.”  

Through her doctor, Esther was prescribed anti-biotics which had a positive effect on her skin. But she soon realised that it was not a long term solution as her acne resurfaced the moment her prescription was completed.   

Once more, Esther looked to her friends for help. Amongst the many mismatched recommendations and wasted, incompatible products, 2 had left their mark on her. While overseas, Esther was sold on a trending clay mask that was gaining traction for its ability to deeply remove oils and congestion. Though she had not realised it then, the mask had over-exfoliated her skin, causing it to become sensitive. Believing in her friends’ advocacy of the product, Esther continued to give it a go in hopes that it would alleviate her growing list of issues.   

“It took me a while to actually realise that the product was making things worse and I don’t think I would ever want to touch it again.”  

The second was laser treatments. In 2017, Esther decided to laser treatments a try, once more with the endorsement of her friends. Though she was apprehensive about the invasive nature of the procedure, she decided to go along with it as her friends’ saw good results from their experiences. 

Though her initial instincts were correct, she carried on with the treatments only for her skin to increase in sensitivity, to the point where a simple cleanse would cause spots to flare up.   

Finally, a recommendation that worked… 

Even though her skin journey thus far had been littered with ineffective solutions, Esther still chose to continue her search for the right solution that would one day provide her with the joys of healthy skin. 

After completing her university studies overseas, Esther returned home to hear the final recommendation that would change her skin for years to come.   

“I was introduced to Porcelain by my brother.”  

During his time in SMU, Esther’s brother had been involved in a competition in which Porcelain was a participating brand. Through that experience, he found out about Porcelain’s approach and decided to recommend it to Esther who was searching for an effective remedy. Given that she had yet to find the skincare solution that worked for her, Esther decided to give Porcelain a shot.  

“Though I was with Porcelain for a few months, I saw improvements in my skin. Even my friends and colleagues around me said I looked and felt more confident.”   

Even when she went overseas for an extended time or experienced maskne in recent times, Esther was able to restabilise her skin and enjoy the confidence that healthy skin brought.  

Despite the roller coaster ride of trial and error that would have stumped many, Esther chose to face them with a smile in hopes that one day, she would soak in the joys of having healthy skin.   

A piece of advice for my younger self: 

“Don’t just jump into any skincare products without properly understanding your skin and educating yourself on skincare.” 

Esther’s Favourites: 

“I recently tried Illuminate and really enjoy that treatment.” Much like Cellin & Mei Ying, Esther’s journey with Porcelain started with the Quintessential and OxyRevive but as her skin improved and progressed beyond acne, she ventured out to give different facials a try. 

Hydro Cleanser and Glycolic Toner are my staples. I began using Hydro Cleanser when I started my journey at Porcelain and I have not switched it since then. The Glycolic Toner always leaves my skin feeling refreshed. Plus, it helps with exfoliating your skin without making it feel too dry.” 

The Porcelain Difference: 

“It’s definitely the effectiveness. That is something that I personally stand by because it’s proven itself over the years for me.” 

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We would like to thank Esther for sharing her magnetic personality and refreshingly cheer. We hope it sheds a comforting light on your journey to embracing your own imperfections. Know that your beauty is more than meets the eye and is a result of your unique experiences. We will always be here to journey with you as you embrace them.   

LOVE, PORCELAIN. 

Facial acne is a problem that most of us have experienced throughout our lives. While some of us may have only struggled with it during our teenage years, others continue to wrestle with these pesky pimples throughout our lives.

To make matters worse, the new norm of mask-wearing has resulted in red ‘maskne’ bumps for even the best of us.

women with acne

Credit: Polina Tankilevitch

Understanding your Acne

To ensure that we can enjoy healthy skin with minimal breakouts for the long term, we need to manage it from its root causes. 

Acne is commonly caused by a combination of genetics, sebum and dead skin cells build up and hormone fluctuations. Our pores naturally produce sebum which emerges to moisturise our skin’s surface. Improper skincare can lead to dead skin cells and dirt to build up within the pore, causing congestion to form.

This congestion creates the perfect breeding ground for p.acne bacteria – a bacteria responsible for causing inflammation and irritation of the pore – to thrive. All this leads to your skin becoming irritated and inflamed; these pimples are screaming for help! 

Custom Blended Mask for acne treatment

Porcelain’s Cult-Favourite Acne Facial

1. Quintessential™

At the top of the list, we have our award-winning Quintessential™ treatment. This is the treatment for more acute facial acne. Every extraction therapist in Porcelain undergoes a minimum of 500 hours of training to ensure absolute precision when conducting extractions. Additionally, the Quintessential’s extractions go deeper than most others, thoroughly cleansing congested pores. 

While seemingly intense, the 120-minute-long procedure promises a deep cleanse to decongest and smoothen your skin texture!

With the deep extractions, do not be alarmed by the redness that occurs in the next 1-2 days. Just remember to sufficiently hydrate and protect your skin with SPF to ensure a proper recovery. To prevent further congestion or inflammation, avoid wearing make up for the next 3-5 days.

2. OxyRevive Plus™

Have a low pain tolerance but still want to achieve healthy skin?

Our 90-minute OxyRevive Plus™, an enhanced version of the original 60-minute OxyRevive™ would be just right for you!  The OxyRevive Plus™ has all the goodies of its predecessor, with the addition of a shoulder massage and a Shiatsu face massage to improve circulation, reduce puffiness and drain toxins.

The gentle yet effective OxyJet uses a high-velocity jet of saline solution and oxygen to remove surface impurities and dead skin cells. Furthermore, Hyperbaric Oxygen Infusion therapy immerses the skin with a customised blend of serums and nutrients, soothing and encouraging its natural reparative functions.

LED Light Therapy

3. OxyZap

Another alternative for the Quintessential would be the OxyZap, a fusion of the OxyRevive™ and ZitZap™. Utilising the high-velocity OxyJet and Hyperbaric Oxygen Infusion therapy, OxyZap’s main difference lies in the incorporation of intensive pulsed light (IPL) therapy.

Medical-grade IPL penetrates the deeper layers of the skin to trigger our body’s natural wound healing process. A mix of red and blue IPL lights are administered to the skin with utmost precision. The red light reduces inflammation while the blue light kills p.acne bacteria, speeding up the body’s healing process against acne.

Still unsure about which acne facial suits you? Check out our Skin Discovery™ where you get the opportunity to learn more about your skin and how to take care of it!

Not sure if you should sign up for a facial package? You’ve come to the right place! Below we break down what you should do before jumping into facial packages and why facial packages can be great for your skin (and wallet)!

Credit: Cottonbro

Know thyself!

There is much wisdom to be attained when you know yourself – even in the realm of skincare! Plus, we believe that no two skins are alike, and they should not be treated as such! Before you start looking into the types of facial packages spas in Singapore offer, you should know your skin type and condition first.  

Skin type is affected by your genetics. Skin conditions are temporary states of your skin that can be affected by external factors such as unsuitable skincare products, air pollution and being in an air-conditioned environment all day or internal factors such as hormones, lifestyle and stress.  

While there are four primary skin types (normal, oily, dry and combination) skin conditions can be trickier to grasp. Here are some of the common skin conditions: congested skin, dehydrated skin, sensitive skin and sensitised skin 

Looking to better understand your skin type and condition? Check out our simple guide to better understand your skin type and skin condition!

Know thy Ally!

Once you know your own skin type and condition, you’ll want to familiarise yourself with the different types of facial treatments that various spas offer. Each facial spa in Singapore offers facial packages that are usually some sort of combination of the following: extractions, exfoliation, hydration, firming & contouring, express facials.  

In the case of congested skin, one would benefit from extraction treatments as your pores are thoroughly cleansed using precise extraction techniques. For mildly congested skin or for those of us with lower pain tolerance, exfoliation treatments are a great alternative to traditional extractions.  

Hydration treatments are the perfect starter treatment for all skin types. In particular, dehydrated skin would flourish once essential hydration is replenished. Plus, hydrating your skin sufficiently can work wonders in reducing fine lines and wrinkles! 

Sensitive skin and sensitised skin requires a customised and delicate touch. First, the focus would be on restoring the skin’s natural barrier, increasing its ability to protect itself from environmental aggressors and pollutants. Depending on your skin type, the approach to restoring the barrier differs as well!  

Credit: Andrea Piacquadio

So why choose a facial package? Here are some reasons why you’d want to opt for a facial package:

Cost-Effectiveness

Purchasing a facial package in Singapore can be a financially viable alternative to paying for the treatments individually each time you visit. Depending on the facial spa, you could even receive some goodies as part of the package, saving you some money in the process!

Consistency is Key

Healthy skin is a commitment, and you must stick to a regular schedule to achieve the best results. With a facial package in hand, you’ll be encouraged to be consistent in coming for the treatments. Don’t let your investment go to waste by skipping out on appointments! Being consistent also means that spa staff will be more familiar with your skin. This way the therapist can make accurate adjustments and customisations with every visit.   

Special Promotions

In Singapore, purchasing a facial spa package often comes with many perks – from loyalty programs, gifts with purchases and even complimentary treatments! While it is always advised to see facials as an investment in your skin and to purchase facial treatments based on its needs, having these additional goodies to sweeten the deal never hurt!

Credit: Gustavo Fring

Now that you’ve been equipped with the knowledge of what to look out for in facial packages in Singapore, go forth and discover all your facial treatment options at Porcelain