We sit down with founder, Pauline Ng,  to take a closer look at how customisation runs through the heart of Porcelain, growing from aspirations to development.

Customisation is no stranger to our practice. From the beginning of time, we believed that understanding one’s skin is not limited to the individual as its journey also includes the changes from our day to day.

Taking things a day at a time, even with just our skincare, is no easy task. Which is why the theme of customisation has been refreshed for this time of the year.

“To me, customisation is more about open-mindedness and constant learning.”

Open-mindedness and constant learning is something Pauline reflects in all aspects of growing her business. The beginnings of research and development involve the identification of a need, whilst further research and education comes together to tackle said problem. At the end of this enlightening rabbit hole you find a product displayed proudly in our spas and on webstore.

What follows is the beauty of experimentation and curiosity. The complexities of skin biology are far more erratic than what can be fixed in a one-off session. Monitoring skin changes through time and treating them accordingly with the right products can help you put your best face forward every day. Of course, this should not mean having an arsenal of products on hand everyday. Instead, all you need is to understand the different uses of these products and how they can cater to your different skin needs.

At Porcelain, we begin our journey of each individual with a Skin Discovery Analysis. From there, we monitor your skin’s reactions to treatments, making tiny adjustments along the way. According to your skin condition, different components of the facial are switched out to cater to skin sensitivity and maturity. Once you’re done with a session, aftercare is encouraged with take home products for further skin TLC.

Much like our approach to our services, our products don’t fall too far from the tree. Unknown to many, most of our products are multi-functional, with varying usage simply by adjusting application and dosage. Pauline shares the beginning stages of the Deep Hydrating Lotion and its reception from her peers. From varying climates all over the world, she would get texts raving about how the product has helped with stressed out skin from travelling. She notes that although some uses for the Deep Hydrating Lotion were not initially intended, their functionality continues to be a crowd pleaser. The product, included in our Christmas Gift Guide Sets, is definitely a multi-functional must have in every bag. As a mask in the evening, or a setting spray before you head out the door – it’s soothing capabilities and handy spray nozzle leads it to be highly adaptable to different skin needs, at different times of your life.

Keeping an open mind with product business development is why Porcelain continues to offer the service standards it holds today. With the year winding down to an end, taking the time off to understand oneself is an on-going journey. But much like skincare, constant education and adaptability is the continuous step forward, either in personal growth or skin radiance.

With the year drawing to a close, embrace the gift change with a little helping hand. #GetYourGlowOn Xmas sets have been carefully curated with multifunctional capabilities to cater to your varying skincare needs.

Unwind this festive season and take on the new year with exuding radiance #fromwithin! Happy Holidays from us at Porcelain.

The #GetYourGlowOn Xmas sets and Holiday Gift Guides are currently available on our webstore here. Enjoy complimentary gift wrapping, travel accessories and a Skin Discovery Analysis with each purchase.

Cheerful and carefree, she walks into a room and instantly brightens up the space with her vivacious spirit – one of which that also comes with strict discipline. 

“Balance is the essence of life!”

Credit: WearOhWhere

In our latest edition of “It’s What’s On The Inside That Counts” with WearOhWhere, we round up the new year the best we know how – recounting our journeys over delicious food. We kick off our conversation with Charlotte Mei, avid traveller, host and nutritionist, to look at the big picture – life mantras and her take on every day as it happens. As the year comes to a close, we also take a moment to wind down and show our appreciation for the little things, refocusing on what truly matters.

At Porcelain, we believe that finding #RadianceFromWithin begins with knowing oneself and accepting change as it comes. It’s about dedicating our energies in the right places and on areas that affects us as individuals.

Credit: WearOhWhere

Charlotte shares her take on this in a little tête-à-tête while preparing the “You’re Magni-fig” sandwich – a festive exclusive created just for Porcelain Origins Café.  

The RECIPE

Fig was chosen as the key ingredient since it’s her favourite fruit, and just happens to also be a star ingredient in our Hydrocare Bio-Cellulose Mask. Infused with Fig extract, the mask gets a boost of Vitamin A and C which promote exfoliation and skin renewal for a fresh face.  

Credit: WearOhWhere

Ingredients:
1 slice sourdough
3 tbsp cottage cheese
2 dried figs, sliced
Handful of rocket leaves
1 tsp balsamic glaze
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt, black pepper

Method:
On a lightly toasted slice of bread, spread the cottage cheese and sprinkle some salt over. Lay the slides of dried figs, rocket leaves, and drizzle with balsamic glaze and olive oil. Finish with some cracked black pepper.

“Figs are my favourite fruit – they’re sweet, soft yet crunchy at the same time, and full of fibre. I’m using dried figs in this recipe due to seasonality, but fresh figs are just the best thing ever! Cottage cheese and toast are my favourite combination for a quick snack or breakfast. I like cottage cheese for its subtle flavour and creamy texture, and it’s a great source of protein.”

Credit: WearOhWhere

As a food and wellness advocate, Charlotte narrates her personal journey with food and self-acceptance. She recalls her initial picky eating habits on the high chair. As the years progressed, exposure to travel and food programmes began her interest in food. After having to live alone and provide for herself, her passion for food and nutrition flourished.

Charlotte attributes her strong personal beliefs to her parents who emphasised the importance of self-worth in all aspects – thought, action and behaviour. To build a healthy relationship with oneself, the TLC must begin from inside out. With Charlotte’s skincare as well, as she reaches for products that are made with natural ingredients and is always making sure she’s moisturised. It’s no wonder a frequent touch up from our Deep Hydrating Lotion seems to always freshen up a face, regardless of the time of day.

Credit: WearOhWhere

Understanding the ownership of self, listening to your body and what it needs – it’s the perfect, wind-down read to cap off a new year. We suggest taking it on fresh-face first with a little time to yourself, some indulgent skincare and an open-faced “You’re Magni-fig” sandwich. Sweet, unapologetic, and delightful – just as you should be.

Take in the little moments, one feel-good read at a time. Read the full story here.

The “You’re Magni-fig” sandwich is available at $9.90 at Porcelain Origins Café until 31 December 2019.

You’ve just bought a new, 10-step skincare kit and have all the steps down pat. You’re pretty sure nothing stands in the way of radiant, glowing skin now — nothing, except for those stubborn bumps under your skin. That smattering of blackheads on your nose. Enlarged pores on your cheeks… maybe you have a long way to go before regaining clarity in complexion because of congestion — or clogged pores, if you will.

“My pores still clogged with the day’s wear.
I long for moisture and rejuvenation.”

SHELLS HEART
Credit: Ayo Ogunseinde

TELLTALE SIGNS YOUR SKIN IS CONGESTED

One could have a seemingly smooth complexion but have hidden congestion issues. A quick test to see if you suffer from it — run a hand over your face. If your skin feels bumpy and uneven to the touch, chances are high that it’s congested. More obvious signs that most people are familiar with are blackheads (especially along the T-zone and cheeks) and whiteheads.

WHAT IS CONGESTION?

In layman terms, we like to call it “gunk” or “dirt”. In more formal terms, it’s a combination of impurities, sweat, dead skin cells, sebum and natural oils that become trapped within the pores, causing blackheads and / or whiteheads to form. While whiteheads tend to appear as firm, white bumps, blackheads are clogged pores that remain open and darken due to oxidation.

When pores are often congested and clogged with impurities, they tend to stretch—causing the appearance of enlarged pores.  A lot of times, simply clearing the skin of blackheads and congestion can help reduce the appearance of large and open pores.

CARING FOR CLEARING CONGESTED SKIN

The tips and tricks are many, so regaining smooth, glowing skin from within is very much possible.

DOUBLE CLEANSING

Double Cleansing with a makeup remover / pre-cleanser thoroughly removes environmental pollutants accumulated through the day, making the same job easier for your cleanser. More importantly, pre-cleansing softens your skin so that following products can be absorbed more effectively. Double cleansing is one of the simplest, fastest ways to ensure the skin is thoroughly cleansed of debris, dirt, makeup, and all other incriminating factors needed for congestion to happen.

“Take your time when cleansing – it’s not a step to be rushed.”

EMMA HOBSON
EDUCATION MANAGER FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DERMAL INSTITUTE
AND DERMALOGICA

EXFOLIATION

Exfoliation helps keep your skin clear and more even as it gets rid of flaky skin cells and loosens keratin buildup. Look for exfoliants with fruit enzymes as they are gentler and do a better job of dissolving dead skin cells without irritating or damaging the skin. Even better if the exfoliator returns water to the skin with hydrating ingredients like aloe extracts. The goal here is to revive the skin’s surface while preventing over-drying or irritation. An effective exfoliant does its job without abrasion, helping to clear your pores while also nourishing the skin.

Avoid any exfoliants that contain micro-beads or granules as these are generally more aggravating to the skin.

TONING WITH AHAS

One of the most important parts of the daily skin care routine is toning. It balances the skin after cleansing, calms and lowers its pH level. Toning helps prep the skin for any serums that follow, and removes excess oil your cleanser may have missed. Another perk? It shrinks the size of your pores! Find toners with AHAs, as these break the bonds between weakened skin cells, making it much easier to exfoliate and encourage cellular production. New cells = smoother-looking, healthier skin!

Glycolic and lactic acids are two such sources of AHAs; it gently peels the top layer of the skin, helping dislodge buildup from clogged pores, and with regular use, improves the skin’s overall appearance and clarity. These remove excess sebum, impurities and dead skin cells to clarify the skin to make way for a brighter, clearer complexion.

Remember to always use sunscreen, especially after using products with AHAs to protect your skin from free radicals and UV damage!

GEL-BASED MOISTURISING

Once your skin is primed and prepped for moisture (after all that cleansing, exfoliation and toning), it’s important to use a moisturizer that isn’t too heavy or thick, but provides superior hydration down to the deeper layers of the skin.

It’s a misconception that one shouldn’t apply moisturizers if his / her skin is oily. In fact, it’s a pretty big booboo if you skip this step, especially if your skin is oily! Dehydrated skin often produces more oil because it perceives the skin to be too dry. But if you feed it with water to even out the pH balance, it stops bumping up the sebum production because your skin’s already well-fed.

However, it’s important to find the right moisturizer. These are those that are non-comedogenic, contain hydrating ingredients and occlusives to ensure that skin is hydrated and that hydration is locked within.

If your skin is really dehydrated, consider adding a power-packed serum with ingredients like hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate for a surge of hydration.

Credit: Vishal Banik

“Moisturising your face is also an effective solution to keeping your pores clean. Many people with acne fear that moisturiser will add excess oil to their skin, however if they use the right product this is not the case.”

DR. KATHERINE ARMOUR
DERMATOLOGIST

PROFESSIONAL EXTRACTIONS

Unclogging congested skin can be done faster with the help of professional extractions! As always, don’t pick at your skin or attempt extractions on your own because that introduces more dirt and bacteria to inflamed skin. You know what that means — more bumps, more blackheads, more zits… more congestion!

Extractions are rarely a pleasant experience but you can help make the process a little easier and less painful by prepping your skin for it * gasp. How? Here’s a word you’ve heard countless times in this post alone — hydration.

When your skin is hydrated, it helps soften the surface so it’s more pliable, making it easier to extract comedones and congestion. Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, will harden around the blockages, locking them in place and thus making it harder or even impossible to remove. Before your extractions appointment, boost your skin’s hydration as much as possible with masks and serums! You can thank us later.

Have you ever read a book or listened to a speech and came away from it feeling it was so vacuous, you could sum it up in a line or two? Or, conversely, finished one with your notepad chockfull of hastily scribbled notes of talking points, because there were just so many takeaways? That’s Serena Adsit’s story for us.

Part 2 of our #Origins series that kicked off with Kelly Latimer, Serena’s tale is so unapologetically honest, and revealing in how her history and experiences carved out her story of undeniable internal strength.

PUT YOUR RECORDS ON – CORINNE BAILEY RAE
INTERVIEW WITH SERENA ADSIT - I ROCK TO MY OWN BEAT
Credit: WearOhWhere

“My eclectic background wasn’t traditional in any way, yet I have learned some real important life lessons from the home. You are not your family, and should never let them dictate who you should be… Everyone is an individual, and should have her / his own personal freedom to work towards that. That’s a huge gift my mother has accorded me:
The choice to be whomever I wanted.

SERENA ADSIT
FOUNDER, MINT SINAGAPORE

The Origins series with WearOhWhere was meant to dive deep into our interviewees’ origins — their original birthplaces and cultures and how they influence their present-day selves despite being in Singapore and away from “home”.

When we approached Serena to be a part of this series, her story took a slightly different turn. Instead of focusing on the influence of her mixed parentage, she shared how her history as a model shaped her first views of what beauty was and “should be”, creating a toxic cycle where she silently imposed judgment and expectations on others’ bodies and on her own, in line with how much of the outside world similarly does to women’s (not just models’) bodies. We talked about how, in time, she chose to break her silence on her own flaws and “broke (the) spell of perfection”, and how that granted her relief and a profound sense of freedom.

Serena agreed to the interview, while requesting that we cover more ground beyond “what is beauty, success and happiness”… which forms, I guess, the cotton-candy, fluffier aspects of most interviews with successful entrepreneurs (Serena runs Mint Singapore, a commercial modelling agency that represents talents of all ages, shapes and sizes). We talked beauty and its impositions on society at large, and how her EveryBody movement seeks to change that.

Kind of felt like a throwback to our tough interview with BBC just last year, where we discussed whether beauty businesses were profiteering off people’s insecurities and creating too much pressure on women to look a certain way.

INTERVIEW WITH SERENA ADSIT - I ROCK TO MY OWN BEAT
Credit: WearOhWhere

“Being in the modelling industry, I’ve seen first-hand what unrealistic expectations can do to a person… I’ve spent years hiding my flaws like cellulite, and had boyfriends try to exercise it off me, but worst of all, it not only made me feel bad about myself and my “shortcomings”, it made me judge others based on this unrealistic expectation that I had inadvertently put on myself. That hurts me more than the burden of having cellulite — that I became judge, jury and executioner of what I mistakenly thought “beauty” means. I was done living that way, done hating the way women’s bodies are always under scrutiny. By openly discussing my own perceived flaws, it instantly broke a spell of perfection I have been trying all these years to upkeep. Instantly, I felt it allowed others to breathe a sigh of relief in knowing hey, she’s got issues just like all of us and
none of us are perfect after all.”

SERENA ADSIT
FOUNDER, MINT SINAGAPORE
INTERVIEW WITH SERENA ADSIT - Nephra the cat
Credit: WearOhWhere

Beyond beauty, we talked about resilience, outgrowing friendships and finding magic in life. And played with Nephra, her gorgeous, affectionate, friendly feline.

No more spoilers. Read the full story here.

Stay True,

Detoxification is an integral part of our skincare philosophy — and for the skin’s recovery process, really. It’s one of the biggest processes that’s fundamental and necessary to help us regain clear, radiant skin, but also the most heavily misunderstood. While understandable, it’s also often a misconception… so let’s get straight to the lowdown.

Credit: Dominik Martin
Losing Sleep – Vorsa

WHAT IS DETOXIFICATION?

It’s a slightly misleading term, in the sense that your skin isn’t getting rid of toxins, but rather, clearing out the impurities. This includes the most superficial layer of the skin all the way down to the deepest ones. It means the restoration of the most important thing to skin health — pH levels.

For the uninitiated, detoxification happens in the form of spots and zits. So yes — sometimes, those nasties are good things! Even when they seem to keep. Coming. Back. When you make a deliberate move to detoxify, you’re essentially purging your skin of congestion and dirt — and where else can it go but up and out? This means it’s completely normal to have your skin break out, clear up, and then break out again. It’s called waves of healing.

WAVES OF HEALING

What’s that, you ask? I liken this healing process to decluttering — you don’t stop until it’s all gone. Similarly, when your skin is done cleaning out a pocket of toxins, it starts to clear up. Then, it goes deeper to find another pocket of dust to stake, thus causing another good kind of breakout. It can be tough to ride out these waves and many give up (who likes spots?), but bear with it! Once it’s gone, it’s likely your acne will be, too — if you have patience and the discipline in following a stringent skincare regime, and staying foundation-free.

Credit: Marco Xu

We all have skin woes and goals, but did you know? To get anywhere near your skin goal (be it brightening, anti-aging or a more even skin tone), your skin needs to be as healthy, “normal” and pH-balanced as possible for it to reap maximum benefits from any treatment or product.

WHAT IS PH BALANCE?

“pH” stands for “potential hydrogen” and it measures the acidity of substances. Beneath our skin layers lie our oil and sweat glands, and these contribute to our skin’s pH level – which is approximately 5.5, making it slightly acidic. When our skin is too alkaline, it becomes dry and sensitive, resulting in faster ageing, eczema, etc. When it’s too acidic, it causes inflammation and becomes more susceptible to bacterial infection — expect enlarged pores, blackheads, and acne… Therefore, the trick to healthy skin lies in ensuring that your skin’s pH is balanced at 5.5.

Before all else, we need to get your skin ready for the good stuff. This means clearing congestion, balancing the skin’s pH and moisture levels, and renewing the skin on a cellular level. This first stage — what we call the Intensive phase — is usually the most demanding, but also essential. Basically, your skin needs to undergo a reboot so it’s a blank canvas that’s ready for revival.

One of Porcelain’s core competencies is curating personalized, holistic skincare treatment plans for our clients. All new clients first experience a three-pronged skin analysis (including the Skin Discovery) which allows our therapists to design a bespoke regimen around their skins. After that, most new clients undergo said Intensive phase of treatment cycles before progressing to the Maintenance phase. Intensive phases are intended to rejig the skin back to normalcy as quickly as healthily possible… for this reason, severely congested skin, for example, has to undergo multiple cycles of hydrating, extractions and recovery facials to restore skin back to its clear, radiant, balanced self — detoxification. A clean slate.

Credit: Gabrielle Henderson

WHY DOES DETOXIFICATION HAPPEN?

With some treatments (e.g. QuintessentialTM) and products (e.g. Balance – Sebum Control Essence), detoxification is a deliberate process we introduce to your skin to help with recovery. Again: Sometimes, it takes place in the form of a familiar, unwanted friend — zits. Your skin is simply trying to get rid of impurities, and it’s completely normal.

Here’s why / how detoxification can happen:

CONGESTION         
Oil, dead cells, hair follicles and makeup tend to collect in pores and cause congestion, resulting in breakouts and dull, dehydrated skin. Pollution is also another culprit, which is why proper skincare habits for urbanites are so important.

STRESS                 
High levels of stress do show up on your face… that skin redness you’re experiencing? That’s increased sensitivity. Pimples? That’s due to increased sebum production and slower cell turnover.

LIFESTYLE HABITS   
Alcohol, smoking, too little sleep and too little water are surefire ways to introduce toxins to the body… and you know where these tend to show up!

TOO MUCH SUGAR 
Processed sugar causes inflammation in the body and is one of the biggest contributors of acne.

Credit: Amber Lamoreaux

WHY DO WE NEED TO DETOX?

Simply because clean and clear skin is the only way for good stuff to ever penetrate. In fact, good stuff on clogged pores is only junk on junk — meaning it can trigger breakouts! In which case, it’s not so much the product that’s triggering a reaction, but your skin not being able to absorb the nutrients. If the product’s not going in, it’s staying on… meaning you’re just clogging it up more!

QUICK SIGNS THAT SAY YOU NEED A SKIN REBOOT

– Dull, sallow skin
– Uneven skin tone
– Oily skin
– Wrinkles and sagging skin
– Dry and / or sensitive skin

HOW DO WE DETOX?

So many ways!

FEEDING YOURSELF RIGHT

Are you one of those that can survive on half a cup of water each day? Start living and flushing your body with more than that (we read somewhere you should be drinking half your weight in ounces), because it aids in internal waste removal — so less toxins try to escape by popping up on your skin! Add some lemon for extra detoxing power.

And junk food? It might be hard to cut it out completely (and we won’t ask you to try), but try laying off it for just one week. These include animal fats, dairy products, white bread, fast food, and sugar. For just seven days, eat clean with fresh berries and fruits. Feel the difference.

SWEAT IT OUT

Exercise gets your heart racing and your skin perspiring, which helps to cleanse impurities. That’s a handy excuse to take up a hot yoga session or if you prefer the an even more relaxed method, hit the nearest sauna!

Credit: Haley Lawrence

FACIAL TREATMENTS

Facial treatments are one way to stimulate detoxification. For example, intensive extractions sessions help to systematically and professionally rid the skin of congestion (none of that DIY zit-popping!). With time, experience smoother, brighter and more even skin that actually absorbs all the goodness from award-winning products like ours (;

Another favourite facial treatment of ours is the ProionicTM facial. Aside from its winning anti-aging formula and benefits, it helps boost cellular ionic movement, exchange and equilibrium. Too Greek? The treatment basically helps to jiggle our cells and help our skin purge impurities easier, thus improving its overall health and metabolism.

HOMECARE

Which brings us to the next point. Products! Supporting extractions and facial treatments with a proper regime at home with efficacious skincare products helps heaps. Double cleansing, exfoliating, toning and hydrating are key to keeping the skin clear of impurities.

Double Cleanse. Doing this with a pre-cleanser thoroughly removes environmental pollutants accumulated through the day, making the same job easier for your cleanser. More importantly, pre-cleansing softens your skin so that following products can be absorbed more effectively.

Exfoliate. This helps keep your skin clear and more even as it gets rid of flaky skin cells. Look for chemical exfoliants as they do a better job of dissolving dead skin cells without irritating or damaging the skin. The exfoliator should be applied to damp skin in a gentle, circular motion. Avoid scrubbing and opt for an exfoliator for sensitive skin if you’re experiencing distressed skin, as it only serves to aggravate and exacerbate any existing skin issues.

Tone. One of the most important parts of the daily skin care routine is toning. Face toners balance the skin after cleansing, calming and lowering its pH level. Toning also helps prep the skin for any serums that follow and removes excess oil your cleanser may have missed. Another perk? It shrinks the size of your pores!

Layer Hydration. Complete the detox regimen by keeping moisture levels balanced. Opt for hydrating serums and essences that contain ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, and Aloe Barbadensis leaf extracts to help lock in optimum hydration.

Credit: Ameen Fahmy

Also look for:
Facial cleansers that were specifically made to deep cleanse yet feed your skin with moisture so it still feels cared for and nourished
Hydrating enzyme exfoliators so you can exfoliate the non-abrasive way
Alcohol-free toners with a low percentage of glycolic acid so it helps to further exfoliate the skin further and rid impurities without being too harsh on the skin
Face serums with pH-balancing properties to help whip skin back into a healthy 5.5. Our Balance – Sebum Control Essence is a godsend for this
Gel moisturisers with zit-busting ingredients like tea tree oil and lemon extracts to help when detoxification occurs

“I’d definitely recommend double cleansing to really rid the skin of that harmful layer of things that can settle on top.”

KIRSTI SHUBA
CO-FOUNDER, KATHERINE DANIELS COSMETICS

NOW WE’RE DONE DETOXING. HOW ABOUT SOME PROTECTION FEE FOR THE SKIN?

Credit: Mohamed Nashah

Aside from clearing the skin of congestion, we should also be working on protecting it from the likes of pollution and airborne bacteria (hands off your face, now!). Now, wouldn’t that help in creating less work for our skin in the first place?

Our best friend for that is…. Antioxidants! Aside from aloe vera, our next favourite hero ingredients are those that come jam-packed with these. Super multitaskers that they are, antioxidants fight environmental aggressors, neutralize free radicals and heal the skin.

“Products that have antioxidant properties will protect against some free radicals – mainly pollution, and in some cases, UV rays.”

DR. NATALIE BLAKELY
FOUNDER OF LIGHT TOUCH CLINIC

YOUR SKIN DETOX STARTS NOW.


Do you want to hop on the detoxification bandwagon and reboot your skin?
Curious to find out what your skin is like, and how exactly to care for it?

For a limited time only, enjoy a Skin Discovery analysis at $65 and receive a complimentary 3-piece customisable travel set (worth $102).*

What’s inside the Travel Set?
1x Cleanser,  Toner, Gel, and Travel Pouch

* $65 is redeemable for credits to offset the cost of any ala carte treatment. Terms & conditions apply.


Stay True,