Skin Hacks

A visual and literary representation of skincare tips (what we call #SkinHacks — skin hacks). Find out anything! The difference between dry and dehydrated skin. How to layer hydration How to care for acne! … and more.

The only constant in nature and all things living and breathing is change. This includes you and your skin. Change is inevitable and if you used the same skincare routine now as you did in your youth, expect no improvement. Knowing this, your next question should be “How do I change for the better? How can I evolve my skincare to suit my age?”.  

Well, keep reading and you’ll find out!

If you’re in your 20s:

Photo by Peter Nguyen

Youth – although highly coveted – can come with some down-sides. Typically, when you’re in your 20s, your hormone levels have not fully stabilized and this can result in your skin’s pH level being off from the ideal levels (which is about pH 5.5 to 6, FYI). 

What’s pH level, you might be asking. 

Simply put, it’s the balance of the water and oil content of your skin. When your hormone levels are not stable, it can cause your sebum glands to be more active. As a result, you can experience an oilier appearance of your skin, hormonal acne and most importantly, an off-balance pH level. When your pH levels are off, it can cause your skin’s natural protective barrier against environmental aggressors (pollutants, free radicals, dirt, bacteria etc) to be weakened. If the pH levels are not restored to optimal levels, it can lead to increased sensitivity, breakouts and pre-mature aging.

How do I take care of it? 

The key to taking care of your skin in your 20s is to strengthen and maintain your skin’s natural resilience through balancing your pH level.  

If you have oily and/dehydrated skin, it means your skin’s oil content is greater than its water content. Thus, you should focus on controlling the oil production while hydrating your skin from within. We recommend our Balance – Sebum Control Essence. With ingredients like Tea Tree Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate and Horse Chestnut Extract, experience regulated sebum production, deeply hydrated and soothed skin. Not sure if you have dry or dehydrated skin? Read this Prologue post to find out!

If you have dry skin, it means your skin’s oil and water content are both low. Thus, you should focus on increasing both contents in your skin.  We recommend out Soothe – Deep Hydrating Lotion. With ingredients like Rose & Jojoba Oils that act as a protective barrier to keep your skin from losing moisture and Sodium Hyaluronate to hydrate the deeper layers of the skin, it’s the perfect product to replenish the oil and water content your skin needs.

If you’re in your 30s:

Photo by BBH Singapore

Youth is slowly departing your side. Although it sounds depressing, it’s not all doom and gloom! The plus side is that you no longer need to deal with great hormonal fluctuations and hormonal acne. Downside is that your skin is slowly losing its ability to repair quickly, and its production of collagen and elastin is reducing.

At this stage of your life, it is extremely important to start protecting your skin and supporting collagen and elastin production. With age, your skin starts to lose it suppleness, begins to thin out and wrinkles will become more obvious. Additionally, it is a good time to start protecting your skin against environmental aggressors – especially the sun. By using the correct type of SPF and nourishing your skin in antioxidants, you lay the foundation for minimal pigmentation, wrinkles and pre-mature aging in your later years.

How do I take care of it? 

To support collagen and elastin production, look for products that contain Hyaluronic Acid and anti-oxidants. Hyaluronic Acid is a compound that is important for collagen and is naturally found in the body (albeit it decreases over time). Anti-oxidants on the other hand protect your skin against free radical damage and prevents premature aging. We recommend our Intensive – HA+ Hydrating Serum. Packed with a dual-chained Hyaluronic Acid and potent anti-oxidants like Vitamin A, C & K and Elderflower Extract, it is the powerhouse for your anti-aging needs.

To protect your skin from environmental aggressors, we recommend the Skin Perfecting Moisturiser. A physical sunscreen that protects you from harmful UVA & UVB rays. Moreover, it is loaded with anti-oxidants like Vitamin E that help to slow down the signs of aging. Antarticine, another key active ingredient, helps to promote the production of collagen and elastin. All the ingredients for a youthful appearance rolled into one SPF!

If you’re in your 40s:

Photo by BBH Singapore

In your 40s, you’ve blossomed into an established woman -proud of herself and unwavering in her personality. It would be a shame to not let this inner beauty shine through and reflect in your appearance too! At this age, your skin’s turnover cycle has tripled in duration compared to when you were in your 20s – from 21 days to 60 days. Your skin’s turnover cycle is essentially the time taken for your skin to produce new cells and how long it takes for these new cells to migrate from the deepest layers to the top layers. 

Dead skin cells accumulate on the surface which can cause dull, dry skin with more lines, wrinkles and deeper folds. It can also trigger pores to enlarge and expand as they become clogged with a mixture of dead skin cells and oil.  

How do I take care of it? 

There are many exfoliators out on the market – from Physical exfoliants like scrubs to Chemical exfoliants like AHAs, BHAs and enzymes that – that can get the basic job of clearing dead skin done. But, considering that some of these methods (especially Physical Exfoliation) can contribute to pre-mature aging, we need to look at gentler and more effective alternatives. Why not try out our Revive-Natural Skin Refiner? It’s a gentle, enzyme-based exfoliator that removes dead skin while treating your skin with its hydrating and anti-oxidative ingredients like Natto Extract and Aloe Vera Extract.

If you’re in your 50s:

Photo by Ashwin Vaswani

Hitting 50 is often a celebrated accomplishment, so it’s vital you look your best when celebrating your roaring 50s. At this age, you would experience greater signs of aging – be it wrinkles, sagging or a more sunken appearance. This is due to the decrease in amount of collagen and elastin your skin produces. While products can help, they are unable to penetrate deep enough and will have limited effects in restoring a youthful appearance. This is where facial treatments by highly trained professionals come into play. 

How do I take care of it?

Treatments like ZapGlow™, Proionic and Arctic Tone are able to stimulate your collagen and elastin production and stimulate your facial muscles for lifted, supple and radiant skin.  

Proionic makes use of a unique-patented long wave radio frequency to generate heat and ion-balancing technologies to boost skin cell health and collagen and elastin production. Similarly, ZapGlow™ utilises the light energy generated by the Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to stimulate cell renewal alongside collagen and elastin production. A polar opposite, Arctic Tone makes use of cryotherapy to bring the skin’s surface down to a low temperature of -15°C while a 4Hz Low-Frequency CryoProbe stimulates the muscles to improve facial tone and firmness.

We hope these tips help you care for your ever-changing skin and allow you to be confident in your own skin, regardless of age! 

We often get asked: “Are facials really necessary for me to achieve healthy skin?”. As your local skincare experts, we say YES!   

While reading this, we bet you’re thinking: “There must be other ways to get healthy skin, facials are so troublesome!” 

Although facials are not the most convenient or economical thing to incorporate into your life, but much like anything worth having, consistent effort and investments are required.  

Let’s use the analogy of achieving a healthy body to show you why facials are vital for healthy skin.

The Fundamentals of Health: 

At this point, we are sure you’ve heard about the various complex and odd ways you can get healthy. However, for you to achieve a sustainable level health, the following equation should be followed: 

Balanced Diet + Regular Exercise = Healthy Body 

One of the fundamental methods is to watch your diet: having a healthy and well-balanced diet can do wonders for your journey to a better state of health. But a healthy diet does not simply mean cutting out all carbs or eating fewer calories. A healthy diet requires finding out what you’re fueling your body with and ensuring that it’s whole, natural foods.  

Similar to your diet, a good skincare routine shouldn’t be focused on using the best products on the market for the sake of it or adopting a 10 step Korean skincare routine. Your skincare should be designed around your lifestyle and consist of products that are good for your skin; products that include skin-loving ingredients that will nourish and protect your skin.

Don’t believe us? Check out our blog on cleansing to see the importance one small step has on your skin.

But what about the second fundamental: Regular Exercise? 

Although you can get healthy with just a balanced diet, it is not enough. Regular exercise has been proven to boost your body’s metabolism, immune system, strengthen your bones and muscles, and reduce the likelihood of developing chronic diseases. However, those benefits only come with regular exercising. The consistency of your exercising matters just as much as your diet. Don’t let the effort you put into your diet go to waste by exercising infrequently. A healthy diet when combined with regular exercise, allows you to achieve a healthy body at a much faster rate. 

Applying the same concept, if you add “exercise” for your skin on top of a solid home skincare routine, you will be able to tackle skincare woes and achieve healthy skin that radiates from within.  

Wait, What? How do you “Exercise” your Skin? 

We’ve been talking a lot about exercising and drawing parallels to your skincare. But what does exercising your skin mean? The phrase “exercising your skin” conjures up odd images in your mind but it’s not what you think it is! Instead of stretching and pulling your skin in various directions to achieve a facial exercise, there are other means – like a facial!  

Nowadays, facials are more than just a simple cleanse and masking with a gentle facial massage. A facial at Porcelain entails an intensive session between our highly trained therapists, medical grade equipment and in-house formulated products that will harmonize perfectly to give you healthy and brighter skin. 

With advanced technologies, products used during the treatments are able to penetrate deeper into your skin and show greater efficacy than what you can achieve with basic home care. For example, in our Proionic Treatment, we make use of a unique patented 448kHz long wave radio frequency Spanish medical technology to stimulate your collagen and elastin production in addition to improving the skin’s natural ionic equilibrium. Emerge out of the treatment room to visibly tighter, lifted skin that is also stimulated deeply for long-term anti-aging effects. Does that sound like something you could get at home? 

In addition to the technology, expertise and quality of products used, we aim to make your journey to healthy skin easy and sustainable. The reason why many plans for better health fail is because they are a “one-size fits all”, implemented directly without considering their lifestyle and body’s needs.  

An infallible plan for better health is one that is thoughtfully designed to integrate into your current lifestyle and customised to your ever-changing needs. That’s why at Porcelain, all our therapists and ambassadors are trained to be your lifelong beauty partner, accompanying you through the evolution of your skin with customised service and treatment plans.  

Ready to get the healthy skin you deserve? Sign up for our Skin Discovery to kickstart your journey with us! 

Cleansing is something that’s always been a part of everyone’s skincare routine – if it’s missing in yours, consider this your intervention.

For those of us who still have the energy after a long day at work, we typically enjoy the cleansing aspect of our skincare routines. The rush of euphoria you feel as you massage your favorite cleanser into your skin to free it of all the grime that’s built up – the process is almost therapeutic. But here at Porcelain, we know that not everyone has that kind of energy to pamper their skin with a cleansing massage. That’s why we’re here to give you a fresh take on cleansing: providing a quick breakdown of why cleansing is so important, what should be in your cleansing routine and how to cleanse your skin to get that glow from within! 

Credit: Anton Levin

Why Cleansing is Important: 

Cleansing plays a very important role in your skincare routine as it sets precedence for the effectiveness of your entire skincare routine. Without a deep and thorough cleanse, your pores would be clogged with sebum, makeup, dirt and pollutants built up through the course of the day. Topping all these nasties with your expensive serums, masks and moisturisers would only serve to reduce your products’ efficacy and waste your money.  

Not only are you reducing the results your products provide, over time, the nasties festering in your pores can lead to break outs, skin sensitivity and pre-mature aging.  

Not worth skipping cleansing after all, is it? 

Choosing a cleanser that’s good for your skin: 

Now that you’re slowly realizing the importance of cleansing (if not, read the paragraph above again and imagine looking 70 when you’re 40 with your skin covered in red patches of acne and sensitivity), it’s likely your next question would be what to use to cleanse your skin. There is a plethora of cleansers you could choose from: oil-based, balms, creams, micellar water, gels, foams, powders. The list is endless and if you don’t know what to look for, it can get confusing. 

But fret not, here are some tips from us that you can use when searching for the right cleanser for you: 

1. Avoid cleansers with nasty ingredients like Sodium Laurel Sulfate, Parabens & Synthetic Fragrances that can over strip the skin of essential oils and cause irritation 

2. Your cleanser should not leave you with a squeaky-clean feeling (this means that the cleanser has stripped your skin of too much oil and moisture)

3. Most importantly: look for a cleanser that does more than just cleanse

Although the primary goal of a cleanser is to remove all the nasties that build up over the day, your cleanser should also hydrate, protect and nourish your skin. These additional benefits serve to bring you closer to radiant, healthy skin each time you use them.  

Think you know the right way to cleanse?: 

This section may seem counter-intuitive to you. You might be thinking: 

 “Cleansing is so simple; I just use one cleanser and rub it on my skin until I feel it’s clean.” 

As your local skincare experts, we disagree. 

Credits: Curology

To achieve a deep and thorough cleanse, double cleansing is essential. We repeat, essential. Including double cleansing in your nightly routine is particularly crucial for healthier skin.  

Imagine this: showering with your dirty clothes on after a long day out. Weird isn’t it? 

This same concept applies to your skin – to achieve a total cleanse, you need to first remove the top layer of dirt and grime. 

The first cleanse helps to remove the makeup, sunscreen, dirt and pollutants on your skin surface while the second cleanse deeply cleanses your pores of bacteria that can cause acne and skin sensitivity. Even if you may not be a daily makeup wearer, double cleansing is still essential as the initial cleanse helps to remove the environmental pollutants and dirt that accumulated through the day. 

Apart from the lack of double cleansing, another shortfall of the modern-day woman’s cleansing technique is the duration spent cleansing. The typical time taken to cleanse is 20 seconds – too short for the cleanser to do its job thoroughly. Remember, it’s a self-love skincare routine, not a race. Take your time and enjoy the process! 

We suggest the following steps to boost the efficacy of your double cleanse: 

1. Wet your face with luke-warm water before starting your first cleanse

2. Lather the cleanser in your hands before gently massaging it across your skin for 1 minute

3. Wash or wipe away the cleanser before starting the second cleanse

4. Repeat step 2 for the second cleanse before washing your skin to complete your double cleanse!

Consider Porcelain’s perfect cleansing duo that accomplishes all the above. 

Step 1: Revive – Makeup Cleanser

Imbued with natural ingredients like Orchid Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract and Calendula Flower Extract, this gentle milk cleanser melts away sebum, environmental pollutants and makeup while soothing, nourishing and pumping your skin with powerful anti-oxidants. The Revive – Makeup Cleanser is Paraben and Sulfate Free, making it suitable for even the most sensitive of skins.

Step 2: Soothe – Hydro Cleanser 

Much like its counterpart, the Soothe – Hydro Cleanser is Paraben and Sulfate Free. Packed with 8 natural skin-loving ingredients like Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Peach Fruit Extract and Peony Root Extract, this cleanser deeply hydrates and soothes the skin, leaving behind a glowing complexion after each wash.

What are you waiting for? Kick start your fresh take on cleansing with our Double Cleansing Duo. Shop now and share your results with us on Instagram with #totalcleanse! 

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.

droplet of water

Credits: Eric Didier

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

 

WHAT ARE YOU, SEBUM?

Sebum, or “fat” in latin, 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 tricky to handle. When you have just the right amount of this filmy, sticky substance, it helps protect your skin. Too much, though? 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. In the meantime, keep your pores clean to prevent pesky acne from forming!

 

 

Stay True,