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.

HERE COMES THE SUMMER’S SON
HE BURNS MY SKIN
I ACHE AGAIN
I’M OVER YOU

T E X A S
Credit: Shifaaz Shamoon

We all love the sun (with sun protection, of course). Summer is pretty much perpetual in hot, humid places like ours, though the recent rain spells could use a reminder who’s boss around here. So summer, real summer, is just around the corner with a warm invitation to its party. Sun, fun, beach, books to read at the beach, water, shorts and sandals…

We all really love the sun, but we don’t much fancy its plus ones: Excessive sun exposure, the sweltering humidity and too much heat — they’re our definitions of party poopers that have fun at the expense of our skin. Think pigmentation / sunburns, oil glands in overdrive and parched, parched skin.

Many of us know by now that sun protection is key — that’s the prevention bit. But did you know that other factors like hydration play an equally important role in fortifying the skin during and post-summer? That’s prevention and cure.

Read on for more essentials for dewy, glowing summer skin!

SUMMER SKIN TIP 1: LAYER DOWN — LESS MIGHT BE MORE.

SUMMER SKIN TIP 1: LAYER DOWN — LESS MIGHT BE MORE.
Credit: Blake Wheeler

SUMMER IS THE TIME TO EASE UP ON THE NUMBER OF LAYERS YOU PUT ON YOUR SKIN AND LIMIT THE NUMBER OF PRODUCTS YOU USE.

D R .  S H E R R Y  I N G R A H A M

Sweater weather skincare isn’t for humid summers. Consider layering less products on the face, swapping makeup for skin that’s bare except for sunscreen, and opting for dual-purpose products (e.g. a tinted sunscreen)!

SUMMER SKIN TIP 2: MASK ON — BALANCE THE OILY.

Given our heat and humidity, you probably didn’t think that dehydration might be an issue in summer. The strange thing is, summer can lead to parched skin, which in turn leads to oilier visages, and if you coat it with thick, oily moisturisers, you’re on the fast track to congestion, especially once these meet perspiration. What you need is lightweight, water-based hydrators to balance your pH back out, like a good old-fashioned mask.

Skincare Hero: Hydrocare – Bio-Cellulose Mask

Our favourite, super-hydrating, pH-balancing, oil-free mask. Treat your skin to its cocktail of ingredients: Cactus Extracts to calm, hydrate, balance sebum levels, Litchi Seed Extracts and Vitamin A-rich Fig Fruit Extract to plump and that come rich in antioxidants to fight free radicals in summer.

Tip: Keep in fridge for an extra cooling treat for distressed skin.

SUMMER SKIN TIP 3: WATER IN — DROWN THE PARCHED.

SUMMER SKIN TIP 3: WATER IN — DROWN THE PARCHED.
Credit: Farooq Khan

On almost all days of the year, we perspire while on this sunny island. When it boils down to the actual summer months, though, the extra sweat makes it even easier for pollutants to stick onto our skin. Clog our pores. Have a party. Essentially, the heat is giving us congestion while drying us out.

What we need is to stick to our cleansing regime even more religiously with water-based products. We love lightweight products that lift impurities and hydrate, while revitalizing us from the heat. As always, we recommend double cleansing to thoroughly rid the extra layers of oil, SPF, and dirt.

Skincare Hero: Soothe – Hydro Cleanser

A sulphate- and paraben-free hydrating cleanser: Immerse your skin in a sea of calm. Made up of 80% pure Aloe Vera, 8 natural ingredients and free from sulfates and parabens, this gentle cleanser hydrates even sensitive skin while freeing it from impurities, ensuring a clear and glowing complexion.

Tip: You might feel the urge to, but don’t over-cleanse or you’ll trigger more oil production once your skin gets tricked into thinking it’s too dehydrated / dry! Limit your washes to the AM / PM and use the right cleanser for your skin type.

SUMMER SKIN TIP 4: UP THE ANTIOXIDANTS.

Aside from sunscreen, it’s important to feed your skin with a heady brew of antioxidants, both topically and food-wise. Sunscreen and antioxidant-rich skincare products help act as a bodyguard for your skin externally, but UV rays sometimes inevitably still penetrates our skin. Eating foods that are rich in antioxidants, then, helps protect us within.

Skincare Hero: Soothe – Deep Hydrating Lotion

A lightweight lotion packed with antioxidants. With its concoction of natural Jojoba Seed and Rose oils, Vitamins E and B5, Sodium Hyaluronate and Hyaluronic Acid, it combats free radicals in our environment and stimulates regeneration in our skin. Damascena Rose extracts also help deeply hydrate the skin and improve its natural resilience.

Tip: Keep this lightweight mist in the bag for all-day revitalization. Spritz to instantly refresh and hydrate for a glowing, radiant complexion. At night, soak cotton pads with this lotion as a quick-fix mask for dehydrated, tired skin.

SUMMER SKIN TIP 5: TLC FOR YOUR EYES, TOO.

SUMMER SKIN TIP 5: TLC FOR YOUR EYES, TOO.

The area around our eyes are often neglected but they are delicate and even more vulnerable to dehydration and the resulting fine lines. Remember to shower it with love, moisture and gentle yet powerful ingredients that help smoothen and destress.

Skincare Hero: RevitalEyes – Multi-Peptide Silk Mask

Reduces fine lines, puffiness, dark circles and signs of aging in 20 minutes. Harnessing the ancient benefits of silk, this mask contains 10 active ingredients to counteract the effects of stress around the eyes. The combination of Collagen, Algae Extract and Antarcticine de-puffs the eyes by reducing excess fluids, and promotes circulation to reduce the appearance of eye bags.

Tip: Keep in fridge for an extra cooling treat for distressed skin.

SUMMER SKIN TIP 6: HELLO, ALOE.

Aloe vera is such a simple, unpretentious ingredient with amazing benefits — and it’s good for so much more than sunburns and soothing inflamed skin! It also helps heal, protect, reduce the appearance of blemishes… it’s also a wonderful water bomb for your skin, which is why it’s a key ingredient in many of our skincare products.

Foresee yourself overdoing it this summer? Prep and step up your repair game with our #1 fix.

Skincare Hero: Soothe – Aloe Recovery Gel  

Distressed skin requires a special touch. This weightless curative gel, suitable for any epidermal ills ranging from pimples to open wounds, not only repairs skin but increases its resilience over time. The feathery texture and anti-inflammatory properties also work to keep the skin cool and soothed.

Tip: There are many kinds of aloe vera plants, but there is one that is most beneficial for us. Look for products that contain Aloe Barbadensis, i.e. “true aloe”. The gel from this plant contains chock-full of nutrients for humans that help with cellular regeneration, hydration and anti-inflammation. Plus, look for products where the Aloe Barbadensis is the first ingredient on the list, or you’re simply buying a watered down, ineffective version.

SUMMER SKIN TIP 7: AMP IT UP WITH THE ULTIMATE RESTORATIVE TREAT

Props to you if you’ve noticed that our summer skincare revolves around protection, hydration, calming and recovery. Aside from homecare, in-spa treatments can really help to repair overindulgence in the sun. Seek treatments that incorporate the same steps, with hydration being the most important factor as it plays a part in soothing and healing the skin as well.

Skincare Hero: Sun Rescue

Soothe sun-damaged skin instantly with a combination of Oxygen- and Cryo-therapies to calm, stimulate repair, shorten recovery time and reduce skin sensitivity. Our tinted moisturizer with sunscreen is applied after to retain the facial’s effectiveness.

Tip: The Sun Rescue facial isn’t just for skin that might’ve suffered with all the sun and fun! It’s perfect for people with sensitive, dehydrated skin and is our clients’ go-to when they need a quick, calming moisture boost.

SUMMER HEROES

Enjoy our favourite skin treats for summer (and all-year long) for a limited time in-store and online! Props not included (;

SUMMER SKIN HERO: Sun Rescue + Complimentary ZapGlow @ $298.55
Summer Treats @ $298.55 (U.P. $619.55)
Sun Rescue + complimentary ZapGlow™ add-on
Summer Hydration Kit @ $70 (U.P. $100)
2x REVITALEYES, Multipeptide Silk Mask
2x HYDROCARE, Bio-Cellulose Mask

Limited to 2 sets per client only
Summer Skincare Kit @ $88 (U.P. $105)
1x SOOTHE, Deep Hydrating Lotion (30ml)
1x SOOTHE, Hydro Cleanser (30ml)
1x SOOTHE, Aloe Recovery Gel (10ml)
1x Travel Pouch
Limited edition Hello, Sunshine smoothie
by celebrity chef Angela May
Valid at 20% for Prologue readers. Simply flash this story to our friendly staff at Porcelain Origins!

Valid till 31 July only

“IT’S NOT THE TEMPERATURE THAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE BUT THE HUMIDITY… IF THE AIR IS DRY AND HUMIDITY IS LOW, THEN REGARDLESS OF WHETHER IT’S HOT OR COLD, YOU CAN ESSENTIALLY USE THE SAME PRODUCTS. BUT WHEN THE HUMIDITY IS HIGH, YOU NEED LIGHTWEIGHT TEXTURES.”

D R  E N G E L M A N

Stay True,

Porcelain's Intensive - HA+ Hydrating Serum is powerpacked with 4 complexes: Deep Moisture, Anti-Ageing, Sensitive, and Anti-Acne

Porcelain's Intensive - HA+ Hydrating Serum is powerpacked with 4 complexes: Deep Moisture, Anti-Ageing, Sensitive, and Anti-Acne

There, we’ve said it. The HA+ Hydrating Serum is the first of Porcelain’s new Intensive line of products, and we made it for the clients who inspired us to curate amazing ingredients into four specific complexes. Four, to help clients from all walks of life enjoy a hydrating serum that would be suitable for any skin type, any age, and any climate. But it took two years before we were ready to unveil it to the world.

The serum was first launched internally — as with any other product we have to ensure it works – before being sold in-store. Like Pauline said during our media launch just the 3rd of May, we run a tight ship with our products.

Porcelain's Intensive - HA+ Hydrating Serum is designed for anyone at any stage of their anti-ageing regime

Credits: Wear Oh Where

“Does this product deserve a space on your shelf?” 

We took two years to be able to say, hell yeah!

So here’s the story we wanted to share that we feel is more important than any blow-by-blow sales talk. Because hey, you can read that here. Instead, let’s talk about the story behind the HA+ Hydrating Serum. 

And that’s really our clients’ stories that we’re sharing. Every day, our clients talk to us. It goes beyond “How’s your day?” – beyond skin deep. Many tell us they have oily skin (but they’re really just dehydrated). A few struggle with how to properly moisturize dry skin.  The ultimate question that triggers our brainstorming frenzy:

“I can’t find anything out there that works for me; do you have a solution?”

The truth is, there are many incredible products out there with great anti-ageing benefits, or hydration, or acne control. And that was when it hit us – the keyword is “or”. There is a plethora of products in the market that specifically focus on just one or two main skin concerns. For example, there are many rich creams. Plenty that contain hyaluronic acid. Even more with ingredients that help boost collagen levels… But how many anti-ageing products had more benefits than just plumping up wrinkles? How many could be used by certain people that provide the benchmark of it being suitable for anyone and everyone – people with sensitive or even acneic skin?

Porcelain's Intensive - HA+ Hydrating Serum is designed for anyone at any stage of their anti-ageing regime

“What gap are we trying to fill here?”

With that, out popped our latest flagship product, the HA+ Hydrating Serum – specially designed not just for anti-ageing and hydration, but also to combat acne (with good bacteria) and soothe and even heal sensitive skin. A product to fill out all that the “Ors” couldn’t – to fill the gap that our clients helped us realize was there.


To you.
 

 

Stay True and #StayHAdrated,
(AND shop the NEW HA+ Hydrating Serum at www.ShopPorcelain.com now),

 

 

 

 


READ MORE STORIES HERE:

Catch up with our previous #BareWithMe and #DearPauline interviews with Viola TanLucinda Law and Hanli Hoefer too.

#BAREWITHME: Viola Tan on Vulnerability

#INSIDERNEWS – #BareWithMe Campaign 2018

#DearPauline: Our Very Own Beauty Column!

 

With an endless selection of skin care products available on the market, it’s understandably nerve-wracking to find the right products to develop a skin care routine suitable for your skin. No two skins are the same and no skincare routine is universal, so the routine you pick should definitely be one that’s suited for your skin type. Here’s a simple, step-by-step guide to help you devise an easy and personalised routine for flawless skin.

4 Steps to Flawless Skin | #SkinHacks

 

First off, get to know your skin

The process of building a personalised skin care routine begins with recognising your individual skin type and having a radiant and glowing complexion as the desired outcome, as you’d want your skin to benefit from it and not leave your skin high and dry.

While some skin care products do wonders for your skin, using them in an incorrect sequence or inappropriate regime may end up irritating and agonising your skin.

Here are the four commonly known skin types, as categorised by the cosmetic industry:

  • Normal skin: You have a balanced complexion and your skin appears refined with little to no blemishes. Acne and sensitivity concerns are a rarity to you. To sum it up, this is the skin type we all dream to achieve.
  • Oily skin: Your skin is no stranger to congestion and acne, appears shiny and feels oily throughout the day. While the cause for oily skin can mainly be attributed to genetics, ample hydration of the skin (go for non-comedogenic products!) can keep your sebum production levels in check.
  • Dry skin/Sensitive skin: Your skin appears rough and flaky, and you may find some products to be particularly stinging to your skin. This is due to the skin’s damaged moisture barrier which impedes its ability to lock in moisture, causing your skin to be especially sensitive and more easily inflamed.
  • Combination skin: You would often experience your skin to be oily in some areas, such as the T-zone and dry at the others. Instead of having two different routines for your skin, it may be more useful to find one that consists of different products to target a variety of skin issues.

 

Hey, keep it clean!

Proper cleansing is the first step and foundation of an effective skincare routine. It’s also probably the most important one of all – as this step sets up your skin for the rest of the steps and products that follow after.

Look for an alcohol-free, gentle cleanser that doesn’t contain strip your skin of its natural oils and dry out your skin. Gently wash your skin, then rinse with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water as it removes the natural oils from your face faster.

Porcelain Recommends: Revive, Makeup Cleanser 

makeup-sq_1024x1024

The Revive, Makeup Cleanser is an oil-free, sulfate-free, and paraben-free cleanser, which also doubles as a pre-cleanser. Invigorate your skin by gently massaging the cleanser into your skin! It melts away impurities and makeup. The antioxidant-rich Orchid extract nourishes and regulates pigmentation while Horse Chestnut extract purifies and prevents further ageing.

 

Remove dead skin cells

Exfoliation 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. And remember: don’t scrub! Scrubbing only aggravates the skin and exacerbates any existing skin issues.

Porcelain Recommends: Revive, Natural Skin Refiner

skinrefiner-sq_1024x1024The Revive, Natural Skin Refiner is a non-abrasive exfoliant, as it makes use of natural enzymes instead of harsh beads that may cause irritation to the skin. With a potent blend of aloe vera and natto extracts, the refiner gently clears congestion and refines pores without drying out your skin. Gently massage in a circular motion to boost micro-circulation and allow its natural enzymes to soften dead skin cells.

 

Toned and ready

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!

Porcelain Recommends: Revive, Glycolic Toner

glycolic-sq_1024x1024An alcohol-free toner formulated with glycolic acid and lactic acid to gently exfoliate dead skin cells, the Revive, Glycolic Acid Toner removes excess sebum, impurities and dead skin cells, to clarify the skin to make way for a brighter, clearer complexion. After cleansing and exfoliation, apply on a cotton pad and gently swipe on your skin. The best part of it all: it doesn’t dry out your skin!

 

Hydration is key

After cleansing, exfoliating and toning your face, it’s time to moisturise your skin. Moisturising is an essential step for your skin as it prevents dryness, flakiness, acne and wrinkles. Don’t skip this step if you’re looking for younger looking skin! Fine lines and wrinkles smoothen out when our skin remains hydrated.

Porcelain Recommends: Balance, Hydraclear Gel

hydraclear_gel-01_1024x1024After cleansing and toning, apply the Hydraclear Gel with a gentle tapping motion to massage into skin. This clear and lightweight gel works hard to keep acne, inflammation, bacteria and excess sebum at bay while keeping your skin moisturised and pH levels balanced.

 

Stay True,

 

 

 

 


 

READ MORE STORIES HERE:

Managing Acne | #SkinHacks

Our Very Own Beauty Column! | #DearPauline

Our Beauty Guru On “Skin” | #DearPauline

 

While skincare products can do wonders for your skin, selecting an inappropriate regime for your skin can irritate and agonise it, leaving it worse than before. Skin is commonly broken down into four types: Normal, Oily, Dry/Sensitive and Combination. The quest for a radiant and clear complexion begins with recognising your individual skin type and building a customised skincare routine.

Find Your Skin Type (Part 1) | #SkinHacks

Credits: Nathan Burrows

The skin is the largest organ of your body. It serves as a barrier against external influences and prevents environmental aggressors from entering your system. The skin also plays an important role in the elimination of toxins and the regulation of body temperature through perspiration.

So, doesn’t your skin deserve to benefit from a personalised skincare system? In the first of a three-part series, we begin by identifying your individual skin type.

Normal Skin

Your skin appears refined and smooth, often with a subtle glow. You have a balanced complexion, free of dry patches and overly oily spots. Breakouts and blemishes are a rarity and you also benefit from minimal changes in your skin throughout the day. A simple skincare routine that maintains your balanced complexion is often sufficient.

Oily Skin

Your skin appears shiny and feels oily throughout the day. Your skin is also prone to congestion and acne. It is essential to amply hydrate your skin with non-comedogenic products to prevent a further over production of oil. Your skin care routine should also incorporate an oil control product.

Dry/Sensitive Skin

You frequently face dry, rough and tight patches. Your skin may also appear red and you may suffer from eczema. Many skincare and cosmetic products cause your skin to sting and feel irritated. It is imperative that you care for your delicate skin with gentle products and build up your skin’s tolerance to products.

Combination Skin

The most common skin type, you would typically experience an oily T-zone and dry patches elsewhere. Your skin may change depending on the weather and can sometimes feel dry and at other times, oily. You may also experience acne and congestion in the oilier areas of your face and tightness in the other parts. It is essential that you keep your face hydrated while targeting specific skin concerns with an appropriate arsenal of skincare products.

 

RELATED READS: 

Find Your Skin Type (Part 2) | Product Recommendations

Find Your Skin Type (Part 3) | Treatment Recommendations

Find Your Skin Type | The Quintessential is perfect for decongesting