“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!

Pigmentation is something everyone experiences – from pigments caused by sun exposure and hormones to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Despite being a common occurrence, they can be a hindrance in your journey to flawless and healthy skin. Thus, Porcelain is here to guide you through the ins and outs of pigmentation, arming you with our best solutions to combat these pesky specks!

Credit: Chermiti Mohamed

What is Pigmentation and What Causes it?

Before we delve deeper into the realm of pigmentation, we need to first get one thing clear. Pigmentation is the colour of our skin caused by melanin produced by skin cells known as melanocytes. Hyperpigmentation is a condition caused by an over-production of melanin, creating the telltale spots or patches of darker coloured skin. 

Common types of hyperpigmentation include:

  • Freckles / sun spots / age spots
  • Melasma
  • Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

While there are many contributing factors like medication, occupation and the presence of autoimmune diseases, here are the most common cause of hyperpigmentation:

1. Sun Exposure:

A common factor that results in hyperpigmentation is the sun’s UV rays. These UV rays trigger the skin to produce more melanin as they act as your skin’s natural SPF, protecting it from further damage. 

Furthermore, once hyperpigmentation spots have appeared, sun exposure would cause them to darken. 

2. Hormone Fluctuations:

Experiencing hormone fluctuations are natural. However, it can lead to melasma, especially in women. Melasma is thought to occur when Osterogen and Progesterone (both female sex hormones) stimulate an overproduction of melanin when the skin is exposed to the sun. 

Melasma also affects many pregnant women due to the bouts of hormone fluctuations they experience.

3. Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH):

Perhaps the most commonly experienced type of hyperpigmentation, PIH typically occurs when the skin is healing from injury or inflammation. It is also the reason many of us experience dark spots (aka post-acne marks) where inflamed acne used to be. Just another reason to avoid picking at your acne!

Porcelain’s Solutions for Hyperpigmentation:

There are a plethora of alternatives that offer quick but painful or invasive options to deal with your hyperpigmentation. However, Porcelain’s pigmentation treatments deal with the root of the issue while rebalancing your skin’s pH, boosting its resilience and supporting its natural healing abilities with no down-time.

Zap Bright

The quick healer of hyperpigmentation, ZapBright™ utilises medical-grade Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to fragment melanin in 45 minutes. This effectively lightens dark spots on the skin and makes it easier for the body to naturally remove hyperpigmentation. Perfect for the time-pressed skincare fanatic.

CryoZap™

The pinnacle of customisation – this high performing facial combines luxury, technology and craftsmanship for the ultimate personalised experience. With over 1000 combinations, the CryoZap™ treatment moulds to your specific skin need to manage several skin issues alongside hyperpigmentation simultaneously. Using a personalised blend of in-house formulated products, medical-grade IPL and cooling Korean medi-technology to fragment melanin and brighten the skin surface. The ultimate heavy-hitting treatment for those of us facing multiple skin concerns. 

SunRescueZap™

This is the ideal treatment for those dealing with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Oxygen Therapy and cooling Korean medi-technology work to calm, repair and hydrate the skin while delivering pH balance to boost skin’s resilience. The addition of medical-grade IPL works to disperse PIH, effectively lightening post-acne marks. Additionally, the IPL’s light initiates the shrinking process of inflamed sebaceous glands, preventing an over-production of excess sebum and acne as a result. 

Commonly Asked Questions:

How many treatments does it take to remove hyperpigmentation?

The exact number of treatments required largely depends on your skin’s reactiveness and natural healing pace. With that said, the average number of sessions needed to visibly reduce hyperpigmentation is 3 to 5. Although this may seem like a comparatively high number of sessions, it is because Porcelain’s treatments focus on encouraging the skin’s natural healing process. This allows your skin to emerge from the treatment with healthy skin, zero downtime and minimal after-effects.

How can I remove hyperpigmentation permanently?

Unfortunately, the occurrence of hyperpigmentation can only be minimised and not eradicated forever. To permanently prevent hyperpigmentation would mean removing the melanin from the skin. Melanin produced gives our skin its natural skin tone, thus, preventing hyperpigmentation would mean removing your natural skin tone. Despite it being an inevitable skin condition, adopting good skin care habits like double cleansing to minimise inflammation, exfoliating regularly to minimise congestion and applying SPF daily can help. 

Are products alone sufficient to combat hyperpigmentation?

Certain products and skincare ingredients (i.e. AHAs and exfoliators) can lighten the appearance of hyperpigmentation. But, they cannot entirely remove the hyperpigmentation from deep within. Melanin is produced at the basal layer of the epidermis, a layer that products rarely penetrate to. Thus, the use of medical-grade technology is needed to reach the deeper layers of skin to disperse melanin and aid the body’s removal of the melanin cells.

Think you need personal guidance in finding the right hyperpigmentation solution for you? Book yourself a 30-minute Virtual Skin Education Session with our highly trained Skin Educators as they guide you through your hyperpigmentation and make tailored recommendations based on your skin’s needs. Plus, it’s now complimentary because of COVID-19!

Many of us have shared the common experience of being chided by our parents for sitting too close to the TV or holding our phones too close. We’re sure that their nags are often met with eye rolls and inner rebuttals about how they’re being dramatic. But what if their criticisms held some truth? 

Credit: Vlada Karpovich 

What is Blue Light? 

Apart from the potential harm that screens can do to your vision, the blue light emitted by your devices can impact your sleep cycles and damage your skin’s cells directly. Before we delve deeper into the hidden dangers of blue light, let’s first understand it.  

Light comes in a variety of wavelengths – this allows us to perceive different shades of it. The harmful blue light is light in blue wavelengths. Blue light is often emitted from electronics with screens as well as energy-efficient lighting. While blue light isn’t inherently negative – during daylight hours, they can boost attention, reaction times and mood – extended exposure at night can be extremely disruptive. 

Effects of Blue Light 

Blue Light and Sleep: 

The most prominent result of blue light exposure (especially at night) is a disrupted sleep cycle. Exposure to blue light suppresses the body’s secretion of melatonin – a hormone that influences the body’s circadian rhythm (aka your body clock). This makes it harder to fall asleep and impacts the restful quality of your sleep.   

Blue Light and Skin: 

In terms of skin, the disrupted sleep cycle caused by blue light impacts the skin’s ability to repair itself from damage and inflammation. Additionally, poor sleep comes a whole host of skin-related issues. Dark eye circles, weaker skin barrier, increased dryness in the skin and a loss of suppleness in the skin resulting in loose skin with deeper wrinkles.   

Beyond matters of sleep, exposure to blue light throughout the day can destroy collagen through oxidative stress. Blue light has been shown to penetrate deeper into the skin than UVA and UVB rays – specifically, the dermis where the skin’s collagen and elastin lies. This allows blue light to age skin faster. Over time, this means a loss of suppleness in the skin and deeper wrinkles.   

For darker skin tones, studies have shown that exposure to blue light can cause hyperpigmentation (particularly in medium to darker skin tones).  

Credit: Christina Morillo 

How to Protect Your Skin 

While reducing the time spent with screens can largely contribute to protecting your skin from blue light, it’s a rather hard option to execute given the increased reliance on computers for work and leisure.   

At Home: 

With blue light being emitted from light bulbs at home, consider switching them from cooler shades to warmer or natural ones. Furthermore, night lights used to soothe you to sleep can also emit blue light (which ironically makes falling asleep harder). Thus, it’s best to switch the bulbs for a warmer shade or omit them for a more restful night’s sleep.  

Additionally, where possible, consider using dim red lights during the night as they are less likely to shift your circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin production. 

For Computers & Phones:  

If working late at night, midnight Netflix binges or scrolling social media just before bed is part of your daily routine, switch on “Eye Saver Modes” or “Night mode” to reduce the blue light emitted by your screen. These modes turn the screen a slight shade of yellow to minimise the amount of blue light emitted.   

Should your devices not come with the above modes, programs like f.lux help to control the blue light emitted based on your circadian rhythm for minimal disruption to your internal body clock. 

However, these are tools to mitigate the effects of blue light. Whenever possible, avoid screens and other electronic devices 2 to 3 hours before bed to minimise its impact on your circadian rhythm. 

Blue Light Blocking Glasses: 

Glasses aren’t just a fashion accessory or tool for the visually impaired. They can be used to protect your eyes from harmful blue light emitted from screens. For those of us who already wear glasses daily, replacing your regular lenses with PC lenses or blue light cancelling lenses provides you with an additional layer of protection.   

Furthermore, having blue light blocking lenses allows your glasses to protect the delicate skin around the eyes from oxidative stress that results from blue light exposure.   

Skincare: 

SPF’s protective capabilities are highly underrated. Not only does it protect you from the photoaging effects of UVA rays and burning effects of UVB, but it can protect you from the photoaging effects of blue light! To be specific, mineral SPF (SPF that contains iron oxides, zinc oxides or titanium oxides) have been best proven to protect the skin from blue light exposure. A good trick to know if the SPF you have is mineral or not is to see if it’s tinted – like our Skin Perfecting Moisturiser. 

In addition to a protective layer of SPF daily, skincare products rich in antioxidants help counter the oxidative stress the skin undergoes from blue light exposure. Common yet potent antioxidants include Vitamin A, C and E, Caffeine and Niacinamide. Our recommendations? Give our Botanical Soothing Gel a shot at soothing, moisturising and infusing your skin with its potent antioxidants.  

Looking to protect your delicate eye area from blue light’s oxidative stress? Try the RevitalEyes Concentrate – packed with Niacinamide and Caffeine to counteract oxidative stress while leaving you with youthful, revitalised eyes. 

Start protecting your eyes, skin and health from the harmful effects of blue light with these tips and enjoy restful nights and refreshed skin. 

— 

Want to keep up with the latest in skincare and gain tips, tricks and nuggets of knowledge about skincare? Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter below and let us navigate the realm of skincare together! 

It’s amazing what (sun)light can do for you. We’re talking the magical Vitamin D, said to boost happiness levels, build stronger bones and lower blood pressure. Sunlight can also heal the skin… and generously leave it with little brown gifts called pigmentation. Then there’s the other kind of light called IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), which can also generously lighten the damage dealt. That’s our ZapZapTM for you.

A Zap is A Wish Your Skin Makes | The ZapZap IPL Series | #GetYourGlowOn

Credit: Matheus Bertelli

ZapZapTM — An IPL Fairy Tale for the Skin?

The latest introduction to the family of existing treatments, the ZapZapTM series is a suite of IPL treatments targeted at pigmentations, wrinkled/lined skin, acne and acne marks.

IPL isn’t really new to us, but we’d recently given our equipment an overhaul and exchanged our existing Korean technology for the latest, most premium of non-medical grade Spanish Variable Pulse IPL machines that aestheticians are legally licensed to operate. Also, while most other IPL treatments only use blue or green light, our ZapZapTM equipment pairs blue with red light for accelerated recovery.

In other words:

– Better, faster results with even less to no downtime
– It’s good for more than just pigmentations — it’s also great for softening fine lines, heal acne and its marks, balancing excess sebum and brightening the skin
– Suitable for all skin types
– Doesn’t cause dryness to the skin — we promise

We don’t believe in shortcuts, but this is as close as it gets.

Good Things Come in Threes: ZitZapTM, ZapBrightTM and ZapGlowTM 

Good Things Come in Threes: ZitZapTM, ZapBrightTM and ZapGlowTM 

Good Things Come in Threes: ZitZapTM, ZapBrightTM and ZapGlowTM 

Credit: Alice Alinari

ZitZapTM — Healer of Scars, Acne and Broken Hearts Skin

Meet ZitZap™ — the new best friend that makes our signature QuintessentialTM extraction facial so much better. Designed to — well — zap zits, marks and bacteria away, remarkably enhancing skin’s healing after it’s been uncongested (did I just make that up?) to death.

ZapBrightTM — Healer of Pigmentations, Age Spots and Dull Complexions

ZapBright™ zaps melanin, effectively lightening blemishes on the skin. Waste particles are then flushed out of the body and never see daylight again.

ZapGlowTM — Healer of Wrinkles, Lines and Sags

Imagine this: Results so stark yet subtle, a phone camera can’t capture it… but your friends will definitely notice the lines that did a mysterious disappearing act! Designed to reduce fine lines, firm and brighten the skin, ZapGlow™ is an IPL treatment that’s perfect for anti-ageing concerns.

With Good Things Come Bad Things Like Nagging

We love the fast results ZapZapTM brings us and our clients, but as with all things, prevention is better than cure. While some skin problems are truly hereditary (and there’s nothing we can do about genes), we can mitigate/prevent them with these quick skincare tips:

– Use sunscreen so pigmentations don’t appear/appear less
– Stay out of the sun as much as possible, especially if you’re pregnant and prone to pigmentations
– Acne is fixable but just made harder if you keep picking at it

Credit: Fröken Fokus

We’re just a zap away,

Disclaimer: As always, speak with our trusty consultants to determine if the ZapZapTM series is right for you. There’s always something that might be better for what your skin needs.


READ MORE STORIES HERE:

Rescue & Restore: 4 Steps to Restore Glow to Post-Holiday Skin | #GetYourGlowOn

On Honey Facials, Milk and Almonds | #GetYourGlowOn

Foundation Of Skin Care: SOS For Sun Damage

#SkinHacks for the Time-Starved Traveller

or… just flip through our site like you do a diary you found by secret!

When asked what attributes to ageing skin, most would easily throw out answers like a “lack of collagen”. But there’s so much more to that than just collagen and elastin. Bone loss occurs, changing your basic bone structure; constant facial movements and expressions result in wrinkles not just in the skin, but in the muscles themselves! Facial ageing and muscles? They’re definitely a very real thing.

Anyone beyond 40 is no stranger to seeing a different face in the mirror over time. First, there was a slight loss of firmness in the skin… then some fine lines around the eyes and mouth… deeper lines … wrinkles… holy cow, is my jaw sagging now?

Facial Ageing & Muscles - Exercise For Facial Muscles

Credit: http://freestocks.org

Atrophy, not a trophy

Atrophy is a far cry from its similar-sounding brother… what’s atrophy, really? Simply put, it’s the decrease in muscle mass (wasting away of the muscles, if you will), and this happens in the face as well — resulting in (possibly early) facial ageing.

When we were young…

We had strong bones, toned muscles, and beautiful cheeks. These were thanks to the connective tissues under the skin—tissues that contain tons of collagen fibres (for support) and elastic fibres (for strength and facial flexibility).

As we age, these fibres shrink and deteriorate, along with our muscles, bones, and nerves. They lose mass (or volume), strength and elasticity. This is atrophy, and while the biggest changes appear in our 40s or 50s, they usually begin in the mid-thirties and carry on till we’re older.

And as this happens, our skin starts losing its legendary collagen and firmness. Together with the changes that our bones along our jaws, cheeks and brows go through, we begin noticing sags in our facial features (and self-confidence).

Lifestyle behaviours like smoking, alcohol can also influence muscle atrophy. Even excess sun exposure can result in fibres that can no longer ‘recover’ or ‘bounce back into place with resiliency’, and thus sag.

But guess what? Exercise helps!

Muscles & facial ageing? Kill it with exercise

Muscles & facial ageing? Kill it with exercise

Credit: Matheus Ferrero

As we said, most focus on “the loss of collagen” and search for treatments that help stimulate collagen growth to help firm skin. Which is great! Why not boost it for longer-lasting, more effective results with some targeted treatments for the facial muscles as well?

Porcelain’s Cryotherapy Intensive (or more recently renamed Arctic ToneTM) is an award-winning treatment that helps people with anti-ageing concerns.

And here, let’s go technical.

Arctic ToneTM: Features for reversing time

Low-Frequency Current

This super-lifting treatment stimulates facial muscles with a patented 4Hz low-frequency current. It sounds terribly painful, but it is not! What the current does is to tone and stimulate the skin’s muscle fibres comfortably — energizing and elevating the facial muscles. The result is a smoother, firmer and more youthful-looking complexion. What you just did there? A good, intensive workout for your facial muscles.

Low Temperature

Remember our Cryotherapy treatment that brings your skin’s temperature to a low of -10 degrees Celsius? Now, it goes even chillier of up (down?) to -15 degrees Celsius for boosted toning, firming and lifting results. An added Iontophoresis element ensures better product penetration so your skin experiences reduced sensitivity and improved brightening, sebum control and hydration.

Deeper Stamp Depths

Your skin absorbs products even more intensively now not just with Iontophoresis… Arctic Tone also features deeper Cryostamp depths (from 0.25mm to 0.5mm) for more even more targeted results like pore/scars reduction and skin brightening. Deeper stamp depths* simply mean ingredients penetrate the skin more intensively, plus they address deeper scars as they can stimulate tissue repair further down.

It’s pretty simple and no rocket science:

Low Frequency + Lower Temperatures = Firmer, Toned Skin

Iontophoresis + Deeper Stamp Depths = Brighter, More Nourished Skin

*Note: A higher stamp depth may require longer downtime and may not be suitable for sensitive skin.

Arctic ToneTM: Benefits

Muscles & facial ageing? Arctic Tone's Benefits

Credit: Taylor Boggs

Had enough of science lessons? Us, too.

To cut the long story short, the treatment does do what you know will help with facial ageing:

Arctic ToneTM will stimulate collagen and elastin production. But it does more than just that. It also stimulates facial muscles, thus toning them. We like to call it exercise for the face.

Amongst other benefits, the treatment:

– lifts sagging areas like the brow lines
– visibly diminishes fine lines and/or wrinkles on the face and neck
– lightens acne scars and marks
– smoothens and rejuvenates the skin

Arctic Tone: DOES IT HURT?

The truth is…………….. No!

 

Time to send that face for a gym sesh with

 

 

 

 


 

READ MORE STORIES HERE:

On Honey Facials, Milk and Almonds | #GetYourGlowOn

Rescue & Restore: 4 Steps to Restore Glow to Post-Holiday Skin | #GetYourGlowOn

5 Skin Tips To Revive Dull-looking Skin In Time For X’mas | #GetYourGlowOn

Is Mid-Day Cleansing Bad for My Skin? | #DearPauline

#SkinHacks for the Time-Starved Traveller

Layering Hydration the Right Way | #SkinHacks

 

or… just flip through our site like you do a diary you found by secret!