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

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.

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,

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!

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?

“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!

If you’re like some of our clients who first walked through our doors, you might have the misunderstanding that hydration begins only when you’re slapping on moisturizer. Not true! Hydration should really be a part of every step of your skincare routine, including the first: pre-cleansing. Layering is a concept that’s been around for a while now, but many articles we’ve come across talk only about layering on moisturizers… which still focuses on the final step of your skincare ritual. And there’s so much more than that! Today, let’s talk about layering hydration the right way.

1. Layering hydration begins from cleansing

Your cleanser (and pre-cleanser) should help remove makeup and impurities while still injecting your skin with moisture. Love the squeaky-clean feel of your skin after cleansing? That’s not what you should be gunning for! Instead, your face should feel soft and supple after the first wash, as the former is a sure sign of skin that has been stripped of moisture. Look for pre-cleansers and cleansers that contain hydrating ingredients for a revitalizing and hydrating wash.

Ingredient Tip-off: Sodium Hyaluronate, coconut extracts, orchid extracts, aloe vera, cucumber.

2. Hydration continues every step after

Dehydrated skin means it’s more prone to build up and any moisture you want to flush your skin with simply won’t get through. Make room for it! Use a gentle exfoliator with natural plant enzymes and aloe extracts to soften dead skin cells while hydrating the skin.

You then follow with your essences, moisturisers, serums and toners… But wait, in which order? There IS a science to follow if you really want to be layering right.

3. The Golden Rule: Layer from lightest to heaviest

This applies to any skincare routine. After you cleanse and exfoliate, you want to work your way through the thinnest products first and build up to the thickest. Products that are less viscous have smaller particles, thus penetrating more easily and deeply into your skin. These mean your toners, essences and serums, followed by your moisturisers. Look for toners that contain hydrating ingredients like natural rose and jojoba oils and that you can use for a quick spritz throughout the day. Find serums that have hydration powerhouses like sodium hyaluronate and aloe vera to quench thirsty skin. Finally, end with moisturizers that also contain hydrating properties and hyaluronic acid to seal all that water within.

Ingredient Tip-off: Sodium Hyaluronate, aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, rose, jojoba

Credits: Steve Spangler

4. A Final Tip: Oils don’t moisturise; they seal

It’s an understandable misconception to think that heavier products are necessary to help dehydrated skin, but it is still a misconception. The truth is, when your skin needs water and you’re giving it oil instead, it’s going to become even more desert-like. Why? Oil keeps water out (or in, if you’d been diligent in your hydrating cleansing regime). Imagine adding heavy cream to a dry sponge – it wouldn’t be absorbed, right? Again, many clients have come to understand that dehydrated skin lacks water – not oil. If you are the kind who suffers from seemingly dry skin yet with overactive sebum glands, it’s a sure sign of dehydration but read more about that here.

A final note…

Layering tops up on moisture every single step so it’s a progressive journey for your skin. Instead of cleansing and toning methods that strip your face down into nothing before dumping a whole lot of moisturiser on again, taking it through a healthier exchange of removing oil while replenishing water helps achieve a balanced skin pH. Moreover, this helps to lock in moisture better!

Have you learnt the art of layering?

Stay True,


READ MORE STORIES HERE:

#DearPauline | Fuss-free Skincare Routines: How Long is Enough?

4 Ways to Ensure Your Body & Skin Are Hydrated

#SkinHacks: Dry Skin vs Dehydrated Skin – 3 Quick Tips


Most of us associate the term “pH” with Chemistry classes. Our memories flit back to lab days and playing with the changing colors of liquids. For most, our knowledge of pH stopped at understanding that it stands for “potential hydrogen”. Plus that it’s used to describe how acidic or alkaline a product is. And maybe that the most acidic measures a 1, the most alkaline a 14, and neutral is a 7.

Never did we realize or anticipate its importance in our skin’s health. When we consume unhealthy food or use incompatible products, our deteriorating complexion is normally the first sign of imbalanced pH levels.

What is the perfect pH to achieve for our skin, then, you might ask?

Our skin’s barrier, also known as the acid mantle, works best at a slightly acidic 5.5pH balance. When it is at that ideal level, the skin is able to retain the “good oils” and moisture well while keeping out UV rays, pollution, toxins and bacteria.

However, when the pH leans too much to the alkaline side, our skin becomes dry and sensitive, occasionally resulting in flaking or eczema. Irritations can also strike during this period. This slows down the skin’s ability to ward off enzymes that can destroy collagen, thereby causing wrinkles and sagging.

As for when the skin is overly acidic? Expect enlarged pores, blackheads, and acne.

Thus, equalizing the skin is of utmost importance. That balance is easily attained with a diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, and at least 8 cups of water a day. Needless to say, having a reliable skincare regimen that works well is also necessary.

A balanced skincare regimen

Often times, many run for the hills once they hear “skincare regimen” as they assume an effective one will cost an arm and a leg. Not true! In fact, a simple 4-step system (cleanser, toner, serum and moisturizer) is more than sufficient.

First, begin with a mild, or pH 5.5, cleanser so as to ensure skin is cleansed gently but effectively. Avoid using soaps which lean to the alkaline side nor over wash your skin (water has a pH level of 7). Follow through with an alcohol-free toner to maintain the acid balance as well.

Including a serum such as our Balance, Sebum Control Essence (R.P. $41) will be tremendously beneficial. It not only hydrates skin and controls oil in the short run, but also slowly balances out the skin in the long run. After a few months, one should experience a smoother, softer and more balanced skin texture.

Finally, use a hydrating moisturizer as a finishing touch. This keeps your skin remains constantly moisturized and ups its ability to repair itself against aggressions over the day.

By following through with these steps, achieving that balance will be a breeze.

Stay True,


READ MORE STORIES HERE:

#JargonBreakdown – What Is Sebum?

Understanding Acne – Why Some Get It And Some Don’t  | #SkinHacks

Layering Hydration the Right Way | #SkinHacks

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