A recent trend is the South Korean 10-step skincare routine. Are there any ill effects from applying too many products on the skin, especially if they are from different brands? – Cassandra Tjong
It’s not necessary to stick to one brand when layering skincare. What counts are the products’ formulas – whether they suit your skin type and address your concerns, as not everything from a brand will work on your skin.
That’s why I usually tailor a skincare regime for my patients, selecting products from different ranges and even brands for the best efficacy. The order in which you use them, however, is important, and the rule of thumb is to start with the lightweight products first. But beyond that, your skin cannot tell if you’re using a toner from brand X after a cleanser from brand Y.
Furthermore, there’s no research that shows skin suffers from using products from multiple brands. The exception to this is when products have active ingredients such as retinol, glycolic acid, salicylic acid and peptides. Such products are only tested for individual performance and getting the wrong mix would render your skincare regime useless or, in some instances, create adverse effects such as skin sensitivity, breakouts, rashes and topical skin dermatitis.
One such example: copper peptides and topical vitamin C. Both are popular anti-ageing ingredients, but they counteract each other’s effects. My advice is to use one active ingredient in the morning to protect the skin and another at night for repair.
I’ve been using a facial cleansing device twice daily for two months, but my skin feels drier than before and makeup seems to sink into my pores. Are both conditions due to my usage of the device? – Teo Sing Yee
Overusing a cleansing device can lead to excessive dryness, redness, irritation and broken capillaries. For some skin types, even the mildest vibrations can be overstimulating, especially if the bristles are pressed too hard against the skin.
When the skin experiences trauma, it goes into repair and regeneration mode. This can be beneficial, but over-exfoliating can cause too much trauma, leading to free-radical damage and premature skin ageing. You do not want to exfoliate to the point of destroying healthy skin cells.
Also, avoid using the cleansing device with a manual or chemical exfoliant as that could be too harsh for your skin. Makeup pooling in pores could be due to both dry and oily skin, with excess oil breaking down the foundation. Consult a doctor if necessary, as your skin could be oily yet appear dehydrated.
My skin always gets very dry and itchy after I disembark from a plane. What products should I take in my carry-on to prevent my skin from looking parched when I reach my destination? – Yeo Chiu Khim
Pack along your regular moisturiser and a hydrating sleeping mask to tackle skin dryness. Be sure to apply them on the eye area, neck and decolletage too.
For long-haul flights, I also advise packing some makeup remover wipes to keep skin clean and fresh. Don’t forget sunscreen, especially if your flight is expected to land during the day. On top of the elemental protection against UVA and UVB rays, pick one with coenzyme Q10, a natural antioxidant that counters free radicals.
Lastly, bring along a sanitiser to disinfect your hands before slathering on your facial products. This is a good practice that most people disregard; basically, you’ll want to avoid transferring bacteria from your hands to your face.
Text: Charmaine Lee, Her World / Additional reporting: Arissa Ha
This article was originally published in the February 2017 issue of Her World magazine.