It's been a while, hasn't it, since it happened?
Even so, I still get emails and messages asking about my skincare regime, almost every day. I took this long to share my skincare regime with you guys because I wanted to make sure these products really were effective in the long run. I was worried that my skin would get sick of these products, you know, like how skincare products used to cease effectiveness on my skin after a while.
Let me highlight first hand that this is not a paid advertorial, I paid for all of Dr Joyce Lim's products with my own money. The stupid facial salon refused to compensate me a single cent for all that I've had to fork out to get my skin to what it is today (I tell you, they are so ngeow they refused to reimburse my taxi fare).
I cannot believe it has been 10 (WHAT!) months since that infamous facial episode. All these products prescribed by my dermatologist have worked wonders for my skin, as you can probably tell from pictures posted on my Instagram (@bunbunmakeuptips).
This picture was taken in August 2013, about 3 months post-Ms Barnacles. I can't believe my skin managed to bounce back - correction: improved so much and be better than before - in such a short period. I think I looked pretty damn good! HAHAHA!!!! XD I swear the only editing done to this photo was resizing and adding of my watermark.
Don't be fooled by my makeup (I'll share with you my favorite face makeup in a while! :)) and flattering, natural lighting in this photo which make me appear like I have flawless skin. I DON'T. Sometimes my skin has a mind of its own and creates an artwork of dubious-looking spots on its canvas.
But sometimes is better than all the time and having spots is better than having pus! Be grateful in every small way and you'll live happier! 😀
So I'm grateful that even though the irresponsible salon left me to die, I found a very good dermatologist who not only cured me, she made my skin better than before.
It has come to my attention that some unethical beauty brands (why so many out there, seriously!) have used my face, without permission, to promote their products, claiming that their products are the reason for my recovery. PFFFT! Some even go to the extent of showing a side-by-side comparison of before and after photos.
Before using their products = my face AFTER the terrible facial
After using their products = my face BEFORE the terrible facial
So please be VERY careful if you see my face being used to endorse products. Unless I have personally mentioned it on my blog and social media channels, I AM NOT ASSOCIATED TO THAT BRAND. Thank you to those who have alerted me, I tried to ask those brands to take the pictures down but unethical people will do anything to cheat your money.
To finally answer your questions, here is my skincare regime. I tried my best to look up on the proper medical terms, so don't be so hard on me if I say something wrong k! 😛
1. Joyce Lim Gentle Cleanser
This is the mildest and gentlest cleanser I have ever used in my life. It is soap-free, oil-free, alcohol-free. I don't know what it contains, but it eradicates dirt and oil without leaving skin so dry it reacts by overproducing oil. There is no overpowering fragrance - no elaborate floral scent nor invigorating fruity splash, just..... (*goes and take a whiff) actually it smells like mild soap, but it's NOT soap!
I wash my face twice a day - when I wake up and before I go to bed.
What I am most upset about is that the packaging has been changed and the formula tweaked.
What used to be a light and travel-friendly lightweight plastic bottle with an easy-to-press pump has been changed to this bulky and heavy plastic bottle with a VERY-DIFFICULT-TO-PRESS pump. It doesn't stop there.
The previous formula was of a more liquid consistency - thicker than water, lighter than cream and it was such a dream to work with. I just had to pump a small amount on my Philips VisaPure brush head and start the perfect cleanse from the forehead. I would probably be not as annoyed with the rigid new pump had the formula remained, but pumping foam out of a rigid pump makes it such a dreadful event every time. Sometimes I pump too much, sometimes too little. And if I start the VisaPure from the forehead, the cleanser gets into my eyes. UGH!
An attempt to have the foam dispensed more evenly by shaking the bottle resulted in the liquid spurting all over. =.=
The good thing is that my skin doesn't reject the new formula, so I guess I have no choice but to bear with the new packaging.
*UPDATE*: I am currently IN LOVE with TATCHA Classic Rice Enzyme Powder <3
2. Eldoquin Forte 4% Cream
Hydroquinone is used to lighten the dark patches of skin (also called hyperpigmentation, melasma, "liver spots," "age spots," freckles) caused by pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone medicine, or injury to the skin. This medicine works by blocking the process in the skin that leads to discoloration. (source: Webmd)
I use this after the morning/afternoon/whatevertimeIwakeup cleanse. I love that it leaves a pearly finish, creating a sheer highlighter effect.
3. EpiQuin Micro top
Epiquin is also Hydroquinone, like Eldoquin. Just different brands! I was using only Eldoquin for many months, before Dr Joyce Lim introduced EpiQuin and I used Eldoquin during the day and EpiQuin at night. Eldoquin is lighter and has a slight brightening effect while EpiQuin is slightly richer.
Dr Joyce said after I'm done with the Hydroquinone products, I can do without them. So my skincare regime currently consists of 2 steps:  Cleanse  Moisturize. I AM A HAPPY GIRL. 😀
I have come to realize that no one other than a certified dermatologist can accurately diagnose your skin. No, not even those Cl***que counter girls in their white lab coats. I don't know how, but one of the girls managed to misdiagnose that I have DRY SKIN. To go from oily, acne-prone skin to dry skin is as easy as undergoing a sex change.
4. Joyce Lim Antioxidant Moisture Infusion
Like the Joyce Lim Gentle Cleanser, the Joyce Lim Antioxidant Moisture has got to be the most fuss-free, gentle, lightweight moisturizer I have used. There is a faint, clean fragrance that is very soothing. After spreading it all over my face, I press my palms against my skin so that the heat helps my skin absorb the product even better.
I hope Dr Joyce doesn't change this travel-friendly packaging.
When I apply EpiQuin or Eldoquin before this moisturizer, it goes on smoother and is easier to spread out evenly. Without the E's, my skin seems to have some difficulty absorbing the moisturizer. I'm currently trying out a couple of serums, if they work, I'll do an update on my skincare regime! ^_^*
5. Stieva-A 0.01%
Dr Joyce said Stieva-A is the GOLD STANDARD for treating acne, blackheads and uneven skintone. There are different levels, from my STIEVA-A 0.01% CREAM to STIEVA-A 0.1% FORTE CREAM. I was prescribed 0.01% because my skin was in such terrible and vulnerable condition.
What is Stieva-A Cream used for?
- Make your skin less oily
- Loosen blackheads and whiteheads so that they come out more easily
- Stop new blackheads, whiteheads and spots from forming
- Lowers the number of red, inflamed acne spots.
Tretinoin is used to treat certain types of acne. Tretinoin helps acne by causing the skin's outer layer to grow more quickly and be replaced with new skin cells, which helps to reduce the formation of blackheads, whiteheads, and other acne lesions. (source: chealth)
This medication is available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Therefore, Stieva-A is just one of the brands of Tretinoin. I'm not sure if they sell Stieva-A where you are, but you can take a look at different acne treatment products containing Tretinion like Glo Therapeutics Tretinol and Obagi360 Retinol.
I was forewarned that a few weeks to a couple of months into the treatment I would notice new blemishes, and there really were! I was to continue using it because the medication was going underneath the skin and pushing everything to the surface.
I can't remember exactly when because the improvement was so gradual, but after 2-3 months my skin really got better! So many people commented, and I also agreed, that my skin was even better than before. It's all thanks to using the right products/medication for my skin, prescribed by my dermatologist.
6. Desowen Lotion
Before all of the above mentioned products, at the peak of my horrible skin condition, my 'skincare routine' consisted ONLY of Desowen Lotion.
DesOwen lotion is used for: (source: drugs.com)
- Treating mild to moderate itching, redness, and swelling caused by certain skin conditions.
- DesOwen lotion is a topical corticosteroid. It works by reducing skin inflammation (redness, swelling, itching, and irritation).
I've had 2 chemical peels done at Dr Joyce, one in the 3rd quarter of 2013, the next in early 2014. After the peel, I was advised to use Desowen Lotion in place of the moisturizer for a day or two.
7. Dalacin T 1% Topical Gel
Used specifically to treat acne, Dalacin T is a brand of Clindamycin (you can read up on it). This was prescribed to me late because we had to wait till the allergy was completely gone first, then slowly work on the acne. Later on, I also used another brand of Clindamycin called Differin.
Clindamycin is active against a wide variety of bacteria, including the bacteria associated with acne, Propionebacterium acnes. This is a common type of bacteria that feeds on sebum produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin. It produces waste products and fatty acids that irritate the sebaceous glands, making them inflamed and causing spots. By controlling bacterial numbers, the inflammation of the sebaceous glands is brought under control, and the skin is allowed to heal. (source: netdoctor)
I super love this acne gel! I've tried so many off-the-shelf acne creams and none worked as quickly and effectively as Dalacin T. Farewell, pimples!! 😀
Word of Caution: I don't suppose you can easily buy the above mentioned products off the shelf. Without a consultation with Dr Joyce, I doubt the nurses would sell any products to you. Even if you have easy access to drugs in your country, I would advise against buying them simply based on my review because these products are, after all, MEDICATION for troubled skin, and not for regular skin. (But you can buy them online. Just click on the links.)
I hope I haven't bored you with the technical terms in this post. They weren't very exciting, were they? I wasn't too excited writing about them myself. Not a fan of writing in technical, scientific terms. HAHAHA!
Ever since I started using the Philips VisaPure I never have to worry about my face not being completely clean. I mean, the Dr Joyce cleanser is good and it claims to be able to remove makeup (extremely light makeup, I would say), but the VisaPure has eased my newly acquired phobia of not having a 100% clean face. Of course, this was introduced to me many months after the allergy cleared. My skin was getting better, but the VisaPure probably hastened the pace of improvement.
A full review on the Philips VisaPure is on its way, but I just had to share with you first this little nifty device that brought my skincare routine to a whole new level of convenience. 60 awesome seconds is all it takes to have my skin thoroughly cleansed. I use the Sensitive brush head, which is so gentle, it's like the Hakuhodo standard of makeup brushes. LOL!
You will get to WIN one for yourself (trust me, you will want to OWN one) in my full review on the Philips VisaPure! 😀
*UPDATE*: Check out the behind-the-scenes!
Get the Philips VisaPure HERE.
When Did I Start Wearing Makeup Again?
I let my skin be free of makeup for many months and was very wary about putting stuff on my face at first. But I couldn't live the rest of my life without makeup, could I, as Bun Bun Makeup Tips? HEHEHE.
I think the picture taken in August 2013 was probably one of the first few times I wore makeup after my skin recovered. #从出江湖 Also, I took it slow and didn't wear makeup everyday.
The first face makeup product I used was my favorite Lioele Dollish Veil Vita in Natural Green and was ecstatic when no negative reaction occurred. I already loved it prior to the facial incident, but I became extremely grateful and loved it even more for being on such good terms with my sensitive skin. YAY!!! Now I use it either as a primer, or just on its own when I don't need too much coverage.
The Lioele Dollish Veil Vita has been replaced with the *NEW* Lioele Dollish Cera-v CC Cream.
Oh gawd, I miss Taiwan so much! I think the design of my future home may be heavily inspired by the beautiful minsu we stayed in Miaoli.
So there you have it, my complete skincare regime!
By sharing my skincare regime, I do not wish that you run out and buy what I was/am using because it may do more harm than good when you self-diagnose and self-prescribe medication.
The best advice I can give you, if you have skin problems, is to see a dermatologist. It doesn't have to be Dr Joyce, it doesn't even have to be a private doctor. If yours is a long-drawn condition and not a sudden allergic attack, you can afford the time and save money by going to the National Skin Centre.
Skincare Tip: I would strongly recommend that when trying new products, do it one product at a time. I understand the excitement of trying new skincare you have been promised stunning results, but if you dump several new products on your skin at once, it will be difficult to pinpoint the culprit should a negative reaction occur. By exercising prudence, it may take slightly longer to see if your skin takes to the new products, but it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Thank you for sharing with your family and friends my story. Now, I hope that by sharing my recovery, you and they can find strength in knowing that skin conditions CAN BE CURED, but only if you find the right kind of help. So don't give up, keep searching, because there will be someone out there who holds the remedy to your problems. Keep fighting! =D