Instead of beautifully packaged bottles of serums, moisturizers, anti-aging creams and the sort, my skincare drawer is filled with clinical-looking tubes labelled with medical terms to tackle my crazy skin (more pictures below). I have acne and sensitive skin, which was exacerbated by the terrible facial I experienced more than 2 years ago.
You can read my previous skincare post here: My Skincare Regime (March, 2014)
My skincare routine seems to be of interest to many, so here's an updated post on the products I use on a daily basis, their functions, those that I use when an outbreak happens, and more. Please remember that I am not qualified in any way to give accurate medical and technical explanations. 😛 . All these are based on my personal experience, from a consumer point of view. Most drugs mentioned in this post are controlled and can only be prescribed by doctors.
I have so far seen two dermatologists, both of whom have helped a lot with my skin issues. They are Dr Joyce from JOYCE LIM CLINIC, and Dr Gerard from CLIFFORD CLINIC. Oh, actually I saw another skin doctor at National Skin Centre, which was a real waste of time and MONEY. I wrote about it on my Dayre: Doctors who don't give a shit (Sad to know that many people have had bad experiences with lousy doctors too)
Currently, these are the products I use on a daily basis, in the following sequence:
 Aknicare Cleanser
It states that it is a 'solution for removal of excessive sebum from acneic and seborrhoeic skin'. It is a liquid cleanser specially formulated for acne. When my skin goes into unpredictable periods of super dry and scaly skin, I use less of this and switch to Joyce Lim Foam Cleanser (forgot to include it in the picture) which I feel is milder. When my skin recovers from the dryness, I use this Aknicare Cleanser. It cleans well and I think has helped to balance out excessive sebum.
This bottle is my third repurchase from Clifford Clinic. Mr Mode secretly used it and I wondered how I managed to use it up so quickly. Lol. So I bought a bottle for him, and wrote his name on it. *territorial*
 T2 Clindamycin Lotion
This is for the 'topical treatment of acne vulgaris'. I dab it on affected areas and the tingly feeling can sometimes sting/hurt my super-sensitive skin, especially when it's very, very dry. But I think I'm used to/addicted to that kind of pain. #sadlaugh
I was prescribed this by the NSC doctor, which Dr Gerard later confirmed as good. I guess that's the only good thing that came out of NSC.
 Aknicare Treatment Lotion
This is a 'lotion for acne prone seborrhoeic skin'. I dab it on affected areas after Clindamycin.
 Joyce Lim Antioxidant Moisture Infusion
This must be my sixth repurchase. It is lightweight, non-greasy, and is one of the rare few moisturizers that do not make my skin break out.
 Stieva-A Cream Tretinoin 0.1%
I previously used 0.01%, prescribed by Dr Joyce. Dr Gerard bumped up the dosage to 0.1%. I have a love-hate relationship with Stieva-A. It dries out my skin so bad I often suffer from peeling and scaly skin. At the same time, it's precisely because it controls excessive production oil that helps in acne prevention.
 Aknicare Skin Roller
I roll this over affected areas. I find that the efficacy of this product declines with more use.
I Will Never Recover
When people see me on the streets or from pictures I post, they assume that my skin has 'recovered very well'. They probably caught me on good skin days. My skin will NEVER recover from the effects of the facial, because I've been battling with new skin issues ever since it happened. In the past I had acne-prone skin but not serious, some sensitivity but not serious either. I could change foundations regularly without fear. I had some pimples here and there, but not to the extent of having to take medicines and use dermatological products LIKE NOW.
After the facial, my skin became hyper sensitive, more prone to acne outbreaks, becomes very dry all of a sudden, then very oily, can itch like crazy, and with every new product I try, I feel like I'm taking a GAMBLE. Even doctor-prescribed stuff can pose challenges.
My skin goes through erratic cycles of pustular acne, dry skin, oily skin, peeling skin. It's a whole new level of skin issues.
This may look like normal skin to you. But to me it's fantastic skin that happens rarely. I had to DIG to find a photo like that, and I do take pictures of my skin almost every day. It has become a habit.
Most of the time, I'm battling skin issues such as this:
I'll be writing on how it feels to live with a skin condition in a separate post on. 🙁
For now, you might want to read my Acne Treatment Journey, where I documented my skin progress from January to April 2015 in a diary format. From when I wrote the post till now, my skin has gone through a lot of changes. I share a lot more of my skin struggles and daily life on my Dayre (@bunbunmakeup).
Products On Standby
Besides my daily essentials, I have these ready in case of outbreaks or when one product doesn't seem to work for this variation of acne. Lol.
 Stieva-A Tretinoin Cream USP 0.01%
0.01% from Dr Joyce.
 Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1%
Dr Joyce prescribed this as a substitute for Dalacin T when it stopped working for me. Both are prescription medication known as a retinoid and is indicated for the topical treatment of acne vulgaris.
 Forban Cream
Foban Ointment 2% is used as a topical treatment for bacterial skin infections, including primary skin infections like: impetigo (a contagious skin infection forming blisters or red spots), paronychia (infection of the nail fold), folliculitis (inflammation of hair follicles) and erythrasma (infection in skin folds in areas like underarms, groin and between the toes); as well as secondary skin infections like infected cuts and abrasions, eczema and contact dermatitis. Foban Ointment 2% prevents the spread of susceptible bacteria, relieving symptoms of the infection. (Source: www.inhousepharmacy.vu)
 Retacnyl Tretinoin Cream 0.025%
I think this is similar to Stieva-A.
 Neo-Medrol Acne Lotion
This is a combination medication that contains two active ingredients: neomycin and methylprednisolone. Neomycin is an antibiotic that helps kill the bacteria that may cause or aggravate acne. Methylprednisolone is an anti-inflammatory that helps to reduce the redness and swelling associated with acne. Methylprednisolone is in a class of drugs called steroids. Methylprednisolone prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.
 Desonide Desowen Lotion Corticosteroid 0.05%
This is 'for the relief of the inflammatory and pruitic manifestation of corticosteroid - responsive dermatoses'. Desonide is a steroid. It prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation. Dr Joyce prescribed this to bring down the initial inflammation/infection very quickly.
 Centellase Ointment 1%
For the treatment of wounds and ulcers, helps in fading scars too. But I don't use this.
 Isotrexin Gel
This is 'for the topical treatment of acne vulgaris'.
Isotrexin contains two medicines–erythromycin and isotretinoin. Erythromycin is an antibiotic and works by stopping the growth of bacteria associated with acne. Isotretinoin stops the formation of blackheads or whiteheads. Both medicines also work to reduce the inflammation that occurs with acne.
Isotrexin can cause skin to become more sensitive to all forms of UV light.
 Papulex Oil-Free Cream
This is a moisturizer for acne prone skin, newly prescribed by Dr Gerard. It is oil-free, non-photosensitizing, non-comedogenic, and fragrance-free. Yet, it is still too rich for me. It gave me bumps which threatened to transform into pustules, so I stopped after 2 days and went back to using Dr Joyce's moisturizer.
Yay, finally, some products you don't have to see a doctor for. HOHO. 🙂
Uriage Thermal Water
Just recently, my neck started to itch for no reason. There are no bumps, just extremely itchy. Some kind of mild rash. I scratched till my skin peeled and bled! 🙁 The Uriage Thermal Water helped to ease the itch and relieve some pain. Review: Uriage Thermal Water
Nexcare Acne Patch
Omg I need to share this wonderful invention with you! THIS IS MY BEST FRIEND.
Whenever I spot pustules (becoz they never stop at one -.-) appearing, I stick the acne patch on the pustule. Sometimes I even pop them. I know some people say it's not good to pop whiteheads, but I use a sanitized needle and immediately stick the acne patch on. I leave the patches on overnight and also don't mind going about my day with several stickers on my face LOL. They work like a sponge to absorb pus and oil from acne blemishes. When I remove them after 6-8 hours, the stickers turns white when all the oil has been absorbed. The pimple would be smaller, flatter, dryer, and there is no scarring. It's an amazing product!
There's the original version which is thicker and fun packs which come with star, heart, and other shapes. I am using the newer version which is thinner and comes with an applicator so I don't get fingerprints on the sticker. I buy 2-3 packs every other week because I go through them very quickly.
I eat healthy and balanced meals. I'm lucky I never fancied oily, deep fried food that much, so I don't feel like there's a huge change in diet. I also make sure I drink at least 2 litres of water every day. Helps that my favorite beverage is water. =)
Since we are on the topic of skincare, I thought I might as well share some of the eye care products I recently and currently use.
 Janmarini Age Intervention Dark Circle Eye Defense
There are 60 beautiful gold capsules that you twist open to get product for each use.
 Belif Peat Miracle Revital Eye Cream
This claims to encourage increment in collagen production. I like the herbal and refreshing scent.
 Philosophy Miracle Worker
This is an anti-aging retinoid eye repair gel. It has a distinct silicone which helps to reduce appearance of fine lines around the eyes. I use it only in the day, don't really want any silicone on my eyes overnight.
 Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye
This claims to revive tired eyes overnight and has a paraben-free formula that's safe for sensitive skin.
 Lancome Genefique Yeux Light Pearl Eye Illuminating Youth Activator
I love the unique rotating and massaging applicator which can reach even the most inaccessible eye areas. I used this down to the very last drop.
 Biotherm Aquasource Total Eye Revitalizer
I love the instant cooling feeling on my eyes when I apply this. My eye area feels refreshed and hydrated each time I use this. I always love looking at the mint-colored gel with hologramic purple hue.
 Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment
This contains maracuja fruit, vitamin C and advanced botanicals, rice bran, mango and coconut. Due to its richer texture, I use it only at night.
I think essentially all eye creams are not too different from one another. The ingredients and claims are pretty much the same - hydrate, firm, brighten. That's why I'm not particular about eye creams - as long as I have some protective layer on, I'm good. If it has a thicker texture, I'll use it at night; if it is lightweight, I'll use it during the day.
What I've listed above are skincare products I personally use and some were prescribed by qualified doctors. What work for me might not work for you. Get a doctor (the ones I mentioned are from Singapore) to help you, and don't stop trying to find the right blend of ingredients that work for you. (It's a neverending battle for me too, as you saw from above)
All the best! 😀