This month, Dr Karen Soh, medical director at Prive Aesthetics, shares her thoughts on which type of chemical peels suit sensitive, acne-prone skin, and the safety of eyelash perms and extensions.
Which is less harmful to my eyelashes: extensions or perms? Cheryl Ng
Both can be detrimental to eyelashes in their own ways. Eyelash extensions may overload natural lashes with excessive weight and cause premature lash loss – the natural lashes that fall out sometimes do not grow back. This in turn can lead to long-term traction alopecia, which is caused by too much weight being applied to eyelashes that haven’t had enough time to fully grow. Prolonged wear of eyelash extensions can also cause lash follicles to become clogged with lash glue. Eyelash perming solutions, if left on for too long, can damage lashes, making them break or fall out. The eyes and the surrounding skin are also extremely delicate and can be easily irritated, which may result in burns or even blindness when in contact with the solution. If you are considering either option, be sure to seek out a qualified professional with the requisite skills and experience to ensure the safety of your eyes and lashes.
Though my cheeks are super dry, I have an oily T-zone with visible open pores and milia seeds. What type of skincare should I use? Yeo Bee Ling
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when dealing with combination skin. It’s important to hydrate your skin adequately with sufficient water intake of at least two litres daily. Topical treatment with hydrophilic (waterloving) ingredients – for example, low molecular weight hyaluronic acid – has also been proven to improve hydration levels in the epidermis. Your skin oiliness and dryness issues will improve once hydro-balance has been achieved. For oily areas, use lightweight and effective formulas. Products with potent, concentrated amounts of beneficial ingredients and a gel, liquid or a thin lotion-like texture will be suitable for the entire face. You should only use richer products such as an emollient booster, serum and cream over your dry cheek areas, but be sure to avoid areas with milia seeds. The secrets to balancing combination skin are knowing when and where to layer products, and avoiding skin-aggravating ingredients such as fragrances and sulphates.
What kind of chemical peels work best for someone with sensitive, acne-prone skin? Abigail Kang
A salicylic acid peel is effective for oily and sensitive acne-prone skin. Salicylic acid is anti-inflammatory (it helps calm inflamed acne) and lipophilic (oil-loving). It penetrates well into oily skin, deep-cleansing clogged pores and working to reduce the amount of oil and sebum produced by the sebaceous glands, resulting in less breakouts. You can expect to see the benefits of a light peel (smoother and more radiant skin), along with the extra acne-fighting boost of a great anti-acne agent. That said, anyone with sensitive skin should proceed with caution when it comes to chemical peels. Start with a mild acidity strength of 5 per cent to 10 per cent, increasing the acidity only when your skin condition has improved and it becomes less sensitive.