Dr Karen Soh, medical director at Prive Aesthetics, tells us why it is so diﬃcult to get rid of bacne, and educates us on the causes – apart from a lack of sleep – of under-eye dark circles.
I’m in my early twenties and I get at least eight hours of sleep every night. However, I get under-eye dark circles. What causes them and how do I get rid of them? – Luvina Lim
There are many factors that contribute to under-eye dark circles. These include nasal congestion, nutritional deficiencies, water retention, stress, physical ailments, allergies, fatigue, rubbing of the eyes, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Also, if the skin around the eyes is thin, the blood vessels in the area would be more visible, and they’d make the skin look greyish blue.
There isn’t a cure for dark circles, but dermal filler injections can help reduce their look by plumping up the skin.
Radio-frequency treatments can also be done in synergy with filler injections to tighten and plump up the skin, and boost collagen production.
Sun exposure can cause uneven skin tone too, so be sure to start using an eye cream with sunscreen.
This reader wins a set of Prive Skinworks products comprising White Lightening Wash ($73.80), White Lightening Toner ($73.80) and Triple Action Skin Defence SPF50 ($62).
How do I choose toners and serums for my combination-oily skin? – Jane Ooi
When choosing a toner, pick one with natural ingredients that would help hydrate the skin – such as glycerine and hyaluronic acid – and restore its pH level.
As for serums, the general rule is to go for oil-based ones if you have dry skin, and lightweight, water-based ones if you have oily skin.
You should also avoid formulations with skin-aggravating ingredients such as alcohol, menthol, fragrances and sulphates.
It seems much easier to get rid of facial acne than bacne. Why is this so, and do I need diﬀ erent solutions for acne on the face and back? – Angela Goh
Compared to the face, the skin on the back is thicker and the pores, larger. These not only make the back more susceptible to acne breakouts, but also mean that it is more difficult for acne-fighting products to penetrate into the skin on the back to kill acne-causing bacteria. Compounding the problem is the fact that it is hard to reach the problem area without assistance.
To tackle bacne, shower daily using a medicated body wash with salicylic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties, and gently exfoliates the skin while working to reduce oil build-up. And do moisturise adequately after that.
Following a gym workout, change out of your clothes or get into the shower right away. Sweat and oil can clog pores and worsen existing bacne.
Also, make sure there’s no shampoo or conditioner residue on your back. What this means is you should cleanse your body after you shampoo and/or condition your hair.
If your pimples are not responding to over-the-counter products, you can opt for treatments such as acne laser treatments, chemical peels and microdermabrasion for the back.