This month, Dr Karen Soh, medical director of Prive Aesthetics, gives advice on how to deal with breakout-prone yet dry skin, and the best way to treat hyperpigmentation.

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This month, Dr Karen Soh, medical director of Prive Aesthetics, gives advice on how to deal with breakout-prone yet dry skin, and the best way to treat hyperpigmentation.

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This reader wins a set of Prive Skinworks products comprising the brand’s White Lightening Wash, worth $73.80, White Lightening Toner, worth $73.80, and Acne Relief Masks (five masks), worth $80.
I have dry, breakout-prone skin and rely on foundation to cover post-inflammation scars and dark spots. However, most formulas I’ve tried tend to be drying or cakey and make my skin feel overly taut. I apply moisturiser before foundation but it doesn’t seem to help at all. Ng Hui Hoy.

Clear your underlying skin problems first instead of relying on camouflage.

Keep skin adequately hydrated by drinking two litres of water daily. At the same time, treat the problem topically with products containing hydrophilic (water-loving) ingredients such as low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, which is proven to improve hydration levels in the epidermis.

Acne should be treated when skin is less sensitive to prevent inflammation and, consequently, dark spots. Effective topical treatments include benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics and vitamin A derivatives such as tretinoin, due to their anti-inflammatory properties and ability to inhibit growth of active acne.

To reduce dark spots, use overthe- counter lightening products with arbutin, mulberry root extract or liquorice. Or visit your doctor for lightbased therapies like laser, or prescription medication to reduce the pigmentation.

Are there any non-invasive ways to reduce the fine lines around my eyes and mouth? Cheryl Chan.

Topicals such as tretinoin and products containing alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) can reduce the look of lines by increasing cell turnover and stimulating collagen production, especially in areas with thinner skin and greater activity – such as around your eyes and mouth.

If you’re looking at non-invasive treatments, I would recommend a prescription-strength chemical peel, microdermabrasion or laser resurfacing, depending on the severity of the lines, your goals and your level of comfort.

Lastly, a popular treatment to consider is Thermage, a clinically proven and non-invasive procedure which uses radio-frequency (RF) energy to help remodel existing collagen and produce new collagen. It can effectively treat fine lines and wrinkles in delicate areas near your e yes and mouth.

I’ve been diligently applying sunscreen, but the patches of hyperpigmentation on my face are getting darker. What over-the-counter products can I use? Yeng Peng Zee.

Hyperpigmentation can arise because of hormonal changes, sun damage, heredity, skin inflammation, skin injuries like burns, cuts and abrasions, and reactions to certain medications.

Consult a doctor before trying products that treat hyperpigmentation, as the causes and severity of hyperpigmentation differ among patients.

Work out a customised skincare regimen with your doctor to safely resolve your skin concern. Use sunscreen with at least SPF50. Look for skincare products containing glycolic acid and lactic acid. These AHAs help to remove the build-up of surface dead skin cells already stained with pigment, thus lessening discoloration. Kojic acid, arbutin and vitamin C can help too.

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