Doc Talk

Dr Karen Soh, medical director at Prive Aesthetics, tells us how to care for your skin in your 20s, as well as how to treat milia seeds.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Dr Karen Soh, medical director at Prive Aesthetics, tells us how to care for your skin in your 20s, as well as how to treat milia seeds.
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What kind of skin care routine is recommended for women in their late 20s? Are antia geing products too rich or harsh for their skin? – Nicole Chia

How you care for your skin in your 20s determines what it will look like for the rest of your life.

Right now, your skin is still full of collagen and is at its most supple. If you take clear, even-toned skin for granted in your 20s, you may be setting yourself up for “payback” decades later.

Anti-ageing skin care is not too rich or harsh for you. I would suggest using gentle products (such as a lightweight cleanser and an oil-free moisturiser), and to focus on damage prevention with an antioxidant serum and sunscreen.

Antioxidant serums count as anti-ageing skin care, as they help fend off free radicals that damage skin. Choose one in a lightweight formula if you find creamy textures too rich for your skin.

Sunscreen is vital in any skincare routine as UV rays damage cells deep in the skin, which brings about premature skin ageing.

Even if you use sunscreen, keep out of the sun as much as possible and stay well hydrated.

If you haven’t been diligent with sunscreen, you may already see fine lines around your mouth, and you may notice that your skin tends to get dry easily. Also, damaged pigment-producing cells in skin can continue to produce dark pigments even when skin is not exposed to the sun. And damage from UV rays is cumulative, so you could start to see dark spots on your skin only years down the road.

In addition to using serum and sunscreen, make every step of your routine count by choosing a facial cleanser with more skin care benefits, like the Prive Skin works White Lightening Wash ($73.83 for 150ml). This gentle cleanser has mulberry root extract and other ingredients to brighten skin and help reduce the look of dark spots.

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Tip: How To Look More Youthful

Use skincare containing peptides. What do peptides do? They are made of amino acids that form the building blocks of skin. Peptides are usually combined with other ingredients like fatty acids to boost skin-cell repair and skin regeneration to give you a firmer, plumper complexion. Look for acetyl hexapeptide 3 and palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 in the ingredient list.

I had my beautician remove the milia seeds under my eyes. My skin was supposed to recover within one week, but it’s been a month and the burn marks are still there. What should I do? – Sherry Loo

Milia seeds are tiny cysts that appear just below the skin, commonly around the eyes or temples. They don’t pose a medical risk, but most people have them removed as they want smoother skin.

From your description, the beautician may have used a strong chemical peel or a laser therapy treatment setting that was too high, resulting in burns. You need to be aware that laser treatments should only be done by a trained doctor.

To reduce the look of burn marks, I would recommend laser treatments like Pico Laser or Fotona to help tone down the appearance of skin discoloration and scarring. These laser treatments can also boost collagen production and make wrinkles look less obvious. I would recommend that you visit an aesthetic clinic to consult a doctor. He or she can pinpoint your needs better if they see you in person.

In future, if you still want to remove milia seeds from other areas of your face, you can do a Milia Seeds Removal treatment ($200) in which laser energy is used to directly destroy the milia seeds without aff ecting the surrounding tissues.

Removal is best done by a doctor, to prevent complications like infection, scarring and discoloration.

This reader wins a set of Prive Skinworks products worth $252.40, comprising White Lightening Wash ($73.80), White Lightening Toner ($73.80), Triple Action Skin Defence SPF50 ($62) and Honey Soothing Cream ($42.80).