Dealing with acne breakouts isn’t easy, especially when it strikes just before an important meeting or a night out with your date. But what causes these pesky spots and how can we control them better?
As annoying as acne or skin spots can be, it can be minimised and managed with the right skincare routine. We found that out from picking the brain of facial aesthetics expert, Dr. Justin Boey, from Sozo Aesthetic Clinic. In this article, we enlist his help to answer the most mind-boggling questions we may have when it comes to dealing with our delicate skin.
Q1. What causes acne and skin spots?
Dr. Boey: The most common causes of acne are genetic, hormonal, stress, diet and cosmetic or skin care-related causes. Especially in hot and humid Singapore, pimples or acne are a very common issue. The most common causes of skin spots or pigmentation are excessive sun exposure, genetics and hormones.
Q2. How can we prevent acne and skin spots that’s caused by the things we can’t control (e.g. weather or hormones)?
Dr. Boey: For acne removal, it’s important to first determine the cause of your acne and to treat the cause. For example, inappropriate skincare product or cosmetics is a common reason for acne. To address your acne in this situation, find non-comedogenic skincare products and avoid trying new products.
For removing pigmentation spots, sun protection using sunblock that’s SPF 30 and above is a key step. Some brands like Skinceuticals and La Roche Posay do carry such products. Also, avoid sun-tanning or going under the sun excessively, and remember to reapply your sun block every four hours if you are out in the sun!
Q3. What can we do to treat acne or skin spots and effectively remove them?
Dr. Boey: Mild acne can be treated using skincare products. For example, Skinceuticals Blemish + Age Defense can be used to treat acne spots, while Glycolic 10 can be used to reduce oil production. However, if your acne persists, you may need in-clinic treatments like lasers, chemical peels and oral medications. For pigmentation spots, Skinceuticals Discoloration Defense is an example of a product that lightens pigmentation spots.
Q4. What ingredients or products should we be using to treat acne and skin spots?
Dr. Boey: Look out for products with key ingredients glycolic acid and salicylic acids. However, for pigmentation, you can use products that contain tranexamic acid and hydroquinone.
Q5. What are some common things people do that are actually harming their skin, rather than protecting it?
Dr. Boey: One common habit that actually harms your skin is pimple popping. Simply put – don’t pop your pimple! Squeezing your pimples to remove pus harms your skin – it might worsen the inflammation and spread the infection, which may aggravate scarring and cause more cystic pimples.
Q6: What are your biggest pieces of advice for readers who are worried about their skin?
Dr. Boey: Firstly, sun protection is the most important step to prevent pigmentation spots, especially in hot and sunny Singapore. We are so close to the equator!
Secondly, try to seek help early with regards to your skin conditions. If your acne starts scarring your skin, it’s much harder to remove these scars. So, it’s better to seek help early if your pimples or pigmentation cannot be cured using creams.
Lastly, achieving healthy skin is a life-long commitment. Your skin is no different from the other organs of your body – it undergoes aging and environmental damage. So, your skin needs to be cared for with safe and effective creams and treatments.
Dr Justin Boey (Sozo Aesthetic Clinic) specialises in Facial Aesthetics (Pigmentation, Acne Scars and Non-Surgical Facelift) and Hair Loss treatments. Based in Raffles Place, Singapore, Dr Boey focuses on non-invasive aesthetic treatments that have minimal downtime.