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Stay tuned on how you can skip skin cycling for good

Hey there! With skin cycling recently trending on TikTok, you may find this interesting. Skin cycling may be a new term, but here’s a bummer. Dermatologists have always advocated an alternating regimen to reduce irritation from using retinols and retinoids. So, turns out there are no secrets here, or maybe… just maybe… there is a real secret.

Here’s how you can skip skin cycling in 2023

Here’s a revelation. Bakuchiol is an example of a plant derivative in Asian beauty formulations that rivals retinols and retinoids in terms of how it intervenes in the skin cellular functions but without any risk of skin irritation. So that means you get plants to do skin cycling for you! Here’s your chance to get all the green tips and tricks, not mine, but encoded in nature’s hidden intelligence, revealed in Asian Beauty Secrets.

Skip Skin Cycling by going Retinol Free

Hi guys! In this series, I’ll be spilling the beans on the best kept Asian beauty secrets. Now, when you think of Asian beauty, what comes to your mind? The jade roller perhaps? Well, here’s a teaser, there is much more to Asian beauty than these nifty little gadgets. The key difference with Asian beauty products, in particular, in the realm of K-beauty is that these cosmeceutical medical grade products tend to be based off predominantly botanicals and a synergistic blend of plant active ingredients, as opposed to more traditionally prescribed actives such as retinols and retinoids, which are used in the dermatologist’s office.

What is a plant-based equivalent of retinol?

Did you know that there is a plant-based equivalent of retinol? Bakuchiol is actually derived from the seeds of a plant found on the Indian subcontinent known as Psoralea corylifolia. It has been traditionally used in Ayurveda and traditional Korean and Chinese medicine. Now, the benefits of Bakuchiol are clear and have been studied in recent dermatology research. For one, Bakuchiol has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties and specifically it has been found to stimulate collagen production. For those who are interested to replace retinols with Bakuchiol in their skincare regimen, here’s some good news! In a study published in 2014, researchers actually found that the gene expression for full thickness skin models was similar for that of Bakuchiol and retinol users. That essentially translated into equivalent effects on the similar pathways and subsequently clinical effects on skin, meaning there was reduced fine lines, wrinkles because of increased collagen production. The good news is that Bakuchiol is also more tolerable than retinol or retinoids. This is because Bakuchiol itself being a plant-based extract has innate anti-inflammatory properties. This is good news for those with sensitive skin or those who are unable to tolerate retinol or retinoids. There are some important findings from this study – the participants were all given 0.5% Bakuchiol to apply on their skin and at the end of the study, all participants did not just have lesser wrinkles but also improved moisture as well as elasticity of their skin.

Ingredient Spotlight: Arnica Montana

Arnica montana, also known as wolf’s bane, is a traditional European herb that has been used from as early as the 1500s for ethnobotany purposes. Modern studies have discovered that it actually has potent anti-inflammatory and potent antimicrobial effects, and this also applies to skin. For example, in a study performed in 2020, researchers found that application of Arnica was able to suppress UV-induced skin damage in these studies done on mice. On top of that, it also has potent bactericidal and fungicidal properties without actually contributing to antibiotic or bacterial resistance, which is a problem with many topical antibiotic formulas. The secret to this ingredient being effective against bacteria and fungi actually lies in its roots. In particular, it is the presence of thymol in the roots of Arnica that is responsible for this antimicrobial activity.

Ingredient Spotlight: Scutellaria Baicalensis

Scutellaria Baicalensis is a member of the mint family. It has pretty flowers and is known for its use in traditional Chinese medicine. It is known as Huang Jin or Golden herb because of the colour of its roots, which are golden yellow. Here is a very interesting piece of research that emerged in dermatology literature. In this particular study, authors have found that a sunscreen formula made with inorganic zinc oxide, which is what we traditionally know to be an effective physical blocker was actually augmented in terms of its ability to protect the skin from UV radiation when supplemented with this root extract. The benefits are clear, on top of the fact that it does not have the risk of inducing skin irritation as with chemical sunscreen ingredients often added to physical sunblock in order to increase its protection against UV-A. Scutellaria itself also has innate anti-inflammatory properties that help to fight off UV-induced free radical damage. For this reason, plant extracts such as Scutellaria have been considered as viable alternatives to improve the sun protection factor of sunscreen, without the use of potentially irritating chemical sunscreen ingredients

Ingredient Spotlight: Japanese Knotweed

@drteowanlin Want a copy of Asian Beauty Secrets? Follow and comment below your most pressing skincare question! Get a copy and your question answered by Dr.TWL herself! We are giving away 5 copies :) #skincaretips #skincareroutine #skincarecommunity #skincareaddict #skincare #glowingskin #dermatologist #dermatologistrecommended #learnontiktok #learningisfun ♬ Ballet song like "Waltz of flowers" _3 minutes(965255) - yulu-ism project

The Japanese knotweed plant, also known as Polygonum cuspidatum, is a well known spring vegetable. It is also an interesting source of a cosmeceutical known as trans-resveratrol. While many of you may have heard of resveratrol, which is a cosmeceutical anti-ageing ingredient which can be obtained from grapes, blueberries, even peanuts and cocoa. However, we actually have to convert resveratrol to trans-resveratrol before it is being effectively utilised by the body. We know that resveratrol has beneficial effects on the entire body and also the skin. It can block the formation of advanced glycation end products which are important in a concept known as inflammaging. It is the entire body including the skin having an accelerated rate of cell senescence due to ongoing inflammation. By inhibiting the formation of advanced glycation end products, trans-resveratrol can in fact increase collagen production as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Hack skin cycling with plant-based skincare

Want to know an Asian beauty secret? You may have heard of skin cycling where retinols, retinoids, acids and moisturisers are used alternately, in order to reduce irritation to skin while maximising benefits. But I’m going to show you how you can hack this process. The key here is in understanding the link and the parallels between plant biology and our skin’s own delicate ecosystem. In traditional Eastern medicine, these are known as whole plant extracts that have benefits to skin, such as stimulating collagen production, which is a retinol or retinoid-like effect that is desirable, but there are additional benefits seen such as having antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties, which help to reduce any potential for skin irritation. This means that using these plants extracts in place of retinols or retinoids can simulate the desirable effects, but at the same time, omit the need for you to cycle between the active ingredients because of the worry of skin tolerability. Essentially, you can hack the skin cycling process by switching to adaptogenic plant extracts that focus on building skin resilience, as well as enhancing the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant reserve of your skin.

Dermatologist Tips for Your Dream Skin: Who says you need retinol for pigmentation?

@drteowanlin •Dermatologist Tips for Your Dream Skin• Who says you need retinol for pigmentation? Scutellaria Baicalensis is an eastern herb rich in wogonins, nature's UV protectant that also treats skin pigmentation #dermatologist #dermatologistrecommended ##kbeauty #kbeautyskincare #foryoupage #foryou #fypシ #fyp #dermatology #asianbeautysecrets #skincycling #skincyclingroutine #skincyclingresults #skincare101 #skintok #dermatologydoctor #learnontiktok #learningisfun #retinoltips ♬ Bach unaccompanied cello suite "Prelude" - Jianteng

Scutellaria Baicalensis is not just a natural UV protectant but it also can lighten pigmentation. A study discovered that it is actually due to the presence of flavones and flavonoids present in the roots of this plant. Now, the key here is that researchers discovered that the extracts were able to specifically block the transportation or the movement of melanosomes, which are responsible for pigment formation. The name to know here is wogonin. Wogonin is the active flavonoid that was found to be performing this very important function. Hence, a Scutellaria root is considered as a promising plant based alternative for treating hyperpigmentation.

Ingredient Spotlight: Panax Notoginseng

Have you heard of Panax notoginseng? That’s right, it’s considered the elixir of C-beauty or Chinese beauty. In this series, I’ll be sharing about Asian beauty secrets. Modern molecular research has unveiled the active components responsible for its therapeutic effects on skin. In particular, we’re talking about flavonoids, saponins and various trace elements. While it’s also used in other aspects of Eastern medicine such as treating ulcers and controlling bleeding, Panax notoginseng is noteworthy in terms of its application for dermatological purposes. One particular Chinese research group has actually come up with another form of active Panax notoginseng and in fact this has been patented. It involves subjecting Panax notoginseng to a fermentation process and this eventually leads to increased rates of collagen synthesis when applied to skin.

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