Acne and Clogged Pores

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How should I reduce my acne and clogged pores?  Scrubs and face masks don’t seem to help

Dr. Teo Wan Lin Answered question June 24, 2021

To minimise breakouts and skin irritations, put greater care into removing makeup and cleansing thoroughly. I advocate double cleansing, such as using the Milk Cleanser for makeup removal and the Honey Cleanser for regular cleansing. The Miel Honey™ Cleanser is formulated for acne-prone skin, using medical grade honey for antibacterial cleansing whilst functioning as a humectant to keep the skin moisturised. A skincare regime for acne-prone skin should also include antioxidants, such as the Vita C GOLD™ Serum, which contains stabilised Vitamin C. Stability is significant as potent antioxidants like Vitamin C are easily oxidised in atmospheric conditions and lose their efficacy. Antioxidants help to reduce oxidation of sebum which clogs the skin, and also reduces the inflammation that leads to acne.

Topical Vitamin C can help improve acne conditions by combating oxidation of sebum and comedogenesis (also commonly referred to as the clogging of pores), by its sheer potent antioxidative strength to neutralise free radicals  and reduce oxidative stress. This neutralisation of free radicals also protects the individual from UV light exposure, which may lead to photodamage such as via sunburn cell formation and DNA fragmentation.

Don’t scrub or use a clay mask. Scrubbing with harsh beady grains of sand would work if your skin was made of wood, like sandpapering it down. In reality, you do not brighten or “exfoliate’’ your skin with that; rather, you are causing damage and irritation to your skin, that’s maybe even the cause of your sensitive skin and red face problems. Clay masks are also unnecessary, even for oily and acne-prone skin types because it’s actually the salicylic acid content in these masks that causes your acne to get better, but not without dehydrating your skin after that (these masks dry out your skin with an astringent). Most of patients end up with a red itchy flaky face, on top of acne after they go on a clay-mask spree hoping that it would cure their oily face and acne.

I typically do not recommend astringent masks (which may include those marketed as clay types or for oily skin) for any skin condition, even super oily skin, because these are not proven to help acne treatment. The face masks that I would recommend would be those for skin moisturisation.

Dr. Teo Wan Lin Answered question June 24, 2021
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