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But first, hydrate

What's your number one skin priority?

Maybe you focus on getting clear skin, fading sun spots or preventing facial lines. Actually, its more like all of them!

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Non-comedogenic: fact or fiction?

Ever broken out from a non-comedogenic product before?

They are technically not supposed to clog pores. So why did the opposite happen?

The origins of comedogenicity
'Comedogenicity' is the ability for something to cause comedones or clogged pores . This concept came about in the 1970s to explain how acne can be caused by cosmetic products. 

The original study involved applying different ingredients on rabbit's ears and see if they caused comedones. The...

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Marie Claire Feature

Marie Claire, The Smooth Operator feature in 'The Beauty Edit: Need to know'.
Printed for Australia Dec 2017.

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Woman's Day Feature

Woman's Day Magazine, 'The Rise of Customisable Beauty'.
Published 7 August 2017.

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The truth about dark and light

About 80% of the people I encounter struggle with hyperpigmentation.

It is difficult to resolve for many people as they don't understand it enough. They also find it confusing to navigate through products as they don't really know what works.

If this is you, keep reading!

Hyperpigmentation 101
Melanin gives our skin its natural colour. The dark spot or patch we see is a result...

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When less is more

The more active ingredients there are, the more effective the product is. Right?

Product ingredients are always listed in decreasing concentrations on the label. There is a common belief that a fantastic product should have all actives high up in the ingredients list (i.e. used in large amounts). When active ingredients appear at the bottom of the list, many people assume that the product won't be effective.
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Lip Care FAQs

Is my lip balm making me an addict? Can the dry lip vicious cycle ever be broken?
Today we'll answer questions all about lips!

My skin isn't dry whatsoever, but why are my lips so chapped all the time?
It doesn't matter how oily your face is, your lips won't be the same. Unlike facial skin, lips do not produce any sebum and is a lot thinner. Its thinnest and lack of natural oils make lips exceptionally prone to dryness.

What's...

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Our favourite ingredient

Out of all ingredients I use, there is one that I love the most.

Actually it is a group of them called humectants. What are they and what makes them so special?

The power of humectants
All humectants have one thing in common. They attract water to themselves.
When we use humectants on our skin, they attract water from their surroundings, resulting in an increase in the amount of water on our skin surface....

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The Making of A Lip Balm

The skin on our lips is different from the rest of our face.
If you are chronically chapped, you will know that not all lip balms are made equal, although they might all look or feel similar.

Good vs Great
A great lip balm provides more than temporary relief. It will

Form a protective barrier
Shields against the environmental elements

Condition lips
Eliminates...

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Lowdown on Lips

Lips are easily the most neglected part of our face.
Although they look nothing like facial skin, they are in similar in some ways.

Structural similarities and differences
Like the skin of our face, skin on lips are also consists of 2 main layers - (outer) epidermal layer and (inner) dermal layer.
Unlike facial skin, lips
Are much thinner
The lips' outermost layer of epidermis (stratum corneum) is about 5 times thinner than that of normal facial skin.

Does not produce oil
As lips lack oil...

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Moisturising FAQs

Why do moisturisers break me out? Are hyaluronic acid products the best at hydration?
Today we're answering everything to do with moisturising.

Why do most moisturisers break me out?
These moisturisers contain oils/emollients unsuitable for you. These ingredients are often waxy or solid at room temperatures, giving a nice, smooth consistency. However, they can result in clogged pores for some people. Common examples are cetearyl alcohol, beeswax and shea butter.

Are thick moisturisers best for dry skins?
No. A thick product might...

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The Making of A Moisturiser

Moisturisation is achieved through humectants and emollients.
Thus, they play a big role in how well moisturisers perform.

Types of humectants and emollients
Humectants attracts water; emollients reduce water loss. The figure below illustrates some examples.
How do we pick which (and how much) to use from so many choices? For humectants, it mostly comes down to compatibility with other ingredients in the formula, but emollient selection requires more consideration.

A balancing act
Oily skin is naturally high in sebum,...

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Beauty Breakdown - Moisturise

Why is moisturising essential?
Because moisturisation increases water content, making it imperative for all skins types, even the oiliest.

Water and skin health
Skin is a protective barrier against water loss and harmful pathogens, through a film called the acid mantle.
The acid mantle is a mixture of our natural skin oils, sweat and natural moisturising factors (NMF; think of it as skin's natural humectants) in water. Thus, water is crucial in maintaining the strength of the barrier to

...

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Focus & Fixes - Hyperpigmentation

Last in this series but certainly not the least, is hyperpigmentation.

Types and causes of hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation exists as age/sun/liver spots, melasma or freckles. They result from excess melanin production due to sun exposure or hormonal changes (i.e. contraception or pregnancy).
We won't be covering post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (from scarring), but you can read about it here.

Daily routine focus
Treat
The following actives reduce hyperpigmentation by inhibiting melanin production or transfer. They work best in combination. Vitamins C and E also serve as...

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Focus & Fixes - Bags & Puffiness

Continuing from dark circles, today we'll talk about eye bags and puffiness.

What causes puffiness?
The natural thinnest under the eyes exaggerates any fluid build-up beneath, causing eyes to look puffy. Propensity for this build-up is usually hereditary or age-related, as skin laxity causes fat pats normally inside our eye sockets to move forward.

Daily routine focus
Actives that help relief eye bags fall under two main groups

Discourage fluid retention e.g. certain speciality peptides and plant/marine extracts
...

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Focus & Fixes - Dark circles

Matters of the under-eye are complicated. Dark circles is one of them.

Causes of dark circles
Dark circles are caused by a mix of hereditary and external factors. The thinnest of skin around the eyes makes pigmentation from melanin or blood by-product, very obvious. It gets more apparent with age due to skin laxity from the gradual degradation of collagen/elastin.

Daily routine focus
For melanin-related darkness, brightening actives against hyperpigmentation will help. Vitamin C and AHAs have the bonus benefit of promoting...

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Focus & Fixes - Sensitivity & Reactivity

Sensitive skin reacts to easily various triggers. These reactions often appear as redness, breakouts, blisters and rashes.

Why so sensitive?
Sensitive individuals have a thin stratum corneum (outermost skin layer). This translates to lower tolerance to things like temperature changes or certain cosmetic ingredients or chemicals.

Daily routine focus
Like dermatitis sufferers, avoid products with common irritants/allergens* like fragrance (including natural essential oils).
Cleanse

Avoid extreme temperatures
Keep to room temperature to lukewarm water...

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Focus & Fixes - Dermatitis/Eczema

Dermatitis (or eczema) is a condition that is near impossible to cure, but not hard to control.

Why you have eczema
Dermatitis is usually hereditary. It happens when your skin barrier function is impaired, due to the lack of natural oil. Other than dryness, itching, redness, rashes, blisters and weeping sores are also common symptoms.

Daily routine focus
Avoid products with common irritants/allergens* like fragrance (including natural essential oils).
Cleanse

Gentle and rinses off completely
...

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Focus & Fixes - Aging

We can't avoid ageing, but we can delay it. Here's the 101.

Structure to function changes
Ageing causes structural changes in the outer and inner skin layers.
Fine lines and dryness are caused by overall reduction in sebum levels, while deeper wrinkles and laxity are a result of collagen/elastin/hyaluronic acid breakdown in the inner dermis.

Daily routine focus
Exfoliate

AHAs
Glycolic acid is particularly great at promoting skin renewal to reduce lines, stimulate...

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Focus & Fixes - Acne Scarring

After the worst of acne is over, the next challenge is eliminating scars.

Pits and PIH
Post-acne scarring affects both skin texture and tone.
Pits (or 'ice pick scars') are usually caused by cystic acne which destroyed parts of the underlying collagen/elastin. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) are dark red/brown/purple areas, caused by skin trauma such as picking or infection.

Daily routine focus
Treat
The following actives reduce hyperpigmentation by inhibiting melanin production or transfer. They work best in combination. Vitamin C and...

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