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Best Lip Treatment for Dry Lips: An Expert Guide  

March 2, 2024
Secrets behind the best lip treatment for dry lips: choose the right lipstick base! Dermocosmetics are the gold standard for skincare makeup, combining the best of pharmaceutical benefits with ideal cosmetic effects. The Signature Cosmeceutical Lip Base is now available for bulk purchase for those who wish to try their hand at making their own lipsticks.

In this workshop, we will be covering the following

  • Why skin on the lips is different
  • Common skin conditions affecting the lips
  • Step by Step dermatologist designed lip care protocol
  • How the right lip product can treat lip dryness and aging 

The following is a lip care routine I designed, as part of my work on developing lip cosmeceuticals. 

FAQ 

How is skin on the lips different from the rest of facial skin? 

  • Delicate part of your facial skin 
  • Distinct type of epithelium 
  • Mucosal area
    • Fragile, thinner
    • Readily absorb topicals i.e. systemic absorption into the body

The lips are a delicate part of your facial skin that is distinct because of the type of epithelium that is different from the rest of your facial skin. Because the mucosal area tends to be more delicate, it’s important to understand that mucosal areas often absorb whatever is applied on it – which can lead to absorption into the body system as well. 

Custom Lip Palette Infinity Palette
Learn to make custom lip palettes just like this when you order our kit which comes with a full set of lipstick making tools. Our deeply hydrating phytoceramides formula offers the best lip treatment for dry lips. Salmon Roe DNA also stimulates collagen producing, conferring anti-aging properties.

Aren’t all lipsticks and lip balms edible? What is the difference with a truly edible lip care product?

No. While the ingredients must pass certain regulatory criteria for safety, there are limits to what is considered toxic, in the sense that small quantities of a chemical can be considered safe—but we know that ingesting chemicals isn’t part of our diet. In contrast an edible formula is always going to be preferable over a merely cosmetic formula . The latter may be safe, but not regarded as an edible. 

How can we prevent the signs of lip aging?

The signs of lip aging include the following: wrinkling, dryness, loss of volume and discoloration. A good idea is to plump up your lips with cosmeceuticals that repair the barrier function. Humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid for instance work by drawing water from the deeper layers.

What are the functions of the ideal lip care product?

The perfect lip dermocosmetic should target restoration of elasticity, moisture levels, and natural pinkish hue of healthy, youthful looking lips. 

Healthy, youthful looking lips

  • restoration of elasticity
  • moisture levels
  • natural pinkish hue 
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polysaccharide mask
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skin bioanalyzer uses
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BEST LIP TREATMENT FOR DRY LIPS TIP

Part of the comprehensive dry lip treatment products we recommend in our pharmacy is a monitoring device which is the skin hydration analyzer, which is able to measure the ceramide and elastin levels, as well as transepidermal water loss when used over delicate areas such as the lips as well as the eye area.

What are the active ingredients you should look out for in a lip care product?

The following active ingredients are backed by research to deliver the best benefits when it comes to lip care products. Firstly, phytoceramides derived from plant seed oils are effective at replacing and replenishing moisture by literally patching up broken parts of the lip mucosal barrier with lipids. Secondly, I’d look out for grape seed oil, a food derivative used in cosmetic formulations for its potent antioxidant properties. Grape seed oil is actually related to the well-known anti-aging ingredient resveratrol.

What are your top tips on a lip care routine? 

Perfecting a routine depends very much on the products you use and also the sequence and technique of application. I wish to highlight the following 3-step routine which is what I personally recommend to my clients:

BEST LIP TREATMENT FOR DRY LIPS PRODUCT TIP #1

Barely There Lip Scrub
The Barely There Lip Scrub is a proprietary formula containing solid state crystals that gently exfoliate your lips at the same time effectively removing rough and dry skin without irritation. What follows is a smooth moisturising serum, leaving you with soft as the crystals dissolve on contact with mucosal skin, leaving smooth and hydrated lips.
  1. Exfoliate with a lip scrub or a washcloth 

Start off with an exfoliating lip scrub. Some lip scrubs available on the market are truly beneficial, these tend to use natural moisturising crystals like sugars which do not irritate delicate mucosal skin but instead dissolve onto the lips while providing a gentle exfoliation effect. Alternatively, you may just use a soft microfibre towel, or cotton pad dampened to gently rub on your lips with Vaseline as a quick way to remove flaky areas without irritating skin.

BEST LIP TREATMENT FOR DRY LIPS PRODUCT TIP #2

LipSerum Stick Gender Neutral Clear Color
Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals is a leader in the field of dermatologist-formulated lip care products that has been extensively featured in media including Cosmetics Design Asia, for its pioneering approach to skin tone analysis and complementary color analysis for skin of colour. The LipSerum Stick in Gender Neutral Clear is one of our bestselling products in the pharmacy and is highly recommended for lip treatment and prevention of dry, chapped lips, It contains a hydrating phytoceramide formula that prevents lip eczema, also treating discolouration, wrinkles and loss of volume that can be liberally applied to lips several times a day.
  1. Use a neutral or lightly tinted hydrating lip balm or serum in the day before you apply lipcolor

To fully protect your lips, especially if you wear strong lip colors regularly and for long hours, you should hydrate your lips first with a serum before applying the color lipstick. The ideal lipstick should be one that also has hydrating dermocosmetic properties, but in the case that you are using a regular lipstick, it would reduce the drying effects of intensely pigmented lipsticks. 

BEST LIP TREATMENT FOR DRY LIPS PRODUCT TIP #3

Ultra Intensive Treatment Lip Plumper
The Ultra Intensive Lip Plumper is our best-selling lip plumper that also works as an intensive overnight treatment for dry lips. Fortified with grape seed oil and hyaluronic acid, this delivers a potent anti-aging concoction to your lips everytime you apply it.
  1. DIY a night lip treatment mask

Apply your choice of lip treatment by leaving on your favorite lip balm or plumper overnight. For an added boost of moisture, I would recommend implementing the   wet occlusion technique in the form using a wet textile over the plumper. It can be as straightforward as a wet cotton towel or you could use a special material designed to increase absorption, I.e. polysaccharides are a natural plant material known to enhance absorption of topicals.

Final thoughts

This 3-step regimen has been used by my patients who suffer from either aging or dehydrated lips as part of a comprehensive home lip care regimen, starting with exfoliation and emphasis on day time hydration, completed by an intensive overnight leave-on treatment. Where possible, choose skincare makeup. If you suffer from dry lips, It’s also helpful to monitor the hydration levels. 

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5-in-1 formula lipstick base
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Launch special at just $120, get your full starter or professional kit complete with video instructional course so you can begin immediately on your compounding journey. Free delivery to USA with minimum purchase of $250. 

The 1 Best Foam Cleanser for Oily Skin—Dermatologist’s DIY Home Facial Hacks 

February 21, 2024

Did you know that the best foam cleanser for oily skin is one that actually shouldn’t dry out your skin? In this week’s tutorial I’m going to spill the beans on how to harmonize oily skin from the outside in. Download your complimentary worksheet here.

Barrier Repair Speed Guide
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    Top criteria for choosing the best foam cleanser for oily skin 

    • Foam texture 
    • Amino acid surfactant OR botanical emulsifier i.e. soy, honey, saponins (plant-derived soaps) 
    • Moisturising actives i.e. glycerin 
    • Low alkalinity 

    When it comes to my top criteria for choosing a face wash or foam cleanser for oily skin, it boils down to the following. Firstly, one with a foam texture is generally going to leave oily skin feeling cleaner, and is going to be more satisfying from an end-user perspective. However, we know that most surfactants that produce a foam tend to be highly alkaline, thus disrupting the general acidic pH of skin.

    For this reason, I recommend choosing a cleanser that is based on an amino acid surfactant OR a botanical emulsifier i.e. soy, honey, saponins (soap-like substance naturally found in plants). It is a bonus if moisturising actives i.e. glycerin can be included in the formulation, as it can repair the skin barrier. 

    The Science Behind 

    The Skincare Slide Show Skin Science Bite Sized

    Choosing the best foam cleanser for oily skin isn’t just a matter of the most expensive brand, it’s the formulation that counts. Many drugstore foam cleansers may be easy on the wallet, but the fact is they actually harm the skin barrier. 

    • At puberty onset hormones are secreted
    • Testosterone causes surge in oil gland activity 
    • Excess oil production when sebaceous glands fail to regulate 

    The science behind oily skin is fairly straightforward. Oil is actually a natural emollient which helps to strengthen and repair the skin barrier. The trouble is when there is an imbalance between oil secretion and the actual barrier needs of skin—the mismatch occurs when there is faulty signalling. At the onset of puberty, that’s when hormones are secreted.

    Specifically, it is testosterone that causes a surge in oil gland activity, this is beneficial in most cases, especially if one suffers from dry skin conditions such as eczema. Many eczema sufferers find their condition improving after puberty. However, the trouble with excess oil production is when sebaceous glands fail to regulate the amount secreted, hence worsening symptoms in those who are already acne-prone

    What causes oily skin? 

    What causes oily skin?

    To better understand how to choose the best foam cleanser for oily skin, we must first examine the root cause. 

    • Why? Largely genetic, can be caused by misuse of products I.e. astringent skincare 

    As to what causes oily skin, dermatologists generally consider it to be a largely genetic issue. However it is noteworthy that oily skin can also be caused by misuse of skincare products I.e. astringent skincare that contains alcohol, salicylic or alpha hydroxy acids. While many of these actives can be considered therapeutic, daily use of these ingredients in a face wash for instance can cause skin barrier damage. 

    Why treat oily skin?

    • Oily skin be embarrassing due to the high-shine appearance of the complexion 
    • Can be a symptom of acne vulgaris and induce comedone formation 
    • Can be uncomfortable i.e sticky sensation in humid climates 
    • Increase inflammation of skin, accelerates inflammaging 
    • Can cause makeup to wear off quickly
    Best Foam Cleanser for Oily Skin to Treat Oily Skin

    Choosing the best foam cleanser for oily skin must include a consideration of how effective the formula is for alleviating symptoms.

    In my opinion the symptoms of oily skin must always be treated appropriately. For one, symptoms can be highly embarrassing. The high-shine appearance of the complexion for instance isn’t merely a cosmetic concern, it can be inconvenient if it leads to makeup wearing off rapidly, besides being a thoroughly uncomfortable sensation. In addition, oily skin can be a symptom of acne vulgaris and can also induce comedone formation. Those living in humid climates will also find the sticky sensation quite disturbing. A lesser known fact is that excessively oily complexions are prone to increased skin inflammation, thus accelerating the inflammaging process.

    Terms to know

    • Hyperseborrhea
    • TEWL (Trans-Epidermal Water Loss) 
    • Sebaceous glands 
    • Paradoxical reactive hyperseborrhea
    Best Foam Cleanser for Oily Skin Prevents Hyperseborrhea

    The ideal foam cleanser for oily skin respects all the factors that make up the delicate skin micro-climate.

    Some important terms to know when discussing oily skin are the following. Hyperseborrhea refers to a state of excess oil production, and is often associated with acne. 

    TEWL which stands for Trans-Epidermal Water Loss is the normal evaporative process that occurs due to water loss via the skin barrier, one that is influenced by environmental factors.

    Sebaceous glands are the correct medical terminology for oil glands, the glands closely associated with your hair follicles which cover every inch of skin apart from your palms and soles. 

    Paradoxical reactive hyperseborrhea is the phenomenon of excess oil production that arises from the use of astringent skincare products such as harsh cleansers. When stripped of natural protective oils, the skin barrier feels dehydrated and sends signals to the oil glands, almost as a cry for help. This ultimately leads skin to compensate by producing even more oil. 

    FAQ How about foam cleansers for combination & dry skin types? 

    Those with dry skin will do well to avoid chemical surfactant based lathering face washes altogether, instead they should opt for gentle cleansers such as oil-emulsion type face washes. Those with combination skin can reduce the amount of cleanser used over the drier areas such as the cheeks if they find their skin getting dehydrated. The same rules for choosing a cleanser applies.  

    How about foam cleansers for combination and dry skin types?

    Wondering which is the best foam cleanser for oily skin? Dermatologists generally recommend cleansers which have low alkalinity, in order to minimize skin barrier damage.

    Combi/normal/oily skin: 

    When is a 2 step only skincare routine possible for daytime routine (skipping makeup removal)?

    We are used to hearing about the three-step skincare routine. Cleanse-Tone-Moisturise has been the classic mantra since the 90s—double cleansing became a thing in the last decade or so, though many skincare experts have long advocated the double-cleanse I.e. oil cleansing followed by foam cleansing. 

    So here’s how to skip the double cleansing step

    Even if you wear makeup, it is possible to technically skip the double cleanse. The hack here is to use a microfibre textile that can physically pick up the makeup particles as a way to “attract” the pigment, which results in makeup removal with water as a solvent alone. 

    Bonus cleansing tip with foam cleanser for oily skin types 

    The best way to use a foaming cleanser only for one-step cleansing is to pair it with a handheld pore vacuum or a sonic cleansing device. Here’s how you do it, first, apply a sufficient amount of cleanser on damp skin, forehead, nose and chin I.e. the T zone may require special attention for those with combination-oily skin. It is important to choose a dermatologist-recommended gentle cleanser with hydrating properties & antioxidants.

    I would generally avoid cleansers with AHAs and BHAs if you have any history of sensitivity, or live in a summer climate. An alternative is to use these only on a weekly basis, definitely not as a daily face wash. Using the device of your choice,  glide the pore vacuum/spatula  over the entire face, focusing on the oily parts of face with two passes instead of one, and skipping areas that feel dry/irritated

    Cleansing Devices with Foam Cleanser for Oily Skin

    It isn’t just about choosing the best foam cleanser for oily skin, the tip here is to correctly pair it with a cleansing device to make the process more efficient. 

    HOW TO PAIR CLEANSING DEVICES WITH YOUR FOAM CLEANSER

    There are 2 main types of sonic cleansing devices: the spatula style which is used in clinics offering the korean medifacial and the silicone brush head which is marketed mainly for home use. I would recommend the spatula style for the following reasons:

    • Hygiene and ease of use 
    • Less skin irritation on sensitive skin 
    • Choose dual function settings reverse blade models which allow
      • Cleansing 
      • Infusion 
    Sonic Cleanser

    The best practices when choosing cleansing devices for an efficient skincare routine include: the ideal formulation for a face wash or foam cleanser for oily skin, appropriate amounts that are used and also optimisation with cleansing devices.

    SilkPeel Microdermabrasion Home Facial Device

    KEY PRINCIPLE BEHIND FACIAL CLEANSING DEVICES 

    The most efficient way to compress the double cleansing ritual and in fact make the steps go further for you is to incorporate cleansing devices. Essentially, devices help to physically exfoliate dead skin cells at the same time cleansing skin. Additionally, the pairing of actives such as antioxidants in the cleanser can help regulate the skin microenvironment. Finally, devices using microdermabrasion or hydrodermabrasion technology enhances absorption of the actives via transdermal delivery. For optimal results, choose specifically formulated cleansers like the Miel Honey Cleanser.

    Dermatologist’s Top Tip #1: Best Foam Cleanser for Oily Skin  

    • Foaming cleanser only for one-step cleansing use with a handheld pore vacuum
      • Choose dermatologist-recommended gentle cleanser with hydrating properties & antioxidants
      • Apply appropriate amount of cleanser on damp skin 
      • Glide the pore vacuum over oily parts of face, skipping areas that feel dry/irritated
      • Choose dermatologist-recommended gentle cleanser with hydrating properties & antioxidants
      • Apply appropriate amount of cleanser on damp skin 
      • Glide the pore vacuum over oily parts of face, skipping areas that feel dry/irritated

    Dermatologist’s oily skin cleansing tips: how to freshen up quickly 

    Those with oily skin may wish to avoid blotting papers as this can further dehydrate the skin barrier and worsen paradoxical hyperseborrhea. Instead, facial mists can be used as an on-the-go, quick cleansing step throughout the day. Those with oily skin can also help to regulate their skin microenvironment with the antioxidants and barrier repair actives in hydrating facial mists.

    BONUS EXERCISE: CASE STUDY OF IDEAL CLEANSER TO USE WITH PORE VACUUM OR SONIC CLEANSING DEVICE 

    3-IN-1 CLEANSING + ANTIOXIDANT + HYDRATING BENEFITS

    Honey Cleanser Foam Cleanser for Oily Skin

    Are you a budding skincare formulator? For a complete course on skincare formulation and actives, get the Skincare & Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary which includes detailed case studies from board-certified dermatologist and chief scientific officer of Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals, Asia’s leading beauty KOL Dr Teo Wan Lin  

    Skincare & Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary
    The must-have skincare ingredients handbook with the latest in bacterial ferment filtrates, aquaporin regulators and granactive retinoids. Created for skin experts, this book is jam-packed with core and specialised cosmetic formulation secrets by the chief scientific officer of leading Asian clinical skincare brand Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals. Includes resources for creating a custom skincare line catered for small business owners or DIY beauty enthusiasts.
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    Skincare Decoded: The Ultimate Skincare Course For Skin Experts—Discover Beautiful Skin With Dr.TWL’s Skincare Bible Series
    The Hormonal Acne Book
    The Hormonal Acne Book – Holistic Acne Treatment & DIY Home Facials for Aestheticians Skincare Professionals

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    Skincare Decoded: The 1 Complete Skincare Course For Professionals to Master

    February 8, 2024
    Skincare Decoded

    The Skincare Decoded book is a 3-in-1 special edition, comprising the Skincare Bible and the workbook in a single reference textbook, plus a full suite of online materials including digital slide show access, and expert workshops on the skin barrier. For a limited time only, get the best-selling Skincare and Medifacial Expert course by Skin Masters Academy on Udemy for FREE with every purchase of this textbook on Amazon.

    Barrier Repair Speed Guide
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      Examples of what you will learn in this crash course 

      On-Demand Workshop on Skincare Routine Steps

      @drteowanlin SKINCARE DECODED: COMPLETE SKINCARE COURSE FOR EXPERTS On-Demand Workshop on Skincare Routine Steps Welcome to The Slide Show with Dr.TWL Episode 2, where we present skin science in bite-sized formats. Today we will be covering the first, fundamental step in skincare routines, makeup removal. Makeup removal What are the two main formulation options for makeup removers? The first is a micellar formulation. The second, an oil-based cleanser or an emulsion, sometimes known as a “milk” cleanser. I will go through the pros and cons of each but first let us define some terms. How does micellar water work? Micellar water works by hydrophobic (water-hating) and hydrophilic (water-loving) properties of a micelle. The makeup residue is attracted to the water-hating aspect, this is best thought of as a ball that is wrapped up which continues to roll on skin grabbing the residual pigment and dirt. To remove the ball which is a micelle, you use a cotton pad. Friction or rubbing is inevitable and this can be harsh for sensitive skin. What is the downside to oil cleansers? Pure oil cleansers are often too greasy, my choice is an emulsion or a milk cleanser. Milk cleansers are oil in water formulations, the oil component dissolves makeup pigments and removes excess sebum. The “like for like” principle here is that oil soluble pigments are dissolved in a similar substance—an oil in water emulsion. What is the difference between emulsion vs oil cleansers? The benefits of an emulsion are that it is less greasy than pure oil formulations. It is also effective as a humectant if formulated with moisturising ingredients. When you physically rub off the makeup on a cotton pad, the oil component protects your skin. It acts as a barrier between the cotton pad and skin, hence reducing friction unlike with micellar solution. Dermatologist skincare Singapore Dermatologist recommended skincare Best serum Singapore Best dermatologist skincare Singapore #skincareroutine #skincareactives #skincareactives101 #oilcleansing #skincareingredients #skincareingredient #singaporedoctor #dermatologist #singaporedoctors #skincare #dermatologist #tiktoksg🇸🇬 #skincareroutine #skincaretips #skincare101 #skincareproduct #dermdoctor #learningsfun #learnontiktok ♬ original sound – Dr.TWL Dermatologist

      Welcome to The Slide Show with Dr.TWL Episode 2, where we present skin and skincare science in bite-sized formats decoded for you. Today we will be covering the first, fundamental step in skincare routines, makeup removal. 

      Skincare Decoded: Makeup removal 

      What are the two main formulation options for makeup removers?

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      The first is a micellar formulation. The second, an oil-based cleanser or an emulsion, sometimes known as a “milk” cleanser. I will go through the pros and cons of each but first let us define some terms. 

      How does micellar water work?

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      Micellar water works by hydrophobic (water-hating) and hydrophilic (water-loving) properties of a micelle. The makeup residue is attracted to the water-hating aspect, this is best thought of as a ball that is wrapped up which continues to roll on skin grabbing the residual pigment and dirt. To remove the ball which is a micelle, you use a cotton pad. Friction or rubbing is inevitable and this can be harsh for sensitive skin.

      What is the downside to oil cleansers?

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      Pure oil cleansers are often too greasy, my choice is an emulsion or a milk cleanser. Milk cleansers are oil in water formulations, the oil component dissolves makeup pigments and removes excess sebum. The “like for like” principle here is that oil soluble pigments are dissolved in a similar substance—an oil in water emulsion.

      What is the difference between emulsion vs oil cleansers?

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      The benefits of an emulsion are that it is less greasy than pure oil formulations. It is also effective as a humectant if formulated with moisturising ingredients. When you physically rub off the makeup on a cotton pad, the oil component protects your skin. It acts as a barrier between the cotton pad and skin, hence reducing friction unlike with micellar solution.

      Skincare Decoded Book

      “Skincare Decoded is created for skincare professionals. A compilation of the original Skincare Bible: Dermatologist’s Tips on Cosmeceutical Skincare with the interactive course workbook I developed to guide effective learning. ” Dr Teo Wan Lin, dermatologist and founder of the Beauty Bible Series by Dr.TWL®. 

      Skincare Decoded – The Ultimate Skincare Textbook by Dr.TWL

      Achieve Beautiful Skin With Dr.TWL’s Beauty Bible Series

      The updated edition complete with esthetician pearls and online workshop access. In this course, board certified dermatologist Dr Teo Wan Lin shares her medi-facial and skincare secrets, based on solid foundational principles of restoring and repairing the skin microbiome. Learn from a world-renowned dermatologist based on a curriculum specifically designed for aestheticians and dermatology physician assistants.

      Dr.TWL Skin Masters Academy

      Who should read Skincare Decoded?

      Skincare Experts, Estheticians, Esthetic Businesses

      Why choose this book?

      • Gain confidence in skin consultations
      • Learn to answer difficult questions
      • Creating skincare routines for universal skin types
      • Managing sensitive skin correctly
      • Complete Skincare Education Program designed by internationally renowned beauty KOL 
      • Foundational 5-Lecture Skincare Video Workshop with lecture notes/quiz
      • 5-hours of webinar access, Q & A forum with Dr.TWL
      Learn to Analyse Information on Skin Scientifically

      Skincare Decoded is your chance to discover what goes behind the doors of a dermatologist’s office & get straight answers to your skincare questions

      • Advanced skincare expertise taught by a board-certified dermatologist
      • Direct FAQ style: all your beauty questions answered 
      • 5 demonstrative on-demand video lectures
      • Concepts in dermatological science, Skin disorders & cosmetic effects, Functional dermatology, Skincare fundamentals, Tips for masking better

      Skincare Decoded: A Millennial Beauty Edit for Skin Experts

      This 3-in-1 edition features a 5-hour on-demand video workshop for skincare professionals.

      • Skills of a basic to advanced skincare analysis 
      • Principles of skincare regimes backed by the latest evidence
      • Cosmetic science behind skincare vehicles
      • Tell the differences between serums, lotions and creams
      • Personalise a skincare routine
      Step by Step Tutorials

      A section of the Skincare Decoded book features FAQ style learning segment of broad dermatological principles. A complete course created by Dr Teo Wan Lin, international beauty KOL and host of Asia’s premier beauty podcast Dermatologist Talks: Science of Beauty that has collaborated with top industry names like the AMORE-Pacific group, Eucerin, Dior Beauty, Skinceuticals, FOREO and the Loreal group.

      Digital Skincare Workshop Syllabus:

      • Concepts in dermatological science
      • Skin disorders & cosmetic effects
      • At-Home facial tips
      • Skincare fundamentals – cleansing
      • Masking better
      Advanced Medi-Facial Courses

      How did Skincare Decoded come about?

      The Skincare Decoded edition combines Skincare Bible: Dermatologist’s Tips on Cosmeceutical Skincare by board-certified dermatologist Dr Teo Wan Lin, with a  companion workbook as well as standalone Skin Masters Academy foundational lecture series access. This book is a trusted tome of skincare advice that has been widely quoted by beauty writers in international media such as CNN Philippines.

      Besides the readily accessible style of the original Q & A style skincare bible, this title contains interactive skin science based worksheets that takes you through each chapter with a step by step, systematic approach. 

      What you get:

      • Dedicated self-test sections plus answer key
      • Worksheets accompany illustrations for visual learners
      • Answer difficult skincare questions like an expert
      • At-a-glance concept maps
      • Fill in the blanks
      • Mind maps and index cards 

      Your ideal companion for on the go quick learning and revision.

      Skincare Decoded—Get this Book!

      This skincare and facial expert course is perfect for:

      • Salon owners, beauticians, aestheticians
        • Master skincare expertise and basic dermatology conditions
        • Offer facials that work; avoid those that don’t
        • Learn the Science of Beauty and the Art of Skincare Routines from the skincare expert herself
      • Beauty entrepreneurs
      • Beauty bloggers, influencers, thought leaders

      What you’ll learn

      • Complete Skincare Routine—Intermediate to Advanced / Expert Levels
        • Double Cleansing + Sonic Cleansing
        • Toners/Lotions + Pore Treatment
        • Serums + Face Oils
        • Moisturiser Types: Lotions, Creams, Ointments and Face Mists
        • Advice on tailoring fail-proof/irritation-free skincare regimens for clients for greater customer satisfaction
        • Exfoliation (Physical, Chemical, Enzyme)
        • Face Masking (Sheet, Dry, Wet, Gel, Clays)
        • Skin Cycling Facts and Myths
        • Customised Skincare Trends
      • Answers to FAQ by Clients/Audience
      • Popular Skincare Ingredients
      • Skin Types: Learn Dr.TWL’s Universal Skincare Approach
      • Latest Scientific Approach to Skin: Microclimate, Microbiome and Skin Barrier
      • Targeted/Spot Treatment of Skin Concerns (over-the counter, cosmeceuticals, herbal formulas)
        • Pigmentation
        • Acne
        • Acne Scars
        • Sensitive Skin/Eczema
        • Skin Aging (Photoaging)
        • When to refer to a dermatologist
        • What works and what doesn’t
      • How to Formulate the Express Facial Regimen for Clients
        • How to Get Instant Results
        • Cost/Time-Efficiency
        • Customer Retention
        • Relationship Building
      • Tips on Choosing the Ideal Facial Devices for your Salon
      • How to Avoid/Minimise Adverse Reactions

      Skin Barrier Repair: Best Dermatologist Tips on How to Keep Your Skin Hydrated

      December 21, 2023

      Build skin resilience with Dr.TWL Pharmacy. Treat, Test & Monitor dry skin with our Skin Barrier Repair Kit.

      You may already be aware of the importance of skin barrier function—how it can affect the condition of the skin, but how exactly? Skin hydration and the stratum corneum barrier have been active areas of dermatologic research for a good decade. Alongside these developments, consumers are beginning to find their interest piqued about the subject, largely because of the marketing campaigns by industry giants. Before you commit to any product or treatment that promises skin barrier repair, I’ll teach you exactly how to navigate industry jargon so you don’t get confused, worse still, foxed by the deluge of claims—beginning with the basic science of skin.

      Skin Anatomy And Physiology

      Layers of Skin
      Figure 1.1: Diagram showing structure of skin

      The skin is made up of 3 layers – epidermis, dermis and hypodermis (otherwise known as ‘subcutis’ or ‘panniculus’).

      The epidermis has 5 layers – stratum corneum, stratum granulosum (granular cell layer), stratum spinosum (spiny layer) and stratum basale (basal cell layer) from the outermost to the innermost layer.

      This outermost layer of the skin consists mainly of keratinocytes, cells which produce a protein called keratin that is a key structural material in the hair, skin and nails. These cells mature over a two-week life cycle. During these two weeks, they are first differentiated from epidermal stem cells in the basal cell layer and are further differentiated as they move upwards towards the epidermis. At the end of the 28-day cycle, they are shed off after reaching the stratum corneum.

      The dermis has 2 layers – the papillary dermis and reticular dermis. It mainly consists of fibroblasts, collagen and elastic fibers.

      The final layer of the skin called hypodermis is where the adipose tissue (fats) lie.

      Barrier Repair Speed Guide
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        Skin Structure Diagram
        Figure 1.2: Diagram showing skin structure

        Concept Of Skin Function And Importance of Skin Barrier Repair

        1. Skin barrier function – the skin acts as a physical barrier between the internal and external environments to retain moisture and protect the skin against mechanical, chemical and microbial injury; dysfunction of the skin barrier may result in injury, dehydration, infection and inflammation

        2. Immunologic – the skin senses and responds to pathogens; dysfunction of the immunologic barrier may result in infection, allergy, inflammatory skin conditions and in the worst case scenario, could lead to skin cancer

        3. Temperature regulation – the skin maintains a constant body temperature by regulating heat loss in the form of sweat production, with insulating properties of fat and hair and with a dense superficial microvasculature; the failure to maintain a constant body temperature could lead to hyper- or hypothermia

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        The second edition of the skincare bible includes specialised Focus Tutorials on two new modules Skin Resilience & Skin Barrier Repair with extended question and answer practice for advanced practitioners.

        4. Protection from radiation – a dark pigment in the epidermis called melanin protects the skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation; disruption of the production of melanin increases the risk of skin cancer

        5. Nerve sensation – the skin constantly monitors the environment through sensory receptors and mechanoreceptors found in the skin; dysfunction in the nerve sensation may lead to pruritus, dysesthesia (an abnormal sensation) and insensitivity to injury (as in the case of diabetes and leprosy)

        6. Injury repair – the skin has the ability to repair cutaneous wounds in four phases: coagulation, inflammatory, proliferative-migratory (tissue formation) and remodelling; the loss of this ability results in delayed wound healing (e.g. post-radiation treatment)

        7. Appearance and quality of life – besides medical conditions, deteriorations to the skin such as skin defects or physiological ageing can lead to psychological distress (e.g. lipoatrophy and vitiligo);

        Skin diseases can all be localised to a problem when any one of these functions of skin are disrupted and will be covered in the following chapters.

        Dr.TWL SkinScience
        The Skincare Bible: Strategic Blueprint for Resilient Skin teaches you the art and science of skin barrier repair.

        Skin Barrier Repair And Hydration

        You may have heard about the term ‘skin barrier’, which in scientific terms is more accurately referred to as the ‘stratum corneum barrier’. How important is the skin’s  barrier function and how exactly does it work?

        Skin hydration and the stratum corneum barrier have been active areas of dermatological research for many years. In the last 5 years, commercial companies have started to market their skincare to address this. Before you commit to any product or treatment that promises to skin barrier repair, have a read on to understand what these terms and processes mean.

        The Stratum Corneum Skin Barrier

        The skin barrier primarily prevents foreign material from entering the human body. But it also does more than just that. It prevents water loss and serves as a shield against the environment. The barrier works to maintain the body’s homeostasis (or stable equilibrium) level, without which the entire body’s organ systems will shut down. The loss of water from the body through evaporation from the surface of the skin is known as Trans-Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL), thus a need to maintain hydration of the superficial cells, known as corneocytes.

        Corneocytes are the cells found in the stratum corneum layer, the outermost layer of the epidermis. These cells are formed through cornification, where the skin cells develop tough protective layers or structures, ultimately creating a physical barrier for the skin. When deprived of moisture, dry skin easily develops cracks, fissures and is more susceptible to environmental changes such as the weather.

        Ambient humidity also affects the corneocytes. As the level of environmental humidity varies, corneocytes acclimatise by drawing water up from the deeper layer of skin cells, in order to maintain equilibrium with the environment. This explains why our skin feels drier in winter.

        Skin Hydration

        Skin hydration is a critical factor in attaining healthy skin and a measure of any effective skin barrier repair. A mixture of water-soluble compounds called natural moisturising factor (NMF) have been found to affect water content levels. The arrangement of lipids (fats) in the stratum corneum is also important, as it serves as an effective barrier to the passage of water through the layer. A poor arrangement or deficiency in the corneocyte “cement” can lead to increased transepidermal water loss (TEWL). TEWL occurs as water diffuses and evaporates from the skin surface. While this is a physiological process, excess TEWL is undesirable as it can lead to excessively dry skin.

        Skin Barrier Repair
        Achieve healthy, radiant skin inside-out—based on principles of skin barrier repair for resilience.

        TEWL and Moisturisers

        TEWL has been one of the most commonly used methods in dermatology research to measure skin hydration as it directly correlates with skin barrier dysfunction. Healthy skin would score a low TEWL value as it would mean less water loss.

        In the same vein, most moisturisers are put to the test by using TEWL values. A good moisturiser should help decrease TEWL. Moisturisers have remained as a ‘staple’ in basic skincare. Yet, not many may fully understand its function, thus leading to confusion in choosing a suitable moisturiser for their skin needs. An effective moisturiser should protect the skin by stimulating and augmenting its natural barrier function for holistic skin barrier repair, creating the perfect microenvironment for skin healing. Moisturisers will slow down skin ageing as a result.

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        Is your skincare working? With the skin bioanalyzer, you can get an analysis of your skin in just a click of a button.

        What happens if the water content of the stratum corneum falls below a desirable level? Normal desquamation is not able to take place, that is the shedding of the outermost skin layer. With insufficient hydration, skin cells will adhere to one another and accumulate on the surface layer. Visible changes associated with this phenomenon include dryness, roughness, scaling and flaking.

        Certain cosmetic ingredients such as ceramide, glycerol (also known as glycerin) and hyaluronic acid have gained prominence in recent years by targeting the stratum corneum water content. How do these work?

        Ceramide for Skin Barrier Repair

        Ceramides for Skin Barrier Repair Model
        Figure 1.3: Diagram showing brick and mortar skin barrier model

        Ceramides are best understood as the cement joining bricks of a wall together. Genetically, people with sensitive/eczema skin types have deficient ceramide content. Additionally, one’s skin barrier can be damaged by the use of harsh cleansers containing laureth sulfates, over-washing or just due to ageing and hormonal influences such as menopause. The use of ceramides in moisturisers is crucial in preventing and repairing skin barrier dysfunction.

        @drteowanlin Ceramide benefits in moisturizer for dry skin Improve skin hydration Reduce water loss from skin Increase skin’s natural ceramides Anti-inflammatory Beneficial for those with eczema, or atopic dermatitis Most ceramides beauty brands refer to are synthetic or animal sources, i.e. bovine in origin—which is also a concern for those preferring a vegan lifestyle. Dermatologist Dr. Teo Wan Lin’s top pick for ceramides is a lesser-known subtype known as phytoceramides. These are botanically derived from plant seed oils and the most prominent phytoceramide of all is shea butter. Derived from the shea tree, shea butter provides a rich source of natural origin plant-based ceramides that can repair the skin barrier effectively. Benefits of phytoceramide skincare Enhance hydration better than synthetic ceramide Improve the recovery rate of damaged stratum corneum Improved immunity Anti-inflammatory #dryskin #moisturiser_for_dryskin #moisturisertreatment #sgskincare #dermatologytiktok #sgtoktok #sgdoctor #dermatologist #tiktoksg🇸🇬 #skincareroutine #skincaretips #skincare101 #skincareproduct ♬ original sound – Dr.TWL Dermatologist

        Glycerol for Skin Barrier Repair

        This ingredient exists in the stratum corneum as a humectant. It has been demonstrated that changes in the stratum corneum’s water content correlate with the glycerol content in the layer. Such results have driven the development of glycerol-containing moisturisers since decades ago. Check the ingredient list of your moisturiser, this is a fundamental ingredient which should appear in any basic, effective moisturiser used for skin barrier repair.

        Hyaluronic Acid for Skin Barrier Repair

        Known chemically as sodium hyaluronate, it is a major component of the dermis (deeper layer of the skin). What is less known is that hyaluronic acid is also present in the outermost layer. It plays an important role in regulating the skin barrier function and hydration. Although the skin care industry may recognise hyaluronic acid as a powerful humectant (it attracts water to hydrate the skin), this molecule also participates in cellular functions. Hyaluronic acid influences cell-cell interactions that lead to normal structure of the skin barrier and hence is critical in skin barrier repair.

        Conclusion

        Though the mechanisms for skin hydration are complex and beyond the scope of this book, a basic understanding about the skin structure and function is crucial to form the basis for choosing appropriate moisturisers for any skin type. Dermatologist-recommended moisturisers target at least one, if not all of these pathways for effective skin hydration to achieve skin barrier repair. With a myriad of drug-store and luxury beauty brands available, it is a useful guide to determine what may be worth your dollar for your basic moisturiser.

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        Moisturising is a basic step in a skincare routine after cleansing which every one should incorporate. That aside, if you are looking to up your current skincare routine, cosmeceuticals are the buzzword amongst dermatologists. A combination of ‘cosmetics’ and ‘pharmaceuticals’, cosmeceuticals are products with bioactive ingredients that can bring benefits to skin health including skin barrier repair, and are prescribed as adjuncts to anti-ageing treatment.

        How to Treat Pigmentation on Sensitive Skin: The Art & Science Explained by a Dermatologist

        September 17, 2023
        Skin Masters Academy Skincare Formulation Series

        If you are wondering how to treat pigmentation on sensitive skin, this tutorial is for you. Part 2 of the Skincare Formulation Series by Skin Masters Academy brings you the delicate art of treating pigmentation while balancing the needs of sensitive skin.

        This series is written for advanced skincare practitioners who are interested in the use of cosmeceuticals including non prescription topicals as adjunct therapy for various cosmetic skin concerns. 

        Listen and learn. Follow us on Spotify podcasts for your complimentary access to skincare tutorials for advanced practitioners. 

        Bite Sized Beauty: At-a-Glance FAQ With Dr.TWL 

        How do you treat pigmentation on sensitive skin?

        The needs of both must be balanced. Sensitive skin is caused by a dysfunctional skin barrier, which means that the superficial corneocytes have lost their ability to adhere together. This results in a leaky epidermis. External allergens can trigger immunological reactions resulting in redness, itch, stinging and flaking. Moreover, ingredients used to treat hyperpigmentation can penetrate deeper and quicker if the barrier is breached. It’s key therefore to choose only non-irritating actives that treat hyperpigmentation. This excludes the use of retinol and retinoids for those with sensitive skin. Vitamin C serum formulations should have low acidity—if possible, choose neutral compounds like sodium or magnesium ascorbyl phosphate instead of L-ascorbic acid based vitamin C serums. 

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        Which cream is best for pigmentation skin? 

        In terms of traditional cosmeceuticals, hydroquinone and retinoid based formulations work best for stubborn pigmentation such as melasma. However, these are particularly tricky to use in sensitive skin types. Hydroquinone is known to breach the skin barrier and also causes a paradoxical rebound phenomenon if used inappropriately. For this reason, dermatologists recommend using hydroquinone based formulations for 6 months maximum—requiring a break in between or there could be a condition known as onchronosis that results. Retinoids are troublesome for those with sensitive skin—they do damage the skin barrier and should be used with care under the supervision of a dermatologist. 

        Newer non-prescription alternatives have emerged in cosmeceutical research over the years which include melanogenesis blockers like kojic acid, arbutin and novel inhibitors that we will cover at the end of the tutorial. 

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        Which acid is best for hyperpigmentation for sensitive skin?

        Traditional chemical peel acids like salicylic, glycolic and retinol peels can adversely affect the skin barrier of sensitive skin types. Lactic acid is a gentler alternative although newer formulations now include plant enzyme peels like pineapple and papaya derived bromelain and papain respectively. Hydrodermabrasion is a form of physical exfoliation which can also improve the surface quality of sensitive skin types. By the infusion of antioxidant serums that contain plant actives, vitamin C—there can be a simultaneous benefit that targets underlying processes responsible for melanin production. 

        Barrier Repair Speed Guide
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          In-Depth Skin Science With Dr.TWL

          Skin Science with Dr.TWL Dermatology Essentials for Advanced Practitioners
          Ready for some skin science? Follow me on IG and TikTok for this brand new series The Slideshow With Dr.TWL.

          Physiology of Sensitive Skin 

          Sensitive skin is a state of hyper reactivity. Key to understanding this is the concept of barrier function. We already know about the brick wall model of skin, which means that once the skin barrier is damaged, the proteins associated with the structure of this wall also changes. Ultimately, this is what stimulates inflammation, leading to tissue damage. This is further exacerbated by what we call the itch scratch cycle. It is helpful to know that neurological factors play a role when it comes to sensitive skin. 

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          New in! The Skincare Bible textbook plus workbook set is now available as a box collection on Amazon in Kindle and paperback forms. 

          How to Treat Pigmentation on Sensitive Skin Tip 1: Patch Test

          Understand the physiology involved—skin barrier dysfunction is what triggers sensitive skin reactions like itching, redness, flaking and stinging. Knowing what to look out for is important to monitor for adverse reactions when using a new skincare product. Patch testing before using the product on the affected area is key. Use a small amount on an inconspicuous area such as under the jawline and monitor for any adverse reactions overnight. 

          The Sensitive Skin Model

          In dermatology research, the sensitive skin model is what scientists use for testing—essentially a skin model that mimics actual skin barrier damage. 

          With this, researchers proceeded to investigate the effect of cosmeceuticals on the damaged skin barrier. 

          @drteowanlin Physiology of Sensitive Skin Sensitive skin is a state of hyper reactivity. Key to understanding this is the concept of barrier function. We already know about the brick wall model of skin, which means that once the skin barrier is damaged, the proteins associated with the structure of this wall also changes. Ultimately, this is what stimulates inflammation, leading to tissue damage. This is further exacerbated by what we call the itch scratch cycle. It is helpful to know that neurological factors play a role when it comes to sensitive skin How to Treat Pigmentation on Sensitive Skin Tip 1: Patch Test Understand the physiology involved—skin barrier dysfunction is what triggers sensitive skin reactions like itching, redness, flaking and stinging. Knowing what to look out for is important to monitor for adverse reactions when using a new skincare product. Patch testing before using the product on the affected area is key. Use a small amount on an inconspicuous area such as under the jawline and monitor for any adverse reactions overnight. #skincareroutine #skincareactives #skincareactives101 #skincareingredients #skincareingredient #singaporedoctor #dermatologist #singaporedoctors #skincare #dermatologist #tiktoksg🇸🇬 #skincareroutine #skincaretips #skincare101 #skincareproduct #dermdoctor #learningsfun #learnontiktok #sensitiveskin #sensitiveskincare ♬ original sound – Dr.TWL Dermatologist

          List of Cosmeceuticals Identified in Research for Sensitive Skin Treatment 

          The following are a list of extracts that have been identified for its efficacy. We have oat extract, olive leaf extract, brown algae, stachycose and erythritol. These extracts are chosen for

          • their ability to scavenge free radicals
          • inhibit hyaluronidase, the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of a hyaluronic acid

          Hyaluronic acid is an important structural protein in the dermis.

          Art & Science of How to Treat Pigmentation on Sensitive Skin

          How to Treat Pigmentation on Sensitive Skin Tip 2: Ingredients to Avoid

          Avoid acids and retinol/retinoid products. Many skincare products formulated for the treatment of hyperpigmentation include peel acids like AHAs, BHAs as well as retinols. These damage the skin barrier and are not suitable for treatment of pigmentation on sensitive skin types. 

          Which cream is best for treating pigmentation?

          How to Treat Pigmentation on Sensitive Skin Tip 3: Go Low & Slow 

          Apply the product in a gradual, incremental manner. Go slow and low. Non-prescription actives have the potential to cause skin irritation as much as prescription actives in sensitive skin types. If you have sensitive skin and are using a low concentration of glycolic, salicylic or lactic acids for treatment of hyperpigmentation, play safe by starting at a once-a-week frequency.

          Remember tip 1–which is always begin with patch test first if you have sensitive skin. After that you can proceed to monitor your skin for up to a week after you use the product on the target area. I would then increase frequency at a weekly interval i.e. from once to twice a week, then three times a week, alternate days before using it on a daily or twice daily basis. 

          Bacterial Ferment Filtrates in Functional Dermatology

          I want to now draw your attention to what I call functional filtrates. These refer to bacterial ferments such as those from galactomyces and lactobacillus. 

          The Origins of the Discovery 

          Elderly sake brewers were observed to have a wrinkle free, youthful looking skin on their hands which were in constant contact with the sake fermentation process. This was in contrast to their faces which were wrinkled and filled with pigmented spots. 

          Research on the Sensitive Skin Model 

          Clinical studies done by scientists then demonstrated that galactomyces and lactobacillus ferment filtrates were able to improve fluctuations in redness, roughness and pore size. They were also helpfil in alleviating mask-induced skin irritation in the era of mask wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

          The Science behind Bacterial Ferment Filtrates

          How exactly do bacterial ferment filtrates work? First of all, they upregulate ceramide production via filaggrin gene expression which is what we know as the key player in healthy skin barrier function. They are also what we consider Tapinarof or TAMA-like. These have been used as alternative therapeutics for inflammatory skin diseases in dermatology like psoriasis and eczema. 

          Therapeutic Skin Benefits of Ferment Filtrates 

          Ferment filtrates are nature’s very own TAMAs. Beyond that, bacterial ferments have an inherent antioxidant capacity. This additional antioxidant effect is what neutralises damaging free radicals. One of the ways it does it is by blocking key mechanisms in the process of inflammaging, for instance cell senescence, the process of cells falling asleep. By doing so, we are reducing stress in the skin and enhancing skin cell repair. 

          Cosmeceuticals containing bacterial ferments also demonstrate increased caspase 14 enzyme expression, which are essentially enzymes that are activated by the phytochemicals present in plant extracts. There is also increased expression of tight junction molecules. These affect the connections between the cells that make up the skin barrier. This ultimately affects the permeability of the barrier and helps to restore healthy skin function. 

          Are Ferment Filtrates the Answer?

          This may be the key to bridging the gap between the needs of hyperpigmentation sufferers and those with coexisting sensitive or reactive skin. Understanding the science behind cosmetic formulations is a start.

          In summary, we have discussed the latest research in skin barrier function, the basis for functional dermatology actives that target hyperpigmentation. Ingredients tested on damaged skin models in the laboratory setting can be of significant use to those seeking alternative tyrosinase inhibitors.

          Botanicals, phytochemical extracts and bacterial ferment products can target multiple pathways of skin inflammation and reactivity.

          If you have both pigmentation and sensitive skin

          How to Treat Pigmentation on Sensitive Skin Tip 4: Use Moisturiser Liberally 

          The problem with sensitive skin is that it never seems to break out of the vicious cycle of barrier dysfunction-environmental trigger-immune reaction—all of which result in perpetuation of the itch scratch cycle. Pigmentation is most often at the superficial layers of skin, though in conditions such as melasma it can go deeper in the second layer known as the dermis. Skincare actives that treat pigmentation can penetrate deeper if the skin barrier is breached—though by the same reasoning we can expect an elevated risk of skin irritation. Liberal, frequent use of a ceramide-dominant moisturiser can mitigate this risk. 

          Advanced Techniques for Skin Experts How do you treat pigmentation on sensitive skin

          How to Treat Pigmentation on Sensitive Skin Tip 5: Dedicate Time to Masking Properly 

          Masking is truly an underrated skincare step. It might sound simple enough, but it works via the basis of wet occlusion therapy—a well founded dermatological principle. In dermatological therapeutics, wet occlusion is an applied technique that helps treat eczema by enhancing absorption of skincare actives. When a wet layer of textile is applied on skin, this improves the permeability of the skin barrier. However, one caveat is that you should use purely hydrating actives in your face mask and avoid retinols, salicylic acids and glycolic acids. 

          Polysaccharide Face Mask
          A mask made of polysaccharide offers significant benefits over traditional single use sheet masks. First of all, the dehydrated form means it has a longer shelf-life compared to those infused with facial essences. It is also customisable, meaning that you could use your own moisturiser with it instead of purchasing expensive serums or lotions. On its own, polysaccharides are also an effective moisturising ingredient—they create little pockets or “mini-reservoirs” that trap moisture at the skin surface.

          Case Study: Sensitive Skin & Hyperpigmentation

          This case study involving an ideal cosmeceutical regimen for those with eczema and coexisting hyperpigmentation can direct of future research in this field.

          There are a few keys that form the foundation of such a product. The ideal skincare formula targeting sensitive skin and hyperpigmentation includes ceramides, natural moisturising factors and bacterial ferments which addresses hyperpigmentation. Critically, sensitive skin users ought to go retinol and retinoid free— as these are well known to cause skin irritation. 

          Beyond that, I am excited to share with you the exciting world of functional dermatology—one that shows the way to alternative tyrosinase inhibitors and novel melanogenesis blockers—each playing a key role in the future of cosmeceuticals.

          5 Best Skincare Courses Online for Skin Experts 

          September 1, 2023
          Dr.TWL Skin Masters Academy Skincare Courses

          Skincare courses by Dr.TWL Skin Masters Academy offer an in-depth study into the science of skincare and practice of basic dermatology taught by board-certified dermatologist Dr Teo Wan Lin. As an international beauty KOL, Dr Teo has collaborated with leading skincare brands such as Eucerin, Skinceuticals, L’Oreal Paris to name a few on her podcast Dermatologist Talks Science of Beauty.

          @drteowanlin Bakuchiol is an effective retinol alternative. It is recommended because it does not cause skin irritation like retinols/retinoids, while being able to work at the same cellular pathways. This means it stimulates collagen production, reducing the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, bakuchiol, unlike retinoids have anti-inflammatory properties. This means that it doesn’t just stimulate collagen production, but it also naturally reduces redness, stinging flaking- skin markers of reactivity, sensitivity and inflammation. Now in our custom CC serum foundation @Dr.TWL Dermatologist Skincare #bakuchiol #bakuchiolserum #retinolskincare #retinol #skincareroutine #skincareactives #skincareactives101 #skincareingredients #skincareingredient #singaporedoctor #dermatologist #singaporedoctors #skincare #dermatologist #tiktoksg🇸🇬 #skincareroutine #skincaretips #skincare101 #skincareproduct #dermdoctor #learningsfun #learnontiktok ♬ original sound – Dr.TWL Dermatologist

          Our beauty promise: on-demand skincare courses online 24/7 designed for skin experts by a board-certified dermatologist

          In this guide, we’ve put together the best 5 online skincare courses by the academy, created especially for skincare professionals. As a skin expert, make constant learning a priority—the world of skin science is evolving rapidly in a highly competitive industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars today. These courses are designed by a leading international beauty KOL to help position you as a thought leader and skin expert wherever you are.

          @drteowanlin Skincare Ingredients 101 Retinol alternatives: an asian beauty take Follow for more in this series! #skincareroutine #skincareactives #skincareactives101 #skincareingredients #skincareingredient #singaporedoctor #dermatologist #singaporedoctors #skincare #dermatologist #tiktoksg🇸🇬 #skincareroutine #skincaretips #skincare101 #skincareproduct #dermdoctor #learningsfun #learnontiktok ♬ original sound – Dr.TWL Dermatologist

          Our promise at Dr.TWL Skin Masters Academy: the best skincare courses delivered by a board-certified dermatologist.

          Dr Teo Wan Lin is the author of published research on the skin microbiome. Her work as chief scientific officer of Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals, one of Asia’s prominent clinical skincare brands has been published in leading dermatology journals such as the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and the International Journal of Dermatology. 

          Skincare Courses Recommendations

          Skincare courses recommendations from students

          1. Skin Expert & Medi-Facial Course (Certificate Course)

          Skincare Expert and Medi-Facial Certificate Complete Course

          This is the most comprehensive course on medi-facials you will find. Dr Teo Wan Lin shares the exact blueprint for her proprietary 7-Phase Medi-Facial system developed for her own dermatology practice, with a step by step protocol designed to take students of all skill levels to complete mastery. She covers common dermatological conditions such as acne and eczema, how to identify and design compatible skincare routines as part of a comprehensive treatment regimen. 

          2. Holistic Acne Treatment Course & Advanced Cosmetology

          Holistic Acne Treatment Skincare Course

          Searching for online skincare courses? Get access to a dermatologist’s tips on skincare formulation and clinical techniques at Skin Masters Academy. 

          For those interested in holistic acne treatment, this course offers a complete guide to a complementary approach to the management of the commonest dermatological condition—acne. Whether you suffer from acne, are a parent of a teen who does, or if you are a skincare professional looking to offer evidence-based advice on skincare routines that target acne, this course offers pearls of wisdom direct from a dermatologist. 

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          3. Skin Barrier Repair Course: Clinical Techniques for Skin Healing By a Dermatologist

          Skin Barrier Repair Intensive Course

          Dr.TWL Skin Masters Academy is a leading provider of skincare courses online. Discover the best in skin science education from an international beauty KOL, board certified dermatologist Dr Teo Wan Lin. 

          This highly rated course lays the core foundations for skin experts looking to specialise in barrier repair. Discover why the K-beauty skincare routines that took TikTok by storm aren’t fads—layering skincare is actually backed by solid dermatological principles. Learn directly from the skin expert herself how to effectively heal the skin barrier without prescription medications. You’ll access evidence-based clinical techniques for barrier repair and also gain confidence in your own practice. 

          4. Anti-Aging Skincare Course: Harness the Mind-Skin Connection for Inside Out Beauty

          Anti-Aging Skincare Masters Certification Course

          Skincare courses near me: access on-demand video courses by leading skin training institute helmed by Dr Teo Wan Lin. 

          @drteowanlin Skin Cycling Asian Beauty Style This book reveals how the hidden intelligence of plant extracts in the field of ethnobotany facilitates a natural skin cycling regimen. In fact, the better way is to identify whole plant actives that are nature’s ready made skincare active, known as an adaptogen, that works on multiple cellular pathways to mitigate irritation and are universally tolerable. #learnontiktok #learningisfun #resveratrol #resveratrol🍇 #resveratrollift #learningisfun #learnontiktok #instantglowingskin #sgdoctor #instantglowing #instantglowup #homefacial #skincare101 #skincaretips #sensitiveskincare #skincarehacks #skincareroutine #dermdoctor #dermatology #singaporedoctor #singaporedoctors #skincycling #skincyclingroutine ♬ original sound – Dr.TWL Dermatologist

          Explore skincare courses online conducted for skincare professionals by Dr.TWL Skin Masters Academy. 

          Want to know a dermatologist’s beauty secrets? This course is a never before in-depth exploration of Dr.TWL’s own best practices for inside out beauty. From tackling emotional regulation with mindfulness practice to the science behind beauty sleep, join the dermatologist on a healing journey as she takes you through the art of inside out beauty. Anti-age your mind, skin and body with holistic wellness approach. 

          5. Skincare Ingredients and Cosmeceutical Compounding Course

          Skincare Ingredients & Cosmeceutical Compounding Course

          Advanced skincare courses now online at Dr.TWL Skin Masters Academy

          Are you a beauty entrepreneur? This skincare course is the most comprehensive on skincare ingredients, complete with an online learning portal. Designed for serious learners, this course takes you through in a systemic way the foundations of skincare formulation. Learn from the chief scientific officer of Asia’s leading clinical skincare brand the art and science of cosmetic formulation. This course offers an in depth look into the behind-the-scenes of niche beauty—custom skincare formulation and the art of hand blending compatible actives. 

          @drteowanlin The Skincare Ingredient Dictionary: A Millennial Edit Discover State-Of-The-Art Functional Dermatology The must-have skincare ingredients handbook with the latest in bacterial ferment filtrates, aquaporin regulators and granactive retinoids. Created for skin experts, this book is jam-packed with core and specialised cosmetic formulation secrets by the chief scientific officer of leading Asian clinical skincare brand Dr TWL Dermaceuticals. Includes resources for creating a custom skincare line catered for small business owners or DIY beauty enthusiasts. Ditch outdated textbook or dictionary-style rote learning, this is a course created for true content mastery—a skincare dictionary essential for millennial beauty experts Become a skin expert under the Dr.TWL Skin Masters Program Optimised interactive learning program with workbook Systematic foundation building course created for true mastery Takes you from beginner/intermediate to advanced without difficulty Outstanding visuals for attention retention Content blueprints, speed guides for quick recap & reference Bullet-style lecture notes Flash cards(cut-out), mind-map method worksheets Module-specific video workshops & community access Divided into 10 modules, the Skin Masters Program introduces must-know skincare actives in the context of skin physiology & functions, taught by a board-certified dermatologist. Skincare ingredients Skincare ingredients Not to mix Skincare ingredients Checker Skincare ingredients You can mix Skincare ingredients To avoid Skincare ingredients To combine Skincare ingredients Check Skincare ingredients And what they do Skincare ingredients For acne Skincare ingredients Must haves #skincareroutine #skincareactives #skincareactives101 #skincareingredients #skincareingredient #singaporedoctor #dermatologist #singaporedoctors #skincare #dermatologist #tiktoksg🇸🇬 #skincareroutine #skincaretips #skincare101 #skincareproduct #dermdoctor #learningsfun #learnontiktok ♬ original sound – Dr.TWL Dermatologist

          Are you a book lover? Discover our Beauty Bible Series now available in hardcover paperback and kindle edition, with select free online skincare courses accompanying the textbook material. Get your highlighters and pens ready as you join Dr.TWL on a fun filled learning journey—become a master of skin science, an expert in your field. 

          Ask A Dermatologist Forum

          The Beauty Bible collection features an online learning portal which allows you to post your skincare and beauty questions in a dedicated forum—get them answered by Dr.TWL. Offering the best online skincare courses internationally, Skin Masters Academy prides itself as the leading provider of skincare educational resources helmed by a board-certified dermatologist. 

          Barrier Repair Speed Guide
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            Learn from the best. Subscribe to Skincare Blueprint, the fortnightly newsletter by Dr.TWL herself for bonus content including free skincare courses, masterclasses and workshops tailored for skincare professionals. 

            Private Label Skincare Manufacturer: Dermatologist Formulated K-Beauty Products

            June 28, 2023
            Dr.TWL Pharmaceuticals Skincare Manufacturer

            Dr.TWL Pharmaceuticals Corp. is a dermatologist-formulated private label skincare manufacturer with a presence in Singapore and home of K-beauty, Korea—it is the parent company and manufacturer of prominent clinical skincare brand Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals, established since 2016. Jointly led by board-certified dermatologist Dr Teo Wan Lin and pharmaceutical engineer Mr Teo Zhi Liang, Dr.TWL Pharmaceuticals provides a one-stop OEM/ODM service for skincare brands, with expertise in dermatologist-formulated cosmeceuticals/dermocosmetics as well as skincare/haircare devices. 

            1-Stop Skincare Manufacturer

            With existing EURO ISO22716 manufacturing facilities & R&D headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region—Seoul, the hub of K-beauty and the luxury skincare market in Singapore since 2016. The corporation draws on its wealth of expertise to provide premium private label skincare and haircare services in the highly competitive luxury skincare market. 

            CONTACT US

            Businesses only with valid business registration. For enquiries and a quote: please fill up the following form. We will get back to you within 3 working days. UPDATE: Enrolment for OEM/ODM 2024-25 is full. To apply for distributorship of our in house Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals brand, fill up the form here.

              Skincare Manufacturing Collaboration Opportunities

              Who we serve

              We are the skincare manufacturer behind prominent clinical skincare brand Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals, an in-house cosmeceutical brand tied with one of Singapore’s top dermatology practices. Our B2B services are set to launch in Q4 2023—offering private label OEM and ODM services for skincare, haircare and device manufacturing.

              Dermatologist Formulated Private Label Skincare Manufacturer

              Why choose us: dermatologist-formulated cosmeceuticals

              As the manufacturer of one of Asia’s most prominent clinical skincare brands, Dr.TWL Pharmaceuticals offers dermatologist formulated private label skincare manufacturing for aesthetic and dermatology clinics. 

              Skincare, haircare, devices and makeup manufacturing with international doorstep fulfilment 

              Choose us as your one-stop skincare manufacturer—our in-house team will be able to advise you on private label home devices engineered under our Biomaterials arm.

              For those who are interested in lower MOQ/trial basis, find out more about our B2B custom makeup and medi-essence service at +65 97286734 (Mobile/WhatsApp).

              Top Haircare & Skincare Devices Modeled After Clinic Technologies

              Hypoallergenic sensorial skincare

              We specialise in the creation of dermatologist-approved, minimally allergenic sensorial skincare in keeping with top-of-line cosmeceuticals with enhanced cosmetic accceptability. Our hypoallergenic fragrances have been extensively studied and tested to be safe on universal skin types, including problem skin. 

              Cosmetics made to pharmaceutical standards

              As a private label skincare manufacturer, we provide established aesthetic, skincare and dermatology practices access to dermatologist-formulated cosmeceuticals. Our dermocosmetic formulations have been tested extensively as adjunct treatment for dermatological conditions such as acne, rosacea and sensitive skin.

              Enhanced co-operation: OEM/ODM services with flexible MOQ

              Unlike traditional private label skincare manufacturers, our model allows for rapid turnaround time for dermocosmetic/product design to keep up with the highly competitive skincare industry—clients will be able to draw on our highly evolved R&D capabilities for product design. 

              Leader in cost-efficient ODM: MOQ 1000 and above 

              The industry standard for ODM starts at 10000 MOQ which is a significant barrier to entry for aesthetic clinics. Dr.TWL Pharmaceuticals is able to draw on our existing facilities, raw materials, in-house specialists—as the premier dermatologist-formulated private label skincare manufacturer in the APAC region with stringent pharmaceutical controls. 

              Private Label Dermocosmetics

              Our streamlined approach allows for maximum cost-efficiency and rapid turnaround for skincare, dermatology and aesthetic practices

              What to expect when you work with us

              • Private-label skincare manufacturer with an established streamlined process
              • In-house team with extensive supply-chain and logistical support serving the international/APAC region 
              • Quick turnaround time with low MOQ
              • Dermatologist-formulated private label dermocosmetics to complement your aesthetic practice 

              Quality audits and dermatologist testing

              Our capabilities range from dermocosmetic formulation to clinical testing and quality audits.

              Development of private label skincare, haircare, makeup and home-use devices 

              Choose us as your one-stop private label skincare manufacturer and get access to our haircare, makeup and device manufacturing services. 

              Prototype Development for Korean Medifacial Countertop Device

              EUROISO22716 manufacturing facilities

              Our biotechnology facilities encompass pharmaceutical-grade raw material extraction, cosmeceutical design and device manufacturing. 

              Dermocosmetic compliance checks by private label skincare manufacturer 

              Leverage on our in-house expertise for FDA/HSA ASEAN COSMETIC DIRECTIVES compliance checks. 

              5-STEP Private label skincare manufacturing process

              1. The initial consultation maps out client requirements/needs (ODM packaging/blank bottle options)
              2. In-house research and development for ODM
              3. Development of samples and clinical testing 
              4. Client receives samples for final testing and approval 
              5. International delivery/fulfilment 

              About us

              Mr Teo Zhi Liang, a chemical engineer by training with over a decade of experience working in the pharmaceutical and petrochemicals industry is the director and head of Dr.TWL Pharmaceuticals. Mr Teo graduated with first class honours from Nanyang Technological University and was accorded the gold medal in pharmaceutical engineering. 

              Dr Teo Wan Lin is a board-certified dermatologist and author of published research on the skin microbiome in top journals like the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and the International Journal of Dermatology. As an internationally renowned beauty KOL, she is sought after for her expertise in Asian skincare markets. Dr Teo has collaborated with leading skincare brands such the AMORE-PACIFIC group, Beiersdorf, L’Oréal Paris and LVMH. She serves on the board on a consultancy basis for R&D and ODM. 

              The brother-and-sister duo are responsible for taking Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals, one of Singapore’s leading clinical skincare brands from its inception in 2016 as a startup to a 7-figure beauty empire

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              L’Oréal Paris

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              Skinceuticals

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              • Philosophy
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              Press Features

              Dior Beauty X Dr.TWL as seen in Elle China, Elle Netherlands, L’Officiel Malaysia, Marie Claire Brazil, Harper’s Bazaar Germany

              Dior Beauty X Dr.TWL as seen in Elle China, Elle Netherlands, L’Officiel Malaysia, Marie Claire Brazil, Harper’s Bazaar Germany

              Founder of Prominent Asian Beauty Clinical Skincare Brand Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals

              Founder of Prominent Asian Beauty Clinical Skincare Brand Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals

              Custom Skincare Makeup Lab as seen in Cosmetics Design Asia

              Custom Skincare Makeup Lab as seen in Cosmetics Design Asia

              Beauty entrepreneur as seen in Her World, The Peak Magazine, ICON, A Magazine, L’Officiel USA

              Beauty entrepreneur as seen in Her World, The Peak Magazine, ICON, A Magazine, L’Officiel USA

              Lofficiel Dr.TWL Feature

              Skincare Ingredients Checker Simplified: A for Aloe Vera

              June 24, 2023

              Dr.TWL’s Skincare Ingredients Checker is a series covering a dermatologist’s top picks for common skincare actives found in skincare. Get the brand new release Skincare and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary by board certified dermatologist Dr. Teo Wan Lin, a never-before skin expert’s handbook for mastery of skincare ingredients. 

              Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder (Aloe Vera)

              What is it?

              Aloe vera has been used for various medicinal purposes from ancient times. It is prominently featured in traditional eastern medicine, with ethnobotanical roots in China, India, the West Indies, and Japan. In the west, aloe vera has been grown mainly to supply the latex component of the leaf to the pharmaceutical industry.

              Skincare Ingredients Checker Skin Masters Program
              “A-Z dictionaries are passé—the internet is a searchable trove of information. In the Skincare and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary, I present a compilation of cosmeceuticals that you must master—from an analysis of over 300 skincare brands,” Dr. Teo Wan Lin, chief scientific officer of Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals.

              Where is aloe vera derived from?

              • Powder form of the aloe plant
              • Obtained from dried leaves of the aloe plant and functions as a skin-conditioning agent

              Skin benefits

              • Several anti-inflammatory components (among others, it contains salicylates, polysaccharides, magnesium lactate and C-glucosyl chromone)
              • Aloe-derived ingredients enhance the appearance of dry or damaged skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness
              Skincare Ingredient Checker Concept Maps
              A skincare ingredient checker like no other. This skincare ingredient dictionary is precisely written to help you master and apply skincare formulation knowledge with neuroscience-backed techniques, including learning aides such as an interactive online learning portal with video workshops, flashcards and mind maps.

              Aloe vera is a medicinal and perennial plant that belongs to the Liliaceae family. Aloe stems store water, creating a clear, gel-like substance in the leaves, which contains vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and amino acids.

              The main feature of the Aloe vera plant is its high water content, ranging from 99–99.5%. The remaining 0.5–1.0% solid material contains over 75 different potentially active compounds including water- and fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, enzymes. The bioactivity of aloe can be attributed to the inner gel of its leaves. 

              Dermatologist's Cheat Sheets & Protocols
              Skincare ingredients checker: get access to a comprehensive course covering cosmeceutical actives taught by Dr.TWL herself.

              Aloe vera promotes wound healing

              Aloe vera can be used to retain skin moisture, integrity and prevent ulcers. Its regenerative properties have been studied in the context of radiation damage—the gel form has been reported to exhibit a protective effect against radiation damage. Research has also shown that aloe vera can inhibit thromboxane (an inhibitor of wound healing), reducing inflammation and improving the wound healing process.

              Glucomannan-rich 

              Aloe’s regenerative properties are due to the compound glucomannan, which is especially rich in polysaccharides like mannose. 

              Glucomannan stimulates collagen production

              In addition, glucomannan affects fibroblast growth factor receptors and stimulates their activity and proliferation, which in turn increases the production of collagen. It can also change the composition of collagen, increase collagen cross-linking and thereby promote wound healing. Aloe stimulates fibroblast which produces the collagen and elastin fibers making the skin more elastic and less wrinkled. 

              Skincare Ingredient Dictionary Interactive Workbook
              More than a skincare ingredient dictionary. This comprehensive skin expert handbook is more than a dictionary, it teaches you exactly the skills required to master these ingredients as a skin expert. Join Dr.TWL as she spills the secrets on the formulation strategies behind the best-selling skincare products.

              Aloe vera has anti-wrinkle effects

              Aloe stimulates fibroblast which produces the collagen and elastin fibers making the skin more elastic and less wrinkled. 

              Aloe vera softens skin 

              Skin-softening is another cosmetic effect of aloe when used regularly. Aloe vera has cohesive effects on the superficial flaking epidermal cells by sticking them together, which softens the skin. 

              Dr.TWL Make Your Own Skincare Cocktail Formulation Secrets
              Skincare ingredient checker: what goes into the best-selling face serums? In this book, Dr.TWL shares her notes on specific formulations that actually work. Learn how to pair ingredients, select raw materials and even custom compound cosmeceuticals using the CUSTOM MEDI-ESSENCE System.

              Aloe vera helps tighten enlarged pores

              The amino acids present in aloe soften hardened skin cells. It is also particularly rich in minerals such as zinc, which acts as an astringent to tighten pores.

              Amino Acid 360° Mask with Aloe Vera
              The Amino Acid 360° Mask contains Aloe Vera which is anti-aging with it’s anti-wrinkle and barrier-repair properties, and anti-acne with it’s pore-tightening and anti-microbial properties.

              Aloe vera’s moisturising/skin barrier repair properties

              Aloe’s moisturizing effects has also been studied in treatment of dry skin associated with occupational exposure where aloe vera gel gloves improved the skin integrity, decreased appearance of fine wrinkle and decreased erythema.

              Skincare Ingredients Memory AIdes
              A skincare ingredient checker like no other. This skincare ingredient dictionary is precisely written to help you master and apply skincare formulation knowledge with neuroscience-backed techniques, including learning aides such as an interactive online learning portal with video workshops, flashcards and mind maps.

              Aloe vera’s antimicrobial properties for infections and acne treatment

              Aloe vera is known for its anti-inflammatory, skin protection, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antiseptic, and wound healing properties. It can be incorporated into skincare products to exert an anti-acne effect

              @drteowanlin #facemask #skincareroutine #acnetreatment #dermatologist #foryou #fyp #doctorsoftiktok #whattowatch @drtwlderma #skincaremask ♬ original sound – Dr. Teo Wan Lin – Dr.TWL Dermatologist

              Possible side effects of aloe vera 

              Aloe vera is generally a very well tolerated active that is dermatologist recommended for calming sensitive skin. However, rarely, contact allergy may occur in those who are prone to allergies. Allergic reactions are mostly due to the anthraquinones present in aloe vera, such as aloin and barbaloin. In this case contact allergy may manifest as localised skin irritation such as redness and burning or stinging sensations. 

              Skincare & Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary
              The Skincare and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary is a textbook that takes you through the study of skincare ingredients in a stepwise manner—through the tutelage of internationally renowned beauty KOL, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Teo Wan Lin. We hope you enjoyed our first installment of Dr.TWL’s Skincare Ingredients Checker—sign up for Skincare Blueprint to get access to bonus study material created for skin experts. For more skincare classes, head to the Skin Masters Academy, home to the best online skincare masterclasses.

              Resveratrol Skincare: The Anti-Aging Hero Dermatologists Recommend

              June 10, 2023
              Resveratrol Skincare Face Serums
              Resveratrol skincare products are proven to work on multiple pathways in cell aging. Resveratrol is an ingredient that benefits all aspects of human health. As a well-known cardio- and neuroprotective ingredient, it also has been found to display a wide range of positive effects on cell functioning. Resveratrol benefits are not just specific to the heart and brain, it extends to skin health as well.

              Resveratrol for Skin

              What you will learn:

              • What are the benefits of resveratrol?
              • What is resveratrol used for?

              You feel like your skin is aging….too fast. If you are bothered by dark spots, uneven skin tone and dull skin, cosmeceuticals can help. I’m a board-certified dermatologist and author of multiple scientific papers on the skin microbiome published in top dermatology journals such as the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and the International Journal of Dermatology.

              My research includes that in the field of quasi-drugs and ethnobotany, which is the modern day scientific study of how traditionally cultivated herbs and plants impact human health. The field of functional dermatology encompasses the use of plant bioactives in skincare for treatment of skin diseases such as acne, rosacea, sensitive skin and photoaging. In this edition of Skincyclopedia, we unveil how resveratrol is a must-have ingredient in your skincare routine.  

              Get a complimentary 30ml full-size mask peel kit worth $180 with $350 spend at the pharmacy. Use code <mela> or <sebo> in order notes.

              Resveratrol was isolated from white hellebore in 1940, and from polygonum cuspidatum roots in 1963. The latter, a commonly used herb in eastern medicine with anti-inflammatory properties. It is found in over 70 plant species and especially concentrated in grapes. In plants, resveratrol acts as a phytoalexin that is synthesised in response to physical injury, UV-radiation and fungal attacks. Synthetic resveratrol is engineered from yeast species known as saccharomyces cerevisiae. It is a phytochemically rich compound with over 92 new resveratrol derived compounds identified to date. In this article, we cover some of the most frequently asked questions about resveratrol.

              Barrier Repair Speed Guide
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                Resveratrol Formulation Secrets
                Resveratrol skincare products can include natural or synthetic sources, but my preference is for natural sources which often contain other bioactives that act on skin holistically.

                Resveratrol and Aging: FAQ

                Is resveratrol anti-aging? Can resveratrol reverse aging?

                Yes. Resveratrol increases the lifespan of cells. Aging involves a process known as cell senescence, which is a key contributing factor to cell death and age-related diseases. Many people relate aging merely to physical changes such as the development of lines, wrinkles and spots. The truth is, the aging process is far more complex and involves damage to DNA, proteins and cell parts such as the mitochondria, also known as the energy factory of cells. In this sense, resveratrol can be considered truly anti-aging. 

                How does resveratrol reverse aging?

                • In lab models, resveratrol has been shown to increase the lifespan of organisms
                • Protects against age-related heart and brain degeneration
                • Reduces chronic inflammation, hence directly affects inflammaging processes which are key to aging cells 
                The Science Behind A Best Selling Serum
                Resveratrol skincare for anti aging: does resveratrol boost collagen? Yes! This is one ingredient that packs many different phytochemicals which all help to increase the body’s reserve of collagen. The Elixir-V serum contains a plant source of resveratrol– polygonum cuspidatum.
                Resveratrol Skincare derived from Japanese Knotweed
                Resveratrol skincare products derived from Japanese knotweed contain trans-resveratrol, a highly bioactive form of resveratrol.

                Does resveratrol make you look younger?

                A youthful appearance is usually attributed to the following

                • Plump, elastic skin 
                • Absence of photoaging signs such as wrinkles, spots and sagging

                Via the above molecular pathways described, application of resveratrol-based serums can reverse aging cellular processes. However, as photo damage and biological aging is an ongoing process, medium to long term use as part of a dermatologist-recommended cosmeceutical regimen is necessary before results are seen. 

                Resveratrol Cosmeceutical Science
                The benefits of resveratrol skincare include stimulation of collagen production as well as antioxidant activity that protects against cell damage.

                Does resveratrol increase collagen production?

                 Yes. Resveratrol contains many phytochemicals that 

                • Stimulate skin cells known as fibroblasts to produce collagen 
                • Prevents breakdown of collagen by enzymes known as collagenases

                Overall, it exerts a positive effect on aging skin by improving skin texture and appearance by enhancing collagen synthesis in the deeper layers of skin. This results in a plump and elastic appearance associated with youthfulness. 

                Resveratrol Herbal Formula
                Trans resveratrol skincare benefits include potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Incorporated into serums, resveratrol is an efficient anti-aging ingredient.

                Trans-resveratrol vs Resveratrol

                Trans-resveratrol is an active form of resveratrol which is naturally occurring in polygonum cuspidatum and the skin of red grapes. There are two forms found in nature, the cis- and the trans- resveratrol versions. It is the trans-resveratrol form that is considered bioactive as the cis-form is highly unstable and is converted to its trans-reseveratrol counterpart when exposed to standard environmental conditions such as UV light. Trans-resveratrol also shows estrogenic activity which is beneficial for improving the softness and smoothness of skin. 

                Resveratrol: Application in Dermatological Settings

                Does resveratrol get rid of wrinkles?

                Wrinkles are a result of collagen loss that occurs with aging. When we smile, frown or laugh, our facial expressions are formed when muscles contract. These muscles are connected to surface skin tissues known as the epidermis, dermis and subcutis (fatty layer). Aging causes the skin tissues to thin, a process known as atrophy. As a result, the same muscle movements involved in facial expressions are more visible—eventually leaving a “mark” on skin, known as wrinkles. Resveratrol works on multiple cellular pathways which actively blocks skin atrophy while promoting collagen growth. Including resveratrol in your cosmeceutical skincare regimen can slow down the development of wrinkles. 

                Sirtuin, the youth protein 

                The sirtuin family of proteins are an important target of antiaging and skin cancer research. Specifically, sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) is a NAD+ dependant acetylase which regulates multiple biological pathways involved in aging cells. By modifying SIRT1 activity, the lifespan of organisms can be prolonged. This is where the study of botanicals such as resveratrol becomes relevant—several plant compounds have been proven to directly impact SIRT1 expression. 

                Resveratrol Holistic Effects on Skin Physiology
                Resveratrol skincare benefits include skin lightening, evening out skin tone and improving the appearance of dark spots.

                Does resveratrol lighten skin?

                As a potent antioxidant, resveratrol engulfs damaging free radicals which attack the surface of skin, resulting in oxidative stress. This protects skin cells such as the melanocytes from injury, which means it prevents UV-induced hyperpigmentation and photoaging.  

                Is resveratrol good for dark spots? Does resveratrol lighten dark spots?

                Resveratrol can be combined with other potent antioxidants such as ferulic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E for an added advantage. This specifically targets dark spots such as age-related solar lentigenes as well as hormonally induced hyperpigmentation such as melasma.  

                How long does it take for resveratrol to work?

                Cosmeceutical regimens take about 27-28 days for full effects to be seen, which is about the length of 1 skin cycle. However, at-home skin devices utilising technology such as microdermabrasion and microcurrent can significantly increase transdermal delivery, i.e. absorption via the epidermis. This can significantly shorten the time taken for results to be seen. 

                The Case for Plant-Based Skincare
                Resveratrol skincare products are ideal for sensitive skin types who may not tolerate conventional anti-aging actives such as retinol or retinoids.

                Is resveratrol good for your face?

                Yes. Resveratrol is an excellent cosmeceutical that provides all-round benefits targeting common skin concerns such as

                • Photoaging (lines, spots, uneven skin tone)
                • Pigmentation i.e. post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, melasma 

                In addition, resveratrol is helpful for those suffering from oily, acne-prone skin as well. Excess sebum increases oxidative stress via lipid peroxidation, which worsens skin inflammation. Because of its antioxidant properties, it also helps to prevent and treat acne scars. 

                • Hyperseborrhea-related oxidative stress 
                • Acne scars

                Does resveratrol increase estrogen?

                Trans-resveratrol is known to have estrogenic properties. 

                What is the resveratrol lift?

                Certain skincare products containing resveratrol have been marketed as a form of face-lifting product. While not exactly a face lift, resveratrol’s skin-lifting effects are attributed to stimulation and growth of proteins in the deeper layers of skin, such as collagen and sirtuin, aka youth proteins. 

                Does resveratrol tighten skin?

                Yes. Skin sagging is due to tissue loss as aging occurs, due to increased breakdown of collagen molecules which form the bulk of the dermis. Resveratrol promotes the growth of new collagen and prevents the breakdown of existing collagen—which has skin tightening effects.

                Resveratrol Must-Know Skincare Tip

                • What is the best way to absorb resveratrol for maximum skin benefits and for skin lifting?

                Use a facial massage tool before application of serums. I recommend a mechanical jade roller which is gentle on all skin types including sensitive skin. The massaging action improves local blood circulation for enhanced skincare absorption. When performed correctly, the massaging action also stimulates collagen production which lifts and tightens the facial appearance of aging skin. 

                • Sources (Natural vs Synthetic)

                How can I get resveratrol naturally?

                Resveratrol was made prominent in 1992 as researchers unraveled the “French Paradox” which associated health benefits with moderate wine consumption. Turns out, grapes contain this key ingredient resveratrol which has potent physiological effects throughout the body. The key actives are known as polyphenols which belong to the stilbenoid group of compounds. Resveratrol exists in 2 forms, as the active trans-isomer and the inactive cis-isomer. Over 70 plant sources of resveratrol exist, the most prominent of which are grapes (found in the seeds/skin), red wine, peanuts and soy.

                Skincare Geeks, Have you heard of the French Paradox?
                Resveratrol skincare products are key in cosmeceutical regimens recommended by dermatologists.

                What foods are highest in resveratrol?

                Spanish red grapes are considered the richest source of resveratrol.

                How Resveratrol Works
                Resveratrol skincare science demystified

                Mechanism of Action / How it Works

                Resveratrol for Anti-Aging

                Resveratrol is a well-rounded skincare active that has holistic effects on skin. The “anti” effects are as follows: as an antioxidant which neutralises cell damaging free radicals, an anti-inflammatory agent that reduces inflammation in various skin diseases, and also as an anti-cancer agent which prevents the growth of abnormal mutant skin cells. There are other specific “pro” effects such as promoting wound healing (minimising scarring), cell repair which slows down photoaging and also promoting cell metabolism for healthy skin functioning. 

                Mechanism of How Resveratrol Works as an Antioxidant
                How resveratrol skincare products work

                Wound Healing 

                Wound healing involves a complex interplay of factors that requires sufficient blood vessel formation, antimicrobial activity that prevents skin infection and a balance of inflammatory responses that result in wound closure. Problems arise when the tissue is either too little or too much—leading to improper wound healing. 

                Mechanism of How Resveratrol Works in Wound Healing
                Why choose resveratrol skincare products

                How it works?

                Resveratrol exerts potent effects that contribute towards healthy skin repair and functioning. For instance, it promotes cell stability by protecting collagen, stabilises the deeper structure of skin known as the extracellular matrix and also exerts antibacterial effects superior to topical antibiotic creams when it is used on wounds. Additional skincare benefits include scar lightening, barrier repair and UV-protection. 

                4 'A's of Resveratrol Benefits
                Benefits of resveratrol skincare products

                Crucial to a solid grasp of this aspect of how reseveratrol works is the understanding of UV-related skin damage. You may have heard of oxidative stress, as well as the term antioxidant. These terms are meaningful only when you understand how UV-damage actually occurs.

                Here is a step-by-step explanation.

                How Free Radical Damage Occurs
                1. UV rays reach skin
                2. Free radicals are produced
                3. These highly unstable molecules cause oxidative stress at the skin surface 
                4. Skin produces antioxidants to neutralize free radicals
                Balance of Free Radicals and Antioxidants Determines Cell Damage

                The balance of free radicals and antioxidants is what determines if cell damage occurs:

                • Free radicals > antioxidant reserve → cell damage
                • Free radicals < antioxidant reserve → cell protected
                Resveratrol Skin Effects
                Clinically proven effects of resveratrol skincare products

                Dr.TWL’s Formulation Secrets

                Proanthocyanidins: Nature’s Anti-aging Fingerprint 

                @drteowanlin 7 steps to skincare perfection with me @drtwlderma #antiagingskincare #liftingserum #fyp #foryourpage #serumviral ♬ original sound – Dr. Teo Wan Lin – Dr.TWL Dermatologist

                The best-selling Elixir-V Serum contains Japanese Knotweed, also known as polygonum cuspidatum. It is a source of trans-resveratrol which is an active form of the compound. It is lesser known in western pharmacology but is well established in ethnobotanical applications. Biochemical analysis has shown it to be a rich source of proanthocyanidins, a potent antioxidant, specifically found in the roots of the plant. 

                Proanthocyanidin Bioactive Compounds

                Native to East Asia, Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant that also has medicinal properties. Chromatographic studies have isolated the following biologically active phytochemicals.

                Proanthocyanidin Holistic Effects on Skin Physiology

                By virtue of proanthocyanidins being a whole plant extract rather than a chemically synthesized copy, there are additional benefits such as holistic effects on skin physiology.

                Skincare & Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary

                The Skincare & Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary by Dr. Teo Wan Lin is a must-have skincare reference book created for skin experts. Master skincare actives and learn about the latest updates in bacterial ferment filtrates, aquaporin regulators, granactive retinoids and other cosmetic formulation secrets by the chief scientific officer of leading Asian clinical skincare brand Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals. 

                Retinoids Ruined My Skin Barrier: To Hell & Back

                June 6, 2023

                Why a dermatologist ditched retinoid skincare products for good

                Retinoids Ruined My Skin Barrier Visual

                The retinoid family of chemical compounds includes Vitamin A also known as retinol, derivatives of which are — retinaldehyde, retinoid acid and retinyl esters, amongst other synthetic versions of retinoids. Retinoids are essential to various biological processes.

                I’m a Dermatologist & I’ve Stopped Prescribing Retinoids

                Retinoids ruined my skin 8 years ago. I’ve healed it but….retinoid worshippers, pay attention.

                This is a story about how I broke my decade-long addiction to retinoids. At first ashamed, I tell of how I regained my dignity. Seven years ago, the day I decided to banish my tubes of tretinoin to vanity drawer purgatory….

                Flaky, An Observation

                It was 2015 and I was already out in private practice. One afternoon, a surgeon colleague of mine commented that my (usually pristine) facial skin was flaking.

                “Do you mean my sunscreen? Or my…ill-fated BB cream? It does pill sometimes, you know.”

                “No. It’s your epidermis.”

                He was right. Later that evening, I skipped my usual dose of tretinoin 0.05% (0.1% typically causes a chemical burn like reaction — never met someone who tolerated it), and applied copious amounts of moisturiser before going to bed.

                Three days later, my skin did look less angry, less painful but just…slightly flaky. That though, was enough to convince the addict in me that my epidermis was ready again. But the good dermatologist decided to halve the dose of tretinoin this time — just 0.025% will do. Lots of moisturiser too.

                By the way, skin cycling was invented the same time retinoids were — over 2 decades ago. So we already knew what to do.

                Retinoids for beginners
                Retinoids for beginners, are they worth it?

                The reason retinoids are recommended by dermatologists are:

                1. Retinoids treat comedonal acne
                2. Retinoids help reduce scarring and post-inflammation hyperpigmentation (PIH) by regulating cell turnover
                3. Retinoids before and after: Retinoids are known to enhance skin glow aka the “retinoid glow” which is due to the multiple actions on the epidermis and dermis. Namely, cell renewal rates, enhancing collagen formation for a tighter and more lifted appearance of skin.
                4. Retinoids stimulate collagen production and targets aging skin processes

                Flaky Mind, Flaky Skin

                Except that I never expected that it wouldn’t go away. One month later. Even with 0.01%.

                I had but gone through 4 cycles of stop/start-moisturise-stop/start — the vicious cycle of a dermatologist going insane with practising what she preached. That didn’t work. So you see, whenever the addict did see that her skin was less angry, she couldn’t resist her fix.

                “Your skin. Is looking flaky again.” Surgeon friend muttered. Half mocking, always.

                “It’s retinoid dermatitis,” I cursed.

                That evening, I put away the tube. Stuffed it into the recesses of vanity drawer abyss — praying to God for strength…to never touch it again. It worked. Flaky, red, painful skin never came back. And my repentance was for good.

                Why I’ve Stopped Prescribing Retinoids

                I was what you might call a retinoid worshipper. From my early twenties, I religiously slathered on tretinoin nightly after a bout of teenage acne — also when its merits were preached to me by my dermatologist.

                When I entered dermatology residency, I too began chanting the mantra.

                “Retinoids are good. Retinoids fight acne. And when acne is gone, you’ll find retinoids also keep you young.”

                Also for credibility, you know? Since every dermatologist I apprenticed under said that. Congnitive dissonance is….

                An uncomfortable experience. So the next 6 months I continued prescribing and preaching while my stockpile of 0.025% tretinoin languished in vanity purgatory. I wasn’t prepared for what came next.

                Retinoid side effects
                Retinoid side effects (what dermatologists don’t tell you until…) Well until they become victims themselves.

                The Revenge of Retinoids

                “You can cut down on the dose when your skin gets irritated. Use the 0.01% instead of the 0.025%.”

                “You shouldn’t stop using it. Your acne will come back.”

                “All dermatologists have that…retinoid glow. Where’s yours?” I imagined.

                So like a heretic I searched for retinoid alternatives on PubMed. The search threw up OLIGOPEPTIDES (never heard that mentioned throughout my entire residency program!). Must be fake news…except…that I was now desperate. For a panacea….My conscience. It did quiet a little bit.

                At that time, the international dermatology community wasn’t quite into K-beauty yet. So I was careful never to talk about my private meanderings into the dark side. By then I had also tried a K-beauty product formulated with a bunch of botanicals plus oligopeptides (no retinols/retinoids).

                Retinoids ruined my skin and I’m never going back again

                Retinoid Side Effects #1

                Retinoid Lips

                Retinol purging, retinoid purging (they are one and the same thing)

                The theory is that while retinols and retinoids work by targeting comedone formation, it also triggers off inflammation. This is why dermatologists don’t recommend applying retinoids or retinols when you have active inflamed acne bumps. Ditto for acne cysts.

                What happens if you do so? Well your angry pimple gets even angrier. I.e redder, bigger, more painful…and may even develop into a cyst.

                Six months later.

                “Hey, flaky’s been gone for a while now.” Surgeon mocked.

                “Your skin…is glowing…what did you use?”

                (Not retinoids.)

                I wasn’t ready to give up my secret yet — I labelled my ventures as experimental. Almost…homeopathic (utter at your own risk).

                My Obsession With Skin Barrier Repair After Retinoids Ruined My Skin

                Little Skincare Book Skincare Journal
                The Little Skincare Book for Women includes Korean skincare routines for skin barrier repair, skincare routine checklists and retinoid/retinol-free home facial protocols. In the series are workbooks harnessing the science of the brain-skin connection.

                When you hear something repeated often enough, it starts getting stale. When you find yourself repeating something that isn’t true…it soon nauseates you.

                In 2016, I left the private hospital I was working for and started my own practice. I stockpiled just enough tretinoin to soothe my outer dermatologist, but not so much that it would irk the inner medicine woman.

                Getting Out of the Retinoids Cult

                My dabbling soon turned into dipping. And dipping — into an uncontrollable urge. By the end of 2017 I was fully submerged. As dermatologist-homeopathic-in-private-practice, I found little reason to justify my recommendations beyond — it’s safe in pregnancy/breast-feeding. AND it doesn’t cause flaky skin. Why of course, my skin was glowing! Retinoid-free for 2 years!

                Retinoids Ruined My Skin, Repairing the Skin Barrier Helps
                Retinoids ruined my skin and skin cycling never helped, repairing the skin barrier did.

                Retinoid Side Effects #2 Retinoid dermatitis

                Retinoid dermatitis is an eczema-like reaction caused by retinol side effects. The skin barrier is disrupted in cases of retinoid dermatitis. Retinoids improve the quality of skin by exfoliating dead skin cells. But that also means it breaks down the joints between the superficial skin cells, known as corneocytes. This can cause skin to become sensitive, meaning that it reacts easily to allergens and changes in the environment.

                This is also the rationale for skin cycling with retinols and retinoids — popularised by Tik Tok in 2022. Essentially, allowing your skin to break from irritating actives such as retinoids, retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and salicylic acids. Skin cycling refers to alternating retinoids with moisturisers in between usage and reducing frequency of use.

                The Dignity of an Iceberg

                From my research in eastern ethnobotany, I found that selected botanicals were synergistic — targetting the skin microbiome in ways traditional pharmacology was unable to. The disrupted flora in dermatological conditions like acne, eczema and rosacea were responsible for chronic inflammation — and medical therapy like antibiotics, steroids and retinoids did more than just worsen it. Retinoid dermatitis, steroid induced-tachyphylaxis and antibiotic resistance were just the tip…

                By 2021, I went public. My 2 papers on the skin microbiome (maskne was timely) were published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and the International Journal of Dermatology. I advocated the use of botanical-based cosmeceuticals and functional textiles to treat the microbiome and microclimate, over skin-sensitising retinoids and always-going-to-breed-resistance-antibiotic creams.

                This is the story of how I broke my decade-long addiction to retinoids. (And also how I think I regained my dignity).

                Skincare Blueprint Newsletter

                I’m a board certified dermatologist with published original research on the acne microbiome and functional dermatology. I adopt a holistic approach to dermatology by integrating functional skincare with a focus on skin barrier repair. My podcast Dermatologist Talks: Science of Beauty focuses on skin science as well as the psychology and philosophy of aesthetics. Subscribe to my newsletter Skincare Blueprint: Glow Up From Within for free resources on skincare routines and skin science.

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