CONTACT: +65 6355 0522

A Dermatologist’s Guide to Skin Resurfacing

February 9, 2018

What is skin resurfacing?

Regardless of the technique employed, skin resurfacing is a form of controlled, targeted injury to your skin. By stimulating your skin to heal from the injury, the new skin cells that form after would be smoother, tighter and more youthful. Skin resurfacing can be achieved through different techniques to treat different aspects of skin damage and conditions, mainly laser, dermabrasion and chemical peels.

Are you suitable for skin resurfacing?

These treatments can help skin that suffers from acne, damage from sun exposure, ageing effects, hyperpigmentation, scars and wrinkles. Any skin condition that you wish to treat likely has an appropriate treatment at your dermatologist, go for a professional diagnosis before having any skin resurfacing treatments done.

Chemical Peel

Before the peel, your face will be cleansed thoroughly to remove oil and to prep the skin for penetration. A gentle, medically formulated milk/fruit acid solution is applied, which removes the epidermis layer, allowing the acid to penetrate into the first layer of the dermis. Various acids can be used in different combinations to remove the surface layer of the skin. Note not all acids are the same nor are all chemical peels the same, best to have an accredited dermatologist assess and recommend the most suitable peel for your skin.

According to Dr Teo Wan Lin, an accredited dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre, she says: “A chemical peel removes the damaged epidermis to reveal a brighter complexion. You may experience a warm sensation after the chemical application, and stinging when the peel is removed. Depending on the concentration of acids used, you may need some time to recover before resuming activities.”


To smoothen scars and wrinkles, dermabrasion is a surgical technique that uses anesthesia and/or a freezing agent before smoothening skin surface irregularities. With a high-speed rotating brush, the surface layer of the skin will be removed till ideal results are obtained.

Laser Resurfacing

A wand is passed over your skin and emits a pulse of high-intensity light to damage the surface layers of the skin. The different invisible wavelengths of light stimulates various layers of skin for rejuvenation. Shield goggles will be provided to protect your eyes during the treatment.

Two types of lasers are commonly used in laser resurfacing: carbon dioxide and erbium. Both lasers work to vaporize damaged skin cells in the epidermis.

What can I expect after the treatment?

Follow-up care is essential to ensure a smooth progress for skin healing and resurfacing. Patients may experience uneven pigmentation of the skin at the treated area after the treatment, but this effect will subside when the skin restores its original level of pigment. Meanwhile, sunscreen is an absolute must to protect the skin as chemical peels along with other resurfacing treatments will render your skin temporarily more sensitive to the sun. At this stage, it is also imperative to use skincare catered for sensitive skin, which are dermatologist-tested, to mitigate risk of irritation and flare ups during the course of recovery post-treatment.

© 2017 TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre. All rights reserved.


Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, an accredited dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, for a thorough consultation to determine the most suitable treatment for your skin.

To book an appointment with Dr. Teo, call us at +65 6355 0522, or email appt@twlskin.com. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.

Dermatologist Tips: Most Stable Vitamin C Derivative

February 2, 2018


The benefits of Vitamin C are well-known – an efficient collagen booster, and an amazing ability to treat effects of photoageing and hyperpigmentation. A favoured ingredient in skincare products, this vitamin helps to gently brighten and smoothen the skin.

Whilst Vitamin C is a naturally occurring antioxidant in the botanical world, humans do not possess the enzyme L-glucono-gamma lactone oxidase for the production of Vitamin C. When administered orally, Vitamin C is not efficiently delivered to the dermis. The concentration of the vitamin when introduced into the body is not sufficient to allow an activated effect. In the practice of dermatology, topical vitamin C is frequently recommended as an adjunct to treatments, which results in a drive towards newer advanced delivery forms of the vitamin into the dermis or discovery of more stable Vitamin C compounds.

Vitamin C exists in two forms – L-ascorbic acid and D-ascorbic acid. L-ascorbic acid is the chemically active form of Vitamin C, but it is not stable in nature. When exposed to light, Vitamin C may get oxidized to Dehydro Ascorbic Acid for example, which loses the beneficial activity of the vitamin. This gives rise to the interest of stable ascorbate molecules for dermatological uses.

What are the common Vitamin C derivatives?

Not all forms are physiologically effective as some will not be delivered to the dermis in sufficient quantity, or will not convert to a chemically active form in the skin.

Stable derivatives of L-ascorbic acid are Magnesium Ascorbate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phospahte, Sodium Ascorbate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phospate, and Calcium Ascorbate.

What is the most stable Vitamin C derivative?

Sodium ascorbyl phosphate is a stable derivative of Vitamin C. It is significantly more stable than magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and ascorbyl palmitate. The stability is attributed to the introduction of a phosphate group into the second position of the cyclic ring.

How does sodium ascorbyl phosphate work?

At our skin’s pH of 7, ascorbic acid is present in a form called ascorbate anion. This form has poor penetration ability into the skin and is unable to prevent effects of photodamaging due to low antioxidant concentrations.

With sodium ascorbyl phosphate, antioxidant levels are substantial and can be absorbed into deeper skin layers and allow effective photoprotection. Though research on this stable derivative is not complete, it is believed that sodium ascorbyl phosphate is absorbed in the skin and converted by enzymes into ascorbic acid, increasing the intracellular concentration of ascorbic acid.

Skin cells continuously take up sodium ascorbyl phosphate and convert it into ascorbic acid by the process of dephosphorylation, with the help of the enzyme acid phosphatase in the skin layer. This process allows elevated levels of ascorbic acid in the skin long after the introduction of sodium ascorbyl phosphate to the skin.

How does sodium ascorbyl phosphate help acne?

As a potent antioxidant, sodium ascorbyl phosphate can help improve acne conditions by combating oxidation of sebum and comedogenesis.

According to Dr Teo Wan Lin, an accredited dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre, she said: “Patients with acne are found to have a higher concentration of polar lipids, which are by-products of squalene oxidation. Squalene is most abundant lipid in our skin and is highly susceptible to oxidation due to its structure. It has six carbon double bonds, allowing atmospheric oxygen to bind. This produces squalene oxides that are highly comedogenic, as it causes inflammatory reactions that further depletes the level of antioxidants in our skin and leads to acne. Sodium ascorbyl phosphate is useful in acne treatment as it prevents sebum oxidation.”

How does sodium ascorbyl phosphate prevent sebum oxidation?

Sodium ascorbyl phosphate works as an antioxidant to neutralise free radicals, reducing oxidative stress. When exposed to UV light, reactive oxygen species such as the superoxide ion, peroxide and singlet oxygen are generated. Sodium ascorbyl phosphate works to protect the skin from oxidative damage to sebum by donating electrons to neutralise the free radicals.

How does sodium ascorbyl phosphate fight ageing?

Sodium ascorbyl phosphate is an oxygen species scavenger, protecting against UV damaging and enhancing properties of sunscreen. Photodamage such as sunburn cell formation, DNA fragmentation and lipid peroxidation can be prevented. The protective effect of sodium ascorbyl phosphate comes from the maintenance of a healthy ascorbic acid level in the skin tissue.

Sodium ascorbyl phosphate reduces UV susceptibility and protects against damage from UV exposure.

Are there any side effects of sodium ascorbyl phosphate?

Formulations containing sodium ascorbyl phosphate are considered safe and has shown no side effects in multiple clinical studies conducted.

Which Vitamin C serum should I use?

Although sodium ascorbyl phosphate boasts many desirable benefits, it is important to choose a Vitamin C serum that is well-formulated to allow its benefits to be realised. Avoid concocting your own serum of Vitamin C, as it may lead to phytophotodermatitis if you include ingredients such as lemon, lime or bergamot oranges.

For a reliable and effective serum, you may consider Vita C Gold™ Serum. Dermatologist-formulated and tested for bio-activity in a laboratory, it is completely safe for use. It is a concentrated serum containing nano-formulated sodium ascorbyl phosphate as a powerful and stable antioxidant.


© 2017 TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre. All rights reserved.

Dermatologist Guide to Choosing A Body Moisturizer

January 26, 2018


With Singapore’s humid weather, most of us fall back on body lotions and moisturizers to keep our skin smooth and hydrated all year round. Yet, faced with a multitude of choices for body moisturisers, we may never know where to begin – here are some quick tips to help guide the choice of body moisturisers.

Read the product’s ingredient list

This is no easy feat, but it pays to know what is in your product. You need not know all the ingredients in detail, a simple trick would be to scrutinise the order in which the ingredients are presented. Right at the top would be the ingredient with the highest percentage, and the concentration of each ingredient decreases with a descending order of mention in the ingredient list.

The first five ingredients or so usually make the bulk of your product. Given that, it does not necessarily translate that an ingredient has to be in greatest concentration for the most impact. Certain ingredients work well at low concentrations.

One tip would be to watch out for creams or lotions that have the highest concentration of water or plain silicones. While these constituents may give the instant feel of moisture, they quickly disappears and do not repair our skin barrier.

How do moisturizers work?

The most essential feature is to increase the water content of the stratum corneum. The ‘valleys’ between skin contour ridges smoothen with hydration, allowing the skin to be more soft and supple.

Ingredient you want in your moisturizer: ceramides

Ceramides are an essential lipid component of the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of our skin that is largely recognized as the skin barrier. Preventing unwanted materials from entering, it can be seen as our skin’s first line of defense. Ceramides contribute to the permeability of the skin barrier by mediating with cell signaling and with processes such as cell growth, differentiation, proliferation and cell death as a lipid messenger.

A deficiency of ceramides in our skin causes a decrease in water-holding capacity and barrier function. Conversely, with a topical application of phytoceramides, barrier abnormalities are improved and impaired skin barrier function can also be repaired. Thus, if you are looking for a good body lotion or moisturizer, phytoceramides definitely should be on your ingredient check list.

Phytoceramides: What are they?

Phytoceramides are derived from plant-oil and it mimics the lipid component of our skin barrier. With an equivalent function of restoring the skin integrity, we can rely on moisturizers with phytoceramides to repair our skin barrier as do synthetic ceramides do.

Ingredient you want in your moisturizer: glycerin

Glycerin is a natural humectant found in our skin and contributes to normal hydration levels of our skin. Topical glycerin helps to correct the hydration abnormality in our skin, causing glyercol to be included in topical dermatological preparations.

Humectants are hydrophilic compounds that hydrate the stratum corneum when they form hydrogen bonds with water molecules. Glycerin is a typical, yet effective water-binding agent. Humectants draw water to our skin from two difference sources: from a humid environment or from deeper layers of our skin. By absorbing water from these sources, it locks in the moisture in our skin.

According to Dr Teo Wan Lin, an accredited dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre, she said: “Glycerin may accomplish more complex mechanism beyond water absorption. It may interact with the skin lipid structure and alter their water-binding properties. This effect causes an expansion of skin cells on the outermost skin layer, and between those cells, leading to a visible full thickness of the skin layer. With an improvement of water-holding abilities, it results in more effective moisturization of the skin.”

Repeated applications of lotions with high glycerin content have been found to improve skin hydration.

Ingredient you want in your moisturizer: squalane

Found in certain fish oils such as shark liver oil, squalene is a polyunsaturated hydrocarbon. As squalene is unstable and oxidizes easily, squalane has gained more attraction in the area of cosmetics. As a saturated derivative of squalene, squalane’s inert properties and low toxicity have paved its way into the cosmeceutical industry, favoured over its unsaturated analog, squalene. Although squalane is produced naturally by the body, we experience a slower production of this hydrocarbon when we hit thirty.

Squalane has high emollient properties, being absorbed easily by the skin without leaving an oily residue. An emollient helps keep our skin hydrated and supple by reducing water loss from the epidermis. Squalane increases skin hydration due to skin surface occlusions. Occlusives provide a layer of oil on the skin surface to reduce water loss from the stratum corneum.

These properties accentuate the moisturizing effect of squalane and coupled also with its stable nature, have contributed to a continual rise in demand for squalane in cosmeceutical approaches.

To round things up, make a mental note to check the ingredient list before you purchase your moisturiser. A good moisturiser would contain at least one of these ingredients: squalane, glycerin or ceramides. With this in mind, a good moisturiser can be easily differentiated from the plethora of options out there.

© 2017 TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre. All rights reserved.

All You Need To Know About Vitamin C

January 11, 2018


Vitamin C is likely to be no stranger to any of us, we see it present in plenty of fruits and vegetables like oranges, grapefruits or pineapple. Yet, it is rather new to most of us to have vitamin C on our face. This obsession with vitamin C could be why you are googling up on this ingredient now, and we are about to tell you.

The vitamin brings benefits to the skin that we love: antioxidative, photoprotective, antiaging, and anti-pigmentary effects.

Vitamin C in our body

Vitamin C is the most abundant antioxidant in human skin. Antioxidants work to reduce the damage that free radicals can bring to our skin cells. We are unable to synthesize vitamin C as we do not have the enzyme needed to do so. Even as we consume high doses of vitamin C supplements, only a small fraction of the vitamin will remain in our body and skin cells. This brings us to rely on external supplements, with topical application being the most common form.

What should the concentration of my Vitamin C be?

When choosing a Vitamin C product, you may come across the different concentrations available. Of what percentage of the vitamin C should we be using? For a general guide, for the product to be effective for our skin, it needs to have a vitamin C concentration of higher than 8 percent. Having a concentration of above 20 percent would not mean the product being more effective either, and may even cause irritation to the skin. A range of 10 to 20 percent will be a good gauge to stick to.

What are the common forms of Vitamin C?

Out of all the active forms, L-ascorbic acid is one of the most biologically active molecules. This compound is likely to be found at a pH below 3.5 for greater stability and permeability. Above that, the acid becomes very unstable in aqueous solutions and is prone to immediate oxidation, turning to a brown colour when oxidized.

Other formulations of vitamin C are magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl-6-palmitate and sodium ascorbyl phosphate. These formulations are stable at neutral pH of 7. As a water-soluble derivative of Vitamin C, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is more stable in water but less potent than L-Ascorbic acid.

Sodium ascorbyl phosphate is one of the most stable forms of Vitamin C. As it will not oxidize as easily, it is a preferable choice for skin care formulations. A well-formulated product allows sodium ascorbyl phosphate to penetrate the skin epidermis without causing irritation. You may consider a dermatologist-formulated product Vita C Gold™ Seruma product that has been tested for bio-activity in a laboratory, for safe and effective results.

Different formulations of Vitamin C exists, and you can choose which would prefer in your skincare depending on the cost, potency, texture or formulation. Although L-ascorbic acid is the most potent and would be able to deliver the most benefits that Vitamin C has, it oxidizes too quickly when exposed to oxygen. To incorporate L-ascorbic acid into any skincare product, it is likely to be in combination with another ingredient to stabilize it.

Vitamin C helps to produce collagen

Vitamin C is required by our bodies to produce collagen, making this vitamin crucial for anti-ageing. Think of it as an anti-ageing shield your skin needs to reduce the damage your skin suffered, and also to prevent future damage. The vitamin facilitates enzymes that lead to the stability of collagen fibers. It also increases expression of collagen and synthesizes inhibitors to block enzymes from degrading collagen.

Vitamin C has anti-pigmentary effect

Vitamin C plays an important role in skin-lightening, as it inhibits an enzyme called tyrosinase. This enzyme works by converting tyrosine into melanin, so by reducing the activity of tyrosinase, our skin cells produce less melanin. 

Should I DIY my own Vitamin C serum?

According to Dr Teo Wan Lin, an accredited dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre, she says: “Concocting your own serum of Vitamin C can be dangerous as it can lead to phytophotodermatitis, a condition where itchy blisters and reddened patches appear on the exposed skin. The redness and blistering will settle down in a few days, but it leaves pigmentation at the same sites. Phytophotodermatitis results from the action of UV radiation on a plant chemical called furocoumarins. Citrus fruits such as lemon, lime or bergamot oranges are often responsible for the reaction.”

It is best to avoid DIY recipes for Vitamin C or you may end up with rashes that scar for a long time.

© 2017 TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre. All rights reserved.


Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, an accredited dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, for a thorough consultation to determine the most suitable treatment for your skin.

To book an appointment with Dr. Teo, call us at +65 6355 0522, or email appt@twlskin.com. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.








Dermatologist Tips: Does Diet Cause Acne?

January 5, 2018


Suffering from acne? Also known as acne vulgaris, patients who suffer from this inflammatory disease typically develop it in adolescence.

Does my diet cause the acne?

The answer is not straightforward, because acne itself is multifactorial in origin, with genetics, inflammation, hormone related oil production in a complex interplay. However, a quick answer would be yes, diet does appear increasingly to influence the severity of acne and treatment outcome to a certain extent.
Acne vulgaris is often touted to be the epidemic disease of civilization, typically in first-world countries. Caused by an unhealthy diet fueled by modernization, it affects the sebaceous follicles of adolescents and adults. Today, a typical diet is characterized by high glycemic index foods, insulinotropic milk proteins and saturated fats.

So, does a Western diet trigger acne?

To convince you, populations that are exposed to diets with low glycemic load and no milk/dairy consumption are acne-free, such as the Inuit, Ache hunters of Paraguay, rural areas of Brazil. Prevalence of acne increased as Okinawa islanders and the Chinese switch from traditional diets to Westernized food.

How do hyperglycemic carbohydrates cause acne?

High glycemic index foods are those that are extremely high in glucose. The glycemic index works by measuring the impact that your food has on your blood sugar level. High glycemic index foods cause your blood sugar to rise faster.

Eating lots of food like white bread and cereal can also cause the elevation of hormones, leading to increased sebum production. The high glycemic load changes the composition of sebum fatty acids, causing proinflammatory and comedogenic responses. A diet-induced change in sebum composition can trigger acne inflammation and drive the process of comedogenesis, also known as the formation of blackheads.

Can saturated fats lead to my acne problems?

The major culprit is a saturated fatty acid called palmitate, and it consists of 32% milk triglycerides. Palmitate triggers the abnormal proliferation of keratinocytes, a cell that produces keratin, resulting in micro-comedones. The continuous sebum accumulation, enlargement of follicle and build-up of keratin within the micro-comedones causes the formation of comedones.

Trans-fats, produced industrially that structurally resemble palmitate, are in the fast food that we eat. With the replacement of natural solid fats and liquid oils with hydrogenated fats in fast food, fried food and baked goods, it has led to unhealthy diets that contribute to acne. Such a diet contributes to inflammatory responses of our sebaceous glands and hair follicles.

Does milk cause acne too?

The link between milk consumption and acne is not a breakthrough, adolescent acne is closely associated with their diets being rich in milk, cheese, yogurt, cakes and low in fish, fruits and vegetables. Milk contributes to increased insulin levels which prevent that production of an important protein FoxO1. The deficiency of this protein has been linked to major factors of development of acne.

Milk intake can also influence comedogenesis as it contains androgens, a type of hormone, steroids and other components that can affect the sebaceous gland and hair follicle. Such molecules survive processing, and for instance, in cheese, fermentation leads to more testosterone being produced from the precursors in milk.

Milk facilitates the pathway of sebaceous lipogenesis and sebocyte proliferation. Excessive intake of milk protein also explains the onset and aggravation of acne.

How can I adjust my diet to be less acne-prone?

You may opt for a palaeolithic diet – no hyperglycemic carbohydrates, no milk and dairy products. Fish consumption has shown to have anti-acne effect, as the fatty acids from the fish can reduce inflammation.

Resveratrol, a compound found in the skin of grapes, has shown to inhibit the growth of P.acnes, a bacteria that facilitates ace development in optimal environments.

Though multifaceted, dietary factors can worsen breakouts in acne-prone individuals. For a clearer skin, a good tip is to bear in mind what you consume, have a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle. However, if you have a persistent flare of acne for anything more than several months, medicated treatments such as oral antibiotics and topical retinoids may be necessary. So do visit a dermatologist early to prevent complications such as secondary skin infections i.e. gram-negative folliculitis, or severe acne scarring.

© 2017 TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre. All rights reserved.


Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, an accredited dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, for a thorough consultation to determine the most suitable treatment for your skin.

To book an appointment with Dr. Teo, call us at +65 6355 0522, or email appt@twlskin.com. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.





Best Anti-Ageing Eye Treatment with Nitrogen Plasma Technology

January 1, 2018



As a dermatologist, one of the first signs of ageing I observe shows in the eye area, what we call the peri-orbital or peri-ocular region. The commonest complaints I hear from my patients old or young are “Is there anything I can do for my eye bags, dark circles and eye wrinkles?” This is tricky because while so many spas, medi-spas, aesthetics providers and skincare companies confidently brag about their treatments erasing eye wrinkles and waving eyebags goodbye,  I often have to burst bubbles in my clinic when I tell my concerned patients their hopes may be misplaced in  a single miracle product which probably doesn’t exist.

In my practice, I use a multi-dimensional approach to work the aged eye area— a combination of skin resurfacing (plasma nitrogen over laser for sensitive areas such as the eye region), injectables like botulinum toxins, dysport and Botox. This, in conjunction with the closest form of a miracle eye cream that I formulate for my patients to use on a daily basis for before and after care, with specific active ingredients to brighten, tighten, moisturise and anti-age periorbital skin, besides being tested for safety and efficacy to complement medical aesthetics treatments around the eye area.

Men and women alike are affected by concerns of ageing and looking older, there’s nothing vain about wanting to look like a younger version of one’s self. In fact, it has been shown that your skin starts to age at around the age of 25. Main areas of wrinkles are at the forehead, nose, mouth and especially around the eyes. Eye wrinkles are often noticed first and more evident as the skin in this area is thinner, making it susceptible to wrinkling. Regardless of gender, you are prone to getting wrinkles so start taking care of your skin to maintain your youthful appearance!


What is Plasma Skin Regeneration?

Specifically, the Portrait® PSR device is a nitrogen plasma technology used in dermatological and aesthetic treatments. It is a non-laser treatment that uses a device to converts nitrogen gas into plasma energy, to rejuvenate skin by improving facial lines, wrinkles and pigmentation caused by photoaging. This technology offers a wide variety of single pulse energy levels with different options of frequency that can most efficiently improve the precision of plasma delivery. This function allows accurate temperature irradiation to drastically improve topical drug delivery for a variety of dermatological indicators. On top of increasing energy levels over the Spa system, it improves effects of anti-aging protocols while reducing downtime and side effects of treatments. It allows room for personalisation of the settings to cater to different patients. Patients’ skin conditions differ in terms of downtime and receptivity to treatments. Through deep tissue re-modelling, the energy delivered by plasma skin regeneration is non-fractionated. This allows for even energy absorption, ensuring the consistency in treatments done to the skin. The high energy also supports significant skin tightening. With deep tissue re-modelling and accelerated healing, plasma skin regeneration usage is versatile and effective.


Plasma Delivery

  1. The handpiece first releases the nitrogen plasma pulses.
  2. This causes it to transfer thermal energy to the skin, allowing for controlled heating of the tissue.
  3. The controlled duration of the pulse and temperature then allows the treatment to happen optimally.
  4. This then leads to the possibility of treatments of many dermatological conditions due to the carefully controlled time frame.


Reliable Technology

Nitrogen plasma technology has been tested and backed by evidence. It has over 3 years of pre-clinical and clinical testing, 16 separate studies conducted, more than 450 clinical study treatments which proved to cause no scarring or pigmentation, and one year of clinical histology. This intense and detailed level of testing is uncommon in the industry. Portrait® PSR device is the first non-laser technology approved by the FDA Singapore (Food and Drug Administration) and clinically proven to perform skin resurfacing and regeneration using plasma energy.

Drug Delivery Effect

There are many treatable indicators like anti-aging effects, pore size reduction, wrinkle reduction, skin tightening, stretch marks reduction, acne scar reduction and more. However, one key effect is the drug delivery effect. When the skin is exposed to the nitrogen plasma, the permeability of the skin increases. This allows for better absorption of the drug, enhancing drug delivery and making the drug more effective during and after treatment.


Key Specialities

Advanced Technology

Plasma skin regeneration converts nitrogen gas into the fourth state of matter, plasma energy. It then emerges from the handpiece in controlled pulses and causes rapid heating of tissue. This allows for the transmission of thermal energy to the tissue.

Minimal Damage

The treated photodamaged skin layers undergo controlled thermal modification without additional harm. This allows for speedy healing and a natural layer of protection for the skin. At high temperature and energy, the skin epidermis breaks down and sheds, but only after a new healthier skin layer forms beneath. Plasma skin regeneration is non-invasive and will not cause any open wounds.

Treats the Whole Skin Structure

Plasma skin regeneration can treat the entire skin structure. It ensures that the entire skin surface is regenerated and produces conditions favourable for optimal results. It is associated with neocollagenesis and neoelastogenesis. Neocollagenesis is the process of making more collagen while elastogenesis refers to the mechanisms that drive elastic fiber formation for our skin.

Ideal for Eyelids Treatment

The skin around our eyes, our eyelids, are especially sensitive and thinner than the rest of our skin. Thus, not all treatments are suitable to prevent eye wrinkles and eye bags. However, plasma skin regeneration is suitable for treatment of the eyelids to reduce wrinkles and achieve an anti-aging effect. Other anti-aging technologies might be harmful for our thin eyelids or even deliver inconsistent and ineffective results.

Long Lasting Effects

Plasma skin regeneration has been proven to show neocollagenesis and reduce elastosis (abnormal elastic tissue in the skin which is a result of excessive sun exposure). Elastosis can cause your skin to have wrinkles and even pigmentation. The nitrogen plasma technology has post treatment effects that can last for more than a year.


With its reliable and advanced technology, plasma skin regeneration can produce anti-aging and long-lasting effects with its non-invasive methods, helping you to achieve a bright and youthful appearance.

© 2017 TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre. All rights reserved.

Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, an accredited dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, for a thorough consultation to determine the most suitable treatment for your skin.


To book an appointment with Dr. Teo, call us at +65 6355 0522, or email appt@twlskin.com. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.

Best Aesthetic Treatments Singapore
– Get Party-Ready

December 27, 2017

With the festive season just around the corner, we can expect our time spent hopping from one party to another. Eating one too many nibbles, and all those glasses of fizz – we want to look ready when we hit the party scene. You may have got what to wear sorted, so turn your focus to your skin. Whether you are celebrating with family and friends or getting ready for the office party, get your party-ready skin and look your best this festive season with these beauty upgrades.

With multiple treatments available, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the options available before making the best decision for your concerns. Cut through the confusion and get the facts that you need for an informed decision.

Chemical peel

Improve and smooth the texture of your skin with a chemical peel, which removes the outermost layers of the skin with a gentle peeling solution derived from fruit or milk acids. When performing the treatment, this solution  is applied to the skin for a duration of time ranging from three to seven minutes. The solution can include alpha-hydroxy acids, glycolic acid, lactic and salicylic acid.

With the application of the acids, the skin undergoes microscopic peeling, whereby dead skin cells which are usually shed with time, are induced to shed earlier, resulting in a fresh and radiant complexion. One should know part of the normal skin ageing process results in a longer duration of skin cell( keratinocyte) turnover, resulting in slower shedding, and this can contribute to dull looking skin. Skin cells from the deeper layers of the epidermis regenerate after the peel, allowing smoother skin with fewer wrinkles, as well as stimulating collagen in skin.

According to Dr.Teo Wan Lin, an accredited dermatologist, “I  recommend the chemical peel for those experiencing acne, or as a form of anti-ageing treatment to maintain youthful skin, either alone or in combination with lasers and cosmeceuticals. My patients who come for chemical peels also look to minimize damage caused by sun damage, such as wrinkles, or other problems such as dark spots, dull or uneven skin texture, freckles and fine lines. As compared to other treatments, chemical peels can be more cost-effective as a form of maintenance and as an adjunct treatment.”

Ensure that this treatment is performed by a medical professional, and go for a professional evaluation before going for the treatment. The concentration of the acid solution applied to the skin has to be controlled, and results may vary according to either commercial brands used. A specially compounded  in-house chemical peel solution is used at the clinic, tailored either for lighter, caucasian skin types, or darker asian or hispanic skin types as each as different requirements. Darker skin types should be particularly cautious as stronger peels, when used inappropriately can result in pigmentation instead. According to Dr. Teo, ” One should be wary that over the counter DIY  cosmetic skincare which tout various acids, such as lactic, salicylic acids, and AHAs all contain sub-therapeutic levels of the ingredients, as higher concentrations are illegal to be used at home without medical supervision.What this results in is simply drying out the skin, which very often does not treat acne, result in antiaging but merely causes a form of eczema known as irritant contact dermatitis. I would avoid using skincare with any of these ingredients on a long term basis without consulting a dermatologist. ”

Laser Therapy

For facial rejuvenation and reversing signs of ageing, you may consider going for laser therapy. This treatment can help to reduce wrinkles, age spots, acne scars and help to tighten your skin. When a laser is used, a concentrated stream of a invisible wavelength penetrates the skin. The laser treatment can target either the surface layer or deeper layers of your skin, depending on the results you are looking for. Lasers that work beneath the surface skin layer are called non-ablative lasers.

Non-ablative lasers help to remove skin discolouration, reduce redness from rosacea and improve fine lines and wrinkles. With multiple treatments, it can also help to stimulate collagen production.

Ablative lasers work by targeting the surface layer of your skin by ‘ablating’ the surface of your skin. Such lasers can make a greater difference in your skin replacing damaged skin from sun damage with healthier, new skin. Follow-up care is necessary with ablative lasers to ensure smooth result and needs at least two weeks for full recovery. If you are rushing to be all ready for the festive period, it is recommended to postpone your ablative laser treatment.

In the hands of accredited dermatologists, laser treatment will help to dramatically improve your skin appearance. Lasers advertised by spas or aestheticians may not even be medical grade, as the HSA does not allow therapeutic lasers to be operated by aestheticians. Such “laser facials” may hence be ineffective or even outright dangerous. 

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) Sygmalift

HIFU is ideal for the tightening, lifting and rejuvenation of facial skin. It is safe and effective and is a popular alternative to a surgical face lift to help improve lines and wrinkles. With high intensity focussed ultrasound energy, two particular layers below our skin are targeted – the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) and the dermis. The SMAS is a layer of facial muscles that is tightened during a facelift, while the dermis layer is made up of collagen and elastin fibres that provide the skin with strength and elasticity.

Using the power of ultrasound, HIFU is able to this energy to safely tighten and lift the skin. The safety of the treatment comes from being able to protect the surface of the skin whilst still penetrating precisely deep into the skin to treat beyond the surface layer. No damage will be done to the surface layer or any adjacent tissues.

Targeted skin tissues will be subjected to thermal heat that promotes healing, stimulating optimal levels of collagen production. Response to the thermal heat can lead to the desired effects of lifting and tightening, allowing HIFU to be a viable alternative to surgery. Energy emitted from ultrasound lasers would also melt facial fats during the treatment.

Finally, are you tempted by those advertisements offering aesthetic treatments like an ‘a-la-carte’ menu? One word of warning by our dermatologist though, “For safe and effective results, all these aesthetic treatments are regarded as medical interventions still and a trained dermatologist will not administer any of these without a thorough consultation discussing risks, benefits, costs involved and the overall maintenance required for a proper anti-ageing regimen, so as to ensure the treatment is tailored to your needs.” Armed with this guide, you are well on your way to look party-ready this festive season.

© 2017 TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre. All rights reserved.

Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, an accredited dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, for a thorough consultation to determine the most suitable treatment for your skin.


To book an appointment with Dr. Teo, call us at +65 6355 0522, or email appt@twlskin.com. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.

Acne Guide: Dermatologist Truths

December 23, 2017


What is acne?

Acne vulgaris is an epidermis inflammatory disease of the human sebaceous follicle and is a common dermatologic condition. Typically beginning in adolescence, it may persist into adulthood when left untreated.

How is acne developed?

The development of acne is not fully clarified, but it is agreed upon that the causes are multifactorial. A major cause of acne is related to a bacterium called Proprionibacterium acnes (P. acnes).

As a bacterium that grows deep inside of pores, P. acnes feeds on the sebum produced by sebaceous glands surrounding the base of the hair shaft. P. acnes grows best in an environment with accumulated sebum. P. acnes uses sebum as an energy source, causing the breakdown of sebum by the bacterium to produce byproducts that are inflammatory.

According to Dr.Teo Wan Lin, a dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre, she says: “To combat this inflammation, your body releases destructive enzymes to fight the infection. This immune response can cause damage to surrounding skin cells and is responsible for symptoms observed in acne as it permanently damages the skin and leads to acne scars.”

What are the causes that trigger acne?

One major cause is our genetic predisposition. Other factors that aggravate acne include:

  • Oil-based cosmetics and facial massage
  • Medicates that promote acne development e.g. steroids, lithium and iodides
  • Food with a high glycemic number e.g. dairy products, candy
  • Severe anxiety or anger may aggravate acne as it can stimulate stress hormones


Where does acne occur?

Acne occurs most prominently at skin sites with high density of sebaceous glands e.g. the face, back and chest.

Are there different types of acne?

Generally, acne can be divided into comedones, cystic acne. Comedones are hair follicles that are formed by the blockage of pores with sebum, debris and dirt, causing the pore to become infected.

Open comedones are blackheads, caused by an overproduction and buildup of oil that is oxidized, thus explaining its blackish appearance. Closed comedones are whiteheads, where the follicle is blocked completely. As the opening to the skin is obstructed, the rupturing of closed comedones can lead to skin inflammation.

Cystic acne is angry, red bumps filled with bacteria and pus. Caused by inflammation, it can start off as comedones that were left untreated, leading to an excessive growth of P. acne.

How can I treat acne?

Current treatments include topical formulations in the forms of creams, gels, lotions such as antibiotics, antibacterial agents and retinoids. Yet, patients need to be cautious of such treatments as it can lead to dryness, peeling or erythema. Different forms of acne would require alternative treatment techniques.

To treat open comedones, a mixture of carbon laser peels and chemical peels can be considered. For closed comedones, be sure not to pick those whiteheads as it exposes the skin to bacteria.

If you suffer from cystic acne, oral medication is likely to be given to shrink oil glands or prescription creams that contain tretinoin.

The use of lasers to treat acne is also increasingly popular due to minimal complications involved to allow benefits of treating acne scarring. The lasers will target the colonization of P. acne and high levels of sebum production on the face, chest and back.

If you may find it confusing to face acne alone, talk to a dermatologist. It is also important to visit your dermatologist before the acne gets severe and prevent scarring.

© 2017 TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre. All rights reserved.


Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, an accredited dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, for a thorough consultation to determine the most suitable treatment for your skin.

To book an appointment with Dr. Teo, call us at +65 6355 0522, or email appt@twlskin.com. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.


HIFU Sygmalift vs Ultherapy

December 15, 2017

People have been increasingly conscious about aging and the effects of aging on appearance. Skin aging will cause facial wrinkles and decreased collagen. Maintaining a youthful appearance seems to be the trend and many have resorted to skin treatments. There are many treatments like chemical peels, fractional laser and more but recently, ultrasound has been used in new treatments. HIFU and ultherapy are examples of ultrasound treatments. It has been introduced as non-invasive and effective in having anti-aging effects on the skin.


What is High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) Sygmalift?

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound also known as HIFU Sygmalift, is used for rejuvenation, lifting and tightening of the facial skin. Research has been done to demonstrate the efficacy of HIFU Sygmalift. It has been found that HIFU Sygmalift is a safe and effective method for facial skin tightening. It can be used not only to improve skin texture, but also contour the upper arms, knees and thighs. Besides facial skin, it can be used for other parts of your body.

How does HIFU Sygmalift work?

HIFU mainly causes cellular damage and reduces volume of the designated area by coagulation and generating instant microthermal lesions. This is done by using high frequency ultrasound waves targeted at the tissue area without causing any damage to the skin epidermis and surrounding tissues. The targeted skin tissues get heated up which causes cells to be activated, generating new collagen to produce a skin lifting and anti-aging effect.


What is Ultherapy?

Ultherapy is a new Food Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatment that tightens and lift facial skin. The treatment is mainly for the eyebrow, chin and neck area but can be used anywhere where the skin is lacking tightening. Follow up treatments are recommended once a year to maintain the effects. The procedure has been used as it is non invasive and hence does not require anesthetic or sedation. However, it has been said to be painful and it would be better for some to use local anesthetic. It has been said to have no foreign substances or drastic changes but achieves to improve the health of the cells beneath your skin surface to result in a subtle, natural and healthy effect on the outside.

How does Ultherapy work?

Ultherapy is different from the common laser techniques that target the outer layer of the skin. It penetrates the surface and transmits energy to the deeper skin layers. This way, it causes damage to the collagen layers to stimulate more collagen production as the cells are tricked into repairing the collagen. It uses ultrasound technology which has been used in fat burning treatments. With collagen production, it produces skin tightening and anti aging effects.


How are HIFU Sygmalift and Ultherapy different?

HIFU Sygmalift and Ultherapy sound similar in terms of their methodology. Both use ultrasound treatment, a popular choice for non invasive and non-surgical face lifting and tightening treatments. Their main goal is to produce anti-aging effects, helping you to preserve your youthful look. However, there are still some small differences between the two which can impact your decision is choosing the most suitable treatment.

Extent of Pain

One of the main complaints about ultherapy treatment is that it is known to be painful and some people require local anesthetic. However, HIFU Sygmalift is mainly painless because it uses fractionated HIFU. Instead of traditional HIFU techniques which use one concentrated beam, HIFU Sygmalift breaks up the beam into fractions and penetrates the skin at precise extents. People who use HIFU Sygmalift may feel a small sense of tolerable pain but it is definitely less painful that Ultherapy.

Extent of Skin Penetration

HIFU Sygmalift targets the dermis and connective tissues to stimulate collagen production. Meanwhile, Ultherapy can penetrate deeper even into the muscle tissues, which is why some people feel pain. However, both result in skin tightening and lifting effects.

Post Treatment Maintenance

For Ultherapy, most people may see visible results even after the first or second session. To follow-up, they are recommended to go for treatments once a year to maximise the effects. On the other hand, HIFU Sygmalift is used once a month to maintain your skin. Patients of HIFU Sygmalift are recommended to use anti-aging products that contains peptides to complement the treatment, supporting a gentler type of treatment.


Both HIFU Sygmalift and Ultherapy use similar technology and methods with very subtle differences. However, these differences can make a big impact on your comfort with the treatments. Both methods are still safe, striving to produce anti-aging effects on your skin. With the similarities and differences explained, you can now make the best decision for yourself and choose the treatment that suits you the most.


© 2017 TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre. All rights reserved.


Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, accredited dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, for a thorough consultation to determine the most suitable treatment for your skin.

To book an appointment with Dr. Teo, call us at +65 6355 0522, or email appt@twlskin.com. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.

Planning to Visit Your Dermatologist? Get Fillers.

November 29, 2017


The word anti-aging alone turns many heads. Living in a beauty-centric society, we are pressurised to maintain our youth. Although ageing is considered a natural process,  once we hit the big 3-0, we are told to maintain our youth with an onslaught of anti-aging products purportedly promoting rejuvenation  and stimulating collagen production.Is the aesthetic and beauty industry just a vicious black hole sucking in the vulnerable and playing on our insecurities? Hey, if you are reading this,  there’s nothing wrong about wanting to look good, or a youthful, energised version of yourself.

A myriad of cosmetic procedures are being offered by every aesthetic set up, beauty parlor and medi-spa. If you are looking to look your best this festive season and have decided to get some pampering, do read this article beforehand to educate yourself on what’s out there.

First things first, it’s important to understand, that according to the latest Singapore Medical Council guidelines has clarified its stand on who should and should not perform aesthetic procedures such as lasers, botox, fillers or other cosmetic procedures. Read all about it here. What does this mean? Well,

It’s best to visit an accredited dermatologist or a plastic surgeon who will ensure the safety and efficacy of the treatment, depending on what you are looking for. Non dermatologists who practise “aesthetic medicine” require additional certification of competency conducted by the Dermatological Society of Singapore. Not sure about the qualifications of your doctor? Check your doctor’s accreditation here.

Once you’ve decided on who to see, make a note of the research you’ve done and how you actually feel about yourself. Our take on this? Filler injections are one of the fastest, most dramatic yet natural-looking ( if well done) aesthetic procedures that can instantly rejuvenate a tired face.  One of the reasons fillers have sometimes gained a bad- reputation amongst the beauty fans and watchers is that the early nineties were filled with images of Hollywood stars suffering less than ideal( sometimes botched) jobs with unnatural lumps of flesh on their faces or oddly elongated chins. Fast-forward to today, we asked Dr. Teo Wan Lin, a Consultant Dermatologist what her thoughts are on those in their thirties considering facial fillers. “ The benefits to having fillers in the younger age group, say those in their thirties to early forties, as compared to those in their midforties and beyond, is that hyaluronic acid -based facial fillers can provide natural-looking volume to restore areas of the face where fat has been lost or where gravity has taken its toll. Not a lot of product is required to be injected in these women to achieve the desired outcome, but at the same time thit;s a very quick pick-me up to a tired face, when injected at the correct areas, in addition to giving a smooth, radiant look to one’s complexion almost instantly, because hyaluronic acid itself is a water molecule that naturally exists in one’s skin and is depleted as one ages. The pores also end up looking more refined and one also has a smooth youthful contour of the face”.

So it seems indeed, that facial fillers rightfully remain a  popular option for those wanting to achieve a youthful look. “Relying on a rigid regimen of filler injections alone is bound to disappoint,” says Dr. Teo,  “as the skin itself, like the face structure, is dynamic, different for each individual and requires expert assesment to tailor treatments, all this in order to achieve the desired outcome. For an individual who needs a quick freshening up before the festive period, I start with facial fillers and combine with High Intensity Focussed Ultrasound to target the SMAS layer( Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System), together with cosmeceutical skincare for maintenance of clear radiant and hydrated skin.”

While we don’t need any further reminders that with each passing day, genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors i.e. sun damage, smoking, poor diet, the condition of our skin deteriorates. Before you despair at mankind’s seemingly inevitable fate, here’s some good news. Milennial skincare has extended its technological advances to the field of aesthetic dermatology, and take it from the dermatologists–when it comes to giving your skin a refreshing and youthful appearance, fillers work by giving your ageing face definition, firmness and deep hydration, talk about multi-tasking. No amount of skincare can do that overnight. What to expect?A gel like substance containing a natural water molecule in your skin, known as hyaluronic acid, is injected into parts of your face that has lost volume or sagging, erasing lines and wrinkles at the same time. Talk about getting rid of the tired and pissed look off your face, erase the years away!

Hyaluronic acid is a common component that is used in fillers. With many people reacting to “acid”, probably the last time they have heard of that term was in their chemistry class, where the corrosive substance was definitely not something one would put on their face. Here’s where it’s a fallacy. Hyaluronic acid is a component naturally found in the human body and it is no mean chemical acid! It’s actually really good for your skin, with almost every beauty product these days touting it as its superstar ingredient. According to dermatologist Dr. Teo Wan Lin, “Most commercial brands of hyaluronic acid products contain a concentration ranging between 0.01- 0.1%, simply because of the cost of the molecule. Injecting hyaluronic acid is a totally different story, purity and concentration is important, as it serves to hold up the structure of the face.” Seems like when the creator made hyaluronic acid for the human skin, He also found its sole function to provide hydration and structure, both of which get depleted as we age. So here’s the science of filler injections:  one is essentially introducing hydration and structure in the the skin. The next time you see a young girl, notice the fullness of her facial contours. That, is the key to a youthful face. Besides, many who are risk-adverse and into an au-naturale look (who isn’t?) will be pleased to know that hyaluronic acid facial fillers are considered temporary. Lasting up to six to twelve months, these fillers have the ability to plump up the eyebrow and temporal region, define and contours the cupid’s bow, cheeks and jawline, smoothen out the under-eye hollows, facial creases and can even minimise the appearance of scars and other depressed creases.

Restylane is used exclusively at our clinic, for the following reasons. Using a patented Non-Animal Stabilised Hyaluronic Acid (NASHA) technology, Restylane injectables are generally firmer for a pronounced lifting capacity and for targeted product integration. What this means is, it’s now possible to deliver skin hydration that’s  longer lasting, giving the dewy, glowy skin look.  Its Optimal Balance Technology (OBT), ensures that the injectable is more evenly diffused in the injected area, creating a softer and more natural look.

Finally, know what to expect before, during and after a filler procedure. First things first, always consult an accredited practtioner, such as a dermatologist or plastic surgeon prior to getting a filler. This should be taken seriously, and performed in a accredited medical clinic rather than in a spa or a beauty parlor. He or she will run through which areas are suitable for filler treatment, and what to expect. Hygiene and sterility is pertinent when it comes to any cosmetic treatments, to avoid infections and side effects, and a licensed practitioner will take steps to make sure that all risks of infection are minimised. Next up, during your consultation, make sure that you understand the procedure and don’t be afraid to ask  questions. Always remember to inform the dermatologist or surgeon about your present medical condition and allergies. Avoid taking any medications such as panadol that may hasten bruising, or intoxicants such as alcohol, and stay hydrated. Here are more tips: always ask your dermatologist, or trained practitioner what type of filler you are getting injected with. Do some background research and make sure you are comfortable with being injected with that particular type of filler chosen for you. The important thing to know here is, Instead of going for  the cheapest deal available, choose the type of filler that is recommended by your dermatologist or plastic surgeon, to minimise risks of any botched procedures. Remember, there is a cost to quality fillers, in addition to the skill of the practitioner injecting it. So if the price or the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!

Some final words. If you feel uncomfortable or uneasy during your filler procedure, voice out your concerns. Your doctor will reassure you or make adjustments to ensure that the procedure carries on to your comfort level. Post-procedure, minor bruising is expected. Tips for recovery would be staying well hydrated with fluids,  avoiding smoking and alcohol as these delay wound healing. Recovery is typically quick and uneventful and one could return to work or activities the same day except for maybe high intensity workouts which are best avoided for a couple of days.

© 2017 twlskin.com. All rights reserved.


Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, consultant dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, for a thorough consultation to determine the most suitable treatment for your skin.

To book an appointment with Dr. Teo, call us at +65 6355 0522, or email appt@twlskin.com. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.

error: Copyright © 2017 twlskin.com. All rights reserved.