Dr. Teo Wan Lin is an accredited dermatologist and an expert on cosmeceutical skincare research and development. She is the author of “Skincare Bible – Dermatologist’s Tips for Cosmeceutical Skincare” which was published July 2019 by leading bookstores Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor and Apple Books and available in bookstores islandwide from January 2020. She is the founder of Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals, a specialist cosmeceutical skincare line with evidence-based active ingredients for anti-ageing and skin health. Dr. TWL Pharmacy is the only full fledged online specialist dermatologist compounding pharmacy in Singapore and is jointly headed by a trained pharmaceutical engineer for strict quality controls. In this series “Dermatologist Talks” she shares her top tips on common skincare topics. In this article, she talks about chemical peels, are they necessary and are there any alternatives for those who wish to do it at home?
What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is the application of a high yet safe concentration of a certain acid on the skin. Superficial peels involve the use of acids such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid. They induce epidermal injury and the induced exfoliation is followed by dermal and epidermal regeneration from adjacent epithelium and skin adnexa, which results in improved surface texture and appearance of the skin. Superficial peels are most commonly used for mild skin disorders such as dyschromia, acne, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, melasma, and actinic keratosis.
What are the benefits of a chemical peel?
Chemical peels exfoliate the dead outer layer of your skin and are mainly used to treat:
Acne (i.e Blackheads, whiteheads & pimples)
Chemical peels reduce inflamed lesions, loosen and reduce open and closed comedones (colloquially known as blackheads and whiteheads respectively). Chemical peels also lighten mild acne and facial scars from past blemishes. It can be used to compliment topical or oral medication to treat pimples and control acne breakouts.
Reduce fine lines under eyes, around the mouth and on the forehead.
Lighten mild acne and facial scars.
Reduce age spots, freckles, and dark patches (melasma) due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills.
Remove the sun-damaged outer layers, leaving you with smoother skin.
Chemical peels also increase the absorption of skincare products into the skin because the removal of the topmost layer of skin ensures that there are no dead cells impeding the penetration of products.
SA has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and depigmenting properties. It is safe in skin of all Fitzpatrick phototypes. Because of SA’s lipophilic and comedolytic effects, it is particularly effective for comedonal acne.
What are the side effects of a chemical peel?
The side effects of the treatment tend to be mild and temporary. Most side effects subside after 3 days.
Scabbing of the skin (due to skin cells being removed)
Increased sensitivity to the sun
How is a chemical peel performed at your clinic?
A certified nurse will hand you a consent form for the chemical peel before proceeding to explain in detail what you can expect during the peel and the benefits. The peels we use in our clinic are: Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid. Before the procedure, your face will be cleansed and eye protection like goggles or gauze may be applied. During chemical peel, the nurse will use a cotton pad or brush to apply the chemical solution to your face. You may feel a slight stinging sensation however the nurse will assess the skin and monitor the reaction to the acid. Once complete, the chemical solution will be removed or a neutralizing solution will be added. The strength and peel times are tailored to individual patients skin type and needs. After the peel, we will apply AMINO ACID 360° MASQUE and leave it on for 10 minutes to soothe the skin. It contains a potent concoction of skin brightening Vitamin C which soothes inflamed acne and lightens scars. LARECEA™ Extract with lifting amino acids penetrate the epidermis to stimulate collagen regeneration, resulting in all round 360 degrees lifting effect for a youthful, smooth contour of face.
If I cannot make it down for a chemical peel at your clinic, would there be alternative treatments that can be performed at home?
Our online specialist skincare pharmacy Dr. TWL Pharmacy supplies custom compounded topicals powered by botanical actives, for various skin conditions delivered to your doorstep. This is also part of a teledermatology service integrated with the specialist skincare pharmacy, a unique service developed for our overseas patients and a current necessity given the healthcare situation worldwide. There is complimentary courier service locally and subsidised international shipping for our prescription medications.
The following are alternatives for home peels:
Our Dr. TWL Home Chemical Peel System– By Prescription via Teledermatology only. This system incorporates active peeling agents suitable for home use formulated by our in house team, with recovery serums and skin healing emollients included in the package. From $80 upwards depending on prescription and need. Please book in here for your consultation.
Home Medi-Facial Aesthetic Treatments with our Custom Mask Bar Service Our on-site skincare pharmacy is manned by trained technicians who compound topical prescriptives for skin concerns such as acne/greasy skin, pigmentation, scars and sensitive/eczema prone skin to be used with our newly launched FDA-approved skin devices for a full home facial experience. The SilkPeel, a state-of-the art microdermabrasion device with copper ion technology, suitable for antiageing and skin resurfacing is used with our prescriptive medifacial solutions and has been proven to have similar benefits as in-office chemical peels. For post-peel skin healing and tightening, the CollagenUP Wand utilises Radiofrequency technology with our MoistureMax Polysaccharide Mask Sheet for the Custom Mask Bar which delivers monthly mask essence vials with a complimentary 4L Beauty Fridge. Find out more about the science of our home medi-facials here
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. Our consultations are now available via teledermatology here . Our online skincare pharmacy is also available for over the counter prescriptives to be delivered directly to your doorstep.
To book an appointment with Dr Teo, book directly here with our integrated online booking system, call us at +65 6355 0522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.
Wrinkles, sagging and pigmentation of one’s skin are signs of premature ageing. Due to this, skin tightening is a popular cosmetic procedure to improve one’s appearance. However, while surgery has long been able to restore a youthful appearance, many prefer non-surgical face lifting and skin tightening treatment because it provides immediate results with minimal or no downtime.
Dr. Teo Wan Lin is an accredited dermatologist and an expert on cosmeceutical skincare research and development. She is the author of “Skincare Bible – Dermatologist’s Tips for Cosmeceutical Skincare” which was published July 2019 by leading bookstores Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor and Apple Books and available in bookstores islandwide from January 2020. She heads up Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals, a specialist cosmeceutical skincare line with evidence-based active ingredients for anti-ageing and skin health. Its subsidiaries, the Pi- Cosmeceutical Custom Makeup Lab and the Conscious Mask Bar are part of the Conscious Concept Pharmacy launched in December featuring environmentally sustainable makeup and skincare materials. In this series “Dermatologist Talks” she shares her top tips on common skincare topics. In this article, she talks about non-surgical skin tightening treatments.
What are the alternatives to surgical skin-tightening?
1. Non-invasive skin tightening procedures
Unlike surgical skin-tightening, patients will not incur puncture wounds, incisions or raw skin after the procedure. Temporary redness and swelling, would usually be the only side effects of the procedure. When performed by a board-certified dermatologist, little risk of other side effects is involved. This procedure can be performed on almost any part of your body and the results of the procedure tend to appear gradually. Regarding the details of the procedures, a session takes approximately 1 hour or less. Some patients may face some discomfort during the procedure.
Common procedures include:
Heat produced by ultrasound treatments can stimulate collagen production. After one session, most people see modest lifting and tightening within 2 to 6 months. You may get more benefit from having multiple treatments.
A device is used against your skin to heat the tissue beneath. Most patients feel an immediate effect after the first session. Collagen production in the body takes time, the best results show in about 6 months. Some people benefit from having more than 1 treatment. The results from radiofrequency treatments can last 2-3 years when accompanied with appropriate skin care.
Certain lasers allow heat to penetrate into the skin without damaging the top layer of the skin. These lasers are utilised for skin-tightening treatments all over the body and can be especially helpful for tightening loose skin on the belly and upper arms. 3 to 5 treatments may be needed to get results, which gradually appear between 2 and 6 months after the last treatment.
2. Minimally invasive skin tightening procedures.
Although they are unable to give you the results of a surgical procedure like a facelift, these procedures result in more evident changes than non-invasive procedures. They require less downtime than surgery while carrying less risk of side effects. Patients will be sedated during this type of procedure and will have a few days of downtime.
A thin tube (or needles) is inserted into the skin which provides heat to tighten loose skin at a precise location. This procedure is often used to tighten the skin at the neck or upper arms. Results are noticeable in a month. In some research studies, patients see gradual tightening and lifting for close to 1 year. After the procedure, you’ll need someone to drive you home and you may need to wear a compression garment for 4 or 5 days. You’ll also need to care for the wound.
This is the most effective procedure for tightening loose skin. Unlike the laser treatment, this procedure requires some downtime. You’ll need to stay home for 5 to 7 days. Laser resurfacing gives you the fastest results. After you heal, your skin will appear tighter with less wrinkles within 2 weeks. Laser resurfacing can effectively tighten skin, usually showing more prominent results than any other skin-tightening procedure. Laser resurfacing diminishes fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots on the skin, such as age spots. The tradeoff is that it requires downtime and has a greater risk of possible side effects, such as scarring.
Do skin-firming creams and lotions work?
Despite their promising claims, face-lift like results from a mere jar are highly unlikely. The result, if any, you see from a skin-firming cream will be subtle. These products tend to be good moisturisers at best resulting in plump skin and less noticeable fine lines and wrinkles. This result is temporary. To continue seeing any benefit, you need to apply the product every day. Dermatologists dispute the claim that a cream or lotion can lift sagging skin as these products are unable to penetrate the skin deeply enough to do this. Still, a small change may occur if the product contains a retinoid, such as retinol, which stimulates collagen production.
Who should avoid skin-tightening procedures?
Skin-tightening procedures should not be done on pregnant individuals, those with skin infections or patients with certain medications.
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 email@example.com. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.
“I am a strong believer that natural beauty reflects honesty and authenticity, an approach I take as a dermatologist— sharing the truth about skin. Our pursuit of beauty should always celebrate individuality over vanity, I always emphasise that beauty starts with an inner consciousness and empowerment, starting with a scientific approach towards skin health, building confidence and finding peace.”
Dr. Teo Wan Lin is an accredited dermatologist by the Ministry of Health and is the medical director of TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, as well as the founder of Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals, a specialist cosmeceutical skincare line. Want to know the top aesthetic treatments performed by accredited dermatologists? She shares the top aesthetic treatments in her dermatology practice here.
Once I start doing aesthetic treatments, am I reliant on them forever? Will the results go away after some time?
Optimum Face Lift Results with Accredited Dermatologists
“I find two major pitfalls of aesthetic treatments administered in clinical settings– the first relates to the lack of understanding of the total face structure — each layer of ageing skin needs to be addressed individually and dermatologists are well-positioned as MOH-accredited specialists in skin to ensure that correct treatments are administered and combined to each individual’s specific skin age according to the Glogau Photoageing system, developed and used by dermatologists.” Dr. Teo Wan Lin.
Aesthetic Treatments – The Key to Sustained Face Lift Results
“The second pitfall is the lack of maintenance, a touch and go approach, especially without using cosmeceuticals together with aesthetic treatments, is not scientific. While it is a surefire way to fuel ‘repeat treatment sessions’ when signs of ageing quickly recur, I find it unsustainable as results always taper off. I do not use such an approach with my patients. Our joint goal is always, in-clinic treatments for a specific duration until we meet our target, and then home maintenance to maximise the longevity of the clinical results, ”emphasises Dr. Teo.
The Dr.TWL 360 Degrees Face Lift System
At TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, an accredited dermatologist practice in Singapore headed by Dr. Teo Wan Lin, the favourite of many patients seeking aesthetic treatments is a potent full-face anti-ageing cocktail prescribed by her. All patients undergo a medical consultation and with an objective staging of their ageing process to determine the intensity, duration and maintenance of treatment periods.
What does the Face Lift treatment consist of?
The Dr.TWL 360 Degrees Face Lift System is a full face targeted aesthetic treatment which comprises the following
1. Epidermal/superficial dermal treatment
Beginning with microdermabrasion and an in-house formulated gentle chemical peel) performed by our dermatology staff nurses, lasting 45 minutes including preparation and recovery time.
2. Deep Dermis Stimulation and Muscle Relaxation
The second component is performed by Dr. Teo Wan Lin. It comprises deep laser lifting to stimulate bulk tissue heating and collagen growth. The epidermis is treated for superficial pigmentation and fine lines, wrinkles which are the earliest giveaway signs of ageing. Microinjected muscle toxins are then administered to further stimulate collagen production around the jawline and hairline for a relaxed, natural face lift effect.
“The SMAS is best envisioned as the curtain rail that holds the entire curtain up, it’s what holds up the entire facial structure. It’s important to lift this structure when one is anti-ageing the face because it’s really the support of the facial structure,” shares Dr. Teo. At her dermatology practice, she uses High-Intensity Focussed Ultrasound (HIFU), a Korean technology as well as radiofrequency to achieve a SMAS face lift.
4. Composite Eyelid lifting and Wrinkle removal
The eyes often giveaway one’s age. The reason for this is due to the thinner periorbital skin, as well as the natural facial expressions that cause brow furrows and crows feet. At our dermatology practice, plasma nitrogen technology is used for periorbital resurfacing for undereye wrinkles, sagging, and lid drooping, also known as a soft blepharoplasty.
This maintenance system includes a home medifacial regimen fulfilled by Dr.TWL Pharmacy’s Mask Bar, freshly delivered to your doorstep monthly for a 3-month maintenance regime, with freshly compounded face masks containing oligopeptides to further tighten and lift the dermis. The system includes a full-face set of QRASER lifting patches made of medical grade polymers that mimic the skin barrier and erase wrinkles. The CollagenUP Facial Wand which is a FDA-approved Radiofrequency lifting device is used with the Polysaccharide Mask to increase absorption of Oligopeptides, the star molecule of Dr.TWL Dermaceutical that stimulates collagen production with a tightening face lift effect.
This non-surgical face lift system is designed and tested for proven results by accredited dermatologist Dr.Teo Wan Lin at her practice TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre. The number of shots used for each treatment is titrated according to the individual’s specific need. For patients who wish to stay home, they can opt for the home medifacial component which is delivered to their doorstep by the clinic’s specialist skincare pharmacy.
For whom is this aesthetic treatment suited for?
People who want a non-surgical, long lasting approach to a face lift effect with minimal to no downtime. A single clinic session followed by a strict home maintenance regime for 3 months helps boost the efficacy of the treatment. Can be adjusted in intensity and frequency according to individual need.
How long will the treatment results last?
This is the very question the Home Mask Bar treatment was created to address. According to Dr. Teo, “I would like to say, for as long as you are diligent to comply. The in-clinic treatment session is completed in a single day, and results peak at 2 weeks. I have seen patients who have maintained the overall face lift results for as long as 2 years. Inter-individual variability exists, due to lifestyle and genetic factors, some individuals have extremely good responses. For those who are at a more advanced stage of photoageing, more frequent treatments should be instituted before attaining the ideal for maintenance.” The effect of regular use of the Dr. TWL 360 Degrees Face-Lift System is sustained improvement.
How many sessions of this treatment do I require?
The in-clinic full sessions can vary from single session to 3-6 sessions depending on the level of skin ageing. The aftercare home system should be used on a daily basis.
Who should not undergo this treatment?
Components such as deep laser toning will be omitted for individuals with photosensitive (sun-sensitive) skin conditions. It is important to consult an accredited dermatologist as he/she is well equipped to manage these medical conditions simultaneously with your aesthetic treatment.
How much does this cost?
Single in-clinic session (expect half-day, 4 hours including recovery time) $2799, with Home Mask Bar Maintenance at $180.50/month, and CollagenUp Facial Wand at $599. All prices before GST.
Dr.TWL 360 Non Surgical Face Lift was featured by Men’s Folio. Read the full article here.
Do you dream of a slimmer face? Is a V-shaped face your ideal face shape? What are the ways you have heard of to achieve your dream face shape? I have been interviewed by several magazines and media on how to achieve your ideal face shape and in the process have debunked many myths. I have written this article to shed some light on the safe and effective methods to achieve and maintain a V-shape facial structure.
HIFU is for anyone with mild to moderate sagging skin from all skin types and tones. It is for those looking to:
to improve and tighten sagging skin
to reduce wrinkles
to reduce nasolabial fold
to remove stubborn areas of fat that are at least 1 inch in size
for skin rejuvenation
for cellulite removal
for fat cell reduction
What are the benefits of HIFU treatment?
HIFU is a safe, effective and noninvasive procedure for skin lifting and tightening. It’s a cost effective option in comparison to a surgical face life. It is comfortable and painless and results can be seen after just one treatment. HIFU acts on the SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system) layer which essentially functions as a structure that the entire face tissue hangs onto. To address the lifting of the SMAS, HIFU targets that specific layer of tissue which helps to reduce surface wrinkles as well as induce the lifting of the facial tissues by the stimulation of collagen production. HIFU not only results in facial lifting and improvement of wrinkles but also in improvements in skin tone, facial contour, and subjective symptoms such as tightness or tension on the skin. Another recent study showed that HIFU could also be used safely and effectively to improve the skin texture and contour of the upper arms, extensor knees, and medial thighs.
HIFU is also ideal for fat reduction on the abdomen and the flanks. It works by inducing rapid cell necrosis which results in fat reduction. This is done by ablasting subcutaneous adipose tissues which cause molecular vibrations in targeted areas and increasing the temperature of local tissues.
How does HIFU treatment work?
HIFU essentially causes the skin tissue cells to die based on a physiological process known as cell necrosis. This results in the subsequent reduction of bulkiness of the affected area being treated. Common areas that HIFU is used for treatment would be the jawline, the cheeks which leads to an aesthetically pleasant shaping and lifting effect.
How long do the effects of HIFU treatment last?
The effects of hifu treatment can last up to a year. I employ less painful methods in my clinic which require 3-6 successive treatments for the full effect, building up on initial treatment. Sustained treatment rather than a touch-and-go approach is my personal practice as this tends to have more long-lasting results without necessitating the need for repeat treatments over a long period of time. I also combine this with adjunctive treatments such as botox fillers and cosmeceuticals. Studies have shown that the average wrinkle and skin laxity score decreased most in the jawline and periorbital (around the eye) areas.
Fig.1 Clinical photographs showing before (A, D), 3 months (B, D), and 6 months (C, F) after high-intensity focused ultrasound treatment.
TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre helmed by accredited dermatologist Dr. Teo Wan Lin uses HIFU as a painless way to shape and lift your face with evidence based methods. This is sold in a full face bundle and used in conjunction with our cosmeceuticals, which penetrate the skin, and the Qraser polymer patch which helps to draw moisture to the top layer of skin, causing a multidimensional lifted effect.
Dr. Teo Wan Lin was invited as a key opinion leader on cosmeceutical skincare at the press conference for Dior Skincare’s Capture Totale Serum, held at Capella Hotel, Sentosa. The author of “Skincare Bible – Dermatologist’s Tips for Cosmeceutical Skincare”, launching islandwide in bookstores January 2020, Dr. Teo shared her thoughts on anti-ageing and the science of cosmeceutical formulations.
“The earlier we start anti-ageing treatment, such as preventive skincare, the better off we are at combating the signs of ageing.’ Dr. Teo emphasised the urgency of preventing anti-ageing, an ongoing process starting in the mid-twenties and aggravated by biological factors such as genetics as well as environmental exposures.
“My research into cosmeceutical active ingredients demonstrates that when serums are correctly formulated and delivered they are able to fight free radicals effectively, such as that caused by photoageing and environmental stressors”. As a prominent researcher in the area of cosmeceutical skincare, she shared tips on choosing the right skincare products for an efficient regimen.
“Another important concept in skincare is how well absorbed it is- for example, the New Generation Vector biofermented lipo-peptide enhances the penetration of the floral complex by 30%,” Dr. Teo shared that women are extremely well educated on the importance of a skincare regimen these days— starting with double cleansing, application of Antioxidant serums before moisturising and sunblock. A good serum can be efficiently incorporated as a day and night serum in a skincare regimen.
On the importance of organic active ingredients used in Skincare, as well as the extraction and processing process, cosmetic giants are becoming increasingly aware of clean beauty. “From a dermatologist perspective, it is reassuring that the Dior Scientists maintain purity of these extracts with strict pharmaceutical engineering principles— there are especially critical steps to prevent loss of clinical activity, as well as environmental contamination which can affect the final product.”
Some final thoughts on anti-ageing from Dr. Teo included the following.
A dermatologist’s approach to ageing “We stage objectively using a scale known as the Glogau Photoageing Scale, named after a dermatologist Dr. Richard Glogau and is graded on a scale of 1-4, with most of us in the audience here today at 2 or a 3, which means we have some early to moderate signs of ageing, such as pigmentation spots, fine lines and some changes in our skin texture.”
The Dior Scientists also created the Dior Skin Scanner with this approach in mind, as it offers the public an objective scientific evaluation which previously was only assessable via a dermatologist’s visit.
This also means that the earlier we start anti-ageing treatment, such as preventive skincare, the better off we are at combating the signs of ageing— this includes the ability of the skin to fight free radicals effectively, such as that caused by photoageing and environmental stressors.
More skincare and cosmeceutical formulation tips can be found in Dr. Teo’s new book “Skincare Bible – Dermatologist’s Tips for Cosmeceutical Skincare”, which is available via www.drtwlderma.com, as an e-book via Barnes & Noble, Apple Books and in major bookstores island wide.
NOTES TO EDITOR: Dr. Teo Wan Lin, Medical Director of TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, is an accredited dermatologist , specialising in both medical and cosmetic dermatology. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore, College of Physicians, Chapter of Dermatologitsts and a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (UK).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.
The ageing process is different for each person, but there are certain signs of ageing that are considered “premature” if you notice them before you turn 35. Our environment and lifestyle choices can cause our skin to age prematurely. We will discuss here 3 ways on how to prevent premature ageing.
1. Use an anti-ageing sunscreen
The sun emits a type of energy known as the ultraviolet radiation. There are 2 types of UV radiation— UVA rays which is mainly the culprit behind Premature Ageing (wrinkles, dark spots, and sagging skin) while UVB rays is responsible for sunburn, and both contribute to skin cancer.
One way to protect your skin from premature ageing and of course skin cancer is to wear a sunscreen that has SPF and is broad-spectrum.
SPF only measures protection against UVB so it’s important to wear a ‘broad spectrum’ sunscreen which blocks both UVA and UVB.
The fix: Shield, repair, and brighten your skin from the harmful sun rays with Dr. TWL Dermaceuticals SunProtector™️
✔️ Broad Spectrum
Contains Collagen Hydrosylate for skin regeneration, Oligopeptides for skin repair, and Portulaca Oleracea Extract for skin soothing.
2. Avoid dragging your skin to reduce ageing effects
Our skin is very delicate and we want to avoid excessively tugging it whenever we apply our skincare or makeup products because this can cause our skin to show early signs of ageing. Mishandling of the skin especially around our eyes like aggressive removal of eye makeup and heavily dragging eye care products and any other skincare product unto our skin can cause eye wrinkles, crow’s feet, and other skin irritations. It is especially important to take extra care with the under-eye area which has thinner and more delicate skin.
The fix: Use your ring finger in applying your skincare/makeup products. Our ring finger is said to have the lightest touch and it distributes an equal amount of pressure when used upon the skin.
Using a Jade Roller is also proven effective in applying skincare products like serum and cream for complete absorption while lifting our skin.
Oligopeptides were first discovered to have therapeutic properties in the 1950s by du Vigneau and Tuppy when they characterised the chemical structure of the first peptide hormone, octapeptide oxytocin which led to an increasing interest in the field of bioactive peptides.
What are oligopeptides?
Oligopeptides are short sequence amino acids which are defined as peptide (protein) sequences which range from 2 to 20 amino acids. The key feature of these proteins is that they have been discovered to be biologically active, meaning that it can interfere with various skin processes both on the cell and the molecular level.
Oligopeptides have been described as early as twenty years ago when researchers discovered some chemicals in the body which can affect physiological processes. The understanding of how the same oligopeptides can influence activity within the skin has only been recently examined and it is an interesting and rapidly advancing field of dermatologist research.
What are some of the benefits that oligopeptides have been shown to have in skin?
Several dermatologist led studies published in top journals have shown that common skin ageing conditions such as hyperpigmentation as well as skin thinning, loss of skin elasticity can be well-treated with good outcomes with these oligopeptides1.
How do oligopeptides work?
Oligopeptides interfere with the regulation of collagen and elastin production which accounts for many of the changes in ageing skin such as skin laxity, loss of skin plumpness and enlarged pores. Finally, it also helps to regulate pigment (melanin synthesis) which can help to treat pigmentary disorders.
Are oligopeptides safe in cosmeceuticals?
The key benefits of oligopeptides are equivalent to retinoids which have been used in dermatologist offices for several decades but without the same side effects. Retinoid treatment can also help to increase collagen and elastin production as well as regulating melanin synthesis but not without the significant side effects of skin dryness and irritation, causing redness, flaking and sometimes flare-ups of cystic acne over time. Oligopeptides are considered much safer and easy for incorporation into skincare being well-absorbed.
What happens during skin ageing and how do oligopeptides work?
Skin ageing is caused by a multitude of factors such as one’s genes, environmental damage, hormonal alterations and metabolic processes. During the process of ageing, one may notice increased wrinkles, skin sallowness and laxity, loss of radiance, enlarged pores as well as loss of skin volume, causing a haggard, dry and wrinkled appearance. What’s going on under the skin can really be explained in terms of physiological processes. If you refer to the diagram of the structure of the skin in Chapter I of the book, allow yourself to look at the second layer of the skin which is known as the dermis. The best way I can explain the process of ageing to my patients is via this skin model, so everything that has got to do with the loss of skin radiance, sallowness, pigmentation occur at the epidermal level which can be effectively addressed with topical cream applications as well as physical agents such as chemical peels which help to shed the top layer of skin which are known as the keratinocytes to stimulate cell turnover, leading to increased radiance.
Most of skin ageing however, happens in the dermal level in the second layer of skin – the dermis, where collagen and elastin is present and production of these components are decreased during the process of skin ageing, leading to loss of skin volume.
The proteins in the dermis are known as extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. How oligopeptides work is mainly in the second layer of skin when they stimulate these ECM proteins and also, help to regulate the production of pigment at this level.
How do oligopeptides help wound healing?
Bioactive peptides such as oligopeptides have shown potential health benefits to combat inflammation, wound healing, angiogenesis and antimicrobial defense.
In the same way when one’s skin is wounded, for example either from trauma or severe inflammation such as in post-inflammation hyperpigmentation or in severe cystic acne flares leading to scars, oligopeptides interfere with the second layer of skin where most of the wound healing takes place to stimulate the production of collagen so that the wound heals faster as well as better.
Bioactive peptides as medical and therapeutic interventions have great potential. They have been utilised as treatments for infections, chemotherapy and in recent times as cosmeceuticals. The best qualities of this molecule I believe have to do with our ability to alter the penetration, delivery, stability and potency.
Dermal fillers are minimally invasive mainstay cosmetic treatments used to help return the appearance of volume and youth to ageing skin. Volume deficiency, scars, wrinkles, lip augmentation (plumping), facial sculpting and contouring are common facial concerns targeted by dermal fillers.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about them: how they work, the choices of products on the market, and their possible side effects on your body and skin.
What are dermal fillers?
Before starting on dermal fillers, we need a brief understanding of how the face changes as we age. Over time, the thickness and elasticity of our skin decreases, and our faces loses fat. Soft tissues sag, facial muscles weaken, and the outermost layer of skin wrinkles.
Enter fillers. Dermal fillers help restore lost volume to your face and add lift.
Types of dermal fillers
The classifications of dermal fillers vary according to their properties. Fillers are categorized based on their biodegradability, how long it takes before the filling substance is absorbed by the body, and the duration of a treatment’s effect.
Early attempts to use fillers for facial rejuvenation relied on dermal fat or collagen fillers. However, the effectiveness of fat as a filling agent was risky as a number of variables were involved. These included the method and type of fat harvested, both of which could cause inconsistent absorption rates by the body. There could also be significant side effects including prolonged swelling, internal bruising and cause infections. Bovine (cattle) collagen, the first collage filler used, also had limited success due to its short duration of effect (3-4 months) and potential risk of allergic reaction.
Human-based collagen has since been developed but demand for collagen remains low compared to more effective filling agents.
These are fillers that provide temporary or semi-permanent effects as they gradually degrade and get absorbed by the body. Common biodegradable fillers are collagen, hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxyapatite and poly-L-lactic acid.
Naturally present in our skin and connective tissues, hyaluronic acid is a key structural component that stabilizes cellular structures and binds collagen and elastic fibers. Hyaluronic acid remains as the most widely used dermal filler due to its ease of use, safety and minimal side effects.
When hyaluronic acid is injected into the skin, it combines with the natural hyaluronic acid found in our body. Due to its hygroscopic nature (ability to absorb water from surroundings), hyaluronic acid binds to water quickly, creating volume that lasts for 6 to 12 months before degrading into the body. It also induces new collagen formation, a desirable quality as our bodies gradually stop producing collagen in our late twenties.
Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA)
A synthetic, biodegradable polymer of the alpha-hydroxyl-acid family (natural acids found in food), poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) is another common filling agent. Its safe profile enables PLLA to be actively used in other medical applications such as in dissolvable stiches or soft tissue implants.
PLLA triggers mild inflammation to promote the formation of collagen and tissue fibers. The accumulation of collagen creates volume at the site of injection. Over time, PLLA breaks down into lactic acid and is metabolized to carbon dioxide or incorporated into glucose molecules.
Calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA)
CaHA is a synthetic compound with a chemical structure that resembles a component found in our bones and teeth. Treatment with CaHA is safe and will not cause allergic reactions. When injected into skin tissues, our body gradually absorbs CaHA, inducing new collagen to be produced. Such an effect typically lasts about 15 months or longer.
CaHA breaks down into calcium and phosphate ions before finally being excreted by the body.
Injecting silicone into the face adds volume directly and immediately and also triggers collagen production that adds to the effect. Silicone is favoured for its stable chemical structure, ease of use, low cost, and long-lasting effects. As a non-biodegradable filler, silicone stays in your body once it is injected.
However, the use of silicon in cosmetic treatments is controversial due to its potential to cause long-term complications such as abnormal swelling, blindness or nerve damage. Issues can also arise from poor injection technique, the amount of silicone used and differences in silicone grades. For these reasons, it is strongly recommended you get your fillers done only by a trained dermatologist.
Warnings and alternatives
Administered professionally and with the proper technique and expertise, a dermal filler comes with minimal side effects. However, with many different rejuvenation treatments available, it’s important you consult a trusted dermatologist for a professional assessment before commencing treatment.
For those who prefer plumping effects without an injection, go for Dr TWL’s Hyaluronic Acid serum. As a skincare ingredient, hyaluronic acid draws moisture from its surroundings and keeps the skin well-hydrated; it is able to hold over 1,000 times its own weight in water. This gives a desirable plumping effect and improves fine lines and wrinkles without the needles.
Male pattern hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia, is exceedingly common. Hair thinning and hair loss can begin as early as late adolescence and progress with age. Understanding why it happens, including its strong genetic element, can help men counter its effects.
Characteristics of male pattern hair loss (MPHL)
MPHL typically begins first with bitemporal recession – triangular, usually symmetrical, areas of recession at the frontal hairline. Thinning starts in the temples as well as the crown/vertex and slowly progresses to encompass the entire top of the scalp.
The disease onset and progression vary from person to person. Initial signs of male pattern hair loss usually develop during teenage years and lead to progressive hair loss and thinning of the hair across the scalp.
Causes of male pattern hair loss
A genetic predisposition is considered a major risk factor for male pattern hair loss, as genetics determine the activity level of the androgenic hormones that lead to MPHL. However, this condition can also be present even in individuals without a family history.
In the hair follicle cells, a male hormone called testosterone converts into an active form and binds to the androgenic receptors in the hair follicle. Individuals with male pattern hair loss have abnormal sensitivity of hair follicles, allowing easier binding to receptors.
This specific bonding triggers cellular processes that cut short the anagen phase of the hair cycle, the stage where hair follicles grow. For this reason, the hair follicles enter the telogen phase earlier where programmed cell death happens.
In normal hair follicles, the duration of the anagen phase lasts from two to seven years. Individuals with male pattern hair loss have an anagen phase that ranges from a few years to just weeks.
With the decreased duration of the anagen phase, more hair follicles enter the telogen phase. Telogen hairs are more easily plucked than anagen hairs. Thus, individuals will notice increased hair shedding as they comb their hair.
An increased amount of androgen also causes hair follicles to be transformed into thin, vellus-like hairs. As a result, hairs are finer and lack pigmentation.
Topical and oral treatments
Topical and systemic drugs are often used in treating MPHL. The most common topical drug is minoxidil. Originally developed as an oral medication for hypertension, its common side effect of excessive hair growth has led to its use as a treatment. Minoxidil 2% or 5% solution is often used in topical application to prolong the anagen phase.
Other anti-androgen drugs include fluridil and finasteride. A topical application of fluridil helps suppress androgen receptors in hair follicles. Finasteride is available as oral medication and reduces the conversion of testosterone into its active form. Finasteride has also shown to reverse the effects of follicle miniaturization.
Copper peptide is another ingredient that stimulates hair regrowth. Made up of amino acids, copper peptides have regenerative properties that work to increase hair follicle size and reduce hair loss. By fighting inflammation and free radicals, copper peptides also protect the hair follicles from being damaged.
All treatments for MPHL are for long-term use, which means stopping the treatment will cause your hair loss condition to return. Before committing to any topical treatment, it is recommended to consult an accredited dermatologist for professional advice.
Light therapy as treatment
Low light, intense pulsed light, and red light treatment can initiate hair regrowth. Red light treatment, with wavelengths between 630 to 670 nm, stimulates an enzyme called cytochrome C. This enzyme encourages our genes to produce more hair and lowers the cell death of hair follicles.
Using a laser comb for 15 minutes, three times a week, also increases the number of hair follicles in the anagen phase, the stage in which our hair grows. The comb is available as a stand-alone or adjunctive therapy.
Have you ever woken up groggy from less than six hours of sleep and felt your skin is looking unwell? Ever wonder why?
How lack of sleep impacts your skin
Dehydrates the skin
The skin barrier works as a shield against environmental threats and prevents excessive water loss. When you don’t get enough sleep, your skin barrier can weaken and your levels of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) can be higher. TEWL is the amount of water lost to external environments via evaporation. Increased water loss dries out our skin, which can cause skin scaling and increased desquamation or the shedding of the skin’s outermost cells.
Imagining your skin cells as bricks and the lipids/fats in between as mortar, dehydrated skin has a more ‘disorganised’ brick and mortar structure; this causes more light to bounce off the surface. In comparison, hydrated skin has an ‘organised’ structure, allowing more light to penetrate the skin and giving off a translucent appearance.
Your pores can also appear larger with the lack of rest. While you will not have an increased number of pores if you snooze less, increased skin scaling causes a coarser skin texture and can make pores appear enlarged.
Reduces immune system function
Sleep also plays a role in restoring the body’s immune system function. Any change in the immune response may affect collagen production and lead to impaired skin integrity.
Inflames the skin
Sleep deprivation also triggers increased levels of inflammatory cytokines, which in turn modify the structures of collagen molecules. Collagen gives the skin its elasticity and flexibility. Assembling into a dense network of fibres, collagen holds the dermis layer together and protects the skin from external sources such as bacterial agents or ultraviolet radiation. Lower collagen levels manifest as thinner and wrinkled skin.
Ages your skin
Poor sleepers may experience uneven pigmentation, fine wrinkling, skin laxity, loss of facial fat and benign skin growths.
Chronic poor quality of rest is also associated with accelerated intrinsic ageing. Intrinsic ageing results from factors inherent in chronological ageing such as metabolic oxidative stress.
Stress is also a likely factor inherent in the lack of sleep. In response to stress, your brain releases an excess of stress hormones called glucocorticoids. This hormone causes negative effects on nearly all body tissues and accelerates the aging process. Glucocorticoids also inhibit lipid production, which eventually weakens skin integrity.
Regain your skin’s well-rested radiance
If you covet a seemingly translucent, pore-less look, it’s no surprise that we suggest you catch up on your sleep.
However, while you’re trying to change your snooze habits, providing rich hydration to your skin can also help compensate for some of your sleep loss. Apart from a moisturizer, a good boost of hydration also can come from an effective hyaluronic acid serum.