Tag Archive: dermatologist

Chemical Peel In Singapore – Dermatologist’s Best Tips

April 1, 2020

 

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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:

  1. 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. 

  1. Wrinkles

Reduce fine lines under eyes, around the mouth and on the forehead. 

  1. Facial scars 

Lighten mild acne and facial scars.

  1. Pigmentation

Reduce age spots, freckles, and dark patches (melasma) due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills. 

  1. Sun-damaged skin

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.

  • Stinging
  • Skin peeling
  • Redness
  • 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.

 

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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 appt@twlskin.com for assistance. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.

Looking Your Best – 3 Tips for Clear Skin and Healthy Hair From A Singapore Dermatologist 

March 23, 2020

1. Keep your skin acne and blemish free

Acne occurs when the oil glands under the skin, scientifically known as sebaceous glands, become clogged with sebum, an oily substance. This process is known as inflammation, and it is often genetically determined. Hence, if you have a family history of acne, you are at high risk.

A normal amount of sebum usually keeps the skin healthy. Your oil glands become active once you reach adolescence due to hormones and this is when acne usually starts. When clogged, bacteria grows in the glands. This leads to swelling, bumps and visible blackheads and whiteheads on the skin’s surface.

Acne can still affect adults. In fact, many adult females suffer from acne breakouts around the chin, especially during certain times of their menstrual cycle. This should be differentiated from other conditions such as perioral dermatitis, which may look similar but is treated differently.

Under proper dermatologist care, acne can be fully treated with the correct medications, creams and light treatments. For patients who prefer not to be on oral medications, some forms of laser therapies  are safe and effective acne treatment methods too. Blue light, a type of light therapy is designed to treat acne when it is active by killing Propionebacterium Acnes on the skin, which causes acne inflammation. Non ablative and ablative resurfacing lasers can treat subsequent acne scarring after it subsides.

In addition to treatment, prevention against future acne breakouts are also crucial. Diet and proper skincare are also important factors in contributing to one’s acne condition. Therefore, holistic counselling with specific advice about how to manage your condition is important.

For mild to moderate acne, you may consider over the counter dermatologist formulated cosmeceuticals such as the Anti-Acne Bundle here.

Anti Acne Bundle for Clear Skin

2. Use hair regrowth products

Originally prescribed only in my dermatologist practice, the Copper Peptide Hair Regrowth Serum uniquely contains Copper tripeptide, a novel molecule that stimulates hair growth. Clinically proven to have similar efficacy to that of 5% minoxidil, stimulating growth without irritation side effects or toxicity. Studies show collagen production is increased, strengthening existing hair and thickening the hair shaft.  

In conjunction with the hair serum, one can consider cosmetic camouflage for a quick fix.  I often recommend the Kerabuilt Follicle Hair Fibres, integrated with Biomimetic Hair Technology for natural-looking, instant results. In addition, it is chemical-free and hypoallergenic, recommended even for those with hair loss and sensitive scalps.  

In my dermatology practice, almost all patients suffering from hair loss had also done their due research online about possible causes of hair loss before seeing me. The real problem though, medical websites are not written for the layperson and the lists of diagnoses of conditions that lead to hair loss simply leave the hair loss sufferer worried and fearful. Those that do their research on forums and beauty websites are none the wiser, as they suggest many non-evidenced backed methods of hair growth or causes of hair loss which is simply unscientific and wrong information.

There are many different causes of hair loss, which can occur at the same time or individually, and dermatologists are best positioned conduct a thorough history taking, medical evaluation/examination and may recommend blood tests and other tests before diagnosing the cause of hair loss. For some rare causes of hair loss, especially of what is termed scarring alopecia, a scalp biopsy, which is where samples of the scalp are taken for microscopic examination may be required.

3. Consult a dermatologist for scarring on the skin

Treatment of scars on one’s skin can be in the form of chemical peels or lasers, which can be both ablative and non-ablative. Your dermatologist will advise which treatment option is best suited for your skin. In the meantime, a good concealer consists of a colour corrector. Orange is well suited to conceal dark scars and pigmentation whereas green conceals redness. Follow up with a CC cream with cosmeceutical active ingredients to treat and conceal your blemishes at the same time – achieving an overall even complexion.

Best Dermatologist Tips on How to Treat Your Neck Lines

March 12, 2020

 

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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 shares about the importance of taking care of your neck area.

 

Do neck creams differ from other anti-ageing products out there (for example, as compared to moisturiser)?

In terms of the composition of neck creams vs a very good moisturizer, for example, they do not differ very much. A lot of this, sadly, is due to marketing. But in terms of what is beneficial for anti-aging, the neck area is prone to lines and sagging with age. These can be concerns for aging women as well. Active ingredients that will help to target this should contain those that treat surface wrinkling such as antioxidants. Some brands use superficial chemical peel acids such as alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids. That, together with retinol, does help with surface wrinkling, and these are all over-the-counter ingredients. However, in my experience, it tends to cause a bit of skin sensitivity. The formulations I look for would thus be those that contain more moisturizing ingredients such as ceramide. Our MultiCERAM™ Moisturiser is an ultra intensive skin moisturiser for total skin barrier repair with pharmaceutical grade ingredients featuring phytoceramides. For the wrinkle component, I use in my personal formulation, in our Radiancé Fluide™ Hydrating Emulsion which is also meant for use over the neck area, oligopeptides which have been discussed in dermatology literature as a good substitute for retinol or retinoids, which can be irritating over the long term. Essentially, what peptides do is that they mimic the cells’ DNA so that it stimulates collagen production and it is without the adverse effects. 

 

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Do you think there is a need to use neck cream in the first place?

I think it is absolutely essential because a lot of skincare regimens neglect the neck area. It is one of the first areas to show signs of aging with the lines and wrinkles. I have seen some patients who are older, who just focus on their face and neglect the neck, even with some protection, there is a very dramatic difference between their facial areas and neck area. It is important to bear in mind that our skin should be viewed in totality so it does not mean that you focus all anti-aging on the face. Your hands and neck area will also show all these signs of biological aging. If you are constantly just applying the cosmeceuticals on your face, you are neglecting other areas and a visible difference can be seen. 

 

What is the right age to start using neck cream?

Most dermatologists and plastic surgeons would agree that the aging process actively starts from age 25 onwards. You may wonder why a child or teenager exposed to the same stresses such as UV, pollution and mental stress, and aging does not take place until a certain age. The reason is because our body is empowered with these antioxidants abilities to fight free radicals that contribute to ageing of all our organs. After the age of 25, the research seems to indicate that all of these start to decline and that is why we need to amend the body’s response to the aging response by supplementing it with topical antioxidants. I think it is good practice for all men and women to start a proper cosmeceutical regimen for anti-aging, and including the neck area. You can use the same moisturizer as long as it is formulated correctly for the face and the neck area. If for example, somebody has already much more wrinkles on the neck than the face for whatever reason, I would add on something which is rather new, and I believe it is the only one in the Singapore market right now, would be a polymer patch. I have been using these polymer patches in my clinic for the last 6 months. It is known as a Qraser patch and it recreates the optimal environment for your skin to start stimulating more collagen formation from the inside. How this works is that it is a bio-mimetic material. It convinces your skin that it is super healthy by forming a micro-environment on the surface and it starts to generate more of its own collagen. We have one special cut out for the neck area.

 

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Is your neck more susceptible to signs of ageing as compared to your face, body, etc?

The neck area is not more susceptible but it tends to be an area that is very visible because of our clothing. For people who are always out in the sun, and are conscious of only using sunblock on their faces and limbs, and forget about their neck area, they will find that indeed, there is accelerated aging in that area. There are some individuals with neck eczema, which is a common sight for skin irritation, where their neck area may appear to age a bit faster than other parts of the body. It is what we called a flexural area, where there is skin to skin contact, like in obese people for example who are very prone to getting these neck folds and can develop fungal infections and eczema there as well.

Are there any specific neck creams in the market you’d recommend?

In terms of specific neck creams, I would say that a good moisturizer should have a few components to it. The first would be repairing the skin barrier itself. If your skin barrier is defective, it does not matter what anti-aging ingredients you have in there because your skin is just going to be dry. It is not going to look plump and elastic. Ceramide is the current state of technology for skin barrier restoration and it can be derived from two sources: Phytoceramide from plant seed oils and bovine ceramide (synthetic ceramide). The moisturizer that I personally prescribe in our clinic is manufactured by our pharmacy as a MultiCERAM™ Moisturiser and I always recommend that for the neck area. For anti-aging, the Radiancé Fluide™ Hydrating Emulsion which is fortified with oligopeptides and a plant extract LARECEA from Brassica oleracea which is a family of kale, broccoli and cauliflower, that is very effective for anti-aging. It is good to use retinol-free and AHA and BHA-free anti-aging formulation simply because the neck area is much more sensitive and you are perhaps more prone to getting eczema. 

 

What are the best ways to prevent your skin from ageing pre-maturely?

The take-home point is that for the neck area, if you are in doubt, just use a dermatologist-recommended moisturizer. Some anti-aging formulation that you use on the face contains retinol and when applied on the neck, you may develop sensitivity. Another important area of research now is using materials to increase the absorption of topicals. I personally would add that to my regimen. I think we are probably the only brand that is focusing on that right now. We have a polysaccharide material from plant root fibers which forms micro-reservoirs that release cosmeceuticals over a period of time and this is proven to increase the absorption of skincare. 

 

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The other thing would be the polymer patch. One of the best ways of preventing your skin from aging prematurely would be to have a good cosmeceutical regimen that is never like a one-step thing. In order for an active ingredient to be stable, it has to be sometimes formulated in a certain way and you can just combine everything into one and hope for the best. We also need to cleanse our skin. For the neck area, I would recommend cleansing with the same cleanser you use for your face and hopefully, it is a gentle one. 

 

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The second thing would be the application of serums such as the Vita C Gold Serum or Hyaluronic Acid Serum because serums are able to carry a high concentration of certain active ingredients. They are also readily-absorbed by the skin. 

 

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The third thing would be the application of a ceramide containing moisturizer that is also fortified with peptides and antioxidants. Finally, sun protection

 

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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.

High Intensity Focus Ultrasound (HIFU)- Singapore Dermatologist Treatment To Achieve A V-Shaped Face

March 9, 2020

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.

 

 

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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.

Who is HIFU for?

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.

 

Teledermatology

March 7, 2020

Teledermatology

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Staying home because of #covid19 ? Our Teledermatology service at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre has launched! In conjunction with Dr.TWL Pharmacy—the first dermatologist led, one-stop specialised skincare pharmacy concept in Singapore—we are a full fledged online skincare pharmacy integrated with virtual consultation services via encrypted video call technology and an efficient door to door courier service of prescriptions. Check out www.drtwlpharmacy.com for our Custom Mask Bar System, a complete home aesthetics treatment system developed by the Dr.TWL Team, with customised cosmeceutical active ingredients for various skin conditions delivered with a proprietary Polysaccharide Mask and FDA Approved Radiofrequency Technology right in the comfort of your own home. . . . . . . #antimicrobial #sanitation #coronavirus #skincare #handsanitizer #handsanitiser #doctorsofinstagram #antiseptic #antibacterial #skincarecommunity #handrub #dermatologistformulated #skincaresg #beautysg #beautycommunity #dermatologist #sgbeautyblogger #skincarelover #sgclinic #sgdermatologist #cosmeceuticals #skincarebible #drtwl #beautylab #iloveskincare #skincaredaily #skincarejunkies #wuhanvirus

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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 focuses on a growing trend – Teledermatology.

 

What is teledermatology?

Telemedicine is the practice of using telecommunication technologies to transfer medical information. Information can be shared through audio, visual and data communication. Teledermatology is a subset of telemedicine involving the dermatology specialty, that incorporates healthcare management such as during consultation, diagnoses, treatment and education via an encrypted digital platform.

What are some examples of teledermatology practices?

Teledermatology can be practiced in the following ways: Store and forward (SAF) and real time or interactive teledermatology. A simple example of SAF could be sending an email inquiry with an attached digital image of a lesion to receive advice on how to treat the skin condition. For real time teledermatology, it includes a live video conference between the medical provider and the patient. TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre developed a stringent teledermatology protocol incorporating both store and forward as well as real time interactive technology via an encrypted platform.

How is it relevant for me?

Teledermatology has many benefits. First, it is a convenient practice as it does not require both parties to be present at the same location. Some skin conditions require follow up appointments up to two times per week. This can takes up a lot of time. As such, teledermatology can be used to drive down the time and costs required in such follow-up visits.

Teledermatology can also be used to help patients receive a second opinion on their diagnosis to improve accuracy. In the unusual healthcare situation such as that of the COVID-19 Virus currently, the availability of remote consultations will greatly assist in public healthcare needs. Teledermatology enables you to consult with a dermatologist right in the comfort of your home.

How do I get started on teledermatology?

First, find an accredited dermatologist who offers teledermatology services. You may refer to the list of accredited dermatologists here http://www.dermatology.org.sg/about-us/member-dermatologists/

Twl Specialist Skin & Laser Centre offers accredited Teledermatology services, via virtual interactive real time technology with our dermatologist. Available as of 1st February 2020, all consultations are also integrated with online pharmacy dispensary services. Delivery to doorstep fulfilment of prescriptions available for local and international patients.

What should I expect from a teledermatology appointment? 

1. Book an appointment via our online booking system or call 63550522. Key in a valid email address and phone number which will be the main form of correspondence. You will receive a confirmation of the appointment within 1 working day.

2. A Payment Link will be sent, to be completed for First Consultation/Subsequent Consultation Fees before commencement of consultation.

3. A Post-Payment Secure Process will be communicated to you via email for the subsequent steps which will involve the following:

Filling up of 3 single page forms, submission of required images at least 2 hours before scheduled consultation time with our dermatologist*, a fully encrypted video call saved on our secure patient data base will be conducted.

Subsequent fulfilment of prescription is done by our in-house pharmacy with full courier services to your home.

How a Singapore Dermatologist treats Blackheads

February 24, 2020

 

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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 shares about the importance of taking care of your neck area.

 

Treatment of Blackheads

  1. How do I get rid of blackheads?

First and foremost, it is important to know what blackheads are and how they arise. Blackheads, the colloquial term for open comedones, are a type of acne caused by an overproduction of oil, and tend to cluster around areas like the nose. The buildup of keratin and oil around the follicle is oxidised and turns blackish because the oil itself is oxidised by air.

Open comedones are best treated with:

  • A mixture of chemical peels, containing salicylic acid, lactic and glycolic acids to control the oil production.
  • Carbon laser peels to help shrink oil glands and reduce production of oil.
  • Prescription creams, containing tretinoin, that accelerate skin regeneration.
  • Oral medication will be necessary for acne, and a medication known as isotretinoin, may be prescribed to help to shrink your oil glands, which has to be taken under close medical supervision.

I do not recommend manual extractions as they can cause more inflammation, infections, and scarring. I personally treat both open and closed (whiteheads) comedones using a specialised machine with a vacuum handpiece that gently extracts blackheads and whiteheads without pain or scarring, at the same time infusing a customised blend of fruit-based acids that exfoliate the skin. Last year, we launched the Dr.TWL SilkPeel Home Medi-Facial Kit with our biomaterials team.

 

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The device basically combines the microdermabrasion benefits that we use in our clinic with a very gentle chemical peel effect to increase the absorption of the cosmeceuticals. This allows for the physical removal of the debris from both open and closed comedones (ie. Blackheads and whiteheads), reducing the appearance of blackheads and preventing subsequent formation.

  1. How do I reduce the formation of blackheads?

A good cleanser is important. For cleansers, look for the labels ‘’dermatologist-tested and formulated’’ for maximum clinical efficacy. I personally use a cleanser based on medical-grade honey which I have partnered with a laboratory to formulate, it effectively cleanses away dirt, bacteria and grime, as honey is a naturally derived emulsifier, unlike chemical lathering agents, and also possesses antibacterial properties, without stripping away the skin’s natural oils. Overall, a good cleanser should leave the skin feeling clean (not squeaky clean though as this usually means overcleansing) and also still soft and moisturised. It’s a misconception to go for really ‘strong’ harsh cleansers because it generally strips the skin of all moisture with strong lathering agents like SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) leaving the skin red and flaky while the acne problem doesn’t go away.

 

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  1. Do over-the-counter treatments work?

Nothing over the counter actually works well.

Pore strips help to physically remove the bits of keratin and oxidised oil but it tends to accumulate again and the problem recurs.

Products which contain salicylic acid usually have too low concentrations to be actually effective and higher concentrations can cause irritation.

Beware of traditional facial blotters to remove oil because it can cause the skin to paradoxically feel ‘dehydrated’ and the oil glands to produce even more oil to compensate. For patients with greasy skin in the day , it may help to just wash the grease off with a good cleanser rather than keep blotting. Either that, or use a fragrance/alcohol-free baby wipe to wipe off the grease before touching up makeup.

  1. How often should I go for treatments?

It depends on your skin condition. We recommend patients to firstly get their skin condition properly diagnosed by an accredited dermatologist, who would then subsequently recommend a regimen most suitable for them.

The Dangers of Dealing with Blackheads yourself

  1. Can you extract them at home?

Never pick your pimples or squeeze your blackheads (or whiteheads) as the bacteria on your fingers will cause infection, subsequently causing inflammation which may result in the formation of cystic acne.

Cystic acne is a severe form of acne which warrants specialist dermatologist care as it can leave terrible scars and can be secondarily infected leading to cysts and abscesses (collections of pus under the skin) if left untreated. See a dermatologist early, you definitely need oral medication and also may need a stronger form of anti-acne medication known as isotretinoin which helps to shrink your oil glands. Isotretinoin has to be taken under close medical supervision as it can have side effects on one’s liver and cholesterol levels.

Do not use scrubs with rough beady material as these only irritate the skin further besides being totally ineffective at removing blackheads, whiteheads and definitely can worsen cystic acne. Persistent acne is not normal and should be treated by an accredited dermatologist to avoid infections and scarring.

  1. What happens if you leave them be? Will they form pimples?

If you leave them alone, there is a chance of secondary infection in which these blackheads develop into active pimples. Otherwise, they remain as black dots on the skin which may be rather unsightly.

  1. Some people think by putting toner, you close the pores. Is this true? 

Toners with an alcohol base as an astringent draws water and oil out via an osmotic difference.  They may provide symptomatic relief right after application, where the skin feels dried up instantaneously and the appearance of blackheads is subdued due to the temporary removal of debris. However, over time, I find that this gives rise to a condition known as reactive seborrhea. The skin being subjected to these harsh agents, decides that it is dehydrated and paradoxically, produces even more oil. Hence, I did not include any toners in the skincare regimen I designed. Instead, my recommendation for people with oily, acne-prone skin with blackheads is the Miel Honey™ Cleanser: a very effective anti-bacterial, anti-grease cleanser which also leaves a moisturising barrier. Medical-grade honey has a humectant property, meaning it is able to trap water underneath the skin. Additionally, we developed a specialised type of blotting paper for people with severely oily skin to help with the removal of oily patches throughout the course of the day. Our Anti-Inflammatory Oil Blotting Linen contains an extract of Cannabis Sativa which helps to restore the skin barrier when it comes into contact with the skin’s oil. This is unlike traditional blotters which dehydrate the skin causing it to produce even more oil. Finally, the use of a very lightweight moisturiser throughout the day, such as our Mineral Booster™, helps to restore the natural equilibrium of the skin with the environment. Overall, I find this cosmeceutical regimen is more sustainable for someone who is looking to reduce the production of oil and the appearance of blackheads, especially when used in combination with topical prescriptive items.

Read more on the Top Acne Tips and Treatments here.

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Dermatologist Talks: 10 things you need to know about BOTOX

February 17, 2020

 

Millions of BOTOX (Short for Botulinum Toxin Therapy) injections are performed annually, making it the most common cosmetic procedure in the world. Here’s all you need to know about BOTOX.

 

 

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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. 

 

1. What are the benefits of BOTOX?

Botulinum toxin therapy functions to diminish signs of aging and to treat hyperhidrosis— a medical condition characterised by excessive sweating.

  • Frown lines between the eyebrows.
  • Fine lines and wrinkles around the eye i.e Crow’s feet.
  • Excessive sweating in the underarms when treatment applied to the skin does not work well enough.

 

2. Can BOTOX be used to treat excessive sweating? 

BOTOX can be used as a treatment for a condition known as hyperhidrosis whereby the body produces excessive amount of sweat under normal environmental temperatures. It is predominantly injected over areas such as the face, underarms and palms. Speak to your dermatologist to find out if you are a candidate for BOTOX used to treat hyperhidrosis.

3. Is it mandatory to consult a dermatologist to undergo BOTOX?

The success of a cosmetic treatment is dependent on the skill and knowledge of the person performing the treatment. Board-certified dermatologists receive many years of education and training, which gives them expertise in this area. During the first consultation, Dr. Teo will inform you if the procedure will deliver the desired results, based on the condition of your skin as well as your age and health.

A medical license is required to purchase Botulinum Toxin. Products you can purchase online without a license are illegal and potentially dangerous. They differ greatly from products used by a dermatologist. Using online products may result in severe complications. Cases of long-term muscle paralysis, Bell’s palsy, and permanent eye damage are just a few examples

4. What occurs during the procedure at TWL?  

A consultation with our accredited dermatologist will determine if you are a suitable candidate for BOTOX. Full financial counselling is provided and informed consent is taken before the nurse prepares you for the procedure. Numbing cream is then applied to the areas where Botulinum Toxin will be injected. The procedure itself takes about 10-15 minutes depending on the number of injected sites. Thereafter a cooling lifting mask is applied to ensure optimal healing. 

When treating fine lines and wrinkles, the dermatologist injects botulinum toxin into targeted muscles on the face or neck. This temporarily relaxes the targeted muscles, causing fine lines and wrinkles to diminish. The effect lasts about 3 to 4 months — and sometimes longer.

When treating excessive sweating, a dermatologist injects directly into the skin on the underarm. A single treatment can provide up to 6 months of relief from excessive sweating. 

5. Are there any risks and/or side effects of BOTOX?

The side effects of the treatment tend to be mild and temporary. Bruising of injection sites may occur. If this happens, the bruising lasts about 1 week.

After receiving injections, people have experienced:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Soreness
  • Bruising
  • Mild headache (uncommon)
  • Weakness in a neighbouring muscle, leading to a temporarily droopy brow or eyelid (rare)
  • Signs and symptoms of botulism, including problems breathing, swallowing, or speaking (very rare)

 

6. Will I lack facial expressions after treatment? Will it “freeze my face”?

Skilled injectors will ensure that the correct amount of toxin, proportionate to the severity of the wrinkles, is injected to avoid having the frozen face look. 

7. At what age can I start the treatment? Is BOTOX suitable for me? 

Aging is assessed based on the staging on the Glogau Photo-damage Classification Scale. Typically anyone beyond the age of 25 will start to show signs of aging and will hence be a suitable candidate. 

8. How often do I have to return for treatments?

The effects of the treatment last about 3 to 4 months — and sometimes longer. 

9. How soon will I see the results of the treatment?

Majority of my patients see results within 3 to 7 days.

10. Are there any alternatives to BOTOX? 

If you do not have time to visit a dermatologist for your BOTOX procedure, consider these home aesthetic treatments with cosmeceuticals that can help you. 

Dr. TWL’s Oligopeptide vegetal capsules contain argireline. With its clinically proven anti-aging properties, our Oligopeptide capsules relaxes facial tension lines resulting in less noticeable fine lines and wrinkles making it an alternative to BOTOX therapy. Read more about argireline and oligopeptide by clicking on the links below.

https://www.twlskin.com/how-argireline-works-for-anti-aging/

https://drtwlderma.com/ingredient-spotlight-peptides/ 

 

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.

 

How Argireline works for Anti-aging

February 5, 2020

 

 

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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 recent years, the beauty and cosmetic industry has experienced a shift towards products which contain bioactive ingredients with the effects of medical drugs. Argireline-based dermal creams, lotions and ointments are among the emerging cosmeceuticals with promises for anti-wrinkle and anti-aging effects from the comfort of home, replacing the need for extensive botox, laser treatments and surgeries to achieve that youthful look.

What is argireline?

Argireline is an established and innovative product used in the cosmetic market as creams, lotions and ointments and is well-known for its anti-aging properties. It is a synthetic hexapeptide produced in the lab, which is composed of chains of amino acids and patterned from the N-terminal end of the protein SNAP-25

It inhibits the movement of facial muscles, allegedly improving skin texture and tone. Research suggests that Argireline may not penetrate deep enough into the skin to consistently provide benefits.

Argireline is a synthetic hexapeptide peptide that is patterned from the N-terminal end of the protein SNAP-25 and has been shown to reduce the degree of facial wrinkles. It is reported to inhibit vesicle docking by preventing formation of the ternary SNARE complex and by interfering in catecholamine release. The anti-wrinkle efficacy of argireline has not been studied in Chinese subjects.

 

How does argireline reduce the effects anti-aging?

Argireline reduces periorbital wrinkles and prevents the formation of skin lines in a similar way the botulinum toxin (Botox) works, by inhibiting neurotransmitter release at the neuromuscular junction. When argireline is applied to the skin, it is absorbed into the body and its chemical composition causes the facial muscles to contract with less force. This diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and can smooth out fine lines that appear with aging. Argireline-based creams can be quite effective, and in some cases, users of argireline-based serums can experience as much as a 30% reduction in fine lines and wrinkles.

A randomized, placebo-controlled study by Wang, Y. conducted in 2013 has also shown that argireline reduced the depth of the wrinkles with a total anti wrinkle efficiency of 48.9% in 60 patients. When the same test was performed on mice, there were notable improvements in the morphology of skin tissue and the amount of Type Ⅰ collagen fibers increased while the amount of type Ⅲ collagen fibers decreased.

The total anti-wrinkle efficacy in the group with patients tested with argireline was 48.9 % whereas the efficacy was 0 % in the placebo group. The parameters of roughness were all decreased in the argireline group, while no decrease was observed in the placebo group.

 

Dr. TWL’s Oligopeptide vegetal capsules contain argireline. With its clinically proven anti-aging properties, our Oligopeptide capsules relaxes facial tension lines resulting in less noticeable fine lines and wrinkles. 

 

References:

  1. Argireline. (2019, April 05). Retrieved from https://thedermreview.com/argireline/
  2. The anti-wrinkle efficacy of argireline, a synthetic hexapeptide, in Chinese subjects: a randomized, placebo-controlled study. Wang Y, Wang M, Xiao S, Pan P, Li P, Huo J. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2013 Apr;14(2):147-53. 
  3. The anti wrinkle efficacy of synthetic hexapeptide (Argireline) in Chinese Subjects. Wang Y, Wang M, Xiao XS, Pan P, Li P, Huo J. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2013 Apr 22. 
  4. The study of cellular cytotoxicity of argireline – an anti-aging peptide. Grosicki M, Latacz G, Szopa A, Cukier A, Kieć-Kononowicz K. Acta Biochim Pol. 2014;61(1):29-32. Epub 2014 Mar 17.

Dermatologist Talks: The Ideal Skincare Routine

December 28, 2019

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.

 

Many beauty writers have asked me what the ideal skincare routine should be, for today’s busy woman. Is there even such a routine? I have outlined the following— which are frequently asked questions posed by readers and my patients. In the following article, I plan to outline, in a scientific manner the way I have structured my own skincare routine. I recommend this also for my own patients and readers. It is important to learn how to efficiently apply cosmeceuticals as well as to understand the scientific basis for such a routine.

 

Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals is a dermatologist formulated cosmeceutical skincare range that is produced in a EUROISO22716 manufacturing facility, the gold standard in skincare manufacturing. The Dr.TWL Research and Development Team includes chemists working under the supervision of a pharmaceutical engineer and an accredited Singapore dermatologist.

 

Why do I need to have a different skincare routine in the morning or night? 

Skincare routines recommended by dermatologists contain cosmeceutical active ingredients which help to repair and rejuvenate skin via topical absorption. Day skincare routines should include active ingredients like plant based anti-oxidants to actively fight photoaging due to sun exposure, cosmetic enhancers that can double up as skincare makeup. Dr.TWL develops a range of colour correction concealers to use with skin tone concealers for daytime use, they function as skincare that’s also makeup. They are infused with a cosmeceutical oligopeptide base— these function as makeup with pigments to cancel out redness, blemishes, pigmentation spots and sallowness, as well as skincare to treat and heal these problem areas.

Difference between Day and Night Cosmeceutical Actives

  1. Night- Cosmeceutical Actives

Some ingredients, such as retinols or retinoids cause sunsensitivity and should only be used at night and not in the day, due to the potential of sun exposure. Skin repairing ingredients such as phytoantioxidants, as well as ceramide based moisturisers (which tend to be thicker formulations, unsuitable for day time) help to regenerate the skin during the sleep cycle, which is an important time for cellular rest and repair.

  1. Day Cosmeceutical Actives        

Vitamin C serum, for example, is a potent antioxidant that should be incorporated in the daytime routine(and night as well) especially because it helps to actively fend of the free radical formation due to sun-induced ageing (photoaging). Same goes for phyto(plant-derived) antioxidants.

  1. Texture of product 

Daytime routines should include a gentle cleanser to remove debris, brighten and prep skin for absorption, minimum vitamin C based cosmeceutical, a moisturiser and sunscreen.  The texture of all these products should be as “light” as possible while fulfilling the function of delivering the active ingredients, because wearing heavy creamy thick products on the face disturbs application of makeup and gives a greasy look in our humid climate. The priority of daytime skincare would be to give the user the feel of the product being instantly absorbed and as invisible on skin as possible.

  1. Cleansing differences between day and night

For normal to dry skin- gentle milk cleansing is recommended in the morning, to fulfil the function of removing debris, oil and residual skincare products overnight.  For oily, acne-prone skin, an emulsifying cleanser helps to remove excessive oil and to prep skin for absorbing skincare. Night cleansing for those who wear makeup is a double cleanse— oil-soluble makeup pigments have to be dissolved in an oil or micellar formula, while the residue should be removed in a lathering(foaming) formula. Double cleansing is especially important for those with combination or oily skin.

Are there any products reserved for day-time use or night-time use? 

Depends on the active ingredients— as above, if it contains retinols or its derivatives it would be sun-sensitising and should only be used at night, same with any topical cosmeceutical ingredients with the potential for skin irritation, these should be reserved at night.  For daytime- plant derived anti-oxidants and vitamin C help to stave off photoaging by fighting free radical formation.

What are the products you would recommend for a day-time skincare routine?

Cleanser, hyaluronic acid based serumvitamin C serum, emulsion based moisturiser (for Singapore’s humid climate), SPF 50 broad spectrum sunblock 

What are the products you would recommend for a night-time skincare routine?

Double cleansing with an emulsion cleanser for makeup removal and a gentle cleanser thereafter, an antioxidant serum ( such as containing Resveratrol, vitamin C, phytoantioxidants) and a moisturiser containing ceramide.

Some dermatologists are known to recommend sunscreen-use at night. Would you say you agree? Why?  

I do not think it is necessary nor practical. Sunscreen is meant to protect against the damaging UV rays, which can cause sun induced  photoaging and skin cancers. Sunscreens tend to contain some oil- based solvents and sleeping in it will cause stains on pillowcases.

Will having a separate day-time and night-time routine have a significant positive impact on your complexion?  

I would say having evidence based cosmeceutical active ingredients in your regimen is the key determinant of the efficacy of a routine. It is important to respect that certain ingredients as above are best incorporated  into either a morning or nighttime routine due to its innate functions to maximise benefits and reduce side effects.

Ring Finger: A Singapore Dermatologist Discusses Why It Is The Best For Applying Skincare Products

August 29, 2019

WHY YOU SHOULD APPLY YOUR SKINCARE PRODUCTS WITH YOUR RING FINGER

How we apply our skincare is very important. Have you ever wondered why most skincare brands recommend in their product directions to use the ring finger and not any other fingers in applying and gently massaging the product unto your skin especially when it involves the eye area? That is because out of our 5 fingers, our ring finger is said to have the weakest touch. The manner on how you massage your face while cleansing it and how you apply your skincare and makeup products, even just simply scratching it or wiping it can add up to protecting the quality of your skin.

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. Applying with our ring finger gives an equal amount of pressure when applying products. You can easily cause wrinkles with too much pressure, and our ring finger is recommended for the least amount of pressure and pull.

Most especially when it comes to applying eye creams, using our ring finger is the best. The skin around our eyes is the most delicate among the rest, and it is most commonly the first to show the earliest sign of ageing. Mishandling of the skin 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.

That being said, no matter how the ring finger is said to be the lightest, we still have to be mindful whenever we use it to come into contact with our skin. Same with any other finger. Always work your serums, eye creams, and any other product into your skin using light, tapping motions making sure to avoid rubbing and tugging. No matter how expensive your skincare product is, the manner on how you apply it will tell how to get the most out of it.

 

HOW TO APPLY YOUR SKINCARE- EYE CREAM

Ever looked in the mirror and thought “My eye wrinkles are becoming more obvious each day”?

The Elixir-V™ Eyes is an eye cream that is meant to prevent dark eye circles, excessive puffiness of the eyes and eye wrinkles. Like the Elixir-V serum, it contains potent oligopeptides used for lifting and repair and our signature Larecea™ extract for regeneration. An additional ingredient is niacinamide, used for brightening. While the Elixir-V serum is meant for the skin, the Elixir-V Eyes is focused on protecting the beauty of your eyes. We believe that your eyes are the most noticeable and beautiful parts of your face. Hence, it is meant to anti-age the sensitive skin around your eyes.

 

References:

https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/skin-care/skin-care-products

https: //www.futurederm.com/using-the-ring-finger-to-apply-eye-cream-is-it-really-the-weakest-finger

https://drtwlderma.com/dermatologist-designed-anti-aging-solution-elixir-v/