Wednesday, January 21, 2015 :: My Skincare Routine with IDS & Favourite Makeup Products

As we approach the end of the first month in this new year, I thought it will be nice to start the year with a few blog posts of gifts, achievements and particularly, skincare. Hmm, that may be a long list but oh well, being a skincare junkie, what better posts to put up when THIS is the kind of post I have most inspiration for; with my fingers flying across the keyboard furiously, no lack of writing juices. And...I made a video of my skincare routine as well! ;)

About 1 year ago, my skincare routine included products from DRx. I am sure you would have read my post before. At that point of time, DRx in my opinion was at the top of the game with arguably one of best asethetic and skincare doctor and a line of products developed by the same doctor, also known as Dr SK Tan. The products worked wonderfully for me.

Being a skincare junkie, I soon heard news about Dr SK Tan's new venture in setting up his own asethetic clinic with huge investment pumped into (1) Research and Development for his new line of products known as JYSK (2) The quality of ingredients used in his new line of products, I knew I had to at least give this new skincare line a try. In a twist of fate, my asethetic clinic also started getting commercialized. With brand awareness comes fame and when fame comes in it will mean more sales for the company and should this not be properly managed, new patients will walk in feeling pressurized to buy, possibly even beyond their budget.

So I decided I could do with a change while trying out Dr SK Tan's new clinic and his professionalism as a doctor. I have long heard news of him refusing to do aesthetic or laser treatments for his patients because of the confidence he has in his line of skincare products. He also refused fillers and botox treatments for patients even though the clinic can easily be raking in monies from these non-invasive procedures from vain patients like myself haha. Being a businesswoman, the first thought that came to my mind was "Why turn away money?".

Having formulated the highly successful clinical skincare line which I was using previously - Derma-Rx (DRx), Dr Tan draws on his 20 years of experience in aesthetic medicine and collaboration with international renowned experts, he designed and developed the new IDS line of products to which his goal in doing so is to deliver maximum efficacy comparable to medical grade products , even under ordinary 'home-use environment' like in the comfort of your home.  I made the switch to IDS clinic and its line of products precisely because of the quality ingredients in Dr Tan's new line of products. I had the confidence in his products even before using them when I got to know the type of cutting-edge concentrated ingredients and the technology used in them. Biased some may say but like I always say, I want to know my ingredients before using it. 

 (IDS line of products)

(Awards and accolades of Dr Tan as testimonial of his 20 years experience)

Being with Dr SK Tan for close to 9 months now (I started visiting in April 2014 as a paying customer), I can say it is because he has integrity (and not a commercial doctor), has utmost confidence in his line of products and he is highly professional and attentive in his consultation and diagnosis. It didn't take me long to finally understand why Dr SK Tan dared to challenge beauty journalists from renowned magazines to try out his products (and only his) for 2 weeks to see the difference otherwise, they can be highly critical and unforgiving in their write-up featured in magazines about him and his clinic. WOAH. 2 months later, I started seeing all these magazines with long write ups, positive reviews for IDS and even awards for (almost all) star products from Dr Tan's IDS JYSK line of products.

(Consultation with Dr Tan without makeup on the 5th month. You can see the left side of my face with slight pigmentation but the right side was almost controlled and lightened by then.

However, it didn't start off all breezy for me. Because of the highly specialized range of products, it requires time for Dr Tan to customize the product usage to my skin. At this point of time, I know many people would have gone back to their previous aesthetic doctor / dermatologist, but something about the dedication and sincerity of Dr SK Tan made me stay. I developed pigmentation for the first 2 months while Dr SK Tan continued his religious diagnosis on my skin and the products I use. In between his diagnosis, he planned out facial treatments for me as well to soothe and upkeep the condition and health of my skin. 

I have to say am I glad to have been patient and stayed with IDS and Dr Tan. Just after 2 months, Dr Tan managed to grasp the sensitivity of my skin and adjusted the products accordingly all while treating my pigmentation which got worse because of the nature of my work in the real estate industry (which requires me to be under the sun very often). And it got even worse when I have to try out different skincare products from other brands (before I take on advertorial jobs from clients) and these products stung my pigmentation spots so badly it hurt. #lifeofaskincarejunkie where I use-first-regret-later haha. 

(Love seeing this smiley face everytime I stepped into Dr Tan's room haha)

Thank goodness for Dr Tan whom was extremely patient when he started my route on recovery with my very red pigmentation spots on both my cheeks. Within the fourth month, I remember waking up every morning to see my red pigmented spots becoming lighter and my skin was more translucent. I attribute this improvement to these holy grail products - C-PLUS, OM (oil-free moisturizer) and sunscreen used with proper diagnosis and frequency of usage.

Let me give a low-down on C-PLUS especially as this is my favourite favourite product. This is an all-rounder skincare product which targets dark spots, patchiness, wrinkles, firmness of skin and even acne. In my case, it works for me on my (1) pigmentation (which was slowly turning dark due to exposure to the sun), (2) patchy spots on my forehead and lower cheeks which resulted in colour imbalance when I apply foundation (also due to the sun exposure) and lastly (3) the firmness of my skin improved because the tightness of the skin actually gave my skin a healthy taut look. 

I am especially enthralled by the ingredient in this product because I know most skincare products containing Vitamin C is in a highly unstable form. This means that when the product reaches the first layer of your skin, the Vit C compound is so unstable such that it cannot deliver effective results because THE PRODUCT WILL BE RENDER USELESS JUST AFTER A FEW DAYS YOU POP YOUR BOTTLE OPEN. I am one of those annoying customers who stand at an alley of products and turning each product back to read its ingredients before I make a purchase so trust me on this. The Vitamin C in your product have to be inherently stable and have a long shelf life for it to be deeply absorbed into your skin layers and stays in there for at least 48 hours. 

Dr Tan spared no cost in his R&D and ingredient procurement for this C-PLUS product and it boast of a new form of potent but stable Vitamin C, water soluble Vitamin E and Fullerenes. These three actives are delivered deep into the skin using patented technology for optimal skin penetration. If you can use C-PLUS religiously for 2 weeks straight, I am sure you will definitely see the results just like I did. 

So why do cosmetic and skincare companies NOT use this stable form of Vitamin C? Simple as that, because it is expensive to procure and in economics term - impractical to mass-produce a supposedly "off-the-shelf affordable home care skincare product" with a highly expensive ingredient in it. Because consumers just want ready made solution to their skincare woes. And not many are knowledgeable enough to understand whether the ingredient used in the product really delivers.

However, you may ask, does it mean that the product is very rich in formulation? For the products I am using from IDS including C-PLUS, nope it is not. The formulation is extremely gentle and you are hearing it from someone who has very sensitive and dry skin (and painful pigmentation spots, and wrinkles around my nasolabial folds argh what else). 

On Oil-Free Moisturizer (OM), I use this daily together with C-PLUS because it gives hydration to the skin without the greasiness (if you do not like the stickiness of moisturizers). When used together with C-PLUS, it helps to lighten spots on my face to give translucency because it helps to suppress unwanted melanin. Additionally, you may not see this product in the video as I only got started on this product recently - I am currently layering Intensive Moisturizer (IM) after OM because I find that as I approach late 20s now, my skin requires more hydration. I honestly do not mind slapping my face with good products even though it may come with a richer texture. For IM, it has an addition of a skin-brightening polypeptide which helps to maintain an even skin tone! I highly recommend IM as I love how hydrated my skin is when used with IM! 

On IDS sunscreen, I use S2 which is untinted. Sunscreens are an essential part of your skincare routine so PLEASE DO NOT SKIP SUNSCREEN! I am currently on S2 sunscreen and IDS's latest breakthrough - Lycowhite pills but I will leave that for the next blogpost. As I speak now, both of these above mentioned sunscreen and whitening supplement is turning my face 1 shade lighter than my body! The supplements especially but I will come to that when I am at my second bottle. By then, my entire body should be 2-3 shades fairer than I am now. The effect is already showing first on my face hehe. Back to S2 sunscreen, I like that this is a NON-CHEMICAL sunscreen lotion that has the ability to keep skin's surface temperature stable even under sun-exposure. It also contains Vitamin C that provides added antioxidant benefits. I will only stick to this sunscreen from now - at least for a long time because the formulation does not make my skin greasy nor shiny at all. Above all, it does not have any chemical fillers unlike alot of sunscreens in the market. 

I took the time to talk about these three products because they are especially good for my skin and I have them to thank for keeping my pigmentation under control and giving my skin translucency. However, I use the full range as below: (You may have realized some products are missing from the list below as compared to the video and this is because the video was done last year and now I have actually removed some products as it had completely treated me on the problem areas!) 

IDS C2 Cleanser > IDS Facial Scrub (another star product) > IDS T2 Toner > IDS C-PLUS > SKII Skin Signature Eye Cream or Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Eye Cream or Lancome Genifique Eye Serum > IDS Oil-Free Moisturizer (OM) > IDS Intense Moisturizer (IM) > IDS S2 Sunscreen 

Good luck in your skincare routine and I hope you will find this useful to make the switch to IDS or at least, give their star products a try! ;) 

IDS Clinic 
8 Sinaran Drive
#05-07 to 10
Novena Specialist Center
Singapore 307470
Tel: 6568 3555

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Thursday, January 15, 2015 :: IPL Permanent Hair Removal At Datsumo Labo Orchard Central

So, I got hooked on hair removal approximately five years back when I signed my first underarm waxing package. It didn't stop there and I went to sign up for brazilian waxing. It wasn't long before ingrown hairs started appearing as black bumps and even if the area was waxed, it still appeared dark (due to the ingrown hairs just below the skin surface). Due to the lack of knowledge I had about the repercussions of waxing, it took me nearly 2 years to completely remove all ingrown hairs via IPL and exfoliation. Arghhh.

Ever since I got on board Datsumo Labo for IPL, I have been slowly doing hair removal on parts of my body and then progressing to more body parts in preparation for my wedding. My arms and legs are almost hairless now (teehee) and I am moving on to my brazilian and stomach area. Then it will be my back - just in time to make sure my skin is smooth, hairless, fair and I have even skin tone so I can confidently don a sweetheart or backless gown for my wedding. 

I always go for the branch at Orchard Central because it is justttttt next to John's salon teehee. It is so convenient for me and the best part is, it is not very crowded at this branch and I get to enjoy more privacy as well :) It is situated next to Dean & Deluca and I love enjoying a hot cup of tea at this quiet cafe first before heading for my session where I am able to get quick winks for approximately 2 hours during my session.  

Hair regrowth is always evidently SLOWER after your 2nd, 3rd and subsequent IPL session and it will come to a point where your hairs just stop growing. Even if hair growth is still prevalent, the hairs will be so so sooooo fine you woulld not even notice. 

I am unfortunately blessed in the body hair department and I am so glad now that hair growth on my arms and legs have completely stopped. Phew~ Thankful for this permanent hair removal technology haha!

Constant shaving in the past had also resulted in very pronounced pores/follicles on my legs and with each IPL session, the appearance of the pores are slowly fading into an even skin tone. I clearly remember it was my concern when I first spoke to my therapist, Janice from Datsumo Labo and she told me at the very first session that IPL is able to reduce the appearance. In her words "Just come for your sessions regularly and I promise these pores will be gone in time". Although these pores are still present albeit more faint, it has greatly faded and the patchy look it caused on my skin is....gone ;) 

So hard being a woman but investing that little bit of time monthly for maintenance and upkeeping is extremely important to me as I tend to feel sloppy if I allow myself to look like a cave woman haha. Good luck with your hair removal plans and it's one of my best decision ever to embark on IPL ;) Remember to catch the promotions available to get the best bang for your buck! 

Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road
Singapore 238896
Tel: 68846482

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014 :: Scalp Atelier With Keratase Densifique At Salon Vim

This is a post which took me 1 entire year to prepare - religiously sticking to the routine and tracking the results. Unlike the usual reviews, this review is actually a program prepared by Gary and John at Salon Vim for me to target my hair loss and hair growth. Last month in November officially marked ONE year of the treatment program and here I am documenting the process and results. I am the living testimonial to the effectiveness of this product and I have been spreading the good word about it through the very visible new hair growth on used-to-be bald patches on my crown and forehead. 

I find this a holy grail of all hair loss products because this indeed worked for me and what used to be a bald spot which ate at my confidence and self-esteem at events and there is no way I can hide the baldness (unlike in photos where there is always photoshop). It is now a furry overgrowth of soft hair. 

To heck with all other hair loss programs which I was always persuaded ferociously to purchase (but am smart enough not to). Densifique actually worked and you need not blow a five figure sum to reduce hair loss and increase hair growth. YOU CAN DO IT YOURSELF with the help of a good hair salon and stylist (who do not try to up-sell you things or products which will do no use to you and your scalp). My stylist is none other than John, therefore I can safely tell you that you are in good hands in his care like it was for me

Hair loss can be due to many many factors not limited to just stress, chemically-treated hair, poor diet, pregnancy, amongst others. 

At a point of time, I was seriously considering going for a hair implant because the baldness was getting worse by the months (probably due to work stress) and the amount of hair I dropped everyday in the bath is so much it can clog up the pipe. Yes it was extremely bad. If you had been one of John's customers, he would probably have shared my story with you because the hair loss I suffered daily shocked him too. Somewhere in this site many entries back, I have also mentioned before my photographers, Melvin and Fiona from Multifolds and Smittenpixels respectively have to digitally edit every single one of my photos for because the baldness shows up in full glory in the pictures and it is...shocking to see that bald spot on the head and definitely not aesthetically pleasing in photos. 

Which was why Gary and John advised me to try out this treatment program. This is NOT an advertorial, I am not paid for this nor am I sponsored to speak about it. 

John who attended to my hair for 12 whole months which is the entire duration of this treatment did so in his capacity as a trained Keratase hair therapist and I was not required to speak about this because it is (1) not a paid nor sponsored post and (2) I got on this program only because John convinced me to that it will definitely work and I just have to place my trust in him for 12 months. 

Within just 1 week of using Densifique every night after bath, hair loss was DRASTICALLY reduced. Since then, John started introducing this product to his customers who were experiencing hair loss because he genuinely believe in it too having seen the results on me.

By the second month, I started to feel sharp new grown hairs on my scalp when I gently ran my fingers through my scalp. John who observed my scalp every night began to see (1) hair growing from used-to-be-dead follicles. Additionally, (2) the thickness of hair in each follicle has thicken and blacken with more than 1 strand of hair in each follicle. 

By the fourth month, I can see hair growth on my forehead (what!!!??) and just above my temples (where the bald spots are). My happiness for hair growth was short-lived as the new grown hairs (now visible, heavy and very short) were in the way during photoshoots haha. This is how we all live our life, don't we? We complain when we want something. And when we have it, we start complaining there is too much of it. Yikes!

I shall let the photos do the talking because photos can never lie and I have two photographers (who used to heavily photoshopped my bald spots and have been with me since my bald days) who can vouch for my words here!

These photo were taken 2.5 years back.

It got worse with each passing month.

My hair line was receding and my forehead especially was beginning to recede with the hair line getting lesser hair by the months due to hair loss. 

This baldness happened at both sides of my forehead and on my forehead. So altogether, my hair line was receding and it was....pretty awful :( 


Look at the short hairs at my forehead which got into the way of my shoots and this time round, my photographer did not have to "ADD IN" hairs, they had to remove them to make it look more aesthetically pleasing for VGY fashion spread. It was also at this shoot when Fiona from Smittenpixels who was my photographer for the shoot asked me "Are you growing hair Tricia??? Omg they are at your forehead! It kept getting into the way can you please try to brush them aside?


As the hair grew longer and longer...

With hair pulled back into a pony, the receding hair line which SHOULD BE very obvious with this kind of style did not posed as a problem to me because the bald spots at the sides and on my forehead were already covered with hair growth. Yup slowly but surely :)

And even more photos which shows the obvious hair growth. By this time, the hair have grown out so much it got my friends asking how in the world did my bald spots and receding hair line seemed to suddenly have so much hair. The baby hairs from all over the crown of my head was also starting to grow out by then and it was all over the place which made me look very messy....80% of the time..with the baby hairs looking like flyaways. 


It is called the Scalp Atelier Treatment Program at Salon Vim with Keratase Densifique

(Disclaimer: Please note these photos were not taken at the start but 8-9 months into the treatment but for reference and explanation sake, I am using these recent photos as no photos were taken at the start of the scalp analysis. As mentioned, it is not a sponsored post nor an advertorial so I did not take any photos from the very start. It was only 6 months into it that I started receiving many enquiries about my sudden hair growth that spurred me to take photos for the sake of a possible blog post after the treatment is over.)

I started off with a scalp analysis at Salon Vim with John, who is a Keratase-trained hair therapist. In fact, he was the one who got me started on this program after he finished attending the courses for this treatment program, together with a handful of Salon Vim therapists. He was SOLD at the course and insisted I try out on this so...I became the first customer who took a leap of faith and tried this treatment out.

John analysed my scalp periodically to show me the improvements over the months! My treatment program was structured along the way depending on the condition of my scalp. 

(As I mentioned in the disclaimer, this was taken 8-9 months into the treatment and look at the growth of hair which completely covered up the bald spot. In addition, my baby hairs which sprouted on my receding forehead line is much longer than in all the photos seen above.)

Thereafter, I was given periodic scalp treatments (which was included in my package) according to what my scalp requires from the analysis. This program address both short and long term issues. In my case, my short term issue is oily scalp which is why I require periodic trips to Salon Vim with John to treat my scalp. By treating my scalp first, it allowed my scalp to be in the optimum condition to receive the home care Densifique treatment which I will explain more below. 

The long term issue I was faced with was hair loss and inactive hair follicles. As with MOST people, the derma papilla on my scalp is in a "sleeping" mode and instead of 3 strands of hair in a healthy follicle, I only have 1 thin strand of hair. In addition to that, the distance of one hair follicle was very far away from another follicle - which resulted in very thin hair. So fret not if you have very little hair! In fact, all my family members have very little hair and both John and I initially thought it must be hereditary in my case but this is not true! Even if it is a hereditary problem, stem cells technology MAY BE ABLE to treat you just like it did for me! I never stop being amazed by this fact and have been spreading the word about this treatment program to many. 

Every trip made to Salon Vim for treatment on my scalp always had me leaving with a refreshed, clean and light scalp. The crux of targeting my short term problems which is an oily scalp is to ensure  my follicles are in the optimum condition to receive the Densifique treatment and not hinder the growth process. Granted you can simply buy off the shelf but it makes a huge difference with a treatment targeted at your short term issues which can encompass a large variety of problems such as flaky, sensitive scalp, dandruff, dry, irritated scalp - most of which are common problems faced by most Singaporeans because of our weather. If I have not gone for the scalp analysis and have periodic scalp treatment with John, I could still be facing extreme hair loss and will not see results as quickly as I should be. 

If you realised from the photos above in the earlier part of this post, my parting was on the right. Did you also remember I mentioned I had hair loss on both sides of my forehead? But look at the hair growth when I part my hair to the left instead.. The hair growth is similar to the growth on the right side of my forehead. 

Back to the treatment, here comes the second part of this treatment program. I was put on home care using Keratase Densifique. It is a breakthrough hair loss product containing a patented product known as STEMOXYDINE which is a molecule that works on stem cells to increase the density of the hair. I applied this daily every night after bath all over my scalp but most importantly on 3 key areas - both sides of my forehead and the receding line on my forehead. Over the course of 12 months, I finished using 3 boxes of Densifique (each containing 30 vials) and 1 box of Amenexil (containing 30 vials), in addition with periodic scalp treatments. 

So that is about it!

With results now, I have been getting lazy and no longer apply my 4th box of Densifique religiously BUT I do not see any reliance on this product as the "regrown" hair did not fall off when Densifique is not used. I can be really lazy and go up to 7 days without using it but I used to be very conscientious because the results were very encouraging haha. I guess I can partly attribute this non-reliance to the scalp treatments at Salon Vim thanks to my dearest John. I cannot imagine myself still suffering from hair loss and oily scalp. It would defeat all my efforts to apply Densifique every night when hair loss > hair growth. 

There you go! I am finally done with this longgggg blog post! My hair is now thicker than ever and I hope this can be an inspiration to girls out there who also suffer from self-esteem issues because of balding hair like I used to! :) 

The Scalp Atelier Treatment Program with Keratase Densifique is only available at Salon Vim, located at 313 Somerset, #04-05. You can make an appointment and speak to my hair stylist, John Tham, about this if you wish to know more. Rest assured you can go for a non-obligatory consultation first and John is one hair stylist who will NOT BE PUSHY NOR HARDSELL you any products. You can go have a free consultation with him first where he can analyse your scalp and determine if you are a suitable candidate for this treatment. 

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