[Advertorial/Sponsored] Review: Say Goodbye To Scars With HIRUSCAR POST ACNE GEL - acne

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[Advertorial/Sponsored] Review: Say Goodbye To Scars With HIRUSCAR POST ACNE GEL

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[Advertorial/Sponsored] Review: Say Goodbye To Scars With HIRUSCAR POST ACNE GEL

"Hiruscar® Post Acne Gel"
If you are a regular reader of my blog, this product may be well-known to you as I have been raving it since Year 2013 and also did a review which can be read here. But if you are new to my blog and haven't heard of this product, continue to read on because I'm going to re-introduce this product (summarize version) and you will be amazed on what it does.

For readers who don't know what is Hiruscar® Post Acne Gel, it is an anti-bacterial, clear gel that is specialized in treating post acne marks/scars. Ideal for oily and acne prone skin and best suitable for age between 15 to 24 years old.


Hiruscar® Post Acne Gel is formulated with *Pionin (Quaternium-73), *Allium Cepa,*MPS and other natural ingredients; with its unique formulation with 3-in-1 scars benefits, it works simultaneously to improve the appearance of existing pimples marks/scars and may also prevent the formation of new marks/scars arising from pimples.

*Fun Fact: 
- Pionin is an anti-bacterial agent that helps to reduce inflammation and infection, preventing acne recurrence.
- Allium Cepa is an anti-inflammatory property that helps to promote wound healing and reduce size of the scar by reducing scar tissue build up.
- MPS is a water binding molecule that helps to hydrate the skin and softens scar tissues as well as speeding up the scar healing process. 

It is clinically proven to treat depressed scars, lighten dark spots and red marks.

What's more, it is non-comedogenic so it won't clog the pores and is also hypoallergenic and free of alcohol hence, it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction or irritation. Safe to use on sensitive skin~!

With it's fast absorption and non-greasy texture, it can be used under makeup! 

How To Use:
Apply 2-3 times a day on closed wound, in the morning and before bedtime. Use after toner/softener and before moisturizer. Always wash hands before and after use.

WARNING!: DO NOT EVER APPLY IT ON OPEN WOUND!

The course of treatment must be at least 2 weeks to 2 months (= 8 weeks). With continuous and recommended usage, it claims that the appearance of pimple scars will be less visible within 4 weeks. Take note that the treatment period and results may vary depending on individual's acne condition.

Tried & Tested
FYI, I have been using Hiruscar® Post Acne Gel since Year 2013, way before I received it as a sponsored item. So I can assure you that it does work in lightening acne marks/scars! Trust me, it really does work!

Let me show you the BEFORE and AFTER pictures after 13 days (about 2 weeks) of applying Hiruscar® Post Acne Gel:
By the way, these pictures were taken via Iphone's camera, specially for the post on my acne story/journey which I started sharing this year. 100% raw pictures and I apologize for the poor quality. :x

I applied 2 times a day (day and night) and after 13 days of continuous usage, my acne marks/scars have lightened significantly. Some of the acne marks/scars have already disappeared (= got fully healed). Although the quality of pictures are kind of crappy, I believe you can still see the difference.

Pardon me for re-sharing some old pictures from my old review of Hiruscar® Post Acne Gel that was not a sponsored post. As I had a super horrendous allergic breakouts back then, I thought the results may be even more visible so the following pictures show the results from 6 weeks to 8+ weeks.

For more pictures, check out the posts dated from Year 2013 and onwards listed in "My Acne Story". All acne marks/scars improvement shown in the stated posts were all credited to Hiruscar® Post Acne Gel.

Well, some of you may find what I have said exaggerating, but what I have said is the truth! If you have read all the stated posts listed in "My Acne Story", I am sure you could tell how much Hiruscar® Gel helped my acne marks/scars.

Hiruscar® Post Acne Gel is the most effective acne marks/scars treatment I have ever tried so far! It plays a big role in my acne journey and is a huge savior to my skin even up till today! I simply can't stop raving on how awesome this product is!

If you are having trouble with acne marks/scars, definitely give this a go and let me know your thoughts after trying, yeah~? I'd love to know how it goes for you! :)

Hiruscar® Post Acne Gel is currently available in Watsons, Guardian, Unity and pharmacies at the price of SGD$22.90. — I know in my old review post I wrote SGD$19.90; apparently, they marked up the price... Effectiveness wise, it works magically so in my view, it is definitely still worth purchasing!



[Acne Story] #02: Update on My Acne Journey — "Breakouts"

In the last update on my skin condition, I've shared on the return of my acne after ~six months of pretty clear skin and well, I am supposed to update my acne breakout weekly or bi-weekly...hmm...but I failed. lol. Here goes the update .aka. part 2~!


Before I jump into the topic, I have got bad news and good news. I will start with the bad news — I lost all the picture files taken during January to early March 2015 and I can't recover them. Hence, I can't continue and update where I left off... The good news for you guys is the condition of my breakout did not really heal smoothly. My skin broke out further so fortunately, I can still continue on the topic of my journey on healing acne but I will continue from March 2015 instead of where I left off. And I make sure to update it weekly or bi-weekly this time. (hopefully...)

So since my last update, my acne was actually healing pretty good until two weeks ago, which was the week before the "time of the month" .aka. period, my skin just suddenly broke out again. The breakouts were mainly on my left cheek and jawline and were kind of mild on my right. So here are the pictures taken on 12th March 2015.

Left:
Right:
You can see from the pictures, there were post acne marks/scars; a few newly popped-out red inflamed zits on my left jawline near my chin area and one on my right jawline.

On Monday (16th March 2015), all the zits that appeared on my face on 12th March were pretty much calmed down and healed. What's left were red-pink-brown post acne scars/marks.

However, until yesterday (22nd March 2015), which was the week after my period, I broke out further... Here are the pictures:

Left:


Right:
...again... just a few new inflamed zits on both sides of my face. As you readers know, I've gone through even worse breakouts in the past (Read My Acne Story) so in this case, no big deal. Well, I just hope it won't continue breaking out... *pray*

Problems I am currently facing and dealing with:
- Inflamed and non-inflamed pimples (currently focusing on... - priority)
- Post acne marks/scars (currently focusing on...)
- Enlarged pores (...on hold...)

P/S: I prefer to treat one problem at a time so I'm currently putting my focus on acne.

Current Skin Type:
Oily/Combination + Sensitive

My Current Skin Care Routine (dated: March 2015)

Day:

Night:
Biore Aqua Jelly Make Up Remover (only if I use makeup)
Lifestyle changes:
- Diet: Eat healthily~ e.g. avoid spicy, greasy, fried & junk foods, drink more water etc.
- Sleep routine: Try to sleep early but I always fail to do so. ooops~

Some readers asked if I had undergone any facial treatment and honestly, NO. I have never done any facial treatment before even though I have been invited(sponsorships) by some salons to try out their treatments. I rejected them all~ So rest assured, my current acne story/journey consists of 0% facial treatments and medications, unless stated otherwise. It is treated only with skin care products that are appropriate to my skin type and condition and also some lifestyle changes such as healthier diets, routine etc.. Aside from that, take note that my past acne story/journey does not involve any medication and facial treatment, too.

Just for some curious readers out there, the reason why I don't visit a dermatologist is because... I don't trust medicines. I have a friend whose acne condition is n-times worse than mine and she took medicines to control her acne. When her acne got used to the medicines, she will either increase the dosage or ask her doctor to prescribe even stronger medicines, which I don't think it's good for the body and health. Plus, the results were temporary. Once she stopped taking the medicines, her acne came back. So yeah, that's the reason why I say naaah to dermatologist. FYI, she's currently still dealing with acne but has stopped taking medicines. Side track: She's currently using Innisfree Jejubija Anti-Trouble skin care line and it works amazingly for her. So I'm going to switch to and try out that skin care line as well after I finish my current ones. In fact, I have already bought the products~ hehe~ Stay tuned for the reviews yeah~?

Back on track...lol... as for the reason why I don't opt for facial treatments is because... I saw improvements on my skin from the use of skin care products and not to mention, they once healed my bad acne (Read My Acne Story). So I decided to keep my faith and continue to treat my acne with only skin care products. Furthermore, I think it might be helpful(e.g. give some hope) to people, who are struggling with acne and unable to afford or unwilling to undergo facial/laser treatment.

Apart from that, many readers also asked if I sell products. In the past I don't, but soon I will! I'm currently still working on the website so be sure to check back for updates. The products I'm going to sell are basically items that I have tried and/or reviewed in my blog. Some are requested items by you readers over the years and up to present.

Sneak preview on the brands I'm bringing in:
- Mizon (skincare)
- Hiruscar (skincare)
- DHC Medicated Acne range (cosmetics)
- Secret Key (cosmetics)

and more.........

Anyway, for any product request that you would like me to sell in my future store (online) and post request, drop me an email to bitsdiaries@live.com. For any question, you can ask at ask.fm/bitsdiaries.

Stay tuned for my next update. 




[Acne Story/Tips] The DOs & DON'T for Acne-Prone Skin

Source: from some random chinese site (I forgot the link...)
Acne is one of the most common skin issues faced by many people, especially teens. So, how acne is formed? Well, I have shared these videos before in my "Summer Breakouts & My Favorite Summer Skincare Essentials 2014" post and I decided to share them again here. 
To put it simple, acne breakouts happen when pores in the skin get clogged with facial oil called sebum and dead skin cells. Once the pore is clogged, a pimple starts forming and attracts bacteria. Soon after the bacteria invaded, the pimple will get inflamed.

Hence, maintain good hygiene and follow your daily must-dos is a good practice to keep acne at bay. Before proceeding to read this post, do read the "7 MUST-DOs for a healthy complexion" to learn the basic care for your skin:

Today, let me share with you the DOs and DON'T for acne-prone skin. 

THE DOs:

Understanding Acne
By understanding your acne, you can determine the most suitable treatments to deal with them. I have shared two videos at the start of this post. In the videos, they explain to you how acne is formed and the different types of acne. Scroll back to the top if you have yet to watch the videos. For those who have watched them, let's skip to the next point, shall we? 

Understanding Your Skin Type (Normal, Dry, Oily, Combination, Sensitive etc.)
This is very important to all, especially for people who have sensitive skin... For example, people with sensitive skin have to be really cautious in choosing products. Well, you readers should know that many acne products contain anti-acne ingredients at different strength level/concentration. Some may be too strong for sensitive skin as a result, it may cause some signs of irritations. Hence, it is absolutely necessary to know what skin type you have, in order to determine the most suitable products/treatments for your skin.

Keep Your Hands Away From Your Face!
Your hands have lots of invisible germs and bacteria thus, keep your hands away from your face! It's better to thoroughly wash your hands with hand soap (anti-bacterial soap will be preferred) prior touching your face. You wouldn't want your face to become a new breeding ground 'playground' for the germs and bacteria right? So don't touch your face with your unclean hands! FYI, I always wash my hands with Dettol Hand Soap before proceeding to cleanse(touch) my face. Same procedure applies during application of daily skincare products, makeup etc..

Use Non-Comedogenic and Oil-Free Products
Look for products labelled "Non-Comedogenic" and "Oil-Free". Non-Comedogenic means "less clogging pores" whilst for Oil-Free means the product does not contain any mineral, plant oils etc. so it's less likely to clog pores.

Use Products Contain Anti-Acne Ingredients
If you are having troubled with acne, look for products that contain anti-acne ingredients such as Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide or Tea Tree Oil. These ingredients are strong enough to combat acne and keep them under control.

Simple and Fixed Skin Care Routine
Skin care routine doesn't have to be complicated. A 3 to 4 steps routine (Cleanse, Tone [Optional]Moisturize, Treatment) is all that you need, especially for teens.

Also, it's a not a good idea to change skin care products too often. Changing your skin care products frequently may cause more breakouts at times.

My advice: Choose a set of products and as long as they are working fine on your skin, STICK TO IT. Modify your skincare routine only when it's necessary. e.g.: seasonal changes, targeting other skin problems, product seems to make your skin condition worse etc..

Tackle One Skin's Problem At A Time
'Multi-tasking' can cause more problems at times thus, take it slooooow~~~ Work on one problem at a time and you will get optimal results.

Eat Healthy; Stay away from spicy, greasy, fried and junk foods.
I believe that the diet plays a part in contributing acne. I have mentioned the following in the 7 Must-Dos... post, which I have shared earlier on. "Kick away all (or eat less) the spicy, greasy, fried and junk foods! Consume more fruits and veggies (at least 2 servings each every day) instead as they contain powerful anti-oxidents which help to prevent free radical damage, protect your skin cells and slow down the aging process. Not only that... They are also rich in various nutrients(vitamins, minerals, fibers) which help to boost your immune system, detoxification, and improve your complexion, keeping your body and skin healthy."

Positive Mindset; Keep Fighting and Don't Lose Hope
A positive attitude will lead to positive outcome. 

THE DON'T:

Popping The Zit
Tempting? But I strongly suggest you to leave the little monsters alone! Bear in mind that popping the zit only pushes infection further into your skin, causing more swelling, redness and scarring. Here's an interesting illustration I found on Twitter that I once shared.

Instead of squeezing and popping the zit, try using Nexcare Acne Patch.
This little patches work effectively in sucking out all the pus embedded in the zit without needing to forcefully squeezing the zit hence, it helps to reduce and prevent bad scarring and/or further inflammation. This comes in very handy when the zit popped itself or you accidentally scratched and popped the zit.

Over Cleanse/Over-Drying and Skip Moisturizer
Wash your face TWICE a day will do the job! Cleansing your face several times a day does not cure your acne. In fact, you are making acne worse instead. When you over-cleanse your skin, you are stripping away all the skin oil/moisture that acts as a function to keep skin healthy, moisturized and balanced. Deep down, your skin naturally pumps out oil to the surface to keep it moisturized so if your skin is too dry, it will produce even more oil to compensate for the dryness. This could lead to excess oil production and eventually lead to clogged pores.

So now you know each time you cleanse your face, you are actually stripping away some skin oil/moisture. Hence, we need moisturizer to replenish the loss. Remember that a well-hydrated skin helps to slow down the rate of oil production.

Changing Skin Care Products Frequently
*Read "Simple and Fixed Skin Care Routine" stated in the "DOs" section* 

Using More Than One Anti-Acne Ingredient
I strongly advise to stick to ONE anti-acne ingredient. For example, if you are using a product (e.g: a toner, serum) that contains Salicylic Acid, then for other products (e.g: moisturizer), make sure they contain the same anti-acne ingredient (Salicylic Acid). Using too many types of anti-acne ingredients at a time can cause skin irritations! I know some people use Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree products together and it work for them but well... not everyone's skin can handle more than one anti-acne ingredient at a time, at least not for me. If you want to try out, do a patch test before applying it on your face in case of any irritations.

Heavy Makeup
Your acne needs to breath!  Layering heavy make-up on pimples cause a perfect breeding ground for the germs and bacteria to grow and this will cause pimples to get more inflamed. Apart from that, heavy make-up leads to clog pores even more easily so try to wear light makeup as possible. If you really want to wear heavy makeup, do it once in awhile. Just don't wear heavy makeup every day. Well, in any case, make sure you remove all traces of makeup thoroughly before you go to bed!

Alright, that's all I could think of for now. If there's any more tips, I will share it in another post. Hopefully the tips I've shared would be able to provide some help for you. 




Dealing With Back Acne (PART 1): TRUE STORY

Are you struggling with back acne?

Feeling depressed? 

Thinking of giving up on fighting acne? 
...

Well, you gotta read on...

I know dealing with back acne is not an easy task. It can be very frustrating because it is hard to reach and is also difficult to visualize the condition. Despite that, it is still possible to heal it. Trust me, back acne CAN get healed! Let me briefly share with you my friend's story...

My friend had been suffering from moderate back acne for over a year. Here are the BEFORE pictures on how her back acne looks:

Close-Up Shot: The zits even grew up to the back of her neck.

Close-Up Shot: And you can tell, they were all red and inflamed.

She had tried various methods to treat her back acne but to no success. Instead, it became worse. Being a lady who likes to wear semi-revealing outfits (but nothing promiscuous), she was dejected as she had to avoid wearing backless, low-back outfit, let alone bikini/swimsuit, because she was well aware that flaunting a pimple-ridden back in such outfit in public can be very embarrassing and hideous, and people may even start to talk about her. It really affected her self-esteem for sure.

So ten and a half months ago, she approached me for help in that state. To tell the truth, initially, I didn't want to help her because I am not a skin care expert. There is a possibility that I might make her acne worse instead of healing it. But she said that she will not put the blame on me if her acne got worse because it was her idea and she was the one who approached me. Since she said that, I agreed to help however, I made no promises on the results. I even told her to be prepared for negative results. From then on, she became my experiment subject. LOL.

It was quite difficult to find the ideal body care products for her skin because she has really sensitive body skin, but we did not give up. It took some trial and error finding the suitable products and at the end of the long journey, our patience was rewarded — the results turned out positively.

Healing in progress — zits drying-up... :

Healing in progress — getting better... :

Here are the AFTER pictures on how her back acne looks now:

Close-Up Shot: The back of her neck

Well, you can tell that there are still plenty of imperfections — scarrings resulted from popping and scratching the zits (her bad habit), which are out of my capability. [...] On the bright side, the overall appearance of her back has definitely improved.

In conclusion, it is POSSIBLE to clear up back acne as long as you treat it in the correct way. Therefore, if you have back acne, DO NOT GIVE UP FIGHTING!

Side information: My friend is very happy and willing to share her story, so she granted me the permission to share her story and pictures publicly on my blog. She hopes her experience and success story would be able to give you, whoever is in the same boat, a glimpse of hope and motivation to continue battling! So keep fighting!

From this "experiment", I have learned a few things on treating back acne and I will share them, for example tips on what to do and not to do etc., on my blog soon... Of course, I will also be sharing the products she used to treat her back acne. So be sure to stay tuned to my blog for PART 2. :)






Understanding The Types Of Acne — Whitehead, Blackhead, Papule, Pustule, Cyst, Nodule | Acne Tips

There are many different types of acne ranging in severity from mild to severe. So in order to treat your acne, you must first identify the zit that you are dealing with.

Credit: I do not own the picture of nodule. I found it on google. But the rest are mine!

So, What Are Acne?
"Acne Vulgaris", commonly known as pimples, occur when facial oil, also called sebum, and dead skin cells clog the skin's pores. Once the pores are clogged, pimples start forming and attract bacteria, leading to inflammation.

The Types Of Acne:
The most common types of acne are whitehead, blackhead, papule, pustule and cyst. Nodule is less common; it is similar to a cyst, but is more painful and larger in size. I will explain more on nodule later. Let's start from whitehead.

- Whitehead (mild)
Whitehead appears as a flesh-colored, white tiny bump on the surface of the skin. It is simply a clogged pore form underneath the skin and is usually not red or sore (not inflamed). Good news is it's mild and easy to treat! Exfoliation can help to treat and keep it at bay.

- Blackhead (mild)
A blackhead is similar to a whitehead, but the top is exposed to the air which causes the sebum to oxidize and changes from white to black. Treat and prevent it by exfoliating with an exfoliator. You can have it professionally extracted as well.

- Papule (moderate)
A papule appears as a small, red-pink inflamed bump on the skin with no "head" and can be tender to the touch. It occurs when a closed comedone (whitehead) is infected by bacteria, leading to inflammation. It can get irritated easily, so avoid squeezing it. Anyway, it will progress and grow into a pustule.

- Pustule (moderate)
A pustule is an inflamed, nasty bump appears as a red spot with a white or yellow centre filled with pus. It is generally painless and occurs when a mixture of oil, dead skin cells and bacteria rising to the surface. If you have to pop it, you have to make sure that you do it properly because if you do it in the wrong way, it may cause damage to your skin and may lead to permanent scarring.

- Cyst (moderate-severe)
A cyst is similar to a nodule but they are NOT technically one and the same. A cyst is a red, painful, pus-filled lesion occurs under the skin and is usually triggered by hormones spikes. It can remain on the skin for weeks.

- Nodule (severe)
The most severe types of acne and the toughest to treat. A nodule is a very painful, large, solid acne lesion that is lodge deep beneath the skin. The infection happens deeper beneath the skin's surface, so a topical spot treatment might not be useful as it only dry out the skin's top surface. As a result, it is hard to treat and may persist for weeks or even months.

Most of the acne (mild to moderate-severe) can be treated with over-the-counter products that contain active acne ingredient such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or tea tree oil. By identifying and understanding the type of your acne, you can determine the most suitable treatments to deal with them.



Understanding The Acne Fighters — Salicylic Acid .vs. Benzoyl Peroxide .vs. Tea Tree Oil

Note: All information written and shared in this article are based on my knowledge and experience.

Acne products are formulated with different types of active acne ingredients (= the fighters) and they work differently to fight acne. Therefore, when it comes to choosing an acne fighter for your skin, it is very important to know what each of them does.

The most frequently used active acne ingredients in over-the-counter acne products are Salicylic AcidBenzoyl Peroxide and Tea Tree Oil.

Salicylic Acid is a chemical that has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to calm and reduce inflammation. It slows down the shedding of skin cells inside the follicles to reduce the incidence of clogged pores. It may also breakdown whiteheads and blackheads.

The concentration of Salicylic Acid found in over-the-counter products is pretty much in a low and safe level, so it's less likely to cause irritation or peeling.

In my opinion, it is effective in treating non-inflamed and inflamed pimples, but it may take a longer time to heal big, painful cystic acne and it may not be very effective against severe acne like nodules.

Benzoyl Peroxide (B.P) zaps (P. acnes) bacteria, dries excess oil and remove dead skin cells clogging pores. It is also a chemical but is stronger than Salicylic Acid. Ideal for inflamed pimples.

Generally, Benzoyl Peroxide comes in 2.5%, 5% and 10%. People with sensitive skin have to be cautious with the level of concentration because the higher the concentration, the more it may irritate your skin.

Symptoms of irritation: Redness, itching, dryness

In my opinion, Benzoyl Peroxide treats pimples (including cystic acne) quicker than Salicylic Acid. On the downside, it may cause mild to severe dryness and some peeling.

Tea Tree Oil (TTO) is a natural, powerful antibacterial ingredient that kills a broad spectrum of bacteria. It penetrates into the skin and dries out all kinds of pimples quickly.

Tea Tree Oil is often found in varying concentrations. I think the lowest concentration of Tea Tree Oil found in over-the-counter products is 2% or 5%. Again, people with sensitive skin have to be cautious with the level of concentration because the higher the concentration, the more it may irritate your skin. The highest concentration of Tea Tree Oil I have seen is 100% — my brother is using 100% pure TTO and it works amazingly for him.

In my opinion, TTO is the most effective acne fighter and as it is a natural ingredient, it may be less irritating than B.P. Despite that, you still have to be cautious with TTO as it may cause an allergic reaction.

Symptoms of allergic reaction to TTO: Redness, itching, dryness, raw and bumpy patches/rashes.

For your reference, here's a picture of my allergic reaction to TTO back in Year 2013:

P.S: pardon the out-of-focus shot

FYI, I have been using Salicylic Acid -based products over the years, ever since I suffered from bad acne (refer to "My Acne Story"). So far, it hasn't caused any issues to my sensitive skin.

Anyway, my advice is to start from the mildest active acne ingredient with the smallest concentration. If your skin doesn't respond, then work your way up to stronger ingredient. By doing so, you will find out your skin's tolerance as well as reduce the chance of getting skin irritation.

5 Common Acne Treatment Mistakes + The Solutions


Here are the FIVE common acne treatment mistakes that are making your acne worse and FIVE solutions to correct them.

Mistake 1: Popping Zits
Yikes! There's a pimple on your chin! What should you do? Pop it? Tempting huh? But noooooooo~! Popping pimples actually pushes the infection further into your skin, causing more redness, swelling and scarring (more prone to indented scars).

The Solution:
Instead of popping the pimple, apply spot treatment formulated with active acne ingredient on the zit and let it dry naturally by itself. If you pop a pimple by accident, I recommend to stick a Nexcare Acne Patch over the zit. This acne patch helps to absorb all the pus embedded in the pimple, without needing to squeeze with your fingers, thereby reducing the damage done to your skin.

Mistake 2: Over-Cleansing Your Face
Cleansing your face several times a day does not cure your acne. In fact, you are ruining your skin and inviting acne. When you over-cleanse your skin, you are over-stripping away the skin oil that acts as a function to keep skin moisturized and balanced. Deep down, your skin naturally pumps out oil to the surface to keep it moisturized so if your skin is too dry, it will produce even more oil to compensate for the dryness. This could lead to excess oil production, causing more congestion along with possibly dryness and irritation.

Mistake 3: Skipping Moisturizer
So now you know each time you cleanse your face, you are not only removing excess sebum, but also stripping skin of its natural oils hence, we need moisturizer to replenish the loss.

The Solutions for 2 & 3:
Wash your face twice a day is sufficient. Don't forget to apply moisturizer afterwards. Use a cleanser and moisturizer that is made specifically for acne skin. These usually contain active acne ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or tea tree oil. Remember that a well-hydrated skin helps to slow down the rate of oil production.

Mistake 4: Exfoliating
Yes, buffing away dead skin cells is beneficial to the skin. It helps to prevent clogged pores, keeping pimples from forming. It is okay to exfoliate if you have very mild acne issues (non-inflamed whiteheads, flesh color bumps or blackheads). But it is not okay to exfoliate if your skin is flooded with red, inflamed pimples as it may further aggravate them and make them worse.

The Solution:
It's best to avoid exfoliating your skin if you have lots of inflamed pimples. As I've said, it may further aggravate them.

Mistake 5: Skin Itches Is A Sign Of Healing
Well, I do agree that itching is a sign of healing, but this applies to an injury, a wound. This does not apply to facial skin. Itching is certainly NOT a sign that your acne is healing! When your facial skin itches, it is an indication that your skin is dry. It can also be a sign of skin allergy/irritation. Therefore, do not ignore the itching issues! Take action quickly, otherwise your acne may get worse.

The Solution:
All you have to do is to moisturize your skin! Once your skin is well hydrated, the itching sensation will stop. If the itching is caused by an allergic reaction with visible redness, you have to find out what causes it and stop using that product immediately.



5 Acne Spot Treatment Recommendations

The most effective way to get rid of a pimple quick is to use a spot zapper. A spot zapper is a targeted pimple treatment that usually contains active acne ingredient such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or tea tree oil, to calm inflammation and heal pimple.

P.S: If you want to know more about the mentioned active acne ingredients, read my article on "Understanding The Acne Fighters".

Over the years, I have tried many different kinds of spot treatments and here are my FIVE PICKS that I find work the most effective in banishing pimples:

Number 1: Etude House AC Clinic Intense Liquid Spot
A spot zapper formulated with Salicylic Acid, which helps to calm inflammation and treat pimples. It also contains botanical extract (Hinoki Cypress) that reportedly inhibits the growth of acne-causing bacteria. What's more, it is in clear, liquid form which absorbs into the skin quickly, making it perfect to use under makeup! This is part of my everyday skin care routine~!

Check out my full review: http://www.bitsdiaries.com/2013/10/review-etude-house-ac-clinic-intense.html
Number 2: Etude House AC Clinic Intense Pink Powder Spot
Another part of my every day skin care routine~ This spot zapper has a similar formula as the Liquid Spot — Formulated with Salicylic Acid which helps to calm inflammation and treat pimples. It also contains botanical extract (Hinoki Cypress) that reportedly inhibits the growth of acne-causing bacteria.

The only difference is it has pink powder that contains sulfur — an antibiotic, and it will leave some pink powder residue on your skin after application. The pink powder helps to soothe and alleviate swelling skin to minimize damage. This is actually more powerful in treating pimples than the Liquid Spot but unfortunately, it is designed to use at night.Note: A cotton swab is required to extract the pink powder for application.

Check out my full review: http://www.bitsdiaries.com/2013/11/review-etude-house-ac-clinic-pink.html
Number 3: Benzac AC Gel 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide
Formulated with active acne ingredient, Benzoyl Peroxide, that unblocks pores with a mild peeling effect and clears pimples within 48 hours. With it's unique Acrylates Copolymer (AC) Technology, it absorbs sebum and releases glycerin to help hydrate skin. Ideal to use on inflamed pimples!

Benzac AC Gel is also available in stronger concentration of 5% and 10%.

Check out my full review: http://www.bitsdiaries.com/2015/07/review-benzac-ac-25-5-benzoyl-peroxide.html
Number 4: Thursday Plantation 100% Pure Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil is a natural, powerful antibacterial ingredient that zaps a broad spectrum of bacteria. It penetrates into the skin and dries out all kinds of pimples quickly.

As this is in the concentration of 100%, it is super powerful in dealing with acne. If you find 100% Tea Tree Oil is too strong for your skin as a spot treatment, you can take 1 drop and dilute with water, in 1:9 ratio, to create your own acne spot treatment. If you want to increase the strength, you can just dilute it with less water. 100% Tea Tree Oil has many uses. You can even use it to DIY homemade face mask for acne. For other uses, please google~ 

On the drawback, it may be harsh; people with sensitive skin have to watch-out because this may cause an allergic reaction.
Number 5: Innisfree JejuBija Anti-Trouble Spot Essence R
This spot essence is enriched with torreya seed oil and green calamine ingredients which help to rapidly calm down breakouts. It is a skin care product but it has a green undertone which kind of helps to neutralize redness. So sometimes I use it on my pimples as a color corrector prior to makeup application.

*P.S: Innisfree has discontinued both the Essence W and Essence R. But recently, they released a new product with an improved formula called Bija Anti-Trouble Spot Essence (without W or R) and it doesn't have the green undertone.

As the latter recommendation (Number 5) is a *discontinued product, I will include one more product to compensate for the "loss"... 

Number 6: 3M Nexcare Acne Patch .aka. Blemish Clear Cover
These patches act as a barrier over the acne to reduce hand contact and infection.Best part? It helps to absorb oil and all the pus embedded in the pimple, thereby reducing the damage done to your skin because you don't have to pop and squeeze it with your fingers! Ideal for inflamed, pus-filled pimples. With these patches, you will be able to bid your zits a speedier farewell.

Nexcare Acne Patch is available mostly in circular shape, which gives the same effect as the square shape, but I prefer the square ones as I find it covers the zit and adhere to the skin better.



Review: SKIN & LAB Dr. Spot Clear Don't Touch Trouble

SKIN & LAB Dr. Spot Clear Don't Touch Trouble (15ml)
SKIN&LAB is not just another cosmetic brand but realization of true science based on plenty of dermatologist experiences. All products of SKIN&LAB are designed to provide dermatological solutions.
Description: Don't Touch Trouble with sophora extract works quickly to help calm the skin and restore skin comfort.
Directions: Apply to the affected area 2-3 times daily.

(Click on the picture to enlarge...)


(Source from SKIN&LAB)

It comes in a soft squeeze-able tube with a twist-off cap.

Consistency & Color:
Gel-like serum texture and opaque. After a few minutes of applying the product, it will get absorbed and become translucent.

Scent:
Errr... not too strong? pretty much odorless? ps, I don't know how to describe for this... :/

Likes:
- the ingredients & the formula
- easy to use
- works effectively on mild acne (whiteheads, flesh color zits etc)
- heals acne zits at the same time, reduce the redness of post acne marks/scarring
- not drying nor harsh; suits sensitive skin
- no side effect; no irritation
- not very sticky
- translucent :)
- can be used both day and night use

Dislikes:
- takes a long period of time to dry and heal the pimples
- for me, it does not work on large painful hormonal pimples

Previously I was using the Etude House AC Clinic Pink Powder Spot which doesn't suit to use it in the day, especially if I'm going out, because it will leave an obvious layer/spot/mark after applying the product. So I got this SKIN&LAB Dr. Spot Clear Don't Touch Trouble to use it in the day. Right after I used up the AC Clinic Pink Powder Spot, I use the Dr. Spot Clear Don't Touch Trouble in the day and night. So far, I used up one and a half tube already.

Overall conclusion, I kinda like and hate this. lol.

I like it because it heals and dry up the pimples while minimize the redness of the acne scars/marks. That means when a pimple gets healed, the mark left on the skin will be less red and can be faded easily and much faster using a scar/spot treatment product(eg: whitening spot treatment). For me, using a scar/spot treatment, normally it takes 3-6 months(depends on how severe the acne is) to heal post acne mark. But after using this product, it takes 1-2 months to get rid of the mark. (PS: This only works on new zits, new acne marks.)

I hate it because it takes a long time to get rid of a pimple. Unlike other acne spot treatments which on average takes 3-5days or a week to heal a pimple, the period of time this product takes to heal my pimples various from 1-3 weeks. Another downside, it does not heal my large painful hormonal acne. :(

Even though I do have reasons to hate this product, I would still consider buying it because of the "speed up process" of healing acne mark/scar left after drying up a new pimple. Nowadays I seldom get large inflamed acne unless I'm having a bad life routine or it's "the time of the month"(life being a girl -.-) so since it works effectively for my whiteheads/flesh color zits, I don't mind making a repurchase. In fact, I already gotten another 3 boxes(as seen from first picture). :P I tend to use up a tube pretty fast because I apply a lot of the product on a pimple. LOL! XD As for "How I treat my hormonal acne?", well, Nexcare Acne Patch will do the job~! :D



[Acne Story/Tips] My Current Skincare Routine May 2014 + Answers to FAQ

Out of all of the emails I get, the most frequently asked questions are "what's your current skincare routine?", "how do you deal with breakouts during 'that time of the month'?", "......products recommendation that can fight pimples and pimple scars" etc.blahhhhhhhhhhhh~ majority of the mails are regarding to the little monster, A.C.N.E!

So, here I am answering to the most frequently asked questions~

Before I start, let me clarify one point. — I'm not a skin or beauty professional etc. so...all the information provided are based on my own experiences and thoughts. Even though the products I use/mention helped treat my skin problems, I don't know if they would work the same for you because our skins are different so what worked for me might not work the same for you. With that said, please treat below information as a reference. 

1) What's my my skin type?
Oily/Combination + Acne-prone + Sensitive skin

2) What's my current skincare routine?
Well, I am aware that I have not been updating my skincare routine page since November 2013. That basically means I am still sticking with the routine .aka. am still using the products as listed.

But to be honest, I actually modified and added in a few products into my skincare routine in early Feb this year. Sorry for the extreme late update. In the future, more detailed information about my skincare routine will be updated in this post section followed by FAQ, if any, instead of the skincare routine page. Do take note of it. :)
[My Current Skincare Routine] (dated: 2nd Feb 2014)
The range of products I use for day and night.

To make things clearer, I'm going to separate my skincare routines into TWO — One with makeup products, one without. Without further ado, I shall introduce my current skincare routine~

Day and Night Routine IF I'm staying at home the whole day:
(WITHOUT makeup products)
Product I use in the DAY:

Arranged according to steps:
- Etude House AC Clinic Daily Acne Foam Cleanser
- Etude House AC Clinic Daily Toner
- Hiruscar Post Acne Gel
- Etude House AC Clinic Daily Gel Lotion
- Etude House AC Clinic Intense Liquid Spot
- Etude House AC Clinic Intense Hinoki Water Mist

Product I use at NIGHT:

Arranged according to steps:
- Etude House AC Clinic Daily Acne Foam Cleanser
- *Etude House Baking Powder Crunch Pore Scrub (once a week)
- *Cure Natural Aqua Gel (once a week)
- Etude House AC Clinic Daily Toner
- Etude House AC Clinic Intense Mask Sheet (once a week if I get breakout)
- Hiruscar Post Acne Gel
- Etude House AC Clinic Daily Gel Lotion
- Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream
- Etude House AC Clinic Intense Pink Powder Spot
- Etude House AC Clinic Intense Hinoki Water Mist

Day and Night routine IF I'm going out of the house: 
(WITH makeup products)
Product I use in the DAY:

Arranged according to steps:
- Etude House AC Clinic Daily Acne Foam Cleanser
- Etude House AC Clinic Daily Toner
- Hiruscar Post Acne Gel
- Etude House AC Clinic Daily Gel Lotion
- Etude House AC Clinic Intense Liquid Spot
- The Face Shop FACE it Power Perfection BB Cream #02 Natural Beige
- Etude House AC Clinic Intense Hinoki Water Mist

Product I use at NIGHT:

Arranged according to steps:
- Biore Aqua Jelly Make Up Remover
- Etude House AC Clinic Daily Acne Foam Cleanser
- *Etude House Baking Powder Crunch Pore Scrub (once a week)
- *Cure Natural Aqua Gel (once a week)
- Etude House AC Clinic Daily Toner
- Etude House AC Clinic Intense Mask Sheet (once a week if I get breakout)
- Hiruscar Post Acne Gel
- Etude House AC Clinic Daily Gel Lotion
- Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream
- Etude House AC Clinic Intense Pink Powder Spot
- Etude House AC Clinic Intense Hinoki Water Mist

*I added both exfoliators into my skincare routine in early January this year. Sorry for the extreme late update... Anyway, I bought the Cure Natural Aqua Gel since last year but I had stopped using it for awhile due to laziness and literally forgot about it's existence.  Till one day, I recalled it's existence, then I resumed using it. 

I exfoliate my face once or twice a week, depends on my mood and my hardworking-ness~ ROFL. If I'm going to exfoliate my face twice a week, I will usually use the Baking Powder Crunch Pore Scrub for the first exfoliation session and on the second exfoliation session, I will use the Cure Natural Gel.

I use different exfoliators because I have pretty sensitive skin especially on the area of my cheeks, excluding the area of my nose. I personally find the Baking Powder Crunch Pore Scrub a little harsh to my skin when I use it twice a week. As an exception, the area of my nose is non-sensitive but very oily hence, I will usually use the Baking Powder Crunch Pore Scrub on my nose twice a week. As for the rest of my face, I will usually exfoliate ONCE using the Baking Powder Crunch Pore Scrub and ONCE using the Cure Natural Gel. I hope it's not too confusing. 

l

3) How do I deal with breakouts during 'that time of the month'? (only for girls lol)
Being a girl, breakouts are unavoidable, especially during 'that time of the month' .aka. menstrual period. So ladies..., no matter how good you pampered your skin, during 'that time of the month', the zits will surely come out to play. It's something inevitable but you can find ways to reduce the breakouts that will happen during 'that time of the month'.

Let me share with you some tips~:

First and foremost, refrain from touching or popping the zits! Leave them alone and eventually, they will "ripe" and heal themselves. I saw this interesting picture on twitter the other day and I find it kinda true so let me share with you, readers. 
The moral of the story = Refrain touching or popping your pimple/zit!

Secondly, determine when you are most prone to breakout and lastly, deal with it.

To deal with my breakouts during 'that time of the month', I would first find out when my skin is most prone to breakout. I usually breakout during my first week and the week after of my period. Hence, what I usually do is to use Etude House AC Clinic Intense Mask Sheet a week before my period and when it's going into the week after my period .aka. post safe period. It did help me to reduce the amount and the severity of zits coming out to play. By the way, this mask is one of my 'secret weapons' to deal with breakouts.

Etude House AC Clinic Intense Mask Sheet contains Salicylic Acid, which is an anti-acne ingredient, that helps to prevent pimples and at the same time, tackle and treat the existing ones. Check out my review here:

There are many brands carrying anti-acne mask sheet. So of course, you can use other anti-acne mask sheet from other brands as long as it is specifically for troubled skin, I believe it would work out fine tackling zits as well. Do not neglect to hydrate your skin by the way!

As for guys, apparently you guys don't have the golden shitty time of the month so I don't know if you have a breakout cycle but nevermind, you can also try to determine when your skin are most prone to breakout. From there, you can decide on when to use the anti-acne treatment products, such as the Etude House AC Clinic Intense Mask Sheet, to tackle the zits.

FYI, Etude House AC Clinic Intense Mask Sheet is not the only mask sheet I use. I use facial masks twice a week and I have many mask sheets that serve different purposes — whitening, hydrating, soothing, pore tightening, oil-control and many more. Let me know if you are interested and wanted to know more about the mask sheets I use. I might consider doing a post sharing more details about them~ 

One thing to take note which I have said this a zillion times... As our skins are different, what worked for me might not work the same for you. Therefore, even though Etude House AC Clinic Intense Mask Sheet worked out awesomely for me, it might not work out as good for you. Hence, I strongly recommend to go ahead and try out different mask sheets that are designated for troubled skin and see which one works better for you then, you can consider adding that into your skincare routine.

On the other hand, in my opinion, what we eat or drink play a part in breakouts. With that said, try to stay away from (or eat less) greasy, spicy foods, seafood particularly "shellfish", junk foods, dairy products, soda/sweet drinks etc. Instead, consume more veggies in your diet and drink plain water or non-additives pure green tea. You can also take in health products such as vitamin pills etc. but for me, I don't do that. The only health product I consume is Chlorophyll drink. Google for more info. 

Also, by having a good life routine does help and improve the skin conditions thus, don't be an owl and stay up late at night. Sleep early instead! 

4) Products recommendation that can fight pimples and pimple scars
When people asked me for products recommendation, usually I will not state a specific product and ask you to go get this or must get this this this etc. because as stated before, "our skins are different, what worked for me might not work the same for you". I usually only share my experience on the products I used that worked for me. Hence, I always reply like "you might want to give this a try..." etc.. Whether you want to give the product I mentioned a shot, it's all up to you.

So for products recommendation, just check my skincare routine and you will know what products I'm going to share.

Here's an advice... If you are having pimples, just choose skincare products that contain anti-acne ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or tea tree oil etc. However, be warned that some signs of dryness are inevitable as anti-acne ingredients usually might cause skin to feel dry. If that's a problem to you, just add in an oil-free and non-comedogenic hydrating moisturizer into your skincare routine. In any case, I will advise all, especially for people with sensitive skin, to do a small patch test prior using the product or if there is any tester available on the shelves, test it prior purchasing the product.

Another note for people with sensitive skin... Be cautious to product that contains tea tree oil as it might cause an allergic reaction. Take note of the concentration — 100% is extremely strong... I personally have tried using 100% pure tea tree oil on zits and I suffered from bad allergic/irritation after application. Then I lowered down the concentration to 5% and it did not work out for me as well. It left me with bad allergic reactions/irritation(red, burnt, peeled, extremely itchy patches) again. From then, I stayed away from touching any products that contain tea tree oil. So do take note of the allergic reactions/irritation that might caused by Tea Tree oil.

As for post acne marks/scars, you can try getting whitening/spot treatment that is specifically for pimple scars. There are many various whitening/spot treatment products from different brands in the market.

Throughout my acne journey, I tried a few kinds of whitening/spot treatments and my personally favorite is Hiruscar Post Acne Gel, which is still a part of my skincare routine. It's a light gel and it did lighten my post acne marks. It gets absorbed into the skin without leaving a layer thus, it can be used under makeup without interference. Check out my full review here:

5) During the time when I suffered from horrible breakouts, do I wear makeup?
OF COURSE, I DO! But I tried to use products that state "non-comedogenic", which means "less clogging pores" and I tried to wear as minimal makeup as possible because thick makeup can cause acne condition to become worse. Back then, I worn 1 or 2 layers of The Face Shop FACE it Power Perfection BB Cream, covered my blemishes with DHC Medicated Acne Concealer and finished with Maybelline Pure Pact Mineral Healthy Perfecting UV Compact Foundation. Is it too much?  Anyway, nowadays I only wear BB cream alone. 

6) What sunscreen do I wear?
I don't wear sunscreen and I have zero knowledge on sunscreen so, sorry I can't help on any questions regarding to sunscreen.

I hope this would help...... There are still many questions that I wanted to post it here but I think I shall stop for now. Otherwise, this post will become super lengthy. I will write up another FAQ post in the future so keep your questions coming! 



[Acne Story] #01: Join Me In My Journey On Healing Acne + My Current Skin Care Routine

Notice: All the emails and ask.fm questions I received from 13th February 2015 and onwards, there will be a delay in responding... Sorry guys~ As Chinese New Year is approaching, I'm super busy. So yeah...I will try to reply asap, most likely after Chinese New Year. Please understand. :x
x---x

In my view, pimples are just like volcanoes... Tiny mountains (= pimples) filled with lava (= pus).  lol. Since the last serious eruption on my skin, the pimples are in deep sleep for quite some time until last month, it decided to erupt again! In simple words, yeah, I broke out. FML. Luckily, it's not as serious and horrible as last time (Read "My Acne Story") thus, it's not a big deal but it still bothers me. 

In the past during my bad acne period, I actually wanted to document it (like an update about my skin once a week etc.) in my blog but well, I just don't have the courage to do so... If you had gone through what I had, you would understand why I said that. Anyway, this time, I worked up my courage and decided to document it weekly or bi-weekly as I think my story/experience may probably be able to help some people out there who are going through the same problem and so... here I am~ documenting my acne breakout. It happened last month so please take note that the pictures shown do not reflect to my current skin condition.

This was how both sides of my face looked on 4th January 2015. As you can see there were a mixture of post acne marks/scars, inflamed and non-inflamed zits 'party-ing' on my skin. 
I think I know what caused the breakout though. It was probably caused by bad sleep routine and diet as starting from the end of December 2014, I slept really late like 4-5am e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y; and also, I consumed oily, spicy and junk foods quite often in a week. Before all these changes, my skin was pretty clear (except for occasional, very mild breakout during the time of the month) hence, that was why I think they were the causes for my recent breakout.

To combat with my acne, I'm using these products for my current skin care routine:

Day:
Etude House AC Clinic Daily Toner or White Formula Super Moist Light Toner

Night:
Biore Aqua Jelly Make Up Remover (only if I use makeup)
Etude House AC Clinic Daily Toner or White Formula Super Moist Light Toner

Besides using the listed products, I also cut down on oily, spicy and junk foods. I try to eat as healthy as I could.

Well, if you want to know how the condition of my acne progresses, join me in my journey and be sure to check back for updates~! 

Before I end the post, I hereby wish everyone a HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR~ GONG XI FA CAI~! May the Year of the Goat bring you happiness and prosperity in abundance. 



Review: DHC Medicated Acne Care Concealer

DHC Medicated Acne Care Concealer (10g)
Conceals, smoothens and resists sebum.
Description: A long-lasting concealer that covers acne marks and skin discoloration. Contains 'Fix Polymer' that is strongly resistant to skin oil, forming a thin, snug-fitting veil that adheres to the skin.
No fragrance. No preservatives.

Comes in 2 shades - 01 Natural Ocher and 02 Natural Beige??? (?)
PS: I can't remember the name of the shade in 02.

Claims to do:
- Conceals pimples, acne scars and pigmentation
- Even out roughness
- Resists sweat and stays put
- Primes the skin for long-lasting makeup application

Ingredients list

Tested on my arm. XD
FYI, I do get zits on my arm because I always rest my arm on the table lol.
By the way, I only applied the concealer on the spot without applying any other make-up products under or above it.

Likes:
- specially for acne prone skin .aka. troubled skin
- contains SPF
- not greasy
- a little goes a long way
- does not break me out
- does conceals pimples, acne scars and pigmentation(light to medium coverage)
- does not aggravate pimples
- matte finish
- sweat-resistant .aka. sweat-proof
- easy to blend
- pretty long-lasting for me :)

Dislikes:
- there's nothing I dislike about...

I have been using this concealer for 3-4 years now and I'm still loving this concealer. I tried to change to other brands' concealer in between the years and ended up I always coming back to this. Nothing beats this concealer. :) What I like about this concealer are listed above so do refer to the 'Likes' section~

It gives a light to medium coverage. It does not cover and hide all the acne marks perfectly. I mean it does cover light pinkish, brownish color marks perfectly but it does not works well for a darker reddish, brownish acne marks. After all, it only has a light to medium coverage, not full coverage. That's my opinion...because it does not cover my dark reddish, brownish acne marks perfectly or maybe... I just don't have the skill to blend it well? lol. Anyway, if you're looking for a light to medium coverage concealer for acne prone skin, this is it! :D
Tag : acne
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