The Acne Entries #2: No Pain, No Gain


It is phase 2 here in Singapore where non-essential services are finally allowed to re-open their doors! That includes aesthetic clinics.

But on most part, my psyche freaked about the sudden re-opening way back in June. The first Saturday since Phase 2 (19th June) was announced was captioned with photos of huge crowds that triggered anxiety even while I was on the couch eating a potato epok-epok. Group chats started going off about the photos and there was a common consensus on staying home as much as we can till the initial excitement died down.

There was also discussion about how we weren’t (mentally) ready for Phase 2.

And that, triggered a growth spurt of potatoes under my skin.

Stressed and anxious over CHANGE (again), the non-female specific hormones went into overdrive and before I knew it, ji-ba-boom. The images below were taken after its peak. The whole right-angle set-square-esque red patch was cystic. The nodules got so big, it combined.


When I finally made an appointment a month later, my aesthetician was naturally horrified. Where’s all the progress we made?? She took pictures and compared them to my 1st set of ‘before’ photos.

‘哇,你知道是什么原因吗? 变得更糟糕leh’

(Wah, do you know why it got worse? It’s really bad leh.)

My fake-bilingual ass couldn’t find the word for ‘anxiety’ and so I replied, ‘可能是压力吧!’ (Maybe it’s stress!)

And then my brain remembered a distant subtitle for anxiety on cable TV and went, ‘一点焦虑?’

(A little anxious?)

And she asked about my work and then about my diet and welp. I decided to leave it as that: stress from work. And masks.

‘Coz my mandarin-speaking capabilities was dismal and she’s my skin therapist not an actual psychological therapist, thus it felt strange.

I also told her how frick-fracking dry my mouth/nose area would get (check out the skin flakes near my mouth in the next set of pics). And there are days where my hot breath would feel as if its burning my skin. By the end of the day, the dry area would become superbly oily, where my poor skin has been trying to make up for the dryness.

Needless to say, the extraction was painful. The cystic parts that I thought was healing had more pus in them. A stab of pain would shoot through my dermis when the ‘seed’ flew out.

The day after

One thing’s for sure though, the potatoes are surfacing faster than usual and it is most probably because of The Ordinary’s 10% Niacinamide serum. What usually took 4 to 5 days to surface would now take 2 to 3 days. Strange how it doesn’t go well with another product that was meant for sensitive skin (La Roche Posay). So I dropped that.

While we are on the topic of The Ordinary, it is pretty scary shopping for it. Only a few sites carry authentic ones and the products are so dang popular its almost always out of stock. For those of you who live in Singapore, here’s a list that I go through whenever I’m on a hunt for their products.

With my skin appointments back in full swing, things are getting better. Today, most of the red marks are post-inflammatory erythema (PIE), not to be confused with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Minimal pimples. Lest the monthly hormonal ones, those are simply unavoidable. Mask-wise? I think my skin has more or less adapted, so…

All’s going good 🙂

And imma leave you with a new YouTube find, dude’s a sweetheart, and then there’s Eric Nam, I mean come on hahaha, enjoy 😉

Till the next one,

Don’t touch yo face ❤

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