Skincare: discuss. That’s basically the brief for Dior’s latest — and first-ever — digital skincare talk, hosted by model Gisele Bündchen, with 7 other qualified speakers from around the world. And if we’ve learnt anything about the gorgeous host and face of the Dior Capture Totale line, beauty secrets included, it’s that holistic approach to beauty; she swears by daily meditation and drinking plenty of water, for instance.
During the talk, we hear from the other panelists too, who readily share skincare application techniques, as well as tried-and-tested lifestyle tips that have a lot to do with healthy skin. In fact, our very own expert dermatologist, Dr Teo Wan Lin, was featured as one of the speakers too, as she proudly represents Southeast Asia in the panel.
Have a sneak peek at some “Beauty Tips” here:
Fresh off the talk, we’re also keen on uncovering more of Dr Teo’s skincare expertise and experience, especially when it comes to skincare concerns specific to our region. Are there particular concerns Singaporeans are facing this year (hint: maskne), and how do we resolve them? Or, how may someone with sensitive skin make sense of the mind-boggling array of beauty products? She also shares on “positive ageing”, and what the evolution of skincare may look like in a post-COVID world. Her thoughts, here.
A major skincare concern this year: “maskne” — and a potentially better solution to counter it.
“I think that the overarching theme is still related to the COVID-19 pandemic and face mask wearing. “Maskne” is clearly a very relevant issue that we anticipate to get worse. I have recently published a research letter on the ‘Diagnostic and Management Considerations of Maskne’, discussing the unprecedented impact of textile-skin friction in individuals with preexisting skin conditions — this includes eczema, acne, rosacea, and perioral dermatitis.
[Maskne is mostly caused by] the imbalance of bacteria and other microorganisms on the skin, also known as microbiome dysbiosis, which is caused by increased moisture, heat retention, and changes in the pH, due to salivary as well as nasal droplets in the area covered by the face mask. These can be addressed by an ideal face mask design to minimise friction, and the incorporation of bio-functional textiles (infused with metallic ions copper, silver or zinc) to treat microbiome dysbiosis.”
Pigmentation is still a key concern, though it can be prevented with a UV-protective face mask.
“Pigmentation concerns remain a perennial issue. Individuals are generally more conscientious now about applying sunscreen as sun-exposure is a well established link to various types of hyperpigmentation disorders. However, face mask-wearing poses specific challenges — basically, sunscreen may lead to clogged pores. With both, I proposed in my research letter that UPF50+ UV-protective textiles replace wearing of sunscreen for the lower half of the face as the gold standard for sun protection.”
On the goal of “fair skin” and the dangers of changing your skin tone.
“Culturally, fair skin has always been valued in Asia. With evolution of societal values as well as knowledge of dermatological science, it is increasingly apparent that one should not strive to change our skin tone. Any of these methods are going to be at worst, dangerous, and at best, unnatural and unsustainable.
Skin lightening methods like Vitamin C or glutathione injections are not backed by sound dermatological research. In some parts of the world, prescription bleaching medications such as hydroquinone with topical steroids are readily available. These are very dangerous with potential severe side effects such as development of skin cancers, irreversible skin thinning in the form of stretch marks and pigmentary changes.”
Hear it from a dermatologist: we should embrace our natural skin tone instead.
“As a dermatologist, I want to emphasise that there is no better time than now for society to embrace authenticity. The message is simple. We should embrace our natural skin tone, as healthy skin is beautiful skin. True disorders of pigmentation such as post-inflammatory pigmentation from chronic inflammation, melasma, sunspots, and freckles are conditions that should be treated separately and not be confused with altering one’s skin tone.
Our methods of assessing skin age is also refined. The crude method that has prevailed in dermatology practice in the last decade is based on the Glogau photoaging scale, and it is likely to be superseded by technologies created by deep learning methods such as that developed at the LVMH research institute for Dior. Such technologies enable accurate assessment of skin factors such as radiance, vitality that previously could not be objectively assessed.”
Develop good skincare habits — why and how we should adopt “gentle and effective” cleansing.
“What is extremely basic yet often shockingly overlooked is the importance of cleansing. The fundamental principle is that each individual has a set of healthy skin microorganisms as part of bacterial flora which are important to prevent diseases. Conditions like acne and eczema are closely related to the presence of bacteria.
We’re not talking about using harsh antibacterial soaps or cleansers, but rather the message here is, gentle and effective cleansing. I have encountered a number of individuals who tell me they just wash the skin with water as they feel that all the soaps make their skin worse. A lot of cosmetic cleansers are indeed not formulated for sensitive skin.
A hallmark of a good cosmetic skincare line is born out by a simple test of how well it is tolerated by those with sensitive skin, which refers to a subset of individuals with atopy — those who have a history of eczema, allergic rhinitis, and asthma. In the general population, there are some individuals who may only have sensitivity when there’s a trigger, some individuals who have overt eczema, but the truth is, a good cleanser will be able to achieve a well-tolerated cleansing effect in both groups of individuals.”
On the active ingredients in Dior’s Capture Totale skincare line and how they work.
“The patented bio-cellular floral complex comprising the Longoza flower, chinese peony, white lily and jasmine is well-evidenced to have cell modulation effects. That is exactly the sort of research that directly translates into how effective we expect the complex to be when applied to human skin.
Also, the focus on ageing skin stem cells by the LVMH research institute, a novel discovery that is relevant to dermatological research, is that ageing skin stem cells actually have a reduction in their cell energy potential. The floral complex directly addresses what we term “stem cell exhaustion”.
As for the efficacy of Capture Totale serum, a new-generation bio-fermented lipopeptide increases the absorption of the floral complex by at least 30%, an important concept. The Capture Totale serum also features a version of hyaluronic acid known as acetylated hyaluronic acid, which has a tripled absorption rate compared to the conventional hyaluronic acid molecule.”
How Dior’s research on stem cell science leads to good skin.
“An area of my research in cosmetic dermatology is on the skin exposome concept and inflamm-ageing (defined as “low-grade inflammation that develops with age”). One of the key processes that has been studied in inflamm-ageing is stem cell exhaustion. By focusing on how skin stem cells behave, you are targeting the root of inflamm-ageing itself. In addition, by rejuvenating the stem cell energy targeting the powerhouse of the cell, the mitochondria, skin radiance and vitality is restored— the key indicators of skin youthfulness.”
A dermatologist’s advice on dealing with sensitive skin — go for products suitable for “all skin types”, patch tests, and how skin sensitivity occurs.
“Most importantly, do your brand research. My advice as a dermatologist is this: a product that is formulated for universal skin types is going to be dermatologically more sound than others which claim to be formulated for specific skin types. The reason is because the requirements of healthy skin are universal. So we are always looking for gentle cleansing, and an effective treatment formula that delivers nutrients to the skin.
If you have a history of being extremely sensitive, here’s a practical tip: before trying any skincare product on your face, you can perform a patch test on your own. Apply a small amount of the product on your inner arm over a circled area i.e. marked by an eyebrow pencil, and leave it on overnight. If you develop any form of irritation, redness, stinging, pain or swelling, then it’s possible that you have an allergy to the product ingredients.
Allergies are generally rare, but for products that lead to skin irritation in the long term, you will see a negative patch test because you’re not truly allergic to the ingredients. It’s simply the process of the product stripping down your skin barrier until the cumulative damage occurs, which is when you have the full-blown case of skin sensitivity.”
The next-gen skincare trend: positive ageing.
“I think the concept of positive aging is going to gain traction because these are sustainable practices as opposed to traditional cosmetic dermatology interventions which are performed in a doctor’s office. With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the beauty and skincare landscape significantly, I feel that evidence-based skincare is going to remain at the top of our list. Plant-based cosmeceuticals have innate potent antioxidant properties, and at the heart of it, we also evaluate how well these properties are being harnessed when incorporated into a product and applied on skin. So that’s where Dior’s research into skin proteomics, which is the science of how skin proteins are expressed at the cellular level, becomes very relevant.”
Watch the full video of Dior’s Skincare Talk here:
More videos of the Dior Skincare Talk, on YouTube.