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Affordable acne treatment : anti-acne products and doctors

Affordable acne treatment : anti-acne products and doctors

Why affordable acne treatment? Because I have struggled to pay.

My initial struggles

My family wasn’t exactly well-to-do. I supported myself through university by giving Chemistry and Biology tuition; working as a banquet waitress; selling computers in IT shows. I completed my NUS Degree in Biomedical Science in 2.5 years instead of 3 years, just so that I could save on a semester school fees. I had to take a student loan to pay for my university school fees.

My acne woes began when I was 15 years old. My search for affordable acne treatment began in the drugstores with cheaper anti-acne products, like Neutrogena, Proactiv, Clean & Clear. They didn’t work. So, I moved on to mid-range products like Body Shop, Clinique and then to more expensive brands like Dermalogica. All of them didn’t help with my acne. I tried a beauty salon and they only made my acne condition worse. I spent more than a thousand dollars on products and packages for facials. After a few very painful sessions of extractions, I stopped going to them. My package was wasted but I didn’t have a choice. Thereafter, I went to doctors to seek help.

Dermatologists vs Aesthetic Doctors

Throughout my journey of finding a cure for my acne, I have tried quite a few doctors. However, most of them were GPs as I couldn’t afford dermatologists. And it also happen that some of these GP were my customers, when I was working in the pharmaceutical industry. Consultations with dermatologists are at least S$100 and above while GPs and aesthetic doctors charge from S$25-40. Private dermatologist products are often more expensive compared to GPs as well. Dermatologists charge more than GPs because they require an additional 6 years of specialised training after completing medical school. Aesthetic doctors are mostly GPs who do aesthetics like lasers, agnes treatment, botox, fillers, etc.

A good example of GP skin doctor, who many mistaken for dermatologist, is Niks Maple Clinic. I was an ex-patient of Dr Ong from Niks Maple Clinic. The multiple chemical peel sessions from Maple Clinic left my skin super sensitive. I also didn’t like the products of Niks as it felt like my face has a thick layer of products. I can’t remember how long I was with Niks Maple Clinic as it was more than 10 years ago. But I definitely stuck on for more than 6 months before I knew the treatment wasn’t working for my acne.

The 3 doctors who have helped me in my acne free journey.

  1. Dr Gary Keong, Valley Medical Centre (Clinic & Dr has since changed as this was more than 10 yrs ago)
    When I was a poor student, he gave me discounts for my accutane / roaccutane treatment. My university mate was working part-time as a clinic assistant on weekends in this clinic. She told the doctor about my plight and the doctor kindly gave me a discount for my acne treatment. I went through a 6 months course of accutane. He didn’t have skin care products though. It stopped my obvious big red cystic acne but I still struggled with clogged bumpy skin.
  2. My aesthetic dr (cannot be named)
    Dr helped me achieve and maintain acne free skin for 3 years when I undergo lasers biannually and microdermabrasion treatment monthly. This is also the dr who introduced cosmeceutical grade skin care to me. His products are mostly more than S$100 for a 30ml size. I was first introduced to hyaluronic acid serum by this dr and fell in love with this serum as it helped remove my deep forehead wrinkle. I had a deep wrinkle on my forehead at the age of 24 and that’s because I didn’t have a proper skin care regime. If you don’t already know, Skinlycious is selling a potent hyaluronic acid serum at close to 66% cheaper of dr’s price because this is a product I cannot live without. Now, I still go to this dr for occasional aesthetic procedures like laser for skin rejuvenation.
  3. Dr Seah PP
    Dr Seah was the only dermatologist I consulted for my acne. Combining his calamine cleanser and salicylic acid-based lotion, his prescription cream, and my aesthetic doctor’s hydrating serum, my bumpy skin cleared up after 3 months. Skinlycious was born in 2013 and we worked with Dr Seah, referring severe and moderate acne cases to him. He was carrying prescribing Skinlycious products on top of some prescription creams/medications to his patients. Sadly, he passed away in 2015.

The second phase in life when I was really poor

The second time when I was damn poor was when I decided to start a business after I was fired from my job. I was jaded and I thought my career was finished with a blemished record. The picture on the right sums up why I was fired. I invested my savings and did my first business full time for 1.5 years. I failed, lost all my savings and owed my parents money. Because of stress during this period, my acne flared up again. My whole face was filled with uncountable closed comedones, so much so that friends were asking if I had rash. This time, my aesthetic doctor couldn’t help me. The aesthetic procedures didn’t work anymore. And when I was so poor, I could feel the pain in my pocket with every pump of the $100+ hyaluronic acid serum. However, there weren’t suitable products out there that I could use nor do I dare to try new products for fear of worsening my acne.

I closed the business after 1.5 years and went back to work. Thankfully, many doctors gave me good testimonials, and I had 3 job offers.

Best Anti-Acne products were born

A little shameless here to claim that Skinlycious has the best anti-acne products since I’m the founder. But Skinlycious products have worked the best for me. And it’s because of Skinlycious products that I can still maintain my acne free skin. I’m still using every product in the range now. The testimonials from satisfied customers also affirms that Skinlycious products are great. Of course, everybody’s skin is different and there will be some who are unsuitable for my products. But my products have worked for many others, and quite a number of them were like me who have undergone different treatments with doctors and tried many products.

Having gone through many aesthetic procedures like lasers, microdermabrasion, blue light therapy, chemical peels, I can confidently say that the best treatment for acne is still medication, correct skin care products and patience. Through this process of formulating Skinlycious products, I’ve also discovered that many ingredients could make my skin oil up or even leading to bad breakouts. Thus, firming my belief that using the right skin care coupled with the right medications and prescription, would be the best acne treatment. Major plus is that it’s a much more affordable acne treatment than procedures like lasers or agnes treatment.

Second Spot Treatment developed with Customers

Over the years of interacting with other acne sufferers, I’ve also learnt that some people couldn’t tolerate salicylic acid, which is present in our first spot treatment (Anti-Acne Solution now renamed Glow Exfoliant after some formulation change).

I’m really pleased that in 2018, I worked with a small group of customers who couldn’t tolerate our first spot treatment(acid-based) to develop an alternative spot treatment(vitamins-based) named Blemish Corrector. It took us 8 months of testing many ingredients and fine-tuning the texture.

We now offer two types of  3-steps Clear Skin Mini Kit with 30 days money back guarantee at $27. If our mini kit doesn’t work for you, we will refund you. I know the pain of spending so much on acne treatments and not getting any results.

The difference between these two kits are only the spot treatments. The mini kits would last about 5-10 days. By then, you should be able to see some improvements like less redness, less oiliness, existing acne getting smaller. It’s not a miracle. Patience is needed. For total clear skin, 2-3 months is needed.

For pre-teens, teens, pregnant ladies, milder acne, those who cannot tolerate initial peeling and dryness, or those allergic to aspirin / salicylic acid, we suggest you try the Clear Skin Mini Kit (Hydrate).

For more serious acne, blackheads and those who would like to have faster results, we suggest you try the Clear Skin Mini Kit (Potent).

Our Doctor’s Recommendation

However, if you suffer from serious acne, we recommend you seek a professional doctor’s advice, to have prescription creams and/or oral medications to complement our products.

We are happy to be able to work with Dr Tan Wee Kiat, Medical Director at Beo Crescent Clinic & Surgery. We have passed on Dr Seah’s acne treatment plan to Dr Tan. Dr Tan is passionate about treating acne as he too once had bad acne. His clinic is located at Blk 40, Beo Crescent, #01-02, Singapore 160040.

Special thanks to these other doctors.

Dr Sng L. C, Rowell Clinic
When I was working in the pharma industry, she saw my skin condition and asked me if I would like to take Diane 35 (contraceptive/hormone pill) for my acne. I took it for 3 months and there was no improvement, so I stopped. Nonetheless, I really appreciate the discount on the drugs.

Dr Judy Chen, Pariqua Clinic
An equipment company loaned her a blue light emitting machine. Usually, the equipment companies will loan the doctors to try out their machines. If the doctors like it, they buy it. Blue light therapy is known to help improve acne condition. Dr Chen offered free blue light therapy treatment for me as she wanted to test out the machine. For two weeks, I would head down to her clinic during lunch hours and try out blue light therapy. There weren’t any significant improvements to my acne after the intensive blue light therapy. Needless to say, she didn’t buy the machine and returned it to the company.

Dr Leow C.G, Jade Medical Clinic
Dr Leow carried Skinlycious products in her clinic for a while but has since stopped. She’s a very caring doctor with patients at heart.

About the Author : Jasmine Kang

Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.

4 reasons to ditch the toner and double cleanse instead

4 reasons to ditch the toner and double cleanse instead

This writeup is more applicable for acne / acne-prone / oily / sensitive skin.

The main 2 reasons why we are encouraged to tone are that toners serve to :
1) remove the impurities that can still be lingering after washing with a cleanser,
2) balance the skin pH.

Below, I’m listing some of the reasons why I ditched the toner and double cleanse instead.

1. Less is more.

The lesser ingredients you put on your skin, the lower the chances your skin will react negatively.

I’ve never knew that using the wrong ingredients would lead to oily skin until I was testing different formulations. Even subtle change of preservatives and surfactants (cleansing agents) could lead to change in skin oiliness. All these information are not found in textbooks and were only discovered when I was trying different formulations.

Many years back before I started Skinlycious, I used to use a toner from my aesthetic clinic. I realised that I had increased sensitivity and redness from the toner. And that was after I have finished two bottles. After I stopped toning, my skin was better. Ever since, I’ve not used a toner.

2. Toners do not contain surfactants.

Surfactants are cleansing agents that dislodges oil and dirt, allowing them to be washed away. But not all surfactants are created the same. Some causes increase sensitivity while some can cause the skin to oil up. Toners do not contain surfactants. They do not cleanse as well compared to cleansers. It’s probably more the wiping down with cotton pad that helps to dislodge the stubborn impurities.

3. You would be wiping away beneficial ingredients.

This is applicable for those who are using Skinlycious Anti-acne Wash. In our wash, we have lactoserum (a milk protein) and lactic acid (naturally produced within our skin).These two ingredients stays on your skin even after you rinse with water. They are essential to balance your skin pH, preventing acne. When we have skin problems like acne, our skin is alkaline. By using our wash, it helps to balance the skin pH while cleansing gently. Thus, if you use our Anti-acne wash, there’s no extra need for an extra step to tone to balance pH.

4. Double cleanse for thorough removal of impurities. 

Cleansers have surfactants. They work better as a cleansing step than toners. The usual double cleanse products are either oil-based, milk-based or water-based. For acne and acne-prone skin, it’s best to use micellar cleansing water as it’s water-based. Choosing the right cleansing water is important too. Some cleansing water makes acne-prone skin more oily.

From my personal experience, after incorporating one extra step of using Skinlycious micellar cleansing water in the evening, I had less clogs. Below is my current skin care regimen. On no makeup days, 2 pumps on one cotton pad, swiping front and back, would do the job. With makeup, I usually need 4 pieces of cotton pad to remove my makeup (inclusive of eye makeup) thoroughly.


Try using a cleansing water to double cleanse and see if you achieve smoother and clearer complexion. Of course, I would highly recommend Skinlycious Micellar Cleansing water as it has been tested on acne and acne-prone skin.

Honestly, the money you spent buying toner could be better spent on anti-aging products or even double dosing on your serums. That would achieve better results. The percentage of active ingredients in toners are usually much lesser than that dosed in serums.



About the Author : Jasmine Kang

Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.


Double Cleansing + 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine : Real Benefits or hype

Double Cleansing + 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine : Real Benefits or hype

When I came across the 10 step korean skin care routine, I balked at it. Double cleansing was advocated. Honestly, for acne, acne-prone and sensitive skin, I always believe less is more. The more products we put on our face, the higher the risk that it might trigger sensitivity, oily skin and acne. I have had experience where milder surfactants made my skin oily when I was working on the anti-acne wash and cleansing water formulations. Just recently, I was testing different preservatives on my skin and found that some preservatives actually caused me to have more oily skin. This result was surprising to my formulator and I as it has not been documented in books or taught.

The 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine

Step 1 : Oil based cleanser
Step 2 : Water based cleanser
Step 3 : Exfoliation (Up to twice a week)
Step 4 : Toners (To help balance your skin’s pH as well as prepping your skin for better absorption of products thereafter)
Step 5 : Essence (A kind of toner and serum hybrid)
Step 6 : Serums, Boosters and Ampoules (Concentrated essence)
Step 7 : Sheet Masks (Once or twice a week)
Step 8 : Eye Cream
Step 9 : Moisturiser
Step 10 : Sun Protection (Morning) or Sleeping Pack a.k.a Rich Night Cream (Night)

Let’s get down to double cleansing! Micellar Cleansing Water


It’s the first two of the ten steps that is advocated by the 10 steps korean skin care regime. When we put on makeup, we
will definitely double cleanse with a makeup remover, followed by a cleanser. How about days that we don’t put on makeup? Do you double cleanse? I didn’t until I tried it for two weeks and was convinced by the results. Previously, before coming up with Skinlycious Micellar Cleansing Water, I had a difficult time looking for a suitable makeup remover. I went through many rounds of testing before I finally found a formula that didn’t oil up my skin.

Two weeks of consistent double cleansing, here’s what I observed

As I work from home, I don’t usually wear makeup. Even on weekends, I can get a little lazy. After all, having struggled with bad skin for half of my life, I really appreciate the days I can step out of the house confidently without makeup. Thus, being consistent in double cleansing is a new routine for me. But because I had to test a new formula (just a minor tweak on the preservatives used) for the makeup remover/cleansing water, I started using the cleansing water consistently every evening. After using the cleansing water, I used the Anti-Acne Wash.

To my pleasant surprise, I realized that I had very much less clogs/whiteheads. I am very prone to skin colored bumps. These bumps usually dissolve after I put Anti-Acne Solution but as the day progresses, little bumps start appearing again when the dust/dirt starts clogging my pores. And then the cycle repeats everyday. But after consistently double cleansing in the evening, there were very much less bumps.

The routine we recommend for acne-prone skin


How do our recommended regimen measure up to the 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine?

Steps 1 and 2 : Essentially, the 10 steps are more functional. I’m sold on double cleansing even when we don’t apply makeup as I have experienced real improvements on my skin. However, oil cleansers are totally not for me. Water based cleansers only.

Step 3 : As for exfoliation, when we have acne, avoid physical exfoliators, like scrubs, as that will irritate our skin further. Use chemical exfoliators instead. Chemical exfoliators are found in Skinlycious Anti-Acne Wash(lactic acid) and Anti-Acne Solution(salicylic acid). Thus, you don’t need an extra product for exfoliation. For acne and acne-prone skin, exfoliation is important to clear up the clog pores.

Step 4 : What about toners? I don’t believe in them. To balance skin pH, a good cleanser will be doing that. Our Anti-Acne Wash has lactic acid and lactoserum to help balance skin pH. When we have acne, our skin tends to be more alkaline. However, healthy skin pH is actually slightly acidic. Bacteria thrives more in alkaline skin too. Shifting our skin back to acidic pH is also a key component to help clear acne and maintain acne free skin.

So, if the cleanser is able to balance skin pH, there’s really no need for a toner. That’s why I don’t offer toners in my brand. You can read more here about my views on toners. And the part where they claim it’s to prep the skin for the next step by adding hydration. I would think just use your serum twice would yield even better results. Save your money on toners.

Step 5 : Essence. Again, an unnecessary product. Double dosing on your serums would probably give yield better results.

Step 6 : Serums/Boosters/Ampoules. This is important. For acne, acne-prone, oily skin, our skin is often oily but dehydrated. By replenishing water back into our skin, our skin feels hydrated and will in turn produce less sebum/oil. It’s good to start anti-aging skin care early. I always believe prevention is better than cure. A good start is mid to late twenties. Build up our collagen bank as collagen depletes when we age, leading to saggy skin, wrinkles and bigger pores.

Step 7 : Sheet Masks.You can add in masks occasionally if you want. However, be very careful with what you use. When I was younger, those sheet masks that I bought from Korea made me to breakout. Currently, I don’t add any masks to my regimen other than the occasional masks that are done in my aesthetic doctor’s clinic. I have been with him for many years, so the nurses understand my skin pretty well and know what to use. An example is clay masks are supposedly good for oily skin but I developed sensitivity to clay after I used Dermalogica’s clay cleanser for period of time. Even after more than a decade of stopping clay cleanser, my skin is still sensitive to clay.

Step 8 : Eye Creams. I just use Skinlycious hydrating serum and firm & lift serum around my eyes. On the whole face including neck. There’s no need for a separate cream for the eye. Those serums are already very potent but as they are not rich and thick, the likelihood of causing milia seeds is very very low.

Step 9 : Moisturiser. Generally, for acne, acne-prone and oily skin, we are lacking of hydration. With the hydrating serum, there should be enough hydration. However, if you are more mature and struggling with acne, hydrating serum might not be enough for you. Or in countries with winter, it might be necessary to add on a moisturiser after the serums to lock the moisture in. Again, do not use thick moisturisers as that might worsen your acne.

Step 10 : Sun Protection (Morning) or Sleeping Pack (Night)
Sun protection is an absolute must even when we have acne. Our 8 in 1 Whitening Sunscreen is packed with natural antioxidants to help lighten those hyper-pigmentation brown/purple/red “scars” left when the acne is healing. Extra benefits while protecting your skin against the harmful UV rays.

Sleeping pack at night?? Erm. It would probably be too rich and cause outbreaks.

Last Words

Actually, as a beauty brand owner, it’s better for consumers to use more products on their face, so that they can buy more products from beauty companies. Ker-ching! But hey, that’s not what Skinlycious and I stand for. Our goal is to create essential products that help to clear acne and maintain acne-free skin. I offer my customers what I want to use and is using daily. I want the best for myself, so you get the best from us too!

With the full range of Skinlycious products, we have gotten you covered for proper cleansing, clearing acne, hydration, anti-aging, firming, lifting, lightening “scars”/pigmentations, whitening, brightening.



About the Author : Jasmine Kang

Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.


Behind the scenes of formulating Skinlycious Micellar Cleansing Water – Trials on real people with acne-prone skin

Behind the scenes of formulating Skinlycious Micellar Cleansing Water – Trials on real people with acne-prone skin

If you’ve not read about my previous post on how another brand of micellar cleansing water made my skin more oily, you can read it here. It’s also the reason why I wanted to come up with my own micellar solution/make-up remover.

Round 1 – Testing on my own skin

Working with my chemist, we had to try a few versions before we came up with a formulation that doesn’t make my skin oily after use. This took a very long process as every time when I tried something that causes me to oil up, I had to stop, go back to my old routine, and allow my skin at least two weeks to tune back before I try another formulation. This process took me 4 months to find a formulation that I am fully satisfied with and importantly, it doesn’t oil me up. It’s alcohol free, parabens free, oil free and soap free. Let’s call this Version 1.

Round 2 – Getting some friends and top customers to try 

We contacted a few selected customers, who have been consistently using Skinlycious products for quite a while. These are customers, who have had their acne cleared from using our products. I also asked a few close friends, who have normal skin and have been using my serums and sunscreen (suitable for all skin types), to try. I made a batch of 20 samples of Version 1 and sent it out to them.

The feedback that came back was that it cleanses well. A few feedback that smell was ok but many feedback that they didn’t like the smell. My bestie called me up and told me that she didn’t like the smell. When asked if they preferred citrus or flowery smell, most feedback that citrus refreshing smell would be nice. So, we tried an improved version with citrus smell.

Honestly, I am very bad with smell. I think my nose is kinda spoilt. Sometimes, I can’t even smell my baby’s poop. The original version’s smell was acceptable to me. Nevertheless, I was glad that I didn’t launch the original version and gathered some feedback before I launch. More importantly, I wanted to make sure that Skinlycious micellar cleansing water doesn’t cause our skin to be more oily, which would possibly lead to acne.


Round 3 – Improving the formula, adding citrus essential oil, getting feedback from close friends  

We also gathered that waterproof eye makeup was not that easy to remove with Version 1. So, my chemist and I worked on it and did an improved version and changed it to citrus smell. Let’s call this Version 2. It did cleanse better than Version 1, especially so on removing waterproof eye makeup. I only made 3 samples of Version 2. One for me and two for my close friends. One was ok with the citrus smell but the other felt that it reminded her of detergent. So, I decided not to use citrus smell. Also, dosing in natural citrus essential oil might cause photosensitivity, so I decided against that. So, not all natural stuff are good. It depends on the dosage and where you use them on.


Round 4 – Letting the customers decide, launching what the majority prefer. 

I decided to change and dose two different fragrances in very small quantity to Version Two. 

We came up with two versions of Version Two – GT1 or IV1. Thereafter, we sent out a set of GT1 and IV1 to customers and friends who gave feedback in our first trial.

Surprisingly, majority said they preferred IV1. 18 out of 20 preferred IV1. Many also feedback that it cleanses better than the earlier version. Some of you might ask, why not do away with fragrances totally? I did think of that. But I prefer to have a pleasant smell when I cleanse my face. It’s dosed in such a small quantity that it will most probably not cause problem for sensitive skin. However, for Skinlycious serums, they are all fragrance free. I prefer to have fragrance free serums as they are left on the face.


Round 5 – Preparing for launch

The first trial of testing on myself started in December last year. I had wanted to launch this earlier but I am doing this almost on my own. In between, I had to deal with a heartbreaking loss of a mid-term miscarriage and a hospitalisation episode for pain in the abdomen. I am just so glad that Skinlycious micellar cleansing water is going to be launched soon.

While I was finalising the formula for Skinlycious micellar cleansing water, I had to decide on the packaging. Finding a bottle was difficult too. I really like a pump bottle rather than flip cap bottle as it’s so much more convenient. However, there weren’t nice pump bottles that I liked with local Singapore suppliers. I had to order in bulk (thousands) from an overseas factory directly.

We discovered that the labels don’t stick that well on the bottle because it’s not round. All my previous bottles were round, so I didn’t have such issues. Now, we are still trying to solve this labelling issue.

Once that is solved, professional photo shoot and marketing materials to be done. Then, we will be ready to launch our micellar cleansing water. Targeting to launch on 2nd September. Look out for our 20% off launch offer! Full size of 150ml will be retailing at S$33. Samples of 30ml will be retailing at S$9.


Lastly, I would like to dedicate this to my bestie. Thank you, Qin Ai De!

Bestie called me and told me she likes IV1. She also noticed that after switching to SkinLYcious micellar cleansing water, her face was less oily. Usually, her face will become oily around 2pm but at 5pm, her face is still not oily. And the sweetest thing is that she pre-ordered two bottles from me. She has been a great supporter of my products since SkinLYcious was launched. I have helped her and myself save a lot of money too, since both of us were using our hyaluronic acid serum from my aesthetic doctor, which cost 3 times that of Skinlycious hydrating serum (hyaluronic acid serum). Her sister and mum are also using my products. The initial phase before gaining traction was the most difficult and she has been there supporting me all these while. Thank you, 亲爱的!

P.S. All screenshots above have been reproduced with consent by the relevant parties.



About the Author : Jasmine Kang

Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.

Why I would say NO to Agnes Treatment

Why I would say NO to Agnes Treatment

I have been asked by customers what do I think of Agnes treatment. Having been an ex-acne sufferer for 14 long years, I know what could be the long term consequences of not having a proper skincare regimen or going for the wrong treatment. In my 14 years of struggle with acne, I have tried many different treatments for acne. I had wrinkles at the age of 24 because I did not use proper skincare when I had acne.

During my time, chemical peels done by doctors was the “in” treatment for acne. I did mine with famous aesthetic doctor but it did not help clear my acne but left me with sensitive skin instead. Agnes Treatment kinda rings an alarm bell for me too.

You can read more here on the different doctors and treatments / medications / procedures, I have tried in the search for my acne cure.

What is Agnes Treatment?

Screenshot from :, updated:

Essentially, in layman terms, Agnes Treatment destroys your sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are the glands that are responsible for producing sebum also know as oil. Overactive sebaceous glands secrete too much oil and causes clogs in your pores, leading to acne. So, by destroying these overactive sebaceous glands, the company selling this machine proposes that this gives a permanent solution to your recurring acne.

Would I go for Agnes Treatment IF I am still having acne now?

Personally, I would not go for agnes treatment only if as a last resort. To me, Agnes treatment is an extreme treatment because it destroys the sebaceous glands. My main worry is that it will lead to dry skin permanently in future since your sebaceous glands have been destroyed. I don’t know if those sebaceous glands will ever become active again but this might just lead to other skin problems, like dry skin and/or uneven skin in future. Having dry skin is not good as you will get wrinkles more easily.

Clinical Evidence of Agnes Treatment

There’s no long term studies on Agnes Treatment and the paper published to support this treatment had only 12 subjects. It’s also not a guarantee no acne recurrence treatment. Clinically evident relapse occurred in 2 of 12 patients (16.7%) one year after the final treatment session.

Reviews of Agnes Treatment

I saw a couple of Singapore bloggers giving positive reviews on Agnes Treatment. I noted that those reviews are the immediate short term reviews. Quite a few of them are sponsored too. And after doing google search for reviews of Agnes Treatment, I found this negative review:
This lady had her oil glands damaged after Agnes Treatment and her skin is really dry now. Her case seem to show that my worry on Agnes Treatment is not unfounded. To be fair, it could be the dr who didn’t do a good job and not because of Agnes Treatment. But her dryness could really be due to Agnes Treatment as well. Because it’s only one case, it’s hard to make any conclusion.

Agnes Treatment as a last resort

P.S. I am not totally against Agnes Treatment. I reckon dry skin is probably better than acne skin, isn’t it? Since there’s no long term studies, my worries could be unfounded. But from a biology point of view, this treatment definitely sounds harsh to me and damage might be irreversible. Maybe if I had tried everything, I might go for it. Maybe. If you have tried almost everything, including Skinlycious anti-acne products(at least 3 months), by all means go try Agnes Treatment.

P.P.S. I am not against aesthetic procedures either. I do go for FPL and microdermabrasion with my aesthetic doctor when I have the time in Singapore. Usually, once a year as I am overseas most of the time.

An alternative acne treatment for you

Through my experience of having tried so many different products (drug store brands to high end brands to in-house doctors brands), coupled with my biomedical and pharmaceutical background, I found that certain ingredients, when used in the right concentrations and proportions, could really alleviate my acne woes.

I developed the Skinlycious Anti-Acne Bundle, an effective 3 steps regime, that helps to address the root causes of acne. It has helped many customers, including myself, to achieve acne-free skin.

Many of my customers are like me, having gone through many treatments and different products in search for a remedy for their acne. A snapshot of two reviews left by customers. More testimonials can be found here.

Skinlycious offers a 3 steps anti-acne starter kit at S$27 with a 30 Days Money Back Guarantee. Use coupon code : belle10 to get 10% off the starter kit.

My conversation with my aesthetic GP

This conversation happened a year ago when I was having my FPL treatment with my dr.

Dr : I noticed that you have two pimples here. We have a new machine here. It works by destroying the sebaceous glands.

Me : Woah! But if the sebaceous glands are destroyed, will it lead to dry skin in future? Or uneven skin?

Dr : There’s millions of sebaceous glands on your face. Burning off a few shouldn’t be a cause of worry. After all, studies show that it’s always those few problematic sebaceous glands that is causing the recurring acne. We will only target the problematic ones.

Me :  Ok. But no thanks. These two pimples will go away in a day or two. I am not worried about it. They don’t always pop up here either.

Some pointers to keep in mind :

1) Doctors earn the most from surgeries and procedures (that includes aesthetic procedures). Many doctors in private practice are businessmen. They have clinic rental, overheads and families to feed. In my pharmaceutical days, I have seen my fair share of unethical doctors. A small handful but they do exist, even in Singapore. But the number of good and skilled drs we have in Sg far exceeds the small number of black sheep. So, it’s good you think through if the dr’s recommendation is indeed necessary. Or go to another dr for a second opinion.

2) Companies market their drugs/machines with information at that present moment

I would like to share a case that happened during my pharma days.
An osteoporosis drug was marketed to help in prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis, thus preventing fractures. I am sure that it has help prevented many fractures. However, there was a subgroup of women where these bone density results were borderline and they took it for long term, like more than 5 years. These women had unusual fractures that were traced to consuming this drug long term. They are mostly doctors’ mothers as they were early adopters. Thereafter, the drug company issued a recommendation that patients at low-risk for fracture should be considered for drug discontinuation after 3 to 5 years of use. This only came about after the drug was sold for more than 10 years in the market.

In summary, sometimes, being early adopters is not such a great thing. Sometimes, it’s good to try more established methods first if you have the choice. Some of the bloggers’ photos I have seen seem to have Agnes Treatment done almost on the whole face. I wonder if they would suffer from dry skin down the road. I hope I am wrong.


Lee JW, Kim BJ, Kim MN, Ahn GY, Aso H.
Selective sebaceous gland electrothermolysis as a treatment for acne: a prospective pilot study.
Int J Dermatol. 2012 Mar;51(3):339-44.

Picture source of Agnes Treatment :
For further detailed information of Agnes Treatment, refer to

About the Author : Jasmine Kang

Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.

How I developed a huge cystic acne and cleared it

How I developed a huge cystic acne and cleared it

How I developed a huge cystic acne?

I haven’t had the chance to indulge in durian for a while as I was overseas. In late Dec, I finished about half a Mao Shan Wang in one night. The durian was pretty big. The next day when I woke up, to my horror, I saw a huge cystic acne developing. My hubby had the other half but he didn’t have any outbreak though. That’s my life as a super acne-prone person.

If you aren’t aware that food can cause acne, here’s proof. I have written about the link between food and acne here. Use our elimination methodology to identify what food might cause you to break outs. Having experienced it myself, I know acne is multi-factorial. The products we use, the food we eat, stress level, etc can cause outbreaks.

I haven’t had such huge nodules / cystic acne for a long time. The last I had cystic acne was before I took accutane in my teen years. After accutane and before Skinlycious, I struggled with a lot of whiteheads and small pimples but never such scary, huge cystic acne. I was worried that this huge cystic acne would leave me a permanent scar.

Progress of my cystic acne

After seeing the acne developing for a few days, I decided to track it by taking photos. I continued to use Skinlycious Anti-Acne Bundle but this time, I would leave the cotton pad that is soaked with Anti-Acne Solution longer on this huge acne. I didn’t attempt to squeeze it. You can see the pictorial progression below. Sorry for the disgusting photos. I get goosebumps looking at them too.

The first few days it developed, I did not take photos. It was just a big red acne. It was probably after 3 days, the cystic acne erupted and a scab formed over the wound. You can see that it got less red and size of the acne reduced over the days. I just use tissue to dab on the pus that oozes out at times. No squeezing. Continue to use Skinlycious products, especially the Anti-Acne Solution. By two weeks, it has almost healed leaving the brown marks. These brown marks are hyperpigmentation and will lighten with Anti-Acne Solution, Skinlycious 8 in 1 Whitening Sunscreen and time. I’ve written another blogpost about scars.

The brown discolouration faded after a month. Unfortunately, this huge cystic acne did leave a permanent scar on me. There’s a pitted hole on my forehead now. But it’s not too obvious as it’s flesh coloured, so I am not too bothered with it. Generally, skin care products won’t work on such pitted scars. Only multiple aesthetic procedures like laser, microdermabrasion would help. And it has to be multiple sessions.

I think God gave me a pitted scar so that I can try and test products to see if they work on pitted scars. I will be constantly looking out for new ingredients that might help.

What is cystic and nodular acne?

Cystic acne and nodular acne are the more severe form of acne where it’s located deep within the skin. Both are similar in the sense that they are often painful and lodged deep within the skin.

Difference between cystic and nodular acne

Cysts are filled with pus and are softer. Nodules are hard acne.

In the case of acne cysts, when pus is produced, it means that there’s an inflammatory response from our body. Our body produces cells to fight these perceived “foreign objects”. In this case, these perceived “foreign objects” are the gunk from closed comedones (blackheads / whiteheads).

You can have nodular acne and / or cystic acne. You can also have then together in one acne known as nodularcystic acne. These two forms of acne can exist independently or exist together as one.

What should you do when you have cystic acne?

If it’s just one or two big occasional cystic acne like my case, you can try using Skinlycious Anti-Acne Bundle, especially Anti-Acne Solution, to try clear the cystic acne. If that one to two cystic acne don’t clear up with beauty / OTC products, please go see a doctor. The doctor might inject anti-inflammatory medication into the acne cyst directly. The doctor will know best which treatment is more suitable for you.

Please go see a doctor immediately if you have many perpetual cystic acne. Your acne is considered serious! You probably need oral medications like retinoids, like Accutane. Such cystic and nodular acne often leads to scarring. The earlier you see a doctor to get treatment, the less likelihood your scarring would be as bad.

If in doubt, seek a second opinion with another doctor until you are comfortable. This is because as with all acne treatments, you need patience. It’s best that you follow through with the same doctor for at least 3 months to determine if the acne treatment is working for you. Likewise, for anti-acne products, you need to be patient to see results. Some of you have asked me about Agnes Treatment for acne. I’ve written my personal opinions on it here.

My experience with Accutane

When I was 20 and studying biomedical science in NUS, I was prescribed Accutane for my acne. While studying, I gave tuition, did banquet waitressing and even sold computers in IT fairs, to earn my own pocket money. I didn’t take any pocket money from my parents. Much of my hard-earned pocket money were spent on beauticians package, different doctors’ consultations, procedures, expensive skin care products, etc. You can read more here. I was lucky that my good friend was working part-time in a clinic and the kind doctor gave me a discount for the medication. At that time, there was no generics, so prices of Accutane was still pretty high. There are many generics now, so prices are cheaper. I remembered I suffered dry lips and eyes for a long while.

I stopped taking Accutane after a 6 months course. Thereafter, I did not have big cystic acnes anymore. Although occasionally, I still get it like the above case. However, after I stopped, I did continue to have closed comedones problem but it wasn’t that bad anymore. For many years, my face was not smooth and had many bumps that even makeup could not cover. It was until I started using Skinlycious products that I manage to achieve smooth skin most of the time.



About the Author : Jasmine Kang

Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.