Skincare is overwhelming. The sheer number of products available will confuse even the most beauty-savvy consumer. Dr. Isabelle Yeoh strips it down to the basics and tells you everything you need to know to simplify your routine.
Q: What is the most basic skincare routine everyone should follow, no matter their age?
Dr. Yeoh: In the morning, you should cleanse, tone, moisturize and sunscreen. Even, on the busiest mornings, don’t skip your sunscreen. Sun-exposure is the most damaging thing to your skin health. At night, you just need to cleanse, tone, and moisturize.
Q: When do you apply sunscreen? Before or after moisturizer?
Dr. Yeoh: After moisturizer. Sunscreen always goes on last.
Q: Is it necessary to wash your skin every morning?
Dr. Yeoh: As a rule of thumb in humid Singapore, we advise people to cleanse their skin at least twice a day for optimal results.
If you sleep in an environment exposed to dirt, dust, and pollution, or if you sweat a lot during the night, then I advise washing your face every morning to keep your pores clean. However, if you are pressed for time in the morning, and if you sleep in a clean-air environment, then you can skip cleansing and simply rinse with micellar water or just cold water. Here’s a tip—cold water makes the skin look more energized and the pores smaller!
It’s more important to ensure that you wash your face thoroughly to remove all makeup, sweat and grime, before going to bed, no matter how tired you are. Going to sleep without clean skin is one of the most common skincare mistakes.
Q: When applying multiple products to your face—toner, serum, moisturiser, for example—how long should you wait before applying the next product?
Dr. Yeoh: Ideally, wait one minute between each product, gently patting the product into your skin or giving yourself a face massage. This helps the product absorb and energizes the skin. We are constantly in a rush, spending just five minutes twice daily applying skincare with mindful concentration is a quick self-care ritual that we all deserve.
Q: Do you really need a different cream for daytime and nighttime? What’s the difference between the two products?
Dr. Yeoh: Day creams tend to be lighter in texture and contain antioxidants to reduce pollution. Night creams tend to be heavier in consistency and contain more expensive ingredients like stem cell extracts to repair, heal and protect.
Q: What about face masks? Are they worth the hype? Do you really need one as part of your regular routine?
Dr. Yeoh: Definitely yes! Face masks make all the difference between dry and hydrated skin. When your skin is dry, it looks dull, uneven and tired. Pores look bigger, pimple marks take longer to heal and there are more lines.
A face mask contains a concentrated dose of skin-hydrating ingredients, drenches your cells in moisture, and creates happy looking skin—clean, smooth, blemish and line-free with refined pores. At IYAC, my team and I are devotees of the Stem Cell Sleeping Mask—a chemical-free and plant-based transparent gel mask containing apple stem cells. It’s super simple. Just apply to clean skin, leave on and go to bed. It’s invisible, smells good, feels good, and best of all, you wake up with glowing energized skin!
I also recommend as part of a regular anti-aging regime that you use an exfoliation product twice a week, followed by a daily hydrating essence and a face mask to keep the skin looking youthful and beautiful.