close up shot of a clay sculpture

Vaginal Rejuvenation Laser: Should You Do It?

Vaginal health and condition is very important for not only females themselves, but for their sexual partners as well. As women age and give birth, the vaginal muscle and lining will naturally change. They will sag more and the vagina itself may become less tight. Is there any way to fix this? Previously we have covered the topic of laser treatment for acne and also AFT hair removal. Now we will talk about vaginal rejuvenation laser, which is one of the ways to rejuvenate your vagina.

vaginal rejuvenation laser

What is vaginal rejuvenation laser?

It is a procedure to promote new production of collagen by emitting heat on the skin layer responsible for this production. The end result is tighter vaginal canal as well as more moisture production on the canal. Nearing or during menopause, women often experience vaginal dryness and this procedure can help alleviate this symptom. With more moisture on the canal and a tighter canal, both women and men can experience more pleasure during sex.

How much does vaginal rejuvenation cost?

In Singapore, vaginal rejuvenation cost can be as expensive as S$5000 and above. However, if we talk about cost, it is hard to come up with a very accurate number. This is subject to every individual’s condition and the experience of the clinic in doing this treatment. The number of vaginal rejuvenation laser treatments may vary depending on the condition of the individual as well. So please find a reputable clinic and do a consultation with the professionals.

vaginal rejuvenation laser_happy woman

Who will benefit from this laser and should you do it?

Anyone who experience vaginal dryness whether it is due to menopause or if naturally you have less vaginal moisture production in the canal. There are another type of vaginal rejuvenation laser that focuses on the outer appearance of the vagina. For that one, anyone with discomfort due to the physical appearance of the labia can also opt to improve the outer appearance of the vagina.

If you are a good candidate for this procedure and think that you can improve your quality of life by doing this, go for it. Sexual life is important and also your emotional health is important too. If you are not happy with your sexual life and how your vagina looks, you can take steps to improve the situation. Check with the professionals who run the clinic about your suitability, side effects and also the costs, before you decide to do this treatment!

Chemical Peel for Back Acne (and Scars)

Back acne can affect your confidence, especially when you want to bare your back. It can be when you are going to the beach and want to wear your bikini, or if you want to attend an event and wear a backless dress. Whatever it is, back acne can happen to anyone and you need to learn how to manage it. We have covered the topic of back facial for back acne and whether that works, so make sure to check it out. Now we will cover the topic of chemical peel for back acne and whether that works!

chemical peel for back acne_backless dress

Chemical peel for back acne

A lot of beauty centers offer chemical peel for back acne. Have you ever felt tempted to try this hoping that it will stop your back acne from occurring? How does chemical peel for back acne work? 

Chemical peel for any kind of acne is normally using the typical acids that are good for skin. It can be lactic acid (AHA) or salicylic acid (BHA) in higher concentration than what you find in normal skincare products. Therefore, it needs to be administered by professionals in beauty centers. Moreover, the application is only for a short period of time (several minutes). This is in contrast to the home application of these acids via skincare products that you can leave overnight on your skin. 

It does help with acne including back acne as it will remove the dead skin layer and help to surface the younger, newer skin underneath. If you have clogged pores due to dead skin cells which lead to acne on your back, chemical peel can also help to mitigate the issue. The chemical peel will help to reduce the occurrence of blackheads and whiteheads too. Since blackheads and whiteheads can lead to acne, this will improve acne condition.

However, having said that, you will still need to take care of your back acne. Take precautions like wear a breathable fabric and maintain your hygiene well. Please follow all the best practices to keep your back clear from acne, as what we mentioned in our article on Sweat/Back Pimples. 

Is it effective to get rid of back acne scars?

Chemical peels cannot get rid of deep acne scars on the skin unfortunately. It will not help with the texture of the skin significantly. However, what chemical peels can do for you is to lighten hyperpigmentation. A lot of people with back acne scars see darkened back acne scars which can take a long time to recover. Chemical peel for back acne scars can help fasten the recovery process of this hyperpigmentation.

What will happen after chemical peel?

As the name of the treatment suggests, the chemical peel treatment will peel the skin. It may not happen immediately after your do the treatment, but this can happen a few days after. What you can see visually is your skin flaking away. When that happens, do not pick your skin. Let it flake at its own pace. You can also refrain from going out when this happens because you might see a lot of skin flakes from your back.

With the newer skin coming to the surface, your skin will be more sensitive to the UV ray as well. Avoid the sun for a while, or apply a generous amount of sunscreen to protect your skin during this time. This is especially so if you are treating your back acne scars using chemical peel as well. The increased photosensitivity due to the chemical peel might increase the hyperpigmentation of your back acne scars if you do not protect your back properly.

Should you do chemical peel for back acne?

Chemical peel can really help your back acne and your back acne scars if you have them. However, there are some precautions you will need to take note of before you embark on the chemical peel journey.

Understand your acne type

If you have back acne where it is only surface level and most likely caused by clogged pores or blackheads/whiteheads that are infected, yes chemical peel for back acne can help. However, there are different types of back acne. One of them is cystic acne on the back, which can be caused by inflammation/infection deep in the body system. I would suggest you to find the root cause of this cystic acne, which can be reaction to a certain food ingredient, hormonal imbalance, to mention a few. Personally, I tamed down my back acne a couple of years ago by taking Zinc supplement. Zinc supplement is very good for the skin when taken in moderate amount. A lot of acne sufferers have lower zinc level in their body compared to people with clear skin. Read up more about Zinc supplement for acne in my other post.

Sun protection post chemical peel is necessary

chemical peel for back acne_sunscreen

Also, be mindful of sun protection post chemical peel. If you cannot limit your sun exposure post chemical peel for some reason, perhaps wait until you can protect your skin from the sun before you do this procedure. Chemical peels are not cheap and you would want to get the most benefit out of it. You do not want to get acne-free skin in the expense of getting pigmentation or hyperpigmentation. 

Cheaper alternative to chemical peel at home

As mentioned, acids used in chemical peels are mainly lactic acid and salicylic acid in high concentration. If you cannot afford professionally-administered chemical peels, you can start by doing it at home by buying skincare products containing lactic acid or salicylic acid. You can try with lower concentration before working your way up. If you can be consistent in doing it every night, you might get as good result from chemical peels at beauty center, at a fraction of the price. The caveat is, you need to do it consistently and perhaps over a longer period of time. 

My Mole Removal Before And After & Tips!

Mole removal has many techniques nowadays. The different techniques are applicable for different types of moles. There are some techniques that are less invasive and more invasive. The downtime of the mole removal wound can differ too. If you are curious about mole removal before and after, read up more as I share my experience in this post.

Why did I remove my moles?

I have experience removing 3 moles on my body so far. One was near my eye and the other two were on my arm. I think they did grow bigger many years ago, and stopped growing now. But they did change in size, which made me worried and therefore I visited the doctor. The only way for the doctor to confirm if it is ‘alive’ or cancerous is to take it out and send it to the lab. Therefore, I removed my mole at the end.

Various mole removal techniques

The moles that I have were raised on the skin. They were not flat moles. Dermatologists can remove flat moles that appear as brown or black speck on the skin through non-invasive methods like laser. On the other hand, they may need to remove raised moles that are typically bigger using more invasive methods like excision.

Excision also has a few types. I previously had a typical excision on a protruding mole on my arm where they use the surgical knife to cut the mole out. Another type of excision that I had was on my flat pigmented mole, and the technique used was punch excision. The process of punch excision was faster and the wound healed more quickly too from my experience.

Again, consult your dermatologist on which method that will be suitable for your moles. Inappropriate method may increase the chance of your mole coming back again.

Tips before you do mole removal

There are three tips that I want to share here, so please take note.

First, find a good dermatologist! That is very important and I learnt from my experience doing mole removal 3 times. Read their reviews. In Singapore, Google reviews are quite reliable. I went to 3 different clinics and the quality of the stitching, the speed of healing and also the reoccurrence of the mole vary across the three clinics. The two better clinics are more expensive but I am very satisfied with the result. Whereas the cheapest one among the three caused me a lot of pain from the stitching, the wound healed slower as a result (not sure if it’s from the improper stitching), and the mole was not removed properly. Pay more for a better service and result – that is my lesson learnt.

Second, mole removal wound on the face vs body can be different in terms of healing process. The dermatologist I visited told me that it heals faster on the face compared to body part. And I experienced this first hand. My mole removal wound near my eye healed in 2-3 weeks time, whereas the wound on my hand healed after 2-3 months. The scar near the eye is almost invisible whereas the one on my hand is visible and I got slight hyperpigmentation there.

Third, if you are prone to pigmentation, you will need to take extra care of your scar post mole removal. This is because the scar might darken with the UV exposure. So you may need to avoid too much sun when you still have fresh scar from the wound. Also, going forward you should apply sunscreen on the scar area to prevent it from darkening.

Mole removal before and after

This is the mole removal before and after for the protruding mole I had on my face, near my eye. Because of the tricky position near my eye, I went to a more expensive clinic with very good review in Singapore. This mole removal costed me >SGD 1,000. But it was very worth it and I will choose them again if I have to start over. This was by Stephanie Ho clinic in Orchard, Singapore.

mole removal before and after_mole near eye before
Mole removal invisible scar

This one was with a clinic that was cheaper. The price for mole removal was almost 1/3 of Stephanie Ho clinic’s, but I was not satisfied with the service and outcome. The stitching of the wound was not done that well in my opinion and the wound hurt really bad. In comparison, my 2 other mole removal wounds only hurt a tiny bit. Moreover, the wound healed more slowly and I think it was because of the way the wound was stitched. The scar resulting from the wound is also bigger than expected. Since the scar was bigger, the hyperpigmentation that I get on the scar is more obvious too. 

mole removal before and after_mole on arm before
mole removal before and after_mole on arm after
Mole removal scar

My Take on “Do Facials Help Acne?”

Facials are part of self care to some, whether they have acne or not. Our skin can always benefit from professional treatments from therapists whether we have any specific concerns or not. I personally do facials every other month for extraction and a boost of hydration. Those of you who have acne, you might be wondering ‘do facials help acne’ or ‘are facials good for acne’. Then this post is for you as we will discuss more on this topic. I also wrote a specific article about back facial for back acne, make sure you check it out. 

Typical steps in facial treatment

If you are new to this scene, typically facial will start with cleansing and sometimes massage. Then they will do steaming on your face to open the pores. This is to help the therapist to do the next step which is extraction. Extraction is where they use a hand tool to extract blackheads. Sometimes, when necessary, they will poke closed comedones to extract the trapped sebum inside. After that, they will put serums on the skin. Usually they will machines to help with the absorption of the serums into the skin. Once that is done, the facial session is normally ended with mask. The mask can be various types of mask depending on your skin concern, same goes for the serums.

Facials for acne prone skin

do facials help acne_facial treatment

If you have pimples or acne, the therapist might just start the session with cleansing sans massaging. This is because it might be too painful.

When I used to have more acne, I enjoyed going to facials because I need a professional help to do proper extraction of my blackheads and closed comedones. If not treated properly, closed comedones or even blackheads that got infected/inflamed can be new pimples. My goal was to prevent new pimples from coming up to the surface.

When it comes to active pimple, the therapist will see the pimple before deciding the next action. Sometimes they can help to squeeze the pimple, but if the timing is not right, they will let it be. Otherwise squeezing can do more harm than good to your skin.

After extraction, they will use ampoules or serum to treat your skin and address your skin concerns. For acne prone skin, they might offer skin rebalancing serum or serum that promotes hydration and healing of damaged skin barrier. If you do not have active acne already and only left with scars, they might offer brightening serum instead. 

The last step is masking. For acne prone skin, they might offer mask that is hydrating to repair the skin barrier or antibacterial mask to kill bacteria in the pores.

Do facials help acne?

When I had very bad breakout, I actually went to dermatologist clinic to get facials. I rather have a professional to clean and extract my clogged pores, as well as recommend what actives to use on my skin. When I had breakout, I had the tendency to pick my skin, extract the clogged pores or squeeze the pimples. I thought I need to do something with the skin to return it to its normal state. Knowing that a professional has looked at my facial skin and tended to my skin always gave me a peace of mind. 

To answer the question ‘do facials help acne?’, in my experience they do. As mentioned before, if the clogged pores did not get extracted, they might be inflamed/infected and cause acne. Also I did not have good knowledge about my skin and skincare back then. Through facials, my skin can get the products that it needs. For example, hydrating serum for moisture or antioxidant serum to help with skin recovery. The dermatologist and therapists also recommend some products that I can continually use at home to maintain the skin.

I would definitely recommend doing facials if you have acne. However, check the reputation of the clinic. If you have Google Map reviews that you can check before you go, that will be very helpful to know if they are legit. Clinics with skin professionals should know how to handle acne prone skin during facials. 

Explore other acne and skin health topics with me!

AFT Hair Removal: Is it worth our money?

Body hair is something that I do not like to have. Some girls can flaunt their body hair confidently, but I can not. I would end up shaving or using an epilator to take out my body hair. I do not have thick dark body hair, the body hair is quite fair and thin, but they still bother me. Once I had enough of shaving and doing epilation myself, I decided to let the professionals do semi/permanent hair removal. In this article, I will explain what is AFT, how the process is like, AFT vs IPL hair removal difference and whether AFT is worth the money. I also wrote about another beauty procedure I did before which was laser acne scar removal and also back facial. Make sure you check them out too!

aft hair removal_hair removal

What is AFT hair removal?

AFT stands for Advanced Fluorescence Technology. It is a newer technology for hair removal compared to its counterpart, which most people are familiar with i.e. IPL. So AFT hair removal is hair removal procedure utilising the AFT technology. Compared to other popular hair removal procedures, the AFT procedure can be done faster for the same body area and the result can be more long lasting as well. You can have do AFT procedure on many body parts including underarm, back, arm, leg, bikini line, brazilian and so on.

The first time I heard about AFT was in Singapore and this technology is only available in STRIP as far as I know. In STRIP, this technology is known as AFT Powerpac. 

AFT vs IPL hair removal

Before I committed myself to AFT hair removal procedure, I was interested in IPL at first. Then I had a trial session. The process is not that convenient and slow. The IPL machine was put on my body part spot by spot since they are trying to target the hair follicles of the hair. After that trial, I went for an AFT trial and I could really see the difference in the procedure. I found the procedure more convenient and faster. I also felt more reassured that they will be able to cover all the hair follicles in the body part that is undergoing the procedure. Let me explain more.

One of the differences between AFT vs IPL hair removal is the applicator. IPL hair removal uses 3cm applicators, whereas for AFT, at least the one at STRIP, they use a custom-made 5cm crystal applicators. This way AFT hair removal can remove hair more effectively over a wider surface. 

From my own experience doing both IPL and AFT hair removal, the machine for AFT generates more heat than IPL. However, do not worry about this as it does not hurt at all.. IPL hair removal machine uses a broad wavelength laser to disperse spikes of energy. On the other hand, AFT hair removal machine uses a narrower wavelength of laser to deliver a more even energy distribution. This will allow a more target and precise treatment. 

AFT procedure and steps involved

At the place that I go to which is STRIP in Singapore, there are steps that the therapist follow prior to the procedure. First, they will shave the target body area using razor. They follow one razor per person policy for hygiene purpose. Second, after cleaning up the area from the shaved hair, they will apply a super cold cooling gel on the area. Third, they will start using the machine on the target area. They will move it around the area to ensure the AFT beams really reach all the targeted hair follicles. The combination of the super cold cooling gel and the heat from the AFT beam makes the skin feel comfortable, it is neither hot or cold.

Prior to going for the procedure, they recommend you not to pluck or wax the hair in the area. This is because the AFT hair removal procedure targets the hair follicle and the hair needs to be in place for the AFT to be effective. Also, pigment in the hair helps to make the AFT more effective as well. This is because the pigment will absorb the heat from the AFT beam and the follicle will ‘die’. The same thing applies for laser hair removal and IPL hair removal. 

Is it worth the money?

Very much! I never feel this comfortable and carefree in my skin and with my body ever since I did AFT hair removal. For lower leg and underarm areas, I did 6 sessions each and the result has been amazing. I was able to see a semi-permanent result by the 5th session. Afterwards, I only saw very thin and fine hair growing in a sparse manner, which did not bother me. They were barely visible. However, since I have spent money on this, I want the result to be as permanent as possible. Hence I purchased another 6 sessions for each body part for maintenance. You can refer to the STRIP website to find the pricing.

It is an investment that is truly worth the money. I can just carefreely wear my tank tops or shorts and short skirts without having to worry about body hair. The price for body part that has bigger area is definitely more expensive than that with smaller area. 

And whether I recommend AFT hair removal at STRIP? The answer is also yes. It is a very professionally run place for body treatment and I have no complaint against them so far. 

Back Facial: Does it help with back acne?

I had trouble with my active back acne when lockdown started in 2020. All of sudden, I had a very bad back acne breakout for a month. It is also my bad that I could not help but to squeeze and pick these pimples as they were really annoying me. I did not expect that they will cause such a bad scarring on my back. After I was left with the acne scars on back, I thought I will just need to deal with the scars. But unexpectedly, the acne breakout came back in 2021. As long as you keep getting new acne, you likely get even more acne scars. I covered the topic on sweat pimples and how to get rid of acne scars on back in another post. Now, I will talk about back facial which I did to control the active acne on my back.

Review of the treatment

Frustrated with the acne scars on my back while still having to deal with active acne, I resorted to going to a clinic. I searched “back facial near me” on Google Map and I found a place called Indulgence Beauty Center. It is located at International Plaza in Tanjong Pagar, Singapore.

I did a trial first before signing up for a package with them. In each back facial session that lasts for 50-60 mins, they will start with cleansing and gently scrubbing your back. After that, they will steam your back with warm steam to open the pores at the back. This is to enable the next step, which is blackhead and closed comedones extraction. There was one time when I had acne too and they helped to squeeze the ‘mature’ acne. Following the extraction step is the use of Oxygen facial machine that can help to brighten, hydrate and even out the skin tone. Lastly, they will apply mask on the back for 15 mins during which you can sleep or relax. They normally apply mint mask for me that can exfoliate the dead skin cells while killing bacteria in the pores.

Back facial before after

I did my first back facial mid 2021 and did it once a month. Back then my concerns were active acne and also dark acne scars on back from the previous breakouts. As you can see here, my back had hyperpigmentations and inflammation from the active acne. This photo was taken in December 2021.

how to get rid of acne scars on back_back facial December 2021

Fast forward to May 2022, you can see my back is now left with lighter hyperpigmentation. However, this result is not solely from doing back facial. Instead, it is a combination of controlling the active acne using back facial while at the same time treating the existing dark acne scars with skincare actives.

how to get rid of acne scars on back_back facial May 2022

Would i recommend getting a back facial?

If you are still struggling with active back acne, I would suggest doing back facial. Not only the therapist can professionally treat your clogged pores on the back, they can also recommend some products that you can use at home to treat these active acne. You can do this back facial once a month. Or, if your case is more severe, they might suggest you do it every couple of weeks. 

Once you get your active back acne under control, you can continue treating the acne scars on back using topical products at home. If your focus is to get rid of acne scars on back, I believe doing it at home on a daily basis consistency will give you the result. This is compared to going to a clinic once in a while, which might give you limited result. Read more on how to get rid of acne scars on back in my other post where I recommend some products to try.

Laser Acne Scar Removal Experience & Review

I believe in treating acne from within and having a good skincare routine at home to properly tackle skin issues. I previously wrote about lifestyle changes for acne, which is a slower but more sustainable way to combat acne. However, there were times I felt very desperate about my acne and felt impatient about it. During those times, I can’t wait to get rid of my acne and the scars. I was hoping for a quick fix when I decided to try laser acne scar removal. I will cover my own experience doing laser acne scar removal and also how much does laser acne scar removal cost. Also, check out my other post specifically on chemical peel for back acne and its scars and how to get rid of back acne scars.

laser acne scar removal_treatment procedure

How I decided to do laser acne scar removal

Working in a corporate environment makes me always want to look good, be it my outfit, my physical appearance, and especially my skin. I had a few instances where deep inflamed cysts appeared on my face. I hated seeing my reflection in the mirror. And what was worse was that the redness was visible through my makeup. Foundation or concealer only made it look worse. 

This pushed me to go see a dermatologist to fix this issue. I was actually reluctant to do this earlier because I had disappointing experiences with dermatologists in the past. I thought that dermatologist only knows how to treat the symptoms (acne) without solving the root cause of acne. They probably will just push treatments, antibiotics, and topical products instead of looking deeper into the cause of the skin issues. However, I decided to put this behind me thinking this time might be different. So I googled “dermatologist near me” and I found one near the CBD area I lived in.

My experience with the treatment

At the time of this writing, it has been 5 months since I started going there for laser acne scar removal treatment. The package consists of 12 sessions including laser treatments and chemical peels. Most of their customers are office workers and they come during lunchtime to do treatments. Their treatments are popular because they do not require any downtime i.e. you don’t see the typical redness or peeling after laser treatment.

How much does laser acne scar removal cost?

One word to describe it is EXPENSIVE. If you wonder how much does laser acne scar removal cost, the 12 session package costs a whooping SGD5,000. This is more than the average people’s monthly salary in Singapore. With this price tag, I expected superior treatment or a very knowledgeable dermatologist. The reason why I went to the clinic was to prevent the reoccurrence of cystic acne and also to improve my skin texture. Among the two, the first one was the main reason that made me think the 5,000 price tag might be worth it. 

How effective is the laser treatment?

laser acne scar removal_checking face

Effectiveness in reducing reoccurrence of acne

The laser acne scar removal treatments were not just to target scars, but also existing acne. The lasers used were supposed to help with improving the skin overall from the deeper layer of the skin. Unfortunately, I did not see any improvement in terms of acne occurrence. New acne still showed up.

Effectiveness in improving skin tone and texture

The laser acne scar removal treatments were not effective in improving my skin texture or my skin tone, which is quite disappointing. Also, I have this particular spot on my cheek which is reddish (it looks like a persistent PIE scar). I have been asking the dermatologist to remove that redness and also asked her what is the possible cause of that red spot. Given the price tag of my package, I expect some explanation of what might be going under the skin. I was not surprised when she could not give any explanation of possible causes and instead asked me to spend more money to buy cream to apply on that spot. Eventually, I still need to go back to the internet again to look for the answer myself.

Before you buy any laser acne scar removal package, do this!

Now that you know how much does laser acne scar removal cost you, you need to decide wisely before you buy any package. Be mindful that any dermatologist clinic might have alluring advertisements. They might have some celebrities endorsing the service. Keep in mind that if you are tight on budget, you may want to rethink the package. 

The result that some of the customers have might be the result of continuous maintenance as well. That means that before laser acne scar removal can be effective, you might need to commit thousands of dollars to do more sessions. Also, they may offer you antibiotics for acne if your acne persists despite the lasers and peels. I am generally against antibiotics because they destroy good gut bacteria, which is important for healthy skin.

If you are patient enough to undergo a more natural but slower route, start by adopting a more healthy diet and lifestyle. Incorporate anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, probiotics and all these goodness into your diet. Your lifestyle and what you put into your body every day will determine your skin health more than anything else. Read more about sugar acne link and also probiotics for acne in their dedicated posts.