Friday 23 April 2021
Photo: Unsplash

In this round of beauty talk, UNRESERVED talks to experts at Clear Start by Dermalogica. Associate Brand Manager Meredith Mills, Master Instructor Sarah Morris and Advanced Instructor Lydia Scheffey shed light on the questions we had, especially pertaining to skincare in tropical weather and for skincare initiates. 

Taking good care of your skin never goes out of style so it’s never too late to kickstart your skincare journey. Created by the skin health experts at Dermalogica and The Dermal Institute, Clear Start specialises in targeting breakouts, blackheads and shine to help everyone to achieve their healthiest-looking skin. The brand encourages skin acceptance while destigmatising breakouts by acknowledging that acne isn’t a flaw; it just is. 


On Setting Our Skin for Success in a Tropical Climate

Our European and Nordic friends go through ever-changing weather, requiring them to shift and adjust accordingly. Compared to other regions in the world, Southeast Asian weather remains almost constant. The way we go about our skincare routines would very much vary from those with different climate, and luckily for us, there aren’t many adjustments to be expected throughout the year. 

Sarah and Lydia concluded that due to our climate, the skin would be prone to oiliness, leading to breakouts and blackheads on not just the face, but the entire body. Their advice? Cleansing at least twice a day to obliterate the sweat buildup and excess oil. 

We get a lot of sun, meaning that we get a hefty amount of continued exposure to UV rays. Applying SPF each day would not only prevent hyperpigmentation but also protect us from developing skin cancer. Clear Start’s Clearing Defense SPF30 shields skin from UV rays, pollution and dehydration without clogging pores. 

Despite being more prone to oiliness, it doesn’t negate our skin’s need for hydration. It can be a balancing act, treating oily and dehydrated skin. Sarah and Lydia suggested that we select the right moisturiser to address the matter. A formula that is hydrating and lightweight in texture should do the trick. Clear Start had the very same concern and crafted just the product for it. Their Cooling Aqua Jelly is a cooling moisturiser that leaves the skin fresh and hydrated without the shine that oily-complected individuals would run away from. 

What comes hand in hand with oiliness? Breakouts. Unfortunately, the humid weather makes it near impossible to go a month without pesky acne popping out. If you can’t relate, then consider yourself blessed. Thankfully the Breakout Clearing Booster (Sarah and Lydia’s favourite) kills breakout-causing bacteria in under 15 minutes! Now, that’s a miracle-worker! 


On The Skin’s Minimum Requirements

Regardless of our age, according to Sarah and Lydia, we would always and forever need a good cleanser. In the morning, we want to wash away all the gunk we accumulated throughout the night while in the evening, the goal is to remove sweat, dirt, oil buildup and pollution.

One of Meredith’s favourites, the Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash is made to just that. As the first step, it works effectively to remove impurities while remaining gentle at the same time. Next, Sarah and Lydia recommended target treatment. So, if you’re afflicted with acne, here is where you apply the Breakout Clearing Booster. Finally, slather on a healthy layer of moisturiser. The jelly moisturiser is said to be a saviour in hot and humid weather. That’s only three steps in total.


On Winning the Struggle with Maskne

It seems like our battle with maskne has reached a stalemate. The pandemic has gone beyond its one-year mark, yet we still haven’t found the solution to this skin issue. Sarah laid out three points that could be crucial in our new normal skincare routine. 

The first step is to address the new variable: the mask itself. “For me, it has been all about the fabric. Cotton and silk masks have reduced the amount of friction breakouts I have gotten. I stick to those only and changing my mask for a fresh one halfway through my workday.” Friction breakouts, otherwise known as acne mechanica is defined by Healthline as a type of acne that occurs due to friction and pressure on the skin. And while it can be one of the complications of preexisting acne, acne mechanica can manifest on its own without an underlying outbreak. In short, even those of us with the clearest of skin can fall prey to friction outbreaks. 

Besides avoiding makeup on the lower part of the face whenever possible, Sarah pretreats the area with the salicylic acid-powered Breakout Clearing Booster. And when it’s time to take of the mask, Sarah recommends that we get to the sink ASAP and wash our face. A clearing face mask once a week wouldn’t hurt, too. 


On What’s Next for Clear Start by Dermalogica

Meredith gave us the inside scoop. Their next slated launch is a new treatment for acne scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. And from our conversation, it sounds like something big is coming in June—which happens to be Acne Awareness Month!


Meredith Mills has a demonstrated history working in the prestige beauty trade. Sarah Morris is a licensed skin therapist and cosmetologist with over 12 years of experience in the business. Lydia Scheffey is a professional skin therapist with 8 years of experience in the skincare industry.