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from Singapore asked a question

Any OTC remedies for blackheads and oily skin in Singapore?

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Acne & Scars

Oily/combination skin with recurring blackheads on nose even after multiple extractions. Any over-the-counter remedies?

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (2)

Hi Wei

Some basic thing you could try first –

  • With your face with non-soap facial cleansers such as Cetaphil. You don’t need to wash more than twice a day as this will increase oil production. Can pick up cheaply from Watsons/Guardian.
  • Decrease frequency of moisturization if your face is oily, as one of the causes of acne is the oil your own glands produce. You should also use sunblock and moisturizers specifically designed for people with acne. They will usually say “non-comedogenic” (won’t cause pimples).
  • For OTC creams in Singapore, you can try benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. I prefer the former. Again, both available in Watsons, Guardian, etc. Cheap too.
  • Both help to decrease the amount of blackheads and blocked pores by encouraging skin turnover. (Other creams do this too, such as Retin-A and Differin, but as of now you will still need a doctor’s prescription).
  • Benzoyl peroxide is the cheapest, most effective over-the-counter acne remedy.
  • Salicylic acid works as an anti-inflammatory agent and is an good first-line choice for mild acne. You’ll find that it’s the main active ingredient in many OTC acne facial washes, etc.
  • Do take note that both can be quite drying, so don’t overuse. 1-2x applications a day is enough.

If these topical agents don’t work, you can see a doctor for more options. There are lots of effective ways to get rid of acne.

Cheers

Consult Doctor
1 712 views 0 Doctors agree 24 Jan 2018

Heya Wei,

To add on to Dr Ethan's good suggestions:
 

1. Regular clay masking can help prevent sebum build-up.

2. AHA or BHA Acid toners used once to twice daily help keep enlarged pores and excessive oil production in check.

3. Differin and retin can actually now be purchased from your local pharmacy without a prescription. I would, however, still consult a doctor about its use as it can be irritative to skin, especially when used in combination with other over-the-counter products containing low dose acids or retins.  Furthermore, its use in certain populations (such as pregnant patients or those trying to conceive) is not recommended.

At the end of the day, do realise that pores are the living, breathing units of your skin - its a never ending cycle so maintenance is key!

Best,

Shane

Consult Doctor
1 705 views 0 Doctors agree 6 Feb 2018
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