If you have clicked into this post, you’re probably the kind of dude who is confident when his clothes are on — your shirt is a little baggy because #fashion and you also prefer to let a fly watch or a pair of luxury sneakers do the talking. Everything is cool and #Gucci until you are naked. This condition is what Men’s Folio calls Fat-Skinny (P.S. this writer is cringing as he writes this) — a skinny face + a bulging tummy or a bulging tummy + skinny legs.
While we can’t stop you from munching burgers or guzzling beer like a college kid, we have a simpler solution. An hour with Dr Calvin Chan of Calvin Chan Aesthetic & Laser Clinic (P.S. the good doc does facials too).
Is it really true that skincare loses its efficacy over time?
Dr Calvin Chan: Good skincare will always be good for your skin, so my answer is no. Skincare does not become less effective from prolonged use, what does happen is two biological factors — ageing and what I call the “new skincare initial surge”.
As we age, our skin cell turnover slows down and this has a negative impact on the effectiveness of skincare. The slower our skin cell turnover, the thicker the dead skin layer which prevents absorption of skincare and hence lowering its efficacy. The easy solution to this is simply to regularly exfoliate your skin with scrubs, facial washes or peels with chemical exfoliants like AHA and topical retinoids.
Next is the fact that when you first start on a skincare product, you do see more noticeable benefits. This is because most gains will always be at the onset. Following that boost, you should continue to maintain the benefits by continuing the usage of your skincare products. By stopping its use because you think it is no longer effective may be a mistake as you can very quickly lose all the benefits you gained from using it.
So when do you actually have to change your skincare? Switch it up according to your skin’s needs, like if you go to a cold country (hydrate and use a richer emollient moisturising cream to prevent moisture loss), or if you have a breakout (reach for salicylic acid, vitamin C and water-based moisturisers).
Are there products that you can use without your skin getting used to it?
Dr Calvin Chan: As mentioned above, the fact that skin gets used to products and become less effective is a myth. But if you are looking for recommendations of products everyone should be using regularly, it would be these:
1. A stable vitamin C product for antioxidant protection and healthy cell turnover.
2. A combination of high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid serum for hydration. The mixture of high and low molecular weight is so that it can penetrate the different layers of the skin for optimal hydration.
3. An exfoliator scrub or peel, as mentioned above.
4. A broad-spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen to protect from UV damage.
Is there such a thing as over moisturising?
Dr Calvin Chan: There is only ever an issue with moisturising when you use a product that is not suited to your skin type. For example, a rich emollient moisturising cream can be too thick for oily skin types and cause clogging of the skin. Pick a water-based, lightweight moisturising gel or emulsion instead if you have oily or combination skin type.
Another tip: Always make sure your products are non-comedogenic, otherwise it can and most likely will clog pores and cause more problems like breakouts.
What is your quickest treatment for our readers to tone up quickly?
Dr Calvin Chan: Well, the good news is that we don’t charge for consultations here at the clinic. The first treatment I’d recommend is the Emsculpt treatment — one that uses high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy to trigger deep muscle contractions, which cannot be achieved by voluntary muscle action (Editor: Basically, skip the crunches and do this instead).
During the treatment, you lie on a bed and the Emsculpt applicators are placed on the selected body area (tummy or buttocks, and with the newly launched smaller applicators, the arms and calves can be targeted as well). The treatment essentially causes 20,000 muscle contractions in 30 minutes, constricting the muscles beyond the physiological norm while boosting fat loss at the same time.
The treated muscles thicken and strengthen and even after a single visit, you’ll notice the area looking better a day or two later. Four sessions, spaced two to three days apart is the recommended treatment plan for full results (the same look and feel that comes from exercising and dieting for six months) that can be seen within two to four weeks after your final session.
What if I want something a little less hardcore?
Dr Calvin Chan: I recommend CoolSculpting instead — a slimming and fat reduction procedure that uses cold to cause permanent death to the targeted fat cells, which then break down and naturally leave the body (Editor: which orifice though?). This does not damage the skin and other vital tissues surrounding the treated area. The procedure has no downtime too so it can be your new lunchtime activity.
The CoolSculpting vacuum applicator is placed on the area of fat to bring it into closer contact with cooling panels. The fat is then cooled at about -11 degree celsius (Editor: Still not colder than our ex’s heart though) for about 35 minutes. The full fat loss and body sculpting effect takes several months to be seen as cell death will occur in the treated adipose, which will be eliminated naturally by the human body through its own lymphatic system. Dramatic results are expected from the eighth week and onwards.
Thanks, doc! Back to the face — what can we do about our usual facial woes?
Dr Calvin Chan: Specially for the face and the seemingly unending list of issues people can have from uneven skin tone and texture to pigmentation and the dreaded signs of ageing, each session of our Pico Laser (for pigmentation and brightening), Yellow Laser (for acne and boosting collagen), Medlite (for pigmentation and skin rejuvenation), IPL (for photorejuvenation and anti-inflammation) or Radiofrequency (for lifting and firming) for the face costs just $300 (excluding GST).
Moreover, for this group of five face treatments mentioned, we have a flexible package of $2,000 for ten sessions where you can mix and match the treatments according to what your skin needs.
Photography Joel Low
Styling Wilson Lim
Photography Assistant Alfie Pan
Styling Assistant Sapphire Chin
Grooming and Hair Manisa Tan
Model Michel / Mannequin