Blog > 5 Common Pigmentation Myths... Busted

5 Common Pigmentation Myths... Busted

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Heard from a friend that facial scrubs could help with that stubborn pigmentation spot? While your friend probably means well, that old wives’ tale can actually end up harming – instead of helping – your skin.

To clear up the confusion surrounding pigmentation, we debunk 5 common myths that we’ve heard over the years:

Myth 1: Using a facial scrub or exfoliant can remove my stubborn pigmentation.
Exfoliating can seem like an intuitive way to get rid of unwanted blemishes on your face, but you’ll realise the flaw in that logic once you know more about how pigmentation is caused.

Pigmentation is caused by melanocytes or pigment-producing skin cells – this gives our skin its colour. Melanocytes are generally triggered to produce more melanin (i.e. giving rise to darker spots on our skin such as melasma, freckles, or age spots) by excessive exposure to UV rays or hormonal changes in our bodies. Given that they are cells located deep within our skin, they can’t be removed simply by exfoliating the top layers of our skin!

In fact, over-vigorous exfoliation can end up disrupting the protective layer of our skin, making our skin more sensitive. Instead, consult a doctor for a mode of treatment suitable for your skin condition, be it prescription lightening creams or laser treatments.

Pigmentation Lightening Creams & Laser Treatments | LS Aesthetic Clinic

Myth 2: If I avoid the sun at all costs, I will be pigmentation-free!
Oh how we wish that were true… but unfortunately pigmentation can also be caused by aging, irritation from cosmetics, or hormonal changes from pregnancy or birth control pills.

Nevertheless, it’s still important to avoid unnecessary UV exposure. Make sure you apply a good broad spectrum sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30 and protects against UVA/UVB rays.

Myth 3: If I’m indoors, I won’t be directly under the sun, so I won’t get pigmentation and I won’t have to apply sunscreen.
That’s definitely not true! UV rays can still penetrate through windows, causing your skin to develop wrinkles and pigmentation over time.

This holds especially true if you’re catching a flight: UV rays are way more intense when you’re thousands of feet above ground, since you’re much closer to the sun. Whether or not you’ve got the coveted window seat, don’t forget to bring along sunscreen during your next getaway!

Pigmentation Lightening Creams & Laser Treatments | LS Aesthetic Clinic

Myth 4: Once it’s gone, it won’t come back.
This is a myth we wished were true. Unfortunately, given the fact that UV exposure, the aging process, and hormonal changes are all dynamic processes, pigmentation will keep developing.

What current pigmentation treatments, such as chemical peels, lightening creams, or laser treatments, can do is to reduce the appearance of existing pigmentation, preventing it from getting darker and delay any re-emergence of previous pigmentation.

Myth 5: Hydroquinone, a popular depigmentation agent, will peel off my skin.
As mentioned in our 10 Skincare Ingredients You Should Know blog post, hydroquinone is a compound commonly used to lighten dark patches of skin, such as melasma, freckles, or age spots. It does so by disrupting the pigmentation formation process and increasing the breakdown of melanin pigment granules in the skin’s pigment cells, thereby causing your skin to appear fairer.

Therefore, rest assured! Hydroquinone doesn’t peel off your skin in order to reveal lighter-looking skin. Hydroquinone should also be prescribed by doctors as it is a controlled drug, and in controlled amounts according to your skin condition, ensuring that the concentration level is just right for you.

For more information on our pigmentation treatments, call us at +65 6738 4700, email us at, or visit us at Wisma Atria Office Tower, #10-04, along Orchard Road.

We provide honest advice, quality care, and affordable prices.

Blog > Ultherapy vs HIFU: What's The Difference Really?

Ultherapy vs HIFU: What's The Difference Really?

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Ultherapy? HIFU?
You might’ve heard these buzzwords being thrown around and how they can help in anti-aging and skin tightening, but what are they really?

Essentially, Ultherapy and HIFU are medical devices that deliver precise amounts of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) energy into your skin. This non-surgical, non-invasive treatment has the effect of stimulating collagen production, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, and causing skin to look younger, firmer, and more supple.

But with so many HIFU devices in the market – Ultraformer, Doublo-S, and Ablatherm, just to name a few – it can be confusing to figure out the difference between Ultherapy and other HIFU devices.

We break down the major differences between Ultherapy and other HIFU devices for you:

1. Ultherapy has FDA Approval
The Ulthera machine that provides Ultherapy skin tightening is a type of HIFU device, but it is the only HIFU device approved by the United States’ Food & Drug Administration (US FDA) for lifting and tightening skin, while reducing the appearance of wrinkles on the face, neck and chest.

The US FDA is known for being stringent when it comes to safety and efficacy, and its approval of Ultherapy brings about assurances of effectiveness and safety.

This is especially important given the many different types of HIFU devices we see in the market these days. Not all HIFU devices are of medical-grade standards, neither are all HIFU devices recognised by Singapore’s Health & Sciences Authority (HSA) – hence there is a need to take extra precaution. Just to be on the safe side, our clients prefer Ultherapy for ease of mind!

2. Ultherapy is performed by doctors only
The Ultherapy skin tightening treatment can only be performed by licensed doctors in Singapore; these high medical standards set by HSA ensures that Ultherapy is conducted in a safe manner for the benefit of all patients.

HIFU treatments however, are not as regulated – they can be performed by either doctors or beauticians. Should you wish to go ahead with a HIFU treatment, it is best to clarify whether your treatment will be carried out by a doctor, as there have been cases of partial blindness and facial burns from the improper usage of HIFU machines stemming from inadequate anatomical knowledge.

Ultherapy Skin Tightening HIFU Treatment | LS Aesthetic Clinic

3. Ultherapy has ultrasound imaging
Ulthera is the only HIFU machine to have ultrasound imaging, effectively allowing Dr Kok to see the layers of skin tissue he is targeting. This allows him to accurately place the Ultherapy device and effectively target problem areas. Ultrasound imaging works like how one would imagine in an ultrasound pregnancy scan.

Ultherapy Skin Tightening HIFU Treatment | LS Aesthetic Clinic

Ultherapy effectively targets 2 areas – 1) the dermis (where our collagen is structurally located) and 2) the Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System (SMAS) muscle (a tough, deep layer of muscles and fibrous tissue that forms the structure of the face and neck – this is the layer that plastic surgeons work on when doing a facelift!).

When targeting the dermis, the focused ultrasound pulses delivered by Ultherapy stimulate the body’s natural collagen production, resulting in increased collagen and firmer, younger-looking skin over time.

When Ultherapy targets the SMAS muscle, the ultrasound energy delivered has an effect of tightening the fibrous tissue in the SMAS, causing one to have a lifted, rejuvenated appearance.

Ultherapy Skin Tightening HIFU Treatment | LS Aesthetic Clinic

Given the importance of directing ultrasound waves into the right parts of the facial structure, the ultrasound imaging in the Ulthera device helps Dr Kok reliably target focused ultrasound energy into the dermis and the SMAS muscle, providing added security and in turn bringing about effective results.

For more information on Ultherapy, head here for a comprehensive FAQ list. If you'd like to learn more about our Ultherapy services, call us at +65 6738 4700, email us at, or visit us at Wisma Atria, Orchard Road.

We provide honest advice, quality care, and affordable prices.

Blog > All Your Burning Questions re Pigmentation: Answered

All Your Burning Questions re Pigmentation: Answered

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Dealing with unwanted brown patches on our skin can be such a struggle, especially when we make all sorts of efforts to care for our skin and stay away from the sun. What can we do? Is there something we’re not doing right?

We’ve rounded up some of the most common questions we received about pigmentation and answered them below:

Why do I still have pigmentation when I’ve been making effort to wear sunscreen?
First of all, good on you for making the effort to apply sunscreen! That’s the first step in a preventive skincare routine against pigmentation. However, while you will reduce your chances of getting pigmentation and reduce the likelihood of existing pigmentation getting darker, UV exposure is not the only reason for getting pigmentation.

Pigmentation can also be caused by aging, irritation from unsuitable cosmetics, hormonal changes from pregnancy, or genetics.

How can I treat my pigmentation?
Not all pigmentation is the same – different types of pigmentation have different underlying causes and as a result, have different treatment plans.

Pigmentation can generally classified into 2 categories: superficial and deep pigmentation:

Superficial Pigmentation
Superficial pigmentation tends to reside in the epidermis, the outer layer of our skin, and tends to be light brown in colour. More common examples of superficial pigmentation include freckles.

Laser Treatments for Melasma, Freckles, Pigmentation | LS Aesthetic Clinic
Deep Pigmentation
Deep pigmentation, as the name suggests, tends to reside in deeper skin layers such as the dermis. Dermal pigmentation tends to be dark brown or grey-brown in colour, and common examples include melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) (e.g. the small brown mark that’s left after a pimple has subsided, especially if you’ve squeezed it!).

Laser Treatments for Melasma, Freckles, Pigmentation | LS Aesthetic Clinic

Sometimes people have a mix of both superficial and deep pigmentation – you will require a doctor’s expertise to correctly identify this.

Hence, when diagnosed correctly by an experienced doctor, different types of pigmentation can be successfully reduced in different ways, ranging from laser treatments and chemical peels, to prescription-only pigmentation lightening creams.

Beauty salons also offer laser facials too though, what’s the difference?
Note that it’s illegal for beauticians to conduct laser treatments in Singapore – these can only be conducted by doctors.

It’s important to note too that “laser facials” could possibly be intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments – IPL and lasers are not the same thing!

IPL does not focus light into the skin and penetrate as deep as laser treatments do, and hence IPL works at a lower light energy to treat pigmentation.

Hence, while IPL can help rejuvenate your skin, if it’s stubborn deep pigmentation you’re looking to treat, there might not be much effect.

Not all lasers are the same too – different lasers with different settings and wavelengths are used to treat different types of pigmentation, depending on the depth of the pigmentation. Hence, it’s important that this is calibrated and performed by an experienced doctor.

Does it mean the more laser treatments I do, the better?
Adhering to a structured treatment protocol will help you achieve your ideal skin condition and reduce pigmentation. Generally, a laser treatment is done once every 3-4 weeks, for about 6 sessions. This may be tweaked depending on the doctor’s diagnosis of your skin condition.

Doing it more often than that – such as at clinics that offer 1-2 mins of laser that are repeated up to 3-7 times per week – can actually result in negative side effects. Your skin needs time to recover after each laser treatment, but due to the too-frequent laser sessions, the melanocytes (cells that produce pigmentation) might die, instead resulting in hypopigmentation (white patches on skin).

Furthermore, such types of low-cost, 1-2 mins laser treatments are generally standardised at only 1 wavelength and low power settings, making them not tailored to your specific needs. Remember! Different types of pigmentation occur at different depths of your skin, and require different laser wavelengths and calibrations for effective targeting.

Laser Treatments for Melasma, Freckles, Pigmentation | LS Aesthetic Clinic
Will my pigmentation reappear after treatment?
Due to aging, hormonal changes, or UV exposure, pigmentation may recur. Hence, it’s important to keep a preventive routine of sunscreen, topical creams, and/or maintenance laser treatments to prevent your pigmentation from getting even darker.

For more information on our pigmentation treatments, call us at +65 6738 4700, email us at, or visit us at Wisma Atria Office Tower, #10-04, along Orchard Road.

We provide honest advice, quality care, and affordable prices.