My First Legit Derma Experience

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Skincare that WORKS

Am I the only one tired of skincare products that claim this and that yet don’t really have visible, tangible results? I’m not? Good. So let me share with you a few dermatologist-formulated products that have been working for me the past month, especially with my recently-ravaged skin. *Disclaimer to international readers: this is a local dermatologist. I actually went to a super-popular local celebrity dermatologist clinic before this. I felt that the resident derma who I had a consultation with didn’t seem to have seriously checked my skin condition before recommending me for a peel/facial. Why? Because it left my skin super raw and more distraught than it was. The peel was supposed to be a mild one, but I was in tears because part of my face was apparently too thin (thanks!).  To add insult to injury, I was prescribed a benzoyl peroxide treatment that again was too much for my ultra-sensitive skin (!!!) which left me with a traumatizing almost-burnt patch, see here. Define never again. I know a lot of people swear by her and her team (and I respect them), just don’t count me as one of them.
On the path to my skin recovery, I was fatefully rerouted to a dermatologist who I believe truly cares, Dra. Joan Clarence of Clarence Slimming & Dermatology Centre… 2 I found Dra. Joan through an event that led me to consult with her, try her products and eventually her treatments and services as well. All products are formulated by her in proper pH levels and percentages such that the ingredients are active and effective. I told her I’m open to doing a complete routine so I availed of all her most recommended products to help my healing skin.


Glycolic Soap

One item not-pictured that I used right away is the glycolic soap which I’m truly impressed with. Despite being an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates), it’s mild enough to be used daily. I use it twice a day and it has kept my t-zone from oiling, as well as it minimized breakouts to almost-none! Since using it, I haven’t experienced any breakouts. I skipped it one time to use a gifted product I received recently and now, I’m left with a big bump. So I’m not straying anymore! Price:Php150 3

Total Whitening Gel

This isn’t a whitening product intended for the whole face. Rather, it’s for targeted areas like blemishes and dark spots (works well for dark underarms, too!) to help them fade faster. This works best with newly-formed blemishes! It works in older ones, too, but takes longer use to see results. This is quite expensive but you only need one pump to put on your blemishes, so it’ll last long. I wish the pump expends product better, though. It squirts excess gel, which is wasteful! The powerful duo ingredients are kojic acid and arbutin, which are quite drying for the skin so I strongly suggest following up with moisturizer once the gel has sunk in. I saw results in 2 weeks for newly-formed blemishes, old ones have faded ever so slightly too. Am still using it every night on the hopes of completely fading dark spots. Price: Around Php1,550

Pore Refiner

This is a toner you can spritz on like a mist or spray on a cotton pad and wipe on your face. I don’t usually tone with anything else other than my beloved Avene Thermal Spray so I gave this to my sister to use as her toner. She’s been using it for 2 weeks now on a cotton pad after washing and it has reportedly helped in unclogging her congested pores, making them appear smaller. Price:Php250

SPF45 Matte Finish Sunblock

A typical sunblock but dries matte to touch, without the horrible white cast on the face. I’ve been using it everyday and I have no clogged pores or breakouts from this product. So ecstatic because it dries like my fave Clarins UV Plus HP sunblock at a quarter of the price! Price: Php580

4Soap Bars

I don’t use whitening soaps but Dra. Joanne threw these in for me to try. I’ll give these a go after I get a tan and am ready to even out my skin tone again. For those interested, here are their bestsellers:

Ultra Whitening Soap

This soap is jampacked with 5 whitening ingredients: Glutathione, Arbutin, Kojic Acid, Licorice and Milk. Almost all whitening agents in the industry in one soap! If you’re into whitening and brightening your skin (face and body), then you might want to try this. PricePhp230

Kojic Soap

I think Kojic Acid became an IT ingredient for whitening in recent times. I personally haven’t tried kojic acid but have read about its whitening prowess. I do know that it is a drying ingredient so you must moisturize after if you plan to use this! Price: Php150


My skin has cleared up upon my diligent use of Avene Thermal Spray and a light moisturizer. With the addition of the Clarence Glycolic Soap and Whitening Gel, the remaining breakout battle scars are slowly being faded into oblivion. I’ve never seen faster results for a dark spot corrector! I used Lancome’s Melanolyser and DermCrystal products (both for dark spots) and it took months before I noticed a difference. Anyway, below is a bare-faced me just to show how much my skin improved since the outbreak. So do take a deep breath, inhale and hold my hand as we plunge into the inner depths of my pores (AGAIN). 1Sorry for the poor lighting, but I promise no photoshop here! This was taken from inside the Clarence clinic before I had my first treatment (which I’ll be sharing in a future post soon!) just a week ago. I still have old blemishes (your left side) but it has significantly reduced from what I had before. If you’re interested to buy any products I mentioned above, I believe you can buy them over-the-counter in the Clarence clinic, no consultation needed (although I highly recommend consulting with Dr. Joan so she can recommend based on your skin needs). I am delighted with the skin results that I’m embarking on another journey with the clinic, which I’ll share very soon. If you’re interested on more of their services, I’ll refer you to their Facebook Page. And nope, I am not sponsored or paid for by Clarence to write this! Just a happy and satisfied client sharing results.
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  1. October 12, 2013 / 1:41 am

    This got me very interested. Thinking about visiting a dermatologist soon, just don’t know who to visit. She just might be the one. Thanks, Shari! 🙂

    P.S. Your blemishes doesn’t look that bad. At least from what I see.

    • October 12, 2013 / 1:46 am

      You should check out the before photo in the links I posted above. I had continuous breakouts on my right cheek (as in tabi tabing pimples!). It cleared up na pero almost two months before it got to that (photo above!). I recommend Dra. Joan, she’s young and very relatable, plus super accommodating. She wont let you feel intimidated or anything. I’m happy I found a derma I can really have a ‘relationship’ with! Good luck on your journey, V!

      • October 12, 2013 / 8:51 am

        I saw the Clinique post. Buti ka pa. Your skin heals fast. I’ve been battling with acne for years and it’s just annoying. I’ve used several products and have visited quite a few dermatologists, but nothing and nobody seems to have helped the problem 🙁 Oh well, another derma is worth a shot. Thanks again! 🙂

  2. October 12, 2013 / 1:45 am

    I’m very interested in that toner will take a look at their facebook now!

    • October 12, 2013 / 8:50 pm

      Let me know if it works for you 🙂

  3. October 12, 2013 / 2:31 am

    Love the result on your skin! I’m currently using derma products too and I love the kojic soap ^_^

    Btw, met your sister at Paula’s Choice event but too shy to approach her hihi, she’s so pretty too like you! <3

    • October 12, 2013 / 8:51 pm

      Thanks Genzel! I know – yoko na ng expensive skincare na watered down naman, it’s like waiting for snow in the Philippines! Hehe.

      Aw sayang, dapat nilapitan mo, mukha lang yon masungit pero mabait naman yon hehe! Wala nga siya kilala daw dun eh 🙂

  4. October 12, 2013 / 3:40 pm

    Hi Shari, I’m glad you’ve found a good dermatologist! Does Dra. Joan do extractions, and would you mind saying how much a consultation costs (I can ring her up anyway when I’m back home so no worries)? I always go to Dra. Huang in Greenhills, and always feels happy with her service, but I don’t think she has products like these. I would love to get a good matte SPF too (I’m using Dermalogica oil-free matte SPF30 which is great but quite pricey). And the glycolic soap seems pretty good too if it helps with your T-zone. 🙂

    • October 12, 2013 / 9:05 pm

      Hi Joane! Yes, she does. Her aestheticians don’t do extractions though, only Dr. Joane so if you’re setting up an appointment for a facial/consult, request for her na lang 🙂

      I’ll email you the costs ha, double check ko lang! 🙂

      • October 13, 2013 / 7:53 am

        Thanks Shari! I will google her too. Dra. Huang’s a bit expensive but worth it I think esp. since facials here in Aus cost the same anyway. I’d be much more comfortable if the dermatologist does the extractions they see even the blackheads (or whiteheads?) that are blocking the pores and remove them before they become pimples. 🙂

  5. October 12, 2013 / 6:02 pm

    I also trust stuff straight from dermatologists (such as Obagi) because they often have higher-grade ingredients as compared to the very watered-down commercial variants.

    • October 14, 2013 / 2:19 am

      Definitely agree with you on that, Tellzbellz.

  6. CK
    October 26, 2013 / 5:18 pm

    Quite interested in the glycolic soap. Thanks for the info and hope you’ll be able to make a review about it!

    • October 27, 2013 / 12:05 am

      Hi CK! Thanks for the feedback – will post about it soon! But so far, so good. Im using it consistently day and night and it calms down the oil on my skin. Im combination skin btw. 🙂 I leave the soap on for 3-5mins though. dont rinse agad!

    • October 27, 2013 / 12:11 am

      Thanks for the feedback, CK! Will try to do a separate review on the glycolic soap soon. But so far, it’s been great. I dont get so oily anymore, plus my skin has smoothened out from the bumps and breakouts I had. I leave the soap for 3-5mins on my face though before washing it off, so the glycolic acid really seeps into the skin 🙂

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