An inside look at how an aesthetic doctor maintains good skin and the types of skincare products to use for maximum efficacy

One of the most common assumptions that you can make about aesthetic doctors is that they have flawless skin and have access to the best products for any form of facial enhancement. 

For this week's edition of Skincare Secrets, we speak to Dr Ben Yim of homegrown aesthetics salon IDS Clinic. Opened in 2014 and helmed by Dr SK Tan, the clinic offers various aesthetic treatments as well as products from its own line, IDS Skincare, that are designed to address common skin problems.

Dr Yim has been practising aesthetic medicine in private practice since 2000 and was also the former director of Clinical Aesthetics & Laser Centre. He has been offering a wide range of aesthetic services for clients including Botox, fillers, skin tightening, threadlifts, non-invasive body contouring treatments and more.

However, we are most curious about an aesthetic doctor's day-to-day skincare methods and how to maintain healthy skin with the right products.

In Dr Yim's case, he only started paying extra care towards his skin three years ago. What inspired the change?

Below, Dr Yim shares his regular routine and—of course—the different types of aesthetic treatments he has tried. 

See also: What is Personalised Beauty? This 3-Stage Treatment Can Help You Achieve Youthful Skin

How long do you typically spend on your skincare routine?

Dr Ben Yim (BY): 20 minutes a day. This includes day and night applications.

What is your skincare routine like for the day?

BY: Cleansing first, followed by topical vitamin C (I use the IDS Skincare C Plus), pigmentation lightener (SL2 at IDS Clinic) and sunscreen.

What is your skincare routine for the night?

BY: In this order, IDS Skincare Facial Scrub, topical vitamin C, anti-ageing skincare (I use an IDS product called the A Plus and the Rejuvenating Complex), pigmentation lightener that is only available at IDS Clinic and finally, moisturiser. The moisturiser that I use in the evenings is also an IDS product called Moisture Boost. This is slightly richer is suitable for my skin in the air-conditioned room.

What was the last skincare product that you bought?

BY: SL2 from IDS Clinic. It is a combination pigmentation lightening product. Its three active ingredients are cysteamine, arbutin and tranexamic acid. I use this in the daytime to treat the pigmentation on my cheeks. I like the combination approach, thus, avoiding the adverse effects of single ingredients. 

Are there any new skincare trends that you’re excited to try or are seeing in the market?

BY: Profhilo—an injectable non-crossed link hyaluronic acid—has taken the aesthetic market by storm in the last 18 months. The visible effects are obvious after five days. There is a hydrating effect on the dry, tired skin around the eyes and a radiant glow to the skin on the cheeks. For those who have sagging cheeks, it gives a gentle lift. 

When did you start paying extra attention to your skin? 

BY: Only in the last three years. I guess I've not had problematic skin. However, after I crossed 50 years old, I realised I needed extra help with skincare. That's when I started to used therapeutic products from IDS to treat my wrinkles and pigmentation.

What’s one skincare must-have you’ve “influenced” others to purchase?

BY: The C Plus from IDS Skincare. Vitamin C is skincare [that works] for all. Protects the skin from UV light, lightens pigmentation and helps with collagenesis. 

What’s a skincare product you can’t live without? 

BY: The pigment lighteners like SL2.  We constantly battle sun exposure and the darkening of skin every day. For the ladies, they have the option to use cosmetics to cover up the pigment blemishes. For us men, we have to face everyone with our naked skin. Thus, the importance of treating our pigment blemishes. 

What’s the most important skincare step to you? 

BY: The sunblock. It’s the most important step in preventing ageing of the skin, pigmentation and skin cancers.

See also: 10 Best Non-Greasy Sunscreens For Everyday Use—Especially in Singapore's Weather

Where and what is your go-to facial?

BY: IDS Aesthetics. I particularly like the facial that uses a current to infuse a concoction of growth factor serum into the skin (IDS Aesthetics Pep.Blu Deep treatment). There is a visible brightening effect and a 'lift' to the cheeks immediately after. A good 'cheat' [method] before an important date!

See also: Skincare Secrets: Adeline Teo Never Leaves Home Without This Beauty Product

Is skincare the new self-care? What are your thoughts on this?

BY: Skincare today has turned to therapeutics to improve skin health and condition. Features of skincare also boast of new technologies to improve the penetration of the active ingredients into the skin. This is still the cornerstone of skin health. However, medical professionals are still important in diagnosing skin problems and helping the patient make a decision about the appropriate treatments.

See also: 7 Self-Care Tips For Your Beauty Routine at Home

What is one piece of skincare advice that you live by?

BY: Never too early to start!

What is the most unique beauty treatment you’ve tried overseas?

BY: Not been overseas for the last 18 months! And you know why. But seriously, I do all my unique treatments in Singapore in IDS clinic.

What is your beauty tool of choice?

BY: The Picosures skin laser for rejuvenation and pigment reduction.

Have you personally tried out aesthetic treatments? Why or why not?

BY: Yes, Profhilo, Sofwave and Picosure skin laser. Because I am just slightly vain!