Life With Acne


It's obvious how inactive I've been for the past year. Initially, I started blogging with the sole purpose of sharing my experiences with others. I met with Wearrior M back in 2014 and we formed Wearrior Instinct, a co-ed blog that stands for encouraging confidence and individuality through style and fashion. After moving back to Brunei, blogging became difficult. To be completely honest, my interest in fashion dwindled because I found myself restricted, I felt like I can't completely express myself in terms of personal style. I had to conform and that just wasn't what I stood for. A few months after moving back, something happened to me that made me lose all interest in blogging as Wearrior A. Something that I had no control of. It killed whatever confidence I had left inside me, I was scarred on the outside and inside. I had a personal war against my own skin. 

I started having acne back in 2011. It was the second year of my International Baccalaureate studies. I was 17 and Year 12 was one of the most important phases of my life. It was the critical year that determined the path I would take to advance to higher education. Due to the stress and hormonal imbalance, naturally as a teenager I developed acne. I bought my first branded skincare product, Clinique with the hope to soothe my rebellious skin. Unfortunately for me, my acne nightmare didn't stop there but continued even after graduating from university. Somehow my skin conditioned worsened when I moved back to Brunei in mid 2015. I thought what my skin needed was to adjust to the climatic conditions here in the tropics. Little did I know, the change wasn't temporary. Months after, I still couldn't see any improvements. Every morning I would wake up with new acne, even before the previous ones healed. They came in all sorts of shape and sizes from whiteheads, pustules to my least favorite, the nodules. I've had my past history with mild to moderate acne, in the UK it happened during the change of seasons. Especially during the transitions to spring or summer. Bad news for my skin, Brunei is hot and humid all year round. My acne nightmare this time was one I was afraid I could not wake up from.

Life With Acne

I've dedicated almost 6 years of my life to taking care of my skin. During that time period, there wasn't a day I was without blemishes on my face. When Aunt Flo came to visit, acne came in the form of nodules. As for the rest of the month, I'll have the small to medium sized whiteheads and pustules keeping my face red and bumpy. I've tried tons of skincare products from big brands like Clinique, Exposed Skincare, Dermalogica, Kiehl's and SK-II to over-the-counter brands like Clean & Clear, Simple and Neutrogena. There wasn't a single product line that could eradicate the blemishes on my face. I've experimented on natural remedies for example making home-made face masks out of tomato, honey and my least favorite, lemon juice mixed with turmeric (stings like crazy tbh). Over the years I could recall feeling physical pain from face masks, toners, scrubs, facials and inflammations. What struck the most was the emotional pain that had accumulated over time both from my environment and myself. If you're one of the lucky ones with favorable genetics, it might be difficult for you to empathize with me. I honestly don't know how to explain this to someone who hasn't experienced having mild to moderate acne, but here's a fun guide from Muslyfe that tells you 5 major things you should know about people with acne. Personally, having acne isn't simply just being scarred on the outside. There are several experiences with acne that have broken my confidence, positivism and faith.

One of the things that people often misunderstand about my acne, is that people think that I have power over it. Contrary to popular belief, acne is natural, it is involuntary. No matter what I ate, how much I exercised, what kind of skincare I used, my face was never without a single spot. For 6 years, it was a cycle of effort and failure. It was probably my fate, since my family has a history of acne prone skin. My mom had acne before she married and all my sisters developed acne early or later in their teens. However, the difference with me was that mine persisted even into my 20s. I felt betrayed, with all the money, time and effort I've spent with no return. There wasn't a day when I would wash my face without feeling a bump on my skin or accidentally pressing on the sensitive surfaces of the pimple heads.To be frank, having acne is not pleasant. It is painful to feel and look at. Red blotches, yellow pus and scarring, who likes that? I couldn't find enough strength to see pass through the acne on my skin. With the redness, bumps and bleeding I felt disgusted looking at myself in the mirror. Over time I harbored negative thoughts about myself. My self confidence dwindled. I didn't like going out of the house and even in closed doors, I disliked portraying myself on social media. Even with the amount of make-up of my face, nothing could cover the way I hated myself. I couldn't understand why was I born this way. Why of all people, did God make me this way? Even with all the time, effort and precautions I took, I still couldn't get rid of my acne. Life just seemed unfair. While others can get off scot-free by not even using a facial cleanser, I get a pimple or two from forgetting to apply Oxy5 on my T-zone for just one night.

When my acne trouble peaked mid 2015, I finally decided to seek medical help. I went through a course of antibiotics (Doxycycline) for around 4 months. Since then my acne reduced significantly but not completely. My doctor then prescribed me with Diane-35 which was a contraceptive pill used to control acne. After a week on Diane-35, my skin condition worsened. I stopped my course of Diane-35 and continued with topical medication, which was my favorite of all the Duac Acne Gel. My acne became stable, not great but better than it was when I was on Diane-35. However, the after effects from consuming months of antibiotics left me with gastritis. I had to watch what I ate and avoided food that would aggravate the burning sensations in my stomach. In mid 2016, I was restricted to using topical treatment. The Duac Acne Gel was amazing at keeping my acne at bay. I kept track of my skin condition on my Twitter account like a diary to keep records of my progress and found that my skin was significantly better whenever I was on holiday and worse after University assignment deadlines. Aside from hormonal activity, I suspected that stress was also a major player when it comes to influencing the condition of my acne. I wasn't particularly great at handling my feelings and emotions. It didn't help either when people told me to "just relax" and "avoid stress". Easier said than done guys. Unfortunately for me, there were manufacturing issues with Duac Acne Gel and I finished what's left of my stock by the end of October 2016. Just my luck November was an incredibly busy month for the Masters course I was taking. My stress level peaked and so did my acne. I was back to square one.

I tried to extract all the clogged pores and pus by going for a facial but it made my skin condition worse. My face became red all over. I was scheduled to meet Zhafir at the end of December and even considered to cancel my flight. I felt worthless and helpless. I didn't know what I could do because my skin was terrible and I didn't know any other solution that could help me. My anxiety came back. Every night that passed, I worried about new acne filling in what's left of the clear spaces I had on my face. There was no way I could predict when my skin would heal or act up. I felt hopeless, irritated and pessimistic. After a lot of thought, I decided to meet a dermatologist at a private hospital. This was the end game for me. If this didn't work I told myself that I would just have to find a way to make peace with how I naturally was meant to be - face full of acne. I called outpatient and booked an appointment. The doctor had a good look at my face and noted that I had mild to moderate acne. She told me there were three major things that had a direct influence on my acne; 1. sebum production, 2. hormone levels and 3. bacterial activity. Knowing antibiotics and Diane-35 were not compatible with me, I was left with finding treatment that would focus on controlling the oil production on my face. There was one prominent medication on the market called Accutane. Accutane is a form of Vitamin A that has the ability to reduce the sebum production from the oil glands. 

Let's talk about why this is important. In layman's terms, acne is formed when our pores get blocked due to excessive sebum (oil) production and when other skin cells get entangled and clog up the pore this forms something like a plug and would result in what we call a blackhead or whitehead. The clogging of our pores can damage our skin cells and cause inflammations. This creates a favorable environment for naturally occurring bacteria in our pores to grow excessively at an uncontrollable rate. Our body then tries to attack the bacteria which leads to greater inflammation which causes the redness usually found in active acne. There are many other players that facilitates the formation of different types of acne. However the three major conditions that can be clinically controlled would be the ones that my doctor had mentioned (sebum, hormone and bacteria). Sebum creates an environment for the bacteria to grow and hormones play an important role in the production of sebum. There are many medications and treatments that targets the different components of the production of acne. However, my doctor decided the course I should take would focus on controlling the sebum production on my skin. 

Before I continue to explain my experience with Accutane I would like to show you something. Because I feel like this is an important issue that has affected me greatly, I've decided to share with you my progress for the past year. To someone out there who is experiencing similar problems like me, I hope that this would help you and even though it might take months or even years until you can finally heal, I would like to tell you that change can really happen. For the past year I haven't felt confident to show you Wearrior A. With genuine and immense efforts to put my personal feelings aside, I've created a PDF that contains selfies of my skin condition for the past year. All of them were taken at home and using my phone camera without any filters or beautification tool. They're all raw and untouched. I hope you put this to good use. For protection purposes, I've censored parts of my face. I hope you understand that I'm only human and I also would also like to show people the best version of myself. For aesthetic purposes, I did not attach the photos directly onto this blog post but you can find my skin progress timeline through Google Drive by clicking on this link.

- Medication -

The Body Shop Vitamin E Lip Balm, Accutane (Actonin 10mg) and H-Cort cream.

I was prescribed with Accutane in December 2016. Initially I had mixed feelings about Accutane. I've read about the possible side effects and considering it was a strong drug, I wasn't confident about going through with it. Since it was a strong medicine, I had to take a blood test before starting my monthly course of Accutane. Accutane may have serious implications on the liver and to make sure my body was compatible to it, blood tests were also carried out once a month while I was taking the pill. You can read about the possible side effects of Accutane here. The first week of Accutane was a breeze. I didn't feel much side effects until the second week. Within a few days after arriving in KL, I was experiencing joint pains. I couldn't get up from bed without straining my neck and shoulders. I am a frequent flyer and I rarely experienced any joint pains from flights. I couldn't sleep sideways either and needed multiple pillows to make lying down bearable. This lasted for almost a week. When I felt better I decided to exercise and went for a swim. Unfortunately the joint pains came back and so I decided to stay away from any form of physical exercises. I went to see my doctor 2 weeks later they carried out additional blood tests specifically to check out the condition of my muscles. By then the joint pains were gone and consistently, my blood test turned out fine. There was nothing abnormal found. We continued both my usual blood test and the additional blood tests for another 2 months to make sure I was really okay. I read up in some online forums from groups of people who have been using Accutane and found that some had similar side effects like mine. Others didn't and this just shows how people may respond differently to the same type of medicine. Our genetic make up is unique and we can't expect our body to progress the same way as others. 

During my course of Accutane, I avoided working out for a while and tried my best to avoid too much sun exposure. Accutane results in the increase sensitivity of my skin and to encourage my skin to heal better and faster, I needed to avoid the exposure of UV to my skin. Whenever I went out, I would make sure to apply and re-apply sunblock. One of the common side effect of Accutane is that it causes your skin to dry excessively. I actually have atopic eczema and naturally have dry and sensitive skin so my doctor prescribed me with the lowest dose of Accutane (10 mg), which was to be taken once a day (preferably after food). I were to moisturize my face and body after each shower and use specialized shower cream that doesn't strip off the moisture from my skin. I noticed that my eczema became more apparent throughout each month and my lips were extremely dry after 2 months on Accutane. Lip balm became a necessity. The best one was prescribed by the doctor, which was from the brand QV. When I ran out of it, The Body Shop Vitamin E Lip Balm was also pretty great. Over time the skin around my lip began to peel and so I met up with my doctor and to counter this, she prescribed me with H-Cort cream. Apparently the the skin around my lips had developed into mild eczema. Thankfully, the H-Cort cream worked instantly and just as a precaution, I still apply it from time to time. 

The thing about Accutane is that it's a stand-alone drug. You are not required to and even advised against applying other acne controlling medication on your skin. To be honest, I still have acne anxiety and I feel unclean and incomplete if I don't apply any acne treatment onto my skin. I told my doctor about how I like to apply tea tree oil and she said I should avoid using it since my skin was already prone to dryness. In the next section I'll be sharing with you my skincare routine and the products that I found helpful for the past few months. In the meantime, here are some of the photos I took on 30th May 2017, 6 months into my Accutane treatment. The photos below shows my bare skin without any touch ups. Acne scars, enlarged pores, uneven skin tone are all visible. I didn't get to groom my eyebrows either haha. The only make-up on me was the Laneige Silk Intense Lipstick in the shade No More Orange. I still have over one more month of Accutane left before I see my doctor. My skin is still prone to acne every now and then but thankfully it was far better than it was before. Alhamdulillah. 



 My Skincare Routine

- Cleanse & Exfoliate -

Laneige Perfect Pore Cleansing Oil, Murad Soothing Gel Cleanser and Clean & Clear deep action daily pore cleanser.

Cleansing would be the first step in my skincare routine. Cleansing to me involves the removal of excess oil, impurities and make-up from the surface of the skin. Having sensitive, eczema and acne prone skin makes it difficult for me to find suitable products to use on my face. I learned over the years that I have to be more selective and buy products that doesn't cause drying effects or irritation. No matter how good the reviews were for other people, I have to focus on what is compatible to my skin. The first thing I would do in my cleansing routine would be to remove any make-up or sunblock from my face by using a cleansing oil. Cleansing oils are popular skincare products for removing make-up. In the Spring/Summer edition of Beauty Bible 2017, Korean actress Park Hana confessed that she only uses cleansing oil in to remove her make-up. The cleansing oil I put my ultimate trust on would be none other than the Perfect Pore Cleansing Oil from Laneige. I've used this product for more than a year and I found it to be the most effective in terms of cleaning make-up; be it mascara, eyeliner, foundation or even lipstick. It makes my skin feel clean and smooth and does not aggravate my acne. I prefer cleansing oils over make-up remover solution or wipes. The problem with make-up remover solution is that I often get stinging effects after application and sometimes make-up remover wipes are too abrasive for my skin. Cleansing oils are much more gentle, heavy duty and doesn't dry me out. All you need is just clean hands and warm water.

To use the Laneige Perfect Pore Cleansing oil effectively, I usually pump either once or twice with clean but dry hands and gently spread the oil onto my face while massage it onto my skin for around 30 seconds. Be careful to not massage it for too long, apparently I read somewhere that it is not good for your skin if you leave it on for a long time. Moderation is key here. After massaging, I would wet my hands with warm water and massage my face for another 30 seconds until a white foam forms onto my skin. While doing so, I would focus on my T-zone especially on my nose and chin. To finish off, I would rinse my face with warm water to remove the dissolved make-up. It would be even more convenient to do the washing up part while you're in the shower or else you'll have a high chance of getting your clothes wet. Although the Laneige Perfect Pore Cleansing oil comes off quite pricey with a retail price around 49 BND, it is worth every penny. It also lasts pretty long. I think I would use up one bottle for over 10 months. I'm into finishing up my second bottle now. If you are still new to using cleansing oils and want to start small, you can try to look for the Biore Cleansing Oil. I'm not sure where you can find this in Brunei but if you ever come across Watsons in Malaysia, you should check this product out. It costs around RM 25 or even less and works similarly to the Laneige Perfect Pore Cleansing oil. The Laneige Perfect Pore Cleansing oil can be found locally at Laneige branches found in major department stores. I usually get mine from Hua Ho Yayasan.

After removing make-up and impurities from my face, the next step would be to clean my skin with a face wash. If I was bare faced the whole day, I would skip cleansing oil and go straight into this step. The difference between a face wash and oil cleanser is that the oil cleanser is designed to remove the make-up off your face. The face wash is sort of like a face soap (like the ones you use to clean your body but obviously for the face). Because you remove your make-up manually, there's no guarantee that your skin is free from any impurities. Let's say that cleansing oils are in charge of breaking down the make-up and extra stuff you put on your face (e.g. sunblock), so to make sure there's nothing left covering your pores you'll need to clean your face with a facial wash right after. I've gone through a lot of different face washes from major brands to drugstore brands. I didn't find that there was much differences in terms of the effects it had on clearing up my acne. To me, a good face wash is one that doesn't irritate or dry out my skin. Irritate means that it causes redness and stinging sensations. You can also tell if a face wash removes too much moisture from you skin  when your skin feels tight after a wash. When you have acne, you'd need to look for something that can calm your skin down. Your acne is already causing your skin to become sensitive and most acne targeted face washes might be too harsh for your skin and prevents your skin from recovering. The one I'm using now is the Murad Soothing Gel Cleanser. I started using this December last year when I still had mild to moderate acne and it only left my skin feeling smooth and supple. I noticed that my skin was less red too. The Murad Soothing Gel Cleanser is no joke when it comes to the price with a RRP of around 68 BND for 200 ml, I am slightly reluctant to re-purchase this product. Although the product does last very long and you only need a tiny amount per wash, I wouldn't go out of my way to buy this though, I believe there is another face wash out there that has similar effects (just haven't found it yet lol). One thing for sure is that it does its job really well. Just to let you know, I got mine from Empire Subang, KL.

After my face is all cleansed and washed up, I would exfoliate my skin by using a facial scrub. You only need to exfoliate with a maximum of three times a week. If your skin is extra sensitive, do it less. Exfoliating is important because it removes the dead skin cells on your face. Dead skin cells contribute to blocking the pores which evolves into blackheads, whiteheads and acne. For those with acne, you'll need to find a face scrub that is gentle. The danger with face scrubs with harsh microbeads is that they may cause further tearing of your skin. When you have acne, your skin is already inflamed and rubbing something abrasive on your face will just aggravate the already inflamed skin. Know when to stop and if your skin hurts or gets irritated, that's when you know it isn't good for you. I choose the Clean & Clear deep action daily pore cleanser as a face scrub. It is a daily cleanser, I assumed it would be gentle enough since it is designed for everyday use. I only use this once a day, two to three times a week. The 50g one lasts me a while with a RRP of less than 5 BND, you can find this product at Guardian or most department stores.

- Tone, Treat & Moisturize -

Innisfree bija trouble skin toner, The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil and Laneige Water Bank Gel Cream.

After cleansing, I would then focus on restoring and replenishing my skin. To tighten the pores and prep my face for acne treatment and moisturizer, I like to use the Bija trouble skin toner from Innisfree. This toner leaves my skin feeling smooth and reduces the appearance of whiteheads and blackheads. I would pour a suitable amount of toner on a cotton pad and wipe it over my face while focusing on acne-prone areas such as my T-zone. The toner has a cooling effect and calms my skin down after cleansing. Usually I get my stock from Innisfree branches around KL, you can order yours to be delivered to Brunei from this website. While I'm on Accutane, I was told to avoid any additional acne treatment medication. However, when I feel a little bit impatient I would apply The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil onto active acne areas on my skin. The problem with tea tree oil is that it tends to dry out my face, so I lessened my usage ever since I was on Accutane. Finally after acne treatment, it's time to restore the moisture back! I've always had issues with finding the right moisturizer. There wasn't one that made my skin feel completely soft and hydrated. Once I overdid it by using tea tree oil twice daily and it caused my skin to peel off. I caved and bought the Laneige Water Bank Gel Cream. I used this day and night, along with the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. After a few days, my skin was restored and hydrated. Since the peeling stopped, I continued using the Laneige Water Bank Gel Cream in my skincare routine. The packaging is quite small, but all I needed was a pea size amount of the moisturizer and it was enough to be spread evenly across my face. If you want to feel an extra calming sensation, you can keep the Laneige Water Bank Gel Cream in the fridge. This will leave your skin to feel extra fresh, calm and supple. With an RRP of around 53 BND, I really don't mind splurging on this. In my opinion, if you have to spend a lot of money on your skincare you really should allocate most of your budget on moisturizers. Moisturizers help to restore your skin's elasticity and promotes your skin cells to heal much better. This is especially important for acne prone skin. When your skin is extremely dry, your body would try to re-hydrate your skin by producing more oil. Since excess sebum is one of the main factors in the development of acne, you should never skimp on finding your perfect moisturizer. 

- Pamper & Nourish -

Innisfree Super volcanic clay mousse mask, Laneige Water Sleeping Mask and the Innisfree Super volcanic pore clay mask.

Whenever my skin feels like it needs a some extra loving, there are three face masks that I always come back to. For those days when my skin feels groggy and troubled, I prefer the Innisfree Super volcanic mousse mask. This one is easy to apply because of its creamy texture. My skin always feels fresh and smooth after each application. I usually use this during bad days and more frequently during that time of the month. The Super volcanic pore clay mask from Innisfree gives off similar effects and the major difference between the clay mask and the mousse mask is its consistency (the Super volcanic pore clay mask is more solid than the mousse version). If you don't want to buy two face masks of the same line, you can just opt for the Super volcanic pore clay mask. I got the mousse version as a gift from Zhafir's mom and am now spoiled for choices (thank you Mama Zhafir hehe)! The Super volcanic pore clay mask can be applied both as a normal face mask and for acne treatment. I learned this from Susan from Laneige Yayasan branch. To use the clay mask as an acne treatment. what I did was to first apply either pimple cream or tea tree oil onto my acne. After leaving that to dry, I'll cover my acne with the pore clay mask over night. I've done this for months and consistently, this technique reduces the appearance acne and speeds up the healing process. The Innisfree Super volcanic mousse mask and Super volcanic pore clay mask are available from a RRP of RM 80 and BND 20 respectively. They last a long time and are definitely value for money. You can order your very own Super volcanic pore clay mask locally from new Brunei based skincare and cosmetics online store Beauté Pratique. Lastly, my ultimate favorite especially while on Accutane, is the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. This is a miracle worker whenever my skin feels extremely dehydrated. It is convenient because it is used overnight and aside from keeping my skin supple, it also brightens my complexion the next day. With and RRP for around 43 BND, this may also come a bit pricey for some. Mine lasted me for almost a year and considering its hydrating power, this is another one worth the splurge.

- Habits -

Innisfree Brush and Puff Cleanser, N.M.F Aquaring Ampoule Mask, The Face Shop Bio Cell Recovery Face Mask, Innisfree No-Sebum Primer and Innisfree Smooth Lip Scrub.

Finally towards the last part of my skincare segment. Throughout my 6 years of living with acne prone skin, I've developed some skincare habits of my own. Here are some of the tips, tricks and precautions I still take till this day.

1) Only use clean make-up tools.
No matter if you have acne prone skin or not, it is vital for you to make sure what you put on your face is clean. I usually cleanse my brushes once every two weeks with the Innisfree Brush and Puff Cleanser. Alternatively you can use shampoo or face wash. To learn about how you can effectively clean your BB cushion puffs, you can follow this tutorial.

2) Apply sheet masks before make-up.
One of the common issue with having acne prone skin is that it is difficult to apply foundation. I've experienced countless of days where I just can't wear foundation properly because it'll always turn out flakey due to the dry medicated skin underneath. One good solution is to wear a sheet mask before moisturizing and make-up application. It does add a good 15 minutes to my make-up routine but it also saves lives tbh. Try not to go overboard with sheet masks and stick to the designated time limit. Your skin will dry with the sheet masks over time if you do use it for too long. My skin loves the N.M.F Aquaring Ampoule Mask and The Face Shop Bio Cell Recovery Face Mask before make-up (thanks Haziq and Lily for supplying me with these!).

3) Prime your skin before layering any foundation, BB cream or CC cream.
Make-up primers are important because it acts as a layer between your pores and make-up. Especially for acne prone skin, it helps to prevent the make-up from caking up and allows make up to look fresher much longer. Make-up primers also allows smooth application of make-up and reduces the appearance of enlarged pores. The one I'm using now is the Innisfree No-Sebum Primer. It's not a life changing product, but it does its job well and does not aggravate my acne.

4) Exfoliating your lips does wonders.
While Accutane is a strong contender when it comes to combating acne, it comes with a lot of side effects. Aside from dry skin, you'll have a high chance of getting dry lips as well. It is crazy how chapped my lips have gotten for the past few months. No matter what type of lip product I use or how much lip balm I apply, I still find it very tricky to apply any lip color on dry flaky lips. There are many ways you can exfoliate to remove the dead skin cells on your lips. The skin on your lips are delicate and you have to really consider doing it gently with no more than once or twice a week. The one I'm using now is the Innisfree Smooth Lip Scrub.

5) Shampoo before face wash.
I don't remember where the theory behind this came from, but over the years I've tried to avoid a lot of potential threats to my pores. Whenever I need to get a good hair wash, I'll arrange my shower routine so that I shampoo before I do any facial cleansing (face wash and face scrub). If I'm using make-up that day, my shower routine would be in the order of; 1. remove make-up using face oil, 2. shampoo, 3. face wash, 4. face scrub and 5. body wash. I usually shower with warm water and this will automatically enlarge the size of my pores and to avoid the dirt and oil from my hair to enter my pores, I use a face wash only after I shampoo.

6) Start out warm and finish cold.
Whenever possible, I always carry out my cleansing routine under warm water to cleanse my pores thoroughly. Since my pores would be enlarged from the exposure of warm water, I would then finish off my cleansing routine with cold water to minimize the pores. This also helps if you have sensitive skin. Cold water helps to reduce inflammation and minimizes redness. Minimizing the pore size will also prevent moisture to escape from the pores.

7) Use fresh pillow cases.
I've noticed that one side of my face is more prominent in getting acne than the other. This also coincides with my sleeping style. I'm not entirely sure if this helped me a lot with combating my acne problems, but it became a habit that has consistently carried on for over 2 years. Instead of changing the pillowcases every day, what I'd do is that I'll layer a new one on top of my pillow. Once it's used, I either flip the pillow case over or hand it over to my washing machine and layer a new one for the next day.

- #MLBB -

Here's just a little extra make-up segment for everyone! I've watched a lot of K-Variety beauty shows over the past year. In one of Song Ji Hyo's Beauty View episodes they talked about the Korean make-up trend called MSBB, which stands for My Skin But Better. This trend focuses on enhancing each individual's natural beauty. Similarly, MLBB or My Lips But Better is all about finding lip colors that can add depth and intensity to match your natural look. Recently, Laneige has released an upgraded version of their Silk Intense Lipstick and fortunately I've gotten my hands on one thanks to Pat from Laneige Brunei

To complete my natural look, I wore the Laneige Silk Intense Lipstick in the shade No More Orange. My lips have this natural reddish brown tone. The Laneige Silk Intense Lipstick in the shade No More Orange helped to brighten up my complexion. If you can see in the photos, I used just enough to avoid my face from looking like its washed out. The great thing about the Laneige Silk Intense Lipstick is that they're pigmented enough to blend into your natural lip color. Just like its name, they apply smoothly like silk onto your lips. It is also pretty versatile in a way that if you want a more intense look, you can either apply more of the product or you can also neutralize your lips simply by dabbing some BB cushion over your lips before putting on the lipstick. This is one of my top favorite MLBB lipstick because of its moist, silky and versatile nature. There's over 30 shades and you can always mix shades together to find your perfect MLBB lip color! You can find the one I'm using at your local Laneige branch in Brunei.

Laneige 2017 Silk Intense Lipstick No.220 No More Orange.



Finally we've reached the end of my post. It's been a long journey. Over the years, I've been through a lot of ups and downs. Recently my acne became my biggest fear and thankfully now I'm on my way to a healthier and happier me. Please keep in mind that I am not a skin expert, I didn't study dermatology and that the things I recommend may not be suitable for you. One of the reasons I wanted to share this with you in great detail is that I wanted to let you know that you're not alone. Possibly and hopefully something I've experienced may be of help to you or someone you know. Having acne may not be a big deal to some but people experience similar things differently. Studies have shown that there are social and pscyhological consequences of acne that affects both females and males equally (Pearl, Arroll, Lello, & Birchall, 1998). There are still a lot of myths and misconceptions about health beliefs and knowledge about acne and it is important for acne patients to receive effective treatment, in turn this can greatly influence their mental health (Brajac, Bilić-Zulle, Tkalčić, Lončarek, & Gruber, 2004; Uslu et al., 2008). I know that I should be held entirely responsible for my behavior and actions over the years, but I did realize how much happier and better I've become as a person because of the emotional burden that's been lifted off my chest due to my acne experience. I'd like to stress that having acne should not be reduced to something that is a challenge to one's vanity. It is something personal and affects both the heart and mind. To those who are experiencing acne issues like me, I hope this blog post gives you hope and comfort. If you would like to know more about where I got my treatment from, you can contact me through our e-mail.

Thank you for reading. Have a good Ramadhan everyone!

With love,



Brajac, I., Bilić-Zulle, L., Tkalčić, M., Lončarek, K., & Gruber, F. (2004). Acne vulgaris: myths and misconceptions among patients and family physicians. Patient education and counseling, 54(1), 21-25.

Leyden, J. J. (1997). Therapy for acne vulgaris. New England Journal of Medicine, 336(16), 1156-1162.

Pearl, A., Arroll, B., Lello, J., & Birchall, N. (1998). The impact of acne: a study of adolescents' attitudes, perception and knowledge. The New Zealand medical journal, 111(1070), 269-271.

Uslu, G., Şendur, N., Uslu, M., Şavk, E., Karaman, G., & Eskin, M. (2008). Acne: prevalence, perceptions and effects on psychological health among adolescents in Aydin, Turkey. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 22(4), 462-469.


  1. I almost cried reading this post, Ainul. With the fact that I not only understand but can feel the pain, frustration and insecurities that goes on constantly with our acne imperfections. Thank you for being so brave enough to share your story that will without a doubt help other people that are going through the same thing because this post definitely did inspired me. -Min

    1. Thank you for your empathy and understanding this whole time. I was so thankful when you contacted me about going through Accutane and making me feel hopeful and that I'm not lonely anymore. Thanks so much for the words of encouragement and your growth inspired me even more. Love you and all the best in your studies!

      <3 sending you lots and lots of hugs and good wishes <3

  2. Nice post you have shared here about your skin care routine and the products you are using. Cleansing & facial is a great way to implement good skin care, hygiene and skin fitness. If you are looking to buy korean snail cream, then you can visit

  3. May i ask where is the dermatologist you went? Is it in Brunei?

    1. Hi yes it is in Brunei. Can you drop us an e-mail? :) I don't feel its appropriate for me to disclose my medical information in public.

    2. hi. can i email you about which dermatologist you go?

    3. Hi Anne, sorry for the late reply! Yes please drop us an e-mail at! :)

  4. This post is so relatable for someone like me who has acne prone skin too! i am so embarrased by it and speaking up like you did, i can only think of doing so! kudos to you for finding that courage inside of you!

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Hello! Welcome to Wearrior Instinct. I'm Ainul! My style is described best as 'mix and match'. Fashion, to me, is a form of self expression. I dress for myself and I love exploring new and different ways to do it. I believe strongly that we all have the potential to be the best we can be; all we have to do is to follow our (Wearrior) Instinct.



Hey! I'm Mu'izz. I'm currently taking my masters degree in Political Science at UCL. I would probably say that my fashion style is best described as "Good-boy Oxford look" and I love colours. Although, I am preppy for most of the time, I do also like to mix elements from other fashion style. Right now, I am exploring more of the urban style. For me, Fashion is a platform that expresses and embraces one's individuality. Hopefully, it will inspire you to wear your (Wearrior) instinct! – I am on a research leave at the moment, I will be back soon!



Hi! I’m Alia Alkaff, a 20-year-old Graphic Design undergraduate at Norwich University of the Arts. Black enthusiast and a lover of all things minimalistic, which also happens to best describe my style of Fashion. With being a part of Wearrior Instinct it has encouraged me greatly to be proud of what I wear and I hope we as a team will have that effect to bring out your inner Wearrior Instinct!



My name is Faiz, but most people call me Fez. I studied at the the University of Leeds and graduated in 2015. I currently run a pop-up based coffee business called Aoyama Coffee. My interests in fashion lie more in on streetwear - and bridging the gap between it and menswear. I'm a fan of the little things in labels that set them apart from others, and my taste is a little unconventional, to say the least. I'm also really into raw denim. I should mention that I'm on hiatus at the moment - but I will be back!



Oh hi there! I run a YouTube channel called AMSAIMA, where I create beauty and styling vlogs. I like to think of my fashion sense as multifaceted - I could dress to the nines with textured garments, look quirky while donning a pair of boyfriend jeans, or go for an alternative retro. Wearrior Instinct doesn’t just provide a space for me to document my looks and write about the pieces I’ve put together, but as I’m all about body positivity, I see this as an opportunity where confidence can be both built and encouraged. Lots of love, Amalsaima (or simply, Amal).