Buro. Beauty Day: Caudalie's skincare trainer answered our reader's questions about managing oily skin

Buro. Beauty Day: Caudalie's skincare trainer answered our reader's questions about managing oily skin

Skincare bootcamp

Text: Natasha Khoury

Image: Caudalie

What's your type? Skin type, we mean. Now, if you identify with combination and oily, this one's for you. If you've ever felt frustrated over persistent black heads, clogged and enlarged pores, rough skin texture, and just some plain old greasiness  you're not alone. In fact, a couple of us convened last weekend at our first-ever Buro. Beauty Day for an oily skin assembly. Uh huh, and leading us was Erika Saenz, the regional sales and education manager from the quintessential French skincare brand, Caudalie.

Saenz gave us the 411 on all things oily skin, skincare ingredients, and French beauty. Feeling a bit of FOMO? Fret not, we've kindly provided you with all the questions and answers from our action-packed session:

Getting rid of my black and whiteheads

Question 1 from Stella Tan: Hello! What causes blackheads/ whiteheads to resurface and which ingredient is the best to prevent clogged pores?

Erika Saenz: Why do you have those blackheads in the first place? It's because you're right –– your pores are really clogged. So, what you can do, and what you have to do is, first of all, to cleanse your face very carefully without causing skin irritation. You need to find products that are effective but gentle.

Okay, some of you will go for effective –– like, "I really want to see the results right away." You know, that's fine, I understand that and while that's going to be effective, eventually if you keep using these kind of products with very harsh ingredients, it's really going to cause a lot of sensitivity and it will resurface. So, you need to put these two together, gentle and effective.

What you need to do also is exfoliate at least twice a week. I exfoliate every other day because I have a very gentle exfoliator that I can use, and I mix it with my cleanser –– but you need to exfoliate at least twice a day and be really careful not to use any products with mineral oils. You need to be like an ingredient detective. You need to be ingredient savvy. Read the bottles [for] anything with mineral oils. Mineral oil is really like plastic for your skin. It's like you're wrapping your skin with cling wrap and you're not letting your skin breathe –– and that will clog the pores and then your blackheads will surface or resurface.

Any serums for hyperpigmentation and acne?

Question 2 from Amy Leong: I'm currently using the Caudalie cleansing gel but I've read so much about the Vinoperfect Serum! However on behalf of all new mothers out there I have experienced hyperpigmentation and acne-ridden skin, will the serum used twice a day be effective to combat it? Thank you!

Erika Saenz: Okay well first of all, Amy, I really got you there because this is my number one problem. You know, like, I've been dealing with this forever since I was young. My pigmentation just multiplying and getting bigger and nothing was helping at all. I've done so many things (you cannot imagine!) and they didn't help as well when I had breakouts on my chin, then I got acne scars. It's like, "When am I going to achieve clean skin ever?!"

Like you said, you've heard a lot about this and because it's an iconic product. It's like the number one brightening dark spot product in France –– in Europe even. It really is super effective, but again it has natural ingredients. What it has inside is this patent that's exclusive to Caudalie. It's called viniferine that comes from the sap of the grapevine, and it's scientifically proven to be 62 times more effective than Vitamin C for brightening. So, it works miracles on pigmentation. My pigmentation it hasn't disappeared but it's gotten much lighter and reduced in size. But for all of you who are suffering from acne scars, this is going to be your best friend. It hasn't like completely erased my pigmentation but it has completely erased acne scars. Your acne scars will be gone in like 17 days like that.

How do I introduce a new skincare product to my regimen?

Question 7 from Renee Ong: I'm using various products from different brands, how do you suggest to introduce a new product in my routine without stressing it out?

Erika Saenz: I do this a lot as well because I like to review other skincare products from other brands as well. So, what I will do is I'll break them in slowly.

I've tried like a complete change like stop everything and then take up a totally different routine, and that didn't work for me. Of course, it's different per person so I'm just sharing what works for me and also what I know through my years of experience –– you break it in slowly. For example, your cleanser change it for the first like let's say three days. Your three days of using a skincare product like twice a day is enough for it to adapt a little bit –– that's the minimum though –– can't be any shorter than three days. Then after you've changed up your cleanser for three days, you go to your toner and change it out for another three days. It's going to be a process and you have to do it product by product if you don't want to break out like crazy. That's the safe way to go.

An oily skin routine for makeup?

Question 9 from Sangee: With oily skin it can be quite uncomfortable to pile on a bunch of products. What would be the absolute essentials for someone to use? Especially under makeup?

Erika Saenz: Many people ask me: "Do I still need to use a moisturiser?" Yes, you do. No matter what skin type you have, you need to use a moisturiser –– that is still essential. Just find a moisturiser that is not heavy. It needs to be lightweight, oil-free preferably, and then maybe it has those ingredients like silica and mica. Do that underneath your makeup so you're not getting oily.

I would really really recommend a toner because that really helps with oily skin ––helps to balance it out. Toner, serum, moisturiser –– yeah, basically the three most important things but that's for every skin type.

Do I need a toner?

Question 10 from Grace Choong: Is it okay to skip toner in our skincare routine? Do we really need to follow cleanser, toner, essence, serum etc?

Erika Saenz: If you have oily skin then no, that's my honest answer. If you have dry skin then yes, you can skip it. If you have normal skin then maybe you can skip it, but if you have oily skin then no, you can't skip it.

Clean beauty only?

Question 11 from Stella Tan: Do we have to use all clean beauty products in a routine for them to be effective?

Erika Saenz: No, of course not, sometimes I will mix in something too like if I want to try a new serum or if I want to try a new cream. I know what the ingredients are, so I know what's harmful and not. Sometimes I'll see –– this has phenoxyethanol? I'll still try it. I'll still use like a jar but I don't use them for long.

How do I know if a skincare product is good?

Question 12 from tiantian: Hi Erika! How do I know if a product is truly good for my skin and not because of other products I'm using? I'm someone who has troubled skin since my teen days so I use a ton of products to really maintain it in tip top condition.

Erika Saenz: You would only be able to know if the product is truly good for your skin if you noticed a difference or improvement beginning the time you introduced it into your regimen. Otherwise, you would only be able to tell which particular product is working once you stop or swap out the others.

Purging or breaking out?

Question 13 from Qistina Tajuddin: Hi, how can I tell whether my skin is purging or breaking out when trying out new products?

Erika Saenz: Some products will really cause your skin to purge or break out in the beginning, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just like drinking a green juice –– it's very good for you and will have positive long-term effects, but it may cause you to take an urgent trip to the toilet. You can tell if the product you used caused the purge –– if your skin was clear before, but suddenly broke out a few days after using the product. The purge could last up to two weeks. Anything longer than that would mean the product does not suit you.

Two serums at once?

Question 14 from Grace Choong: I love Caudalie's Vinoperfect Serum Éclat too! How long do I need to use for new products? Are we able to apply two different serums in our skincare routine?

Erika Saenz: You will usually be able to see visible results with skincare products after 2 months of consistent usage. However, with the Vinoperfect Serum, it will work a lot quicker for acne scars. Yes, you may most definitely use two different serums. If they are from the same brand, without any clashing ingredients, you can even layer them one after the other (after your skin absorbs the first one). Otherwise, you can do skincare zoning (one on the T-zone, one on the cheeks) if you have combination skin, or use one in the morning and the other at night.

Editor's Note: Three of you have won yourself a set of Caudalie's Vinopure Clear Skin Purifying Toner, Vinopure Skin Perfecting Serum, and the Vinoperfect Dark Spot Correcting Moisturizer each! Do check your email inbox for our team has dropped by with a winning email.