Crazy Rich Asians star, Victoria Loke, on how she deals with acne, eczema, and inflammation

Crazy Rich Asians star, Victoria Loke, on how she deals with acne, eczema, and inflammation

Bare skin bible

Text: Emily Heng

Image: Instagram | @velle_

Bare skin bible details how notable figures from the beauty industry get that healthy glow to their mien. From the products in their arsenal to skincare secrets, we get them to dish the dirt.

The lowdown on her complexion

My skin type is sensitive and oily, which means I have the pleasure of experiencing both eczema and acne breakouts. If you're wondering as to the extent of my skin sensitivity, well, I'm told that I couldn't even wear regular disposable diapers because they would give me rashes! The routine I have curated for myself is therefore very gentle and eczema-friendly, yet efficacious in keeping acne at bay.


What goes on her moneymaker

1. Avène Tolérance Extrême Cleansing Lotion

This non-rinse formula is designed to be used on dry skin. Or, well, skin so sensitive, it can't tolerate water. While it can be wiped off, I prefer rinsing, and the results have been exceptional so far. The mechanics of this squalane-based cleanser is similar to that of the oil cleansing method, which I've always been interested in but am too intimidated to try. It effectively removes even the most stubborn of waterproof makeup, leaving my skin feeling clean and nourished.

Buy it here.


2. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Foaming Purifying Gel

I have never gotten so much mileage from a single cleanser before. I use maybe a 10-cent coin's worth each time, and it lathers up beautifully for my entire face. I was skeptical at first because I have heard of people experiencing breakouts from other products in the Effaclar line, but that hasn't been the case for me. If you're suffering from acne inflammation, I recommend icing your face after. The number of potentially giant acne flare-ups I've avoided from using this simple trick... Incredible. Simply run an ice cube over your face to bring down your skin's surface temperature, and you're good to go!

Buy it here.


3. Bioderma Sensibio Crealine H20 Micellar Water and Muji Unbleached Cut Cotton

I'm all about getting some extra cleansing insurance, so I tend to go over my face one last time with a cotton pad soaked in the gold standard Bioderma Sensibio Crealine H20 Micellar Water. I have used this for 10 years now, way back when you couldn't find it in most stores. Seriously, I would haul home a crazy amount of this whenever I was in Europe! I bring a bottle of this on all my shoots and it's the only thing I let makeup artists use to clean my face. In terms of cotton pads, I opt for the 100% Unbleached Cut Cotton from Muji. Once you start on these, you can't go back to ordinary ones because they'll feel like sandpaper scratching your face raw.

Buy it here and here.

4. suki Concentrated Clarifying Toner

To prep my skin for the products to follow, I spritz on and pat in suki's Concentrated Clarifying Toner. Its strengths definitely lie in its balancing properties that even out the sebum production on my face throughout the day. I find it particularly potent when used in the morning, where it facilitates the speedy absorption of the rest of my products.

Buy it here.


5. Medicube Red Toner

In most Asian beauty regimes, a guiding principle is to structure your products in terms of viscosity. Moving from a mist, I go to my first slightly viscous toner, which is the Medicube Red Toner. I started using this because I kept seeing rave reviews from skincare obsessives on what it does for acne-prone skin. I have to say, it has done a lot in terms of reducing skin redness in the long-haul. I regard it as a reliable source of Niacinamide, which I used to take in high doses orally as administered by my dermatologist to get my acne under control.

Buy it here.


6. Hada Labo Gokujyun Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion

Next up, a holy grail item: the Hada Labo Gokujyun Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion aka my hydrating toner. I would highly recommend everyone to include some form of hyaluronic acid in their routine if possible. Hyaluronic acid is what you would call a humectant, and humectants hydrate your skin by binding itself to water and holding the moisture to your skin until it is fully absorbed. This one works great because it contains several forms of hyaluronic acid at various molecular weights, meaning it can fully penetrate of your skin.

Buy it here.


7. The Organic Pharmacy Rose Plus Marine Collagen Complex

Now that my skin is fully prepped, I move on to my serum. For this step, I switch products around depending on what my skin needs at the time. The Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Ampoule was in constant rotation at some point, but I've stopped since they've reformulated it. Instead, I'm looking to The Organic Pharmacy's Rose Plus Marine Collagen Complex, which I would call less of a serum and more of a miracle elixir. Its price tag is just as miraculous, but other products at a similar price point have often left me unimpressed, so I'd say it's worth the splurge.

This has been a life-saviour for my eczema — I started getting regular flare-ups early this year, which left visible dry patches on my visage. They disappeared virtually overnight when I started using this. To be entirely honest, I have a preference for organic products, and regular usage of this natural formulation has drastically improved my skin's elasticity in a way that synthetic chemical-based anti-aging products I used in the past did not.

Buy it here.


8. Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel

After moving back to Singapore, I started using Korean aloe vera gels to combat the raging heat of our eternal summer. This one comes with propolis that works wonders for my eczema. This is the one product in my routine that is difficult to find in stores in Singapore, so I order it in bulk online.

Buy it here.


9. Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

I've been using rosehip oil from the get-go primarily for its ability to drastically reduce post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (PIH) and for its high linoleic acid levels. I rub two drops of oil between the palms of my hands and gently press my palms against my skin; it's best not to spread the oil on your face directly as you could inadvertently be tugging at your skin.

Buy it here.


10. Caudalie Resveratrol Eye Lifting Balm

This is the one eye cream that has visibly reduced the fine lines under and around my eyes. I tried the La Mer Eye Cream that Kim Kardashian supposedly uses on her entire face but it did nothing for me. Like, zilch. The Caudalie eye cream does not have the cleanest ingredient list though, and I suspect that is why I developed some milia around my eyes when I was using this both morning and night. I now only use the eye cream at night, and I haven't developed any milia since. I'm also a fan of the tube packaging.

Buy it here.


11. Hada Labo Gokujyun Hydrating Perfect Gel

For my final occlusive, I have been using the Hada Labo Gokujyun Hydrating Perfect Gel. It dries down to sticky feeling that I love, mostly because it makes my skin feel well-protected and nourished while I sleep amid air-conditioned surroundings. The primary occlusive agent in this cream is dimethicone, a form of silicone. Some have complained that this is not enough of an occlusive, but my experience so far has been fine. As someone with sensitive skin, too much of an occlusive can in fact irritate my skin so this has been working fine for me. It's been compared to "Jesus in a bottle" aka the Biologique Recherche P50.

Buy it here.


12. Kate Somerville EradiKate Acne Treatment, Dr Wonder Wonder Patch, and OSEA Red Algae Mask

Finally, my arsenal of spot treatments. It consists of 3 main products: for small bumps and whiteheads, I use the sulfur-based EradiKate Acne Treatment by Kate Somerville. For those big angry blemishes that are finally starting to come to a head, I use the Dr. Wonder Wonder Patch, my favorite amongst all pimple patches out there! I am a big fan of pimple patches, and they are very effective when used properly. If the patches are not available (they are now only available online in Singapore), I use OSEA's Red Algae Mask as a spot treatment. This is equally useful as an anti-bacterial treatment, and I utilise it for skin-healing after any unfortunate squeezing attempts.

Buy it here, here, and here.