Your Questions Answered: My Skincare Regime



It’s been a while, hasn’t it, since it happened?

Even so, I still get emails and messages asking about my skincare regime, almost every day. I took this long to share my skincare regime with you guys because I wanted to make sure these products really were effective in the long run. I was worried that my skin would get sick of these products, you know, like how skincare products used to cease effectiveness on my skin after a while.

Let me highlight first hand that this is not a paid advertorial, I paid for all of Dr Joyce Lim’s products with my own money. The stupid facial salon refused to compensate me a single cent for all that I’ve had to fork out to get my skin to what it is today (I tell you, they are so ngeow they refused to reimburse my taxi fare).

I cannot believe it has been 10 (WHAT!) months since that infamous facial episode. All these products prescribed by my dermatologist have worked wonders for my skin, as you can probably tell from pictures posted on my Instagram (@bunbunmakeuptips).


This picture was taken in August 2013, about 3 months post-Ms Barnacles. I can’t believe my skin managed to bounce back – correction: improved so much and be better than before – in such a short period. I think I looked pretty damn good! HAHAHA!!!! XD I swear the only editing done to this photo was resizing and adding of my watermark.

Don’t be fooled by my makeup (I’ll share with you my favorite face makeup in a while! :)) and flattering, natural lighting in this photo which make me appear like I have flawless skin. I DON’T. Sometimes my skin has a mind of its own and creates an artwork of dubious-looking spots on its canvas.

But sometimes is better than all the time and having spots is better than having pus! Be grateful in every small way and you’ll live happier! 😀

So I’m grateful that even though the irresponsible salon left me to die, I found a very good dermatologist who not only cured me, she made my skin better than before.


It has come to my attention that some unethical beauty brands (why so many out there, seriously!) have used my face, without permission, to promote their products, claiming that their products are the reason for my recovery. PFFFT! Some even go to the extent of showing a side-by-side comparison of before and after photos.

Before using their products = my face AFTER the terrible facial

After using their products = my face BEFORE the terrible facial

So please be VERY careful if you see my face being used to endorse products. Unless I have personally mentioned it on my blog and social media channels, I AM NOT ASSOCIATED TO THAT BRAND. Thank you to those who have alerted me, I tried to ask those brands to take the pictures down but unethical people will do anything to cheat your money.

Sigh. 有些公司就是那么贱。

To finally answer your questions, here is my skincare regime. I tried my best to look up on the proper medical terms, so don’t be so hard on me if I say something wrong k! 😛

1. Joyce Lim Gentle Cleanser

This is the mildest and gentlest cleanser I have ever used in my life. It is soap-free, oil-free, alcohol-free. I don’t know what it contains, but it eradicates dirt and oil without leaving skin so dry it reacts by overproducing oil. There is no overpowering fragrance – no elaborate floral scent nor invigorating fruity splash, just….. (*goes and take a whiff) actually it smells like mild soap, but it’s NOT soap!

I wash my face twice a day – when I wake up and before I go to bed.

What I am most upset about is that the packaging has been changed and the formula tweaked.


What used to be a light and travel-friendly lightweight plastic bottle with an easy-to-press pump has been changed to this bulky and heavy plastic bottle with a VERY-DIFFICULT-TO-PRESS pump. It doesn’t stop there.

The previous formula was of a more liquid consistency – thicker than water, lighter than cream and it was such a dream to work with. I just had to pump a small amount on my Philips VisaPure brush head and start the perfect cleanse from the forehead. I would probably be not as annoyed with the rigid new pump had the formula remained, but pumping foam out of a rigid pump makes it such a dreadful event every time. Sometimes I pump too much, sometimes too little. And if I start the VisaPure from the forehead, the cleanser gets into my eyes. UGH!

An attempt to have the foam dispensed more evenly by shaking the bottle resulted in the liquid spurting all over. =.=

The good thing is that my skin doesn’t reject the new formula, so I guess I have no choice but to bear with the new packaging.

2. Eldoquin Forte 4% Cream

Hydroquinone is used to lighten the dark patches of skin (also called hyperpigmentation, melasma, “liver spots,” “age spots,” freckles) caused by pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone medicine, or injury to the skin. This medicine works by blocking the process in the skin that leads to discoloration. (source: Webmd)

I use this after the morning/afternoon/whatevertimeIwakeup cleanse. I love that it leaves a pearly finish, creating a sheer highlighter effect.

3. EpiQuin Micro top

Epiquin is also Hydroquinone, like Eldoquin. Just different brands! I was using only Eldoquin for many months, before Dr Joyce Lim introduced EpiQuin and I used Eldoquin during the day and EpiQuin at night. Eldoquin is lighter and has a slight brightening effect while EpiQuin is slightly richer.

Dr Joyce said after I’m done with the Hydroquinone products, I can do without them. So my skincare regime currently consists of 2 steps: [1] Cleanse [2] Moisturize. I AM A HAPPY GIRL. 😀

I have come to realize that no one other than a certified dermatologist can accurately diagnose your skin. No, not even those Cl***que counter girls in their white lab coats. I don’t know how, but one of the girls managed to misdiagnose that I have DRY SKIN. To go from oily, acne-prone skin to dry skin is as easy as undergoing a sex change.

4. Joyce Lim Antioxidant Moisture Infusion

Like the Joyce Lim Gentle Cleanser, the Joyce Lim Antioxidant Moisture has got to be the most fuss-free, gentle, lightweight moisturizer I have used. There is a faint, clean fragrance that is very soothing. After spreading it all over my face, I press my palms against my skin so that the heat helps my skin absorb the product even better.

I hope Dr Joyce doesn’t change this travel-friendly packaging.

When I apply EpiQuin or Eldoquin before this moisturizer, it goes on smoother and is easier to spread out evenly. Without the E’s, my skin seems to have some difficulty absorbing the moisturizer. I’m currently trying out a couple of serums, if they work, I’ll do an update on my skincare regime! ^_^*

5. Stieva-A 0.01%

Dr Joyce said Stieva-A is the GOLD STANDARD for treating acne, blackheads and uneven skintone. There are different levels, from my STIEVA-A 0.01% CREAM to STIEVA-A 0.1% FORTE CREAM. I was prescribed 0.01% because my skin was in such terrible and vulnerable condition.

What is Stieva-A Cream used for?

Stieva-A Cream is used to treat acne (spots).
Stieva-A belongs to a group of medicines called retinoids.
Stieva-A Cream helps to: (source: News-medical)
  • Make your skin less oily
  • Loosen blackheads and whiteheads so that they come out more easily
  • Stop new blackheads, whiteheads and spots from forming
  • Lowers the number of red, inflamed acne spots.

Tretinoin is used to treat certain types of acne. Tretinoin helps acne by causing the skin’s outer layer to grow more quickly and be replaced with new skin cells, which helps to reduce the formation of blackheads, whiteheads, and other acne lesions. (source: chealth)

This medication is available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Therefore, Stieva-A is just one of the brands of Tretinoin.

I was forewarned that a few weeks to a couple of months into the treatment I would notice new blemishes, and there really were! I was to continue using it because the medication was going underneath the skin and pushing everything to the surface.

I can’t remember exactly when because the improvement was so gradual, but after 2-3 months my skin really got better! So many people commented, and I also agreed, that my skin was even better than before. It’s all thanks to using the right products/medication for my skin, prescribed by my dermatologist.

6. Desowen Lotion

Before all of the above mentioned products, at the peak of my horrible skin condition, my ‘skincare routine’ consisted ONLY of Desowen Lotion.

DesOwen lotion is used for: (source:

  • Treating mild to moderate itching, redness, and swelling caused by certain skin conditions.
  • DesOwen lotion is a topical corticosteroid. It works by reducing skin inflammation (redness, swelling, itching, and irritation).

After the skin got less vulnerable and required more moisturization and treatment, I started using the above products.

I’ve had 2 chemical peels done at Dr Joyce, one in the 3rd quarter of 2013, the next in early 2014. After the peel, I was advised to use Desowen Lotion in place of the moisturizer for a day or two.

7. Dalacin T 1% Topical Gel

Used specifically to treat acne, Dalacin T is a brand of Clindamycin. This was prescribed to me late because we had to wait till the allergy was completely gone first, then slowly work on the acne.

Clindamycin is active against a wide variety of bacteria, including the bacteria associated with acne, Propionebacterium acnes. This is a common type of bacteria that feeds on sebum produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin. It produces waste products and fatty acids that irritate the sebaceous glands, making them inflamed and causing spots. By controlling bacterial numbers, the inflammation of the sebaceous glands is brought under control, and the skin is allowed to heal. (source: netdoctor)

I super love this acne gel! I’ve tried so many off-the-shelf acne creams and none worked as quickly and effectively as Dalacin T. Farewell, pimples!! 😀


OH Word of Caution: I don’t suppose you can easily buy the above mentioned products off the shelf. Without a consultation with Dr Joyce, I doubt the nurses would sell any products to you. Even if you have easy access to drugs in your country, I would advise against buying them simply based on my review because these products are, after all, MEDICATION for troubled skin, and not for regular skin.


I hope I haven’t bored you with the technical terms in this post. They weren’t very exciting, were they? I wasn’t too excited writing about them myself. Not a fan of writing in technical, scientific terms. HAHAHA!

Philips VisaPure


One of the most important rules any makeup wearer should abide by would be to go to bed with a face devoid of makeup. I cannot stress enough how harmful going to bed with makeup on or even with traces of makeup is. It clogs your pores and overtime, the quality of your skin will suff

Ever since I started using the Philips VisaPure I never have to worry about my face not being completely clean. I mean, the Dr Joyce cleanser is good and it claims to be able to remove makeup (extremely light makeup, I would say), but the VisaPure has eased my newly acquired phobia of not having a 100% clean face. Of course, this was introduced to me many months after the allergy cleared. My skin was getting better, but the VisaPure probably hastened the pace of improvement.

A full review on the Philips VisaPure is on its way, but I just had to share with you first this little nifty device that brought my skincare routine to a whole new level of convenience. 60 awesome seconds is all it takes to have my skin thoroughly cleansed. I use the Sensitive brush head, which is so gentle, it’s like the Hakuhodo standard of makeup brushes. LOL!

You will get to WIN one for yourself (trust me, you will want to own one) in my full review on the Philips VisaPure, so do keep a lookout! 😀

When Did I Start Wearing Makeup Again?

I let my skin be free of makeup for many months and was very wary about putting stuff on my face at first. But I couldn’t live the rest of my life without makeup, could I, as Bun Bun Makeup Tips? HEHEHE.

I think the picture taken in August 2013 was probably one of the first few times I wore makeup after my skin recovered. #从出江湖  Also, I took it slow and didn’t wear makeup everyday.

The first face makeup product I used was my favorite Lioele Dollish Veil Vita in Natural Green and was ecstatic when no negative reaction occurred. I already loved it prior to the facial incident, but I became extremely grateful and loved it even more for being on such good terms with my sensitive skin. YAY!!! Now I use it either as a primer, or just on its own when I don’t need too much coverage.

You can get this product here >> Doll To Doll Cosmetics


Oh gawd, I miss Taiwan so much! I think the design of my future home may be heavily inspired by the beautiful minsu we stayed in Miaoli.


So there you have it, my complete skincare regime!

By sharing my skincare regime, I do not wish that you run out and buy what I was/am using because it may do more harm than good when you self-diagnose and self-prescribe medication.

The best advice I can give you, if you have skin problems, is to see a dermatologist. It doesn’t have to be Dr Joyce, it doesn’t even have to be a private doctor. If yours is a long-drawn condition and not a sudden allergic attack, you can afford the time and save money by going to the National Skin Centre.


6_With Wand_120 Skincare Tip: I would strongly recommend that when trying new products, do it one product at a time. I understand the excitement of trying new skincare you have been promised stunning results, but if you dump several new products on your skin at once, it will be difficult to pinpoint the culprit should a negative reaction occur. By exercising prudence, it may take slightly longer to see if your skin takes to the new products, but it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.


Thank you for sharing with your family and friends my story. Now, I hope that by sharing my recovery, you and they can find strength in knowing that skin conditions CAN BE CURED, but only if you find the right kind of help. So don’t give up, keep searching, because there will be someone out there who holds the remedy to your problems. Keep fighting! =D







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About Bun Bun

Hello! My name is Juli and Bun Bun is my alter-ego. I blog to share my love for makeup, how to apply it, and what works or what doesn’t work, all from an Asian perspective.

My first makeup product was a shimmery light blue lipstick which I proudly wore all over my eyelids and lips. It cost $2.50, felt like $250, and made me feel like a million bucks.

Throughout this blog you will see Bun Bun in different poses.

Instead of using numbers (3/5, 4/5) or alphabets (B+, A+) to rate products, I put Bun Bun in different positions and expressions to represent the rating given to the product after a review.

In Bun-O-Meter, the first on the list would mean a 5/5 rating and the last one a 1/5 rating.

You can always refer to the sidebar any time you don’t understand what Bun Bun’s pose means.

I hope you enjoy reading my makeup and beauty posts as much as I did writing them.

Talk to you soon! =)


Juli & Bun Bun

  • zibbieko

    Congrats on the healing! 

  • ReenieGirl

    After all you’ve gone through I cannot believe the salon would have behaved so terribly.  Not to mention other brands using your images without your permission to promote their products.  It’s a shame that someone would behave in such a shady way.  I hope you’ll think about taking some sort of action against these brands for using your image without your expressed permission.  They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

    Having said that, I’m so happy you’re skin is better and am happier still that you are happier with how you look and feel.  <3

  • BijakLestari

    Can’t wait for the Phillips visa pure review!
    I’ve heard so much about Clarisonic and wanted to get it for a while but I keep postponing it because its high price and not to mention, some purging due to deep cleansing it was designed to do.
    So, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for dupes ^^
    Congratulations on your everything,you look beautiful as ever

  • BereniceC

    Congrats on your great recovery! I really appreciated the technical bits as i’m just that sort of a person, and it was great to hear that your gold standard of acne/blemish creams is the same as mine. Its great to hear you being chirpy and energetic again, and thanks for the detailed post! Cheers! :3

  • nudhk13

    good post.. thank you..<a href=’’> TopBeautyTips.Blogspot.Com</a>

  • BunBunMakeupTips

    BijakLestariI have tried both and Visapure works better on my skin (I am not paid to say this HAHA). The gentle brush head is just…… so…… soft….. Doesn’t exfoliate so much that it causes outbreaks or redness. Perfect for my sensitive skin. Yes, I would urge you to wait for my full review to be up, but if you’re in urgent need, then there won’t be any regret getting it earlier either. =)

  • BunBunMakeupTips

    BereniceC Oh really!! I’m so glad I made the effort to do proper research then, for your ‘sort of person’. Lol that made me laugh. Thanks so much for telling me that, it makes me feel that what I’ve done didn’t simply get scrolled through and actually got read! YAY!! *feeling high*

  • BunBunMakeupTips

    ReenieGirl I wish there some kind of community or organization to help enforce Internet laws, but *sigh*…. You know like on Instagram, they can simply ignore your request to take the picture down and then BLOCK you. =.= 
    Thanks for reading and feeling for me though! =D

  • BunBunMakeupTips

    zibbieko Thank you for staying with me on this journey! ^_^*

  • kiradyn

    I’m using the Phillips VisaPure too! :) It’s really great! I feel like my skin is really clean afterwards. Before I started using it, sometimes I’d feel like there’s residue from my cleanser left after washing my face. But now, even before I use toner, my skin feels refreshed and clean! >u<

    On the downside, it took my skin a few weeks to a month to get used to the device. When I used it daily/on alternate days for the first week or so, I started getting some spots. Google says that’s common, though, as my skin will take some time to get used it the exfoliation of the brush (even though I was using the sensitive head). But now my skin is fine. 8)

    I’ll look forward to your review!

  • sophia_shufei

    Hi bunbun, since you’re going to do a blog review on philips visapure, could you put clarisonic mia into review as well. I’m thinking which to buy, still struggling between this two! T_______T

    Hope you can help :))

  • valerinee

    Hi Bunbun! New reader here! 2 questions: 1) Do you have to wait for very long whenever you go and see Dr Joyce Lim? 2) Does the lioele base keeps makeup from becoming splotchy and streaky on extremely oily skin?? I need heeeelpppp! Hehe i’m sure you understand how desperate one can get with oily skin. Btw, you look great now and i’m so happy for you :)

  • BunBunMakeupTips

    kiradynI think some people do experience weird reactions when they start using a new product or device. I also let my skin get used to Clarisonic and was madly persistent (6 months!) on making it work even though my skin didn’t get better and instead was more susceptible to pimples.

    It really boils down to individual skin coz I have many friends who love the Clarisonic the way I love Visapure. I’m glad your skin has become accustomed to Visapure! 

    My review is up! =D

  • BunBunMakeupTips

    sophia_shufei Hmmm, as I mentioned in my reply to kiradyn, it’s really about individual preference. It just happens that Visapure works better for me. The type of brush head matters too. I use the sensitive brush coz I have sensitive skin that has become quite thin after the facial incident, while there wasn’t a soft enough brush head by Clarisonic.

  • BunBunMakeupTips

    valerinee Hello! Thanks for commenting!
    1) Yes. There was once I had to wait THREE HOURS. =.=” That was on a super busy day, like one day before a public holiday. But usually I wait about 1 hour plus. So if you want to see her, be prepared to wait. I rarely see her now, I just go to her clinic and replenish my medication. =)

    2) Yes! It’s my super favorite base. Have never owned a base good enough to make me go through 2 bottles already. (I think there’s a problem with this product on currently. Our tech team is working on it. So if you want to make an order, do write in to [email protected]. ^_^* )

  • geistar

    Hi Bunbun! Congrats on your skin recovery! Your skin looks awesome now! I would like to check with you, you mention doing chemical peel at dr joyce lim, so how was the experience? And roughly how much did it cost?

  • Dhara Mistry

    BunBunMakeupTips valerinee  Thanks Bunbun! I appreciate the detailed response.

  • SophieBang

    Hello from Texas! (I’m an American born Chinese and have been following your blog for eye makeup tips for us special Oriental girls) I’m so glad to see that your skin is so lovely now! I have a request: could you perhaps do a post on proper skin care techniques (how to cleanse, how to exfoliate, what order to apply skin care products and makeup, how long to wait between each step)? And reviews on other skin care products you have used? I’m 22 and starting to take skin care seriously, and I’m still trying to learn. A beautiful face begins with beautiful skin! Thank you for all your wonderful help and advice!

  • chrylxy

    Hi !! I am using the stieva A as well , but the next day I got many new breakouts is it okay ?
    and can I know if you use stieva a together with other products ?
    as I have many other skincare like toner spot treatment serum and moisturiser but is unsure which to go first ! sorry for thw many questions !!!

  • Evonnah

    Hi Bun bun, new reader here. Do you know the price range for seeing Dr Joyce? I think I’m having late onset adult acne. I’m always having those huge red painful bumps here & there. By the time one recovers, the other blooms >< I’m hoping to see Dr Joyce for some help as I just graduated (don’t wanna scare my employers away ^_^”). I’m willing to invest in this but my funds are obviously limited. Haha. I still want to fix this though.
    I’m so happy that you are recovering well. You are my strength & inspiration whenever I feel down about my ugly 凹凸不平 skin.

  • asami

    Hello! I’m a new reader. I’m currently looking for a foundation for my upcoming prom. I suffer from face eczema although it hasn’t really acted up for a few months. Is there any good foundation brands you would recommend for my skin?