I really should have known better.

My nightmare started when my skin broke out after my yoga class at one of Kfit's partner studios. When I walked in and saw how dirty and old the yoga mats are, I instantly knew something bad was going to happen. The receptionist provided me with a towel, but it smelt funny and old as well, so I wasn't too certain about the studio's level of hygiene.

I really had no interest in doing yoga on a dirty mat, especially since some yoga poses require you to put your chin / cheek / face on the mat. But it would have been too rude to walk out, so I stayed.

I should have opted to be rude instead.

My skin started to itch slightly after the session, and by the time I got home, there were 7 new pimples on my chin and on my left cheek. 7 zits! I can't even remember when was the last time I had 7 pimples on my face at a single time, especially after I started to incorporate organic facial products into my skincare regime.

Obviously I freaked out, and started applying my trusty Oxy cover pimple cream over the zits.

Big mistake. The next day, I woke up to find my face entirely covered with a raised patch of red, swollen and itchy skin at the areas I dabbed the cream on, mostly on the left cheek and chin. I ran out of my manuka honey mask from Blended, so I opted to use Laneige's mulberry yoghurt mask instead, hoping it would moisturize and calm the area down.

It didn't get better. So I finally decided to see a doctor today, and she told me it looked like a chemical burn caused by the benzoyl peroxide (the active ingredient in Oxy). It would take about a week or so to recover, she said, and I was advised to refrain from physical activity lest the perspiration makes it worse.

Being banned from fitness activities for the next 7 days is not easy! If you guys know me (or have been following my Instagram @sgbudgetbabe), you'll know that yoga, pole and dance are a huge part of my life, which I do almost every other day.

Today, 40% of my face is covered in a chemical burn because I stupidly applied pimple treatment containing benzoyl peroxide to my face.

You can even see the contrast between the rest of my unaffected areas and the parts that got badly burnt by the benzoyl peroxide.

It isn't just benzoyl peroxide that can cause such chemical burns. Apparently, other people have encountered burns as well from salicylic acid, tea tree oil, even toothpaste, and other sorts of chemicals that are manually produced in a laboratory.

The Oxy pimple cream constitutes just 10% of my skincare regime, on a case-by-case basis, but yet this 10% has effectively undone all the hard work I've put in by sticking to a strict routine of using only organic and natural skincare products.

I'm going to stop using these store-bought remedies for pimples, and find a way to develop an effective pimple treatment for Blended that works. I wasn't able to do it previously (and frankly wasn't very motivated to do so, since most of my pimples have cleared up years ago), but I swear I will find a way to curate a formulation that works.

This further reaffirms my belief (and my doctor's advice) that I really shouldn't be putting any chemicals on my skin AT ALL. 

Look at how gorgeous my skin was (with minimal makeup) just 4 days ago, over the weekend before this entire ordeal happened.

Apparently we should NEVER mess with putting chemicals on our face. The hardest part? Even some brands that claim to be organic and all-natural may not be entirely honest, because once you examine their ingredient list, you'll see the chemicals they actually do use that could potentially worsen your skin.

When one thinks of organic or natural skincare, Lush immediately jumps to mind. The brand has earned a reputation as an all-natural beauty product company, but I've circled the ingredients I found dubious - turns out their products do contain a number of synthetics and known skin irritants, so there is no way it is 100% organic or natural.
I even found this blog post by a former Lush employee who dishes the dirt on what she feels about the company (they are all her personal views, but you can view more unbiased perspectives in the post's comments section). 

The ingredient list from one of Singapore's most popular facial mask brands, available in major pharmaceutical stores. This Taiwanese brand has even appeared in various beauty talkshows and won numerous beauty awards. 
Here's what some of the circled ingredients really do:

1) Propylene Glycol
- triggers allergic reactions in patients with eczema and other skin allergies. Research also documents toxic effects after small doses of propylene glycol were repeatedly applied to skin.

2) Butylene Glycol
– similar side effects as propylene glycol.

3) Phenoxyethanol
– Regulated use advises it to be used in proportions under 1%, as repeated exposure has been linked to eczema and reproductive problems. This ingredient is relatively high in the list, so is it really under 1% concentration? We’re not so sure.

4) Chlorphenesin
– May cause skin irritated and unsafe for infants. FDA warned mothers in 2008 not to use a particular nursing product containing this questionable ingredient.

5) Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate
– highly allergic compound, may cause redness, swelling and itching.

6) Sodium Hydroxide
– a known irritant to eyes, skin, and may cause temporary hair loss.

We always say that there's a cost to beauty. I don't think it refers to even more horrible skin!

The doctor has given me some medications and a cream to apply on my chemical burn for the next week. I have learnt my lesson, and will never put any beauty product that isn't organic on my skin anymore. 

Here, in my opinion, are people who should totally try using chemical skincare:

- Idiots
- People who want to ruin their skin
- People who want to risk getting chemical burns like I did
- People who are trying to scare off others or reenacting Halloween
- Nobody

Sadly yours,
Budget Babe


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Lizardo :( I really should have learnt my lesson to stay away from chemicals and synthetic ingredients. No more oxy or anything containing benzoyl peroxide / salicylic acid / triclosan for me from now on!

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  4. Hey babe! hope your skin is healing up!

    I'm sorry you had a bad experience with benzoyl peroxide. Its not all bad, but for a product such as Oxy, it carries much more chemicals as compared to many other benzoyl peroxide related products. There are MUCH better brands with more neutral chemicals which can be obtained at watsons/guardian. Another key point is to look at the % of benzoyl peroxide is in the product. if you aren't the kind who have bad breakouts but just the occasional pimple, you can get creams that go as low as 2.5% which should do the job. Products like Oxy often have very harsh complimenting chemicals (idk why its a an approved product) and therefore doctors or dermatologist don't recommend them too.

    However of course, always listen to your skin and gut, and if always unsure, consult a doctor.

    However always keep a heads up that not all organic products are suitable depending on your skin type too. it takes time to find out what products works for you and its always good to know what reviews are available. More over, organic products can be very hard to obtain in SG so to keep safe, i would always recommend brands that are dermatologist-approved or produced for sensitive skin.

    Hope this helps!