Dermatologist, Dr Shammi Theesan — ODE Dermatology

Dermatologist, Dr Shammi Theesan

Answers your questions

Dermatologist, Dr Shammi Theesan

As seen on Topshelf Beaute

Questions asked via Instagram

We often find ourselves spending countless hours looking for skincare solutions, recommendations and products through friends, google research and beauty influencers but the advice that really counts is from an industry professional!

Meet Dr Shammi Theesan, with over 15 years in the industry she is an expert in skin health.

Through Instagram, we asked you for some of your burning questions for a Dermatologist.

What is a basic skincare routine you recommend for someone starting out?

Start with a ceramide-rich gentle cleanser at night, topical retinoid, or Vitamin A cream at night.

Use a sunscreen with high SPF 50+ with broad-based UVB and UVA protection in the morning.

Do you recommend mineral or chemical sunscreen?

Ideally, zinc-based mineral sunscreen is best.

What are your favourite skincare brands?

Rationale is what I have used on myself for 9 years and lots of my patients.

Other select products from Dr Barbara Sturm and Dr Dennis Gross are also lovely.

What ingredients are best to boost collagen for sensitive skin?

Vitamin B3 and C serum in the day. They are strong antioxidants that reduce collagen breakdown.

Vitamin C is also an important co-factor for the production of collagen.

Introduce a non-irritating tertiary complex Vitamin A cream at night, starting 2-3x a week then gradually building up.

What are your recommendations for someone dealing with hormonal acne?

Introduce a gentle lactic acid serum or wash at night to enhance skin renewal and turnover.

If optimising your skincare routine does not improve the breakouts, see your dermatologist who will be able to prescribe oral
anti-androgen such as spironolactone or low dose Vitamin A tablets to permanently solve this.

What is causing mask related acne?

Masks create an artificial micro-environment of increased friction, temperature, moisture and sebum or oil production.

Is it too early to start using Vitamin A in your twenties?

Certain cellular processes start to decline in each decade, thereby resulting in the cumulative process of ageing.

In our 20s, the production of natural antioxidants starts to deteriorate. Hence, I would start with potent actives such as Vitamin B3, Vitamin C serums with antioxidant lipids to counteract free radical damage.

Introduce Vitamin A in your late 20s, early 30s to optimise skin renewal and plumping of collagen and elastin.

How do we fix dark undereye circles?

This is a tricky one. Given it can be due to numerous causes including genetics, exhaustion, lack of sleep, excessive sun exposure, ageing and fat loss with contour change on the upper cheek.

The treatment would have to depend on the cause and anatomy!

What are your ingredient recommendations for fine lines and wrinkle prevention?

Tertiary complex Vitamin A with DNA-repair enzymes at night. Daytime- Vitamin B3, C, and broad-spectrum 50+ sunscreen.

Ingredient recommendations for inflamed (red) skin?

Vitamin B3 is a brilliant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent whilst restoring the skin’s cellular energy system thereby healing the inflamed impaired skin barrier.

How to minimise large pores?

The actual shrinkage of pores happens when you reduce the size or oil production of the underlying sebaceous glands with a low dose of oral retinoid or Vitamin A.

Topical actives such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids and certain non-ablative laser therapies can minimise the appearance and prominence of the pores.

What do you recommend for dealing with eczema and dermatitis flare-ups?

Maintain a good skincare routine of short, tepid showers. Pat dry and apply an emollient moisturiser when your skin is slightly damp for optimal absorption.

Seek to treat the first patch of eczema with the right prescription topical medication so that the inflammation does not spread.

Sleep at least for 8 hours and the importance of gut health, exercise, and stress management is paramount.


Targeted solutions and tailored treatments are offered to fulfil individual concerns of every age. This transcends into a guardianship of long-term, personal wellbeing and an amplification of the skin's innate intelligence.