Conscious pharmacy: Singapore dermatologist to roll-our e-Pharmacy concept for democratised access to cosmeceuticals
Dr TWL Pharmacy is a conscious beauty and skin care pharmacy by accredited dermatologist Dr Teo Wan Lin.
It is an extension of a specialist dermatologist practice and consists of the company’s Custom Make-up Laboratory, which offers custom blend pure mineral makeup safe for sensitive skin users.
The pharmacy is also home to the Mask Bar which offers skin care solutions that centre around a waterless, freeze-dried plant-derived facial mask.
Recently, the company revealed to CosmeticsDesign-Asia that it will be extending its presence online with the year-end launch of its e-Pharmacy concept complete with a teledermatology service.
“We conceived the e-Pharmacy concept as a fully integrated virtual experience, taking it out of the purely medical context and crossing into the arena of beauty,” said Teo.
The e-Pharmacy serves to offer a prescriptive, personalised experience to the end-consumer.
“We're taking it to a very commercial level. The concept is not just localised to our patients who require a medical prescription but to ride on the well-evidenced benefits of cosmeceuticals,” said Teo.
According to Teo, the e-Pharmacy was conceived in November last year, before the onset of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“What drove me to create this was essentially the viable e-commerce model and the very democratic access that digital platforms offer to all individuals. Looking back, it was a concept with a great deal of foresight,” said Teo.
The company also utilises virtual reality tools such as the ‘magic mirror’ which allows patrons of the Custom Make-up Laboratory to try on different shades.
The advancement of technology has also enabled the company to treat clients remotely through teledermatology.
“Having a smartphone is almost taken for granted in today's world. I don't think that resolution is a problem these days. However, there has to be specific methods of taking a photograph that needs to be standardised such as light,” said Teo.
These new developments will allow the brand to control traffic within its premises given the concerns with overcrowding in this climate.
“Pre-COVID, dermatology was easily the best-suited speciality for telemedicine because our diagnosis is based on the recognition of patterns like visuals and colours. Virtual consultations are in fact going to be the norm for a long time as there may be individuals that prefer this due to convenience,” said Teo.
Currently, the clinic serves a number of overseas clients from neighbouring countries like Indonesia and this service would allow the company to expand its presence beyond Singapore more efficiently.
Additionally, going digital would allow the company to cut down on waste – for instance, the ‘ridiculous’ amount of paper it consumes.
This falls in line with the conscious beauty principles the e-Pharmacy is centred around, evident also in its use of sustainable, biodegradable materials as well as reusable packaging.
“We know that the way we live is unsustainable. We’ve seen that COVID-19 was a result of encroachment of the habitat of another species most likely, threatening their existence. It’s this very wake-up call that I feel should extend to every single part of society. There is evidence to support the fact that our world earth cannot sustain our current lifestyle. We are really compelled to go down this route of being more conscious about the choices we make.”
Additionally, Teo believes conscious beauty extends more to just eco-consciousness.
By being able to reach more people with the power of the Internet and connectivity, Teo endeavours to make a difference for people who suffer from skin conditions.
“What has touched me over the years is seeing patients come to me with a lot of baggage and self-esteem issues. I feel the need to return to our values as mankind, to express the highest values of kindness and compassion not just for each other, but for other species, and this planet we take joint responsibility of. It’s the only way to go.”