Nadia Banishes Scars Forever with Secret Duo

Hi everyone! I’m Nadia, also known as @nodiooo on Instagram or TikTok. Some of you may recognise me from my SGAG days where I featured in some of their videos [and was the Creative Manager of the Company].


As someone with an online presence, I’m my harshest critic when it comes to my appearance. I am constantly in front of the camera and editing my content and while everyone’s on a similar journey of self-love and acceptance, I am not opposed to skincare products and treatments that can help enhance my natural beauty!


I often struggle with hormonal breakouts and unfortunately have the bad habit of picking at my acne, leading to hyperpigmentation and scarring! I am also not a huge makeup wearer daily, which means these pesky spots can often steal the limelight in my videos. 

While acne and scarring are completely normal, they can sometimes detract from other features of my face that I do love! I was therefore on a quest to achieve clearer-looking skin effortlessly when Cienna Aesthetics Medical Clinic reached out to me to discuss an opportunity to collaborate on their new treatment, Secret Duo.

What is the Secret Duo Treatment?

Designed with rejuvenation in mind, the Secret Duo treatment combines radiofrequency (RF) microneedling with a 1540nm erbium glass laser to provide versatile and flexible treatments for every patient. It uses non-ablative fractional technology to address various skin concerns like acne, acne scars, wrinkles and more, helping you achieve optimal results with minimal downtime, reduced risks of side effects, infections and pain compared to conventional ablative fractional lasers.


My experience with this treatment started with a consultation with the medical director and founder of Cienna Aesthetics, Dr. Choong. With years of medical aesthetics experience under his belt, Dr. Choong is truly passionate about helping his patients achieve their desired look and it certainly came through during the consultation. 


After analysing my skin in detail, Dr. Choong explained that most of my acne “scars” were actually just post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) which was much easier to treat! PIH happens when a wound or irritation, in my case – acne, causes the skin to become inflamed causing it to produce too much melanin as the skin heals, resulting in the dark spots I saw post-breakout. 

With this in mind, Dr. Choong decided it would be best to combine the Secret Duo treatment along with two different skin boosters, Juvelook and Teosyal® Purelook Redensity 1 to help with my active acne, hyperpigmentation as well as enlarged pores I wanted to reduce the appearance of.

The Treatment Process

Following the consultation, I was brought into a separate treatment room where one of the friendly aestheticians gently cleansed my face before applying some medical-grade numbing cream. While we gave the topical anaesthesia sufficient time to work (roughly 40 mins), I simply relaxed in the room, with aestheticians checking up on me intermittently, making sure I was as comfortable as I could be.


Once the topical anaesthesia took effect, Dr Choong came in to check if I was ready for the treatment. He made sure to let me know when he was beginning the treatments and informed me of the different steps he was taking to ensure that I felt comfortable and understood the process. 

1. Skinboosters

We started with the first skin booster, Juvelook – a Korea-originated injectable hybrid filler that combines HA (hyaluronic acid) and PDLLA (Poly D, L – lactide). Dr. Choong told me that since the laser could make the skin feel a little tight, the HA in the booster will help instantly soothe and hydrate the skin, while the PDLLA will help increase collagen production to improve volume, firmness and elasticity over time, tackling various ageing problems such as wrinkles, fine lines and skin laxity.

The second skin booster, the Teosyal® Purelook Redensity 1 helps improve the quality of the skin through protection against oxidative stress. Think the sun’s UV rays, stress, air pollution and more which can accelerate skin ageing and damage. By shielding the skin from these harmful influences, it not only helps maintain a youthful appearance but also supports overall skin health. 

2. Secret Duo Pt.1 – RF Microneedling

Next, we proceeded to the star of the show, the Secret Duo machine. We began with the RF microneedling which creates controlled micro-injuries or tiny punctures in the skin’s surface. This process triggers the body’s natural wound-healing response, including gentle skin resurfacing that removes old and damaged tissue, fading hyperpigmentation, and collagen production which can help pores to appear smaller. 


Now we all know about collagen’s role in keeping up a youthful appearance but do you know how collagen impacts the appearance of enlarged pores?

As we age, our body produces less collagen, which can lead to pores that appear looser and larger. Since collagen supports skin firmness, an increased production of collagen can help firm up the skin around your pores, resulting in smaller, less visible pores. 


In addition to the mechanical stimulation from the microneedles, controlled RF energy is also delivered into the layers of the skin through the gold-plated, medical-grade needles at various depths – ranging from 0.5mm to 3.5mm. The RF energy works at a deeper level, further stimulating collagen synthesis and providing an additional skin-tightening effect which is always welcomed!


Other benefits of RF Microneedling include: 


  • Non-surgical Face Lifting
  • Wrinkle Reduction
  • Removing Acne Scars, Scars, Spider Veins and Stretch Marks

3. Secret Duo Pt. 2 – Erbium Glass Laser

Finally, we finished off with the fractional erbium glass laser as it could help the healing process, reducing the treatment’s downtime. Unlike RF microneedling which works at a deeper level, the laser precisely targets the superficial layer of the skin, promoting controlled micro-injuries through dermal thermal heating without any damage to the skin’s surface. Just like RF microneedling, this stimulates the body’s natural healing mechanism, further helping with hyperpigmentation and enlarged pores. 


As for my active acne, the laser took care of that too. Not only do laser lights contain anti-inflammatory properties which can help calm down active acne, but they can also destroy some of the tricky bacteria nestled deep within the pores that usual skincare products simply can’t reach. With less active bacteria, your body’s healing systems can make headway against the acne reactions.


In addition to helping with active acne, hyperpigmentation and enlarged pores, the laser can also: 


  • Improve the appearance of acne and atrophic scars
  • Reduce wrinkles 
  • Lift & tighten skin 
  • Improve tone & texture


If sticking needles and having lasers shot into your skin sounds painful to you, you would not be wrong. However, with the help of the numbing cream and Dr Choong’s expertise, the process was not painful for me at all!

Results & Review

A month after my treatment, I caught up with the team at Cienna again to check on my skin’s progress. While I did experience some breakouts right after and my itchy fingers got the best of me again, there was a reduction in the appearance of the existing hyperpigmentation I had. Dr. Choong also noted that there was also a slight improvement in my jawline, thanks to the tightening effect of the treatment. My skin also looked brighter and with better texture. 

Dr. Choong did preface that this is not a one-off treatment and that multiple sessions would be needed to see substantial and long-lasting improvements. Nevertheless, it was a great experience in my journey to achieving clearer-looking skin and I am excited to explore further in the world of medical aesthetics to see where it takes me!


A big thank you to Dr. Choong and the welcoming team at Cienna who took great care of me throughout the process!


Till next time!


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