I’m only 27, but my undereye area already looks sunken and hollow, even though I apply eye cream regularly. Are under-eye fillers suitable for me? Mel Singh, Pasir Ris Drive 2

You need to be assessed by a medical practitioner. In general, you’ll get better results from under-eye fillers if the skin in the under-eye area is firm, as it will “hold” the filler better. Also, since eye bags increase the difficulty of the injection techniques needed for the procedure, those with minimal or no eye bags are likely to have a better cosmetic outcome. Do note that it is technically more difficult to inject fillers into the undereye area, and that there could be bruising, lumpiness and bluish discoloration after the procedure.

I have keratosis pilaris on the arms and upper thighs. What can I do to make my skin smoother, and is this condition aggravated by stress, like eczema is? Rachel P, Portsdown Road

Keratosis pilaris is caused by a build-up of keratin that plugs up hair follicles, causing white or red bumps to appear on skin. Th ese bumps usually occur on areas such as the upper arms and thighs. Th is condition might be hereditary and is sometimes associated with eczema. It’s usually worsened by stress and exposure to a dry climate. To calm flare-ups, try a combination of steroid creams (prescribed by a doctor) and products with an ingredient that unplugs clogged pores and follicles, such as salicylic acid. Also, avoid over-washing as this dries up skin, and apply body moisturiser regularly to keep skin hydrated.

I’ve read that the caffeine in coffee dehydrates skin. But there have also been claims that caffeine shrinks blood vessels, reduces inflammation and improves skin cell function, hence its use in skincare. What’s your take? Grace Wong, Woodlands Avenue 1

Caffeine does have a dehydrating effect on skin when it is consumed orally, but studies have also shown that it has stimulating effects – an increase in alertness and heart rate, and improved blood circulation – as well as anti-inflammatory benefits when it is both consumed orally and applied topically. Hence, caffeine is a popular ingredient in skincare that promises to reduce puffiness and improve blood circulation.

This article was first published in the February issue of Her World magazine.