Practical Skin Care

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Thursday, June 12, 2014


I'M often asked about how I take care of my skin. My skin is fairly well-behaved, but it’s not the type that only needs little more than cold water to look decent. I have combination skin, which is normal or sometimes dry on the cheeks and chin, and starts to get oily on the forehead and nose two hours after washing. I’m not a dermatologist, but these tips might work for you.

• Start early. I started using mild cleanser and moisturizer when I was about 13. I also started wearing a light eye cream at night at age 20.

Starting good skin habits early makes sure your skin is well maintained, and it will not feel awkward trying to incorporate new habits when you’re older and skin starts to age. Prevention is better than cure.

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• Don’t neglect the delicate skin around your eyes. I started using slightly heavier eye creams three years ago. I added a daytime eye cream and switched to a collagen eye cream at night last year.

• Exfoliate twice a week using a facial scrub. Choose something that isn’t too harsh, with round beads instead of jagged ones. Once a week or every two weeks I’ll use a microdermabrasion facial wash too. This is not as scary as it sounds; it’s really just a face polish, no peeling or anything.

• Every couple of weeks, usually after the microdermabrasion, I’ll apply a sheet mask and leave it on for half an hour just to give my skin an extra treat. When I remove the sheet mask, I massage in the leftover moisture, then go to sleep. These masks are inexpensive at about 50 to 70 pesos.

• Handle with care. Never be too rough when washing your face. Use the ring and middle fingers for washing and applying moisturizer. Use the ring finger for applying eye cream. These will apply less pressure than using all of your fingers.

• Adjust skincare. As you age, different skin issues will come up. You may need something different to address spots, fine lines, less radiance and less smoothness.

• See a dermatologist when necessary. I have fortunately never had bad skin problems, except for a few months in college when I was very busy and quite stressed with school and my many extra-curricular activities. I had a case of back-ne (back acne) that I hated and it would not go away from just washing with soap and applying benzoyl peroxide. I visited a dermatologist and she recommended a soap and some creams, which helped fix the problem. If you have skin problems that may be caused by hormones, a derma can give you advice when your usual products just won’t work.

• “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I don’t get facials often, and when I do, I’ll usually opt for the ones that don’t involve pricking or any sort of tools. I’ll only get those done if I feel like my skin needs it, since we sometimes need the extra boost due to pollution, sun exposure and makeup. Just choose procedures that your skin needs. Doing too many treatments on your face will most likely do more harm than good.

• Wear sunblock. No one can deny that it keeps getting hotter. Wear at least SPF 15 on a daily basis, and definitely more if you expect to be outdoors.

• Eat well, exercise regularly, and stay hydrated. We all know the drill, but not everyone is religious about it. These healthy habits will give you benefits that nothing from a package or bottle can do to boost your skin.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 13, 2014.

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