October 3, 2022 | 10:00am
With everything that has happened over the last couple of years, I don’t blame you if you may have slacked off on your beauty routines. We have been wearing our face mask outdoors for so long, so some of us probably have not even bothered to wear face powder and lipstick or practice a regular skincare regimen. Our primary concern has been keeping ourselves and families safe from the COVID-19 virus.
But now that we have eased into the new normal and we are no longer required to wear face mask outdoors, we can’t be caught with bad skin. So if you need to brush up on your skincare routines, here are some expert tips and advice from Dr. Anna Marie Montesa (Montesa Medical Group Aesthetic Center), who I got to interview in a recent episode of “Pamilya Talk.”
1. Keep your skin clean. “Wash your face twice a day and don’t sleep without removing your makeup,” she says. Use a mild makeup remover or micellar water that can be bought over the counter or from your dermatologist. “Don’t use an oil-based or alcohol-based makeup remover because those tend to clog the pores. Better use a cleanser that’s non-comedogenic (specially formulated so as not to cause blocked pores),” she adds. Alcohol tends to dry the skin, causing irritation.
2. Avoid sun exposure after applying skin whitening treatments. This is a no-no, says Dr. Montesa. Many over-the-counter skin whitening treatments tend to cause melasma or skin darkening after your skin gets exposed to the sun. Usually, skin whitening treatments are done only once or twice a year, and after undergoing that, one should stay away from the sun for three days to about a week. Similarly, stop all your skincare treatments, if you are about to go under the sun—say, you’re going to the beach—as this may pose harm to your skin.
3. Protect your skin from premature aging. Always apply sunblock with SPF 30 or higher. “We need to reapply sunscreen every two hours especially if you’re going directly under the sun and you’re sweating,” says Dr. Montesa. If you’re applying makeup, better choose one with SPF. Even as early as 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., the heat of the sun is already intense nowadays, so better wear sunscreen when you’re going out or if you work near a window and the sun seeps through it. Dr. Montesa says it is a myth that morenas or those with darker skin need little sun protection. “Although protected ka ng melanin, tatanda pa rin [ang balat mo] kapag nagpaaraw ka,” she says.
4. Know your skin type before choosing skincare products. There are five skin types—normal (well-balanced, not too oily, not too dry), dry (flaky and rough), oily (with big pores, prone to blackheads and acne), combination (oily in the T-zone area, dry on the cheeks), and sensitive (fragile, prone to irritation). How we care for our skin will have to depend on three things: sebaceous secretion, hydration and sensitivity.
If you have sensitive skin, avoid alcohol-based products or anything that causes a stinging sensation. “If you happen to apply a product that stings, wash your face right away,” says Dr. Montesa. Use mild products; don’t use products that contain fragrance as well as peeling treatments.
Those with dry skin should choose a good moisturizer. Skin becomes dry due to a number of reasons—the use of hot water when bathing or washing, hot weather, age, overall health, and lifestyle. It could be temporary or lifelong and if not addressed early, it could lead to infection.
If your skin is sensitive and dry, better use a moisturizer that’s non-comedogenic. “If you apply the wrong moisturizer, this could cause irritation or pimple,” she says.
Products with alpha hydroxy acid or anti-bacterial creams are recommended for those with oily or acne-prone skin. But it’s best to seek your dermatologist’s advice to avoid having pimples that leave ugly scars. Dr. Montesa also advises those with acne-prone skin to get an acne treatment instead of the usual facial. Montessa Medical Group has a specially designed medication that helps to unclog the pores and treat big pimples. They also apply a special mask that dries out the zits. Is there a need to apply moisturizer if your skin is oily? Dr. Montesa says yes. But again, choose one that’s non-comedogenic.
Our friend-dermatologist likewise warns against the use of over-the-counter skin medications that could cause lifelong and irreversible damage to the skin such as peeling agents.
5. Maintain healthy, flawless skin by consulting a dermatologist. If you have any skincare problems, see an expert. Don’t self-medicate. Montessa Medical Group Aesthetic Center — with branches in Tomas Morato, Quezon City and Ayala Circuit Makati — offers the Ultrawhite European Facial, which uses natural treatments, with no peeling and irritating ingredients. They also offer skin whitening treatments that won’t harm your skin.
As a final advice, Dr. Montessa advises everyone to maintain the three basics of skin care: cleaning, moisturization and sun protection. Maintaining a daily skincare routine will help you look your best and put your best foot forward when you go out into the world.
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