Skin care for the acne-prone

I’ve always wanted effortlessly clear skin, but am now finding out that I have to work doubly hard to get what I want.

As an adolescent and young adult, I struggled with acne especially around my t-zone. I went to several dermatologists until finally, in mid-college, it cleared up. My skin was relatively non-problematic throughout my post-graduate studies and training, but now, it’s just a whole different story. I started getting really bad breakouts around my nose and chin, and even on my cheeks. I thought I could get it under control on my own, but soon realized that I needed to seek help from the skin care professionals. I’m glad I did, because it was the right thing to do. Barely a month after undergoing treatment, my skin is clearing up nicely.

It pays to have a good skin care regimen. Mine isn’t quite as exhaustive as the popular 10-step Korean regimen, thankfully (it’s only 7 steps hahaha):

  1. Remove all make-up before going to bed. I make sure to use my micellar cleansing water from Simple to wipe all of my makeup away. They also have an eye make-up remover to help take off waterproof mascara easily.
  2. Use a mask. At first I thought this step was a little extra, but then I realized how important it was when I started to see the effects it had on my skin. I use the Lerosett Mask from Gunilla of Sweden every night after taking my make-up off, and it works beautifully! The mask is made of organic rasul clay which works to relieve the skin of impurities. Aside from being a facial mask, the product can also be used as a spot treatment for blemishes or acne, to help it heal quicker and reduce inflammation. I leave the mask on on my entire face for 15-30 minutes and then wash it off with warm water.
  3. Use a facial wash that’s appropriate for your skin type. Because I have combination skin, I use a facial wash with AHA (alpha-hydroxy acids) and glycolic acid. This helps clean my face and remove excess oils without stripping it of moisture. It’s important to use a face wash that works well for your skin type, isn’t too strong, and won’t excessively dry your skin.
  4. Tone! After washing my face, I also use a toner with AHA. This helps bring back your skin to its normal pH levels, and removes any excess oil.
  5. Exfoliate at least twice a week. Breakouts are sometimes caused by the build-up of dead skin in our pores, so it’s important that we exfoliate to make sure all dead skin is properly shed. I do this step twice a week at night, using the peel pads from Luminisce, which is the skin clinic I go to. The pads come in a plastic container, and are soaked with a fruit acid-based solution for mild exfoliation and peeling. I can’t even begin to explain how much I love those peel pads! My skin always looks so fresh and luminous after using them.
  6. Moisturize. It’s so hot here in Manila, so I prefer light, non-sticky moisturizers. I also prefer products that are unscented, mainly because my skin is pretty sensitive. My current favorite is the Sensylia moisturizing cream.  It delivers so much moisture in such a light-weight formula, and leaves the skin feeling so fresh all the time.
  7. Use sun protection. Aside from preventing skin cancer, sunblock also helps prevent skin aging. This, I believe, is the primary secret to retaining that “baby face” and baby-smooth skin. I use a tinted sunblock from Luminisce to help keep away those harmful UV rays.

Aside from having a bullet-proof skin care regimen in place, it’s also important to consult a skin care professional or dermatologist to help address your skin concerns.

More skin care, less makeup

A lot of us (me included) tend to hide behind layers and layers of makeup to conceal all of our blemishes, bumps, and those large pores. Amidst all the concealing and covering up we do, we forget to take care of the biggest organ in our body: our skin.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with a lot of makeup products recently, mainly because I’ve found that they were not the right products for my skin type, or because they just straight up made my skin break out. To counteract all of the pore clogging effects of makeup,  I tried out a bunch of different skin care items, and found a couple which I’ve grown fond of.

At night, to remove the makeup I wore on my face, I use the Micellar line from SimpleSimple is a skin care brand from the UK which they recently brought to the Philippines, and is available at Watson’s. I bought their Micellar Cleansing Water and Eye Make-Up Remover, and they are just fantastic. Both products remove makeup in just one swipe, and are non-irritating and non-drying. I use the products with these Natural Cosmetic Cotton Pads I got from the newly opened Miniso store in Glorietta. I wish these pads were thicker and softer, though.

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If I’m travelling, I opt to use make-up remover wipes because they’re easier to bring instead of having to pack bottles into my bag. I love the Q-10 Make-up  Remover Cleansing Towelettes by Purederm. I’m already on my second pack. This is also available at Watson’s.

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After removing all the makeup, I use an unscented, mild facial wash to make sure my face is squeaky clean. I then proceed to apply a gentle toner and then a moisturizer. At night, I use a night cream. In the morning, I use a moisturizer with SPF. My current favorite is the Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil-Control Facial Moisturizer. It has SPF 30, and is specially formulated for people like me with oily skin, so it is mattifying but non-drying at the same time. I believe this is available at Mercury Drug outlets nationwide.

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Following a strict skin care regimen may be a little taxing at first. The routine does need a little getting used to. But I believe the pay-off is worth it. Beautiful skin means you won’t have to wear as much makeup anymore. And if you do decide to wear makeup, it will glide on like a dream and wear better.