The realest skin care advice from Dr. Belo herself that you’ll need to start the year right.
“New year, new me!”
“Page 1 of 365!”
Sounds familiar? This is because everyone posts about setting new goals and dreams every year. Goals include losing the holiday weight, starting a new hobby, or spending more time with friends and family. But if there is one more thing to add to our long list of goals, it has to be caring for our skin better.
As we age, our skin quality also ages with us. To help us out with our 2021 beauty goals, The Beauty Authority herself, Dr. Vicki Belo, and her podcast co-host, yoga teacher, and holistic life coach Katrina Razon, list down the top ten mistakes we do to our skin!
“I thought for some reason that acne was caused by dirt, which we know now it’s really more genetic—if your parents have it if you have oily skin, then, of course, you’re going to have acne problems,” Dr. Belo explains, but she also shared expert advice on making sure you can do your best to keep acne at bay.
It’s high time we repent and stop doing these sins against our skin. Keep reading and you might be surprised.
10. Neglecting your eyes and neck
Dr. Belo pointed out that most women tend to forget or completely skip moisturizing their neck area, when in fact “the only place you should really put moisturizer is on the neck because the neck doesn’t have any oil glands of its own.”
“The face may look young, but the dead giveaways [to tell someone’s age are] their hands and their neck, [which] sag a lot faster than the rest of the face,” she adds.
9. Not wearing sunscreen every day
When asked what is the best anti-aging cream, Dr. Belo answered, “I used to say tretinoin, but now I say sunblock.”
She explains, “The sun damages the skin pretty badly, especially the UVA (rays), so you have to use a broad-spectrum sunblock… Always wear sunblock even at home, because you get rays from gadgets and cooking.”
She suggests applying sunblock 30 minutes before going out in the sun because it takes roughly 30 minutes for your skin to absorb it. If you’re using sunblock with titanium oxide or zinc oxide (which are physical barriers for your skin against the sun’s harmful rays), then you can go out right after application.
8. Using moisturizer in a humid country
“Please do not moisturize in the Philippines!” Dr. Belo said. “80% of Filipinos have oily skin and the weather is humid so it doesn’t allow for vaporization when you clog your pores with moisturizer.”
Using moisturizers on your face could contribute additional oils and even block your face’s natural oils from coming out, which results in clogged pores and eventually cause pimples. Instead of creamy moisturizers, Dr. Belo suggests replacing them with Vitamin C or A (retinol) serums. You can read more about it here.
7. Washing your face with water that’s too hot
Most of us wash our face in the shower every day. If you love taking hot showers, Dr. Belo recommends lowering the water temperature a little bit before washing your face. Hot water could break or rupture blood vessels on your face, causing Telangiectasia—more commonly known as “spider veins.” Make sure to wash from your face and up to your chest area, and behind your ears.
6. Layering your skin products wrong and not preparing your skin
Applying your skincare products in the wrong order could counteract certain properties, says Katrina. Dr. Belo recommends the following steps for your skincare routine:
Prep the Skin – gentle facial wash (or a gentle exfoliating scrub every three days) and alcohol-free toner
Putting the Actives – always use the serums first
Protecting the Skin – Vitamin C or retinol should be applied last
She also shared a very important tip: Press (dab or pat) the product on your skin because you want the products to penetrate and not just sit on the surface of your skin. Do not rub it in because the skin on your face is very delicate.
5. Over-exfoliating the skin
“[A] loofah is one of the worst things you could use on your body because it absorbs bacteria (your shower is a very humid, very moist place, which microorganisms love), and scratching your body with it creates openings for the bacteria to go in. Synthetic ones are a bit better than the natural loofah, but Dr. Belo still recommends body scrubs instead of loofahs. Body scrubs should only be done once every two days at most and make sure to do it the right way: scrubbing in just one direction to slough off the dead skin and dirt, not back and forth.
4. Sleeping with face masks on
“It’s been studied and they have scientists give these instructions, so please do not divert” from product instructions, says Dr. Belo. So if your face mask says put it on for 15 to 20 minutes, don’t go beyond 20 minutes and never go to sleep with your mask on your face.
Dr. Belo and Katrina also talked about the importance of feeding your skin with the right things, especially for problem areas like under the eyes. “FillMed HXR-Eye Cream is not a moisturizer, it’s all about feeding your skin with what it needs which are peptides. It has tri-peptides collagen elastin, all the things that will make your skin around the eyes healthier,” Dr. Belo explains. “As we get older, we lose a lot of healthy cells, so aging begins at 25 (scientifically, because all bodies stop producing growth hormones). So it’s best to start anti-aging procedures when you hit 25 years old.”
3. Microneedling at home
Dr. Belo apologized for creating and selling microneedling devices over a decade ago. Now that she’s found and developed better technologies and products, she advocates against using microneedles at home. This is a procedure best left to professionals in a sanitized and well-equipped environment. Dr. Belo also warned against sellers offering microneedling devices who are using a really old video she made about it without her prior knowledge or consent. (Here is the best microneedling treatment you’ll find in the Philippines—and only Belo has it.)
2. Popping your own pimples
“You can never do it at the right angle. You really have to go to an aesthetician that’s been well-trained… In fact, for Belo [clinics], we train our aestheticians for six months. They do nothing for eight hours a day but pop pimples because it’s a skill that really needs to be learned,” Dr. Belo shared.
If you can’t go to the clinic, she suggests using the Belo Essentials AcnePro Pimple Gel (which is infused with purified bee venom that will dry up your pimple in no time) or the overnight patches, so it covers up your pimple and keeps you from touching it.
“If it burns on your face, it’s not good for you,” says Kat. And that’s a pretty easy rule of thumb to follow. Self-medicating is pretty easy to understand, but Dr. Belo points out that if you’re using products longer than instructed by your dermatologist, that’s also considered self-medicating. She says just follow your doctor’s instructions and do not skimp on products.
“We went to school for a really long time to learn all these things,” she adds. “If your skin issue is getting better, your skin has changed. So you do have to go back to your dermatologist because there is a difference between treating a problem and maintaining good skin. So you can’t use the same products to treat your skin in order to maintain it.”
Kat also shared a very important reminder for everyone: “Skincare products are very personal, so every product out there isn’t going to work on everyone. So the best option is to consult with a specialist who understands your skin and give you the right recommendations to treat the issues you’re experiencing.”
Dr. Vicki Belo is the country's foremost cosmetic dermatologist, multi-awarded and trusted both in local and international shores. The founder, CEO, and Medical Director of Belo Medical Group has, in the span of her illustrious career, successfully promoted medical tourism in the country and uplifted and changed the lives of many.
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