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We know it’s been a good two months since you last set foot in a Belo clinic. And we get it—despite all the Belo Shop products you’ve been hoarding, nothing beats a trip to Belo to indulge in the treatments your skin truly deserves. But now that community quarantine has been extended once more, what can we continue to do to tide our skin over until, well, this is over? Last Friday at 8PM, Dr. Belo sat down with Jillian Gatcheco Cantada, editor-in-chief of Cosmo.ph. Together, they quashed misconceptions, dished out skincare secrets, and shed some much-needed light on your most pressing questions. Here are 5 things we learned from their chat:
1. Sunblock should be worn not just for sunlight, but also to protect yourself from radiation from your screens.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: sunblock isn’t just for the outdoors! “People think we only use sunblock to protect us from the sun. But actually, we are putting [on] sunblock to protect us from radiation. If you’re…always in front of the computer, your screen radiates light and can cause pigmentation in people who are sensitive. Radiation plus heat will attract your [melanocytes to the surface] to make pigment. Heat will cause pigmentation as well,” explains Dr. Belo, who had a brief bout with pigmentation after becoming a regular practitioner of Bikram yoga. “It really proved to me that heat can cause pigmentation.”
Dr. Belo goes on to explain that water-resistant sunblock only lasts about 90 minutes. “Waterproof sunblock in the water will last you 120 minutes. But if you’re at home and you’re air-conditioned, your sunblock should last you the whole day. If you have oily skin, you should use a sunblock gel.”
(Get the Belo Prescriptives Sunblock Gel at the Belo Shop.)
2. It’s possible to keep your face hygienic and acne-free, even when wearing a mask.
“Right now, you have to keep your whole [face] covered because the virus can come in from the sides [of your face]. And that causes pressure on your skin, it clogs the pores, and the fibers can irritate the skin. One of the things you can do is wash your face at lunchtime if you’re in the office.” Dr. Belo recommends washing your face for a maximum of three times a day only. “Maybe you can bring a toner to clean your face. We have medicines for the pimples that you could get, especially around your chin area. We have the AcnePro [Pimple Gel]. It’s bee venom, and it’s very good for spot treatments. Bring it in your bag, and whenever you have a pimple starting, this dries it up right away.” And the most important part? Don’t touch your face!
(Get the Belo AcnePro Pimple Gel here. You can also find it at leading drugstores and supermarkets nationwide.)
3. Waiting for your next laser hair removal treatment? Resist the urge to pluck!
If you’re conscientious about unwanted hair, it’s likely the ECQ caught you right in the middle of your laser hair removal sessions, preventing you from being consistent! Don’t worry—there’s a solution! For those who are waiting on their next session, plucking is a no-no. Dr. Belo recommends that you shave instead. “If you’re doing laser hair removal, you shouldn’t do that. Plucking makes the hair thinner, and shaving makes the hair thicker. When you go to the doctor for laser hair removal, we always shave. ‘Cause we need the fat follicle intact so that the laser can find it easily.”
For those who aren’t undergoing laser hair removal, you may safely pluck away. “The reason I like plucking, if you’re NOT doing laser hair removal: it doesn’t cause pigmentation or micro-wounding. And it’s really the cleanest way. As you keep plucking, the hair gets finer and finer,” Dr. Belo advises. “Get the Beauty Deo so that it’s not irritated and there’s no red bumps.”
(Get the Belo Essentials Beauty Deo here. You can also find it at leading drugstores and supermarkets nationwide.)
4. Can’t resist extracting your blackheads or whiteheads in isolation? Dr. Belo disapproves…but here’s how to do it right!
“Let’s do it properly. I’m sure other dermas will get mad at me, but anyway, since I know it happens… Number one, please wash your hands to the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice. Number two, your extraction tool should be boiled for 20 minutes to kill all of the bacteria, and then alcohol. Number three, steam. If you want a DIY steam, get a stainless steel bowl with water that’s been boiled, and put a towel over your head so your skin softens up a bit.”
Dr. Belo advises, though, that store-bought blackhead extractors should “only be used on the nose, and very gently.” Don’t have or don’t want to use a blackhead extractor? She recommends wrapping clean fingers in cotton and then pressing lightly, “because [fingers are] more round, so it doesn’t create such a sharp [sensation].”
How can you avoid getting blackheads and whiteheads in the first place? The ZO Exfoliation Accelerator is fantastic! “You put it on in the morning, and then the ZO Wrinkle + Texture Repair cream at night.” Dr. Belo also recommends using the ZO Exfoliating Cleanser in the morning and night.
5. Feelin’ the heat? Don’t overdo it in the shower!
Dr. Belo doesn’t have objections to you showering multiple times a day due to this insane heat, but be wary of the products you’re using. She likes to soap it up: “First of all, the soap is very important. You have to get soap that is not drying. I use two or three kinds of soap, so I’ll do a kojic soap. Then I’ll do a lubricating soap, something that will make my skin soft. And then, not too long a shower, maybe 5 to 10 minutes,” she says.
“If you’re going to shower [multiple times a day], don’t scrub every single time. Exfoliation is important, but I also want to warn people against loofahs. Just think about it: it stays in the shower, it’s in a dark place, and it’s kinda wet. So sometimes it grows bacteria, and sometimes fungal stuff grows. It creates little scratches, and the bacteria and fungus can enter your skin and create bad skin conditions.”
And there you have it—expert advice from Dr. Belo herself, so you can brave the quarantine and keep your skin quality intact! To view the full Facebook Live video, click here, and don’t forget to join the Cosmo Mixers Facebook group for fun discussions, sweet prizes, and chances to be featured in their articles!