Of Vice and Virtue
- Call 8-819 BELO (2356)
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Now that many of us are spending significantly more time at home due to the quarantine, it can often slip our minds to do our skincare routine, especially when our *daily* routines have changed. Dermatologist to the stars, Dr. Vicki Belo, shares some of her tips to achieve healthy, clear skin while you’re at home. She also shares her advice on tweaking our routine with proper hygiene measures that the ongoing crisis calls for.
Tip #1: Wash your hands.
Many of us are guilty of not cleaning our hands before washing our face, applying skincare products, or putting on makeup. Step 1 of your skincare routine must always be to wash your hands. According to Dr. Belo, “It’s even more important now that your hands are clean because the face is the number one entry point of coronavirus—our eyes, nose, and mouth are all on our face.” She recommends washing your hands with facial wash while singing 2 birthday songs before proceeding to rinse off with water. Aside from possible breakouts caused by the dirt and germs on your hands, the recent COVID-19 crisis has taught us all that proper hand hygiene is crucial in preventing diseases.
Tip #2: Wear sunscreen, even at home.
In the morning, even if you’ll be home the whole day, skipping sunscreen has always been a big no-no. According to Dr. Belo, “The source of UV rays is not only from the sun, but also from computer screens, and the heat or radiation from cooking or baking. These stimulate the melanocytes, but wearing sunscreen can prevent this.”
She quoted, “A sunscreen a day keeps the wrinkles away.” Her advice? “To avoid the formation of wrinkles, the best thing to do is to use sunscreen in the morning even if you’re not going out. But if you go out, you can reapply.” We should also apply sunscreen on our neck, lip, and eye area—as long as the sunscreen isn’t drying. Also once you’ve applied our SunExpert Sunscreens, you are already protected from UV rays.
When we asked what we should look for when choosing the best candidate for our sunscreen, she said, “the best is SPF 50 PA+++, with Broad Spectrum coverage, UVA to prevent wrinkles, and UVB to prevent sunburn.” She further stressed the importance of UVA because when we’re at home, we’re more exposed to the light of computers, and not necessarily direct sunlight which can cause sunburns.
What are the best products to pair with sunscreen? So that we’re not only protecting our skin from wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, but also improving our skin appearance and texture, she recommends… “Keep it simple. In the morning, before applying sunscreen, apply Retinoic acid, also known as Retin-A.” At night, she recommends using an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) to exfoliate the skin revealing a much smoother texture.
Tip #3: Wash your face three times a day.
Since we aren’t able to get regular facials during the quarantine period, what can we do to prevent breakouts? After explaining how blackheads and whiteheads are caused by oil buildup, she said the only way to prevent this is to “wash your face thrice a day. Since you’re at home, you don’t really need to wear makeup. Just keep your face clean, and wash it again at lunch.” She cautioned not to wash more than thrice, because your skin might feel so dry that it signals your oil glands to produce more oil. And we definitely don’t want that to happen!
Tip #4: Sleep earlier.
With reports showing how many people have started to sleep later at night during this period, Dr. Belo warns that this behaviour can disrupt the body’s natural rhythm. Our body releases hormones at certain times when we are asleep, so if we are awake, the schedule of hormone secretion coincides with one other. As a result, breakouts occur! She mentioned, “God made our body so systematized. It’s much better to sleep earlier and wake up earlier, so take advantage that you’re working from home. When the sun comes up at 6:30 AM to 7:00 AM, you should be awake. When the sun goes down, eat dinner, and then sleep no later than 10 PM.”
Tip #5: Don’t prick your own pimples.
If you’re already breaking out, she emphasised to never prick your own pimples. Instead, she recommends using the Belo Acne Pro Kit (available in major drugstores, so you can still buy it now!), which she describes as “the next big thing.” The kit, infused with Purified Bee Venom, contains the AcnePro Pimple Fighting Bar to thoroughly clean your face, the Acne Pro Treatment Toner to deeply clean your pores and minimise the inflammation of existing pimples, and the AcnePro Pimple Gel to heal and treat spots with its antibacterial properties. How often should you apply spot treatment? She recommends “3-5 times a day to really dry up the pimple, and it will just shrink.” She further emphasized not to prick your own pimples because of the difficulty to extract them at the right angle. In her vast experience, she said, “A lot of people start with pricking one pimple then they keep pressing on the pimple until it gets inflamed. They get some pus to the right and to the left of the pimple from pressing on it so much, so the next day, they get 3 pimples instead of one. I really advise against that. Just wait till we open again.”
These tips have definitely reminded us to always go back to the basic rules of skincare. Following them not only gives us short-term results to tide our skin over the quarantine period, but also long-lasting effects that we can enjoy even when things get back to normal. Trust us—your skin will thank you later!