I agree with the saying that “beauty is only skin deep”, that the real beauty of a person is her character and values, but I also believe in the saying that “first impressions last”. So while we know there is more to a person than her physical attributes, her outfits and appearance, it’s still important to always try to look our best and give a good impression when we face people.
Honestly, growing up, I didn’t always put effort into fixing up. I didn’t care much for make-up or even clothes, much less about how I looked! I was a carefree, young lady who, while going to college in UP would be happy in a tshirt, shorts and sneakers, hair down or in a quickly-tied ponytail. Even when I worked in corporate as a new grad, I wouldn’t wear even lipstick, much to my boss’s chagrin, because she said I looked like a “nene” (kid). I guess this was because I had very sensitive skin and had to deal with some childhood skin allergies. So yes I had clear skin, never encountered acne problems, but I had atopic dermatitis so I was always conscious and picky about what I would put on my face and body so I could avoid breakouts.
After I had babies, all my allergies miraculously disappeared and my skin became normal and healthy! Now, because of the demands of my work, putting my best foot forward and exerting effort in making that good “first impression” when I meet people is now a must. I’m all grown up! (☺) Putting on a bit of make up to look more presentable when I’m at events, shoots or when I speak at seminars, has become part of my routine. Always at the back of my mind, I am thankful my skin’s in good condition and I don’t have allergies to worry about anymore.
A few years ago however, a new problem presented itself. Pimples started showing up on my face once in a while, and though it would sprout out just one at a time, it was a new thing for me. It’s adult acne, I believe the derma said, and it’s caused by my “maturing” (read: aging) hormones. This was also the time that my boys, especially Coby, started having the same concerns about acne, so we battled the problem together. We went to skin experts, dermatologists, allergologists, tried different products, had facials, the works! It took months so it was actually good bonding time for me and my teen, but it wasn’t an easy process, it was time consuming and it cost money. I also realized that from our initial skin care concerns, about our pimples affecting our appearance, and looking clean and good, it actually became a search for a Skin HEALTH routine that would work for us.
So, now is a good time for us, skin-wise. Our skin’s clear, and I think (knock on wood) we’ve finally found the right groove in caring for our skin. I’ve learned a lot from the experience so let me share some #skinhealth practices I’ve become more conscious about:
1. Keep your face clean.
One basic rule: Avoid touching your face! I like rubbing my nose, my chin, and if my hands are dirty, then voila, the dirt goes to my face and that’s when I start getting bumps, blackheads and sometimes, pimples. As early as now, I also try to remind my boys to also break the habit of touching their faces. Bad habits are hard to break but let’s keep reminding ourselves this.
We all know the rule, never go to sleep with make up on. If you accidentally did (like when I tumble into bed after a long day and (surprise!) wake up the next day), take extra care in cleansing well, and if possible let your skin breathe that day and go bare.
Avoid exposure to dirt and pollution. My skin was so good during my 1 month vacation in Canada and I’m sure the environment had something to do with it. Here in Manila, it is hard to avoid, so if you happen to frequent in pollution-laden areas, just take extra care in cleansing.
There was a time I would go to monthly facials at Facial Care. It was not only great for my skin but was also part of my “self care” or “me time” routine that we moms all need. After my skin got better, I just go every other month or when I have a concern like a breakout. Facials are good, to cleanse and to get your skin circulating, just find the right type and frequency for you and maintain that habit.
2. Stay hydrated inside and out
Drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water a day is essential for the body and is good for the skin. I see almost instant results on my skin when I am good and drink enough water. Bring a water bottle to make you conscious about intake. You can also try downloading a hydration app to monitor this as well.
Hydrate externally as well by putting moisturizer on your face and neck. I only put moisturizer at night and that works for me. Others religiously moisturize in the morning and before going to bed. When I am outdoors doing physical activities, I also bring hydration spray (like Evian).
3. Get enough hours of sleep
Skin betrays the sleepless. Puffiness, dryness, dullness, a sullen look. Expect skin to feel and look and feel like this if you don’t get enough sleep.
4. Eat well
You are what you eat, it’s true. Be conscious about what you take in. The more junk ,the more it will show not only in your belly but also on your face. The salt, preservatives and chemicals in processed food are enemies of healthy skin. If you can’t resist, just keep in moderation.
5. Stay away from stress and negative energy
I’ve vowed to try my best to consciously ban and expel negative energy in my life since the start of 2015. Limiting exposure to people who are a bit “nega”, choosing what I read online, even sometimes skipping the daily news – these small conscious steps have helped a lot in keeping my spirit more positive and at peace. Entrepreneur life, parenting and life in general, will always have its stressful moments, but I realize that with the right mindset of positivity and kindness, any amount of stress and negativity can be reversed and neutralized.
Just imagine stress as a pimple on your face, the more your feed it or dwell in it, the more it grows! So just let go of the energy, BREATHE and smile! You’ll find your skin smiling healthily back at you.
6. Find a good doctor.
It took a while for us to find the right dermatologist as our partner in skin health. We went to around 3 before we found one who understood our concerns and lifestyle and advised us accordingly. Skin doctors have different specializations – there are dermatologists, cosmetic dermatologists, allergologists. There are facial centers that are more cosmetic than clinical. Each one has specific benefits to its patients. Assess your needs then make sure you go to the right one so that you don’t waste your time and money.
7. Choose the right products.
Being conscious about products when I was young has kept me reading labels and literature. Check the components in the products. Are they FDA approved? Are the active ingredients regulated? Who is the manufacturer? No, no, no to fake medicine! (was appalled to find out about fakes and how people buy it thinking they’re authentic)
Remember that whatever you put on your skin or what you drink goes into your system and your entire body. So choose well.
I’m grateful that my skin is in its healthy state right now, but if the time comes that I am faced with problems again, I already know what to do. The key is in being proactive about our health, and that includes our skin.