Have you ever wondered why that same facial wash that does wonders to your BFF's skin is causing yours to break out?
That's because you and your best friend forever have different skin types.
In brief, skin care varies according to different skin types.
So, know your skin type and use products best suited for it.
To help you put your best face forward, dermatologist and Philippine Dermatological Society officer Dr. Zharlah Gulmatico-Flores breaks down the ways you can determine your skin type and the corresponding products that will work best for you.
Dr. Flores says there are two ways to care for your skin—through the skin-care products you use and the food you eat.
If you have oily skin, your face has the tendency to become shiny and greasy, thick and rough.
Dr. Flores says you should cherish your oily skin because the oil keeps it healthy.
She expounds, "If you have oily skin, our sebaceous glands producing oil may be enriched with Vitamin E, and Vitamin E is very important as an antioxidant to our skin.
"The oil somehow filters some of the UV rays. So it prevents the UV rays from entering our skin.
"Aside from that, the oil on top of your skin prevents the water from coming out of your skin, so in a way, this maintains the moisture of your skin."
As soon as you wake up in the morning, wash your face with a cleanser specially made for oily and acne-prone skin.
Use the same cleanser at night, and make sure to apply tretinoin cream or oil-free moisturizer on your face before going to bed.
As for the recommended diet, Dr. Flores suggests, "You shouldn't eat a lot of food that contains a lot of sugar, fatty oily food, yung mga spicy food because it can trigger the sebaceous glands to secrete more oil, so lalo ka magiging oily."
Healthy eating is key not just to a strong body and a nourished skin, too.
Dr. Flores recommends that you eat green leafy vegetables for fiber and nuts and fruits for antioxidants.
"Coconut, broccoli could also hydrate your skin, maintain the water inside the skin, at the same time, make your skin a little bit oily," she says.
"Cucumber retains the water inside the skin. Banana, avocado are very good for the skin as well.
"They contain essential fatty acids that are very good for the skin... they maintain the hydration as well that limits the oiliness of your skin."
According to Dr. Flores, your skin turns dry when it is low in hydration, moisturization, and oil.
This can be caused by extreme weather or harsh skin-care products that strip the skin of its natural oils, which may lead to other skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.
If you have dry skin, use a gentle skin cleanser both in the morning and at night.
Dr. Flores says it's important to use a mild one "because it won't strip off the essential nutrients or essential protein inside the skin."
And moisturize daily.
Apply a moisturizer with sun protection factor (SPF) in the morning and a gentle, hydrating one at night.
The use of toner is optional for your skin type.
Sensitive skin is categorized into two types: naturally sensitive and allergic.
Naturally sensitive skin is genetic and prone to irritation that may be caused by the food you eat or the skin cleanser you use.
"Sensitive can be those people, when they use a product, they are prone to have pimples right away or what you call acne," Dr. Flores explains.
"Puwede ring sensitive when they eat spicy food, they have red skin na. Puwede din namang gumamit sila ng product 'tapos ang hapdi-hapdi din agad sa simula, pero doon naman sa [ibang tao], hindi naman."
Allergic skin, on the other hand, reacts to certain chemicals like "preservatives and fragrances."
"So overall, ito yung sensitive skin," she says.
If you have sensitive skin, whether it's naturally sensitive or allergic, use a skin cleanser labeled as hypoallergenic.
But then just because a product is hypoallergenic doesn't mean that it completely prevents allergic reactions.
Dr. Flores clarifies, "When you say 'hypo,' binabawasan mo lang, you decrease. It just lessens your allergic reaction, not completely eradicate it."
Webmd.com also says, "It's impossible to guarantee that a cosmetic or skin-care product will never cause an allergic reaction."
Aside from being hypoallergenic, the cleanser should also feel gentle on your skin.
To know if the one you're using is mild, check its scent and texture when you spread it on your skin.
"So malaman mo na gentle skin cleanser ang gamit mo if they don't smell very good," says Dr. Flores.
"Ibig sabihin hindi sila mabangong-mabango and when you use them, hindi sila masyadong mabula."
She also advises using sunblock that is non-comedogenic, which means it does not have chemicals that will block your pores.
When buying skin-care products, avoid these ingredients: linseed oil, cocoa butter, butyl stearate, oleic acid, acetylated lanolin alcohol, lanolin acid, coconut oil, isopropyl myristate, isopropyl linoleate, isopropyl isostearate, isopropyl palmitate, myristyl lactate, myristyl myristate, laureth-4, octyl alchohol, and octyl palmitate.
To complete your routine, use a moisturizer that is "soothing to the skin" every morning and night.
You may or may not have pigments on your skin yet, but one way to confirm if you fall under this type is by simply looking at your parents.
If they have pigments, "most likely, mamamana mo siya," says Dr. Flores. "Genetic kasi iyan, e."
Too much outdoor activities can also trigger skin pigmentation.
This is because the sun's rays will require your skin to produce a lot of melanin, which is the pigment that provides color to your skin.
You're lucky to have a pigmented skin, not only for its physical aspect but also for the melanin that protects your skin from harmful UV rays.
Taking care of pigment-prone skin requires a three-step routine in the morning.
First, use a facial cleanser that's gentle on the skin.
Dr. Flores elaborates, "You can make use of gentle facial cleanser, hindi yung lagi mo siyang ira-rub.
"Kasi the more you rub your skin, the more friction you'll have, the more it gets hurt. Tapos mae-expose ka pa sa sun, mas lalong iitim yung skin mo."
Second, use a toner, and third, apply sunscreen with high SPF.
Dr. Flores prescribes, "It should contain SPF more than 18. That is actually prescribed by the American Academy of Dermatology."
Before bedtime, use the same cleanser and toner as you did during the day, then apply moisturizer and retinoids or whitening cream on your face.
The retinoids exfoliate your skin, while the whitening cream is best used to remove the pigments.
Although wrinkle-prone skin is genetic, you can also acquire it through aging, too much sun exposure, and smoking.
Dr. Flores says that if you start practicing a good skin-care routine as early as 20 years old, you can delay the wrinkles that will appear on your face.
"As early as 20s, you start to have an increase in cell turnover and cell renewal. Ibig sabihin, hindi na masyadong nagpapalit ang skin mo.
"Ibig sabihin, nag-i-start nang mag-age ang skin mo. As early as 20s, you should have a very good skin-care regimen.
"As early as 20s, nag-da-die down na yung collagen mo, which causes the sagging of the skin and wrinkling of the skin."
Treatment for this skin type involves using gentle skin cleanser, hydrating moisturizer, and anti-aging cream.
Wearing sunblock should also be top-of-mind "because the UV rays can damage your skin, causing pigments and wrinkles to form on your skin."
Aside from using these products, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a must.
"Sleep at least six to eight hours a day," Dr. Flores suggests.
"Kapag konti ang tulog mo, mas tatanda kang mabilis.
"Prevent smoking as it speeds up aging."
If you're one of those people with resistant skin, you're the type who doesn't get skin irritation or allergic reaction after using any type of facial product.
As the name says, your skin has strong resistance against chemicals.
Dr. Flores points out, "Kahit ano puwede niyang gamitin kasi resistant nga siya, e, kahit ano hiyang talaga sa kanya.
"Mayroon ganoon talagang mga tao."
Because your skin is "in very good condition," Dr. Flores says that you're free to use any type of cleanser and moisturizer. Talk about being lucky!
These tips were taken from Dr. Flores' lecture at the Cetaphil National Healthy Mission event attended by PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of the press on August 16, 2019, in SM Makati.