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Simple Skincare with The Nerdy Derma

Simple Skincare with The Nerdy Derma

If you don’t have a skincare routine just yet, now’s probably the best time to start one, especially since self-care and dealing with “maskne” have become a priority. You might think it tedious to do because it involves so many steps; but, actually, it shouldn’t. Once you know the dos and don’ts, an effective skincare routine doesn’t have to be complicated and you can actually do it in less than five steps.


So, who better to consult about basic skincare than The Nerdy Derma? We loved havingDr. Erin Tababa-Santos(AKA The Nerdy Derma)the first time that we invited her again to sit down, share more about skincare, and answer your questions about coming up with a simple skincare routine:


First and foremost, is skincare really needed?Skincare is notexactlyrequired. But, you get lots of benefits from it, and you look and feel better with it.


What are the basic skincare steps?

  • Cleanse: to get rid of dirt, pollutants, and environmental stressors that can harm your skin
  • Hydrate: to keep your moisture barrier healthy and functioning
  • Treat: an optional step and only if you have specific skin concerns
  • Protect: to shield skin from harmful UV rays with sunscreen. Even if your makeup has SPF, you still need a dedicated sunscreen.

How do you find the perfect sunscreen? 

First, there are two types of sunscreen: physical and chemical sunscreen. Physical sunscreen contains the minerals zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. The usual downside of this type is that it leaves a white cast. However, with modern technology, its particles can now be ionized, making them smaller and almost invisible when applied.


On the other hand, chemical sunscreen contains octinoxate and oxybenzone. Its composition is more for cosmetic purposes because it doesn’t leave a white cast that physical sunscreen does.


Here are some tips to finding the right sunscreen for you:

  • If there’s no ingredient list, think twice before buying it.
  • Try to purchase from reputable brands. If it doesn’t look well-packaged, then it’s probably not reliable.
  • It’s advisable to use sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
  • If you’re going to the beach, it’s recommended to use a physical sunscreen to avoid harming corals with harsh chemicals.

Can sunscreen actually have SPF 75? 

While there are products with SPF 75, sunscreen tends to become more expensive when it has a higher SPF. To be on the practical side, your skin should be well-protected with one index finger’s worth of sunscreen with at least SPF 30, if you’re heading out. 


But, if you’re staying indoors with minimal sun exposure, an inch (or from the tip of your finger to the first line) worth of sunscreen should be enough. Plus, here’s a fun fact: You still need a bit of sun on your skin to have enough Vitamin D in your system, so there’s no need to totally avoid sun exposure.


In case you wash your face in the middle of the day because of oiliness, you still need to reapply sunscreen.


Is there a proper method of cleansing the face?

Here are some basics:

  • Use a mild cleanser to prevent overcleansing. You want your skin clean, but not stripped off its natural oils.
  • Just use your hands. There’s no need for “tools” to help in cleansing your face.
  • In terms of movement, don’t drag your face down. Circular motions around your face are advisable.

Which skincare ingredients are safe to use and will help improve my skin?

It all depends on your skin concerns. The smart approach to skincare is identifying what skin problems you have and solving them with the right products. For example, if you’re experiencing flakiness, then increase your usage of moisturizer or switch to a heavier moisturizer. 


When it comes to skincare products, it’s not always about the cheapest or the most talked about; it’s all about what targets and addresses your skin concerns effectively.


Which ingredients should be used only with the approval of a dermatologist?

  • Antibiotics, like clindamycin, oxycyclene. hydroquinone: Using them without the supervision of a dermatologist contributes to your body’s eventual antibiotic resistance, produces acne-like blemishes, and creates an irreversible skin discoloration (often in blush-like or brown color).

  • Retinol: Retinol is not a “one size fits all” skincare product. A certain type or dosage that works for someone doesn’t mean that it automatically works for you, too. If you really want to use it, start slow and with a low percentage, and observe how your skin reacts to it.. 

How do I lessen “maskne” and acne on other parts of the body?

One tip is to not sleep with your makeup on and make sure that you wash your face before going to bed. You can also add exfoliating products to your skincare routine, like those with sulfur or kojic acid. If those still don’t work, you may need prescription medicine.


How do I remove blackheads and whiteheads?

Removing blackheads and whiteheads means removing the top part of the pore. With this, you need exfoliating products, like AHAs, BHAs, PHAs, and retinol. However, if you’re a first-time user, don’t use them all at once. Start slow before using it nightly, as long as there are no side effects.


How do I tell the difference between a temporary, day-to-day skin concern and a persistent skin condition?

If your skin concern isn’t solved by over-the-counter medicine, then there might be a more serious problem. Here’s when you should consult a dermatologist:

  • If your skin concern isn’t going away and you don’t know what it is exactly
  • If it’s red, painful, and not going away
  • If it’s growing bigger

How long will it take to treat acne and see results?

For blackheads and whiteheads, you can see results within two to four months. On the other hand, treatment of severe acne takes about six to eight months. If there’s procedure involved, it can be a lot faster.


If I have vitiligo, are there ingredients that I should avoid?

Vitiligo is an auto-immune condition where the body attacks the melanocytes, which are cells that produce pigment. While skin-lighteners are not advisable, other skincare products like toners, serums, and moisturizers should be safe and  good to use. 


Is over-cleansing your face possible?

Yes, it’s possible. You’ll know that you’ve over-cleansed when your skin feels tight and there’s flakiness. If you sweat a lot and need to cleanse more than twice a day, make sure to use a mild cleanser, and apply moisturizer and sunscreen afterwards.


How long do acne marks heal?

Acne marks can come in the form of dark spots, red spots, or acne scars. To heal deep scars, you need a procedure to remove them. Most types of red spots go away with continued acne treatment for four to eight months; otherwise, you might have to undergo procedure.  


Dark spots are the easiest to treat. You can expect results within two months or earlier, if you use photo-protecting and brightening products.


If I have oily and acne-prone skin, is it okay to use moisturizer only at night?

If your face is oily all over, then you can use moisturizer just at night. However, if you’re oily at certain parts only (usually, the T-zone), then concentrate your moisturizer on the drier parts of your face.


How do I incorporate niacinamide to my skincare routine?

For serums, go for a low percentage and do a test on a small area of your skin first. If there’s no irritation, then use it at least three times a week after washing your face. If your skin doesn’t react negatively, then you can do it nightly.


What’s the difference between a serum and a moisturizer?

Moisturizers are of a gel or cream type. Serums are more liquid and a version of an active ingredient in concentrated form. In terms of function, serums are more potent and designed to target skin concerns, while moisturizers are primarily for hydration.


Can you skip toners?

Toners function as a hydrator or an active, if it contains AHAs and BHAs. While they’re not exactly required, they help boost your skincare routine and support your actives.


Can baking soda and baby oil whiten my skin?

No. The chemical composition of baking soda is alkaline in nature, so putting it on your skin, which is slightly acidic, changes its pH level, disrupts its protective barrier, and causes irritations and even more skin problems.


These are just the tip of the iceberg! There’s a lot more skincare information and helpful tips that The Nerdy Derma shared during our one-hour session. In case you missed it, you can catch it all right here!


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