Now that women spend so much time at home, the glory days of the boudoir have returned and they have time to sit prettily and rediscover themselves and their beauty. For the older generation, this rediscovery is a time of renewal, of sprucing up the once-neglected canvas of a body. On the other hand, for the young ones, it is a time of reinvention, of finding that long sought after “work-from-home quarantine glow-up.” To help women in different stages of reinvention and rediscovery, we sat down with The Icon Clinic’s skin care specialist and medical consultant, Dr. Aileen Dela Rosa, and asked her for some tips on how to achieve a glowing and youthful face from the comfort of their homes.
According to Dr. Dela Rosa, the most common beauty dilemmas faced by women are dark circles around the eyes, crow’s feet, patches that appear on the face due to hyperpigmentation (also known as melasma), pimples and acne, and overall tiredness around the facial area. While these are admittedly undesirable, there are some quick and practical ways in which we can treat or lessen them using products already available to us at home or are readily available for purchase online.
Dark circles are often caused by factors like genetics, race, improper blood flow, environment, and lifestyle. A multitude of skin conditions—such as dermatitis—alongside age-related changes may also cause dark circles to form.
Topicals—medicines, creams, or substances that are used through local application or action—may help to lessen or completely eradicate dark circles around the eyes. Caffeine is a good topical because it serves as an antioxidant protector and increases the blood flow of the skin. Other commonly used topical are retinoids and retinols which help in preventing the formation of fine lines. B vitamins such as niacinamide (vitamin B3) which can be used to calm redness and inflammation, and vitamins C and E that help boost the production of collagen.
Because the eye area is protected by the thinnest layer of skin, it is most susceptible to sun damage (caused by UV exposure), hormonal changes, and free radicals. All these, coupled with continuous facial muscle use, lead to wrinkles and crow’s feet. The best line for the prevention of crow’s feet come from vitamin A derivatives such as retinols and retinoids, B vitamins such as niacinamide to soothe skin, peptides that act as humectants which pull moisture, ferulic acid that prevents sun damage, and ascorbic acid that can reduce radicals and build collagen. Skin acids—such as glycolic acid and lactic acid solutions—can be used to smoothen out lines and prevent sun damage.
The simplest but most important treatment for melasma is simply to avoid sun exposure. The first lines of defence against melasma are retinoids, retinols, kojic acid, azelaic acid, or compounded tranexamic acid. The alternatives include alpha arbutin and licorice root which are both pigment correctors. Another useful piece of advice is to always use a broad variety of sunscreen.
There are many do’s and don’ts in the management and prevention of pimples and acne. These include proper facial hygiene to prevent oily skin, clogged pores, skin inflammation, and bacterial infections. Retinols and retinoids, if tolerated, can address these causes. It is best to use salicylic acid as acne wash in order to reduce inflammation, blackheads, and whiteheads. Furthermore, benzoyl peroxide is best for the treatment of spots and acne. Lactic acid, glycolic acid, and citric acid all help in building collagen because they are rich in exfoliating properties. Azaleic acid works best for sensitive skin.
Avoiding dairy, sugar, and refined foods is the most effective dietary change in order to eradicate pimples and acne. As tempting as it may be, professionals have advised against popping pimples, zits, and other unsightly inconveniences that may appear due to poor skin health and hygiene. Consulting a dermatologist or medical practitioner is always best.
Skin rejuvenation is the key to a fresher look and the overall improvement of skin texture, tone, and volume. Although lasers and fillers are the best option for facial revitalization, some may opt for the more convenient and natural at-home solution: moisturize, put on sunscreen, eat a healthy diet, and get enough sleep!
Keep your morning facial regimen simple: clean facial area, apply serum, lightweight cream, and sunscreen. Wash your face with a deep cleanser. It is important to wash off the pollutants that come in contact with your skin during the night, like those on your pillowcase and the remnants from your makeup. Apply an antioxidant serum after, preferably a vitamin C antioxidant that brightens up the skin. Afterwards, moisturize with a lightweight moisturizer and finish off with a broad spectrum sunscreen.
Start by cleansing your face at night. Then apply a serum that takes care of concerns that are unique to your skin type. To address fine lines and wrinkles, a retinol-containing serum is best. For acne, niacinamide serum to help reduce inflammation, while chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid-based serums help remove skin cells and minimize the appearance of pores, contributing to the improvement of your overall skin tone. Apply a night-time cream after the serum. And don’t forget the neck!
While keeping these tips in mind, it is also important to remember that skincare is a personal and unique journey that every woman goes on alone. Perhaps the most important of all the tips is to simply get to know and love the skin you are in. It is there in which real beauty and the true essence of glowing up lies!