Bianca Gonzalez has always been aware of her skin type. It was "super dry" in her younger years and, as she grew getting "exposure to elements," it turned "dry to combination." Then there's the influence of hormones that caused days where she had oilier skin.
"I never knew I had sensitive skin. I’ve always known that my skin is pretty tough. I just realized, after the talk earlier," says the TV host and model during the online event for the skin care brand that she endorses, Cetaphil.
Bianca is referring to the talk on sensitive skin and acne given by Dr. Francesca Sy-Alvarado, a board-certified dermatologist, at the opening of the three-day Cetaphil Skin Summit 2022.
She goes on sharing what she's learned from the talk, "'Yung dry patches, irritated patches…Akala ko those are just everyone goes through. ’Yun pala signs of sensitive skin."
The 39-year-old mom of two then recounts what happened to her skin during the long lockdowns imposed in response to the COVID-19 health crisis that began in March 2020.
"Nagka-big breakout ako 2 years ago when the pandemic happened," she says. "So I was 37. Akala ko graduate na ako sa mga breakouts, acne. Because that happened in your teens, 20s, and then I happened to me when I was pregnant. Hormones.
"And then what happened was, siguro no’ng nag-lockdown, we were all at home. Of course, we were thinking so many things, probably stress. And then parang kung ano-ano ang tina-try ko sa balat ko."
Bianca now admits getting carried away with what saw on her Instagram feed, particularly some of her friends trying out new skin care products and routines. Mixing those products apparently had clashing effects that eventually took a toll on her skin.
"It’s really super breakout," she says. "Dito s’ya sa chin, sa cheeks, mostly the mask area. Even if you put concealer, and’yan pa rin. You can’t lie to the mirror...I get cystic pimple. Hindi ako ’yung parang maliliit. It’s really ’yung buhay na buhay."
She admits, "As with everyone, when we wake up with a big pimple, it affects your confidence no matter how confident you may be as a person. When your skin breaks out, it really affects how you present yourself as well."
How Bianca dealt with her acne
That's when she did "the smart thing" of consulting a dermatologist. She was given oral medications to take for a few months and told to do at once a "skin reset." Meaning, she had to undo all the unhealthy practices and start all over again in caring for her skin.
"Really just go back to the gentlest and the basics," she points out, adding that she uses her preferred brand's gentle skin cleanser, moisturizer, and eye cream. "These three [products] every morning and before going to bed. Plus: "Whether maulan o maaraw, use sunscreen."
Aside from Bianca, the event's host Marie Lozano also gets real about skin issues. The lifestyle journalist admits, "I also go through adult acne. I’m 43." Her back is especially prone to acne, thus "backne," now that she lives at the beach. That's why uses products with the gentlest formulation to avoid skin irritation.
Here's a tip from Bianca and Marie: "Whatever you put on your face, put on your neck." In testing new products, Marie advises to put a little on your neck first before trying on your face. You have to see the reaction on your neck to see if it's also safe for your face.
* This story originally appeared on Smartparenting.com.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.