We've all been through enough skincare mishaps to know that you can't trust everything you read on the internet. For delicate concerns like acne (and everything that it leaves behind), the last thing we want to happen is to make things worse. This is usually where our dermatologists come in to save us with their expert advice, but since we don't all have our doctors on speed dial, we have the next best thing.
On our social media, we asked you, dear Preview readers, to send acne-related questions you want to ask a pro. We picked five of your most-asked and most interesting queries, and as promised, sent them all to dermatologist Dr. Anna Liza Yalung of Regenestem Manila to unpack. Keep scrolling to see her answers!
Q: What should a skincare routine for acne-prone skin have?
Dr. Yalung: A skincare regimen for acne-prone individuals should have active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids, and sulfur in their facial cleanser, toner, cream, and spot treatment. (Ed's note: Do consult with your dermatologist to find out the exact products that'll work for you!)
OXECURE Facial Liquid Cleanser, P339; Acne Clear Potion, P349, Lazada
Q: How can you prevent breakouts in hot weather?
- Wash your face twice a day, and no more. Washing is also allowed after an activity that made you sweat (workouts, any type of sport)
- Use acne medications diligently. Make sure to apply as well on areas without lesions.
- Use lightweight, oil-free moisturizers and skincare products.
- Makeup and hair care products should be labeled non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic to prevent breakouts.
- Keep yourself hydrated.
- Change bed sheets and pillowcases frequently as oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria might have accumulated on it. These can clog pores and lead to breakouts.
Q: How do you speed up the fading of acne scars?
Dr. Yalung: Topical retinoids and alpha-hydroxy acids have been found to help lighten or fade dark marks caused by acne. The use of sunscreen (lightweight, oil-free) is also encouraged. To hasten the lightening of dark marks, the patient may visit the dermatologist who can do chemical peels or a laser treatment.
DIFFERIN Cream (retinoid), P1790, Watsons. KIEHL'S Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Aqua Gel, P2100, Kiehls.com.ph
Q: Is there a way to deal with cystic acne at home that'll help it heal faster?
Dr. Yalung: Cystic acne lesions are deep, pus-filled lesions that can leave permanent scars when they heal. They may be tender and painful, and sometimes, cause enlargement of lymph nodes and low-grade fever. There is no home remedy to treat cystic acne. The patient has to be seen by a dermatologist who can do drainage and extraction (acne surgery) to remove these lesions to help ease the pain. Oral antibiotics may also be prescribed to allow faster healing.
Q: What are your tips for preventing skin irritation and acne from wearing face masks?
Dr. Yalung: Part of our daily protective equipment from now on will be the use of face masks. This can cause acne mechanica—a type of acne that is triggered when the skin is rubbed or pressed against heavy clothing or protective gear—especially around the lower half of the face. Possible breakouts around this area might not be entirely preventable, but it can be lessened by changing face masks daily or washing them regularly (for washable ones).