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Extensive Discussion: Skincare Tips from Proactiv‘s Dermatologist

Meet Dr. Laura Savage.

This dermatologist studied Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, where she also obtained an honours degree in pathology. For her training as a Dermatologist within the Yorkshire Deanery, she spent three-and-a-half years of research investigating the use of biological therapy in psoriatic disease culminating in the award of a PhD degree.



And the product of all her learning and discoveries about achieving a healthy skin? This blog post sums everything up so you do not have to go through all those thick reading materials and technical terms used in the field of dermatology.

Here are her tips.

Tip #1 - Cleanse gently and wisely

While deep cleansing sounds desirable to purify oily blemish-prone skin, over-washing and harsh cleansers can do more damage than good – by stripping away the protective barrier, skin is left dry and vulnerable to bacteria.

As growing, experimenting teens, we’ve all tried all those products that promise fast results, but we discover how harsh these on our skin in their own way of achieving the skincare condition they promise the fastest way.

At the end of the day, we realize there is no shortcut to achieving a healthy skin.

Avoid using soap too. I am guilty of this. The high pH of soap will dry the skin and cause a compensatory surge in oil production, leaving skin in a confused state with an undesirable combination of dry and greasy patches.

Whenever I travel to different places, I find myself using soap because that is the easiest to find. Well, patience is everything.

Choose a cleanser containing helpful anti-inflammatory ingredients such as salicylic acid to help soothe inflamed pimples, and gently massage over the entire face and neck for at least 60 seconds (to allow any active ingredients to take effect).

Avoid cleaners and toners containing harsh alcohol-based astringents and ingredients such as witch hazel, which typically cause a sting on application and make the skin appear red. Small flaking patches might indicate you’re over cleansing, so ease back and then gradually increase the frequency of use as your skin adjusts and gets used to the product.

Tip #2 - Make salicylic acid your star ingredient

Salicylic acid is one of the most effective breakout-fighting non-prescription ingredients and is a great choice of exfoliant for those with spot-prone and oily skin.

Salicylic acid targets pimples by sloughing away dead skin cells that clog pores and lead to breakouts, and also minimizes pore visibility.

I am not new with salicylic acid as this has been my older brother’s bestfriend when he was growing tons of pimples all over his body. Thus as young as I was, I was aware how miraculous salicylic acid is—I just hate its smell but the results is something to love.

Tip #3 - Moisturize!

A common misconception is that moisturizing is bad for oily skin prone to breakouts. It’s true that many creams and lotions contain ingredients that can block pores and make breakouts worse, so never put a product designed for your body near your face.

Look for products labelled 'non-comedogenic', which is a fancy way of saying they don’t contain ingredients that block pores and lead to the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. Thus it pays to talk to a professional sometimes—even at Watsons, I always rely on their expertise of their personnel when I have some specific concerns.

Hydrating the skin with an oil-free moisturizer will not only counteract the drying effect of many spot treatments, but also loosen the pore-blocking sebum (skin debris and grease) leading to clearer and healthier skin overall.

Tip #4 - Give it time and be optimistic.
Sometimes your skin can take a while to adjust to new products or active ingredients. Direct your attention away from the guide on the bottle and focus only on your skin.

If you experience signs of irritation or over-drying, try reducing the application to every other day (or even less often) for a couple of weeks before gradually increasing back to daily.

Remember that it can take 4-6 weeks for breakouts to diminish, so you need to persevere with a new product for at least this long (and ideally a bit longer) before really deciding whether it is doing the trick and clearing your skin.

In college when my pimples were my favorite companions, I always have that thought of using a product and getting things done overnight-- if only we were taught when we were younger that it takes time breakouts to reduce.

Tip #5 - Keep your hands off!

This is my favorite part of the list of tips as I may say this deals my biggest mistake when dealing with pimples.

As tempting and satisfying as it is, squeezing a pimple really is the worst thing you can do so keep your hands off!

Pressure on an inflamed pimple will push the contents of the grease gland (oil, bacteria and dead skin cells) into the surrounding healthy skin which causes damage and more inflammation. Squeezing can lead to a temporary darkening of the skin (so called ‘post-inflammatory pigmentation’) that can take weeks, even months to settle, and scarring, which can be permanent and difficult to treat – not cool.

If you really find it difficult to resist squeezing, instead try applying a warm compress (like a clean face cloth) to the pimple for 5 minutes to reduce any swelling and then apply a for example a salicylic acid-based product.




Tip #6 - Review your make up choices and clean your brushes.

It’s a fact that as breakouts worsen, the more make-up we use to try to conceal the problem. For pimple-prone skin, making the right cosmetic choices and regularly cleaning applicators are essential if future breakouts are to be prevented.

Mineral-based make up products are a good option as they contain ingredients such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and silica that mop up excess oil without blocking pores.

Also, switch to a concealer that contains a blemish-fighting ingredient such as salicylic acid to not only reduce the visibility of blemishes but also help reduce the size. And just as would be the case if you didn’t wash your face each day, make-up brushes accumulate a daily layer of pore-clogging product, dirt and bacteria – your skin’s worst enemy.

Aim to cleanse your brushes at least once a week using baby shampoo or a professional brush cleaner to keep them in tip top condition.



Tip #7 - Review your diet

When I read about this, I was reminded of a friend who told me that skincare is not just about the skin. Rather she said, a huge part of our diet goes to the quality of skin.

For many years, the jury was out as to whether there was a link between diet and breakouts – the hard evidence was simply lacking. But over the past decade, many dermatologists now agree that hormones in cow’s milk may stimulate oil production and promote breakouts.

Similarly, foods with a high glycemic index can cause a spike in blood sugars, causing a rise in hormone levels and sending grease glands into an oily overdrive.

Try reducing cow’s milk intake to just 1-2 servings per day (or choose an unsweetened alternative like almond milk), and cut out fatty foods high in omega-6 fatty acids and refined sugars (generally found in all the foods you know are bad for you!) – even if your skin doesn’t dramatically improve, your waistline will!



Tip #8 – Use a good skincare routine like Proactiv+!

Proactiv+ 3 Step Clear Skin System has Smart Target technology that delivers acne-fighting formulation directly into the pores. It is formulated to address blemishes help deliver PLUS benefits such as improved visible texture and clarity, brighten and smoothen skin, and diminish the look of dark marks.

The 3-step system starts with a Smoothing Exfoliator which removes excess dirt and other impurities. The exfoliator is applied on damp skin and rinsed with warm water after two minutes. The second step is called the Pore Targeting treatment.

It stops the acne at the source because it delivers blemish-fighting ingredient directly into the pore. The lotion is applied all over face to allow full absorption.

The final process of the Proactiv+ 3 Step Clear Skin System hydrates the skin with the Complexion Perfect Hydrator. The moisturizer will reduce redness, help lighten acne marks and help brighten skin. Try Proactiv+ today!
My favorite here is Tip #5. It is simple, and yet it can do much in saving the best condition of our skin. I think the concern today is that how should we tell the younger ones to keep their hands off even if their pimple is really itchy or irritating. I appreciate the suggestion on what to do if we really cannot resist touching and squeezing our pimple.  

Watch this video for more details:


Christian is a Marketing Communications practitioner in Quezon City. He is an Igorot from Sagada, Mountain Province. To get in touch with him, please shoot an email to [email protected]

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