1. For great skin, our mantra should be: Cleanse and sunblock. Forget the Western dictum of “cleanse, tone and moisturize.” That only applies to Northern Hemisphere countries where the weather can dry out your skin
2. For cleansing, choose mild, hypoallergenic soap or cleansers.
3. Toners are just used to remove excess dirt, makeup and oil but are not necessary. A harsh toner can actually strip your skin, which will result in rebound oiliness.
4. Moisturizers are only for people with extremely dry facial skin. We have more than enough humidity here in the tropics to keep our skin naturally moist and well-oiled.
5. To prevent wrinkles, wear sunblock every day. Not only will it will keep you looking young, it will protect you from skin cancer, which is on the rise here in the Philippines, as well as provide hydration. The minimum SPF dermatologists recommend is 30.
Skin savers: If you have sensitive skin, choose products that are unscented or fragrance-free, like Basic Beauty cosmetics available at Landmark TriNoma and The Ramp Crossings Glorietta and Shangri-La Plaza.
6. Put sunblock on your body, too. Aside from your face, your neck, chest and hands show your age, so if you’re treating your face, don’t forget to treat those other areas, too.
7. Brown skin is beautiful. Despite the whitening craze, our natural brown pigmentation actually protects us from sun damage (read: aging) and our dark skin is actually considered a status symbol and prized in other countries.
8. All we need to maintain is smooth, clear skin, not whiter skin. People who bleach themselves are actually increasing their risk of skin cancer.
9. Match the color of your foundation to your neck (in natural, not store lighting).This prevents the dreaded “Grand Canyon” effect of having a too-light face and dark neck, or vice versa.
10. If you have wide-set eyes (a distance greater than one eye’s length between your peepers), sweep some dark eyeshadow above the inner corners of your eyes to make them appear closer together.
11. If you have close-set eyes (less than one eye’s length between them), place the eyeshadow above the outer corners of your eyes to make them seem farther apart.
Match point: Your foundation should match your neck, not your face.
12. For long-lasting makeup, apply cream blush and eyeshadow — or better yet, a cheek and lip stain — over your liquid foundation. Then, set with a light dusting of powder and reapply eyeshadow and blush in powder form. For lips, top your stain with a moisturizing lipstick or gloss.
13. If you have sensitive skin, choose products that are unscented or fragrance-free, like those in my hypoallergenic line Basic Beauty. For makeup, choose oil-free or silicone-based products that won’t clog your pores.
14. Never have yourself injected with glutathione, which could be deadly. Intravenous gluta has been banned by the Department of Health and the Philippine Food and Drug administration, which warns that kidney dysfunction is only one of the many adverse side effects.
15. Seek age-appropriate beauty treatments and don’t be influenced by beauty trends. Just because all your friends are doing it doesn’t mean you’re an ideal candidate for liposuction or Thermage.
16. If you’re below 30, you don’t need much more than good skincare or acne treatments.
17. From 30 to 40, you may need Botox for wrinkles, light chemical peels and fractionated laser resurfacing for fine lines, pores and acne scars.
Nail it: Give your nails a breather after two weeks of wearing polish.
18. If you’re 40 and above, you may need soft-tissue fillers and skin-tightening procedures using radiofrequency and infrared.
19. To look instantly refreshed, the cheapest way is a chemical peel from a board-certified dermatologist.
20. Aside from sunblocks, other over-the-counter beauty products you can buy are those containing AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), which are hydrating, anti-aging, and even out skin tone. Products that contain vitamin C have mild bleaching effects and are also good antioxidants.
21. The usual number of hairs that fall daily is 100, so don’t panic about falling hair; only see a derm if your hair fall is over 100.
22. For anti-dandruff shampoos to be effective, it’s important to leave them on your damp scalp for 10 minutes. If you get bored, put on some soft music or stock your bathroom with magazines.
23. When getting manis/pedis, never allow them to cut your cuticles, which protect your nails from bacterial and fungal infections. Bringing your own tools also helps, as such infections are transmitted by poorly sterilized tools.
24. Give your nails a rest and a breather after two weeks of wearing polish, because prolonged wear can cause brittle, yellow nails.
25. To prevent painful ingrown nails, cut nails straight across and not curved at the sides.