This week’s Ask A Derma question may seem a bit broad. Unlike our previous features, we’re not just tackling one specific problem or ingredient. We dared ask a general question that summarizes all our skincare concerns. This is why we’re going to make this a two-part feature.
In this first part, we asked Dr. Gaile Robredo-Vitas specifics when it comes to skincare products and how to make the most of what we have.
Cleansers, toners, masks, serums, solutions, patches, lotions, and creams: It’s safe to say we’re drowning in skincare these days. We can also source them from different retailers and brands, each following a particular ethos.
It’s confusing when the goal is pretty clear. No matter what skin type you have or how old you are, we’re seeking to achieve or preserve the glow that’s distinct from our younger years.
At the very least, we’re celebrating aging through constantly adjusting our self-care routine to the changes of our bodies. How do we go about it strategically? Dr. Robredo-Vitas told us about her favorite skincare ingredients. In turn, we looked for some products that match her recommendation.
What are the top skincare ingredients for that youthful glow?
Retinol (Vitamin A) is my go-to anti-aging ingredient. It reduces fine lines and wrinkles, improves pigmentation, reduces pores size, and makes our skin smoother and plumper.
Retinol is keratolytic. It increases skin cell turnover by unclogging the pores and preventing the formation of blackheads or whiteheads and having breakouts.
In addition to stimulating collagen production by activating specific receptors in our skin, retinol also prevents the production of collagenase, which is an enzyme that breaks down collagen in our skin. Retinol is also an antioxidant that protects our skin from the damage that environmental pollution and toxins we are exposed to daily.
EDITOR’S PICK:Pixi Collagen & Retinol Serum. Available via Sephora.ph
Snail Secretion Filtrate or Snail Mucin is a mucus-like ingredient that is emitted by snails to protect themselves against bacteria, cuts, and UV rays. It contains a combination of potent ingredients like elastin, proteins, anti-microbials, copper peptides, hyaluronic acid, and glycolic acid.
It’s known for being able to improve skin’s appearance overall. This one ingredient can do a lot for your skin, such as soothe redness, hydrate dry patches, reduce the appearance of signs of aging, brighten dark spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation, and protect your skin from free radicals. I like that this is also gentle enough to be used with other products with active ingredients because it complements them.
EDITOR’S PICK: SNAILWHITE Whipp Soap Gold. Available via Watsons
Antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and E. I like to use them in combination.
Vitamin C minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helps lighten pigmentation. Vitamin E acts as our first line of defense from free radicals and oxidative stress and helps protect our skin from environmental stressors such as UV radiation and pollution.
The combined use of these two ingredients will give us healthy, younger-looking skin with a brighter and more even complexion.
EDITOR’S PICK:Wild Ferns Lanolin Eye Crème with Collagen & Vitamin C & E. Available at Beauty Bar
Exfoliants, the Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs). We make new skin cells every 28 days, however as we get older, this ‘skin turnover’ slows down and becomes less efficient, resulting in dry, dull or lackluster skin, enlarged pores, and an uneven skin tone.
Exfoliation aids in removing leftover dirt and debris not effectively by your cleansers and also removes dead skin cells to encourage the production of new ones and also allows for better penetration of the products you put on your skin.
Both the AHAs and BHAs work by breaking the bonds that hold dead skin cells together on the surface, causing them to shed naturally revealing smoother skin. AHAs like your glycolic and lactic acids are water-soluble and work on the surface of the skin, while your BHA, your salicylic acid, is fat-soluble and goes deep inside the pore and helps to unclog it.
EDITOR’S PICK: Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser. Available at Rustan’s
Niacinamide or vitamin B3 is a water-soluble vitamin that works by restoring our skin’s protective barrier and repairing the damage caused by environmental stressors.
Niacinamide also protects against moisture loss and dehydration. It works well with almost all ingredients and is well-tolerated by all skin types, even those with sensitive skin. When used consistently, it keeps your skin hydrated, improves uneven skin tone, and diminishes fine lines and wrinkles.
EDITOR’S PICK: The OrdinaryNiacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%.Available via BeautyMNL
How can one maximize the benefits of their skincare products?
It would be best if you used them regularly and consistently, applying the right amount at the right time, and using products that work synergistically together. You also should choose the type that works best with your skin and addresses your primary concerns.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
*SNAILWHITE partnered with skincare expert, content creator, and dermatologist Dr. Gaile Robredo-Vitas to answer our skincare questions.