ethnic woman applying cream on face in morning

Certified Derma Answers Confusing Skincare Questions

Visiting a dermatologist during a pandemic has become difficult. Thankfully, some clinics started offering teleconsulting services and professionals like Dr. Erin Santos answer our confusing skincare questions online. She’s a board-certified Dermatologist and Dermatopathologist more commonly known as The Nerdy Derma.

Q: Should Vitamin C serum only be used on dark spots?

A: Vitamin C serum is not exclusive to dark spot treatments. It can also boost the sun protection of sunscreen and stimulate collagen production.

Q: Can oily-skinned women achieve dewy skin?

A: Anyone can achieve dewy skin by keeping their skin hydrated. Choose a light moisturizer and don’t fret about the oily T-zone.

Q: What should you consider when choosing products with retinol and what should you avoid?

A: Choose a mild product and don’t pair retinol with ingredients like sulfur, kojic, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide to prevent your skin from burning.

Q: How do you differentiate between purging and skin irritation when trying new products?

A: You can only call it purging if the baseline is zero breakouts and it goes away after consistent use of the product. Irritant reactions on the other hand are unpleasant signs or symptoms due to product use, i.e. stinging or redness of the skin.

Q: Do you need to “activate” sunscreen for it to be effective?

A: Sunscreen is active upon application. However, it must dry down first to form a protective screen against UV rays. Applying on wet skin will result in uneven coverage.

Q: Do face masks that use blue or red-light therapy really minimize fine lines?

A: The medical-grade machines don’t cause thermal injury but the ones sold online may not be as effective. Doc. Erin suggests sticking to retinoids, toxins, and sunscreen instead.

Q: Are pimple patches safe to use?

A: Pimple patches are safe to use and are advisable for cystic pimples but won’t stop breakouts.

We’re glad professionals like Dr. Erin takes time after her clinic to answer questions like these. Check out her Twitter and Instagram for more “miSKINceptions” or head over to the Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) to find a certified dermatologist near you to address any personal skin issues.  


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