Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Skin Republic

Jennifer Toledo-Tan M.D. - The Freeman

Dear Dr. Jen,

I am in my 30s and I noticed that my skin has gotten drier.  I used to have very oily skin and use a cosmetic line for acne prevention.  Now I’m not so sure if the same regimen still works for me.  How can I update my products?  What other changes should I expect in myself?


Dear Joy,

Skin changes in our 30s include dry skin.  Although you will still have the normal T-zone dryness, everywhere else, on the cheeks especially, you may notice some flakes every now and then.  This dryness is quite common.  Most over-the-counter acne products contain salicylic acid which will compound your skin’s thirst problem.

To remedy this, it is time to amp up your moisturizer.  A creamy, noncomedogenic moisturizer at night should be used.  If you still need anti-acne medication, I suggest you use it over your moisturizer.  Even better, your PDS dermatologist can shift you to products like glycolic acid or adapalene (which may not be as drying).  Steer clear of soap with alpha hydroxyl acids or scrubs.  A lighter daytime moisturizer underneath your sunblock is suggested for morning use.

Other changes that may appear in your 30s include freckles or sun spots, expression lines on your face, cellulite, and thinner skin. A good daily sunscreen and anti-ageing creams (retinol-based) can combat these changes. 

* * *

Dear Dr. Jen,

My nails have gotten deformed over time. It’s like they are depressed in the middle.  This is going on in all my finger nails.  Maybe it’s just a case of too much nail works done.  Or is it something else?  Should I be worried?



Dear Tina,

Nail deformities can be confusing.  The most usual suspects for causing deformities are fungal infections.  Fungus in the nails is transmitted via using infected nail paraphernalia.  It can present as yellowish or grayish discoloration, thickened nails, ridging and deformities.  This can be treated by intake of oral anti-fungals or medicated nail lacquer.

Not all nail problems are necessarily fungal in nature. Over-scraping the nail can indeed cause deformities too.  Leaving the nails alone for six months can restore it. However, if there is concavity in the nails, such as you can almost hold a drop of water on top of the nail, it is telling of more serious conditions. It may point to iron deficiency or other causes of anemia.  A simple CBC blood test can be done to find out if this is true.  Other causes of nail spooning also include heart diseases, autoimmune diseases and thyroid conditions.  If you aren’t sure, it is best to seek the help of a PDS dermatologist.

Dr. Tan is a diplomate of Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) and is affiliated with Perpetual Succour Hospital (PSH). For information on PDS, check http://www.pds.org.ph/. For questions or concerns, please text to: 0932 857 7070; or email to: [email protected]; or call The Freeman: (032) 2531276, or PSH: (032) 233 8620 and 232 5929. Your inquiries will be forwarded to Dr. Tan.

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