Eye creams
(The Freeman) - March 18, 2019 - 12:00am

Dear Dr. Jen,

What are the products I should start using now that I’m in my 30s?  Is it too early to use eye creams, and are face masks necessary?


Dear Michelle,

When you reach your 30s, you will notice that skin starts to shed dead skin cells at a slower rate.  Production of new skin cells also slows down.  Some sun spots, freckles and other pigmentation problems may also start to appear. Wrinkles in the form of crow’s feet and horizontal forehead lines start to show.  Eye bags and deeper nasolabial folds may be visible. There is a decrease in collagen and hyaluronic acid production at this stage in your life.

It is never too early to start on a regimen that can prevent skin from ageing. Without a doubt, sunblock is one of the most powerful cosmetic you should include in your daily regimen. This can prevent sun damage from causing age spots and furthering other effects of ageing.

Eye creams can be used but a good moisturizer at night will suffice as overall night cream for now.  You can incorporate a retinol-based moisturizer to combat the fine wrinkles and prevent deep ones from settling. A face mask can be used if it can infuse extra moisture to your skin.  However, be careful if you have sensitive skin because a mask can cause all kinds of irritation and acne too.

Dear Dr. Jen,

How do I stop blackheads from forming on my face, especially my nose? My skin looks okay from afar but when you look closely, all I see are the black little dots. Will frequent cleaning help?  How often should I get a facial?


Dear Jeff,

Blackheads or open comedones are made up of oil and dead skin cells trapped in an open pore.  It turns black not because of dirt but due to an oxidation reaction. Having excessive oil production brought about by hormonal changes during puberty, intake of pills, use of cosmetics that block the pore and greasy hair products can contribute to blackhead formation.

Cleaning and facials can help.  But if you are prone to blackhead formation, what should be more helpful is maintaining on products that prevent recurrence once the blackheads are extracted. Azelaic acid, salicylic acid, tretinoin and adapalene are wonderful mainstays to prevent blackheads from collecting on your skin.  It helps the sloughing of dead skin cells, increases turnover and softens blackheads so they fall off by themselves.

Nose strips and scrubs may lead to worsening of blackheads. These can potentially irritate the skin and even lead to pimple formation. Cleaning and facials can be done every two weeks or twice a month for severe cases and once a month for mild to medium comedones.

Dr. Tan is a diplomate of Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) and is affiliated with the Perpetual Succour Hospital (PSH). Information on PDS is at www.pds.org.ph. Questions or concerns regarding the skin may be sent by text to 0932 857 7070 or emailed to askskinrepublic@gmail.com; or coursed thru The Freeman – (032) 2531276, or thru PSH – (032) 2338620 and 2325929. Inquiries will be forwarded to Dr. Tan.

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