September signifies the start of the ‘Ber Season’ and with it comes cooler breeze and holiday gatherings. Since most of us have been in quarantine and isolation for the past two years, we want to prepare ourselves to make a great impression on the people who we will meet again and on those who we will meet for the first time.

Fancy shirts and dresses have been ironed, hair is styled and trimmed to perfection. However, the sudden acne breakout, “maskne” (mask acne), dark spots, blackheads, whiteheads, and appearance of melasma have made you self-conscious more than ever. The thought of other people perceiving you as unattractive can greatly affect your confidence and ultimately how you interact with them.

As the holiday season approaches, you might have been on the hunt for solutions on how to lighten dark spots or get rid of acne breakouts. Below are some skin care tips you can start now to get back your confidence and have that glow no matter what holiday parties you need to attend.

Skin Care Tips for the Ber Months

Tip #1. Cleanse: Cleansing your skin is the first step to achieving that 'holiday glow' as this removes deep-seated dirt, makeup, and excess oils on the surface of the skin. It is also a good idea to switch to a more moisturizing and hydrating cleanser to avoid damaging the skin’s natural protective barrier or ridding the skin of its natural oils. Look for products that contains ingredients such as essential ceramides, vitamins, retinol, and tocopherol.

Tip #2. Exfoliate: Exfoliation is the process of removing the outer layer of dead skin cells to reveal smoother, clearer, and healthier skin. The importance of this is to help promote cell turnover to uncover newer cells. There are two main types of exfoliating the skin and their effectiveness depends on the individual’s skin type.

  • Physical or Manual exfoliation: This can simply be using a washcloth, sponge, or face scrub to scrub off dead skin cells, or it can also be done via procedures like microdermabrasion and dermaplaning. However, this comes with a warning, as those with sensitive skin may be prone to inflammation of acne and red, sore skin.

  • Chemical or Enzymatic exfoliation: This exfoliation process involves the use of gentle fruit acids or enzymes to help break down or dissolve dead skin cells. This exfoliation process works best for individuals who have sensitive, oily, and acne-prone skin as this method is not abrasive. Irritation and redness still can occur, so it is best to consult with a dermatologist prior.

  • Exfoliation Reminder: Do not over-exfoliate! Exfoliating too frequently can lead to irritation, inflammation, and burning sensation. It is recommended that an individual may do so two to three times a week only.

Tip #3. Moisturize: Colder temperatures can cause our skin to dry or itch which can cause skin irritation. Moisturizing has its benefits, and your skin will thank you for it. One of them is to help your skin stay young and supple all while looking hydrated and fresh. If you are more susceptible to having dry skin, then you might want to try products that seal in moisture and leave the skin hydrated like those that contain emollients and occlusives. Some good examples are Night Nourishing Oil or NNO and Humeda. 

Alternatively, if your skin type is oily and is prone to acne breakouts, you might want to stay away from oil-based formula and opt for a product that is lightweight and fast absorbing to avoid getting clogged pores. Water-based gels like the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel works best for this skin type. Moisturizing can also be started by adding moisture to your home with the use of humidifiers.

Tip #4: Sunscreen: It is recommended to apply sunscreen on the skin daily. The importance of this is to protect the skin from sun damage and to also prevent the skin from premature aging. It is a common misconception that it may be unnecessary to apply sun protection when the skies are cloudy, and the weather is colder. But this should not be the case. Regardless of the number of clouds in the sky, the skin is still susceptible to the sun’s damaging UV rays which can cause skin problems like wrinkles or even skin cancer. Help protect your skin by applying sunscreen with SPF30 and above for sun protection and look for iron oxide-containing products as this provides better photoprotection compared to formulations with zinc oxide.

Tip #5: Supplements: Countless studies and medical treatments have been formulated to combat the effects of factors like aging, UV rays from the sun, pollutants, and even the weather that are known to affect skin health and appearance. So, to keep our overall health in check, we also must ensure that we are taking in the right nutrients that our body needs to help us maintain a youthful look.

  • Vitamin A: Retinoids or vitamin A helps in boosting hydration and collagen production which helps in reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Retinoids also promote skin cell turnover and elasticity by elastin production which also helps in the reduction of acne scarring and pores.

  • Vitamin C: Ascorbic acid is very much known in the skincare world as it has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that improve skin health and its appearance by hydrating the skin, reducing the signs of aging, and keeping it plump and firm. It is most effective when applied topically. It also prevents discoloration and brightens the skin complexion.

  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a nutrient that works as a scavenger to remove the free radicals that damage our cells, affecting our skin health and appearance. Supplements such as Pynocare which has a combination of vitamin E, ascorbic acid, procyanidin, and beta-carotene helps with effectively reducing hyperpigmentation or melasma. Studies have also found that the combination of Vitamins C and E used in topical application also effectively protects the skin against the UV rays from the sun.

So, it goes without saying that the right amount of vitamin A, C, E—and other supplements along with proper skin hygiene—will greatly affect how we look, how we feel, and how we perceive ourselves, gaining the confidence boost that we need.