Plus, a board-certified dermatologist chimes in on ways to avoid skin aging
Aging is inevitable; still there are practical steps to delay the process, like adding retinol to your skincare routine. Before you dismiss the notorious ingredient because of its reputation in the vast world of beauty—intimidating and complex—here’s a professionally-backed cheat sheet.
Found in many top-selling skincare products, retinol, which is a derivative of Vitamin A, is a potent ingredient proven to visibly eliminate wrinkles and other evident signs of aging. Still, it can be tricky to navigate, especially for those with sensitive skin. Without a professional’s help, applying retinol can cause side effects like dryness, redness and peeling. But when should you use it?
In an exclusive interview with board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist, Dr. Mara Evangelista-Huber, she notes that contrary to popular belief, skincare isn’t as age-related as people would like to think it is, neither is it gender-related. She reveals, “There’s no right skincare for a certain age or a certain gender. When you want to start retinol is when you feel like it and when your skin needs it. For example, retinol increases cellular turnover. The fact is, when you’re in your 20s, you’re already renewing your skin slower than you were when you were a baby. The moment you’re born, you age—that’s just reality.”
Since the 1960s, retinol has produced stellar results amongst users, especially for those who are dealing with skin concerns like acne, rough texture, breakouts and hyperpigmentation from sun exposure. Dr. Evangelista-Huber has even prescribed the superstar ingredient to teenagers dealing with acne. She notes, “Imagine, if teenagers can tolerate prescription retinoids, how much more 20-year-olds using over-the-counter retinoids? Some people forget that the first reason [that retinoids are prescribed] is acne and not anti-aging. Since the 1960s, very good ang results. If gagastos ka na lang din (you're going to spend money), stay with something that’s withstood the test of time.”
Formulated for everyday use, Kiehl’s all-new groundbreaking Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum (P4,950) is a gentle yet powerful solution to combat the effects of aging without the distressing side effects. The brand recognizes that the potent ingredient needs to be introduced gradually into one’s skincare routine to avoid irritation, so they’ve developed this breakthrough approach called micro-dosing.
Beautifully formulated in a precise dose, it’s carefully calibrated to promote cellular transformation to strengthen the skin barrier and increase skin tolerance to retinol.
This cream-like serum, which almost feels like a moisturizer, can be applied on the face, the neck, the undereye and even the décolleté area. First-time users noticed improved firmness, jawline tightness and refined texture within 12 weeks of use.
Anti-Aging Tips from An Expert
Aside from adding retinol to one’s skincare routine, applying sunscreen religiously is a must to avoid skin aging. For Dr. Evangelista-Huber, avoiding exposure to the sun does wonders for the skin. She shares, “I like saying that another cheaper alternative to sunscreen is just avoiding the sun because some people think that sunscreens are a coat of armor, but sa totoo lang (in fact), they’re not even applying the right amount because they think less is more and a little goes a long way.”
She adds, “I just wanna highlight other cheaper ways [to avoid aging]: invest in an umbrella; stay away from the sun during peak hours, like 9 to 3 PM, especially for those who are working from home; don’t work too close to the windows because UVA goes through the windows.”
A pro-tip from the board-dertified dermatologist: Don’t destroy your skin barrier in the first place. Dr. Mara notes, “‘Wag sirain ang balat (don’t destroy your skin) so you do not really need ten gazillion steps, ten gazillion actives. Skincare FOMO is real.”
She highlights the importance of choosing the right basics for your routine: “Don’t overdo the skincare products. Master the basics. You know, something I noticed is that people don’t understand the damage that cleansers can do. The wrong cleanser can really wreak havoc on your skin, and people don’t know that.”
Dr. Evangelista-Huber adds, “If ikaw, wala ka pang masyadong pera (you don’t have a lot of money), you want to focus on products that have very good active ingredients, marami na siyang (there are a lot of) clinical evidence and then it also does multiple things for you—maybe it triggers skin cell renewal, but it also moisturizes your skin; and then maybe it triggers collagen production but it also increases your skin’s resiliency. Kumbaga (In other words), multi-active products is the way to go, even if you only add one.”
Aging may be unavoidable, but there are ways to address it—avoiding the sun, mastering the basics of skincare and including superstar ingredients like retinol to your routine.
Kiehl's Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum is now available in stores nationwide and online at Kiehl's Official Store on LazMall by Lazada. Experience its life-changing results in just 12 weeks!
Product Photos Kiehl’s Philippines
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver