So there’s my mom. Can you believe the woman is 50 years old? Growing up, I’ve always been the number one recipient of my mom’s beauty advice. It kinda’ annoyed me during my teens. As I grow older, I begin to appreciate her beauty advice though most of it was delivered in a form of a nag.
Always Wear Your Sunscreen
“Wear sunscreen even when it’s raining. Wear sunscreen even when your indoors. Wear sunscreen even when you’re indoors and it’s raining.”-Mom, 2001
My mom has been an avid user of sunscreens since she started earning during her teenage years. She always admired celebrities with fair skin and she thought that sunscreens will help her achieve a fair skin. Perhaps it was because of the instant skin lightening effect of sunscreens back then. Old sunscreen formulations compose mostly of physical UV blockers –zinc oxide and titanium oxide which gives a white opaque finish on skin. Though she had a different purpose, this habit served her well because at age 50, my mom has very minimal wrinkles compared to most women her age.
While we cannot stop predetermined decay of our bodies (or cellular aging) we have in total control of photo aging. Photo aging is the premature death of skin cells due to UV damage from sun exposure. Early appearance of wrinkles, dark spots, uneven skin tone and slow healing of acne/blemishes are the results of sun damage. Sunscreens minimize the amount of UVA and UVB rays that penetrates your epidermis and thereby minimizing photo aging. So listen to Mom’s beauty advice and never forget your sunscreen.
Never forget your umbrella: Use Physical Sun Protection
My mom always (like.. always) have an umbrella in her bag, wherever she goes. Back then it annoys me how it limits her mobility like having to carry 3 grocery bags in one hand just so she can use the other to hold her umbrella. When her activities prohibit the use of umbrella like doing the laundry outside, she wears long sleeves, cap and long pants (yep, even when its humid and scorching hot). No matter how inconvenient, protecting her skin from the sun, whenever she can make a lot of sense.
While sunscreens are very helpful in minimizing sun damage, it does not offer 100 percent protection. Umbrellas are very effective means of physical protection. So listen to Mom’s beauty advice and always have your umbrella with you.
Never Sleep With Your Make up On
I couldn’t count the times when I fall asleep in the couch and mom would wake me so she could tell me how disgusting I am for sleeping with my make up on. I am guilty for times when I fail to practice what I preach in this beauty website – hygiene is basic skin care.
Make up is safe when it is removed regularly. Also, sebum and dirt that stayed too long on face can acne. Listen to Mom’s beauty advice and never sleep with your make up on.
Take Vitamin C and E for Healthy, Glowing Skin
Vitamin C & E are my mom’s staple beauty-vitamin. “It helps your skin glow” that’s what she says. When I was a student she would buy me vitamin C & E but was always too lazy to take them. Now that I’m earning, I buy my own vitamins. Appreciating the benefits of Vitamin C and E on my skin, I regret the free vitamins I missed back when mom used to buy them for me
A separate, more detailed article on beauty supplements, including Vitamins C and E is found here. Vitamin C and E act as antioxidant by scavenging free radicals to keep healthy cells from dying.
Hydroquinone is an effective treatment for melasma and dark spots, when used properly
My mom developed melasma on her face in her early 40’s and she got obsessed about getting rid of it since then. She used a famous local brand of hydroquinone + tretinoin containing product and followed religiously all the safety precautions in using the product:
- Do not use any other exfoliating product
- Avoid sun exposure where possible
- Always use sunscreen
The product comes in different concentrations. She started she started with 0.01% – 2% (tretinoin: hydroquinone) then after finishing a bottle, she went to higher concentration (0.025% -2% (tretinoin:hydroquinone). The results didn’t happen overnight. It took her months of continuous use to see changes.
Hydroquinone has been a controversial ingredient in skin care market due to it’s skin-burning effect. However, when used properly, hydroquinone can effectively get rid of uneven skin tone and dark spots. Despite the controversy, hydroquinone is still the best ingredient for treating melasma and this hasn’t changed over the years.
I never had melasma problem but I use hydroquinone+tretinoin for treating dark spots from acne. Instead of the solution type product, I prefer the cream type for spot treatment. If you have melasma or dark spot problems, listen to Mom’s beauty advice and give hydroquinone a try. Remember however that not all skin type can tolerate such strong ingredient and the precautions should not be taken lightly.
Don’t scrimp on bad foundation
For my mom, foundation is a makeup product you shouldn’t buy cheap. I couldn’t agree more to this. Foundations consist mostly of mixtures of silicone which can be pricey when used in high percentages. The perfect ratio of pigments and silicone is the key to a creaseless finish and good coverage foundation. So if you’re confuse what make up product you should invest most, listen to Mom’s beauty advice and splurge on a good foundation.
Lipstick is a woman’s best friend
I could remember one day when my mom was putting on a lipstick and asked her, “Where are you going, ma?”. She replied, “I’m about to do the laundry”.
I didn’t know what was going through her head that day, maybe she was stressed out or was going through a tough time. As I grow older I begin to realize the power of simply putting on a lipstick. In times when I have too much stuff on my plate, I’d take a break and put on my reddest lipstick. It is sometimes that smallest effort to move forward that matters a lot. It may be putting on a lipstick, or listening to Beyonce- whatever makes you feel empowered. Stressed out or not feeling like your best? Consider Mom’s beauty advice and put a lipstick on!
Invest more on skincare than make up
And I do mean investing both time and money. My mom can leave the house with just sunscreen, baby powder and lipstick. For her, your skin is your canvass and I would live for this beauty principle.
You won’t need the most expensive concealers, the fullest coverage foundation and the super staying finishing powder if you have a good skin to start with. So if you’re broke and confused which one to buy first either a vitamin C serum or a new shade of blinding highlighter, prioritize skin care.
Mom’s Beauty Advice that I refuse to follow
Most of the time, Mom gives legit beauty advice but there are few ones that I do not follow:
All products should help lighten your skin
Well, I cannot blame my mom for this. She grew up in a family with fascination for white skin. Having white, flawless skin has always been her standard for beauty. I remember growing up telling me to stay away from the sun otherwise my skin will get dark and I wouldn’t be pretty anymore. As a child I never really cared- play was a priority.
However during highschool, this “white standard” of beauty came to haunt me and I went through a phase of wanting to have white skin. I used mom’s whitening products because I was jealous of my classmates with fair skin who were usually the ones deemed beautiful.
Having White skin has always been an obsession in Filipinos. Luckily time has changed and A growing number of Filipinos are already appreciating the morena skin.
Short History: Spanish colonizers brought with them the influence of skin color hierarchy. Dark Skin was associated with poor laborers who had to work out side just to make a living. ( mostly purely Filipinos). Those in the upper class has lighter skin because they’re either Spanish, mixed-race or wealthy enough to hire laborers.
For me, I’m glad it was just a phase. All I cared about back in high school was to have a white skin and not getting pimples. Now that I’m 27, it’s just…. not getting pimples –haha.
Take Iron supplement for Glowing Skin
A huge percentage of my Mom’s diet is carbohydrates, and she is most probably not getting enough protein from meat products. This could be the reason why her doctor recommends that she take iron supplement. After a few weeks of taking iron, she claimed that it made her skin pinkish white.
Iron deficiency is a condition were blood lacks healthy red blood cells which can make someone’s skin appear pale. The changes that she observed could just be the result of her red blood cell reaching its normal levels. I don’t take iron supplements because I make sure I eat a minimum of 80 grams of protein per day. I usually source mine from meat and seafood –which are excellent sources of iron.
Use Bar Soap for Facial Cleansing
Ask any beauty expert and he/she will most likely discourage the use of bar soap to cleanse face mainly because soaps can be very irritating. Well, there is a small percentage of the human population who can tolerate bar soaps– my mom belongs to the lucky population.
Mom uses a kojic acid-containing soap to cleanse her face. Kojic acid in a bar soap formulation can be too harsh on some skin, including mine so I’m never using that. Instead,
Does your mom give you beauty advice? If she does, what’s the best one you got? What’s the worst? Let me know!