If you’ve yet to discover the wonders of our new Community feature, it’s time to get acquainted. Since its launch in November, our in-app forum has been buzzing with engaging Q’s and A’s from our ever-expanding BeautyMNL circle. Team BeautyMNL occasionally pop in to share our own recos, routines, and burning questions—and to say the least, we’ve been learning a lot in conversation.

Below, you get a little peak into the discussions happening within the skincare category: your most frequently asked questions, most enlightening responses, and a few answers from our team, for good measure. Check out our Community to learn more!


MARIA KRISTINA M.: “Learn more about your skin type (i.e. oily, sensitive) and skin condition first (i.e. acne, discoloration), then define what results you want to achieve (i.e. moisturizing, hydrating, brightening). Research the ingredients that could help you achieve the results you want. From there, you can list products containing those ingredients. For body, moisturizing is key! Lotions with shea butter are better than those marketed to whiten the skin, etc. Also, don’t forget to protect your body from UV rays so use a lotion with SPF or a separate sunscreen.”

ROMEL B.: “I tend to stay away from all-in-one products and do my steps separately. That’s why I like The Ordinary. They’re mix and match. It’s hard to use products that have too many different ingredients in them, as it makes it difficult to identify what you’re reacting to (if you do).”

MARIA TRACY I.: “Always do a patch test first. Start with a basic cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and sunscreen routine. You can add more if you want, like serums, essences, exfoliating products, and the like. For body care, you can use body butter if you have dry skin. Exfoliate at least once a week using a gentle body scrub.”


AYANA T.: “Always be mindful of products that should and shouldn’t be used together. For example, you should be careful when using acids: AHAs/BHAs, aka exfoliating ingredients that help decongest pores and treat acne, shouldn’t be used at the same time as Vitamin C, aka a brightening ingredient that protects skin. When you have both of these ingredients on your face at the same time, it may be too harsh for your skin.

Best to use them alternately, as in every other day, or at the very least use one at night (AHAs/BHAs) and the other in the morning only (Vitamin C, but be sure to wear sunscreen on top). Meanwhile, an example of products that are even better for your skin when used together are hyaluronic acid and squalene. Hyaluronic acid is super hydrating, and using it with an emollient like squalene helps lock in moisture, making your skin super plump and healthy.”


KRISHIA A.: “I highly suggest that you focus on hydration and incorporate products rich in antioxidant properties as the main or active ingredient. Don’t use cleansers that will make your face feel dry and tight as it means that it’s stripping your skin of its natural moisture and damaging your skin barrier. Go for cleansers with a pH ranging from 5.5-6.5 to balance the pH level of your face. I suggest using cleansers with green tea in it, like Neogen’s Green Tea Foam Cleanser and Krave Beauty’s Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser.”

JENNIFER D.: “Use mild, soap-free formulations. Skip physical scrubs. Try cleansers that contain salicylic acid or lactic acid, or even glycolic acid, but use those sparingly. When using this kind of cleanser, use a moisturizing toner and a moisturizer on top. Don’t apply AHAs, BHAs, and other acids at the same time to avoid drying out your skin, which may trigger more acne.”


NIKI C.: “I’ve found that skincare is always a last solution to skin issues. Deeper things to address are our overall health: sleep, hydration, food, exercise, etc. There are also things that are completely out of our control, like our hormones and natural skin conditions. Personally, I realized I had a dairy allergy/intolerance, so I cut it out, and after a month my skin completely cleared. So maybe give that a try! As for skincare, I’d suggest exfoliating 1-2 times a week (the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask is great) and using anti-acne products. I love the Some by Mi Miracle Serum & Toner. Also, always moisturize!”

KIM V.: “Use the COSRX Pimple Patches for when the pimples are still active, then a brightening serum like Dear Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C for any scarring after! I also like to apply to a spot treatment and let it dry before applying pimple patches. My skin type is oily and this has been really preventative for me.”


DONNA M.: “I’ve been using tamanu oil. It’s very good for healing fresh scars and can also lighten pigmentation. Although you should only use it as a spot treatment since it’s quite a thick oil.”

KRISHIA A.: “You might want to incorporate The Ordinary’s Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA and Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, both day and night. They both target uneven skin tone and complexion, also ceasing the excessive production of your melanoma, which results in hyper pigmentation (dark spots). HA means Hyaluronic Acid, which is a humectant that holds moisture in your face once the product sits in. Also, never ever forget to wear sunscreen during the day, because all of your products are useless if your skin isn’t shielded when you’re outside.”


KIM V.: “Try the V&M Naturals CPC+G Oil! Would recommend mixing a few drops in your moisturizer if you’re a first time user because it’s quite potent. Took my skin some time to get used to it before I could apply it directly. I also use it on my body (for dark elbows and scars) and it really works.”

CLAIRE C.: “Many tout Vitamin C serums for their ability to brighten and fade dark pigmentation, but I personally recommend The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum if you have easily irritated, troubled skin. It’s not as sensitizing, keeps breakouts at bay, and takes care of scarring over time. While the results might not be as fast as Vitamin C, pairing it with a gentle exfoliating toner beforehand can help speed up the process.”


MARIA KRISTINA M.: “There are different causes of dark circles and it’s not always just because you lack sleep. It could be due to allergies, or even your bone structure—the latter having zero to minimal solutions (maybe color correction + concealer only). Know the cause of yours first and base your solution on that.”

QUEEN M.: “I tried the Dear Klairs Freshly Juice Vitamin C serum and I think it’s working. It lightens my under-eye area after 1-2 weeks. You just need a drop or two and just tap it on your under-eye.”

WENJ R.: “I’ve tried the Human Nature Sunflower Oil, and it’s quite effective, but I’ve got oily skin. If you don’t, I’d recommend that you use it!”


AYANA T.: “I have chronically dark under eye circles, and I’m still in the process of trying to pin down the exact set of products that could treat them. It’s extra hard because I’ve yet to nail the cause, either—it’s probably a mix of genetics and allergy side effects, which is true for a lot of people. What I will say is that a consistent combination of enough good quality sleep, hyaluronic acid, and refreshing eye drops from the pharmacy (to combat allergy-induced dryness) have lessened how dark they appear. I also plan to start using The Ordinary’s L-Ascorbic Powder (mixed into my moisturizer) on them at night, since I’ve read that it’s a trick that works really well. It’s fresh Vitamin C for every application, so I’m optimistic that it’ll be a potent fix!”


MARIA E.: “Note that if you’re indoors and are near windows/direct sources of sunlight, do reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours. Gadgets emit blue light that can affect your skin, but hours of exposure is only equivalent to minutes of sun—not worth wasting your precious sunscreen on! Although there are blue light-blocking sunscreens, they’re just hard to find.”

CHRISTI L.: “Your favorite sunscreen will only be fully effective up to two hours (no matter the SPF). Best to reapply sunscreen throughout the day, especially if you’re outdoors.” For product recos, I use the ACWELL UV Cut Bosong Sun Powder. It comes in powder form, so it’s easy to reapply even with makeup. TBH, it’s a bit expensive, but I think it’s worth it because it’s so convenient to use.”

CARLY J.: “When going to the beach, do avoid the ‘organic’ sunscreens or so-called ‘chemical’ sunscreens as they are harmful to coral reefs. Sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate being the worst of them. Go instead with ones that use Zinc Oxide or Titanium Oxide!”


MARLA M.: “Face Republic’s Super Screen Sun Gel is my fave! I also keep a bottle of the Lauren & Co. Facial Sun Mist in my bag for reapplication throughout the day.”

KIM V.: “Most sunblocks tend to be too greasy or too drying (due to too much alcohol content), but the Farmstay Horse Oil Jeju Mayu UV Sun Cream hits the sweet middle spot. It’s hydrating, absorbs fast, and doesn’t leave a white cast or greasy after-feel. All that and it still provides awesome sun protection with SPF 50 PA++++. This is a mainstay in my morning routine because it works as both a moisturizer and sunblock.”

Some responses have been condensed and edited for brevity and clarity.

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