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A Dermatologist Talks About How to Manage Your Sensitive Skin's ~Mood Swings~

Suffering from sensitive skin? You’re not alone.
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Picture this: You’re prepping for an important event, and it’s been weeks of ~*clear skin*~ then, on the morning of the big day, a nasty pimple decides to make an appearance, and right on the tip of your nose! Not only does it look like an angry red bump, but a painful one too. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Sensitive skin is a common problem that affects many people and can be challenging to manage, given its unpredictable “mood swings.” Fortunately, here are some steps to keep your sensitive skin happy—from understanding your skin’s triggers and concerns to knowing what products to choose. Below are a few easy tips from a dermatologist on managing your sensitive skin better.

It doesn't have to be complicated

It's easy as 1, 2, 3! Remember these three fundamental steps: ~*cleanse, moisturize, target, and protect*~. This is a non-negotiable skincare tip regardless of skin type or skin concern, explains Dr. Francesca Sy-Alvarado, a board-certified Dermatologist. With our skin being one of our main defenses against environmental stressors like sun rays and free radicals like air pollution, Dr. Sy-Alvarado emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy skin barrier by using a mild cleanser and keeping your routine simple so as not to aggravate further and strip the skin of its natural protection.

Different triggers for different folks

“Different triggers depend on the underlying condition behind sensitive skin,” said Dr. Sy-Alvarado. For example, common triggers for people with eczema are stress, extreme temperature changes, and contact with certain fabrics; for those with rosacea, it’s eating spicy food, steam or cold air, and even alcohol; and for some sun-sensitive folks, exposure to UV radiation is what takes the bait.

Be gentle

Dr. Sy-Alvarado stressed that a gentle skincare routine is ideal for sensitive skin, as its minimalist procedure consists of products “that strike a balance between being non-irritating and being able to serve their purpose.” When choosing products, she promotes those that are “well-formulated, have undergone safety studies, have nourishing and barrier-supporting ingredients such as Ceramides, and have good feedback from my own patients.”

For those with sensitive skin, consider Cetaphil, a well-regarded skincare brand known for its skin-friendly approach. Below are a few products to help you jumpstart your ~*gentle skincare routine~*:

Step 1: Cleanse 

Use: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

This cleanser contains a blend of niacinamide, panthenol, and hydrating glycerin. These ingredients work together to help provide potential hydration and nourishment, with the aim of contributing to the well-being of sensitive skin with regular use. It also doesn't contain added fragrances, won't clog pores, and is hypoallergenic.

Step 2: Tone

Use: Cetaphil Bright Healthy Radiance Brightness Refresh Toner

This toner aims to refresh your skin without causing any harsh stripping sensations when used regularly. With a blend of niacinamide and sea daffodil, it's intended to promote an overall healthy complexion and potentially reduce the appearance of dark spots with consistent use, complemented by a balanced diet and exercise.

Step 3: Target

Use: Cetaphil Bright Healthy Radiance Perfecting Serum

To work toward a radiant complexion, consider including the Cetaphil Bright Healthy Radiance Serum in your skincare routine. This quick-absorbing serum is made with niacinamide, sea daffodil, advanced peptide, and antioxidant C. Together, these ingredients are designed to help minimize the appearance of dark spots with regular use.

Step 4: Protect

Use: Cetaphil Sun SPF50+ Gel

Apart from shielding your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays and other environmental pollutants, this lightweight sun protection is designed to help maintain skin moisture with regular use. Pro tip: Apply at least 20 minutes before heading out and reapply during the day.

Customize according to your skin type and skin concern

Knowing your skin type helps you choose products that target your particular skin concerns. Not sure about your skin type? Dr. Sy-Alvarado recommends you check out the Baumann Skin Type Indicator—a comprehensive system of skin type analysis used by doctors around the world. Whether you’re dry or oily, sensitive, wrinkle-prone, or everything in between, you’re sure to find your skin type in this classification system. 

Check out the brand’s newly launched YouTube page where you can find informative content featuring board-certified dermatologists that can help you build and improve your ~*gentle skincare routine~*. To learn more about sensitive skin solutions, visit the National Healthy Skin Mission Skin Academy in SM Makati until August 30, 2023.

Shop Cetaphil products in stores and on Lazada and Shopee. Follow Cetaphil on Facebook and Instagram for more information.


Dr. Francesca Sy-Alvarado is a board-certified dermatologist, laser surgeon, and a Fellow of the Philippine Dermatological Society. Co-founder of QuADClinic, an aesthetic haven in Makati, she champions genuine beauty and skin safety. Through @golightlymd, she imparts valuable skin insights and wisdom, promoting a well-informed approach to skincare.

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