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Just wondering if anyone else here has oily skin and if so how did it behave in the heat, sunlight and humidity of the Philippines. I have had extremely oily skin since I was 15, the benefit being I look young because my skin is never dry, but the disadvantage being my skin breaks out and I get a lot of blackheads and whiteheads.
Does anyone have oily skin here and if they do, did it get better or worse in the tropics? I thought it might be better for oily skin to be in a humid climate because it will sweat a lot and get rid of dirt and oil on the skin, and if you sweat a lot your skin might not produce as much oil as in a cold dry climate where it is always trying to moisturize itself. I've lived in Greece before where it was very hot, but it was a dry heat, and my skin got better.
Any thoughts, opinions, experiences?
Last edited by Will N. Dowd on May 12th, 2017, 5:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
Moist and hot tropical climates found in the lowlands of Phils can wreak havoc on skin. The oil glands you talk about may be good in dry climates but in the tropics, they will kick-in to overdrive and your pores will expand. Over the longer term, they will continue to grow and it will age your appearance. Big pores and pock-marks all over the face do not look good.
I believe the most powerful drug readily available (in some countries) to combat overactive oil glands (and acne) is accutane or roaccutane. But this drug can have some dangerous potential side-effects. The best way to avoid these is to take it in very small doses (around 10 mg very 2 days) for a couple months and if this is not effective enough, bump it up to 20 for another month or two. The doses which cause problems are usually at least 50 mg or above daily.
If you have skin problems in Phils and decide to use this med, find a trusted dermatologist to monitor you through it. The drug is very controlled in USA but is readily available in some Asian countries. I'm not sure about Phils though. Again, make sure not to go it alone, do it under guidance of a qualified skin doctor.
Acne, oil, and big pores are very challenging. I wouldn't waste my money on this stuff or most anything else from a retailer. There are so many famous and popular products which promise big (wrinkle reduction, smaller pores, etc.) but deliver nothing more than a placebo effect. Retail has a lot of good products for moisturizing and sun block/protection. If you want anything more than that, don't waste your money, look elsewhere.
For oil and pore problems, you need to go prescription strength. And even among most prescribed products, the fail rate (little to no improvement) is probably over 85% with a few exceptions including:
1. Topical retin A (0.05% building up to 0.1%), possibly combined with equal amount of hydroquinone (another prescription product) to improve absorption and effectiveness. If skin cannot tolerate this, then revert to retinoids which are a slower moving and gentler substitute. These products will help reduce acne, even out tone, and shrink some pores, and help a bit with oil. It will take a few months for all the benefits to show and there will be an initial period where you skin gets worse.
2. Accutane/roaccutane/coaccutane: This shit is powerful. You can find several blogs of people with pizza faces who cleared-up almost perfectly in just a few months time on doses of around 50 mg per day for 2-3 months. It builds up cumulatively so you don't take it forever. People with more subtle problems (mild acne, rosacea, large T-zone pores) can get the needed benefits - oil reduction/pore shrinkage and elimination of redness - with much more modest and safe doses, say around 10-20 mg every other day for a couple of months.
Find a good derm and consult about these and other potential solutions. Don't waste your time at cosmetics counters unless your trying to meet attractive women.
The relationship between oily skin and youthful appearance is a bit complicated. Sure, overly dry and thin skin wrinkles badly at a relatively young age. But people with major pore and oil problems can also look older than their years. I've seen 20 somethings who had serious facial oil issues end up with skin so bad that it looked it had acid damage - very uneven with pockmarks, huge pores and oil. And less damaged skin with a lot of big pores can look aged even without any wrinkles. There's a fine balance between enough oil and too much oil.
From what I observed during my brief visits in Phils, many people there don't age well at all. Of course the strong sun compounds the problem. Late 20s/early 30s Filipinos/Filipinas seemed to have more facial skin damage than a lot of 40 somethings I've seen in urban China. The contrast is even more striking when made against urban Taiwan or Japan. And these days, a lot of Thais (even some poor ones) cover or protect themselves in some way when out during the daytime. So they probably look better now than when you were there in the 90s.
This continues to be one of the most irritating things for me now I'm back in the Philippines, I always feel like my face is shiny with sweat and oil, and hate it.
In Canada I use 5% benzoyl peroxide cream sparingly and it keeps me almost flawless there, but it seems to lose its effect in the tropics.
After a bit of experimenting, I think I have found a pretty good way to control the sweat and oil.
I went caveman and gave up on washing it with a cleaner in Canada long ago, and will do the same here. You can wash it 12X a day, but all you are doing is removing the oil, only to have it come back more each time to counteract the washing, so it's like an up and down roller coaster of dryness and oiliness all day. I think the only time you should really wash with a cleanser is when you have makeup/concealer on like most girls. Apart from that just use cold water.
I went caveman here too and instead of washing it with a cleanser, I now just rinse it very often with cold water, because it keeps it fresh and clean and doesn't irritate it like washing. It keeps it on a much more even field, with no up and down dry/oily effect and no irritation. Problem is when I go out, I want to splash it again after a short time, but can't of course until I'm home.
I've stopped using the benzoyl peroxide for now, as it seems to irritate more than reduce oil here.
So my new regime is as simple as can be and just rinse with cold water about once an hour when I'm at home, and this keeps it feeling fresh and cleaner without affecting the PH balance by constant washing with cleansers.
Hope it works for me over the long term.
What do others do?
The very strong hair paste I use in Canada is almost useless here too. In Canada it works great, but it's no match for the heat and humidity here. I was even keeping it in the fridge to keep it cold, but that made no difference, so I stopped using it and will only use it back home. I bought the Filipino brand Grips Hair Wax Xtreme Hard & Mat hair paste made for use here and I have to say it is cheap but awesome. Works much better than my other one for a lot less.
You pay a lot more attention to skin care than I do. I wash my face when I take a shower in the morning, get it wet in the jaccuzzi, sometimes, at night, and take a shower at night. I don't put on any creams, etc. I used to use just regular soap or shower gel. Now, I may use my wife's face soap. I suspect it's just soap with 'face soap' on the box. If I don't use the jacuzzi, I may just wash my face with face soap before going to bed.
Back when I was out on the streets of Jakarta a lot, I'd wash my face with water when I came in and shower as described earlier.