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Facing facts about skin lightening

Lighter skin has always been the desire of many, dating back to ancient times when having lighter skin was associated with belonging to the upper or higher class. Today, it has practically become a necessity. The obvious reason, of course, is beauty, but according to model/makeup artist Abbygale Arenas-de Leon, it's also partly economic.

"People with fairier skin are more likely to get better jobs and other personality-enhancing opportunities," she says. Confident, they are more open to meeting people and can literally "face" life's never-ending challenges and possiblities with aplomb.

But in one's haste to achieve that lighter skin, women fall prey to products that promise faster, but drastic, results. This entails skin peeling, which exposes the skin to harsh chemicals, that could lead to more damage, which, in the end, could force one to seek expensive means of treatment, all to correct a problem that wasn't there in the first place.

"I've encountered patients who started out with nothing more than a desire to enhance their already healthy skin through whitening, only to realize, after days rawness and alterations in their skin's normal condition, that the products they used contain harsh elements or at the very least, not suited to their skin type," says Dra. Reena Rosales. Facial skin peeling, she adds, should never be done at home and should always be under the supervision of a dermatologist.

These are but some of the nuggets of wisdom dermatologists and beauty experts shared in a special gathering recently held at the Rockwell Club to launch Pond's Face Factor 2: Whitening Facial Spa, in an effort to educate the Filipina on proper care and facial whitening and to formally launch the newest addition to its skin whitening product line, the Pond's Skin Whitening Facial Wash.

According to senior brand manager Francis Flores, it is like "washing your face with vitamins," because it contains Vitamin B3 and Vitamin E. Vitamin B3 is the ingredient that whitens skin from within by going down to the cell level to prevent the formation of melanin, the pigment which gives its skin a darker color. Vitamin E, on the other hand, nourishes and moisturizes the skin to make it softer and smoother. "The soap you use for your face can be used for the body, but never the other way around, because from our research, we found out that Filipinas use the same whitening hard soaps for the body, like papaya soaps, on their face, and that can strip the skin of its moisture, making it very dry," he says.

Unlike the rest of our body, which we can cover with clothes, our face is exposed to all elements - pollution, dust, smoke and other harmful elements in the environment. Hence, facial skin needs extra, but gentle, cleansing that is both nourishing and non-drying, allowing the skin to retain its natural moisture. "People believe that wrinkle formation is caused by dryness. The fact is, wrinkles are caused by chronological age and sun damage (photo aging). Dryness only makes the wrinkles more pronounced," says Dra. Reena Rosales.

The Pond's Face Factor 2: Whitening Facial Spa will be touring the country, and visiting leading malls and schools from September to October. A video offering free skin care advice from "whitening specialists" welcomes guests upon registration. A guest dermatologist will also be present for free one-on-one skin analysis and consultation ant 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. everyday where Pond's beauty experts Abbygale Arenas-de Leon and former beauty queen/model Patty Betita give free lectures. The tour also features the Whitening Facial Spa Zone where visitors can avail of deep cleansing and relaxing facial spa using the Pon'ds Cold Cream and Vitamin Facial Wash.
So next time you reach for that papaya body soap to wash you face with, stop. Do yourself a favor and use a facial wash. Because when it comes to skin lightening, patience, as in all things, is a virtue and, in the long run, safe and effective.


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