It was my dermatologist when I was in high school who introduced me to the Cetaphil product I first used, which was the Gentle Skin Cleanser. I have become a Cetaphil fan since then so it is no surprise that I immediately followed their Facebook page. A few months ago, they posted a question which goes like this: “What does skin confidence mean to you?” Being the bored person that I was back then, I immediately sent my answer (about being comfortable in your own skin, with or without make-up, basically); I was also intrigued with the prize which was a stay at The Farm at San Benito in Batangas.
After a few weeks, I received this message from Cetaphil PH, telling me that I was one of the finalists for the event and that I have to send an audition video. So, I gladly made the video, which I’ll never show you (haha). A few days later, they sent me an e-mail, congratulating me after being selected by the team! I was really excited, especially after I learned that it was a really big event, involving not only Cetaphil Philippines but also its counterparts in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia!
According to the organizers, I was lucky to have been chosen as the delegate of the Philippines for the event, among 20,000+ girls who wanted to be part of the experience. I was indeed lucky because I had such a blast at The Farm!
Each country had its own representative — me from the Philippines, Marlene from Malaysia, Sara from Singapore, and Toey ftrom Thailand. Each of us was accompanied by two beauty vloggers/bloggers from our country. I was with Ana and Kristine. I was really excited to meet everyone since I am a newbie blogger myself. #kilig
There are four things that I will never forget about the whole Cetaphil Experience.
1. The Farm at San Benito (Lipa, Batangas)
The Farm only serves vegan food (all made from fruits and vegetables, no meat, no dairy products) in the most stylish way. I love fruits and vegetables but I have also always been a carnivore so this was the first time for me to try the vegan diet for three consecutive days. How was vegan food, you may ask? Good news — you can eat french fries and chocolate. But, the bad news — fake sausage, fake everything.
Well, it is not really bad at all but I really missed my first love (meat) after the 2nd day, so much so that I ate liempo and roasted chicken right after arriving in Manila, true story. Haha!
Kidding aside, I started to appreciate the vegan diet for the number one reason that my bowel movement was at its best during those three days. I also did not have a hard time adapting to the diet since all of us were eating the same thing; Vegan eating was much more bearable that way. I also felt like I lost some weight… which makes me want to try to eat vegan at least three times a week. HAHA. Let’s see where this will go…
2. The Girls!
It was really a great experience to meet girls from different ASEAN countries, who were all into beauty, fashion, and skin care. I realized how beautiful Asian girls really are. I feel like most of us here in Asia have the notion that Caucasian beauty is superior to Asian beauty, when in fact, beauty is just in the eye of the beholder (chos haha). But seriously, Asian and Caucasian girls are equally beautiful! When are we going to stop trying to look like Caucasian girls?
I also appreciated how similar the girls are. We had the same guy problems (well, some problems, because there can be a million guy problems in the world, haha), relationship goals, and skin and body concerns. Imagine how comforting it is to know that you are not alone. On each ASEAN country, girls have acne, too; some also have eczema, and someone has skin as dry as yours. We shared our different views on politics, opinions on religion, and even talked about our goals and plans for our future careers. Being the curious person that I am, I really had a great time talking to them about various things. Some of us still keep in touch through WhatsApp (hi, Marlene!) and Instagram!
3. Skincare tips from the experts
Cetaphil products have always been prescribed by most dermatologists so it was no surprise that experts (two dermatologists and a plastic-cosmetic surgeon) were present to give us tips regarding skin care. I want to write about everything I learned but maybe it requires a different post. The thing is, your skincare regimen should be apt for your own skin type. Also, try as much as possible to stay away from the sun to prevent development of skin cancer, and to prevent or delay the appearance of wrinkles! I may sound like your nagging mother but, when are you going to start applying your sunscreen?!
Some myths about skin care were also debunked. Note that:
- Having an oily skin doesn’t mean you should avoid using a moisturizing cream.
- A good skin cleanser should not make your skin feel tight after washing. Leaving your skin tight means that moisture has been swept away from your face.
- You should not abuse the power of steroids on preventing or controlling acne. It can cause skin atrophy (thinning of the skin). There is a limit to the use of these injectables and cream.
4. The meaning of beauty and confidence
In this age and time, beauty products are being sold left and right. It is a billion-dollar industry that will always be a part and a major driving force of our society. But, really, what makes someone beautiful? Is it based on the brand of make-up she wears or the technique on how she uses it? Is it about following trends or having the perfect skin?
I left The Farm with answers. These were actually already resting inside our minds (Thank you, Martina Fink, for the reminder.) but have been buried in there due to influence by the media, our Instagram feeds, and various advertisements. Isn’t beauty something that comes from within? Something related to confidence, something that radiates from the soul? Isn’t it about being comfortable in your own skin?
So, during the last night at The Farm, while I was preparing to go to bed, I was removing my make-up and realized that “feeling beautiful” does not have to rely on the layers of make-up one is wearing. Yes, make-up can boost one’s confidence but the main factor that brings out one’s beauty is her mindset and her confidence, with or without those acne scars, pimples, and other imperfections. We can be perfectly happy even with the bits of imperfections in our lives, don’t you think? 🙂