MANILA, Philippines -- Prominent skin clinics once identified only with the rich and famous have penetrated the mass market as well. Their entry-point product?the ever-congested field of skin-whitening.
Let?s face it. Whitening is what the majority wants and is willing to pay for. And the high-prize skin doctors will sell at a lower profit, they need volume to get their capital back as fast as they can.
Well, I have tried the treatments and as expected, they produce results.
For these doctors, to put their name on a popular product is high risk so I banked on the fact that they would be pressured to make high-quality and effective but affordable products. To be outperformed by nonmedical mass-market brands could doom their credibility.
So far I have tried two effective medical brands, and I expect more of them will come.
Belo Essentials face and body whitening products in blue or pink packaging promise whiter skin in seven days. The line consists of foaming face washes, soap and body lotions.
How to choose
Face wash?if you are acne-prone or greasy like me, go for the pink one (P82.75, 50 ml or P131.75, 100 ml) as it has pore-minimizing and oil-control properties along with the whitening effect.
Normal-to-dry-skin people should go for the blue one (P78.75 and P125.75).
These face washes are patterned after Obagi?s so they are very concentrated. A little is all you need for a rich lather. They remove makeup as well, including the waterproof stuff.
Bonus: pore-minimizing pink smells like cherry and blue smells like those expensive Japanese brands.
Body Soap?blue (P38.75, 90 g and P54.75, 135 g) and pink with exfoliating beads incorporated (P40.75 and P56.75).
Vicki and daughter Christalle Henares? tip: In the buildup to a rich lather during showers, leave on skin for one or two minutes before rinsing off to give whitening ingredients enough time to get activated. I do the same for the face wash.
Before you groan in protest at the work involved, you may rinse off easily; just make sure you apply the body lotion.
Once again, Blue (P80.75 and P147.75) is the basic if not softer scent; and Pink, which has SPF 15 (P91.75 and P167.75), smells like cherries.
The lotion is designed for the neck down and should not be applied to face. A whitening face cream is under development and is taking longer because Belo Essentials wants to make sure it?s non-acnegenic as well as hypoallergenic.
The lotion is formulated with the Dermlight System, which is a two-step whitening program that inhibits melanin (the pigment that darkens skin) production to a minimum and prevents the few that are formed from rising to the surface and darkening the skin or forming freckles.
Gluta White and Firm promises to whiten and firm up body skin in two weeks.
Dermclinic?s skin specialists formulated their treatment with exclusive BioActive whitening and slimming complex. It contains L-Carnitine, which burns stored fat, and Claire Blanche, a fusion of seven active ingredients that inhibit melanin formation as well as prevent freckles and age spots.
In this one, I noticed that the firming action worked faster than the whitening function. There was a noticeable firming of skin in six days while the whitening effect took about 10-12 days (the body bar costs P89, 135 g; and the whitening and skin-firming lotion, P279, 200 ml).
Demclinic has concentrated on body products, which is good because there are enough reasonable whitening products in the market so that we see many whitened faces around but sporting uneven-colored bodies, just like a bad Photoshop job.
The advantage of these local products is that there?ll be no more need for overseas shipping charges or for begging relatives or friends traveling to Japan, Bangkok or Korea to bring home similar products. What a relief!
Belo Essentials is available at Shopwise, Rustan?s and Watson?s.
Dermclinic?s Gluta White and Firm are available at leading drugstores, and SM supermarkets and department stores.
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