Dove survey reveals frightening facts about beauty
FiFTY SHADES OF RED - Arian Yupangco (The Philippine Star) - May 7, 2014 - 12:00am

Let me share with you a very frightening fact: “Only seven percent of Filipinas think they’re beautiful.” A country from which some of the most beautiful women in the world have hailed a country that was ranked fifth globally for women empowerment, is also home to a population of women of which the vast majority simply do not believe they are beautiful. Something has to be done, and something can be done, for us to be able to change this measly number into one that is as great as the women who embody this country’s spirit. That’s why global beauty brand, Dove, has decided to take things to a grand scale with its “I Am Beautiful” campaign to inspire more and more Filipinas to recognize both their true inner and outer beauty.

Coinciding with their campaign, Dove also launched its first ever Dove Summit recently at the Harbor Tent of Sofitel Philippine Plaza, by gathering some of the most influential Filipina women from around the metro for a two-day event to learn not only more about the campaign and spread the message of real beauty, but also about the science and passion behind Dove’s well-loved products. Co-hosts for the extended event, Unilever Personal Care PR head Apples Aberin and Lexi Schulze, introduced Unilever’s marketing manager for skin, Mian Datu-David, who took to the stage to address the more serious matter of that scary statistic.

 â€œIt’s an appalling number, and it’s sad,” says Mian, “But what’s sadder is that behind that number are real women. Our purpose is to inspire these women to realize their personal potential for beauty, because Dove believes every woman has the potential to be her most beautiful self. If we believe there is real beauty in every Filipina out there, shouldn’t we change that number?”

Then an unexpected twist took place as both hosts, Apples and Lexi, stepped on stage once again with specific instructions for the audience: we were all told to head to our rooms, remove every trace of makeup we had on, and return to the venue to proudly show off our bare-faced beauty. Let’s just say the horrified silence that quickly spread through the crowd was nothing less than priceless. Despite the surprise, and me desperately wondering if I could at least keep my mascara on, we did as we were told. I must confess, I always enjoy taking off my makeup just as much as I love putting it on, but to keep it off in front of others was a surreal experience, especially when we found out that each and every one of us would also be having our pictures taken for our “real beauty portraits.” Gasp! It was one thing to go au naturel in front of others, but in front of a camera too? Surprisingly, I found myself quite at ease, as did everyone else considering the now relaxed and cheerful atmosphere, once the camera started snapping away. I guess it wasn’t so bad after all! All around me, instead of seeing women trying to hide themselves away from the lenses and flashing lights, they were grinning ear to ear. Bravo, Dove, for making us all feel rightfully comfortable in our bare skin before the day even ended! And by dinner time, the hashtags #RealBeauty and #IamBeautiful had made the rounds of social media, gaining 66 million impressions in just two hours. We hadn’t had our dessert yet and already, with Dove’s help, we were already making a huge difference.

Dove presented to us why their products were also making a difference in women’s lives around the world the next day as we all awoke bright and early to learn more about how all of Dove’s products are born from “real care and real science” as Mian told us before we made our way through the three separate pavilions: Dove Skin, Dove Hair, and Dove Deo. At the Dove Skin pavilion, Jules Gollayan, brand manager for Dove Skin, told us that thanks to their research, what women want most with their skin is for it to be “smooth and glowing.” But how does one achieve that exactly? Dr. Anna Palabyab from the Philippine Dermatological Society took to the mic for the answer: “Glowing skin is not achieved by accident. There’s a science behind it. We have to avoid harsh cleansers which strip our skin of moisture, and that’s the secret to glowing skin: moisture.” To let us see just how moisturizing Dove’s soaps are compared to milk, known and used for centuries to help one get soft-as-silk skin, I volunteered and had one part of my arm cleansed with milk first. Using a neat little device called a Moisture Monitor, it gave my skin a reading of 43.7 percent moisturized. But after washing the same area with Dove’s Deeply Nourishing Body Wash, it spiked to 64 percent immediately after! Take note, the average moisture level for a Filipina’s skin is just 25 percent. The other volunteers also achieved huge increases in their skin’s moisture level, one even having reached over 80 percent. Safe to say we’ll continue to stick to drinking milk from now on!

At the Dove Hair pavilion next, we were thrown a few facts about hair damage, including how three out of 10 women use a damage repair product, and yet eight out of 10 women still suffer from damaged hair. “Damage is the start of all the problems you’ll have with your hair” says Carlo Isla, brand manager for Dove Hair. “We’ve been showing them (women) that we understand the frustrations of damaged hair, but we’ve also been showing them how beautiful soft, smooth, and damage-free hair can be with Dove.” To show Dove’s superior damage protection capabilities, two swatches of real human hair were washed and conditioned, one with Dove products, the other with an ordinary brand, and both were subjected to the same amount of harsh blow dying before being lowered into two separate tanks of water. The swatch treated to Dove products floated and remained on the surface of the water unlike the other swatch, which sank quickly. What’s the deal? Well, damaged hair sinks thanks to all the holes and gaps created in the hair fibers. In conclusion, Dove keeps your hair above all that damage!

“We believe women are most beautiful when they’re confident about every single part of their bodies,” said Neil Trinidad, marketing manager for deodorant and oral care, during our visit to the last pavilion, “including their underarms.” I’m certain many of us in the room, including yours truly, can relate all too well to the women in the video shown to us expressing how they don’t even like raising their arms fully while wearing sleeveless tops because they were too afraid or embarrassed to expose their underarms. But of course, our nerves were soothed when Neil continued by letting us know that Dove deodorants help to not only whiten underarms in just seven days, but also moisturize and repair. Did you know it takes 20-30 days for your underarms to recover fully after shaving? Your skin simply does not have the time to catch up on its own, girls. Not without a product that will help speed up the process at least. I guess this is just another reason why 92 million women worldwide trust Dove as much as I do!

The day ended all too soon, and after a sumptuous lunch, we well went home feeling dramatically more satisfied and accomplished not only because we truly learned the meaning of real beauty and recognized it in ourselves even in all our bare-faced glory, but knowing we made a difference along with millions of other Filipinas to help them recognize that they are beautiful too. The campaign is still ongoing, so be sure to post your no make-up selfies with the hashtags #RealBeauty and #IamBeautiful so you can start making a beautiful difference in your life and the lives of other Filipinas as well.

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Follow me on Instagram (@arianyupangco) and Twitter (@ArianYupangco), and check out my beauty blog “Ari’s In Wonderland” at



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