How to look young without surgery
FiFTY SHADES OF RED - Arian Yupangco (The Philippine Star) - July 9, 2014 - 12:00am

Three things are certain in life: death, taxes, and the signs of aging. Until someone discovers the fountain of youth or concocts the elixir of life, there’s no avoiding what time eventually does to all of us. Once those signs start showing, a crucial decision has to be made: we either learn to live with them and love them, or we take the (still sometimes controversial) route of cosmetic surgery. But whether you believe in aging au naturel or not, you can’t deny that cosmetic surgery has become nearly as commonplace as visiting the dentist.

Like everything, though, it has its price. I’ve seen it, you’ve seen it, we’ve all seen it — botched surgeries that mean overinflated lips, artificial-looking cheekbones, and skin stretched so tight that facial expressions are out of the question. Nowadays there’s as much fear of going under the knife as there is a desire to. So does this mean there’s no hope for those who want to return youth and life back into their skin?

Not according to Dr. Jean Marquez at last week’s press conference held at Society Lounge for The Skin Specialist clinic, where a new treatment was launched. Having been practicing Clinical and Cosmetic Dermatology since 1999, a former president of the Philippine Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, a fellow of the Philippine Dermatological Society, as well as the co-host of medical program PinoyMD, Dr. Jean says, “I am a strong advocate of natural beauty, meaning if patients undergo enhancements, they should be non-invasive and must have the most natural-looking results.”

In other words, there is no going under any knives here. We were all even a little awe-struck when she showed us the before-and-after photos of a few patients. Each and every one of them seemed like they mastered the art of time travel and turned back the clock by almost a decade. But the best and most important part is they still looked like themselves. There were no Frankenstein-esque results, which led us to ask: “Why do so many people, even celebrities, end up with terrible cosmetic surgery jobs?”

According to Dr. Jean, too many doctors end up giving inaccurate facial assessments, use poor products, and misuse both the products and their treatments. Combine that with a scarily common lack of skill and experience and you have all the ingredients for a terrible face job. Need an example? Just Google the once naturally stunning Melanie Griffith. Yikes!  “We have to maximize the facial features,” says Dr. Jean. “It’s all about restoring the natural curves and contour of the face, creating balance and proportion, and enhancing the natural features without radically changing the patient’s looks.”

Armed with years of experience, Dr. Jean believes all this can be achieved with a new treatment now available at The Skin Specialist using Allergan’s Juvéderm Voluma. This special formulation temporarily restores decreased facial volume due to aging, and with more volume, the face quickly becomes more contoured with fuller cheeks, redefined cheekbones, and a more chiseled jaw. Think of it as an instant face-lift that doesn’t involve any actual surgery. Plus, Juvéderm Voluma’s key ingredient is hyaluronic acid, which is naturally found in the human body (already a good sign) and is known for its hydrating properties.

Combined with Allergan’s Botox, one leaves Dr. Jean’s clinic with a natural-looking glow and without friends and family wondering what your new identity is. The entire procedure only takes an hour but lasts for 18 to 24 months. “It’s safe and painless and doesn’t have the scary complications of permanent fillers”, Dr. Jean reassured us all, “and there are also more variations of fillers that can be injected to suit different areas of the face to create natural, three-dimensional effects. It’s easier to inject (as a process), so it’s more comfortable to administer, both for the patient and the doctor.”

The Skin Specialist boasts 20 machine treatments that include lasers, light, and ultrasound treatments, and has 12 staff members comprised of nurses, therapists, and even two other board-certified dermatologists.

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The Skin Specialist is located at ESNA Building, 30 Timog Avenue, Quezon City. For appointments, call 374-8087 or 0917-8101319.

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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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