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The truth about beauty, anti-aging and regeneration

By MARBBIE TAGABUCBA, The Philippine Star Published Jul 28, 2023 5:00 am

Aging is a privilege. Looking like it? It depends on whom you ask. But wouldn’t it be nice to keep the wisdom and self-assurance of maturity without the inevitable chronic pain of overactive muscles and probing questions like, “Is everything OK?” because of the 11s in your Triangle of Sadness?

Scientific studies affirm that our self-perception impacts every cell within, influencing how we feel and act. By exuding youthfulness, regardless of appearance, we manifest its benefits—its energy, good health, and even opportunities. It's not just about beauty and how we look, of course, but it sure makes it easier.

Anti-aging is poised to be over a $100 billion industry in seven years. This is also why it’s rife with misinformation.

So we’re going straight to the experts. Our truthtellers are pioneers. Through the years, they have made significant investments in bringing in the latest and most innovative technology and techniques in medical aesthetics and wellness. They have raised the Philippine medical aesthetic scene to world-class standards. They not only keep learning but also educate some of the world’s best practitioners, putting the Philippines on the map as a global beauty destination.

What’s the newest breakthrough? What works and what doesn’t and who is it for? How should we approach this new chapter of our lives? With technology that can literally make our cells act younger, can we now finally expect a miracle? Whether or not you choose to age with or without a boost is a choice, but here at The Philippine STAR, we want you to make an informed choice with the truth—straight from the experts themselves. We ask three of the country’s best in aesthetic medicine the question: What is the truth about anti-aging and regeneration—and what can we do about it?

Vicki Belo
Founder and medical director, Belo Medical Group

Magpa-Belo ka na!”: Dr. Vicki Belo is a pioneer of the Philippine beauty industry; it’s why her name is part of the vernacular for aesthetic enhancements.

‘In beauty, we have realized that all layers of the face have to be addressed.’

It’s so exciting to be alive in a time like this because so many advancements have been made in these fields. In beauty, we have realized that all layers of the face have to be addressed. Prior to this, most beauty treatments were only targeted to the skin level. Now it’s much more holistic in approach.

To address the skin quality, the goals are skin that is firm, bouncy, even in color; small pores; and feels smooth and elastic. For lifting, energy-based devices like Virtue RF uses radio frequency microneedling. The device delivers RF energy through the epidermis, dermis and fat. It results in tighter skin and smaller pores.

In beauty, we have realized that all layers of the face have to be addressed.

Amino acids that put the ingredients to make collagen and elastin straight into the layer where they are needed most for maximal effects. The result? Bouncy, baby-like skin.

Exosomes are the active part of the stem cells. They work on cell signaling, calling in all the important cells like peptides, growth factors, platelets, and anti-inflammatory cells to recapture the skin of your youth. Exosomes also decrease redness and inflammation, which can cause premature aging, called inflammaging.

Profhilo rehydrates skin with water, not oil. This strengthens and shortens suspensory ligaments for a firmer, tighter look.

Firm fillers counteract bone resorption in the cheek, jaw and chin.

Emface turns sagging thin muscles into the rounded firm muscles of our childhood. Amazing results on the forehead, cheeks and jaw definition.

Aging is multifactorial. We are what we eat. Intermittent fasting where we fast for 16 hours and eat only for an eight-hour window results in autophagy. This is a process where our body gets rid of debris and unhealthy cells by semi-starvation for 16 hours. It wakes up good cells to function better.

Exercise not only keeps our bodies healthy but our minds as well. Best to combine strengthening, weight-bearing exercises to prevent osteoporosis and keep our muscles strong.

There is also Hormonal Replacement Therapy. Testosterone and DHEA for men and testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and DHEA for women to keep our body’s organs in tune with each other.

To keep our bodies looking good and functioning well, at Belo, we have Emsculpt, a machine that stimulates our muscles into hyper-maximal contraction. It’s like doing 20,000 sit-ups in 30 minutes. The core muscles keep our body strong. Hyper maximal buttock contractions hold our pelvic organs and legs strong. The arm application keeps our arms toned and functional.


Belo Clinics are at 49 Connecticut Street, Northeast Greenhills; 305 Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City; The Residences at Greenbelt, Makati; Medical Plaza, Makati; Powerplant Mall, Makati; S Maison, Pasay; Shangri-la Plaza, Ortigas; SM Megamall, Mandaluyong; Trinoma, Quezon City; One Bonifacio High Street Park, BGC; Westgate Center, Alabang; SM City Clark, Pampanga; Taft East Gate, Cebu; and Abreeza Mall, Davao.

Aivee Aguilar-Teo
Founder, The Aivee Group

Aivee Day: Aivee Aguilar-Teo lifted the curtains on medical aesthetics in the Philippines by making it pain-free and luxurious, advocating for self-care.

‘A person’s face is not the only variable that we perceive as beautiful; it has to be the whole package.’

I have noticed that Filipinos are increasingly becoming open-minded about self-care and aesthetics including anti-aging and regeneration. Listening to my patients daily has given me a front-row seat to their needs and views on what they perceive beauty as. In my practice, I always ask my patients about what they want to improve about themselves and I educate them about their options aesthetically and what they can do beyond the surface. What’s important to me is to help them enhance their self-confidence and make sure to give them attainable goals to reach their dreams that radiate.

The truth about beauty, from my point of view, is really about a healthy glow that a person radiates. The factors behind this are in the skin at the cellular level, internal health, active lifestyle, overall wellbeing, and of course skincare. A person’s face is not the only variable that we perceive as beautiful; it has to be the whole package. I have seen men and women in their 70s and 80s and they look amazing and radiate youthful beauty because of their outlook and healthy lifestyle.

A person’s face is not the only variable that we perceive as beautiful; it has to be the whole package.

Beauty, anti-aging and regeneration revolve around embracing the natural processes of our bodies and understanding that beauty has different variables. It is essential to approach these topics with a perspective that considers both physical and more importantly one’s emotional wellbeing. For example, enhancing a person's facial features through various procedures adds to a person’s self-confidence radiance, but of course, it is important to first educate them on options. I always ask them about their goals and lifestyle so that I can help them make informed decisions. Sometimes they don’t realize that anti-aging and regenerative options are intrinsic to that radiant glow I was referring to earlier. There are huge advancements and information on regenerative and anti-aging treatments available now. The truth is I’m very excited about these because, aside from my dermatological practice, these are ways that I can help my patients extend their youthful appearance.

To sum it up beauty, anti-aging and regenerative medicine is all about education and information. As I always emphasize, consider your goals and lifestyle first then the rest will follow. But the main point is that don’t be afraid to explore your options and ask about them, research, and embrace your own beauty truth.


The A Institute is at Burgos Park Building and The Aivee Clinics are at Burgos Circle, BGC; Commercenter, Alabang; and Vertis North, Quezon City.

Kaycee Reyes
Founder, Luminisce Holistic Skin Innovations

Skinvesting: Dr. Kaycee Reyes convinces even the most hesitant by approaching medical aesthetics with a wellness and preventive medicine angle.

‘While we cannot halt the aging process, we can aim to slow it down and mitigate its visible effects.’

In a society captivated by youth and beauty, the pursuit of anti-aging solutions and regeneration has become a prominent topic. However, it is essential to separate fact from fiction and gain a deeper understanding of the science and truth behind beauty, anti-aging and regeneration.

Aging is an inevitable and multifaceted process influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. It involves the progressive decline of cellular functions, including collagen and elastin depletion, decreased skin elasticity, and the development of fine lines and wrinkles. While we cannot halt the aging process, we can aim to slow it down and mitigate its visible effects.

While we cannot halt the aging process, we can aim to slow it down and mitigate its visible effects.

Skincare plays a pivotal role in maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin. Moisturizing, sun protection and a consistent skincare routine are crucial for preserving the skin’s natural moisture barrier and defending against the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays. Investing in high-quality skincare products containing antioxidants, retinoids, and hyaluronic acid can enhance overall skin health and appearance.

A plethora of anti-aging treatments exist, ranging from topical creams and serums to more advanced procedures. Topical solutions can address specific concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone, but their effectiveness may vary. Advanced procedures like chemical peels, laser resurfacing, dermal fillers, and botulinum toxin injections offer more immediate and visible results in combating signs of aging.

Regeneration focuses on stimulating the body’s natural healing mechanisms to promote tissue repair and rejuvenation. It encompasses various techniques such as Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, PLLA, or Poly-L-lactic acid (a bio stimulatory injectable treatment in the brands Sculptra and Aesthefill) and PDO bio stimulators and regenerative medicine approaches like Stem Cell Therapy and Exosomes, PRN (a polynucleotide extracted from salmon DNA known under the brand Rejuran), Polydeoxyribonucleotide (more popularly known as PDRN), and Growth Factor treatments. These methods aim to enhance the body’s regenerative potential and promote collagen production, improving skin texture and overall appearance. While they share the common goal of promoting tissue repair and rejuvenation, they differ in their composition, mode of action, and treatment applications.

Even with these advancements, there are also some misconceptions that I would like to debunk:

Instant solutions. While some treatments provide noticeable improvements, true results often require time and consistency.

Overnight transformations. Reshaping aging skin is a gradual process that requires patience and persistence.

Immortality. Anti-aging treatments aim to enhance the quality of aging rather than halt it altogether.

Lastly, a one-size-fits-all approach. Individual factors like genetics and skin type determine which treatments will yield optimal results.

A holistic approach incorporating a healthy lifestyle is vital for overall wellbeing. Factors such as preventive medicine (stress medicine, hormones medicine and environmental medicine) will help lessen chances of activating genetic diseases and improving quality of life, not just longevity.


Luminisce is at Mercury Drug Building, BGC; The Podium, Ortigas; and Molito Lifestyle Center, Alabang.