Monday, April 21, 2014

Dove on Real Beauty + Beauty is a State of Mind

Dove sure knows how to make a girl feel special. I was invited to the first ever Dove Summit early this month at Sofitel, where the agenda was "realization and self-discovery" as well as celebrating our Real Beauty.

From a pillow embroidered with the initial of my nickname...

To handwritten notes throughout the two day event...

To scrumptious lace cookies and fresh flowers on my bedside table, slippers in my size, and a gorgeous room to myself (which I enjoyed so much more because I shared it with my kids!), Dove truly pulled out all the stops to make me, and all of their guests, feel real special.

I can bet, as we each entered our room, we must all have felt like the greatest beauties of all time, adored and doted upon, coddled and cradled like a highly sought upon A-list actress or a supermodel who managed to score a Vogue cover after months of celebrity covers, and after the shocker that was Kimye.

Of course, we were also in for the shock of our lives. Because part of the deal was, we had to step out of our sanctuary of a room to attend the event proper "unmasked". Yup, scrubbed clean of the last vestiges of makeup to reveal our "Real Beauty".

The evening's hosts, Apples Aberin and Lexi Berenguer-Testa, still gorgeous without makeup

The point being? Because we need to learn to be comfortable in our skin. To realize that we are all beautiful.  Even if society, the media, or worse, our own relatives say otherwise.

Mian Datu-David, Marketing Manager for Skin at Unilever, shared that in a study commissioned by Dove “Only seven percent of Filipinas think of themselves as beautiful.” Dove wants to change this statistic, and they wanted to start with us - bloggers, writers and beauty editors who shape the opinion of what beauty is.

I thought it was about time. When photographers start descending on the same people at every event, and magazines keep on posting the same conventionally pretty girls at every page, it's like "Wala na bang ibang maganda kundi sila?"

But it's not fair to blame it on others. Or your Mom, Tita or Lola who good-naturedly compares you to your more mestiza sister or cousin, not realizing the damaging message they are conveying.

Because ultimately, we shouldn't let the opinion of others shape our self-worth. Why be our own worst critic? It's like beating yourself up when you can love yourself instead.

And how can you not love yourself when the best photographers in the Philippines are there to capture us in all our unmade up glory? Dove hoisted upon photographers Sara Black, Pilar Tuason, G-nie Arambulo and Jo Ann Bitagcol the gargantuan task of taking our photos devoid of the trappings of glamour, to convince us that we are indeed beautiful, haha.

And you know what, it was not as scary or as bad as it seemed. As we stepped down for dinner, we were greeted with beautifully tablescaped dinner tables,

And images of all these beautiful bare-faced women projected onto a humongous screen. Ehrm, mine included!

Here's a better look at my photo taken by Sara Black. I was more freaked out about her taking my photo than having to remove my makeup (which is always barely there anyway). Especially because the two girls who went ahead of me happened to be model gorgeous, Tricia Centenera and another pretty girl who both know how to work the camera. Talk about intimidated! 

Speaking of models, the next morning, I met up with my beautiful friends Jackie & Angela (a Dove girl herself) for breakfast.

After getting our fill, we headed out to the Dove Pavilion to see for ourselves the science behind Real Care. 

Via the test stations set up for Dove's Body, Hair and Deo products, there was no denying how well-researched and tested Dove products are.


We've all heard about Cleopatra bathing in milk, right? We all know by now how moisturizing it is supposed to be. But imagine filling up a tub with milk, even if it's just once a week. It's not just indulgent, it's so ridiculously expensive!

Dove's line of nourishing body washes beats the moisturizing power of milk by leaps and bounds, without costing you a small fortune. It really is so much better than bathing in milk. 

With dermatologist Dr. Anna Palabyab-Rufino explaining the science of skin, and Brand Manager for Dove Skin, Jules Gollayan explaining the science behind Dove's line of body washes (it contains NutriumMoisture® that moisturizes the skin deep down), I experienced first hand the power of Dove Nourishing Body Wash.

A gadget used to measure my skin's moisture content showed that my skin was at 31.1, slightly above the average of 22-24. After milk was applied to my skin, the scale went up to 33, but with Dove body wash, it zoomed up to 58. Very impressive.


Carlo Isla, Brand Manager for Dove Hair drove home the point. Bottom line, damaged hair sinks, healthy hair floats. This is become damaged hair is brittle and porous, hence water seeps in and drags it down.

You can tell from from here which hair sample has been treated with Dove hair repair serum prior to blow drying, even without the labels. This is because Dove hair repair has Keratin actives that fill in holes and gaps in our hair while replenishing it with much needed moisture.


Ahhhh,  dark underarms. If there's one thing most girls are conscious about, it's raising their arms in public - because they are worried about chicken skin or dark arm pits. 

According to Rowena Lim, Regional R&D Manager at Unilever, the reason why underarms get dark is because when we shave our underarms, 1/3 of what we shave off is skin! When skin is inflamed, it triggers production of melanin. 

Because it takes 20-30 days for our skin to recover from damage, when we keep on shaving, we are not allowing our skin to rest.  It sounds counterintuitive, but we really need to moisturize our underarms to make sure it doesn't get dry, cracked, and prone to infection. Here's where Dove Deos come in, not only does it moisturize, it repairs and lightens underarms in as little as 7 days.

I told Neil Trinidad, Marketing Manager for Dove Deo, that unlike most women, I am not worried about showing my underarms. He looked shocked, and then he smiled knowingly when I explained I've been using Dove Whitening Original for months now. True story.

And with that, I leave you with a video of a social experiment called Dove: Patches, spearheaded by psychologist and New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Ann Kearney-Cooke (Ph.D., Counseling Psychology) who has spent thirty years conducting scientific research around women’s body image and self-esteem.

It just goes to show that beauty is truly a state of mind.

Dove hopes that all of the women’s inspirational stories featured in the Dove: Patches film will serve as powerful examples and encourage all women to develop a stronger relationship with their own beauty. 

Dove invites all women to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. When women look and feel their best, they feel happier, and Dove believes it is important for women to see the beauty in themselves so that they can inspire the next generation. 

In the Philippines, only 7% of Filipinas think they are beautiful. Help us reach the 93% by sharing the Dove: Patches video to your loved ones, family, friends. Together, let’s help women realize that feeling beautiful comes from within. 

We are all beautiful. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise.

Better yet, tell yourself you are beautiful. Because really, you are.

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