The Reluctant Stylista

If you know anything about me at all, it’s that I never shy away from the sun. I like being morena, I love having that golden brown skin tone most Filipinas naturally have.  So why am I writing a review that, on the surface, sounds suspiciously like a whitening treatment?

Okay, tanning police. Let me explain and rewind to a couple of months back.

Last June, I went to El Nido for one of this year’s many beach trips. I have to admit it’s been a long while since I was at a beach where I’ve had time to relax and stretch out on the sand, since almost all my beach trips for the past two years involved some kind of water sport (mostly surfing). So I don’t know if it’s been a common occurrence these days, but when I got back from El Nido, I got more than that coveted tan. I was covered in angry red welts that I eventually discovered were caused by sand mites. My dermatologist (the third doctor I consulted with, since I wasn’t sure what caused it. The first culprit–as in what caused it, not the doctor–was a sea urchin I stepped on during my trip) said she’s had a lot of patients recently who came back from beaches like Boracay, who also had these. And while she gave me antibiotics and topical treatment that caused the incessant itching to stop, I was still riddled with a lot of scars.

El Nido June 2016 - Alex Lapa

I went from this…

Alex Lapa - BGC

To this.

So everyday since June, I’ve been juggling various creams and ointments to get them to heal faster. For almost two months after that trip, I’ve been especially creative with my wardrobe because I’m just not used to covering up so much anymore. Although I figured, this was life before laser hair removal, so I sucked it up and laughed it off. It was kind of fun while it lasted, but it was also summer and not the most ideal clothes to wear when I’m on the field. I’m just determined to get back to regular programming (I mean, I mostly have. Because I’m too old to give af/feel self-conscious. But it’s getting tiring explaining how I got all these marks over and over again).

Suaviss Lab White

On top of it all, the Clobetasol lotion I have sort of whitened the area around the bites. It’s not my dermatologist’s fault; she did tell me not to apply too liberally like regular body lotion. But in my efforts to make sure my skin would absorb the medicine, I may have spread a wider diameter than what was ideal. The result? I have patchy, sort of mottled skin mostly on my legs and on my left arm.

So two things that appealed to me about Suaviss’ Beauty Lab Whitening:

1. It promised to help even out skin tone. The brightening effect is there, yes. If you’re into whitening, then you’ll be glad to know this is one of the most systematic and effective whitening programs in South Korea. I’ve been told there’s only one other beauty clinic that offers this kind of treatment in the Philippines, and they charge more than double of Suaviss’. But as I mentioned, I have sort of patchy skin, and I’ve developed dryness in certain areas which I assume are side effects of the topical meds I’ve been using, so I wanted to even out my skin tone.

2. Collagen. The treatment includes the use of R-630 Collagen Light Facility, which, from my understanding, is an ultra-fancy and advanced way of shaking up your collagen-producing cells. The depletion of collagen, as any girl in her 30s obsessed with skincare would know, is what causes the loss of suppleness and elasticity in our skin. It also causes that much-dreaded sag. Although we can’t fight aging, we do our best with maintenance. Hence, collagen-anything (from drinks, to food, to supplements) is considered serious skincare investment. I take collagen drinks, but imagine this as five times more potent.

So you begin your first session at Suaviss Beauty Lab with questionnaire.  This is so they can assess what your current skin condition is, and what are the problems.  That day when I had the treatment, I had been having bad skin for almost two weeks, and I couldn’t understand why.  I’m not normally prone to acne, even when I’m stressed, but I had been having non-stop breakouts.  This only normally happens when I’m having scalp problems, but I had addressed that already a week prior and there didn’t seem any visible change. So this was my skin problem, apart from the patchy skin tone I’ve acquired since the topical meds I’ve been taking as mentioned earlier.

After that, you begin your four-step treatment.

Suaviss Lab White - Bonifacio Global City

That’s not a filter, it’s the light from the R-630 machine

Before anything else, you will need to be thoroughly cleansed, so they have several makeup removers on a vanity table.  I feel I have to mention this because I LOVED their makeup removers, especially the lemon cleansing water. It was effective in removing my waterproof mascara and smelled heavenly and my skin didn’t feel dry afterwards.

Now I hope you’re not viewing this from the office or a public place, because viewed from afar, these pictures (THOUGH TOTALLY WHOLESOME) are reminiscent of 70s porn aesthetic cos of the funky lighting. Not that I’ve watched any. *ahem*

Exfoliating at Suaviss Lab White

If you have tattoos, that’s okay. So long as it’s been at least two months since you had your ink done.

Exfoliating. My favorite part of the treatment is this–because it also feels like a massage. It’s a full body and face scrub that is non-irritating because they use a 2-micrometer sized scrub that’s made of sugar cane extracts and volcanic ash. It feels absolutely divine on your skin, and for some reason, feels warm. This goes on for about thirty or forty minutes and then you’re ready for the next step.

Pre-conditioning. After being rinsed off and towel-dried, you get the first part of the whitening and moisturizing. If you’re not into whitening, you can tell them to ease up on the lotion; otherwise, tell them about which areas you want to focus on. For most Filipinas, we’re particular about the underarms, the bikini area, and the butt cheeks. So make sure they get proper attention.

No photo for this step because obvs.

R-630 at Suaviss

Well, they preconditioned my underarms, so I might as well make the most of this light!

R-630 Treatment. The most fascinating part of the procedure is going inside that contraption that looks like an oven. But I was so game because it’s the reason I was there (collagen, y’all). This is where the magic happens. Your collagen-producing cells are given a boost, improving cell metabolism, and the active ingredients of the products that you slathered on are intensified. Don’t worry, it’s totally safe.  So if you want to make the most out of its overall effect, be certain it reaches every inch of you. This is no time to cross your legs, ladies!

This goes on for about 15 minutes. If you don’t know what to do, you can listen to music or a podcast while you’re inside. Or you can meditate. Or reflect on your sins for the day thus far and ponder on how you can be a better human being tomorrow, like I did.


Krissy Cruz and Alex Lapa at Beauty Lab by Suaviss

With my friend Krissy Cruz, on my third session and her first

Post-conditioning. After the R-630 light treatment, you’ll step out a brand new person! Well…at least it feels like it. My skin was soft and supple, and I could already see the  brightening effect. To make it last, my therapist slathered on post-conditioning treatment. This will effectively moisturize you all over, and you can go straight to bed with this (which was what I did after all my sessions). My friend Krissy, who tried it once, didn’t even want to wear makeup the next day, because she was practically glowing.

Would I try this treatment again? Absolutely! After my first session, I was already looking forward to the next one because it was just so relaxing. For me, it was a great way to end the day. Plus, remember when I said I was having a bad skin week? The following, week, my facial blemishes were gone. It took about a few more sessions, but some of my scars lightened already. Will post a comparison pic of those once I get a similar lighting as to when I took that photo of my patchy skin above.

Per session, it’s at 5,000Php, although they do have discounted packages which I recommend. Some people opt for the facial treatment only, which is 2,500Php per session. See the full prices below:

Beauty Lab Whitening by Suaviss is located at 3/F Bonifacio Stopover, 31st street corner 2nd Avenue, Rizal Drive, Bonifacio Global City. Call them at 546-4601 or 09213233448.

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