The Phuket Diary: A Cetaphil Experience to remember

I like to think that 2017 is the Year of Skin, at least for me. I've always been careful of the products that I use and hyper aware of my skin condition at all times, but this year is different. I feel that I finally know what my skin needs and which products truly work for me. I now read ingredients lists obsessively and would you believe it - I actually understand the labels without googling! I don't mean to brag, but I'm proud of that achievement.

There are many exciting innovations in skincare today to the point that you can see an immediate effect overnight. This is why it's easy to pass over heritage brands like Cetaphil but I would like to argue the opposite: Cetaphil is, in fact, more relevant than ever for us skincare junkies. It has stood the test of time for 70 years because it's more than just your average skincare line. Cetaphil's philosophy centers around therapeutic skincare - skincare that is formulated specifically for people with compromised skin.

What does this mean? Compromised skin is skin that is affected by chronic conditions like acne, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, and rosacea. Sans a chronic condition, compromised skin also covers allergic reactions like hives, rashes, flaking, and itchy skin. If your skin is compromised you have to be extra careful about the products you use since skin is already irritated. This is where the concept of therapeutic skincare comes in.

Therapeutic skincare covers three main things: cleanse, moisturize, and protect. Cetaphil believes in pH balanced and low-surfactant cleansers, moisturizers with high occlusives and humectants as well as non-comedogenic ingredients, and high SPF sunscreens that are tested by reputable firms. At each stage Cetaphil uses only ingredients for compromised skin. Now a lot of brands are just catching up on to these principles, but Cetaphil has been doing this for seven decades. That's why they're one of the top skincare brands in the country - it's often recommended by dermatologists for a reason (no seriously, we asked three dermatologists a few months ago and ALL of them have Cetaphil on their list!).

I learned all these things while at the Cetaphil Experience event in Phuket last September. It's definitely one of my favorite events this year, and here's why!

Cetaphil brought influencers together from all over Southeast Asia (Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines) and Australia to this annual event celebrating their amazing heritage. The venue was at JW Marriott Resort in Phuket, a beautiful and elegant location that's just the perfect setting for the experience! The resort was right by the beautiful beach.

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I stayed in a room that had a pool right in front of the balcony. The pool winds around the whole property so a guest can actually explore the resort just by following the water. When I arrived in my room, there was a thoughful Cetaphil care box that had products (of course), a towel, travel bag, shirt, and umbrella - things each delegate would need for six day's worth of fun activities.

As evening set in, we prepared for a night of glitz and glamour to celebrate Cetaphil's 70th anniversary in style. I was looking forward to meeting the other ladies from SEA and Australia! It was also my chance to get to know my fellow Philippine delegates, Camie Juan and Denisse Oca. I've said hi a few times to Camie, and was even roommates with Denisse in Balesin one time, but we haven't really hung out before. They're both super nice and funny!

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A Phuket sunset by the beach - out of this world!

A Phuket sunset by the beach - out of this world!

The event was hosted by our very own Sam Oh, and was graced by Indonesian superstar Andien Aisyah who talked about why she loves Cetaphil. The Philippine delegation was seated in a table with the Aussies. They were very easy and outgoing, and we talked about anything from the shopping situation in our cities to how we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. Food was so good too! We weren't able to take a lot of pictures because we all just went for it, haha.

There were also a lot of interviews and shoots in between. Here I am with Camie and Denisse just talking about skincare on camera! Camie is just realizing now that she needs to take more care of her skin while Denisse wants to learn more about skincare so she can teach her super cute daughter to take care of hers. She already uses Cetaphil Baby for her girl.

Cetaphil's skincare philosophy is also holistic in that it's not just about the products - we were taught that good skin health results from having an active lifestyle, a good mental state, and of course, eating balanced meals. All throughout our stay, we had healthy food, lots of relaxation, and physical activities. We had yoga and hoola hoop classes by the beach!

We had a session with Cetaphil's Skincare Expert, Corrin, where she explained the concept of therapeutic skincare and the careful science that goes behind each product. Australia (Corrin's base) apparently has stricter regulations than Europe when it comes to skincare, so all ingredients must pass the government's standards. 

I've tried quite a few Cetaphil products already so I'm happy to be reacquainted again with them in Phuket. I've reviewed the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths (best quickie makeup remover, no sting!) as well as the Daylong Light Gel SPF50 PA++++  (stays on and doesn't feel greasy) years ago. Of course, the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is the OG, and a great, accessible and super gentle option for those who suffer from compromised skin.

My new discovery from Cetaphil would have to be the Moisturizing Cream. This a fragrance-free, basic moisturizer for those with dry and sensitive skin. It's not fancy, but if you suffer from dry knees, elbows, and heels like me then this helps A LOT! It feels heavy at first but is actually absorbed by the skin nicely after a few minutes. I have the half liter bottle of this by my bed lol.

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This year's Cetaphil Experience helped me learn a lot more about skincare and have a deeper appreciation of what Cetaphil has tried to do all these decades as a brand. As a beauty writer whose job is to sample a ton of products all the time, it's easy for me to get waylaid by flashy packaging and formulas. But when the going gets truly tough for my skin, I'm happy to know that Cetaphil will always be here for me with their gentle formulation.

Would love to know what your fave Cetaphil product is!

This story is brought to you by Cetaphil.