A brighter new year! A fairer new me!

“Ang puti mo!” (You're so fair!)

This is the common reaction that I would hear from relatives and friends of my parents whenever they see me. Growing up, I would always take this comment negatively and would strive my best to get a tan. From the daily swimming lessons to the frequent walks under the sun, I would try in vain to get a darker skin color. Sadly, my skin would just turn pink and in no time, I’d be back to my same light-colored skin.

As compared to my mom and sister, I have the simplest facial routine too. Back in college, it would just be regular washing using a facial wash and warm water. No moisturizers, no toners, no creams. I was just 18 then and my skin was luckily very cooperative given the lack of attention that I give to it.

That has all changed when I turned 20. I began to notice tiny brown freckles forming around my cheeks and my skin began to become oily especially along the T-zone. It was then when I started to take more notice on how to take good care of my skin. With more and more people also aspiring to have fairer skin, I’ve grown to appreciate the skin color that I am blessed to have.

I have my line of favourite skin care brands too. Let me tell you about one that my family and I have stayed loyal to since I was a little girl – introducing Neutrogena.

Mom gives high importance to our skin. For her, she goes for something that perfectly suits our skin and can clean thoroughly, without the frills. When I was a child, she would get Neutrogena bath soap for us to use. I love the light subtle scent and the hypo-allergenic component assuring us that it’s good for any type of skin.

Fast forward two decades and a couple of years after, I am privileged to be invited to a wonderful get-together with Neutrogena and with 7 lovely ladies who are all Neutrogena Fine Fairness Ambassadors. The campaign is truly inspiring : Start the Year Light. As we are a month and a half away from 2011, our main goal is to start the year LIGHT and BRIGHT!

The day began with a casual introduction among us, the eight ambassadors of Neutrogena. With me were celebrities Patty Laurel, Isabel Roces, Georgia Schulze-Rosario, Solenn Heusaff and fellow bloggers Phoebe, Earth and Jane. With overflowing delicious food, we chatted to get to know each other more. While I rarely get to watch TV, I am familiar with the celebrities who were with us that afternoon and I can say that they really do have pretty faces and very nice skin!

After lunch, Dr. Jason Penaranda gave a talk about our personal wellness. From him I learned that it is important to keep your plate colourful. By this, he means having a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, protein and carbohydrates. After all, the first step to greeting 2011 with a better new you is by having a healthy lifestyle.

The second talk was really engaging. Analei Atienza, the managing director of the Singapore School Manila, taught us about personal visioning. Armed with a huge illustration board and a set of colored pens, we were asked to illustrate/write our goals. I happily picked the right colors for each goal and the moment I got home, I proudly showed it to Paul whom I will be sharing my life goals with.

The Fine Fairness line of Neutrogena has 8 amazing steps to help us achieve a fairer, cleaner skin. They are as follows:

1. Protects your skin from UVB rays
2. Shields you from UVA rays
3. Restores healthy skin by helping block free radicals
4. Prevents skin darkening by helping to normalize melanin production
5. Blocks the appearance of melanin so skin stays clear
6. Enhances surface skin renewal
7. Helps calm and soothe skin to maintain an even tone
8. Lightens skin by providing an immediate whitening effect

This whole day activity allowed us to Block and Prevent negative vibes to overcome us as we start the year right, just as Neutrogena promises to prevent skin darkening and to block the appearance of melanin too.

It was a wonderful day spent with 7 lovely ladies and learning more things about the brand that I love. I am privileged to be able to go through the two workshops and I am now raring to welcome 2011 with a happier, brighter me! :)

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