A retail tycoon revealed recently that while the sales of some products are going south, the demand for skincare products is defying gravity.
Even when the populace is behind a mask most of the time?
Yes, agrees dermatologist Aivee Aguilar Teo, whose Aivee Group recently reaped four awards from Merz Aesthetics Asia Pacific for its skin-tillating performance in the region, not just in the Philippines. Yes, people are paying more attention to their skin in the time of coronavirus.
“People want to use this time to look after themselves. We all need to look out for ourselves and I think people now are more conscious of their skin, of taking care of themselves. Skin dryness, acne, wrinkles, sagging skin — I’ve gotten a lot of concerns from patients about those in the past six months. They tell me, ‘My face dropped during quarantine’!”
Another reason people are also so conscious of how they look nowadays is because Zoom has literally put them on the spot. In the limelight, if you will.
“Because of Zoom, you see yourself all the time. So you tell yourself, ‘Wait, I look fat or my eyes got wrinkles pala!’ In the past, when you talk to someone, you see him, his face, not yourself. Now, you see even your own self while talking to others! So, people get conscious all day long because of Zoom and other virtual meetings,” Aivee points out.
The pandemic has also been eye-opening for dermatologists and skin surgeons like her husband Dr. Z Teo.
“And you know what else people are concerned about? Their eyes. Because when you wear a mask, people just see your eyes; your eyes are really highlighted. So many want to do something about the eyes,” says Aivee.
Since the eyes have it, “They want their eyes to be lifted or to look like they were. They want their eyes to look young… really, it’s about the eyes.”
The Aivee Group has accomplished something eye-popping despite the lockdown. Last Monday, Merz Philippines GM Jorge Libanan and sales manager Ludovico Perez presented Aivee and Z with four awards on behalf of Merz Aesthetics Asia Pacific in the 5th Golden Records Awards: winner for Accelerated Growth Ultherapy Transducers Asia Pacific Category B (regional); first runner-up in Highest Achievement Ultherapy Transducers Asia Pacific Category B (regional); Merz Portfolio Highest Achievement (country) and Ultherapy Transducers Highest Achievement (country).
“This means that out of eight countries including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines, The Aivee Clinic has risen as one of the top-performing Merz portfolio providers in Asia,” said Perez in an awarding ceremony at the Sala restaurant in Makati that was one for the books. Each guest (the guest list was limited) was requested to undergo either an antigen or rapid test (results in 15 minutes) prior to entering the venue. Dr. Z’s Keli Devices (which also provides testing services to BDO) conducted the antigen tests — talk about the synergy between the couple in ensuring the well-being of patients and guests!
Aivee was grateful for the accolades from Merz Asia Pacific because, “Even in spite of the fact that Manila has the longest lockdown compared to other countries, we registered this growth. Straight away, we were competing against other countries with shorter lockdowns, and other countries that had very minimal lockdowns. So, that’s why it’s really such a great honor for us, considering that we were really on a lockdown for many months. And we were on a very slow lifting of the restrictions, which means it was really very difficult to compete regionally.” But their talents were never on a lockdown, with strict safety protocols observed in the clinic under Z’s watchful, uncompromising eyes.
“We only reopened in June,” recalls Aivee. “We were closed from mid of March, April and May. And then in August, we had another lockdown. Technically, we opened in June, July and September only before this month.”
After the second strict lockdown in August, the Aivee group reopened in September, with their patients flocking to their clinics. As Aivee had said earlier, some women were wondering why their skin aged, instead of becoming rejuvenated, during the lockdown. She patiently explains the possible causes.
“This is very common now that women are always stressed and experience dryness of the skin when they’re just indoors in an air-conditioned room. This also makes you get wrinkles. A lot of people said they aged, they look tired, haggard. They aged during the quarantine because of the stress, the whole situation,” says Aivee, who makes time to chat with her patients when they consult with her.
One of four daughters of the caring Las Piñas Mayor Imelda Aguilar, Aivee goes beyond skin deep when she tries to understand her patients and their needs.
“I think that’s one of the reasons why people make time for skincare now. I feel that since we can’t travel, there’s no point buying shoes, clothes; people actually want to find something for themselves and they want to do something for themselves,” she believes. “They are now more conscious of their skin, of taking care of themselves and trying something different for themselves.”
Since many work from home and have had no choice but to curtail their socials, they have also found the time to undergo treatments.
So, this lockdown time is as good as any to love yourself from A to Z: from Aivee to Zoom!