Last month I participated in a very exciting event with Cetaphil! I was asked to fly over to the Philippines for a 3-day skin care retreat to do some confidence workshops with lots of young Asian women! Cetaphil TH, MY, SG and PH all made a huge Facebook competition where women from all over southeast Asia were able to participate. As of what I heard, there were over 16.000 women participating in this competition! Everyone had to tell Cetaphil what #SkinConfidence meant to them – in only 25 words. Not an easy challenge! From every country, one winner would be able to fly over to the Philippines for this very special, exquisite skin care retreat with Cetaphil.
The Purpose: finding your #SkinConfidence
This experience carries the hashtag #SkinConfidence. The goal of the Cetaphil Experience was clearly for these women to understand that it is ok to have flaws, it is ok to have problems with your skin. They should make the best of it and accept themselves for who they are. It is important to understand that beauty is not only defined by the way we look, but more by who we are. What are your strengths? What do you appreciate about yourself? And what do you want to change in your life in order to be happier and feel even more beautiful? We worked on such topics in my workshops. Read more…
Also, there were two dermatologists with me: Dr. Supenya from Bangkok, Thailand, and Dr. Martinez from Manila, Philippines. They talked about the basics of the skin: the three layers, how to protect your skin well and also about some skin myths. Read more…
The Winners: four amazing ladies
Cetaphil chose one winner from each country and invited these four wonderful girls for a trip to the Philippines:
Sara from Singapore
Marlene from Malaysia
Rachelle from the Philippines
Toey from Thailand
The Bloggers: beauty inspiration from all over SE Asia
Cetaphil invited quite a few bloggers from these countries as well, adding two girls from Indonesia. These bloggers were:
Amy and Nutty from Thailand
Emily and Charis from Malaysia
Kristine and Ana from the Philippines
Roseanne and Jamie from Singapore
Claradevi and Sonia Eryka from Indonesia
All of them were very special. From believing in inner beauty, accepting things the way they are, making the best of life, being experts in beauty and fashion to having the best connections to retailers and contributing artistry with music and writing, they were all very different and very unique in their personality. I had some really nice conversations with some of them and they inspired me to continue doing what I’m currently doing… THANKS girls!
The location: the raw vegan Farm at San Benito
The Cetaphil Experience took place in the Farm at San Benito, in Lipa, Philippines. It is about 2hrs from Manila by car, an amazing vegan resort with beautiful villas, in the middle of nature, jungle-like surroundings and lots of relaxing spots. I once joined a yoga class in the morning, it was already about 35 degrees and I was sweating like crazy! The food they served at the Farm was all vegan and grown in their own gardens. It was delicious and made me feel very healthy! Thanks Farm for these three days of beauty food!
It was so exciting…
AAAAND I am so excited to show you the first sneak peek video!
So what did we actually do in this 3-day skin care retreat?
Day 1 – Getting to know each other
Day one of the experience started with the arrival of all 14 girls from the airport. It was so lovely to finally meet them all in person after having read some of their blog posts and watched their videos on YouTube! All of the girls were so happy to meet as well, as in some cases, they have been following each other for long and were able to finally meet in person! THANKS Cetaphil for bringing this amazing group of girls together!
We started off with an interesting activity where four groups had to make a 30-second TV commercial about what defines a “Cetaphil woman”. It was so cool to see their creativity and observe their team work and interactions! The commercials were fun, and I hope you will be able to watch them soon on socials, too, if Cetaphil publishes them.
During the activity, we got some delicious coconut cracker snacks from the farm team. Everyone was wondering what it could be, as it tasted salty and was difficult to define from its taste only. I instantly asked for the recipe, which you can find in their own raw vegan cook book available at the Farm shop at the reception.
In the evening, we had a healthy dinner together on a table that was beautifully and colorfully decorated. And the food was just delicious!
Some of the girls who arrived early were able to explore the area. So did Amy and Nutty from Thailand, and they took some really nice product shots at our private pool in the Master Villa of the Farm!
Day 2 – #SkinConfidence Workshop
Day 2 started with a delicious and healthy breakfast at the south pool. The girls then had some time for themselves and were able to get to know each other even better. Over the course of day 2, all participants and experts (including lucky me!) received a special spa treatment at the healing sanctuary of the Farm. I got a Thai massage and it was right before my big workshop, which was the most perfect moment in the whole retreat!
There were two “Ask the expert” sessions that we recorded on this day. Dr. Supenya from Bangkok and Dr. Martinez from Manila were asked quite a few questions by the bloggers and winners from their country. There were questions about how to take better care of your skin, how to protect it from the sun etc.
At 4.30 pm, it was time for #SkinConfidence! I startedmy workshop with a reflection activity, where the girls had to think about their personal skin concern, how and when it came up, how their social community supported them… Some of them then got to share their story, all of which were very touching. Kristine shared that her acne was so bad that she wouldn’t leave the house without a mask, because she couldn’t stand people staring at her face… I did some other activities to make them understand that whichever situation you are in, make the best of it. Is your glass half empty or half full? YOU decide and YOU can change it. At the end, the girls had to make 3 skin confidence commitments about what they want to improve or change to make them feel more confident about themselves.
Dr. Supenya and Dr. Martinez then taught the girls some important things about the skin and about skin care. We also had a questionnaire with skin myths and the participants had to decide wether they were true or false. We revealed some quite interesting facts, such as that chocolate can cause acne, people with oily skin still need to moisturize their skin, lemon whitens the skin etc. They also had to write down their 3 skin care commitments at the end. Even though I already knew a lot about skin and skin care, I did learn quite a few more things! And I think that for the girls, these sessions were very valuable.
Amy, Toey and Nutty from Thailand were a bit worried they wouldn’t be able to follow because of their English level, so I checked in with them regularly to make sure they get all the content, which was really important for me. When Nutty shared one of her 3 skin confidence commitments, she said it all in Thai and I honestly got goose bombs, because I found it so fascinating and inspiring that I am even crossing language barriers with my coachings!
In the evening, I had a Google Hangout session together with the two dermatologists. I asked them lots of questions about the skin, about skin care etc. It was really fun and lots of people from all over the world watched it and asked even more questions. Unfortunately, the sound quality wasn’t very good, so I can’t share the result with you. But be ready for more Google Hangout sessions in the coming months!
We closed the day with an amazing bon fire where we got to hang out together and dream about our futures…
Day 3 – Wrap up and Commitments
Day 3 came so fast, I couldn’t believe it. We finished with a closing workshop and a closing activity, where the girls had to do another 30 second TV commercial about the “Cetaphil Woman”, but with all the knowledge they had gained throughout the workshops. I was moved to tears when I saw how empowering and inspiring their contributions were!
This event was a huge success! I had so much fun and felt so enriched with all these girls’ contribution. I felt like I was adding value to their already positive lives, and lots of them approached me and thanked me for this experience, having never experienced anything similar before! I was surprised, happy, and so proud to be there and so grateful for having met all these wonderful women!