Charo Santos-Concio enjoys visits to her dermatologist. She considers them her rest time and a well-deserved treat to herself—“after all those years that I worked so hard.”
Having retired from her high-powered corporate job, Santos-Concio says calls to Dr. Aivee Aguilar Teo’s clinic are “my reward to myself, to keep me looking happy and feeling happy all the time.”
These days, she says, “I’m more relaxed. I’m less stressed. I take life one day at a time. I don’t overthink. I really have more time for myself now. So I visit Dr. Aivee a lot.”
The former ABS-CBN chief executive, 62, is a fan of Ultherapy, a noninvasive beauty procedure that uses micro-focused ultrasound technology to boost collagen production, thus keeping skin looking young, firm and tight. She was one of the first to try the treatment when it was introduced to the country, and she has been doing it once a year since. She calls it her holy grail for beauty.
“Malakas ang loob ko sa ganyan (I’m daring with things like that), and I believe in really taking care of myself and my skin,” she says. “The procedure is very safe and it’s done in 30-40 minutes. I love the results! It boosts my confidence. It contours my face and refines my skin. It brings out my cheekbones.”
Friends who noticed the effects have compared her to Benjamin Button, referring to the fictional film character that ages backward.
Along with former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach, Santos-Concio has just been named new brand ambassador for Ultherapy.
“The immediate effect for me was the tightening and lifting of my skin,” says the longtime host of “Maalaala Mo Kaya.” “So I was really happy and I recommended it right away to my friends and family.”
Her own mother, Nora, took such great care of her skin that this daughter recalls how beautiful her mom’s skin was well into her 70s. “Beauty is for everyone,” says Santos-Concio. “It doesn’t matter what age you are. Hanggang sa kahuli-hulihang hininga dapat maganda ka (You have to look great to the end).”
Beauty in a person shines through with one’s attitude and kind heart—
and one’s desire to look good, she adds.
“You have to love yourself. Take care of your body and mind. It shows in your eyes. You can’t fake it.”
She adds, “With beauty, I am philosophical, but I’m also pragmatic. It’s holistic. There’s a physical side that you have to pay attention to, but you also have to have a beautiful soul.”
At this point in her life, the actress and former beauty queen is still taking on various challenges, while spending more time with her family, to make up for those years when she was busy with her career. She doesn’t believe in dwelling on things that she could have done, or done better, in the past. She’s simply grateful for how supportive her husband and her children were throughout the years.
“Just pick up the lesson and become better with what you’re doing,” she says. “Be a better person, be a better mother, be a better friend.”
Santos-Concio has wide-eyed fascination for every new undertaking. She has recently tried painting. She has also gotten a dog, a Maltese gifted by her granddaughter, which she adores. She has also taken on acting projects. She’s involved in charity projects involving children.
“I’m at a phase where every new discovery is a wonder. It makes life wonderful. I have the mind of a student. My heart and mind are open to all opportunities that the universe will offer me. I feel very happy when I discover new things. It feeds not only my mind but my soul as well,” she says.
“With every phase that we enter in life, we discover more about ourselves. It really pays to be very aware, to appreciate your strengths and, at the same time, not be in denial of your weaknesses so you can do something about it.”
She enjoys meeting young people and discovering new things through and from them. “It keeps me updated and current,” she says.
Santos-Concio advocates embracing and loving oneself. Beauty, she says, starts from within—from having a positive attitude and thinking happy thoughts, and taking care of one’s body.
Eat your vegetables, she advises, and exercise—she likes to walk—and drink lots of water.
“Feed your mind, read, discover the world. You need to pamper yourself,” she says. “Life is a balance. It can’t be all work.”
Part of the job
Looking her best is part of the job of a beauty queen, but the time required for rigorous beauty maintenance is one that Pia Wurtzbach doesn’t have.
The former Miss Universe believes in presenting the best version of herself to the public at all times. However, unlike Santos-Concio, her fellow Ultherapy ambassador, the young woman’s crazy work schedule makes it difficult for her to commit to going to the dermatologist’s clinic or having procedures done regularly.
Three months ago, she was introduced to Ultherapy, the painless, once-a-year beauty procedure that tightens and lifts skin, which has been gaining a lot of attention owing to its proven efficacy. The procedure lasts only 60-90 minutes, and there’s no downtime, so one can resume regular activities immediately after the procedure.
It was just what Wurtzbach wanted in a beauty procedure.
She asked her doctor to focus the treatment on her jawline, neck and cheeks. “A lot of people have been saying that I look younger and I don’t think it’s just because of the hair!” says the beauty queen, who’s sporting a shorter ’do.
“It has only been three months, and I was told I’ll look even better after six months. I’m excited for that!” she adds. “I only had to do it once and my skin keeps getting better and better every day. I don’t need to do a touch-up, so it’s very convenient. I don’t have to keep coming back. I have a really busy schedule.”
Wurtzbach just added Ultherapy among the many brands she endorses.
Time for self
This young woman is at the peak of her career. After relinquishing her crown in 2016, Wurtzbach, 28, went back to acting and hosting. Brand endorsements have also been keeping her occupied. Consequently, time for herself is what she has very little of that sometimes, she has to beg her handler to set aside a free day just so she could see her dermatologist.
Still, she insists on doing certain things by herself and not rely too much on others. “When I have errands I make a list, and I wanna make sure that I do everything for that day, so I schedule everything on my phone. I like doing errands alone,” she says.
She wishes she had more time to do things that she used to do before she won Miss Universe. “I would like to have more time on really simple things—to drive around, to cook at home, to bake, to do my own grocery shopping. I’m really busy that’s why it’s really important for me that whenever I have free time, I make sure that I’m making the most of it,” she adds.
While she’s a stickler for schedule and the most efficient use of her time, she also believes in taking care of herself “so I could take care of others.” She tries to eat healthy, goes to the gym, and surrounds herself with “good people.”
Wurtzbach doesn’t believe in shortcuts to beauty. One needs to invest in one’s well-being, she says.
Skincare for her is very important. She started her skincare regimen at age 16, including a night routine, which she learned from her mother.
“Now that I’m nearing my 30s, I’m thinking of other ways to prevent premature skin aging. I’m using sunblock now, which I never used before. And even the way that I apply products on my face, I follow certain movements.” It was from her own research that she learned of Ultherapy.
“You can use the most expensive makeup and have the top glam team, but if underneath isn’t clear and beautiful to begin with, it’s gonna be hard for them to work their magic,” she says.
Her views on beauty are also evolving as she gets older. “It took me a long time to accept myself, that I’m not perfect. I have flaws and that’s okay. I still feel beautiful… There are no shortcuts, so you have to work on what’s inside in the same way that you work on what’s outside.
“After all these years in the pageant scene, I’ve learned that beauty really is more than the makeup, the dresses or what you look like,” she says in retrospect.
“If you walk into a room with a bare face and even a very simple dress, but you’re confident and you are sure of yourself, people will notice you right away. It took me a long time to learn that. Your confidence is your best beauty secret.”