For the first time, the Belo Medical Group bagged the top prize at this year’s Merz Aesthetics Tala Awards. The annual event held Aug. 17 recognized the country’s top-producing clinics with BMG honored as the Grand Winner of the Ultherapy Transducer Award.
“This is the first time we’ve won the Ultherapy award which is given to the clinic that has had the most number of Ultheras done in a year,” Belo said. “Nine months ago, I gave my team a challenge. I told them that I really wanted to win an Ultherapy award this year and they really came and supported me.”
The award is just the latest the group has received since Belo put up her own practice 29 years ago. She says Ulthera has been around for a while now but that she is still amazed by the technology—high intensity focused ultrasound—behind it.
“What we do at the clinic is special, it’s something we’ve developed over years and years of experience. The way we treat thin skin is different from the way we treat thick skin, oily skin or dry skin. These are things we’ve learned over time,” she said.
Her experience and team’s expertise have placed BMG at the top of the public’s consciousness. In her acceptance speech during the awarding ceremonies, Belo gave a special shout out to the doctors in the Cebu clinic. “I’d like to give a special thank you to our Cebu doctors who went from zero to 150 patients in one month!”
She then went on to thank her patients who have supported them for close to three decades.
“I think in a way because we’ve been around for 29 years, Belo has become a verb in the Philippines. When they talk about beauty, people say, ‘Nagpa-Belo ka ba?’ or use the term ‘Belofied.'”
This ubiquity can also be a “bad thing” because as Belo pointed out, “sometimes even if it’s another clinic, they still call it Belo.” Despite this, she is very proud about what they’ve accomplished and the reputation they have built. “We have very well trained doctors and we’ve had so much experience in almost every procedure there is because people have been going to Belo for such a long time.”
At the Merz Aesthetics Tala Awards, Belo was joined onstage by celebrity endorser Alden Richards, Ultherapy’s newest couple ambassadors Richard and Lucy Gomez, her husband Dr. Hayden Kho, son Quark Henares, and daughter Scarlet Snow. She was later joined for photos by Belo celebrity endorsers Christian Bautista, Rhian Ramos, Albert Martinez, Heaven Peralejo, Xandra Rocha, Georgia Schultz, Arisse de Santos and Camille Co.
Aside from the Grand Winner award, BMG received two other accolades: the UltherapyControl Unit Award, which recognizes partner clinics with the highest acquisition of Ultherapy control units for 2019; and second runner-up in the gold division of the Merz Aesthetics Portfolio Award, given to partners who have maximized the utilization of Merz injectables.
Why Ulthera works best on Asian skin
Fresh from her big win at the 2019 Merz Aesthetics Tala Awards earlier this month, Dr. Vicki Belo was quite voluble. The company went on to receive three awards, including the coveted Ultherapy Transducer Award.
Ultherapy is the only nonsurgical, collagen-building procedure that has been US FDA-cleared to lift skin on the neck, under the chin and on the brow. It delivers focused ultrasound energy and create a fresher, more youthful look from brow to chest. After undergoing the procedure, one can resume normal everyday activities without having to follow any special post-treatment measures.
“Ulthera is very good for facial procedures. It defines the jawline and is very good in getting rid of small double chin,” Belo said. “One market that has been tapped are men who, as they age, suddenly lose definition in their jawline or the break between the neck and the face.”
The newest Belo endorser for Ulthera is actor Alden Richards, who, despite being only 27 years old, wanted to have a more defined jawline. In a video uploaded on the BMG’s IG account, Richards said that while his body got leaner through regular workouts, his face remained round. With Ulthera, he got his longed-for jawline.
“Ulthera is also very good for making pores look smaller. It can be used on the forehead to raise the eyebrows if your lids are falling or on the neck but I think Ulthera Prime is best when you do the jawline,” Belo said. BMG came up with the term Ulthera Prime to distinguish themselves from other skin clinics.
“It basically means we have a special way of doing Ulthera with better results. We’re very proud because many people have asked me if Alden was photoshopped in our billboards and I always tell them the results are real. You see him walking around looking that way.”
In a chance encounter at the PAL Mabuhay Lounge in NAIA 2 last week, we saw up close how chiseled Richards’ jawline is now. Aside from the definition in the jaw, his chin tapered off to a point, giving him a more mature look.
“The reason it looks really, really good is because of all our experience; it’s not just the machine that’s good but also the person behind it. In a similar way it’s like creating a painting. it’s not just the paint that’s good or the canvas, but also the artist behind it,” Belo said.
One reason why Ulthera works well with Asian skin is because it addresses drooping or sagging skin. Unlike other types of skin, Asian skin does not wrinkle as much.
“As we get better and better with the way we use Ulthera, people are seeing dramatic results. Ulthera is able to go deep, all the way to the muscle and bone level, to create a facelift effect. It really isn’t necessary anymore to have surgery because you can have really good results just by doing Ulthera.”
In the past, patients were put under sedation so doctors could reach the optimum level of pulses but there are some who can tolerate the treatment without sedation. Belo said that people now do it in tandem: a husband and wife, mother and daughter or two friends.
The results last depending on the patient’s age. “If you’re between 20 and 30 years old the results can last for two years. If you’re 30 to 40, I would say you do it once a year. But if you’re 45 and up, I think you should do it twice a year.
“The great thing about Ulthera is it actually softens and improves the quality of the skin. It increases the collagen and elastin formation over time. The results get better and better. There’s an instant lift, but if you wait three months, you’ll see that your skin is even more lifted and at six months, it’s at its maximal result.”
Alden Richards and Albert Martinez on looking their best
Male actors have it easier compared to their female counterparts. As they age, men grow into their looks and are described as being more distinguished looking. Now, however, more men are taking a proactive approach to keeping the visible signs of age at bay.
Actors Alden Richards and Albert Martinez are two of the country’s best who have undergone Ulthera with Belo and are pleased with the results.
What are some of the benefits you noticed after your Ultherapy procedure?
Alden Richards: It’s one of the best treatments I’ve ever done sa Belo since I started with them, and the results are really amazing. I didn’t expect that right after the procedure, I could really see the difference. Dr. Belo never gives me treatments that will make me apprehensive. It’s always the best treatments. That’s why I’ve been here all this time. Eight years and still a loyal Belo Baby.
Albert Martinez: Since I’ve had Ulthera before, I know the end result, and I’m very happy with it. That’s why I opted to do it all over again.
Please describe your Ultherapy experience.
Alden: I was really surprised, since it’s the first time I’ve done Ulthera. Immediately after the treatment I felt like I was so thin! Of course, after a month, I saw the full result. This is it. My face went from a puffy, fluffy, cute-boy face to a defined, chiseled, mature face.
Albert: One thing I noticed is that you’ll get your sharp features back. Your jawline is gonna come out. You no longer have those drooping cheekbones. That’s what got me really excited during the procedure.
Why did you decide to undergo Ulthera?
Alden: I used to look at guys with more defined, chiseled jawlines, and thought, “Why can’t I achieve that?” I’m a gym rat. I go to the gym as much as I can. I diet a lot. But still, I really don’t get the results that I want, especially when it comes to the face. That was the time Dr. Belo encouraged me to do Ulthera for Men. Sometimes, you really need help, especially from a professional like Dr. Belo. I consulted her on this. And of all the treatments I’ve done, this is the one that really worked on me.
Albert: Aging is inevitable, so you need to take care of yourself well. It’s a plus to look young onscreen, because you’re given the opportunity to work in leading man roles again. Since I’ve been with Belo for 18 years now, I always get a bulletin from Belo Medical regarding new equipment and procedures. I was told that the second generation of Ulthera works much better. It’s not as painful as the first generation. So I said, “Okay, I just wanna try it again.”
Is it painful? What’s the downtime like?
Alden: No, there’s no pain. The good thing about Dr. Belo is she brings in updated machines for clients to be more comfortable when it comes to dealing with noninvasive treatments. She told me I was fortunate because usually, after the treatment, some patients get swollen, but eventually the face becomes thinner and smaller. For all procedures, we have to give them time to see the full results.
Albert: The pain is still there, but it’s now manageable. I believe you can do it without the intravenous anesthesia, just topical anesthesia will do. The end result is much, much better.