Today I’m excited to share with you a trip I had to the Philippines a few weeks ago! Cetaphil invited me down and a few other bloggers and winners to the Philippines recently to attend a very special regional empowering and educational retreat called The Cetaphil Experience. Here, Cetaphil brought women from all over the region to learn more about skincare and confidence in an array of workshops held by dermatologists and even a life coach. As for my expectations, I expected the experience to be like any press trip I go on – filled with facts and figures – but it turned out to be an amazing bonding session with the girls I met there and more encouraging and inspiring than I could ever imagine. I can’t wait to show you more!
The Cetaphil Experience was held at The Farm @ San Benito, in Lipa City, Philippines. It’s an award winning retreat and is known for being sort of like an escape. There’s an amazing spa and villas scattered throughout the resort. It is both picturesque and natural, the perfect setting and backdrop to our experience!
Oh by the way meet Sarah from Singapore who won the contest for this experience! She was our roomie too! Cetaphil actually also ran a contest and the winners from the contest attended the retreat with us! On your right is Jamie, a gorgeous Singaporean beauty and fashion blogger at Jamietyj!
Our villa was nice and cosy. It had a loft and 4 beds and the bathroom was totally lit by natural light. I like how the natural and wholesome details extended even in the shower with coconut oil that is made from The Farm itself and homemade lemongrass scrub with Lahore salt.
The highlight of the trip for me was getting to meet the other bloggers – from Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, and Malaysia as well. These girls are so beautiful inside and out and I really felt like I was in a melting pot of cultures. Each brought their own country with them and it was so cool getting to meet everyone. We really bonded during this trip and I do miss everyone right now!
After our lunch, we had a short photoshoot for Cetaphil and then it was onto our icebreaker. We had to create a 30s TV commercial about what a Cetaphil woman means to us.
It was a difficult task but a Cetaphil Woman I think to me is someone who is strong, confident and passionate. The brand is such a simple brand but so real in terms of its performance and efficacy. I am a true Cetaphil user myself and I love how amazing it is for sensitive skin people like me. If you’re like me, you know that having sensitive skin is a struggle and the struggle is real but the more struggles we face in life, the more confident, strong and powerful we become. Therefore to me a Cetaphil woman is all of those combined. Overall, the teams did great.
At the end of the 3 days, we were asked to do this exercise again and it really did change. Because we bonded more, more friendships were made, the ads had more bonding and more love in them. A Cetaphil woman became encouraging, thoughtful, kind and friendly. Perhaps it’s not always about being strong but also about caring and being kind for the people around you too.
On the second day, we started first with our Spa treatments! The Farm had a really nice spa and there were many “treatment rooms” but I would call them more like villas because they really felt like you were alone in the middle of the jungle. It was really nice.
I received a warm coconut oil scrub and massage and well as a head treatment and massage. It is supposed to detoxify and relax your skin. The Farm really presented an amazing holistic experience. This is the oil warming up and when they drip it on your skin, it’s the best feeling ever!
After the relaxing spa session, it was time for the workshops! The workshops were led by both dermatologist and a life coach to support both physical and mental wellness. We had three workshops in total – Cetaphil Woman Workshop, Skin Confidence Workshop and My 6 Commitments Workshop
The first was Martina Fink who is a life coach and a beauty and wellness coach who flew in from Switzerland to host the Cetaphil Woman workshop.
I really liked this workshop because it was more about encouraging us as women. She would read us an inspirational quote and asked us to interpret it from our own personal experiences. For example, the quote “if it doesn’t challenge you, it wont change you”. I think that in life, the only way to grow is to have struggles and to have difficulties. It is one makes is become new and we shouldn’t be afraid or scared of them. In fact for me, I really do think that they’re necessary. For all the women who are going through skin issues, overcoming them is for sure a challenge but when you do, it renews and changes you and that is a beautiful thing.
Because we shared our experiences, we really got to know each other on a deeper level because we shared where we came from and our tips about our journeys in life. I felt like most of all, I wasn’t alone in my skincare issues.
Martina told us to close our eyes and raise our hands if we’ve ever had issues with for example acne, then we were told to open our eyes and almost everyone in the room raised their hands. If you are struggling through something like that, you certainly aren’t alone!
Dr. Martinez, an expert dermatologist from the Philippines helped to facilitate the Skin Confidence workshop. We learned about skin health and basic skincare tips like cleansing, toning, moisturising and the importance of sunscreen. I like how she measured out a teaspoon of sunscreen for us and told us that this is how much you should be using on your face! Now that’s quite a lot. Then, we went through skin myths where we took a quiz with a bunch of myths to see if they were true or false. I learned that chocolate may in fact cause acne to a certain degree (although I was unsure of this before) because it raises blood sugar levels and may activate oil glads (I guess this goes for all sugary items? not just chocolate).
In the evening, we squeezed in another workshop just before bed on Facial Rejuvenation where we got to learn how to relax the mind and body before proceeding to do a facial.
The next day, it was time for our last workshop – My 6 Commitments – where we shared what we are going to do for our skin in the future. Making commitments is like saying that you’re going to eat healthier for your skin, that you’re not going to bash yourself for that one zit or that you’re going to wear sunscreen everyday. For me, my commitment is that I’m going to start using more body lotion and moisturiser. I’m actually really dry on my legs and arms right now but I am super lazy about using moisturiser unless I’m in a very cold and dry country. After the workshop, I really also loved how we took the time to go around and appreciate each other. I felt really touched by it!
So that’s our Cetaphil Experience! Overall, I enjoyed myself because of the amazing people I met and the encouraging workshops the most. It was such an enriching experience. I hope you enjoyed learning more about it too!
This post and experience was kindly sponsored by Cetaphil! You can also watch my YouTube Vlog about my entire experience here: