“I think that the more powerful a platform, the more it should be used responsibly.”
Dr. Clarissa V. Cellona is on a mission of education, particularly with skincare. With almost 20 years of experience in clinical and aesthetic dermatology, she is distilling that knowledge into a book titled What’s Up with My Skin?
The book is both a guide and informational primer, primarily directed at teens, who are the most vulnerable when it comes to troubling standards of beauty and downright unsafe self-care practices.
“[I want to] dispel all these skin myths and correct all the wrong
information found on the less-than-trustworthy sources online,” Cellona, Skincell Clinic’s lead dermatologist, explains. “Sure, everything is available on the internet. But are the parents and kids getting the right information… or are they getting disinformation in return?”
Cellona, whose high profile patients includes Tessa Prieto Valdes, Dawn Zulueta, Patty Ang, Jhoanna Lhuillier, Crickette Tantoco, Kat Lobregat, Jessy Mendiola, Patricia Prieto, Margot Midwinter, shares that the book helps answer a few of the most frequently encountered skin issues.
It even has a section dedicated to whitening, an “ideal” that kids are constantly bombarded with through celebrities and influencers.
“While I am not against celebrity idol worship, I am all for encouraging kids to love themselves more, for who they naturally are,” Cellona says. “After all, beauty, looks and fame will fade away but character and talent will go a long way.”
As for the influencers themselves, the good doctor advises that they be more careful when it comes to their content.
“I would discourage them to endorse prescription products with ingredients such as steroids or unregulated bleaching creams,” Cellona shares. “I have personally seen a lot of patients suffer serious side effects from using unregulated products flouted by social media personalities.”
Nowadays, she continues, many can procure these products online without a doctor’s guidance and supervision. “I think that the more powerful a platform, the more it should be used responsibly,” Cellona says.
Making use of colorful illustrations and a clear and comforting tone, What’s Up with My Skin? was written with the most concerns that Cellona encountered in consultations over the decades.
“The most common cases were often related to teen-related skin issues,” she says. “Understandably, the challenges in managing teen skin can be very distressing not only to the young patient but to the parents as well.”
Aside from leading her group of board-certified dermatologists and highly trained personnel at Skincell, the doctor is also an active consultant at the St. Luke’s Medical Center-Global City. There, she heads the Environmental Dermatology Unit.
She graduated from the INTARMED Program of the University of the Philippines-UP College of Medicine and trained in Dermatology at the UP-PGH. Cellona then completed her fellowship under the mentorship of renowned American dermatologist Dr. Howard Maibach at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).
A member of the Philippine Dermatological Society, she was inspired to tackle the complex topic of teenage skin during the height of the pandemic. She hopes that her guidebook can help the youth navigate the physiological and anatomical changes they will experience during their adolescent years.
“This book is dedicated to my only teenage son Angelo as well as all the youth out there,” Cellona says. “They are all very fortunate to grow up at a time when it is now easier to treat their skin concerns due to advancements in medicine particularly in dermatology.”
What’s Up With my Skin? is available at Skincell Clinics and Skincell on Lazada.Follow @skincell.care on Instagram and Facebook for the latest updates or visit Skincell.care.