When My Skincare Isn’t Enough

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My New Anti-Aging Secret

If you would have asked me 4 years ago if I would let needles near my face, I probably would have said, “Hard pass, friend!” But with the tremendous amount of stress I’ve been through in those 4 years, add to that navigating motherhood and parenting trying not to go crazy, the effects have certainly surfaced. That whenever people would see me, they’d never fail to ask me something along the lines of, “Are you okay? Are you stressed? May pinagdadaanan ka ba?” even when I’m having a particularly good day! It wasn’t until I visited Dra. Issa Cellona at her Skin Cell clinic that I realized, if others had that RBF (resting bitch face), I had RSF a.k.a Resting Stressed Face.
All that while I was diligent on my skincare routine – slathering on all my serums and oils religiously at night. Unfortunately, they were powerless against the stress which brought about these pre-mature lines. In addition, my predisposition to strong lines runs in my blood as my dad has had his strong glabella lines even when he was a bachelor – and it just grew deeper throughout the years. That when he had it treated with another well-known anti-wrinkle injectable, NOTHING HAPPENED. He always joked that he didn’t have it before and that it only appeared when we (my sisters and I) were born.


When Dra. Issa told me that this is also a preventive measure to deter the lines from growing deeper, I was sold. I remembered my dad saying that he would have gone for the injectable much earlier on in life if he weren’t so swayed about the negative public perception on injectables at that time. That’s why I want to talk about this kind of treatment here on the blog as well – to educate, inform and empower.
If people (women and men!) want to look good, then we should just make sure that when they choose to get treatments, they are fully informed of their choices. No need to shame or bring down people who decide to invest on these kinds of treatments to boost their confidence, just as you’re not a “better person” if you’re wearing makeup or not. I firmly believe that no one should ever, ever, ever be made to feel like they should change something about themselves. But the opposite also rings true, no one should ever be made to feel ashamed for choosing to get beauty treatments done.
At the Skincell clinic for my Xeomin treatment – they have branches in St Lukes BGC, Venice Mckinley Hill, Bocobo Manila and San Antonio Plaza Forbes.
Dra. Issa Cellona, whom I consulted with before the treatment. She’s very candid yet professional and thorough as she really makes sure you are indeed a candidate before pushing any treatment. I was apprehensive coming in but after I talked to her, I was confident I was in good hands.

What is Xeomin?

It is an anti-wrinkle injectable – a form of botulinum toxin that is used to block muscle movement in areas that contribute to wrinkles. It is not a filler, as Xeomin only impacts muscle movement and has no effect on filling deep wrinkles that have already formed. It has the same ingredients as Botox,  but Xeomin is a purer form of the toxin with no additional ingredients. What’s different about Xeomin is that it undergoes an extra step of purification so that there is no other complexing protein. In short, it is the purest form among all the available wrinkle-smoothing injectables in town.

What does that mean?

Because it is in its purest form, it is said to kick in earlier so you’d see the effects quickly as compared to the other brands where you’d have to wait at most a week or 10 days. Also, with the other brands, your body could build resistance against the complexing proteins that come with them so you may not see results anymore after hitting that immunity stage. With Xeomin, since there are no additional proteins coating the toxin, there is less likelihood that you’ll be immune to it.

How long do the effects last? Is there downtime?

The average amount of time, which also depends from person-to-person, is around 4-5 months. And NO downtime! You can go back to normal activities right away, just as long you don’t touch the area you’ve been injected in. I actually went straight to a shoot after this treatment.

Does it hurt?

This was one of my big concerns coupled with the whispers of the other injectables’ “frozen face” phenomenon. The real answer is… hardly. It definitely was more all in my head than the injections. The needles used are micro-needles or very fine ones that you will barely feel anything. Also, the doctor’s skills play a big role on this – the more skilled he/she is, the less discomfort. In my case, Dra. Issa could’ve done it with her eyes closed, ha ha! She has done it numerous times that it’s second nature to her. As for the “frozen face”, Xeomin looks super natural. No one probably would’ve known I had it done if I didn’t share it to the world.

My Xeomin Photodiary

First step is consultation. Dra. Issa talked me through the process, what it does, how it works, everything. She also educated me on Xeomin which is always a big plus to me since I like knowing the science behind everything I try.
This was me IG-storying my experience and sharing to the world my strong glabella lines, with a few readers messaging me, “Thanks for the science lesson for today!”, “New word of the day: Glabella!”
After I said my YES, Dra. proceeded to draw on my forehead so I could see where she’ll inject. She’s actually such an expert at this that she didn’t need to draw anymore but I guess to make me feel at ease, she still decided to do it.
After analyzing, numbing cream was applied on the area to be treated. I think this was on for around 45 minutes after application.
Just making chika with Dra. before my treatment. She told me how this treatment is like a lunch-time treat that most of her clients regularly do. They come in during lunch break, go back to work after as if nothing happened. That’s how quick and painless it is!

How did it go?

I look like I was praying hard, but it’s only because I cringe at the sight of a needle and was super nervous. The thing with this treatment is, it’s not just a single injection. It’s a bunch of little ones, spaced out around your forehead and between your brows. Some barely hurt at all, some you don’t even feel. Others made my eyes water because of the slight tingling. And then boom, done. Total time for the injections? Less than 5 minutes. I was like, “That’s it? We’re done?!” All my built-up tension for tiny ant bites I could barely feel?!

2 Months After

I look so stress-free!!! Even when I really am! Haha! Whenever I would frown or get angry, my glabella lines are completely invisible. The total Xeomin effect is natural, I don’t feel like my face is frozen nor does it look like my face was overdone. I even told Dra, “Gosh Doc, this is addicting ha! Plus it’s not that expensive so kayang kaya to go for it.” You can also get Xeomin on your masseter or jaw muscles to relax it which results to a smaller face (the ultimate secret to a smaller face pala talaga ito eh!). I got my masseter injected before but for my bruxism problem, turns out it also helps make the face smaller so even those who don’t have jaw problems, they opt to do this to help in contouring their face.
Overall, I am happy with the results of this treatment. It’s temporary so if I see the effects fading off, I have to get a retouch. The good thing is, the more you get a retouch, the longer the time you have in between touch-ups since your muscle is used less. That’s why it’s easy to get addicted, haha! As long as you put your trust in a good doctor, your Xeomin journey will be worth it!
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  1. Arselyn de Guzman-Intoy
    June 26, 2018 / 5:56 pm

    Natawa ko sa Resting Stressed Face! Ganyan din ata ako hehehehe!
    Na-remember ko yung IG story mo that day, feeling chill and jolly pero nervous at the same time 😂 pero based sa kwento mo, mukhang mas masakit pa ang kagat ng ants kesa sa procedure nila. Lalo ka nagmukhang bata, Ms. Shari. For sure, mas lalo ka ngayon kinukulit ni Selene at Tristan kasi happy face ka na lagi. 😊

  2. Vallee Gonzaga
    June 26, 2018 / 9:50 pm

    Nice results for sure! 😱😍✨ Are u making a vlog about this too? In my opinion, mas makikita yung effect pag video. #glabellalinestest haha. I remember your IG story with the “before” photo when you asked to caption it hahaha.

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