Beauty queen-actress Ruffa Gutierrez. Watsons/Released

MANILA, Philippines — Even in her 40s, actress Ruffa Gutierrez still looks as if it was just yesterday when she won Binibining Pilipinas World 1993 and Miss World 1993 second runner-up.

At a recent media launch in Watsons Podium, Ruffa gave what she called “skintellectual solutions” for youthful and radiant skin.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C from citrus fruits, dark and leafy green vegetables, berries, kiwi, peas, tomatoes, and papayas, promotes natural collagen production that helps retain the skin’s natural moisture and addresses dry and dull skin, said Ruffa.

Alpha-lipoic acid

ALA is an antioxidant that is made naturally in the body to protect it and help it repair from free radicals. Its other sources include broccoli, spinach, and yeast, especially brewer’s yeast. It is also found in meat, particularly in organ meats like liver, heart, and kidneys. Brussels sprous, tomatoes, and peas also have ALA but in less amounts.

According to Ruffa, ALA is a universal antioxidant and one of the best beauty ingestives for skin tightening.


Does glutathione really work?

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L-glutathione, more popularly known among Filipinos as “gluta”, has been among the most common whitening ingredients in recent years, preferred by consumers and the skincare industry for its supposed benefits like protection against liver damage, acne, sleep apnea, glaucoma, and cataracts. It is also being studied for treating autism, respiratory diseases, and even cancer and autoimmune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Like ALA, glutathione is produced naturally in the body, but as one ages, its production depletes, so it could be supplemented by natural sources such as onions, garlic, and cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, collards, watercress, broccoli, and kale.

Ruffa recommended glutathione to those with uneven skin tone or brown spots as it helps make skin fairer by reversing dark melanin production. She dubbed it, “the master of antioxidants” for its many health and beauty benefits.

According to physician and functional medicine practitioner Stan Chua, if taken orally, glutathione only lives in the body for 20 seconds. Thus, its benefits can only be enjoyed if it is to be fed to the body like a 24-7 dextrose.

“Papaya soap could be better for whitening. For treatment and prevention of liver diseases, silymarin is better and generally safe, except if you have liver cirrhosis,” the doctor told in an interview.

For Dr. Rodolfo Apostol, however, glutathione is effective even if taken in capsule or powder.

In addition to glutathione, Apostol prescribes Hyaluronic Acid (HA), a gel-like water holding molecule dubbed as the “nature’s moisturizer” that acts as space filler and cushioning agent in the body. Approximately 50 percent of HA resides in skin tissues to keep the tissues nourished and hydrated.

HA works with collagen in keeping skin moist and elastic. Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the body and is a major component of connective tissues. It provides structural support throughout the body. The skin is 75 percent collagen, which provides infrastructure for elastin, muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and bones.

Aging, however, decreases HA and collagen concentration in the body, making skin dry and loose.

To replenish one’s HA and collagen, Apostol vouches for supplements such as Nutrawell Collagen and Fine Organic Pearl Coix. Pearl coix from Japanese marine collagen helps fight premature signs of aging, treat skin diseases like acne and allergic dermatitis, and aids in removing warts, blemishes, and rashes.

Because of an increasing awareness in health and wellness, there is a growing global demand for “nutraceuticals” and “beauticeuticals” or supplements that offer both beauty and wellness benefits, said Watsons group category manager for skin care Kim Reyes.

According to Ruffa, a CosmoSkin ambassador, having great skin is the key to attain the Miss Universe motto, “confidently beautiful”.

Actress Lauren Young

Model Kelly Misa

Watsons group category manager for skin care Kim Reyes