Everything Dr. Anna Palabyab-Rufino Has Been Doing To Look Ageless
With her glowing skin and age-defying appearance, Dr. Anna Palabyab-Rufino has always had people wondering about her best beauty secrets. The dermatologist and mom of three chats with Town&Country and reveals everything it takes to stay youthful.
What's a typical day like?
Before I head to work, I wake up early in the morning to say goodbye to my kids before they head to school. Being a dermatologist lets me be more flexible with my schedule, so I can make time for my friends if they visit the office for a quick lunch. If my last appointment ends early, I rush home to spend a bit of time with the kids.
Can you tell us about your skincare regimen?
I’m a big believer in moisturizing as well as SPF application—I make it a point to slather a generous amount of sunblock every single day, rain or shine.
In the evening, I use anti-aging products that help renew and improve the quality of my skin, such as tretinoin cream.
I like to travel and explore different places. When I’m outdoors, I stop my tretinoin cream use in the evening to avoid photosensitivity and irritation. When the weather is cool, I apply a generous amount of moisturizer to avoid dry skin.
You have many things on your plate. How do you find time for yourself?
As much as possible, I try to make time to relax by myself. I binge-watch my favorite shows, get massages, go on shopping sprees, and explore new places. I also enjoy the occasional staycation. My husband and I also get to travel to other countries, since he usually has conferences abroad. I tag along so that we can have “couple time.”
What is your mission as a dermatologist, and what philosophy informs your practice?
“The vain don’t complain.” Some treatments might be painful, but eventually you will see results. My focus is getting to know my patients and finding out their goals, so that I can suggest the best treatment for them. The doctor-patient relationship is an ongoing partnership that requires patience, so that we can work together on a proper strategy. I’m all about making a difference in each patient’s life.
Can you tell us about the procedure you recently did on your sister that we saw you post on your IG stories?
I was applying Xeomin on her. Xeomin is a form of botulinum toxin that helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles by relaxing the muscles. Most people who aren’t familiar with botulinum toxin injections tend to get worried that it will completely change their appearance. But if the treatment is done properly, it should make you look fresh.
There are other botulinum toxin options out there, but I used Xeomin on my sister because it's a pure form of toxin, and she can continue to get this without having to worry about being immune to the treatment. Xeomin helps prevent the deepening of the lines while you’re still young, and I used it to help soften my sister's jawline and help give it a V shape. This can add more balance and dimension to a square or round face.
We also saw you doing a treatment called Belotero on your mom’s face. Can you tell us about it?
As we age, we tend to lose volume in different parts of our faces—like the cheeks and temples. Belotero is a hyaluronic acid filler that gets injected into a depressed area of the face to give it more volume. Consider laugh lines. They are caused by volume loss in the cheeks. Fillers help address this concern. Hyaluronic acid, in particular, occurs naturally in the skin, so your body eventually reabsorbs it in six to 12 months. I chose to use Belotero on my mom because it has a special technology that allows it to seep only into the areas that need volume, helping you get a more natural look.
I also did Xeomin on my mom’s crow’s feet. It’s funny how my mom once gave me my first botulinum toxin injection (she used to be a dermatologist too!), and now I’m the one giving her toxin and filler treatments. Things really have come full circle with us!
Do you have any low-maintenance treatments you would recommend to working moms like yourself?
It varies per patient, but I would recommend applying daily SPF, anti-aging creams, and moisturizers, and if you're looking into fillers, I would suggest getting HA fillers to help fight volume loss. To address lines and wrinkles, you could try botulinum toxin treatments that are pure, safe and won’t leave you compromising anything. The procedure takes around 10 to 30 minutes, and you can have it done every four to six months, so it’s a very low-maintenance treatment. Make sure to consult your doctor to know which treatments would be right for you.
Do you have any skin concerns now that you didn’t have 10 years ago? How do you address them?
I noticed that I have more lines and dark spots now. Since I have all this access to skincare technology, I try to have treatments done once a week. I undergo laser treatments to prevent pigmentation, and oxygen facials to rejuvenate my skin. Once a year, I undergo Ultherapy to maintain my youthful complexion. I also do minimal botulinum toxin injections on the glabellar area (the skin between the eyebrows).
Do you have any beauty advice for full-time working moms like yourself?
At the very least, be diligent about your skincare routine. A nightly regimen and the regular application of sunblock can prevent more problems in the future.
Find balance, set goals, and stick to them as much as possible.
Dr. Anna Palabyab-Rufino practices dermatology at Beautique MD in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Follow her on Instagram.