At Remedy in BGC, acne and education are the stars of the show

Bea Cupin
At Remedy in BGC, acne and education are the stars of the show
Remedy focuses on one skin problem: acne

Within 20 minutes of meeting April Geraldez-Rivera, she noticed at least one thing about me: that I had a habit of touching my face – something that’s inconsequential in most situations but is a game changer when you’re prone to facial acne. (But I must note that in a time of the novel coronavirus, minimal face touching and constant handwashing is key.)

It’s this attention to detail – which, curiously, was made during an interview and not an actual skincare consultation – that makes Geraldez-Rivera, a board-certified dermatologist, stand out in a sea of skincare clinics that have populated the metro.

It’s also what makes the newly-opened Remedy stand out.

“After all of these years, there’s still not a place that you go to if you have acne,” Geraldez-Rivera who’s worked in an aesthetic center in the past, tells Rappler.

Unlike most skincare centers that offer a gamut of services, Remedy zooms in on one skin problem: acne.

The procedures are straight-forward and realistic. There’s a menu available both at the clinic and on its official Instagram post that details what each procedure can do. And while it may be tempting to get them all, Geraldez-Rivera isn’t the kind of dermatologist and clinic owner who won’t hesitate to tell you what you actually need and don’t need.

(No) acne dreams

The idea for Remedy, arguably, began decades ago when April Geraldez-Rivera was only an 11-year-old.

“I had really bad acne. Starting when I was 11, I used to really go to all of that. I literally grew up in my derma. I would go every two weeks. I was like… okay, instead of just paying someone, I could just become one,” Geraldez-Rivera said.

She had worked at an aesthetic clinic before and noticed that even “after all of these years there’s still not a place that you go to if you have acne.”

Each and every patient who goes through Remedy’s doors first gets a consultation from Geraldez-Rivera herself. She takes a loot at your skin and draws up what might as well be a war plan – because anyone who’s had to contend with acne long-term know that if you’re not careful and thoughtful about what you do, it can quickly turn into an endless battle.

There’s a selection of remedies for active acne and treatments that are better suited for post-acne scarring.

Photo by Bea Cupin/Rappler

During my visit to Remedy, Geraldez-Rivera suggested that I try the Hollywood Laser Facial. It’s a 3-step laser treatment that uses YAG, Carbon, and Laser Genesis.

The procedure begins with a facial, then a carbon lotion, the Laser Genesis, and finally, the YAG Laser. Within 30 minutes, you get a good pore cleanse and an instant – and I mean INSTANT – glow.

The Hollywood Laser Facial, after all, gets its name from the fact that many A-listers go for this treatment right before a big event. The results are instant and there’s no downtime. It’s so fast, in fact, that some patients who work in nearby offices sneak out during their lunch break to get a Hollywood Laser Facial.

But the real magic comes days after. My pores looked less prominent, oil production was definitely at a more normal rate and my skin felt and looked supple and moist even if I skipped on Vitamin C in the days that followed the Hollywood Laser Facial.

And as instantaneous as the results of the Hollywood Laser Facial were, Geraldez-Rivera will be the first to remind patients that treating acne isn’t a one-time thing. Depending on one’s skin condition, she typically between 2 to 3 months for results to truly start kicking in.

For first timers, she suggests visits every 2 to 3 weeks for the first 2-3 months, with follow-ups every 4 or 6 weeks after.

While the clinic is new, Geraldez-Rivera says so far, the feedback is good. She makes it a point to personally check on each patient’s progress every month.

That the clinic’s design is sleek and minimalist is also deliberate. “It’s not intimidating and you don’t dread going [in for treatments],” said Geraldez-Rivera.

After your treatment, Geraldez-Rivera typically suggests a few products to try post-treatment (she’ll also assess your current regimen during the consultation) – in my case, she prescribed an high-end brand exfoliating lotion and an in-house whitening (lightening, really) cream.

Beauty ain’t cheap

But is it worth it? The short answer is yes. While Remedy isn’t as splashy as other clinics, they offer no-nonsense treatments and services from a dermatologist who means business and knows first-hand the struggles of acne.

But there’s a huge caveat: the price.

The cheapest treatment (the essential cleanse) goes for P1,200 while the laser facials can cost P5,000 every treatment. Multiplied over several sessions, that’s definitely not something the average Filipino can spend for in a whim.

The reality is, however, that certain kinds of acne and acne scarring simply can’t be solved merely through a skincare routine. Geraldez-Rivera says the ultimate aim it to prevent acne – that means extractions just won’t cut it, because extractions don’t guarantee that the pore won’t get clogged again.

If your skincare journey feels more like a never-ending game of tag than a marathon, and if your pockets allow, I’d say give Remedy a try. –

Remedy can be found at the lower ground floor of One Uptown Residence along 9th Ave. cor. 36th St., in BGC, Taguig City. Remedy offered their services to Rappler for free. The opinions and asides, however, are all the author’s own.

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.